Witcher 3 Designer Says Skellige Had Too Many Question Marks

The Witcher 3 junior quest designer Philipp Weber said Skellige had too many "terrible" points of interest scattered across the sea, and the team won't repeat the same mistake for The Witcher 4.

Even after Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt remains the pinnacle of CD Projekt Red's history, but that doesn't mean the game is superb in every way. One of the downsides most remembered by fans is those question marks on the Skellige map, almost always leading to underwater chests. It takes a ton of time to collect them — if you're lucky enough to have your boat intact.

During the recent CDPR 20th anniversary stream, Weber said he understands all the frustration, as these chests originally weren't supposed to be marked at all. In his words, by the end of 2014, the studio simply ran out of time to fill the giant map with something more meaningful, leading to secret loot becoming somewhat of a collectible for completionists.

"I can admit freely I'm one of those people that actually put those question marks in the world, but I do have a little bit of a defense," Weber said. "I did a lot of those terrible — I can say terrible because I did it — smugglers' caches. But originally, we put them into the world and we put some seagulls over them so you would see them circling, but it wasn't planned to actually have an icon on the map."

Players were supposed to randomly find a couple of chests on their way to the quest objective and weren't meant to clear them all. The quest designer admits that putting icons on those chests wasn't a great solution to add more content.

"I completely would agree that was a mistake, I wouldn't do that one again," he said. "Without the icons, you probably wouldn't have found all of them, but you didn't need to."

As of now, Philipp Weber works as the campaign director on the next Witcher game, which has already left its "research phase." Now we can expect the upcoming game to not have so many annoying markers on the map.

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