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

bddevil

Educated
Joined
Apr 4, 2016
Messages
71
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.
The hubs are tiny. Flotsam was my favorite and it was still tiny. Compare it to Vizima, even without sewers. There's a reason Vizima gets mentioned as one of the best cRPG hubs.

I dunno, TW2 had lots of invisible walls and very railroady quests. Things get a bit more open in act 2 (I only played Roche and YouTubed Iorveth), but I never got rid of that too linear feel. The lack of super memorable sidequests (and most of main quests feeling somewhat dull) also contributed here, probably. Even politics-wise, I don't think anything from TW2 beats "A posh reception".

I do appreciate the lack of grindy pseudo-content in TW2 that is present in TW3 and definitely TW1.

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.
Yeah I agree here. TW3 aside from the Baron quest really lacked meaningful tough choices. Choosing between romancing an outright manipulative sorceress and a behind-your-back manipulative sorceress isn't really one ( I chose Siri baby mama but who really gives a shit). I even went to assassinate Radovid only because I wanted to fuck shit up and Roche is a bro. TW3 for most part did not have nuanced 'lesser of evils' situations. TW1 did. TW2 had really only one big one, but it was huge and whole play through was affected.
 

JDR13

Arcane
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
3,943
Location
The Swamp
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.

The hubs are tiny. Flotsam was my favorite and it was still tiny. Compare it to Vizima, even without sewers. There's a reason Vizima gets mentioned as one of the best cRPG hubs.

I dunno, TW2 had lots of invisible walls and very railroady quests. Things get a bit more open in act 2 (I only played Roche and YouTubed Iorveth), but I never got rid of that too linear feel. The lack of super memorable sidequests (and most of main quests feeling somewhat dull) also contributed here, probably. Even politics-wise, I don't think anything from TW2 beats "A posh reception".

I do appreciate the lack of grindy pseudo-content in TW2 that is present in TW3 and definitely TW1.

TW2 didn't really have hubs. The areas weren't large compared to open-world games, but I wouldn't say they were tiny. Chapter 2 for example had a decent amount of places to explore.

A lot of the quests had choices (some of them quite significant), so I'm not sure why you think they were "railroady". I think CDPR does a better job of C&C than most developers.
 

Carrion

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Jun 30, 2011
Messages
3,648
Location
Lost in Necropolis
TW1 had some quests with open-ended structures, especially the second act which had not one but two huge quests that intertwined later on. TW2 is a lot more straightforward (in terms of quests and in the way the chapters are structured), at best allowing you to do a couple of things in a different order or having some scripted choice moment at the end of a quest. TW3 is largely the same.

I, too, found it pretty disappointing that TW2 didn't have its own Vizima. Even Vergen felt pretty empty and shallow in comparison, partly because it was missing a lot of the side activities (like boozing) and didn't have the feel of an actual living town.

As for TW1, I think its structure and pacing are damn near perfect. I especially like the change of pace brought by the fourth act, which is something I don't remember seeing in any other game. Finally a game that isn't constantly telling you to hurry the fuck up instead of, I don't know, getting drunk, playing dice, fist fighting and making love to young maidens. The epilogue rules too. I guess the fifth act isn't as good as the rest of the game, with the annoying swamp and all, but it's short enough to not overstay its welcome.
 

moon knight

Matt7895's alt
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
1,107
Location
Italy
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.

A way to fix it without fucking up the game balance would've been to made those items powerful, but also making them unaccessible after the tutorial ended. Like, you lose Aerondight after you stab the dragon (like it happens with the default silver sword) and the rest are stolen by the Temerians.

This would flatten the learning curve of the tutorial without fucking up the progression of the game.
 

Semiurge

Cipher
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
6,325
Location
Asp Hole
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.

Sounds like you slipped into the character of Geralt just fine :salute:
 

Kainan

Learned
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
191
Started this recently, got to the swamp village and it's all pretty bad so far. Combat is bad, way worse than in TW1 which was simple but logical. There is a dumb stealth section in the prologue but no button for stealth... Horrendous crap.
 

Ravielsk

Magister
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
1,566
Its pretty obivous to me that whole Witcher 3 "find Ciri" plot was a late addition because when you go through the quests most do not even really connect to finding Ciri. They work perfectly as self-contained stories and Ciri can be easily removed from all of them without even really changing anything. Also considering how half-assed her sections are only further proves that her addition into the game was a late one.
That is also probably why in the two DLCs they straight up avoided anything to do with her because they knew they fucked up and drawing any more attention to it would only ruin it.
 

Kainan

Learned
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
191
I loaded saves from TW1 and now got a message and a package from Thaler even though I killed him in TW1.
:decline:
 

wishbonetail

Learned
Joined
Oct 18, 2021
Messages
671
The Witchers are about Geralt and his sex life.
That's why i didn't like these games. Made me feel like a cuck.
 

Kainan

Learned
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
191
Npc behaviour has declined too. Two women talking one asking something and the other answering and five seconds later the second woman is asking and the first one answering the exact same thing, just like in Oblivion.
 
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
1,408
Location
The western road to Erromon.
That is also probably why in the two DLCs they straight up avoided anything to do with her because they knew they fucked up and drawing any more attention to it would only ruin it.

Someone ought to make a line graph charting player retention in regular sections vs. Ciri sections. The books too while we're at it. The first few Witcher novels were pretty good, then slowly they became less to do about a professional monster slayer more and more to do with a histrionic teenaged girl and my interest for *absolutely no discernible reason took a nosedive.
 

Ravielsk

Magister
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
1,566
That is also probably why in the two DLCs they straight up avoided anything to do with her because they knew they fucked up and drawing any more attention to it would only ruin it.

Someone ought to make a line graph charting player retention in regular sections vs. Ciri sections. The books too while we're at it. The first few Witcher novels were pretty good, then slowly they became less to do about a professional monster slayer more and more to do with a histrionic teenaged girl and my interest for *absolutely no discernible reason took a nosedive.
Its funny because in both books and games the plot becomes several times dumber every time the point of view shifts away from Geralt to Ciri.
 

Harthwain

Magister
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
4,915
It ought to be obvious what TW2 is about - clearing Geralt's name and (optimistically) stopping the assassins. However, unlike TW1 you aren't given many reasons to do so (outside the bigger picture) and as a result it's very easy for the player to turn Geralt into the titular assassin of kings.

I did like TW2 over TW3 though - you have a clear and strong motivation to chase after the killer, whereas in Wild Hunt it's easy to feel disconnected from the main goal of looking for Ciri, because the player doesn't really care about her on the same level as Geralt and the pretext is flimsy at best.

Also, the events of TW2 were very well interconnected - it was fun to handle the key location to Henselt and spare him just to make things harder for Radovid. Or you could end up killing them all, making the whole hunt for the assassins and the title of the game take an ironic turn. Another thing I liked was that it made sense for Geralt to get entangled in politics due to circumstances.

The fact that your choices don't matter at all is not really a problem of TW2. It's the issue born from how CDPR decided to handle imported C&C. That's pretty much it.
 
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