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Default The Witcher - Interview & Trailer @ GameSpot

September 22nd, 2007, 12:09
The promised 10min Witcher video is up at GameSpot, accompanying a new interview. I haven't watched the video to comment but here is a sample from the interview:
GameSpot: We're familiar with the story behind the game's unusual protagonist, Geralt, but tell us about how he develops as a character in the game. How can you develop his skills in battle, for instance? What kind of weapons can he use, and how does he eventually become a more powerful warrior?
Michal Madej: As you mentioned, we have a rather unusual protagonist—Geralt the witcher, a professional monster slayer. Because he is essentially a new character class unlike anything you've seen in typical RPGs, we had to create an innovative character-development system, which takes advantage of this "unusualness." On one hand, it's a traditional level-based system, where you kill monsters and—much more importantly—complete quests to earn experience points and gain levels. [But this is] where the similarity to typical RPGs ends. We don't use any numerical traits, as we consider them simply a dull way to describe your hero. What does it mean to have 12 dexterity points, and how much better is 13? We decided to replace numbers with ability trees, where each of the abilities has significant influence on gameplay and its usefulness is instantly understood. Altogether, we have about 250 abilities, grouped in 15 "trait trees": four attributes, five magical signs, and six combat styles. […]
Thanks, Acleacius.
More information.
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September 22nd, 2007, 12:09
I watched the video, and it was different from what I expected. A lot of it was played with isometric camera (which appears to work more smoothly than e.g. NWN2), there was a fair bit of dialog apparently with different paths to take, there was a bit of crafting (buying ingredients to make an alchemical stun bomb, then making it, then using it in combat), and a fair bit of combat.

The combat looked very fast-paced, but pausable, e.g. to select the bomb from the inventory and use it.

Overall, the video was much more "RPG-esque" than I expected.
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September 22nd, 2007, 15:32
I was skeptical about this game, especially with all the hype going on and little in the way of concrete facts to back it up. However, i have to say, this latest video looked really good and i am now looking forward to read a couple of reviews before making the final decision and spend my money on this title.
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September 22nd, 2007, 16:32
I can't figure out what he did, first he gets in a fist fight (which he loses) and at 50% he goes to fight 12+ guys at one time.
Just as he starts to fight the 12, he suddenly levels and is at full health.
Either he knew he would level when talking to the guy (though nothing seemed accomplished as in quest complete).

He could have hit some button that gave him a level or two maybe?
It certainly wasn't godmode it was a very close fight as his health was very low, also there is no telling how high of level he was or his Spells/Powers he was using to be able to take on 12 guys.

The dialog trees looked very good, as did the NPC animations, especially considering this is the Aurora engine.

Maybe it was the way is was filmed but it seemed way too dark, at points you could barley see anything or the brightness was too low, so much so it was hard to see the fight animation's quality.

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September 22nd, 2007, 17:30
I have a little more hope for this game today - after seeing this trailer. And by that I mean I might consider getting this game afterall. The game looks OK, although very dark. (although I think it maybe was night? in the game when the developer decided to play the game)

It also surprised my that the dev. suddenly gained a level in the middle of a fight?
I had a wtf-like moment, and the the guy just fought on. The combat looked a little to much action like for my taste, with Geralt swinging hsi sword around the whole time, in different moves.

The rest of the game looked fine, though. Even the extreme part of the game, discussed in another thread, made sense (somewhat). I still stand by that this really is Jack Bauer in the Middle Ages…
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September 22nd, 2007, 19:45
Well, in the video the developer explains that fist fighting wasn't Geralt main skill and he was much better at sword fighting. In any case, i agree, the big fight looked a bit too much "twitchy", for my tastes at least. I hope people with slow reflexes can still play, or you can make good use of the active pause. Otherwise, i won't even consider buying it when it's released.
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September 22nd, 2007, 21:37
Originally Posted by Acleacius View Post
I can't figure out what he did, first he gets in a fist fight (which he loses) and at 50% he goes to fight 12+ guys at one time.
Just as he starts to fight the 12, he suddenly levels and is at full health.
Either he knew he would level when talking to the guy (though nothing seemed accomplished as in quest complete)…
Did he level, or was it the potion he drank + regeneration ability he triggered just as the combat started? The health gain I saw looked kind of gradual. Also he 'meditated' between the fist fight and the sword fight sequence, which might have restored some health. But I might have missed something, since I was also looking at the combination and finishing moves trying to tell how they were triggered. I definitely liked the looks of the combat. I just hope I'm up to it skillwise.

The southern accent sounded better the second time around, too.

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September 23rd, 2007, 00:02
good show. i am now hooked on getting this game straightaway. there is supposed to be a demo coming for the witcher is there not?
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September 23rd, 2007, 02:43
Originally Posted by magerette
Did he level, or was it the potion he drank + regeneration ability he triggered just as the combat started?
Yes to all three.

What happened was at the fist fight, his health was drained at least 95%, once he had meditated he was back to about 40% health and by the time he entered the conversation with the assassin he was at 50%.
As soon as the fight starts there is a level up (flashed on screen) and his health refills completely, after taking a couple of hits and losing health he drinks the Regeneration potion, which does seem to speed up his regeneration.

aries100 seems to mention the level up as well.

If I had to guess, I would say he was so busy trying to talk and play, he forgot to heal between, as no one starts an night of bombing and fighting at 50% health.

He probably has some Developer Keys, set to console commands like "Give Level" so he can demonstrate "Spending Points" or other topics of interest at interviews.

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September 23rd, 2007, 22:30
Acleacius' comments make sense. Here is another possible explanation:

I too wondered about why anyone would not bother to heal themselves before going into a fight. But then I read in a preview somewhere that drinking excess potions can be dangerous in this game/ fantasy world. The Witcher's concoctions give special attributes and such, but they are ultimately poisonous (too much of a good thing can be bad for you). I don't know if this idea spills over (no pun intended) to health potions, but if it does, it would explain why you might refrain from drinking a potion every time you suffer a little damage. If this is the case, it will make combat and managing your character a lot more challenging, and quite different from typical RPG's. This possibility could also explain why leveling up would suddenly give Geralt full health again - realizing that you are going to use health potions sparingly, the devs wanted to give you a little head-start with the level up.

Other things I loved about what I saw:

LOTS of atmosphere. The world seems full of life and activity, and even objects. Most RPG's leave buildings and rooms and city streets sort of empty and too bare of little details that make everything look more real. I haven't seen this level of detail since Gothic III.

The dialogue seems top notch to me. The conversation with Ramsmeat (which, incedentally, is a ridiculous name, but oh well) has gotten a lot of heat, but the other dialogues we saw in this video could not have been better imo. The Irish accents were well done, and there were little details, such as the shoe-shine coughing mid-sentence, that made them very believable.

I also noticed when the inventory panel was opened you could see the Witcher's equipment, including a slot for his upper body costume. This again supports my theory (which has it's detractors) that the Witcher can wear other armors besides the standard equipment we usually see on him.

Things I didn't like:

Why does each character have to loose a pint of blood with every fist punch? Seemed a little overkill to me, and didn't match the realism of other aspects of the game, such as the fluid movements of the characters.

Geralt went straight up to Ramsmeat's door and tried to open it but couldn't… and the "bouncers" did nothing. They didn't even react until Geralt initiated dialogue. At least I think that's what I saw…

Didn't like the circles appearing wherever Geralt was ordered to move. I think the other camera modes he was talking about didn't show that, so this is a very minor complaint.

A very MAJOR complaint: Group combat still isn't group combat. Just like Gothic, just like >insert every other RPG in existence here<, only one enemy attacks at a time, while the others just stand around waiting. When is somebody gonna get it right?!

Despite the above criticisms, this game looks awesome. I can't wait!

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September 23rd, 2007, 23:32
You can definitely get new armour but rather like Gothic, you won't be changing it every other minute.

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September 24th, 2007, 00:02
Iwill definitely get this game when it hits the stores. Combat looks great and unusual setting with intresting main character really inspire me. However what really pleases me is the long term consequence stuff they keep talking about.
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September 24th, 2007, 01:57
WOWZA!!!!!

This is how trailer is done!!! No stupid level-up or numbers or put more number here. No stupid make a character thing. I play Witcher and he is he and I play him. Now that is rpg! I love the combat in Daiblo 2 and this is very much like and makes me want to buy it much. I don't like stupid only two enemies give you challenge. I like big fights and I fight big rooms of people. No wonder Bioware recommendedations this game!!!! I'm so sited play this game here!!!

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September 24th, 2007, 02:50
like a poster said earlier in the thread it's pretty funny how he loses to Butter Bean, yet wipes out an entire bandit faction a little while later!

need to bust out some brass knuckles during his meditation time

The character models look great, well the entire thing from a graphical standpoint looks great actually. I like how he was all torqued up when going into combat, it's like he's doing martial arts or something, instead of just sitting there swinging away. The combat looks impressive so far, liked the finishing moves where he nails the poor saps to the floor!
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September 24th, 2007, 07:56
Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
A very MAJOR complaint: Group combat still isn't group combat. Just like Gothic, just like >insert every other RPG in existence here<, only one enemy attacks at a time, while the others just stand around waiting. When is somebody gonna get it right?!
I think more than one enemy was swinging at Geralt during the big fight but its
hard to tell. You may be probably right since most of the glitches I've seen from
this and other gameplay vids seem to revolve around AI (i.e the Door thing you
noted and an NPC on some escort mission in a vid a few weeks back).

All in all I wouldnt expect much from AI (how much of this is Aurora's limitations
I wonder?) Though some things could have a script to fix them I guess (the
bouncers - door thing). Still this game seems far less static from anything I could
have expected of the engine…

Combat AI at least seems significantly better that G3 i.e (you see that the AI is
always trying to outflank/surround you even in the fight with the bouncers
instead of constantly freezing in place and/or backpedaling).No great praise
ofcourse, since G3's needed to be scraped and redesigned…
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September 24th, 2007, 09:15
The scope for role-playing looks like it's pretty limited. I don't mind that though, really. Games like NWN2 that try to let you play any kind of character never quite get it right. I feel like I'm encouraged ot come up with a unique character with a distinct personality, but then I'm not given the ability to role-play consistently. In a lot of dialouges we end up having to choose the dialouge that's closest to what we imagine our character would actually say.

So we're playing as Geralt, an established character with a preset personality. He'll say certain things to people whether we like it or not. Okay. It does look like we get meaningful choices about how we want to play this specific character, however.

Combat looks fun, character system looks simple and fun (although persoanlly I like number-crunching and min-maxing, but I supose I get plenty of that from NWN2 and WoW). That city looked like a living-breathing city. I haven't seen a city that really felt alive since… maybe BG2. NWN2 failed in that area, although the mod Night Howls in Nestlehaven does a great job of brining the city to Nestlehaven to life.

Cities have always been one of my favorite things about RPGs. The first RPGs I played, I always looked forward to getting to the next city. I love living, breathing cities, with politics and factions; shopping and an economy; people with their problems; plenty to do and get involved in; actions that create ripples through the city. I really hated in NWN2 that you end up becoming Nasher's bitch no matter what. The number of times I wanted to tell him to go fuck himself… damn. I hated that about chapter 1.

I hope that we get to show some initiative while playing as Geralt as well. It bothered me that in NWN2, your never got to do that. You sometimes got to choose between doing what Character X wants to do and what Character Y wants do, or in what order to do it… but I hated that the stroy seemed to drive the PC, not the other way around. I want to feel like I'm driving the events, even if I'm only driving them along a mostly predefined track. At least give me different ways to drive them from Point A to Point B. Let me figure out solutions to problems rather than just being led along by the hand the whole way.
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September 25th, 2007, 00:25
Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
I think more than one enemy was swinging at Geralt during the big fight but its
hard to tell. …
I would have to watch it again. I hope you are right, but I know they definitely were holding back while Geralt was doing his "finishing moves." While it makes sense that the devs would not allow you to be attacked while your character is doing his own thing (same in Fable if I remember right), I still would rather see it more realistic, perhaps without the whole finishing move thing, at least in group combat. After all, would you be concerned with a flashy move to kill a guy while ten of his buddies are about to take swing? No, you'd get the job done as quickly as possible to avoid getting stabbed in the back.

Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
You can definitely get new armour but rather like Gothic, you won't be changing it every other minute.
And that's just fine with me! I love the ability to change and upgrade the appearance of my character, but not have to do it so often that it becomes purely asthetic. Gothic's pace is perfect.

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September 25th, 2007, 14:25
I love what I saw in the Gamespot demo video. Any doubt that I had about getting this game is gone. I'll probably buy it on launch day. It looks fantastic. Definitely going after the hardcore Gothic 3/Divine Divinity/Baldurs Gate/Fallout crowd. It's great to see there are still a few European developers that make games for the PC audience.
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September 25th, 2007, 15:49
Originally Posted by doctor_kaz View Post
I love what I saw in the Gamespot demo video. Any doubt that I had about getting this game is gone. I'll probably buy it on launch day. It looks fantastic. Definitely going after the hardcore Gothic 3/Divine Divinity/Baldurs Gate/Fallout crowd. It's great to see there are still a few European developers that make games for the PC audience.

Fallout crowd? How? By having a pregenerated character that roleplays the game for you? Stat-lite, rp-lite, twitch-combat, no challenge, hordes of enemies attacking, preset, diabo-lite, bullshit? I fall into the Fallout crowd and the last thing I plan on doing is buying another fake-rpg, challengless, drivel.

I'm sure there is a large portion of the "fallout crowd" that will love this game, just because they love games, including FPS's and other nonsense. But for people that want what fallout gave them, this game isn't it at all. But you could have said, "Definitely going after the hardcore Daiblo 2/Dungeon Siege/Bioshock/Oblivion crowd" and been just as correct. Sadly, there is no cure for poor taste, and gamers that like the occasional good game still get all pumped up for the much more common bullshit shovelled at them and eat it up.

My case in point is Vault Dweller and Dhruin. Both like a lot of good games, and both like a lot of poor garbage that overrides and counters there good taste, leaving them in a state of null and void. Sometimes fellow travellers, most times archnemesi. Oh well, the world keeps turning, boobs will always be good, and hot dogs will always be delicous! I'll take solice in the little things and get by with a little help from porn.

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September 25th, 2007, 20:09
Looks like Vike's back for a brief visit….
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