Happy launch week, folks!
We hope you’ve printed out your lawyer-approved special dispensation form to explain your mysterious absence from work on August 3rd to your boss, because there are only three days to go before release.
After six years in the making, Baldur’s Gate 3’s PC launch is right around the corner and we couldn’t have gotten here without you. So let’s have one last Community Update before then to wrap things up, answer some of your biggest questions, and reveal a few final surprises before you finally get stuck in.
Wield the Power of A Mind Flayer
When we announced and launched Baldur's Gate 3's Early Access back in 2020, we ran with the line “Mysterious abilities are awakening inside you, drawn from a mind flayer parasite planted deep within your brain,” and since, we never really expanded on what this meant mechanically. We hinted right from the get-go that mind flayers would be a central pillar in our story, which we’ve explored many times since then, but now it’s time to explore how it ties into the RPG systems of Baldur’s Gate 3.
While these creatures may be a source of great power, all that they offer comes with a cost. As the parasites' hosts, you must make a choice. Will you resist the powers and the corruption that comes with them or will you embrace them, risking your body, mind and soul to save the Realms... or destroy them?
If your desire for power outweighs your concern for the well-being of anyone else, or if you simply think psionic levitation would be a really neat party trick, then Illithid Powers may be for you.
Illithid Powers are a hidden skill tree used to enhance your command over your newfound illithid capabilities. Those who wish to harness the parasites' power must first find more of these parasites throughout the Forgotten Realms – some can be located inside jars and in pools of brine, others within the skulls of the infected. And then you must consume them.
Each parasite consumed unlocks one new Illithid Power within a skill tree of 25 powerful mind-flayer-inspired abilities, completely separate to the options you have when you level up in a traditional sense. These are divided into five branches themed around manipulation, health restoration, psionics, and abilities that can inflict immense damage and torment enemies to gradually weaken them over time. Some abilities can be used to control those around you, pushing them to say things in dialogue they would otherwise not. Others endow you with the power to push and pull enemies like ragdolls during battle.
You can even become a displacer beast.
The deeper you go through the illithid skill tree, the more powers you'll discover. But nothing comes without cost. While your companions can also consume parasites to gain their powers, not everyone in your party will agree to it, and your companions' perception of you can undergo a significant shift based on how you approach this opportunity. Things can also get a bit more… complicated. But we won’t spoil it. That’s for you to discover. Announcing Baldur’s Gate 3 Twitch Drops!
As you may know, Baldur’s Gate 3 has audience interactivity on Twitch, as well as a few options to make the game streamer-friendly. But what about the audience?
You can now earn exclusive Baldur’s Gate 3 loot while simultaneously supporting your favourite streamers as they play Baldur’s Gate 3. Check out these Baldur’s Gate Twitch Drops!
Starting August 3rd, 2023, at 9am PDT/4pm UTC and ending August 17th, 2023, at 9am PDT/4pm UTC, when you watch two hours of Baldur’s Gate 3 on Twitch, you’ll earn the Camp Clothing Set.
Do you have helmet hair that just won’t quit? Sore shoulders from sleeping in your pauldrons? Change out of your armour and get cosy in your camp clothes! This regal set of Twitch-purple finery is sure to smell better than the breeches you pulled off that dead goblin.
The Camp Clothing Set includes the following 4 items:
- Chatterbox's Tabard
- Streamhopper Loafers
- Periwinkle Undergarments
- Channeler's Trunks
Meet the Phenomenal Extended Cast of Baldur’s Gate 3
Last week, we revealed our third and final villain of Baldur’s Gate 3, joining J. K. Simmons and Jason Isaacs in an unholy triumvirate of evil: Orin the Red, as voiced by the ever-iconic Maggie Robertson. But the cast of Baldur’s Gate 3 is much bigger than the terrible trio you’ve seen in some of our recent trailers.
Today, we wanted to shine the spotlight on our talented extended cast. The world of Baldur's Gate 3 is brought to life by many talented voice actors who bring incredible performances to each role, whether it’s a supporting character, a narrator, or a circus ringmaster/necromancer/drag queen.
If you've already played Early Access, you'll recognise the dulcet tones of Amelia Tyler, who returns from her role voicing Malady in Divinity: Original Sin 2 to take on the role of narration in Baldur's Gate 3. Also returning from D:OS2 is Brian Bowles, who will play Sceleritas Fel – the vile and loyal servant to the Dark Urge. (If you played Blood in Baldur’s Gate, you’ll recognise his voice from the video shorts that bookend the tale.)
Actor Vinegar Strokes, known for her role in the West End musical Everybody's Talking About Jamie and the first season of RuPaul's Drag Race UK, plays Lucretious, the proud leader of an extraplanar circus filled with mummies, redcaps, djinni, dryads, elementals – you name it, she's got it. She loves red wine, denying her employees paid holidays, and strives to be, above all else, utterly fabulous.
Sophia Nomvete, fresh from her role in Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, takes on the role of Captain Grisly, a former pirate who retired from a life terrorising the Sea of Swords to become the proud owner of the Blushing Mermaid – one of the roughest taverns in Baldur's Gate.
They will be joined by the likes of Doug Cockle – the voice of Geralt de Rivia in the game series The Witcher – and Abigail Thorn of the fantastic Philosophy Tube, among many, many more.
Respec Your Party and Forge Your Ultimate Dream Team
In Baldur’s Gate 3, you have the freedom to respec not only your chosen protagonist’s class but also that of your playable companions and pre-authored Origin characters, whether you’re looking to make a few adjustments to their existing build, you’ve got a burning desire to experiment with entirely new playstyles and class combinations, or you just want to create an all-badger supergroup.
Keep in mind that certain Origin stories are closely intertwined with their characters' respective classes. If you’re opting for a non-cleric Shadowheart or a Wyll without his warlock pact, this will undoubtedly influence your roleplay options in dialogues and the overall narrative for these characters. But their stories will instead be yours to create.
So just how big is this game, anyhow? What time should you expect the game to release? And where did I put my keys? The answers to most of these questions can be found below.
Baldur’s Gate 3 will launch on August 3rd at 5pm Gent time, or your non-Belgian timezone equivalent as shown above. There will be no pre-loading of the game before then.
The full release of the game weighs in at approximately 122 GB. Please note that your Early Access save games will not be compatible at launch; however, so much has changed that it’s really worth it to start afresh.
We've also been receiving questions from some of you who have already purchased the game about replacing your PC key with a Mac one. Purchases of Baldur's Gate 3 made through Steam and GOG actually come with both PC and Mac access, so you're all good! The Mac version is set to arrive after our PC launch.
Baldur's Gate 3, through virtue of our own accounts system, is cross-save compatible at launch. This will continue to be the case through September 6th’s PlayStation 5 launch, meaning that, for example, if you wanted to play on your PC or Steam Deck, you could continue the adventure on your PS5 on September 6th. The PS5 version is sold separately.
Whether you’re playing on PC, Mac, or PS5, you’ll be able to upload your saves to the cloud via your Larian account and continue right where you left off on a different platform.
Will BG3 Run on Steam Deck at Launch?
Yes, you can play Baldur’s Gate 3 on your Steam Deck at launch and it looks rad. We are aiming for Steam Deck Verified by August 3’s launch date. It launches on Steam Deck with what we consider to be the most optimal graphics settings, but feel free to play around. You’ll be able to avail of full controller support, and split-screen will be disabled on Steam Deck.
We recommend trying out your preferred method of antialiasing. We’ll continue to work on implementing FSR 2.0, but that will be closer to September 6.
4K System Requirements and Ultrawide Support
Baldur’s Gate 3 can be played in 4K and on ultrawide monitors. We created a pipeline that meant that all cinematics in the game were created in a way that supports those of you with a penchant for excess. Let’s have a look!
The purple bars in the images above show the 16:9 cutoff. The green bars show where ultrawide begins, to capture the full expanse of every elongated tentacle.
With a good CPU and a GeForce 3060, you can play at 1440p at 60fps. Native 4K will require double fill rate, so we recommend using a top-end GeForce 4080/4090 or AMD equivalent. And of course, with DLSS, you can reach 4K with lower requirements, thanks to the wizards at Nvidia.
Romantic Alchemy – Finding Love in Baldur’s Gate
A wise French-Canadian once said, "I believe that the heart does go on." Was she referring to the love lives of D&D characters? This writer says yes until proven otherwise.*
*Editor's Note: There is no evidence in D&D lore that suggests Celine Dion ever wrote her famous song in a bizarre allusion to D&D romance.
Many of you have asked about your options in romance, as well as the limitations you can set for yourself, and that we set for you. While you adventure, you forge genuine ‘human’ relationships with those you venture with. These can flourish into relationships that add gravity to every decision you make in the game, and you’re free to pursue them through deliberation, choice, and consequences. However, you’re also able to back out of them at any moment, change your mind, or fall in love with someone else.
To offer further clarity on exactly who can romance who in Baldur’s Gate 3, we’ve laid it out in the least romantic way possible, below:
- A played Origin can romance an NPC Origin
- An NPC Origin cannot romance an NPC Origin
- Played Origins cannot romance other player Origins
Our relationship system is designed for romancing NPCs only; however, if you and your co-op partner both kiss your monitors at the same time, the static shock you’ll experience produces a heart-racing effect similar to the feeling of love. If you begin to feel pain or numbness in your limbs, please go to a hospital immediately.
Untangling Dialogue: Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Many eagle-eyed chatterboxes have noticed that Baldur’s Gate 3 allows you to look back at a dialogue history while you’re in conversation, in case you’d forgotten what you said (understandable – you’re tadpoled), or wanted to realign your train of thought. We’re happy to confirm that, yes, you needn’t worry about forgetting what you’ve said (potentially exploding the entire world, ending up in jail, allying yourself with an actual murderous alien, etc.) thanks to the ability to look back at the conversation and get a sense of where you’re at. It's a neat feature that pops up in the community a lot, so we’ve decided to highlight it for those who haven’t yet jumped in! Doom-scrollers, do not worry, we got your back.
On the topic of doom and chatter, we get a lot of questions about how conversations work in a party of four, so we thought we’d lay out some scenarios that explain how it’s handled.
Typically, the character who initiates a conversation (in both single player and multiplayer) hosts that conversation. In multiplayer, the other players can witness the conversation by clicking on the appropriate icon or character, which will allow them to vote on the host character's choices in dialogue. The host is free, and often right, to ignore them.
“What if I enter a conversation with a character who has the wrong proficiencies for the choices I’m dealt?” This depends on a few things. When a conversation is started unexpectedly, the character who initiated whatever led to the conversation will host the conversation. That character's proficiencies will therefore be the ones used to decide the fate of the conversation. To give you an example, if you run around a corner and bump into someone unexpectedly, you’re the person who’s going to have the conversation.
In some cases, you can back out of the conversation and re-enter it with another character by (in single player) selecting another member of your party. In others, fate works as intended: as fate. Our dialogue systems are designed to feel organic, as they would in real life. Where there’s agency in life, there’s agency in Baldur’s Gate 3. When situations are more fateful, you’ve your wits – and your proficiencies – to untangle them.
In multiplayer, you will also have the option to set certain dialogues to private, so your teammates won't be able to listen in on them. Perfect for romance... or betrayal.
Whether it’s based on race, class, or other proficiencies, it’s important to remember that there are truly no wrong answers, but plenty of consequences. In the long term, the story will be defined by your choices, and the consequences of your actions. You will always have choices to make. Trust the dice, it’ll always show you a good time!
Three more days.