Baldur’s Gate 3 might not be leaving early access this year, but with a new update on the horizon, the features are getting better than ever.
It’s June 2021, and Baldur’s Gate 3 is still in early access, and still one of the better cRPG experiences out there. Despite their goal of releasing late in 2021, recent news from the developer has confirmed that the game’s release date has been moved back to 2022, which is sure to be a welcome move for the developers (if not the audience) who will have time to deal with the delays that have come from COVID amongst other things.
However, while the game won’t be hitting its full launch, we’ll soon be seeing another update, and this one focuses heavily on features and feedback. As Larian studios CEO Swen Vincke outlined in an interview with Gamespot:
“It’s an update that focuses on a lot of the feedback that we’ve been getting. It’s more focused on features than it is on new content.”
You can hear a lot more in the full interview, which we’ve included below, but read on for the highlights.
According to Vincke, another update is right around the corner, and will include many new features that should address some of the problems the community has been cataloguing. A big part of this is in the ‘onboarding’ experience, which is how the game opens up its mechanics to you, not just through tutorials and tooltips, but through gameplay as well.
This is an important thing to keep in mind as Baldur’s Gate 3 is a very big flag plant for WotC’s bold new era of video games–we’re already seeing that a huge portion of the audience have never touched the tabletop game. Which means that the audience doesn’t know what Advantage is, or what it’s like to try and deal with skill checks in conversation.
This tracks with Larian’s previous endeavours–Divinity Original Sin 1 & 2 were both built on systems inspired by D&D, but that were ultimately their own discrete engines and rulesets. And players familiar with D&D or Divinity will both find new wrinkles to the classic formulas they’re used to here.
One of the big places this is evident is in players having trouble finding what they need for certain quests. We don’t want to spoil content, but you can be sure that some of the druid’s secrets aren’t being found by players who have never rolled a d20. But Vincke reports good progress in changing this experience.
Vincke also says that “certain things” will be turned around rapidly across the board. Vincke touched on a classic D&D problem that the team at Larian now faces–what do martial classes do when spellcasters start to outstrip them? This is especially prevalent in the melee martial classes. Vincke wants to add new systems for melee players, but is still working on what that might look like.
In the meantime, shoving, throwing, and environmental interaction continues to shine and improve as Larian hones their work. But it’s a challenge that everyone faces at one point, with D&D, is the Fighter is one of the most accessible classes. They’re the tutorial class, and Champion Fighters (which is what you can currently play as) are the most accessible of the most accessible classes, but the features are extremely straightforward. And in a PC game, where the DM can’t step in to intervene, the options for improving the Fighter Experience are a lot more limited.
But Vincke and Larian remain hopeful that the game will continue to get better by leaps and bounds with every update, until the game is ready to launch. So keep your eyes out for a 2022 release–and a release that’s had time to fully cook.