The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Strategy Guide

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    CD Projekt
  • Platforms
    Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Genre
    Role-playing
  • Guide Release
    24 June 2015
  • Last Updated
    18 March 2018
  • Guide Author
    Nathan Garvin (Haeravon)

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White Orchard

White Orchard

Exploring Southern White Orchard

Important Items in this Area
Yellowed Diary
Ornate Bracelet
Water Hag Decoction
Noonwraith Trophy

Devil by the Well (Part 1)

Return to the village of White Orchard, sell, repair, dismantle equipment as necessary. Our next goal is to explore the areas south and south-east of the village. Since the quest "Devil by the Well" also occurs down there… well, you might as well tackle that, too. To start this quest head to the large house west of the Notice Board, where you’ll find Odolan. His daughter has fallen ill from drinking river water, which was polluted by all the corpses deposited during the last battle. According to a local herbalist, whatever she’s contracted requires her to stay hydrated, and the only source of pure water around is the well, which has been haunted for some time. Back when the river water was pure, this wasn’t an issue, but now… now the ghost must be dealt with, or the girl will die.

Pretty clear-cut case; this is Witcher’s work. Ask the farmer to describe the ghost and he will. After that, you merely have to accept the job, haggle for more coin, or decline. Haggling is simple enough - the farmer will start at a base rate (in this case, 20 Crowns), and you’ll have to raise. Go too high, and the farmer will decline and get annoyed. Your goal is to start high, and drop the rate until you both agree. Every time you ask for more than the farmer is willing to pay, he’ll get more annoyed (by an amount proportional to the money you’re asking for). Note that this does seem to be a percentage-based check done under-the-hood, after reloading, a quest-giver might not turn you down for a reward they previously declined, or they may decline an offer they previously accepted. In this case, haggling probably isn’t worth the trouble, as it’ll at best nab you a few extra Crowns, but later on you can expect the difference in pay to end up being rather significant. Haggle as you will, but ultimately accept the quest.

Leave Odolan and travel south along the road. You’ll pass a house, and shortly south of that the path forks. The south-eastern path leads to your objective, so naturally you want to head south-west, first. As you head south-west the path will split temporarily, and at this point you’ll find broken trees and large patches of blood on the ground. Wonderful. Continue south-west to find the Broken Bridge signpost, and further beyond that… a broken bridge. How fitting. Leap over the broken bridge and continue following the road and it’ll veer south-east temporarily, then turn back south-west.

Bandit Camp (Level 2)

At this point you’ll want to head west off the road until you find some bandits guarding their camp. Dispose of them, then loot their camp. All of their goodies are located under a tent, near a pair of cots. Must have been hot-bunking. This loot includes a chest, which has a chance to contain exceptional gear.

Place of Power

Return back east until you reach the road, then continue east past the road until you find a Place of Power. Draw from it and enjoy your bonus Ability Point. From here if you head north and slightly east you’ll find the Griffin’s nest… or at least, what remains of it, and nearby is the body of a rather dead Griffin. This might have something to do with our rampaging Griffin. Despite pointing this out, you should avoid the Griffin’s nest for now, as discovering it early will mess with the progression of a quest later and cost you some experience.

Draw from the Place of Power to gain an ability point (left). Search the abandoned village to make a gruesome discovery in the well (right).

Devil by the Well (Part 2)

Head back to the road and follow it back to the fork, at this point following the south-eastern fork which was neglected earlier. Continue on this road until you find the Abandoned Village signpost, beyond which is the… well, abandoned village. Head inside and have a look around, making use of your Witcher Senses to look for clues. Examine the scorched grass around the well, then investigate a crispy body west of the well. From this evidence, Geralt deduces the ghost you’re after is a Noonwraith.

Now turn your attention to the surviving houses, of which there are three. The western-most one contains a variety of loot, most of which is junk. Use the Aard Sign to clear some collapsed wooden beams so you can loot the south-eastern end of the house. In the central house lurks a pair of chests with better loot in it, notably Alchemical and Crafting Components. Finally head over to the eastern-most house. Under a wagon outside is a chest, and various sacks and chest with minor loot inside await near the door. Venture inside the house to find a small wooden chest in the main room, then turn north-west to find a larger chest against the wall. Near this chest you’ll find a "Yellowed Diary" which, as Geralt suggests, might be useful.

Time for some reading. Enter your inventory and read the Yellowed Diary. Seems an over-bearing and cruel lord caused the former inhabitants of this area to settle here in the first place, and that a latter meeting with the lord - before which the journal ends - might have caused the Noonwraith to spawn. If Geralt’s hunches are correct, this ghost might be attached to a certain bracelet… Next look at the bestiary entry for Noonwraiths, which if anything lends more weight to Geralt’s suspicions.

It’s time to search for more clues, and fortunately, you need not look far. Turn around and search the corner of the room opposite where you found the Yellowed Diary and use your Witcher Senses to highlight some remains, which Geralt identifies as the body of someone who was stabbed, and died on the spot. A blood trail leads away from the scene however. Follow it using your Witcher Senses, searching once near the corpse, and again near the door to get Geralt to deduce that our search will lead us to… you guessed it, the well. Search a rope tied to the well to make a ghastly discovery. It’s no wonder this woman can’t rest easily, and while what happened to her was regrettable, she can’t be allowed to haunt the living any longer. Her bracelet ties her to this world, and it looks like you’ll have to hop down into the well to find it.

Hop down into the well where - despite Geralt’s pessimism - there’s enough water to break your fall. Once you’re in the water, dive [Square] to explore under the water and once submerged use your Witcher senses to locate the bracelet, then surface by hold [Circle] once the "Ornate Bracelet" is in hand. Climb up onto a ledge to the north, then go down a tunnel to the east to find another pool of water. Dive on in and swim to the north-east until you reach another large chamber. Search to the west to find a submerged chest with a variety of goodies inside, including the formula for the Water Hag Decoction . Follow the bubbles and surface to get a breath of air, then swim down a tunnel to the east until you surface in a small pond. Get more air, then search near the center of this pond, as there’s another submerged chest worth looting which contains some Cavalry Trousers and some coins. Geralt will suggest preparing for the Noonwraith, and it might not be bad advice. All you really need, however is the Yrden Sign and a Silver Sword… although Wraith Oil won’t hurt.

Note: Preparing potions, decoctions, bombs or oil are simple; go into the menu screen by pressing the [Touch Pad], go to the Alchemy tab, and scroll down to the various alchemical concoctions you can craft. You only need to use the base materials for each particular concoction once, after which you’ll have said item added to your inventory. After using it, you’ll automatically replenish your stock with whatever alcohol you have have on hand. In the case of Oils, however, you will never need to replenish it. Just apply the correct oil to your blade and enjoy a nice damage boost.

Summon the Devil by the Well (left) then defeat the Noonwraith to banish her (right).

Head south-west to return to the village. When you’re ready to fight the Noonwraith, burn the body near the well and the Noonwraith will show up. Her attacks are pretty basic; dodge around and wait for her to leave herself open. Once in a while she’ll vanish, blind you, and summon some decoys, who require only one hit to dispel, and should be attacked aggressively, as they’ll drain your life from a distance. She’ll take much more damage when she’s in the area of a Yrden spell, so cast it whenever you can and wait for her to engage you in the Yrden spell’s area of effect. Using the Strong Style aggressively, then quickly dodging back works quite well.

When she dies, loot her remains to gain some goodies. The drops are, of course, random (always including a Noonwraith Trophy , however). The Noonwraith Trophy will, when equipped, give you a 5% experience bonus from humans and nonhumans (quick, what’s 5% of next-to-nothing?). You can also score a Noonwraith Mutagen if you’re lucky, which will increase your Vitality when paired with the appropriate abilities. Another useful item includes Emerald Dust, which can be used to craft the Viper Steel Sword and Viper Silver Sword. The mutagen’s increase to Vitality is pretty paltry, though, and Emerald Dust will help you out more in the long run, even though you can just buy it from Willis and the Quartermaster, but that’ll set you back around 350~ crowns.

Objective Reward
For claiming the Noonwraith Trophy 50 XP

Note: Mutagens come in three types: red, blue and green. Monster-specific mutagens also exist, but they have the same statistical properties of one of the colored mutagens. These mutagens increase your attack power, sign intensity and vitality, respectively, and come in three grades: lesser, normal and greater. Activate their bonuses by equipping them in the Character menu into one of the slots adjacent to where you equip your abilities, but note that you must have abilities of the appropriate tree equipped to see any benefit - it’s all color-coded for your convenience. The more abilities from the right tree paired with the right mutagen will additively increase the bonus you gain. For example, one ability from the Alchemy tree alongside a green mutagen will give you +50 Vitality, two will give you +100 Vitality and three will give you +150 Vitality.

Note: In later patches of the game, CDProjekt realized it would be less of a hassle if all your mutagens stacked. Hooray! Also note that in the Blood and Wine expansion you’ll be able to put those mutagens to use, so always harvest them from defeated foes and never sell them - they weigh nothing, sell for little, and might come in handy much, much later on.

Return to Odolan and tell him the good news. Geralt’s curiosity gets the best of him and he asks about the dead peasants around which the quests resolved. The local herbalist mentioned a Claer, and it’s definitely something to keep in mind for later. Odolan will then offer to pay you… money that was meant for his daughter’s dowry. His reasoning is simple; better she live to get married off with a lesser dowry than not live to get married at all. Either take the dowry (a whopping 20 Crowns) or be a nice guy and pass. Since you can pick a handful of flowers to get the same money, the latter seems nicer. Despite being a nice guy, Odolan won’t leave a debt unpaid, and will give you an Amethyst for your trouble, which is worth over twice as much as the coin would have been. Sometimes, good deeds are rewarded.

Objective Reward
For returning to Odolan after defeating the Noonwraith 50 XP and one of the following: 1) 20+ Crowns 2) Amethyst

The quest is done, but there’s still more to do down south. Return to the Abandoned Village and take the road that exits the town to the east. Ignore the first smaller trail that branches off from this road and instead take the second one, which leads to an abandoned lakeside cottage, wherein you can score some loot. In particular, in a room to the south, between two beds, you’ll find a chest that contains a Velen Longsword.

Abandoned Site (level 2)

Leave the lakeside cottage and follow the larger road east until you find an "Abandoned Site" along the road. Abandoned, presumably, because of the Ghouls lurking around. Exterminate them and some Peasants will return to their shrine. Among these are a Herbalist, who will sell you a variety of goodies, including formula for White Gull, Dwarven Spirit, Grave Hag Decoction, Earth Elemental Decoction, and Nightwraith Decoction. The prices are, however, cumulatively steep. Also of note is the fact that he sells Saltpeter, which is an ingredient you’ll need to make bombs. Buy yourself some Saltpeter, then make yourself a Samum bomb by going into your menu and picking the "Alchemy" sub-menu.

Objective Reward
For clearing the Abandoned Site of Ghouls 90 XP

Note: Making a Samum bomb will add two of the devices to your inventory, the most you can have on you at any one time. Used bombs will be automatically replenished when you meditate by consuming various alcohol that might be in your inventory.

Place of Power (level 6)

Before you get to those Monster Nests head south-west of the Abandoned Site that’s no longer quite so abandoned. You’ll shortly come across another delicious Place of Power, which is guarded by a level six Bear. As intimidating as the black behemoth might seem, however, its attacks are predictable and pretty easy to dodge. Use the Quen Sign to absorb any accidents and perform the tried-and-true strong attack and dodge strategy until it’s defeated. Once done, draw from the Place of Power and enjoy your extra ability point.

Defeat the Bear guarding the Place of Power (left) and go blow up some Monster Nests for some much-needed loot and XP (right).

Monster Nests

There are two Monster Nests you can destroy now, and by doing so the north-eastern part of the map will be more or less complete. First, and obviously is the one near the Place of Power by the battlefield. Simple enough, fast travel to Cackler Bridge, walk up to the nest (destroy any Ghouls who may have respawned in your absence) and with the Samum bombs equipped, simply walk up to the nest and press [X]. Walk away like a badass and let the nest explode, then loot the remains of the nest.

The second nest is near where you began the game. Head south-east across the battlefield, through the ruined camp, and to the road beyond. From here continue south, pass over another, smaller road, and head downhill to find another Ghoul Nest (this is south-east of the Crossroads signpost). Eradicate any Ghouls and repeat the process above. Looting nests should earn you a Gold and Ruby Ring, which is worth a bit of coin, but can also be broken down into a Gold Nugget and a Ruby. All in all, it might be a better idea to hang onto them, in case you need to scrap them later.

Objective Reward
For destroying a Ghoul Nest 20 XP
For destroying... another Ghoul Nest! 20 XP

Note: Occasionally, when you go to blow up the nest, more Ghouls will appear to defend it. Killing these reinforcements will earn you 75 experience.