Tobold's Blog
Friday, October 09, 2020
Baldur's Gate 3

I rarely buy full-price PC games these days. I can get a lot of games for "free" via the Gamepass subscription, and with a lot of other games I can wait for a Steam sale. In spite of that, I bought Baldur's Gate 3 at full price for an early access version yesterday (downloaded it in the evening, haven't had the time to play it yet). That shows you how excited I am about this game.

This is not because the game carries the "Baldur's Gate" brand. In fact, I am not the biggest fan of the Baldur's Gate brand, which I think went downhill fast from the first game. I am, however, a fan of Larian Studios and their Divinity: Original Sin series of games. I love the idea that Baldur's Gate combat went from real-time to turn-based. And I am very excited that it is based on 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons. (I am also looking forward to the other 5th edition D&D videogame, Solasta: Crown of the Magister, which I pledged for at the Kickstarter).

While you can't really "roleplay" in a single-player videogame, I have always considered that the tactical rules of Dungeons & Dragons were solid enough to make a good computer game. While the 4th edition D&D rules are probably better compatible with computer games than 5th edition, 4E was kind of a flop, which led to nobody wanting to make a videogame out of it. 5E is a smash hit and all over the internet, so the commercial interest is higher.

So I will try out Baldur's Gate III this weekend, and probably post some first impressions afterwards. I am aware that the game is far from finished, but it still is big enough that I won't finish the existing content in one weekend. I am really interested how much it feels like 5E Dungeons & Dragons.

Hope you enjoy it. I've sunk about 10 hours in so far and I like it a lot. It's definitely got some early access warts but the bones for an incredible game are there.

I'd be interested how you feel about the 5e ties and how Larian handled converting the ruleset over to a video game. Having never played pen and paper DND the game to me feels like DOS2 with some added wrinkles.
It's ironic that there weren't really any computer games based on 4E, because the 4E mechanics were very much inspired by computer games (MMOs in particular). I remember going to a seminar Euro GenCon where the upcoming 4E was announced and this idea of borrowing from MMOs was explained - and I remember the less than enthusiastic reaction from the audience of veteran D&D players. 4E wasn't a terrible system, but it was different enough to lose much of the core existing player base and didn't draw in the new blood (who had plenty of actual computer games to play) that it wanted.
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