A few days ago, Larian Studios (the team behind the successful Divinity: Original Sin series) took to reddit to host an AMA regarding their upcoming title, Baldur’s Gate 3. Given that fans have been wanting a third entry into the Baldur’s Gate series for a very, very long time (they’ve been waiting since 2001 following the release of the Throne of Bhaal expansion) it was fair to say that there were a number of questions asked by fans that felt quite pertinent. The AMA was hosted by Swen Vincke, the Creative Director at Larian Studios as well as some of the Larian team, including the Producer and Senior Writer. There’s quite a lot to go through here so I’ll try to fit in as many points and details as possible:
- Creating characters can be as shallow or as deep as you would like it to be. After you have selected your race and class you can stop there or you can edit things like: Abilities, spells, skills, cantrips, face type, harido, facial hair and skin colour. There are no sliders so it doesn’t seem like you’ll be able to change heaps of visual feaatures like Dark Souls or Black Desert Online.
- Custom characters will have full voice acting, much like Larian’s previous works: When creating a character, you will be able to choose the voice which you feel best suits your character.
- All 5th Edition classes will be available at launch, however, out of those 12 basic classes, only Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Warlock and Wizard will be available to choose as your class during the Early Access period.
Hello! I’m not Swen, I’m Adam, one of the Senior Writers on BG 3. Custom characters are hugely important to us, and when you choose your class, race and background, you’ll already have made choices that have an impact throughout the game – both in terms of what you can do, how you’re perceived, and what you know. But just as in tabletop, it’s what you do after character creation and how you choose to roleplay that character that will make your adventure and character unique. In many ways, they’re more unique, because you made them.
The world and the characters that populate it – whether companions, NPCs, enemies or potential allies – will remember and react to your actions and attitude. Custom characters are central to the arc of BG3, and as your journey unfolds, you’ll walk your own path. And when your story ends, you’ll have determined your own fate… and the fate of many others. – Larian Adam
- There are returning characters from Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate 2 in this sequel as well as a direct link in terms of story. BG1/2/ToB’s events lead to the events of Baldur’s Gate 3, which will not be apparent at the beginning of the game but as you progress you will quickly understand how.
- You will be able to recruit mercenaries as followers.
- Party banter among companions will exist in both real-time response and through dialogue trees, with the latter occurring based on what your party is doing (or not doing) through dialogue and when you go to camp.
- Short rests are considered as the peace time between combat encounters and, for long rests, the entire party needs to go to the camp and spend the night there.
- Divinity: Original Sin’s “Dungeon Master” mode might be coming in BG3 but the team is focused on building the game first and foremost.
- You will most likely be able to hear spell words being spoken while casting spells.
- BG3 might be moddable in the future but Larian is not quite ready to talk about that just yet.
- Locations won’t be broken down into sections, instead you will be in a huge terrain like Divinity: Original Sin 2. In between acts you will travel from one huge region to another.
- Alignments carry a different weight in 5e compared to 2e, which BG1/BG2 were based on:
Alignment may carry less weight in 5th edition, but all companions definitely have their own moral compass. Some are fine with evil and underhanded deeds, others are not – and they’ll be vocal about their approval or opposition to the decisions that you make. It’s absolutely possible to take actions that cross the line for someone and he or she will leave the party, or even decide to attack you.
From a player perspective, there’s the freedom to play the game in any which way you want from an alignment perspective. In dialogs, there are plenty of choices to be made, from heroically good to patently evil and the different shades in between. Added to that, there are unique options to be had from a player race or class point of view that fit within the good/neutral/evil perspective. As you would expect, a drow will get different options compared to a Paladin of Tyr for instance. For sure, the world will react to your actions, and the choices you make, since these will in some way define you. For example, Astarion is a vampire spawn and when you play him, you can try and hide this from the party. But if they find out -because, well, you might try to bite them as they sleep- they will obviously be shocked and unless you manage to handle the situation with the necessary tact and diplomacy, you may just find you’re left behind companionless. – Larian Jan
- Multiclassing will follow closely to the rules of 5e DnD. Characters will be able to choose from continuing with their current class or start a new class. provided they meet the necessary requirements. Multiclassing will not be available during the Early Access launch, there are plans to add it later.
- Larian are planning to cover levels 1 through 10 in the full release.
- Specific reactions are a part of class balancing in 5e and so mechanics that utilise those reactions will trigger automatically (things like Counterspell). Players will have the ability to choose which reactions they wish to enable in anticipation of enemy actions. The example given is a wizard disabling their Attack of Opportunity but enabling their Shield spell.
- BG3 is aiming to use the same action economy that 5e uses.
- Loot works a little differently in BG3 compared of Original Sin. More care is being put into treasure, ensuring that it makes sense contextually. Loot is being hand-placed and hand-created. Loot with magical bonuses will exist but it will not be common.
There is a lot more to read over on the AMA itself but it’s just too much to place into one article. If you want to read it all, head over to the reddit thread.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is slated to launch in Early Access some time this year, with no release date or even a general release window given.