Witcher 3 Fans Think New Patch Gameplay Change Breaks Immersion

Geralt stabs a giant beetle monster with a sword.
Geralt stabs a giant beetle monster with a sword.

CD Projekt Red just released a new patch for its open world RPG Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt. However, players aren’t happy with all of the changes. One of the most controversial ones is the ability to auto-apply your oils instead of doing so manually before engaging with a monster. Players are concerned that automating this process takes away from the experience of being a monster hunter.

This is all very silly because the 4.03 patch notes clearly state that auto-oiling your weapons is an “option.” So players who don’t want the computer to automatically oil their weapons probably don’t even have to turn on the feature.Meaning that you could probably still oil all your swords by hand if you really wanted to.

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Oils are an item that allows Geralt to deal bonus damage against certain types of enemies. For example, the Hanged Man Venom is more effective against humans. Draconid oil is effective against draconic enemies, and so on. These oils only last a specific number of hits, which means that players will have to constantly re-apply them if they’re facing a particularly tough monster.

“The idea was that you were supposed to research a monster before you fought it and come prepared,” wrote one Redditor on the Witcher 3 subreddit. “As such, you could not apply oils in combat. But there was a bug on PC where you could click and drag an oil to your sword and it would still apply [during combat]. Instead of fixing the bug on PC, CDPR just removed the block on applying oils in combat, pushing the game’s combat design philosophy in the direction of a generic hack and slash game.” Others pointed out that Geralt gets jumped by wandering enemies a lot, which leaves him no room to prepare oils in advance.

Another player pointed out that this is a pointless hill to die on when we make so many other realism concessions for a smoother gameplay experience. “The game asks you to craft oils once and never again. The game automatically fills out the bestiary for you,” they wrote. “Auto-applied oils was just the next logical step in a game where slowly but surely everything that made the bestiary and oil system stopped mattering.”

Besides, the community already has an auto-oil mod that’s been downloaded over 1,500,000 times. It’s clear that being able to apply your oil automatically is something that a lot of players do want from their Witcher 3 experience. The difference now is that they can turn it on natively instead of having to learn how to install a mod. Players praised the mechanic for saving them a trip to the inventory.

More importantly: Players should be able to play their game how they want, and stop wringing their hands on how other people choose to experience Witcher 3, a game that most fans have replayed countless times before. If there’s a legitimate grievance in here, it’s probably that the latest patch is causing some hiccups with players’ existing mods. Which is unfortunate, but developers can’t possibly account for every possible mod that fans create.

“Don’t apply oils in combat if you want the extra challenge,” a fan wisely wrote. “You act like a CDPR goon is at your house holding a gun to your head making sure you enable these settings.”

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