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Default The Witcher - Preview & Interview @ IGN

July 6th, 2007, 04:15
IGN has some pre-E3 Witcher coverage, starting with a hands-on preview. The article has some excellent details on combat:
As you power up Geralt more sets of moves become available, but from the outset it seems like you'll be able to chain together at least a few attacks. The game has three levels of difficulty, which affect how you identify when you need to press the left mouse button (LMB) to successfully transition into the next attack sequence. When playing in the easier modes, you'll see the attack icon change into a special flame symbol. On the hardest setting there'll be an audio cue, but you'll rely mostly on visually identifying when a sequence has reached an end and another can begin. Missing the transition window by hitting LMB too early or late breaks the combo, giving your enemies an opportunity to attack. Blasting out magic with the right mouse button (RMB) also breaks the attack chain, but it's useful in many cases to temporarily disable other enemies in the area advancing on your position.
They also have an interview with designer Michal Madej, speaking to him before playing the game. The conversation starts with Oblivion:
IGN: I didn't like the main story in Oblivion very much.

Michal Madej:
I didn't like Oblivion at all. [CD Projekt] had to play the game, we had to find what was, why the game was so popular.

IGN: What elements of that have you brought into The Witcher?

Michal Madej: Graphics. We believe Oblivion was so popular because, first of all, it was very well known brand. Second thing it was very popular because it has really great visuals. And also my opinion is games like Oblivion are dying because people who want to play open-ended games, they're playing online games. Playing Oblivion was like playing World of Warcraft without any other players. For me it was boring.
Thanks, kencube.

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July 6th, 2007, 04:15
Holy crap… Oblivion got dissed? Not only by IGN (who may just be baiting) but a game developer?

I am impressed. It may seem unprofessional to some but I think it's really gutsy for a developer to air such an opinion so frankly.
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July 6th, 2007, 04:25
I am going to pre-order the collector's edition

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July 6th, 2007, 16:20
And it was a valid diss, IMO. Not just a random slam. I never even considered buying the Big O and I don't play MMO's for exactly the same reason—if I want a sandbox game, it won't be in the role-playing genre.

"Huge" non-linear unstructured worlds with "open" (i.e., vaguely or completely non-defined) goals don't suit my rpg play style, primarily because they relegate story and consequence to a subsidiary role.

Obviously, many players enjoy these things, but I'm glad that of the elements in The Witcher that CDProjekt decided to model on Oblivion, it was "graphics" rather than "huge,open world."

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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July 6th, 2007, 16:36
Now you can imagine why talking to these guys at the GC was so much fun. They´re different.
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July 6th, 2007, 18:10
Most of the stuff seems really really good. I love their approach towards more personilzed and realistic loot instead of finding the next uber plus 15 sword under the next stone or animals dropping items or gold.

I love how they want to eliminate stupid grinding by giving xp mostly for solving quests. I love how MM hates Oblivion.
I love the concept of moral choices with delayed consequences.

What I dont like: Appearently the game will have some kind of oblivion style quest compass? A big "meh" here.

Also, the combat sounds very twitchy. While I didnt expect a fully fledged classical RPG combat from this game, I hope the combat will at least be fun.

Its really hard to tell just from reading about the combat system if it could be fun or not, lets hope the best.

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July 6th, 2007, 18:26
Highly interesting. I don't agree with everything, but the thoughts mentioned there are - at least partly - unique. I mean nowadays.

Highly interesting …
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July 6th, 2007, 19:02
Personally, I think it shows the developer's lack of maturity to dis Oblivion.

I am looking forward to playing Witcher, but because it's an interesting game concept on it's own. It has nothing at all to do with where it fits in the world of games, including Oblvion. I see nothing in common between a world that had modding as a goal, and one that leads you through it's finite world by the nose.

There is a very HUGE word of people who mod for Oblivion and share their mods and make it an amazing platform for individuals to be creative.

I thought the story line in Oblivion was quite good, and the faction story lines, like the Dark Brotherhood, and the Thieves Guild kept me playing for more hours at one time than I'd care to admit.

But hey! He's going to release a game and I'm not, so he's definitely smarter than me about anything at all, right? lol
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July 6th, 2007, 19:14
Originally Posted by Greymane View Post
But hey! He's going to release a game and I'm not, so he's definitely smarter than me about anything at all, right? lol
Where did he state this? He just stated his personal opinion of OBLIVIAN.

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July 6th, 2007, 20:16
While I agree that Oblivion wasn't a good RPG, I must say that I completely disagree with the generalization that all sandbox RPGs are just SP MMORPGs, as I have played and enjoyed MANY sandbox RPGs that were very nearly infinitely better than Oblivion. The problem with Oblivion was that too much time was spent on making it plastically pretty, voice acting(although they thoroughly screwed this up), dumbing down of the mechanics much more so that Morrowind(and GREATLY from Daggerfall), 2D NPCs(worse than Morrowinds IMO, and the jury's still out wrt Daggerfall) wrt "flavor" dialog topics, trivial one solution quests, and a myriad of other dysfunctional design decisions apparently driven by their marketing selected target audience in a, then, successful attempt to increase sales. Beyond that a well done sandbox RPG just has a much more complete feel, and is much more enjoyable overall than any MMORPG I've tried as MMORPGs tend to carry the Oblivion design faults to an even greater extreme, the level grinding and PvP being my two most hated MMORPG features although both carefully designed to separate players from as much cash as possibl, along with other "c001" features such as… hmmm…. epic mounts anyone? } : )

While, I've not been following Witcher very closely(afraid of being disappointed by hype v. reality once again) I really hope that this doesn't mean that choices really only are all about choices in quests, and that the player is still railroaded through sections linearly as that type of game has zero replay value for me, and unless it has a very good modding toolset is a definite pass any longer, especially when the main(plus side) quest lines are less than 40h.

EDIT:
Oblivion, I haven't run for any length since last summer, as even the mods don't quite fix enough of it yet, and I suspect that they never will be able to as much of it is probably hard coded into the enginge. In the end I stuck with Morrowind plus some graphical enhancement mods such as Infinite View Distance, which is incorporated into Morrowind Graphics Extender. Makes Morrowind feel like an entirely different game, although it really drives home exactly how small the game world is. Also have been replaying Daggerfall(dosbox) and Fallout 1(linux + wine) and whittling away at the OCs of both NWN 1 and 2.

As to the MMORPGs reference, if anything aRPGs are MUCH more closely related to MMORPGs than your average sandbox RPG is, although the distinction between the types is being lost as developers cater to more generalized audiences.
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July 6th, 2007, 22:09
Might & Magic 6 is an example of a huge, open world that worked very well. It is definetly a solid SP RPG, not just a "single player MMO".
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July 6th, 2007, 23:22
Originally Posted by horromir View Post
Where did he state this? He just stated his personal opinion of OBLIVIAN.
I ddn't say he said that, it was just a flippant comment by me.. which is to say, I'm not an Internet / Gaming Celebrity, so feel free to ignore my comments .

He's probably a SUPER guy making a SUPER game and will someday bring global peace and cure cancer!
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July 7th, 2007, 00:07
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
And it was a valid diss, IMO. Not just a random slam. I never even considered buying the Big O and I don't play MMO's for exactly the same reason—if I want a sandbox game, it won't be in the role-playing genre.

"Huge" non-linear unstructured worlds with "open" (i.e., vaguely or completely non-defined) goals don't suit my rpg play style, primarily because they relegate story and consequence to a subsidiary role.

Obviously, many players enjoy these things, but I'm glad that of the elements in The Witcher that CDProjekt decided to model on Oblivion, it was "graphics" rather than "huge,open world."
I have to disagree with you, almost every good sandbox game had the most consiquence. What I gather from Oblivion is that it was easy and actions did not matter. The FO's are open games and actions most definitely have consiquences and matter more than in any other game. And I also hate when the developers provide my characters motivation. Why would I play a roleplaying game if everyone but me provides my character's personality and motivation. A story driven "rpg" almost guarantess there will be no consiquences for actions, or at least very meaningless and superficial consiquences.
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July 7th, 2007, 00:34
Go to play LIFE if you want real consiquence. In a game, everything is predestined…end/ends has long been written and carved in stone A story would give a game a soul, particularly a good story with twists and turns. The question is: do we want multiple stories or just multiple endings for replay value.

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July 7th, 2007, 21:45
Originally Posted by roqua View Post
I have to disagree with you,
Yes, it's your job, it's what you do.

…almost every good sandbox game had the most consiquence. What I gather from Oblivion is that it was easy and actions did not matter. The FO's are open games and actions most definitely have consiquences and matter more than in any other game. And I also hate when the developers provide my characters motivation. Why would I play a roleplaying game if everyone but me provides my character's personality and motivation. A story driven "rpg" almost guarantess there will be no consiquences for actions, or at least very meaningless and superficial consiquences.
I like when the developers provide my characters with motivation. I like to resolve issues, solve puzzles, and kill bad guys.It helps for me if there is at least some payoff in the plot for me to do this. Perhaps, not having a PnP background is where you and I part ways on what we expect/enjoy in a crpg.

I played DnD once with my son when he was about twelve, and the first thing I asked him was, "What is the object of the game?" He looked at me in perplexity and shrugged his shoulders."You, know, how do you win?" Another shrug. "You don't, exactly," says he.

I thought he was being his normal smarta$$ little self, but after we played for awhile, I realized that the shrug was about the only response you could honestly give to that question, beyond going into a three volume explanation such as we often see on forums when someone unfortunately decides to "define an rpg"

We played tons of games in my childhood( like Parcheesi, Monopoly, Yahtzee, cards, etc which is about all there was) but they were nothing if not linear and rule-oriented. I carry that background into my present day gaming, and basically I am looking to beat the game. I feel like I am playing a role when I roll up a cleric or a sorc, but I know that there is more to it for many others.

So, I can understand that in a sandbox game, you can do more with your character than in a scripted progression, and that there can indeed be consequences from that. But it isn't what I would like in a game, because I look at the game as a test of wits, not an exploration of my psyche or a long journey that really doesn't have a destination, just various encounters and experiences(dnd). If it has a story that is decent as well, then that is a tool that I use to develop my character the way I see fit to get to the resolution, not a restriction.

Also, having never played MMO's or Oblivion, I don't set myself up to be an expert in any way. Obviously I'm in no position to argue the validity of the comparison., and I usually have better self control than to try I would think that there is a similarity, but agree with cutterjohn that as much or more similarity probably exists with arpg's.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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July 7th, 2007, 23:02
I don't have a pnp background either. I've only played once, with some people at rpgdot through a yahoo thing with Ammon777 DMing. And I also aproach games as a battle of wits, and I'll always first be a min/maxer. My goal is to beat the system.

In large, my goal has been diverted by developers making story-focused games, as they make combat a filler between cut scenes and story progression. Its no longfer a battle of wits to play a game, its a battle of tedium and having the constitution to make it through another grind, etc.

Some of my favorite games have been story focused, but have also provided very challenging dungeons and combat, such as Betrayal at Krondor, Wiz 6, Buck Rogers, or the gold box games. None of these games offered one iota of freedom or roleplaying, but they offered a heavy challenge.

Then games actually worthy of being called rpgs started being made, like Darklands and Realms of Arkania, which provided a challenge and open ended gameplay. And then you get to Fall Out, which provided a challnge through choices and consiquences. The combat wasn't great, and is basically a save-load fest, but the challenge of the game came from deciding what to do. Making choices. Being able to actually roleplay. Me vs. the system, a battle of wits. If the choices of FO could be mixed with a party-game with great TB combat the difficulty wouold be doubled, making the battle of wits that much more enjoyable.

If you look into a lot of games that were popular you'd see that they all basically have one key strong point. The atmosphere of System Shock 2. The living world of Gothic. The story of ps:t. The party interaction of BG2 (or whatever it was that people liked about that game). The NPC's of Bloodlines. The setting of Arcanum. The combat of ToEE. The choices and consiquences of FO1 and 2. The sandbox and openness of Darklands.

All these games have faults of weak points as well. A lot of people will say the Gothics got everything right. I believe I'm pretty alone in thinking ToEE got a great deal right. I'm probably a handful of people that think the RoA series is standard setter in rpg development.

The one thing that should resonate with alll of us, and bring us together, is that what we are being offered by developers is substandard. The challenge has been removed from games. Your "story-driven" rpgs are slightly interactive movies. We don't play games anymore, we grind through them waiting for the next cut scene. Where is the game? Why play a game if the game has been replaced with grind, and the reason to play has been replaced with a catchy story better delivered through the medium of television or a book. We do i have to grind through end;less hordes of rediculous easy monsters just to see what happens next? I don't want to play a movie, I don't want my contribution to be a couple of superficial stat choices and what sword to buy as I sell truck loads of the garbage I just looted from the boringest dungeon ever before I go clear out the next boringest dungeon ever.

In order for a story to be important to a game, there has to be a game there first, with some sort of driver or motivation to play beyond the cut scenes.

beyond going into a three volume explanation such as we often see on forums when someone unfortunately decides to "define an rpg"
RPGs have been defined for ages, the question is what is a crpg, and I've defined that and won every debate I've gotten into, since I can counter the drivel thrown at me with actual points and the biggest knock to my definition is "nu-uh," which doesn't count. So I win by default of being the only one to make solid and consistent sense and by virtue of being right.
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July 8th, 2007, 01:27
roqua I think we are in agreement here more than we are in conflict. (I don't know why I thought you were a pnp gamer; perhaps it's because I think of you as a purist. )

In order for a story to be important to a game, there has to be a game there first, with some sort of driver or motivation to play beyond the cut scenes.
Exactly. That's all that got me through the endless cinematics and awkward party combat mechanisms of NWN2.

In large, my goal has been diverted by developers making story-focused games, as they make combat a filler between cut scenes and story progression. Its no longer a battle of wits to play a game, its a battle of tedium and having the constitution to make it through another grind, etc.
Yes, and for this I blame the idea of primarily relying on killing things to generate experience/ leveling. It's the easy way out. Story focus, IMO, should instead bring in experience from working through the twists of the story(quests, dialogue resolutions that advance the game, etc) and getting your major experience there—-if you are going to make a story-driven game, anyway.


The one thing that should resonate with all of us, and bring us together, is that what we are being offered by developers is substandard. The challenge has been removed from games.
I agree again. One of the reasons I am interested in The Witcher is that it doesn't appear to want to be all things to all gamers, or afraid to say: "You will need to think about all that clicking you're doing if you want things to work," or to provide your major experience source in quests to advance both the story and your character. I hope this game turns out to play the way it appears now.

So I win by default…
Actually, I think you do. I really wasn't meaning you in particular, though. It's a common cause of contention, defining what makes something you feel strongly about the thing it is, and leads to a lot of hot air in general, which was all I meant.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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July 8th, 2007, 06:21
"One of the reasons I am interested in The Witcher is that it doesn't appear to want to be all things to all gamers, or afraid to say: "You will need to think about all that clicking you're doing if you want things to work," or to provide your major experience source in quests to advance both the story and your character. I hope this game turns out to play the way it appears now."
There is a new preview up on the front page that says the combat in witcher needs a lot of skill and will be challenging in the twitch sense. I don't consider it an rpg at all, but at least someone is trying to bring a little challenge back to the pc, or x-box, or wherever it it is going.

"Yes, and for this I blame the idea of primarily relying on killing things to generate experience/ leveling. It's the easy way out. Story focus, IMO, should instead bring in experience from working through the twists of the story(quests, dialogue resolutions that advance the game, etc) and getting your major experience there—-if you are going to make a story-driven game, anyway."
Thats exactly how the FO's work. Granted, at least how I play, advancing the stories and completing the quests the way i do usually involves a lot of killing. But, some folk of a more delicate nature say you can complete most quests without killing, and the experience reward could be better that way. But keep in mind, 90% of the FO's isn't the main quest, but it all seems to tie together nicely. Have you played them?
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July 8th, 2007, 06:34
Yeah, and the other 10% is sex, drugs and rock and roll!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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July 8th, 2007, 08:45
The FO's are definitely a product of their time, Corwin.

@roqua; I have played parts of FO and about two-thirds of FO2 about five years ago. I don't want to sound like a sexist, but it's a guy's game to me, very dark and male. So are lots of games, but in FO I just can't transcend it very well. I was thinking about it when I wrote that remark, though.

Whatever else about it, I can and do appreciate it as unique. The writing, humor, game structure and story aspects are exceptionally well done. I can't somehow really feel comfortable in it, mostly because it's way too real, but I can understand the draw, and I think like PS:T it's one of the games that can never be duplicated.

But this probably belongs more in a Fallout thread so I'll stifle the rest of my cogent comments.

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