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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
I decided that since this wasn't going to be a full playthough I would just pick something for testing purposes (Shield Dwarf Ranger) and play it through to the end of the chapter.
I've switched between a half-elf cleric of Selune, a tiefling fiend warlock and now I think I've finally decided to play an Eldritch Knight (likely human). I do hope we get to play Clerics of Tymora (I'm not up to speed with 5E FR, Tymora IS still around right?)
 

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I've switched between a half-elf cleric of Selune, a tiefling fiend warlock and now I think I've finally decided to play an Eldritch Knight (likely human). I do hope we get to play Clerics of Tymora (I'm not up to speed with 5E FR, Tymora IS still around right?)
They could have a write-in option! Trickery domain works for her.

There are some oddities on the currently available selection. Myrkul? No Lathander?

For those not in early access, here is the list of currently selectable deities:

Selune
Shar
Tempus
Tyr
Bane
Helm
Myrkul
Ilmater
Mystra
Oghma
Kelemvor
Bhaal
Moradin
Corellon Larethian
Garl Glittergold
Yondalla
Lolth
Laduguer
Vlaakith
Eilistraee

Couple of thoughts on that list: Light, Life and Trickery domains are in, War, Knowledge and Death would be needed to cover the canonical domains of all those deities.

There appears to be one deity for each non-human race. Gnomes aren't in yet, but we can assume they will be added later. More surprising is Laduguer, a duegar deity. They go with the "Dwair-gar" pronunciation in the VO. No Orcish deity, does that suggest half orcs won't make the cut? No Bahamut or Tiamat either.
 
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They could have a write-in option! Trickery domain works for her.

There are some oddities on the currently available selection. Myrkul? No Lathander?

For those not in early access, here is the list of currently selectable deities:

Selune
Shar
Tempus
Tyr
Bane
Helm
Myrkul
Ilmater
Mystra
Oghma
Kelemvor
Bhaal
Moradin
Corellon Larethian
Garl Glittergold
Yondalla
Lolth
Laduguer
Vlaakith
Eilistraee

Couple of thoughts on that list: Light, Life and Trickery domains are in, War, Knowledge and Death would be needed to cover the canonical domains of all those deities.

There appears to be one deity for each non-human race. Gnomes aren't in yet, but we can assume they will be added later. More surprising is Laduguer, a duegar deity. They go with the "Dwair-gar" pronunciation in the VO. No Orcish deity, does that suggest half orcs won't make the cut? No Bahamut or Tiamat either.

I'm guessing that gnomes are to be implemented relatively soon, while half-orcs and dragonborn are further off.

I also assume more deities will likely be added later, especially the more prominent missing ones. Probably not the full list, but at enough to cover the major and better-known deities. I assume Larian has already gotten quite a bit of feedback on which ones should be included! My guess is that many of the order choices already in, like Myrkul, are there for story reasons...
 
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Nardgrog

Villager
For me, the game is too early to play. I'll be holding off a few months before I dip back into it. The writing at times is good. The way how the mind flayer and tadpoles interact with players and how the player reacts to being controlled is spot on and will help me to be a better GM.

I'm not seeing the humor that endeared Larian to me as a studio. And when looking at BG and BGII, there was plenty of humor present. So I am hoping more of the "miniature giant space hamster" type of jokes are in the game more than the everything will die and land in ruin that the current game has given me the vibe with playing a few hours in.

I'm more interested in trying out a Paladin that is currently on hold and having more spells being available to cast as divine.
 

Nymrod

Explorer
Heck I'd say the DEFAULT deity of an adventuring cleric in the Realms should be either Tymora or Lathander. And they are both missing? Just weird.
 


cbwjm

Hero
I'm going to wait until this is released rather than early access, looking forward to it though. I'm hoping the ranger changes make it into 5e, really hoping that they will be in Tasha's because it fixes a lot of what people consider an issue with the ranger (at least with the natural explorer and favoured enemy abilities). I can implement the changes myself, but since my friends and I use DnD beyond, I'd like them to be available in there, though I guess I can create them as feats and just give them in addition to the standard ranger bonuses.
 


Azzy

Newtype
I'm going to wait until this is released rather than early access, looking forward to it though. I'm hoping the ranger changes make it into 5e, really hoping that they will be in Tasha's because it fixes a lot of what people consider an issue with the ranger (at least with the natural explorer and favoured enemy abilities). I can implement the changes myself, but since my friends and I use DnD beyond, I'd like them to be available in there, though I guess I can create them as feats and just give them in addition to the standard ranger bonuses.
Can you give a summary of the changes?
 

cbwjm

Hero
Can you give a summary of the changes?

These are the main changes, very reminiscent of some of the ideas from Mike Mearls in his happy fun hour so he clearly took his ideas with him when they started work on the game. True strike has apparently also been updated to last for 2 rounds apply advantage to all of your attack rolls instead of your next one, though the Badlur's Gate 3 Wiki (Baldur's Gate 3 Wiki - Baldurs Gate 3) doesn't mention it.

I'm not sure what the Bounty Hunter ability that makes it harder for creatures you restrain to escape but I'd probably say that they have disadvantage on rolls to escape.

Favoured Enemy
When you create a Ranger, you must choose one of the following Favored Enemies, this allows the Ranger to gain certain Proficiency or learn a new Spell.
  • Bounty Hunter: Gain Proficiency in Investigation and learn the Thieves' Cant passive. Creatures you Restrain have a harder time escaping.
  • Keeper of the Veil: Gain Proficiency in Arcana, and can cast Protection from Evil and Good.
  • Mage Breaker: Gain Proficiency with Arcana and the True Strike cantrip. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for this Spell
  • Ranger Knight: Gain Proficiency with History and Heavy Armour.
  • Sanctified Stalker: Gain Proficiency in Religion and the Sacred Flame Cantrip. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for this Spell
Natural Explorer
When you create a Ranger, you must choose one of the following types of Natural Explorer, this allows the Ranger to increase the amount of skills at his/her disposal.
  • Beast Tamer: You can cast Find Familiar as a ritual.
  • Urban Tracker: You gain Proficiency with the disguise kits and thieves' tools.
  • Wasteland Wanderer: Cold: Gain resistance to Cold damage, taking only half from it.
  • Wasteland Wanderer: Fire: Gain resistance to Fire, only taking half damage from it.
  • Wasteland Wanderer: Poison: Gain resistance to Poison and take only half damage from it.
 

Yes, I like the ranger. I went with Ranger Knight and Beast Tamer. A few comments:

  • I believe Thieves' Cant is a tag, that might open up a certain quest.
  • True Strike does not suck as much in BG3 as it does in PnP.
  • Ranger Knight is not as good as it sounds, as good heavy armour is hard to find in Chapter 1. My History prof told me Szass Tam was a Lich, which I knew anyway.
  • "as a ritual" means you can cast it as often as you like outside combat, so the familiar is an expendable minion (more so than a wizard, who doesn't have ritual casting yet, so they have to burn a spell slot). I found the raven most useful.
  • Tool proficiencies are not in - Thieves' tools are keyed to Slight of Hand skill, and Disguise Self is a 1st level spell. It gives you slight of hand, but it doesn't give you the Disguise Self spell at level 1. It might add it to your ranger spell list at level 2. I assume the text is out of date.
  • Beastmaster (level 3) summons another expendable minion, stronger than the familiar - very similar to Neverwinter Knights.
  • Hunter works as PnP.
 
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I'm not seeing the humor that endeared Larian to me as a studio. And when looking at BG and BGII, there was plenty of humor present. So I am hoping more of the "miniature giant space hamster" type of jokes are in the game more than the everything will die and land in ruin that the current game has given me the vibe with playing a few hours in.
I am withholding judgement so far. Early Larian games were out and proud with their humor. DOS2 was a big change, since quite a bit of humor was hidden behind optional things like Pet Pal.

I suspect BG3 will go the same way. More serious in tone, with the big humor slightly hidden... but still accessible if you look for it.
 


I'm glad they are playing the adventure straight, rather than treating is as a parody or spoof. The thing I disliked most about the DOS games was the sense I was playing a genre parody. BG1 was full of stupid pop culture jokes though, many of which are now so badly dated that people don't even realise they where jokes.

BG3 has humour, but it arises out of the situation, rather than being forced in. Such as right at the end of the act when
Someone jumps onto the boat you have just liberated and accuses you of steeling it. The bottom dialogue option is - shove.
 

I'm glad they are playing the adventure straight, rather than treating is as a parody or spoof. The thing I disliked most about the DOS games was the sense I was playing a genre parody. BG1 was full of stupid pop culture jokes though, many of which are now so badly dated that people don't even realise they where jokes.

BG3 has humour, but it arises out of the situation, rather than being forced in. Such as right at the end of the act when
Someone jumps onto the boat you have just liberated and accuses you of steeling it. The bottom dialogue option is - shove.
I doubt anyone under 40 will get what the Larry, Darryl, and Darryl joke was about in BG1...
 



MaskedGuy

Explorer
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"
To be fair, Gale IS heroic character, but their main goal seems to be not to die before they have disarmed the super nuke. Which apparently is supposed to be large enough to destroy entire nation(key word on apparently) so uh, they can't really avoid bystanders dying unless they find way to enter space, so avoiding crowded locations won't help much, he just needs to avoid dying. Like even if he went to middle of wildeness, presumably radius of netherese destruction orb would still be large enough to reach settlements not to mention all ecological damage and weird magic stuff that happens with magic nukes

On sidenote, Laez and Astarion are definitely evil, Shadowheart seems to be neutral(they are more self serving, but feel sick when doing something truly evil and apparently have memory gap problems with intention that they are supposed to regain their memory once they fulfill their missions), Wyll is super heroic(only one in party who turns agaisnt you if you join with goblins to kill druids) but has vindictive streak.
 

Lae'zel is evil in a ruthless "end justifies the means" way, but the "end" she seeks is "good". Consistent with canonical lawful evil for her race.

Shadowheart is evil by way of following the teachings of an evil god, however it is unclear if she is acting voluntarily or under some compulsion.

Asterion is Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
 

Nymrod

Explorer
Shadowheart's problems do feel very "Shar". Memory gaps when you worship Shar? It couldn't be that the goddess of forgetfullness is manipulating you . . .
I think it would be possible to have her change gods or at least heavily reconsider her relation with her goddess down the line.

I think I've done a decent chunk of the EA by now. Imo, very enjoyable game, feels like D&D, great graphics. I'll enjoy it much more with more companion options; right now I feel very limited. Doesn't really feel like a Baldur's Gate successor though. If it had been Neverwinter Nights 3 it would have made far more sense to me. Perhaps it gets closer to that feel when we get to actual Baldur's Gate.
 

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