Jitesh's Domain

Game Designer. Producer. Gamer.


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Currently Playing – The Witcher 3: Blood & Wine

The Game

I’m pretty sure by now, most of the readers have already played Witcher 3… or at least have heard about this gem. I finished the main game about 2 years ago and clocked in ~100 hours! For me, this game is without a doubt, one of the finest RPGs of this generation. It just does so many things right.

This post isn’t about what makes the game great, it is about how the game provides multitude of game settings that players can make use of to further intensify the entire game experience by making it more immersive (personalize to your liking). Some of you might know about this, as the game is a little old now… to me though, after trying some settings that I’ve mentioned down below, I can vouch for the increased ‘fun’ the whole thing brings.

How I used to play?

I directly delved into the game by making minimal adjustments to the game settings (apart from visuals and audio) and finished the main game in ‘Blood and Broken Bones’ difficulty. It was an excellent experience.

This is how I played the game (~100+hours):

Witcher3_SettingsON

Take a note of the contents in the RED BOX.

The game itself is exceptionally beautiful, with lots of details in terms of the way interactions work, the way in which the world feels real with some truly well designed geography (with noticeable locations, terrains and points of interests).

Now, with no changes made to the game settings and keeping them at default, this is how it (over)populates the HUD. Unfortunately, I noticed the problem after countless hours of gameplay. Not really a problem per se, more of an hindrance. Everything inside the RED BOX is meant to simplify exploration and ease the players into the game. Give better, detailed directions to what, where, when and so on. In short, easing by hand-holding. Once we start playing the game this way, naturally we progress quicker and feel great about it. However, after paying close attention, we realize that by playing this way, our eyes are mostly focused at the RED BOX. Especially, glued to the glorious, beautiful, rotating, mini-map. This is when, we stop ‘truly playing the game’ to ‘surfing the game’ because of the minutiae brought about by the mini-map. In short, eyes glued at the wrong place… a tiny place in relation to the entire rest of the screen that is filled with intricate details… real details which are begging for your close touch and exploration.

This is how I play the game NOW (~10+hours and counting):

Witcher3_SettingsOFF

Trust me, with this way, my experience with the game and immersion it brings about has increased by a lot! To me at least. This is something that I would seriously recommend you all try too. I started with this personalized setting with the expansion ‘Blood and Wine’.

Toggle the following ‘Off’:

Witcher3_MenuSettings1

Do not forget, we can open the main World map whenever we want to see the destination objective marker, explore and find our own way and traverse like a real ‘Witcher’. Let’s just not look at the shortest way to reach there with dotted lines on your mini-map with the exact distance of footsteps it’ll take you! Try it out and see the experience being enriched.

Along with this, I also found 2 more settings that can really add a little more twist and increase the sense of danger. This can be a little subjective, but worth a try 😉 Turn ‘Off’ Boss and Enemy Health Bars. Yes, sounds scary as frak! I can’t really recall right now, but few other games also have the setting for turning off HP bars. So, try this out here… a Witcher, after all doesn’t really know how much HP the opponents have (unless witcher-vision provides the touch) 😉 role-play!

Witcher_Boss

In short, I encourage every player to try and personalize and find settings that suit you best. Turning Off the mini-map is highly recommended as I personally found that it truly enriches the experience. Everything else, well tweak and play around with them, see if it works for you or not.

This is the beauty of a true player-friendly PC game. Tweaks and tips to dig deep and escape!

 

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Trust not a Bitch – RDR personal experience I.

Posted the original one back – Facebook  on Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 11:26am

manual cover page on my game copy

manual cover page on my game copy

A fine looking innocent deserted lady calls for help. She begs for it. She asks for a lift. She says “help me out”. Me, Jose Panchal (courtesy Nic), strolling through Ridgewood farm notice her desperate call. I, being a gentle cowboy, proceed to help her.A bitch is what she is. Not a fine lady.

Bitch bucks me off me horse. Climbs on me horsie..tries running away. I whistle for my trusted horse. He gets back to me…bucks off the lady down to fucking muddy ground. I lasso the bitch. Then Hogtie her. Put her on me horsie. I start riding, carrying her through towns, while she keeps on screaming, hogtied, on me horsie. This is as satisfying as drinking hot chocolate in cold weather. I keep on riding. Bitch keeps on screaming. I keep on riding. Bitch keeps on screaming.

Off she goes…

A thought comes to my mind “Wouldn’t it be supremely satisfying to throw the bitch off a high cliff?”. I start climbing the nearest cliff. I reach desired height. I Stop. I carry the hogtied, beautiful looking, but not so beautiful minded bitch off me horsie. She keeps screaming in background. I am so high. I go near the edge of the cliff, throw the stupid bitch off. A deep, mesmerizing, intense satisfaction feels my veins as I observe the hogtied bitch fall to her bloody death.

And then I learned…

I was still high. Bitch dropped dead. Suddenly, while I am still in this feeling of “peace”, my trusted horsie approaches the edge of cliff, slips, follows the dropped bitch off the cliff…falls to his death on the same bloody ground. Me jumps off too, follows me horsie over the cliff. I dash and bang towards the cliff and fall down, not dead, but injured. My soul is torn apart looking at me dead trusted horsie…just beside that stupid dead hogtied bitch. I had to go on with my life. I had too (as Prad would say). I take out my knife. Skin my horsie. I now have horse meat. I can feed on it in my travels through Mexico.

Moral of my story…

Do not trust any lady. She might be a bitch. Your trusted horsie can be a bitch (or was God looking at me…and it was His intervention that slayed my horse!). No one will know. Life goes on.

Anyway, after 2 mins, you can always use D-PAD UP ARROW to whistle for a new horse 🙂