Last week the developers from Larian participated in a Reddit AMA dedicated to the studio’s latest upcoming game, the much-awaited cRPG Baldur’s Gate 3.
Baldur’s Gate 3 was a secret for a long while, and we were super excited to finally show it to you at PAX East. I’m sure you have loads of questions, and since we’re about to embark on an epic adventure together into Early Access, what better time than now to sit down and talk.
Below you can find some of the questions & answers provided during the AMA:
- Will custom (non-origin, player-created) characters have Voice Acting, or is it for origin characters only? Yes, custom characters will have voice acting – you’ll choose a voice as part of character creation.
- Is there a date set for early access? When it’s ready.
- Will all 5e Classes be available at launch? Yes, all classes from 5e Player’s Handbook will be included at launch. In Early Access you’ll be able to play as a Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Warlock or Wizard. Does that include paths, subclasses, etc? Yep.
- Will there be any connection between the story of Baldurs gate 1/2/tob and Baldurs gate 3? We really don’t want to spoil anything but we wouldn’t call it Baldur’s Gate 3 if there wouldn’t be a link. Let me just say that we touch upon the story of BG 1 & 2 in meaningful ways, there are returning characters and what happened in BG 1/2/tob leads to what happens into BG3. You won’t necessarily see that at the start of the adventure but you will quickly understand once you get further into the game.
- How in depth will character creation be? Lots of options or sliders or just a number of defaults to choose between? Character creation can be as in depth as you want it to be 🙂 After you select a race and a class, you could be all set and ready to go, but if you want to, you can dive in deeper, and change all the abilities, spells, skills, cantrips… and customize visuals. You will be able to select a face type, hairdo, facial hair, skin colour. I cannot give numbers or details, because it’s still a work in progress, but there won’t be sliders.
- Will there be companions/followers who are not origin characters or playable? Yes you will be able to recruit mercenaries!
- Are there plans to make custom characters feel as unique as the origin ones? If so, what can you tell us about them? 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. This isn’t DOS2. In BG3, custom characters have a much stronger connection to the world and the main arc of the story – whether they’re from Baldur’s Gate, further afield, or somewhere else entirely (hey, githyanki). The campaign is much more reactive to your actions – when we say there are serious consequences to your choices, we really mean it – and as you move through your adventure, you’ll discover quest-lines and stories that relate directly to the character you’re roleplaying, and the things that you’ve done. We’re confident that you won’t feel short-changed in terms of narrative breadth and depth if you choose to play as a custom character- we love our origins, but this campaign is built for all of you.
- How will the short rest-long rest systems work in the game for hit dice, spell slots, items enchantments, and the like? Or will there be a different system in place for it? To take a long rest the whole party needs to go to the camp and spend the night there. This will restore and reset any features normally tied to a long rest in 5e and also give the party a moment to reflect on recent events. A lot happens at the camp, more on that later! For the short rest, we consider the peace time between combat encounters as taking a short rest.
- So will warlocks regain all spell slots between combat encounters? Yes, they will regain all their spell slots between combat encounters.
- Will there be a Dungeon Master mode in Baldur’s Gate 3, similar to the one you had for Divinity Original Sin 2? When we built GM mode for Original Sin, we were, of course, thinking of D&D and how long it had been since anyone had made such a mode. So yeah it’d make a lot of sense, but we’re focusing on developing the game first at the moment…
- Will BG3 be moddable? If so, is it possible for modders to add in new locations/companions in the main storyline or add in new UI? We’re focusing first on developing and finishing the main campaign, once we have some space, we can talk about that.
- For those unfamilar with the Baulders Gate series, what would you say is the defining difference between the upcoming Baulders Gate 3 and the Divinity series? The level of immersion. From the narrative to the depth of the systems and mechanics, we’ve never made a game before that brings you closer to its characters, and offers more tools to the players to define the story they way you can in BG3. This is really core and the new version of our engine has allowed us to make huge leaps in every area of development. Not to mention it’s also using an entirely different rule-set, in an entirely different setting, of course. And it’s lot darker. You can do some really terrible things.
- Will the locations be act-based ( eg. a location can be accessed only in Act 1 and not in Act 2 )? Every good story has a beginning, middle, and an end.
- Like the original Baldur’s Gate, will locations be broken down into sections or will it be like in DOS2, where you are in a huge terrain. You’re in a huge terrain, but between acts you will travel from one huge region to another.
- Will there be party banters among companions? If so, will they be in dialogue mode (like the originals) or will they just say out their lines during exploration (like the Dragon Age series)? Ah, we have both types! Of course they’ll comment and react. They will banter while just walking around (we call these voicebarks and AD for Automated Dialogues) but they will also react to what you and your party are doing (and not doing) in dialogues, and when you go to camp.
- will we be able to hear the spell words while casting spells in the game? (as in the old series) Most likely cause we’ve been recording a lot of Latin lately 😀 …but we weren’t finished in time for the public presentation.
- Can we create custom vampire spawn characters? No, currently not.
- Will warlock patrons have a large narrative weight in the story? Just like cleric gods and paladin gods, the warlock patron is a variable we know of and can react to. Currently they introduce dialog options and voice-barks. More is possible, but not planned for the EA act.
- How will multiclassing work? Like 5e or modified? Also, what can you tell us about your ranger rework? Multiclassing rules will follow closely the 5e DnD. On level up characters will be able to continue with their current class or choose a new class, provided they meet the requirements. Multiclassing is not going to be available in Early Access at launch, we’re planning to add it later.
As for the Ranger, we will be implementing alternative variants of Favourite Enemy and Natural Explorer features that are not limited to specific monster and location types. When we were working on these changes, we went to WotC for their approval and it turned out that we were completely on the same page. Mike Mearls shared some of their playtesting material, and we’re rolling with that.
- Can half-drow grow beards like other half-elves? Can you believe that none of us here at the table actually know? We need to ask the moustache people if they planned it…
The variety of alignments in Baldur’s Gate I & II allowed for many interesting party compositions and conflicts. It’s been said there won’t be an alignment system on Baldur’s Gate 3 as it’s no longer relevant to 5e, but will we still get to have openly evil/selfish party members that actively support “evil” actions and might leave the group if you play in a more heroic fashion, or will all party members have a more neutral/good behavior?
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.
Check out this collection of 17 questions (and answers to them) by ThorThunderfist!