So I'm replaying the witcher 3 for the thousands time again, I'm in novigrad at the moment (my favourite part of the game) and I'm at the part where I have to decide whether or not I should help dijkstra and Roche with a certain quest. It's got me thinking about how the game wrapped development more than 2 years ago, all that we have now is all there is, there will be no further expansions or improvements to the story. I came across this post which highlights some of the things I had wished CDPR would have come back to and improved upon and I wanted to share it with you guys.
Having just finished Blood and Wine, I have to say I am very impressed with the final results. This is one of the high points of gaming, in my mind, and the trilogy of Geralt's adventures remains an important part of my fantasy fandom. Still, I have to say the game isn't quite perfect. I had my criticisms of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings but I think that game held together a little bit better.
With the Witcher saga having probably come to a close permanently or, at least, until they do a reboot, I've decided to share my Top Ten Changes which would have made the Witcher 3 a little bit better. Note: These changes come from being a fan of the books as well as an individual who prefers there to be more continuity between the games.
- The Politics of the Nilfgaard War needed to be better explained
I wrote an extensive essay on the politics of the Witcher 3 which did an analysis of what was the most likely series of events which led from Point A to Point B. Very little of that was spelled out, though, with large portions of the story just being glossed over. These range from curiosities like how King Henselt's forces ended up serving King Radovid to what is the deciding factor which leads to Nilfgaard's victory or defeat on the battlefield. Given the way Game of Thrones lives and dies on describing the intricacies of politics, I don't think anyone would have been too upset to have an explanation for how Nilfgaard got to its current position, what the consensus is for the public to Nilfgaard's occupation, and what the war situation is.
- Emperor Emhyr is a wasted character
Emhyr is one of the most important characters in the Witcher novels and he plays a relatively minor role in the grand scheme of things. Which is weird because there's a lot of interesting and crazy elements to his character which would have made for interesting storytelling. Geralt saved Emhyr from a curse, Geralt raised Emhyr's daughter, Emhyr wants to take over the world with Cirilla, Emhyr married Ciri's doppleganger, and he tried to kill Geralt as well as Yennefer many times in the past. You could argue these are things which wouldn't make sense to non-book fans but I see no reason why they couldn't have come up in side-quests.
Certainly, Fake Ciri and her relationship to the real one would have made a fascinating NPC.
- King Radovid the Mad
I actually don't have that much of a problem with King Radovid's storyline. King Radovid hates mages, we know this from the "bad ending" of The Witcher 2. Phillipa Eilhart murdered Radovid's father and used him as a puppet while she ruled in his place. The Lodge assassinated Kings and committed numerous atrocities (which one might argue is character assassination for them). As for his pogroms against nonhumans, that's not even uncommon among Northerners after the events of the Second Nilfgaard War.
The thing is, being a genocidal murderous bigot doesn't necessarilly make you insane. Sad but true. It would have been interesting to portray Radovid as someone who holds repellant beliefs but is otherwise a perfectly sane individual. Making him Aerys the Second is a cheap storytelling device which diminishes the character and comes from nowhere, especially as he's supposed to be winning the war through charisma as well as brilliant stratagems.
There's no moral dilemma in assassinating Caliguhitler, even when you're Geralt.
- Missing the Point with Ciri
I love in-game Ciri, truly. She's one of my top five fictional crushes alongside Daenerys Targaryen and Eowyn. The problem is the developers seem to have missed the central point of Ciri's character: specifically, that she's the Unchosen One. Ciri is a deconstruction of the fabled heroes of fantasy like Belgarion and Rand al'Thor by the fact she has a huge epic destiny but chooses to throw it away at every turn. She gets rid of her Source powers, she rejects her destiny as mother/grandmother of the next world ruler, and chooses to run away from the world. Ciri, like Arya Stark, wants freedom from being a standard fantasy heroine and manages to achieve it.
This is, of course, a hard storyline to do but it would have been nice to do more scenes with her which establish she has no interest in being the hero of the story. It also felt like they were whitewashing Ciri to an extent as she's got quite a bit of blood on her hands as well as PTSD trauma. I say that as a huge fan of the in-game character.
- Reasons of State is utterly broken
Reasons of State is probably the single-most important quest in the game after rescuing Ciri but it's regulated to a somewhat difficult-to-find sidequest which many players missed. Honestly, there's no reason Reasons of State and its plotline shouldn't be a main quest. The problem of is the quest is also really-really out there in motivations. Geralt accepts an assassination contract on a king with questionable justification, not that I don't think he'd do it but that he'd need a bit more conversation on the subject.
The ending, however, is the most bizarre element as everyone reacts in a way designed to create a moral dilemma without actually explaining it. Roche says he's going to make peace with Nilfgaard despite being an insanely patriotic loyalist, Sigi wants to kill him without explaining how this will help his cause, and Geralt is caught in the middle.
- The absence of the Scoia'tael
The Scoia'tael aren't actually a big thing in the books, being little more than Nilfgaard's evil henchmen. The games, however, elevated the group of ethnic cleansing and elf-power terrorists into a multifaceted group which looked like they had valid criticisms of humanity. Certainly, they played a huge role in the first two games. While they're technically present in the Wild Hunt, they're really a minor group which is somewhat annoying since they have an important role as former allies of Nilfgaard who were betrayed by them. Of course, this ties back into the fact the War with Nilfgaard is really only set dressing for the game.
- The absence of old friends
Saskia and Iorveth's absence from the game has been mentioned repeatedly, to the point they even made a comic book series about it. I, of course, speak of Iorveth and Saskia's absence from the game. They wouldn't have taken much effort to incorporate and would have been good to include given the events of the second game. It would have also added some panache to Nilfgaard's invasion to have them explain how Saskia's kingdom survived Henselt but was destroyed within weeks by Nilfgaard.
- The whitewashing of Nilfgaard
Nilfgaard shouldn't be one-dimensionally evil but the game overlooks the fact they practice chattle slavery and are responsible for many of the problems with afflict the North. I think the game would have benefited from bringing up their duplicity and cruelty more often. The Temerian ending, for example, makes no sense whatsoever as it's framed as if Temeria won the war and regained its freedom versus surrendered. How in the world is that getting their country back?
- A largely empty third act
While I think the execution of the three Crones was very enjoyable, I can't help but think there's no reason the story couldnt' have ended at the Battle of Kaer Morhen. It felt like the Battle of Skellige was an anticlimax and it would have been more enjoyable to just re-arrange things differently. Certainly, the death of Cerys' father doesn't have the same poignance as Vesemir's death. Was anyone clamoring for a huge ending with the White Frost either?
- Eredin a.k.a Ganon Saurondorf
Finally, the biggest thing which bothered me about the Witcher 3 was the handling of Eredit. Eredin has sixteen lines in the entire game, all variations of "I'm evil." This is a sharp contrast to the direct moral and mental challenge he poses in the 1st game. Would it have been difficult to have Eredin visits Geralt's dreams and confront him over his choices as before? Certainly, Eredin is portrayed as one-dimensionally as Radovid, which is weird for a man just trying to save his race.
Post originally from willowhugger on cdpr forums.
© Post "Top Ten Changes I would have made to The Witcher 3" for game The Witcher.
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