The Witcher 3
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aroth

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some1ne

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About this mod

Unrestricted Witcher/Crafting Gear v3

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The Goal

My goal in creating this mod was to remove the minimum level requirements from all of the Witcher Gear in the game, so that Geralt can immediately use any Witcher Gear that he finds and crafts.  The reason why is simple:

  1. Geralt must travel far and wide in order to collect all of the crafting diagrams needed to create a fully upgraded set of Witcher Gear.  This can take many hours of gameplay.
  2. The gear diagrams themselves must often be won from a powerful monster guarding them.  This prevents Geralt from collecting the diagrams at a very low level.
  3. The best gear diagrams cannot be crafted until two high-level quests are completed to unlock the master smiths.  This takes a significant amount of extra time, and further prevents a very low level character from accessing the best equipment.
  4. Crafting a complete set of Witcher Gear requires a number of rare/expensive crafting items, as well as a decent amount of cash.  Which, again, makes it very difficult to acquire the gear at low levels.
  5. Despite all of the above (and because of how the game manages XP), the game sets minimum level requirements on all of the gear that make it all but impossible to actually use the best equipment until literally the final battle. 

Frankly I think #5 is absurd.  CDPR got a lot of things right, but the level restrictions on the Witcher Gear isn't one of them.  It needs to go.  The first 4 points are entirely sufficient for keeping the best items from falling into the hands of a low-level character. 

This mod (v3B) removes the minimum level requirements from all crafting items (weapons/armor) in the game.  This includes all of the built-in Witcher Gear.  For the DLC Witcher Gear (Wolf Set), try this mod.

Alternatively, if you use v3A of this mod, it will remove the level requirements from Witcher Gear ONLY (other crafting items will be unchanged).


The Problem

Although most equipment characteristics are easily moddable in TW3, minimum level is not.  I In fact, it's computed programmatically based upon an item's base statistics.  That makes changing it problematic.

It's as if CDPR is saying "you can change whatever you want about our game, except DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT EQUIPPING THAT MASTERCRAFTED WOLF SWORD UNTIL YOU'RE LEVEL 34, YOU EVIL, EVIL MODDER".  But I digress.


The Solution (v3)

Hey, we've got decent modding tools now!  Unfortunately as part of the updates leading up to the release of the modding tools CDPR also completely relocated many of the in-game resources.  I assume that broke many mods, including this one.

So long story short, the v3 release will work with game versions 1.10 and above.  The v2 release should work with earlier game versions. 


And Also

This mod also doubles the carry-weight associated with all saddlebags in the game.  Mostly because I found it difficult to have much space for carrying any loot while also lugging around 4 sets of mastercrafted Witcher armor that I can't even equip yet.  So with this mod you can equip all of the Witcher Gear, and you'll also have the inventory space you need to carry it around with you.

In previous versions of the mod, if was easy to remove this if you didn't want it.  This is no longer possible in v3, due to the new (and much, much more streamlined) installation method.


Installation

Follow the instructions in the included 'readme.txt' file to install/uninstall this mod.


Other Things

I have a similar mod here that removes level restrictions from the Wolf School DLC:

http://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/271

I recommend using that mod alongside this one, to ensure that all of the Witcher Gear in the game is fully unlocked.

Or if you'd rather remove the level restrictions from ALL in-game items (i.e. witcher gear, crafting items, and everything else as well), try this mod:

http://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/350


Issues/Side Effects (v3)

The mod itself is quite stable, and will even work with existing save games (and also New Game+)!

The known issues with v3 are listed below:

  1. This mod does not affect the Witcher crossbows in the game.  Their stats work slightly differently than the other items (there's no 'base' value set; required level seems to key off of the damage multiplier, which is of type 'mult').
  2. This mod may be incompatible with any %armor bonus and %attack bonus mods (or other in-game buffs affecting these stats) as attack/armor bonuses are computed off of an item's 'base' statistic (which this mod reduces to '1' for all items).
  3. Installation of the mod using NMM may not work using the current version of NMM (0.60.16).  If it complains, just install the mod manually.



Old stuff only below here:
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The Solution (v2)

Understanding how the programmatic minimum level computation works is the key.  Specifically, it only takes into account a item's 'base' statistic level (the relevant statistics being 'SilverDamage' for silver swords, 'SlashingDamage' for steel swords, and 'armor' for all armor items).  

However, the XML syntax allows for an item's 'base' statistics to be amended both by adding scalar values or applying multipliers.  This, it turns out, is the answer.  To remove the minimum level requirements from any item, all you have to do is reduce its relevant 'base' statistic to 1, and then use an 'add' directive to raise the value back to its original setting.  

This removes the minimum level requirement, while keeping the equipment statistics that will apply in-game exactly the same as they originally were.

That solves the main problem.  The next issue is dealing with quickbms's stubborn refusal to reimport large XML files.  Long story short, I wrote my own Java program (bundle-explorer) to do it.  It not only can reimport large XML files, but it also gets around quickbms's inability to increase the total file/bundle size.  You can find it on github.


And Also

If you'd rather not mod your saddlebags, just delete the 'gameplay/items/def_item_horse.xml' file from the appropriate 'mod_install' folder before installing, and the weight mod won't be installed.


Prerequisites

I've included two installer versions in this mod (v2 only).  The first uses quickbms, and ONLY MODS ARMOR.  There are no additional prerequisites for using this version.

The second version uses bundle-explorer to run the installation.  This is the version that MODS BOTH WEAPONS AND ARMOR.  As it's a Java program, you'll need a JRE (JRE7 or higher) to run it.  Chances are you already have one installed.  If you don't, you can download one here:

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.html

PLEASE DON'T RUN BOTH INSTALLERS AT ONCE.  You need to choose either quickbms (MODS ARMOR ONLY), or bundle-explorer (MODS WEAPONS AND ARMOR).


Issues/Side Effects (v2)

The mod itself is quite stable.  In fact, this mod will work with all game versions including 1.07, and will even work with existing save games!

However, there are a few things to watch for when installing:

  1. When installing/uninstalling using bundle-explorer, sometimes the filesystem won't refresh quickly enough when it attempts to move the modded/unmodded file into place at the end.  You'll know if this happened because when you start the game you'll find that the mod hasn't actually been installed/uninstalled.  If this happens to you, just look in your 'content/patches/bundles' folder for a 'patch.bundle.mod' (or 'patch.bundle.unmod', if uninstalling) file.  Replace the 'patch.bundle' file with that one, and you should be good to go.  [This should be fixed as of the v2.1 version of bundle-explorer]
  2. The  v2.1 bundle-explorer installer will hang when attempting to move the modified bundle file into place if a 'patch.bundle.bak' file already exists.  [This should be fixed as of the v2.2 version of bundle-explorer]
  3. Installing using bundle-explorer will change the filesize of your 'patch.bundle' file.  Although this doesn't seem to cause any issues, for maximum safety I recommend deleting you games 'content/metadata.store' file before installing the mod.  The game will recreate this file the next time it runs.
  4. Installing the "New Combat Finishers" DLC after installing this mod will cause it to become disabled.  You can work around this by installing that DLC first, or by reverting your 'content/patch0/bundles/patch.bundle' file after installing the DLC, and then reinstalling this mod.  Alternately, since that DLC is purely cosmetic, you may want to simply avoid installing it altogether.
  5. This mod has only been tested with game version 1.0.6 and above.  It has not been tested with older versions of the game, and may not work with them.  There's at least one report of the mod not working with game version 1.0.4.  
  6. This mod does not affect the Witcher crossbows in the game.  Their stats work slightly differently than the other items (there's no 'base' value set; required level seems to key off of the damage multiplier, which is of type 'mult').



REALLY old stuff below here:
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The Solution (v1)

Since I can't bring the equipment levels down so that the items are usable at a more reasonable point in time, the next best option is to bring Geralt's level up.  And quickly.

This mod essentially grants Geralt 34 "free" levels at the start of the game (finish off the pack of ghouls with Vesemir, and you'll receive them), and also modifies the "free" levels so that they do not grant ability points, increase vitality, or otherwise improve Geralt's stats.  Essentially you'll start out the game with a level 34 witcher whose stats are identical to a level 1 witcher.

That keeps the combat balance (approximately) the same, but also allows Geralt to equip all of the Witcher Gear from day 1 (the highest level requirement for a Witcher item being 34 for the mastercrafted Wolf School gear).  It's a pretty big hack, but that's the best that seems doable at the moment.

To ensure that Geralt is able to level up normally after receiving his "free" levels, the XP rewards for all quest content are also adjusted to keep the same overall progression as in the unmodded game.


Issues/Side Effects (v1)

This mod makes significant changes to the games leveling and XP system.  As a result there are a few unintended consequences:

  1. Picking a fight with a neutral NPC (town guards, witch hunters, etc.) is extra deadly.  Geralt has 34 "fake" levels that don't increase his stats, plus however many "real" levels he's accumulated past that.  NPC's, on the other hand, get 34 "real" levels, plus however many "real" levels Geralt has accumulated beyond that, plus the game's built-in NPC level boost.  They're liable to be 50 levels above Geralt, at least on 'Blood and Broken Bones' difficulty.  So don't pick fights with neutral NPC's, unless you're looking for a real challenge.
  2. After the very first pack of ghouls, Geralt will no longer gain any significant XP from killing monsters.  This has a negligible effect on gameplay, however, as killing monsters wasn't Geralt's primary source of XP to begin with and the game tends to automatically compensate for "missed" XP anyways as you progress the main plotlines.
  3. Randomly generated loot (in chests, item drops, etc.) and merchant items will be created at a level that roughly matches Geralt's.  This means that you'll still encounter some random non-Witcher items that Geralt can't immediately equip due to level restrictions.  It also means that a good number of very powerful weapons will be created.  My suggestion is that you simply ignore these and only use the Witcher gear if you want to preserve approximately the original combat difficulty.  Or go ahead and use them if you want an uber-powerful Geralt.
  4. Geralt's fist-fighting ability appears to increase with each "free" level, even though his stats do not.  This means that fist-fights will be very easy to win, with Geralt able to KO virtually any opponent with a single punch.
  5. The "free" levels still count towards unlocking ability and mutagen slots.  So you'll start the game fully unlocked (but with no ability points to spend).  If you'd prefer to have them locked, just don't use them until you've amassed enough real levels (i.e. <real levels> = <Geralt's current level> - 34) for them to have been unlocked normally.