Community Update #2 on the Larian Studios forums
is titled "Gathering the
Party" as they discuss plans to bring Baldur's Gate III
to Early Access
"soon." This discusses their presentation of the RPG sequel to attendees of PAX
East and plans to discuss it with the rest of us one week from today in a Reddit
AMA. Word on that is: "We’ll be hosting a Reddit AMA where you can ask Swen
(Creative Director), David (Producer), Adam (Senior Writer), Nick (Lead Systems
Designer), and Jiji (Writing Director) your questions. 11:00 PT on March 12,
over on Reddit!" Here's the update:
We will soon embark on an epic
adventure as Baldur’s Gate 3 enters Early Access, and we couldn’t possibly
venture forth without first gathering you, our party. One thousand of you
gathered with us as we streamed the game live for the first time at PAX East in
an auditorium filled to the brim, and an extra thousand of you were sadly turned
away because there was no more space. Hundreds of thousands of you gathered
online which - we’re told in confidence - broke some records. Thousands of you
each waited three hours to gather with us at our PAX East booth, to see what
would have happened if the dice rolls weren’t against us. It has been humbling
and exciting to gather together as we start this new journey, venturing forth,
going the way of the dice.
What you will eventually play has been in the planning at Larian and closely
with Wizards of the Coast for over 4 years now, with their key creative people
colliding with our key creative people in ways that we will eventually talk
about in greater length. Our task is to create the ultimate Dungeons & Dragons
game; a loving and modern sequel to Baldur’s Gate 2. Oozing with 5e D&D
greatness, set in the world that you know and love. You will explore Baldur’s
Gate 100 years after Baldur’s Gate 2. The Bhaalspawn saga has ended, and a new
threat is converging on the city of Baldur's Gate. But the gods do not forget,
and the shadows and scars of the past will not stay silent. You will meet and
get to know many new characters, and encounter some of the legendary characters
you know and love.
Most importantly, you’ll learn how their stories have evolved. And as you play,
you will heavily influence their fate. Over the course of the past 3 weeks, the
final missing ingredient has been added into our new development pipeline: you.
Let’s look at how we’ve evolved since the release of Divinity: Original Sin 2 in
2017. Firstly, we finished Divinity: Original Sin 2 with 120 people. DOS2 was
shipped on the second version of the Divinity engine (we still haven’t found a
cool name for it yet), and our Producer David Walgrave said recently in an
interview with TechRaptor that in BG3 "there’s about 20-30% of the Original Sin
engine left and we rewrote so many systems and so many things." We’ve been
colloquially calling this 4.0 engine the “Baldur’s Gate Engine”, and it’s
designed from the ground up for Baldur’s Gate.
But how does this happen? Between 2017 and the announcement of BG3 we’ve grown
to 250 people + we have over 100 outsourcers working on this. Still independent.
Funded entirely by yourselves who dived so eagerly into Divinity: Original Sin
2. We were quiet since the announcement just before E3 of the previous year. But
internally, kinetic energy has propelled us forward with new systems, pipelines,
and people who when not playing D&D were all helping us to put together what you
saw at PAX East, 2020. There’s quite the adventure ahead.
We’ve built an engine that allows all 250 people at Larian collaborate to become
the ultimate DM. Allowing for near-limitless reactivity, responsiveness, and a
memory that never forgets who you are, or what you’ve done. No matter who you
roll, dice-rolls, modifyers, and physical simulation have all been designed to
simulate a D&D experience that feels as though it’s straight from the
imagination, where no matter the dice roll the story will continue. It’s also a
game that is intended to span the entire range of human emotion. It is in equal
parts a dark and a light game. “We always want to make failure as interesting as
it possibly can,” said Senior Writer Adam Smith. “We don’t put everything that’s
cool and interesting behind success.”
“Light and dark are really good sources of advantage,” noted Swen in a recent
GameSpot interview. The philosophies that define the rules in D&D 5e also define
the narrative, where you’ll often make difficult decisions through initiative or
through the roll of the dice. The Baldur’s Gate games were dark - sometimes
darker than many people remember. Baldur’s Gate 3 is no exception, though in
2020 we’re able to take the gamut of emotion and experience and stretch it
further due to systems, simulation, and of course also our cinematics team.
Unfortunately we did not make it to the end of our PAX East 2020 live demo due
to a feature (see: bug), but those in the hall witnessed a scene where
Astarion’s hunger got the better of him, and through a series of dice rolls (and
often audience choice), Astarion sank his teeth into Shadowheart to varying
degrees of mortality. Astarion was happy (systemically), but Shadowheart often
ended up dead (also without irony, systemically).
Baldur’s Gate 3 is on course to be a ‘Mature’ game, which is publishing language
for “if you go any further the ratings board is going to be extremely annoying”.
We want to push the limits of every theme within the game, which should allow
you to play exactly how you’d like to play. Astarion may be a Vampire Spawn, but
that doesn’t mean he has to be evil - if hungry. Though you saw one path at PAX
East, there were many possibilities for good, and evil -- note also, everything
in between. It has always been Larian’s plan to create games that allow you to
play however you wish. This larger team, and this new engine, allow us to push
this further than ever before. Much further than Divinity: Original Sin 2.
As you delve into an epic adventure that subverts the binary morality found in
many RPGs, and explore Baldur’s Gate with new and existing characters, 100 years
after the story of the first two games, dice roll by dice roll, we hope that
together we can reignite that great sense of discovery you felt as you dived for
the first time into Baldur’s Gate 1 & 2, bringing the experience of an
open-ended D&D game to photo-realistic realisation, albeit with 5e rules in
place of 2nd edition rules. Things have come a long way in 20 years, but what’s
important to us is that you’re along for the ride.
You have many questions, and we have answers. We’ll be hosting a Reddit AMA
where you can ask Swen (Creative Director), David (Producer), Adam (Senior
Writer), Nick (Lead Systems Designer), and Jiji (Writing Director) your
questions. 11:00 PT on March 12, over on Reddit!
See you all in Early Access.