Here Is What Happens Every Time I Try To Play The Witcher 3

Here Is What Happens Every Time I Try To Play The Witcher 3

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Here Is What Happens Every Time I Try To Play The Witcher 3
Here Is What Happens Every Time I Try To Play The Witcher 3
Here Is What Happens Every Time I Try To Play The Witcher 3
Here Is What Happens Every Time I Try To Play The Witcher 3
Here Is What Happens Every Time I Try To Play The Witcher 3
Here Is What Happens Every Time I Try To Play The Witcher 3
Here Is What Happens Every Time I Try To Play The Witcher 3
Here Is What Happens Every Time I Try To Play The Witcher 3
Here Is What Happens Every Time I Try To Play The Witcher 3

That's essentially what's happened every time I've tried to play The Witcher 3 over the past month. I start the game, all excited to continue hunting for Ciri, then I open up my list of quests and just freeze, scrolling down for a few minutes before I sigh and switch over to Netflix.

I am suffering from sidequest paralysis. I've played some 40 hours of The Witcher 3 so far — enough to get to level 16 — and I really like it (such good writing!), but every time I pick it up, I just get overwhelmed. There's too much to do and I want to do everything, so I wind up doing nothing. It's inexplicable. I can't figure out whether this is happening because of some weird video game FOMO where I'm worried that I'll start one quest but really want to be doing another, or because I don't actually like the game that much and I've just convinced myself that I do. (The jankiness does drive me crazy.)

Or maybe I just prefer games that tell me what to do. Sometimes it's nice to sit on the couch and just play through a linear story — something that doesn't make you scroll through a giant list of sidequests and try to figure out what you're in the mood to see next. (Good thing I just got a copy of Steins;Gate.)

I don't know if there's a solution to this sidequest paralysis — maybe I'll just put the game down for a few months and see if I can revisit it one day — but I'm curious to hear your thoughts, Kotaku readers. Have you ever experienced this? What's your solution?


    having completed all the side quests, I can say that almost all of them are worth your time. You can pass over the gwent games, the fist fights and the horse racing (they will crap up your quest list for a long time) the rewards are decent but they are also unnecessary.
    Before going off on side quests I would recommend getting to the kiera metz section done in the cave so you can see through illusions then just start working your way down the list of quests.

    The treasure hunt quests usually don't actually need you to be the level they suggest in order to complete as they are often just looting a chest for the recipes so they can be cleared away fairly quickly. A few of them will require you to kill a high level enemy however, exercise caution.

    For witcher contracts you will want to be in roughly the same level bracket as the quest for it and have up to date gear unless you are abusing the hell out of quen spec and griffin armour (which is super amusing and effective)

    The game is big, and long (and not a penis) and a lot of this is due to side quests but the game, for the most part, gets them right and is the first game in a long time that I give a crap about the random tasks that I am sent on.

      You can pass over the gwent games

      Godless heathen

        Ahahahaha! Yessssss. Gwent is my new favourite sport!

          i would actually buy a standalone version of gwent if they somehow made it work for multiplayer

            I also like the repertoire of phrases Geralt uses to challenge people to a game.... Delivered like the cheesiest of pick up lines.

        as far as side quests go anyway, I have a pretty top notch deck myself but late game gwent can be a chore if you didn't keep up with it to begin with, your deck is so inferior to any of the ones that NPCs play against you and it is a bit of an uphill battle to get enough decent cards to start winning games reliably. once you are there however there is no greater feeling that baiting out a play you have no intention of beating just to waste good cards and seeing it work.

    Meh, I don't find the array of side quests any more overwhelming than, say, the Elder Scrolls games. I just pick whichever one is closest and get on with it. Most of them don't take very long anyway (although some to tend to drag a bit - the Dandelion / Priscilla stuff comes to mind) ,so you can clear one and move on to another fairly quickly.

    My old neighbor had the perfect advice for moments like those "sometimes (gulp beer) sometimes you just have to nut up and mount the bitch" advice that works for almost every situation I feel.

      Ah, I used to have a neighbour like that in my younger days. His finest nugget of wisdom was probably "The difference between your 20s and your 50s is that what you used to do all night now takes you all night to do." Insert beer gulp as appropriate.

        Getting pissed vs. getting up to take a piss?

    Well mate id have to say i find that odd, some of the side quests and witcher contracts are great stories on their own! Plus allot of the side quests can impact the story! Well worth doing. This game is meant to be savoured, taken slow. I'd say just pick a mission thats close to your level and go from there..... You may just be suffering from open world fatigue, but I must say I've been playing games for about 20 years and truly this game is a master piece. It took me over a month to finish...... Soooooo worth it. I really think this could be my game of the generation. Fallout seriously has its work cut out for it!!

      Your input has given me hope to continue playing this game. Ive never been an open world gamer but something about this game is pulling me slowly in. I still cant figure out how to use my bow. Im playing it on PC but cannot for the life of me find which key to use the bow and arrow. I got up to a point where I needed to herd a goat back to its owner and am stuck fighting a bear.. Im only at level 3 and will most likely start all over again as I didn't even know that i would also have to fix my swords! Total noobster at this type of gaming. Hoping I can finally get my head around it. As for using alchemy, NO IDEA! :(

      Last edited 09/08/15 9:36 pm

    Jeeze you must be awesome fun to work with... OHH LOOK AT ALL THIS STUFF TO DO - i'll just procrastinate on reddit/instagram/facebook/whatever for the next few hours and see if it magically disappears...

    I'm two (or is it 3) months into tw3 and am slowly plugging away with the game, I'm level 24 - can't really check my play time as i just leave the game running all week on my pc. I only really get 4 or 5 hours a week to play (sometimes more). If it's just a short amount of time i'll jump in and do a contract or two as i know they're generally pretty quick. Got a 3 hour block? Main quest time. Couple of hours? do a few side quests, although some of the *side* quests are pretty huge but there are generally good indicators if they are going to take a while.

    I guess i just must be used to having a pretty full schedule - looking at something like that doesn't phase me in the slightest, even if I'm just whittling away at it slowly. Progress is still being made and the game is so damn rich in detail that it hardly seems a chore.

      Thats a shitfull comment to make on someone you don't even know. I most likely work allot harder than 5 of you put together. Just because I'm completely new to this style of game doesn't mean jack. Oh this comment was posted August the 9th.. Shows how busy I am. Don't have Facebook. if you haven't got anything nice to say nor any input to my query "At the time" then nip it in the butt. There are enough arseholes in this world. :)

    Yep, this exact thing has happened to me the last couple of times I've played.

    This happens to me with Skyrim and new Vegas all the time.
    I have literally started new characters purely because I had to much quest options with a certain character

    It's completely possible to just do the main quest line and finish the game within 30 hours. You may fall a little behind the recommended level, but by level 10 everyone should have the knack for the combat and be able to tackle enemies well above their level.

      Glad to know. Im pretty crap at these games.. Would you also "need" to use alchemy to complete it? What would happen if (the bit I'm up too) you don't herd the goat back to its owner? That bear is kicking my butt.

        How much you have to use alchemy depends on what difficulty you're playing on. The harder difficulties absolutely require use on certain quests. They did/do for me anyway.

          Ok thanks.

            Try setting the bear on fire with the fire spell. That usually puts it in a "im on fire" animation (it does with many of the enemies), really useful giving you time to heal, do a heavy attack and get back out.

            Last edited 09/09/15 1:55 pm

              Thank you for your input. Much appreciated.. Unlike some arseholes on here who think they're god. lol

    Really? OK. Maybe the author's suffering from the Fear Of Missing Out or some shit, like if you start one quest, you'll somehow be 'making a decision' which means your time could've been spent elsewhere? I don't know what the hell this paralysis is or where it comes from, I can't relate to it in the slightest.

    If you can, this might be helpful:

    Q: How do you eat an elephant?

    A: One bite at a time.

    This should not be an arduous or daunting list... it's more like a smorgasbord of awesome. Even the scavenger hunts contain tasty lore nuggets to savour while you do them.

    Just pick the one with the lowest level and off you go. Or if multiple with lowest level first from the top.

    I think the quest/map system is to blame. It's extremely cumbersome to go to the quest menu, pick a quest, go to the map, realise that quest is miles away from you, go back to the quest menu, pick another quest...rinse/repeat until exhaustion.

    Next update should show all quests on your map ( not minimap ) and allow you to tooltip over the map icon to pick your next quest. Basic RPG functionality really.

      The quest and map menus are right next to each other, so they can be quickly swapped between with a tap of the shoulder buttons. Pick a quest, hit left shoulder, hit left stick button to show objective location. It's pretty easy.

      Last edited 09/08/15 12:19 pm

    Just don't do the side quests. Rocket science 101

    I'd spend more time doing side quests if my weapons would stop getting wrecked and then I have to try and find the weapon smith who for some reason doesn't appear on the big map

      There was a patch that lowered alchemy ingredients weight to 0, so you can stock up on loot to sell. Buy a stack of weapon and armour repair kits with the money you make.

    this was my biggest problem with the witcher. let me continue on the main quest! I'll do side quests when I feel like it, damn.

    Yeah, I get that. It's a sign the effort required to play outweighs the desire to play. Minor Burnout on it.
    For me usually occurs about 30-40 hours into a game these days at which point it's time to take a break and do something else.

    I have a similar problem but the result is very different. Rather than being paralysed by it when I play a game that has an overwhelming amount of side content I end up blurring it together. If the game specifically marks a large amount of content as being non-critical I end up reducing it to a check-list. I then move through the content quickly and efficiently rather than engaging it properly. Elder Scrolls games in particular end up playing like Banjo Kazooie or the Riddler Trophies in the Arkham games. It stops flowing naturally in a narrative, like 'oh, I just got into town and these guys are asking me for help,' and the completionist part of my brain takes over. It becomes 'there are X towns, and each town has Y side-quests, so I've got to cross all these quests off my list to get 100%'.

    It's not the games fault that we process information these ways but I do think there is a valid critism of the content at the heart of it. In cases like these content itself can be very engaging but the way a lot of games like this structure the content delivery and accessibility of the content doesn't make it very engaging in the time between the content. It's like trying to watch a movie or TV show as a bunch of raw scenes before they've been edited together properly. Giving the player absolute control over the flow doesn't mean they'll be good at it.
    I remember with Kingdoms of Amalur there was what seemed to be a pretty big world with a lot of content, but it all existed in private bubbles. The game always let you stop, turn around and choose a new course MMORPG style. It made it feel like there was no gravity. Although admittedly there were other problems with it that resulted in the game feeling a bit directionless.

    In something like Saints Row, Sunset Overdrive or Banjo Kazooie where the primary motivation for playing is that it's fun to interact with the world mechanically it's great to have the freedom to just choose what you feel like exploring in the moment, but with something like an RPG where satisfaction is meant to be drawn from storytelling and exploring a world rather than just a detailed environment I think there's a real benefit in pushing the player and guiding them with rules. An authentic world can't be bowing to the players every whim.
    Obviously it's not right for every game or every quest but there's some real value in occasionally having the player walk into a bar and get roped into an adventure from start to finish rather than electing to participate whenever they feel like it.

    Poor you. Don't do them if you don't want.
    I personally enjoyed every side quest I did (almost all of them)

    1. Put all quest names into a randomizer
    2. Let the computer pick 1 quest at random
    3. Go down that rabbit hole until you are satisfied
    4. Repeat

    I'm playing witcher 3 pretty casually. I don't think I'll finish it until mid next year (If those expansions come in probably late next year)

    There's a weird rush to the end with games that I'm trying to slow down a bit and just enjoy them. Especially something like the Witcher which is crazy dense.

    I do what I find interesting in open world games... Isn't that kind of the point when games offer you this degree of choice? Maybe you could take a break, I did and it didn't really hurt the experience in any meaningful way nor do I consider it a flaw. The game provided me with the freedom to break the story up a bit so I did. Some games just don't click with you, dude. I have trouble enjoying strategy games but I can still appreciate their appeal even if they stubbornly refuse to relate to me. (always wanted to get deep into a strategy game but they never click with me)

    Last edited 09/08/15 5:07 pm

    What?! Witcher 3 is the best game ever made. The fact there are so many quests makes the $69 I paid the best ever spent. I'm on level 29 and far ahead of the screens above so no spoilers but the story, writing, treasure hunts, adventure just keeps me going. Spent last 2 days working through the game but still not over! Well done CD Projekt Red.

    May be just step away for a day or two and get back into it. Helps.

    I just do the lowest level stuff first, no matter how far away it is. The fat travel points are pretty forgiving.

    It's dense, but even if I just jump in for an hour, do a quest and win a couple of new cards in Gwent, I still feel I've achieved something.

    I had the same issue with Dragon Age Inq, (and Skyrim... and fallout... and all of the open world games ever made) so I just stuck to the main quest and did any interesting sounding side missions that came up.

    Sure i'll miss out on some things but better than leaving it unfinished and wasted, pick the story quests and go nuts, you can always come back to the side quests later if you want.

    I've been talking with a mate at work about this. He's been fatigued for a while from it. I smashed out a few quests a week or so ago but with 2 screaming children under 18 months and a misses whos tired from that all week its really really overwhelming to just jump on for half an hour when everyone is quiet and get a couple of things done... So i just play rocket league lol

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