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Drinking with Skeletons
10-10-2011, 06:02 PM
Which path in the Witcher 2 is better: Iorveth or Roche? I can't remember seeing this discussed anywhere on the site, but this is such an obvious question--and such an integral part of the game--that I feel it deserves some attention.

Please explain why you feel one path is better.

And let's assume HUGE SPOILERS may appear at any time.

Rinox
10-10-2011, 06:11 PM
I played them both and I found them almost equally good. They both give you some information about certain events/key characters that may well change your actions later on (massive SPOILER: Saskia being the dragon would be the most important one).

If I had to choose though, i'd say I liked the Iorveth one best. Simply because it puts you in a Dwarven city with some political dynamics. The war camp on the other side is a little less inspiring. Imho. And because of the dream chrystal quest! :-)

Drinking with Skeletons
10-10-2011, 06:28 PM
If I had to choose though, i'd say I liked the Iorveth one best. Simply because it puts you in a Dwarven city with some political dynamics. The war camp on the other side is a little less inspiring. Imho. And because of the dream chrystal quest! :-)

This is actually one of the reasons I preferred the Roche path, as the political struggles really distract from Geralt's search for the assassins (y'know, the ones in the game's title). In Henselt's camp, Geralt is basically forced to help Henselt, partly to solve the curse (as prophesied by Cedric, though the game doesn't give any indication in either path that Geralt makes the connection between the vision and the curse) and partly because, like Foltest, Henselt uses his position to implicitly threaten Geralt into helping him out. Yet he still manages to find the time to discover the assassins' lair and further both the plot of this game and the franchise's meta-plot (recovering his memory).

In Vergen, Geralt has to save Saskia to get her sword to lift the curse, but it still always feels like he's helping everyone out of the kindness of his heart. In my Iorveth playthrough, Geralt learned nothing new about the assassins outside of Letho's crystallized dream and never even ran into them, making Act II and Act III feel only tenuously connected to Act I.

Battlehenkie
11-10-2011, 09:29 AM
It is interesting you say it that way Drinking with Skeletons. I never actually saw proving Geralt to be not guilty of murdering Foltest as the actual main quest of the game, but I suspect that has more to do with how many times I've played the first game and how I am interested in the lore of the books. Instead, I saw the recovery of Geralt's memory and the dealing with political struggles as much more important, since I have a feeling those are directly linked and responsible for the assassinations that have taken place in The Witcher 2. Of course this is only a hunch and I'll be proven right or wrong (hopefully) with a third installment.

I much preferred the Iorveth path, which I am currently playing. I found the setting of the second act in Henselt's camp boring. I grew to detest Roche and absolutely loathed Henselt and Deathmold. The general setting was just ultimately depressing and I felt no inclination to actually assist Henselt, whereas Vergen seems like a much more dynamic place with deeper and more interesting characters. That and I can get me some lesbomancy. We'll see how it plays out, but at this point I am happy I went with Iorveth the second time around. I enjoy the game a lot more, not only because of the content but also because of the choices I've made. What a game.

Alez
11-10-2011, 01:53 PM
Well first of all i wanted to make a topic about this a while ago but was too lazy. If you bought this game and only played one path, you only played around 70% of it. I just assumed first time around you just have either one of them as a companion on the same path but it changes the second chapter completely.

secondly, i would have to agree with the man that drinks with skeletons that the Roche path is more focused on the main plot of the game.
I loved both paths but with Iorveth i felt like i was Hercules from that 90's tv show, going around and solving random problems of injustice. Oh and i have to find some killers along the way or something, i don't care, i have to save this city of drunken dwarves!

With Roche i always remembered what i was there for. But maybe i felt that because Roche was my second play and i was already acquainted with the world and what was happening around me.

Drinking with Skeletons
11-10-2011, 06:04 PM
Another problem I had is that the Iorveth path really calls attention to the setting's goofier genre trappings. Setting aside the multiple Lord of the Rings references (the Moria journal in the mines was fine, but Geralt's & Iorveth's overt mocking of the ending of Return of the King was groan inducing), you've got shape-shifting dragons and dwarves who are intolerant of teetotalers. Mature fantasy doesn't have to be Game of Thrones, but it doesn't have to be beholden to the campier aspects of Dungeons & Dragons either.

As for the lesbomancy (which I'll admit is a pretty funny line), I have a real problem with the fact that the only gay characters in the game are enemies of the hero. It's particularly egregious with Dethmold, who is only revealed to be gay after his evil nature is fully revealed and immediately before being killed. At that point in a character's arc, the only purpose to revealing new facets of their personality is to underscore their fundamental nature, to remind the audience why they are a good/bad/neutral person and reinforce the tragedy/necessity of their death. With Dethmold, this means that his homosexuality is just the punctuation to his evil; if the devs didn't intend this to be the case, they should have fleshed Dethmold out so that he was more than a loathsome schemer. At least the sorceress had fairly pragmatic, far-reaching goals which she could justify; Dethmold is just exactly what you expect from a person named "Dethmold."

kyrieee
27-10-2011, 10:17 PM
The woman who runs the brothel in chapter 1 is also lesbian
I played the Iorveth path first and I'm doing a 2nd playthrough now taking the Roche path and I think it has a stronger narrative. Even though Roche mostly comes in at the end of chapter 2 there are some great scenes with him, whereas Iorveth doesn't matter much when you take his path. The Roche path's setting is undoubtably more boring though. I spent way more time doing stuff in Vergen than I did in the Kaedweni camp. I might replay it a 3rd time to try the Iorveth path again since it's been a while since I first played it.

I also agree that the LotR joke was really out of place. They should patch it out IMO.

Unaco
27-10-2011, 10:35 PM
In Henselt's camp, Geralt is basically forced to help Henselt, partly to solve the curse (as prophesied by Cedric, though the game doesn't give any indication in either path that Geralt makes the connection between the vision and the curse)

Fairly sure it does. I'm still on my 1st playthrough, nearly at the end of Chapter 2 on Roche's path. I think he does make mention of lifting the curse and getting his memories back, or that the curse and the confrontation when he lifts it, are linked to his memories returning.

Drinking with Skeletons
28-10-2011, 12:40 AM
Fairly sure it does. I'm still on my 1st playthrough, nearly at the end of Chapter 2 on Roche's path. I think he does make mention of lifting the curse and getting his memories back, or that the curse and the confrontation when he lifts it, are linked to his memories returning.

Maybe he does, but the game has a problem with allowing you to complete quests without having to be briefed about them. In my second playthrough, I never bothered to talk with the sorceress about how to lift the curse and instead just went out to save Saskia, thinking I'd do the content I hadn't seen first and then come back to the curse. However, that just meant that Geralt was talking about finding special artifacts with NPCs despite having never been told about them, leaving me a little confused and worried about sequence-related bugs.

kyrieee
28-10-2011, 09:23 AM
When you lift the curse you get one of those animated sequences where Geralt remembers encountering Letho for the first time.

Unaco
28-10-2011, 02:05 PM
When you lift the curse you get one of those animated sequences where Geralt remembers encountering Letho for the first time.

It's not a matter of whether lifting the curse is related to the memories, but whether Geralt makes that connection, and if the game mentions it. It does though. When you speak to Henselt/Dethmold at the start of the chapter (on Roche's path), after escorting them from the mist, you can mention to Dethmold that lifting the curse is connected to your memories (Geralt says he was told by the only visionary he's ever trusted - Cedric). Or, when you meet Saskia and Zoltan under Vergen, she asks why you are lifting the curse from Henselt, and you can respond a) It's what Witchers do, b) to find Triss/Letho, or c) to get memories back. It's also mentioned in your journal entries I think.

It's maybe not emblazoned across the screen, or mentioned in your 'objectives', but Geralt definitely makes the connection (between the curse and his memories), and it is shown in the game. Same with the objects required (Symbols of Faith, Courage, Hatred, Death), it's Geralt who figures out that those things are needed, so he can ask about them, even without having some exposition with Dethmold or whoever... if you read your journal it's in there as soon as you start chapter 2 properly. Don't know if it's the same on Iorveth's path.

I quite like the little subtleties like that. Someone I know was complaining, vociferously, that they had to fight 2 enemy Witcher Assassins (Serrit & Auckes), with no preparation or anything, directly after fighting a bunch of Wraiths during the exorcism. He said it wouldn't have been so bad if he'd known it was coming and was able to prepare, but that the game just threw them at him, with no warning. I played that part recently, but was warned, and was able to prepare... If you speak to the captured Squirrel in the Kaedweni camp, he mentions that Serrit & Auckes were planning something when the Redanians arrived. When you return to Henselt's camp after the exorcism, there's a Redanian delegation there. When I saw them, I remembered what the Squirrel had said, and necked a few potions, just in case.