1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

The Witcher 3 Discussion Thread!

Discussion in 'Games' started by Ophiucha, May 1, 2015.

  1. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

    1,228
    242
    63
    It's May, which can only mean one thing... The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is coming out soon! I know at least a few people on this site are fans of the series, so who else is excited for this? The previews have gotten me seriously excited, lots of interesting looking combat improvements and possibly the most gorgeous and gargantuan open world I have ever seen. And an absurd amount of mo-cap sex scenes, as is to be expected.

    In the mean time, discuss:
    • Have you read the Witcher books?
    • What do you like best about the previous games?
    • Favourite characters, and any characters you hope to see again in the new game?
    Finally, for everyone's benefit, discussing anything more than technical aspects of the game, including things that have already been announced about certain cast members, story elements, and new characters, should be kept under a spoiler tag please! Some book spoilers and Witcher 1 and 2 spoilers are okay, but be courteous of anyone who is playing through the series for the first time, and any book spoilers that may give away plot points yet to be revealed in-game.
     
    Sparkie likes this.
  2. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    6,008
    1,663
    213
    I've read The Last Wish and Blood of Elves. I also bought Time of Contempt, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I want Baptism of Fire and I believe another one with "sword" in the title (which I think is a short story collection.) So yeah, I'm a big fan of the series.

    Of the games, I've only played Witcher 2, but I loved everything about it. The action-y play style, the monster hunting, the storyline, the darker kind of traditional fantasy setting. All of its awesome to me. I think I really fell in love with the Witcher series though after I read the first couple of stories in The Last Wish. Just an great introduction to the world and Geralt of Rivia.

    Geralt is my obvious favorite, but I also like Dandelion a lot. Triss and Yennifer are also really cool sorceress characters and I kind of like the love triangle Geralt has going on. Yennifer seems the more interesting to me because she's more mysterious. There's also a dwarf character I like a lot, but I can't recall his name right off hand. The main villain in Witcher 2 was freaking badass also. When I saw his cut scenes I was like "Whoa."

    Unfortunately, I won't be getting a PS4 anytime soon, so I'll just have to wait on this game. Although I am pretty hyped about it. Maybe I'll try to get Witcher 1 and replay Witcher 2 in anticipation. For Witcher 2, I had to play on an easier setting at one point and I would like to try to make different decisions and see how the story plays out.
     
  3. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

    2,926
    1,423
    163
    I have the Witcher 3 pre-ordered. Thankfully, the release date coincides with my semester ending, so I'll actually have time to play it.
     
  4. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

    1,459
    307
    83
    Loved The Last Wish. Great twists on old fairy tales, back before such things were trendy. Haven't read any of the novels, though.

    I've only played part of Assasins of Kings. I downloaded it to my xbox hard drive, which fried a few days later. From what I played, it seemed like they got the grittier worldbuilding part right. I also liked the melee combat, but there were serious problems with the magic 'sign' mechanics. Hope they've fixed that for the new game. Looking forward to May 19th!
     
    Reaver likes this.
  5. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

    3,352
    1,185
    163


    :wavespin:SPARKIE!!!:dance:



    [​IMG]
     
    Sparkie likes this.
  6. X Equestris

    X Equestris Maester

    653
    233
    43
    [video=youtube_share;VF7kqc7th0A]http://youtu.be/VF7kqc7th0A[/video]

    Saw this trailer the yesterday. I'm not too familiar with the series, but I have to say it's one of the better trailers I've seen.
     
  7. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

    1,228
    242
    63
    Anyone started playing the game yet? I'm not too far in, mostly getting distracted by side quests and trekking across the world looking for marginally better gear, but I enjoy it so far. Not perfect -- the alchemy system is a bit strange, and Geralt seems a little sluggish -- but the story's interesting so far, and I enjoy a lot of the new features. Plus, the world is gorgeous.
     
    Sparkie likes this.
  8. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

    2,926
    1,423
    163
    My wife and I have been playing, when time allows. One of the best aspects of the game are the stories. It seems like every little side-quest contains an intriguing story of it's own, which creates a really rich gaming experience. And I agree, the world is gorgeous.
     
    Sparkie likes this.
  9. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

    1,459
    307
    83
    I got the chance to sink a chunk of time into the game during my week off recently. Some thoughts so far:

    Yes, the world is pretty. And it has depth to back up its looks. In terms of pure worldbuilding, it may just set a new high mark. Because the games had a foundation of prose stories to work with in this regard, some may judge the writing and worldbuilding on a curve. Even so this is a well written, well fleshed-out game.
    -
    You're not alone, Ophiucha, in observing a little sluggishness in combat. That said, this is the most fun I've had with melee outside of the 'fighter' genre. Just enough challenge to make it interesting. And the gameplay outside of combat is well done too. It reminds me of Red Dead Redemtion in that way. Just riding a horse around and seeing what kind of trouble I can find has been awesome.
    -
    I'll be the minority voice and say that the alchemy system works just fine. On lower difficulty levels it makes for much less grinding and fetching. That suits me fine.
    -
    What will stick with me when all is said and done, I think, will be the overall level of detail. CD Project got so many of the little things right, little things that matter. I have had some bug problems, and one major crash, but I can't help but feel like the developers put more than the ordinary amount of time, effort, and TLC into the experience.
    -
    IMHO, the best game of the current generation so far.
     
    Black Dragon likes this.
  10. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    6,100
    3,946
    313
    I have to say I gave up on Witcher 2 because of the incessant and juvenile sexism. Women seemed to exist primarily as sex objects. I don't mind a bit of that--or I'd hardly play RPGs at all!--but in W2 it was positively relentless. I finally decided it wasn't going to be any different and just walked away.

    From what I've heard, W3 is even more so. Which is depressing to me because the game looks beautiful and I really want another good RPG and an excuse to spring for a PS4. But I really don't need to experience W2's sexism in even more gorgeous detail.

    I'd be interested to hear opinions on this point, especially as people play further into the game. I don't need value judgments here. I'd just like to know if W3 is as bad (or worse) in this regard as W2 was.
     
  11. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

    1,228
    242
    63
    I would say it's a weird mix of much better and much worse. There are some great female characters in here, including:
    Ciri, who is Geralt's adoptive daughter. She's occasionally a playable character, and she is /amazing/ to play as. She can teleport and uses a really great sword.

    Triss and Yennefer, Geralt's lover from the books, are well developed and the love triangle between them is more nuanced than anything in the previous two games would have lead you to expect from this team of writers. There are a lot of great minor female characters, too, and many opportunities to side with women in the story.

    On the other hand, there is some really horrible plot points and animations in this game. I'll put the lot of them under a spoiler tag, both for some minor warnings about domestic abuse and for minor spoilers.

    • THERE IS A WIFEBEATER WHO YOU CAN NOT ONLY SIDE WITH BUT THE GAME PRACTICALLY SHAMES YOU FOR NOT SIDING WITH HIM. I'm all-capsing that because it was awful. Geralt meets this guy and at first is like "you are awful", but then he tries to explain himself multiple times, including saying "not everything is black and white" and there are several dialogue options to side with him. Nah x 1,000,000.
    • One potential sex scene you can get with a prostitute involves her inhaling a drug vapor before sex.
    • Another prostitute openly admits that she hates her job and despises the work, but you can still hire her.
    • Another prostitute is an elf, and Geralt's lead-in line to hiring her fetishizes her for her race.
    • At one point, you must protect an extremely powerful sorcerer from... rats. As she cowers like a 50's house wife in the corner, squeeling 'oooh, Geralt kill them!'. You can later sleep with this sorceress, incidentally, although it's probably one of the more tasteful sex scenes in the game.
    • Philippa Eilhart's bisexuality is treated... terribly. It was in Witcher 2, as well, but this one also deals with her relations with men and it's handled worse than just the crude 'lesbomancy' jokes from 2.
    • Also, if it's an issue you're interested in, there's a very uncomfortable side quest involving a gay man who everyone in a town hates and who commits suicide. There's a shopkeeper in this game who is a man in drag that assures us 'but no homo, though, no worries' and the whole persona and his description of why he does what he does (as well as Geralt's reaction to it) is kind of... transmisogynistic. So, you know, not too great in that regard either. Not that the Witcher 2 was either.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015
  12. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    I've been toying around with the idea of getting this game and I have read a lot of good things about it, but there are just a couple of issues for me:

    1-I'm not familiar with the story line (haven't read the books or played the other games).
    2-Being a Bethesda fan, I love my RPGS with personalized characters to play, meaning that only being able to play one person in an RPG doesn't really feel like an RPG to me.

    Maybe I'll wait a couple of months, dunno. Especially now that Fallout 4 has been announced.
     
  13. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

    2,926
    1,423
    163
    I'm only part-way through the game, but from what I can see the sexism isn't being promoted, but is a reflection of the world in which the story is taking place. It's a cruel, unfair world where women and children are often prey, and are treated as property. Yet there are moments of hope and beauty that shine through periodically, keeping the darkness from being overwhelming.

    It's kind of like the TV series Mad Men, which took place during the 1960's and early 70's. There's tons of sexism (and racism) in that show, but that doesn't mean that it's being celebrated or encouraged. Rather, it's a reflection of a troubled era in American history.

    The sexism in the Witcher functions in much the same way. If the game really was promoting sexism and the degradation of women, my wife wouldn't be playing it, and she's loving the game thus far.
     
  14. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

    1,228
    242
    63
    Some of the sexism is definitely a matter of the worldbuilding, but I don't think all of it is. I don't know if you ever played it, Black Dragon, but The Witcher 1 had a side quest of sorts where you collected cards - nude portraits - of all of the women in the game that you had slept with. That was something that existed only on the player level, it wasn't something Geralt literally collected, but it basically reduced almost every female character in the game to a strange mix of Pokemon cards and cut-outs of a centerfold. A senior game designer for this third game said in an interview, "We are establishing that your character was intimate with this woman recently in order to plant in your mind, that, at the very least, he must enjoy her company. Through sex we have shown that this is a person who Geralt would be compelled to chase after if she went missing." The game could show terrible things in the world - including that first bullet point in my spoiler post - without necessarily going to the lengths it does to try to make the player sympathize with the acts of misogyny in the world.

    The game also encourages you to do things that are questionable in order to get the most rewards from a quest line. You get experience points for sleeping with prostitutes, regardless of how dubious their consent is from the dialogue you have with them beforehand. Some female characters you can sleep with have unique dialogue choices (that can have an effect on their fate) and rewards that you can get no other way but to sleep with them. These are game design choices, not worldbuilding ones.
     
  15. Gryphos

    Gryphos Auror

    1,417
    448
    83
    I assume you're talking about the baron, and I would disagree that the game tries to get you to side with him or feel guilt over not siding with him. I mean, yes, it gives you the option to, but that's just a matter of necessity in a choice-based RPG. As far as the story goes, he was presented as an alcoholic, wife-beating scumbag who tries to justify his actions, as anyone like him would. Whether or not his argument is convincing is up for the player to decide.

    I agree with you with regards to the other stuff, though. There is certainly an uncomfortable degree of sexism in some aspects of the game.
     
  16. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

    1,228
    242
    63
    Please remember to tag spoilers!

    There are several dialogue options where you can sympathize with the Baron, and admit that there is 'more to it' than just him being awful - despite the fact that he's admitted to killing his wife's lover and having always been distant and an alcoholic. Further, the 'happy ending' to his quest involves getting his wife help, the two of them travelling together, with only the hope that this wakeup call was enough help him. A few days off the wagon is not enough proof that he's not going to continue to beat his wife, particularly if she is cured of her current insanity and returns to hating him. The only alternative leads to both of their deaths.

    So either, let a wife beater whose wife pretty much sold her soul to get away from him get back with his wife, or let her have a terrible death and shove one final 'powerful' (a word I have seen many a reviewer use) humanization attempt at us when the Baron commits suicide because of it. I'm uncomfortable with a story trying to make us feel conflicted about his death, when it treats death quite casually elsewhere in the game.
     
  17. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    6,100
    3,946
    313
    Thanks, guys. Exactly the sort of feedback I expect from the folks around here--sensible and direct.

    I'm going to give it a pass. With so many other great games around, I see no reason to spend time with a game that seems deliberately to trivialize half the human race. It's a bummer because so much else of the game looks so very good.

    For myself, I'm holding my breath for Fallout 4. Fallout is three of my two favorite games.
     
  18. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

    1,228
    242
    63
    That's fair. Although I heard a rumour that Fallout 4 may not have the option to play a female character since the protagonist may be voiced in this one, which kind of turns me off the game. Also, my favourite games in the series weren't by Bethesda.
     
  19. X Equestris

    X Equestris Maester

    653
    233
    43
    Since it's been about a year since the main game's release, I think we can forego spoiler tags for it. We'll probably want to keep them for the expansions.

    The whole Baron arc was...very complicated. I think it's important to remember that what happens to the Baron and his wife hinges on a separate choice. Going through the game without any spoilers, the choice appears on its surface to be about whether or not you free a spirit entity from a tree. It claims that it can save six (I think it was) children from being killed by the witches that gave you the job. The witches tell you the spirit is evil, which is something coming from the likes of them. So the choice is really about who you trust. And if you let the spirit go free (the path that gets Anna killed and sees her husband kill himself), it wipes out a village, though it does keep its end of the deal and save the kids. It felt to me like there was a lot more at stake than just the two of them.

    I guess it comes down to whether or not you think the Baron is repentant, and whether redemption is possible for an abuser. In my playthrough, he seemed deeply remorseful after a specific point in the arc, and he swore off drink. Will he relapse? It's certainly possible. The game leaves it open. I'm not sure if my choice was the right one. That's a thing TW3 did very well: giving you tough choices which don't necessarily have a correct answer. I mean, at least there's a chance things could work out for them in the ending I got, but things could become even worse.

    Resurrecting this thread for expansion talk. Blood and Wine is coming out May 31st, and if the press releases are right it may have more content than some full games.
     
Loading...

Share This Page