Mod It All: The Witcher 2 Receiving ‘Combat Rebalance’

This may look like a blog post but it’s actually a combination of confessional booth and news stand. Gather round and confess the mistakes of your past as I do the same, then pick up the evening papers on the way out. As the headline suggests, my sin relates to The Witcher 2. I’ve never finished it. Or started it for that matter. The reason I haven’t started it is because I haven’t finished the first Witcher game, so I should probably do that. But what’s this? A small leaflet on the news stand informs us that Andrzej ‘Flash’ Kwiatkowski, an ex-modder and now ‘Gameplay Designer’ at CD Projekt, has returned to modding in an effort to rebalance the combat in Witcher 2. The file size is currently 8 gigabytes, which is too many floppy disks to consider, but should be smaller by release. Which should be very soon. Details below.

Here are the notes:

– overall purpose of the mod is to increase Geralt’s responsiveness and mobility
– Geralt can parry attacks while he’s walking and running (new animations)
– Geralt reacts faster to keyboard/gamepad buttons
– active block was replaced by active Quen
– during heavy battle Geralt uses pirouettes and focus (new animations)
– difficulty levels were rebalanced
– Geralt does not “bump” away from opponent’s swords when his attacks are parried which allows quick continuation of the attack sequence
– opponents explode when particular attacks are used, e.g. Igni causes opponent explosion, just like in The Witcher 2 Enhanced Edition intro
– elixirs have negative influence

I don’t know what ‘active Quen’ is but I like the idea of opponents exploding from time to time.

I’m very tempted to wait for this to release and then skip straight to the second game but I’m such a slave to continuity that the thought is making me slightly nauseous. Last week I accidentally skipped an episode of Adventure Time and even though I didn’t notice until I checked the titles against an online list, as soon as I found out I felt like I might as well just give up on watching it ever again.

Final confession – I watched the entirety of the original Twilight Zone in broadcast order, even though every story stands on its own two feet. It seemed like the right thing to do.

Via Evil Avatar.


  1. FriendlyFire says:

    Adam, while the first game’s gameplay is a bit dull, the story is worth going through. Lots of political intrigue and nice worldbuilding, which makes for a refreshing change of pace from the “YOU ARE THE SAVIOR OF HUMANITY/THE GALAXY” trope we usually get.

    • Nenjin says:

      Witcher 1 has a great story. Right up until the end. Then it drops a big, stinking, over-done trope right on your dinner table.

      • bella404 says:

        If you think Diane`s story is flabbergasting…, five weeks ago my brothers father in-law worked and got paid $5898 sitting there ninteen hours a week an their house and they’re co-worker’s mom`s neighbour did this for five months and got paid over $5898 part time from their pc. the tips at this site…

    • Didden says:

      And you get to collect an impressive collection of cards with ladies on them.

    • Emeraude says:

      On some respects, the first game even surpasses the second, in my opinion.

      • Mr. Mister says:

        I digged the hell out of the alchemy system, and visually the coombat was much more impressing.

        Anyway, as someone who completed The Witcher (1) his first time on the very highest difficulty of the Full Combat Rebalance mod: We’ll need some bear fat.

      • realitysconcierge says:

        I agree. Though less deep, I enjoyed the systems of the first one much more than the second. I could just never click with the combat.

  2. Brun says:

    I haven’t finished it either Adam, nothing to be ashamed of.

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      Bluerps says:

      Me neither. And for the same reason too.

      • jerf says:

        Guys, you’re totally wrong. It is something to be ashamed of. Missing out the two RPGs with the greatest stories and NPCs since Planescape:Torment is obviously quite a shame.

        • scatterbrainless says:

          I apologize jerf, having not finished either despite having a crack at both, but seriously, I just cannot, cannot stand Geralt as a character, with his stupid voice and smarmy attitude, I want to drop him off a cliff onto jagged rocks made out of emasculation and tiger sharks. If someone could explain him in a way that would get me around this and allow me to enjoy the games I would really appreciate it.

          • pendergraft says:

            It didn’t click with me until after I read The Last Wish and realized that Geralt is basically the Polish version of Hellboy.

  3. Dominic White says:

    This guy is also responsible for the Full Combat Rebalance mod for the original Witcher, which makes it faster and less spammy, and much more in line with the second game. The difficulty curve is a little screwy right at the start (do NOT use the higher difficulty options – they’re there for people who breezed through Hard mode before), but it makes for a much better game overall. Looking forward to this.

    • Mr. Mister says:

      Since I have the tradition of always looking for overhaul-rebalancing modsbefore I start playing a game, I played with FCR from the very beggining. First I sarted at easy, but not even past the tutorial I saw that regenerating health rendered food useless, so I restarted with normal. But the combat felt a bit too spammy, so I bought the drink that changes difficulty to hard from that witch chick.

      Plus he gave witcher eyes to the other witchers too. I can0t believe that wasn’t done in vanilla.

      Didn’t regret it at all. I have some respect for that ginormous Cemetaur.

  4. phobic says:

    Ugh, i’m getting tired of starting this game over. I mean the continued development is great and all, but maybe if CDP got it right the first time around, it might be more enjoyable for players?

    Maybe that’s just a silly notion!

    • FriendlyFire says:

      The game was phenomenal at launch, it’s just even better now. I think few people would’ve complained if CDPR just left the game as it was at launch, maybe with a rebalanced difficulty curve and that’s it.

      They’re going way above the call of duty with this.

      • Emeraude says:

        On the one hand, I commend them for their effort. They deserve praise for how much love and respect they’ve shown for their craft and their audience.

        On the other, I tend to be a rather strong advocate of clear defined versions in the iterative process, and static released versions – too many changes (not correction, changes) post release, and it muddles the game and its identity., not to mention hinders the experience, and the critical process – so I’m really ambivalent about that release.

        Is there even a way to roll back to a previous version if you happen to prefer it ? No that I see from my installed version, but maybe I missed the option.

      • Henson says:

        I love CD Projekt to death, but the game at launch certainly needed some improvements, and still could use some now. Responsiveness of movement is not great (the mouse has weird acceleration), Quen used to be completely OP, and by God did they need to add that separate tutorial.

        Still, the game is and was great, and I’ll admit these problems aren’t that terrible. It’s not like stealth mechanics in Oblivion…

    • suibhne says:

      That’s funny. My first response to this RPS headline was, “Huh? TW2’s combat was fine (aside from the first silly boss fight, of course).”

      The rebalancing sounds okay, but there’s absolutely no way in which the original was broken or un-fun.

      • Emeraude says:

        I do think it had some balancing issues, but nothing game-breaking.

  5. golem09 says:

    Don’t skip the first, it’s the better one. A lot of short stories, like the first Witcher books. And they are amusing and interesting. I still remember the drunken quests from that game. So much fun.
    And honestly I loved the very rythmic combat system of the first game that started building up and up if you don’t make any errors.

  6. pupsikaso says:

    The reason I haven’t started it is because I haven’t finished the first Witcher game, so I should probably do that.

    Stop. Don’t do that. There’s no need to play the first to play the second. I’ve heard this excuse so many times and it’s just pointless. I didn’t finish the first either (I didn’t even like the first), but I really liked the second (although I didn’t finish it).

    • BTAxis says:

      I’m kind of in the same situation. Usually I don’t feel comfortable playing a sequel when I haven’t played the first game, but I really, really didn’t like The Witcher. I never bothered with the second game.

      Of course, it wasn’t until fairly recently that I found out The Witcher isn’t a new IP but rather a game rendition of a book series, which should make a difference.

    • marbled says:

      I also skipped the first game entirely and loved the second. The only issue was that it doesn’t do much to explain the larger political context of the world, which left me utterly baffled about which of the many countries/kings I was supposed to like/dislike….

      • Tacroy says:

        Don’t worry, The Witcher 1 wouldn’t have helped much with that.

    • malkav11 says:

      There’s no need to play the first to enjoy the second and if you really don’t get on with the first game then you should certainly skip it. But I would absolutely recommend finishing the first game if you do get on with it because it is a brilliant and really well made game that is still fully worth experiencing even with a sequel out and a second sequel in development.

      Frankly, I think I preferred it because I haven’t managed to get very far in Witcher 2 and I finished the original game and even restarted to play again with mods and whatnot. Which is nothing against Witcher 2, which is gorgeous and seems pretty brilliant in some respects, but I hit a frustration wall with the combat. This mod actually sounds like it -might- help, but I don’t want the combat even a jot harder so it’s hard to say.

  7. Klaxon Overdrive says:

    I know your pain re: continuity OCD. Everything has to be consumed in proper order. Comics these days are killing me.

    I once bought issues 2 – 60 of Mike Grell’s Green Arrow run, and never read them because I didn’t bother to buy #1.

    It’s a sickness.

  8. Vandelay says:

    My confession time: On my first time watching Babylon 5, I managed to skip an entire DVD during season 5 without even noticing. It wasn’t until a few episodes later did I realise I had done it when they mentioned the death of a character.

    Any who, go play The Witcher games!

  9. says:

    Every time RPS posts about The Witcher 2, I comment about how I ought to finally install and play it.

    But it never happens. Too busy for grand RPGs these days. :( Good reasons, though, so I can live with that.

  10. jonahcutter says:

    Be prepared to dive roll. A lot.

    Hopefully this combat mod lessens/removes it. Or even, dare I dream, substitutes it out for an animation that doesn’t look ridiculous.

  11. sonson says:

    Combat in W2 is great, only thing better is Dark Souls, Arkham is on a par. There’s a bit too much rolling perhaps but as Dark Souls has shown if you don’t move away when 6 dudes are out to get you you will die, you can’t hold your ground in that scenario. It feels cheap to kite them away but you shouldn’t be able to confront half a dozen blades at once. I also believe its a form of fighting based on an actual martial art in which rolling out the way is a big element. I know it is in Jujitsu anyway.

    If its improved then obviously that’s an..improvement but seems like a lot of effort to go to for something most people will probably notice. Still nice though.

  12. aliksy says:

    Every time Witcher2 comes up I remember not being able to sidestep/backstep properly. Ugh.

  13. Snids says:

    Having seen every Twilight Zone more than makes up for never having played Witcher 2. The only shame should be mine for not having done the same.

  14. Saarlaender39 says:

    Funny thing: I bought “The Witcher”, when they released the enhanced edition…started it up, and found the combat system (clicking the Mousebutton rhythmic) absolutely annoying…so I stopped playing after a mere hour and was sure, never to start it up again.

    But then came “The Witcher 2” and I bought that, too.
    And they said, it would be possible to import a saved game from part 1 into part 2, so I decided to give the first one a second chance.

    Well, this time it went better…I actually enjoined the combat system (after a while) and played “The Witcher” to the end.

    Then I started “The Witcher 2″…only to find, that they had changed the fucking combat system, away from the (now beloved) rhythmic mouse-clicking…and so I stopped playing again…

    I guess, I will play through part 2, if they announce, that I will be able to import a save game from 2 into 3.


    • Andy_Panthro says:

      That’s my issue too, I got so completely used to the combat in the first Witcher, that the combat in the second one (and the interface in general) just bugs me.

  15. Voronwer says:

    I will join you in the did not finish The Witcher and didn’t start The Witcher 2 group. I ended up finishing Act I and then realising I missed a lot of things so I would have to go back and redo the whole island swamp thing and… I couldn’t do it. Not when I had to redo that whole Triss scene and why did she need to be back anyway? And wasn’t it tedious enough as it was and…?

    I gave up and so when people tell me that it’s okay and that The Witcher 2 is so much better, I just nod and hide. Maybe if playing a whole act would have made me like at least one character, but… Nope.

  16. Noise says:

    I bought Witcher 2 on GoG but it’s pretty much unplayable due to input lag. Both mouse and keyboard has a noticable delay. This is apparently a problem a lot of people have, with no solution. So I can’t even play the game until they fix that.

    • RProxyOnly says:

      I don’t care what CDP say, W2 was NEVER fully designed for PC (what PC game EVER, doesn’t support PC monitors or PC resolutions on release?, it wasn’t ‘bugged’, it simply did NOT support them). It has the option of PC controls of course but the whole game steers like a cow if you use them.

      Don’t use them, use a controller.

  17. Shooop says:

    Do want.

  18. Wedge says:

    Yeah… I never got past the second chapter of the Witcher… twice (the first time I think it bugged on me). Own the second one, but haven’t touched it either. Shame coz’ it would run quite well on my current PC.

  19. Zekiel says:

    Sounds interesting. I loved the Witcher 2 (apart from the difficulty, which started too hard and got too easy by the end) and was already considering replaying with the “Better combat” mod (link to ).

    Sounds like this might be a fuller take on rebalancing combat which could be a Good Thing.

  20. Xetelian says:

    I haven’t finished the Witcher 2 so this will be a good time to do so!

    I love these games, glad a 3rd is on the way!