Geralt Goes To Westeros: Witcher 2 Getting Mod Tools

By Nathan Grayson on August 10th, 2012 at 8:00 am.

And hey, we won't even have to worry about a constant stream of obnoxious nudity mods, because CDP kind of already took care of that for us. Also, I paired that comment with the most clothed picture of Geralt I could find because I don't really know why.

I’m calling it now: It’s only a matter of time until someone designs a Game of Thrones mod for The Witcher 2. And that matter (note: I’m pretty sure “matter” isn’t a real unit of time measurement) just got a lot shorter, because CD Projekt’s tossing yet another hefty offering into The Witcher’s overflowing cauldron with official mod tools. Unfortunately, CD Projekt has also informed RPS that Steam Workshop support’s not on the table – at least, for now.

CD Projekt dangled the keys to Geralt’s world in front of players’ faces in an official blog post:

“CD Projekt RED will be attending this years Gamescom which takes place in Cologne, Germany next week. We will be hosting a series of behind closed doors, exclusive media presentations where we will be showing the REDkit, a long-awaited set of tools for modders which will allow any player to create their own content for the PC version of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, such as new, non-linear adventures, great looking locations and much more.”

And while mod tools are never a bad thing, that’s not much to go on. So I sought clarification from CD Projekt – specifically in regard to Steam Workshop support and the relative complexity of the toolset. “A this point I can tell you that we’re concentrating on the tool as such, so no Steam mention at this point,” a rep told me. Meanwhile, the rep added that CDP’s mainly looking to attract “the best modders out there,” so probably don’t expect something quite as user-friendly as, say, Portal 2’s Perpetual Testing Initiative.

Still, though, this is very good news overall. Odds are, we’ll know much, much more come next week, but until then, I leave you with the possibility of a world in which Geralt and The Hound can team up to punch the wretched little smirk right off Joffrey’s big dumb face. And oh, what a world that will be.

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76 Comments »

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  1. Askeladd says:

    I can’t wait to see what the community will do with those tools.
    How about Gerald fighting dragons and consuming their powers to fight even stronger dragons.
    In the end maybe a SSJ-mode where he has to battle god at chess!

  2. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    I wonder if there’ll be similarities between these tools and the NWN toolset given that the first Witcher used a heavily modified version of the NWN engine?

    • RedFaust says:

      Its a completely new engine for The W2 so , i think it’ll be a completely new tool :). I hope that it will allow more background variety than the mods of TW1, which were repetitive some times

      • Premium User Badge

        Mungrul says:

        I know it’s a completely new engine, I was just wondering if the tools resemble those of the NWN toolset, as it would be easier for their level designers to transition to something that resembled what they were already used to.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Revisor says:

    This move will make the game alive and relevant for years to come. Great decision and I’m very much looking forward to it.

    As for the Steam Workshop why do you feel it necessary? I will rather download mods from external websites than make them connected to a single digital store, one of many, albeit the most popular this year.

    Does the Steam Workshop work with games not bought on Steam anyway?

    • Valvarexart says:

      This. Some of us ordered the game physically or on GOG. I feel no need to enforce Valve’s monopoly any further.

      • Zelius says:

        You people do realize that the Steam Workshop would be optional, right? I see no reason why that option would be a bad thing.

        • Catweasel says:

          People who don’t have the game on Steam would be locked out of the Steam Workshop so if any mods were exclusively there you’d be fucked.

          • Unaco says:

            Indeed. This is my issue with putting this stuff on the Steam Workshop. Workshop is a great idea, but lets leave it to Steamworks titles, so no one is left out.

      • CrookedLittleVein says:

        “Karaoke bars are devil worship!”

        ?

      • Alexrd says:

        Well said.

      • AlienMind says:

        Emen.

    • mondomau says:

      Also, the steam workshop still has a fair few kinks to iron out. I replaced my nexus folders for skyrim with it a while ago and it ran fine for a while, but I’m having all kinds of odd issues with it now – not least of which is that it just flat out refuses to update any mods. Throw in the fact that the steam workshop UI is an utter mess, and I’m more than happy to stick to deal with outside sources for my mods.

    • Lekker Pain says:

      No need for the workshop when you have Witcher Nexus + Nexus mod manager. I really don’t see any point in Workshop. Moding is already retard easy.

      • Premium User Badge

        AmateurScience says:

        What an unpleasant turn of phrase.

        • CrookedLittleVein says:

          I quite agree.

          :/

        • StingingVelvet says:

          Retard has a meaning beyond an insult for the mentally handicapped. Not even a slang one, referring to people with it was the slang. It basically means to impede something, to hold it back. “Retard easy” would mean it’s so simple it holds back progression.

          Which is not what he meant, he meant so simple a retard could do it, but I am just fighting the idea that retard is a slur, it’s not.

          Also kids of the 90’s like myself used retard and “gay” as insults so often it’s virtually impossible to stop when not in a professional environment. My homosexual friend says “gay” derogatorily all the time.

          • Whosi says:

            Fight it all you want, in the end it’s still context that matters. The word used as above IS a slur, you even conceded that point. Your “fight” is more of a contradiction.

          • Victuz says:

            That’s just retardly gay I don’t know what you’re on about.

            Oh…

            On a serious note can anyone tell me if you can use steam workshop if you just attach the game to steam? I don’t mean attach it to your account by using the cd-key, I mean the “add a game from outside of steam” option. It allows usage of the steam overlay in non steam games so I don’t see a reason why they couldn’t make it also link with the steam workshop.
            Unless the file structure between regular installation and steam version is so vastly different most mods would break.
            I have a retail version of Witcher 2 and if there was an option to just use the workshop this way (if devs ever decide to connect it to steam that is) than I’d be fine with it. Otherwise it would be pretty annoying I admit.

            Oh and why would I want to use the workshop? Well the environment to search for mods is more appealing in my opinion. I like USING mods but sifting through lists upon lists upon lists to find those few you actually consider interesting and than installing them all one by one takes a load of time that I most often don’t have any more. Plus it’s really tedious.

          • StingingVelvet says:

            Whosi, I just don’t think it’s a slur when it has a real meaning. It might be harsh and rude and even horrible to refer to someone as something holding things back, or being held back, but a slur to me is something that exists only to offend.

    • CrookedLittleVein says:

      Not this. I’m quite happy for the mods to be have a place on steam workshop, as well as Nexus and other alternatives. I feel no need to worry about an imaginary monopoly.

      • Premium User Badge

        Revisor says:

        You have read a meaning in my post that is not there. I have never said anything about a Steam monopoly.

        I just think it’s strange to ask to chain mods for a renowned DRM-free game to one digital store of many. Even if it were optional – it’s an expensive developer time spent better elsewhere, eg. on the mod tools themselves.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Hardlylikely says:

    This makes me very glad I ordered some extra RAM just last night, I’ve a feeling this won’t be kind to my PC.

    My thanks to CD Projekt for er, “concentrating on the tool”, these people are still doing it right. No platform building, no business model innovations or shenanigans, just good PC games and the modding thereof. That really is all I ask, is that so much?

    • Lekker Pain says:

      That’s because they are honest Poland people. No stinky, greasy, sweaty money-grabbing murricans.

      • Memphis-Ahn says:

        Gotta work hard for those potatoes!

        • Victuz says:

          Hey that’s offensive!
          We eat lettuce too.

          • Premium User Badge

            Hardlylikely says:

            There must be sausage somewhere in there too, right?

          • iniudan says:

            I thought you guy drank your potatoes… btw send me some, potatoes vodka just impossible to find here. =( =p

  5. JackShandy says:

    I can’t think of another single-player game that’s been consistently supported as well as The Witcher 2. This is another fantastic add-on in a long line of them, and I hope CD Projekt makes so much money that everybody else is forced to copy their model.

    • lordfrikk says:

      Nation Red, although comparatively smaller in budget, is probably the best supported game I’ve seen.

  6. Ford says:

    Why would cdprojekt support Steam anyway? Makes no sense.

    • soco says:

      Not to say that they should, just playing devil’s advocate here, but it could make sense since CDP released some figures awhile back showing that the vast majority of their sales came from Steam.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Goodtwist says:

    I have a suspicion: it seems as if the guys from CD Projekt actually play their games by themselves, too. Unlike people from DICE, Infinity Ward and the like.

    • JackShandy says:

      You don’t think DICE or Infinity Ward play their games?

      Wait, I see, you mean they don’t play Modern Warfare when they’re on holidays. I find it pretty unlikely that CD Projekt play The Witcher much in their off-hours. It’s got multiple paths, but it’s still a game based around story, so it’s never going to be as replayable as a multiplayer game like Battlefield.

      • Premium User Badge

        Goodtwist says:

        Nah, man, I mean that CDP actually gives a thought what they’re doing and they seem to ask themselves whether they’d bother to play their games if they had to buy them. All the while that some other developers just don’t give a shit because they hope that their crap will be bought whatever they put into the package.

        So, yeah, their crap is obviously being bought but that doesn’t make their games being good, worthwhile for a gamer such as myself. Not everybody is as great as me ; )

  8. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    I have no doubt the first batch of mods will be, uh, erotic in nature. Maybe I can finally adapt my secret Dethmold/Zoltan fan fiction.

  9. StingingVelvet says:

    The only DRM free AAA release of the last 5 years and when they announce mod support the first thing you ask them is OMG STEAMWORKSHOP???

    Bummer.

  10. Roshin says:

    Reading these comments makes me despair. This idiot “console war” attitude towards Valve and Steam is embarrassing, especially on a website like this. Can’t you just start banning people and enforce a “You have to be this intelligent to post here” rule..? ;D

    • Premium User Badge

      Revisor says:

      Your comment is pretty vague but I guess with “idiot console war attitude” you meant my post among others.

      I have to echo what StingingVelvet says just one comment above you: Why do you want to tie mods for a DRM free title to one digital store of many?
      Why even make it optional and create a custom support for one digital store of many, if the devs could spend their expensive and precious time improving the mod tools themselves?

      Please try to see the situation as a whole. Time spent on the Steam Workshop support means time not spent elsewhere, whether it be tools improvement, post-release support or creating a new wonderful game.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      I have a particular annoyance with how the PC gaming media pushes Steam. Sorry if that bothers you, but it has nothing to do with intelligence even if you really want it to.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      I used to be a blatant Steam white-knighter, but then Valve’s increasingly anti-consumer behavior started grating on my conscious. There’s a lot of reason for the antipathy towards Steam and Valve around these parts: their draconian chargeback rules, their lack of communication with the customer base, their refusal to remove third-party DRM in the games they sell, their piss-poor customer service, and their newly modified ToS are just a few of the many, many reasons I no longer choose to support them as a company.

      The Steam Workshop is a walled garden and, in the particular case of the Witcher 2, locks non-Steam customers out of the process while potentially forcing mod makers to publish multiple working versions of their creations. The game just doesn’t need Workshop support with sites like Nexus.

      As far as I’m concerned, Steam is getting the negative rep it deserves. Well, if you don’t count the ramblings of guys like MythArcana.

      • woodsey says:

        ‘their refusal to remove third-party DRM in the games they sell’

        How on Earth is that up to Steam? They’re a shop, they’re not in charge of what the publisher decides to tack-on to their titles.

        ‘The Steam Workshop is a walled garden and, in the particular case of the Witcher 2, locks non-Steam customers out of the process while potentially forcing mod makers to publish multiple working versions of their creations.’

        I don’t see what the issue would be. Apart from the directory change I’ve never had to do anything extra to get a mod working with a Steam version of a game. The files are just located in a different folder. They’d just have to repost it, as has happily happened between the Workshop and the Nexus sites for Skyrim.

        It doesn’t lock non-Steam customers out of the process at all, it’s just another place to get mods from if you’re a Steam customer. There’s already a Witcher Nexus, splitting the community is a non-issue.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          Valve certainly now have enough clout in the industry to start demanding that pubs remove any and all pre-coded and third-party DRM from any games they wish to sell on Steam., especially those games that are integrated via Steamworks. Whether they’d be successful is another matter, but it’s all irrelevant anyway; Valve don’t give enough of a shit about outside DRM to give any of it a second glance.

          As far as Workshop is concerned, please consider this: how many of the Workshop-only mods do you think are going to be compatible with non-Steam versions of Witcher 2? Conversely, how many Nexus mods do you think are going to be compatible with the Steam version of the game? Think hard about that.

          Walled gardens in the computer world are never good, Apple or Steam or otherwise.

          • Premium User Badge

            Durkonkell says:

            Except that the last time they tried to use their clout in the industry to require publishers to offer all their DLC for sale thorough Steam, EA stormed off shouting “Screw this! We don’t need you! We’ll make our OWN digital distribution service! With blackjack and hookers!”

            I also don’t understand why nexus mods wouldn’t work with the steam version of the game, and workshop mods wouldn’t work with the non-steam version. I’m not aware of this ever happening (nexus mods not working with the steam version, I mean – obviously all Workshop compatible titles are steamworks, so no non-steam version).

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Steam’s DLC policy had been in place long before EA threw a hissy fit, as had EA’s plans for Origin. Steam have plenty of clout, enough to force publishers to remove redundant DRM from their titles. Like I said, Valve just don’t give a shit about that particular topic.

            As far as the Nexus mods thing, that was my point (“Think hard about that.”). In most cases, Nexus mods work fine with Steam-sold games, but good luck ever getting Valve to approve Workshop creations for use on non-Steam games.

        • AlienMind says:

          If they are just a shop why the hell do I then have to have their software running while playing the game?

  11. Kasab says:

    I don’t mean to Henselt CD Projekt, but The Witcher 2 did dragon on a bit. Still, they’re nice people. I just hope this doesn’t Demavend-up badly for them, seeing as they put a lot of money into free content.

  12. Desmolas says:

    Whom do we love more? Valve or CDPRed? Cast your votes.

    • Premium User Badge

      Goodtwist says:

      I love most my wallet and my freedom to chose. Heh

    • Hicks233 says:

      DRM spreading like a yeast infection or Non-DRM supporting…

      I wonder… could I be choosing CD Projekt?!

  13. frightlever says:

    I’d be relatively miffed if they went the Steam Workshop route, given that I did the decent thing and bought it off them directly via GoG. And since GoG is now in direct competition with Steam, why would they? Everyone who bought the Witcher 2 has the game on GoG. EVERYONE. It’s make more sense for them to build their own Workshop, if that was ever their intention.

    And speaking of the Steam Workshop – I haven’t looked at it recently but when it had first opened it seemed that half the Skyrim mods I looked at couldn’t be installed without installing something or other off a third party site. Has that changed?

    • woodsey says:

      ‘Everyone who bought the Witcher 2 has the game on GoG. EVERYONE.’

      Apart from, y’know, everyone who didn’t.

      As for the third party stuff, I’ve been modding Skyrim recently and it’s not been that way for me. I’ve got quite a few installed, only one has needed something extra not on the Workshop – just grabbed the whole thing off of the Nexus instead of mixing and matching.

      • kud13 says:

        I’m guessing you missed the memo where they offered everyone who bought the game a free, DRM-less backup copy on GOG?

        • woodsey says:

          Forgot about that, actually. Still, I chose to buy it on Steam; it’s not like the GoG option wasn’t already available. And since I’ve chosen to buy the Steam version, why would I then start running the GoG version?

          It’s not an insult to the people who bought the GoG version if the game makes use of the Workshop; everyone bought the version they wanted, the Steam version now has an added benefit. I see no reason why the very vast majority of modders wouldn’t upload their mods to the Workshop and the nexus anyway, as they already do with Skyrim.

      • YogSo says:

        Yeah, just logged to say the same thing as kud13, so I’ll just leave this link here:

        Redeem your free backup PC copy of The Witcher or The Witcher 2 [on GOG].

        (And in case you think you don’t need a DRM-free backup copy of The Witcher1/2, I’ll just remind you that getting it on GOG includes tonnes of extras as well.)

        • Grygus says:

          Thank you for that link. With the original Witcher being one of the Direct2Drive games still in GameFly purgatory, I’ll happily use this. Not sure how I missed out hearing about it.

  14. Unaco says:

    I love Steam. It’s DRM, but it’s the good sort.

    I love The Witcher and Witcher 2. Great games, brilliant setting and story and whatnot.

    I love mods, and the Steam Workshop is a brilliant idea. Making it easier for people to use or disseminate mods is a great thing.

    Putting The Witcher 2 mods on Steamworks would be a bad idea, and I’m surprised Nathan would suggest it. All Steam Workshop games, thus far, have been SteamWorks games, tied to Steam. You have to have the game in your Steam Library to use the Workshop, which is all right for Steamworks games… because if you have the game, and it uses Steamworks, it’ll be in your library. No problem.

    The Witcher 2 is NOT a Steamworks title. Every copy is NOT tied to Steam. If mods were put on the Workshop, that would be serving a fraction of the playerbase, and leaving the vast, vast majority out in the cold. Yes, it would be optional and other places could be used to get mods… but the Workshop would still be a closed shop for many, a forced choice.

    Workshop is great… but lets leave it to Steamworks games were EVERYONE can use it.

  15. buzzmong says:

    Oh, Witcher 2 Mod tools?

    Oooooooooooh :)

  16. kud13 says:

    As others here have said, focusing on the game rather then on its integration with Steam is a good thing.

    CD Project has their own distribution network through GOG, and they gave every purchaser a DRM-copy that’s not tied to any DRM service. why would they limit their mod tools to Steam, potentially splitting the community?

  17. Shooop says:

    Who needs Steam Workshop when you’ve got Nexus? It’s much more reliable.

  18. Cheebahh says:

    Incredible!

    I’m so glad I payed these guys full price on release date. I can’t believe I’m still seeing them hard at work supporting it, what a great company, the pirates must feel ashamed on this one.

    I’m way more excited to tool around in this than Skyrims Creation Kit (which was fucking fantastic too, btw.)