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Raye: And, if you make *just* the right choices, you can bring Roche AND Iorveth with you to Loc Muinne, but only if you go to Henselt's camp. So there are some advantages to going with Roche.
Wait, seriously??? How???
I enjoyed Iorveth's patch more but that isn't to say that Roche's path wasn't good or was an afterthought. I chose Roche on my first playthrough and had a blast.

I think the biggest and most impressive difference between the two paths is the perspective you get on the main story.
If you side with Roche you're not made privy to some vital information (I too killed the dragon in my first playthrough, I think that involving new plot twists in a second playthrough is quite an achievement) and you don't get to meet some major players, and vice versa.

It just gives you a whole new take on the story and it's actually THE shining example of there being no "right choices" in the game, it's all shades of grey even if you don't realize it at the time. In my first playthrough i liked Radovid, then in my second i saw a whole different side of him. Same with Saskia etc. The only guy who seems to remain an asshole no matter how the story pans out is Henselt.
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K_Murx: On the side of Roche there is some sloppy writing. E.g. when Henselt and Dethmold needs to turn into antagonists, suddenly old ill-tempered bear Henselt is turned into a rapist seemingly just because everybody can agree that rapists are bad.
Yeah, when I met up with Henselt afterwards and he mentioned dealing with spies it was somewhat difficult to not to see his point. But then I asked about Ves and he was a total dick about it. All yours, Roche.
And as far as sloppy writing goes, didn't anyone from Roche's unit *know* that Kaedwenis are not their best pals? Why would they go to a fucking banquet in the first place?
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K_Murx: Then there are the quests. While the side quests on Iorveths side do involve some running back and forth, the trails traveled are reasonably short. On Henselt's side, I was rather bored after running to the damned house on the cliff for the fourth time. Not to mention Sabrinas deathwheel, or searching the freaking corpses for the Rotfiend quest.
I quite liked the preacher part of Sabrina's quest actually. It was so... random and weird...
I went with Roche on my first playthrough, since Thaler's messenger advised me do that, and Thaler hadn't steered me wrong up until that point. I really liked Roche as a character, he's like some sort of maverick cop straight out of an 80s action movie who will do anything to get the job done.

I'm running through Iorveth's campaign now, and just reached chapter 3. I'm in agreement with others here, there's something much more enjoyable about Vergen that I have trouble putting my finger on. Maybe it's that you're being forced to work for Henselt and Deathmold, who are both pretty loathesome, whereas it's easy to get behind Saskia or Iorveth's ideals. Saskia, Iorveth and a lot of the good-natured dwarves are immediately more likeable than the likes of Sile or Deathmold, to the point that I was hoping I'd get an option to defect to Saskia's side when I met her during Roche's campaign.

That's not to say Roche's campaign doesn't have it's high points, like Dandelion taking you straight to the brothel after the spirit battle, getting to fight in the arena or Maverik's quest which had me cracking up when he started explaining why he thought everyone was laughing at him. But for me, Iorveth's campaign just seems more pleasant, and the siege of Vergen was too enthralling to pass up in future playthroughs.
Post edited June 06, 2011 by derkaderkaderka
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Germanicanus: Phil was right - together they would be unstoppable. The power of lesbomancy would triumph over Nilfgaard anytime, anyday
Hm, I suppose they both can be spanked by Saskia's dad :)


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Bar2: It just gives you a whole new take on the story and it's actually THE shining example of there being no "right choices" in the game, it's all shades of grey even if you don't realize it at the time. In my first playthrough i liked Radovid, then in my second i saw a whole different side of him. Same with Saskia etc. The only guy who seems to remain an asshole no matter how the story pans out is Henselt.
I still don't understand why people have so much gripe with Radovid. He was dealing with a heartless traitor (who also had a high likelihood of having poisoned his father, Vizimir). Our modern sentiment may recoil at such the punishment he handed out to Eilhart but within the context of that world, to a person who played an active role in murdering a king just because he was not fit in her scheme, who participated in roasting alive 3000 battling men, having her eyes gorging out is pretty much the nearest equivalent of getting off scot-free. Only Iorveth may know a just punishment for her I think.

To return to the main topic, I don't think any path is superior than other. It's like the debate 'Shani or Triss, who do you like to plough the most?' all over again.
Post edited June 06, 2011 by Bruckner8th
Saskia's dad is nowhere to found, besides, he was a rather calm man ;-)

Regarding Radovid, well, first of all I will state my opinion: I don't think he is a good king and I don't like his character. He's too hot-headed, vengeful and overwhelmed with anger and desire to be authoritarian above all else. Keep in mind that he expressed disapproval of Eilhart over the fact that she was the only one person he couldn't controlled instead of just accusing her of treason. Freud would have to say a lot about this one case! If I was him, I would try to gather as much information as I can and try to take advantage of such influent, well-informed and powerful person. I know she has her own agenda and is not the most trustworthy person ever, but considering the upcoming clash with Nilfgaard, every person capable of supporting the country with information and power is needed. Nilfgaard has their own mages and are not afraid to use them as deadly force, see the Battle of Sodden Hill. Who will fight against them? Besides, Radovid struck me as a type of a ruler who will annihilate his own generals or advisers just because they do not agree with him or are enough charismatic to gather followers. Those types of kings do not rule for long... maybe only Stalin with his growing paranoia and tyrannical methods survived so long, but totalitarian Soviet Russia and quasi-medieval fictional world are very different places, indeed.
Overall, the best king was Foltest. Radovid and Henselt are the worst ones. Shame we couldn't see Meve. She seemed a good ruler in the books.

PS: Vizimir wasn't poisoned, he was killed by half-elven assassin.
Post edited June 06, 2011 by Germanicanus
I think Iorveth's path is better just for the Vergen siege and the dwarves alone. Just hanging around dwarves all day made me want a good mug of beer in my hands at all times:D

I felt more attached to Iorveth's side as well for I found myself moved by Saskia's ideals and even the terrorist/freedom fighter Iorveth begins to mature into a true leader in chapter 2.

As in the first game I always lean towards the underdogs/non-humans as I think to myself "after the nonhumans are completely marginalized and oppressed us mutants (witchers) will be next". I never even took the Order path in the first game because they just made my skin crawl. Plus they were trying to put me out of businness:p

That being said you don't really make any new true friends on Iorveth's path. Iorveth, as any elf, remains aloof. While taking Roche's path made me feel like I had made a true life long friend.

It was interesting how the different paths all led me to about the same ending though. I spared the dragon on my Roche path as well since my Garelt doesn't kill dragons unless forced to. On my Iorveth playthrough I didn't want to fight the dragon at all! With Sile I spared her life both times, mostly for information, but Iorveth's path made me understand her position a little better as she (and her flock) were looking out for the interests of the north and not any one faction. I spared Letho both times too (he shared his vodka with me!) as he was just a nuetral tool used and blackmailed by the Empire. The only real change of my two playthroughs was that Henselt lived in my Iorveth game while what he did to Ves caused me to set Roche on him. I really really really enjoyed Dethmold's demise as well:D

All that being said Iorveth's path is definitly my path of choice both for personal and for general gaming reasons but I also had a lot of fun on Roche's path and made a really good friend to boot:D
Post edited June 06, 2011 by bandit17
I haven't yet finished Iorveth's path, but I thus far find Roche's to be VASTLY superior.

I consider Iorveth's path to be more high-fantasy and 'fighting for the good guys', while Roche's is definitely more low-fantasy, with you walking amongst only shades of gray. I thought, for example, that Henselt was an awesome character, until he raped Ves.

In Roche's path I came to feel genuine despair approaching depression by the time Geralt arrived at Loc Muine; having killed Henselt out of revenge, having seen Vergen fall regardless, seeing all of the Blue Stripes except for Ves strung up, and knowing that my decision to kill Henselt would facilitate the unavoidable Nilfaardian invasion, I seriously saw NO HOPE whatsoever. With the Blue Stripes gone, and not having fought for Vergen, as you run down the snowy slopes towards the city with the beautiful music playing it truly felt like it was just Geralt and Roche, all alone and fighting a losing battle. My decision to save Triss instead of securing Temeria's future only made things bleaker. I felt sick in my gut at times, everything just seemed to be going to hell.

The fact that Geralt somehow managed to push through all that and set himself the goal of finding Yennefer while having faith in the North's ability to withstand the upcoming invasion made it a truly amazing experience for me.
Post edited June 07, 2011 by yagha
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yagha: I haven't yet finished Iorveth's path, but I thus far find Roche's to be VASTLY superior.

I consider Iorveth's path to be more high-fantasy and 'fighting for the good guys', while Roche's is definitely more low-fantasy, with you walking amongst only shades of gray. I thought, for example, that Henselt was an awesome character, until he raped Ves.

In Roche's path I came to feel genuine despair approaching depression by the time Geralt arrived at Loc Muine; having killed Henselt out of revenge, having seen Vergen fall regardless, seeing all of the Blue Stripes except for Ves strung up, and knowing that my decision to kill Foltest would facilitate the unavoidable Nilfaardian invasion, I seriously saw NO HOPE whatsoever. With the Blue Stripes gone, and not having fought for Vergen, as you run down the snowy slopes towards the city with the beautiful music playing, it truly felt like it was just Geralt and Roche, all alone and fighting a losing battle. My decision to save Triss instead of securing Temeria's future only made things bleaker. I felt sick in my gut at times, everything just seemed to be going to hell.

The fact that Geralt somehow managed to push through all that and set himself the goal of finding Yennefer while having faith in the North's ability to withstand the upcoming invasion made it a truly amazing experience for me.
You killed Foltest? Nice one!
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Gregster6: You killed Foltest? Nice one!
Woops. Edited now.
I like Roches path better. After the hungover quest in Flotsam, the stripes where my bros.
I cried a bit when I found thirteens corpse in the canteen.
All I wanted to do was to clear my name and get my bitch back and then go back to hunting monsters. I dont care about some pesant rebelion, im a witcher, not some mutant mercenary.

Not that Iorveths path was bad, it's great, but it's not what I wanted after the prologue and flotsam.
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Raye: And, if you make *just* the right choices, you can bring Roche AND Iorveth with you to Loc Muinne, but only if you go to Henselt's camp. So there are some advantages to going with Roche.
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rascatar: Wait, seriously??? How???
Be nice to Iorveth, and NEVER betray his trust, even if you don't side with him, whenever the opportunity arises. He returns trust and respect shown to him to him with interest. He's an exceptionally loyal character, he just makes you work to earn it, expects you to prove yourself. Some people are saying he changes in the second act, I don't think that's true. He's just among people he trusts, so is less stand-offish and snarky. If someone he doesn't trust came along, or you do something to lose his trust, the snark and threats would be back in a flash, guaranteed.

And the point made by yagha is a good one. I actually liked that on Roche's side it felt like everything was falling apart before your very eyes, no matter what you did. That it kept you wanting to continue despite that is great. It really helped illustrate what the world is like. I just like feeling like a big damn hero a bit better. ;) (defeating Henselt's army was such a rush)
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Blopagol: ehem....
thank you very much, the title of this post is a MAYOR SPOILER in itself....
No the title is an OPINION not a spoiler. There is a difference you know.
I still think that Henselt is a great character, even after raping Ves. That fact isn't just for the sake of it, in chapter 1 is explained clearly that Henselt is disperately looking for an heir (Sila needed Kayran components for a "fertility potion", even if that wasn't the main reason for her to be in Flotsam).

Henselt is really what I imagine the real kings of middle ages to be. Also, "every woman dream is to be ploughed by a king"... what he did was not rape in his eyes, and probably in the eyes of a lot of people around him.
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Blopagol: ehem....
thank you very much, the title of this post is a MAYOR SPOILER in itself....
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Goodmongo: No the title is an OPINION not a spoiler. There is a difference you know.
Well said. You beat me to it.

I agree that Roche's path is darker as a whole but Iorveth's path is very dark as well up to the victory of Vergen. I remember thinking that all my friends (and maybe me!!) were about to die in a hopeless siege. I felt like I was doing something great and utterly important on those bloody walls of Vergen. Smashing Henselt's army and helping Saskia's movement for equality of races was more rewarding then anything else I had accomplished in the game (minus Triss & Garelt at the Rose of Remembrance of course:D).