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The Witcher 3 is one of the best war games there's ever been

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  • #16
    Hayashi.226

    I'm not sure if there is an (official) translation for that, but I translated personally at that time and posted here. Hope this will be enough
    https://forums.cdprojektred.com/foru...29#post2113729

    Comment


    • #17
      pinoko Thank you! Yes, it is good enough!

      Comment


      • #18
        I think there's two sides of this:

        1. The game did a very good job of showing a land devastated by war, where life is really hard for the regular people caught up in it.

        2. The game did not do a very good job of really showing us that war, or having questlines that directly relate to it. We don't see any battles (besides in the opening cutscene), or even any skirmishes. The Witcher 2 did a better job of having set pieces that showed battles. Early on, there are several quests that at least relate to the war (there are a couple early quests that relate to searching through battlefields full of dead bodies). Soon enough, though, there's really no quests that directly relate to the war. One can almost forget that a war is happening. This is probably a weakness.

        Also I get that The Witcher 3 was meant to be a more personal adventure, rather than a geopolitical one like most big RPGs. And I think that was a good thing. But it would've been interesting to allow us to potentially choose sides in the war and have some effect on how the war goes. Perhaps Geralt should not be able to single-handedly determine the outcome of the war. But he could be involved in a major event. For instance, the game tells us a lot how Novigrad as at the tip of the spear. I think it would've been great for Geralt to be involved in a battle for Novigrad. It would've been particularly interesting, since the game does a good job of demonstrating that every side of the conflict was severely flawed (Nilfgaard is an aggressive conquerer, Radovid is crazy and basically evil, and Novigrad itself basically has state-organized pogroms). It would've been genuinely hard to determine who to side with, and the game could've easily shown some pretty bleak consequences of the victory of whichever side you supported.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by lessthanjake123 View Post
          But it would've been interesting to allow us to potentially choose sides in the war and have some effect on how the war goes.
          This is actually possible in Reason of State and related side quests, even if the plot in these is not among the best done ones in the game. There are three possible outcomes to the war depending on the decisions made in the quests.

          The explanation to the lack of actual battles shown in the game might be that they would have been too expensive to implement relative to their importance in the story, and Geralt's character probably would not be interested in taking part in them (in The Witcher 2, he had to because of the circumstances). From what I have read, there could have been somewhat more content related to the war nevertheless (see the quotes in TheImpZA's posts here), but it was cut from the final game because of not fitting well with the main story and not having enough time to finish it.
          Last edited by sv3672; 11-09-17, 13:49.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by sv3672 View Post

            This is actually possible in Reason of State and related side quests, even if the plot in these is not among the best done ones in the game. There are three possible outcomes to the war depending on the decisions made in the quests.

            The explanation to the lack of actual battles shown in the game might be that they would have been too expensive to implement relative to their importance in the story, and Geralt's character probably would not be interested in taking part in them (in The Witcher 2, he had to because of the circumstances). From what I have read, there could have been somewhat more content related to the war nevertheless (see the quotes in TheImpZA's posts here), but it was cut from the final game because of not fitting well with the main story and not having enough time to finish it.
            Yes, I suppose Reason of State does allow us to take sides and have an effect on the war. But it feels a bit tacked on, and you still don't actually see anything relating to the war. It's basically having an effect on the war through subterfuge, and you don't really see any difference in the game world afterwards. So, while it does fulfill what I was talking about in some sense, I think what I would've ideally wanted would be a more thorough, well-integrated questline in which you actually are involved in the war effort, see the war firsthand, and see a change in the gameworld based on who succeeds. As I said, I think potentially portraying a battle for Novigrad would've been a good opportunity for this.

            I agree, though, that this might have been too difficult to do relative to its importance to the story. Ultimately, TW3 is a personal story, and I think that's a good thing. And we certainly got plenty of content even without this. I just think that in a perfect world something like this would've been implemented as well.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by lessthanjake123 View Post
              I think it would've been great for Geralt to be involved in a battle for Novigrad. It would've been particularly interesting, since the game does a good job of demonstrating that every side of the conflict was severely flawed (Nilfgaard is an aggressive conquerer, Radovid is crazy and basically evil, and Novigrad itself basically has state-organized pogroms). It would've been genuinely hard to determine who to side with, and the game could've easily shown some pretty bleak consequences of the victory of whichever side you supported.
              I'm actually happy they didn't. Responding directly to the portrayal of "a warzone", I was very impressed by how "down to earth" it felt. What strikes me most about warzones is not the constant chaos -- it's the lack of it. The day-to-day business that tries to keep going...despite "machine gun fire clicking away in the distance". It's a very uncomfortable environment, and I'm glad the game didn't rely on showing "battlefields" to represent a "war"...as battles are just one small part of any war. Encountering the remnants of battlefields felt much more bleak and impactful -- there was no action or excitement to take in...just the dead, ruins, and survivors. I thought that was very effective.


              Originally posted by sv3672 View Post
              This is actually possible in Reason of State and related side quests, even if the plot in these is not among the best done ones in the game. There are three possible outcomes to the war depending on the decisions made in the quests.
              And this also fits the motif of a Witcher far better than donning armor and joining a line on the battlefield. Plus:

              With the battle for Kaer Morhen, Walking by characters I really cared about, not knowing whether they would survive...that added enormous tension during the actual fight. I don't think that would be as possible with any battle in Novigrad. Dandelion, Priscilla, Zoltan, Triss, Dudu...those are the only characters I would really worry about in Novigrad. And only Zoltan and Triss would be likely to actually fight.
              People always ask me, "What's in the box?" I get the question a lot. "Come on -- what's in the box!?" I won't tell them...but I'll tell you. Go on.
              You can see what's IN THE BOX!!!

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by SigilFey View Post

                I'm actually happy they didn't. Responding directly to the portrayal of "a warzone", I was very impressed by how "down to earth" it felt. What strikes me most about warzones is not the constant chaos -- it's the lack of it. The day-to-day business that tries to keep going...despite "machine gun fire clicking away in the distance". It's a very uncomfortable environment, and I'm glad the game didn't rely on showing "battlefields" to represent a "war"...as battles are just one small part of any war. Encountering the remnants of battlefields felt much more bleak and impactful -- there was no action or excitement to take in...just the dead, ruins, and survivors. I thought that was very effective.




                And this also fits the motif of a Witcher far better than donning armor and joining a line on the battlefield. Plus:

                With the battle for Kaer Morhen, Walking by characters I really cared about, not knowing whether they would survive...that added enormous tension during the actual fight. I don't think that would be as possible with any battle in Novigrad. Dandelion, Priscilla, Zoltan, Triss, Dudu...those are the only characters I would really worry about in Novigrad. And only Zoltan and Triss would be likely to actually fight.

                I think there's some validity to what you say. There is something interesting and different about a game that portrays the lives of regular people during a war, rather than just portraying the war itself. I agree you don't necessarily need big battle set pieces to portray war effectively. But I think that sort of more personal portrayal of war would be best served by more quests specifically relating to the war and its effect on people. We have a few of those early on, such as
                the Missing in Action quest where you're asked to find someone's brother who is missing in action and then discover the brother is holed up with a wounded Nilfgaardian soldier.
                In general, I'd say the White Orchard zone actually does this pretty well. And the Bloody Baron questline is at least tangentially related to the war's impact
                (since I read that to be a major cause of his drinking)
                . But, especially as the game goes on, there's little content that directly relates to the war's effect on people. The vast majority of the game's content could exist just as easily in a game world in which there is no war. Yes, it's certainly true that day-to-day business tries to keep going in a war, and I certainly don't think all--or even close to all--the content should've related to the war. But as the game went on, the war's impact on people became hard to really notice, which I think was a missed opportunity.

                The solution need not necessarily be a giant battle set piece. It could simply be more side quests that delved into the tragedy and impact it had on regular people.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by lessthanjake123 View Post
                  . But, especially as the game goes on, there's little content that directly relates to the war's effect on people. The vast majority of the game's content could exist just as easily in a game world in which there is no war. Yes, it's certainly true that day-to-day business tries to keep going in a war, and I certainly don't think all--or even close to all--the content should've related to the war. But as the game went on, the war's impact on people became hard to really notice, which I think was a missed opportunity.
                  The solution need not necessarily be a giant battle set piece. It could simply be more side quests that delved into the tragedy and impact it had on regular people.
                  Ironically...your examples highlight exactly what I was talking about. The war was omnipresent throughout the entire game. No clear sense of borders anywhere. Burnt houses. Battlefields with corpses still not dealt with. Recently abandoned places all over. Ruffians running amok everywhere. A seemingly total lack of widespread law enforcement. Refugees being turned away left and right. Racism and fear-mongering hitting a high (ala the burning of magic users / treatment of non-humans in Novigrad). Crazy power grabs (like closing the school in Oxenfurt and the whole Novigrad Underworld debacle). No center of power / authority...anywhere...(The Bloody Baron doesn't have control of his own men, Radovid hides on a boat, Skellige is split between suicide, regicide, and treason, Emyr's most needed advisors [that's Geralt and Yen!] conspire against him...

                  And while all of that is going on...you still have kids playing hopscotch in the streets. That's one of the (if not the) most evolved presentations of a war in any game I've ever played.

                  Now, considering the "theatrical aspects" of the game, I agree it may have been thrilling to play through a massive battle for the walls of Novigrad...but I think that's precisely why it wasn't done. They wanted to show that no part of the war was "thrilling". It wouldn't have logically or aesthetically fit the story that was being told, either. Besides, I think the only logical thing for Geralt to have done in such a case would have been to gather his friends and find a way to get out of the city before the battle started. He and Yen can't risk themselves or Yen while Ciri's at risk. Ciri can't risk it period. Witchers owe no one the service, and it would simply make life for them impossible in the future, no matter which side they chose. I feel was destiny not to have any wartime battles in the game. (Perhaps it was...more than destiny? )
                  People always ask me, "What's in the box?" I get the question a lot. "Come on -- what's in the box!?" I won't tell them...but I'll tell you. Go on.
                  You can see what's IN THE BOX!!!

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by SigilFey View Post

                    Ironically...your examples highlight exactly what I was talking about. The war was omnipresent throughout the entire game. No clear sense of borders anywhere. Burnt houses. Battlefields with corpses still not dealt with. Recently abandoned places all over. Ruffians running amok everywhere. A seemingly total lack of widespread law enforcement. Refugees being turned away left and right. Racism and fear-mongering hitting a high (ala the burning of magic users / treatment of non-humans in Novigrad). Crazy power grabs (like closing the school in Oxenfurt and the whole Novigrad Underworld debacle). No center of power / authority...anywhere...(The Bloody Baron doesn't have control of his own men, Radovid hides on a boat, Skellige is split between suicide, regicide, and treason, Emyr's most needed advisors [that's Geralt and Yen!] conspire against him...

                    And while all of that is going on...you still have kids playing hopscotch in the streets. That's one of the (if not the) most evolved presentations of a war in any game I've ever played.

                    Now, considering the "theatrical aspects" of the game, I agree it may have been thrilling to play through a massive battle for the walls of Novigrad...but I think that's precisely why it wasn't done. They wanted to show that no part of the war was "thrilling". It wouldn't have logically or aesthetically fit the story that was being told, either. Besides, I think the only logical thing for Geralt to have done in such a case would have been to gather his friends and find a way to get out of the city before the battle started. He and Yen can't risk themselves or Yen while Ciri's at risk. Ciri can't risk it period. Witchers owe no one the service, and it would simply make life for them impossible in the future, no matter which side they chose. I feel was destiny not to have any wartime battles in the game. (Perhaps it was...more than destiny? )
                    I guess my point is that, even if the environment is somewhat indicative of war (as you said, corpses on battlefields, deserters running around, recently abandoned places, etc.), the game doesn't really show the human effect of the war in its actual storylines. Yes, it is nice to show that people do still do normal things during war. That is true, and it should be part of any nuanced portrayal. But it would also be nice for the game to show the real toll it has taken on normal people. That is also a big part of war and should also be part of a nuanced portrayal of war. And I don't really think the game tried to do that very much. Which is perhaps surprising, since so much of the game's content and quests ultimately revolve around showing peoples' very human reactions to certain situations; it is IMO one of the main things that makes the game stand out from other RPGs. Yet it is set in a war and doesn't really try to delve into the effect it has had on normal people. You can say the war subtly underlies certain storylines (I think that is true of The Bloody Baron, for instance), but I think it'd be hard to argue that TW3 delved into the emotional toll of war on normal people in the same thorough and direct way that it delved into so many other emotional issues.

                    I think the above type of human stories of the emotional toll of war could have been done and been completely in keeping with the style of the game and the proper role of a witcher. And I think, in an ideal world, it'd be hard to argue that this shouldn't have been there.

                    On the other hand, a theatrical set piece battle would not unambiguously have been good. It would have been a bit of a departure from the game's focus on more personal storylines. And it probably would've required real changes to the storyline to make Geralt be believably involved in a major battle. But I do think it could've potentially been done and done well, though I think you bring up some very legitimate potential issues (and those issues may very well be why CDPR decided not to do it). One thing the game really seemed to focus on is that there are often no good options. And a battle for Novigrad, for instance, would've been a good example of this, as all sides are severely flawed. Meanwhile, a well-done version of this could've eventually also possibly explored peoples' reaction to being conquered (if Nilfgaard took Novigrad, for instance). I agree that it's not something that needed to be in the game, and would've risked being something of a thematic departure from the rest of the game. But I think CDPR could've done it well.

                    And, in fact, my understanding from what I've read is that they originally planned to have more war-related content (not sure whether it involved any theatrical set pieces or more personal stories though). I think that's why the large Nilfgaardian army camp exists even though there's almost no content there. Obviously, CDPR decided to cut this content. I imagine it had to do with time and resources, as well as a feeling that it wasn't really well integrated with the rest of the story. That's fair enough. There certainly was plenty of content in the game, and I wouldn't want CDPR to have put out things content they didn't believe was up to par. But I think that indicates that CDPR intended to do more with the war setting, but ended up cutting it out, resulting in the war being delved into less than they had initially intended.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Let me argue devil's advocate for a second here. Playing through massive battles in first- / third-person is awesome. The battle for Mel Senshir in Amalur...the final assault against the Black Gate in Shadow of Mordor...almost every single battle in Mount and Blade... There's no denying that such sequences really suck you in as a player. And they add an enormous amount to the games in question. (Arguably, it's the focal point of Mount and Blade.)

                      The cost, though, is that those games are trying to make those sequences enjoyable, exciting, and thrilling. That's the emotional reaction that players have -- they're having fun. Any "negative" emotional impact is largely delivered through cutscenes or (shudder) quick-time events. But the end result is: "Wow...that was sooo cool!"

                      Inherently, The Witcher tries hard to avoid that reaction where the war is concerned. Now we wind up with a weird dichotomy...and I apologize for the length of this in advance:

                      War, if portrayed realistically, is not fun. A person in an actual wartime situation has a decided emotional investment, which is their own well-being, safety and that of their loved ones. This, obviously, is absent from any manuscript (novel, film, play, etc.). In such cases, the audience must be made to fear for other characters, vicariously. Oftentimes, such emotion is easy to evoke, especially since the story has a forgone conclusion. (Even if the audience isn't aware of how the movie / book ends...the entire story already exists and is driving the audience very carefully to that eventual conclusion, manipulating their hearts and minds to experience the story as the author/director intended.) Such a linear approach means that wartime can be portrayed in such a way that "violence" or "battle" is uncomfortable, harrowing, or terrifying.

                      When a video game tries to do the same thing...there's an additional problem. There is a second level of removal that the player experiences: the player is "there"...but they're invincible and untouchable. We enjoy putting our avatars into dangerous situations, inducing horrible amounts of suffering on them for the sake of our amusement. Not even when "we" die during gameplay does it create anything along the lines of fear, sadness, or regret. Just mild frustration as we click on "Continue from the last Saved Game?" or hit the quickload key... Our anchor in the game-world tends to be the character we worry the least for. This is a massive disconnect.

                      That brings us to, how in the world I create a video game, putting a player in control of the action, make the experience harrowing without being "fun", but simultaneously create a drive to keep playing. Either it has to

                      1.) Happen through carefully crafted, forgone conclusions delivered like a linear manuscript (e.g. the cutscenes in Shadow of Mordor...the scripted pilot rescue-->nuke-->aftermath sequence in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare...the Leaving Earth sequence in Mass Effect 3...)

                      2.) Create a less-is-more situation in which horror "underscores" the gameplay, representing the larger impact while focusing actual gameplay on more intimate / immediate considerations that reflect the aspects of war.

                      3.) It simply does not occur, and the game presents "wartime gameplay" as an enjoyable and exciting experience.

                      The truth of most games is that they'll fall somewhere in the middle. The most realistic approaches will create an experience that leaves players "loving" the experience the way some "love" sad movies. The opposite middling-extreme () is a game that presents the violence as fun, like some love watching action films. It's when things wind up in the very middle that the game loses impact. When I'm fighting and having a blast...but I'm also supposed to care about the "human" impact of the battle.

                      That's sort of the problem that the Star Wars prequels experienced. Especially the clone troopers arrival and battle for Geonosis. A whole army of faceless bug-people and robots I don't care about fighting a whole army of faceless troopers I don't care about. The battle was cool, with great cinematography and some imagery that had aesthetic impact...but was ultimately set dressing. It would have been far more powerful, emotionally, to have NOT seen the fighting. To, perhaps, have had Ep. 3 open with Anakin walking through the aftermath of a battlefield later in the war, listening to the wailing and mourning of the defeated army, seeing the complete apathy of the clone troopers, realizing he was responsible for much of the death and destruction surrounding him, and beginning to question whether or not the Republic was in the right. Instead, the films were filled with "pew-PEW-PEEEWWW!!!", "kaaaBOOOOOOMMM!!!", "WHOOSH-whoosh-VROOOM!!!", "Spin-move / twirly-whirl / backflip!!!", "last minute save / reversal!!!" The addition of such elements severely damaged the more mature and developed themes within the story, cheapening the value of "what was at stake" by making me smile and enjoy scenes of war and devastation. I wasn't watching a scene of violence that I wanted to stop or look away from, I was watching fireworks and having a bunch of fun.

                      Having a full-on battle scene in TW3 would likely have had the same effect, I feel. The opening cinematic did a pretty fantastic job of setting the stage and creating a bleak tone for the war (even if a little "over-the-top" or "conveniently staged", it was still a relatively harsh scene). The rest of the game was very moving -- specifically the game never introduced anything that "cheapened" the weight it carried.

                      Others, of course, may feel differently. For the sake of the narrative impact of the war on the events we do take part in, I feel less-is-more was the way to go. I think a battle directly involving Nilfgaard vs. The Free Cities would have been out of place for the story that was being told. No charging ranks or catapult impacts would have carried anywhere near the impact of Triss failing to respond to the signal arrow. Or rushing back to KM realizing that Ciri had come out of hiding.
                      People always ask me, "What's in the box?" I get the question a lot. "Come on -- what's in the box!?" I won't tell them...but I'll tell you. Go on.
                      You can see what's IN THE BOX!!!

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by SigilFey View Post
                        Let me argue devil's advocate for a second here. Playing through massive battles in first- / third-person is awesome. The battle for Mel Senshir in Amalur...the final assault against the Black Gate in Shadow of Mordor...almost every single battle in Mount and Blade... There's no denying that such sequences really suck you in as a player. And they add an enormous amount to the games in question. (Arguably, it's the focal point of Mount and Blade.)

                        The cost, though, is that those games are trying to make those sequences enjoyable, exciting, and thrilling. That's the emotional reaction that players have -- they're having fun. Any "negative" emotional impact is largely delivered through cutscenes or (shudder) quick-time events. But the end result is: "Wow...that was sooo cool!"

                        Inherently, The Witcher tries hard to avoid that reaction where the war is concerned. Now we wind up with a weird dichotomy...and I apologize for the length of this in advance:

                        War, if portrayed realistically, is not fun. A person in an actual wartime situation has a decided emotional investment, which is their own well-being, safety and that of their loved ones. This, obviously, is absent from any manuscript (novel, film, play, etc.). In such cases, the audience must be made to fear for other characters, vicariously. Oftentimes, such emotion is easy to evoke, especially since the story has a forgone conclusion. (Even if the audience isn't aware of how the movie / book ends...the entire story already exists and is driving the audience very carefully to that eventual conclusion, manipulating their hearts and minds to experience the story as the author/director intended.) Such a linear approach means that wartime can be portrayed in such a way that "violence" or "battle" is uncomfortable, harrowing, or terrifying.

                        When a video game tries to do the same thing...there's an additional problem. There is a second level of removal that the player experiences: the player is "there"...but they're invincible and untouchable. We enjoy putting our avatars into dangerous situations, inducing horrible amounts of suffering on them for the sake of our amusement. Not even when "we" die during gameplay does it create anything along the lines of fear, sadness, or regret. Just mild frustration as we click on "Continue from the last Saved Game?" or hit the quickload key... Our anchor in the game-world tends to be the character we worry the least for. This is a massive disconnect.

                        That brings us to, how in the world I create a video game, putting a player in control of the action, make the experience harrowing without being "fun", but simultaneously create a drive to keep playing. Either it has to

                        1.) Happen through carefully crafted, forgone conclusions delivered like a linear manuscript (e.g. the cutscenes in Shadow of Mordor...the scripted pilot rescue-->nuke-->aftermath sequence in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare...the Leaving Earth sequence in Mass Effect 3...)

                        2.) Create a less-is-more situation in which horror "underscores" the gameplay, representing the larger impact while focusing actual gameplay on more intimate / immediate considerations that reflect the aspects of war.

                        3.) It simply does not occur, and the game presents "wartime gameplay" as an enjoyable and exciting experience.

                        The truth of most games is that they'll fall somewhere in the middle. The most realistic approaches will create an experience that leaves players "loving" the experience the way some "love" sad movies. The opposite middling-extreme () is a game that presents the violence as fun, like some love watching action films. It's when things wind up in the very middle that the game loses impact. When I'm fighting and having a blast...but I'm also supposed to care about the "human" impact of the battle.

                        That's sort of the problem that the Star Wars prequels experienced. Especially the clone troopers arrival and battle for Geonosis. A whole army of faceless bug-people and robots I don't care about fighting a whole army of faceless troopers I don't care about. The battle was cool, with great cinematography and some imagery that had aesthetic impact...but was ultimately set dressing. It would have been far more powerful, emotionally, to have NOT seen the fighting. To, perhaps, have had Ep. 3 open with Anakin walking through the aftermath of a battlefield later in the war, listening to the wailing and mourning of the defeated army, seeing the complete apathy of the clone troopers, realizing he was responsible for much of the death and destruction surrounding him, and beginning to question whether or not the Republic was in the right. Instead, the films were filled with "pew-PEW-PEEEWWW!!!", "kaaaBOOOOOOMMM!!!", "WHOOSH-whoosh-VROOOM!!!", "Spin-move / twirly-whirl / backflip!!!", "last minute save / reversal!!!" The addition of such elements severely damaged the more mature and developed themes within the story, cheapening the value of "what was at stake" by making me smile and enjoy scenes of war and devastation. I wasn't watching a scene of violence that I wanted to stop or look away from, I was watching fireworks and having a bunch of fun.

                        Having a full-on battle scene in TW3 would likely have had the same effect, I feel. The opening cinematic did a pretty fantastic job of setting the stage and creating a bleak tone for the war (even if a little "over-the-top" or "conveniently staged", it was still a relatively harsh scene). The rest of the game was very moving -- specifically the game never introduced anything that "cheapened" the weight it carried.

                        Others, of course, may feel differently. For the sake of the narrative impact of the war on the events we do take part in, I feel less-is-more was the way to go. I think a battle directly involving Nilfgaard vs. The Free Cities would have been out of place for the story that was being told. No charging ranks or catapult impacts would have carried anywhere near the impact of Triss failing to respond to the signal arrow. Or rushing back to KM realizing that Ciri had come out of hiding.
                        Yeah, I hear what you're saying. And you may well be right. I certainly agree that it would've been difficult to do a major battle set piece that is in keeping with the thematic elements of the game (namely, creating a personal story that focused on real human connections and emotions). And I don't think I'd want the game to have lost that, because it's something I really liked about it.

                        With that said, I do think it might be possible for CDPR to have done a good battle sequence. You make a very interesting point about the levels of removal a player has from the danger and emotion of a real battle. As you aptly pointed out, we don't really worry about our character dying, because putting our character at risk is kind of the point and we know we'll just reload if our character dies. But one can perhaps make a good battle sequence with true tension and emotion by putting characters Geralt cares about in danger. We may know Geralt won't die, but we don't really know that Zoltan or Triss won't, for instance. If CDPR portrayed a large battle in which Geralt's aims were more personal--trying to make sure his friends stayed alive amidst the fight--then it could have perhaps avoided the pitfalls you've identified. But maybe not, since you make good points.

                        At the same time, as I've said, I do think the game could've easily had more side quests dealing directly with the consequences of war on individual people or families. That would've been thematically in keeping with the rest of the game, and I think it would've added more color to the underlying setting TW3 put us in.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by lessthanjake123 View Post

                          Yeah, I hear what you're saying. And you may well be right. I certainly agree that it would've been difficult to do a major battle set piece that is in keeping with the thematic elements of the game (namely, creating a personal story that focused on real human connections and emotions). And I don't think I'd want the game to have lost that, because it's something I really liked about it.

                          With that said, I do think it might be possible for CDPR to have done a good battle sequence. You make a very interesting point about the levels of removal a player has from the danger and emotion of a real battle. As you aptly pointed out, we don't really worry about our character dying, because putting our character at risk is kind of the point and we know we'll just reload if our character dies. But one can perhaps make a good battle sequence with true tension and emotion by putting characters Geralt cares about in danger. We may know Geralt won't die, but we don't really know that Zoltan or Triss won't, for instance. If CDPR portrayed a large battle in which Geralt's aims were more personal--trying to make sure his friends stayed alive amidst the fight--then it could have perhaps avoided the pitfalls you've identified. But maybe not, since you make good points.

                          At the same time, as I've said, I do think the game could've easily had more side quests dealing directly with the consequences of war on individual people or families. That would've been thematically in keeping with the rest of the game, and I think it would've added more color to the underlying setting TW3 put us in.
                          I agree insofar as it could have been done that way if the story itself had been written differently, perhaps. If Ciri somehow had a vested interest in seeing one side or the other win the war, then Geralt and the others would have been left with little choice but to stand beside her on the field against Novigrad or Vizima. Having something like that replace the battle at KM would have been great! The setup phases would have forced various characters to officially choose sides. The plan would be get Ciri to Radovid or Emyr so she could confront him directly. Geralt would do exactly what you said -- have to fight through stages, watching friends fall along the way because he needed to keep Ciri alive above all. Interspersed cinematics could show the suffering and horror being inflicted on both sides, and the story could have been written to lead up to this being an incredibly powerful and emotional climactic battle.

                          But that's not the story that was being told. In the end, the "war" highlights the corruption, greed, and terrible imperfections of the peoples of this world. It underscores Ciri's internal conflict: that she's facing such overwhelming challenges (namely Lara Dorren's prophecy and the White Frost)...to save these...corrupt, greedy, and terrible societies? Why should she sacrifice any part of herself for that? But there are still those she loves and cares for... (It's actually a pretty common theme of the heroic quest / wheel of fortune, where the hero finally gains incredible power only to discover that they can't actually solve any problems with it.) For Ciri's story, no part of who she is or what she's done requires her to bring violence to one side or another; it just requires her shake her head at the war and the uselessness of fighting it at all.

                          For Geralt and the Witchers in general, we've already seen what happens when Geralt gets too close to choosing a side in TW2. After that gigantic, steaming, ridiculous pile of outrageous fortune, I doubt Geralt would have been anywhere near Velen or Vizima if not for Yen. He also has no reason to involve himself in the war and whole bags full of reasons not to be involved.

                          So, while a major battle scene would have been possible, I think it was a darling that needed to be killed so that the story maintained a sense of itself. I'm not arguing that such battle scenes should never be used, I'm just highlighting why I believe such was not included in TW3. And, hopefully, showing how the flow of dramatic action for the story that is being told is improved by having the war be a constant underscore throughout the game. It serves to mirror the impending doom of the White Frost: the omnipresent rot and decay of the war is like an "autumn" before the final "winter" sets in.
                          Last edited by SigilFey; 14-09-17, 13:19.
                          People always ask me, "What's in the box?" I get the question a lot. "Come on -- what's in the box!?" I won't tell them...but I'll tell you. Go on.
                          You can see what's IN THE BOX!!!

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                          • #28
                            Great! Thanks for sharing. The Witcher 3 grows on me more as time goes on. It will truly remain a classic of the genre.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by SigilFey View Post

                              I fully expect that in 25 years, people will still be referring to it as a gold standard. It simply unified so many open-world elements so well and blended them so seamlessly into the overall experience. Not to mention mature, developed storylines, voice-acting, and cinematic execution -- it's a magical combo. I set it beside Ultima VII insofar as it incorporates and balances so many variables so expertly. I think, whether people love or hate the actual game, they can't deny the accomplishment.
                              Cannot agree more. This game is pure perfection. And so are the books!

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                              • #30
                                Very good article, thanks!

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