The Witcher 3
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About this mod

Makes the combat more engaging and grounded by adding stamina to combat actions.
Many items and abilities are now more meaningful and useful because of how they help you relieve the pressure from the costlier movement.
Though more difficult than vanilla this mod is not a die-hard experience, but it can be if you want it to.

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!!!currently out of date, an updated version is in the works with improved gui and mod compatibility. Sorry for the delay.


This mod adds a stamina cost to dodging, rolling and attacking much like in the Souls games. I've been developing this mod with the idea in mind that every other combat mechanic, especially ones that you might've never used before, can have more character and usefulness due to how it helps you with the challenge of stamina management. This mod isn't intended to be very difficult, but just the right amount to give the feeling that every item and upgrade matters.

I also try to avoid making changes to monsters or very specific item stats so there should be no unexpected disappointments/difficulties in your playthrough. As of the 1.4 beta I uploaded I'm very happy with this version as I keep discovering new playstyles/builds and it all feels surprisingly organic to me, so I hope you give it a try! 

(the information listed below is for the 1.2 version, will likely be updated soon) 
---Gameplay Demonstration---

The Witcher 3 is honestly a masterpiece when it comes to its story and worldbuilding, but I could never really get into doing many side quests because the combat just felt a bit bland to me. Following the recommendations of others like playing on Death March and going for a potion build helped, but still it felt like something was lacking. I then tried the Ghost Mode mod and it demonstrated just how much a stamina system can improve the combat. The problem I had with the game was apparently that infinite dodging and rolling made the game a bit too 'floaty', like none of your actions really matter because you're invincible as long as you keep rolling. A stamina system fixes this by adding weight to the combat, making your actions matter more because they come at a literal cost. Though Ghost Mode is a fantastic mod, I disliked some parts like how the stamina regen is tied to the difficulty, or how Endregas were somehow the most powerful enemies in the game. So after the next-gen update broke all the stamina mods I decided it was time to make my own. 

As I was unsure of how to optimize the stamina usage I thought to look at how the experts at stamina based combat do it, so I decided to use Elden Ring's system as a starting point. After noting down the stamina parameters in Elden Ring I made some slight tweaks so it translates better to TW3, like how rolling in Elden Ring costs 10 stamina but in TW3 rolling is a lot more powerful, and dodging is more like ERs rolling. Therefore dodging now costs 10 stamina and rolling 15. Similarly heavy attacks cost 20 stamina in ER yet are almost useless in normal combat in TW3 so I landed on a value of 12.5. This resulted in 8 heavy attacks per full stamina bar compared to 10 light attacks per full stamina, yet has a good damage/stamina ratio that should incentivize its use more. 

---Gameplay changes---
I wanted to keep this mod as minimalistic as possible so it stays faithful to the vanilla experience. However when changing the stamina use it felt inevitable that some signs should also be changed, and I think the resulting changes have given them a lot more purpose and utility while also keeping balance in mind. 

Melee combat changes: 
light attacks = 10 stamina (or 10 swings per full stamina)
heavy attacks = 12.5 stamina (or 8 swings per full stamina). It's more than light attacks yet the damage/stamina ratio should incentivize its use.  
dodge = 10 stamina
roll = 15 stamina
parry = 10 stamina/hit
Stamina regen = 35/s, red, blue and green skills increase this amount by 0.25 per point (no tooltip for this yet however). Tawny owl gives 2.5/5/7.5 stamina per second per respective level. 
Stamina delay is set to coincide with the end of each attack animation (less than that and stamina barely drains, more and stamina becomes too punishing)

Sign changes: 
Quen: 50 
Aard: 50
Yrden: 75, slowdown greatly increased yet duration decreased (4s at the start, 6s with skills, 10s+ with sign intensity at lategame). 
Axii: 75
Igni: 100

How much pressure enemies put on you now greatly affects you ability to cast signs, and their stamina cost should reflect that. Quen and Aard make the most sense to me to cast as a reflex when under a lot of pressure; quen obviously for protection (in part against BS undodgeable attacks) and Aard to relieve said pressure. Yrden and Axii to me make more sense as signs to cast under low-medium pressure from enemies. Axii feels to weak to have it cost 100 stamina, yet too strong against single opponents to cost 50. Yrden I felt badly needed a rework, because even upgraded its slowdown was barely noticable and it felt like a waste to use this sign only about 5 times the entire game against different varieties of ghost. To me Yrden makes sense as a trap you'd cast as an opponent is charging you, getting a short window where you have the chance to regain stamina or put in some hits. Therefore I shortened the basic duration to 4 seconds, which paired with a ~50% slowdown makes it quite strong now, on par with other signs. Lastly Igni is easily the most powerful offensive spell as you can stun multiple enemies for a decent duration whilst also doing damage, so I kept it at 100 stamina. With the higher stamina regen it's already bordering on overpowered when enemies don't put much pressure on you. 

Simply drop the patch0 folder in the \The Witcher 3\content\ folder and add (or merge) the Mods folder to the main \The Witcher 3\ directory. 

---Mod Compatibility---
Likely to be incompatible with gameplay/stat mods that affect the xml.bundle or files. 

---Save Game Compatibility---
To me the mod works just fine for existing saves when any of the stamina parameters, signs or abilities are changed. 

Credits to 'PHM2D' that made his own stamina mod, as I used his script for needing a minimal stamina value for an action.