The Witcher 2 patch 1.1 removes DRM, boosts framerate

By on May 27, 2011, 6:52 PM

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.



User Comments: 23

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

I don't get the point of adding SecuROM DRM then removing it quickly with a patch??? It really makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Guest said:

They did that with Witcher 1, however the drm was in there for a while, and was removed, guessing, due to compability issues with it and Windows 7.

Guest said:

The DRM caused performance issues on retail copies the game. That it why it was removed.

Guest said:

Any removal of performance depleting DRM is good no matter the reason. It will only make the game that much better! Look-out Oblivian Skykrim you're really gonna have to excellent PC game play on this one to beat the Witcher 2.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

The Steam forum is having reports of the game not working after having download the 9GB+ patch. I was happy before the patch... but Steam thought it necessary to replace my free night to play with watching a download.

The game is really fun by the way. Lots of full 3D nude scenes make it even better.

HaMsTeYr HaMsTeYr said:

9+GB Patch? I own the retail version and my patch was no bigger than 26MB, and i'm assuming this included the DLC as well.

On that not regarding this and piracy, the people who aren't buying this AWESOME game, is only hurting the industry.

Come on guys, Game Devs are people like you and I too, and need the money to survive, pay for our rents, families etc etc. If you love the game, please support them

You wouldn't quite like it if you went to work 5 days in a week for 3 years only for your client to say he's going to take it but he's not going to pay you would you. >.>

I am no saint in all of this, but I believe this is a game that is worth it. :x

Guest said:

I have to say I decided NOT to buy this game when I found out they were using SecuRom but then faltered when I walked past my local Gamestation :-) I can imagine they've lost some sales tho, lots of people hate SecuRom.

Developers/publishers need to accept that DRM only hurts paying consumers. I applaud CDP for removing the DRM so quickly but I'm still a bit miffed that I've paid for a game and had to suffer crappy frame rates because I bought a LEGAL copy with DRM. I hear *cough* pirated versions of games are often easier to install, there's no hassle with activation and servers, no limitations on re-installs etc

Guest said:

Yeah for some reason on steam the patch is >9GB thats over half of the original game size!?!

Wanted to play it but now have to wait a couple of hours for the patch to download, ggrrr!!!

Jurassic4096 said:

Guest said:

I don't get the point of adding SecuROM DRM then removing it quickly with a patch??? It really makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

The developer was primarily concerned about preventing The Witcher 2 from being pirated BEFORE its release, so the DRM has already served its purpose.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

I wish there were more developers like CD Projekt. SecuROM DRM deleted+free DLC+quick release patch to address customers' feedback and another patch coming next week+kick-ass PC-exclusive action RPG = definite winning formula. Just got my premium edition retail box this afternoon .

yRaz yRaz said:

Steams DRM is the only one I approve of and I HATE IT when a developer wants to use BOTH Theirs and steams.

I was thinking about buying it but not that I say they want to use the "pay or else" tactics on pirates. I don't want to give them money to turn around and sue someone with it.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

They enable DRM and then remove it after release to prevent the game from leaking before release. Good tactic that unfortunately has a collateral damage on consumers. Thankfully, they've quickly addressed the problems, and so far, the game is amazing. It runs great, and it plays great.

Too bad the free DLC quest is only when you are in Flotsam, in Chapter 1. I guess I'll complete it on my second run. After all, the game has about 4 different beginnings, and 16 different endings. In other words, RPG greatness.

Zecias said:

wtf 9 gb patch? o.O

that doesn't make any sense at all

you sure you didn't accidentally download a game?......

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

wtf 9 gb patch? o.O

that doesn't make any sense at all

you sure you didn't accidentally download a game?......

Yeah, it's a known issue with Steam's update mechanism. Steam tries to update the game, but instead, it downloads a big chunk of the binary files (what would be the Disc 2 of installation), and tries to replace them entirely on top of the game on the machine. In other words, it's like downloading half of the game again, but with the changes of the 1.1 patch.

CD Projekt already said they plan to fix it this week, in collaboration with Valve.

Guest said:

Fresh install, Manual patch 1.1 - still does not allow the use of remapping the keypad for movement.

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

"Come on guys, Game Devs are people like you and I too, and need the money to survive, pay for our rents, families etc etc. If you love the game, please support them"

Indie Game Devs maybe..

If these Devs from EA or Activision are starving, thats just corporate greed. I have yet to see a picture of a Dev standing on the side of the freeway holding a sign saying "Will Code for Food"

Guest said:

I wasn't really looking at this game until I read about 'em removing DRM.

Didn't dislike anything else after looking some more into it; no spoonfeeding, nice huge box and (for now) PC exclusive.

Yeah, I bought it -.-;

Emin3nce said:

DRM forces people to piracy.

If you want to own your own stuff these days, it seems you have to steal it.

HaMsTeYr HaMsTeYr said:

@darkshadoe: EA may have their own Dev Teams, but Activision is a publisher. Most of the guys who take the profits first are publishers, not the Dev teams themselves. Like how most of the IW Dev team left IW because Activision was forcing them to work on the now MW3.

There's a big difference between Publishers and developers :x They mostly do publishing anyway.

How I know? I'm a game developer myself. >.>

Guest said:

I am the biggest fan of this game. I have played the first one 5 to 6 times, completing it in each of the three endings neutral, racist, and renegade. I've played all of the downloadable homebrewed adventures that I could get my hands on. I've bought the books. But at this time when the game was released I didn't have the money to buy it. I barely have enough money to eat in this crap economy. When I was employed I bought every game I could. But these days a true hard core gamer spends about 2000 to 4000 a year and even more if you have to have the hot titles on consoles. I'm not a pirate per say but I do play as many games as i can and the good ones, I buy if i can afford it. But just to give you an example of why torrents are a good thing I give you the example of Dragon Age II. When a developer decided to take everything good about a game and change it to fit their business model for profit. If I would have dumped money on the collectors edition of every game that I wanted to play I could buy a new car every year on the amount of games I play. If only devs distributed a demo of their game, like back in the day they used to with games like X-COM. I played that demo 50 times and I bought the game because the demo itself was so fun. But nobody likes to hear all the propaganda of how groundbreakingly great and how this or that game is going to redefine the blah blah blah genre only to find out that the game they just purchased is a rushed, pathetic excuse for a sequel in a shiny new box. My advice to developers is stop spending millions on marketing and start spending that money on your programmers, artists, writers, and employees! because thats what makes a game sell hard work not shiny boxes and bullsh#$ full page spreads in PC GAMER. Piracy gives hard working people a chance to try before we buy and if you wanna call me a pirate for that then I'll wear that T-Shirt proudly. Yes, I will purchase this game because it is a masterpiece. But after the Dragon Age 2 debacle I'm never going to drop a dime on a game before at least playing it for a day or so. Otherwise I'm just going to be supporting greedy Developers that spend more on ad budgets than they do on hiring quality game developers. Be careful what you buy because you may be responsible for this shift in emphasis from creating great games to creating games that make a great profit.

Vorpal

Staff
Erik Erik said:

zecias said:

wtf 9 gb patch? o.O

that doesn't make any sense at all

you sure you didn't accidentally download a game?......

We have the direct download for the patch in the our download section and it's only 15.8MB

[link]

TheBigFatClown said:

9+GB Patch? I own the retail version and my patch was no bigger than 26MB, and I'm assuming this included the DLC as well.

On that not regarding this and piracy, the people who aren't buying this AWESOME game, is only hurting the industry.

Come on guys, Game Devs are people like you and I too, and need the money to survive, pay for our rents, families etc etc. If you love the game, please support them

You wouldn't quite like it if you went to work 5 days in a week for 3 years only for your client to say he's going to take it but he's not going to pay you would you. >.>

I am no saint in all of this, but I believe this is a game that is worth it. :x

I agree with you. I have seen Witcher 2 on sale for like $5 on Steam. I have thought about buying it on several occasions(everytime I have seen it on sale for $5, LOL) but I keep waiting because I got Witcher 1 free with a videocard I bought several years ago and haven't finished it yet. Who am I trying to kid here...I haven't even ever installed it. But I have always wanted too. Now that I know that the DRM has been removed from Witcher 2 AND it comes with additional free "DLC" content....phhhffttttt.....I may just have to purchase this next time it goes on sale and let it age like a fine wine in my arsenal of unplayed, uninstalled games until that moment I feel like....as "Bruce Buffer" likes to say....."It's....TIME!!!!!".

Edit: Although, now that I think about it, I do remember someone giving Witcher 2 a more negative review. But that's a whole new can of worms best left unopened for another day.

TheBigFatClown said:

We have the direct download for the patch in the our download section and it's only 15.8MB

[link]

Just out of curiosity, can you explain the discrepancies in the perceived patch sizes. Some are saying 9+ GB and you have posted a link to a patch that is 15.8MB? What is going on with this patch.....?

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.