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After years of anticipation, Baldur’s Gate 3 has finally emerged from its cocoon of development and early access to spread its wings across the gaming world. With a colossal game world boasting an impressive 174 hours of cutscenes and an astounding 17,000 possible ending variations, the task of delivering formal reviews may seem as formidable as the game itself.
Nevertheless, as the gaming community dives headfirst into this expansive adventure, we’re here to provide you with some invaluable tips, tricks, and insights to help you navigate the initial 20 hours of Baldur’s Gate 3.
Make Sure You Have the Recommended Specifications
Ensure your system meets the recommended specifications for Baldur’s Gate 3, as this game is a storage heavyweight, occupying approximately 120 gigabytes of space. If your computer is relatively recent, like one with an Intel i5-10400, 16 gigabytes of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660, you’ll find yourself comfortably positioned between the minimum and recommended requirements.
However, be prepared for the noticeable demand this game places on your hardware; you may hear your desktop fans working overtime. To fully enjoy the experience, it’s essential to have a capable rig beyond the minimum specifications. Alternatively, you can wait for the console release. The game has already been released on PS5 and it is yet to be available on Xbox.
Alternatively, you can play Baldur’s Gate 3 on Boosteroid.
Farewell to Early Access Saves
Baldur’s Gate 3 has traversed a three-year journey through early access, providing fans with a tantalizing taste of the game’s development while granting Larian Studios the time and resources to craft this monumental endeavor. Now that the game has officially launched, Larian strongly advises players to part ways with their early access save files to avert potential save corruption issues.
Ensuring a Smooth Transition
“We’ve implemented measures to facilitate a seamless transition into the launch version of BG3, but we highly recommend the deletion of any in-game Early Access save files if you still possess access to the Early Access version of the game,” stated a blog post on BG3’s Steam page.
Cleaning House for a Fresh Start
Larian suggests a clean sweep, urging players to remove any mods and uninstall the early access iteration of the game. After this digital housekeeping, it’s advisable to reinstall the game now that it has transitioned into its full, live version. Whether early access mods remain compatible with the live game remains an unanswered question.
Save, Survive, and Embrace Death: Rarity of Autosaves
One of the noteworthy gripes players have with Baldur’s Gate 3 lies in its rather frugal use of autosaves. This, coupled with the game’s propensity for challenging encounters that can swiftly lead to the untimely demise of your party, can create a frustrating early-game experience.
Different Rules Apply
Unlike many games that use early encounters as opportunities for players to get acquainted and triumph easily, Baldur’s Gate 3 takes a different approach. It’s essentially Dungeons and Dragons: The Video Game, and combat should be approached with the same level of caution as you would in a tabletop D&D session.
Dice Rolls of Destiny
For instance, an encounter with seemingly low-level goblins, even when you have the numerical advantage, can turn into a disaster with a few unlucky dice rolls. I once stumbled upon a trio of goblins enjoying a casual drink, thinking it would be a cakewalk.
However, three missed surprise round attacks and a well-aimed goblin throw later, my party met an explosive end. To compound the frustration, Baldur’s Gate 3 doesn’t employ the “restart at the beginning of an encounter” mechanic. The last autosave was a distant 10 minutes ago.
Save Like There’s No Tomorrow
To maintain your sanity and preserve the lives of your party members, saving frequently is essential. You can even save mid-combat! Whether it’s precarious situations with NPCs or sudden bear attacks, a habit of saving often will serve you well in this challenging journey through the Forgotten Realms. Your party’s gratitude will know no bounds.
Navigating the Complexity
For those unfamiliar with Dungeons & Dragons or the Baldur’s Gate series, Baldur’s Gate 3 can appear overwhelmingly complex. The game presents an extensive array of races, classes, subclasses, domains, archetypes, and spells to choose from, leaving players feeling inundated with choices.
Party Roles: Simplified
The player may not always possess a detailed understanding of each party member’s role and abilities. However, even with this knowledge gap, effectiveness in combat and progression remains achievable. In the midst of the adventure, the player finds that certain party members have distinct roles—Gale, Wyll, and the sorcerer handle ranged attacks, while Lae’zel and Astarion excel in close combat, and Shadowheart specializes in healing.
Learning by Doing
Baldur’s Gate 3 excels at guiding players in using their party’s abilities effectively when needed. For example, even if the player has never played a rogue, the game subtly instructs that Astarion’s attacks are most effective when enemies are distracted or unaware of his presence. Similarly, while initially devaluing Shadowheart’s abilities, her Guidance spell proves invaluable for navigating dialogue and decision-making.
Flexibility in Design
When faced with a deluge of class, subclass, feats, traits, and spell descriptions, players need not fret. Baldur’s Gate 3 encourages them to follow their preferences and experiment. The game’s flexibility allows players to build a party optimized for combat without sacrificing their ability to engage in successful role-playing. In this journey through Faerûn, players can confidently embrace their chosen paths, secure in the knowledge that the game will teach them the intricacies as they progress.
Mastering D&D Basics
In the realm of Dungeons & Dragons, and consequently in Baldur’s Gate 3, character interaction with the world hinges on two fundamental elements: Abilities and Skills, both of which are influenced by the roll of a 20-sided die.
The Six Essential Attributes
Characters in D&D and Baldur’s Gate 3 possess six primary Abilities: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Each Ability corresponds to a specific aspect of a character’s capabilities, ranging from physical strength to book smarts. These Abilities are rated on a scale of 1 to 20, with 1 representing the lowest and 20 embodying superhuman prowess.
The Skill-Ability Relationship
Abilities play a pivotal role in determining a character’s proficiency in various Skills. For instance, a character with high Strength excels at Skills like Athletics, which involves feats of physical prowess. Likewise, a character with a formidable Charisma score demonstrates prowess in Skills such as Performance, underlining their strength of personality.
Bonus for Mastery
Proficiency adds a flat bonus to actions or tasks that a character is skilled in. For example, a character of Gold Dwarf lineage is proficient with Warhammers, enjoying a bonus when wielding these weapons. Proficiency enhances a character’s effectiveness when utilizing their trained skills and tools.
The Mechanism of Success
In both D&D and Baldur’s Gate 3, every action a character undertakes involves rolling a 20-sided die. The result is then modified by the appropriate Ability and Skill modifiers, and, if applicable, the Proficiency Bonus. This combined calculation determines the success or failure of the action, be it a skill check, an attack, or a saving throw. In Baldur’s Gate 3, these calculations are seamlessly integrated into the gameplay, sparing players from the need to perform intricate mathematical operations.
Dynamic Gameplay Fusion
Baldur’s Gate 3 offers a blend of real-time and turn-based gameplay. The primary mode of interaction involves clicking the mouse to navigate your character through the world. Clicking is also the means by which you interact with objects of interest, such as chests or adversaries.
During exploration phases, the game unfolds in real-time or a semblance thereof. As you guide your character through the environment, your assembled party will faithfully follow your lead. All actions and events progress seamlessly as you click your way through the game world.
Initiating Tactical Battles
When combat is initiated, typically marked by rolling for initiative in D&D terms, the gameplay transitions into a turn-based mode. The turn order is displayed across the top of the screen, determining the sequence in which characters and foes act.
Mastering the Six-Second Turn
A character’s turn in Baldur’s Gate 3 spans approximately six seconds and offers three key options:
- Movement: This entails shifting your character’s position within the environment. Each character has a specific movement speed, usually set at 30 feet, but subject to variation based on their race.
- Action: The action option allows your character to perform various actions, such as attacking with a weapon, casting spells, or using specific abilities.
- Bonus Action: Bonus actions are smaller, supplementary actions that can be executed during a turn. Examples include drinking a potion or utilizing specific character abilities.
In turn-based mode, players have the opportunity to carefully select actions for each character. It’s essential to note that certain actions, such as casting spells, may require either an Action or a Bonus Action, so it’s crucial to assess the prerequisites before making a commitment. Strategic planning is key to success in the heat of combat.
What is Baldur’s Gate 3?
Baldur’s Gate 3 is a role-playing video game set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. Developed by Larian Studios, it offers a captivating mix of real-time exploration and turn-based combat, allowing players to embark on epic adventures in the iconic Forgotten Realms.
How do Abilities and Skills work in the game?
Abilities, such as Strength, Dexterity, and Charisma, influence a character’s proficiency in various Skills. For example, high Strength enhances abilities like Athletics. Skills are crucial for overcoming challenges and interacting with the game world.
Can you explain the turn-based combat system?
In turn-based combat, each character has a turn consisting of Movement, Action, and Bonus Action. Movement allows you to reposition, Action covers attacks and spellcasting, and Bonus Actions are for smaller tasks. It’s vital to strategize and choose actions wisely to succeed in combat encounters.
Baldur’s Gate 3, with its rich blend of real-time exploration and tactical turn-based combat, offers players a chance to step into the vast and immersive world of Dungeons & Dragons. As you navigate the complexities of Abilities and Skills, engage in thrilling combat scenarios, and shape the destinies of your characters, remember that the heart of this adventure lies in your choices.
Whether you’re a seasoned D&D veteran or a newcomer to this fantastical realm, Baldur’s Gate 3 invites you to embark on an epic journey through the Forgotten Realms, where every decision shapes your destiny, and the possibilities are as boundless as your imagination.
May your path be filled with thrilling encounters and memorable tales in this captivating RPG!