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RPGWatch Forums » Games » The Witcher Games » The Witcher 2 » Better with a controller?

Default Better with a controller?

May 18th, 2011, 19:31
Have you tried the game with a controller? The combat and UI looks set up for it better.
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May 18th, 2011, 21:57
No I haven't - but I honestly think the UI and combat work just fine for mouse/kb. I'm not seeing the "console" aspects people are talking about.

It's an action RPG, for sure, but there's nothing particularly "consolish" about it - from where I'm sitting.

The "feel" of the game is pretty close to Gothic 3 combat - except it's actually balanced and requires skill and careful timing. Somewhat faster paced, though, and groups are a pain - because unlike Gothic 3 - they don't just stand around waiting for their turn to attack.
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May 18th, 2011, 22:17
I think the gamepad controls work well but I also think the keyboard and mouse controls and ui work just fine and I don't think they were sacrificed for the gamepad functionality.

The only really issue for me on the keyboard/mouse controls is the glaring omission of configuration options like remapping keys and inverting the mouse etc, but those can by done by modifying the ini files and CD Prokekt has stated they will be added at some future point to the game options.
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May 18th, 2011, 22:51
You can remap keys using the config utility under input settings
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May 18th, 2011, 23:01
Originally Posted by Melvil View Post
You can remap keys using the config utility under input settings
It would be nice to have it in the game though. Ditto for changing graphic settings really.

Also the configuration program's input options are somewhat limited, like it won't let you remap WASD to the arrow keys or invert the mouse movement, though you can do that by tinkering around with the ini files.
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May 18th, 2011, 23:08
I could imagine it would work very well with a controller, but I find it works perfectly with the keyboard and mouse as well. But the combat does have a learning curve. Would have no matter the controls used, you have to learn how to use positioning and the signs / bombs /traps effectively for group combat. Which is a good thing, in my book. I feel much more encouraged to use signs and alchemy than I ever have in the Witcher, and that is still in the prologue…
Last edited by GhanBuriGhan; May 19th, 2011 at 09:41.
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May 19th, 2011, 09:35
Originally Posted by Motoki View Post
It would be nice to have it in the game though. Ditto for changing graphic settings really.

Also the configuration program's input options are somewhat limited, like it won't let you remap WASD to the arrow keys or invert the mouse movement, though you can do that by tinkering around with the ini files.
WASD to arrow keys ? Now why would you do that ?

As for inverting mouse , again strange preference. But they said its comming in the patch
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May 19th, 2011, 11:37
I play with Belkin n52te and mouse. I think you don't need a controller but the n52te makes it bit more convenient than a keyboard.
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May 19th, 2011, 12:42
Originally Posted by Ashbery76 View Post
Have you tried the game with a controller? The combat and UI looks set up for it better.
How is the UI set up for a controller?
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May 19th, 2011, 20:56
Originally Posted by Roi Danton View Post
How is the UI set up for a controller?
Because controllers have very limited buttons, UI's designed for controllers have you "select" which skill or item you're going to use ahead of time ( typically with the new radial menus have that become so prevalent lately ) and then a separate button to use it. Mouse & Keyboard oriented interfaces have a hotkey bar that each is mapped to a different button on the keyboard ( nearly universally standardized to 1-0 on the keyboard ). TW2 doesn't even show you the unselected items, in the lower left corner it shows you the selected sign, and the selected item only. Compare: TW2, Alpha Protocol and Mass Effect to: Risen, WoW or NWN

Since it's very difficult to emulate a mouse with a joystick's hat switch, games built for controllers will use lists to display items that you hit a button to equip instead of a free roaming mouse pointer that can drag & drop. These lists typically don't include mouseovers (I believe because the hover delay doesn't really work with a list), so they need extra permanent screen real estate to show the stats of that item. Compare: TW2, Oblivion and Mass Effect to: WoW, Morrowind or Risen.

Also in the same problem a hat switch is a poor replacement for mouse, consoles use Auto-Targeting (or auto-aiming in a FPS) of what it thinks you're trying to look at. The auto-targeting of TW2 seems to be the basis for a lot of the complaints people are having right now about combat targeting and looting. Compare this to the center of screen targeting from Risen that knows you're using a mouse and that you can target the item in front of you with a high precision. Worse, ( bugged? ) TW2 is auto-targeting things no where near the center of my screen, I'm extinguishing torches in the prison during combat way too often.

The afore mentioned radial menu is a clear indication the UI was built for a joystick. It's radial because it's easier for a controller to spin the hat switch around it's outer boundaries to easily select a menu item. However these are often limited in the total number of options available ( often ~8 for the primary directions of hat switch ) because if the radial menu has too many choices, it can be difficult to precisely target a "wedge of the pie".

Also, the lack of a function for the mouse wheel really makes me think using the mouse & keyboard was an afterthought. What developer playing this game with a mouse would not have noticed the mousewheel isn't used for anything? Not even the simplest thing I can think of, which would be selecting the next or previous sign during combat, is supported.
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May 20th, 2011, 02:26
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
I could imagine it would work very well with a controller, but I find it works perfectly with the keyboard and mouse as well. But the combat does have a learning curve. Would have no matter the controls used, you have to learn how to use positioning and the signs / bombs /traps effectively for group combat. Which is a good thing, in my book. I feel much more encouraged to use signs and alchemy than I ever have in the Witcher, and that is still in the prologue…
In the Witcher 1 prologue you made the fight against the mage without using sign? If you did, when I'll try TW2 I'll better remember setup difficulty to casual.
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May 20th, 2011, 02:30
Originally Posted by LuckyCarbon View Post
Because controllers have very limited buttons, UI's designed for controllers have you "select" which skill or item you're going to use ahead of time ( typically with the new radial menus have that become so prevalent lately ) and then a separate button to use it. Mouse & Keyboard oriented interfaces have a hotkey bar that each is mapped to a different button on the keyboard ( nearly universally standardized to 1-0 on the keyboard ). TW2 doesn't even show you the unselected items, in the lower left corner it shows you the selected sign, and the selected item only. Compare: TW2, Alpha Protocol and Mass Effect to: Risen, WoW or NWN.
Well I suppose you never played TW1, or perhaps you think this game was also targeted for console despite it's never been released for any console?
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May 20th, 2011, 02:51
Im a huge witcher 2 supporter, have been singing their praises for months and am really enjoying the game but anyone who doesn't think the controls were made with at least the thought of bringing it to consoles is kidding themselves. I wasn't 15 min. In and I got that console vibe. That doesn't mean its not still awesome though.
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May 20th, 2011, 11:38
Back to the original question: I thought it worked very well with a gamepad. I am still kind of undecided on how I will control the game, but since I'm playing in the living room on a 37" LCD TV, and I like not having a keyboard on my lap during gaming, I will probably go with the gamepad.

The game's interface design surely does take gamepad controls into consideration, maybe to the point of sacrificing some keyboard/mouse features, but maybe not necessarily for the possible release on consoles (but that is easy to conclude). I mean, gamepads *are* usuable on PC.
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May 20th, 2011, 12:27
Sure they want to bring it to consoles. They said as much, and I am sure they don't want another bungled attempt like with the Wither 1. So it makes sense that they made certain decisions that will ease the porting to console, but that doesn't mean it was built with console in mind first and foremost. It is to be ported to console from the PC, not the other way round. Gfx, for example will have to be seriously toned down for current gen consoles, I would think. Although I may have to thank consoles for the decent looking low settings that I am playing on. The fonts are much too small for consoles, too.
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May 20th, 2011, 13:10
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
The fonts are much too small for consoles, too.
Yes, they are. I've said it before and I'll say it again: not every PC gamer plays on a monitor! But it's still perfectly playable with those small fonts, just not very comfortable.
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May 20th, 2011, 14:10
I tried using my Xbox 360 controller, and would still be using it, but there's no feature to invert the camera look-around. That's critical for me.

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May 20th, 2011, 15:24
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
Well I suppose you never played TW1, or perhaps you think this game was also targeted for console despite it's never been released for any console?
Yes I played TW1, beat it several times, but it's been a while. I wondered if the sign selection was similar to to TW1 but I couldn't recall exactly, been too long. I don't seem to remember having nearly as many problems selecting & using the signs in TW1 though, but I don't recall how you selected or cast signs in TW1, I also used less signs in 1 than I try to use in 2 ( mostly due to combat difficulty ).

But I don't believe just because TW1 had one similar UI mechanic that the rest of my points are invalid. It's also a fairly rare mechanic for PC only titles.

And it's fairly ancillary to the point but they did try to release TW1 for consoles but the 3rd party porter they hired mucked up the job too badly to bother.
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May 21st, 2011, 00:25
I really miss the stances/combos of TW1… gets old only having a "light" and "heavy" attack.

The world is great, the story is (so far) great, but the gameplay is lacking for me.
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May 21st, 2011, 10:40
Originally Posted by LuckyCarbon View Post
Yes I played TW1, beat it several times, but it's been a while. I wondered if the sign selection was similar to to TW1 but I couldn't recall exactly, been too long. I don't seem to remember having nearly as many problems selecting & using the signs in TW1 though, but I don't recall how you selected or cast signs in TW1, I also used less signs in 1 than I try to use in 2 ( mostly due to combat difficulty ).
The truth is I also don't remember well but I think it was the same system. For TW1 fights at Hard I felt it somehow difficult in general and sometimes very difficult. But well I didn't develop much my character around signs so I end also not use them much finally. But I'm almost sure TW1 was relatively well design so you concentrate more on developing signs and use them more in fights, a player choice.

Originally Posted by LuckyCarbon View Post
But I don't believe just because TW1 had one similar UI mechanic that the rest of my points are invalid. It's also a fairly rare mechanic for PC only titles.

And it's fairly ancillary to the point but they did try to release TW1 for consoles but the 3rd party porter they hired mucked up the job too badly to bother.
I don't disagree fully on your analyze but I think you want proves it so much that you forget use a larger point of view and can't see some other good reasons than console could have lead to some of those design points.

About the signs working with a selection key and an action key:
Even on PC many players don't like have to use ton of shortcut keys during action. TW1 had already its load of shortcuts, 3 fight modes, 3 custom shortcuts, 4 movement keys, jump key. Add to that 5 weapons keys and 5 or 6 sign keys, and they consider it too much and I agree. So instead they choose design an action game with pause, allowing less action keys and use pause for some selection, selection for fight mode, selection for weapon, selection for sign and just 2 actions keys for all of that, attack and cast sign.

About the lack of shortcuts bar:
I think you don't realize the obsession of modern games about immersion, hence a large bar of shortcuts is considered as immersion breaking.

Also your comparison with a game like NWN2 is totally wrong because it's a non action game and a mouse game, both justifying totally the bars of shortcuts. An action game with no mouse point and click controls during action makes this choice doubtful.

About auto targeting:
I haven't played the game yet, but I think I know where it goes, on a fight system designed for an acquired target. If you remove auto targeting you will most certainly get a strange system I experimented a little in another game. In that system you need first acquire a target then can start fight, it's rather awful for fighting groups. TW2 had the requirement for fighting groups, there's a good chance it's the true reason of the auto targeting (group fights and a system requiring to acquire a target).

For the mouse wheel:
I always wondered why I had always commands linked to that crap, perhaps they also estimated it's not good as a default? And the problem is larger, it's the customization of controls is quite limited. TW1 had a similar flaws, more than console influence, it's more probably an underestimation of custom controls by the team.

So this let the inventory and menus managements, for sure consoles are the reason behind that points. Other than that, I'm not sure at all you are right for the other points.
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