D&D 5E New Baldur's Gate 3 Video


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There is art that reflects that Elves do in fact look different, slightly alien, in FR.

In this game? Legit just a human with ears pointing.
This is such a strange point to try and argue.

That art exists.

So does a ton of art, far far more art which shows FR Elves with human-like eye angles.

So like, what's even your point here? That they didn't take a particular obscure and obviously Elder Scrolls inspired 3E look for the 5E game? I mean, if so, well, ok, 3E had some wacky takes on races. That's just how it was. Halflings, for example were streamlined little guys, not the hobbits of most editions, nor child-like. So should we be mad that BG3 also doesn't have a 3E "streamlined little guys" take on Haflings? If not, why should we be concerned that they don't have a 3E take on elves?

I mean, the heavily-angled eyes were consistent text since early editions, that artists just failed to reflect (like Dwarves being darker-skinned in text, yet consistently depicted as pale lil' vikings), I would see the concern. But that isn't the case. Their eye colour is frequently referred to, but not the eyes being at a significant angle.

And apart from the eye-angle, those elves all look human, just different colours (which are available in the game).
 

BG 3 feels like D&D to me.
I wouldn't say that myself, because there's just too much stuff randomly or not-so-randomly missing or weirdly implemented. It's very clear too that it originates from a design place that's kind of very different to D&D, because the initial focus of the design was far more on replicating key features of DOS1/2 than D&D 5E. That has changed, but when the basis of your game is designed that way, it's quite hard to move away from. On the upside, makes the environments feel interesting and has relatively good use of verticality, which is almost never seen in trad CRPGs.

It feels to me more like an OGL-based 5E clone, a Fantasy Heartbreaker version of 5E.

That's not to say it's terrible or anything - it's mostly pretty good, albeit still surprisingly buggy in places given how long it's been in early access.
 


That whatever process Larian used, is too human looking. Subjective sure, but it's just how I felt after I reinstalled the other day and looked at creating a character.

Like I get it, it's PHB, and no Dragonborn yet, but it's all looking pretty human.
I mean, I'd rather have that than Elder Scrolls elves, myself. That almond-shaped 45-degree-angle eye they use is practically a trademark and it was weird in 3E.

I don't think they're particularly too "human-looking" personally as much as literally all the faces for all the races (including humans) trend hard towards the "boring-looking". I remember the devs complaining that people tended to make boring-looking characters (lot of brown-haired pale-skinned human males), which is like, kind of fair, but also, guys, you made some intensely boring-looking faces. Like relatively few faces that people would say were beautiful, ugly, handsome, or even striking. A lot of faces that you just shrug at.

And this issue is compounded because there are no face slider nor face options at all.

Which is almost unheard-of in actual CRPGs. It's usually restricted to ARPGs, ancient MMOs (like, originating pre-2005) and strategy games, and even some of them do better!

So like I get how you're expressing this issue, but I don't think it's underlying issue. The underlying issue is even where the faces don't look human, they're just not fundamentally very interesting, and you can't modify them to make them interesting. You might contrast them with what we've seen of Diablo 4, or even Diablo Immortal on mobile phones! Both of them also you fixed faces, and they're entirely human, but the faces are far more interesting, with far more character and far more striking/handsome/etc.

On the upside, the "insufficiently alien" issue will probably be solved nigh-instantly with a mod. Whereas the "no face sliders" issue will be forever.
 

Scribe

Legend
I mean, I'd rather have that than Elder Scrolls elves, myself. That almond-shaped 45-degree-angle eye they use is practically a trademark and it was weird in 3E.

I don't think they're particularly too "human-looking" personally as much as literally all the faces for all the races (including humans) trend hard towards the "boring-looking". I remember the devs complaining that people tended to make boring-looking characters (lot of brown-haired pale-skinned human males), which is like, kind of fair, but also, guys, you made some intensely boring-looking faces. Like relatively few faces that people would say were beautiful, ugly, handsome, or even striking. A lot of faces that you just shrug at.

And this issue is compounded because there are no face slider nor face options at all.

Which is almost unheard-of in actual CRPGs. It's usually restricted to ARPGs, ancient MMOs (like, originating pre-2005) and strategy games, and even some of them do better!

So like I get how you're expressing this issue, but I don't think it's underlying issue. The underlying issue is even where the faces don't look human, they're just not fundamentally very interesting, and you can't modify them to make them interesting. You might contrast them with what we've seen of Diablo 4, or even Diablo Immortal on mobile phones! Both of them also you fixed faces, and they're entirely human, but the faces are far more interesting, with far more character and far more striking/handsome/etc.

On the upside, the "insufficiently alien" issue will probably be solved nigh-instantly with a mod. Whereas the "no face sliders" issue will be forever.

Yeah no size sliders at all right? I dont know, I'm bouncing off this game hard, so its for sure colouring how I look at everything involved with it.
 

Yeah no size sliders at all right? I dont know, I'm bouncing off this game hard, so its for sure colouring how I look at everything involved with it.
Yeah they've got usually between 4-6 faces per race/gender (with some resuse between humans and half-elves maybe? Might have changed), like 30+ hairstyles, which I think are now no longer gender-specific and most races have access to all of them, a fairly pathetic array of make-up/tattoo options, and a bazillion hair/eye/skin colour options, some of which are genuinely cool and it is cool that you can switch between "canon" options and "all".

And that's it.

Height? No. Build or weight? No. Anything about face shape or facial features, like eye shape or nose shape or head width? Nope. Just absolutely no options except the 4 to 6 faces. Which given how much of the game is spent in conversations, often on close-ups of your PC's face, is kind of odd. Games where you barely see yourself often have more options.

Normally the upside of this is that you get better-than-usual face/body animations, but that is er... definitely not the case. The facial animation is... not good. It definitely doesn't look mocap'd for the PC (but does for some NPCs), and is mostly rather exaggerated and looks sort of like you're flicking between a handful of mime-like expression emotes from an older MMO. It looks like they're still doing the mocap work for the combat and stuff, and maybe they're going to improve the animation at least? Probably not though. I wish they would, because the mime-expressions look so dumb that they're actually anti-immersive. Just don't show my character if you're going to stick a comical look of surprise or disgust on their face lol for god's sake.

EDIT - Apparently there's a lot of speculation that Patch 9 will include more body-types, based on data-mining. Trouble is, this has happened with games before, where NPCs and others have a variety of body-types, but the PC remains locked to one (Cyberpunk 2077 is a great example) and even mods can't get around it in a meaningful way (2077 has plenty of mods or er... porn-up that body and slightly fix how you look in third person, but not say to make you one of the many big bulky people, not even like your buddy Jackie).

EDIT EDIT - They've also apparently said they've been considering holding some races back until full release. Personally I take this as "We're going to wait until the game releases to drop the bomb that there will be no Dragonborn in the game, even as NPCs", but perhaps I am too cynical.
 
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EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Solasta: Crown of the Magister is a game with 5e ruleset that has done a pretty good job with a fraction of Larians budget.
This...doesn't answer the question I asked. You said "games." (And it actually was you, this time!) That's one successful game. Where is the at-least-one-more?

I'm not saying it isn't possible. Solasta shows it is (though I have my criticisms, I'll leave them out.) But you absolutely referred to games, plural, and made it sound like this was a common occurrence that Larian was foolishly and blatantly ignoring. There's only two 5e-based games I could find, one of which is defunct, the other did not start crowdfunding until several months after Larian announced they were working on Baldur's Gate III. That is, the BG3 announcement happened June 2019, and they had begun working on the project as much as two years earlier (when Wizards contacted them asking if they were still interested in a licensing deal.) Solasta entered crowdfunding in September 2019, went into Early Access in 2020, and was released in 2021. By the time the first (and, as far as I can tell, only) successful 5e-based game had launched and proven its credentials, BG3 had been worked on to one extent or another for at least two years, probably more like four.

There was no massive precedent for well-structured, "adapt the video game to the rules" games (to use Solasta's developers' own phrase), and there never really has been a massive precedent. The only other "5e-based" game flopped. When coupled with the extra expense and manpower that would be required for designing a whole new codebase from the ground up, and the fact that there simply weren't any such games to take inspiration from...and the fact that it was WotC being impressed with DOS2 that got them the license in the first place...I really don't think you can argue that it was some utterly boneheaded self-indulgent move. I think it was pretty clearly the only rational choice, and I would argue it remains a very rational choice today.

EDIT EDIT - They've also apparently said they've been considering holding some races back until full release. Personally I take this as "We're going to wait until the game releases to drop the bomb that there will be no Dragonborn in the game, even as NPCs", but perhaps I am too cynical.
As I argued earlier, it would be pretty weird to be "holding back" such races with the intent of declaring them cut later on, while at the same time actively adding fully-modeled heads for both genders, and actively recording and coding in new voice lines specifically for them. It wouldn't be totally impossible, stranger things have happened, I recognize that. But it would be odd to continue investing time and money into something they were already intending to drop. You could maybe argue that they already had the voice files, but why code them into the game when they weren't before? And why keep working on dragonborn heads if you don't actually want them in the game? Surely the time and effort spent on that would be better spent on half-orcs, which are near-human and thus shouldn't require nearly as much effort to implement.

It is quite disappointing to hear that there's so little character customization, and that even the stuff fans are hoping they'll add is pretty meager (seriously, decade-old games have better options than that!) I don't mean to treat this as sunshine and roses. It isn't. But the aforementioned new implemented NPC dialogue (and there's a fair bit of it, at least two different VAs making explicit references to dragonborn or the "blood of dragons" or the like) and the already-rendered character heads seems reason enough to be (very) cautiously optimistic.
 

As I argued earlier, it would be pretty weird to be "holding back" such races with the intent of declaring them cut later on, while at the same time actively adding fully-modeled heads for both genders, and actively recording and coding in new voice lines specifically for them. It wouldn't be totally impossible, stranger things have happened, I recognize that. But it would be odd to continue investing time and money into something they were already intending to drop. You could maybe argue that they already had the voice files, but why code them into the game when they weren't before? And why keep working on dragonborn heads if you don't actually want them in the game? Surely the time and effort spent on that would be better spent on half-orcs, which are near-human and thus shouldn't require nearly as much effort to implement.

It is quite disappointing to hear that there's so little character customization, and that even the stuff fans are hoping they'll add is pretty meager (seriously, decade-old games have better options than that!) I don't mean to treat this as sunshine and roses. It isn't. But the aforementioned new implemented NPC dialogue (and there's a fair bit of it, at least two different VAs making explicit references to dragonborn or the "blood of dragons" or the like) and the already-rendered character heads seems reason enough to be (very) cautiously optimistic.
I must have missed the earlier post - that is good to hear.

I'd still be unsurprised if they didn't make it in until a post-launch patch, as my suspicion level remains high with companies who "hold back" stuff for launch which isn't actual "content" (story, levels, etc.), but it does sound like they're somewhat serious about working on it at least.
There was no massive precedent for well-structured, "adapt the video game to the rules" games (to use Solasta's developers' own phrase), and there never really has been a massive precedent. The only other "5e-based" game flopped.
I mean, this is kind of true, but it's also kind of not true.

Like, "massive precedent", I mean, jeez, there are very few game types with "massive precedent".

But D&D (and closely related) games based on actual games systems have a pretty long history in videogaming. Obviously the '80s and '90s were absolutely rife with AD&D-based games where in the vast majority of cases, the rules were primary (even real-time things like EotB I'd make a case that the rules seemed pretty important), and then of course we have Baldur's Gate 1 & 2 and all that, Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2 and a bazillion expansions, particularly for NWN1, but even NWN2 got 3, and so there were games like this either coming out or with new content up to 2009. Temple of Elemental Evil was in there too but beyond a buggy mess so I think can be ignored.

Things faltered with D&D because of the awful licencing deal Hasbro absolutely idiotically made with Interplay and then Atari, essentially licencing D&D to Atari "in perpetuity" for a pathetic sum (I forget how much, but like, low double-digit millions I think). In 2009 Hasbro launched a lawsuit over what was, essentially, it's own stupidity, but luckily also Atari's failure to comply with the terms of the contract, and got the license back in 2011 (I think), before deciding to sit on it for a bit (perhaps reasonably).

That's when we got the big gap in games like this. Pathfinder: Kingmaker didn't actually come out until 2018. There were no real 4E games because of the timing of all this and Atari being rubbish (something I maintain is a pity because with BG3-level adaptions it could have been amazing), and yes, the only previous 5E-based game was absolute junk, and not very 5E-based, as I understand it.

But I think this was more to do with Hasbro/WotC being massive screw-ups with digital strategy rather than anything else.

EDIT - There is another underlying issue, which is due to Bioware's success with Dragon Age, which was explicitly created as an in-house IP equivalent to D&D, which couldn't be "messed with" in the way Bioware seemed to think WotC had messed with them on BG1/2/PS:T/IWD etc. This demonstrated to most AAA gaming companies that you didn't really need someone else's licence unless that licence was insanely huge (D&D now is, but only as of like, last year - before that it was only getting that way).

Thus the vast majority of companies who want to licence existing systems/IPs are either lower-end AAA-type companies, or AA-type companies, as we see very clearly with Games Workshop's licencing. Total War Warhammer is the only series made by a "serious AAA" company (with the arguable exception of Dawn of War but DoW3 was a mega-flop, and not the good kind), and that's only happened because Creative Assembly weren't actually that huge when the got the Warhammer licence, it's success is part of what transformed them from a small AAA to a pretty massive one (that and other licences, like Alien). Since they got big it's notable that they haven't done any further licenced games except to continue Warhammer (but they're making a mint on that and they literally promise-promised, not imaginary-gamer-promised to do a trilogy all the way back in like 2012), and are repeatedly trying to come out with their own IPs (like the dire-looking Hyenas).
 
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