Baldur's Gate 3: developed by Larian Studios

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Re: Baldur's Gate 3: developed by Larian Studios

Post by Sly Boots » Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:02 am

I rolled a half-elf rogue called Slythe >_>

What? I have a type is all :lol:

Played the opening area and having a lot of fun with it. As you'd expect at level 1 combat is quite rudimentary so far in terms of what you're able to do, but I'm impressed that all the rules we've been playing as a forum D&D campaign are applied here, having the bonus actions and so on, which I guess were never possible in the real-time-with-pause previous games, but here really give it the feel of a tabletop game, which is great. Being able to see the dice rolls at work when you make a check adds to the feeling as well.

Only early days of course, but this has the potential to be another genre-defining title, amazing work by Larian.

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Re: Baldur's Gate 3: developed by Larian Studios

Post by Wrathbone » Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:55 am

Interesting point around rogues: Larian have given ALL classes the ability to dash, hide and disengage as a bonus action, whereas in the tabletop rules that's only possible with the 2nd level rogue ability, Cunning Action. All other classes have to use a full action to do those things in the tabletop rules, meaning Cunning Action is a big benefit to rogues which has apparently been granted to everyone in BG3. I get that they want to make combat faster and more mobile, but I'm curious as to what rogues will get instead at level 2 to compensate for it.

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Re: Baldur's Gate 3: developed by Larian Studios

Post by Sly Boots » Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:27 am

Wrathbone wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:55 am
Interesting point around rogues: Larian have given ALL classes the ability to dash, hide and disengage as a bonus action, whereas in the tabletop rules that's only possible with the 2nd level rogue ability, Cunning Action. All other classes have to use a full action to do those things in the tabletop rules, meaning Cunning Action is a big benefit to rogues which has apparently been granted to everyone in BG3. I get that they want to make combat faster and more mobile, but I'm curious as to what rogues will get instead at level 2 to compensate for it.
Having just levelled I can answer that question :)

Rogues appear to get a cunning action at lvl2 that gives them Dash as a bonus action. I can see that having application for a mobile, backstabby rogue, although I'm mainly going ranged at the moment.

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Re: Baldur's Gate 3: developed by Larian Studios

Post by Wrathbone » Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:34 am

Ahh, now you mention it, Dash is still a full action for other classes, so that makes sense.

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Re: Baldur's Gate 3: developed by Larian Studios

Post by Lee » Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:42 pm

Bought it and it's now waiting for the release before being played :D
Mr Annoyed and Proud of it.

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Re: Baldur's Gate 3: developed by Larian Studios

Post by Wrathbone » Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:33 am

Played for a few more hours last night. Some more thoughts:

The good
- Taking it for what it is rather than what I hoped it would be, it is fun.

- Combat is much better when you have a full party and some more abilities at level 2.

- The voice acting is top notch.


The bad
- Too many rule changes from the tabletop rules for apparently the wrong reasons. Certain rules have been changed not because they don't make sense in a video game as written, but as a concession to mechanics that have been carried over from Original Sin and aren't designed for D&D rules. As an example, the cantrip Firebolt is meant to do 1d10 damage to a single target, and if you specifically target something easily flammable like some curtains, they will set on fire. It's intended as the arcane equivalent to, say, a longsword. Larian have changed it so that it does 1d6 damage and creates a surface of fire around the target which burns and does damage for a few rounds. Not only does this completely change the nature of the cantrip, it means you're liable to damage your melee allies who are also fighting your target. This leads onto the next point...

- Surfaces. Oh FFS, surfaces, surfaces everywhere! I was never a fan of the huge puddles of fire and acid and water everywhere in Original Sin, but I accepted that elemental interplay was a core part of their combat design. While it's not as obnoxious in BG3, it's still very much a thing and it has no place here in D&D land. Maybe a tiny place in very limited circumstances. When one of the many inexplicably placed oil barrels in the world steals the show from your party for half of all encounters, something's not right.

- Your companions are all total arseholes, with perhaps one exception. There's one I've not met yet, actually, so hopefully they won't be as needlessly prickly. Party disagreements and terse banter are one thing, but most of your party seem to actively despise you for no obvious reason. Here's hoping they swiftly realise that basic decency is more productive.


It's worth emphasising that I'm very much enjoying it overall, despite the problems. It seems my concern that we'd get D:OS3 with a D&D skin was not far off the mark, complete with dense megamaps and OS mechanics like surfaces and gas traps. It's not inherently a terrible thing, it's just unfortunate that Larian are so attached to their way of doing things that they've mangled some of the D&D rules to shoehorn in their own rules. This is where I'm trying to take off my DM hat and try and enjoy it for what it is, but it's difficult when I can see the changes to the rules and make a resigned guess as to why in most cases.

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Re: Baldur's Gate 3: developed by Larian Studios

Post by Sly Boots » Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:42 am

I don't actually mind the snarky characters, in the story Larian has written you're basically thrown together with a hodge-podge of others by fate, who are teaming up through expediency rather than any common morals or shared history.

Plus githyankis are basically canonically xenophobic, arrogant twats so that's in keeping. After a few conversations it's noticeable how the cleric has warmed to me a bit, while I didn't mind the flirty vampire - the only reason I ditched him was because we're the same class. Then I found the warlock character in the druid camp, and I quite like him as it happens. I haven't met the mage yet, but from what others have said he's a fairly friendly character so that will be good. So really, it's one canonical dick, someone who's a bit frosty on meeting you but warms up over time, and the rest aren't particularly twattish towards you.

I do agree with the criticism that your other party members don't get involved when you're doing something, like being ambushed by a vampire rogue, or ill-advisedly trying to mind-meld with an illithid, instead just standing around vacantly. Hopefully as EA progresses they will add more interactions around stuff like that.

On surfaces, I don't know if it's because I'm not playing a mage and don't yet have one in my party, but I haven't noticed that many surfaces in combat. There was one early on where I managed to kill myself in the very first room in the game by attacking a mind-flayer doodad with a dagger, which promptly exploded and ignited something else and made that explode too. That was funny, though.

The only other time I've really noticed it was in a fight in a ruined cathedral. I only had two characters at that time, and managed to awaken six undead so I'm pretty sure I stumbled into it earlier than I should have. I kept getting hammered, and the most frustrating thing was I couldn't even land a hit on the warrior enemy (the rest being spellcasters) despite having a 90% chance to hit. I reasoned that it could be because he had fairly high AC while my level 2 characters were unable to penetrate it even on a successful hit. So, on my fourth attempt at the encounter, I hid my party in a side room at the back (to break line of sight with the spell-chuckers), and through the doorway I threw one of the illithid pods I'd found earlier that creates an acid puddle. Sure enough, the warrior came charging into the room through the puddle, got covered in acid and the resulting hit to his AC meant I could actually do damage to him. I thought that was a really neat solution to a (self-created) problem. I'm sure if I went back there with a full party (which I could have done with only a little more exploration, I discovered later), it would be a far simpler encounter that doesn't require such strategy, but I'm really pleased I found a way to get through it rather than reload to an earlier save.

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Re: Baldur's Gate 3: developed by Larian Studios

Post by Wrathbone » Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:25 am

I've not found the warlock yet but I have found the wizard, who is reasonable. Unfortunately I've ditched him because I'm also a wizard. :lol:

I agree that there is in-story justification for some of them being horrible, it's just that I prefer companions who don't sneer at you simply for saying hello.

The surfaces thing is definitely exacerbated by me playing as a wizard, because quite a few spells now create surfaces when the D&D rules don't state that (in fact some, like Grease, clarify that they shouldn't do that). I'd say at least a third of my encounters so far have had some kind of environmental spillage going on, even ignoring spells, and it gets tedious. More importantly, if a surface appears without you intending it to, that can prevent basic tactics like sending someone across it to fight in melee. Instead of playing D&D tactics, you're forced to play Larian tactics. I'd much prefer if they toned that down and allowed the D&D rules to speak for themselves, because this is meant to be a D&D game.

I don't know... I get that this is a niche issue for me, and the combat is still good. It's just that there's an opportunity for a great game which showcases the 5E rules in a way that hasn't been done yet, and instead Larian's ego or lack of restraint has made them foist their own mechanics to the forefront and they've then tried to build a D&D game around that. I've posted feedback to that effect on the BG3 forums, and it's certainly a hot topic of debate.

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Re: Baldur's Gate 3: developed by Larian Studios

Post by Sly Boots » Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:05 pm

Finally found the wizard. Had to google it in the end as was odd how for most people he seems to have been one of the first companions you find. Oddly, I'd been past that exact spot before and activated the waypoint, when I went back just now the cutscene triggered and he appeared. Not sure if it's a bug or I just managed to skirt around the trigger for it.

In any case, now have a party of me (rogue), the githyanki warrior, the warlock and the wizard. It's possibly going to be a bit squishy, though I love the warlock being able to talk to animals without using a spell slot. Although I did have to kill a dog just now after shouting at the corpse of his master trying to prove he was dead -_-

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Re: Baldur's Gate 3: developed by Larian Studios

Post by Sly Boots » Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:04 pm

Say what you like about the combat, but the feeling you get when you push a boss, who has already killed three of your four party members, off a cliff for an insta-kill is simply sublime :lol:

I've had a great day with it, my progress in the main story has been negligible, as I keep wandering off the beaten track and getting swept up in side content. It's fun to experiment, with this being EA, such as the time I took up an offer of help I would never usually take, it being so clearly signposted as a terrible decision, and got some fun dialogue and background info. Unfortunately it also gave my archer character a permanent disadvantage on ranged attacks, so naturally I reloaded.

Also, owlbear! :shock:

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Re: Baldur's Gate 3: developed by Larian Studios

Post by Sly Boots » Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:34 am

Having a great time still with this.

However, I have encountered what I can only assume to be a huge, game-breaking bug. Basically, I was in a fight where I was near a chasm. I spent ages trying to shove an enemy down for an instant-kill, but kept failing. Then one of its minions rushed over and shoved one of my companions down it.

Never mind, I thought, I can revive him with that character back at my camp who provides that service. However, once I finish the fight, I'm unable to teleport to my camp as it says a character (the dead one, I presume), can't travel. I can't cast a revivify scroll on him, as his body is nowhere to be seen. When I click on his character portrait I discover his dead body already at the camp :shock:.

So, I can't go to where he is to revive him, and also I can't drop him from my party (I think you can only do this in conversation?) and being unable to go back to camp it means my half-dead party can no longer heal or recover spell slots.

I can reload to the start of combat, which is my only option, which is a drag as it was a big one I only got through by the skin of my teeth and some fortuitous rolls. But it feels like if a character is dead you should be able to return to camp to res them - especially as Larian have made sure there is a function there for doing just that.

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Re: Baldur's Gate 3: developed by Larian Studios

Post by Sly Boots » Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:12 pm

Aaand, finished the EA (with a nice little cutscene at the end from the devs :lol:), clocking in at a shade over 30 hours.

Shaping up really nicely, really wanted to be able to continue, but alas.

On the companions, it was noticeable how the two I gelled with the most became my BFFs by the end of the EA, singing my praises and toasting our successes, while the two who seemed to disapprove of my actions both pretty much hated my guts. I was playing my usual good character trying to help people, so I wonder if the latter two cater for more of a bad/renegade style playthrough, and will become more friendly with you while the 'good' companions hate you instead. I might experiment with that in my next run.

There are some wrinkles, such as lack of lip syncing during about half the dialogue and cutscenes, the camera in areas with a lot of different levels was a bit of a nightmare, I found switching between characters quite unresponsive unless I used the F1-F4 keyboard shortcuts, the above issue with dead characters... but overall looking very good :)

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Re: Baldur's Gate 3: developed by Larian Studios

Post by Wrathbone » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:01 am

I'd guess I'm around two-thirds of the way through. My experience has been highly positive overall with some real niggles about certain things, still mainly about some changes to the rules which I think overcomplicate things and don't improve anything, and also surfaces. God, Larian's obsession with surfaces annoys me. :lol: I'll come back to that.

The one thing that I've mostly changed my mind about is the companions. Some of them are still perhaps a little too abrasive, but Shadowheart keeps showing these glimpses of vulnerability which shine through her prickly facade, and that makes her likeable. Gale is friendly but a bit smug, Astarion has grown on me and Wynn is interesting and affable (ignoring the obvious bug where I completed his sidequest with him in the party, then he immediately ranted to me that I did it without him). Lae'zel... I get it, she's a military-minded githyanki with no interest in anyone or anything that won't solve the immediate problem, but she's not a fit for my party. I imagine she'll become more interesting on an evil playthrough.

Regarding the rule changes, so many of the changes have clearly been done to accommodate Original Sin mechanics and it kills any semblance of balance. Adapting the rules is one thing, but the extent to which they've mangled some of the basics is frustrating. So many simple cantrips now cause surface effects which has a massive impact. As an example, in the first round of combat against one goblin, he cast acid splash at one of my guys. In the tabletop rules, that's a cantrip that does 1d6 damage against a single target. Let me list what happened in BG3:

- It did 1d6 acid damage to the target.
- This created an acid puddle which did 1d6 damage to the two party members standing either side of the target.
- One of them was carrying a torch, which ignited the acid puddle, causing another 1d6 fire damage to all three people.
- As each of the party members then moved out of the burning acid puddle, they each took another 1d6 damage (I forget whether this was fire or acid, or both).
- On the subsequent round, they each took another 1d6 damage from being on fire.
- My fourth party member had to use his bonus action to jump over the flaming puddle (note that it should be a full action to jump, but I guess the everpresence of surfaces convinced Larian that they should change it to a bonus action).

Tabletop acid splash: 1d6 damage against a single target.
BG3 acid splash: 12d6 damage on three targets across 2 rounds, leaving a burning puddle of acid.

It's ludicrous. That's not even an unusual situation I've described - that sort of shite happens I would say in about half of all fights. Being a wizard probably has some impact on that, but the endless amount of stuff that can inadvertently create an untraversable battlefield due to surfaces everywhere is dismaying.

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Re: Baldur's Gate 3: developed by Larian Studios

Post by Sly Boots » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:47 am

Wrathbone wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:01 am
I'd guess I'm around two-thirds of the way through. My experience has been highly positive overall with some real niggles about certain things, still mainly about some changes to the rules which I think overcomplicate things and don't improve anything, and also surfaces. God, Larian's obsession with surfaces annoys me. :lol: I'll come back to that.

The one thing that I've mostly changed my mind about is the companions. Some of them are still perhaps a little too abrasive, but Shadowheart keeps showing these glimpses of vulnerability which shine through her prickly facade, and that makes her likeable. Gale is friendly but a bit smug, Astarion has grown on me and Wynn is interesting and affable (ignoring the obvious bug where I completed his sidequest with him in the party, then he immediately ranted to me that I did it without him). Lae'zel... I get it, she's a military-minded githyanki with no interest in anyone or anything that won't solve the immediate problem, but she's not a fit for my party. I imagine she'll become more interesting on an evil playthrough.

Regarding the rule changes, so many of the changes have clearly been done to accommodate Original Sin mechanics and it kills any semblance of balance. Adapting the rules is one thing, but the extent to which they've mangled some of the basics is frustrating. So many simple cantrips now cause surface effects which has a massive impact. As an example, in the first round of combat against one goblin, he cast acid splash at one of my guys. In the tabletop rules, that's a cantrip that does 1d6 damage against a single target. Let me list what happened in BG3:

- It did 1d6 acid damage to the target.
- This created an acid puddle which did 1d6 damage to the two party members standing either side of the target.
- One of them was carrying a torch, which ignited the acid puddle, causing another 1d6 fire damage to all three people.
- As each of the party members then moved out of the burning acid puddle, they each took another 1d6 damage (I forget whether this was fire or acid, or both).
- On the subsequent round, they each took another 1d6 damage from being on fire.
- My fourth party member had to use his bonus action to jump over the flaming puddle (note that it should be a full action to jump, but I guess the everpresence of surfaces convinced Larian that they should change it to a bonus action).

Tabletop acid splash: 1d6 damage against a single target.
BG3 acid splash: 12d6 damage on three targets across 2 rounds, leaving a burning puddle of acid.

It's ludicrous. That's not even an unusual situation I've described - that sort of shite happens I would say in about half of all fights. Being a wizard probably has some impact on that, but the endless amount of stuff that can inadvertently create an untraversable battlefield due to surfaces everywhere is dismaying.
:lol:

That's an extreme example, but I'd be super-salty if that happened so make sure to provide feedback in the hope they scale it back.

On the surfaces front, I have a pro- and a con- scenario from my playthrough.

On the con side, at one point I was getting extremely pissed off with the exploding-flask spam in one fight. For context, it was fairly clear it was going to kick off, and being in a ruined cathedral, I spent a fair bit of time positioning my rogue on a rafter a couple of storeys up so he could snipe and sneak attack. During the fight, he was the first to drop, as half a dozen goblins took turns pelting him with fire flasks, and he burned to death in two rounds. My question is, it makes sense that someone high up gets an attack advantage, but shouldn't there be some kind of skill or ability check for someone 40ft below and 20ft away hurling something upwards? I have a hard time believing in a PnP game that would be an automatic success.

On the pro side, one of the latter areas sees two giant minotaurs hurtling out of the shadows at you. It might depend on where you run into them, but for me they had to come at me across a narrow bridge over an abyss. First of all, that meant them coming single file. Secondly, as soon as the first one appeared my wizard fired off his frost ray cantrip, making the ground at its feet icy. On his next move he leapt into the midst of my party (more on that in a sec), but the second one slipped onto his arse for a crucial two rounds, which allowed me to focus down the first and beat the second by the skin of my teeth as a result. That ice patch was a literal life-saver.

On the leap-attack... it wasn't something I noticed previously, but in this late-game area all the big enemies - minotaurs, hook horrors and, to my amusement, a bulotte - are able to leap across half the map, and spam this move to constantly focus your ranged characters, as they cause damage when they land, you have to pass a check not to go prone, and most of the above not only hit hard but get multiple attacks per round, some with cleave. What that means is within one of their turns they can down, potentially kill, 2-3 of your party members, and no amount of clever character placement can mitigate it because they can jump further than you can attack, meaning you are always within leap range. That can't be right.

The laser-focus the AI has for taking down your wizard is also a cause for annoyance. Yes, it's a clever move, but towards the end of the EA you're up against the aforementioned leaping enemies, plus there are ones slightly earlier that can teleport and attack in the same turn, so there is literally nothing you can do to prevent your spellcaster dying in the first round or two. I got sick of seeing Gale's death-hologram, I can tell you that :lol: It puts me off actually playing a wizard, to tell the truth.

Combined with the bug I mentioned previously about not being able to travel to camp to res characters if one is already dead (surely this is a bug?), that's a cause for a lot of frustration and reloading.

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Re: Baldur's Gate 3: developed by Larian Studios

Post by Wrathbone » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:12 am

Sly Boots wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:47 am
That's an extreme example
That's the thing, I don't think it is, or at least it's been a frequent state of affairs while I've been playing. They're obviously determined to make surfaces a thing in the game, but at the very least I think they need to reconsider cantrips being able to cause that much mayhem.

As for the bulette, I've not got that far yet but crikey that's a tough monster by itself for a level 4 party! :shock: The leap ability and the damage caused by it are part of the tabletop rules, hence why I had it jump through the roof when Sage summoned one in a bedroom in our campaign. :lol:

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