In an interview with ClickOnline, The Witcher 3’s lead gameplay designer Maciej Szczesnik discussed the five signs available to Geralt at the very beginning of the game.
“At the beginning, Geralt will be able to choose from five signs. It doesn’t end there, however – in The Witcher 3 we introduce new casting modes which effectively double the number of signs at the player’s disposal. These “alternative versions” will be unlocked through character development, but don’t think of them as simply stronger versions of the same spells – they will offer different tactical uses.”
Szczesnik uses the sign Aard as an example, explaining how the primary version of the sign uses a “telekinetic thrust” to stun or knock down enemies.
“With time, players will be able to unlock a secondary version of the sign and by pressing and holding the button, they will send out a shockwave that knocks down all surrounding enemies (you can actually spot this in our gameplay trailer). Similar dual modes are available for every other sign.”
Like other Witcher gamers, Geralt uses multiple combat stances consisting of 96 character animations. The QTE’s in battle have fallen by the wayside, however. Szczesnik compared the Witcher to Dark Souls and stressed the importance of defense to the survivial of the character when attacking.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will come on out Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC in 2014.