The fourth update to Baldur’s Gate 3, Nature’s Power, adds a lot of cool stuff. (But also kind of highlights why the game is in Early Access.)
When the original Baldur’s Gate launched in 1998, it featured four main character classes – Warrior, Priest, Wizard and Rogue – and beneath them, a number of sub-classes. They were: Warrior (Fighter, Ranger, Paladin, Barbarian); Priest (Cleric, Druid); Wizard (Mage, Specialist Mage); and Rogue (Thief, Bard).
Over time, other sub-classes and specialist “kits” were added, either in Baldur’s Gate 2 and the Enhanced Editions. This allowed for a huge degree of customisation, with something like 30 or 40 base character options, before you even start customising your stats.
When Baldur’s Gate 3 launched into Early Access last year, it featured just six character classes: Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Warlock and Wizard. More classes are promised over time – that is sort of the point of Early Access, after all – but several notable D&D classes, including Bard, Barbarian, Druid and Paladin, were missing from the character creator.
During a stream, Baldur’s Gate 3 developer Larian has announced that the Druid class, at least, will be making its debut in the Early Access game as part of the fourth patch, which is coming soon. Not only that, but the “amount of changes coming to the game with Patch 4 is greater than all 3 prior patches combined”, apparently.
Players will be able choose to play Baldur’s Gate 3’s Druids as one of two classic D&D Circles, the Circle of the Land – your vintage, nature-loving hippy Druids – or the Circle of the Moon, with more powerful transformation options. Druids will also get access to over 30 spells and abilities, entirely new sections of dialogue and narrative, and some neat new features that aren’t available to the other classes when they visit Druid’s Grove.
It’s not all about the Druids, though. The fourth Baldur’s Gate 3 patch also includes a bunch of other changes and updates, summarised in the press release:
- Optional Loaded Dice: This optional change helps smooth out the extremes of the bell curve. It retains the core elements of RNG, ensuring a player can no longer be unlucky or super lucky with several dice rolls in a row. The system also runs in two parts. Dice rolls in dialogue are different to those in combat, and this change only impacts the d20. Not damage rolls.
- Speak with dead and polished cinematics: Cinematics in special cases like Speak with Dead have made huge improvements along with the ability to join conversations as an animal. The patch also adds improved animations with the Druids in the Grove as they cast spells and use their abilities. Major improvements have been made both in animation and lighting, which… though not obvious in this paragraph of text, look really neat in the game. Channel your imagination.
- Multiplayer: Those embarking on their adventure together with friends can now see other players Equipment, Spells, Inventory and Character Sheets. As well as the ability to take and place items to and from. There is no lock function – that will come in a future patch. Your friends could for example steal your items, because there’s no lock function yet, but there’s no rush, because they’re your friends. They wouldn’t do that to you, would they?
- Quality of life: A series of much-requested features have been implemented. Players can now target friends and enemies with spells and equipment by clicking on their portraits. As an alternative to trying to click on a character in the world, players can now easily select and attack whoever they want from the UI. We also added a flee button for the errr… tacticians among us. And using torches has never been easier thanks to the long-awaited addition of the torch button!
- Improved Cinematics: Narrative cinematics have been given a new lease of life thanks to a fresh lighting pass, resulting in some truly spectacular sequences in which the story of BG3 is told.
We don’t know when Baldur’s Gate 3 will leave Early Access, but expect it to be absolutely massive when it does.