The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has just gone gold, and we’re slightly more than a month away from its release. Senior Game Designer Damien Monnier talked in depth about quite a few elements of the game during a podcast on GameTrailers.
Below you can read a summary of the points made that included new information.
- The damage made to Geralt’s face when he’s intoxicated by his potion is actually displayed in cutscenes. White Honey cures it.
- There are very very few fetch quests in the game. The team doesn’t particularly like them. Those that are there spend time developing the character that gives the quest. For instance there’s one in which you have to go from point to point with a character, and while you do he tells you in depth about him. That can influence the choice at the end of the quest.
- Monsters can attack you while you’re meditating.
- The AI of normal animals like sheeps and goats is pretty basic. It will tell them that there’s a bush that they might like within their radius, so they’ll go eat it. The same goes for animals or entities they’re scared of, causing them to run away.
- If you kill that goat, it’s gonna produce a smell, and monsters may be attracted to it if there’s one that likes that kind of meat in the radius. If no one eats it and the corpse rots, a different kind of monster that eats rotten meat will be attracted.
- If there are deers in an area wolves will hunt them, but if you kill all the deers you may see some wolves patrolling, but there will be less because there’s less game.
- The reason why ice skating was removed from the game (very few things have been actually cut) is because creating a big fight based on a completely different set of mechanics that haven’t been explained or used before and that the players didn’t have the opportunity to master is a bad idea, as it gets people killed too easily and frustrated.
- In some cases when you kill the monsters in an area, humans will settle it. In the prologue there’s actually a cutscene that shows is as it happens so that the players understand the mechanic. It’s not always so simple, and there are different states. Whenever you go into an area the game will check what you have and what you haven’t done, who you helped, who you killed, the decisions you made during quests and dialogue. That can change a lot of things, including the people that spawn in a village. The mechanic is simple, but it can get complex because of all the branching.
- Monsters don’t scale with your level. If you’re way underleveled compared to a monster, you’ll do almost no damage.
- The level of an enemy is displayed, but is its level is indicated by a skull you better stay away, because it’s way too strong for you, and it might even oneshot you.
- The bestiary populates itself as you learn information and eventually it tells you where a monsterlives, at what times of day it appears, what it’s vulnerable to.
- Gear has been moved around very recently to re-balance it.
- You won’t find items you can’t use because you’re too low level. They will automatically scale down to your level if they’re too high for you. For instance the damage of a weapon will be lower, even if they will keep their “cool” elements like setting elements on fire for instance. Once you pick up an item, its stats are set, so it won’t scale back up to its original stats. That said, you’ll always get better loot as you move forward anyway. There’s no need to wait to be the right level before you get an item.
- You can use Axii on your horse to force him not to panic during combat. Quen can be changed from defensive to offensive, and it can explode and damage enemies when it’s penetrated.
- There was a big conversation within the team on whether Geralt could be fully nude or not. The conversation also involved the extra polygons that would be used for his penis and who would animate it while running (Editor’s Note: at this point I believed he was joking, but Monnier specified that he was actually serious). On the other side, others believed that there was a lot of female nudity in the game, so there should be male nudity as well. The result is that there’s a lot more male nudity than in previous games, but Geralt still normally wears his underwear.
- The Gwent minigame was designed to last ten minutes tops for each match. You can win money, new cards, enter a torunament with all the best Gwent players. There are even quests linked to the game.
I don’t know about you, but after trying a bite-sized portion of the game, I really can’t wait to get my hands on the full version. One month to go, but it’s going to be a painful wait.