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Not new, but:




Ha! True. We’re just trying to get to the sex cutscene later!


But it’s a rare sword! (I’ve so done that).


Me too! I can’t use it…but it’s rare so I want it! We’re suckers for marketing. In practical terms, what the hell difference does it make if it’s rare? NONE! And yet…”rare”…it has that special sparkle…

Suckers for marketing.


It also leads to the problem I had more than once at the ball: See, usually you equip, you keep all that on until you find something that might be better. But I have so much shit that each time I had to gear up at the ball I had no fucking idea what we were wearing. I knew Evelyn, but for the rest it was “Was it superior hunter coat or reinforced scout mail?” No idea. I think I get Vivienne wrong cuz she was a tank in the apartments and died about nine times on that last rift. And of course I rushed cuz I wanted court approval (I did win the “Gain the full approval of the Orlisian court trophy. Boom!)


I know, that was a mess. Who was wearing what? I don’t know! Here, take…this, I guess! I didn’t get that trophy. I should have lingered longer over the early parts, eavesdropping and chatting, to get the approval up. Instead I was tracking down clues and getting in fights and then, oh, I guess that was the last clue and now the final sequence has been triggered.

Oh well. They don’t like qunari anyway so I started at a disadvantage…I’m not going to grovel for their favor, damn it.


Yup. Got it to 100. Whoo hoo! I’m awesome.

Still not getting a platinum.


Well, not if you don’t put in the effort to complete it at nightmare level! Which is totally the next thing on my to-do list.


Yeah no.

Though I gotta admit, combat is, for the most part, turning easy. Maybe that’ll change in the hissing wastes. I’m sorta tempted to turn it up to hard, if, for no other reason than I want to get my skills tuned for TW3, which, if it’s at all like TW2, will be harder than this. TW2 was hard.

Still on normal. Only turned it down to easy at that trebuchet, and haven’t really hit a reaper moment yet. Which is interesting, as reaper moments were coined due to a bioware game, and the Branka fight is probably the biggest reaper moment of my life.


Yeah, it was mostly pretty easy for me by the end. Dragons and occasional trolls-with-friends were about the only thing that could really bother us by then. As I said elsewhere, it started to feel like a stealth casual mode, turning down the difficulty just by making sure I was tougher than everything. I considered turning up the difficulty, but…enh. I figured I was more in it for the story than the combat anyway, and while a good, tense, close fight is exciting (and there were still some of those!), I’m not into long grinding battles.

The Hissing Wastes has some pretty tough opponents, though. It took me a while to start mopping the desert sands with them. (A singularly ineffective pastime, mopping sand.)

Is the combat system in TW similar enough to DAI that it would work as practice? What if you just get into some habits that work really well here and don’t help you at all later?


Hmm. If it’s similar to TW2, then it does have many similarities in terms of targeting, attacking, using abilities in real time. The caveat is that Geralt is pretty much a warrior, and a one handed warrior at that. Feels far more witchery when I take control of Cassandra or Blackwall or Bull (though mostly Cassandra, as she’s the only one I’m using as a one handed specialist). I usually control Evelyn, as she is me and can close the rifts, but maybe I’ll start using Cassandra as my Geralt stand in. Evelyn stays back too much to really be a Geralt type.

But that is, if it’s similar. They’ve already added some mechanics like a crossbow. Geralt didn’t really do missile weapons in TW2 (he could buy daggers, but they were really hard to use and expensive. TW2 was the only game where money was ALWAYS scarce. Never that moment where, all of a sudden you were richer than hell).


I hope it’s the crossbow from “AC: Brotherhood.” Damn, I loved that thing.

I’m reading “The Last Wish,” a book of short stories about the Witcher. Not bad. The author seems rather inclined towards female monsters so far.

Cassandra was my only sword-and-shield fighter too. She sort of came that way, right? And I think I had better 2-handed weapons available than one-handed swords and shields when I met Blackwall and Iron Bull. Good shields are kind of hard to find.


I never got to experience that crossbow. Though I did love my pistols. And smoke bombs. The world needs more smoke bombs.

“The Last Wish” is by the guy that wrote the books? Look at you doing research. Female monsters….hmm….well, harpies, that Succubus….Not sure that translated into game. Most of the monsters were pretty genderless. Except the harpies. Man, I hated those harpies.

One of the good things about the witcher is a serious lack of gear oriented loot. Look, I love loot, I do, but I like low maintenance loot. Get, sell, repeat. Or loot that gets used like potions or bombs. Armor? Weapons? Then you get all comparey. The Witcher does not fuck around much with such things. I think in TW2 I changed swords maybe four times, armor maybe three. And it’s pretty damn obvious when the new thing is better. The loot you find is either money, stuff that is easily turned into money, or potions/craft items (there are a lot of craft items). This, I like.


Smoke bombs are pretty awesome. Even when you throw one by mistake because you forgot you had them equipped. Not that this ever happens.

“I totally meant to do that, random villagers!”

Yeah, Andrej Sapkowski. I’m sure a lot of things don’t transfer exactly to the game, but it’s sort of a sense of what the world might be like.

It’s easier to do non-weapony loot when you’ve only got one person to worry about, I bet. With a whole troop of companions, constantly upgrading peoples’ equipment can be a meaningful activity. With just you…”is this better than what I have?” Yes/no, done. Not really much room there for excitement.


I have the same problem when I’m exiting out of the options screen and hit circle one time too many. I have that linked to static cage. “Ok, I saved the game and ZAP!”

You’re ahead of me. I never read the Witcher books. Are they written well at all?

That too…easier to have it be an important activity when you have a lot of people to upgrade. You can’t do anything with anyone else, at least not in TW2. I admit, people didn’t like that aspect of DA2, but I did. Streamlined things. I don’t like to micromanage. Put on your own damn armor.


I was constantly hitting circle to ‘back’ out of conversations I didn’t actually need to exit from (i.e., the requisitions officer). That was mapped to my double-daggers lunge, so I’d be politely chatting and then suddenly pounce at someone, slashing with my daggers. I assume I figured out mid-lunge that they were harmless and pulled my strikes, since I never actually hit anyone. People must have started giving me wary looks behind my back after a while, though.

“She seems nice, but wow she’s jumpy. The slightest sudden movement and WHOOSH, daggers whistling past your ears.”

I enjoy a bit of micromanaging when it’s there, but I don’t mind when it’s not. I was totally fine with its absence in DA2, but I think it’s kind of fun, and didn’t mind doing it in DAI. So basically, whatever they want to do is fine with me. Although, as we discussed previously, I would enjoy a system where people would actually speak up about looted items (like in the video! “ooh, I could do so much with this ring!” …and yeah, sometimes I might take it myself anyway, but not always!).

The writing is OK. A little stiff, maybe, but that could be the translation. Or just the style–a lot of high fantasy is a little stiff. Lots of references to classic fairy tales (Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, etc.).