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Witcher 3 Mechanics Roundup: No More Roll-Playing?

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Witcher 3 Mechanics Roundup: No More Roll-Playing?

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Thu 7 March 2013, 19:45:59

Tags: CD Projekt; The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Rock Paper Shotgun's The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt interview continues. This segment of the interview has more information about the game's combat mechanics, a few more details about its C&C, and of course, a discussion of RPS's favorite topic, sex in videogames. Here's the combat-related stuff:

RPS: How much have the nitty-gritty basics of combat changed this time around? At its core, is it similar to what it was in The Witcher 2, but with more abilities and more potions and things? Or have you totally revamped it?

Michał Platkow-Gilewski: What we wanted to do with Witcher combat is that we wanted to show how Geralt uses the sword. He’s the master of the sword. Geralt’s true mastery comes out in the crowd fights, where can take on five or six enemies on his own. What happened in Witcher 2 is that people were telling us that the combat was just a little bit too arcade. The rules were a bit too arcade, to be honest. What we decided is to go a bit more over to the tactics side, to give you the feeling of having absolute control over the battlefield. That’s what we aimed for.​

For example, we improved the camera. We’ll always show the fights from the right angle or perspective or distance so that you’ll be aware of all the enemies around you. If they communicate among themselves and decide that it’ll be a good idea to surround you, you’ll see everyone who’s going around behind you.​

There won’t be any situation where someone attacks you and you won’t know what’s happening. The enemies will move around you and you will move as well, but it’s not wild and frantic. It’s a slow walk, like a slow dance. With swords. For all the enemies, we’re using real fighting techniques, many valid techniques. We have a few experts on our team, and we’ll be using stuntmen with huge experience for that as well. But Geralt’s fighting technique, it’s like sword dancing. He’ll have cool movements that you wouldn’t see in a real fight.​

Jakub Rokosz: But it’s not over the top. He won’t do a somersault with three twists. It’s still effective.​

Michał Platkow-Gilewski: But he’s different. He’s faster and stronger than anyone else, so his fighting technique is different.​

Jakub Rokosz: I think the camera helps a lot.​

Michał Platkow-Gilewski: Yeah. That reminds me of another change. When you hit a button, you won’t see a sequence of a few swings that tend to get interrupted. Each press of a button will correspond to one swing, a swing generated out of 96 different animations that we’ve prepared for the fights. That means that when you’re in combat, you can create almost unlimited chains of swings – from the left, from the right, from different poses. You can change your target freely at any given moment. You can attack two times in front of you, then pierce the guy who’s approaching you from behind. If you know the technique for it, that is. You can chain those moves together without stopping. It all gives the impression that you’re the master.​

Jakub Rokosz: So there’s no more jumping and stunning with one push of the button, like in The Witcher 2.​

The interviewer also asks the CD Projekt guys about their Definition Of An RPG, and I think their answer won't be surprising to certain posters.

There's even more mechanics-related information in this interview for French site Dagon's Lair. Check it out:

The Witcher 2 was a little bit more action oriented than the first one. We read TW3 combat will allow to parry blows, and will be more visceral than the previous one. Will CDProjekt continue to depart even more from the RPG side (which, we found, was already a little bit lacking in TW2) and focus on the action side of the game ? Or will you return to a more RPG focused game, like the first game ?

The definitely improve the combat system from the second part of The Witcher. Now you will have more control over Geralt’s blade. All blows and strikes will take the same amount of time and you will be to defend yourself in any moment, how you want – by pivots, rolls and parrying.​

At the same time we want to expose more the RPG mechanics underneath. Our goal is to show how your stats have a tangible effect on your progress in the game. So in The Witcher 3 you’ll have a mix of both approaches. Players who like hardcore stat testing will be able to experiment at will, while those who want to use their action skills we’ll also be satisfied with the options they have. Generally the combat system will be easy to learn, but hard to master and the number of tactical options will be significantly increased.​

Can you elaborate on game mechanics ? Is there still a skill tree ? What about inventory, weapons, alchemy, …magic ?

Almost every system in the game has been improved. We read fan opinions about the inventory and we decided to change it. The grid is back to give players a more classic RPG feel. We want the inventory to be user friendly and intuitive.​

Crafting is also improved. Many ingredients are gathered through Monster Hunting, but they also have less troublesome substitutes, which provide inferior quality. Also not every craftsman will be able to create a specific item – don’t think that some peasant blacksmith can forge a legendary weapon.​

We altered the alchemy system too. You will still need to drink potions before combat, but our alterations will make this more intuitive – if you gather enough clues about your enemy, you will be able to narrow down the things you need to prepare.​

"Easy to learn, hard to master" is a promise I've heard many times from AAA developers, and it has rarely been fulfilled. But I'm definitely glad about the inventory.

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