Baldur’s Gate 3 has been in Early Access now since October. The months sure are flying by, but that also means we can expect a better experience from developer Larian Studios. Since launch, the developer has deployed both hotfixes and scheduled patches to improve stability and performance, add new content, and adjust gameplay to better please audiences. We’re on Patch 3 now though, and the focus of this one is on changes to design and gameplay for Baldur’s Gate 3, based upon player feedback and community discussion.
As with any RPG, the developers want Baldur’s Gate 3 to offer immersion and freedom of choice to a realistic extent. Patch 3 aims to address some of the existing limitations and awkward scenarios where player choice was seemingly irrelevant to the situational outcomes. The developer cited the Goblin Rooftop Ambush where players could seek to forgo the matter and avoid bloodshed, but instead found that they were forced to kill the creatures anyways. That is no longer necessary, so pacifists definitely score a victory there.
In fact, that’s an ongoing theme for this update. Many games don’t consider the road less traveled, but sometimes violence is not the answer. If players choose not to fight, they can expect similar rewards and XP from the outcomes. That’s an excellent touch that reminds me of franchises like Mass Effect. It’s good to see the Baldur’s Gate 3 developers taking cues, and Patch 3 is another step in the right direction.
Of course, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Or at least that was what your companions thought. Indeed, players might have noticed how negative and opinionated companions could be, which certainly gets old fast. In Patch 3, Baldur’s Gate 3 companions will be a little less obnoxious and generally more positive towards what decisions you make.
The magic touch
Another wildly requested change pertains to magic balance. Cantrips are now less significant than “true” spells. While players can use Cantrips at any time, true spells require the use of finite resources. As such, it made little sense to inconvenience oneself with such problems. With that fixed, there should be more magical diversity in the game. Players can also worry less about surface impacts and accidental self-inflicted wounds when using magic. Didn’t anyone ever warn you to pay attention when speaking in tongues and waving wands?
As for other player experience improvements, you can expect better follower mechanics, a lesser likelihood of getting locked out of content due to poor rolls, an extra “Short Rest” charge, and visible inspiration points in the menu. Larian also mentioned that the cross-save feature between PC and Mac is now available. Last but not least, there’s a laundry list of technical improvements. We won’t address these here, but you can check everything out in detail on the official update blog.
While these changes are generally welcome news, there is still one major drawback to updating Baldur’s Gate 3 to Patch 3. Your existing saved games will no longer be compatible due to all of changes that have taken place. This is the nature of Early Access games, especially for one as complex as Baldur’s Gate 3. You can learn more about how to manage the save issue here.