Baldur’s Gate 3’s Panel from Hell is happening now, with big reveals–everything from new content to the early access release date are inside!
Today is the big Panel From Hell, a premiere event for Baldur’s Gate 3, featuring never before seen content, as well as the announcement of the game’s release date. This panel features D&D’s Chris Perkins, as well as Larian Studios’ Creative Director, Swen Vincke, and Senior Writer Adam Smith, here to show off the best of Baldur’s Gate. Join us as we take you through the new details unveiled at the panel. Spoilers ahoy, of course, be ye warned.
You can catch the panel here. But here are the highlights.
To begin with, they revealed the full intro cinematic trailer–we see the same scenes as before, a Mind Flayer nautiloid ship invades Baldur’s Gate and abducts people as they wreak havoc, before they are chased by a Githyanki, riding atop Red Dragons and breathing fire and high fantasy adventure. But what they don’t tell you is that, as the Red Dragons attack the Nautiloid, it’s wrecked and makes a dimensional leap, landing it in Avernus.
BG3 in Hell
Those massive pillars aren’t just a cheeky title intro, they’re actually infernal warships who can be seen spewing out imps and other devils as they converge on the Nautiloid. The game actually begins in Avernus as your party tries to regain control of the Nautiloid. Events that were kicked off in Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus spill over into the present day of Baldur’s Gate. Which explains why a deal with the devil shows up so soon in the gameplay. Raphael here wants your soul, which, to be fair, is already forfeit due to the Mind Flayer tadpole in your head.
Assuming that nothing changes, when you become a mind flayer, your soul goes away. Which is a new fact we learned at this panel.
This Game Is Very Chatty
In order to make sure your experience is as reactive as possible, the team has been hard at work creating new reactions to each scenarios. This means writing loads of new dialogue, new choices–even scenarios that were previously considered “finished” have had new player choices added to them.
Larian Creative Director Swen Vincke unveiled a new scenario that results in a follower joining the party. As he puts it, this came about after an interactive object led to a new scenario, which then led to a new follower, all over the last two weeks. One idea spun into another and now you can recruit an Intellect Devourer as a friend.
Ordinarily an Intellect Devourer would try to replace your brain and eat it. But instead, because you have a mind flayer tadpole, you can communicate with it. And it’s both charming and disgusting.
But now that this follower is capable of being added to your party, the team has had to go through and add reactions to other NPCs in your party and write scenarios that acknowledge that the Intellect Devourer is present, if it’s actually accompanying you.
And this is just one small example of the dozens of new choices being added pretty much every week as the game speeds towards Early Access. For instance, you can Speak with Animals, which means any animal you run across has some potential dialogue lines, depending on what you say to them and if you’re trying to use Animal Handling.
And that’s why you’ll find 46,000 lines of dialogue in just the Early Access content alone. You’ll have to discover them, of course.
Early Access Details
Speaking of Early Access, we got some concrete details about what you can expect from the early acceess build. The Larian team estimates 20+ hours of content upon release (but probably right around 20 for most people), and you’ll be able to hit Level 4.
So basically it’s about the length of a shorter campaign, like one of the ones that takes you from Levels 1-5. 4th Level is an interesting cutoff point, since you don’t get your big features, like 3rd Level Spells or other class defining things. But–you do get a pretty full experience. They’re trying to make each level meaningful, and the experience isn’t about levelling up, so much as exploring and having fun with your party. (Also, experienced players know just how broken you can get by level 4 anyway).
Speaking of which, multiplayer is coming to Early Access. You’ll be able to play with a party of up to 4, and while local splitscreen won’t be available at the jump, you will be able to play with your friends. So if you want to bring a friend, you should bring them along.
Other changes: Act 1 (which is Early Access), is mostly complete, though it’s still being finalized. As an example, the team has recently added a Bulette. That’s right, everyone’s favorite Land Shark is making an appearance in Early Access, complete with bursting out of the ground.
There are 80 potential combats in the Early Access content.
Evil? No, I’m Just Very Interesting
Larian also revealed they’re building out more than just a paragon/renegade situation. Where if you decide to play heroically, the game reacts one way, but if you try to be a villain, the game reacts just as robustly. You don’t have to be all good or all evil, either. Each choice has spiraling ramifications, and some characters you might only meet if you pick the evil option. So keep an open mind when you play through.
The world, as they say, will always react to whatever you do. It’s a ton of work, but if they can pull it off, Baldur’s Gate 3 might live up to the hype of its sequels.
There’s Something Familiar About This
One other new detail revealed at the panel is the addition of Familiars. You’ll be able to summon them (as you see above) and take control of them. You can even send them all the way across the map–they can overhear conversations, they can push things around, they can meddle with other characters.
Larian Studios has revealed that eventually all of the classes will be added into the game. Only a few will be introduced at Early Access time, but more new features are being added every day. The team is looking to have your party’s composition matter, so that each class brings more than just their combat actions to the game. For instance, if you have a Cleric or other character with access to speak with dead, you can talk to just about any corpse.
Feedback For Friends
Early Access is all about collecting your feedback. Playing the game, you’ll have the option to send data to Larian while you play, which contributes to the game’s heat map of what people are doing and how often, to help change it. There’ll also be channels for more direct feedback, which players of Divinity: Original Sins of either variety, will know really does help shape the game.
More Classes Are Coming
Early Access won’t be a stagnant thing. While only a small selection of classes/races will be available at the start, more options will be added as the Early Access run continues. So you’ll see more classes and even more subclasses for existing classes once the game is underway.
Okay But That Release Date Though
And of course, the big detail everyone’s been waiting for: Early Access is coming September 30th for Stadia and PC.
So there you have it folks. Just a month and a half or so until the game comes out–we are super excited. You can bet we’ll be taking you through the Early Access content as well.