Baldur’s Gate 3, Larian Studios’ early access video game inspired by a classic Dungeons & Dragons campaign, is getting a fifth patch update on July 13. Baldur’s Gate 3 Patch 5 will bring many new features to the game, including several inspired by fan requests.
Set 100 years after Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn, Baldur’s Gate 3 takes place in the 15th century of Dungeons & Dragons‘ Dalereckoning period. The narrative starts with an invasion of Faerun by the mind flayers, who have also taken the player captive. Through a series of events involving a parasite and a shipwreck, players then meet and join the AI campaign party members: Gale, a human wizard, Astarion, a high elf vampire rogue, Wyll, a human warlock, Lae’zel, a githyanki fighter, and fan-favorite Shadowheart, a half-elf cleric.
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On July 8, Larian hosted a Twitch livestream detailing Baldur’s Gate 3‘s Patch 5 update. The presentation began with a live-action roleplay of a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, where the audience was able to control the party through the chat vote function. This LARP served as a way for the developer to give insight into both the game’s narrative and what players can expect from Baldur’s Gate 3’s fifth update.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Patch 5: Active Roll System
Standard Dungeons & Dragons uses a passive roll system in which – no matter how proficient a character is in an ability – if a player rolls low, the action fails. Baldur’s Gate 3 Patch 5 gives players more agency, buffing bonuses and spells that apply to skill checks. Now, players will be able to apply extra modifiers in order to maximize the strength of their roll. Baldur’s Gate 3’s active roll system also enables roll support from party members. This new system honors needing a good roll, as rolling a two is still not likely to produce results, even with modifiers, but it makes it possible for players to overcome tough challenges, such as hitting something with an armor class of 20.
Larian has also added a new UI feature for its roll system. Previously, the game would simply tell players what the final roll number was. Now, when a spell check is needed, a dice roll graphic comes to the center of the screen. Players can see the dice roll and resulting number, then watch as the various modifiers are added. This will help Baldur’s Gate 3 players know their final roll number is accurate and save them time on double-checking the math.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Patch 5: Background Goals
Though Dungeons & Dragons‘ backgrounds are a key part of creating a character, it’s often rare for players to incorporate their backgrounds’ attributes into gameplay, beyond skill proficiencies and inventory additions. The Baldur’s Gate 3 Patch 5 seeks to change, rewarding players who behave according to their background by doling out either inspiration points or experience.
The update also adds over 100 mini goals across all possible backgrounds. These quests are endemic to individual players, uncovered as they traverse through the campaign. Background goals are assigned based on what background a player has selected for their character and accumulate over the course of the narrative.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Patch 5: Camps
The camping system, used for taking short and long rests, is also getting a major revamp in Baldur’s Gate 3 Patch 5. One new feature is camp resources, which nerfs the universal restoration of a long rest. Now, players will have to use supplies in order to set up camp to take long rests. Additionally, the number and quality of supplies used will affect how effective each long rest is. As players level up through Baldur’s Gate 3, long rests will cost more to restore HP or spell slots.
The update is also introducing mini camps, a design feature that allows players to make camp at their current location. In previous updates, players had to traverse back to their HQ by the river in order to take a long rest. As a bonus, players hit a set of yet-undescribed requirements, Baldur’s Gate 3’s mini camps will showcase cinematic scenes featuring an owlbear and a wolf.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Patch 5: Community-Requested Changes
Since Baldur’s Gate 3’s early access launch, fans have been beseeching Larian Studios to free Shadowheart in Baldur’s Gate 3’s tutorial. In the new update, this is coming to fruition. Previously, the half-elf cleric was trapped in a mind flayer pod and stayed that way, no matter what players did to free her. Now, liberation is an option, and Larian has assured players their Shadowheart decision will add a number of gameplay narrative changes.
Another major Baldur’s Gate 3 community request was adding dialogue to non-cutscene portions of the game, something that was part of the original Baldur’s Gate games. Called the point-and-click system, characters in Baldur’s Gate 3 will now say a line of dialogue when players give them a command. The lines vary based on the action, such as walking or sneaking, and will evolve as each character develops through the campaign. Larian Studios has reportedly recorded over 800 lines of dialogue for early access alone.
The Baldur’s Gate 3 update also splits up jump and disengage. During combat, these are now individual actions, whereas in earlier versions of the game, they were combined. Players can also now break opponents’ concentration during combat, allowing them to end some enemy spells early. According to the Dungeons & Dragons 5e handbook, there are only three ways to break concentration: the caster doing another spell requiring concentration, the caster taking damage, and the caster being knocked out or killed. At this time, it’s unclear if Baldur’s Gate 3 is sticking to these specifics or tweaking the mechanics for gameplay purposes.
Keeping with the theme of improving Baldur’s Gate 3’s roleplaying experience, combat has also been altered to let players choose whether or not to kill an opponent. Initially, the only option was to kill enemies in battle – highly inconvenient for players whose characters oppose violence and value life. Now, Baldur’s Gate 3 allows players the option to knock out opponents before looting them or moving on with their quest.