D&D General Baldur's Gate 3 will now be releasing August 3rd on PC and September 6th on PS5, increased level cap, race & class details and more

You might be right but there is a strong assumption that Larian will learn nothing from the BG3 experience. That they are incapable of learning and that will only make a better game with the combo of a publisher and fans beating them with sticks for their mistakes.
Yes that is exactly what I am assuming. Not without reason though. When BG3's Early Access started, it was basically just DOS2 with some D&D rules.

The combat was a huge mess of wildly overpowered surface effects and exploding barrels and so on. It didn't feel like D&D at all, especially as even the lowliest archer seemed to have a huge supply of special surface-creating arrows.

The companion characters were all total jerks, just basically unfriendly and difficult to get along with. Shadowheart was kind of the worst, making Morrigan look like an amateur when it comes to "disapproves".

At least outside the town, pretty much every single situation where you could choose what to do, the choice was between bad and bad. Just absolutely grey stuff. Kill everyone because you did this, or kill everyone because you didn't do that.

They hadn't learned that DOS2 was excessively dark to the point of being juvenile. They hadn't learned that DOS2 made wildly excessive use of surfaces and exploding barrels and so on (something a lot of people realized when the replayed DOS2 recently). They hadn't learned or even really considered that D&D might warrant a different tone.

Combine this with the fact that Swen absolutely loves the over-the-top grimdark tone and murder murder murder stuff - he's said as much recently more than once, and I think it's a fairly safe assumption that the moment they go back to Rivellon, it's going to turn into absolute teenage goth nonsense instantly. Further, the fact that I think Swen recently implied DOS2 had a better combat system than BG3 shows a profound inability to learn - DOS2's combat system was absolute junk and significantly less tactical than BG3.

Again, it's not that I don't think some people won't like that, nor that they won't tell some good stories within that (but a lot more bad ones), but I really don't expect it'll be some sort of masterwork.

Most players will never see that ability though, as it’s level 14 (and BG3 only goes to level 12).
From a recent video it looks like Larian might be taking some high-level class/subclass abilities and putting them at level 11/12. For example, it seems like Open Hand Monks might get Quivering Palm (normally 17th) and Druids might get even get Archdruid (though that latter could just be an overstatement).

So I think any Valor vs Sword vs Lore discussions will unfortunately not be resolved until tomorrow when we see what they actually get. Even then Larian probably won't let us "look ahead", so there may be some respecs in our futures as we find out what abilities subclasses actually gain.
 

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Yes that is exactly what I am assuming. Not without reason though. When BG3's Early Access started, it was basically just DOS2 with some D&D rules.

The combat was a huge mess of wildly overpowered surface effects and exploding barrels and so on. It didn't feel like D&D at all, especially as even the lowliest archer seemed to have a huge supply of special surface-creating arrows.

The companion characters were all total jerks, just basically unfriendly and difficult to get along with. Shadowheart was kind of the worst, making Morrigan look like an amateur when it comes to "disapproves".

At least outside the town, pretty much every single situation where you could choose what to do, the choice was between bad and bad. Just absolutely grey stuff. Kill everyone because you did this, or kill everyone because you didn't do that.

They hadn't learned that DOS2 was excessively dark to the point of being juvenile. They hadn't learned that DOS2 made wildly excessive use of surfaces and exploding barrels and so on (something a lot of people realized when the replayed DOS2 recently). They hadn't learned or even really considered that D&D might warrant a different tone.

Combine this with the fact that Swen absolutely loves the over-the-top grimdark tone and murder murder murder stuff - he's said as much recently more than once, and I think it's a fairly safe assumption that the moment they go back to Rivellon, it's going to turn into absolute teenage goth nonsense instantly. Further, the fact that I think Swen recently implied DOS2 had a better combat system than BG3 shows a profound inability to learn - DOS2's combat system was absolute junk and significantly less tactical than BG3.

The above REALLY put me off when I bought it. I got pretty far in D:OS2, until the tone was just too much for me, and then I gave it up. I had waited 20 years for the BG3 early access, and, after firing it up, I was exceedingly disheartened me, to the point that I haven't touched it since I bought it right after Early Access. To read that you experienced the same, and reacted the same, yet now are eagerly anticipating playing it, suggests to me that you are correct, and they did change what I hated about it. That means that it is possible I might just enjoy it (well, not the bear-form sex scene; that can go away for all I care).

In other words, thank you.
 

Most players will never see that ability though, as it’s level 14 (and BG3 only goes to level 12).

It basically boils down to the Swords bard’s fighting style & flourishes > Valor bard’s combat inspiration, shield proficiency, and martial weapon proficiency.

Combat inspiration just isn’t very good. Shield proficiency is good. Martial weapon proficiency is good but you don’t need it - base bards already have solid weapon options. The main thing it gets you is two-handed weapons which then don’t let you take advantage of the shield proficiency.

Swords bards getting a fighting style plus 10’ extra movement after attacking is very good, especially because those things don’t burn your bardic inspiration (or any other resource). Non-limited use abilities are unusual for bards. And the flourishes are generally good and situationally great and have no chance of being “wasted” like combat inspiration can, since they trigger more like a paladin’s smites. The Swords bard can also use a weapon as a spell casting focus, which is either meaningless or great depending on the DM.

Lore bard is better than either of them, but if you are determined to play a melee bard imo Swords is considerably better than Valor at it.
Thanks, this really nails it down for me, in a way which I understand. I've always wanted to play a bard who's a true jack-of-all-trades, and it seems to me that Swords is the way to go with that, not Valor as I had been thinking. Valor, from your breakdown, seems to be just taking hits. Who the heck wants to take hits in a fight? To paraphrase Patton, I don't want to die for my group, I want the other dudes to die for mine (in a fight).

Swords seems to give a character who's pretty good in a fight, pretty good at healing, and above average in skills and exploration, which is what I really like. It doesn't help that I'm a dilettante in real life (seriously, just look at my post history, I dabble in everything and am a bit mercurial in finding "the thing" that I really like). That makes it the College which I will likely most enjoy, and possibly the class that I most enjoy. I will admit that the Bard was the class in the 2nd Edition PHB that I really fell in love with during my first read.
 

I stone cold guarantee their writing will go steeply downhill if they do another DOS game. A big part of why it improved so much was them being brutally beaten by feedback from D&D/BG fans into not indulging their worst, most edgelord/grimdark tendencies.
I really enjoyed most of the writing in DOS2! Ifan and Beast were pretty boring, but Lohse and Fane were delightful! Act 3 was blah, but Act 1-2 and the reworked Act 4 was good fun!
The moment DOS goes back on the menu
It's already on the menu. They've announced their intention to do it, but also that they are going to be working on more than 1 game at a time from here on out.
Also DOS2 has possibly the worst combat system of any major CRPG, uniquely combining the worst aspect of perversely designed TT skirmish games, MMORPG-style constant equipment grind (a staggeringly stupid decision) and forced combat encounters or you fell hugely behind XP wise.
It was incredibly fun! Especially combining all the best parts of DOS1 with a new armor system that mitigated my endless Rain Lightning spam in DOS1. It could be a little lopsided if you went full physical or full magical, and I do agree you had to fight to keep up your XP, but I don't see remarkably less fighting in BG3.
 

It was incredibly fun! Especially combining all the best parts of DOS1 with a new armor system that prevented my endless Rain Lightning spam I DOS1. It could be a little lopsided if you want full physical or full magical, and I do agree you had to fight to keep up your XP, but I don't see remarkably less fighting in BG3.
It's a terrible design that strongly encourages you to have a totally unbalanced party focusing entirely on one mode of attack, forces you to fight every fight you possibly can (and then some, arguably - there's debate but some people say that unless you get into some strictly unnecessary fights you are behind the curve, level-wise), and the MMORPG-style constant equipment grind was just purely crap-tier design that clashed extremely hard with the ideas behind the game (tactical, role-playing - these don't work well with "upgrade your equipment constantly or else fights are literally 10x harder than they should be"), and that the design director let that happen or worse intentionally did it speaks very poorly of them.

That is absolutely bottom-tier design on a variety of levels. It's distinctly worse than DOS1. DOS1 had issues with spamming certain abilities and excessive barrelmancy (the latter sadly retained in DOS2), but it actually allowed you to take a wide variety of approaches to fights with a relative success, which was not true in the sequel.
I really enjoyed most of the writing in DOS2! Ifan and Beast were pretty boring, but Lohse and Fane were delightful! Act 3 was blah, but Act 1-2 and the reworked Act 4 was good fun!
Absolutely. Some people love that over-the-top grand guignol "everyone is a jerk of some species" grimdark stuff, especially with a side of "black humour". Johnny The Homicidal Maniac was big for a reason. Warhammer 40K is absolutely huge. South Park is still getting made. Joe Abercrombie still sells books. The one improvement they did make is that the dialogue distinctly improved in the Definitive Edition, so the one place I can say they got better was in dialogue. The learning that they did do was "Our dialogue writing is kind of rubbish", leading to them hiring a ton of good writers and even opening studios for them. However, they didn't follow that through to "Our obsession with grimdark grey choice bollocks is deeply sophomoric and kinda bad, actually!", because Swen doesn't think that, he think it's totally badass and awesome, because in his heart, he is forever 17 and wearing a lot of black in the 1990s (which is not a curse, to be clear, there's a lot of upsides to living your life that way!).

Actually they did improve in another area too - humour. DOS1 is full to the brim of terrible attempts to emulate Pratchett, but like in the most tone-deaf enthusiastic-but-unfunny way possible. DOS2's humour, whilst often tryhard in it's darkness, is actually a lot funnier.
It's already on the menu. They've announced their intention to do it, but also that they are going to be working on more than 1 game at a time from here on out.
I'm aware, I was using metaphor and meaning when they actually start writing it.

Ultimately, your reaction proves my point - because there is an audience for that stuff, because there are plenty of people who uncritically accept objectively bad system design, and who embrace this sophomoric dark grey stuff, they will make DOS3 and it will be "like that".

And then a huge number of people will buy it, expecting BG4, and be utterly horrified, and it'll probably seriously damage Larian's reputation.

(As an aside, Rivellon is a world so generic it makes The Forgotten Realms look original.)
 

It's a terrible design that strongly encourages you to have a totally unbalanced party focusing entirely on one mode of attack, forces you to fight every fight you possibly can (and then some, arguably - there's debate but some people say that unless you get into some strictly unnecessary fights you are behind the curve, level-wise), and the MMORPG-style constant equipment grind was just purely crap-tier design that clashed extremely hard with the ideas behind the game (tactical, role-playing - these don't work well with "upgrade your equipment constantly or else fights are literally 10x harder than they should be"), and that the design director let that happen or worse intentionally did it speaks very poorly of them.
I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. To be clear, it certainly had some faults like miserable inventory management, but the idea that DOS2 is somehow especially hard (even on Tactician) means we are coming from two very different perspectives.
 

I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. To be clear, it certainly had some faults like miserable inventory management, but the idea that DOS2 is somehow especially hard (even on Tactician) means we are coming from two very different perspectives.
I didn't say it was very hard. I said that it requires you to constantly upgrade your gear and get into every possible fight, otherwise you're distinctly underpowered for what the game expects. Fights that are clearly intended to be minor deals are absolute knock-down drag-out affairs if you don't do that.
 

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