The Witcher 2 patch 1.1 removes DRM, boosts framerate

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CD Projekt has released the first patch for The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings today, delivering new content and fixing game-breaking performance issues. According to various user reports, the DRM mechanism that ships with retail versions of the game drastically reduces frame rates and loading times. One user quoted by TorrentFreak claims the SecuROM-riddled copy of Witcher 2 takes 32 seconds longer to launch, 8 seconds longer to save, and runs nearly twice as slow.

That only occurs in physical copies of the game sold through stores such as Amazon. Digital copies sold through Steam version rely on Steamworks while GOG's version is completely DRM-free -- and such is the case for retail copies with today's update. By removing the copy protection, patch 1.1 reportedly improves the game's framerate by up to 30%. It also contains the first free DLC called "Troll Trouble," adds an inverted mouse option and more. The full release notes are below.

CD Projekt's Adam Badowski said DRM schemes mostly hurt paying customers. "Our approach to countering piracy is to incorporate superior value in the legal version. This means it has to be superior in every respect: less troublesome to use and install, with full support, and with access to additional content and services," he said. The developer was primarily concerned about preventing The Witcher 2 from being pirated before its release, so the DRM has already served its purpose.

Although the company may have a relaxed DRM policy, it doesn't plan to let pirates off scot-free. CD Projekt declared war against illegal file-sharers last November, collaborating with legal and tech firms to employ the "pay or else" tactics popularized by the US Copyright Group and small-time filmmakers. People caught downloading The Witcher 2 illegally might receive a letter demanding a settlement fee or run the risk of being sued, according to CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwinski.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings v1.1 Release Notes

  • The process of installing and activating the game is now easier and more stable. SecuROM copy protection has been removed entirely, making the game DRM free!
  • The "Troll Trouble" DLC package is included in the patch, bringing to an end any and all problems related to downloading this content.
  • Problems related to downloading other free DLC have also been resolved. The game launcher now correctly detects and updates specific modules.
  • Game efficiency has been improved. Game now runs 5-30% more efficiently and game loading has been accelerated. Efficiency increases will vary depending on system configuration and game version. Owners of boxed versions of The Witcher 2 are likely to notice the greatest improvements.
  • Bugs causing the game to crash, especially while saving game progress or loading saved games, have been corrected.
  • Movement key mapping has been expanded to include cursor (arrow) and number pad keys.
  • Options have been added for inverting the X and Y axes of the mouse.
  • Nvidia 3D Vision Surround now works correctly with the game.
  • The hardware configuration auto-detect function has been corrected, resulting in improved game efficiency.
  • A bug preventing the completion of the "Blood Curse" quest has been corrected.
  • After beating the GOG.com penitent monk in the mini-game, the relevant link now displays correctly.
  • GOG.com credits have been corrected.

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