So basically everyone loved the Witcher 3 and with good reason; it was amazing. But CDPR has said that Getalt’s story ended with it which means no more Witcher. Or does it? The Witcher universe is rife with opportunity for good story telling and the last game left us with a lot to build off of. So I sat down one day and brainstormed an idea for a 4th Witcher game could work and I’d like to see what ya’ll think about it.
So Geralt’s story is over and that shouldn’t change; good stories do need to end and they need to end in a satisfying ways. And I think Blood & Wine was a great sendoff for the character that I’d rather not rob him of. Likewise, Ciri’s story is over; she either dies, becomes the Empress of Nilfgaard, or becomes a Witcher; each option does complete her arc in a satisfying way and I’d rather not declare one canon over others just to make a new Witcher RPG. Not that a Ciri game wouldn’t be cool; she’d be more suited for a more linear, action-focused spin-off that involves traversing different worlds. So the question arises: who do we play in the Witcher 4? Well there are two options. First, we could make this fourth game a prequel set during a time when Witcher’s were at the height of their power. You’d create a custom character (which we now know from the Cyberpunk footage that CDPR is capable of doing) and you’d have different skill trees based on different schools—the Wolf, the Bear, the Griffin, the Viper, and the Cat. Maybe we could throw the Manticore in there or maybe introduce a new school (more on that in a bit). This would no doubt be a fun game but I think there’s a more interesting option. The Witcher 4 should be a sequel to the Witcher 3 set 10 years in the future and explore the concept of the new Witcher creation method that Yennefer invents.
So for those who don’t recall, Yennefer has to replicate the Trial of the Grasses in order to free Avallac’h from his curse. Only, instead of mutations she uses spells and thus is what i propose we go with; magically-infused Witchers. Imagine instead of scars, we have a character with multiple glowing glyphs whose physiology chances as they’re activated. So instead of cat eyes, for example, these new Witcher’s have normal eyes until they activate their night vision ability or drink a Cat potion. THEN they get cat eyes. Or when they drink Killer Whale, they sprout legit gills. Essentially, we’d be playing this game as the first in a brand new line of new Witchers, created by Phillipa Eilhart probably to fulfill some hidden agenda. And Like the prequel idea, you’d create your own character and this time you’d create your own story and personality for this character across a new trilogy!
Now with setting, we have a lot of options but I believe I have identified the perfect spot; the lands between the Mahakam and Blue mountain ranges, allowing us to visit Aedirn, Lyria & Rivia, and Dol Blathanna (which I’m perhaps the most excited to see). First thing you’ll notice now is that, as of the Witcher 3, all of these lands were basically overrun by Nilfgaard which is no accident. Because we’re going to replicating previous Witcher saves, right? And we want to cut down on altering the world too dramatically because, if we set the game in Temeria, the choices you make in TW3 will dramatically alter which NPCs would present in the world. However, West of Mahakam, Nilfgaard can remain firmly in power and therefore, the choice of who wins the war can be mostly reflected in dialogue. This region can be divided up into zones but they’ll be further apart (unlike how Novigrad and Velen were connected in TW3) and larger; maybe 5 in total of varying sizes. Dol Blathanna will obviously be one of these zones and the largest. Moulderwood would also be a good region to show in Aedirn and would also include the city of Aldersberg. The small city of Rivia and surrounding lands between Loc Eskalott and the Yaruga River should feature. Mahakam, specifically Mount Carbon, can be in the game. And finally a zone dedicated to the City of Vengerberg and it’s suburbs.
So why this land specifically? Well it gives us a good split between urban and rural locations. We’ll have some varied terrain from forests, verdant grasslands, rugged mountains, lakes, rivers, and swamps. We’ll also have a good split between human and nonhuman locations, allowing us to actually see the dwarves and aen seidhe living in their own lands. We can explore the lore behind the extinct Vran in the Aedirn regions. These locations will allow us to explore the history behind previously established characters. And finally, these locations will allow us to better explore the political fallout of what went down in TW2 and TW3.
Narratively, this game should almost feel like a soft reboot of the first trilogy, mirroring story beats from all three games. This will help ease players into the world by mixing brand new concepts with the familiar before we progress into uncharted territory in this new trilogy. So like the first game, your custom created character—male or female—will start with amnesia which Phillipa will tell you is the result of the Trial of the Elements (figured we’d change the name to reflect the new name) that you’d supposedly volunteered for. She’ll then as you various questions to see what you remember and you’ll find that some of your knowledge about the general politics of the world will be intact and this how you’ll simulate precious Witcher saves. She’ll ask you who the current Emperor of Nilfgaard is (Emyhr, Ciri, or Morvran Voorhis). If you answer with Voorhis, she’ll then ask who the current ruler of Redania is (Radovid the Stern, Sigismund Dijkstra, or a Nilfgaardian Noble). These two questions will determine the entire outcome of the war. She’ll then ask about some more local history; what happened to Prince Stennis of Aedirn (executed for betraying Saskia the Dragonslayer, killed by wraiths, became the King of Aedirn). She’ll then ask what you know of the Virgin of Aedirn, Saskia (you heard she died at Loc Muinne, that she went into exile, or that she returned to rule Vergen). These two questions will simulate all of the relevant bits of The Witcher 2. There can be more questions like this to determine the fate of Princess Adda, Letho of Gulet, the ruler of Toussaint, the status of the Order of the Flaming Rose, and the fates of the La Valettes. However, the personal history of Geralt won’t be relevant to this game and your character will obviously have no way of knowing the specifics of every choice he made, just the ones with political fallout. But the big takeaway is that you’ll recall some details about the world but none of your own personal history (which should be your first big clue that something ain’t right and that your memory was intentionally altered with a great deal of precision).
So then from there, you’ll be told that you’re to be the first in a new a line of a Witchers to deal with new threats resulting from the second Conjunction at the end of TW3. But first, to build a new school, you must first track down info on the previous schools; you’ll have to find the library of the Crimson Rose, established by Jacque de Aldersberg, to uncover the first of these texts with the rest being scattered about the world. This will be the initial driving force of the main story and it will open up new paths of progression as you acquire more of these texts. Texts pertaining to the Schools of the Wolf (swordsmanship), Bear (armor), Cat (archery & agility), Griffin (magic), Viper (alchemy and poisons), and Manticore (mutations) will feature. Furthermore, we’ll introduce a new Witcher School (that won’t be explored much in this game; moreso in the sequel but more on that in a bit) called the School of the Kraken that specialized in aquatic combat (and there will be a few lakes, rivers, and subterranean pools with water-based enemies to kill). You’ll collect these texts as part of the main story and later through general world exploration but eventually you’ll find that Philippa is actually looking for something far more rare and specific.
Mechanically this game should play very similar to the Witcher 3 with a few additions. For starters, potions should have their Witcher 2 lengths. Individual ingredients should be able to be consumed on their own for lesser effective. Potions should have to be recrafted when you run out (but each batch you make should be larger to compensate). The way crafting works TW3 is great too although different kinds of traps and lures should be available that you can make use of whenever, either to help in contracts or help you gather ingredients. Different traps/lures should be effective on different monsters. And weapon variety should increase. Steel and silver swords, axes, maxes, daggers, harpoons, tridents, and throwing weapons should be available to use. Also, archery (either bows or crossbows) should be a viable playstyle). And different weapons will be able to help better against different enemies. The Signs should return but should have multiple alternate uses to reflect your characters magical affinity with each alternate mode being effective on specific monsters. And finally, the amount of ability slots should double. Ultimately the idea is to maximize the amount of options you have to deal with threats because there will be a lot. Almost every monster from previous games, in addition to some new ones, should feature in this one (with the exception of some of the region-specific monsters in Skellige). And Witcher’s work should increase in variety to involve exorcisms, dealing with Post-Conjunction environmental changes, and lifting curses (every Cursed One you encounter should have a way for you to lift said Curse).
This game should have a very clear sense of progression. You’re starting as a total novice and you’re having to learn everything on the job. So you’ll have to seek out books and formulae on your own to learn about a monster’s weaknesses; it’ll be similar to The Witcher 1 in that regard. Previous characters like Philippa (obviously), Iorveth, Yarpen, Saskia, and maybe Regis should return. There should be a ton of different romance options for both genders and multiple orientations. Basically this game should be the biggest Witcher yet to show that the franchise has a future beyond Geralt’s story.
This new trilogy should have an overarching story of some Lovecraftian creature coming through during the last Conjunction and seriously altering the world and the minds of the people. This New God will be able to infect other lifeforms—sapient and non-sapient—an assimilate them into its hive mind. It’ll the main threat that you’ll have to find a way to stop, put to sleep, or return to its home. The first game here will only introduce this thread and have Philippa experimenting on living things with spells and Witcher mutations to help them resist the New God’s calling. The second game can take us further down into Nilfgaard proper (as in its Capitol) and set up the main political conflict of the trilogy; a Nilfgaardian Civil War. Meanwhile, the Lodge in Nilfgaard will be hard at work trying to pinpoint where exactly the New God landed. And I think the Third should conclude in the land of Zerrikania where you travel to finally deal with the threat once and for all. But yeah, that’s my idea. Thoughts? If you could make the Witcher 4, what would you do? Where would you want to take players?
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