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The Witcher Witcher 3 alternative modding guide

Discussion in 'CD Projekt Red' started by PorkyThePaladin, Apr 11, 2020.

  1. PorkyThePaladin Arcane

    PorkyThePaladin
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    I know there are a lot of Witcher 3 modding threads here, but I've actually come up with what I feel like is off-the-beaten-path mod setup for this game that is both very easy to install and changes minimal stuff while zeroing in on what I feel are the actual issues with the game. So I would like to keep it separate so it doesn't get lost in the thousands of mainstream modding suggestions.

    Witcher 3 is an absolutely great game, but even its biggest fans, such as yours truly, have to admit it has serious flaws. The most prominent of these are a shitty exploration system, and flawed combat. Unfortunately, due to the developers' decisions, not much can be done about the first, in my humble opinion, as the quest/map markers and compasses and cookies trails make it all but impossible to have quality exploration. You can remove them of course, but since the dialogue doesn't give enough hints and there aren't actual landmarks and directions to follow, this would lead to an even worse experience.

    Then, you have the combat, which CAN and HAS BEEN modded. Google Witcher 3 combat mods, and almost always, the two suggestions you will come across will be The Witcher 3 Enhanced Edition (TW3EE) and Ghost Mode, which are massive overhauls of the entire game. Ghost Mode tries to stay truer to the vanilla game, but still makes a ton of changes, and TW3EE is almost an entirely different thing.

    I've had problems with both of these. TW3EE I just don't like in principle, as I enjoyed much of the vanilla game, and don't know if I should trust a modder to change half of it. Moreover, I feel like TW3EE actually makes Witcher 3 combat even worse, by making it even more hectic and aggressive and dance-like. Geralt already twirls too much in vanilla, but if you check out TW3EE videos on youtube, he spins and jumps around even more, which is definitely the opposite of what I would like to see.

    Ghost Mode also introduces a lot of stuff I don't like, such as enemies dodging in the middle of attack, which looks really bad, or attacking super fast. These changes are introduced to make the combat more challenging, but don't always do it in what I feel is the best way.

    So without further ado, below is a list of minimal mods and game settings that I am running on my current playthrough that zero in on the really big problems with Witcher 3 and leave everything else alone. I find they improved the combat vastly, and a few other things.

    Mods

    Roll back to 1.31 patch: https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/3374?tab=description

    This is to roll the game back to version 1.31, which is what most mods were made for. They recently updated to 1.32, which broke a lot of stuff, and all it does is introduce the Chinese version of some stuff, so you can safely roll this back unless you need to play this in Chinese.

    Enemies of Rivia (improved enemy AI): https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/3789/

    This is the centerpiece of the setup, a little known mod that I feel might actually be better than both TW3EE and Ghost Mode. What it does is change enemy AI in the game so that they actually use the tools they have. Enemies in W3 can actually block, and dodge, but you would never know this in vanilla, even on Death March setting. You can attack any enemy indefinitely by spamming fast or slow attacks, and they will do nothing most times. Well, apparently this is because they have some stamina management issues, so Enemies of Rivia fixes this up, so everyone will now block or dodge constantly.

    Approach any humanoid enemy for example, and start spamming attacks on them, and they will raise their weapon or shield and block most of them. Animals and monsters will dodge most attacks instead. This forces you to take a different approach instead of just spamming your left mouse button. For instance, you can now try to parry or dodge them, leaving them open for a hit or two, and repeat.

    Also, more powerful enemies will have even more complex attacks and defenses with this mod. I would suggest installing the version with vanilla combat animations, as the other one has been known to cause some issues.

    No Storybook Mod: https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/816

    This one is a quality of life mod that removes those dumb intro videos at the start of every load, telling you what you already know about the story, the ones you cannot escape out of. Cannot recommend this enough.


    Settings:

    So once you've installed the mods above, I would also suggest the following game settings for the best combat experience:

    Difficulty - Death March - For obvious reasons. This is not a very difficult game in general, so you want to crank this up to the max.
    Movement - Alternative
    Upscaling - On - Some people will have an issue with this in terms of RPG progress, but this is a huge open world game, do you really want to deal with a bunch of weakling enemies because you didn't get to them at the right time? This settings eliminates this issue and you always have fun combat.
    Manual sheathing/unsheathing - ON, for obvious reasons
    Enemy/Boss Healthbars - OFF - if the enemy healthbar is shown, it flashes in red right before they attack, giving you a sort of a mini-cheat mode. With it off, you have to actually watch the enemy for attack tells, which makes it a lot more fun, especially against humanoids.

    Another benefit of these settings and mods is that with tougher enemies without tells (healthbars), this will actually incentivize you to use alchemy for tougher fights, as they might get much more difficult than in vanilla.

    Below you can see a video of me fighting one of the Nilfgard guards in White Orchard. You can see that I can only get a single hit in after a parry before he starts blocking my hits. I also don't get tells from his flashing healthbar, so I have to actually watch his weapon and movement. So this leads to a really nice flow in combat, defend, attack, defend attack (made even more interesting with multiple opponents), as opposed to the spam twirling in vanilla.

     
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  2. TheSentinel Arcane

    TheSentinel
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    stopped reading
     
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  3. cretin Savant

    cretin
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    are you one of those weird fuckers who has a bunch of opinions about EE but never actually played it? It sounds like it. Not that I want to come to its defense because i think theres probably plenty worth criticizing, but your description of the combat doesnt match what i played, in fact one of the mods aims is to reduce the amount of twirly attacks and replace them with straight forward attacks, which it does. There is one guy on youtube who twirls between enemies and shit and it looks like a dance, but hes a fucking dork who has autistically mastered the mechanics. It doesnt look like that for the average player.
     
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  4. racofer Thread Incliner

    racofer
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    Autistic modders at it again.
     
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  5. PorkyThePaladin Arcane

    PorkyThePaladin
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    I've watched a whole bunch of TW3EE videos on youtube, not just one guy, and every single one, the combat looks even more aggressive and non-reactive than vanilla. Even in the mod description it says something like: "you don't have to wait for openings anymore, if you know what you are doing, just jump in and slay everything". Which is not what I am looking for.
     
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  6. Lithium Flower Arcane

    Lithium Flower
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    Sorry I'm late. Porky you should really ping me next time so that I can stay on top of this.

    Final Transmutation


    "To die by heavenmetal is to be reborn into Elysium. To be cast into the Pit is to die forever. The weight of your heart and bowel will tell you which to beg of the Destroyer."
    -Argon Stone, Truth of the Breaking Wheel

    Serenaded by hysterical howls which endlessly resonated through the brimstone bowels of the oubliette of the City of Dis, the flayed paladin hanged from his rack alone. He could not tell if it had been moments or years since his captors left him. Indeed, the measure of time seemed to have joined his digits, manhood, and face as casualties of torture. He had been unmade with a sadistic slowness for the longest time, and when his torment became so constant that the paladin forgot the very notion of unhurt, his infernal torturers grew bored of perverting meat that did not squeal or as much as moan and thus left their broken toy in his rank and gloomy chamber.

    The sound of footsteps drawing near disturbed - yet did not break - his apathetic trance. Metal-banded feet stomped across the offal-carpeted floor as a pale androgyne's countenance peeked through the bars of the door to the paladin's cell. Both the ruined man and this intruding pilgrim had been rendered androgynous by the fiendish citizens of the City, yet the latter seemed to possess such a characteristic by the virtue of its nature, as its untouched face was both chiseled and full-lipped. Even in the dark, he saw that the androgyne was hooked and harnessed all over; its genitals were turned out; its left arm had the appearance of a willow's branch while its right was thick and heavy like a club. The pilgrim opened the door and undid the paladin's shackles, whispering, "come and see."

    And the paladin came and saw.

    ---

    The trek across Inferno would have been agonizing onto death were the paladin still able to suffer or die. His would-be savior instead giggled and sang as it danced across the scorching sands and through razor-sharp vines, burning and bleeding as it did.

    "Why have you rescued me?" the paladin spoke in a moment barely distinguishable from the rest.

    "For you are my lifelong foe, or do you not remember?" the pilgrim-thing answered in a childish soprano.

    The only thing the paladin could remember of his life before the oubliette, before the City of Dis, before Inferno, was that he was once a man with a sword and a mission, the type of man who would dash his head against a wall before forfeiting his passage. Yet now his heart was as still as a stone - even now he did not know why he followed the androgyne, for freedom and well-being held no more value to him.

    "Why go out of your way to aid an enemy?"

    "Why wound a friend, why twirl and sing among blades and burning coals? I've had as little say in my own nature as you did in your own state of waking death."

    "My indifference was rendered onto me with claw and sinsteel. I am too spent from my torments to feel pain - I do not see how your own ordeals could have brought you to a state of such peculiar mirth."

    "One process, applied to different materia, may lead to different results. Such are the ways of alchemy..."

    "You speak of potions?"

    "The alchemy of the World. As lead may turn to gold so flowers may turn mad and paladins may become undead. I take you to a place where you will change once more; I take you a place where you can truly die."

    "I do not want to die."

    "Oh? Then why is it that this revelation did not stop you in your tracks? You still follow me; could it be because your body has outlived your soul? Did you not die already when you were taken out of the safety of your mother's womb and thrust into the oubliette of the world?"

    "That is not death but transformation."

    "There is no death but transformation. Nothing is ever truly obliterated - even corpses become pregnant with maggots and become one with the earth. All that matters is the severity of the change, and of that your childhood self is more alike to me than it is to you. Such is the fragment of the constructed Gnosis, the alchemical and hermetic ways that your two eyes could never dare see for fear of exposure to such awe and terror as to mutate you into something less and more than you once were.

    Tell me again that you have as little cause to die as I have to laugh!"

    "I want to die as little as I want to live. Desire means nothing to me now."

    "Then if so, you will follow me still, out of sheer idleness and despair, and then you will die."

    "Yet how can I achieve true death when I have died, as you claim, a myriad times already?"

    "Such laws are for the World; yes, even Inferno, the Lightbringer's domain. I lead you elsewhere."

    ---

    Heat turned their cartilage to slime and blades transformed their limbs into stumps. Under Hell's dark sun, the two wretches were killed and reborn a thousand thousand times before they crawled, as wretches do, to the rim of the Abyss.

    The ground shook then, the sun went out, and the Destroyer was upon them.

    Gargantuan and grossly muscled was the bestial angel's equine body, though its head was that of a maiden with long silver-white hair that reached the blasted earth. Blades in the shape of insectoid wings were folded across its flanks, and in its gleaming teeth it held a poleaxe of blessed heavenmetal. Across all circles of Inferno, this entity stood alone as immaculate.

    "Two more come to me," the Destroyer spoke not with its mouth but its mind, a voice like Abraham's dread, "for one that I grant passage another must be fed back to the breaking wheel of the World, so wills the Demiurge."

    "Oh your Eminence!" the pilgrim's charred remains cried out, its lips slick with its own grease, "send me back to the blinding light and burning darkness, for I long to experience sweet agonies and bitter joys again. Render my companion - my oldest rival - to the Pit, for mercy's sake."

    And the angel took to the air on its wings of heavenmetal and on its fall brought the entire weight of its body on the androgynous petitioner upon the blunt end of its poleaxe, pulping the creature. A powerful attack, too fantastical to be real - and yet it was.

    The paladin had neither a functional mouth nor the inclination to plead with the Destroyer as it turned its attention to him. The angel let its weapon drop from its filed teeth, then it took the crawling corpse in its jaws and sent it over the edge of the pit.

    Embracing the Abyss, the paladin saw it for what it was - a hole in the World that stood for naught.

    He fell into the darkness that the light of the World had neither hope nor want to reach. Falling, falling, there was only falling until, like his pain, the state was all he knew and thus failed to distinguish from its opposite.

    Would he exist forever in this nothingness?

    No, for soon there was sound (a presence, here! The paladin thought himself no longer capable of surprise and awe until this moment) like a cicada at his ear and suddenly a man-sized locust with a child's face emerged bio-luminescent from the darkness - first one, then a dozen, then a countless swarm.

    They considered the thing before them for a moment and then began to feast.

    As his reason and will were devoured, so were his despair and ruination, and suddenly the memories of the sword and the ordeals of Inferno seemed to the once-a-paladin to be someone else's dream.

    Awake now, he closed his eyes, never to wake up.

    Such was his final transmutation.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
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  7. Chippy Arcane Patron

    Chippy
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    I've spent 14 hours effing about with mods on the GOTY edition. Finally got a few simple mods merged and sorted out - no fall damage, more mutagen slots, FOV, the unification patch - loaded the game up and it looks like this:
    [​IMG]

    So re-installed, and it's fine. Gonna drop the unification patch. Maybe install the GOTY patch. Fully expect it to fail again, and spend another day messing about.

    Was it playable on the 1.31 patch? I might just leave it there if I can track down the offending mod. Modding this game is almost as bad as Skyrim.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
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  8. Ol' Willy Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Zionist Agent

    Ol' Willy
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    Uninstall.exe
     
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  9. Chippy Arcane Patron

    Chippy
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    It was the FOV mod. Irritating, because I thought installing the unification patch would standardise the game for mods. Obviously not.
     
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  10. PulsatingBrain Huge and Ever-Growing Patron

    PulsatingBrain
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    If you spam escape you will skip past that shit as soon as your game has loaded in the background.

    They are annoying though.
     
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  11. Zer0wing Cipher

    Zer0wing
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    • Funny Funny x 1
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  12. PorkyThePaladin Arcane

    PorkyThePaladin
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    Yeah, I saw. As warpig says, it's over...
     
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  13. Zer0wing Cipher

    Zer0wing
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  14. Semiurge Liturgist

    Semiurge
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    No shit. I just finished "Wandering in the Dark" and the fight against Nithral is like

    [​IMG]

    even on death march.
     
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  15. deama Liturgist

    deama
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    From that gif, the enemy seemed really spongy.
     
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  16. PorkyThePaladin Arcane

    PorkyThePaladin
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    It's a level 45 guard in the starting town. You are not supposed to be fighting him, I was just demonstrating the mod.
     
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  17. deama Liturgist

    deama
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    Didn't you install an upscale mod?

    Anyway, the biggest issue with witcher 3 for me was that geralt was having a hard time against guards, those guys aren't meant to be tough to him at all, in high numbers, sure, but 1v1 geralt should have no problem at all. Basically the whole power-scaling of the game is out of whack as geralt in the beginning has problems with mobs that he shouldn't lore/story-wise.

    Is there a way to basically lock everyone's level, including geralts, as well as give him all the skills fully upgraded?
    Then simply add several more mutagen slots and make mutagen's the "progression" system?
     
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  18. PulsatingBrain Huge and Ever-Growing Patron

    PulsatingBrain
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    In the novels, I don't remember him taking any kind of fight to the death lightly. If anything, I'd say the death machine you become towards the end of TW3 is far more detached lore/story wise.

    Either way, I guess that's just part of making a non-scaling level system.
     
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  19. razvedchiki Erudite Sad Loser

    razvedchiki
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    no alchemy overhaul mods?
     
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