Witcher 2 Weapons, Armor and Items Guide: Help With Crafting

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Many of the best items must be crafted. To do this, Geralt needs a schematic for the item, and must take the ingredients specified in the schematic to a craftsman NPC (pliers icon on the minimap).

The most common 'bottleneck' items are Silver Ore (for swords), Robust Cloth and Hardened Leather (armor), Elemental Stones (runes), and Diamond Dust. ALL of these items can themselves be crafted. The schematics are buyable from the merchant in Flotsam square and other merchants later in the game.

Except Elemental stones, these items are buyable from merchants from very early in the game. Keep in mind that merchants' stocks will regenerate with time (some claim meditating will do this, but they definitely regenerate when you're running around outside town).

NPC dwellings are also a bountiful source for crafting materials. It is best to plan ahead, though, for example have some extra silver ore on hand at the end of Chapter 1 to forge a new sword at the beginning of Chapter 2. Finally, these crafting ingredients are themselves craftable, though doing so is often not cost effective.

Silver Ore:
  • Buyable from most smith/craftsman merchants, e.g. the dwarf craftsman in Flotsam
  • Rare find in houses and containers in caves/mines (often with iron ore), also rare loot from human enemy corpses
  • Crafting silver ore is really not cost effective as it requires diamond dust (plus cost of schematic). It's best to buy/hoard it.

Diamond Dust:
  • Buyable from most alchemist or general merchants, e.g. the merchant in Flotsam's town square
  • Uncommon find in containers in houses and in the field (less rare than silver ore)
  • However crafting is definitely NOT cost effective as it requires 2 silver ore

Robust Cloth (NOTE: The schematic for this item is mislabeled 'SOLID Cloth')
  • Buyable from some merchants, though more rare than the above
  • Rare find from containers in houses and rare loot from harpy corpses
  • Requires Diamond Dust to craft, but you may want to do this as it can be a pain to find and you need a lot of it for certain armors

Hardened Leather
  • Buyable from most general merchants, though limited stock available at once
  • Uncommon find from containers in houses and in the field
  • Cost effective to craft as it requires only Leather and Oil, which you'll have plenty of

Studded Leather
  • Same comments apply as for Hardened Leather, though rarer
  • Crafted from Hardened Leather, similar to how Hardened Leather is crafted from Regular Leather
  • You shouldn't really need this until Chapter 3

Elemental Stones
  • Required for crafting runes
  • This is the one true bottleneck item early on
  • Crafting requires a Gargoyle heart, not available until the late game

Endrega Saliva
  • Required for Fire Rune crafting (8 per rune)
  • Fairly common drop from endregas in forest outside Flotsam
  • Endregas also spawn in Act 2 near where you find Arbitrator

Nekker Heart
  • Required for Ygg. Rune crafting (8 per rune)
  • Common drop from Nekkers and Nekker Warriors throughout Chapter 1
  • Nekkers spawn in Act 2 outside Kaedwani camp (past wagon with 3 Rotfiends) and a horde of them in the forest outside Vergen, near the dwarven catacombs

On Inventory Management

There is a mod out there that reduces the weight of crafting items such as Iron Ore and Leather to 0.1 pounds each. I highly recommend use of this mod to avoid having to constantly visit merchants to sell off items. I like the realism in Witcher 2's inventory system ' Geralt should not be able to walk around carrying 20 swords and 10 suits of armor. You can argue he shouldn't be to carry around 100 Iron Ores either, but to me convenience outweighs realism in this case. Obviously it's up to you!

Notes on Alchemy

Alchemy serves a very different role in the Witcher games. In many RPGs, potions are either a quick fix, or a resource to be hoarded for difficult late game opponents. The Witcher 2 is pretty much the opposite case. Alchemy is arguably most powerful in the early game. You can potentially have access to the vast majority of potions, oils, and bombs early in Chapter 1, and most ingredients are abundant. Early in the game potions and oils offer substantial boosts to Geralt's abilities. Later, while alchemy is still useful, these same bonuses are icing on the cake. Equally important, many alchemy functions can only be performed outside of battle. Above all, alchemy needs preparation.

For veterans of the first game, the Witcher 2 makes several notable changes to the alchemy system. Potions no longer require a 'base', just ingredients, and can be created anywhere Geralt can meditate. However, Geralt can also no longer drink potions in the heat of battle- potions must be consumed from the meditation screen. Potions also have limited duration, and their timers run when Geralt is in conversation. There is also one major boss fight where Geralt absolutely cannot use potions, as no meditating is allowed beforehand.

NOTE: Consuming potions increases Geralt's toxicity level, shown as a semi- circular bar to the left of the health gauge. This has NOTHING to do with poisoning, which can occur from enemy attacks in combat, or intoxication, which is just a screen blurring effect after Geralt drinks alcohol. The later alchemy skills confer bonuses when Geralt has potions active, not when he is drunk or poisoned in combat.

Grapeshot Bombs

Schematic: Purchasable from merchants, try Cedric If you're having trouble with Nekkers or grouped enemies, these are your best friend. Seriously. Best of all, these can be made from Nekker hearts and Endrega venom, both of which you probably have a ton of in your inventory. If you are struggling with combat early on in the game, do yourself a favor and use these.

  • +1 to Vitality regen
  • Your basic 'health potion'. Again the ingredients for this are rather common.
  • No reason not to have one of these up and running anytime you walk into a dark cave or monster nest, or anywhere you expect to be fighting.

  • +20% Armor
  • +75% resistance to Bleed, Poison, Incinerate
  • -25% chance to inflict Bleed, Poison, Incinerate
  • Schematic: Buyable from merchant in Flotsam Square
  • By far the best part about this potion is the 20% armor bonus. For those who don't know, armor equals damage reduction. This is a great help for bosses, who can take down Quen quick and are mostly immune to critical effects anyway.

  • +10% Sword damage
  • Schematic: Buyable from merchants in Flotsam and Lobinden
  • It may not seem like much, but these damage bonuses from potions and oils add up. Here again the ingredients are very common. Ideal for group fights where you want to take down weak enemies as quickly as possible.

  • +15% chance to inflict Bleed, Poison, Incinerate
  • Schematic: Buyable from merchants in Flotsam and Lobinden
  • Note that for crit bonuses to kick in, Geralt needs to be using a weapon or sign that is capable of inflicting the effect. This isn't a huge bonus, but once you've got those fire runes working this can be useful against groups. Also potentially good with AoE Igni.

Tawny Owl
  • +to Vigor regen, in and out of combat
  • Schematic: In Chapter 1, lootable in hidden cave reached during Incence

Formula quest (possibly a quest reward if you side with the shady merchant) AKA Gatorade for mages. Seriously, Vigor regen is your biggest issue as a sign user. Also unique in that the formula takes some effort to obtain. The quest referred to above begins by speaking to a shady merchant on a lower-level walkway at Flotsam's Harbor. You'll see it in merchant inventories later on, though.

Petri's Philter
  • +7 to Sign Damage
  • Schematic: Buyable from merchants, Chapter 1

AKA Red Bull for mages. The sign damage bonus is substantial, almost like two more moon runes. Signs in this game do little damage at the start- mages need quite a bit of help from equipment and skills to match the damage output of a good sword user. A must if you plan to rely on Aard or Igni for damage.

Falka's Blood, Hanged Man's Venom, Necrophage Oil, Specter Oil
  • +10% melee damage (Falka's) OR
  • +20% melee damage vs specific enemy type
  • Schematic: Buyable from merchants

I'll mention all the oils at once. Oils are shorter duration than potions but can be used directly from the inventory screen, including in battle. Falka's Blood is available from the start while the formulas for the rest may be purchased (try the herbalist in Lobinden). The first two enemy specific oils are definitely worthwhile, as there are long sequences where you fight exclusively against human opponents (Hanged Man's Venom) or Nekkers and Rotfiends (both of which are necrophages).

  • -10% melee damage
  • Nightvision
  • Schematic: Available from the beginning of the game

Cat is situational and mentioned here for two reasons. First, it has changed since the first game. Cat in the Witcher 2 causes everything besides creatures to appear in bright greyscale. Enemies are displayed in bright orange/red and can be seen through walls and other solid objects up to a certain distance. Think detective vision in Batman: AA in grey instead of blue. This potion is also useful at a certain point (or points) when Geralt needs to flow a blood trail as a part of the main story.

  • 40% melee damage
  • +2 to vitality regen in combat, +3 to vitality regen out of combat
  • Schematic: On merchants throughout the game

If you follow Roche's path, you will eventually have to make this portion to complete part of the main story. Fortunately, when you get to that point a merchant who sells the formula is sitting on a bench right outside the tent. Other than that, maybe good for mages who rely exclusively sign damage.