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Default Anyone else thing this is just OK?

May 20th, 2009, 20:30
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm talking about CRPGs.

To me, System Shock is an action adventure game.
If The Witcher had been marketed as an Action-adventure, would you have enjoyed it more?

Because it is actually an action-adventure with strong RPG elements. Also, one tends to have three possible outcomes for most of the threads that run through the game, so in the sense of "consequences of your actions" the game is not quite as linear as some. This aspect comes out very strongly in the additional adventure that comes with the Witcher Advanced content - The Price of Neutrality. There are a lot of different choices to make, and different combinations bring you about 3 or 4 different possible endings (for The Price of Neutrality) .
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May 21st, 2009, 10:19
Originally Posted by RivianWitch View Post
If The Witcher had been marketed as an Action-adventure, would you have enjoyed it more?

Because it is actually an action-adventure with strong RPG elements. Also, one tends to have three possible outcomes for most of the threads that run through the game, so in the sense of "consequences of your actions" the game is not quite as linear as some. This aspect comes out very strongly in the additional adventure that comes with the Witcher Advanced content - The Price of Neutrality. There are a lot of different choices to make, and different combinations bring you about 3 or 4 different possible endings (for The Price of Neutrality) .
No, it's not about a label or marketing.

It's about how a game plays and what features are implemented. If a game "pretends" to be an RPG - then I prefer being able to make my own character - because in an RPG, I expect to immerse myself in a role - though I'm pretty boring, because I always play a fantasy extension of myself - as in an "evolved" me. Not a fortunate thing, because I enjoy the stealthy/assassination type gameplay - so in games that allow that, I end up rather conflicted

Furthermore, I like non-linearity and strong exploration in general - no matter what genre. When I talk about the kind of non-linearity that I prefer, it's basically about the freedom to explore the world without chapters or sequences. There are many kinds of non-linearity - and I generally like them all, but the freedom to explore at my leisure is probably the most important one.

That's something I really want in all games I play, but I've come to accept that most genres just don't have that - and developers have long since stopped evolving and they obviously prefer simplifying and streamlining everything instead. But fortunately for me, they still make non-linear CRPGs - on occasion - and as such I really crave that feature in that genre.

Also, if a game has a lot of combat - and most RPGs do, then the combat system better be entertaining, and I happen to find The Witcher's combat rather unengaging if not downright dull. I felt like I was back in the early 80s playing the arcade Laserdisc version of Dragon's Lair - where you have to time your clicks before you get to see the animation unfold.

There are many other things about The Witcher that really weren't working for me, but I don't think it's necessary to go over them.

I don't see The Witcher as an action adventure, at all. It's CLEARLY an RPG and you can't expect my tastes to change because of how it's marketed.

System Shock, on the other hand, is clearly NOT an RPG - to me - but evidently other people don't agree. It's basically a cerebral shooter - if you will. There are enough adventure elements in there to have that genre join in, but the gameplay itself is mostly just run and shoot. You don't interact with anyone, you don't create or develop your character, you don't make any kind of decision that affects the outcome of anything in the game.

Come to think of it, I can't think of a single RPG specific feature right now. One could argue that the sophistication of the "gear" you find is enough to go beyond shooters, but there are many action/adventures with that kind of gear.

That said, I think it's the ONLY shooter I've ever played with THAT level of non-linear exploration and freedom. That's probably a key reason for my love of the game - so there's that. System Shock 2 had strong exploration as well, but it was mostly linear - and the occasional backtracking felt, literally, like backtracking. That's the beauty of System Shock - because the space station opens up in the early stages, and it feels more like the station is at your whim than going back to get something, and then moving on. It's one of the primary sources of inspiration for a "dream game design" I have - that I'll never get to make.

As if this post wasn't already self-indulgent enough, let me go even further in clarifying my tastes.

I also happen to be VERY big on immersion. To me, nothing kills immersion like when you can feel the hand of the developers guiding you around or telling you what to do. That's another key aspect of what I want in a game.

In a linear experience, I tend to feel that hand of the developer grabbing my neck just as I'm about to proceed somewhere and pulling me back with a "no you don't, you gotta complete this sequence first as we've laid it out for you."

That's a big part of what was wrong with Bioshock, for instance, because all levels were self-contained and felt more like individual theme parks that really had no consistency. To add insult to injury, the game also defaulted to big shining golden arrows guiding you around and telling you what to do. When you consider the stunning beauty of the level design, as linear as it was, this was particularly tragic and counterproductive to the overall experience.

The Witcher had this same weakness, and I really disliked knowing what chapter I was in, and knowing that I had to do this and that before I could really move on and explore further.

The beauty of System Shock is that even though there are certain goals you have to achieve, the level and gameplay structure was pretty damn flexible about it. You can do many things in the order you please, and relatively early - you're free to go to what in most games would be the last levels and do things there first. When I take my own preferences and pretty much every other game of this genre into consideration - I can only refer to Looking Glass as a bunch of geniuses.

That's just how I roll, I guess.
Last edited by DArtagnan; May 21st, 2009 at 10:50.
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May 21st, 2009, 11:13
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
In a linear experience, I tend to feel that hand of the developer grabbing my neck just as I'm about to proceed somewhere and pulling me back with a "no you don't, you gotta complete this sequence first as we've laid it out for you."

The Witcher had this same weakness, and I really disliked knowing what chapter I was in, and knowing that I had to do this and that before I could really move on and explore further.


That doesn't really describe The Witcher at all though. Honestly, how far exactly did you play into it?

Yes there are chapters, but the game certainly does not hold your hand. There were times when I had 10-12 different active quests going at once, and I had so many choices of what to do next, and where to go, that I really didn't know how to proceed.
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May 21st, 2009, 11:35
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
That doesn't really describe The Witcher at all though. Honestly, how far exactly did you play into it?

Yes there are chapters, but the game certainly does not hold your hand. There were times when I had 10-12 different active quests going at once, and I had so many choices of what to do next, and where to go, that I really didn't know how to proceed.
You misunderstand. I'm not talking about hand-holding in The Witcher. I'm talking about the chapter divisions. You go from one area to the next, and there's no going back. There's an element of hand-holding, in that the journal suggests what you should do in general terms - but the game is relatively open in terms of how you go about it. Also, all RPGs hold your hand these days, so it's not like The Witcher is a bad example or anything. Actually, I'd say The Witcher is one of the better examples of letting you go about it as you please.

But you can't get around that the structure is ultimately linear - and that the world is not open for exploration. It's somewhat like Drakensang in this way, which is also an aspect of that game which I didn't like.

If you read my post above, I think it should be very plain why the game isn't for me. It's not any individual weakness - but a combination of things that don't match my particular tastes. Instead of focusing on how I might be "wrong" because YOU liked the game, try to be open to the possibility that some games aren't for everyone - no matter how much you personally enjoy them.
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May 21st, 2009, 12:09
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
If you read my post above, I think it should be very plain why the game isn't for me. It's not any individual weakness - but a combination of things that don't match my particular tastes. Instead of focusing on how I might be "wrong" because YOU liked the game, try to be open to the possibility that some games aren't for everyone - no matter how much you personally enjoy them.

Huh? I'm not sure where you got the impression that I was trying to prove you "wrong" about something, but I was simply stating a fact. You did say "linear", did you not? Because that's what I read in your post. I just don't consider The Witcher really that linear just because it's divided into chapters, but obviously you do.
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May 21st, 2009, 12:17
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Huh? I'm not sure where you got the impression that I was trying to prove you "wrong" about something, but I was simply stating a fact. You did say "linear", did you not? Because that's what I read in your post. I just don't consider The Witcher really that linear just because it's divided into chapters, but obviously you do.
Well, I'm glad to hear that.

Yeah, I consider the structure linear in a bad way - but as I said, it's far from my only issue with it.
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May 21st, 2009, 12:48
Well, for what it's worth, I agree with DArtagnan about the chapters thing. If sandbox games like TES and Gothic does not clearly divide into chapters, I don't see why even story-driven games should prohibit you from re-visting previous areas. This is one of the aspects that made Drakensang very anti-immersive for me, not to mention the "travelling areas" between "chapter areas" in Drakensang.

Although I don't agree with DArtagnan about the "having to have my own character" thing - I don't need it, and that simply would not have worked in TW, I do agree with him about not liking the feeling of your hand being held (one of my biggest gripes between the 'feel' of Morrowind and the 'feel' of Oblivion) .

I suppose if they did go to just that bit of extra trouble to make TW a bit more open in terms of area (which might actually make it bewildering for some, and make it a lot more difficult to advance the story - but hey, many felt that way about Daggerfall, MW and Gothic 3 ), The Witcher would have been close to being my biggest favourite of all time. (Well, it sorta is already)
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May 21st, 2009, 22:53
Originally Posted by RivianWitch View Post
I do agree with him about not liking the feeling of your hand being held (one of my biggest gripes between the 'feel' of Morrowind and the 'feel' of Oblivion).)
Oh so do I, which is why I'm glad The Witcher isn't one of those games.


Originally Posted by RivianWitch View Post
I suppose if they did go to just that bit of extra trouble to make TW a bit more open in terms of area (which might actually make it bewildering for some, and make it a lot more difficult to advance the story - but hey, many felt that way about Daggerfall, MW and Gothic 3 ), The Witcher would have been close to being my biggest favourite of all time. (Well, it sorta is already)
I'm not sure they could have made it much more open in terms of area, I think they may have been limited to a degree by the Aurora Engine. But I think most agree The Witcher is plenty open for what it is, and has a near perfect balance between size and story.
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August 5th, 2009, 19:37
I just started to get into this game. boy, did it take a long time for me to realise its qualities. I find the beginning a little confusing on one hand (story-wise), and a bit underwhelming on the other (combat). Combat gets more complex, and the story more captivating later, but it was not until the quest with the magical tower when the game really started to be fun. By that time, I had played it for a couple of hours.

I love it now, btw.
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August 5th, 2009, 22:20
Originally Posted by Grandor Dragon View Post
I love it now, btw.

Glad to hear it Grandor.

I didn't like The Witcher when I originally played the demo, and I almost made the mistake of blowing it off. Now I'm forever grateful to the people that talked me into giving it another try.
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August 7th, 2009, 18:56
It is a game that grows on you the more you play it, isn't it? I especially enjoyed chapter 4, perhaps the most of all the chapters.
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August 12th, 2009, 09:47
I think that combat is a problem at first. It is way to easy just to focus on the combat styles (and I am playing on hardest difficulty), so you are just clicking whenever the sword trail turns yellow. Also, of course there is no much beyond sword fighting that you can do. Only later when you get more signs and potions, and some battles become more tricky, does it get more interesting.

The poker game is way more fun, and much more addicive, than I thought it would be. Only reloading when I die, not after making a stupid choice, I must have wasted about 1000 goldpieces on that game. Since you are always the first to roll the dice, the game puts you in a disadvantage, since your opponent always knows what your final result is, and can act accordingly. Or perhapy I am just not a good player, heh.
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August 12th, 2009, 10:11
I felt exactly opposite, I loved the game at the start, until I found out how bad the gameplay was. I basically loved the setting, story etc…. but I just got too bored of the very simple and flat out boring gameplay, the futher I got the more tired I got of the same clicking. It might be I discovered exploit which made all the battles easy….. drink a auto-regenaret potion and run around until you are at full health… it worked for 99% of battles, and the "timing game" is ridiculesly easy I never ever failed to make a full combo which also makes it even more boring. In the case I died it was ussually because of the game lagging or because I pressed the wrong button, not my idea of fun. A pity I still think it would have made for great interactive story telling… if they had just removed the combat…..
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August 12th, 2009, 10:19
Which difficulty setting did you use?
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August 12th, 2009, 10:25
The combat seems to divide people. Some hate it, some love it. I loved it. You did play it at Hard, I take it?
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August 12th, 2009, 10:58
I always play on hardest setting, at least with modern games

I guess it might depend much on playing style, I typically tend to win the battles in the easist way… especially if I do not think the combat is so fun.

It might be the people who think it is fun experimented a lot and found out new and cool things, while the people who thinks it is boring just used the standard exploit and never explored the system much. IMHO that's a flaw though, a game should be difficult enough at least on the hardest setting to force you to use different tactics, and know the system well. TW however does none of this.
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August 12th, 2009, 11:12
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
It might be the people who think it is fun experimented a lot and found out new and cool things, while the people who thinks it is boring just used the standard exploit and never explored the system much. IMHO that's a flaw though, a game should be difficult enough at least on the hardest setting to force you to use different tactics, and know the system well. TW however does none of this.
I agree, the combat is too easy (except for one or two annoyingly hard fights). Hard should be Normal, and it needs a setting above Hard.

As you said, it depends on your play style. After all, some people love Oblivion; one reason I couldn't stand it is that the character development system combined with level scaling is so ridiculously exploitable that I couldn't stop myself from exploiting it. I know, if I had just picked up one of the predesigned classes and then rolled with it and not thought of the mechanics at all, I would've had a better experience, but I don't swing that way.
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August 12th, 2009, 13:13
The Witcher combat is a limited evolution of "Dragon's Lair" from the 80's
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August 12th, 2009, 15:05
I don't think it's bad. There are some intersting options. A pity if you don't actually have to use them most of the time.

I definitely like that you are kickass from the start. Instead of the early kill X rats quests, you kill hellhounds and the undead. The quest machanism is the same, but I sure enjoyed that a lot more.
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August 13th, 2009, 08:37
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The Witcher combat is a limited evolution of "Dragon's Lair" from the 80's
The Witcher combat is a very bad imitation of Vagrant story's combat.
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