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  1. #1
    Major gotthammer's Avatar
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    Default "The Witcher" franchise discussion/appreciation thread



    The Witcher (Polish: Wiedźmin) is a character in a dark fantasy setting by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, featured in short stories and some novels.

    Geralt of Rivia is a Witcher: a man who, by trials (and 'mutagens'), has been 'mutated' to become someone with, well, 'superhuman' abilities.
    After intense training, Witchers are sent out to 'deal with' monsters and curses (but, I think, primarily as 'monster hunters'), by means of cunning, knowledge or their abilities and the sword.
    The setting is rather 'dark': while 'fairy tale' figures are present, the world is rather oppressive. Non-humans, like Elves and Dwarves, are subject to racism; countries are at war; and, especially in the games, moral choices tend to be 'grey'.

    To date, only the short story compilation, 'The Last Wish', and the first novel, 'Blood of Elves', has been translated into English. A second novel, 'Times of Contempt', is due for a Spring 2011 release.

    There have also been comics, a movie and TV series (The Hexer), and the games from the Polish developer, CD Projekt RED.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Witcher

    The Witcher and The Witcher 2 official site:
    http://www.thewitcher.com/

    The first PC game, 'The Witcher', was released in 2007, with an 'Enhanced Edition' released about a year later.
    The second PC game, 'The Witcher 2', is set to be released on May 17, 2011 and is already available for pre-order on various sites.
    GOG.com, a sister company of CD Projekt, is the only one to offer the game without DRM, as well as some other 'extras'.
    http://www.gog.com/en/page/tw2v3
    Both games are rated 'M' for Mature by the ESRB, and are PEGI 18+.

    Trailer for 'The Witcher: Enhanced Edition':
    http://www.gametrailers.com/video/ci...-witcher/40361

    Trailer for 'The Witcher 2':
    http://www.gametrailers.com/video/ex...-witcher/63500

    A console (XBox 360 and PS3) version of 'The Witcher', 'The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf', was put on indefinite hold.
    Trailer for 'The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf"
    http://www.gametrailers.com/video/de...-witcher/43292

    Screenshots for 'The Witcher 2' (other than the ones on the official site):
    http://ve3d.ign.com/images/game/1434.../5/Screenshots

    http://games.gamepressure.com/screen...st.asp?ID=8680

    (warning: large images)
    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=422113
    (don't mind the posts, and just browse through the images, I guess...there are also some NSFW pics, but they're in link form. Just a head's up. )

    So, yeah, this is mostly about the games.
    (I did read both of the released books, tho', and I really recommend 'The Last Wish': while a bit 'dark', it was also quite humorous, if memory serves )
    http://forum.gateworld.net/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=43546&dateline=1312852922

  2. #2
    Lieutenant General DigiFluid's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Witcher" franchise discussion/appreciation thread

    I played about half an hour of the first game (Enhanced)....honestly one of the worst games I've tried in recent memory, pretty much nothing redeemable about it

    Maybe the books (the ones that have been translated into English) are worth checking out?
    "Not every movie is for you. Not every TV show is for you. Not every song is for you. Find the things you like, and like them. Go nuts liking them. A thing ISN’T for you? Cool. Go find something you like. That’s it. That’s as complicated as it should be." -- David Blue

  3. #3
    Major gotthammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Witcher" franchise discussion/appreciation thread

    Quote Originally Posted by DigiFluid View Post
    I played about half an hour of the first game (Enhanced)....honestly one of the worst games I've tried in recent memory, pretty much nothing redeemable about it

    Maybe the books (the ones that have been translated into English) are worth checking out?
    The first book, 'The Last Wish', is, IMHO, quite good. It has an 'interesting' take on some fairy tales and is also quite funny at times.
    The novel, 'Blood of Elves', is a bit 'slower' in pace and feels like it's setting up for something bigger. It is still quite good, tho', but 'The Last Wish' makes for a better read.

    What didn't you like about 'The Witcher: EE'?
    The game started off rather slowly, but it gets quite good once you get into the city (most people complain about the Outskirts area being 'dull').
    That and 'decisions matter': stuff in earlier Acts can affect you in later Acts, and there is a choice of, I think, 3 endings. It feels like it, too, while playing (unlike, say, in DA2)

    When I first played BioWare's DA:O, I couldn't keep from comparing it to The Witcher, particularly in terms of visual atmosphere/lighting (which I think The Witcher still does better than both DA:O and DA2, even if I've since become more of a 'fan' of Origins) and 'gritiness' (DA:O was supposed to be 'dark fantasy', ok 'dark heroic fantasy', but, IMHO, The Witcher handled the 'dark' aspect of their respective themes better)

    Another complaint I've seen: the voice acting. ...and I'd sorta have to agree (especially if you've played BioWare's stuff).
    Fortunately, the EE bonuses include the option to get language packs. I'm actually playing TW:EE, again (to soothe my disappointment w/ DA2) with German voiced dialogue, and English subtitles. (some folks recommend the Polish voiced dialogue. It was ok, if memory serves, but I lost that language pack when I had to 'make room' in my HDD. Now I only have English, French and German voiced dialogue installed)

    I'd recommend giving it another go, but with more patience. (oh and combat kinda gets better: it's more or less the same, but options open up, esp. when you start using potions and when you get a silver sword. Just think of the Kaer Morhen stage as the Tutorial, and the Outskirts as the Introduction)


    And if it seems like I'm 'bashing' on DA2...well, I was really disappointed w/ that one (esp. since I loved DA:O).
    Last edited by gotthammer; April 19th, 2011 at 11:43 PM.
    http://forum.gateworld.net/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=43546&dateline=1312852922

  4. #4
    Lieutenant General DigiFluid's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Witcher" franchise discussion/appreciation thread

    The visuals didn't impress, to say the control style was broken would be being kind, and I won't even bother to say that both the dialogue and the voice acting sounded like they were written voiced by retarded children (I wouldn't want to insult retarded children by comparing them to this dreck). Nope, not even going to bother trying to play it again and I'm mad that I wasted money on it (even if it was a Steam sale).
    "Not every movie is for you. Not every TV show is for you. Not every song is for you. Find the things you like, and like them. Go nuts liking them. A thing ISN’T for you? Cool. Go find something you like. That’s it. That’s as complicated as it should be." -- David Blue

  5. #5
    Major gotthammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Witcher" franchise discussion/appreciation thread

    Quote Originally Posted by DigiFluid View Post
    The visuals didn't impress, to say the control style was broken would be being kind, and I won't even bother to say that both the dialogue and the voice acting sounded like they were written voiced by retarded children (I wouldn't want to insult retarded children by comparing them to this dreck). Nope, not even going to bother trying to play it again and I'm mad that I wasted money on it (even if it was a Steam sale).
    Ouch. Last time I felt that badly for a game was probably Hellgate:London
    (DA2, too, to some extent, but I'm still hoping that BioWare would 'fix' it w/ something like an 'Enhanced Edition'...*sigh* one can hope )

    Re: controls
    Hehe, took a while to get used to, yup, but I'm fine with it (look at it this way: at least I didn't have to remap anything. For comparison: Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries)
    I actually like watching the animations, so the combat mechanics don't bug me.

    Re: voices
    Hehehe, as I mentioned earlier, that's one of the bigger complaints. (wasn't that supposed to be one of the things that they tried to remedy w/ the Enhanced Edition?)
    I'm playing it in German and it kinda sounds better.

    In any case, I'm enjoying my replay of the game and am eagerly awaiting the sequel.
    http://forum.gateworld.net/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=43546&dateline=1312852922

  6. #6
    Captain blazingfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Witcher" franchise discussion/appreciation thread

    The Witcher 2 will blow DA2 to bits.

    The visuals are really stunning.

  7. #7
    Major gotthammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Witcher" franchise discussion/appreciation thread

    Quote Originally Posted by blazingfire View Post
    The Witcher 2 will blow DA2 to bits.

    The visuals are really stunning.
    Hehehe.
    I definitely hope so. What I've seen so far does look promising. Of course, after DA2, I'm trying to 'tone down' my excitement, just in case it doesn't meet expectations.

    And while it does look quite pretty, I have to regularly remind myself that visuals do not a good game make.
    The gameplay videos have been quite nice (hmm...forgot to post those):





    re: combat
    Also, I think they've redone the combat for the sequel. From what I gather, it shares similarities w/ the system used in Batham: Arkham Asylum (I wouldn't really know, personally, as I haven't gotten around to playing that game).
    http://forum.gateworld.net/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=43546&dateline=1312852922

  8. #8
    Captain blazingfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Witcher" franchise discussion/appreciation thread

    I was quite fond of the first game, once you get past the cookie cutter NPC's and the shoddy VA. It had some really dark and moral choices, which came back to bite you much later in the game.

    The cities and villages feel really alive, compared to some- *cough* DA2*cough* and the visuals were done well in spite of the NWN engine's age.

  9. #9
    Major gotthammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Witcher" franchise discussion/appreciation thread

    Quote Originally Posted by blazingfire View Post
    I was quite fond of the first game, once you get past the cookie cutter NPC's and the shoddy VA. It had some really dark and moral choices, which came back to bite you much later in the game.

    The cities and villages feel really alive, compared to some- *cough* DA2*cough* and the visuals were done well in spite of the NWN engine's age.
    Hehehe, yeah. The cookie-cutter NPCs were both amusing and annoying (esp. all the rich merchants = the same fat guy ...but the attires or clothes color change across NPCs, I think)

    And, yeah, the choices: it really did feel like you are doing something to affect the events in the game. That and, for my first playthrough, the choices were kinda hard (i.e., deciding who to side with, or remaining neutral)

    And yes, the towns and the city of Vizima do feel quite 'alive'.
    That's actually one of my main gripes about DA2: Kirkwall is practically a main character, but not much is done to highlight it (in terms of establishing shots or a flyover/flyby, other cinematic tricks), and it doesn't feel alive (for a major city, it feels quite 'bare'. IMHO, Denerim in DA:O felt much, much more alive than Kirkwall did).
    The Witcher's NPCs scramble for cover when it rains, stagger when you bump them, and are quite plentiful (which is kinda painful if you have an old PC, tho', especially in the Trade District at daytime ). Oh, and guards actually 'help' you when you engage hostiles near them.

    As for the Aurora engine thingy: Yeah. I find that a tad bit funny that, IMHO, overall, The Witcher still looks better than both DA:O and DA2. (of course, IMHO, of the 3, DA:O is the better game, overall...I just wish DA:O had The Witcher's 'atmosphere'/lighting)

    ...and now, back to the game.
    (just alt + tab'd out)

    Gotta get a save ready for The Witcher 2.
    ('cause apparently they're doing the 'choices/stuff in the first game can carry over' thingy)
    http://forum.gateworld.net/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=43546&dateline=1312852922

  10. #10
    Captain blazingfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Witcher" franchise discussion/appreciation thread

    I really loved the old crones's VA though.

    "Many animals died in the plague..."

  11. #11

    Default Re: "The Witcher" franchise discussion/appreciation thread

    I attempted to play the first game but never could get into it. From what I remember the controls were weird and the flow of the game wasn't that great.

  12. #12
    Lieutenant General DigiFluid's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Witcher" franchise discussion/appreciation thread

    Quote Originally Posted by gotthammer View Post
    Re: controls
    Hehe, took a while to get used to, yup, but I'm fine with it (look at it this way: at least I didn't have to remap anything. For comparison: Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries)
    I actually like watching the animations, so the combat mechanics don't bug me.
    It's not that they needed remapping....it's that they were horridly broken beyond any hope of repair. What does it say when an "Enhanced Edition" re-release still hasn't fixed borked controls?

    Quote Originally Posted by gotthammer View Post
    Re: voices
    Hehehe, as I mentioned earlier, that's one of the bigger complaints. (wasn't that supposed to be one of the things that they tried to remedy w/ the Enhanced Edition?)
    I'm playing it in German and it kinda sounds better.
    Yes this is one of the things that really surprises me! I'd also heard that the EE sought to fix/remedy the voicing of the original game. That this is what passes for fixed is...well...good god!

    Maybe it sounds better in German as you say? If the original novels are in Polish, and the game was from a Polish developer, perhaps things translate a little better into German than they do into English?

    Quote Originally Posted by gotthammer View Post
    In any case, I'm enjoying my replay of the game and am eagerly awaiting the sequel.
    As I am with so many games
    "Not every movie is for you. Not every TV show is for you. Not every song is for you. Find the things you like, and like them. Go nuts liking them. A thing ISN’T for you? Cool. Go find something you like. That’s it. That’s as complicated as it should be." -- David Blue

  13. #13
    Major gotthammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Witcher" franchise discussion/appreciation thread

    re: controls
    I dunno. I hadn't played it in at least 2 years when I reinstalled it less than a month ago, and I was still fine with it.
    I used the non-over-the-shoulder view and controlled Geralt w/ WASD + mouse. *shrugs*
    Granted, the first time I played it, I found the controls different, too, but I don't recall it bugging me much after the tutorial stage (i.e., the castle).
    If anything, later on, it feels that I'm more 'involved' in the combat since I have to switch swords, switch styles, switch signs and position Geralt (I play at 'Normal' by the way, so I still see the 'flaming sword' icon).
    I guess the lack of options in the early part of the game does make it feel quite 'stiff'.

    re: translation issues
    Hmm. I've seen some Poles (or Polish-speaking folks), I think, say that the English translation of the books weren't so good, if memory serves.
    I did like and enjoy 'The Last Wish', tho', but maybe the translation wasn't as good for the game? (I am playing it with German voices BUT with English subtitles and everything else )

    As for the EE and voices: Hehehe, yeah. I don't know what or how they 'fixed' that aspect.
    I played the core game to it's end prior to the EE, in English , and only a little when the EE was released. I'm playing the EE now...and, yeah, the English voices are still quite 'stiff'. The German voices are better, I think.
    I hope this is 'fixed' by The Witcher 2...from what I gather, tho', fans seem to want the same English voice actor back.
    And, well, he is back, I think ...in any case, I'm hoping to get the version with English, German, and French voices for TW2.
    http://forum.gateworld.net/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=43546&dateline=1312852922

  14. #14
    Major gotthammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Witcher" franchise discussion/appreciation thread

    Witcher 2 Combat Overview:


    HD version of the same video:
    http://www.gametrailers.com/video/ex...witcher/713171
    http://forum.gateworld.net/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=43546&dateline=1312852922

  15. #15

    Default Re: "The Witcher" franchise discussion/appreciation thread

    The Witcher had problems but it was still a good game.

    A lot of the problems were a result of it being based on a heavily modified version of Bioware's Aurora engine.

    The translation was also pretty bad at certain points.

    The controls were a bit clunky but it was fine. People today are too spoiled by "streamlined" controls.

    However, the story and setting are pretty good if you can overlook some of the translation problems. Many of the choices you make have long term consequences. It does a better job of dealing with politics than most other games. They deal more with modern day problems than just generic fantasy ones.

  16. #16
    Major gotthammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Witcher" franchise discussion/appreciation thread

    Preview video of 'The Witcher 2' at Gametrailers.com:
    http://www.gametrailers.com/video/pr...witcher/713327

    HD version:
    http://www.gametrailers.com/video/pr...witcher/713328

    Looks good.
    I'm not sure I liked the removal of the styles, tho', as I actually liked having to switch styles, between the two swords, and signs.
    I hope switching from one sign to another won't require having to go through the 'radial menu' thingy that's been introduced (hitting 1 - 6 for the signs, and 'Q' and 'E' for the witcher or silver sword, respectively, and 'Z', 'X' and 'C' for the styles felt 'natural' after a while ).

    The only real disappointment I have:
    I don't think I'll be able to get my hands on the Collector's Edition here...
    Oh well, the digital version in gog.com looks quite promising (at least it also has the artbook...but I really wanted some of the physical extras, like the coins and playing cards)

    http://forum.gateworld.net/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=43546&dateline=1312852922

  17. #17
    Major gotthammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Witcher" franchise discussion/appreciation thread

    New 'environments' trailer for The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings:


    Short, but interesting read:
    http://content.usatoday.com/communit...he-witcher-2/1

    Also, The Witcher: Enhanced Edition (Director's Cut) is going to be available at http://www.gog.com/en/frontpage/ on May 10.
    It'll be on sale for a couple of weeks, at 50% off (at 4.99 USD, it's definitely worth it, IMHO).

    The presale and predownload of The Witcher 2 will also start on May 10 on gog.com.

    Last edited by gotthammer; May 6th, 2011 at 07:57 PM.
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  18. #18
    First Lieutenant Galileo_Galilee's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Witcher" franchise discussion/appreciation thread

    The thing I don't understand about the game are the sex cards. What the heck are they for? You had sex, yay, and they didn't even show it. Heck, the cards don't even show any real nudity. There is no other benefit in the game at all. So what's the point?

    The other thing I didn't like was not being able to collect and sell the weapons, and suit of armors cost 5,000 gold.

    In fact, I beat the game using the suit of armor that I started with. I never got any other suit of armor, not even the magical one you're supposed to get. Armor seems extremely hard to come by. There's really not a lot of ways you can make money, either.

    The story wasn't too bad, but I knew who the main villain was actually going to be well ahead of time, and I knew time travel (magical) was going to be involved. Then when the main villain appeared, they danced around his identity. Just go ahead and admit who the identity was.

  19. #19
    Major gotthammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Witcher" franchise discussion/appreciation thread

    I dunno (nor did I ever read, if they ever explained) why they went for the 'sex cards' instead of showing scenes, per se. Maybe it was to cut on more animations? In any case, they're doing away w/ the 'cards in the sequel as a lot of folks complained about them (I personally didn't mind).
    As for nudity: the American versions of the cards were censored (hence the 'director's cut', which, like the Enhanced Edition, is a free upgrade to any prior version), but the nudity is 'nothing special' and not really 'graphic' (I think I've seen 'more' in the first two episodes of 'Game of Thrones' ).

    Weapon and armor choices/customization was definitely a weak point of The Witcher. The raven armor thingy (the 'best' armor before game's end) required a quest, and the variant you get is, I think, choice-specific (i.e., which side you picked in the conflict).

    As for money...well, I don't think I every really had much problem.
    Other than the quests and selling 'bits of monsters', there's also the dice game which can provide a fair amount of cash. In my current playthrough, I'm trying to 'max out' Geralt's levels, so I'm grinding a bit (like the cave of Echynops in the outskirts, or the Alghouls in the 'heirloom' quest area in the sewers: I think the Alghouls drop 'white vinegar' which is 15 orens each).

    As for the story, I don't really remember how it 'unfolded' for me the first time.
    I think I was more 'concerned' over the conflicts between humans and non-humans than I was with the main villain (in my first playthrough, I think I sided w/ the Squirrels).


    edit:
    The Witcher 2 'Living World' gameplay video:
    http://www.gametrailers.com/video/ex...witcher/713621

    Last edited by gotthammer; May 6th, 2011 at 10:58 PM.
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  20. #20
    Major gotthammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Witcher" franchise discussion/appreciation thread

    http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/the_witcher/

    The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director's Cut is now available on gog.com for 4.99 USD. It'll be at that price for two weeks (it's regular price will be double that).

    The Witcher 2 will be available, at the same site, for pre-purchase/pre-download...later? Tomorrow?

    http://forum.gateworld.net/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=43546&dateline=1312852922

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