The Witcher(s) -- does it get good?

I made that same assumption for the entirety of the main Witcher 3 storyline, which I played on regular difficulty.

Then I got to the first expansion content, and got my ass handed to me, like, without even coming close to beating the first big bad I encountered in it. And it was then that I discovered that my potion and sword oil game – which I’d been pretty much ignoring, other than heal potions – was NOT up to standards. So I spent about 5-10 hours of game time going back and finding recipes, getting higher level recipes, I think even doing a few quests to get some of the really good oil recipes that I needed.

And I enjoyed that, honestly. A lot.

And I wished I’d played the game one difficulty level harder, because it absolutely would’ve made potions and oils a much bigger part of the experience. (And to be fair: the explanation of the difficulty levels says this very thing, pretty explicitly.)

When this gets its 4k upgrade, I’ll replay it and definitely go that route.

I think one of the changes made post release was showing in the UI which oil damaged which beastie. Prior to that you had a jumbled mix of different coloured bottles to mouse over before every fight. And then think is this guy a reptile or a bat…?

I should emphasize I agree that Witcher 2 is overall a great game, once I was able to survive the combat, and I expect I will probably also really enjoy Witcher 3 once there’s finally a finished definitive version for me to play and I get over my resistance to its sheer (imo never necessary) size.

But I am never gonna prefer more action in my RPG combat.

Yeah, on default difficulty you can ignore prep but it’s required on the higher ones. It makes the game much more interesting, but I get why they made it opt-in.

Also, credit to this Witcher 3 trailer, which shows Geralt using the exact potion, sign, and bomb that you should use in the actual game when fighting a Bruxa:

I’m in the just start with 3 camp. There’s only so much time in the day and you aren’t missing anything amazing. 3 is easily one of my favorite games ever and I could not get into the first game at all no matter how many times I tried.

Yup. If you thought the game was too easy, there are options!

Personally, i was in this particular game for the incredibly well done story, as opposed to the “OK” combat, so normal difficulty was fine.

It may be that my game playing in general has shifted away from “HARD MODE”++ as I get a little older and have less time. As long as the game has a bit of that enjoyable frustration that it isn’t a cakewalk, it’s probably OK.

Yeah, that trailer has always struck me as being one of the best CGI, non-gameplay trailers ever, not just for the narrative content and quality of the animation, but also because it incorporates all the stuff important to the Witcher 3 – Geralt’s medallion vibrates, he uses the silver sword, he uses the crossbow (which, HERESY!). It feels llike CDPR gave the studio a list of things that had to be in there, and they managed to incorporate all of them without stomping on the narrative arc of that little trailer.

I had issues with combat in 1 and 2, not so much with 3. Part of that is due I’m sure to my growing comfort level with 3rd person stabby games like the AC stuff, but part of it is due to the combat being more straight-forward hack and slash, mechanically. I find I can do ok with the sign-charge-attack-dodge/roll loop, with bombs as needed. I have been paying close attention to oils too which helps, and going into the skill tree that buffs them and gives you defensive benefits as well. I’ve found I can often, though by no means always, defeat monsters several levels above me if I’m careful and have the recipes.

As usual with this sort of game, the biggest challenge is often figuring out what gear to use. Deciding what is more important, raw damage or armor values or the specific bonuses, for instance, is a big part of it.

I plan on going through 3 again when they release the enhanced edition. Technically I could just mod the darn thing myself, but I’m lazy. There’s some pretty insane gfx mods out there to improve the textures.

The trick with Witcher 1 combat is to realize it is mostly automated. The only thing the player has to do is choose the optimal sword/style and just get the click rhythm down and Geralt will handle the rest (based on his stats), dispatching foes with pizzazz. I remember there being a lot of cool kill animations. It’s sort of random when it happens but very memorable.

I fully understand what you’re saying here, and to an extent agree. It was sorta like a Batman/Shadows of Mordor-style (probably a bit lighter). I kinda liked just clicking the right things and watching the fun combat that resulted because I was there more for the story than action combat. I didn’t exactly play W2/W3 on Deathmarch.

I found the combat in 3 borderline unplayable, which may be strongly related to the fact that I have it on console (controller!) while I have the first two on PC. The rest of the game was still good enough that I stuck it out, and while I loved it overall and strongly recommend it, it keeps it off of my “best ever” list where it seems to have landed for many.

I honestly think Witcher 3 is the best electronic game I’ve ever played.

I had the complete opposite reaction to Witcher 3! I’m a hardcore PC gamer, and play almost everything with keyboard and mouse. Witcher 3 was one of the few games where it is so much better on a controller than KB+M that I dusted off the old Xbox 360 wireless dongle thing and played the whole game through with a 360 controller.

This is not to negate your experience at all, but just to say that we all experience things differently. Weird.

I found witcher 3 to be perfectly fine and playable on KB+M, but then I just beat Ori and the will of the wisp on KB+M, so I’m a masochist?

W3 with K+M was a no-go when I first tried it, but after playing a ton of other 3rd person games and coming back to it, it worked fine. Probably has more to do with personal experience than anything inherent about the interface I guess.

Witcher 3 was one of those RPGs that was so obscenely long that I ended up burning myself out on it and now I wouldn’t play another in the series if you paid me. I couldn’t even watch the Netflix TV series because I had flashbacks to playing the video games when I tried to watch it but tbh that series is pretty bad in its own right, so…

I also have a negative association for technical reasons for disliking Witcher games. I had an ATI/AMD video card when I tried to play Witcher 1 a couple of years after it came out and discovered that the drivers were so bad for ATI/AMD cards that I had to try 3-4 different ones to play W1 without artifacts. insert “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!” meme here

I can certainly understand that. If I had had those experiences, I’d be in the same boat.

For me, yeah, the game is long, but I like the world and the mechanics, as well as the side stuff, enough that I haven’t burned out on it yet. Just over 80 hours and getting to the end of the main quest line I think; have not even touched the two DLCs as I am barely high enough level to even start those.

And I like the TV show, so it feeds into the game in a supportive loop. YMMV of course.

Keep in mind the games only get more ARPG with each iteration.

So if I wanted to give Witcher 1 another shot and bring the graphics up to date as much as is possible, but without adding instability or screwing up the design, any suggestions on what to install/avoid?

(Also happy with any mods that make the combat easier. I’m in it for the story, not twitch challenge.)