It seems that you're using an outdated browser. Some things may not work as they should (or don't work at all).
We suggest you upgrade newer and better browser like:Chrome,Firefox,Internet Explorer orOpera

×
arrow-down2arrowcart2close4fat-arrow-leftfat-arrow-rightfeedbackfriends2happy-facelogo-gognotificationnotifications-emptyownedremove-menusad-facesearch2wishlist-menuwishlisted2own_thingsheartstartick
avatar
Bruckner8th: 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 is 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 doesn't want to share power, it wants 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 in 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).
not cool man. You should have warned people first before you reveal spoilers from the books.

I may not find the time to read them but still.. :(
Post edited June 10, 2011 by mukhlisz
Back to the original topic a bit.
I think Iorveth's path is WAY more enjoyable and interesting than Roche's.

I felt there were more things to do.
The quests are just totally better. Looking for corpses or having a fight in an arena doesn't compare well with hunting dreams in forlorn quarries for instance. There are some nice quests, but much less than in Iorveth's path.
I also feel you just miss far too much interesting/important information in Roche's path and gain nothing relevant in exchange. Knowing more about the kingslayers? You'll learn all that from him anyway so you gain naught. You learn nothing about the dragon, little about the Lodge.

My feeling is clearly that I'd rather side with Roche but it's just too unfun to replay this part of the game. So to me, Iorveth's path > Roche's path by a lot.
Frankly I felt that Iorveth's path was significantly inferior to Roche's path.

For one, the comparisons of the quests mentioned in the above post are incredibly selective. Sure the Quarry is more interesting than hunting down corpses to burn or dueling random Knights, but the Quarry is a vital main quest element that affects several side quests while the Corpse-Hunt is a contract quest and the Arena an entirely optional side-quest. A better comparison would be, say, venturing into the Assassin's memories with Deathmold's aid, reliving the meeting with Letho, the infiltration of the Camp, and his death at your own hands. I'd hardly consider mindlessly grinding harpies in a cave in order to view a few five second cutscenes to be more interesting.

Personally, I felt Iorveth's path was pretty half-baked. The Siege of Vergen makes basically no sense- Henselt's entire plan seems to rely on Deathmold running up to gates and blowing them open. Given that Deathmold has no protective magic on at any point during the siege, a single lucky crossbow shot could very well have stalled the entire siege. Even though Henselt has apparently gone as far as to employ Dwarven sappers, not a single siege machine or mine detonation is witnessed during the "siege"- not even a battering ram. Coupled with the rather unimpressive scale and nature of the Dwarven fortifications, the rather weird foray into the tunnels (why is Deathmold here with men brought in from the siege when he was already in Vergen to begin with, and other such factors, and the whole Siege just feels silly, arbitrary, and artificial.

Moreover, when Saskia demands Deathmold's execution, all Deathmold can come up with is to be really surly about having to die even though he is a powerful and, as explciitly established by the material surrounding him, exceedingly ruthless and unscrupulous sorcerer. Despite the fact that mages in-game can teleport away or cast a protective shield at the drop of a hat, he fails to do anything of the sort despite not being restrained when hearing of the command and Henselt's assent to it (the failure of the magi to act makes sense with Eilhart and Radovid or Deathmold and Roche, as in the former case there is anti-magic warding and in the latter Deathmold is incapacitated before he can even react, and is killed shortly thereafter).

I also couldn't stand Saskia's nauseating and laughable idealism nor Iorveth's response to it. My reaction was not helped by her silly character design (why on earth does she insist on keeping her cleavage constantly exposed- it was explained with the sorceresses somewhat with the vanity arising from being previously ugly or rejected, but in Saskia's case it just looks stupid).


I don't see where these objections to Henselt, Radovid, Stennis, etc. are coming from. The behavior they exhibit is pretty typical of real medieval kings specifically and nearly all autocratic rulers in a general sense. One does not generally survive as an authoritarian ruler without being ruthless and paranoid, and in an environment in which Kings are explicitly seen as Divine (as is pointed out pretty early on if memory serves) it is no surprise that the Kings in the Witcher 2 behave as they do. I'm quite pleased that CD Projekt actually attempted to portray somewhat realistic rulers consistent with the period of history that they parallel rather than the absurd shells of men that are typical of most fantasy settings. The opportunity to interact significantly with pretty reasonably developed rulers was a highlight of the Roche path.

Moreover, Iorveth's path as a premise outright doesn't make too much sense. Geralt's genius plan to clear his name and apprehend a regicide is to attach himself to a known terrorist who is explicitly known to have aided in the previous regicide. I mean, even if he succeeds in 'clearing his name' he'll still probably be hunted and hated for associating with brutal elven terrorists (not to mention that Iorveth spends all of his time fawning over Saskia rather than actually appearing to get anything done in terms of the Kingslayer).


Moreover, the progression in Iorveth's path is sort of wierd. An elaborate investigation involving entering a killer's memories and tracking down the hideout of the kingslayers is replaced by Roche telling you in all of five seconds how they killed some assassins and figured out they were going to Loc Muinne. Hell, you don't even properly complete the "Symbols of" quests that are the crux of resolving the curse- Philipa simply gives you half of the items when the plot has run out of things to do. The conclusion of Saskia's illness is also pretty dull and uninspiring relative to the quite dramatic and energetic finale of the Curse plotline that is the analog in Roche's path. And in the end, Roche still does more for you in terms of tracking the Kingslayer and recovering Triss than Iorveth does. While you do gain substantially more insight into the nature of Saskia and Vergen, you learn little of Sabrina and the Curse, Henselt, or Deathmold, so I wouldn't say there's any real advantage to either path in terms of a comprehensive understanding of the situation (plus Saskia's explanation of why she attacked Foltest during the siege of the La Vallette castle is pretty silly and reveals nothing but contemptible ignorance).

I also felt that slogging through yet more Rotfiends in the Loc Muinne sewers on Iorveth's path was pretty dull compared to tag-teaming the Kaedweni camp with Roche, which was at least vaguely exhilarating.

The one stunning advantage of Iorveth's path is the experience rewards, however. By the time I had reached Loc Muinne with Iorveth I was already level 34 despite having skipped the poker face and harpy contract quests. With Roche, I was only hitting level 34 by the very end of the game (as opposed to perhaps level 38 with Iorveth, if the level system actually went above 35) and I had previously completed every single quest in Roche's path and had even ground Harpies for a level. Not to mention that with Iorveth you can indefinitely slaughter the troops at the Temerian and Flaming Rose Camps in Loc Muinne to rapidly and easily accumulate experience.
avatar
Andkat: Personally, I felt Iorveth's path was pretty half-baked. The Siege of Vergen makes basically no sense- Henselt's entire plan seems to rely on Deathmold running up to gates and blowing them open. Given that Deathmold has no protective magic on at any point during the siege, a single lucky crossbow shot could very well have stalled the entire siege. Even though Henselt has apparently gone as far as to employ Dwarven sappers, not a single siege machine or mine detonation is witnessed during the "siege"- not even a battering ram. Coupled with the rather unimpressive scale and nature of the Dwarven fortifications, the rather weird foray into the tunnels (why is Deathmold here with men brought in from the siege when he was already in Vergen to begin with, and other such factors, and the whole Siege just feels silly, arbitrary, and artificial.
Just how is the siege better on Roche side? Is Henselt wandering into Philippa's quarters with just 4 bodyguards in the middle of a battle really more realistic? And if you decide to kill him then it turns out nobody saw nothing. Makes very little sense.
avatar
Andkat: Moreover, when Saskia demands Deathmold's execution, all Deathmold can come up with is to be really surly about having to die even though he is a powerful and, as explciitly established by the material surrounding him, exceedingly ruthless and unscrupulous sorcerer. Despite the fact that mages in-game can teleport away or cast a protective shield at the drop of a hat, he fails to do anything of the sort despite not being restrained when hearing of the command and Henselt's assent to it.
Oh god yes, that scene was stupid. He could have at least mentioned that Saskia is a fucking dragon or something.
avatar
Andkat: I also couldn't stand Saskia's nauseating and laughable idealism nor Iorveth's response to it. My reaction was not helped by her silly character design (why on earth does she insist on keeping her cleavage constantly exposed- it was explained with the sorceresses somewhat with the vanity arising from being previously ugly or rejected, but in Saskia's case it just looks stupid).
It gets mentioned several times in the dialogue that the peasants are way more likely to follow a leader who looks like a hot piece of ass than somebody who looks ugly. Same with Iorveth. Love is blind. As far as Saskia's idealism goes... In Loc Muinne the other leaders just laugh at her claims. Her idealism and naivete don't fit this world, that's the whole point.
avatar
Andkat: I don't see where these objections to Henselt, Radovid, Stennis, etc. are coming from. The behavior they exhibit is pretty typical of real medieval kings specifically and nearly all autocratic rulers in a general sense. One does not generally survive as an authoritarian ruler without being ruthless and paranoid, and in an environment in which Kings are explicitly seen as Divine (as is pointed out pretty early on if memory serves) it is no surprise that the Kings in the Witcher 2 behave as they do. I'm quite pleased that CD Projekt actually attempted to portray somewhat realistic rulers consistent with the period of history that they parallel rather than the absurd shells of men that are typical of most fantasy settings. The opportunity to interact significantly with pretty reasonably developed rulers was a highlight of the Roche path.
Oh absolutely. Henselt is well drawn as a king. I loved how he asks: "So what do Temerians do with spies then" when Roche confronts him about killing Blue Stripes. The only weak element was him raping Ves and then leaving the girl alive to tell you about it... That pretty much only served to make the player hate Henselt... Oh well...
avatar
Andkat: Moreover, Iorveth's path as a premise outright doesn't make too much sense. Geralt's genius plan to clear his name and apprehend a regicide is to attach himself to a known terrorist who is explicitly known to have aided in the previous regicide.
Geralt was going after Triss at this point.
avatar
Andkat: I mean, even if he succeeds in 'clearing his name' he'll still probably be hunted and hated for associating with brutal elven terrorists (not to mention that Iorveth spends all of his time fawning over Saskia rather than actually appearing to get anything done in terms of the Kingslayer).
Joining Yaevinn in the first game is exactly the same. He is also a brutal terrorist. It really puzzled me when the Temerians didn't drive Geralt out of Vizima after he helped Yaevinn to rob their bank...
avatar
Andkat: Moreover, the progression in Iorveth's path is sort of wierd. An elaborate investigation involving entering a killer's memories and tracking down the hideout of the kingslayers is replaced by Roche telling you in all of five seconds how they killed some assassins and figured out they were going to Loc Muinne.
Let me give you a similar example: Triss being turned into an artifact and taken to Loc Muinne by Nilfgaardians on Roche path is also explained in such 5 seconds. On Iorveth's path you find out so much more about Shilard, Cynthia and Triss.
avatar
Andkat: Hell, you don't even properly complete the "Symbols of" quests that are the crux of resolving the curse- Philipa simply gives you half of the items when the plot has run out of things to do. The conclusion of Saskia's illness is also pretty dull and uninspiring relative to the quite dramatic and energetic finale of the Curse plotline that is the analog in Roche's path.
It's not a direct analogue. The real meaning of the healing ritual becomes clear after the siege. Lifting Sabrina's curse has no hidden motives to it, when it's done it's done.
avatar
Andkat: And in the end, Roche still does more for you in terms of tracking the Kingslayer and recovering Triss than Iorveth does. While you do gain substantially more insight into the nature of Saskia and Vergen, you learn little of Sabrina and the Curse, Henselt, or Deathmold, so I wouldn't say there's any real advantage to either path in terms of a comprehensive understanding of the situation.
Yeah you practically don't get to meet Dethmold on Iorveth's path. Such a pity, I really liked the guy. :D And he's been set up as one of the main players in the game. Philippa isn't even mentioned on TW2 website.
The one thing I didn't like about the mages was that Philippa and Dethmold pretty much use exactly the same words to describe the battlefield curse and how to lift it. The characters are so different and yet CDP didn't bother to write slightly different dialogue for them. :(
Seriously, sometimes I wonder if people even read those forums or do they just post walls of text because they like to read their own writing.

All of this was discussed few pages back and conclusions were reached. So the only reason behind most of it being re-posted must be what I said in the first sentence.
The vast majority of this thread is people posting their opinions on various aspects of the paths relative to one another in addition to periodic rants on the morality or lack thereof of certain characters. I fail to see how every point I have raised has been previously addressed in full and others are matters of taste or opinion to begin with (some find Saskia refreshing, I consider her to be merely annoying and the emphasis placed on her is one of my issues with Iorveth's path).

Yes, the moral characteristics of the Kings have been discussed extensively; my point was more that the entire fuss about it was pretty trivial because their characteristics do not deviate substantially from the historical norm to begin with. One might as well point out that the sky is blue.

I assumed that by the time you encountered Henselt on Roche's path the siege was entering it's mop-up phase and the King wished to see to the belongings and informations of the top advisor of his enemy (Henselt states outright that he has irrevocably won the day by this point). This is not to say that the Roche path is devoid of plotholes, as with the aforementioned willingness of the Blue Stripes to comply with Henselt's "invitation" (especially given the fact that Ves explicitly states that the Stripes would be further South away from Henselt's camp if not for the mist). It's more that the Siege of Vergen is the dramatic centerpiece battle of Iorveth's path, and thus significant flaws or absurdities in its depiction or execution stand out to a particularly great degree (admittedly Henselt's destruction of the Blue Stripes is one of the most dramatic moments in Roche's path- the intent was more to address the praise of the Siege given earlier in the thread).

By "analog" I meant in terms of quest structure not plot significance. Saskia's Poison and Henselt's Curse are both the big fetch quest-ish things you have to execute before you can complete the fetch quest that you need to finish in order to access the Mist and defeat the Draug. Henselt's line ends with the player guiding Henselt through a ritual and then defending him from wraiths as Sabrina's execution is played out before his eyes. Saskia's cure is less entertaining/engaging/memorable in this respect, as it is simply a short cutscene (not that that particular scene could have been done too differently).

With regards to the information gained on Triss/Saskia/etc.: my point is that both paths give you dramatically more information about certain significant characters and little to none on certain others- there isn't too much of a difference in terms of the volume of what you're missing out on (i.e., with Iorveth you'll know about Saskia's condition but you will know little to nothing about the fates of Foltest's bastards, Radovid's plans, or the future of Temeria whereas with Roche it's unclear what the point of Saskia was at all).
Post edited June 13, 2011 by Andkat
Let me rephrase it then…

If there is one thing that is certain on every forum (it is a constant, just like the fact that stupidity is a second most common element in the universe, following closely hydrogen) that people will disagree to disagree (because they are even incapable of agreeing to disagree).

You make interesting observations, some valid, some not, but in the end they are applicable to a specific point of view. It is impossible to change someone else’s point of view in here, because in most cases people do not even understand the concept of forum and treat it as a vehicle for personal expression and not a place for exchange of ideas and constructive conversations (god forbids someone might know more than they do).

Personally I feel like we were going back to square one and that you were rehashing the conversations that were held before, though I can understand you are just starting to get involve in them. So fair enough if I was hard on you… I apologies (though it might be worth pointing out I was not planning on singling anyone out).

In other thread someone pointed out that a lot of comments are protagonist centred and demand absolute explanations and loyalties. I do strongly agree with that observation because a lot of those comments (not singling out anyone here) basically state, “I noticed this, therefore that must be the truth… end of argument”. It seems to me that vast majority of the comments assumes that information given (via plot, conversations or other means) is not a point of view of someone who is a part of a living and breathing world (and like all humans, real, imaginary or otherwise is imperfect) but rather absolute truth on which they are prepared to base their “irrefutable” arguments… and that, is that.

One has to wonder why those "conversations" are held in the first place...
Post edited June 13, 2011 by Ebon-Hawk
Roche's side isn't so bad. I particularly liked the assassins of kings bits. But you're right, Iorveth's path is far better. I especially like how act III plays on Iorveth's path, sneaking into the city (or talking to the guards if you supported the Order in W1), Triss' decompression, Philippa's torture, etc... act III on Roche's side felt so empty... just a bunch of sidequests and a finale.
avatar
PrayForDeath: act III on Roche's side felt so empty...
Dethmold's finale was quite entertaining.
I liked breaking out Philippa better, but not by a wide margin.
avatar
PrayForDeath: act III on Roche's side felt so empty...
avatar
hvis: Dethmold's finale was quite entertaining.
I liked breaking out Philippa better, but not by a wide margin.
Well I rescued Triss... Guess I should go back and finish Dethmold instead.
(SPOILERS)

I was shocked when Iorveth mentions that what he truly wants is a world where elves could walk into a human bar without any problems and where humans could walk into forests without fear. Seemed like behind that human hater, there is someone who truly wants equality, and not just elves to be on top.
avatar
Raggit: (SPOILERS)
I was shocked when Iorveth mentions that what he truly wants is a world where elves could walk into a human bar without any problems and where humans could walk into forests without fear. Seemed like behind that human hater, there is someone who truly wants equality, and not just elves to be on top.
Yeah, he's so different once you get to know him better in Chapter 2. I agree with you, I think he genuinely wants peace and that's why he was so eager to side with Saskia (I know it's said he ~loves~ her, but I got a feeling he was more in love with her ideals than herself). Which is a nice change from his "kill everyone who disagrees with me" side you get to see first :P
regardless of paths, rescuing Triss in Chapter 3 has become moot and I think i'll stick with the Roche/Iorveth for both of my playthroughs.

plus leaving Loc Muinne with my gf & bro by my side is awesome! :D
avatar
mukhlisz: regardless of paths, rescuing Triss in Chapter 3 has become moot and I think i'll stick with the Roche/Iorveth for both of my playthroughs.
It's so worth it to bring about the death of Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen though, not to mention that having Triss present to implicate Sile and make sorceresses look a little less bad will probably prevent a huge witch hunt. After all, if all the witches are hunted down, it'll remove a good 1/4th of Geralt's "opportunities."

Don't burn bridges, man.
avatar
227: It's so worth it to bring about the death of Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen though, not to mention that having Triss present to implicate Sile and make sorceresses look a little less bad will probably prevent a huge witch hunt. After all, if all the witches are hunted down, it'll remove a good 1/4th of Geralt's "opportunities."

Don't burn bridges, man.
the thing is except for Triss, i don't trust the rest of the sorceresses. Iorveth didn't think much about Francesca Findabair either. I don't know how they are portrayed in the books so I'm basing my decision solely on my encounters with them in the games.

As for missed "opportunities", I think having Triss and Yennefer in Witcher 3 should be enough to satisfy my urm... "magical" needs *wink wink*