I finished the main story 3 times and the DLCs twice. now onto my 4th playthrough, I did a couple things to make it more interesting:
note: these are just my personal opinions and does not reflect the objective way of enjoying the game more. feel free to follow these points if you feel it suits your playstyle.
1. Disabled mini-map
Such a simple thing to do but it has a great effect on me overall, I was staring at the minimap before but now I have learned to actually see the world and learn roads and recognize landmarks, I still have to open the World Map a couple times when I'm confused, but it feels like consulting a real map, adds to the realism.
2. Used slow walk more
You know Geralt has 3 types of traversing mode, slow walk, jog, and sprint. I now use the slow walk about 90% of the time, it takes longer but it feels better for me personally, I get to enjoy the beautiful view and it feels more cinematic, also it adds to the immersion. (I use the left ctrl on the keyboard to toggle slow walk and jog, I usually jog on the stairs) I usually slow walk in villages and cities, and use Roach whenever I go out of villages or cities.
3. I don't use full speed Roach that much
Same philosophy as slow walking, riding Roach with "galloping" speed or even just using the move button to engage in the slowest speed possible. I feel like it adds to the immersion too. I only ride Roach with full speed on several occasions.
4. No fast travel if possible
I use Roach everywhere I go now, I use fast travel only when it's far as fuck or if actually travelling with Roach takes up too much time that the urgency of the mission will fade away (too much time has passed) in between story cutscenes. Not speeding using Roach has also helped me appreciate the world more.
5. Gave up on God Mode Geralt
I finished 2nd playthrough with alchemy build, makes everything easier but I felt like the combat has become stale, I do enjoy the alchemy aspect of Witcher but having several decoctions, 5 potions active at the same time while tanking enemy damages and 1 hitting monsters over time feels "unWitcher-like". So on my 3rd playthrough I switched to Sword and Signs, more difficult to play, I still use potions, but I keep it to a minimum, I have gotten some enjoyment out of this (explained on point number 6)
6. Combat voluntary limitations
6a. Minimizing the use of Igni and Quen
These two are arguably the strongest signs in game, alternate quen is unbalanced as fuck while fully maxed out igni (with melt armor) makes the enemy stand still and get burned to death, I limit myself to just Aard and the ocassional Quen. I will use Igni as crowd control if I am fighting a bunch of bandits (burn a bunch of bandits, disabling them and dealing with the rest) gives me time and window.
6b. Aard as a utility
I used Piercing Cold (i will abbreviate as PC) mutation for a few days, got old fast. PC combined with Alternate Quen means I enjoy the fight less, and I don't feel as thrilled, I just stand there and spam. I upgrade Aard with far reaching and alternate, less OP than fully upgraded Igni / PC / alternate quen.
I try to parry enemy attacks (ones that could be parried) combined with dodging. This makes combat more varied and I feel like it is more Witcherlike, and it keeps me from spamming dodge and sign. It makes the fight more fluid and beautiful too.
6d. Disabled Geralt automatically pulling out swords
This makes me feel in control of Geralt, pressing 1 or 2 to pull out swords instead of him automatically pulling it out for me. It adds an extra layer of roleplaying in which I have to know what I am fighting and what sword to use (or just see the color of their health bar).
6e. Using 34567 on the keyboard to select signs
I only use the radial sign to choose torch, crossbow, or bombs, using 34567 for signs is faster and doesn't pause the fight.
7a. Modded cloak on Geralt
Pure aesthetic choice, looks badass in cutscenes, I use cloak and hood when travelling far. I take off the hood before talking to NPCs (into cutscenes), I take off the hood, cloak, and Geralt's armor before swimming all in the name of a e s t h e t i c s.
7b. Unequipping swords when not in use
The cloak clips with swords, sometimes I unequip the swords so that I don't see the cloak clipping through the swords and crossbow and equip them when in combat, but it's a hassle and I have started doing it less. But sometimes I still do.
7c. Unequipping crossbows
Feels weird having a Witcher equip a crossbow, I leave it in my inventory and equip it when I need it (fighting Drowners in the water).
Everything I did here is arbitrary and very subjective to my own expectations of enjoyment. I love The Witcher 3 and after 3 playthroughs I made these choices knowing full well they will suit me, and having implemented these points for a while I really do enjoy the game from a different aspect as the last playthrough. Especially since getting rid of the minimap I understood the roads and landmarks more and appreciated the world more. I have a terrible sense of direction and have trouble remembering roads and ways even IRL and I am slowly learning how to quickly recognize roads, playing the game without minimap has forced me to actively try to recognize paths, which helps me IRL too.
Sometimes when I am slow walking/riding I hear dialogues spoken by NPCs that enhance world building and just couldn't believe CDPR put them in there and I've just been running around and fast travelling missing those details.
Thank you for reading this, I'm sorry I rambled in some parts.
I wish you good health.
Good luck on the path!
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© Post "A couple of things I did to to add to my own enjoyment of this masterpiece of a game on the 4th playthrough" for game The Witcher.
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