The world of Witcher III is much larger than its predecessors and thusly, needs much finesse to make it through alive. Geralt isn't without some new tricks, including a crossbow and horseback riding, but it's easy to get lost with all the new and shiny. That's why we've compiled 10 neat tips you need to know to help you through the world of Witcher III and manage to not mess up too much.
From romance options and failed quests to potions, let's get started.
Don't Worry about the Witcher II Saves
If you didn't import your Witcher II save or didn't save it after all of these years, don't fret. After the prologue you get a chance to hash out the important details on major decisions that mattered in Witcher II. These also aren't that important, just if you will or won't see some important people and/or if a sidequest is available.
Loot Everything Except In Front of Guards
Take all the plants you want, guards generally won't care for your gardening and it takes no time at all. The plants will brew potions for you and it's handy to have a wide variety of ingrediants. Once you have say 10 of a specific plant, you can probably pass on gathering more, but there is no harm in it. Take anything from any container, as long as a guard isn't around.
If a guard is nearby and looking, then if you loot something that doesn't belong to you, they'll get upset and attack. However, they're a bit derpy on this.
Signs are Powerful and Dangerous
Signs cost all of your stamina, but are very powerful. Without stamina you can't dodge, parry, or defend yourself, but if you were to cast Quen (and guard yourself) then the need is far less or if you were to take everyone out, etc.
You have to balance sign usage with combat. I suggest using Quen at the start of a battle, regening your stamina a bit, then moving in for the fight.
Potions are Necessary
You're not going to win a lot of fights without some buffs on your side. Potions, like Swallow, regenerate Vitality especially in combat, while others increase damage. You can see our alchemy guide on how to craft potions and gather the materials.
Likewise, things like whetstones help a ton, along with sources of power for your signs.
Meditation will restore vitality, but only on easier difficulities. On harder ones you'll need to use potions.
Remember where Blacksmiths and Armorsmiths Are - You need Repairs
Repair your gear often and Blacksmiths / Armorsmiths are the easiest for this task. You can also loot and purchase repair kits which do the same for you. You should also visit them to get new gear crafted / purchased as soon as you can afford. Gear helps you deal with enemies better and it is very, very important on the higher difficulties where every little bit matters.
Be Careful Who and What you Sell To
Certain merchants pay more for certain items. Wandering merchants are your best bet, they buy everything for a fair price, although you'll not get nearly as much money for say a book than you would from a specialized Book Dealer. Junk is always best sold to an Innkeeper, even though they are the only ones who will accept it (outside of a wandering merchant).
Merchant prices are also affected by the region the item is from and the region the merchant is in. It's too complicated to go into, but let me give you an example. A Nilfgaard merchant with an item from Nilfgaard will pay 20% extra for alchohol, on top of the bonus if they're an innkeeper.
You also get discounts for helping merchants with their miniquests and for doing specific quests in each region to unlock a 10% discount.
Quests Can Fail By Moving the Story Along
Generally speaking, a story quest will be located in a specific area. If you move the quest too far forward, you'll fail a lot of previous quests, this is most notable moving chapter to chapter. For instance, there is a quest early on to help a girl with a swallow potion. Fail to bring that potion to her and the quest fails and the worst happens.
Sometimes this can be on purpose, if you don't feel as if you want to help someone or risk whatever the outcome of it happening is, then let the worst happen, otherwise, so sidequests as soon as you can. It's important for leveling up.
Explore, Explore, Explore
This is usually the lamest tip, but for a game like Witcher III, you have to explore in order to get the most out of it, if nothing else to find additional ability points and a way to level up with some off the beaten track side quests. If you want a challenge, try doing only the story quests.
Exploring is important and easy. Just open the map up and walk to any question mark, odds are there is going to be something there, a camp that you can reclaim, a signpost for fast travel, a point of power to get an ability point, who knows! The fun of the game is hunting these areas out and finding them.
While not Skyrim, where the main quest could be all but forgotten, it's definitely worth spending a lot of time out in the world.
Gwent is Fun and Optional
Gwent is fun and optional, as the title suggests. You don't have to ever play Gwent once in the entire story I believe, (I think you can skip it in the first inn), but it's also a great way of having fun if you like niche card / tabletop games. It's rather hard to wrap your head around, but once you figure it out, it's second nature.
Gwent matches are everywhere in the world.
Choices Matter for the Ending
Around chapter 2, a lot of hard questions start coming and a lot of decision making has to be made. If you, for instance, choose to romance Triss for the ending, then not completing Now or Never is going to lock that option away forever. I won't spoil the quest, but there are huge ramifications for it.
It starts off small, people will die, or shops won't be available, but ignoring certain quests will have a violent impact on the ending. Sometimes there is no happy choice, just the choice you want, and other times it's a bit more drastic than that. Choices can impact the entire world and the entire dialog of the game.
As a reminder, your romance options are either Triss, Yennefer, or being alone. Your dialog options will impact the end result, along with which secondary quests you complete and what you say during them.
That's the ten things you need to know to start with Witcher III!
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