Greased Lightning: Witcher 2 Semi-Official Combat Mod Out

By Alec Meer on June 20th, 2013 at 6:00 pm.

Here’s a wee piece of software with an odd status. On the one hand, it’s billed merely as a mod for CD Projekt’s mostly splendid RPG The Witcher 2. Yeah, yeah, people do that for roleplaying games all the time. On the other hand, the mod is made by CDP staffers, so it sort of becomes a sort of kind of official update, sort of. Kind of. “This is a private afterwork project. It is not a patch”, says the description, sternly.

Its primary focus is to remix the way combat works in the game – specifically, “to increase Geralt’s responsiveness and mobility.” We’ve reported on its planned existence recently already, but now we can report on its actual existence. As in, go download this massive sonuvagun right now.

Andrzej Kwiatkowski is a gameplay Designer on The Witcher 3, but he felt that sword’n’spellplay in that game’s predecessor wasn’t the fluid experience it should/could be. As such, his change notes in this mod are as long as… As long as… As. Long. As. Nope, can’t do it. The analogy well is officially dry. Six weeks without sleep will do that to a person. Thanks, delightful newborn daughter.

Look, here are the patch notes, and you can download the mod from CPD’s REDkit site (registration required). Just get off my back, alright? I’m as tired as a… tired as… oh, Goddamnit.

CORE CHANGES
• Up to 80% increase in responsiveness per Geralt’s animations.
• Up to 50% increase in responsiveness per NPCs animations.
• Added strafing while being locked on an enemy and walking.
• Geralt can block while moving ( NEW ANIMATIONS ). Static Guard Stance is no longer required to parry enemy attacks.
• Geralt automatically parries enemy sword attacks and deflects incoming arrows. It doesn’t mean Geralt is invincible. It’s not a 100% chance to parry and the value is not constant. It changes depending on how many hits you block in a short time and from where does the hit land.
• Geralt and his attackers are no longer bouncing off parry. It allows to continue attack sequence.
• Monster attacks still cannot be parried with a sword.
• While using Guard Stance Geralt channels an active Quen shield.
• Above listed changes to defence mechanics decreased importance of rolling in combat.

ENEMIES
• Durability of enemies is based on their defensive skills and armor, not just high vitality.
• Mages and assassins don’t use duration based shields, instead they have a chance to block each attack seperately, including witcher Signs. This removes the duration godmode from enemies that forced player to run away.
• Letho and elite assassins will counterattack when player is relentlessly attacking them.
• Arachas and Endriaga Queens learn they should defend against sword attacks after receiving few hits.
• Removed knockdown effect from enemy swordsmen attacks.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
• Decreased the number of skills to ensure quality over quantity. Experience rewards and leveling were adjusted to current character development.
• Geralt now starts with core witcher skills already learned. No need to go through Training tree before unlocking other branches.
• Removed many passives from skill tree to replace them with more active abilities. Remaining passives are changed to make them more attractive.
• All skills now have one level ( previously 2 ).
• Aard and Igni Signs have been changed from projectile to cone area of effect.
• Riposte doesn’t require Guard Stance to activate, only attacking in a timed window.
• Changed riposte animations ( NEW ANIMATIONS, DUH ) to prevent Geralt from sliding on enemies.
• Experience points are given only for progressing through quests, not for killing enemies. This encourages role-playing without worrying about missing experience.
• Geralt no longer buys witcher specific recipies from random merchants. He recalls lost memories as a part of character development.

BALANCE
• Each enemy is balanced according to his constitution, combat skill, combat style, weapon and armor type. Following this pattern allowed to created consistent rules that every character follows. A barechested bandit won’t survive more hits than a knight in platemail just because the bandit was encountered later in game.
• Decreased the disproportion in stats between starting equipment and late game equipment.
• Changed Geralt’s starting equipment. He now carries core alchemical recipies and schematic for silver sword.
• Moved the weight of character power from equipment to character development. Learned skills should have as big impact on Geralt’s badass factor as items.
• Geralt’s armors are split into 4 categories: leather jackets, heavy leather jackets, combat jackets and heavy combat jackets. Heavier armors impose small damage penalty on Geralt. Players need to choose between max damage and protection.
• Items imported from The Witcher savegames are of the same quality as in the first game. An exceptional armor and weapon remains valuable. This makes the game easier, but it is an intentional reward.
• Set elixirs and oils duration to 1 hour.
• Added potion overdose and heavy overdose debuffs on toxicity thresholds 55 and 65.
• Removed Fatigue penalty that decreased sword damage and damage reduction on block when Vigor was spent on Signs or Parry. It discouraged some players from using Signs becaused it decreased Geralt’s sword DPS.
• NPCs deal full damage to other NPCs.
• Removed 50% Hit Points condition for throwing enemy off height with Aard.
• Decreased Riposte damage multiplier to 1.0, but added 30% enemy parry chance debuff.
• Riposte no longer costs Vigor.
• Silver throwing daggers are considered as silver weapons for damage calculations against monsters.
• Made range weapons ignore armors when calculating damage — armor penetration.
• Inceneration, Bleeding and Poisoning effects are allowed to be active at the same time.
• Made quest experience rewards more consistent. There are no longer any situations where player is rewarded with 50 experience points for one quests and 2000 for another.
• Made moral choices in quests equally rewarding in terms of experience and items. Players should be encouraged more to role-play instead of weighing quest rewards.
• Geralt gains knowledge about monsters faster.
• Changed rewards for gaining knowledge about monsters to monster specific oils for swords.
• Set minimal damage dealt by Geralt to zero ( was 5 ).
• Removed bonus damage for backstabs. Geralt is not parrying attacks coming from behind, so it is a penalty already. Backstab damage bonus would be an overkill. As for the the enemies, this change removes the urge for immersion breaking behavior, like constantly rolling behind an enemy for bonus damage.
• Changed arena item rewards for each wave to fit mod item progression.
• Decreased amount of enemies in few arena waves.
• Finally soaked boots in tutorial weigh more than dry boots!!

ECONOMY
• Moved DLC armors from starting equipment to quest rewards and shops.
• Decreased the number of armors and weapons present in game. Amount of equipment is adjusted to provide smoother item progression without making huge amount of items useless stat-wise.
• Weapons and armors that are present in the game were picked according to these rules: visual differentiation, witcher low level magic setting. Some items available in game assets but not used in original game were reintroduced.
• Moved more quality items from quest rewards to shops and distributed them among Chapters. Player should be encouraged to regulary spend money in shops.
• Decreased buying cost of swords and armors. Player should be able to buy items more often, not hoard money.
• Decreased amount of loot dropped from enemies.
• Removed some of the junk items from container definitions.
• Made vendors specialize in certain type of merchandize.
• Witcher specific recipies cannot be bought but also cannot be sold to merchants.

VISUALS
• Added Focused Combat Stance. Geralt enters focused state during challenging encounters. It’s a visual eyecandy, so it happens automatically based on calculated combat threat level.
• While in Focused Stance Geralt performs piruettes ( NEW ANIMATION ) instead of rolling and uses Guard Stance idle animation.
• Enemies explode when killed by mage spells. Does not apply to witcher Signs – they are not that powerful.
• Made finisher animations which use Signs unlocked by upgrading Aard and Igni in character development.
• Removed cutscene swords. Geralt will use his currently equipped sword in all cutscenes.
• Equipped enemies with swords according to their social status, wealth and current situation in the game. For example, soldiers patrolling areas near ghost fog in Act 2 are equipped with silver swords like the story suggests.
• Decreased camera shake effect used on each step of huge creatures like trolls and golems.
• Removed green cloud effect from enemy poisoning FX.

FIXES
• Tweaked anim events in all combat animations to improve timings and responsivness.
• Fixed sword oils not providing bonus damage against monsters.
• Fixed Circle of Power: Endurance giving Circle of Power: Vitality bonus.
• Fixed a bug where Geralt was always doing 2 more steps after roll before stopping.

OTHER
• Removed mashable quick time events. Single button QTEs that can end with player’s death can be disabled from game options.
• Decreased cooldown for returning to exploration after combat from 7 to 2 seconds. Geralt will be able to interact with environment quicker after combat.
• Removed necesity to enter meditation panel to learn new skills on difficulty levels above Normal.
• Changed item rarity names to reflect witcher’s low level magic setting. Items are no longer MAGICAL and EPIC.
• Decreased attacked enemy importance for targetting to make switching enemies easier.

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71 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    All is Well says:

    The download link is down, I think.

    • Kodaemon says:

      It seems the entire Witcher site went down.

      • Premium User Badge

        All is Well says:

        Oh well, it’s working now. Perhaps the server got overloaded from people looking for this mod?

        • Kodaemon says:

          Yup, that’s what it looks like.

          EDIT: It’s still very unstable. I guess I’ll have to wait a few hours.

          • eliza321 says:

            before I looked at the bank draft ov $4055, I be certain that…my… best friend could actualy bringing in money parttime on there computar.. there sisters roommate has done this for under seven months and resently took care of the debts on their villa and bought a top of the range Aston Martin DB5. we looked here, kep2.com

          • yabndwgdvb says:

            We managed to get both the mod servers and the Witcher forums down, I think the mod’s doing good : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbbZc2pab9k

  2. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    Wow, this is more than a combat mod, this is a full-blown overhaul.

    • Dominic White says:

      The guy who made this mod did a similar (but far more expansive) one for The Witcher 1, which addresses most of the common complaints about the game.

      http://www.moddb.com/mods/full-combat-rebalance1

      It’s less of an ‘enhancement’ and more of a massive overhaul – it brings the combat engine far more in line with the sequel. Dude is dedicated to making his games as awesome as possible.

      And just a reminder – both FCR mods are by the lead Gameplay Designer at CD Projekt. This isn’t some random joe making random balance tweaks, but one of the lead developers working on improving the game in his own spare time.

      • eliza321 says:

        If you think Rosa`s story is astonishing…, 1 weak-ago my uncles best friend basically also brought home $4612 working fourteen hours a week from there house and the’re co-worker’s mother-in-law`s neighbour did this for 10-months and brought in more than $4612 parttime from their pc. follow the instructions at this address, w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

        • nickclarkson says:

          Actually I don’t think Rosa’s comment is astonishing…damn, why no report on spam? Is there no better defense against these spambots?

    • Teovald says:

      Yup. It makes me wonder why this is not an official patch. Ok he developed this on his free time but this looks like quite a big improvement..

      • Kentauroi says:

        Well with the mod itself is pretty much a complete overhaul, and there are probably people who’d prefer to use the original combat system.

        If this was an official patch, you might accidentally update it to the new system even if you don’t want it too. By making it an optional mod it always has the player to choose which combat system they want to use.

      • Benny says:

        Probably because to be official CDPR would have to QA it for bugs, build it into the full release download, and support it post release as fully as they do atm with both the current games. Their focus is W3 and Cyberpunk and to dwell too long on W2 would be to their detriment I feel.

  3. derbefrier says:

    Sweet. I have always found the combat part of The Witcher games well, crappy and have never been able to finish them becasue of that. I just didn’t enjoy the way combat worked in these games and couldn’t look past it for very long even though I generally enjoyed every other aspect of the game. Combat has always been the weakest part of the series in my opinion. It looks like they have addressed a lot of my complaints with the combat system and if this is any indication of what combat may be like in The Witcher 3 I may have have to start getting excited for it(provided I like the changes of course once i actually try them). Guess I am gonna have to reinstall and give this game one last chance.

  4. meloncrab says:

    ECONOMY
    • Moved DLC armors from starting equipment to quest rewards and shops.

    (>’.’)> Awesome. I’m currently playing through the first one with the same mod and can’t wait to try the second.

    • Serpok says:

      • Decreased cooldown for returning to exploration after combat from 7 to 2 seconds. Geralt will be able to interact with environment quicker after combat.

      This one is also great, having to wait seven seconds to pick up loot was annoying.

      • adam.jutzi says:

        Praise be to Horace. I was about to give up hope on this one nearing the end of the list.

  5. kael13 says:

    Gimme! I’m halfway through a second playthrough of the game and this is just what I needed to spur me back into gear.

  6. InternetBatman says:

    This sounds great. I’m doing my first run of Witcher 2 right now, and it sounds like they’re fixing a lot of the issues I’m having. Right now the game is pretty flawed. Half of combat is just rolling. Roll stab retreat, roll stab retreat, rinse and repeat. If only they could do something about the tiny area of most fights. Even the kayran had a tiny area to fight in, and that’s a giant oversized monster.

    • Premium User Badge

      colossalstrikepackage says:

      So much this. But the storytelling is pretty darn great.

  7. pakoito says:

    Time to reinstall! I couldn’t finish the game because real life, so now it’s a good time :D

    Question: m/kb or gamepad?

  8. gritz says:

    Hot damn, I just reinstalled this game. Perfect timing!

    • Premium User Badge

      liquidsoap89 says:

      Hot damn, I just finished this game again not even 2 weeks ago. Perfect timing!

  9. Premium User Badge

    FriendlyFire says:

    I might just reinstall the game for this. The changes sound really good and much, MUCH wider and important than I’d have expected.

  10. Hardtarget says:

    oh nice!

    any idea how installing this and then loading up a save will work?

    • Wut The Melon says:

      It is apparently possible, but you’re strongly recommended to start a new game as some features (the skills tree, mainly) will work differently so you might have more or less talent points than you should have, and may want to invest them in different talents. The economy and some items are overhauled as well, so the same goes for that.

      • revan says:

        Guess this will wait for my next playthrough. Middle of the second chapter right now. Must finish that one.

  11. Serpok says:

    Great news. I have completed Iorveth path last year and have bean putting off Rouche playthrough for months – seems like now is a perfect time to do it.

    Or in a month or two – better to wait and see how bugged this mod is.

    • Premium User Badge

      lasikbear says:

      My exact plan! I reinstalled a month ago and (I guess luckily) haven’t had the time to start yet.

  12. Jason Moyer says:

    Whenever the download link is working again I’ll have to check this out. The combat in Witcher 2 was pretty lacking compared to other 3rd person melee games.

  13. Tim James says:

    Don’t forget they added an arena mode a while back. Anyone (like me) who doesn’t want to play the campaign a third time can see the changes in the arena instead.

  14. eliza321 says:

    Hannah. if you think Rosa`s comment is astonishing… yesterday I bought a top of the range Aston Martin DB5 from making $5992 this-last/4 weeks and-more than, ten grand lass-month. without a doubt it is the most-comfortable work I have ever had. I began this 3 months ago and immediately started making more than $83… per-hour. I use this website, kep2.com

  15. Alextended says:

    Any footage?

  16. Koozer says:

    …I spent 5 seconds trying to work out how to pronounce the French word ‘sonuvagun.’

  17. Wut The Melon says:

    We managed to get both the mod servers and the Witcher forums down, I think the mod’s doing good : ). Really looking forward to playing with it.

  18. nickclarkson says:

    Embarrassingly, despite being a (very) long time gamer…. /me takes off shoes to count…oh no, out of digits (I need and extra hand and foot…at least!) and owning both Witcher 1 and 2 GOTY (or the equivalent version) I have…..stares at feet and shuffles….I still have yet to actually play either game. There! I said it. I’ll get my coat.

    • Premium User Badge

      colossalstrikepackage says:

      Same as you until this Monday. I couldn’t get past W1’s clunky graphics, so started with 2. No regrets (apart from this damn mod coming out approx halfway through my play through). Combat is not my main reason for playing, so I’m … shuffles nervously, coughs .. playing on Easy. Loving the story, though!

      • nickclarkson says:

        Looks like I timed it right then. I shall download the mods for both 1 & 2 and shunt them up the “To Play Next” list forthwith.

    • Premium User Badge

      FriendlyFire says:

      Nice, thanks for the link!

    • Hunchback says:

      Thanks dude, +10 internets points

      Just keep in mind that:

      “• I do not grant permission for this mod to be released from or hosted on any site other than redkit.cdprojektred.com, moddb.com and nexusmods.com.”

      Might get yelled at

      • Kodaemon says:

        The link was posted on the forums by Czyzyk, a CDPR guy. I’m just forwarding :)

        • jonahcutter says:

          Even humble like a superhero.

          “No, no thanks necessary ma’am. Just doing my duty. Now please excuse me.”

          ::Kodaemon flies away::

          Thanks for the link.

    • Firesaber says:

      Logged in just to say thank you for the mirror link!

    • mindlessjack says:

      I just registered to say thanks!
      Thanks!

    • Premium User Badge

      Solgarmr says:

      Very nice, thanks my man!

  19. Megakoresh says:

    Aaaah! So THAT’s why all their servers are down.

  20. Hunchback says:

    Holy. Shit. Son!

    “• Removed mashable quick time events. Single button QTEs that can end with player’s death can be disabled from game options.”

    YES!!!1one

    This is so awesome! My wife just bought me the two Witchers during the Steam sale, and for father’s day. Now i can play them proper and legal, and this mod comes just in time. I am just at the beginning, so i will be able to experience the whole game a new (i’ve already played it before by other… less official ways, courtesy to low cash).

    I think CDPRed are officially my favorite game dev company of the now. Their games are awesome, and they are very nice with their fans/community. Does anyone else release free DLCs, except CCP?
    And they -obviously- care a lot about the PC community… I just hope they don’t fuck the Witcher 3 up with the open world thingy, it really scares me. *fingers crossed*

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      No one seems to realise that the QTEs could always be disabled in the options, since release.

      • kud13 says:

        Actually, the settings in the original release (and everyhting up to now) said “disble DIFFICULT QTEs”

        the annoying ones like “wind up the ballista. Load the ballista. fire the ballista”. were still in, even after you used the settings.

  21. tnzk says:

    CDPR have earned my day one purchase of The Witcher 3.

  22. deejayem says:

    Congratulations on the mini-Meer! I acquired a daughter recently – they’re awesome.

  23. F3ck says:

    Someone mated with Meer, really?

    …part of some research grant I imagine…

  24. Liudeius says:

    Time to finally beat the Witcher 1 so I can play the Witcher 2 (On sale on GOG for $5) so I can actually play the Witcher 3 when I buy it on day one to support DRM free.
    This sounds pretty good, I skipped over the similar mod for Witcher 1 because I figured it was made by some random guy, but if it’s from the lead designer, I suppose it will be well integrated into the game. (rather than feeling really out of place like most Skyrim mods.)

  25. SmoovBiscuit says:

    I downloaded this mod and now I can’t block…. before I got this mod I could block with my sword, and now after I downloaded it when I go to block my guy holds out his hand and has electricity around him and when people hit me it blocks all of them. Im not saying its bad it’s just I would rather block with my sword. Any help would be cool

    • Danarchist says:

      I’m guessing your trying to use a gamepad too. They removed riposte from the game and the block key is now unmapped, even though it shows as right trigger in the options. You can actually get stuck in the tutorial where you cant progress because you can’t riposte.

      This definitely made a great game I couldn’t stand to play 10x better. The responsiveness before would actually make me cuss at my tv screen. Now it plays allot more fluidly and I think I will finally get to finish the stupid thing.

  26. SmoovBiscuit says:

    btw I would be posting this on the forums but the website wont load

  27. scorcher24 says:

    Does someone know if this disables Achievements? (Steam Version)

  28. fitzroy_doll says:

    -Removed bonus damage for backstabs.

    Excellent. Time for (yet another) replay. No more gymnast Geralt.

    • end0rphine says:

      If you were playing on hard or dark mode before, you may have to rely on dodging even more so now. Quen has been nerfed into something useless and the mod itself has a ton of glitches ranging from attacks clipping through enemies doing no damage, as well as instant kills from nowhere.

      Would not advise downloading until they update the mod further.

      • fitzroy_doll says:

        Ah…that’s disappointing. I hope the developer is aware of this so that he can update the mod.

        Edit: looking around elsewhere people are reporting many bugs. Looks like this is a good start rather than a finished product.

  29. fancynameplease says:

    Is it wise to use it mid-game or better start a fresh one after installing the mod? (I’m about to battling the Kayran, so not that much time lost… But still).

  30. GM says:

    Awesome. :)