In this section you’ll be given some random, unorganized tips about the game.
- Save your game often. If you keep several save slots you can prevent file corruption, losing hours of gameplay due to death or crashes, or resolving a quest in a way that-in retrospect-you wish you did differently.
- At the start of every chapter (or at least the first three) be prepared to grind. Monsters give you less experience as your level increases, so grind first, then complete quests second. Quests give static experience, so grinding first allows you to level up higher and easier, and a stronger Geralt is a good thing.
- Keep up to date with your books and journal entries. Whether it’s knowing your monsters so you can skin them for more loot, or knowing your plants so you can grab alchemical ingredients from sources along the way, the more you collect, the better off you’ll be when you want to create potions.
- Boxing is one of the best ways to earn Orens in this game. You can do it daily and earn good Orens in a short amount of time. You’ll want Orens to buy books and alcohol, among other things, and aside from quests, there’s probably not a better way to earn Orens.
- If you’re a masochist and want to play poker for money, keep in mind that the pot established at the beginning of the game goes to the winner. To maximize the Orens gained per game played, play against players with a higher starting wager to guarantee bigger wins. For example, playing against Thaler in Chapter 2 is a good idea, since he bets a minimum of 110 per game, and even though he raises in small increments, he’s better to play than Munro, who bets 40 Orens per game and raises big.
- Selling weapons is a great way to make Orens, provided you can be bothered to actually sell them. Some low-quality weapons you’ll find by the dozen-Temerian Steel Swords and Torches, for example, sell for 40 Orens each. It might be a pain to trek all the way to a blacksmith to sell them, and items left on the ground have an uncanny way of vanishing when you leave the area, but if you remember-from time to time-to sell the excess crap gear you pick up your wallet will thank you. By the time you hit Chapter 3 and can sell Ceremonial Swords of Deithwen for 300 Orens each, you’ll be glad you trained yourself to haul weapons around.
- Talk to every NPC in the game that you encounter. Some characters with mundane names like “townsperson” may actually have something interesting to say.
- Sometimes NPCs get moody and won’t talk to you. Most of the time this is in response to something you said or did. If a normally chatty NPC starts responding with floating text, leave the area they are in and try talking to them again. This should get them to be chatty. Some NPCs are specifically untalkative (Shani in Chapter 2, for example). It’s nothing you did wrong, she’s just not in the mood to talk most of the time when she’s going to or coming from work. Who can blame her? Then again, some NPCs just won’t talk because they don’t have anything to say.
- NPCs like gifts. What kind of gifts? A whole slew of crap throughout the game-from food, to clothing, to more traditional things, like gems, jewelry, flowers, and alcohol. You’ll find this crap polluting boxes, chests, barrels, crates, and all other manner of lootables throughout the world. You should store everything you find. Sure you can get a few Orens for most things, but you have an infinite stash, and you never know when you’ll be sent on a late-game hunt for bread, or when a horny peasant girl will try to jump your bone-if only you have a ring handy. It’ll be cheaper and easier in the long run if you just store loot as you find it-even if your stash becomes an over-grown nightmare.
- If you played Oblivion, Fallout 3, or pretty much any good RPG within the last decade you’ll be familiar with the following mechanic: Some NPCs have lives too, and they go different places during different times of the day. At night, some tavern patrons are sleeping and can’t be bothered. Shani works at the hospital during the day. And so on. Just be aware that some NPCs won’t be around for you to bother all 24 hours of the day.
- Most reputable NPCs go indoors at night. Why? Nighttime is dangerous! Even in some “civilized” areas of the game you’ll be in danger of getting attacked by random enemies at night. Note the little circle attached to your minimap, it tells you what time it is and whether your location is safe or dangerous. Just because it’s “safe” doesn’tt mean you can’t provoke a fight in some circumstances, but when it’s “dangerous”, enemies might spawn and attack you… like Ghouls crawling up from the ground, Drowners emerging from murky water, Barghests materializing out of thin air, or assassinss coming out of buildings.
- Combat is fairly simple, you have three combat styles and two main weapons. Each attack can go up to five-hit combo before restarting, and really, it’s just clicking at the right time. It’s not too hard. So twitch reflexes aren’t going to get you too far in battle. If there’s a difficult fight, you might need to use some strategy to win. Bottleneck enemies, use the appropriate combat styles and Signs, and when that’s not enough you’ll need to use potions, oils, bombs, and places of power to give yourself a boost. This shouldn’t be required too often at the normal difficulty setting, but keep tools on hand for when you need them. Since “skill” isn’t an issue, preparation is everything.
- Powering up Igni can turn Geralt into a phenom, able to destroy a dozen trash mobs in a cast or two. Against stronger enemies it’s a nice way to whittle them down a bit before engaging, but it’s really the best answer to crowds of enemies. By Chapter 3, you’ll be sick of bothering with Drowners-taking care of them with a simple right-click is good fun.
- The walkthrough assumes that you’ll complete a few tasks on your own-namely the gathering of alchemical ingredients as you explore and boxing and/or playing poker for Orens. Every time a full day has passed, make it a habit to go fight for Orens. We’ll constantly need to buy books, alcohol, and random quest items, which you’ll have the Orens for if you dedicate a little time to the mini-games.