The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Interview

The editors at IGN's The Witcher Vault were able to attend the recent CD Projekt Conference and have returned with one of the more informative interviews we've seen for The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. TW2 senior producer Tomasz Gop fields the answers:
Witcher Vault: Continuing in the '˜comparison' vein, can you tell us something about combat? We've seen the examples during your gameplay session, and to be frank it wasn't actually more dynamic to the viewer. However, from what you describe, the system is much more dynamic. Can you explain?

Tomasz Gop: Well, right now you've seen a dev playing. There're two significant changes here, first of all, there's no hard lock onto a target. Where in W1 you were forced to attack a selected target which needed to be reselected, if you had to switch to the next one now you can simply change the direction of your attacks, and they will find the next opponent even mid-hit, without losing the pace. Another new thing is the ability to mix fighting styles ad hoc, without any penalty or losing your progression. And, to that point, there's no fixed combo sequences now you build your attacks by yourself, mixing and matching for better result. You can even use Signs during '˜clicking' with no detriment to the melee.

Witcher Vault: So is seemingly slower-paced combat a result of lower level of the character shown in the presentation, or maybe something else?

Tomasz Gop: We don't want to show everything at once. To be honest, we were focusing more on the plot, dialogue system, cutscenes integration into the game during this presentation, more so than on the combat. It's also worth mentioning that combat in the Witcher has never been a very big part of the game at least, not considering the RPG aspect. In fact, we wanted to make combat in W2 more '˜witchery', more tactical, more tuned to the character development. That said, we wanted to give player a choice: whether he/she wants to fight more with the aid of alchemy, or maybe solely focusing on the swordfight. There's even more interactivity here since wilderness here is a true ecosystem, you can perform truly '˜witchery' stuff, not just tied to your knowledge of how to defeat the monsters. For example, you can catch a beast, pump it full of some substance, then let it go. Then, you follow it on its chemical trail to its lair, and destroy the whole lair of the monsters. This, in particular, is something that we haven't done in Witcher 1.