Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus takes everyone to the Nine Hells, and it seems they’ve frozen over–because big changes are coming for the Ranger.
Well it seems like more than just the 5th Edition ruleset is coming to Baldur’s Gate 3, according to a recent interview with Larian Studios CEO of Baldur’s Gate 3 and D&D 5E’s design team. In addition to working out some of the mechanics and how they translate from tabletop to a video game, the developers also got into a discussion with the team Kotaku’s Splitscreen podcast about some upcoming changes to the Ranger. Here’s an excerpt:
There was one class we were working on at that got a lot of negative feedback, so I shot an email over to Nick [Pechenin, systems designer] about “Hey, we’re looking at making some changes, potentially playtesting some new material for this class in tabletop, just to let you guys know. And he actually got back to me and said, “Hey for this class, actually that same exact issue has come up, and here’s what we’re looking at doing.” It was almost like we had already shared notes.
That class, of course, is the Ranger, which is in a unique position D&D-wise right now. It’s considered one of the weaker classes all around, much of which has to do with its favored terrain mechanics. This is something the D&D team seems to be fully aware of now:
One of the things we found was that the ranger character class, in tabletop players really felt the first couple of levels, they weren’t really making choices that they felt were having a real impact on gameplay… One of the things we learned is that we had some assumptions about how exploration would play out in the game back when we were developing 5th edition—we thought, “Oh, we’ll give the rangers some of these toys to play with because exploration is part of the game.” And we’ve just found that either a lot of DMs don’t use a lot of the sub-systems that those spoke to, or they weren’t really coming up.
One of the examples they give is a Ranger picking Desert as a favored terrain and getting little use out of it–we’ve seen a few different ideas float up in the Unearthed Arcanas of late: one example was a Ranger getting a specific bonus depending on favored terrain (like a resistance to damage or difficult terrain), but even then it feels like you’d get a typical build that floats to the top and quashes the other favored terrains.
While we don’t yet know what the solution they’ve come up with is–you can expect to see it soon either in an Unearthed Arcana, or Baldur’s Gate 3. In the meantime, we’ll keep you up to date with everything coming out around Baldur’s Gate!