The Witcher 3 next-gen update - everything you need to know

The Witcher 3 next-gen update – everything you need to know

Last week, I headed over to CD Projekt Red to play the long-awaited next-gen update for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which releases December 14th – AKA next week. I spent a few hours with the update, playing around with the new graphics options, quality of life improvements, and quest related to unlocking gear from The Witcher Netflix show. And I also talked to acting narrative director Philip Webber about it.

I’ve written more floridly about what it’s like to come back to the game with all those bells and whistles, but here, in what I think is a more digestible form, that’s all I’ve learned on this subject.

  • There are a few hidden surprises in the next-gen update that won’t be detailed in the patch notes, including new animations for Geralt and, more importantly, his horse Roach. “So we’ve hidden a lot of new secrets and a lot of new little details that we want people to find,” Weber said. Geralt now tears herbs from plants, for example.

More importantly: “Roach can walk backwards now. Or in fact, if Roach is standing there’s even now a hidden button you can press. Or I think Roach now looks up if you’re in the water. We tried to put a lot of these little things that people just have to find, that we won’t even put in the patch notes.” I haven’t had a chance to test them after talking to Weber.

Here is Tom Morgan’s technical analysis for Digital Foundry.
  • This will probably be the last update The Witcher 3 will receive and everything will be free. “I’m pretty sure there will probably be patches to fix things, but I think content-wise I would say that’s probably the plan,” Weber said. “But again, that’s what we said for [second Witcher 3 expansion] blood and wine [in 2016] as well.

He added, “I can’t talk about it but we’re also working on the new saga right now,” referring to the project named Polaris which will start a new trilogy of games. He’s the acting narrative director for this game. “So I think for Witcher [3] Wild Hunt is, let’s say, our big final gift/celebration of this game that we want to give away. And that’s also why we wanted to make it free. This is, let’s say, our thank you to the fans. Also, we’ve all been through the last two years,” which I took to be a reference to the Cyberpunk 2077 launch issues. “It was affecting the people at the studio a lot. So it was also good for us to make sure we were doing it right and doing it for free, like this nice package for people.”

  • The next-gen update is made up of a curated selection of community mods for The Witcher 3, along with the updates (and bug fixes) that CDPR has made and new DLC.

Community created mods include World Map Fixes by Terg500; Nitpicker’s Patch – Various visual fixes by chuckcash; The reworked project The Witcher 3 HD by HalkHogan; FCR3 – Immersion and gameplay tweaks by Andrzej Kwiatkowski; and HDMR – HD Monsters Reworked Mod by Denroth.

Content additions by CDPR include: Quick Sign Casting; Alternative camera; dynamic toggle for UI visibility; New default map mode; Character model improvements; Environmental improvements; VFX/Tech Art environment; fall damage alteration; instant loot of herbs; slow walk with controller (three walking speeds are now available depending on how hard you push the analog stick); alternate sprint mode (press left stick); radial menu improvements (you can change inventory from the radial menu).

The Witcher hero Geralt dressed in ornate Chinese armour, and looking, I must say, very handsome indeed.

There are also new Chinese-inspired armors hidden in this update. Beautiful, isn’t it?
  • Only new Witcher Netflix DLC items and quests, as well as bug fixes, will be available on last-gen machines and Nintendo Switch.

“Visual enhancements, along with mods and new gameplay additions, are only accessible on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC. The new quest, Netflix-inspired items and bug fixes will be available for the previous generation of consoles,” CDPR told me in a follow-up comment.

  • The Switch update will arrive after December 14. There is no specific release date yet.

“Regarding a date,” Ryu Underhill, producer of the next-gen update told me in a follow-up comment, “I can say that we are working hard to bring it to players as soon as possible. Rest assured that we We’ll share more information when we can.

“Content-wise, we’re aiming to bring the same fixes and additional content to Nintendo Switch that we’re bringing to both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 – so this means the update to Switch will only include no next-gen features such as visual/technical/gameplay enhancements, mods, or other additions exclusive to the PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S versions of the game.”

However, the Switch will get cloud save and cross-progress features just like every other platform. “Our cloud save feature and cross-progression will indeed be able to be used from Switch to other platforms,” ​​said Ryu Underhill.

  • The Witcher Netflix DLC is a new treasure hunt-style quest that takes place in The Devil’s Pit in Velen. The Devil’s Pit is where you end up immediately after leaving the starting area of ​​White Orchard. It’s this big circular place surrounded by wooden fences where nothing really seems to be happening. Currently there are only a few humanoid enemies in there and the large mine gate is closed. This DLC opens those doors.

The DLC is nice but don’t expect anything super substantial. It’s just a quest. The mines are scary and the showdown at the end is memorable, but it lasts about half an hour, plus a little longer for a follow-up stage. It was reported as level 15 for me. I’m told there are many ways it can end.

The crafting diagram you are rewarded for completing is the Forgotten Wolven Gear, which resembles Henry Cavill’s armor from the first season of The Witcher on Netflix. Philipp Weber told me that if you upgrade the armor to its master version, its appearance changes to look like Cavill’s armor from season two.

Geralt, with his back to the camera, raises one of two Korean-style swords from his back.  Someone's party is about to be ruined.

There are also two new Korean-inspired swords packaged.
  • Alternate Netflix appearances for Dandelion/Dandelion and Wrinkled Nilfgaardian Armor can be toggled on and off in the game menu (they are disabled by default). And CDPR is well aware that people refer to the latter as “bullet bag armor”. Weber knowingly laughed when I mentioned that. “We could guess how it would be,” he said of the reaction. “We also know the armor got changed in season two, but it’s an iconic part now.

“The intentions behind the armor were good. I know it turned into a meme and all, but we also wanted to make sure we got it into the game because some people might want to play with it. It was also important to make is a choice, so [isn’t] active by default. If you play the game normally, you have the Nilfgaardian armors from Witcher 3. But you can activate it if you want.”

  • Weber couldn’t say if this Witcher crossover content signaled something more significant between the Netflix show and CR Projekt Red. “To be honest, I’m not sure,” he said. Netflix showrunner Lauren Hissrich visited the studio in 2019, but nothing has happened since. Apparently CDPR started talking about making the DLC last year. “I think it’s cool to share things, but we also want to make sure that we stick to our universe as a whole as well,” Weber said.
  • There are two new graphics modes: Performance and Ray-Tracing. In RT mode, you get ray-traced global illumination, ray-traced ambient occlusion, and improved screen-space reflections. You also get 30 FPS.

In Performance mode you obviously don’t get the ray tracing additions, but you do get 60 FPS, plus a host of graphics and resolution and texture improvements as mentioned above. Digital Foundry detailed all of the graphical changes in the video above.

  • The new closer, over-the-shoulder camera angle makes the world look bigger and bigger on newer machines, but it’s not included on older machines for reasons of draw distance and frame rate.

“This one is only available on next gen and PC as it changes the FOV [field of vision] of the game, because it zooms in more so you can see the distance better,” Weber explained. “And actually, we had to make sure that for older-gen versions, we weren’t breaking the frame rate. So any updates that would essentially break the frame rate of older variants, we didn’t do them. But we also gave smaller quality of life elements to these releases, and of course, Netflix content as well. »

  • Fall damage changed slightly. It triggers a bit later so Geralt can jump from higher without taking damage. Its glass legs are now less glassy.
  • Signs can now be launched without the radial menu, by pressing the face buttons in conjunction with, on PS5, the right trigger (this was the platform I played on).
  • Many HUD elements can now be turned on, off and resized, such as the minimap, but also enemy health bars, etc. This includes subtitle and dialogue text, which can be changed on a scale of 1-10. That’s pretty big.
  • Haptic feedback is added to the PS5. It picks up things like horse hooves as you gallop, as well as, of course, combat impact and miscellaneous impact as you travel across the world. It’s good.

These are the things I wanted you to absorb at a glance – the most recent takeaways from the next-gen update. Again, I’ve also written my fuller impressions of what it’s like to play around with the new graphical improvements and what it’s like to get back to a great looking game. You can find them elsewhere on the site.

#Witcher #nextgen #update

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