Baldur’s Gate III Community Update #12 - Nature’s Power

Following the recent Panel From Hell event, we get this new Community Update for Baldur’s Gate III that recaps the event’s announcements, discusses the big new features coming to the game in the next early access patch, and shares the complete patch notes.

Here are the key points:

It’s been a busy few weeks here at Larian HQ. In between finalizing our transmogrification spells, sourcing cows for experimentation, and training them to sign extensive liability waivers with their hooves, we’ve been hard at work putting the finishing touches on Patch 4.

After much anticipation, today we awoke to the holy noise of bells chiming. It was our QA team in the hallowed Larian belfry, each of them clutching a bell rope in their face-tentacles to ring in the good news: Patch 4 ready to go live!

Before we get into it, a quick shoutout to everyone who helped Divinity: Original Sin 2 reach 100,000 reviews on Steam, where it sits with a 95% positive rating. What better way to celebrate that, than with a hefty patch for Baldur’s Gate 3!

If you watched the Panel From Hell 2 last week, you’ll know that this is our biggest Baldur’s Gate 3 patch yet. Thank you to everyone who tuned in. It was a big success, and that means we can think about doing more. (Alternatively, if you missed the livestream, or just fancy seeing Swen in armour again, you can watch it in full just below)[...]

Coming in at a whopping eight pages, Patch 4: Nature’s Power contains a juicy number of fixes, updates, and one particularly major addition: Druids are now a playable class.

You may have spotted us subtly teasing the Druid class in the lead-up to PFH2 with one or two strategically placed references to…cows, as well as vines!. “Will cows be coming to Baldur’s Gate 3?” wondered many a bewildered reader. Well, no. Instead, we would hire a Professional Cow Actor (Stephanie) to appear live on the stream, and through the power of Movie Magic have her use the Wild Shape ability to transform from bovine beauty into an actual Druid.

This is Stephanie the Cow, and she is ready for her close-up.

RIP Stephanie.

Just kidding, she’s fine. Nick on the other hand has grown udders.

With Patch 4: Nature’s Power, Druid characters will be able to use the Wild Shape ability to transform into a variety of different animals, each of which has their own unique abilities. Dire Wolf, Deep Rothe, Aberrant Shape, and Polar Bear forms offer new heavy attack options in combat, while Cat, Raven, Spider, and Badger provide additional strategic and defensive maneuvers – through stealth, flight, web-spinning, and burrowing, respectively.

Like their D&D equivalents, Druids in Baldur's Gate 3 will be able to choose one of two Druid Circle subclasses which impacts interactions in the game: Circle of the Land or Circle of the Moon. The former offers Druids additional perks as a caster, allowing you to pick a specific biome for which you are connected and then grants you additional spells. The latter allows players to boost the combative power of their Wild Shapes and gives you access to the mighty Polar Bear shape.

Druids can speak with their animal kin while in their Wild Shape forms, which provides an alternative to combat encounters via diplomacy. You saw a bit of this in action during the livestream, where we showed a Druid use their Wild Shape ability to transform into a bear and convince a fellow bear to quit blocking a previously impassable entryway. Previously this encounter would have kicked off a combat scenario. Now with the Druid class, players have the option to trigger an adorably non-lethal tête-à-tête.

Loaded dice: toggle for sanity, or disable for purity

Another new feature in this patch is Loaded Dice. The aim here is to smooth out the extremes of the dice-rolling bell curve that might otherwise see players roll a series of unlucky Natural 1s or all-too-lucky D20s in a row. We’ve been considering this for some time, but it’s really a matter of taste and therefore is an optional feature. If you prefer the purity of RNG rolls, those are still available to you. But if you are easily prone to dice-related headaches or if you have angered the algorithm and are now cursed with randomly-generated bad luck, then it's worth a toggle.

Cinematic speak with dead - spooky AND immersive

The Speak with the Dead ability now includes many new corpses to hunker down with for a chat. This means lots of new dialogue and, naturally, new accompanying cinematics. And yes, there is method to our gothic madness. To quote from Swen during the livestream: "If you killed everybody like an idiot and you didn't pay attention to the story and don't know what to do anymore, you can just go talk to their bodies!" Speaking of cinematics, Patch 4 comes with vastly improved lighting and animation and with over 25,000 cinematic nodes throughout Act 1, the game is looking better than ever. Not that we’re done yet. There’s still loads of improvements coming.

Quality of life and user experience tweaks and changes a happier player maketh

A number of quality-of-life changes are included in this patch as well. Targeting allies and enemies will now be easier, and you can do so just by clicking on their portraits - A nice little UI upgrade that means no more blindly clicking your way between characters within the world to find them. Additionally, for those who enjoy playing BG3 with other human beings, you'll now be able to see other players' full Equipment, Spells, Inventory, and Character Sheets. Darker areas of the game have also been improved with a newly dedicated torch button, while a long awaited flee button is now available in the game for easier escapes from combat. Annoy your friends by leaving them to fend for themselves with a tactical retreat!

Sharp-Eye now pees from the “correct approximate bodily area”, which is an example of a quality of life improvement for specifically one NPC, and whoever may be responsible for their laundry.

You can also expect to find stability fixes galore in this update. Here are a few favourites, hot off the patch notes:
  • Baelan’s wig was removed and he is now correctly bald, as stated in Derryth’s dialogue.
  • Sharp-Eye now pees from the correct bodily area (previously too high up).
  • Fixed not being able to shove characters off the skiffs in the Underdark. Happy shoving!
We’ve also been working with Razer to bring Chroma support to the game, including support for Philips Hue bulbs, so you can match your entire abode to Baldur’s Gate 3’s vibe, if you’re so inclined. If you’ve got a Chroma connected laptop or peripheral, you may notice a little extra flair when you launch the game having downloaded Patch 4.

We grow, our patches become smaller.

With so many updates to the game - and many more to come as we continue to build toward launch - it isn't surprising that we've expanded our development team. As announced last week, Larian has opened two new studios in Guildford, England and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. That brings us to a total of six studios spanning Belgium, Ireland, Russia, Canada, England, and Malaysia, working together to bring Baldur's Gate 3 to life.

And good news for your computers: In the future you can expect our patches to be smaller in download and install size, regardless of how hefty they may be. The short version is, we've split large pak files into smaller chunks. To put that in Wild Shape terms, our patches will go from chonky badger to svelte feline.

That just about covers today’s major points!