This session wasn’t too long, but a lot has happened anyway.
The first thing I did was to clear my inventory a bit and then go get all of the quests at the local notice board. This made me realize I actually missed a very important location – the local inn. I found Dandelion there and gave him his lute, after which I did some fighting at the local boxing ring.
I got a few quests, got some information and then meditated until the evening, when I the party I was invited to started upstairs. A lot of the quests at the party I already knew from before, or at least Geralt knew from a role playing perspective. There was a lot of talk about politics and it was clear the game was trying to convince me that I won’t be able to stay neutral for a long time.
After all of that was done, I decided to go to the swamp, where I talked to Kalkstein and started doing some of the grindy quests which sometimes make the game feel a bit like an MMORPG. I’m talking about the quests like “kill X ghouls” or “get Y monster parts”. Luckily, most of the quests are far more creative than that, so this is just filler I don’t mind doing along the way.
Soon, I stumbled into the two named monsters I had to kill for the royal huntsman. Both encounters happened right after each other, so I was in a bit of trouble. The game tries to be realistic, so it won’t let me carry large items, like weapons, armor and trophies in my bags. This means I can only carry one of each at a time. Since I killed both named monsters, I had to leave one trophy on the ground, hoping it would still be there when I get back. It was also nighttime, so I couldn’t find the huntsman back in the city.
I decided to leave one trophy stored at the inn and then come back for the other. While I was there, I also managed to enter the local brothel, where I met a girl I was looking for who might be a vampire. After “spending some time” with her, the quest advanced and it was confirmed that she was the girl in question. She was definitely bitten, but it wasn’t clear if she turned already. I also had to beat up a body guard to get to the second floor of the brothel, where the female boss who apparently knew Geralt was. She’ll probably be important for some future quest, but for now, I got nothing from her.
I got back to the swamp and took the second trophy, before I explored the rest of the area. I skipped on the cave and got to the brickmaker village, where I spoke to their elder and got another quest. They want me to get rid of some Salamandra boss who used the villagers for forced labor.
I saved my game here and called it a night.
On a side note, the combat is starting to get a lot more fun. I’ve learned the fourth level of the strong steel style and can now use a power up move which looks great, but also adds a lot to strategy, since it can stun the enemy. Also, that orb indicator in the upper right corner of the character screen is just two orbs from being full. I’m not sure what that means, but it’s possible I’ll stop getting bronze skills at that point.