Witchier: The Witcher 3 Adding New Game+ Mode

Wednesday is Free Witcher 3 [official site] Day, and this week is due to bring the last of its sixteen planned freebies. What oh what could it- oh, no, it won’t be coming this week. Still, developers CD Projekt RED have announced what the final titbit will be, and it’s a good’un: a New Game+ mode.

For folks not down with the lingo, New Game+ modes let folks who’ve finished a game start again but keep the character and equipment they had at the end, with enemies scaled appropriately to still provide a challenge. Assuming Witcher 3’s mode works the usual way, you’ll start with all your fancy end-game swords, armour, potions, XP, and abilities.

“Stay tuned for more info regarding the release,” RED say on Facebook. “It won’t happen this week though – we need a little bit more time to finish it.”

I’m a fair way from the end myself – 75 hours in, I’m still kicking round Skellige – but some folks have been clamouring for NG+ since, well, a couple of days after the game came out. Oh, to have the time and attention span of my youth again! Nowadays I’ll lose hours prodding and poking at injuries trying to figure out whether they’ve become permanent.

So, what have y’all made of this free Witcher 3 DLC? We’ve seen armour and beards, missing miners and a fantastic outfit for Yen, crossbows and Nilfgaardian armour, a village of pigs and fancy Gwent card art, a glam outfit for Triss and more armour for Geralt, Skellige armour and a monster hunt, a showdown with another witcher, actual armour for Ciri, and new killing blows. They’ve mostly been small things, but I’ve enjoyed them, and enjoyed having another reason to return to the game. Whether any of them could’ve been finished in time to launch in the core game, well, I don’t really mind – it’s hardly a small game, and I haven’t felt their absence.

20 Comments

  1. Cinek says:

    “with enemies scaled appropriately to still provide a challenge” – that’s a great news. By the time I was after the first big battle almost everything in the game posed next to no challenge. Re-playing the game with all the gear but no scaling of the opponents would be… rather pointless (other than exploring all these alternative flows through the quests and repercussions of decisions made).

    • Unclepauly says:

      Wat. I’m level 20 and still run into ridiculously strong enemies.

      • TheOneFlow says:

        You will run into enemies that you can’t reasonably beat for a while yet, it’s just that you have to out of your way to find them. You can absolutely meet Lvl 30+ enemies on the map and at Lvl 20 you will have severe problems with them. Since you can evade borderline everything no enemy is really unbeatable. but they do still pack quite the punch.

        The problem is that you outdo the natural progression really early and it never really catches up to you, assuming that you do the sidequests. (If you skip the sidequests you’re an idiot btw since they’re glorious)

        • Cinek says:

          Yes, that’s the thing. Bosses are still there fun to fight against, but everything else? It’s one-shot-kill, basically. I had an absolute blast with combat in early levels, when every minor group of opponents was something to think about and something to manage. But later on it just… gets too easy, too easy to the point where it’s not fun any more.

          • Freud says:

            You will hit the ceiling for the damage you can do around level 30 where you have the damage skills you want all slotted and have good gear/mutagens. So if the enemies keep scaling in NG+ while you won’t really get more powerful as you level since you can only slot 12 skills, it’s possible the game will be more difficult.

          • Cinek says:

            All I want is not making the game too easy as it progresses. Non-boss fights should still make me think, even if I’m in a second half of the game. After all – Geralt was killed with a pitchfork. Meanwhile here I felt as if an army of 100 foot soldiers wouldn’t pose any real challenge.

          • Scelous says:

            Were you playing on the hardest difficulty setting?

          • Cinek says:

            It’s not about difficulty level, it’s about how difficulty scales over gameplay time. As I said – it was perfect up to the point where you badly outlevelled everything-that’s-not-a-boss.

          • Cronstintein says:

            I totally agree about the scaling issues. This is the only rpg I’ve ever played that I felt required me to mod it before finishing my first playthrough. (I had a similar issue with Pillars of Eternity but it doesn’t mod as easily, sadly)

            In vanilla monsters below your level get a -40% malus to their damage which makes the random fights you find WAY too easy.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        I had most of my problems below level 10, but afterwards it’s hard not to find the usual lv16 camp even if you already are 25+, and it’s even more ridicolous how many quests just turn grey especially if you complete a certain arc of the main campaign in the “wrong” moment.

        Still, surely you must have noticed how many low level markers are littered pretty much everywhere, sometimes even in Skellige. You can still find a challenge, as you noticed, but there are good chances that most of the unexplored stuff still contains low level things.

    • Bo_Flodin says:

      Hopefully the scaling will make the game worth playing, they should also remove all those bandits/drowners/wolves that is absolutkey everywhere. I grew bored after the battle of kaer morden because of the negative difficulty curve, but now ill rush thru the rest on easy to get to Ng+

  2. Cyroch says:

    They actually had me fooled with all their ‘It’s not planned at the moment, it’s too tough to balance, maybe some time in the distant future’ talks. Should synch up nicely with the end of my first playthrough and should keep me going until the first big content dlc arrives. Good timing!

  3. Deano2099 says:

    Surely a success from their perspective as it’s got them ten RPS articles in the key game sales period – keeps the title in the news and in people’s mind in a way that say, Inquisition, faded after the few weeks of initial buzz.

    • anHorse says:

      Making inquisition a great game might have helped it to stay relevant, unfortunately for EA nobody wants to hear about an okay game weeks after it’s launch

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      The super weird thing about DA:I is that even the torrents (with working cracks!) disappeared months ago. Things get taken down sometimes, but they usually get put back up elsewhere. In this case, I don’t think anyone cares enough to do that.

    • blastaz says:

      Yes it’s great pr, free publicity for months, as well as good will, for content most of which you could argue was “cut from the game/ preorder dross” if they tried charging for it – the armour sets, and wolf school armour especially being the most obvious example.

      It’s s really clever business model however you look at it. I wouldn’t be surprised if some other AA devs take notice of it.

      It’s interesting how the negatives (downgrade frame rate, combat mechanics, level system and general zone balance) of the witcher 3 have been so comprehensively outweighed by the positives ( the incredible writing, sense of place, acting and tone and the openness of the Dev team)in a place as usually whinny and entitle led as the Internet.

      • nearly says:

        Probably the biggest thing they have going is being able to say “We’re the good guys and those other guys are evil.” That means that anyone piping into a conversation with “But most other major (and especially minor) game releases give you post-release content updates for no additional cost” or “The 16 pieces of DLC aren’t free because they come with your purchase” are immediately shouted down by charges of “why are you complaining about free stuff” and “you haven’t even played the game.” Even without weekly articles about the pair of pants they added, they’d still have almost all of their players eagerly stroking themselves as they tell anyone who will listen how good they have it with CDPR.

        I’m not going to be surprised at all when the next Battlefield puts “Five free maps” on the box and makes sure to drum up press releases each week about a practice they’ve done with all of their titles for the past several years. It’s incredibly successful marketing for the simple reason that they’ve not only created rabid fanboys by creating a compelling game but also utterly convinced them to regurgitate marketing speech on any platform possible.

  4. Freud says:

    Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.

  5. TheAngriestHobo says:

    This is all well and good, but what about those of us who have been waiting patiently for the realistic fingernail growth DLC? Will we have to pay for it now?

    • nearly says:

      I’d settle for signposts that actually give directions. I used to think Skyrim was bad at helping you find your way around if you didn’t want to fast travel but this game takes the cake.