The Witcher 3: These Are Not The Graphics You Seek

witch4So, this has been interesting to watch unfold.

Gamers, while completely in love with the new Witcher, have pointed out a marked difference in the actual graphics of the game, and the graphics of the gaming trailer shown  two years ago at the VGX game awards show.  CD Projekt Red, the game’s developer moved reasonable quickly to address the concerns to the media, which also lead to graphics card manufacturers weighing in on the controversy as well.

This was actually an issue with the Watch Dogs release last year as well, but what makes it different this time around is the graphics card producers Nvidia and AMD seem to being trying to blame one another for the issue.


The Developer’s Comments


“We don’t agree there is a downgrade but it’s our opinion, and gamers’ feeling can be different. If they made their purchasing decision based on the 2013 materials, I’m deeply sorry for that, and we are discussing how we can make it up to them because that’s not fair. We don’t agree there is a downgrade but it’s our opinion, and gamers’ feeling can be different.”

And that’s that!  The patch for the PC version is out now, and the patch for the console version is coming soon, but it hasn’t been clarified when “soon” is exactly. But, you know, it’s coming.

As far as the “why”, there are several reason, and once you hear them all explained out in layman’s terms, they make total logical sense.  You can read all of the reasons, as given by the horse’s mouths in the forms of co-founder Marcin Iwinski, studio head Adam Badowski and global communications manager Michal Platkow-Gilewski via an interview they did with Eurogamer here – CD Projekt tackles The Witcher 3 downgrade issue head on

They are rather long, and outlining them here would make this blurb massive, so I will simply point you over that way, and say that yes, the reasons are sound.  And that they do seem to be trying to make it right as far as the gamers go, which is admirable and awesome in my humble opinion.


The Graphic’s Comments

witch2Okay, so here is the short version: Each company produces their own specific little tweaks that provide boosts to graphical quality.  One of Nvidia’s tweaks is called Hairworks.  You can guess what it does, the name pretty much says it all.  AMD states that the game ran beautifully before the new ly developed graphics, complete with Hairworks, showed up.  After that, AMD’s production rate was shot all to hell, “almost as if it was put in to achieve that goal”, according to AMD’s Richard Huddy.  Strong accusation to set out there for the media, right?

Of course, Nvidia responded with a polite version of “Nuh uh!”

The war of words has delved into AMD saying that Nvidia won’t share their source code for the tweak so that AMD can adapt their hardware to work optimally with it, and Nvidia firing back saying that will not solve the problem… etcetera, etcetera.  Here, you can go read the whole thing over at Ars Technica UK. – AMD says Nvidia’s GameWorks “completely sabotaged” Witcher 3 performance

‘Tis long, yes.  But fascinating.  And a bit like five year olds trying to explain to Mom which one broke the toy.


In Conclusion

I am not saying that the gamers of the world don’t have right to be disappointed, nor that the developers shouldn’t perhaps be a bit more realistic when setting expectations, let me say that up front.  However, everyone knows that a trailer release years before the game (and I’m not talking about the game got pushed four times, I mean a game that you knew was years away) has to be just a slice from the middle of something pre-beta.  There isn’t anything else for them to show you at that point, so yes it might look prettier, and no all of the technological tweaks and such haven’t happened yet because there isn’t enough game to get going with that bit.  So take it with a grain of salt.

And developers maybe need to dial back the cinematics a bit on their sneak peeks.  I’m not saying make it suck, I’m saying maybe give something a bit more realistic.  You may not know all that you’ll have to dial down a notch, but you know enough.  Setting those expectations ridiculously high, and then wondering why people are pissed after blowing at least $60 on your product is a bit much.  You knew people were going to be upset.  Come on, admit it.  You knew.

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