The Division 2 Gearer Project is something I’ve been developing trying to use my Excel (and VBA) skills to find the best possible build in this game. For this to be possible I would need to:
Learn how to generate items the way the game does.
Create all possible items – this is, possibles models, brands, attributes and talents combinations.
Must consider combinations only achievable through recalibration.
Try ‘every’ possible loadout, created by combining one of the generated items for each slot, and find the best one.
Many decisions regarding subjective things – like what makes the best build – will have to be made and are gonna be explained as I go through them.
But, before completing the project I came with it’s first ‘product’, the Probabilizer (patent pending). Overwhelmed with the huge RNG the game drops have and not believing how nearing 10k items looted I haven’t found my desired backpack I stopped, after successfully creating all possible items (yellows/branded gear), and started calculating the odds of getting any of them, sharing my first results on Reddit.
For this 2nd and complete almost complete version of the Probabilizer, I considered the comment by user HerpDerpenberg on the Reddit post. It showed me how the game possibly generates items, which I explain with an example:
When generating random gloves there are 10 possible gloves brands, so 10% is the probability of each brand being picked.
If the rolled brand is Murakami, there are 2 possible models, ‘”Kote” Hand Guards’ and ‘”Yugake” Firearm Gloves’, so there is a 50% chance of either being rolled, let’s consider we rolled the “Yugake” model.
Next, the first attribute is rolled, which can only be ‘Defensive’, and we have 4 possible defensive attributes on gloves (‘Armor Regen’, ‘Health’, ‘Health %’ and ‘Hazard Protection’), so there is a 25% possibility for each one of them. Let’s say we rolled ‘Health’.
For the second attribute, we can have any of the 3 types, ‘Offensive’, ‘Defensive’ or ‘Utility’, so 1/3 chance for each. Let’s say we got ‘Defensive’ again.
This time, there are only 3 blue attributes remaining, since ‘Health’ has already been rolled on this item and attributes can’t repeat, so 1/3 chance for each. Let’s say we rolled ‘Health %’ now.
The last stat for this item is the talent slot, which can be: ‘Offensive Common’, ‘Defensive Common’, ‘Utility Common’, ‘Offensive Active’ or ‘Defensive Active’, so we have 20% chance of rolling each. Let’s say we rolled ‘Defensive Active’.
The only possible ‘Defensive Active’ talent for gloves is ‘Clutch’.
So, to calculate the final probability of dropping this glove we get: 10% * 50% * 25% * 1/3 * 1/3 * 20% = 0.00027777%. This being the chance of dropping the item below from a branded gloves drop:
“Yugake” Firearm Gloves – Murakami Brand
1st attribute ‘Health’
2nd attribute ‘Health %’
Since a glove which rolled with ‘Health’ on 2nd attribute slot and ‘Health %’ on the 1st would be identical, for the purpose of this calculation, we can add the probability of this item to the first probability, and they are actually equal, so the probability of getting the item below is 2 * 0.00027777% = 0.00055556%.
“Yugake” Firearm Gloves – Murakami Brand
Attributes: ‘Health’ and ‘Health %’ (in any order)
When we divide 1 by a probability, the result is the number of attempts needed for a 63.23% chance of getting one (or more) of the desired result. Check this calculator.
If we divide 1 by our last result we get 1,800, which is an average number of gloves one needs to drop to have a good chance (63%) of dropping the gloves generated above. You can check on the game page in Uplay the total amount of items you have looted, I’m sitting in 9,070 with 356 hours played, if we say 1/10 of these are gloves, we get 907 gloves, so I’m only halfway and probably need more 356 hours to get these gloves.
Of course, if we consider recalibration we can get it faster, we only need “Yugake” gloves with either one of the attributes, ‘Health’ or ‘Health %’, and a defensive attribute on the other slot and ‘Clutch’ talent, or gloves with both desired attributes but with another ‘Active’ talent. I will have to cover recalibrations on my future steps of this Gearer Project, but for the Probabilizer it will stay out, I will try to reason why.
You must’ve noticed by now that we are not talking about stats (attributes and talents) values, I’m only considering their presence or not in the items, but any item can have good and bad rolls on the desired attributes. It is important to tell that every item in The Division 2 follows the same ‘budget’ formula. So if the item has a very good roll on one attribute it will have bad rolls on the others, since most of its budget was already spent on the good roll.
MIN/MAX is the term for minimizing weaknesses and maximizing strenghts when building a character/loadout.
This leads us to, in order to MIN/MAX, look for items with low native armor (which also consumes budget), exactly the talents we need and at least a good roll in one desired attribute and the other attribute being of the desired type. This way we can recalibrate a good rolled attribute over a low rolled one and increase the total budget of the item. If we recalibrate an item talents its budget stays the same.
The final result is a big Excel file (184MB original, 84 MB .ZIP, 52MB .RAR) that has every possible item listed (worksheets ‘Items’ and ‘Items Redux’) along with its drop chance. The second worksheet already groups and sums the probabilities of identical items. The probability shown is the chance of getting that specific item from any branded drop for the same slot. If you want the chance among any yellow gear drop – and considering each slot has the same chance of dropping – just divide the percentage by 6.
To use the spreadsheet just click the arrows in the heading titles (3rd row) and start filtering. Then check the probability in the last column. See the image below for this post example applied.
The chance is calculated using data from this worksheet by BestNadeThrower, which uses datamined data, updated by me, and can be seen on worksheets ‘Gear Talents’, ‘Gear Attributes’ and ‘Branded Gear’. ‘Salvaged’ and ‘Replica’ versions of items were removed along with green set items. It is important to note that Yaahl brand gear is calculated as having the same chance of dropping as any other brand, which is not what actually happens (Yaahl gear seems to only drop inside Dark Zones).
The links for you:
XLSX version 113MB – Microsoft Excel 2007+ compatible, without macros. Only ‘Items Redux’ spreadsheet. Zipped file 18MB.
Unfortunately, there is no Google Sheets version this time, since the loot pool now creates a table bigger than the maximum size supported.
The RNG in this game is fucked up. In an unhealthy way. There are so many possible items variants that looking for 6 specific gear pieces to MIN/MAX a build is realistically impossible. And even when you get everything right you can still get very bad rolls and a lot of native armor when you are not looking for it.
This leads to senseless grinding. As you get nearer to the MIN/MAX build the probability of any drop being an upgrade keeps reducing (this is natural) but very soon, and not as close to MIN/MAX than it should, it gets so small that one can expect to play for weeks without finding an upgrade. This painfully kills the looter part of this Looter Shooter game.
I would like to leave some ideas of how the RNG could be reduced, making the grinding more satisfying. As it is not very polite to expose a problem and not propose a solution. For these, I am already considering the changes to crafted items that are coming in Title Update 5.
Raise the max material capacity by A LOT. We need to craft and recalibrate thousands of items to get an upgrade, don’t cap our resources so we can only craft 3 or 4.
Make every material needed to craft items receivable through deconstruction. Increase the value for the player of every item drop. Keep the farming wheel rolling through crafting and make the farming route clear.
Let us recalibrate two stats per item, but keep the recalibration budget the same. This would make the probability of any drop being an upgrade a lot higher and bring significance back to the looting of the game.
I hope you appreciated this post and that the spreadsheet can be useful for you. This is the first post of The Gearer Project and I expect to achieve much more. Even with all the problems I still love this game and plan to put a lot more hours into it. This post is just to help fellow agents, disseminate information and maybe show for someone making decisions how broken some things are in The Division 2.
The worksheet was created with the loot pool as in Title Update 4 and can be easily update when the loot pool changes. If this happens I will update the files and this post.
Added a little color to the ‘Items Redux’ worksheet, updated it in the .XLSX files (compressed and not) only.
Replaced the few remaining formulas among the data by its values, this should add speed for those getting long calculation times when filtering , updated it in the .XLSX files (compressed and not) only.
Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt is, deservedly, one of the most awarded games of all times. Developed by CD Projekt RED, the company also behind GoG (Good Old Games) – a DRM free online games store -, and based on the novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, it is the third (and final?) piece of a series that evolved since 2007 culminating into this masterpiece. Released in May 2015, is played by thousands until today and is a perfect first journey recommendation for those joining the master race!
New Game Plus or NG+ is the possibility of, after finishing the game, starting it again (in a higher difficulty or not) keeping the previous character, its level, equipment and skills.
Witcher 3 is an action adventure single player game. It has RPG elements – levels, XP, quests, crafting – and deep choices that can affect entire regions and how NPCs react towards you in it’s HUGE medieval fantasy open world. The game is also very long, with 200+ hours within the main storyline, sidequests, and two big DLCs. It has a New Game Plus feature included and different endings to choose from – including different things to see depending on the choices you made through the game -, one can spend a thousand hours playing it. This post is a guide to let you make the most of this experience.
Below you will find, primarily, a mod list for playing Witcher 3, plus installation tutorial and setup and tweak guide to get the best possible visuals from it. It also includes gameplay mods, used in an attempt to maximize immersion by minimizing game time in menus and inventory. Sit with me along this long’ish process and don’t worry anymore while playing this gem knowing you are doing it the best way you can!
Is it worth it?
Disclaimer: this is an opinion based article, made by someone who, for sure, haven’t seen everything available around and also have personal preferences. That being said, this guide is separated into aesthetics and gameplay changing mods, so the more purists can grab only what they want easily. Every mod suggestion below is, just as said, a suggestion! Play the game the way you want and please comment below with your opinions and suggestions of what mods make the Witcher 3 game even better for you. Finally, this post is spoiler free, don’t worry about surprises while reading. 😉
I’m sure that it is, and you can decide for yourself with the media that follow. Don’t take me wrong, the vanilla experience is amazing! But the developers of this game are also amazing so they made it moddable, letting the community jump-in to lapidate the experience to their specific needs – many of which may match yours. You just want to get the most awesome, immersive and fun experience out of the 200+ hours you gonna spend there, right? With almost two thousand mods listed at Nexus (greatest mods database around), one can get lost – and lose a LOT of time – deciding what to and not to use.
The Witcher 3 ‘Downgrade’: players complaint’s after game launch became a trend, with lots of discussion and comparisons regarding differences between the launched game and pre-launch material, which included in-game footage. CD Projekt Red came with answers and the truth is that some things got adjusted to get the game playing fine for PCs and consoles.
Some mods are just meant to ‘upgrade’ the game. Witcher 3 was released as a multi-platform game for Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and therefore was ‘capped’ by the worst capabilities of any of these platforms in some dimensions. This is where high texture mods, for example, shine: they only replace the game default textures with higher resolution ones. On the side, you can see a comparison of a close look of a brick wall with an HD texture mod.
Regarding others aspects, the developers couldn’t do things one particular way to not satisfy 20% of the player base in disfavor of the other 80%, but what if you are one in that smaller fraction? Also, maybe CD Projekt RED didn’t have the time or resources or focus on some things and the community managed to do these ‘things’ for us. Finally, some resources are this or that way because of hardware limitations at the release time, and, if you are lucky to have a more potent and/or newer rig you can go beyond.
Setting things up
I have developed my own way of configuring and tweaking Witcher 3 after some hours doing it. Feel free to do things as you wish – specially to skip any mod you don’t like -, it is your game, your rig, your time and your experience. If you know a better or faster way to do the things I suggest feel free to jump into the comment section below and let me know so I can keep this post updated! Also, comment with suggestions on any other aspect if you feel like.
You will need the game, of course, which you can buy from Steam and GoG. Since it is an old game your best shot is to wishlist it on both platforms and wait for a sale where you can get its version bundled with the DLCs (Game of the Year Edition) and maybe even Witcher 1 and 2 in the package! Get the expansions if you can, If you are buying you probably can get a better price purchasing them together. Anyway, the game without expansions nets you 100+ hours of gameplay, and the expansions were made to be played after the main quest, so, if it is the case, you can wishlist just the DLCs and purchase them in the future, they are totally worth it.
After downloading Witcher 3, run it once to see if everything is right, don’t stop at the menu, start a game and check if it is running. If you encounter any problem, Google or go to the game’s subreddit for help. Don’t worry about your FPS or graphics quality yet, we will tweak everything soon. Also, have in mind that even though it is a few years old the game can be very hardware demanding, especially with some settings maximized. You can check the minimum and recommended specs on the side, but be ready to make some adjustments and optimizations even if your rig is way more powerful than those – mainly if you want to use the game extra juicy graphics settings -.
While in the game main menu, check if you have the game updated to the latest version – v 1.31 – and have both DLCs installed (if you bought them): Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine. As in the side image.
Don’t use the Nexus Mod Manager or other alike program, to guarantee the correct installation of the mods and that they behave correctly we will need to do the installation manually.
We will download our mods from Nexus Mods. The mod list with links follows shortly. It’s divided between graphical and gameplay mods. If you are a purist and/or are looking for an experience – at least in gameplay – identical to what the developers planned, skip the Gameplay Mods section. Following the link to each mod you will get to its page in Nexus Mods site, where you find a detailed description – with installation instructions -, the file(s) download link(s), screenshots/videos and more.
For now, just download everything to an empty folder. I left the name of my pick next to the link for mods with multiple versions/files to choose. Extra instructions are present when necessary.M
Mod List (finally)
Not mods, but needed or highly recommended
Script Merger: download the main file. An amazing tool that detects conflicts between mods and helps to solve them. We will run it at the end.
W3HC – Witcher 3 Hunter’s Config: download the‘standalone’ version. Tool for configuring/tweaking the game config/INIs files. It’s helpful because it let us fine-tune settings and go further than the values allowed in-game.
Gamepad: not a mod, not a software, a simple piece of hardware that is highly recommended. One can say this game was made to be played with a gamepad, due to the consoles releases, but, others defend fiercely the gameplay with keyboard/mouse. Pros and cons aside, the gamepad makes the combat easier but gives you fewer shortcuts at hand, one flaw that one of the mods below eliminates partially.
SSD: with your game installed there. Sorry, not a mod again and for the last time. The loading times can be looong in this game and an SSD reduces this by a lot. It helps you get back into play faster after you fail or wanna try a different choice, this can save you tenths of hours!
The Witcher 3 HD Reworked Project: download main file. One guy took tons of time to rework models and textures for better quality but preserving the original art style. We get the same game feel with better, more detailed and more realistic graphics. Amazing results, truly incredible, if I had to pick only one mod to play this game with this would be my pick. The better part? If you have a GTX970 or better graphics card expect no performance loss.
E3FX (ReShade preset): suggested download ‘E3FX Ultimate for Super Turbo Lighting Mod – GOTY Remastered v3’ (it’s the Ultimate edition made to work with the next mod). Not exactly a mod. ReShade is what made me play Witcher 3 through, started it the first time and left aside after 20 hours a little sick by the sepia look of everything. A few weeks later found this mod and gained 200 straight hours of fun. ReShade is a post-processing injector, it can add effects like ambient occlusion, color correction and more. The creator of this mod chose and tweaked effects to make the game better looking and released five versions for us to choose from. Expect to lose 3-15 FPS when activating depending on your rig and settings.
Super Turbo Lighting Mod: download the main file. This changes the game ‘art’ to look like the (better looking?) pre-downgrade (according to the creator) style. At the link there are lots of comparisons, but the overall result is good and some changes are awesome. Also, no FPS loss expected 🙂
Friendly HUD: download the main file. The immersion mod. Allows great customization of HUD elements and adds lots of nice ones! You can easily try the settings or follow my suggestion below. The game natively allows you to turn each HUD element on or off, but this mod’s features go way beyond that, like auto-hiding HUD parts when not necessary. It also ads new items shortcuts accessible through gamepad. One handy part is that with it you see the amount of owned items when browsing vendors, really helpful when refilling crafting materials and herbs. It also shows items prices in inventory, a spoiler’ish thing, but everything is fully customizable in-menu.
Field of View (FOV) Slider: download FOV Slider for v1.30 – the link is at the first not pinned comment, inside ‘Posts’. [mirror] –. Let us change the visible ‘range’/area around Geralt, making your character smaller on-screen. Gives a different, ampler view of the world. After installation you need to go, in-game, to OPTIONS > MODS > FOV SLIDER, and set your preferred FOV, otherwise, the game will load with 0 FOV and eventually crash. You can set different values for mounted and walking FOV. Test different settings but it can get buggy with Exploration FOV at 90 or above.
Extended View Distance (Removes Fog): download both main files. This mod removes fog from most game areas so you can see farther away. It still keeps localized mists, which give part of the game feel. If in doubt just check comparative screenshots at the link. The other file we downloaded is to have taller grass on the main game area, a personal preference.
All Quests Objectives on Map: download the standard version. The most useful mod ever, really! In a game with lots of sidequests and huge maps, being able to see that two quests are near each other saves lots of time. It is easier deciding where to go and what to do next when you can see all your objectives in one screen without having to change between active quests.
Sort Everything: download both main files. Gives sorting options for books, crafting recipes and quests (journal).
Alternate Lightsources Interaction: download ‘Toggleable’ version, under ‘Miscellaneous files’. Simply only shows the light/extinguish text and icon above light sources (candles, campfires, etc.) when you have the Igni sign equipped. Saves some misclicks which cause animation delay and breaks the pace. Toggable via right shit.
Over 9000 – Weight limit mod: download the main file. This mod simply ups, to virtually infinite, the weight you can carry. Unrealistic, yes, but the game is already not realistic regarding this anyway – you can carry in your ‘invisible’ bag/backpack a spare full armor set and a few weapons without the mod -. Being able to loot anything helps a lot, especially to new players who don’t know yet which items he should keep and which can be discarded. I use this happily just imagining that Geralt has someone going after him, looting and stashing his loot.
AutoLoot Configurable All-in-One (1.30-1.31): download the main file. In favor of immersion, save time and thousands of clicks by automatically looting stuff, you can even choose to auto loot only herbs and weightless items (if you skipped last mod). I won’t be using the radius loot, one of the mod features, only the ability to auto loot surely lootable items in every container or dead body we inspect and the loot on kill ability also. Trust me, running around a field just to make sure you looted every monster you just killed gets boring after a few dozen hours of play.
Jump in Shallow Water: download the main file. Simply does exactly what the name says. Normally Geralt (game protagonist) can’t jump when immersed in water up to his knees, and this feels awkward, also makes getting to some places unrealistically painful. With this mod there isn’t such a problem anymore, simple!
Disable storybook videos: download the main file. Skips the intro (when starting the game) and storybook videos (when loading a save), a great time saver, also, these videos get boring very fast. Alternate version only disabling storybook available.
Auto Apply Oils: download the version 1.31.1 file. Another thing that gets boring after some hours playing is applying oils before every fight (and in the mid of a fight). Since you can’t bind to quick slots/buttons every oil you might need, the process of opening inventory, navigating to the oil and applying it to your weapon becomes painfull fast enough to the point you start using oils only on tougher fights, and – for me – this feels a bit unrealistic. A witcher is always ready and prepared, or at least a legendary one like Geralt should.
Always Full (Quest) Exp: download ‘Always Full Exp (GOTY)’. In Witcher 3, experience gained after completing quests – which is the bigger share of exp you will get – is reduced to almost nothing if you are too over leveled for it. Along with my suggestion of leveling lower-level enemies to your level – a game option — it makes it fairer that you get full experience after completing any quest. You can get better experience simply by planning, surveying side quests extensively and fast traveling around a lot to always do the lowest level quest available, but that is not how I would like to play, I prefer to explore each area thoroughly before jumping to the next, and the game already gets you traveling a lot through main and bigger side quests – which are plenty -.
Fast Travel from Anywhere: download the main file. Exactly as the name says. Saves the time of running to a signpost before fast traveling. Be careful with fast traveling during quests, you could miss events and break the quest, use at your own risk. Some events trigger when you walk around some places, mostly when leaving areas after completing a quest looking for the next signpost. If you consider yourself careful enough and is willing to accept the risk, use it for extra time-saving. Tip: when afraid to lose a cutscene/event just use regular (signpost) fast travel.
Field of View (FOV) Slider | ‘modFOVSlider – for patch 1.30.7z‘.
Extract to ‘[GameFolder]\Mods\‘.
Inside ‘[GameFolder]\Mods\modFOVSlider\‘ cut the ‘bin‘ folder and paste it into ‘[GameFolder]\‘.
Friendly HUD | ‘modFriendlyHUD-365-13-4.7z‘.
Extract to ‘[GameFolder]\Mods\‘.
Inside ‘[GameFolder]\Mods\modFriendlyHUD\‘ cut the ‘bin‘ folder and paste it into ‘[GameFolder]\‘.
We will revisit some .txt files that remained inside ‘[GameFolder]\Mods\modFriendlyHUD\‘ later.
All Quest Objectives On Map | ‘modMapQuestObjectivesFull-1.30-v10a.zip-943-1-30-10.zip‘.
Extract to ‘[GameFolder]\Mods\‘.
Toussaint Grass In Velen – Part of Extended View Distance | ‘modToussaintGrassInVelenNovigrad-1672-1-1.zip‘.
Extract to ‘[GameFolder]‘.
Disable storybook videos | ‘No intro – No storybook-816-1-21.rar‘.
Extract to ‘[GameFolder]\Mods\‘.
Over 9000 – Weight limit mod | ‘Over 9000 – Weight limit mod v1.31-3-1-31.zip‘.
Extract to ‘[GameFolder]\Mods\‘.
Sort Everything – 1st file | ‘Sort Everything – Main mod file-1710-1-33.7z‘.
Extract to ‘[GameFolder]\Mods\‘.
Sort Everything – 2nd file | ‘Sort Everything – Menu and user settings-1710-1-33.7z‘.
Extract to ‘[GameFolder]‘.
We will revisit the .txt at the root of the compressed file later.
Super Turbo lighting Mod | ‘STLM 3.2-657-3-2.rar‘.
Extract to ‘[GameFolder]\Mods\‘.
The Witcher 3 HD Reworked Project | ‘The Witcher 3 HD Reworked Project 5.1-1021-5-1.exe‘.
Run the .exe file.
Choose Full installation type.
Point to the [GameFolder] when asked to select the Witcher 3 main folder.
Do not create a shortcut on the start menu. Why would you?
Unification patch for 1.31 – 1.31GOTY – 1.31A game versions (UPatch) | ‘Unification patch for 1.31 and 1.31GOTY game versions-2134-1-1.7z‘.
Extract to ‘[GameFolder]\‘.
Et voilà, the mods are installed! Don’t launch the game yet, we need a little more setup before everything works properly. But I promise that we are almost done, we just need to:
We need now to fine tune some mods settings for the ones that require it. We already have the mod files in the right place, but we need to check for conflicts, fix those and meddle with some game config files yet.
Alternatively, you can just download this file and extract its content overwriting your ‘AutoApplyOilsFunctions.ws‘.
One quick tweak I do is to edit the file ‘AutoApplyOilsFunctions.ws‘ located at ‘[GameFolder]\Mods\modAutoApplyOils\content\scripts\game\mod\’ and move the ‘}’ located at line 431 to line 465 – so line 465 will be ‘}}’ now, and line 431 will be empty except for the line break. This is done in order to not show notifications from the Auto Apply Oils mod when it doesn’t find a usable oil against a monster you encounter.
If you want to skip this step, just download this compressed file. Extract its contents into ‘[GameFolder]\Mods\‘ and you are done.
Script Merger is an amazing program that goes through the mods files we just put inside the game folder and check for conflicts between them. It also tries to automatically solve those conflicts and lets you manually solve them also.
Extract the contents of ‘Witcher Script Merger v0.6.2-484-0-6-2.zip‘ to a folder of your preference, I suggest the [Game Folder] to keep everything in one place. Run WitcherScriptMerger.exe, inside the program, click on the ‘…’ on top right and point to the [GameFolder].
After selecting the game folder it will load all your installed mods and show conflicts. Check everything and click ‘Merge’. It will start the merging process, which checks for conflicts between mods scripts and tries to automatically solve them. It will also open any unsolved conflicts (if any) in a text-compare app for you to choose what to keep. As rule:
Keep mods contents in favor of vanilla.
It is ok to delete comments (everything after a ‘//’).
After solving the conflicts you will have a folder inside ‘[GameFolder]\Mods\‘ called ‘mod0000_MergedFiles’, if you ever want to redo the merging process, just delete this folder and run Script Merger again.
Game Configuration Files
You can skip this step by downloading this compressed file. Just extract its contents into ‘[User]\Documents\The Witcher 3\’, overwriting if asked.
We need to do some mod setup by changing the game configuration files, located in ‘[User]\Documents\The Witcher 3\‘. If you haven’t opened the game yet you won’t have the ‘input.settings‘ and ‘user.settings‘ files there. If you already have any, delete it/them. Then open the game and close it, no need to load a save, just the main menu is enough. This will create ‘fresh’ versions of these files, which we will edit shortly.
Before, open a new notepad window and paste the code below into it. Select ‘Save as’, navigate to ‘[User]\Documents\The Witcher 3\‘ and save as ‘mods.settings‘, not ‘mods.settings.txt‘. Overwrite it if it already exists.
Now, open the ‘input.settings’ file with notepad. Press CTRL+F to search for ‘[Exploration]’ (without quotes), add a new line under it and paste the code below:
This makes the right shift key in game cycle between 3 ways of interacting with light sources: only when Igni is selected, when Igni or Aard is selected, or always (valilla). Don’t close the ‘input.settings‘ file yet.
Go to ‘[GameFolder]\Mods\modFriendlyHUD\‘ and open the file ‘input.settints.part.txt‘. Copy all its contents and add it at the beginning of the ‘input.settings‘ file located at ‘[User]\Documents\The Witcher 3\‘. Repeat this step adding the ‘user.settings.part.txt‘ contents into the ‘user.settings‘ file at the same folder of ‘input.settings‘. We also need to find a file called ‘add_into_user.settings.txt‘ that should be at the [GameFolder] (we extracted it when doing the number 17 above), its contents should also be added to the beginning of the ‘user.settings‘ file.
And we should be ready to play. Since we skipped lots of mods reading files, it is important that I tell you to, before playing, go to ‘OPTIONS‘ -> ‘MODS‘ -> ‘FOVSLIDER‘ and set values for exploration and horseback FOV (Field of View). 90 or more for exploration sometimes glitches so I suggest keeping it at 85, and 100 is fine for horseback. The vanilla value is 60 for both.
And we are set, finally! We can now tweak the in-game settings to achieve the best FPS, last suggested step before playing.
Game and Graphics Settings
There are two good guides covering this subject. One very extensive, and the other with an interesting approach. Go for them if you want comparative screenshots of different settings and charts of FPS x Settings. What we need to know for a quick setup is that – in this order – the settings most resource consuming are:
Foliage Visibility Range
Grass Density Level
My fast method of tweaking is putting everything on maximum and then go reducing as needed to get the desired FPS. Since it is a single player game anything above 60 in my 144 FPS monitor is ok for me, but you may go for anything you want/can.
To do so get in-game, go to ‘OPTIONS‘ -> ‘VIDEO‘ and from there open ‘POSTPROCESSING‘ and select the present ‘HIGH‘, then go back and open ‘GRAPHICS‘ and select the preset ‘ULTRA‘.
Now we will tweak our settings above the maximum. For this, use the only untouched file we downloaded: ‘W3HC 0.8.0 – ”Standalone” version-12-0-8-0.zip‘. Extract its contents to a folder o your preference, again I suggest the [Game Folder] to keep everything in one place. Run the .exe you just extracted.
First let’s click the ‘Backup‘ button at the bottom, to make sure we can revert any changes we make. Now you can revisit every in-game option and also some hidden ones through the multiple tabs of this program. Most graphics settings are under the ‘Rendering’ tab and many of the options have mouse-over explanations. Just go over every field and set things to the suggested Ultra, if you don’t know what it means and there is no explanation present just leave it unchanged. One thing worth trying different values is ‘Grass Generation Efficiency‘, which is resource consuming and some prefer lower values – I use 0.075.
After tweaking everything, go in-game and check your FPS, if it is too low go to the graphics or postprocessing options and reduce your settings according to the list above. For most of them, the second best option look almost as good as the best one but is a lot less FPS demanding.
You are almost ready to play! Lastly, some tweaks to settings in-game. First, under ‘OPTIONS‘ -> ‘VIDEO‘ -> ‘HUD CONFIGURATION‘ let’s disable everything, except for the HUD itself, and also change its size to small. It is ok to leave the options regarding POIs on the minimap.
The last screen with settings is ‘GAMEPLAY‘, my suggestions are to enable ‘Enemy upscaling‘, this will make lower level enemies you encounter to be leveled to your level. It adds a nice new challenge and make every fight interesting. Also, under ‘Movement Response’ I strongly suggest the ‘Alternative’ option, you can try both easily, just go in-game and move around quickly, then change the option and do it again to see the difference.
You can eventually visit and fine tune every setting and mod setting, but we got everything covered. The Scroll Lock key in-game enables and disables the ReShade (it starts enabled), it is fun to notice the differences. You can easily download other preset of your liking – there are 4 different presets at the E3FX mod page – and install it over the one we installed.
My final suggestion is to set the game difficulty to the maximum (you can handle), and you are finally set! See you in 200 hours 🙂
Extra – NVidia 3D Vision
If you are one of the few owners of an NVidia 3D Vision kit, there is an awesome patch that makes the game entirely playable in stereoscopic 3D! Remember to turn down some settings, since 3D Vision really hits FPS, but it is totally worth it.
Now the Friendly HUD MOD is your best friend and learning its settings (they are in-game!) will help to get rid of HUD elements when not needed since they are not rendered in 3D.
If you stayed with me until now my thanks. This is my first post this size and I really hope you enjoyed it. Please comment below with suggestions, this is a work in progress and I plan to keep making it better. And, if you have the time, make an account at Nexus Mods and Endorse the mods you also loved.
May your framerates be high and your temperatures low.