Originally Posted by flyingsaucers
You don't need tessellation to create insanely detailed meshes. Tw2's rocks & mountains look exactly like they're tessellated but they're not. Crysis 3's ridiculously detailed trees aren't tessellated, and they're the most detailed trees ever seen in gaming. CDPR will prob. update the Red Engine to include some nice DX11 features but they hardly need to. Tw2 is still the best looking RPG ever made and if the devs focus on simply expanding the game world and adding in new mechanics, Tw3 will be beastly even if the graphics remain exactly the same.
While you can make very dense meshes with out tessellation you will start to run in to performance issues fairly soon. This is especially true for animated stuff as deforming something like a bunch 100k character meshes can really make CPU's sweat. Its not that it can't be done (as I recall star citizen will have 100k characters) but making a game that has a very high CPU need will limit potential customers. Also unlike graphics settings like texture resolution, shadow detail ect. making adjustable settings to reduce CPU load is much harder.
As for the the graphics of witcher 2. Yes they are very nice in large part to exceptionally high poly models and high res textures. Well I say high poly but its more that they really knew where to put in the extra detail. You see this a lot in the dungeons where the put in a lot of siluet detail in the door arches with individual cobblestone models.
Indeed until DX11 and tessellation came around this was the best way of doing it. It however does have its limits as it still adds lots of extra polygons and when shadows are cast on the low poly part of the wall they fall flat as normal maps only effect shading not shadows. With tessellation you can replace much of the fake normal map detail with true geometry that will react realistically with all lighting and shadows.
While on the subject of shadows. While not bad the shadows in witcher 2 where noting to write home about. There have been many many games with much better shadows and I really really hope CDPR implements DX11 soft shadows in there new engine. Another DX11 feature that could really benefit a character driven game like the witcher is subsurface scattering. It just makes human skin so much more realistic.Edited by Bit_reaper - 3/3/13 at 5:55am