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Goodmongo: I have not finished the game yet. But here is my logic for making the choices that I did so far. My goal is to clear my name then leave with Triss. This was sor of laid out in the prologue when I talked about stupid wars. I also asked Foltest to let Triss and I just let us go and live alone.

Now I'm in prison for killing him. I make a deal with Roche to find the Kingslayer to clear my name. At thsi time the evidence says he's working with Iorveth. So I have to find him. My investigation shows that the Kingslayer is using Iorveth and the elves. Yes they liked killing Foltest but were also used as a pawn.

So the first choice is giving Iorveth a sword or letting him be captured. I let him be captured at this time. After all I wasn't going to go against Roche but I do hate Loredo. I then talk to my compatriots and decide that I can prove to Iorveth that he was used. I do not really care about politics and this was a carryonve from my first game where I was neutral. But I decide to free him. I'm not fighting Roche but Loredo at this time.

So I start off chapter two on the Iorveth path. The fights of kings are not my concern. What I want to do is to clear my name, find Triss and get my memory back. After all I'm a witcher and not a politician.

Since I'm only about half way through chapter two this is the guidlenes that I've been following. So far I haven't made any big decisions for this chapter.
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rascatar: If you take this path, does that mean that Roche and Iorveth will leave Loc Muine with you in the final cutscene??? Is this a third main ending then? Damn, now I think I need to replay it a third time...
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Goodmongo: I read thee steam post and it doesn't make sense. I did nto give him the sword but picked to resuce him from the boat. I also saved the women in the tower. He said on the boat something to the effect that I picked the right path and that I proved myself to him. I remember this because my response was "I'm not so sure that I did pick the right path".
I have played all two paths, and tried out 4 results.

On 1 side: I probably say that all the paths is just one story. The different is where and who your Gerald stay with. But in the end you have the assassin mistery solved, a brewing war with the Naffgardian, a revolution involving the Scoitael. Hope that is not spoiler for you.

On the other side: whom being alive, whom being rescued, whom you gain favor with sets totally different gaming experience, and profounding effects on Witcher 3, if there is a sequence.

Last but not least: what you choose in Act 2 may still be small compared to what happen in Act 3. That is where the critical decision has to come.
Post edited June 08, 2011 by Freewind
I am going to divide my whole message into two posts, since it was too long to be posted.

@ Bruckner8th
1. In order to fully understand characters (those not created by CD Projekt) motivations and to write such categorical statements about them, you ought to posses a knowledge far more beyond the one presented in the games, ergo you have to read the books. The games aspire to be sequels to the books, so I would refrain from stating they are only inspired by them. The main and secondary characters, the main plot, the locations - all of it is based on what was written in the books. Obviously I am not preventing you from sharing with your opinions, but I would recommend you to do a little research, at least for a pleasure of exploring such interesting world and characters.

2. Let's take a look on the Lodge of Sorceresses and which members were present in the games: Philippa Eilhart (yes), Sheale de Tancerville (yes), Sabrina Glevissig (yes), Triss Merigold (yes), Francesca Findabair (no), Keira Metz (no), Margarita Laux Antille (no), Ida Emean (no), Assire var Anahid (yes, but very briefly), Fringilla Vigo (no). Add Yennefer (no) and Ciri (no), who were technically part of the Lodge as well. Where's the majority you are speaking of? I will come back to them, right now let's skip to more important issues, ergo what is my point.

Radovid, Foltest and Henselt are all kings and leaders. In order to be acknowledged as great rulers, they have to behave in a certain manner, posses a certain characteristics and skills. Being cruel, controlling by paranoia and selfish to the core maybe would make his men fear them, but with time their own subjects would grown to hate them and would quickly dispose of a loathed ruler. The same with those ruled by strong emotions, who cannot think reasonably and logically. Both Radovid and Henselt are prone to make stupid mistakes, put their own personal wishes and issues above all else, and easily to provoked or angered, which is why they are inferior to Emperor, probably the only one ruler from the Witcher world who could be seen among the ranks of good (not supreme, like Napoleon, but fairly decent) leaders. First and foremost he knows how to take advantage of others and make them useful for his state - something that Henselt, Radovid and Foltest cannot, because they are blinded by anger/vengeance/lust/trauma/inferiority complex.

Going back to LoS, in my opinion they are the perfect example of rational plans through more or less ruthless means. If you have read the books, you would know that their main aim (and Philippa's, since she is the head of charge) is to create a counterbalance to Nilfgaard in the form of a country with a strong ruler and political integrity and equality for all races. Believing, like you, that they are simply a band of power seeking women is approaching the matter from a very narrow and simplistic view. They believe in magic above all else, and this is why they intended to install sorceresses as advisors - to make sure their voices are heard, to be assured they maintain the influence and for the benefit of their colleagues. In Nilfgaard mages are not treated with respect; keep on a very short leash and serve primary as scientists or in the army, instead of being allowed to advise the Emperor. Secondly, they do not fear Henselt's power, they just didn't want him to gain more territories and cause chaos in Aedirn. He broke terms of the recent treaty signed in Cintra, not to mention, he plotted with Nilfgaard against the Northern Kingdoms. It's understandable why such dangerous and prone to backstabbing king shouldn't have an upper hand over the Northern Kingdoms. What's more, what do you mean by implying they want to kill everyone? Of course they will do whatever they can to prevent those, who are against them from achieving their aims. The same is with everyone, starting from Geralt and ending on Nilfgaard. And what do you think Sile should have done? Just stand there and let herself be captured? Or said, "I have a deadly dragon by my side, but I cannot use her to not make gamers think I am the cruelest person & biggest b*tch ever, so no matter how much my life is in danger, I am going to waltz off to my lab after apologizing to all of you, g'bye!"?

I understand and kind of agree with your view on morality in the Witcher and our - modern men - perception of it, but I somehow feel like there is a double standard. Like men are allowed to make even the worst crimes and plot the most evil conspirators, while women are all BAD BAD BAD. Almost every organization in Witcher has its own agenda. It's the world of politics after all. Put our emotions and biases aside, and estimate what is the best for the sake of power balance and existence of states.

I agree that the survival of the fittest is like the main theme of this world, which makes it even more interesting to such history and biology geek as I am.
Post edited June 08, 2011 by Germanicanus
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Anarki_Hunter: *Spoiler in Spoiler starts*
The only thing I have missed out(haven't done is) is handing Iorveth the sword during Lethos first encounter at the Elven runes, as Roche ambushes the gathering...(as a results Flotsam burns)...and then help Roche.
*Spoiler in Spoiler ends*
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hvis: This (together with helping Iorveth during the siege) is exactly the supposed way to reach the mentioned conclusion:
http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showpost.php?p=22789128&postcount=80

I haven't seen it confirmed by anyone else, though.
Fracking hell, lol..if that is true..then damn me.

I almost got all the endings I want, except
1. What I mentioned above of giving sword of Iorveth and then go Roche's path (new requirement)
2. Sparing Henselt on Roche's path (then helping Roche to save Foltest's daughter, to either Tameria or Redania)
3. Keeping Stennis alive and curing Saskie

(all all the other sub variations of either helping Triss or not, helping Sila from poping like a
tomato or not at the teleporter at the end, sparing dragon or not on non-saving-phillipa's arc and last but not least; sparing Letho or not)
Post edited June 08, 2011 by Anarki_Hunter
I have not finished the game (I love taking my time) and I don't mind reading about possible choices. But I will say this. I am PLEASED to see that there are this many choices in the game. I love that I'm going to have to decide on many things where some of my choices result in the savings or 'death' of others. This is what makes a game really good.

I always viewed the witcher as someone who doesn't want to get involved but ends up influencing things by his actions or inactions. He tries to be apolitical but that in itself causes things to happen. Way to go.
This has been very good reading, especially since I have yet to deviate from Iorvath's path.

I have one major question though...who the hell is Gerald? I keep seeing this name pop up and I don't remember a Gerald in the game.
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mnomaha: This has been very good reading, especially since I have yet to deviate from Iorvath's path.

I have one major question though...who the hell is Gerald? I keep seeing this name pop up and I don't remember a Gerald in the game.
It's a typo for Geralt.
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mnomaha: This has been very good reading, especially since I have yet to deviate from Iorvath's path.

I have one major question though...who the hell is Gerald? I keep seeing this name pop up and I don't remember a Gerald in the game.
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yagha: It's a typo for Geralt.
Thanks! Wasn't sure since it was so consistent.
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mzprox: I hate the scoia'tael, would never help them, but for free Vergen i take iroveth's path regardless :)
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shivnz: same... i dont mind the nonhumans fighting for freedom or peace, but the scoiatael fight for revenge and to inflict pain and suffering... since when did fighting for terrorists become an admirable, noble and preferable cause?

not that i like the racist humans any more than the squirrels.

i walk the neutral path as much as possible, and side with whichever side is more noble than the other on a case-by-case basis (ie siding with roche, but taking down a certain fat barbaric human in chapter 1 ;)
If people enslave your race, rape your woman and kill your people you would want to take revenge too.
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Anarki_Hunter: *Spoiler in Spoiler starts*
The only thing I have missed out(haven't done is) is handing Iorveth the sword during Lethos first encounter at the Elven runes, as Roche ambushes the gathering...(as a results Flotsam burns)...and then help Roche.
*Spoiler in Spoiler ends*
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hvis: This (together with helping Iorveth during the siege) is exactly the supposed way to reach the mentioned conclusion:
http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showpost.php?p=22789128&postcount=80

I haven't seen it confirmed by anyone else, though.
Some one try this and confirm or unconfirm! lol
I did the above in my first playthrough which I just finished.

There was no ioverth with me during chap3.

1) Gave him the sword (flotsam burned)
2) Sided with roche
3) Rescued him in vergen before going off to
4) let Roche kill henselt

shame, It'd been a nice touch.

Time to replay the game tomorrow and go with the elves ;)
Post edited June 08, 2011 by ramp
Personally I was not interested in proving myself to Iorveth...

He shot at me first, he worked with the king slayer and knew what he was up to… he also assisted in framing me (knowingly or not)
Trust is a two way road and given my outgoing support for non-humans through the first and till that point second game I would expect anyone interested in working with me to meet me half way there. Iorveth was not prepared to do so, Roche was... and I rewarded him with my own loyalty in return.

Honestly I think a lot of people bring too much into all this, especially where books are considered. The game was meant to be played without a knowledge of the books and while it may work on an entirely different level with the knowledge of them... what you see is what you get and what you should count in.
While I sided with Iorveth on my first playthrough, I did so expecting there to be way more to his character than terrorizing some town and being rude and dangerous. But Iorveth hasn't earned that trust at that point.

Iorveth has the best Chapter 2, but I thought the end of Ch 1 was better with Roche, and Ch3 pretty even (depending on what you do and whether you're already familiar with the plot from the other path).
I liked more the Chapter 2 with Roche, but both sides have some great quests and specific feeling. Everybody really should play the game at least two times.
To Germanicarus,

Contrary to what you think about the required bookish knowledge, the leaders in the Witcher's world (who are chosen to be game characters) have been portrayed so excellently in the game series that we can all appraise pretty correctly their varied shades of grey . I will elaborate this further in my post.

First, concerning the qualities of rulers, I suppose as a history geek you must have read “The Prince” by Machiavelli. The Witcher's universe is the place the Florentine would have been proud to call as his inspiration had he lived there! In that world, it is frankly indispensable as a ruler to be despotic, deeply suspicious of everyone and merciless to his enemies and betrayers. But the difference between a good king (i.e. the survivable one) and a bad one is this: while both scare the crap out of everyone, the good one is clever enough to keep the unavoidable hatred at “a manageable level” and has enough balls to never ever evokes contempt from others (Foltest and Radovid, for example, are well qualified for these).

Ironically, the one ruler you extol the most, Emperor Emhyr var Emreis manifests those mentioned traits you abhor even more emphatically than those “weak” northern kings. Just look at some of his actions: he plots, invades and kills without mercy, not only his opponents but even his most useful servants (Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen); he hunts Ciri pitilessly so he can impregnate her (his very own daughter) and beget a bloodline of world conquerors (okay, I digress from the game's characters but you first introduced him in the argument anyway). But those fine acts don't matter at all, he is still a very successful ruler of the greatest empire in the world. His 'bad' traits (“BAD” by modern means) are just great assets to him as the good ones.

Also as much as you praise a good leader to be rational, I am very curious at your charge that the rational-incarnate Radovid is ruled by emotions and prone to make stupid mistakes (now these are “BAD” at all times and all places!) In both the Witcher games, he has proven to be a shrewd negotiator and a tough, clever leader (while being a bastard just like everyone else!) Being duped by the Empire or simply too happy to have an excuse, he rightly incapacitated Philippa Eilhart (as she was obviously and undeniably his biggest adversary according to her plan). Just like your much vaunted emperor, it is absolutely rational to any king to either subjugate mages or get rid of them. His plans for Temeria (different scenario thanks to Geralt's meddling): getting it all by marrying Anais or divide it with Kaedweni to forestall the Empire were as good as his circumstances allowed. In short, let's check Geralt's journal to see what kind of king Radovid is:
“Unlike the proud and sometimes self-centered Foltest, or the fitful, coarse Henselt, the king of Redania was a reserved, calculating politician. Geralt learned that he was not the sort of man that would allow himself to be deceived or led astray by prevarication. The king could instantly sense falsehoods and was gifted at maneuvering his opponents into revealing whatever information he desired. “

Anyway, I am not surprised after you put down Radovid and other norther kings, you elevate the Sorceresses' Lodge more than they deserves (this so solidifies the point I made about personal agenda;)). Sure, they may be not as racist as the kings but the power in their hand will be just as absolute. Why could Eilhart just tell Saskia about her so 'noble' plan instead of having to drug and hypnotize the dragon as a tool? Surely Saskia would have loved the vision of “a country with a strong ruler and political integrity and equality for all races” to counter Nifgraad (She was trying exactly that already)? And why has Triss been ostracized from the Lodge? The answer is pretty glaring: the Lodge don't want to share power, they want to monopolize it and mould it exclusively in their way; all others in the new state, be they dragon, elves, dwarfs or humans, are just tools for the new oligarchy.

Nevertheless, as a little dirty morality is not the thing we much condemn in the world of the witcher, let's go the main point of contention: Is the Lodge's plan “the best for the sake of power balance” (a.k.a. the much loved 'lesser evil)? Here is outline of the plan :
-First phase: assassinate Damavend, creating a vacuum of power in the weakest kingdom, clearing the path for Saskia to be its leader.
-Second phase: manage to control Saskia, exploiting her charisma to draw the human plebs and the non-humans to unite the North, establishing a Northern empire with Saskia as a titular head but under the thumb of the Lodge to counter the Nifgaardians.

This sounds a reasonable enough plan on paper, but as we have already seen in the game, it even more bounded to failure than Radovid's and Henselt's plan to divide the north (and that is only an exigency plan). The sorceresses ignored the fact that all northern kings and nobles would desperately join together to oppose them (even more desperately than to oppose other invading kings) and they fatally over-estimated their power after ''acquiring' a dragon. If anything, the plan only made the North more divisive and ripe for the Imperial invasion. Radovid might be duped but at least he still got the best from his circumstances. The Lodge on the other hand willfully duped themselves to disaster. The power balance in the world, thanks to them, has actually become worse ever since the assassination of Demavend (even though this doesn't mean it had been good before his murder).

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Germanicanus: I understand and kind of agree with your view on morality in the Witcher and our - modern men - perception of it, but I somehow feel like there is a double standard. Like men are allowed to make even the worst crimes and plot the most evil conspirators, while women are all BAD BAD BAD. Almost every organization in Witcher has its own agenda. It's the world of politics after all.
Oh, pleeeease, you are pretty emotional here. It is already acknowledged that all men and women in the game's world just do what they must. Phillipa is no more a bitch than Radovid being a prick by our modern norm. And if there is any double standard within the game, it should be this: all the ''bad' female characters of the Witcher 2 are at least afforded a shade of grey by the developers while some of the main men are just unsalvageably despicable (Loredo, Dethmold anyone!) To conclude ,the world is shit and almost every one is covered in shit (Zoltan-speak) and in the end all our arguments just prove what I said ages ago:
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Bruckner8th: whom you choose to like depends entirely on your "gut instinct" (the genteel equivalent of "a dick or a vagina you have")! That is precisely what makes the Witcher 2 so irresistible.
+Side note 1:
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Germanicanus: And what do you think Sile should have done? Just stand there and let herself be captured? Or said, "I have a deadly dragon by my side, but I cannot use her to not make gamers think I am the cruelest person & biggest b*tch ever, so no matter how much my life is in danger, I am going to waltz off to my lab after apologizing to all of you, g'bye!"?
She could perfectly teleport away harmlessly (suppose there had been no Letho's prank) but still she ordered the dragon to kill everyone, including her mage colleagues. And even when Geralt showed compassion to her, the dragon still flapped at his arse anyway! So yes, Sile is the biggest bitch ever (don't fret, that actually means she is nearly as good as the emperor!)

+Side note 2:
There are 7 sorceresses of the Lodge who appear in the game: Sile, Sabrina, Phillipa, Triss, Assir of Nifgaard and 2 unrecognizable others (who showed up during the Eternal Battle alongside the former three). 7/12 is majority. Yeah, I know, it is incredibly nit-picking but one has to be precise ;)

+Side note 3:
This Forum posting system is completely broken!
Post edited June 10, 2011 by Bruckner8th
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Germanicanus: Regarding Saskia, she was definitely one of the more positive character in the game. First of all, no one is perfectly good. See: Real World or every good books except LOTR. I kind of hate this trilogy for establishing one dimensional characters as fantasy cliche and praising them to be one of the best characters ever created in the history of literature.

Coming back to Saskia, well, she was a perfect mix of idealist and pragmatist. She knows that a person capable of inspiring others to support his or her cause and fight for it needs to be "mythicized", ergo people, especially common folks, need a hero. She was also enough reasonable to not overthrown Stennis and cause a hostility between the nobility and the third state. Finally, I love the fact that she wasn't vengeful after what Philippa did to her and was probably the one person who could silence her (before she was charmed by her, obviously). Phil was right - together they would be unstoppable. The power of lesbomancy would triumph over Nilfgaard anytime, anyday ;-) Generally speaking, I guess she will be alive in W3 and still a major player, probably the strongest positive female character in the game (I think Yennefer is going to be brainwashed by Nilfgaard and force to fight with Geralt).
Probably, except for Triss,Dandelion and Iorveth, W3 will feature all new characters since they are going south and Saskia is too busy heading Vergen. Phillipa is more likely to appear, but after what happened in the dungeons, i doubt she is wiilling to go to Nilfgard ;)

My bet is on whole new story and characters.