This Week's Witcher 2 Update Changes EverythingS

PC gamers that didn't enjoy The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings as much as I did should check back in on Thursday, when the massive 2.0 update adds a full tutorial, arena combat, the insanely difficult dark mode, and much, much more. Wanna see a full list?

While some game developers release a game and move onto the next, CD Projekt Red isn't content to let sleeping Witchers lie. Instead the developer has been paying close attention to player feedback, using it to further shape The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings into the sort of PC role-playing game everyone can get along with.

A great deal of this reshaping comes in Thursday's 2.0 update, addressing many of the key concerns players have voiced since the game was released earlier this year. Things like the lack of a true tutorial, remedied with a new standalone learning adventure. Players seeking more of a challenge have been answered with dark mode, a new difficulty setting that delivers a far greater challenge as well as special equipment awards that can only be found in the dark.

And players looking for a quick dose of combat will be sated by the new Arena, a separate area of the game in which players can earn gold, items, and leaderboard points.

While those are the three biggies, version 2.0 also brings with it a slew of fixes and tweaks aimed at making The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings a better game. Will they succeed? Find out Thursday, when the automatic update fairy changes everything. Until then, here's that list I promised.

Corrections and improvements to combat:

• Numerous improvements have been made in the targeting system.
• Parrying is now unlimited (even when Vigor is completely depleted), though parries no longer cancel all damage (maximum 50% reduction once the relevant ability has been acquired).
• Responsiveness of game controls has been improved. This includes but is not limited to casting Signs, parrying, and attacking immediately after evading an opponent's assault.
• Geralt's attacks are no longer interrupted by attacking opponents. Attacks are now contiguous and foes cannot interrupt Geralt's attacks by landing a blow.
• Assorted fixes now prevent opponents from incessantly attacking Geralt after he has been knocked down. Geralt can no longer be knocked down repeatedly in quick succession. Also, he rises quickly while evading subsequent attacks.
• Geralt no longer attacks opponents located behind other opponents positioned nearer to him.
• The target locking system has been improved. Preference is now given to previously highlighted targets.
• Target selection has been improved. Priority is now given to foes affected by a critical effect facilitating the completion of a finishing move.
• The additional two steps Geralt took after mounting an attack with the W, S, A or D key depressed have been eliminated.
• Attacks can now be continued even when a key controlling Geralt's movement (e.g. W, S, A, D) is depressed.
• Attacks can now be continued if the attack key is depressed immediately after the final strike of an attack animation sequence.
• Geralt can now pivot 180 degrees immediately after completing an attack.
• Assorted problems with key responsiveness have been resolved. Keys no longer need to be depressed twice or more to trigger a given action.
• A distance attack problem has been resolved. Geralt now mounts distance attacks (lunge with sword in hand in the Fast style) when opponents were located at a suitable distance from him.

Other corrections and amendments:

• Casting several bombs no longer blocks further inputs.
• An option has been added to the configuration tool enabling aspect ratio to be set independently of resolution.
• The amount of disk space required for game patching has been reduced.
• The loading of selected Witcher 1 game saves no longer causes the game to crash.
• A greater number of monsters now appear in the cave leading to Loc Muinne.
• Improvements have been made in the manner in which monsters are spawned in the mist in Chapter 2.
• The visual effect accompanying Adrenaline use no longer disappears prematurely.
• Archers now draw their swords more quickly when Geralt approaches.
• Mages no longer automatically cast shield spells when Geralt casts daggers at them.
• The game is now paused when Geralt executes a finishing move in combat.
• The troll in Chapter 2 has been corrected. Previously, in some circumstances he could not be attacked.
• Physics on cast daggers have been improved.
• The site for aiming daggers is now more visible.
• Geralt's animation when he dies while casting the Axii Sign has been corrected.
• An exploit in the fight against Letho has been eliminated. Previously, this foe could be killed by casting bombs in quick succession.
• An exploit related to the ‘Insane' difficulty setting has been eliminated. Previously, game saves could be loaded with difficulty set to this level, which was contrary to design intentions.
• Camera positioning/operation has been corrected during the boss fight against the kayran.
• Camera control via gamepads has been improved.
• Assorted adjustments have been made in mutagen statistics.
• The ‘Junk' filter in the Inventory has been adjusted to provide for correct item filtering.
• In the Inventory, the dialogue window warning of prohibited actions has been corrected.
• Assorted corrections have been introduced to the mini-map in Chapter 1.
• Audio balance throughout the game has been adjusted.
• Erratic character teleportation in mini–games has been eliminated.
• Assorted adjustments have been made in animations applying to nekkers.
• A minor bug in the "Scent of Incense" quest has been resolved.
• Numerous minor fixes have been introduced in character lip-sync throughout the game.


You can contact Michael Fahey, the author of this post, at fahey@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.