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):
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):
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’:
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!
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!
I finally gave in and bought one of the games that was lying at No.1 spot for a long time on my Steam wishlist – Wasteland 2 Director’s Cut. I am a huge fan of the classic Fallout 1 and 2, love post-apocalyptic scenarios and isometric role-playing games. Most of the followers of the genre already know that Wasteland 1 is what inspired classic Fallout.
I always had in my mind a very particular set of characters, which I believed would be really interesting in a game like this. I love Firefly. I felt like coyboys, sci-fi and wasteland would be a perfect fit for me to roleplay (as a party). I went ahead with that decision and I am seriously so in love with this game.
Firefly party creation and composition:
There are so many amazing characters in the series, I had to shortlist the best taking into account character skills (TV series), ones that would really matter
Their chemistry – if made as an away team in a party
I know the game to be combat heavy (like Fallout Tactics, unlike Fallout 1 and 2), so made an appropriate selection – since 4 is the maximum number of party members allowed at game start
Unfortunately, biography for characters I made in Wasteland 2 party is blank at the moment (I thought those could also be edited after starting the game, but I’ll need to modify saves to do it – will update this later)
I’ve tried to make my party as close to their characters on the show as possible (attributes, characteristics, personalities and skills)
Quirks were truly interesting – and it took me a long time to choose!
State of Firefly characters – Party creation process
I’ll now share how the characters grew in around 30 hours of gameplay. Most of the characters in my party are Level 13 as of this post. I tried to roleplay and add only those skills which made sense to me (staying in line with their show counterparts and also helpful in the game/ but not always)
Without any thought, this guy had to be there. There was no question about it. A leader. Smart Ass. Charmer. Can make horrible/ bad choices ;]
Character Screen – Coordination, Charisma
Quirk: Opportunist [description from Wasteland 2] –> It takes a certain ethical flexibility to take advantage of others, and it’s a flexibility you possess. Your predatory nature means that you kick your enemies just a bit harder when they’re down. However, you’re also equally timid and fearful of harm coming to you, and as a result, you do less damage to those that are healthy.
I believed that quirk to fit Mal perfectly in this game ;]
Skills – Leadership, Smart Ass, Handguns
Skills: At this moment in the game, Mal is kind of above average in handgun combat. He also has Pulse Rifle as secondary weapon. Leadership helps during combat and Smart Ass provides interesting dialogue options in conversations (wherever possible). He is also perceptive and overall failure in safe-cracking.
Perks – Know-it-All!
Perks: bonuses for your characters as they level up.
Mal is pretty much having bonuses in Conversations and a little combat advantage. Overall, I use Mal for primary communication with others in game.
I really needed a character that can be strong in combat, hardcore and a true, good friend of Mal. It had to be Zoe. Bad-ass, strong and aware.
Character Screen – Coordination, Awareness, Strength
Quirk: Now, I went through the entire list present in game, couldn’t really feel like a particular quirk to fit Zoe. So, in this case, there is no quirk! No plus, no minus.
Skills – Shotguns, Field Medic, Assault Rifles
Skills: So, I really wanted Zoe to be a shotgun expert, bad-ass and strong. Her Field medic expertise (coming from Army) really helps out the other members. She also has average Rifle skills, really really useful when friends are in the way ;]
Perks – Hardened!
Perks: Without blinking, as soon as I got an opportunity to give her the first Perk, I chose Hardened. +1base armor. Perfect for this character.
At this moment in game, she is one of the best combat lady in my party and really messes up raiders and other critters in-game! Just amazing :]
Now, Jayne is a very interesting character. In the series and also in this game. I wanted a brawler, hard-ass and ranged expert at the same time. Jayne is all that and perfect Watchman!
Character Screen – Awareness, Strength
Quirk: Thick-Skinned[description from Wasteland 2] –> All the boys ‘n girls in the playground used to pick on you. They called you stinky, fatty, ugly, and beat you up until you were bruised and sore. But the more you took it, the more you learned to shrug it off. Sticks and stones won’t break your bones. Years of physical abuse have left you thick-skinned and you can shrug off attacks more easily, but you’re heavier and more sluggish, and as a result, you move slower.
Isn’t it perfect for this guy? Such an easy choice for me – works especially well in the game too!
Skills – Sniper Rifles, Hard Ass, Brawling
Skills: I did mentioned I wanted Jayne to be ranged expert but also a Hard Ass. Like how he really is. Brawling works wonderfully, when someone makes a mistake to jump on him ;]
Perks – Watchman
Perks: Now, being a strong-willed sniper, Watchman it was! Also, we have here intimidating and Hoarder – all Jayne bonuses ;]
Right now, after around 30 hours, Jayne is one of the best combat specialist in my party. Ranged destruction FTW! I have even seen him breaking down a Robot Crawler by brawling him!
Okay, so I’ll be frank, the aforementioned 3 selections (Mal, Zoe and Jayne) were easy choices for me. I mean, I had to have them in my party in Wasteland 2. For the final one, I took some time to decide on the best one.
I wanted the last member in my party to be one of these:
Going with either of those, can give rise to their respective benefits, personalities and skills. After thinking a lot, I almost went with Kaylee. I mean, wouldn’t she be perfect for Mechanical repair, toaster repair and also charismatic? Then it hit me, River is someone who must be tremendously more interesting to have here, because she is so different. And, that is why, even in the game (after finally choosing her) she is so different – useful and oftentimes useless – but oh so interesting!
Character Screen – Intelligence, Strength and Luck!
Quirk: Manic Depressive [description from Wasteland 2] –> Mania and melancholy are two sides of the same coin, and you have known it all your life. You are subject to intense mood changes, and those around you say you’re almost like a different person each time they see you.
Perfect! Ain’t it? Also, so damn risky. This directly means, her attributes keep shifting every few mins (~15mins) – depending on whether she is feeling Mania or Melancholy! Trust me, because of this the gameplay and how we play around it has become tremendously more enjoyable for me.
Skills – SMG, Mech Repair, Computer Science and Animal Whisperer!
Skills: Obviously, since I didn’t choose Kaylee, I still needed someone skilled enough to repair stuff, break into locks and use her intelligence to hack into computers and blast into enemies using Submachine guns!
Also, I loved using her Animal Whisperer skills to tame more than 20 animals including gila monsters, goats and worms! :]
Perks – Weathered
Perks: For bonuses, I’ve selected her to have Weathered (resistance to crits) and Camel – which is really useful in this wasteland. Save, conserve and efficiently use precious water.
During gameplay, if possible I always try to use her whisperer abilities to tame animals (unless its impossible – level difference is high). It is really interesting to make choices based on her mood-state in the game. Many times, I had to wait for her to regain her abilities so that I could lock-pick an important safe!
Well, so that’s about it! I’m currently engrossed in Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut and find the role-playing pretty enjoyable. Especially, with a team like this… what can go wrong?
If you are reading this and love Firefly, RPGs or have been playing Wasteland 2, do post your thoughts.
I thought of posting some of the random stuff I wrote about games here and there : ]
I’ll begin with Witcher 2 (the following points were posted on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 2:11pm at Facebook)
The Witcher 2 – A fine Action-RPG with great story, setting, gameplay and progression. This game is exceptional on PC to this date. I’ve been thinking of playing the Enhanced edition… since it’s been so long since I finished this game. I know I’ll get back to it. Soon. Hopefully.
Anyway, for all hardcore fans of Witcher 2, read on!
When you walk by a garden your hands involuntarily venture to grab some flowers! Celandine x2
You gift your girlfriend a celandine and hope she uses its alchemical properties by harvesting Rebisand mixing it with chicken for dinner!
There can never be such a thing as “Too much sex”.
You stop believing in taking sides and your life’s motto is “Neutrality + Sex”.
You get depressed at the feeling that the world and people around you are not ubersampled!
Stealing from anyone’s house in front of owners is not a crime.
When you encounter a cockroach in your bathroom, you instinctively do a quick roll and try stabbing it from behind with your shiny silver needle!
Geralt wandering in the streets of Flotsam
You believe your water bottle contains Swallow which can be drank only when you meditate!
You feel your locket vibrates like the Medallion in presence of a lizard nearby!
You start applying Almond Oils to your kitchen knife in hopes of making it more vicious!
You resolve your petty arguments with friends and strangers using Arm wrestling or fistfighting!
The only poker you are aware of is Dice Poker!
You believe life’s story can be covered in 3 Chapters in addition to punishing beginning and short ending.
You think new local areas in your town get unlocked in the form of free DLCs.