D&D General Baldur's Gate 3 Early Access

Baldur's Gate III is now available for early access on Steam and on Stadia.

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I couldn't get the Steam version working on my Mac, but the Stadia version works just fine. The opening tutorial level is pretty gruesome (at one point I had to squish somebody's brain) and the mind flayer airship you're trying to escape from beings to mind the movie Aliens a lot.

Character creation is quick and easy, although options in the early access are limited. The gameplay is like Divinity Original Sin 2 with the 5E rules layered over it. I've only played an hour or so of the game, and as an early access game, it is occasionally a bit buggy, but nothing showstopping (yet).

This isn't a review (I haven't played enough of it to do that, and I don't think it's fair to review an early access version anyway); it's mainly just an alert to the few people who don't already know it's available. If any such person exists!
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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MockingBird

Adventurer
I guarantee you that's never going to happen.
At the time Obsidian broke crowd funding records with PoE and it happens to be RTWP. BG1 & 2 is on every platform now not to mention the other titles in that family of games. Theres been a lot of very popular and successful games that are RTWP (Mass Effect, KotOR, Jade Empire, Dragon Age games etc). To say they were never popular and will never be popular is a fallacy.
 

At the time Obsidian broke crowd funding records with PoE and it happens to be RTWP.
PoE 1 took five months to top 500,000 sales, and after a year was at 700,000. Divinity OS2, on the other hand, broke 700,000 in a month after release and was over a million in 2 months. Meanwhile, PoE 2 straight flopped.

At best, RTwP is niche these days. We're far from the KOTOR and Dragon Age: Origins heydays of RTwP RPGs. And at least in KOTOR's case, the combat system was considered the weakest aspect of that game even back in its heyday. DA:O did it right, mostly because it was never obligated to follow and adapt a turn-based ruleset to begin with, but even that series shifted away from RTwP for its sequels. PoE 2 and Kingmaker didn't add turn-based modes fairly recently just for the hell of it.

BG1 & 2 is on every platform now not to mention the other titles in that family of games. Theres been a lot of very popular and successful games that are RTWP (Mass Effect, KotOR, Jade Empire, Dragon Age games etc). To say they were never popular and will never be popular is a fallacy.
Where did I say they were "never popular"? The fallacy is yours.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I bought Baldur's Gate on the Stadia. Some initial reactions:

  • Playing with game controllers is still a bit sketchy. It is the first Stadia game where I've experienced significant drift with some of the controls. It was really annoying with character creation, but in actually play didn't seem to be an issue.

  • It would be nice to have a tutorial on how to use the controls. My sons and I were stuck in the first scene for far longer than we should have been because couldn't figure out that we could jump or how to do it. The first combat was also annoying because we had to just experiment to figure out what does what. When I go back to play, I'm going to watch some videos and read some online tutorials to make sure I'm not missing any features. I'm used to most modern games having learning-by-playing tutorials that lead you through all the features.

  • I love the turn-based combat, but one of my sons hated it. Shows that the debate over turn-based gameplay can even divide families. :) I think he'll come around though. He's just not used to it.

  • I had thought that I read that there was same-device multiplayer, but as far as I can figure there is not. For local or online multiplayer, each player would need a stadia, stadia account, and their own copy of the game. I was hoping this could be a family game where at least two people could control one or more characters in the same party. I'm not going to buy multiple devices and multiple licenses of the game, so this is for all practical purposes a single player game for us.

  • So far I like the graphics, story, and feel of the game but I've only played a single short session, much of it spent on character creation. Hopefully, it'll keep my attention.

  • I like how you do not need to know how to play D&D 5e to play the game, but that if you do, there is sense of recognition and comfort. I feels like D&D.
 

ssvegeta555

Explorer
Actually Baldur's gate was no real real time. It was round based. There were no cooldowns ticking down. It was just 6? second rounds and you could just miss out attacks. You could not dodge by making movements. It just looked like real time, but it was not.
I don't think movement was tied to the 6 round system, at least it didn't feel like it. I replayed BG 1, IWD 1 and 2 earlier this year and you can move out of range of an attack. I remember kiting around a stone golem, wait for him to raise his arm up for a slam attack then move away causing him to end the attack and continue pursuit. You can micromanage movement, cheesing enemies in this way.

Spells were harder because the animation fired off so quickly and it was hard to gauge the area of effect but I've dodged fireballs before. It's just very hard to do.
 

Interesting. That would explain my preference for RTwP. My favorite genre is ARPGs with standouts like Diablo series and later on Titan Quest and Grim Dawn. I also to a lesser extent like RTS games. So playing CRPGs with RTwP is ideal for me. Yet, I find turn based games too slow and plodding for me personally. Never could get into Divinity Original Sin for example.
This is what I don't get. I like Titan Quest and Grim Dawn. But that doesn't mean I can only like games like Titan Quest and Grim Dawn (neither of which are much like BG1 and 2). I can like other kinds of game as well. And to complain about turn based games being too slow, then go and play a turn based game on a tabletop where it plays even slower just seems contrarian.
 

ssvegeta555

Explorer
This is what I don't get. I like Titan Quest and Grim Dawn. But that doesn't mean I can only like games like Titan Quest and Grim Dawn (neither of which are much like BG1 and 2). I can like other kinds of game as well. And to complain about turn based games being too slow, then go and play a turn based game on a tabletop where it plays even slower just seems contrarian.

I don't turn my nose up with all turn based games, otherwise I wouldn't play D&D. I too can like different games and play styles. But when it comes to strategy or RPG video games, I much prefer real time gameplay. It's what enjoy the most, so... shrugs
 

I don't turn my nose up with all turn based games, otherwise I wouldn't play D&D. I too can like different games and play styles. But when it comes to strategy or RPG video games, I much prefer real time gameplay. It's what enjoy the most, so... shrugs
Titan Quest and Grim Dawn are action games, they don't have strategy.
 

ssvegeta555

Explorer
Titan Quest and Grim Dawn are action games, they don't have strategy.
They're in real time. That's the point. Someone mentioned that Larian said the reason Baldur's Gate 1 was made with real time with pause instead of turn based was because Diablo 1 was all the rage. I would also like to add so were RTS games. As someone who played and enjoyed those games back in the day (and still so) I thought, when I read that post, that "hey, maybe the similar control scheme and real time micro was one of the reasons RTwP clicked with me so well and why it stuck with me." I wasn't saying those games were the same or no one can like other games of opposite gameplay and control schemes. Again, I only speak for myself.
 


Li Shenron

Legend
  • I had thought that I read that there was same-device multiplayer, but as far as I can figure there is not. For local or online multiplayer, each player would need a stadia, stadia account, and their own copy of the game. I was hoping this could be a family game where at least two people could control one or more characters in the same party. I'm not going to buy multiple devices and multiple licenses of the game, so this is for all practical purposes a single player game for us.

I would like that option too, even if it had to be on the same PC and wouldn't work over LAN.

I suppose we could always just decide that the first player hands the controls over to a second players who then controls some of the NPCs in the party, right? But if the game allowed to create more than one custom PC (like The Temple of Elemental Evil did) then this would be close enough to me to call it "local multiplayer".
 

Nymrod

Explorer
So far I like the story but I get nothing from the companions. I played BG and BG2 for far, far too long. I don't think I ever really wanted to kill any of the companions there except maybe Tiax and Eldoth. I struggle to see why I am not killing Lae'zel, Shadowheart and Astarion soon after meeting them. I get it, strenuous circumstances, larva ready to eat our brains, we have to band together. But that's like being forced to play in the most dysfunctional group ever. And I find it hilarious that they are calling players out for making bland PCs when their NPCs are so bland themselves. I seriously hope they are adding more (though all the promo material shows just these 5). What, did Faerun run out of dwarves and halflings? Does everyone need to have a dark secret these days?
 

MarkB

Legend
So far I like the story but I get nothing from the companions. I played BG and BG2 for far, far too long. I don't think I ever really wanted to kill any of the companions there except maybe Tiax and Eldoth. I struggle to see why I am not killing Lae'zel, Shadowheart and Astarion soon after meeting them. I get it, strenuous circumstances, larva ready to eat our brains, we have to band together. But that's like being forced to play in the most dysfunctional group ever. And I find it hilarious that they are calling players out for making bland PCs when their NPCs are so bland themselves. I seriously hope they are adding more (though all the promo material shows just these 5). What, did Faerun run out of dwarves and halflings? Does everyone need to have a dark secret these days?
It's a deliberate choice by Larien. They're starting out with the more evil companions so that they can see how they perform, because they otherwise wouldn't see much play.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
Most of the NPCs (well, except the human wizard) get a lot more interesting as the chapter progresses.

There is only one who I would put firmly in the “evil” category, and even then I’m not sure that person is irredeemable. Of the other four, I’d say one is good, one wants to be good but has an...entanglement, one is probably chaotic neutral/floating morals, and one takes an “end justifies the means” outlook which (thus far) results in behavior that is harsh but not actually evil.

The ones that start off less likeable generally become more so as things progress (not sure if that’s the case with Astarion, as I tend to use him least).

WotC asked them to downplay alignment, so I think the characters are less fixed and more morally ambiguous, and it’s up to the player to influence companion behavior.

I actually don’t think they will introduce more companions unless they arrive in chapters 2 or 3 of the game - for at least the first chapter, this feels like what we’re getting. I do think some of the human wizard’s content/side quests aren’t in the game yet, as it feels like he has less to say and do than the other four.
 
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MarkB

Legend
I actually did end up killing Lae'zel in my current playthrough, after a failed check meant that it was either her or some relatively innocent bystanders. But that was partly pragmatic on my part out-of-game - I find her interesting enough that I want to experience her as an Origin character first-hand, so I'm avoiding seeing too much of her story before then.
 

I don't think movement was tied to the 6 round system, at least it didn't feel like it. I replayed BG 1, IWD 1 and 2 earlier this year and you can move out of range of an attack. I remember kiting around a stone golem, wait for him to raise his arm up for a slam attack then move away causing him to end the attack and continue pursuit. You can micromanage movement, cheesing enemies in this way.

Spells were harder because the animation fired off so quickly and it was hard to gauge the area of effect but I've dodged fireballs before. It's just very hard to do.

I remember the BG 1 Ankheg cave. I think you could kite enemies a bit, but it felt like a weird mix of rts and round based. Sometimes it was possible to dodge, sometimes not.
Remember that in Adnd all actions were declared simultaneously. Maybe it used this initiative system in some way and if the enemy issued a ranged attack and you moved behind cover, it shot anyway and thus could miss.
 

No, that's not how it worked. Ranged attacks where resolved instantaneously, arrows follow you even if you appear to move behind cover.

What you are thinking of is spell casting time - if you moved out of range of a spell between the start and end of the cast time the spell would fail. Some creature abilities, like ankheg acid spit, functioned as spells.
 


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