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Technical information

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Game engineEdit

The Witcher is powered by a new version of the BioWare Aurora Engine, modified for a single-player experience. A number of changes have been introduced to the original BioWare Aurora Engine, and some of them are described below.

World visualizationEdit

In BioWare's Aurora Engine, the world is designed exactly as it was envisioned rather than utilizing a tile-based system. Because of this, the visuals are claimed to be unique and rich in detail. All the environments are created in 3D Studio Max and then exported into the game engine.

  • Light maps
The CD Projekt's version of the engine supports lightmaps, generated in 3D Studio Max. Shadows generated this way are claimed to look more realistic and are faster performance-wise.
  • Texture paint
This is a special tool that enables to paint the environment using custom textures, with the purpose of saving time and promising a more natural look than ordinary mapping.
  • Skybox and water effects
New realistic skybox and water effects were added to the engine.

RenderingEdit

All the in game and tool set rendering is done using DirectX9, and the engine now supports many different shaders (water effect, bump mapping, environment mapping, etc). Additionally the whole rendering system has been unified and a new light manager was added.

Other changesEdit

Other important changes include the following: motion-captured animation, physics effects, new mechanics and combat system. There are also many other modifications, such as introduction of portals, additional graphical effects (glows, advanced dynamic shadows, blurs)

Modding Edit

Patches Edit

The latest version of the game is 1.4, also known as the Enhanced Edition. The 1.4 patch contains all the fixes that were included in the earlier patches, so if you have just installed the game, you only need the 1.4 patch.

General performance tweaking Edit

  • The developers of the game recommend the following settings for graphics cards (provided you have a balanced system, with a CPU and memory that are at an equivalent level to your video card):
    • Low detail settings at 800x600:
      • ATI RADEON 9800 Series
      • ATI RADEON X700 Series
      • ATI RADEON X1300/X1550 Series
      • NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT
      • NVIDIA GeForce 6600
    • Medium detail settings at 1024x768:
      • ATI RADEON X800 PRO
      • ATI RADEON X850 XT
      • ATI RADEON X1600 Series
      • ATI RADEON X1800 series
      • ATI RADEON X1950 Pro
      • ATI RADEON HD 2600 XT
      • NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GS
      • NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Series GPU
      • NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT
      • NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT
      • NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GS
      • NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT
    • High detail settings at 1024x768:
      • ATI RADEON X1950 XTX
      • ATI RADEON HD 2900 XT
      • NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX
      • NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GX2
      • NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS
      • NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX
  • As with any recent game, anti-aliasing and shadow quality will be major factors in overall framerate. Try lowering those two settings before anything else.

Video Card ratings from The Witcher forum Edit

That's a brilliant answer to an interesting qusteion That's a brilliant answer to an interesting qusteion

Not recommended Edit

  • Low Quality & on downward from here
    • NVIDIA GeForce 6600 <~ Vanilla, this is the (nVidia) Official Minimum
      • NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT
    • ATI Radeon 9600 XT
    • NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra
    • NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra
    • ATI Radeon X600 Pro
    • NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900
    • ATI Radeon 9600 Pro
    • ATI Radeon X600 Vanilla
    • ATI Radeon X1300, all but XT
      • NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GS
    • NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra
    • ATI Radeon X1550 (renamed X1300, slightly detuned, "SE") not supported
    • NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 LE, XT
    • ATI Radeon X600 SE

Suffixes Edit

Ever wonder what all those suffixes are about? Here they are, listed from good to awful

Suffixes
Manufacturer Good >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> Awful
ATI XTX XT XL Pro GTO Vanilla GT SE Hyper Anything
nVidia Ultra GTX GTS GT GS Vanilla LE = XT VE TC (Turbocache
any variety)

For the ATI HD 3*** cards, a 3850 = Vanilla, and 3870 = Pro.

Look here for more information on video cards.

Load and Save Times Edit

The most frequent criticism about the game's performance is about the load times. Try these tips to help lower them.

  • Defragment your hard drive(s), preferably using a third-party tool instead of the Defrag utility that ships with Windows.

In addition, the game autosaves each time something changes in the Journal (added, updated or completed quest). Given the time it takes to save, many have asked that a future patch include a setting to disable autosave.

The time required to display the save or load screens apparently increases dramatically as the number of saves increases. Hence, it is recommended that the number of savegames be kept under control to avoid this. The saves are stored in My Documents\The Witcher\saves.

Many tweaks were made to reduce load times and change how autosave is handled in the 1.2 patch. Most notably, when going from a large zone (Vizima Temple Quarter for example) to inside a building (a house for example) and back, the load time will be much shorter than when initially loading the large zone. The game simply keeps the large zone cached in memory because it is almost certain that the player will return to it. This has helped considerably in reducing load times when exploring Vizima, for instance.

Cutscene performance Edit

It has been noted that even though most cutscenes use the game engine itself (rather than being pre-rendered), they often run very slowly.

  • Turning off Depth of Field may help, since that feature seems to be used exclusively in cutscenes.

Troubleshooting Edit

Windows Vista Edit

  • The Witcher may exhaust virtual address space when running on 32-bit Windows Vista. Microsoft has released a hotfix that addresses this problem. Please download the hotfix from the following location when playing the game on 32-bit Windows Vista: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/940105
  • If you have patched your installation of Vista to SP1, then you already have this hotfix. KB940105 is already included in Windows Vista Service Pack 1

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