CD Projekt’s The Witcher 2 Diary


So The Witcher 2 has been announced and stuff, which means CD Projekt can actually start talking about it. Their first development diary (posted below) has five minutes of the Polish devs describing the conception and ambitions for the game, and it’s cut with some FMV and in-game footage. The environmental art, at least, is looking absolutely gorgeous. The story, the devs explain, will feature “deeper moral dilemmas”, making the consequences of your actions truly far-reaching in the game world. That seems standard fare for RPG hype these days, but in the case of this game I do believe it.

51 Comments

  1. Lobotomist says:

    This game make me want to purchase multiple copies just for the sake of saying i love it :D

  2. Out Reach says:

    shouldn’t that be “deep moral dilemmas”?

  3. TeeJay says:

    “deep more dilemmas” -> “deep moral dilemmas” surely?

    I’m pleased with what they are saying about revamping the combat – I’m hoping they make it fully interactive (eg Dark Messiah of Might and Magic or Oblivion) rather than the first game’s timed-key-presses for stringing moves together.

    I’m glad they aren’t saying they are “making it more accessible” (and other coded language you often hear these days from big developers) – they seem to understand what fans like about the first game.

  4. TeeJay says:

    Or “deep morel dilemmas”?

    >> When gathering morels, care must be taken to distinguish them from the poisonous false morels, including Gyromitra esculenta, Verpa bohemica, and others. Although the false morels are sometimes eaten without ill effect, they can cause severe gastrointestinal upset and loss of muscular coordination (including cardiac muscle) if eaten in large quantities or over several days in a row. They contain a gyromitrin-like toxin (an organic, carcinogenic poison) that is produced by the mushroom.

    The false morels can be told apart from the true morels by careful study of the cap, which is often “wrinkled” or “brainy”, rather than honeycomb or net-like. Gyromitra esculenta has a cap that is generally darker and larger than the true morels (Morchella sp.). The caps of early morels (Verpa sp.) are attached only at apex (top) of cap, unlike true morels which have caps that are attached at or near the bottom.

    Morels contain small amounts of toxins that are removed by thorough cooking; morel mushrooms should never be eaten raw. It has been reported that even cooked morels can sometimes cause mild poisoning symptoms when consumed with alcohol. When eating this mushroom for the first time it is wise to consume a small amount to minimize any allergic reaction. Morels for consumption must be clean and free of decay.<<

  5. user@example.com says:

    i think witcher is a pretty cool guy, eh makes dubious “potions” out of herbs and vodka and doesnt afraid of anything

  6. Finn says:

    More importantly: can we still try to bed every single female in the game? And I hope those sex cards are still there!
    *puts flame hat on*

    • macc says:

      According to Eurogamer there will be no more sex cards, but they will be replaced by full scenes!

      “Sexy time returns, but CD Projekt has done away with the porno-playing-card solution and instead made cinematic sequences to titillate its mature audience – providing the right dialogue choices are made. In GameSpot’s demonstration, Triss Merigold uses her magic to strip naked and dive into a pool. Geralt, a slobbering wreck, eagerly follows.”

      link to eurogamer.net

    • Sidorovich says:

      “Triss Merigold uses her magic to strip naked ”

      Why does she need magic to do that?

    • AndrewC says:

      You try getting out of those corsets. Those back-fasteners are impossible.

    • Igor Hardy says:

      Magic saves additional animation costs.

    • Reno Brainz says:

      Magic = fast… ;)

    • Shatners Bassoon says:

      First thing I thought was how long would an actual witch/wizard spend working out a spell that allowed them to remove their clothes? How much time did they spend on working out the most seductive speed and spread of removal for the disintergrating garments because I like to think of magic in the Discworld sense, it’s not all finger clicking.

    • Wulf says:

      @Shatners

      That made me chuckle, thank you.

      But indeed, I like the Discworld sense of magic where magic is more organic, almost like a living thing but not quite sentient.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Considering Triss spends her time in the first game sleeping with Geralt to get him to do her bidding and not think twice about what she’s asking, a spell to magically remove her clothes is probably the sort of thing she’d come up with.

  7. V. Tchitcherine. says:

    As a Polish emigré, I’m heartened to see some fellow poles make what seems to be shaping up to be a stunning game. Even deeper moral dilemmas!?

  8. Premium User Badge

    Wisq says:

    This reminds me that I actually purchased The Witcher a while ago, based on RPS praise for it, and somehow never played it. I must remedy that.

  9. The Dark One says:

    Multiple assassins of multiple kings? It must mean co-op play!!

    • Thants says:

      You have selected regicide. If you know the name of the king or queen being murdered, press one.

  10. Jharakn says:

    I’m busy finishing off the 1st one now and I’d forgotten how much fun it is, sure the UI in my opinion could do with a little work; I get fed up of the loot screen appearing everytime i go herb collecting, trying to organise weapons is a pain and its a hassle sometimes trying to pick stuff off the floor (lost a meteorite sword once, dropped it under a corpse and couldn’t select it again because of the body in the way) also the talent tree is tbh a little bloated, but the core game, combat and style is great, the game has lots of character which many a triple-A blockbuster has tried so hard to find and never manages.

    anyway enough babbling by me, I’ll only get myself overly excited and I don’t think they’ve even given a release date yet.

  11. Witek says:

    They are one of the few people/creators/artists that make me feel proud to be from Poland.

  12. haho says:

    “I’m pleased with what they are saying about revamping the combat – I’m hoping they make it fully interactive (eg Dark Messiah of Might and Magic or Oblivion) rather than the first game’s timed-key-presses for stringing moves together.”

    No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no… just no! I bet next you’ll be hoping they turn into first person perspective too, right?
    The combat in Oblivion sucked bowls, and DMoMM wasn’t that much better. All it is in all those games is just clickity-click-click, except with the Witcher you have to have some level of focus and you need to use your potions and bombs, not to mention you get some really cool looking animations too out of it too, instead of just spamming left click mindlessly and running around like a headless chicken casting magic every once in a while, all the while having to see those cringe-worthy animations Bethesda is so famous for.

    • Collic says:

      I agree, the combat system in the witcher feels unique and suits the game perfectly. The one thing missing was some kind of block/counter system, but as fat as I know that was planned for the cancelled 360- version, so i’m expecting it for 2. Really looking forward to this.

    • TeeJay says:

      “All it is in all those games is just clickity-click-click”

      …and the witcher is just “click – wait for icon – click – wait for icon – click”. What does “clickity-click-click” even mean anyway?

      My general point was that you can either have the traditonal RPG ‘auto-combat’ or something more ‘interactive’ … Oblivion and DMoMM are just examples of real-time/interactive combat not strict models that have to be followed. I don’t see why being more interactive in any way means not “having some level of focus”, not using “potions and bombs” and not having “really cool looking animations”.

      What do you think CD Projekt meant with their comments about making the combat more dynamic etc.?

  13. Josh W says:

    Cos she’s a show off.

  14. Josh W says:

    Gah misassignment of posts!

  15. Vague-rant says:

    The most aggravating thing about the first game for me was the restriction to movement. There were several invisible walls lying around and some awkwardly placed obstacles. Hopefully the new engine might also allow some more flexibility and allow you to move over ankle high rocks. (or even some better level design would do the trick)

    • Wulf says:

      Did you have grass turned down?

      I see a lot of this, people who have grass on ‘Low’ and actually don’t see the true nature of the obstruction and think it’s only a tiny rock that’s stopping them, then they turn up grass and go “Ohhh…” as they see what’s actually there. The illustration of the obstructions are fine, they’re just largely stripped away on lower settings.

  16. ran93r says:

    Every time I reinstall it I seem to forget about it midway through chapter two. One day I swear I will finish it, amazing game and looking forward to the sequel.

  17. Brulleks says:

    The cavern full of those bloody insect things with the giant one running after you did it for me – especially after reading a walkthrough of how other people did it. ‘Just avoid them’, it said.

    Right, because there are only about ten of them attacking at a time in a corridor about three foot wide.

    I was enjoying it up until then. Can’t stand it when open games suddenly become linear, though.

    • suibhne says:

      Take heart that it’s not that difficult to run around them, even on Hard, and that the whole scene lasts all of 30 seconds once you’ve figured it out. Aard can certainly help if you’ve built it up.

      Also, to be fair, it probably shouldn’t take a walkthrough to tell you to run when you’re being mobbed by more monsters than you can ever possibly kill. ;)

    • Brulleks says:

      It didn’t, but when I died every time regardless of my chosen method I figured it was only prudent to see what other people had tried.

      Just because it’s not a very long section, it doesn’t make it any more excusable either.

  18. sebmojo says:

    For those still playing the first one, IIRC with the enhanced edition you can Alt-click on corpses barrels saucy drainpipes ect ect to autoloot them – a little popup of what you’re getting comes up, but it doesn’t leave the main game screen.

    Nice little interface tweak, like the ’empty locker’ popup in FO3.

  19. Wulf says:

    I always did love The Witcher, I thought it was a brilliant game from the outset but what really showed me that they were interesting thinkers/dreamers was the werewolf quest, does anyone remember that? Most devs are going to be utterly boring and toss a werewolf in as just a mindless creature, Obsidian did a step up from that with the Gnomish werewolves, which were actually quite interesting but it would’ve been nice if a non-combat scenario could have occurred. Then in the Witcher, we get some kind of lupine Batman, and I wholeheartedly endorse this.

    I really like that, you know? I often think that hundreds of years ago, non-saxon cultures had an even greater imagination than we see in the mainstream today, wrapping wonder and the truly fantastic around an otherwise boring world. If you haven’t yet then you should immerse yourself on a good book or two about folklore, because it’s really an eye opener. These days, it seems that “not human” is the same as “evil beast”, and that’s depressing. We’re slowly starting to break out of that mentality but it’s too little and it’s happening too slowly, but occasionally we get a breath of fresh-air, something truly original, like The Witcher. The Witcher is very much entrenched in interesting folkore, and I suspect that’s because The Witcher books are too, but still the developers used this surprisingly well.

    So I’m looking forward to this, I cannot express how much I am. Furthermore, I’m really pleased with CD Projekt RED for staying independent to make something like this, and I hope they open preorders early so that I can help to support them with an early purchase. This is the kind of thing we want to be supporting because it’s so amazingly rare these days, a game that could easily rival all AAA RPGs produced by an individual developer! We need more of that, much more.

    And I’m still having trouble getting that werewolf out of my head, I absolutely obsessed over the concept at the time because it’s so incredibly rare. A portly bloke and leader of the guard by day, who becomes a werewolf by night and uses his powers to fight crime. That’s amazing. Truly amazing. Anyway, moving on, I’ll try to speak no more of that…

    So, what I’m hoping for in The Witcher is the kind of things that Gothic had. I’m hoping that I’ll find secret caves behind waterfalls, and that I’ll be able to clamber up onto the landscape, that I’ll be able to go on a good climb and look down on everything from far above. That’s one of those things I love doing in any game. I’m also hoping we’ll see a return of some of the more fluid combat elements from The Witcher, one of the things I loved about the first game was that if you actually attacked in slightly the wrong direction, you could miss your target and leave yourself open. This meant you had to be much more careful about how you approached combat, so more of that.

    It’ll also be interesting to see how the second game improves upon the choices, since The Witcher had some of the better choices I’d seen, and all they were describing there about really having to focus, think, and weigh up all the options was something I had to do in the first game to ensure I was doing the thing that was most ethical, it wasn’t easy but I always managed it. I relish the challenge of doing that again, as long as there’s some way of being ethical–no matter how difficult–I’ll be happy, and if I have to really think on it and try to understand how the game might react to my choices, I’ll be all the happier. Yay repercussions! It’s important to me that I’m always at least trying to do the right thing, and that that’s reflected in the character.

    Not sure what else to say beyond that, really, other than it looks absolutely beautiful and I’m looking forward to playing it!

    • Jimbo says:

      There is no ‘most ethical’ in The Witcher, that’s the whole point. It offers the player an exploration of their own ethics – the decisions you come to aren’t the ‘right’ decisions, they are merely the right decisions for you. That it required a level of thought beyond “I’m playing the good / bad guy!” is indeed what elevates it above any other recent RPG though, you’re right about that. Obsidian came close with Mask but I think they fumbled the execution towards the end. Bioware games – while still brilliant in a lot of other ways – are about as thought-provoking as a pantomime in comparison.

      As I understand it, the Witcher books make it clear which side Geralt comes down on (lefty, presumably), but CD Projekt made absolutely the right call when they decided to make Geralt a blank slate and leave the player as uninfluenced as possible when it came to making the decisions. Granted, the central “Who is really the monster?!?!” theme was immediately obvious and maybe over-used, but they generally layered on enough secondary considerations to keep it interesting.

      My natural tendency is always to rebel against lefty hand wringing in games, so I usually lean towards pro-human decisions. I think it’s a testament to how engaging and finely balanced The Witcher was that I found myself switching freely between the pro-human and pro-tolerance choices, on a case by case basis, throughout pretty much the entire game.

      All of that said, I don’t think this theme can carry another whole game, so it will be interesting to see where they go with the sequel.

    • Wulf says:

      This is getting tiring, and fucking stupid.

      I presume you’re taking about what I said here: “I had to do in the first game to ensure I was doing the thing that was most ethical, it wasn’t easy but I always managed it.”

      Now any able mind will see that you’re putting together a straw-man. Why? I suppose for some big, anonymous pseudo-intellectual boner. I don’t care. The point is is that ethics aren’t really an objective thing, there is no core rulebook for ethics which all must obey. Ethics are subjective by their very nature, and even ethical considerations within cultures are just going to be a pool of agreed upon practises, but everyone is going to have their own take which others cannot agree with.

      “There is no ‘most ethical’ in The Witcher, that’s the whole point. It offers the player an exploration of their own ethics – the decisions you come to aren’t the ‘right’ decisions, they are merely the right decisions for you.”

      Anyone with an understanding of ethics will realise that that’s exactly what I said, since ethics is subjective, you seem to realise this, so what’s the point of the post other than to bait me? This sort of thing really gets under my skin.

      The thing is, you clearly understand that ethics are subjective, so how the hell can you posit that I was speaking as though ethics were objective? It’s nonsense, utterly preposterous.

      My point was that you’re given a bad bunch of choices and after thinking it over, some reflection, and consideration you then come to a conclusion that makes the character feel like a good guy. Of course this is going to be subjective. Ethics are subjective, the very concepts of good and evil are subjective, and most human understanding (with the exclusion of mathematics) is subjective.

      So you’re either being a git for the sake of it or you’re just being unobservant and inconsiderate, stupidity I can forgive, but I do wish people would think before going on the attack and telling people what they’re saying instead of actually taking the time to read and understand what they’re saying. If you’re not sure about something, does it take so much effort to ask rather than flinging out incorrect accusations? Apparently it does. :/

      And yeah, you didn’t even pose it as a question, again, you just went straight on the attack with your assumptions. i can only assume you’re not a very nice person, like some others who’ve gone at me with assumptions and fallacies. I mean, sometimes it’s just irritatingly obvious.

      This is why I wish RPS had an ignore feature, so that I could round up the troublemakers and ignore them, and just be happy around the people I like (and there are people I like, here), but as it is, all this damn baiting through misrepresentation is getting old.

      If you’re going to argue with me, at least argue with what I’ve said, rather than what you think I said, or a lie about what I said, or something that’s completely unrelated to what I’ve said.

    • Jimbo says:

      Cry me a river. I don’t want to bait you, because I don’t have the first clue who you are. I didn’t pose it as a question because I wasn’t asking a question; I was stating that I thought you were wrong. I don’t need your permission to do so and – fair warning – I will continue to do so. It wasn’t intended as an attack, but if you alone wish to interpret it as such then that’s your business.

      You straight up said that there was a ‘thing that was most ethical’ and that you always managed to ensure you did it – I would suggest that declaring something to be the ‘most’ anything implies some degree of objectivity, no? You then said that you would be happy with the sequel so long as there is ‘some way of being ethical’, again implying -to me at least- that you saw it as objective, using the term in exactly the same way that ‘ethical banks’ and ‘ethical brand x’ uses it. If I incorrectly interpreted what you were trying to say then so be it, I will assume it is my reading comprehension that is at fault.

      If you’re happy with the sequel so long as there is ‘some way of being ethical’, then good news, you can get that from literally any RPG on the market. I’m saying The Witcher appealed to me for the exact opposite reason – because it took every opportunity to throw my ethics back at me, because it didn’t shirk from giving me shitty choices like basically choosing between racism or terrorism, and because it wasn’t afraid to spin my ‘ethical’ choices out in unpredictable – and usually bad – ways. In fact, I’m pretty sure the entire ending just throws your choices back in your face, regardless of how good a parent and mentor you tried to be.

      I don’t consider the availability of ‘some way of being ethical’ to be a particularly noteworthy virtue of the game at all – I have absolutely no problem with dragging my ethics through the dirt in a video game, and The Witcher seemed to revel in it.

  20. Wulf says:

    But yeah… that latest reply of mine where I was baited is one of the things that would have me just leave RPS behind. I don’t like constantly having to be on the defensive and paranoid because of dicks who like to flamebait. An ignore system would be nice, one based on account and IP.

    Another thing that would help RPS (I imagine) is if a payment of around £10 was required to sign up, so if people had the risk of losing money by being banned they might behave more.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Wulf: There is an ignore system. As in, Ignoring what someone says.

      If you genuinely think someone is contemptuous, ignore them. Actually lashing out makes you look worse, if all they were doing in everyone else’s eyes was posing a sharp argument. And if they actually *are* doing something insulting, it’s our jobs to jump on them, not yours. Direct insults – calling people stupid and similar – are not actually allowed around here… and you’re the person who’s done that, not Jimbo.

      (I’ve just gone through your post weighing up whether I should edit it. I haven’t. I stress, if you escalate the debate come morning, I’ll just delete everything.)

      Chill, sir.

      KG

  21. 7 Seas says:

    I think you might be a bit paranoid there Wulf. Jimbo barely addresses you directly, let alone “baited” you. Dried Frogs Pills. Take em.

    • sebmojo says:

      Concur – I think you’re straining a little hard to get offence out of that.

    • Grunt says:

      I concur, Wulf. I think you’ve over-reacted on this one. His response failed to understand your point, is all, and he wasn’t much of dick about anything. Your reaction is worse by a country mile.

      Thing is, I’ve seen many of the same sentiments expressed by frustrated commenters on Digg: embattled, bitter…and more than a touch paranoid. The sad thing about expecting to be attacked/baited/whatever is that if that’s what you expect to see, you usually see it regardless of what’s actually in front of you.

      Dried Frog Pills – Seconded

  22. toro says:

    I wanted to say something good about The WItcher, but there is no point.
    Wulf, buddy, you are too touchy. “We” understand that you love the game, I love the game, but you are doing it the wrong way. :)

  23. Soobe says:

    2010’s shaping up to be one hell of a year huh.

    The only department we’ve been lacking in is RPG, but with Fall Out New Vegas and possibly this, we’d end the year on a sorely needed high note.

    The only thing better for me would be news on a new Elder Scrolls joint.

  24. Froibo says:

    I may get flamed for this but I didn’t like Witcher and it was one of the few big name RPGs for the PC I didn’t enjoy. From what I hear the story line is amazing but I never got far enough because the combat didn’t feel full enough for me.

  25. Grunt says:

    Thanks to my ageing PC I haven’t beenable to even play the first Witcher; I had a go but realised I was fighting to get a smooth frame-rate more than anything in the game so shelved it.

    Mercifully, I’ve just purchased a new and MIGHTY PC with which I hope to be PC gaming for the next few years at least – Witcher is one of the first on the list I intend to revisit, and judging by the video for the second game (the visuals more than some of the generic dev hype) I’ll be keen to immerse myself in this too.

    PS: I’ve just subscribed to RPS, too. Long Live PC Gaming!

  26. The Colonel says:

    Didn’t you mean The Witc2er?

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