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What was the Witcher 2 even about? [Heavy W2&3 spoilers inside]

Zed Duke of Banville

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The Witcher 2 was about CDPR attempting to boost their sales by imitating Bioware's story-focused, gameplay-lacking "RPGs". Although this attempt succeeded, the phenomenal success of Skyrim, released later in the year, revealed to CDPR that they would have gained even greater sales if they had instead chosen Bethesda Softworks to imitate, which resulted in The Witcher 3 being designed accordingly (and subsequently smashing the sales records of CDPR's earlier games).
 

JDR13

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The Witcher 2 was about CDPR attempting to boost their sales by imitating Bioware's story-focused, gameplay-lacking "RPGs". Although this attempt succeeded, the phenomenal success of Skyrim, released later in the year, revealed to CDPR that they would have gained even greater sales if they had instead chosen Bethesda Softworks to imitate, which resulted in The Witcher 3 being designed accordingly (and subsequently smashing the sales records of CDPR's earlier games).

Eh? There was very little in TW2 that even remotely reminded me of Bioware. Besides, TW1 was also a story-focused RPG.
 

Falksi

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The point is that the Witcher 2 feels kinda pointless now, it already fealt like a big prologue to the Witcher 3 and now it turned out that anything that happened in TW 2 hardly mattered in TW 3.

That's more down to how poorly TW3 followed up TW2 plot threads than TW2 though.

You say stuff "wasn't relevant". Well that's coz TW3 made it not relevant. Hell it barely focused on The Wild Hunt at all, the title of the damn game!
 

Sweeper

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This reminds me I've got some missing cheevos for the Scoiatael path.
God I hate Elves.
 
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RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In
The point is that the Witcher 2 feels kinda pointless now, it already fealt like a big prologue to the Witcher 3 and now it turned out that anything that happened in TW 2 hardly mattered in TW 3.

That's more down to how poorly TW3 followed up TW2 plot threads than TW2 though.

You say stuff "wasn't relevant". Well that's coz TW3 made it not relevant. Hell it barely focused on The Wild Hunt at all, the title of the damn game!

Yes, I agree with that. W3 retroactively made all the decisions in W2 not matter, which is annoying. Especially since they didn't have to do much to feel like W2 ending mattered, just give one additional singular quest for all the W2 endings which affect the ending slide regarding the Civil war, assume that new players sided with Roche all the way through. Considering how much they spent on making boring and gloomy countryside look as boring and gloomy as possible it wouldn't strain the budget that much.
 

Quillon

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its Mass Effect 2 all over again. No one gives a fuck about shit from second game(human reaper, proteans, Cerberus) in third one¯\_(ツ)_/¯

TW3 made TW2 pointless af. It's not even comparable to ME2 to 3; There is no other series(that aren't 20+ years old that only oldfags remember) made save import better than ME series FFS. Apart from the ending there is a lot of moving parts, character deaths that matter throughout ME series. Most everything had conclusions, satisfying or not. You can play Witcher 2-3 without save import and maybe you'll miss out on 0.5% of additional content, but in ME there can be drastic differences between save states.
 

Carrion

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Save imports are always disappointing. For the devs they probably come off as something that requires more effort than they're worth.

I don't care at all that Iorveth's not in the game or other such shit. I don't think Roche should be either. What is disappointing is that all the different political outcomes of TW2 are rendered meaningless. The Nilfgaard invasion allowed the writers to temporarily wipe the slate clean, but the previous events should still have come to play later on. Anaïs La Valette isn't even mentioned if you go full Temeria, for example, which is something that could've been fixed with a couple of lines of dialogue and an additional ending slide.
 

Quillon

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ME had the perfect ingredients for making use of save import with consistent/mostly consistent setting/locations, ship, crew, characters etc. therefor it became the most successful in this regard. They tried the same with Dragon Age but changed settings, MCs, most characters between the games didn't allow it to be as compelling.

The Nilfgaard invasion allowed the writers to temporarily wipe the slate clean

This is the excuse to render almost all choices in TW2 pointless but f.i. you could either eliminate 6 or 7 high ranking Nilfgaard officers or not depending on your path through the game and it doesn't effect the success of their invasion not one bit in TW3. While political outcomes should have certainly been mattered, characters should have been as well; the effort/sacrifices that it took to save Saskia(uncharmed) f.i. should have had its reward in the sequel at least with a cameo.

There are many other things to be mentioned but TW2's not fresh in my mind since I haven't returned to it after TW3 rendered it meaningless.
 

oscar

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TW2 (and perhaps the series in general) is perhaps the first time ever in a game that the plot left me genuinely baffled. Plots and characters are introduced then are never addressed again and we are expected to care about nations and sovereigns with extremely little characterisation.

It almost works better if you turn your brain off and just enjoy being Chad CoolGuy fighting monsters and getting laid instead of trying to work out why the Duke of Corvdremfoordwyn has kidnapped Earl Scarlton's grandnephew what is really a ploy to undermine the Fifth Human-Dwarven Alliance.
 

Carrion

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While political outcomes should have certainly been mattered, characters should have been as well; the effort/sacrifices that it took to save Saskia(uncharmed) f.i. should have had its reward in the sequel at least with a cameo.
Saskia's story was over, Iorveth's too. If you have cut something, stuff like should be the first to go. No reason to bring a character back just for fan service if you've got no real use for them.

TW3 still does a slightly better job with save imports than TW2 does...

TW2 (and perhaps the series in general) is perhaps the first time ever in a game that the plot left me genuinely baffled. Plots and characters are introduced then are never addressed again and we are expected to care about nations and sovereigns with extremely little characterisation.

It almost works better if you turn your brain off and just enjoy being Chad CoolGuy fighting monsters and getting laid instead of trying to work out why the Duke of Corvdremfoordwyn has kidnapped Earl Scarlton's grandnephew what is really a ploy to undermine the Fifth Human-Dwarven Alliance.
Totally disagree on the characterisation of monarchs in the game. They're well-written, memorable and have lots of personality despite some of them only making brief appearances. You need to play through both of the main paths and read the journal entries in order to be able to fill in all the blanks in the story, though.
 
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Save imports are always disappointing. For the devs they probably come off as something that requires more effort than they're worth.

IIRC you get to carry over your ending from W6 to 8 and even get completely different starting location in Wiz8 if you had a specific ending in W7. You can also transfer some powerful items from game to game. Which makes Witcher series save transfer even more disappointing when your hard earned super-sword given to you by The Lady of the Lake TM in the first game is less powerful than some random garbage sword you loot in your first few hours in the game.
 

JDR13

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ME had the perfect ingredients for making use of save import with consistent/mostly consistent setting/locations, ship, crew, characters etc. therefor it became the most successful in this regard. They tried the same with Dragon Age but changed settings, MCs, most characters between the games didn't allow it to be as compelling.

I've haven't seen anyone fellate Mass Effect this hard in awhile. Compelling? The ME games are typical NuBioware crap and are about as compelling as watching paint dry.
 

Quillon

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I'm talking about save import but ME series was good apart from the very end but whatever yeah nuBioware games are crap, old bioware also crap in fact everything's crap.
:shitandpiss:
 

Quillon

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Saskia's story was over, Iorveth's too. If you have cut something, stuff like should be the first to go. No reason to bring a character back just for fan service if you've got no real use for them.

An indebted to Geralt Saskia could have very well been useful in TW3 against Wild Hunt f.i. or a Saskia under control of Philippa could be very interesting but since a dead Saskia was also possible they decided against doing anything with her. Iorveth + more elvenfags could have been easily integrated into the story since there are already some. etc etc. They could have done stuff with most characters/outcomes from TW2 without them being "fan service" easily but they wanted TW3 to be as standalone as possible and also didn't wanna use resources on content half the players might potentially never see.
 
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RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In
I'm talking about save import but ME series was good apart from the very end but whatever yeah nuBioware games are crap, old bioware also crap in fact everything's crap.
:shitandpiss:

People here had been heralding the Mass Effect series had been heralding ME as the start of Bioware's decline since the game release. The only 2 Bioware games that people mostly agree are not shit are Baldur's Gate 2 and MDK 2.
 

Falksi

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On reflection and reading the posts above, I actually thought TW2 left brilliantly fertile ground for a sequel.

Geralt's involvement in The Wild Hunt, the whole war, the sorceress' lodge, the love rivalry between Triss & Yen etc. There were a ton of great plot threads which could have gone places. Some did appear and did go places, but said places were shit.

The way they played Triss Vs Yen thing bugged me esp. Here you've got Geralt, top cat-eyed stud who can fight anything, has women throw himself at him, and doesn't give a fuck about most things totally pussy whipped by a snotty cow in Yen, and neither her nor Triss seem bothered about the other as a rival. I mean, both the in-built jealously most women have & desire to please is flat out scary at times, and yet neither really seems bothered about what's happening. TW2 set it up very nicely for a Sorceress blast off, it'd even been nice to have seen Geralt forced to slay one of the gals as one of the choices, but - like the rest of the game - it never got anywhere near anything as remotely exciting as that.
 

Carrion

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The way they played Triss Vs Yen thing bugged me esp. Here you've got Geralt, top cat-eyed stud who can fight anything, has women throw himself at him, and doesn't give a fuck about most things totally pussy whipped by a snotty cow in Yen, and neither her nor Triss seem bothered about the other as a rival. I mean, both the in-built jealously most women have & desire to please is flat out scary at times, and yet neither really seems bothered about what's happening. TW2 set it up very nicely for a Sorceress blast off, it'd even been nice to have seen Geralt forced to slay one of the gals as one of the choices, but - like the rest of the game - it never got anywhere near anything as remotely exciting as that.
Geralt being pussy-whipped is something you need to blame on Sapkowski. As for jealousy:


Seriously, though, they're sorceresses and have a sense of dignity to maintain, even if they feel like shit inside. If the game was written by BioWare, things probably would've played out pretty much the way you described. CDPR have better writers and managed to be more subtle about it.

I'm still kind of annoyed that the romances were the one thing they chose to enhance afterwards (those bits of late-game dialogue with Triss and Yen they patched in after release), while much bigger problems like the cartoonishly one-dimensional Radovid and The Wild Hunt were left unaddressed.
 

DalekFlay

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TW2 (and perhaps the series in general) is perhaps the first time ever in a game that the plot left me genuinely baffled. Plots and characters are introduced then are never addressed again and we are expected to care about nations and sovereigns with extremely little characterisation.

I remember my first playthrough where I chose Roache, and I had no fucking idea who many of the "important" characters were in act 3 or what they were doing. Then a year-ish later I played through Iorveth's path and finally understood who those people were and what they were up to. The way they designed the game to have two completely different middle acts was ballsy, and makes for a good bragging moment about choices and consequences, but I don't think it worked very well from a plot perspective. The game honestly would have been better with both the camp and Vergen in every playthrough, but with choices you make between the two ending the middle act with a different result.
 

JDR13

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The game honestly would have been better with both the camp and Vergen in every playthrough, but with choices you make between the two ending the middle act with a different result.

Nah, that would have just made it like every other game. The fact that you get an entirely different series of quests depending on your decision at the and of the first act makes TW2 fairly unique and is part of the appeal.
 

bddevil

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It's ironic, W2 is dead last in my TW ratings, but its main storyline is the most compelling (not to confuse storyline with actual main quest design)in the series IMO. This of course is mostly due to the other entries being TW1 and TW3

The first one started very promising only to drag on and devolve into some cliche nonsense.
The second one was smaller in scope and focused on politics and the curse being integral to the events you're thrust into.
The third is 'find Siri' like others have said. Really tried to make a somewhat small scope thing into some grandiose event. That revolves around you and Siri, to boot.

I think TW2 story's smaller scope is what made its place in the trilogy disposable. Yes, your choices barely mattered. But then it was even with W1->W2 transition. We didn't get Shani back till W3 expansion FFS. CDPR doesn't seem to care about choices made in previous games.

With all that said, I don't think I will ever replay TW2. Too small, too linear railroad-y, too much QTE, and once the main path converged in Loc Muinne, I struggled to finish it. TW1 has best atmosphere, Vizima and the atmosphere of the Witcher (slav, kill monsters and fuck bitches). TW3 has some exploration aspect, and some good sidequests. As an adventure games fan, I actually like most of the Novigrad quests. TW2 is the only one in the series where I genuinely stopped giving a fuck after two chapters.
 

DalekFlay

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The first one started very promising only to drag on and devolve into some cliche nonsense.

I recently replayed The Witcher and was surprised at how good I thought the story and mood/tone was. It does go on too long though, the second village section feels maybe a bit redundant and the finale should probably have been brief instead of a whole other chapter. Still... I was surprised how much I enjoyed it overall, and I never took a break to play something else which is rare for me.
 

bddevil

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The first one started very promising only to drag on and devolve into some cliche nonsense.

I recently replayed The Witcher and was surprised at how good I thought the story and mood/tone was. It does go on too long though, the second village section feels maybe a bit redundant and the finale should probably have been brief instead of a whole other chapter. Still... I was surprised how much I enjoyed it overall, and I never took a break to play something else which is rare for me.
Mood/tone are excellent. That and enough good sidequests make it my favorite of the series, despite some glaring shortcomings.

It's the main plot that kinda falls apart in the final couple of acts imo. end of act 4 and especially act 5 is where it gets tiring. Act 5 is by far my least favorite in tw1. still better than TW2 act 3 (thankfully TW2 act 3 is quite short)
 
Vatnik Wumao
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much bigger problems like the cartoonishly one-dimensional Radovid
That was one of my main issues with TW3 as well. Unlike the resolution with the Crones (choosing between them and you-know-what), both the Redanian and the Skelliger successions went back on the whole shades of grey C&C which CDPR loved bragging about and instead made Radovid and Svanrige respectively as the failstate endings as if people couldn't actually prefer them (both as characters and in terms of geopolitical implications).

By all means, no need to whitewash Radovid - keep him as the traumatized bastard with a hatred of sorceresses that he already was in TW2, but don't make him go insane for no good reason. And the same thing with Svenrige - keep him as mommy's boy and as a honorable lad, but give the player the option to maybe go behind his back and side with his mother while keeping him in the dark about the reality of it. Have Birna as the mouthpiece for the benefits of abandoning tribalism in favor of a centralized, dynastic Skelliger state.
 

JDR13

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With all that said, I don't think I will ever replay TW2. Too small, too linear railroad-y, too much QTE, and once the main path converged in Loc Muinne, I struggled to finish it. TW1 has best atmosphere, Vizima and the atmosphere of the Witcher (slav, kill monsters and fuck bitches). TW3 has some exploration aspect, and some good sidequests. As an adventure games fan, I actually like most of the Novigrad quests. TW2 is the only one in the series where I genuinely stopped giving a fuck after two chapters.

TW2 was anything but linear, and I wouldn't say it was small either unless you're one of those people that wants every game to be 100 hours long. People also tend to exaggerate about the QTEs.

Personally, I liked that TW2 was a little shorter than most modern RPGs. It was a nice changeup, and I hate that almost every game nowadays is bloated with tons of filler in an attempt to provide MOAR! content.
 

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