This Week's Witcher 2 Update Changes Everything

PC gamers that didn't enjoy The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings as much as I did should check back in on Thursday, when the massive 2.0 update adds a full tutorial, arena combat, the insanely difficult dark mode, and much, much more. Wanna see a full list?

While some game developers release a game and move onto the next, CD Projekt Red isn't content to let sleeping Witchers lie. Instead the developer has been paying close attention to player feedback, using it to further shape The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings into the sort of PC role-playing game everyone can get along with.

A great deal of this reshaping comes in Thursday's 2.0 update, addressing many of the key concerns players have voiced since the game was released earlier this year. Things like the lack of a true tutorial, remedied with a new standalone learning adventure. Players seeking more of a challenge have been answered with dark mode, a new difficulty setting that delivers a far greater challenge as well as special equipment awards that can only be found in the dark.

And players looking for a quick dose of combat will be sated by the new Arena, a separate area of the game in which players can earn gold, items and leaderboard points.

While those are the three biggies, version 2.0 also brings with it a slew of fixes and tweaks aimed at making The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings a better game. Will they succeed? Find out Thursday, when the automatic update fairy changes everything. Until then, here's that list I promised.

Corrections and improvements to combat:

• Numerous improvements have been made in the targeting system. • Parrying is now unlimited (even when Vigor is completely depleted), though parries no longer cancel all damage (maximum 50 per cent reduction once the relevant ability has been acquired). • 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. • 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. • 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 attacks. • Geralt no longer attacks opponents located behind other opponents positioned nearer to him. • The target locking system has been improved. Preference is now given to previously highlighted targets. • Target selection has been improved. Priority is now given to foes affected by a critical effect facilitating the completion of a finishing move. • The additional two steps Geralt took after mounting an attack with the W, S, A or D key depressed have been eliminated. • Attacks can now be continued even when a key controlling Geralt's movement (e.g. W, S, A, D) is depressed. • Attacks can now be continued if the attack key is depressed immediately after the final strike of an attack animation sequence. • Geralt can now pivot 180 degrees immediately after completing an attack. • Assorted problems with key responsiveness have been resolved. Keys no longer need to be depressed twice or more to trigger a given action. • 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: • Casting several bombs no longer blocks further inputs. • An option has been added to the configuration tool enabling aspect ratio to be set independently of resolution. • The amount of disk space required for game patching has been reduced. • The loading of selected Witcher 1 game saves no longer causes the game to crash. • A greater number of monsters now appear in the cave leading to Loc Muinne. • Improvements have been made in the manner in which monsters are spawned in the mist in Chapter 2. • The visual effect accompanying Adrenaline use no longer disappears prematurely. • Archers now draw their swords more quickly when Geralt approaches. • Mages no longer automatically cast shield spells when Geralt casts daggers at them. • The game is now paused when Geralt executes a finishing move in combat. • The troll in Chapter 2 has been corrected. Previously, in some circumstances he could not be attacked. • Physics on cast daggers have been improved. • The site for aiming daggers is now more visible. • Geralt's animation when he dies while casting the Axii Sign has been corrected. • An exploit in the fight against Letho has been eliminated. Previously, this foe could be killed by casting bombs in quick succession. • 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. • Camera positioning/operation has been corrected during the boss fight against the kayran. • Camera control via gamepads has been improved. • Assorted adjustments have been made in mutagen statistics. • The ‘Junk' filter in the Inventory has been adjusted to provide for correct item filtering. • In the Inventory, the dialogue window warning of prohibited actions has been corrected. • Assorted corrections have been introduced to the mini-map in Chapter 1. • Audio balance throughout the game has been adjusted. • Erratic character teleportation in mini–games has been eliminated. • Assorted adjustments have been made in animations applying to nekkers. • A minor bug in the "Scent of Incense" quest has been resolved. • Numerous minor fixes have been introduced in character lip-sync throughout the game.



    When's the release date for the xbox?

      Isn't the XBox version a different game? I.e. it's not just a port of the PC game but something "tailored to consoles"?

        But haven't they said all the fixes in this patch will be included for the xbox version?

        It's supposed to be a port, with some changes to make it 'more accessable'. It'll also apparently include the patches and an easier starting zone, and I think a different intro cut scene to compensate for there being no first game.

        From what i understand, the game is being recreated from the bottom up (still using the same engine I believe), in order to be able to run smoothly on 360 hardware.

    Love these devs and love the Witcher Universe. The trailer that showed new 'gameplay' on the Xbox version is actually a part of a new intro trailer. But I think we have to wait for this until the Xbox version is released.

    The Xbox version is the same game but had to be reduced to around PC medium graphics settings to run smooth. And obviously no DX11 options.

    Dear Bioware, from a loyal customer since Neverwinter Nights days I'd just like to say - you have some competition!

    When I first bought this I thought "what a piece of shit". Combat was difficult, lagging key presses made it even worse, bugs. The whole game reeked of cheap console port.
    Luckily GoG had a deal on and I got Witcher1 as well and this has kept me going till now.

    Well done to the devs for sticking with this while in the same breath how about not releasing a beta next time.

    I suppose we can't really complain, I mean look at Firaxis and Civ5. A year later and you still have to look at a blank screen where the opening cut scene "used to be" before it starts. They released an alpha version and if you aren't happy with the bugs it "still" has then stiff. The arrogance lays thick on this game like slime.

    *sigh* to be a gamer in 2011. *rollseyes*

    This is why I really respect CD Projekt Red. Some people might argue that the game should have come with these fixes already implemented, but at least they're willing to give decent post-release support rather than sending out a game and giving a token patch.

    Plus, things like the arena mode would be charged for by nearly any other developer these days.

      I guess you could say that TF2 should have shiped with hats (One thing I liked about TF2 was that it didn't stagnate from lack of content). Though you do have a good point, I know it will get me playing it again at least

    So is this now worth getting? Or should I just keep my mits warm till my copy of Skyrim comes through from Ozgameshop?

    If you check out the Rock, Paper Shotgun interview( also say they'll never charge for DLC on the PC (although they have to on xbox because of microarse). Why? Because "that's pure bullshit." I hope more developers also take their stance of exherting greater control over the publication process, and using the big publishes for distribution, rather than owning the rights to IP.

    The Witcher was awesome, W2 is s**t, why did they change the controls so much? I do not think i can get used to this, especially when he gets the wrong sword out all the time i can not use my controller to fix it and have to use the keyboard, or if i use keyboard/mouse control it all becomes harder, was easier picking z,x or c and having LMB for signs

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