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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt


Captain Kelsten
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Blood and Wine. Due in the first half of 2016, currently.

I'm wondering if there are any links to that expansion in the game currently, because there are at least two connections with Hearts of Stone in the base game (full game spoilers):

Gaunter O' Dimm in White Orchard is obvious, but if you get the Ciri As Witcher ending you can find the dwarfs from the Isle of Mists hiding in a bush and they're on an errand for Master Mirror, apparently.

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NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Am I correct in thinking there is no longer a Polish language option post patches / dlc download? If so, I'm well annoyed, having enjoyed the gravelly toned Geralt ; it just won't be the same. :(

This must have been an extensive revision since even basic control settings such as inversion have had to be reset.

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I am just testing this on my new pc, getting ready for a second play through (also saving HoS for after), testing some mods, etc.

The graphics on ultra with some ini corrections are astonishing. Astonishing. So many subtle things you lose with less detail on the -very beautiful admittedly- console versions. I am downscaling to 1080p from 2527something and its just breathtaking. Unbelievable stuff.

Sorry, I had to get it out.

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I am just testing this on my new pc, getting ready for a second play through (also saving HoS for after), testing some mods, etc.

The graphics on ultra with some ini corrections are astonishing. Astonishing. So many subtle things you lose with less detail on the -very beautiful admittedly- console versions. I am downscaling to 1080p from 2527something and its just breathtaking. Unbelievable stuff.

Sorry, I had to get it out.

It's quite alright - I upgraded my PC last week, and I'm in the same boat. It wasn't as if it was running badly before, but having all the bells and whistles is pretty lovely :)

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Well, ok then.

The lands of W3 are much more interesting, especially since they are filled with hand crafted content. The sense of a lived in world is much better, the combat is much better, the graphics are way better, it has real cities instead of ten houses camps, the general story is tons better and told magnificently, characters are better, choices feel meaningful and it has a big amount of free DLC and a very cheap, amazing expansion.

So yeah, imo it embarrasses Skyrim as well as DAI.

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Hang on, my gif response was when your post was just "well, OK then."

To say it embarrasses Skyrim is pure hyperbole. DAI deserved all the derision it gets though.

Yeah, sorry for that, I couldn't finish first time while at work.

But it embarrasses Skyrim, completely and utterly. From development to art direction to practices towards the fans. I think you are letting your love for a game get in the way of some straight thinking. And that is why you haven't actually come up with any proper arguments. Just give those old dragonborn bones a rest. :)

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Whatever you choose it'll have fairly dramatic consequences.

If it helps, I chose the former. Thematically it made more sense to the story!

I went with the first option. Chickened out of the latter in case shit went awry later on.

FWIW I've not played Skyrim, but this is a bloody fantastic game. You should all buy it.

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it has real cities instead of ten houses camps

This is one of the revelatory things in Witcher 3 really. It does properly big towns, apparently effortlessly, and with a lot more care and thought put into their creation than anything Bethesda does. The largest town in Skyrim - Solitude - literally has 30 buildings in it. Most of the regional 'capitals' like Dawnstar and Falkreath have about a dozen huts. None of the settlements have any apparent infrastructure or economy, except for Whiterun, which has outlying farms and actually seems liveable. I was impressed by Skyrim initially, and could probably dig up posts I made to the effect that they'd actually improved on their shit worldbuilding from Oblivion and Fallout 3 - I remember citing Whiterun specifically as an example of this. But Whiterun is just the first town you'll naturally come to if you follow the main quest at the start, and the rest don't even try for that. Whereas Witcher 3 makes even the smallest villages believable, with smallholdings for cultivation, charcoal burners outside the villages, etc etc. Novigrad has entire industrial suburbs of tanneries and dyeworks and brickmakers - uninvolved in quests but there and populated and operational to add to the verisimilitude of the world. Bethesda games don't even try to do this.

I will say this for Skyrim, though: there's nothing as egregiously false about its world as Oblivion's Imperial City, a supposedly bustling seaport which is cut off from the sea by a landbridge downriver. :lol:

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I was impressed by Skyrim for many reasons when it came out. It was a product of its time, no question, and it felt a bit like the future early on. But after a couple of dozen hours all the cracks manifested themselves, from the combat to the world feeling ridiculous with those small towns, the mediocre story, the writing, the atrocious AI, etc. Last but not least was how superficial the sandbox freedom it offered felt at times. Of course it was still sandbox and if felt fun but in my opinion the Fallout series, in terms of gameplay design and world complexity (thus more sandbox opportunities) -especially New Vegas- wipe the floor with it.

The W3 is not sandbox of course, so direct comparisons in this area don't make much sense. But both games are open world, so some comparisons can be drawn in how the world feels, the quests, the combat, the story, etc. Technically speaking, also, the W3 has many landmarks that will be the standard from now on. Skyrim was a good game but it wasn't even one of Bethesda's best.

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The largest town in Skyrim - Solitude - literally has 30 buildings in it. Most of the regional 'capitals' like Dawnstar and Falkreath have about a dozen huts. Novigrad has entire industrial suburbs of tanneries and dyeworks and brickmakers - uninvolved in quests but there and populated and operational to add to the verisimilitude of the world. Bethesda games don't even try to do this.

Yes those Skyrim towns are tiny but 9/10 buildings you can go into. People are named individuals and live in their own buildings and go about their own routines.

Novigrad for me was great, but it really is just full of the odd building you can go in filled with a handful of named NPCs. The rest is just a movie set with cookie cutter people doing absolutely nothing. You hear a crowd of people but there is only about 5 people around you. People are out and about 24 hours a day. Try following someone and see what they do. They just go around in circles.

Witcher 3 is one of the best games ive played but it has problems of its own. No proper physics. Arrows that go through tree trunks. Awful UI. Every item in the game world is a coin pouch. NPCs that simply disappear after cut scenes etc etc.

Both are wonderful games but I prefer Skyrim.

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Yes those Skyrim towns are tiny but 9/10 buildings you can go into. People are named individuals and live in their own buildings and go about their own routines.

Novigrad for me was great, but it really is just full of the odd building you can go in filled with a handful of named NPCs. The rest is just a movie set with cookie cutter people doing absolutely nothing. You hear a crowd of people but there is only about 5 people around you. People are out and about 24 hours a day. Try following someone and see what they do. They just go around in circles.

Witcher 3 is one of the best games ive played but it has problems of its own. No proper physics. Arrows that go through tree trunks. Awful UI. Every item in the game world is a coin pouch. NPCs that simply disappear after cut scenes etc etc.

Both are wonderful games but I prefer Skyrim.

And they do absolutely nothing with it, it's as pointless as the Witcher 3 detail but that at least makes it look like an actual town, things look like they are there for a reason.

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I think they're both very different things though.

With Skyrim, it was the first computer RPG that I played where I really felt like I was properly role playing it. The main story was basically a whole load of rubbish, so I just trolled about discovering stuff. It also helped that it has pretty much the best soundtrack I've ever heard in a game. I could be standing on the top of mountains looking out, and suddenly a piece of epic music churned out and I just felt fucking awesome!

However, that could only work for so much before I found myself wanting a little bit more.

Witcher 3 is clearly more focussed in its storytelling, and it does it in such a wonderfully natural way that I felt I'm just in this wonderful world and living out the tale it's telling. As a living world, I don't think there's been anything better. And - as folk have mentioned - it's villages, towns and cities are full on 'proper' places. Yeah, sure the people don't quite have the same daily routines as those in Skyrim, but the overall effect is better than anything else I've ever played.

It's by far the greatest game I've got - honestly I sometimes can't believe I got something so good on my PC! It's my perfect game...and probably will remain so for the forseeable future. I've put in over 200 hours now, and I still can't get enough!

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I admit that Skyrim's routines are better but they are so few and the cities so small that they work against the believability of the world. Also, as I said before, W3 is not a sandbox. Geralt can't change classes so he can't be a thief. It would be a huge waste of resources (and a huge gameplay logic leap) to allow him to break into houses for stealing. How on earth would it help the immersion if he could break into houses for no reason other than to look around? Having him just walk in an open house is silly enough but that's games for you.

On the other hand, the places he is allowed to go in, from castles to houses, from huts to inns (which attract more people at night), from dungeons to caves, etc are all present in the game world, they do not exist in bubbles. Sitting down to play Gwent, talk to a quest giver or just simply visit an inn or any other place while a storm rages outside or a sunrise is raising its head on the horizon is an immersion revelation. You are always a part of the world, you exist there. Even so, all games can easily have their "believability" smashed, so there is no argument for me there.

It's all subjective, of course, but I just don't get how someone feels that walking around in a city with 20 people, with questionable AI routines and glitches, that go a couple of meters every day to pretend they are earning a living in a "big" city comprised of 30 houses, is more immersive than walking around in this:

image.jpg

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Yes those Skyrim towns are tiny but 9/10 buildings you can go into. People are named individuals and live in their own buildings and go about their own routines.

Novigrad for me was great, but it really is just full of the odd building you can go in filled with a handful of named NPCs. The rest is just a movie set with cookie cutter people doing absolutely nothing. You hear a crowd of people but there is only about 5 people around you. People are out and about 24 hours a day. Try following someone and see what they do. They just go around in circles.

Witcher 3 is one of the best games ive played but it has problems of its own. No proper physics. Arrows that go through tree trunks. Awful UI. Every item in the game world is a coin pouch. NPCs that simply disappear after cut scenes etc etc.

Both are wonderful games but I prefer Skyrim.

The statistic for Novigrad is that there are ~2000 operable doors in the city and certainly across the whole game you go into a lot of different buildings and houses. There's no vaunted Radiant AI in Witcher 3 but it does fuck all in Skyrim anyway; all it does is make people go to sleep at night, but you can still rouse them from their beds and they act exactly the same as they do during the day, as if you haven't let yourself into their bedrooms. Witcher 3's crowds are entirely an illusion, people going around in circles or back and forth on preset paths, but they do vary based on time of day (for instance Novigrad's fishmarket is deserted through the night but bustling in daytime, people hold street parties in the evenings, etc) and the illusion is overall more convincing.

In terms of named characters I'm 100% sure there are more of those in any of Witcher 3's towns. Skyrim has plenty of 'Whiterun Guard' and 'Imperial Citizen' NPCs that you can't talk to, it just has nowhere near as many people on the whole as Witcher 3 does. Hell, even Flotsam or Vergen in Witcher 2 were about as big and developed as Skyrim's towns.

Skyrim subsists on its systems, and the systems in question aren't very good. Witcher 3 thrives on hand-crafted content, carefully tailored to provide set dressing to a mostly linear narrative. It's a movie set, yes, but it doesn't let you see the backlots. Except for one or two specific things which make the illusion crack, that is, and those do stick out like a sore thumb because of how consistent it is the rest of the time.

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It's all subjective, of course, but I just don't get how someone feels that walking around in a city with 20 people, with questionable AI routines and glitches, that go a couple of meters every day to pretend they are earning a living in a "big" city comprised of 30 houses, is more immersive than walking around in this:

image.jpg

Indeed very cool. Its definitely a moment. But so is sitting on a mountainside in Skyrim during the night looking down watching a dragon attack a village.

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I started Witcher last week at last and I'm very impressed by the detail and overall feeling I've got from the interior scenes so far. It feels like I can live the era with them and the change in weather has looked amazing so far. This might take me years to complete as I'm only playing 30 minutes at a time!

I'm just worried the UI will become confusing, I'm slowly following so far but it does seem a little complicated.

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I started Witcher last week at last and I'm very impressed by the detail and overall feeling I've got from the interior scenes so far. It feels like I can live the era with them and the change in weather has looked amazing so far. This might take me years to complete as I'm only playing 30 minutes at a time!

I'm just worried the UI will become confusing, I'm slowly following so far but it does seem a little complicated.

Yeah, the UI isnt one of the best. Stick with it.

How the hell do you manage to play only 30 minutes at a time? ;)

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