Making the torture cutscene was very difficult. Djinni's cutscene editor is cranky and flaky to begin with. And then of course there's no "torture" animation, just as there were no animations for ANY of the things I've wanted to do. I've had to repurpose what existing animations there were, and of course this often looks a bit strange. And I wanted the torture cutscene to be disturbing, NOT funny, since the player SHOULD be disturbed if they choose to torture someone. But no one ever tortures Elianna -- which is good, of course; I'm glad my players are such moral folk -- so I haven't gotten much feedback on that scene.
If you're ever in the mood to see the last 20 minutes of MP2 again, restore from save right before the 4-way conversation among Elianna, Triss, Shani, and Geralt in Kaer Morhen, and choose to torture Elianna; I'll be interested to hear what you think.
First of all, thank you Corylea, for such a wonderful 2-part story! I've played Medical Problems 1 years ago, but discovered that 2nd was released just a while ago - it was absolute (although, expected) pleasure to play through it. You got real talent for writing dialog lines, which makes 3/4 of the immersion in mod. (side note: many others mod, while having interesting plot, lack at dialogue level - Corylea productions
always have a guaranteed quality in that department. Not that quality is worse in other parts of Your mods, but you know what I mean).
During my first playthrough, at first, I reluctantly decided to torture Elianna if that is necessary to save her victims. But, when Shani objected and
she literally presented alternate, better idea of using Witcher's secrets (that was in line with me trusting Triss), it was a sin not to use it. Of course, I enjoyed max-happy ending, BUT:
As You've suggested, I rolled back to pre-conversation save, and insisted on torturing El' just to review this patch. I must say, that you did *AWESOME* job of creating torture scene. Don't worry about lacking "tools" (as in available animations) - the way you've presented it is more suggestive, than direct blood-bath. Perfectly placed cracking sound and- maybe it's something about lighting on Geralt's face during this scene - he got something oddly cruel (even for him) on his face during it, mimics etc. Maybe it's just my self-suggestion, maybe lighting helped accidentally, or you did it on purpose - either way, kudos, as scene is shocking. Perfect mix of terrifying, cruel Geralt, Shani's impulsive reaction, and Triss being calm as experienced executioner, until it passes into excitation, when she discovers memories she was looking for... Very memorable scene. to the point, than for a hour or so, I had phantom pain in my fingers, and that speaks something.
Now, honestly, I "like" this ending better (I hope you understand what I mean by "like" - I really do
) - it nicely fits into "lesser evil" dillema Geralt must face whole life, and grim reality of Witcher's world... Just seems more "realistic", than "everyone was happy" path. The frightening means at the final make story even more memorable and meaningful, and, as others mentioned, it fits nicely into TW1 -> TW2 transformation of Geralt<->Shani relation (or lack of, to be precise).
Different thing, but worth mentioning - I really *love* the short mention of Shani getting intimate with Eskel - it perfectly fits her "firecracker" image from books and TW1.
Now, a little criticism (constructive, I hope) - what I think could be done better:
1. I find it quite strange, that - if we torture Elianna, Shani is just as eager to throw a party, as if we choose other path (in fact, party is her idea just the same, no matter what). Now, if we're gently to Shani around torture scene, she wants to dance with us and explain her feelings - I thought "Ok, she will split up with Geralt, but they will remain distant friends". Now, after that, the part of ending sequence with her turning her face into other side and ignoring Gerald's welcome made me think "WTF?!". It really doesn't fit here - it would be logic other way around. for her to *not* want to party (still being shaken by torture scene), but remaining a modestly friendly to Geralt.
Now, of course, *if* Geralt is harsh for her around torturing, it's natural that she doesn't want to even speak with him again (considering what he says in "harsh" path), but then, her party'ing doesn't make much sense (maybe just a little, as she doesn't want to dance with Geralt).
2. I also find it strange, that Shani doesn't have any objections/moral problems, if we choose to kill Elianna after cure'ing sick friends. Now, Elianna is prisoner (harmful at the moment, while Tris held her in stasis), so executing her is in the same line as tortures. I think it should trigger "bad" Shani ending as well - after all, she is present, when Geralt decide to kill Ell'. Or, decision making could be put after Shani leave fortress.
3. Adventure, while great, could use some pressure about money, and some real things to spent hard-earner orens. After initial Lambert's line that "investigation's are pricey, we actually don't have to pay for *anything* except few bootles of cheap booze for alchemy. Thats while we have 1000 orens from start.
Now, I really, really like that our reward from Riverford haven't disappeared miraculously - it would be "nice", if we had to spend most of it on following investigation tracks (it would fit well with another syndrome of Geralt - that no matter how nice rewards he get, situation force him to become oren-less quite soon). Now, everyone does everything for free, and while there is explanation for it in plot, it would feel natural if Jack would need money (and a little time) to actually use his contact and get idea who bought from Salamandra... Zoltan could require money that he is lacking, too (after all, he just moved, and could be as oren-less as Geralt is used too), etc.
Having a possibility to re-forge sword, actually, would come handy - those runes and meteorite ore from Jack is totally useless. Heck, upgrading equipment could even become a side-quest in borders of already existing locations. Some or all of those thing would make "Witcher's work" side quest actually something else than prolonging playthrough due to entering basement/barn/whatever and slaying few monsters., then collecting payment.
Minor side note - having never-ending supply for meals in so many places doesn't help that aspect (every one of them can be sold for 4 orens, = 40 orens per stack)
And here, a little bug report (mostly minor things, with 1 being "biggest" - nice work, that such trivialities are biggest things to report!):
1. While at Ban-Ard outskirt, we actually 8can* open city's gate and pass through it - immediately being drawn into another dimension, with stars under our feet
Seriously though, we see from "inside" buildings and run in space for a while, regular symptoms of entering where we shouldn't.
2. During hallucination stage we can actually bypass most "encounters" by running through shallow water (only Violet actually "chase" us and enter water during cinematic). We can pass directly to reality's portal (or to Sorceress and reality portal afterwards). Not sure if it is intended or not.
3. On Valley, we have 2nd cave (not Kikimore's one), that can be clicked, but reply as "locked". This is cosmetic thing only, but it would be better to either delete trigger for it, or "plomb" it with over-sized stone(s), like in few other places.
4. Even if we get a "full-good" ending *except* for Shani, we're presented with "Geralt had problems with sleep" at the end. Now, i thought it is consequence of torturing, but official walkthrough state that it should only happen, if we get "all-bad" ending.
5. As others already reported, the fur in zoltan's place still offer eternal rest