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  1. #1
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    The (Nigh Inevitable) Witcher 3 Thread

    I'm getting it. I know that much. I dont know when. Perhaps over the long weekend. Perhaps I shall wait for winter and the cold months to lose myself in it.

    But in the meantime, how is it? How does it run? How is combat? And (gulp) how's the story? I worry over this last one, with the move to open world.

    And speaking of which: How is the world? Is it dynamic? Inhabitable? A place Witchers live and work in? Please tell me its not more of the 3D, static tapestry games like Skyrim offer. I'm holding out hope that this is a huge adventure I can lose myself in for countless hours; a world I can inhabit at times.

    So please, regale us with tales splendid and immersive. How is it.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Eight Rooks's Avatar
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    Runs very well for me on Ultra at 1080 with the hair effects off (4GB R9 290 here). Not 60FPS but very smooth for the most part and more than playable. Just played a couple of hours, much of which was story-based tutorials, but the couple of side quests I tried were promising. It does seem like The Witcher 2.5, but in a good way - I can see the seeds of some of the same problems (I do not agree the writing in either of the first games was anywhere near as good as CDP's cheerleaders think, for example), but it already feels like a considerable improvement all the same. Walking off into the fields I get the twinge of "Oh my God I can go anywhere I want" already.

    I've no idea how true that really is at this point, if you follow, but once you've done the first few story bits it lets go of your hand surprisingly quickly - I can wander off and find monsters way above my level very quickly indeed, hidden bits of story that have nothing to do with anything, so on, so forth. It does feel a little like Skyrim in that you can quickly start picking out repeated props and such, but that's more a limitation of current tech than laziness or anything like that. It's much better done than any Bethesda game so far - what little content I've seen doesn't feel outright copy and pasted by any means. Some of the problems still remain - I'm hearing repeated background lines a lot already (think "Why does he have two swords? Does he tend to lose them?") but it's not really detracting that much of what they've achieved. Not so far, anyway.
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  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sonson's Avatar
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    I’m anxious to see how they have paired open world possibility with linear narrative, which has always been the strongest aspect of the series. I’m quite happy to do stuff for folk if I’m based around their locale en route to something, ala Floatsam, but the idea of going to help some randomer several leagues away just “to do quests” when a far bigger and more personal threat is pending in the other direction is always galling to me. I’m hopeful they will have considered this though.
    Do we put that on a game that says that there are people falling out of windows and when they hit the ground we kill them and we say that is a Fallout and they are falling out of cars

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcompany View Post
    And speaking of which: How is the world? Is it dynamic? Inhabitable? A place Witchers live and work in? Please tell me its not more of the 3D, static tapestry games like Skyrim offer. I'm holding out hope that this is a huge adventure I can lose myself in for countless hours; a world I can inhabit at times.
    Eh? Skyrim is full of things to play with, you surely aren't expecting TW3 to have more of a focus on interlocking systems and open-ended play than TES games? Sure, Skyrim doesn't have unscripted, emergent events shaping the face of the world on a large scale but I really don't see that being The Witcher's focus.

  5. #5
    Network Hub Spinoza's Avatar
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    Reporting very good performance on AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ , 4GB RAM and HD5750 win 7 64 on medium settings. Looks good, slightly hilarious beginning (in good entertaining way :-)) , really liked the Geralt and Ciri racing , and got pleasant "its really open world" feeling when I jumped of the walls and died. Feels really great so far and I'm genuinely happy to be able to run it on my peasant rig. Will definitely go back.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Eight Rooks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rizlar View Post
    Eh? Skyrim is full of things to play with, you surely aren't expecting TW3 to have more of a focus on interlocking systems and open-ended play than TES games? Sure, Skyrim doesn't have unscripted, emergent events shaping the face of the world on a large scale but I really don't see that being The Witcher's focus.
    I am going to hazard a guess that Blackcompany feels not unlike me about it, in that Skyrim's world is neither particularly interesting or a convincing, believable place, that one dungeon is much like the next with little personality or soul, and claims that "They're all unique", "There's always something new to do around every corner" etc. are somewhat disingenuous. :P

    The Witcher games do suffer from some of the same problems, IMO, but I always found Elder Scrolls games in general to be pretty dull under the surface, to be honest. Moments of real beauty, but precious few of them. Far too much dry lore hidden in books, and no sense any of it was actually being used to try and convey a sense this was a world where actual people lived and conducted themselves based on what these books said.

    EDIT: Also, supposedly The Wild Hunt's world is at least partly dynamic? The trailers made a big deal of the "Kill monsters in the area, people move in where there were no people before" etc., etc. Dragon Age: Inquisition was going to have this IIRC but cut it down to a couple of predetermined story events. How well The Witcher does it or how much it makes of it I have no idea, though.
    Last edited by Eight Rooks; 19-05-2015 at 12:48 PM.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    The Witcher games do suffer from some of the same problems, IMO, but I always found Elder Scrolls games in general to be pretty dull under the surface, to be honest. Moments of real beauty, but precious few of them. Far too much dry lore hidden in books, and no sense any of it was actually being used to try and convey a sense this was a world where actual people lived and conducted themselves based on what these books said.
    Yes, but which game has more RELIGIOUS FANATICISM, EVEN RACISM, huh?
    If we measure the amount of racism per megabyte of game file, which games turns out to have the more "gritty" and "mature" world?

    (If you don't get the reference, http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2015...rview-trailer/ )

  8. #8
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    Well he said 'not more of the 3D, static tapestry games like Skyrim offer', suggesting that interactivity is the key, whatever you think of the fiction. And while TES games have always had an interest in creating worlds of interacting systems (however much you think Skyrim turned away from this), The Witcher games have always been about the story, where despite stuff like NPC schedules the world is still very much set dressing.

    Just wondering why he thinks TW3 might have more of this interactivity and emergent detail than something like Skyrim, I haven't seen anything to suggest that this is what the game is about.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Eight Rooks's Avatar
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    But I never felt Skyrim's systems really interacted in any interesting ways. Who cares about day/night cycles and NPC schedules when - in vanilla, at least - the towns aren't remotely believable, the people have no personality, the world has little depth, it never changes to any great degree and it doesn't support the storyline, which is a didactic mess anyway? I still liked it to an extent - I keep thinking I should go back and finish vanilla, just to say I'd done it - but I never found it anywhere near as immersive as it plainly wanted me to find it. It was painfully obvious it was a videogame all the way. Hell, the Stalker games had much more of a sense of a living, breathing ecosystem for my money, primitive as they were.

    The Wild Hunt seems to be going for a simple capture point system, by the way - cleared a bunch of monsters from a "place of interest" on the map, got a brief cutscene of villagers wandering back in, houses now have random NPCs, a merchant and a couple of temporary blacksmith upgrades appeared. Nothing revolutionary if that's all there is, but it's something. More than Skyrim, too, as far as I know.

    Quote Originally Posted by MelodyMeows View Post
    Yes, but which game has more RELIGIOUS FANATICISM, EVEN RACISM, huh?
    If we measure the amount of racism per megabyte of game file, which games turns out to have the more "gritty" and "mature" world?
    Actually, going by Skyrim's yelping about Talos et al and complaining about the Thalmor (or whatever they were called) they're probably pretty much neck and neck. The Witcher just makes more of a fuss about it. :P
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  10. #10
    Network Hub Spinoza's Avatar
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    Spend one hour in the inn playing Gwent with my Northern Realms deck. Pure fun.Decent chaps all around, understandably distrustful farmers at first warmed up to me soon enough and I think I will stay here longer. Fanaticism? Racism ? got no feeling of those negative vibes here , opposite - got really relaxed among those salt of the earth , hard working people.
    Technically , no stuttering or any other issues so far and looks really great to me on medium , as I imagine must be even better for those with more fancy specs out there.Minimum requirements definitely overblown, does not feel like cut down for console though. But what do I know. Personally very very positive first impressions.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
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    what your system spinoza?

  12. #12
    Network Hub Spinoza's Avatar
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    AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ , 4GB RAM DDR2 and 1 gb HD5750 on windows 7 64. A 6 ( I think...?) years old self build pc. Settings set all on medium , postprocessing mostly off , very playable and pretty ,well YMMV. Will try to post some screens if/when I get some capture soft. IMHO well optimised.

  13. #13
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    Still haven't played Witcher 2, heh heh. Thus I have no fear that my future PC will run it.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wenz's Avatar
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    now that you mention it what did they do to cover the story for those who haven't played the previous games?

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Eight Rooks's Avatar
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    Directly? Nothing. I got a prompt for "Simulate Witcher 2 save?", but other than that, I haven't seen a thing directly explaining what happened, or asking me to decide what did or did not happen (apparently it tracks a few things from the previous game(s), but not many). But then TW2 did pretty much the same thing. It is a flaw, as far as I'm concerned: it is not good storytelling, period, to bury everything relevant in a glossary and leave it up to the player to dig it out. There's several conversations between Geralt and Vesemir (wise old mentor-Witcher) but they're done from the characters' perspective first and foremost, they're not concerned with making sure the player understands what they're talking about. But I've read several (though not all) of the books and finished TW2, and I read a lot of dense, nerdy fantasy, so it doesn't bother me too much. Other people might not be so forgiving.
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  16. #16
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    http://www.pcgameshardware.de/The-Wi...marks-1159196/

    Ignore the Deutsch, just look at the images. HairWorks costs you around 10 fps on NV, around 20 on AMD hardware. Also here:

    http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/gui...tweaking-guide

    That suggests that shadow and texture quality don't make much difference visually. So you might as well reduce them.
    Last edited by DanMan; 19-05-2015 at 05:08 PM.
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  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sparkasaurusmex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinoza View Post
    Reporting very good performance on AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ , 4GB RAM and HD5750 win 7 64 on medium settings.
    Oh wow, maybe I can actually play this game!

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Eight Rooks's Avatar
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    Ah, there we go, got the "So what actually happened in TW2?" bit. I was expecting that right near the start, not four hours in, and it is very much written for people who actually played TW2, not total newcomers - anyone else would hardly have a clue what the guy who checks your story is talking about.
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  19. #19
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    Graphics snob reporting:

    I don't like how Ambient Occlusion only works on half the things. Either do it everywhere or nowhere, because otherwise the things where it doesn't happen stick out like a sore thumb to me. Geralt's necklace for example doesn't cast any shadow upon him. Got to check if the config files let me alleviate that... The Geforce tweak guide suggests as much (see the stool upfront - unacceptable without shadow).

    I also see aliasing at ultra settings, which must not happen.

    Performance in general is pretty good though. But I have a sneaking suspicion that not all options actually do what they say.

    Overall I'm not very impressed though. Looks like a straightforward improvement over TW2. The lighting in DA:I looks much better. So turning down the details is probably not going to happen. I preferably turn down the resolution to 720p, if I can play it well from the couch. The 3m distance should take care of the low res.
    Last edited by DanMan; 19-05-2015 at 05:56 PM.
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  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Eight Rooks's Avatar
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    While I am far, far, far from a graphics snob, some things about it seem a bit... weird. Overall I think it's a fantastic looking game and I'm not bitching as such but - that water, that's really the best they could do? It's good, but it's hardly OMG NEXT GEN. And the lighting is strange - there are times it looks absolutely stunning but others it seems as if they've tried a bit too hard to make it look like a painting. (Assassin's Creed: Unity did that much better overall, IMO.) Overcast skies when it's about to start raining in particular - it goes weirdly dark, all saturated, to the point it's hard to see when it doesn't feel like it should be. The rain so far is also weirdly subdued - I'd like to see some far more extreme weather.

    Still, it's just the first area. And it is still a very pretty game; I'm impressed so far. :shrug: Just that Downgrade-Gate aside it's definitely not quite the second coming some people were claiming it would be.
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