Yes, yes, you’ve already seen two tons of Witcher 2 2.0 updates across the web… two, two, two. There’s a new Arena mode that features some progressive gladitorial combat that will surely appeal to people who are not me. There’s an enhanced difficulty Dark Mode that adds some new weapons and attire and, presumably, does something else ala the Fallout: New Vegas Hardcore mode, but it’s not clear entirely just what that is. There’s a new Tutorial mode that sounds like it’ll do a lot to help out new players. Oh and there’s a boatload of combat tweaks that genuinely sound like they’ll make combat a smoother, more enjoyable experience. (These are the fixes I’m most curious to see.)
But again, you’ve already seen that at Big Game Site 421. What you may not have seen is this Rock, Paper, Shotgun interview with CDP development director Adam Badowski. If you want to know why this company should be seen as one of the “good guys” in this business (as opposed to, say, the people producing “tittilating” Need for Speed trailers) you should absolutely check it out. Here’s the usual snippet regarding their evolving approach to working with publishers:
On another note, we’re still learning one very important thing: Producing better games is not just about knowing what constitutes a better game. It’s also about creating a business set up which makes that possible, a set up in which, for example, quarterly or annual financial results are not a key factor in determining a release date. None of that is easy, because under current standard set ups, developers have little to say. Publishers remain masters of the situation, and their decisions are quite often driven by corporate priorities that may actually be harmful to the development process. That’s why we would rather rely on our own financial resources, and why our model for cooperating with publishers has been slowly evolving from a publishing to a distribution arrangement under which we retain sole responsibility for key decisions. I’m pretty sure this will help us make even better games in the future and avoid being sued for decisions that favor our customers (two of the three charges made by our publisher relate to this: removal of DRM and of obligatory IP geolocation on GOG.com).
There’s plenty more where that came from.
After the break you’ll find the full 2.0 patch log…
Version 2.0 (Arena, Tutorial, and Dark Difficulty Modes)
Arena – is a new gameplay mode that is separate from the main adventure and narrative of The Witcher 2. In this mode, Geralt
of Rivia duels a variety of foes to the death in a gladiatorial arena located in an unnamed town somewhere in the Northern
Kingdoms. In addition to winning gold and valuable items, players also receive points for their wins. They can then post their
point totals on-line to compare their achievements against those of other blood sport enthusiasts around the world. Geralt can
encounter both foes and allies in the arena. He can recruit the latter for a fee to assist him during his most challenging clashes.
To post your point totals to the forum, you must be registered and have a forum account! Register and establish your
account directly through the game launcher or go to www.thewitcher.com. You can then log in to your account via the
IMPORTANT: Players using mods to alter their character attributes and statistics will not be able to post their point totals from
the arena to the server. This is a necessary precaution to prevent any attempts at distorting competition or misrepresenting
Tutorial – The game tutorial takes the form of a brief adventure during which players learn how to use a range of game
mechanics and functionalities. Assuming the role of game protagonist Geralt of Rivia, players save a wounded knight named
Bolton of Ironford while learning game controls as well as the basics of combat and alchemy. This transpires step by step as the
tutorial guides players through a series of minor missions. Upon completion, based on demonstrated abilities, the tutorial
recommends the difficulty level which the player should choose in embarking on the main adventure of The Witcher 2.
Dark Difficulty – The „Dark? difficulty setting is the most demanding difficulty level in gameplay terms. Under this setting, each
and every foe represents a significant challenge. In addition to raising the difficulty bar, the module includes several new sets of
equipment/items that are linked through a dark legend detailed in the Journal. Once all their components have been collected
and donned, the Blasphemer?s, Oathbreaker?s and Kinslayer?s outfits provide great advantages in combat. The swords included
in the outfits strip opponents of Vitality while supplementing the witcher?s. However, given that they are cursed, the swords
provide no benefit and harm Geralt by sapping him of Vitality as long as the outfits to which they belong remain incomplete.
Version 2.0 Corrections/Amendments
Corrections and improvements to combat:
1. Numerous improvements have been made in the targeting system.
2. Parrying is now unlimited (even when Vigor is completely depleted), though parries no longer cancel all damage
(maximum 50% reduction once the relevant ability has been acquired).
3. Responsiveness of game controls has been improved. This includes but is not limited to casting Signs, parrying,
and attacking immediately after evading an opponent?s assault.
4. Geralt?s attacks are no longer interrupted by attacking opponents. Attacks are now contiguous and foes cannot
interrupt Geralt?s attacks by landing a blow.
5. Assorted fixes now prevent opponents from incessantly attacking Geralt after he has been knocked down. Geralt
can no longer be knocked down repeatedly in quick succession. Also, he rises quickly while evading subsequent
6. Geralt no longer attacks opponents located behind other opponents positioned nearer to him.
7. The target locking system has been improved. Preference is now given to previously highlighted targets.
8. Target selection has been improved. Priority is now given to foes affected by a critical effect facilitating the
completion of a finishing move.
9. The additional two steps Geralt took after mounting an attack with the W, S, A or D key depressed have been
10. Attacks can now be continued even when a key controlling Geralt?s movement (e.g. W, S, A, D) is depressed.
11. Attacks can now be continued if the attack key is depressed immediately after the final strike of an attack animation
12. Geralt can now pivot 180 degrees immediately after completing an attack.
13. Assorted problems with key responsiveness have been resolved. Keys no longer need to be depressed twice or
more to trigger a given action.
14. A distance attack problem has been resolved. Geralt now mounts distance attacks (lunge with sword in hand in the
Fast style) when opponents were located at a suitable distance from him.
Other corrections and amendments:
15. Casting several bombs no longer blocks further inputs.
16. An option has been added to the configuration tool enabling aspect ratio to be set independently of resolution.
17. The amount of disk space required for game patching has been reduced.
18. The loading of selected Witcher 1 game saves no longer causes the game to crash.
19. A greater number of monsters now appear in the cave leading to Loc Muinne.
20. Improvements have been made in the manner in which monsters are spawned in the mist in Chapter 2.
21. The visual effect accompanying Adrenaline use no longer disappears prematurely.
22. Archers now draw their swords more quickly when Geralt approaches.
23. Mages no longer automatically cast shield spells when Geralt casts daggers at them.
24. The game is now paused when Geralt executes a finishing move in combat.
25. The troll in Chapter 2 has been corrected. Previously, in some circumstances he could not be attacked.
26. Physics on cast daggers have been improved.
27. The site for aiming daggers is now more visible.
28. Geralt?s animation when he dies while casting the Axii Sign has been corrected.
29. An exploit in the fight against Letho has been eliminated. Previously, this foe could be killed by casting bombs in
quick succession.30. An exploit related to the „Insane? difficulty setting has been eliminated. Previously, game saves could be loaded with
difficulty set to this level, which was contrary to design intentions.
31. Camera positioning/operation has been corrected during the boss fight against the kayran.
32. Camera control via gamepads has been improved.
33. Assorted adjustments have been made in mutagen statistics.
34. The „Junk? filter in the Inventory has been adjusted to provide for correct item filtering.
35. In the Inventory, the dialogue window warning of prohibited actions has been corrected.
36. Assorted corrections have been introduced to the mini-map in Chapter 1.
37. Audio balance throughout the game has been adjusted.
38. Erratic character teleportation in mini–games has been eliminated.
39. Assorted adjustments have been made in animations applying to nekkers.
40. A minor bug in the “Scent of Incense” quest has been resolved.
41. Numerous minor fixes have been introduced in character lip-sync throughout the game.