Baldurs Gate 3?

Don’t need a rogue in that spot. Flying blind is fine. You can do a bard, a ranger, a druid or sorcerer instead.

Same goes for.the Cleric really. You can buy lots of potions and do your healing that way.

Hence, replay. Or switch out companions, where that’s possible. Since no one has said it, I did a search and found:

You can swap party members when you take a long rest (the campfire icon at the bottom right of the screen). This’ll take you back to camp - at this point, talk to the characters you want to stay at camp and they’ll do just that. Once your party is below four people, talk to whoever you want to join and ask them to come along.

So, no problem getting different interactions and sidequests. No issue with switching out in order to have someone along that can manage a particular area.

Have to say, though, that five total companions does limit replay value a bit.

I love this game, I’m working on my 3rd playthrough and have earned over 100 hours within it already; however, it is certainly “flawed” in that it probably won’t fit what most people want from it at first, but once you accept what it’s not it becomes much more enjoyable. I think the beta period for the players “hardcore” enough to buy it was super smart so the community can adjust their expectations. Plus, generally Larian is super good about receiving and implementing feedback.

All that being said it is probably a disservice to call this game Baldur’s Gate 3. Should have just been a licensed game – Baldur’s Gate: Journey to the Hells or somesuch. The playstyle of the game will just immediately disappoint anyone who hoped for a natural continuation of the first 2 games. To be fair – those people would probably be disappointed by any 3D Baldur’s Gate. Additionally, while they are making an admirable effort to convert as many races/classes/rules that they can – there will always be complaints from DnD purists who miss their favorite combination of spells/features/etc.

The D:OS bones were incredibly clear the first few beta versions and many will be pleased that Larian has backed off quite a bit on the worst elements. For better or worse there are still a few D:OS systems that Larian just can’t get over. A few that still irk me:

  1. Their inventory system is still bloated and messy. You’ll be picking up a lot of bullshit notes/keys/food items/potions/spells/pitchforks/random items that I just don’t know will randomly be functional at some point or be used in a random event.

  2. I agree with everyone who preferred a 6 person squad vs 4 person, but D:OS was built for 4 player squad so 4 we will get.**

  3. Larian loves to litter their world with little items all over the place to clutter up the screen. Good luck trying to select the pouch on the table amongst all the plates and silverware. Almost every barrel, box, and bookcase is searchable – and yet the alt key doesn’t highlight every item that is searchable. I hate it. You have to hunt and search with your cursor and you really do have to search every container in the game, because Larian will drop a magical item in a barrel by the side of the road. They will have a basement larder with 50 containers – 30 of which will be empty, 29 will have food stuffs, but the 50th will be full of jewelry or spell items. They will have a special book on a random bookcase, in a random burnt down house, in a particular burnt out village in which if you have a certain companion in your group they will have a special cutscene/reaction in which (after a roll) you may be able to discover more of their history. You can walk into rooms filled with bookshelves and have to search each one – many of which have those filler 1 or 2 page books that you’ve seen 100 times – but you have to cursor over each one (and to be truly safe you should go ahead and open each one) to make sure it doesn’t trigger an event now.

  4. The interactivity of the environment is a blessing/curse, because you aren’t really used to it in “true” DnD games while it was a selling point to the D:OS games. If you get an enemy wet first you can do bonus damage with ice and lightning. Acid flasks and spells will leave pools on the ground which reduce your ac. It was way too prolific in the early beta, and they have had to reel it in because it was obnoxious, but it is still there to some degree.

It very much still is a game in which D:OS and Baldur’s Gate had a baby – and that’s ok! If you are prepared to accept that.

**I will say that after playing through Act 1 three times now – you can play functionally with just about any combination of the companions. Shadowheart (cleric) is a trickery-based cleric, and is handy at thievery, paladins and druids are suitable healers in a pinch, both Astarion and Lae’zel can specialize into offensive mage spells if wanted. Only Wyll (warlock) I’ve found to be underwhelming so far. There are many lockpicks and trap tools which add to related rolls– not to mention bashing down doors, using barrels or other tools to trigger traps, etc. I’ve played through as a 2 cleric squad, a berserker without a fighter, and a paladin without a cleric and a mage. So far, I have not met an event I can’t handle because I didn’t have a pure class filling the role. Larian has done a great job making sure that any significant events or quests have multiple solutions. By the end of Act 1 it is certainly possible to roll certain checks in the mid 20’s. Additionally, Larian has provided many tools early on that you can cast many of the support spells via various items. Speak with Dead, Speak with Animals, Conjure Water, etc. - you will not need someone dedicated to casting these spells pretty early on. I think Larian is designing the game to be very flexible. Lastly, the full rest feature can and should be absolutely abused (more on that later). You can full rest without penalty at pretty much any time. You can full rest in dungeons and pop back in exactly where you left off – there are no random encounters, etc. I don’t necessarily think this is good, but it gets you back to playing the game and having fun much quicker.

The difficulty may change in later acts, but there are only a few capstone fights in Act 1 that are a true challenge in which you have to prepare. This is the first BG game that is functionally 5e, so it isn’t like you are going to be stacking many buffs.

While it isn’t truly known – the fans are hoping that every race and every class will have a companion character. I think race is out of the running at this point, but it is still possible for them to include every class. The initial 5 are: Shadowheart (Evil leaning cleric), Astarion (Evil leaning rogue), Lae’zel (Evil leaning fighter), Gale (good/neutral(?) leaning wizard), and Wyll (good/neutral(?) leaning warlock). I believe all of these starter companions can be selected as the PC at release. The fanbase have a lot of assumptions about the other companions.

Undisclosed but Assumed Future Companion/Class Spoilers:

In Act 1 you meet various important NPCs which are currently assumed to be companions in later Acts.

Karlach: Tiefling Berserker – Almost Certain

Halsin: Elf Druid – Fan favorite mostly because people want to bang him.

Minthara: Drow Paladin – Secret Romance for Evil Playthrough

There are other assumptions based off of data-mining, but pure speculation at this point.

BG1/BG2 Potential Crossover Spoilers:

Larian has announced that the following companions from previous games are:

Minsc: Human Ranger

Jaheira: Half-Elf Druid or Druid/Fighter - this complicates the potential Halsin-Druid assumption above, additionally there are no other multiclass companions that we know of.

There are also some exciting assumptions on a few others, but again speculation.

So for those who don’t want to duplicate classes – so far – that leaves Sorcerer, Bard, and Monk remaining. I’m not convinced about the speculation around the paladin yet, and I doubt Artificer will be a thing.

Like Balasarius said earlier, at first many of the initial companions are hard to like at first. Larian is setting this up as a bunch of reluctant survivors using each other to stay alive. However, once you gain some relationship status with them and dig into their stories they (for the most part) open up quite a bit, some even become likeable/charming, or at the very least more complex. The problem is that some of the companions are much easier to hit that first relationship threshold than others, so you might be carrying a few of them around for a while before you hit the right combination of events to push them over the line and open up. The ones that rub you the wrong way can be a bit insufferable until then. Lae’zel is laughably evil and most of her character development in Act 1 is locked behind an invisible barrier. What’s interesting is that due to many of the companions having hard good/evil alignments you can easily push out or kill a companion that isn’t going to work for your team. I guess that is similar to BG1 and 2, but you generally had a lot more options in those games. On a first playthrough (and without looking up the answers) I expect that it will be very easy to miss out on developing half of your squad because you aren’t able to get them over the first relationship bump. In my experience, after you hit the first threshold it is much easier to raise their relationship score, because they are generally more open to talk about their needs. Based off of Act 1, I’m very excited to see where things go with these characters in later acts. While I don’t know this for a fact – there are strong indicators that the various evil folks can be convinced to work for a good aligned character and while not necessarily “converting them” they can certainly be less evil. I’m thinking that there may be opportuntiies to corrupt the good guys as well.

Spoilers/Speculation on Larians change to the original companions:

Originally, Larian had planned to kill off any of the companions that you didn’t bond well enough with after ACT 1 (similar to D:OS2)– so it was probably originally designed that you couldn’t bond well enough with everyone to get them all to survive. However, it looks like due to player feedback Larian may be backing off that.

One of the frustrating bits is that, currently, it is very easy to miss key events if you are not full resting often. There are a lot of triggers in this game, and you often don’t get character development until you full rest at camp (sometimes it will happen in the field, but the “set pieces” are most often at camp). The problem is that you usually only get one event per rest and you get many more events than the need to rest. If you go for long periods without resting then there are opportunities for certain events to overwrite or appear out of order. This has been a problem since the first beta and still a problem 2 years later. For instance, getting your relationship to progress appropriately with Gale is a huge problem, because you have to see certain events in a certain order for the appropriate flags to generate. It is very easy to generate a ton of relationship points with him early on in a certain area, and if you don’t force sleep repeatedly you can easily miss one of his scenes, and screw up the whole relationship. On my 3rd playthrough I beeline through certain areas and bypass the “normal” expected progression route and I’ve had cutscenes showing out of order. What’s worse is that the game truly emphasizes that “time is of the essence” which discourages sleeping and wasting time. Just know that time doesn’t matter and sleep often – there are no penalties and it’s the only way to get all the background stuff to play right in my experience. I hope this is better at release, but there are so many permutations and Larian still doesn’t have this consistently fixed in beta after 2 years, not to speak of later acts that have not been playtested.

This might be a dumb question but whats going to be new in the official release vs what’s playable now in early access? Sounds like the game is fully playable right now?

Sure. But that’s the type of busywork I don’t enjoy and being a PC gamer, mod out of games.

So EA is just Act 1 (out of 3?), which had a surprising amount of content, probably 40-50 hours, but I do everything and play slow. With that being said, not all Act 1 content is there in EA. Some areas are locked behind invisible walls for instance. Additionally, not all of the content that is availble to play in EA is content complete. They said they held some things back so that people who have played EA thoroughly have some new experiences.

While they have not come out and said it yet - it is widely expected that all classes and races (except for Artificier?) will be playable in the game. I think the only class that has not been released yet is monk, and half-orc and dragonborn have not been released yet for race.

This seems like a very long game that I, for one, will only play about 2/3 of, so I do hope they don’t plan the game around replay value.

Your point 3, about items, sounds absolutely horrifying to me. I thought it was bad enough in the original BG, and this sounds light-years worse. I hope you’re exaggerating!

I admit, I’m sensitive to it, and I’ve apparantly been complaining about it in Baldurs Gate for over 15 years. So maybe Larian is keeping authentic BG alive! I really hope I don’t lose steam when you actually get to Baldur’s Gate the city itself. There is a benefit in that you can clearly see what items are owned by other people and they’ll get pissed if you pick it up. There is also (sometimes) an opportunity to ask for forgiveness or bluff your way out if you get caught.

No more “For the Glory of Amn!”


Ha! What you were describing is much worse than my memories of BG. Big caveat about rose-colored, though…

Pillars of Eternity party size felt just right to me. You could have some core companions every mission, and a few spots to rotate in others.

I hope you enter a dungeon filled to brim with traps and locked doors without any rogue skills! You will also miss every locked chest in the game.

I think you are mistaking D&D for Diablo. (not to mention probably much of your gold going toward healing pots)

I don’t ever want to play a D&D game like that. More of a handicap/challenge run as you are missing quintessential verbs.

I was mostly thinking of Icewind Dale. That’s the only major D&D game I’ve played.

In that game, we played as 3 friends, multiplayer, each with our own character. I had a Ranger, one of my friends was a Rogue, and the third was a fighter/mage hybrid. We ended up relying almost entirely on potions, and the Rogue was the only one miserable throughout the game. Yes he disarmed a lot of traps, but that wasn’t a fun activity for him, especially since the game has a lot of triggers and traps that go off anyway, even with a rogue, even with successful disarming because the dungeons are designed that way. Eventually we found this kick ass sword for a Paladin and he changed characters, and then he had a great time. Yes, we triggered every trap from then on, and took more damage and had to quaff more potions than ever, but that was something we were doing anyway.

The other game I’ve played that’s D&D is Baldur’s Gate, which was miserable, I don’t like thinking about that one, and the other good one I’ve played is Neverwinter Nights 2. I did enjoy buffing my whole party before every fight in that one, but often they would trigger a cutscene, and most of our buffs would wear out by the end of the cutscene in that one.

Anyway, despite my comments, I loved, loved, loved Icewind Dale. Really fun. Because I didn’t play the Rogue.

Yeah, I don’t play the Infinity Engine games multiplayer controlling just a single character…that is highly unorthodox, and Iove Baldur’s Gate so I suspect we won’t be agreeing much on anything.

Playing as just a rogue is of course, really a bad idea in those games, which is why you play as the whole six member party that includes a rogue…in single-player…

I think going without a cleric is more viable in 5e. In battle healing spells are a bit less potent than previous versions, lots of characters have options to recover hitpoints in battle and healing from short rests is pretty generous.

A friend and I played through a Solasta campaign with two characters each and without any magical healing. It was a bit tough but not as bad as I thought, particularly with heavy damage mitigation on the barb.

Divine healing. Magic (I meant to say Arcane) doesn’t typically heal…

My only experience playing 5e was playing with some characters that could heal. My Paladin and a…Culinary Bard. And I had to use my Lay on hands (self) mid-combat a few times as I did take some nasty crits not to mention friendly-fire. My party were kinda dicks. All ranged except me. The Culinary bard mostly buffed the rest of the party but had some essential spot heals for the others in combat.

The bard also doesn’t use divine magic for its healing, just magic magic ;-)

Yeah, I forget what Bards healing source was. Bards are weird. I’ll just take a page out of Tolkien and say music is undefined primal magic.

And yeah, I should have used Arcane vs Divine since they are both “magic.” That’s what I meant, as in Arcane typically cannot access healing.

It is. I play most of these games single player. These were my Diablo II buddies and also pen and paper D&D buddies. It ended up being just a surprising amount of fun. I’d still recommend Icewind Dale to you if you haven’t played it. I did try it with a traditional party in single player at first, 2 tanks, cleric, wizard, rogue, and something else. But I couldn’t even get past the first dungeon challenge. I was reloading the scenario over and over when they came over and asked what I was playing. They wanted to join in, so they we created one character each and off we went. They had a lot more knowledge of D&D than I did, so their help was appreciated. I’m really bad at low level D&D, but luckily in Icewind Dale you don’t stay low level for too long because of all the insane stuff you have to fight. If you do end up playing it, I recommend quaffing lots of potions. It makes the game really fun.

Edit: Oh, and the point of the unorthodox scenario wasn’t to point out the unorthodox scenario. It was to point out that through the unorthodox scenario, we actually discovered that you don’t need the traditional D&D party and a game that’s as hard as Icewind Dale is very do-able even with an unorthodox party. Just showing my support for Equisilus’ point about having to make tough choices as to a 4-person party sounds good to me.

Sounds fun for sure, and a pretty damn unique experience with the game.

But for me and my party, I want all the verbs. All of them. And more besides. Sorry not sorry.

“I am willing to go thermonuclear on this” -Steve Jobs.