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The Witcher Witcher 3 was too big and had bad pacing

Agame

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Yes. Witcher 3 is a good game that could have been a great game, but its ruined by open world design and mechanics.
 

Chunkyman

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I thought the 2nd and 3rd acts of The Witcher 3 had pacing issues, but it wasn't really bad and the game overall was very well written. Apparently the devs ended up getting into a time/budget crunch and ended up cutting content for Iorveth and and a few other characters. The only thing I would say that was bad was the combat system, which gets silly when an expert swordfighter's only real technique is rolling around on the ground a thousand times and hitting them in the back.
 

Molina

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It's an open world game with lots of sidequests. The pacing is entirely dependent on the player.

The itemization could have been better, I agree, but I do not agree about the game world being too big. Exploring it was pure pleasure for me and the less content intense regions provided a nice change to the sprawling Novigrad or other major settlements.

I prefer a game in which I can ride for several minutes in a forest, just absorbing the atmosphere, to a game which is basically a theme park packed with "attractions" every 5 steps. It's more realistic, more immersive and provides a moment to relax and think. Besides, umyou only need to go everywhere once - later you have fast travel system.
TW3 is a TV show, 30 min episods (= one/two quest, not more), and you're done for the rest of the day. If you binge watch, of course it's too long.
 

alyvain

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TW3 is a TV show, 30 min episods (= one/two quest, not more), and you're done for the rest of the day. If you binge watch, of course it's too long.

I think you're right and it's fucking decline at its finest. A game for people who like Game of Thrones
 

DalekFlay

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TW3 is a TV show, 30 min episods (= one/two quest, not more), and you're done for the rest of the day. If you binge watch, of course it's too long.

This is a good way to see it probably, but I think that's more a critical flaw than an eccentricity.
 
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Welcome to almost every RPG, ever.
I'm not saying this isn't a problem, but it is a problem that has existed in every RPG, hell, every game that has side quests that aren't on a timer.
Most people expect to have unlimited time for exploration & non-main-quest related questing. It's usually where setting coherence takes a step back behind meeting expectations.

Though it is true that at least the player should get some kind of warning before proceeding too far (many games do that), I'd hope they improve that in Cyberpunk.
I don't think games that did it well were that rare: Morrowind, Fallout or VTMB offered a good choice of pace and the main content worked together with the side content instead of against it, or at least I never felt conflicted about it in those games. Maybe it's less common now because people who'd care whether or not doing the side content makes sense given the context of the story have become a tiny percentage of the target audience (certainly compared to those who just want something to kill/loot every 30 seconds regardless of story or context), doesn't mean you can't pull it off.

In TW3 they could've done a better job of making the side content mesh together with the main one, in fact I'm sure they originally planned to.

Example: when you first arrive in Velen and go to the inn at the crossroads as instructed (where you meet the baron's men), there's a questgiver/witcher contract for you there (the one with a brother and a bunch of women lost in a bug-infested mine). It's possibly the first witcher contract you run into after the tutorial zone. And during the dialog with that questgiver, aside from the cash reward he also says that he'll put in a good word with the baron for you. Now given that you likely were talking to the nilfgaardian ambassador guy in Vizima about the Baron less than 15 minutes ago it appears to be a way of making that quest connect with the seemingly-urgent main quest. Of course it falls apart when it turns out the game's stupid level system makes the quest lv30 which means it's practically impossible to fulfill until you're near the end of the game (and there is no effect related to the Baron). But the writer clearly had some intent to give that early witcher contract a purpose within the context of the main quest at first.

The TW3 story is not the typical rpg quest for power and glory that inherently justifies side questing for its mechanical rewards (gold/xp/fame) that bring you closer to that quest's goal. Geralt isn't going from zero to hero in the story nor establishing his place in the world. So there should've been more care put into why Geralt would be stopping by and helping peasants about their cow troubles when he's desperately trying to find & rescue his daughter who's being chased by demons. Wasting time like that seems to work against his stated goal rather than further it.
How many times did the main story of TW3 give the player an excuse to put the main story on hold while the player goes off and enjoys/explores some of the side content? There's a money check the first time he sails for skellige (a good excuse to do the lambert contract) and some vague hints of a quest for power when you finally learn where Ciri is and prepare for the KM battle (search for allies & items of power), that's about it.

There's no real stage in the TW3 story where the next step will only be available in a day or two later thereby giving Geralt some time to kill by wrangling contracts. There are no real gameplay mechanics that require you to do witcher's work to proceed towards the story's goal, no travel expenses, no significant maintenance costs, gold is everywhere and excessive and the main quest is already designed to provide you with everything you'd need. There's no reputation system where the more you sidequest in an area the more likely you are to obtain a clue to where Ciri is. In games like Fallout or Arcanum traveling from one town to the next felt like a journey, so doing local sidequests before you left didn't feel like it took up much time compared to traveling those distances. In TW3 the next step/next main story event is never more than a 15 second gallop away, so just as close as nearby smell-the-roses sidequests.

To me it ends up feeling like there are 2 separate games/playthroughs in TW3. First the one where you stick to the wild hunt storyline & related side quests, then the one after the main story's done where you just go around doing witcher's work. The fact that there's no easy way to tell which side quests rely on the main quest and which will still be available after the main quest's over just adds to the frustration.

As far as Cyberpunk goes I don't think it will be much of an issue given that you will be on a non-urgent quest for power & glory, so side quests shouldn't work against the goal of the story, particularly if they offer rewards.

As far as the next Witcher game on the other hand... Blood&Wine should show what they learned from TW3, and what you got was an even more urgent storyline where they added an option at the end of most main story dialog sequences to let you "teleport" to the next main quest destination so the ADD-type player wouldn't have to bother with open world traversal at all (let alone sidequesting), while still having a 3-day long side quest that for some reason fails if you ignore it during the 7-day rollercoaster of a main quest (the guillaume/knight in cursed love one).
 
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Nano

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Grab the Codex by the pussy Strap Yourselves In
On the subject of side quests clashing with the plot: I'm replaying Mass Effect 1 right now and this is exactly what's happening. Saren is working to kill everyone or something and you're tasked with stopping it, but you're constantly being bombarded with various unrelated side quests. "Shepard, deal with those raiders!," "Shepard, deal with those geth!", etc. It's very jarring.

(anyway don't mind me, didn't bother playing Witcher 3 past the 2 hour mark)
 

JDR13

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I never felt like sidequests really clashed with the plot in TW3. After all, Geralt is a Witcher. If he comes across a monster contract, why wouldn't he take it? It's not as if he's taking weeks to hunt these monsters down.

It's not like Oblivion at least. Now there's a game where sidequest clashed with the main plot in a more obvious way.
 
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I never felt like sidequests really clashed with the plot in TW3. After all, Geralt is a Witcher. If he comes across a monster contract, why wouldn't he take it? It's not as if he's taking weeks to hunt these monsters down.

Depends, how quickly is the plot supposed to be progressing normally? Each chapter seems to be reasonably completable in a few days, spending a whole day or two tracking a monster could be a very big setback considering Geralt believes Ciri to be in imminent danger at all times. There's not too many "come meet me at my house tomorrow" moments in the main quest where Geralt would be waiting around available for side work. Though you could argue that every quest has something like that implicitly and it simply isn't mentioned because the game itself doesn't care about stopping you from doing Quest 2 immediately after Quest 1.
 

Carrion

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Geralt wastes days of valuable time right at the start by refusing to be teleported to Velen. But yeah, false urgency sucks, and TW3 could've handled it better — breaks in the story that allow you to do some side work, less straightforward quest structures that don't always make it obvious where you should go next (like finding the water chip in FO — you need to explore and ask around), the occasional reminder that Ciri's not exaclty a damsel in distress and should be able to take care of herself, etc. In the books Geralt spends several novels just wandering around with his buddies and getting drawin into adventures, supposedly searching for Ciri but having little clue on where to go next. TW3 could've gone for something similar.

One thing that sticks out about TW3's pacing yet is rarely brought up is that the vast majority of its content takes place in what is essentially the first act of the story. How many people thoroughly explored Velen, Novigrad and Skellige before even getting to Kaer Morhen? I know I did. The whole search for Ciri progresses at a snail's pace since there's so much stuff to do, but once you actually find out where she is, it's a straightforward ride towards the endgame with very few distractions. The pacing feels odd in this regard, as otherwise the story follows a standard three-act structure beat by beat, each act taking you through all three major locations. I think I would've preferred it if the search for Ciri took place in just the Velen/Novigrad area, with only the endgame being set in Skellige. That way they could've made the main quest a bit tighter early on and prevented the game from being so front-loaded in terms of exploration. Would've helped with balancing too, with less need for the retarded level system among other things.
 
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Yeah, that coupled with the fact that the game basically informs you that you can skip half the game and go right to Skellige, then if you dare try to take it up on that offer it wags its finger in your face saying "no no no, those areas all have enemies that are scaled up past what you can fight now, go back to Velen".

It's like the game was initially envisioned as a much more open, non-linear game. Maybe Ciri could have been found pursuing any of the three leads? Then someone decided that the game needed to be forced into a linear structure and the main quest stuff in Velen just ends up telling you to go to Novigrad and Novigrad tells you to go to Skellige, and the harshly-gated leveled creatures were implemented to push the player to this path.
 

NullFlow

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There's a very jarring pacing where TW3 plods along and takes its time, then rushes through like there were budgetary and scheduling constraints. I can think the game after Kaer Morhen's climactic battle as emblematic of this observation, where you are suddenly informed of the apocalyptic stakes at hand and jump into a swift series of chores to assemble for a fairly snooze-worthy climax at Skellige. Not to mention that the ultimate villain of the series - Eredin - gets under 20 lines for the whole game. They really couldn't cut out a few sections of Velen or Skellige to develop their antagonists more? I had the impression the game was supposed to end at KM, hence blowing their load on emotional deaths and spectacle, but then the heads at CDPR told them it would be too short and the writers remembered they had like five story arcs they didn't complete, so they had to stretch out the remaining 35%.

HoS and B&W were a better on this front and understood when to end it, though HoS was much more linear and B&W was an expansion. We'll see if Cyberpunk stumbles on its bloat like TW3, or CDPR learned from their errors.
 

Yosharian

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Who gives a flying fuck if Geralt doing sidequests is 'jarring'. What matters is whether those fucking sidequests are interesting or not.

Surely we all accept that this is a game, and that there are certain aspects that wouldn't work out in reality, like of course Geralt wouldn't go off on contracts if there was something time-critical, but it's a game.

What matters is, is it fucking FUN, and a lot of Witcher 3 content is boring filler
 

JDR13

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Who gives a flying fuck if Geralt doing sidequests is 'jarring'. What matters is whether those fucking sidequests are interesting or not.

Surely we all accept that this is a game, and that there are certain aspects that wouldn't work out in reality, like of course Geralt wouldn't go off on contracts if there was something time-critical, but it's a game.

Be careful, I'm not sure if such rational posts are allowed here. It's much more fun to nitpick about the same things that are present in pretty much every crpg ever made. :)
 

Nano

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Dunno about you, but things like this do interfere with my enjoyment of a game. The side-quests *should* fit with the main plot in story-based games. Not bothering to do so is entirely due to incompetence.

Be careful, I'm not sure if such rational posts are allowed here.
'Rational' lmao.
 

moon knight

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Yeah, that coupled with the fact that the game basically informs you that you can skip half the game and go right to Skellige, then if you dare try to take it up on that offer it wags its finger in your face saying "no no no, those areas all have enemies that are scaled up past what you can fight now, go back to Velen".

It's like the game was initially envisioned as a much more open, non-linear game. Maybe Ciri could have been found pursuing any of the three leads? Then someone decided that the game needed to be forced into a linear structure and the main quest stuff in Velen just ends up telling you to go to Novigrad and Novigrad tells you to go to Skellige, and the harshly-gated leveled creatures were implemented to push the player to this path.

The only way you can fix this issue is by creating the game with level scaling in mind. So no, how they did it it's better.
 

DalekFlay

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On the subject of side quests clashing with the plot: I'm replaying Mass Effect 1 right now and this is exactly what's happening. Saren is working to kill everyone or something and you're tasked with stopping it, but you're constantly being bombarded with various unrelated side quests. "Shepard, deal with those raiders!," "Shepard, deal with those geth!", etc. It's very jarring.

This is something you have to just ignore or head-canon rationalize in almost every RPG. Very, very few give you a good reason to do all this shit while the whole country/world/universe is at stake.
 

Doktor Best

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The only thing I would say that was bad was the combat system, which gets silly when an expert swordfighter's only real technique is rolling around on the ground a thousand times and hitting them in the back.

If you played like this then it simply means you didn't understand the combat system...

The combat is mediocre, but it gets way too much shit by people who dont even put in the slightest effort to grasp its basic systems.
 

moon knight

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which gets silly when an expert swordfighter's only real technique is rolling around on the ground a thousand times and hitting them in the back.

This happened in TW2, but in 3 is different. After the roll there is a recovery time that doesn't allow you to immediately hit the opponent nor parry. The dodge is way more functional.
 

DalekFlay

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These things might be true but to my memory it's still 100% viable to just roll n' slash your way through that game. Should have been actively discouraged.
 

JDR13

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Dunno about you, but things like this do interfere with my enjoyment of a game. The side-quests *should* fit with the main plot in story-based games. Not bothering to do so is entirely due to incompetence.

Be careful, I'm not sure if such rational posts are allowed here.
'Rational' lmao.

Right, except they're called "side"-quests for a reason.
 

Chunkyman

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If you played like this then it simply means you didn't understand the combat system...

What is there to understand? You can win every single fight in the game with this method. The fact that you can mix it up and use dodging, counters, parrying, etc. doesn't change the fact that the simplest method to winning all combat in the game is rolling around on the ground endlessly. The combat system in The Witcher 3 simply wasn't well designed.
 

jf8350143

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I don't even need the rolling or parry system in the late game. I could stand there and let the monster hit me they can't even break my Quen.
 

Agame

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On the subject of side quests clashing with the plot: I'm replaying Mass Effect 1 right now and this is exactly what's happening. Saren is working to kill everyone or something and you're tasked with stopping it, but you're constantly being bombarded with various unrelated side quests. "Shepard, deal with those raiders!," "Shepard, deal with those geth!", etc. It's very jarring.

(anyway don't mind me, didn't bother playing Witcher 3 past the 2 hour mark)

This has ALWAYS been a problem with RPGs.

"U are an Hero, u mus saf the wurld, very urgent, much dramatic, go, go, go!!"

"Oh and by the way we also have many odd jobs for you, like fixing old Miss Bondoogles leaky bucket, this will take a few weeks, but its not like you have anything urgent to do right?"

I think its just particularly on the nose in TW 3 due to the YUGE amount of side stuff juxtaposed with his own personal + save the world quest.
 

IHaveHugeNick

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Witcher 3 had shitass fucking random loot, shitass MMO style enemies, shitass medieval GPS that makes quest compast feel like incline and it had whole map cluttered with retarde collectible.

But it wasn't too big because there's no such thing as a game that is too big as long as its filled with quality content.
 

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