How are you? It’s been a little while. We’ve been very busy both reading feedback since launch, and implementing some pretty major tweaks & changes that represent your ideas. Today’s patch, which we’re calling ‘Inspiration, Freedom & Pacifism’ for reasons you’ll soon find out, is perhaps the first time you’ll see a lot of major changes to design and gameplay, inspired by your feedback and discussion.
Last week, we announced the fact that this patch would render prior save games incompatible once the update is applied, and you can read more on that here. There’s time both before and after the patch rolls out to set yourself up to continue your adventures on Patch 2, rather than today’s Patch 3.
For why all the hullabaloo you ask? Eagle-eyed readers may have spotted Swen’s chat with IGN where he openly reflected on a lot of the feedback from players since the release, October 6th. (Doesn’t it feel like such a long time ago?). That interview was conducted very much in the midst of the aforementioned design changes we’re going to talk about today. Fresh on the mind then, and fresh into the game today. Delicious!
What’s in Patch 3? Let’s get stuck in. Today we’re going to offer a Neat Factoid for every topic below. At the end there will be a quiz*, so make sure you don’t miss anything.
The road less travelled is now rewarding...
Our games have always been about rewarding creativity and exploration, but some people were disappointed with the lack of experience rewards for pacifism, and creative solutions that utilize the road less travelled. Patch 3 introduces rewards for avoiding combat situations, whether in dialogue or through exploration and environmental puzzle solving. Now, all you pacifists will be able to carve out a journey more true to your character’s identity. Or, it’ll just offer more options for specific circumstances.
Neat Factoid: 56% of players avoided combat with the Goblin Rooftop Ambush. Now those players will be properly rewarded without needing to kill the Goblins anyway.
Companions will now feel more… companionable
On the topic of behaviour, we’ve certainly noticed your companions were perhaps a little negative at times. We’ve taken steps to move away from frequent nitpicking, so that they’ll start focusing more on the bigger picture. Companions will now be more tolerant. Not nitpicking about every single little thing they don't like but rather focusing on the things they do like while still maintaining their personality and having strong beliefs about certain things. In short, they’ll feel a little more like companions.
Neat Factoid: For all 204k of players who let Astarion chow down, you won't have to deal with SH's approval dropping in what should be a private moment between the two of you.
Dialog skill checks will be less likely to ‘lock you out of content’
Dialogues with particularly harsh or dramatic skill checks have been rebalanced - instead of failing an entire situation based on one difficult role, you'll have a higher chance of succeeding the roll. This is to stop dice from locking you out of content unless the situation really merits it. Ultimately, however, you’ll still have to flow with the will of the dice.
Neat Factoid: A little over half of all players who use Speak with Animals on the Owlbear still fail the overall encounter. These success numbers only vary by about 5% for those without Speak with Animals. We've tweaked the DC here to reward investing parts of your character in animal handling.
No more micromanaging party jumping
Micromanaging gymnastics probably wasn’t something you thought you’d be doing in the Forgotten Realms, so now when you jump across a gap, for example, your party will automatically jump across it to follow you. Hooray!
Neat Factoid: Just over 200k players jumped the crossing to speak to a wayward and injured tiefling near the busy rapids of the river. No doubt making that jump alone. Now your companions will join you automatically
More adventuring, and less resting
You now get 2 short rests after your long rest. Previously, you only had a single short rest. That’s twice the rest, for the same price! This means you have more uninterrupted adventures, and all the perks of resting.
Neat Factoid: 2 is exactly double the value of 1.
Rebalanced cantrips & fewer surfaces
This was a wildly popular community request. Spells that cost finite resources to cast will now feel much more impactful, as cantrips are now less impactful than ‘true’ spells. This’ll make the management a lot more meaningful, and the ‘true’ spells a lot more rewarding to use. What’s more, we’ve made changes to surfaces, reducing them dramatically to avoid accidents as well as to address other feedback about how combat felt to the community. Fire Bolt, Ray of Frost and Acid Splash no longer create surfaces on impact. Fire Bolt still ignites flammable surfaces, and Ray of Frost still freezes water and blood puddles.
Neat Factoid: In the last week, players died 78,293 times by fire. Making up 28.6% of player death. Perhaps this will change as we expect surfaces to be a little less common now that cantrips are changing
UI improvements including spells & inspiration points
Inspiration points are now visible in the UI, so you can actually use them!
You’re now able to select upcasted versions of spells via a separate widget to declutter the hotbar UI, see today’s update video for how that looks. DnD allows a caster to cast the same spell at different ‘levels’, costing different resources and generally producing a stronger effect.
Previously, each level at which a spell could be cast had a separate icon. After a while, this led to tons of icons cluttering up the hotbar and players having to tediously rearrange it on level up. Now all the variations are neatly packed into a fly-out menu inside the single icon per spell.
Neat Factoid: 770k of you rescued the Fishermen Thralls in the crash site. Now, you'll clearly see that this also results in you gaining an inspiration point
Cross-save is finally here! And it’s finally activated!
Something we’re working very hard on in the background at Larian HQ(s) is our own infrastructure for different services that allow you more freedom in how you play (see, freedom, it’s in the title!) The launcher - which we do not yet have an official name for - is to you just a simple UI layer when you start the game, but behind this are a bunch of people at Larian working on things like today’s cross-save functionality.
It was partially functional between Steam and GoG but we didn’t really want to talk about it widely until we had it working across all platforms we’re currently released on. Now, your Larian account facilitates cross-save via the omnipresent ‘cloud’ the world is always talking about. The best thing is that we’re the ones running this cross-save service, so we’re totally in control of it. This means you’re able to share your saves across Steam, Stadia, Mac, and GoG. If you’re online, your save file will automatically upload to the cloud once it’s created, including all autosaves as you play. In an airport lounge on a laptop? Connect to Google Stadia and continue your adventure, for example. On your MacBook for work? Well… let’s briefly talk about that.
Baldur’s Gate 3 was heavily featured in Apple’s November 10 event. In this event, Apple announced a truly revolutionary new chip: the Apple M1. It’s early days for Baldur’s Gate 3 on the Apple M1 architecture, but native support for M1 is right around the corner. As of today, both Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Baldur’s Gate 3 run on the new range of Macs, but they currently run via Rosetta 2, which doesn’t really make use of the exciting features M1 enables.
Practically, what this means is that you can now play Baldur’s Gate 3 across the whole suite of Apple’s new hardware. Before, you would never have been able to play BG3 on a MacBook Air, and it would have struggled on a MacBook Pro, but even running via Rosetta 2 we’ve been toying around playing Baldur’s Gate 3 on the ‘high’ setting with very little noise, which we think is super cool because it means your experience - when combined with cross-save - is now a highly portable one, ready for when the world starts to behave itself.
If you're lucky enough to have one of Apple’s new Macs, give it a shot today and tell us what you think. Be aware that our friends at Elverils are working hard on M1 native support, which will really make the hardware shine (and the game with it), but this is just the first step in what looks to be a pretty interesting journey into the future of AAA games on ARM architecture.
That just about covers today’s major points of focus! Of course, Patch 3 comes with a whole host of bug fixes. Want them? Have them:
- Improved character follower movement.
- Added an option to hide your helmet in the equipment screen. Added trajectory preview for force application when using spells.
- All characters now correctly stop running when forced turn-based mode is activated.
- Companions will now jump to follow the main player character.
- Fixed and re-enabled Larian Cross Save between all platforms.
- Assorted tweaks to companion approval ratings.
- The Combat AI now accounts for falling from jumps.
- Changed AI behaviour archetypes for the Boar, Intellect Devourer, and Tiny Spider.
- Combat music no longer ends when a character joins combat.
- Audio configuration now updates on selection of an option.
- In multiplayer, other clients can now hear the dice roll events of a player in dialog.
- Decluttered the hotbar UI by allowing selection of upcasted versions of spells with a separate widget.
- Improved look of toggle-able Passives that can be added to the hotbar.
- Improved some skill tooltips in Character Creation.
- Added a tutorial for Inspiration points.
- Cinematics: Adjusted emotions and lookats in certain areas.
- Cinematics: Camera tweaks and lighting improvements in certain areas.
- Cinematics: A large pass of improvements on emotions and attitudes.
- Cinematics: Improved fade timings.
- Cinematics: Improved blending between poses.
- Any dialog associated with a mask will play before equipping it instead of after.
- Jumping down a hole now teleports any following characters as well.
- Overhauled the sheath/unsheath weapon logic for more consistent behaviour.
- Experience is now awarded for avoiding combat and completing smaller side quests.
- Added a new sound for rolling initiative in combat.
- Fire Bolt, Ray of Frost and Acid Splash no longer create surfaces on impact. Fire Bolt still ignites flammable surfaces, and Ray of Frost still freezes water and blood puddles. Fire Bolt's damage has been adjusted accordingly
- Tweaked default ability distribution for Clerics and Rogues. Clerics start with more DEX to take advantage of medium armor; Rogues start with more INT to open them up for Arcane Trickster archetype.
- It is no longer possible to perform infinite actions by moving in and out of a White Spore Cloud in a single turn; the status from a White Spore Cloud should now persist until the end of a character's turn.
- Toned down camera shakes for spell prepare effects.
- The Shatter spell now works properly with Sculpt Spells.
- Melee Sneak Attack now requires a finesse weapon.
- Invoke Duplicity now only works properly if the attacker is within 3m of the summon.
- Surprised statuses can no longer stack.
- Increased price of drow armor to 800 gp.
- Allowed effects of multiple Hex spells to stack on the same character.
- You can now use Dash while staying hidden (sneaking).
- The party can now take 2 short rests per long rest.
- The default action on a container's tooltips is now 'Open' instead of 'Pick up'.
- Rebalanced difficulty of dialog skill checks.
- Changed the melee skeleton's ability from Cleave to Slash to make it consistent with his weapon.
- Fixed NPCs not reacting to Hunter's Mark as a hostile action.
- Tweaked the AI archetypes of Goblins.
Performance and Stability
- Fixed not being able to load some saved games.
- Reduced long save times - better thread planning for 4-core CPUs.
- Improved stability of the Vulkan version.
- Fixed a random crash when removing a character that has followers.
- Fixed a random crash when switching weapon set while dual wielding,
- Fixed a crash when deleting a lot of saved games,
- Fixed a crash when lock-picking a heavy chest.
- Fixed a random crash on passive roll fail.
- Fixed a crash that can occur when items fall on top of each other.
- Fixed a crash while loading, related to being in a jump state
- Fixed a crash when looting several imp bodies in a sideroom in the tutorial.
- Resolved a multitude of cinematic staging issues.
- Fixed incorrect flow in some dialogues.
- Characters can now walk to positions even if blocked by an invisible object.
- Automatic pathfinding has been fixed for a few specific items.
- A weapon that can't be dual wielded will now automatically be equipped by double-clicking on it.
- All Passives should now display on the Character Sheet.
- In combat, the chance-to-hit preview should now be correct — even if your character still needs to move.
- AI melee archetypes now properly calculate damage done to allies and neutral characters. This should reduce unnecessary friendly fire when characters use any area-of-effect attacks or abilities.
- Incantation sounds have been restored to some spells.
- Summoned guards will now patrol an area before leaving it.
- Some dialogs got stuck after being prompted with a Persuasion check roll - these have been fixed.
- You can no longer switch weapon sets when casting a spell or moving to cast a spell.
- After loading a saved game, quest markers should now correctly disappear when objectives change.
- Added input delay to prevent spamming through roll states.
- Fixed a desync issue where client characters would move back to their previous positions after a jump.
- Journal notifications should no longer get stuck on the screen.
- Fixed a bug where visuals wouldn't show up in the Examine window.
- Fixed a bug where the player profile would not be created correctly when using specific characters in the profile name.
- Profile switching now carries over any changes made to sound settings.
- Fixed animation issues when applying statuses to NPCs in forced turn-based mode.
- Doors that have been opened now look like they're open.
- Scroll of Invisibility now costs the same as scrolls of other 2nd-level spells.
- Armor of Agathys now correctly deals 10 cold damage when using a 2nd-level spell slot.
- The Life Domain Cleric's version of Cure wounds now heals for 2d8 HP when using a 2nd-level spell slot.
- Great Weapon Fighting no longer triggers on ranged weapon attacks.
- When wielded two-handed, the quarterstaff now does 1d8 base damage instead of 1d6.
- Dissonant Whispers now shows the correct damage values at 2nd-level.
- The Mother's Loathing potion now lasts until rest (as stated in the tooltip).
- Some broken healing potions no longer display as Superior versions.
- When loading a game saved during turn-based mode (on an NPC's turn), characters now have all of their equipment properly equipped.
- Characters will now take fall damage when hit by an Eldritch Blast with the Repelling Blast passive feature.
- Faithbreaker's weapon action (Absolute Power) now correctly triggers a pushback.
- No more UI overlap when 4 players recruit Lae'zel and Us in the tutorial.
- Removed trade & attack buttons from Lae'zel's recruitment.
- When recruiting Lae'zel, you can no longer gain double XP.
- Harpies should now be able to reach more spots in combat.
- Journal entry is now correct when players leave without fighting the harpies.
- In the Thayan Cellar, skeletons now destroy their caskets when spawning.
- Music should now play and transition more cleanly in the goblin camp.
- Minthara no longer vanishes after asking certain questions.
- The moon puzzle no longer flips the moons after rotating adjacent disks in succession.
- The stats of the companion bear no longer have ten times the intended weight.
- The dialogue with Ethel and Mayrina's brothers no longer ends early if you side with no one.
- Fixed a bug preventing you from picking up the letter to Kagha.
- Removed an incorrect music trigger in the swamp.
- Lae'zel no longer refuses to speak after the encounter with the Githyanki at the bridge.
- When entering the aura of a Sussur Bloom, spells are now correctly disabled in the hotbar.
- More general quest fixes and flag check improvements to make the story experience smoother.
- Flags fixed in Kagha's denouncement scene to prevent nearly-identical nodes from repeating.
- Fixed a custom crime flag when clicking the goblins' beer tub to make sure the right dialogue appears.
- Fixed quest-giving and journal flags in the Zhent's shipment situation.
- Ensured Arabella dies when she's meant to.
- Flow-blocker fixed in Anders' dialogue - it now correctly checks the right flags.
- The Thayan undead now has idle behavior.
- Flags added to add reactivity to Shadowheart's part of the Arabella court scene.
- Edits to Lae'zel's recruitment flags in the plains to better account for the flow leading up to it.
*there won’t be a quiz.