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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » RPGWatch Feature: Inside The Witcher, Part 1

Default RPGWatch Feature: Inside The Witcher, Part 1

October 3rd, 2007, 23:47
Good preview. Many rpg's have tried to get the player to be interactive in the story in which player choices affect the story but with very rare exceptions it leads to a binary (or close to binary) system in which choices are extremely limited and none of the choices are ones I would make.

For example, give weapons to the insurgents or to the authorities? That's a good setup but before I would make such a choice I would want a good amount of information on my choices; rpg's almost always give such little information that I don't feel comfortable (in a rpg sense) giving the weapons to either group but I'm forced to make a decision. Being forced into an unrealistic decision takes me away from the suspension of disbelief and make the player-choice aspect a negative instead of a positive.

I'm hoping The Witcher handles this reasonably well by giving me enough information to make a choice; enough doesn't mean all of the info, just a decent amount of info so I'm not making what seems like a random choice.

The Witcher looks like it'll be a good game regardless of how it handles that rpg issue I mention. I'm looking forward to it.
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October 4th, 2007, 02:14
I was most interested to read it's not just 'action'. This game has long been only a maybe for me, depending on whether it's primarily 'action', or if it has real rpg depth!! I don't buy 'action' games as a general rule!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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October 4th, 2007, 06:25
Thanks Dhruin, I've been waiting all week for your preview!

I like everything I've heard so far… and THRILLED that a game finally has captured the Gothic feel with ambient NPC activity. I know we haven't seen part two of your review yet, but still I'm thinking this will finally be the game that is on par with Gothic in terms of sheer enjoyment for me.

Your description of the exploring and world design sounds exactly like Fable - would that be an accurate comparison? If so, that would be excellent imho.. Fable was a refreshing change from the go anywhere type games like Gothic and Morrowind. I'm the type of person that leaves no stone unturned if given the opportunity, so total free roam games turn out to be months long projects for me, sometimes never finishing at all (in the case of Morrowind).
I will be much happier if I have enough to do in a location that it feels 'complete,' and yet little enough that I can proceed with the story and feel like I'm progressing beyond the lackluster accomplishment of finding yet another wooden spoon in a chest somewhere.

Had this game on pre-order for a while. Can you tell I'm excited?

..& so they take the fiction all out of the Jabberwock & I recognize & accept him as a fact. - Mark Twain, May 30, 1880
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October 4th, 2007, 08:29
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Thanks for the comments.
@GhanBuriGhan, check out the screen of the local map for one location. It's nothing like Gothic in that sense - closer to KotOR but that's too harsh. I'd say the Trade Quarter of Vizima is about the size of Khorinis in Gothic 2 or the scaled 3D equivalent of a BG2 map (that's a very rough sense). They aren't huge locations but they are big enough to wander without feeling *too* restricted. I'd say straight-up exploration is relatively weaker than Gothic: loading, smaller maps, map notations give away important spots and no hidden stuff that I've noticed.

It's not as walled in as KotOR but you can't jump, so you can't get over small barriers like fences or through dense bush and if the terrain is uneven, you sometimes need to stay near the path. I understand you can (eventually) use the world map for travel (in some fashion, anyway) but so far the areas are connected: walk through the gate from the outskirts into the city, go through another gate to the harbour area, talk to the boatman to take a skiff to the swamp islands. Ultimately, it's something like BG2/NWN2 etc.
Thank you. I had hoped for somewhat larger areas and more exploration, but it's fair enough I guess.
No jumping - that's something I honestly hate, a real pet peeve. Here's my superhero monsterslayer running around in a detailed 3D world, but he has to walk AROUND a foot high chicken fence… But while I think its a lamentable design decision, it is obviously not important enough to damn a game for.
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October 4th, 2007, 09:02
Please remember that The Witcher will be sold along with the toolset, so don't be surprised to see some 'fixes' to the game, for instance allowing walking over fences . Climbing small heights is allowed by game engine after all…
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October 4th, 2007, 11:27
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
That background was from the background material Atari shipped with the preview. I'll check I didn't misunderstand but thanks for the correction.
As I'm Polish, I know the Nilfgaard-Nordling war and the role of Elves from Sapkowski's books (absolute classics now for every fantasy reader in Poland), but the "Order of Flaming Rose" is an invention of game developers. So we are all wondering in Poland how this and other new things in the game are going to work out and get along with the world we know from books. So far it seems really fine - honestly a chance for the best game inspired straight by books (without e.g. movie influence) I have seen so far.

There is also a nice movie at:http://www.thewitcher.com/community/en/videos/latest/ about the background of the Witcher's world.

Thanks again for this preview - it was quite discussed on the official Polish Witcher formum as it is the first prev form outside Poland writen after some time with full beta, by someone who knows what cRPGs are about So at last no patriotic propaganda and some nice comments. Waiting for part 2!
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October 4th, 2007, 11:53
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
check out the screen of the local map for one location. It's nothing like Gothic in that sense - closer to KotOR but that's too harsh. I'd say the Trade Quarter of Vizima is about the size of Khorinis in Gothic 2 or the scaled 3D equivalent of a BG2 map (that's a very rough sense). They aren't huge locations but they are big enough to wander without feeling *too* restricted.
Tiny locations and the resulting immersion-breaking load screens were my biggest fears when I heard The Witcher was using the Aurora engine. From the preview it doesn't sound like the outdoor areas are too small, but is there loading of sub zones within zones? For example, in a city quarter do the building interiors load as individual cells separate from the exterior parent zone or is transition between indoors and outdoors seamless?
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October 4th, 2007, 12:16
Aaah, people these days, a few seconds of loading screens and they start to panic. Where are the days when after pushing Quick Save button in Fallout 2 I could go to make a coffee?
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October 4th, 2007, 13:57
Originally Posted by MudsAnimalFriend View Post
Tiny locations and the resulting immersion-breaking load screens were my biggest fears when I heard The Witcher was using the Aurora engine. From the preview it doesn't sound like the outdoor areas are too small, but is there loading of sub zones within zones? For example, in a city quarter do the building interiors load as individual cells separate from the exterior parent zone or is transition between indoors and outdoors seamless?
Honestly, I'd toss the whole Aurora thing out - I really don't think it has any relevance and it brings presumptions that aren't necessarily true. Anyway, the preview does mention that building interiors (etc) have loads. In other words - yes, they are separate cells.

-= RPGWatch =-
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October 4th, 2007, 13:58
The collector's edition of this game looks nicely put together as well:

http://img236.imageshack.us/img236/7238/97047475ze5.jpg
http://img123.imageshack.us/img123/2198/94713172qw9.jpg

Not sure if those are official.

The attention on the art/graphics side of the game looks decent for sure.
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Default How did you like?

October 4th, 2007, 14:41
Can you tell us in general how good is this game?

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October 4th, 2007, 14:45
I'll make some comments at the end of Part 2. In general, however, I'd say I am really enjoying it and can't wait to get back to playing it. I do have some reservations but not enough to pull me away.

-= RPGWatch =-
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October 5th, 2007, 01:50
SIGH….. will there even be another such a great game as Gothic 1 or Gothic 2… I guess it is just too hard to give us that much freedom!

Great preview though… the story aspect looks very interesting.. so might be a buy after all… I am a real sucker for a good story!
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October 5th, 2007, 04:43
yes its called gothic 3
bugs and and a lackluster melee combat don't constitute a lack of freedom to me, but i'm not even alive so don't trust me.

thanks for all the info Dhruin, i have no doubt i'll get this game at somepoint, but hearing all this info from a trusted source builds up the excitement even more.
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Default Looking forward to Part 2

October 5th, 2007, 11:30
being a long standing visitor of your site and reader of your fine articles, I think it's time to leave my footprints here;-) Thanks for your Inside The Witcher, Part 1. It makes me really loking forward to Part 2 and the game itself of course. I took the liberty to put a link to your site in the headlines of my blog.

Greetings from Europe,
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October 5th, 2007, 13:33
Welcome to our little haven; hope to hear from you regularly now!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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October 5th, 2007, 14:59
What Ive read from previews the main (and only?) concern for the game seems to be combat. They tried to get rid of combat based on speedclicking but all they did was add delays and it doesnt seem to work that great.
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Default Part2?

October 5th, 2007, 15:14
Is part 2 planned for today?

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October 5th, 2007, 15:26
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
What Ive read from previews the main (and only?) concern for the game seems to be combat. They tried to get rid of combat based on speedclicking but all they did was add delays and it doesnt seem to work that great.
Well I guess we'll be getting a decent overview of combat shortly with part 2 of Dhruin's preview.
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Default combat

October 5th, 2007, 16:11
Oh,believe me, combat is great. I've already played few hours and i have to tell you that this is definitely not mindless clicking. There are also tactical options, which you have to youse. This system isn't similar to anything in fact, and works really well.

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