Hi! I'm a Journalism student writing gaming stories with the Hacker Noon Blogging Fellowship!
The Witcher 3's fame as a story-based RPG has persisted half a decade since it first came out. We talk about our favourite story moments from the game.
The Witcher 3 is constantly touted as one of the best RPGs ever made, especially with the story. Which story moment had the strongest impact on you?
For me, the battle at Kaer Morhen was the most incredible moment for me. Seeing the various characters appear for the fight gave the parts of the game the preceded it more meaning by showing me a positive outcome from helping them. The stakes in the story and the outcome of the fight was almost horrifying as well.
I think the cutscenes with the cuts to Witchers duelling it out were also a highlight. This scene in paticular.
Man there were so many. The Battle of Kaer Morhen was really such an eye-opening moment for me because that's where all these little moments I had been doing that were dropped in the first act of the game started to snowball into an avalanche. I mean there are countless moments to choose from, but I think one moment that stands out for me is actually before the Battle of Kaer Morhen. Geralt finally has his first strong lead to finally find Ciri, but he knows doing it will bring the Wild Hunt upon them almost instantly. Geralt's father-figure and mentor Vesemir asks, "If you do this, the Wild Hunt is sure to follow. What shall we do then?" The player is given the next option and it is the single best option Geralt can say at that point, "We'll be waiting for them with swords in hand." I felt so immersed and thrust into this amazing and intricate fantasy world and I never wanted to leave it at that point.
Did you feel that the game peaked around Kaer Morhen? The sequence was so intense and called on so many plotlines that the rest of the game seemed like it couldn't live up to the hype. To be honest, I remeber Kaer Morhen far better than the finale even with a second Conjunction of the Spheres going on and the duel with Eredin
Hm, I'm not really sure peaked is the right word. Because after that we got Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine, each of which had their own very fulfilling moments. Like there was a boss fight in Hearts of Stone I totally missed the first time around just by my dialogue options. And then even after Battle of Kaer Morhen, I discovered little things that were mind-blowing to me. The Battle of Kaer Morhen was very unique and intense, but then a lot of cool stuff continued to happen that I was so bowled over by, I can't get it out of my head. This is what I wish gaming could be on the regular.
I'm curious! Which boss did you miss out on? Was it Olgierd's?
Is there a particular detail post Kaer Morhen that stood out to you?
While I was randomly roaming around Skellige, I randomly discovered the body of Birna Bran. I didn't ever expect to see her again. Small details like that weren't necessary, but the fact that you can find her body again and interact with it were very profound and amazing to me. Even the small details matter in The Witcher 3.
I had no idea you could find her body there! It's a bit if a shame we can't speak to her while she's there but it wouldn't have been a productive conversation. A more evil Geralt might want to snack on something in front of her.
One of my own favourite hidden details was Kiera's optional death. I managed to convince her not to try speaking to Radovid on most of my playthroughs (Lambert needs someone in his life, after all) so it came as a surprise when I found out there was actually a pretty detailed cutscene of Geralt lets her go off to her death.
I keep hearing about the greatness of this game, but I can't get around the combat. I feel like if the combat isn't fun for you, you can't really play dozens of hours in a game with lots of it. Any advice for me to get into it?
I think the key to the combat is learning how to time your parry and your strikes. Knowing when to block, timing your enemies attacks knowing when to roll and dodge, and also mixing in your Sign abilities offensively. You need to be aware of those variables and once you get the timing down, and then once you start unlocking the sword combat skills and strikes you will do better. You don't want to just button mash fast and heavy attacks until the enemy dies. Also, some enemies have shields, and some have like hammers or large weapons that will daze you when you strike them. So you have to learn the enemies strengths and weaknesses too for the different units.
You also need to take advantage of potions, runes, and oils during combat. Runes can enhance the damage of your weapons, along with oils. You also want to look at the gear you're wearing. What armor and gear enhances the stats you want to exploit the most.
Personally, what threw me off was the lack of a lock on. Getting used to that is the most important part for me but, as Jeffery said, learning how to use all of Geralt's abilities is the most important thing. I do think that the game is balanced around Blood and Broken Bones since it forces you to effectively resource manage, if the combat isn't engaging enough.
The Witcher's combat isn't the most amazing but is there something about it that bothered you?
Yeah but it felt like you press a button and choose a command and the action actually happens half a second after. Is that true and by design or am I just imagining things?
It isn't as responsive as more precise games but it shouldn't feel laggy. It felt clunky to me at the start, instead.
Combat does take some prediction which you'll need to get used to. It isn't perfectly immediate but you can get i-frames from the short dodge instead of using the roll.
I enjoy the combat because it makes me feel like I'm in an actual sword fight. I can't just hack, hack, hack, and slash at things. I have to time the strikes and block and evade and dodge and pick my openings. I will say, what opened combat for me was figuring out mixing up the signs, and also upgrading my melee combat and sign techniques. There is also parts in the game where you can enhance your signs and sword combat with nice techniques. But you have to use your XP points wisely. Unfortunately, there's not enough XP to unlock everything. Also, using potions for higher level enemies and monsters also helps.
It feels like the Witcher 3's story had some truly standout moments that veterans can still remember years on. Getting into the actual game for new players might still be a challenge, however.
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