The Witcher 2 Gets Witchier Too (Patch 1.3)

That Vergen bitch? Totally deserved it. She knows what she did. You will rue this patch. Oh yes...

Ladies, gentlemen, be seated, for today is a solemn and joyful occasion: the adding of a new entry to the Patch Notes Hall of Fame, right next to the special Boiling Point Memorial Annex (as so memorably earned with notes like “the snake wasn’t able to bite you while you were crawling” and “fixed: size of the moon”). The Witcher 2, lay your goodness upon us:

Option to fist fight woman praying at a statue in Vergen has been deactivated.

And breathe… and relax. That’s not the only addition though, with others including a smoothing over of the difficulty curve, the inventory getting a new ‘Junk’ option to make it clear what you can get rid of, innkeepers looking after your stuff while you’re out questing, the protective power of Quen being dialed down, and map markers actually going in the right place. Most excitingly of all, there’s a brand new quest! I think we all know what that means. Yes! It’s Diary Time!

THE WITCHER 2: A SACKFUL OF FLUFF – ENTRY #1

You’ll find the brand new DLC quest in the second chapter, by tracking down a mysterious guy in a shed outside Vergen. Since it’s been ages since I fired up The Witcher 2, I can’t wait to find out what kind of sexy excitement awaits. I’m expecting pretty demon girls, action, excitement and adventure – all the glorious things in life that make a lonely Witcher’s lot worth enduring. Hail, desperate citizen. How can mighty Geralt save you today?

“Can you bring me some harpy feathers?” asks the man in the shack. “Like… 60?”

TEDIOUS FETCH QUEST SKIPPED BECAUSE YOUTUBE EXISTS

Aaaaanyway…

Odd developer jokes aside, there’s lots of good stuff in this patch, so if you haven’t played the best RPG of the year (so far, at least…), you’re in luck. If you’ve got the standard version, head here for a full list of the changes made, and to download it. Any online stores not covered by that patcher – and there seem to be a couple – should be updated Real Soon Now.

60 Comments

  1. Tim James says:

    I was prepared to give this RPS post a 92% until I got to the typo, “Vergan.”

    89/100

  2. Serenegoose says:

    Wait they… patched in a joke about assassins creed?

    I mean on one hand… why? On the other hand, I chuckled. Maybe I just answered the question residing on the former hand.

    • PoulWrist says:

      There’s already an assassin’s creed joke, in the introduction. Finding it gives you +25% dmg when attacking from behind.

    • Brutal Deluxe says:

      and in the game?

  3. Serekh says:

    As someone who got TW2 on the steam sale and is only partway through Chapter 1 I’m excited at not having to drop giant sacks of necrophage hearts, teeth, and all manner of bloody bits. I can only hope at one point a villager mentions a serial killer about.

  4. dariusblack says:

    I like how CDP is keeping up with fan input and patching this game regularly. This is how a developer should operate.

  5. DarkFenix says:

    Have they patched out the f***ing stupid difficulty curve? After dying multiple times on something like the game’s second fight (where it throws you against half a dozen bad guys) I decided the game wasn’t worth my time.

    That and how badly the game runs.

    • Casimir Effect says:

      Game ran fine for me with no crashes at all on about medium settings, and if it’s too hard then turn the difficulty to easy. Knowing both your and your computers limits are necessary here, no one will know you turned the difficulty down. It’s not like we’re all behind you, watching you, gently reaching out to stroke your hair and admiring that potplant you have on the windowsill behind you.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Well, that’s why you got it from warez, isn’t it :) so you could throw it away and not care about the 50€.

    • 4026 says:

      TFA: “That’s not the only addition though, with others including a smoothing over of the difficulty curve…”

      It’s almost as though Richard read your mind and anticipated your question before writing the article!

      Almost.

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      I doubt that will ever be completely fixed for Witcher 2, but at least this patch will stop you jumping into the tougher parts of the prologue before you’re ready. For the early battles, the most important things are to actually use your Signs (Quen and Aard in particular) and not let enemies get behind you. After a few levels, once you’ve de-crapified Geralt as a fighter, most of the regular combat becomes trivial.

    • Vagrant says:

      Sounds like they went the other way! The beginning was secretly easy, you just cast Quen and laughed as swords bounced harmlessly off you. Maybe now you’ve got to not get hit.

      They should put in a bit at the very beginning that forces you to use your different magic.

    • Lambchops says:

      The 1.2 patch may have fixed the game running badly, it certainly did for me moving it from a shoddy frame rate at the lowest settings to being (to these eyes at least) completely smooth bar the odd completely excusable niggle here and there. This is on a 3 year old laptop that just scrapes the min settings so I’d definitely say it’s worth giving another shot.

    • phenom_x8 says:

      @darkfenix
      What?? Too difficult and you stop playing?? I died many times in my prologue and 1st chapter at normal difficulty! And now, at 2nd chapter, I was found out that the enemy was too easy compared with the prologue and the beginning of 1st chapter (rarely using potion now)! you just need to stick with it, and not mindlessly hacking and slashing all the way you like(at least until you have arrived at 2nd chapter). It’s a RPG, you have to think a little bit to be able to get through it, follow what richard said (you will died less than before by that)

    • Anton says:

      I was on Normal difficulty and didn’t find it too hard. Died once but when I understood that you should be doing ‘hit-and-runs’, it was pretty trivial.

      But those Nekkers in the Flotsam forest are damn harder to kill than the prologue fights. Hopefully the fixes in 1.3 has fixed that….

    • DarkFenix says:

      I did turn it down to easy, died again, then quit in disgust. After all, TW1 did a fairly excellent job of introducing the features gradually through the prologue, TW2 seemed not to bother at all.

      I should probably specified a question regarding the later difficulty as part of my moan about the curve; I’d heard the difficulty became utterly trivial after a certain point. That helped put me off bothering to soldier on through the early part.

      As for the limits of my computer, I’m well aware of them. I’m aware that I can run any modern FPS on high settings with a ‘good’ framerate. Yet TW2 on low settings murdered my PC and gave an awful framerate. Not just low framerate either, but an inconsistently low and stuttery framerate that not only rendered gameplay difficult but made cut scenes look awful (a shame, because the content of the cut scenes was very good and the storyline had me interested).

      If I had simply torrented the game I wouldn’t care (as much), but when I fork out full retail price for a promising game (yes, stupid me) and it turns out not just disappointing, but almost as though it were designed to shit all over my expectations, I see red.

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      Bad frame rates will kill you in The Witcher 2, no question. Your timing will always be off, and on one machine I played it on, half the time it seemed to eat the commands anyway. Try the 1.2 patch and see if they improve though.

    • runtheplacered says:

      @ DarkFenix,

      You were clearly doing something wrong. I like how you talk crap about a game because you don’t know how to play it. That seems crazy to me.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Ditto the comments about needing a machine with a reasonable frame rate. Witcher 2 doesn’t have the snappiest mouse response for combat as it is, even on my machine that runs the overall graphics with a glass-smooth frame rate. It’s like there’s an extra layer of translation in the input or something; it just doesn’t feel quite as direct as my other games. Maybe it works better with a game pad, I dunno. Anyway, if your machine is marginal and the overall framerate is choppy, then it’s going to ruin combat. It needs to be played on a fast enough machine.

    • DarkFenix says:

      runtheplacered: Well I’m so sorry I don’t live up to your elite standards with my gameplay. If a game actively puts barriers in the way of me a) learning to play it and b) enjoying it, then yes I will ‘talk crap’ about it. User unfriendliness strikes me as one of the best reasons to ‘talk crap’ about something.

      Richard: Cheers, I haven’t actually tried it since the first patch. I should have a go at running it now and see if it’s better.

    • MrWeed says:

      Well, the talk about low framerates seems funny to me, as it runs really smooth on my trusty, old computer. I am playing the game on medium graphics and it still looks amazing, while running very smooth. The only thing that sometimes bothers me is the textures being loaded too slowly in some cutscenes, so that the first 2 or 3 seconds of a cut scene are in very low quality.

      I run the game on an old AMD Dual Core with 2,6 GHz and an an old GeForce 9800+ with 1 GB memory. I got 4 GB RAM and I run Windows XP 32bit.

      As already mentioned, smooth gameplay and graphics on medium qualitly, even for such a low performance system.

    • Valvarexart says:

      Edit: Double post

    • Valvarexart says:

      The game is incredibly easy on easy. I just cannot see how you could even come close to dying. Just click until all the enemies are dead. “Learning” the game? What is there to learn? The controls are very intuitive in my opinion. Leftclick is a normal attack, rightclick is a heavier swing for when opponents are unable to block, and E is block. You don’t really need anything else if you are playing on easy. If you really find it that hard, I suppose you could google Cheat Engine and give yourself max level or something?

  6. Casimir Effect says:

    I just started using the limitless inventory mod pretty much straight away. Inventory management is not something I want to deal with in any game. It just isnt fun. And as for the immersion-nuts who demand this sort of thing, why don’t you also demand that your character has to poop a couple of times a day?

    Next Witcher game I demand that, depending on Geralt’s diet, the player has to watch a 5-10minute animation/cutscene of him fertilising the forest. With quick-time events.

    • GT3000 says:

      Hit the wrong key, miswipe!?

    • Casimir Effect says:

      Leaf/Paper-breakage requiring immediate finger cleansing. Or, if squatting in the woods rather than using a commode, then failure results on Geralt unbalancing and potential clothe soiling. This then requires next QTE immersion event – laundry time!

    • Unaco says:

      Inventory management may not be fun to you, but some of us do enjoy having to deal with it, … the extra challenge involved, the choices you have to make as to what you carry, what you sell, what you pick up and leave behind, the planning and the like.

      Your comments about ‘immersion nuts demanding Geralt has to poop’ are completely ridiculous however. They caused me to stop taking you seriously. It’s almost reductio ad absurdum… because ‘immersion nuts’ want Inventory management, they must also want defecation and other similar things in the game. That doesn’t follow logically.

    • Soon says:

      The game isn’t balanced for you to be carrying 100 of every oil, potion, bomb and trap, and multiple weapons and armour so you’re always prepared for every single thing that could possibly happen. You also won’t have to worry about junk items, which means more to sell, so you’ll always have more gold too. Breaking that just makes the game easier. Not much to do with immersion, really.

      I was surprised there wasn’t even a loot chest, initially. But you learn that you just don’t need everything. Try to break the habit of picking everything up.

    • Casimir Effect says:

      @ Soon.

      Excercising a bit of willpower means you don’t make hundreds of bombs and potions. Think of a limit for yourself and go with that. Picking up everything does give me more to sell but I never noticed an abundance of money. I was able to upgrade my swords and armour at a rate that I felt was balanced with the game – every new chapter didn’t immediately see me buying out all the best stuff in the stores.

      I rationalise it to myself that Geralt, my Geralt, would have some kind of horse or packmule with him which is where all his non-equipped inventory is. Else he’s carrying too much to be able to fight effectively anyway. If you want realistic inventory then you’d need to see him drop his backpack before every scrap else he starts to overbalance in fights and becomes pretty useless – although better protected from rear-attacks. Also, rolling around should have a chance to crush potions.

      @ Unaco

      The pooping argument was meant to illustrate a comic extreme and not to be taken too seriously, although a lack of any bodily requirements (such as a need to eat, sleep etc) must also be desired by anyone who wishes for true RPG immersion in their games. How could it not be unless you’re hypocritically picking and choosing certain aspects of realism? To me that sort of thing should be a case of ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’.

      Ideally all these things would just be offered as tickboxes in an options menu anyway, with two overall settings for people who either want to be able to keep up the momentum and pace in some of the tense, action-packed sequences; and or those who want to stop and selectively pick up and throw away things from the ground before running to the aid of a friend in danger. “I’ll be there in a second! Just got to make room for this Silver Ore first. Know how useful this stuff is? Oh stop complaining you silly tart, arms grow back”.

      All comes down to different strokes for different folks.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Given that I spent half of Deus Ex and Diablo cursing the – to me – cramped inventory space and feeling like I was unable to enjoy the game how _I_ would have liked to play it, I am all for an unlimited inventory space option.

      I sincerely hate not being able to use whatever weapon I picked up along the way when I feel like it(which is why also 2 slot FPS are so incredibly retarded in every way).

  7. Serenegoose says:

    Romantic Trisst, Richard?

    Really?

  8. rhizo says:

    Oh no, is this thing going to cause Steam to reload pretty much the whole game again?

    • db1331 says:

      Nope, Steam just got a patch too. Only the necessary files will need to be updated.

    • ramonkahn says:

      If the new content downloading system already works for TW2, then it should not reload the whole game ( link to rockpapershotgun.com ).
      But I have to say, the nerf of the Quen sign was totally uncalled for. It made me feel pretty invincible, I have to say.

  9. Armand Van Flicknife says:

    Christ, the harpies…

    There were so many more of them in the pre-final code, too. Made the egg-fetching quest almost impossible. The difficulty curve might not be perfect, but it sure has been improved…

    • Rii says:

      Are you suggesting that the content introduced in this patch was completed pre-release?

    • Armand Van Flicknife says:

      @Rii not at all. Sorry for the confusion, I wasn’t referring to the feather-collecting quest, just the sheer volume of harpies in the game and how their numbers were whittled down through development.

      And, by extension, the difficulty curve in general.

  10. LTK says:

    That quest was rather pointless, and for some reason, strangely familiar…

  11. Spider Jerusalem says:

    That Witcher 2 link doesn’t go to the proper site, methinks.

  12. phenom_x8 says:

    100 MB for 1.2 to 1.3. Damn,gonna wait all night to DL with at my Crappy GPRS connection! Wish me luck,guys!

  13. Juan Carlo says:

    The only thing that sucks is that this patch supposedly adds 16:10 and 4:3 aspects ratios. But all CDP did was zoom in the FOV. So it’s not true 16:10, but rather the image is zoomed in to the point where you can’t see the black bars on the top and the bottom (i.e. like all those old crappy Pan and Scan DVDs).

    I don’t understand why they would implement such a lazy fix. Especially since there already were fan made graphics mods that added true 16:10 support. So I don’t understand why the developers couldn’t do the same.

    They should have at least given us the option of keeping the black bars. I’d rather have black bars than a zoomed image.

    • Shubb9 says:

      This has annoyed me greatly as well, it was the the only reason to get excited about this patch. Especially as the scenes are still framed for 16:9 and in some scenes with three characters you end up with half a person chopped off on either side. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Massive disappointment.

  14. TheIronSky says:

    Inn Keepers holding my inventory? How do I know I can trust them?

    I’m sure that someone out there is incredibly excited for this feature considering that people don’t understand the concept of “the weighted inventory system provides extra fun by forcing you to sell or throw away objects you don’t need,” but I’m not.

    I like inventories, especially in RPGs. I wonder if you lose all of your stuff when you get to the next chapter? That would be dastardly.

    • Premium User Badge

      Waltorious says:

      @ThelronSky,

      Nope, it works just like in The Witcher 1, where you can access storage from ANY innkeeper, even in a new chapter. Doesn’t really make sense, but there you are. It’s a convenience feature. Personally, I agree with you in that I prefer not to use storage, but at least there’s the option for those who want it.

      Also, no one has pointed out what I think is the best feature of the new patch, which is that it displays how many bombs / daggers / traps you have in your pockets! It was really annoying to have to move my bombs back into my inventory to see how many I had left. It also displays the number on the HUD so I know if I’m about to run out when I’m tossing them around in combat.

      Also apparently it stops monsters from respawning after you have supposedly exterminated them, which is a nice touch. Seemed weird that they’d still be around after I killed them all.

  15. noodlecake says:

    Have they patched it to work on a computer with reasonable specs!? That would be amazing. Otherwise I don’t care because I can’t play it.

  16. Rii says:

    If only Geralt was that handsome in-game.

    • phenom_x8 says:

      He’s only a human being (or a witcher being), just like us! Looks great in picture but not in the real life! :)

    • Rii says:

      Actually I think they changed his facial structure from that screenshot (and from The Witcher) to the final release. And sure, there’s nothing wrong with the guy being an ugly fucker, it’s just the change that makes it a thing.

      Even Zoltan is more attractive than Geralt! Err, to my hetero male eyes at least.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Someone mentioned that Geralt looks like Kevin Costner in-game, and now I can’t un-see it. I’m passing along the curse, in the hopes that I may be freed of it.

    • 0mer says:

      I love the grizzled Geralt we get now.

  17. sinister agent says:

    I’m not going to play this until people agree to start calling it “Twitcher”.

    • Nick says:

      check out the RPG codex then.

    • sinister agent says:

      Thanks, but I live on a road with a primary school. I hear enough whiney children as it is.

  18. Kaldor says:

    “including a smoothing over of the difficulty curve”
    “the protective power of Quen being dialed down”
    Great, how is that compatible? Quen was the main reason I kept playing it at all. I shouldn’t play it with my current performance, but Quen was central for me to make progress at all. It wasn’t even that powerful… I hate it, always this complaining with a game “uuh, there’s this ability that’s far too powerful”. And then the developers go and make it useless, essentially making it not an ability. Brilliant.

  19. Brutal Deluxe says:

    Is no-one else having problems launching the game since this patch? Seriously?