So about this Dark Mode...

#1 Posted by SpartyOn (500 posts) -

I enjoy a decent level of challenge in my games, but my priority has always been having fun and seeing the story, over choosing the most challenging mode/game. That being said, The Witcher 2 has hooked me. Yes, I have it on the xbox 360 and I've beaten it once on normal. I loved it and immediately wanted to jump back in making a different decision in the prologue, Chapter I, etc. and see everything this game has to offer. This made Dark Mode a pretty appealing option for me. I figured I didn't struggle in my first play through on normal...in fact I only died a handful of times, mostly at the beginning of the game when I didn't understand the necessity of preparing with potions and using items such as bombs and traps. So being the brave soul I am, I started my Dark run yesterday and just got to Flotsam. I am definitely noticing a jump in difficulty over normal, but it isn't anything too severe so far. I mean, enemies can definitely kill me in a couple hits...I even died the instant I walked into a campfire by accident... but overall it seems that if I use the skills from my first play-through and stay patient, it should be doable.

SO my question to you guys and gals that have done a Dark Mode run, would just be any advice and such. I figured I should get the special armor sets in each chapter, so I already have most of the blasphemer's outfit diagrams, and other than that I'm approaching it as my last play through, which may or may not be my best bet. Advice in areas like skill point allocation, combat tactics, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Thanks duders!

#2 Posted by d0rks (73 posts) -

@SpartyOn said:

I mean, enemies can definitely kill me in a couple hits...I even died the instant I walked into a campfire by accident... but overall it seems that if I use the skills from my first play-through and stay patient, it should be doable.

SO my question to you guys and gals that have done a Dark Mode run, would just be any advice and such. I figured I should get the special armor sets in each chapter, so I already have most of the blasphemer's outfit diagrams, and other than that I'm approaching it as my last play through, which may or may not be my best bet. Advice in areas like skill point allocation, combat tactics, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Thanks duders!

As you mentioned, Dark Mode isn't necessarily much harder, but rather more punishing and less forgiving, leaving less room for error.

About skills/talents, it mostly depends on your preferred playstyle, but you should keep in mind that even with good armor you're still relatively fragile. Using and upgrading Quen is a 'safe' bet that, combined with situational awareness can go a long way in Dark Mode. Likewise, Yrden (the 'trap spell') can give an (unfair) advantage in 1vs1 fights with strong opponents.

About the Dark Mode specific armor sets, be prepared to spend a lot of orens if you want to get one in each chapter. Both the amount of (advanced) materials required and the cost of the schematics is considerable. Also, the Dark armor sets come with a visual effect (vignetting) that you may or may not enjoy. I only crafted the Oathbreaker set during Act II and found it powerful enough to last me through the rest of the game.

Some random things that could be helpful or otherwise relevant:

  • Fire (Incineration) can kill you, avoid being set on fire!
  • Various actions or decisions grant Abilities; for example destroying 10 training dummies gives the "Experienced" ability, granting 10% bonus EXP.
  • While Quen is active, Vigor does not regenerate.
  • Choose or plan for talents that will increase the 'number or Vigor' available. Effectiveness of attacking and blocking is in direct relation to the amount of vigor available at the time.
  • Use either bombs or throwing daggers and if you do, upgrade the corresponding talent. Spending points in both means probably spreading yourself to thin and is 'not worth' it. Also, I consider bombs more useful than daggers.
  • Deflecting arrows is only useful for getting the ricochet achievement, rolling/dodging is a much more useful tactic because it will also let you get in or out of range.
#3 Posted by Animasta (14691 posts) -

use bombs ALL THE TIME, get the talent that makes your bombs/traps twice as powerful. SO USEFUL.

#4 Posted by gamefreak9 (2359 posts) -

@d0rks said:

@SpartyOn said:

I mean, enemies can definitely kill me in a couple hits...I even died the instant I walked into a campfire by accident... but overall it seems that if I use the skills from my first play-through and stay patient, it should be doable.

SO my question to you guys and gals that have done a Dark Mode run, would just be any advice and such. I figured I should get the special armor sets in each chapter, so I already have most of the blasphemer's outfit diagrams, and other than that I'm approaching it as my last play through, which may or may not be my best bet. Advice in areas like skill point allocation, combat tactics, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Thanks duders!

As you mentioned, Dark Mode isn't necessarily much harder, but rather more punishing and less forgiving, leaving less room for error.

About skills/talents, it mostly depends on your preferred playstyle, but you should keep in mind that even with good armor you're still relatively fragile. Using and upgrading Quen is a 'safe' bet that, combined with situational awareness can go a long way in Dark Mode. Likewise, Yrden (the 'trap spell') can give an (unfair) advantage in 1vs1 fights with strong opponents.

About the Dark Mode specific armor sets, be prepared to spend a lot of orens if you want to get one in each chapter. Both the amount of (advanced) materials required and the cost of the schematics is considerable. Also, the Dark armor sets come with a visual effect (vignetting) that you may or may not enjoy. I only crafted the Oathbreaker set during Act II and found it powerful enough to last me through the rest of the game.

Some random things that could be helpful or otherwise relevant:

  • Fire (Incineration) can kill you, avoid being set on fire!
  • Various actions or decisions grant Abilities; for example destroying 10 training dummies gives the "Experienced" ability, granting 10% bonus EXP.
  • While Quen is active, Vigor does not regenerate.
  • Choose or plan for talents that will increase the 'number or Vigor' available. Effectiveness of attacking and blocking is in direct relation to the amount of vigor available at the time.
  • Use either bombs or throwing daggers and if you do, upgrade the corresponding talent. Spending points in both means probably spreading yourself to thin and is 'not worth' it. Also, I consider bombs more useful than daggers.
  • Deflecting arrows is only useful for getting the ricochet achievement, rolling/dodging is a much more useful tactic because it will also let you get in or out of range.

dam good post :p

#5 Posted by SpartyOn (500 posts) -

@d0rks said:

@SpartyOn said:

I mean, enemies can definitely kill me in a couple hits...I even died the instant I walked into a campfire by accident... but overall it seems that if I use the skills from my first play-through and stay patient, it should be doable.

SO my question to you guys and gals that have done a Dark Mode run, would just be any advice and such. I figured I should get the special armor sets in each chapter, so I already have most of the blasphemer's outfit diagrams, and other than that I'm approaching it as my last play through, which may or may not be my best bet. Advice in areas like skill point allocation, combat tactics, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Thanks duders!

As you mentioned, Dark Mode isn't necessarily much harder, but rather more punishing and less forgiving, leaving less room for error.

About skills/talents, it mostly depends on your preferred playstyle, but you should keep in mind that even with good armor you're still relatively fragile. Using and upgrading Quen is a 'safe' bet that, combined with situational awareness can go a long way in Dark Mode. Likewise, Yrden (the 'trap spell') can give an (unfair) advantage in 1vs1 fights with strong opponents.

About the Dark Mode specific armor sets, be prepared to spend a lot of orens if you want to get one in each chapter. Both the amount of (advanced) materials required and the cost of the schematics is considerable. Also, the Dark armor sets come with a visual effect (vignetting) that you may or may not enjoy. I only crafted the Oathbreaker set during Act II and found it powerful enough to last me through the rest of the game.

Some random things that could be helpful or otherwise relevant:

  • Fire (Incineration) can kill you, avoid being set on fire!
  • Various actions or decisions grant Abilities; for example destroying 10 training dummies gives the "Experienced" ability, granting 10% bonus EXP.
  • While Quen is active, Vigor does not regenerate.
  • Choose or plan for talents that will increase the 'number or Vigor' available. Effectiveness of attacking and blocking is in direct relation to the amount of vigor available at the time.
  • Use either bombs or throwing daggers and if you do, upgrade the corresponding talent. Spending points in both means probably spreading yourself to thin and is 'not worth' it. Also, I consider bombs more useful than daggers.
  • Deflecting arrows is only useful for getting the ricochet achievement, rolling/dodging is a much more useful tactic because it will also let you get in or out of range.

Awesome, this is super helpful, thanks! My first play-through I focused on swordsmanship and never had a problem, but the alternative tactics such as bombs and certain signs that were useful in the Normal difficulty, seem to be vital in the Dark Mode. So I am definitely planning on taking your advice and specializing my skills to fit that style.

Also, I looked up a video of that vignette effect all of the Dark Mode-specific outfits comes with, and it looks kind of annoying. Is it as distracting in the game as it looks from a youtube video, or is it a non-factor?

#6 Edited by d0rks (73 posts) -

@SpartyOn said:

Also, I looked up a video of that vignette effect all of the Dark Mode-specific outfits comes with, and it looks kind of annoying. Is it as distracting in the game as it looks from a youtube video, or is it a non-factor?

I found it plenty distracting at first, but it stopped bothering me at some point.

One thing you could do is once you get close enough to the amount of materials and orens you'd need to craft one of those armors, make a save and get it crafted (sell stuff if you need to). Look for a couple of fights and see how annoying it actually is to you. Reload your older save if you don't like it or don't want to spend the money yet. Try before you buy, so to speak.

Also, remember each set also has a silver and steel sword.

#7 Posted by Kyelb22 (297 posts) -

My advise, Upgrade IGNI! I have all of the upgrade for Vigor/Sign Damage/Intesity, and now I barely use my swords. I'm near the end of Chapter III, and the last time I used a trap/bomb/knife or any potions was the beginning of Chapter I.

With Igni maxed, it's easy to roll around a group of guys so they bunch up, and fire of a couple spells, all of which do massive splash damage and incinerate the enemies.

#8 Edited by xyzygy (9990 posts) -

You could do like me and go for the Miser achievement as well the Dark difficulty one, and only use steel swords for the first 95% of Chapter 1. It's so satisfying.

#9 Posted by Scooper (7881 posts) -

The Blasphemer's Armour is really powerful, I spent a while in chapter 1 making it all. The swords are great but when you use them that effect really spoils it for me because pretty much all the beautiful colour in the world gets sucked out and it can get super dark in places making it impossible to really see anything with your weapon drawn. The good thing I guess is there are other swords you can use that are similarly good and with more rune spaces on them so you can still have the baddass armour without using the swords.

Word of warning to anyone looking to get the Blasphemer's armour in chapter 1: Buy all the diagrams before you make an 'important choice' close to the end of the chapter, because after that the diagrams become unavailable and you can't complete the armour.

I'm on chapter 2 now, I don't know where the diagrams are sold for the next armour are, though. Loving Dark Mode.

#10 Posted by Beforet (2921 posts) -

Quick question for those who did it; does beating Dark Mode unlock the achievement for beating Insanity mode, or is that higher up?

#11 Posted by Tennmuerti (8101 posts) -
@Beforet said:

Quick question for those who did it; does beating Dark Mode unlock the achievement for beating Insanity mode, or is that higher up?

These are seperate.
I have beaten Dark mode but still don't have the insanity achievement.
Dark Mode is actually pretty much similar to Insanity in terms of difficulty, except for limited saves and permadeath, as well as not having dark armor and weapons, so I would even go so far as to say that insanity is harder.
#12 Posted by Z3RO180 (230 posts) -

@Beforet:

Can you tell me what armour set is in this pic ??

#13 Posted by Beforet (2921 posts) -

@Z3RO180: Nope!

#14 Posted by thomasnash (556 posts) -

does the xbox version have insanity? I don't remember seeing it mentioned anywhere, in the game or in the achievements.

I played dark mode on my first runthrough, and didn't find it too demanding, especially not with the special armour sets, which make at the very least the rest of the chapter you find each one in slightly trivial. Although if you get the chapter II one, be prepared to not get the chapter III one, as gold is way harder to grind in chapter 3. I found the Vignetting to be pretty irritating, especially because it happens in cut-scenes where he has his weapon out as well (weird choice imo), but the health-drain effect was pretty useful. Whoever was recommending just using the armour with different swords; ABSOLUTELY DO NOT DO THIS because if you don't have even one part of the set equipped, including swords, then your health will constantly drain while you're in combat.

Essentially I found it's just about rolling all the damn time. Never try and get more hits off than you can and then roll everywhere. I found Aard to be incredibly useful, particularly once my critical effects chance was fairly high, for all the instant kills - although they can be lethal because you never have a great sense of where you will be and which way you'll be facing when you come out of them.

Not much else I can tell you apart from that, I'm afraid. Have fun!

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