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Thoughts on The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt

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1 Thoughts on The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt on Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:15 pm

This review is pretty disorganized... *shrug* Sorry.

Let's start with the end. Saved the orphans (still kept that doll in storage, just in case), allowed Sara to live in Novigrad, evacuated the mages, killed Radovid, elected Cerys as queen, left Whoreson Junior alive, Keira hooked up with Lambert (which is too bad, I think I liked her better than Triss), Emhyr conquered the north, Ciri is named his successor, and Geralt continued to wander, penniless (which seems odd to me, as at the end of the game I had a few hundred crowns left after buying master gear, so Geralt could very well have bought his own house to live in between contracts. Could have gone on several more contracts to buy several more houses, in fact).

Let's talk about the leading ladies first. I went into this feeling spiteful at the fandom around Geralt, Yennefer and Triss, deciding beforehand that I would reject them both, so I surprised myself when I found Triss to be charming and tolerable, in contrast to the way she's portrayed in the first sequel, and I'd gladly replay at sometime later and give her the kiss. Yennefer also surprised me in her own way. I wasn't there for every story scene when Arch streamed his playthrough, and I chose not to be, because I had promised someone I would give the franchise another chance. Personally I would not stand for her cruelty in the garden, her justification for it, and choosing to hide the penalty from me. It was a trifactor of a dealbreaker, and it honestly surprises me how Geralt can bring himself love her after learning that she's capable of that. My Geralt, that is, you can choose to be a heartless bastard if you want. And it's compounded with her superior and deprecating attitude and believing she can behave like a boor to anyone she wants when she's on the rag, even her closest "friend" (can't even extricate Geralt from that and his attraction to her) and get away with it - and the writers let her. How many unwarned Skelligers do you think died in that flood? Answer: too many, and yes some Skelligers did drown off camera, don't lie to yourself. I don't know which to assume, that Geralt's love for her can only be affected by the djinn quest, or that he stopped loving her and is just letting her down gently by saying that the djinn did it. Because both headcanons are equally terrible. To me. If your Geralt is a heartless bastard, your headcanon is terrible altogether. Smile

On the other end, Ciri is of course the apple of every player's eye, and I'm no different.

Had a problem with Cerys too. She's got a good heart, but I definitely did not want to trick an evil spirit if it meant tricking someone into feeling betrayed to "help" them. Besides, it would have found another host eventually. Better to kill it for good.

I'm very satisfied with what happened at the end of my playthrough. Ciri learns to move on with a tearful goodbye to Geralt and assumes the throne after Emhyr's inexorable conquest, Cerys assumes the throne and brings peace to Skellige, and Temeria serves Nilfgaard and doesn't get absorbed. Pretty neat.

When I returned to Crow's Perch to see that Phillip had hung himself, I was furious. In a dialogue with the ealdorman after dealing with the spirit trapped in the tree, one of the dialogue is, and I think I'm quoting here, "I freed the evil spirit." This implies that Geralt knew the creature was evil, and yet I still had the option of setting the damn thing free. It later came and slaughtered the village before Geralt and the Baron came through on their way to the bog. Felt guilty about that, but after looking online for the ending variations and learning that it was to save the orphans, I will probably make the same decision again. At the time, I wasn't sure if I could trust it, and if I knew what Gerat knew, I would have killed it instead. I just don't like being tricked as a player by the way things are presented to me.

I remember that guy who was buried neck-deep in sand, looking it up it seems the developers wanted that to be the player's tutorial on the effects of a player's actions. Sounds to me like they're trying to teach a player to be distrustful and hamper one's altruism, which doesn't work on me. My first inclination is to help or save someone. If I find out later that they decide to use their second chance to take revenge, that's not on me. And all I have to do to kill him is merely suggest that the world would be better off if he'd been left for dead instead? That's all it takes to goad him? Very well, the world is rid of one more wicked and stupid person.

I don't understand how feelings of doubt or uncertainty affect whether she lives through defeating the White Frost. When you pick up a piece of cake with your fork and eat it, no amount of self doubt or uncertainty you feel over how it will fatten you up will cause the opposite, nor cause you to stab yourself through the inside of your cheek, unless you're a leper with dementia. It's easy to just pull the "Avallac'h did it" card here. The five little things you say and do don't make much sense, either. Comforting Ciri after the death of Vesemyr somehow reduces her confidence? This I did not do, but I nearly did because I'm just a kind person. When my father dies, come back to me after a year and say that to me, and maybe you'll be able to chalk up one of my failures after saying that to me to be caused by something other than being discouraged by loss. Accepting Emhyr's coin is so innocuous, too. Telling Ciri to calm down rather than wreck Avallac'h's private stash? Who hasn't been so mad they want to attack someone or destroy something in their anger, and being talked out of making that kind of mistake? The writers seem to confuse temper tantrums and generally acting childish in one's anger for a sign of maturity and to that I say "don't be stupid." Having a friend who will calm you down when you're feeling turbulent is never a bad thing and has nothing to do with confidence. But since stopping the White Frost and surviving can be measured by how confident one is in walking toward a bright light, then these decisions Geralt can make when interacting Ciri must be magical as well. Magical, mechanical, and stupid.

Creating potions and upgrading oils is a nice touch, if you're picking up every flower and drowner tongue you come across, which was came to me like a compulsion because they weigh nothing, same with crafting components, and also especially when you can buy them in the crafing menu (flawless ruby comes to mind). That was awesome, but a nice bonus would be being able to buy alchemical ingredients in the alchemy menu (when accessable through an alchemy shop). What sucks is having to open the inventory to equip a different poison when facing a different enemy. Killing drowners on my way to slay a siren and having to equip the hybrid poison, for instance. In the next game, these should be further consolidated into passives, though I wouldn't mind if I had to open the radial menu to press a button when locked onto a target to trigger the application of the correct poison, even with a quick little animation to go with that. If that is how it went, I would only have to open up the menu to drink decoctions before fighting a boss creature. I rarely found any use for the decoctions that gave you an accumulating bonus for every creature you kill after drinking it.

Another thing that sucked about alchemy is how much White Gull you need, for both potions and alchemical ingredients. White Gull requires Redanian Herbal, Mandrake Cordial, and Dwarven Spirit, and I've gathered so many Dwarven Spirits that I had exactly 117 at one time. The other two deserve more frequent loot placement, and it would be nice for there to be at least one of each at every shop you can visit which sells alcohol, given how often you need them to make White Gull. I'm a bit of a completionist in this regard, I like reducing menu lists to as few as possible, including quest objectives, inventory space, and whatever you would classify potion-crafting under. If I had to craft a new oil or potion each time I ran out of either, I wouldn't even bother, so I appreciate the use of alcohold to just replenish them. Apparently it doesn't go for the Dwarven Spirits first...! Wish it would, cuz then I'd at least have one or two when I lost that horse race with Eskel.

Weapons and armor are degradable, but it's not compulsory, and I was almost never unable to repair them on the spot, especially after learning the lesser repair kits for both weapons and armor. Typically I would never wait until my sword is approaching 30% or even 10 to use a masterwork repair kit. It's smarter to have just the reguler/lesser repair kits and keep an eye on your weapons to repair them the moment they enter the red. However I wouldn't just sell masterwork repair kits if instead of providing a bonus, they repaired it to 100% and additionally provided a buffer against degradation, like Quen for your equipment.

I didn't find much use for magic, relying mostly on poisons and sword when a monster was susceptible to a poison. Quen came in handy when I couldn't simply dodge enemies who swarmed me or when facing a creature that was very strong (the Frenzy skill came in handy). A fight against a strong enemy was attrition, but I found fights with humans to be the most difficult, forcing me to time counter-attacks rather than dodging and striking them. Assassin's Creed 1 and 2 had great counterattack systems. Just hold down the block button and press "X" when someone comes at you. That's an example I'd like to see followed. Aard isn't strong enough to knock someone so silly they can't react past getting hit more than once, so I relied more on Quen and dodging to stay alive. At least twice during my playthrough I'd been cornered and raped, dodging but unable to move away from the spot my enemies had me pinned against, and it could have easily killed me if I couldn't roll away. I only ever used Igni to stagger drowners, and later to stagger and melt Wild Hunt bosses' armor.

Mutagens, holy crap I had over 50 wraith mutagens by the time I was ready to finish the game, and blue/green mutagens are more easy to find than reds. I'm sure that was intentional, but one would think maybe offset the chance one would find wraith mutagens - and just those, as opposed to monster mutagens in general - to increase the chance one would find reds. (granted, I might have finished the game with 2 greater red mutagens equipped). Leveling up was a real treat, being able to browse the skills for ones that fit my playstyle (it's a shame that the Cat school gear, as do all the other school gears requires going through a DLC to get the equip set bonuses).

I really hate it when an object gets in my way and has me trotting in place, which I for one do not enjoy as much as some asses. Just a little bit of pathfinding around such obstacles would be great, if there was no interaction with said obstacles other than forcing you to stop trotting in place and get back up to a sprint to catch up to your opponent, who has taken full advantage of the glitch. I especially found the night-time race irksome. Even when using Cat Eye I needed to retry a few times. The only race I allowed this to take away the win from me was when I raced Eskel, for story reasons (I think out of everyone, I'd say Eskel is my favorite person at Kaer Morhen). There was only one other contest I lost and allowed the defeat to stand, and that was the fistfight at the An Crait funeral feast. Gave Hjalmar my sword, too, the Enhanced Cat Steel Sword I'd crafted myself. It didn't sting so much,because I could Mr. Q up another at Fyresdahl with a snap of my fingers. Didn't realize there was a blackmith just outside at the time...

Avallac'h's reason for the Aen Aelle leaving the world after making it and trying to wipe out the humans is an in-game cop-out. "Racism" and "you're just as horrible as us" doesn't cover half of it. I think what the writers intended him to say was that elves are just as troubled as humans are, but it came out wrong and full of BS from Avallac'h.

I think I've covered almost everything. Each time I killed a siren a little part of me died inside. A, because of the all-too-human sounding agonizing scream they make sometimes, and the glossary entry on sirens about how they used to be peaceful creatures, until humans started trapping them. Alright, I think that's everything. Oh, Geralt's voice is a negative. I don't care if it's in-lore, lore can sometimes be a negative.

8/10.

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