The Witcher

Why I think Cat School Witchers would make for extremely compelling protagonists in the next Witcher games.

This is just my own brainstorming and speculation as to what kind of protagonists would be interesting for the Witcher 4 / future games in the franchise.

Let's take a look at the first appearance of a Cat School Witcher in the Witcher 1:

Look at the way that Feline Witcher fights, moves, and check what kind of gear he has. This is probably my most favorite cinematic in the entire Witcher series. Don't tell me you look at that Feline Witcher and don't say to yourself: "I wanna be that."

So what do we know from the Cats? We know that they're morally flexible compared to other Witcher schools. They have no Witcher Codes. They do anything for money. They kill monsters and they also side hustle by taking on political assassination contracts.

This alone already opens so many more possibilities from the gameplay and story perspectives. First, we already have a protagonist who can take the usual Witcher Contracts as we already know and love. Now our new Cat protagonist can take on Assassination Contracts as well, and I am not talking about the boring generic killing contracts of the AC franchise, but more nuanced and morally grey like what we are already familiar with in the Witcher series. I think Dishonored 1 and 2 would be a much better comparison for our case. Anyone still remember those Dark Brotherhood questline from Oblivion? Those were easily my favorite quests in the entire TES franchise and I think the Witcher 4 can do something really amazing and memorable if they take this route.

Now another game mechanics that can be implemented is either you do a High Chaos (murderous psycho) path or you do a Low Chaos (eliminate targets without killing them). From the lore, we already know that the Cat witchers have an internal power struggle within themselves. The dominant faction consists of those who want to use the 'modified' Cat Witcher formulae to breed more and more psychotic Witchers, who are emotionally unstable. The other faction wants to revert back to the old formula, which used to create emotionally stoic Cats.

So let's say your protagonist is a Feline Witcher tasked with rebuilding the Witcher school. If you go the murderous High Chaos path you'll commit to the psychotic faction and turn the Cat School into an even more infamous entity. If you take the Low Chaos Path you'll start to redeem the Cat School and build a better reputation for your brothers.

Another interesting mechanics is inspired by that Cat Witcher's gear in the cinematics. See how he's using 2 blades? Well, what if for our protagonist, he will be using 2 daggers for humans and a silver sword for monster? This creates a more dynamic fighting system than what we have with Geralt, who fights exclusively with swords. Our new protagonist can have an entirely different fighting stances for humans based on his daggers/sai/knives combo, and an entirely different stance for monsters with his silver sword.

Another interesting thing to note is that Cat School Witchers are very adaptive and they have many hideouts throughout great cities in the Northern Realms. This can serve as a base of operations where you can grow your guild's influence and manage your assassination contracts. There are so many ways to implement this into a game mechanics, like a bit of management minigame.

As far as Main Story goes, we can experiment with a mix of getting involved in high stake political assassination game where you try to navigate the political minefield of the Northern Realms, ie. cheating, swindling and outsmarting all the big players like sorceresses, kings, lords, and crime bosses (much like how Letho pulled his scheme in TW 2). Imagine our protagonist trying to outplay the political Game against the smartest sons of bitches on the continent, giving the mages his middle fingers while having his other fingers stuck on a king's ass while kicking another general's butt, in order to secure the supremacy of his Witcher Order.

We can also learn from TW2's weakness and not bombard players with politics all the time, but also take time to explore Witcher monster contracts, village lives, curses, more human stories of misery and suffering, etc. I think this can be a very potent alchemy of storytelling and gameplay if done right.

What are your thoughts? Any further ideas ? Do you agree or disagree?


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