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The Return Of The White Wolf (a comprehensive Witcher 3 modding guide)

witcher 3 pack modding

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#1 rootsrat

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Posted 22 June 2015 - 04:32 PM

NO LONGER SUPPORTED!!!!

 

 


Seeing that I'm pretty much the only person replying in this thread I've decided to stop supporting the guide, as I don't think many people use it. 

 

If you want a guide that is still actively supported, please check Neo's W3R: The Wild Hunt Revisited guide - it's a great guide of a very experienced modder. 

 

Thanks for your time guys, it was a pleasure. Time to move on now!

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing:
The Return Of The White Wolf: Witcher 3 Modding Guide

by rootsrat
Wiki Link
 


Cdp_witcher_gate_logo_en.png

RETURN OF THE WHITE WOLF

THE MODDING GUIDE

 
This guide's main aim is to make the game a better experience, improving all of the game aspects to make it more challenging and realistic, better scaled and prettier to play, while remaining friendly to The Witcher universe lore, including the previous games and the books. This part is very important to me, so you can rest assured that if you follow this guide, you'll get The Witcher experience as close to the books as possible and the one that will be realistic and serious.
 
Please be aware of your hardware limitations. If you are struggling to get the game running on Ultra/Uber details, you'll probably want to skip the configuration file modifications.
 
The guide will be updated with new mods and better tools as they are released, so expect a lot of changes until all the basic tools are released and modding scene for Witcher 3 matures. The game itself is also being updated and the developers are working on the bugs, with the updates being released every so often, so please also bear in mind that the guide is written for the specific version of the game and may not work with the future versions of The Witcher 3. I will make clear indication which game version is the guide for.
 
Another thing to note is that I am using GOG Galaxy version of The Witcher 3, not the Steam version, so adjust all the file paths accordingly if you use Steam instead of GOG Galaxy.
 
The guide is using step-by-method to instruct users how to install the mods. It's listed from top down and it is advised to install the mods in that order to make sure that all directions are followed correctly and no steps are missed.

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#2 EssArrBee

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Posted 22 June 2015 - 10:23 PM

Just looking over the guide it seems that Witcher 3 is a little easier to mod than the previous two games.



#3 rootsrat

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Posted 23 June 2015 - 02:23 AM

I think it was a tad easier in W1 - you've just had an Overwrite directory where you pasted all the modfiles and that was it. I didn't mod W2, so no comments there.

 

At the moment in W3 all the modifications are made by editing the bundle files, but it's a bit tricky, as they HAVE to be exactly same size before and after, including uncompressed and compressed size. The easiest way to achieve that is to remove/add meaningless characters (i.e. comments-like) to maintain exactly same total number of characters in the file contents. A few modders said it can be quite tricky, mainly for the compressed file size... From the user point of view it's dead easy though, as most mods either require a simple copy-paste job or provide an installation bat file. 

 

We'll see what happens when Red Kit comes out. I can't wait for that!


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#4 Neovalen

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Posted 23 June 2015 - 02:31 AM

We'll see what happens when Red Kit comes out. I can't wait for that!

That is what I'm waiting for before I make any mods to my game. :)

 

Still got plenty of vanilla content to go... I've been taking my time and just now finished "Act 1".  Love the sights, the sounds, pretty much everything about the game.


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#5 rootsrat

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Posted 23 June 2015 - 03:20 AM

That is what I'm waiting for before I make any mods to my game. :)

 

Still got plenty of vanilla content to go... I've been taking my time and just now finished "Act 1".  Love the sights, the sounds, pretty much everything about the game.

I didn't include any mods that change mechanics or gameplay for now. I haven't finished the game either and I want to do a full vanilla playthourgh. I've only added a free cam / console mod and couple of model mods that apply certain outfit (or lack thereof) at certain scenes in game where it makes sense, and a ReShade preset to make the game look pretty. And modified cofig files for better LOD, drawing distance etc.

 

I definitely want to experience vanilla playthrough game-play wise first!


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#6 AcesofDeath7

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Posted 23 June 2015 - 06:20 PM

Looking forward to seeing how this develops! :thumbsup:


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#7 Nozzer66

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Posted 23 June 2015 - 09:32 PM

Says Wither3 on the forums front page. May want that fixed. :)


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#8 rootsrat

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 01:51 AM

Looking forward to seeing how this develops! :thumbsup:

Thanks, I'll keep updating the guide as I go :)

 

Says Wither3 on the forums front page. May want that fixed. :)

Where's that, sorry? I can't see anything like that. (Unless already fixed).


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#9 Astakos

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 02:54 AM

Thank you for this guide rootsrat! I really really welcome it!

Looking forward to seeing it growing larger and larger, especially after the RedKit comes out.

 

BTW, just  couple of "copy-paste typos"...for E3FX the Author is not Sarcen and version is not v1.

 

Thanks again mate!  ::):


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#10 rootsrat

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 03:09 AM

Thanks mate, I'm also looking forward to expanding the guide! Like I said, I won't be using any mods that change the mechanics for now, as I want to experience the vanilla game first to be able to assess which aspects of the game could use some improvements (already have a few ideas...), therefore the guide will mainly focus on audio, visual and lore mods plus setting files tweaking to achieve best performance vs visual fidelity ratio :) 

 

Ergo - don't expect a massive amount of mods to be added anytime soon, I definitely want to focus on fiddling with the setting files first, as you can improve the game greatly just by using the tweaks. 

 

Cheers for spotting the errors, I'll correct them asap!


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#11 rootsrat

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 08:39 AM

WARNING!

 

A few (sic!) latest nVidia drivers cause crashes when using various applications. The Witcher 3, GTA V and Chrome browser were mentioned. The last reported stable driver is 347.88, however reports vary for different users. It's always a driver below version 350. 

 

nVidia are apparently working on a solution. Please be careful when using this guide, as the more you throw at the game, the higher crash chance. The usual crash involves "Graphical Driver Stopped Responding" message or your computer screen going blank and your PC freezing, where manual restart is required.

 

::EDIT::

 

I downgraded to 350.12 and it seems stable for me, but I didn't do too much testing.


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#12 rootsrat

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 05:46 PM

Guide updated:

 

  • 24/06/2015
    • Added new user.settings file. Over 6 hours of testing resulted in much better performance without a visible hit to quality. Stuttering fixed. Disappearing grass fixed. Enabled missing DLCs.
    • Added rendering.ini file settings.

 

The game not only looks much better now, but it also runs very smoothly! Really happy with the progress. Main culprits here were the foliage and grass drawing distance records. Both were reduced slightly, which fixed stuttering, disappearing grass and improved performance greatly. 

 

Next steps: test some mods that I have recently discovered and test couple of other ReShade presets that looked promising on Nexus. Happy days!


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#13 EssArrBee

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 05:56 PM

One day someone is finally going to figure out how to render something as common as grass properly without melting GPUs. You'd think it wouldn't be all that hard.



#14 rootsrat

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 06:03 PM

The grass drawing distance wasn't actually that bad performance hit, but it caused the grass to disappear/reappear constantly. It was annoying and didn't look nice at all. In the end I had to leave it at vanilla value of 1. Any other value caused the magical grass trick :/

 

The foliage drawing distance setting was the main performance hit and stuttering cause. With the old setting (4) I got between 32-40 FPS in forest areas (the lowest FPS in game for me). Now (2) it's between 45-55, so it's a massive improvement! 


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#15 Astakos

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 03:57 AM

Hi root,

 

I would recommend the More Horses Mod

All it does is give Gerald a different color horse (white, black or the one from Wild Hunt).

I am using it almost from day 1 and it plays nicely with v.1.06.

 

Those you might want a color variety in Gerald horse might find it useful!

 

Thanks mate!  ::):


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