Baldur's Gate coming back

I haven’t had a lot of time with the game yet but I am confused about the current kerfuffle. What exactly would make this game Baldur’s Gate 3 vs Divinity Original Sin 3.

Did people not expect Larian to build on their base platform or something?

Kerfuffle probably is probably taking it a little far!

It more around how the game is accommodating the D&D ruleset. At the moment it feels more like the Original Sin game into which the D&D 5e ruleset has been forced whether it works or not.

While I don’t really have an issue with that idea - I don’t really have much investment in D&D, I was a Games Workshop nerd when I were a lad - it does feel to me (and others judging from comments elsewhere online) that it doesn’t always come off.

Still it’s early access and it will evolve. I do think it’ll be interesting into how it all pans out. As I have previously said I think it’s already a fantastic game, and it really can only get better.

i'm actually tempted to house-rule "shove" as an action (probably not a bonus action like it is here) in my campaigns going forward . It's far too much fun. A contested strength check against creatures of the same size value or lower should do the trick.

pyxistyx wrote:

i'm actually tempted to house-rule "shove" as an action (probably not a bonus action like it is here) in my campaigns going forward . It's far too much fun. A contested strength check against creatures of the same size value or lower should do the trick.

Sneaking up behind people as Astarion and pushing them off cliffs / buildings / tall places with long drops behind them is never going to get old!

pyxistyx wrote:

i'm actually tempted to house-rule "shove" as an action (probably not a bonus action like it is here) in my campaigns going forward . It's far too much fun. A contested strength check against creatures of the same size value or lower should do the trick.

It's usually part of the attack action, if you can make more than 1 attack you can attempt to shove that many times. Shield Master will let you shove as a bonus action if its part of an attack

First couple of bugs tonight, not too serious (in the end) and some nice touches to how the game handles various events.

Bug wise I had a problem with throwing items (grenade types) on a specific surface - there's a fairly large battle with some spiders if you go looking in one location. However when trying to destroy spiderwebs I couldn't throw anything on them. Secondly it's a tough fight and I need to resurrect one or two people afterward. however as they were occupying the same space as dead enemies the game couldn't detect them to resurrect them..

I was a bit annoyed about that until I went back to the camp and bumped (slightly unexpectedly!) into someone I'd met earlier. He resurrects characters for a fee. I like how this is implemented in game, it felt meaningful for something that is, after all a game mechanic.

Seconded when one of the characters dies there a nice little sequence of events that you may or may not want to follow to bring them back to life. The whole scenario is again well scripted and written and brings a wry smile to the face.

I am thoroughly enjoying this experience I must say. No regrets buying into the Early Access

I saw one review that absolutely lambasted it for being grimdark (essentially) and forcing you to do terrible things at times. I am not sure how seriously to take that objection. Any thoughts?

Robear wrote:

I saw one review that absolutely lambasted it for being grimdark (essentially) and forcing you to do terrible things at times. I am not sure how seriously to take that objection. Any thoughts?

Yeah this argument.

It's because people don't listen to what they've been told before starting. Larian have said (possibly not as well as they could have done but still, it's not like they didn't warn people) that they want people to basically play at being Evil for this Early Access. All the named characters are at best neutral, probably more evil orientated or aligned with evil powers for their own reasons. That means their reactions are probably not what people were quite expecting. It's not exactly forcing you to make "bad" choices or do terrible things, it's just that those companions tend to react negatively if you try to be "nice" and people are moaning about it. Added to the apparently "urgency" to resolving your mindflayer worm issue (which in typical video game fashion it completely ignores) and some people out there are not happy.

That's not to say there are not couple of events that happen in game that are not nice (I've alluded to these before) and people are probably a little taken back by some of them, but really it's people over reacting.

So long as the storyline can handle all spectrums of roleplaying along alignments without railroading the player down particular paths without any meaning other than limited scripting.

By way of comparison, playing Wasteland 3, there is definitely limited scripting which makes the choices feel less genuine (although that said it's not a big deal for me in that game).

If you are not familiar with the D&D 5e ruleset the following summary of advantage and disadvantage in combat is really useful (or at least I think it is as someone who knows nothing about it) plus a few little extras Larian have added. I’ve taken this from the BG3 subreddit and find it very informative and useful.

Spoiler:

A guide to Advantage and Disadvantage in BG3

The more you play BG3, the more you will realize how important it is to get advantage on your attacks and avoid disadvantage.
When you have an attack prepared and are hovering over a target you will see a % to hit. On the bottom left hand corner of screen is a black box with a bit more info. You may see green up arrows indicating advantage on your attack, or red down arrows indicating disadvantage.

Advantage means you will roll to hit twice, and it will use the **higher** dice roll. Disadvantage means you roll to hit twice, and it will use the **lower** dice roll. These extra rolls can seriously hurt or help your chance to hit the target accordingly. If you have 5 sources of advantage (or disadvantage) this does not mean you roll 5 times and pick the highest (or lowest) one. You still only roll two dice.

If you have both advantage and disadvantage on the same attack (for example, you are blinded so have disadvantage, but are making a melee attack against a prone enemy so have advantage) then they cancel out. If you have 5 sources of advantage on an attack, and 1 source of disadvantage, then they **still cancel out**. The opposite applies as well. You don't keep track of "Well there's X sources of advantage which is more than Y sources of disadvantage, so I should have advantage on the attack." That's not how it works. 1 of either is enough to cancel an infinite number of the other.

**UPDATE**: Spells like sacred flame, acid splash, thunderwave, lightning bolt, etc. that force your enemy to make a saving throw are NOT attack rolls. For an attack roll you are the one rolling to see if you can get through the enemies defenses. Spells that force the enemy to make a save means that the enemy is rolling to resist the spell effects. While it is possible for your enemy to have advantage/disadvantage on saving throws, this is much more rare than advantage/disadvantage on attack rolls (what this post is all about)

###Sources of advantage:

- Attacking an enemy who can't see you (you're hidden, or they are blind)

- Attacking a prone enemy with a melee attack

- Attacking an enemy affected by a status effect like "paralyzed" from the Hold Person spell (this also automatically crits if it hits). Other effects that will give advantage include restrained or being hit by Guiding Bolt

- **Not D&D 5e official but in the game:** Making a ranged attack on an enemy who you have the high ground on

- **Not D&D 5e official but in the game:** Making a melee attack against an enemy's back (backstab)

###Sources of disadvantage:

- Making a ranged attack while an enemy is near you (called "Threatened" in BG3)

- Attacking a prone enemy with a ranged attack

- Attacking somebody affected by a spell like Blur

- Attacking an enemy you can't see (in a fog cloud, darkness, or you are blind)

- Attacking an enemy beyond the normal range of your ranged weapons. For example, a shortbow can attack enemies within 320 feet. But anything beyond 80 feet will have disadvantage

- Using a heavy weapon (greatsword, heavy crossbow, etc.) as a small race (halfling, gnome). Dwarves are NOT a small race.

- **Not D&D 5e official but in the game:** Attacking an enemy in dim light.

- One good way to get around this is to use a cantrip like dancing lights in the area around your target covered in darkness

- **Not D&D 5e official but in the game:** Making a ranged attack on an enemy who is higher up than you

There are other sources of advantage and disadvantage in D&D 5e (attacking while prone, sunlight sensitivity, dodge action, etc.) but they are not in BG3 so not worth discussing here.

That is really good to know, Sorbicol. I guess the writer didn't pay attention lol. Thanks!

Its over, I have the high ground!

The first official patch is up (as opposed to hotfix) with some interesting summary pieces about how the launch has gone for them and player experiences in the game (poor Gale)

Also SteamSpy reckons that over 1 million copies of the Early Access have been purchased on steam alone.

To give some perspective for those who don't play pen-and-paper D&D, 'advantage' and 'disadvantage' rolls were an elegant solution introduced in 5e to resolve the +/- fatigue in earlier D&D versions. Instead of players having to keep track of something giving a +2 and then a -5 and whatever else they can simple figure out if they have advantage or disadvantage or neither because they've cancelled each other out.

It makes the pen-and-paper experience faster and easier to track while still providing incentives.

I think I'm nearly "done" - or at least as done as I can be - with the early access now, there's just one area I haven't really explored yet, down to what I would call EA issues

Spoiler:

Find the "Nightsong" under the Goblin camp. That's because I killed all the leaders to help the Druids, but it's turned the rest of the camp hostile and I'm not that fussed about fighting my way back through the entire camp to get there. I do feel that Larian needs to add some sort of "bluff" attempt (or something) if nobody left alive inside the camp saw you do your murdering. But it was OK murdering, they were all bad people

Still undecided if I'll go back and do it yet.

Overall my impressions are this is a upgrade on Divinity Original Sin 2, even if half the time the spells and abilities that the D&D ruleset give you are very much more directed at pen and paper rather than a video game. I would like to see Larian work on that more but also completely understand why they can't/won't. "Shove" however, is going to become one of the greatest game mechanics ever created. It is just. so. much. fun. I suspect my "main" on release will be some sort of stealth character just so I can creep up on people and shove them off cliff faces etc. It never gets old.

If you are expecting a more "Bioware" BG experience though you aren't going to get it. I personally think both styles work, but purely personally I think I prefer this interpretation.

I am also at a point where I am taking a break form the game. I don't want to burn out before it is done and in 8 hours I got a good feel for it. I just need the completed story and all the bugs/features worked out.

The difficulty curve was really strange but I assume that is early access.

Have any of you looked into Solastra?
It is a different 5e rpg done by a much smaller dev but looks very much in line with BG 3.
Some key differences are races available and they trade warlock for paladin (boo!).
One really positive thing is you can create your whole party from the start.

Aaaannnnddd...
Solastra is amazing and different enough from BG 3 to stand on its own.
It is early access but how often can you say the tutorials are incredibly fun? Because they are

Gaming laptop arrived last week.

...and I'm playing WoW.

While getting ready for Cyberpunk 2077.

I'm excited for BG3, but I have to admit I'm actually a little happy that the game still has a number of bugs and kinks to work through. I'd rather the game continue to improve as much as it can before I play it. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Odds are I'm going to be involved with Cyberpunk, WoW, and hopefully Vampires Bloodlines 2 while BG3 gets finalized.

Steam tells me I've now spent over 50 hours in this Early Access slice of the game.

Please, send help.

They released a new patch, yesterday I think. Sounds like they made a lot of patches and fixes

Sorbicol wrote:

Please, send help.

Sorry, all help is getting delayed.

Instead of downloading the patch I uninstalled it. I'm going to fight myself from going through this every time they update it. I'll probably reinstall it next week...gah!

So, I've now been playing this for 70 hours (2 playthroughs with different characters) and I've just reached (minor spoiler)

Spoiler:

the underdark

for the first time, my first playthrough apparently missing a whole load of stuff because I was trying to be more evil than good, and my unfamiliarity with the D&D 5e ruleset meaning there were certain things I didn't try or understand properly. More on that in a moment.

Spoiler:

I was expecting the Underdark to be a small mission based area for a specific quest. Nope, it's practically another entire map to explore. I have to say that Larian have knocked the environmental design out of the park for this area as well - it looks superb. It really brings the verticality of their map design for this game to the fore as well.

The evil v good issue is the common issue for all RPGs I've played, in that being good generally leads to much better outcomes with more rewards than being flat evil does. I think that's something they will address (I sure hope so) but being evil generally equates to "kill everyone", and for a turn based game that's a lot of fighting. Being evil in BG3 feels like it has the potential to be very interesting with very different outcomes, but so far this EA slice of the game fails to deliver on that front. Not to be unexpected I guess but really I'm a little disappointed by it. Then again maybe I'm just missing stuff because I don't know anything much about the D&D ruleset. I hope that's also something they address moving forward as well - it needs a tooltip system to explain how different spells work, when they are close or long range, and the different weapon types proficiencies work - stuff like that. It's not the end of the world but I wouldn't say you really needed to know anything about how the D&D 2nd edition rules worked for BG1 & 2 (beyond figuring out THAC0) , where as here I think it would probably help. It's clearly quite a faithful interpretation of the rules and how they play.

I'll give a more general impression of what I've experienced when I'm properly "done" but I have absolutely loved every second of the 70 hours I've put into this - if you can leave all your "Baldur's gate v Original Sin" baggage at the door (assuming you have any) this is quite simply a genuinely superb game, even for an Early Access release. Those 70 hours have flown by with no lagging or dip of interest while I've been playing it, I've not really had that sort of experience since The Witcher 3.

* The spoiler really is just a minor spoiler relating to a specific area in the game. No content included! Just want to give people the option to avoid it if they prefer.

I have played D&D since the late 90's from 2.5 to 5th ed. I haven't experienced a 'evil' playthrough as either DM or player that was really that fun. I'm sure that's mostly due to me and how I approach the creative side of D&D but I don't feel like I'm in the minority from all the people I've played with over the years.

I don't mean people want to always be the lawful good Paladin. I mean people want to be altruistic at least to some degree and screwing over others even NPCs isn't particularly fulfilling at the end of a session.

The only RPG I can think of ever being 'bad' and enjoying it was Mass Effect 2 and that was mostly just being snarky.

Is there a perspective of this I'm missing that would be compelling in a game like Baldur's Gate?

I think it basically boils down to the evil route feeling dumb and petty in your straight heroic fantasy narrative.

@Sorbicol: 70 hours‽ How much of that did you spend staring at the loading screen? I played about 10 hours, but my Computer is so slow that I must have spent at least one hour looking at those stills.

After trying it on Stadia first, which did not work out for me, I tried out the Steam version over the weekend and I am mostly happy with what I've seen. The mind flayers have always been my favourite D&D enemies, so for me personally this is the best setup of any crpg I've ever played.

The only thing that has been bothering me a little bit is the size of the party. Even though most fights have been manageable (apart from a battle against a group of Githyanki I decided to postpone), I'd really prefer an additional fifth party member.

I was so psyched about getting back into D&D that I installed BG 1 & 2 again – it's been eight years since my last proper playthrough – and I was surprised to find out that there are a couple of additions to the Enhanced Editions that had certainly not been in there before. That Dwarven Defender kit sounds pretty neat.

I assume this will eventually be as open to modding as Div 2 was so extra NPC slots is probably a given.

Brainsmith wrote:

@Sorbicol: 70 hours‽ How much of that did you spend staring at the loading screen? I played about 10 hours, but my Computer is so slow that I must have spent at least one hour looking at those stills.

After trying it on Stadia first, which did not work out for me, I tried out the Steam version over the weekend and I am mostly happy with what I've seen. The mind flayers have always been my favourite D&D enemies, so for me personally this is the best setup of any crpg I've ever played.

The only thing that has been bothering me a little bit is the size of the party. Even though most fights have been manageable (apart from a battle against a group of Githyanki I decided to postpone), I'd really prefer an additional fifth party member.

I was so psyched about getting back into D&D that I installed BG 1 & 2 again – it's been eight years since my last proper playthrough – and I was surprised to find out that there are a couple of additions to the Enhanced Editions that had certainly not been in there before. That Dwarven Defender kit sounds pretty neat.

It's pretty stable on PC so not nearly as long as you might think!

As for party size, I think they might rebalance for 5 or 6, but I wouldn't guarantee it. there are some encounters that are definitely on the tough side just still feel like they are in some way constrained. It's sort of hard to explain. That Githyanki fight is one of the hardest in the game but it still feels like they should be doing more damage than they do.

I tried that Githyanki fight while still at level 3 and they wiped out my squishy sorceress without me doing anything yet. Instead I went straight to the goblin camp...

Spoiler:

...ending up in a prison and afterwards more or less stumbling into the Underdark which looks SO much better than in BG2...

...also I had to laugh pretty hard when my magician died and his safety protocol was turned on reminding me a bit of the Doctor in Star Trek: Voyager.