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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!
 
Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Nymrod

Explorer
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.
Look you might be all about subjective morality but:

Lae'zel is a member in good standing of a culture of raiders
Shadowheart belongs to a church that requires the murder of an innocent achieved through deception in order to join
Astarion is a freaking Vampire

I am not touching the "I made a deal with the devil guy" or the "I'm a walking bomb that might go off at any moment yet I'm OK with moving around innocent bystanders"
 

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Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Shadowheart is evil.
Githyanki culture is the only culture Lae'zel has ever know - she seem to become more of a think-for-yourselfer the longer she is separated from it
Astarion is a vampire who makes the argument "Look, we're killing things left and right anyway - what does it really matter if I happen to drain the blood of the people we're killing?" which I find hard to argue with under the circumstances. Not a "good" guy but he isn't killing innocent people - he's killing the usual things that D&D adventurers always kill.
The warlock has issues but if he's evil then basically every pact of the fiend warlock in D&D is evil.
I don't know what Gale's deal is yet.
 

I like the stuff they did for the Ranger, but find their use of Favored Enemy completely baffling name wise. To the point where I feel like they would be better considered Specializations or a kind of Ranger Focus.

part of me is though, willing to jack it for Ranger Characters in my 5E games as a kind of Specialization, while keeping the Revised Ranger's Favored Enemy or Class Feature Variants Hunter's Mark add-on in play.
 

Zarithar

Adventurer
I'm enjoying it but there is currently a bug affecting many (myself included) that has put everything on hold. I can't load my most recent saved games - crash to desktop every time. I can go back a couple of days and load an old save, or start over fresh - but can't load the games with the most progress. I've submitted a couple of reports as I'm sure many others have. I think I'll wait until it gets another patch.
 

Nymrod

Explorer
Shadowheart is evil.
Githyanki culture is the only culture Lae'zel has ever know - she seem to become more of a think-for-yourselfer the longer she is separated from it
Astarion is a vampire who makes the argument "Look, we're killing things left and right anyway - what does it really matter if I happen to drain the blood of the people we're killing?" which I find hard to argue with under the circumstances. Not a "good" guy but he isn't killing innocent people - he's killing the usual things that D&D adventurers always kill.
The warlock has issues but if he's evil then basically every pact of the fiend warlock in D&D is evil.
I don't know what Gale's deal is yet.
Part of the issue I have (and it seems common since I've seen it in several reviews) is not so much that they are evil. It's that they are grating. Shadowheart is an evil cleric of Shar but so was Viconia. But Viconia was also charming in her own way. Lae'zel comes from an evil culture but so did Edwin, yet Edwin somehow managed to be so very funny (credit to his voice actor really). The characters just seem to lack . . . likeability?
There are so many characters in fiction that are just monstrous in their actions yet people still love them because of the way they are written. Ofc that is all subjective. It's just that my favourite BG2 run is the evil one (especially with the EE additions who were both fun characters to have around) and I don't see myself enjoying an evil run here.
 

Actually, Gale is very like a good aligned Edwin in his personality. Not keen on Shadowheart, but that's coloured by my dislike of the Trickery domain. If she had Death or Arcana I would be glad to have her along. Wyll is every good aligned fiend-pact warlock ever.
 

Nymrod

Explorer
Actually, Gale is very like a good aligned Edwin in his personality. Not keen on Shadowheart, but that's coloured by my dislike of the Trickery domain. If she had Death or Arcana I would be glad to have her along. Wyll is every good aligned fiend-pact warlock ever.
Well Gale is the only one I don't mind and that I might pick up anyway (doesn't hurt that he is nice to look at). Still his story gimmick is silly imo.
 



MarkB

Legend
I just read that the saves from early access wont work (IGN) once the game is fully released. Glad I waited
That's pretty much how Early Access always works - as they update the game, things will change that make old saves incompatible. It's not just that our saves won't work in the full release, there's every likelihood that they will cease to work between one update and the next.
 


Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
I just read that the saves from early access wont work (IGN) once the game is fully released. Glad I waited

Yeah, that's always the case with early access. This build is actually more stable than other early access games I've played.

But absolutely - by opting in now you're making a concession that you'll have to start over when the full game is released (which looks to be over a year away at this point).
 


sim-h

Explorer
The NPCs are amazing. Only Astarion I can't stand and find irritating. All the others, I find very engaging in different ways. Shadowheart rocks. But she also dies, a lot, sadly. I saw a post from Larian saying she was the only NPC to die more frequently than the main PC...
 

I've found it's Wyll who dies all the time - Shadowheart has Mirror Image in her spell list which is currently very powerful in BG3.

I've found the enemy AI is pretty vicious. It picks a target and stays focused on it, it continues to attack downed targets, and it goes all out to break concentration.
 

Nymrod

Explorer
I've found it's Wyll who dies all the time - Shadowheart has Mirror Image in her spell list which is currently very powerful in BG3.

I've found the enemy AI is pretty vicious. It picks a target and stays focused on it, it continues to attack downed targets, and it goes all out to break concentration.
Yeah the AI is a solid mean GM that gives players no breaks. Which is great for those who enjoy a challenge. As for me, I'm cheating my way through the game because I'm a lazy bastard that just wants to see the story (and there is finally a cheat engine script to always win d20 rolls)
 

Yeah, strict rules make Hex/Hunters Mark less effective than they tend to be in tabletop. "Whoops, did you trip over a pebble? You have just lost concentration on Hex." - Evil DM
 




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