The Witcher 2: Noted

As usual, I’ve forgotten lots of things, everything not written down immediately, is gone. That’s what’s left then. [I updated most of the things that are fixed/changed now!]

What I don’t like that much:

– The sliders in menus don’t have arrows and trying to browse through them with the cursor keys is hopeless, because all to often several entries are skipped. [Fixed!]
– Meditation until a certain daytime occurs isn’t as comfortable anymore, because there’s no real clock available outside the meditation screen. I never knew what time it was, until I opened that screen.
– Alchemy – pretty much the same thing – offers less usability, because it doesn’t display how many potions of a certain type are already in the inventory.
– The highlighting made things so much easier in Witcher 1, the medallion isn’t the same, although I got used to it quite fast.
– There are skills that are enhanced through frequent usage (?) or things that the player discovers, but it’s very intransparent, I never know what I have to do to reach the next level, or how far I am from it… Another technique to motivate the player to explore the game world more carefully (something I’m not against)?
– Books – I liked that feature a lot the way it was in Witcher 1. There are still books in Witcher 2, but the interface doesn’t tell anymore, if the user has already read them. That makes it harder to keep track. Somehow it’s always the interface, that isn’t that perfect. Because everything else seems really close.
– Sometimes alchemical ingredients/crafting items can be quest items. Some cannot be “protected”, so if not careful while brewing potions, it’s possible to use up quest items for minor things…
– Once items (daggers/bombs/traps) are put in the pockets, it doesn’t show the amount anymore, to learn that, it has to be put back into the regular inventory… Horrible usability! It’s really always the interface… [Fixed since 1.3.]
– When bombs/daggers/traps in the pockets are used up, their icon stays visible in the bottom left section of the screen. It’s misleading, because you’d expect there’s still more ammo of it. The empty status should be reflected by this icon. [Fixed! Icon now displays the amount of ammo.]
– When quests are completed and Geralt receives his rewards, the game doesn’t say how much gold is granted. The only way to find that out, is to memorize the amount of orens before completing the quest. Witcher 1 displayed all of that info. [Actually it’s still displayed, it’s just that sometimes some messages seem to get “swallowed”.]

More General:

– I never encountered the 2 DLCs I downloaded and installed, “Troll Trouble” (should be triggered through the Flotsam notice board in Chapter I) and “Ultimate Swordsman Suit”. Although the suit… Maybe I just didn’t recognize it as the DLC. [All fixed now, actually CDP distributed all available DLC along the patches for free!]
– Very often, the map still shows red dots of enemies, even after they were killed.

– In Flotsam’s Inn, there’s a monk standing in the cellar, besides the fistfighters. I played dice against him and it was said I won something (I don’t remember exactly) for having such a good hand and a gog.com logo was shown. I should go to the main menu under extras for a reward. I did so, but there was nothing new under extras, just the common credits. It was weird to me right away, since I didn’t buy the game on gog.com (I like gog.com but I wanted the box). [1.1 or 1.2 – don’t remember – listed this as fixed, but nothing changed for me.]
– Grapeshot bombs are referred to as “beehive” in the journal (english language version of the game). That makes it confusing (at first) to find the right bomb, when there is none by that name. This is just one example, there are several things that are referred to by more than one name… [Now it says grapeshot everywhere, I think. At least the Journal etc. does.]
– The quest “Suspect Thorak” failed, after I had already successfully completed it. That can’t be right.
– In Chapter III I played dice poker against “The Incredible Lockhart” (the last opponent) and he didn’t bet at some point, through which he automatically lost the game, although I didn’t have a good hand. Then he went on to say that I stopped his incredible winning streak. No I didn’t! You did it to yourself!
– When playing the Roche-path, several conversations in Henselt’s camp end with Geralt standing inside a campfire and thus running around as a human torch for a few seconds. People often sit around said campfires, but even when starting a dialog from another angle, Geralt is still automatically placed in front of (=in the fire) the selected character at the end of the chat.

//Update 2011/07/21

Patch 1.3 was released, its impressive 50 improvements (since 1.2!) render many negative points I encountered moot. But there’s not necessarily nothing left to do but party, because it even introduces some minor bugs. One huge highlight of 1.3 is, that Geralt can finally store items again in inns (yes, similar to Witcher 1). Trying just that with the innkeeper in Flotsam, during conversation, only starts the shop too, NOT the storage screen. So the 2 dialog choices “let’s trade” and “show me the storage” do the exact same thing. The storage can still be used, because the chest is accessible directly. Close one!
Another glitch I saw for the first time (don’t know if it’s new!), happens every time I try to scroll with the mouse wheel in the quest log, when there’s no scroll bar and the full text is already visible (yeah I know, why would someone even try that…). The text then just vanishes, leaving an empty space behind.
Also, that floating text bug is still there, that sometimes appears over a person’s head. The last one I saw said [PL] and then the name.
And yes, I do get it, it’s now in the stages, where only minor cosmetic things are still left to fix (or so it seems). I’m curious if they’ll continue to do even that.

Oh and I finally got that Assassin’s Creed joke right at the beginning!

//Update 2011/07/23

What’s weird is, that I now ran into more glitches than I did during my first playthrough with patch 1.1. In Lobinden I walked out of a house, in those situations the screen often turns black, but it’s okay – the game continues just fine. This time the screen stayed black. :D Was “kinda hard” to get out of it too, because Witcher 2 doesn’t allow simple tab out.
In chapter I there’s this scene, were Geralt has to bring Iorveth to the statue to meet Letho for the first time. After the dialog goes on for some time, Roche jumps in like Jack Bauer would and starts killing everyone. This time, Roche was there right away and tried to beat the shit out of Geralt and Iorveth all the way towards Letho. :D

Later, when I was in Vergen, I noticed my steel sword was gone from my inventory. That was ultra-weird for several reasons. I didn’t remove it, I didn’t sell it, Geralt was still wearing a steel sword on his back… When I pressed CTRL, it was named “cutscene sword”.

Therefore my theory is, that my steel sword was deleted/replaced during a cutscene and not restored after. I guess I was really lucky, that it was still early in the game and I didn’t have a good steel sword yet, otherwise this might have really sucked.

Then there are always still all these text bugs, where I’m especially annoyed by these various terms for the always same object:

Solid/Robust Cloth… Which one is it? Decide! It’s an unnecessary complication of crafting, when not only all the missing ingredients have to be remembered for gathering, but also all the multiple names for the same objects. I know, it’s not that big of a deal.

There’s another type of those, where there’s a [PL] in front of the name. This is nothing though. Doesn’t disturb me.

I wonder what’s the story behind Iorveth’s face, normally it looks like this:

But in some short scenes in Vergen, his headscarf-thing is removed from his wounded eye:

I mean it’s cool and all that they don’t just have static models for all characters, but was there a story here, or is this just a remnant of an alternative design for Iorveth?

//Update 2011/07/24

After one cutscene, that ended in Philippa’s house in Vergen, the door couldn’t be activated. “Escape” became only possible, by reloading a previous save. Worked the second time.

Exactly after finishing the quest “The eternal battle”, the two quests “The walls have ears” and “Suspect: Thorak” fail… Why is that? They were both successfully finished up until that point. Done and over… I got the XP for completing them and everything. The text in the quest log doesn’t change either. They keep their success messages. The quest “Baltimore’s Nightmare”, that’s also tied to Thorak, isn’t affected.

When the fight against Henselt’s troups started, Geralt suddenly had no weapons equipped. He went into a fist-fighting stance instead. Even after equipping swords again in the inventory, he wouldn’t snap out of it.

After leaving the mines with Saskia, Geralt’s steel sword… Just look at the pictures above. :D

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  1. 1 The Witcher 2 « adrift

    […] my earlier notes, there are still a couple of things I’d like to add. The game, to me, is great in all the […]

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