What Exactly is in The Witcher 2 Version 2.0 Update?

September 27, 2011

By Jimmy Thang

As promised, developer CD Projekt RED is gearing up to release their highly-anticipated The Witcher 2 version 2.0 update later this month on September 29. While the contents of the massive update were teased at Gamescom 2011, we were able to get a detailed list of patch notes that highlights everything you can expect from the free download. As you'll see below, the update fixes a wide range of bugs, adds new modes, and offers a bunch of graphical tweaks. Fixes or improvements to the visual presentation have been highlighted in bold.

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.

The game's new Arena Mode will push an infinite wave of enemies on you.

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.
  • Multiple improvements have been made in the game tutorial.

As the last bullet points out, one of the bigger changes this list highlights is the fact that the game will have an all new and improved tutorial system that will ease in newcomers. This was something the original release of the critically-acclaimed game was lacking and criticized for.

The Witcher 2's new Dark Mode promises more challenging gameplay along with the most powerful loot.

In addition to the aforementioned fixes, The Witcher 2 Version 2.0 will include a new Dark Mode. According to CD Projekt RED, this mode will be almost as challenging as "Insane" (the game's mode where you die once and it's all over), but will allow players to save their game. In addition, in this mode players will have access to new dark-themed items that provide extremely high stat boosts. According to the Polish developer, there will be 18 equippable Dark items that include three sets of dark armor (light, medium, and heavy) and three sets of new dark swords (three silver, three steel). Furthermore, this new mode will bring new dark themes and elements to the game; features that should keep veteran players coming back for more.

Warewolves: New enemies to battle in The Witcher 2's upcoming Arena Mode.

Another feature that The Witcher 2 2.0 will offer is the new Arena Mode. Like Gears of Wars' popular Horde Mode, in The Witcher 2's new Arena Mode, players will fight wave upon wave of increasingly difficult enemies; however, unlike Epic Games' shooter, between each round, players will level-up, be able to purchase more powerful weapons, and pay hirelings to help them in combat. As the waves are infinite, players will ultimately die; the goal of the mode is therefore to compete for high scores. Players will be able to post their stats online either through their Facebook accounts or on CD Projekt RED's official forums. A complete list of features for the mode are posted below:

  • New location, with a dynamic, responsive audience reacting to the events
  • A new monster type, Werewolf
  • Waves of different opponents, looped with increasing levels of difficulty
  • 3 different prizes to choose from in each wave
  • 3 new characters (mage, knight, and dwarven fighter) that can serve as allies during clashes
  • A shopkeeper offering gear and enhancements
  • 3 new GUI panels designed specifically for the mode
  • New dialogue
  • New background music
  • New Witcher Forum and Facebook integration

If that weren't enough, The Witcher 2 version 2.0 will include all nine previously released DLC (Troll Trouble, Roche Commando Jacket, Ultimate Alchemy Suit, Ultimate Magical Suit, Ultimate Swordsman Suit, Finisher Pack, Mysterious Merchant, Barbers and Coiffeuses, A Sackfull of Fluff) for free.

Users who already own a copy of The Witcher 2 can automatically download the 2.0 update through the game's download client on the 29th. If you haven't picked up The Witcher 2 yet, what are you waiting for? A great game just got greater.