The Witcher Interview, Part Two

HC.Gamer has published the second portion of their interview with CD Projekt Red about the upcoming action RPG, The Witcher. Check it out:
Q: What can you tell us about the character-system? What kind of attributes and skills can we have?

A: While thinking about the game's mechanics we faced a huge problem in that none of the existing systems and solutions was fit to describe such a unique and characteristic hero as our witcher. Classic attribute sets and their development patterns were in no way representative of the hero's potential and could not properly show the fact that he is exceptional in so many ways. We had to think outside the box and create something entirely new, both easy to grasp and use.

All the possible attributes of our hero are grouped and described by "skill trees". Every such group or tree is connected to one of the main attributes, combat or magical abilities. Gaining further levels on a particular tree makes additional possibilities (such as new attacks) and special skills available - in short, we managed to replace the boring quantity-based approach with a much more interesting quality-based one. The player won't have to enlarge abstract numbers of elusive attributes, but will be buying concrete skills that will give him very precise ways of influencing gameplay.

Turning to some details, there are 4 attributes: Strength, Agility, Stamina and Intelligence, each with a tree of passive skills (ones that work all the time since the moment they're bought). Additionally, we have six fighting Styles: Strong (against tough opponents), Quick (against enemies that are agile and nimble) and Group (against more than one enemy), each in two varieties - one for the steel and one for the silver blade. Lastly, there are the five magical Signs, each with its own separate skill-tree: Aard (telekinetic blast), Igni (ignition), Quen (shield), Yrden (magical trap) and Axii (mind manipulation). As anyone can calculate, all this gives us 15 skill trees with around 20 elements each, which comes up to a total of almost 300 special skills!