Baldur's Gate III Announced - ...and it's coming to Google Stadia and PC

Baldur's Gait

Huh, you're a queer fellow!
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You don't need me to tell you that Baldur's Gate is one of the most celebrated CRPGs of all time. It's been nearly 20 years since the release of Baldur's Gate II, and after all that time, a new game is being developed by Larian Studios, the same people behind Divinity: Original Sin 2.

The trailer is interesting, in that it looks more like a fantasy horror game with Lovecraftian themes.


However, it has been announced that the game will not only come to PC, but to the upcoming Google Stadia as well.

You can read more about the announcement here (yes it's IGN).

Baldur’s Gate 3 is real. Almost twenty years after the story of the original games concluded in the Throne of Bhaal expansion, we’re finally revisiting one of the most important cities in the history of RPGs. And, as if that weren't exciting enough, Baldur’s Gate 3 is being developed for Google Stadia and PC by Larian Studios; the Belgian team responsible for the wildly ambitious Divinity: Original Sin 2.


Right now all Larian has to show is a CGI trailer that, while not revealing any gameplay, sets the tone and introduces us to two key elements that will clearly play a major part in Baldur’s Gate 3’s story: Mind Flayers and Nautiloids.


In the trailer we see a Flaming Fist, one of the law keepers of Baldur’s Gate, stagger through the streets of the titular city. In a grisly, Cronenberg-esque display, he transforms into a Cthulhu-like Mind Flayer; a powerful psionic denizen of the Underdark that feeds on brains. In the closing moments of the video, the sky erupts with lightning, revealing the imposing silhouette of a Nautiloid; colossal, tentacled vessels employed by Mind Flayers to travel through the Astral Plane.

This tells us a lot, not least that Larian appears to be pulling inspiration from Spelljammer; the Dungeons & Dragons campaign that sees fantasy heroes take to the stars and explore other worlds.


While the game has been in production for some time now, Larian is not yet in a position to share very much, and what it can say is being kept vague. “It's our biggest game ever,” the studio’s CEO, Swen Vincke, tells IGN. “It's not what you expect it to be. It's going to be spectacular and grand. It's going to feature lots of tough decisions and memorable companions. It's going to be challenging, it's going to have a lot of systems. There will be a lot of stuff for you to explore and exploit. And you will be able to play in single and multiplayer.”

While Larian is looking to subvert what players expect from a game set in the typically traditional Forgotten Realms, Baldur’s Gate 3 remains entirely rooted in established Dungeons & Dragons lore. “Mind Flayers are very much part of Forgotten Realms, and they actually featured in the previous Baldur's Gate,” Vincke says. “But we're going to go to places which have maybe not been visualized as strongly as we're going to be visualizing them.”


For example, the trailer demonstrates ceremorphosis, the process in which a parasite converts a host into a Mind Flayer. This transformation exists in the lore already, but has never been described. For Baldur’s Gate 3, Larian’s senior writer Adam Smith has been able to write, in horrifying detail, what happens during each day of the process.


“You're going to find out things that people have been wondering about in the lore,” Vincke promises. “There's going to be some answers given that haven't yet been given.”


This is one example of the very trusting relationship that Larian has struck up with Wizards of the Coast, the company that owns Dungeons & Dragons. “We are totally free [to do what we want],” Vincke says. “The agreement is that we respect their lore, and that we base ourselves in D&D 5th edition, otherwise we wouldn't be doing it. They want us to make a really good video game that feels like you're playing Dungeons & Dragons on your computer, alone or with friends. And so that's really what we want to make.”

Baldur’s Gate 3 being set in Dungeons & Dragons’ 5th edition is an interesting point, since it means there will have to be several distinct differences between it and Baldur’s Gate 2, which adopted Advanced Dungeons & Dragons’ 2nd edition rules. Chief among these is the fact that Baldur’s Gate 3 has to be set over 100 years after Baldur’s Gate 2, as each edition of D&D pushes the timeline forward.

While Baldur’s Gate 3’s storyline will, presumably, begin around 1489 DR of the Forgotten Realms calendar, Larian’s journey to the city began just after the release of Divinity: Original Sin in 2014. “I approached Wizards for the first time after Original Sin,” Vincke recounts. “And they said that we were too green. But we talked at length about what our ideas were and what our philosophy was.”


It was during the development of Divinity: Original Sin 2 that Larian was finally able to strike a deal with Wizards of the Coast. The team was asked to provide a design document, which they wrote over the course of a weekend. “It wasn't very good,” Vincke laughs. “They also said it was not very good. We said ‘We know it's not very good, but we're slightly busy right now,’”


When Larian was finally able to put together a design for something worthy of the name Baldur’s Gate, Wizards of the Coast gave the team the go ahead. “They just let us do it. We have a lot of freedom,” Vincke says. “And it's working out pretty well, I have to say.”


While Larian has no gameplay it is ready to show, Vincke describes the game as “Larian Dungeons & Dragons”, which at least to my mind sounds something different to ‘Divinity set in the Forgotten Realms’. “This is us making an RPG in the universe that we love,” he says. “We're the GMs in this case. We're using Dungeons and Dragons rules but we're the game masters.”

This is all very exciting, but you have to question why Larian would want to make a D&D game when they have their own original IP in Divinity. While it’s true that Rivellon is less well-known as a setting, it’s certainly as rich anything in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. But Vincke explains that there’s a unique and powerful draw to the Forgotten Realms that’s hard to ignore.


“It's literally like walking around in a toy store,” he says. “There's so much stuff to pick from, and [Wizards of the Coast] have been coming up with systems and gameplay features all this time. It's really refreshing to be able to just pick from that and then see how can we make it work really well in the video game.”

n addition, Vincke says the impossible task of following on from two of the most important RPGs in history was a real allure. “It's a big challenge, right? So it's something for the team to work towards and demonstrate,” he says. “This game deserves to be really, really good. It has to be really, really good. Otherwise, we can't leave our homes anymore!”


In order to ensure RPG fans wielding burning pitchforks of +6 rage don’t surround their offices, Larian has lofty ambitions for Baldur’s Gate 3’s systems. “The level of reactivity in the world that we want is very high, so much higher than what we had in Divinity: Original Sin 2,” Vincke explains. “That's something that's been challenging, but I think we figured it out because we're making good progress.”

The big question still remains, though: when can we play it? “We're very dedicated to making it really good, and that might have a bit of an impact on whatever release we will say to people,” Vincke explains. “We're not going to release it unless it is the game that it deserves to be. Because as I said, otherwise I think we might be in danger.” In other words, it’s ready when it’s ready.


So why announce the game now? Well, because of tradition. Both of Larian’s Divinity: Original Sin games were crowdfunded and developed with huge amounts of input from the community. While Baldur’s Gate 3 is not a crowdfunded game, Vincke and his team want the community to be just as involved. “We owe our successes in a large part to our community,” he says. “So we need time to be able to work with them. And so this is why we're announcing now.“


It’s impossible to tell right now if that means a matter of months or a few long years until Baldur’s Gate 3 is ready. The game is due for release on Stadia as well as PC, so the very earliest time it can arrive is with the launch of Google’s cloud gaming service later this year. If you want to get a head start, though, you can return to Baldur’s Gate in September.


“As a matter of fact, the [tabletop] campaign that Wizards of the Coast just announced is called Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus, and it no coincidence that it's called Baldur's Gate,” teases Vincke. “It is essentially the prequel of what's going to be happening in the Forgotten Realms within Baldur's Gate 3. So you're going to see lots of references in there. It will be an awesome adventure.”
Thoughts?
 

The tired cat

Fluffy angel of death
kiwifarms.net
Hmmm...I never played Divinity so I dunno about that game, but I did like Baldurs Gate 2 so this could be good, an there has been a rise of CRPG's making more a comeback which is always nice.
 

BigRuler

lmao bottom text
kiwifarms.net
d: os was pretty decent

still, i'm sceptical. it's pretty much impossible for a new game to live up to the BG2 legacy.
unless they somehow manage to surprise the whole world by busting out a witcher 3 tier quality game, it's gonna be a disappointment.
 

Baldur's Gait

Huh, you're a queer fellow!
kiwifarms.net
still, i'm sceptical. it's pretty much impossible for a new game to live up to the BG2 legacy.
unless they somehow manage to surprise the whole world by busting out a witcher 3 tier quality game, it's gonna be a disappointment.
If you read the article, it's gonna be based on DnD 5th edition while the first two were based on ADnD 2nd edition. That's already going to be a point of contention for a lot of people. I'm not too keen on the differences between the two, and I'm not sure how that will translate into a video game, but I do know that the original games attracted hardcore DnD fans back in the day because of its adherence to old-school DnD.
 

The tired cat

Fluffy angel of death
kiwifarms.net
If you read the article, it's gonna be based on DnD 5th edition while the first two were based on ADnD 2nd edition. That's already going to be a point of contention for a lot of people. I'm not too keen on the differences between the two, and I'm not sure how that will translate into a video game, but I do know that the original games attracted hardcore DnD fans back in the day because of its adherence to old-school DnD.
Welp, guess we can prepare for a bunch of old-school DnD aholes starting to whine their dicks off.
 

Ginger Piglet

Fictional Manhunt Survivor
True & Honest Fan
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So other than being a real time with pause tactical party based RPG, and being set in the city of Baldur's Gate with D&D rules, what's the connection to Charname and his ascent (or non ascent) to godhood?

Thing is, Dragon Age: Origins and Pillars of Eternity 1 & 2 are both effectively BG3. Especially DAO, which had characters which were expies of the companions from the first two games (Alastair = Ajantis, Morrigan = Viconia, Leliana = Safana, Sten = Valygar, Oghren = Korgan, Zevran = Haer'Dalis), spells which were direct cognates of their BG equivalents, and locations that corresponded exactly to places in BG1 and 2 (i.e. one large major city, one smaller town, and various adventure places spotted round the map.) In fact, DAO was effectively BG3 with sufficient alterations made to avoid the wrath of WOTC's lawyers.

(It was also the second to last genuinely good game that Bioware made, but that's by the by.)

But... yeah, is this going to be actually a worthwhile successor or just a sequel in name only. And since it's forcibly set in 5E, this means it's set at least 100 years later than the first two. Which means of the characters that could have appeared in BG1 or 2, only the elven or (at a stretch) dwarven ones may find themselves appearing. Now if that means we get Kivan or Xan (WE'RE ALL DOOMED!) or Vico floating around, that's one thing.

That being said, given that it goes into detail re. illithids, what's the betting the big bad will be the Alhoon from one of the side quests in BG2. (An Alhoon is basically an illithid lich, if you don't know). Basically, in BG2 there was a number of side quests in Athkatla which touched on people controlled by, or directly meat-puppeted by, agents of "the Hidden," and it was gradually revealed that "the Hidden" was a group of illithids who hung out under the city, and you could follow clues to find their lair in the Temple District sewers which contained an Alhoon as a bonus boss. You had to beat him, actually, to get hold of one of the parts for Crom Faeyr the legendary hammer. However, since an Alhoon is an illithid lich, and given that you never actually find his phylactery, what's the betting that after a hundred years he's come back and is trying it again in the city of Baldur's Gate? There is mention that he was playing a very long game and you may actually have stomped an evil overlord in the making without realising it.
 

Nekromantik2

Get your summer body ready.
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20 years? Damn I feel old. This sounds promising to keep an eye on. I did enjoy Divinity: Original Sin 2 a lot.
 
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GentlemanFaggot

I got in...
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If you read the article, it's gonna be based on DnD 5th edition while the first two were based on ADnD 2nd edition. That's already going to be a point of contention for a lot of people. I'm not too keen on the differences between the two, and I'm not sure how that will translate into a video game, but I do know that the original games attracted hardcore DnD fans back in the day because of its adherence to old-school DnD.
2nd edition was the current standard when BG came out, 3.0 would follow afterwards. It's only natural they'd use 5th edition now.

I mean, do people really think that a modern company would go all the way back to the age of THAC0 and less AC = better (I know the math behind it, but it's just weird looking from a design point of view.)?

Of course, hardcore fans will still whine...

Will the Flaming Fists still be rednecks?
The real question: will it spawn a mod community that creates a lot of creepy romanceable party member mods?
 

Tanner Glass

kiwifarms.net
If you read the article, it's gonna be based on DnD 5th edition while the first two were based on ADnD 2nd edition. That's already going to be a point of contention for a lot of people. I'm not too keen on the differences between the two, and I'm not sure how that will translate into a video game, but I do know that the original games attracted hardcore DnD fans back in the day because of its adherence to old-school DnD.
The main point of contention is that DND 5th edition is simpler, and more streamlined than ADND2 (as well as DND 3, 3.5, and 4).

A lot of the "finer details" of DND usually get toss when converted into video game RPGs anyhow, so the difference should be minimal.
 
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Baldur's Gait

Huh, you're a queer fellow!
kiwifarms.net
2nd edition was the current standard when BG came out, 3.0 would follow afterwards. It's only natural they'd use 5th edition now.

I mean, do people really think that a modern company would go all the way back to the age of THAC0 and less AC = better (I know the math behind it, but it's just weird looking from a design point of view.)?

Of course, hardcore fans will still whine...
Ah, see I only got into DnD recently, and it was mostly through Baldur's Gate. I had no idea what edition was "in" when the originals came out. My confusion came from the game saying it used Advanced DnD, and I wasn't sure if that made any difference.

The main point of contention is that DND 5th edition is simpler, and more streamlined than ADND2 (as well as DND 3, 3.5, and 4).

A lot of the "finer details" of DND usually get toss when converted into video game RPGs anyhow, so the difference should be minimal.
I figured. The rules of DnD in general become so much more confined when made into a video game compared to the tabletop anyway.
 

The tired cat

Fluffy angel of death
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The main point of contention is that DND 5th edition is simpler, and more streamlined than ADND2 (as well as DND 3, 3.5, and 4).
Honestly, I found it always funny how people put ADND2 on this pedestal, while hissing and glaring at those who prefer 5e, 4e and 3.5. Like, they make it seem like some sort of sin that the game became more streamlined letting more people to join and enjoy it.
 

Ginger Piglet

Fictional Manhunt Survivor
True & Honest Fan
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2nd edition was the current standard when BG came out, 3.0 would follow afterwards. It's only natural they'd use 5th edition now.

I mean, do people really think that a modern company would go all the way back to the age of THAC0 and less AC = better (I know the math behind it, but it's just weird looking from a design point of view.)?

Of course, hardcore fans will still whine...



The real question: will it spawn a mod community that creates a lot of creepy romanceable party member mods?
Yes. I can already hear the spittle-drenched panting and mouth breathing of the people behind Saerileth, Chloe, Tsujatha, Nathaniel, Imoen Romance, and the Sexual Encounters Pack.
 

Tanner Glass

kiwifarms.net
Ah, see I only got into DnD recently, and it was mostly through Baldur's Gate. I had no idea what edition was "in" when the originals came out. My confusion came from the game saying it used Advanced DnD, and I wasn't sure if that made any difference.


I figured. The rules of DnD in general become so much more confined when made into a video game compared to the tabletop anyway.
"Advanced" was just what it was called - and if you really break it down the rules are identical.

Someone referenced THAC0, which was how older DND games handled armor and evasion for melee/missle attacks. It was this convoluted system where you started at 10 (no armor, no evasion) and every point of mitigation you got would count negatively all the way down to -10 and the attacker would roll his dice and then need to figure out what he needed to roll on a D20 to hit a -7.

In DND3 (and simplified in 5) this check literally remains the same (a dice roll vs. an armor value) but the math is cleaned up in such a way where it becomes incredibly simple to resolve - throw a dice, add your bonuses, which number is bigger.

It sounds like not a big deal, but saving ~10 seconds on something you're going to do (a combat attack) sometimes hundreds of times across a single play session is groundbreaking.

Most people don't fuck with ADND2 anymore, the "die hards" these days typically run 3.5 (or pathfinder, which is based on 3.5). It just has more arcane rules that get streamlined in DND5 - and a faster to play game with simpler rules means you can spend more time in the game and less time in charts and graphs.
 

Marissa Moira

kiwifarms.net
If it's Larian doing it, it's most definitely going to come to consoles as well.

I was surprised just how well DOS and DOS2 worked on consoles. They felt so much like CRPGs that you forgot that you were using a controller.
 

Ginger Piglet

Fictional Manhunt Survivor
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
"Advanced" was just what it was called - and if you really break it down the rules are identical.

Someone referenced THAC0, which was how older DND games handled armor and evasion for melee/missle attacks. It was this convoluted system where you started at 10 (no armor, no evasion) and every point of mitigation you got would count negatively all the way down to -10 and the attacker would roll his dice and then need to figure out what he needed to roll on a D20 to hit a -7.

In DND3 (and simplified in 5) this check literally remains the same (a dice roll vs. an armor value) but the math is cleaned up in such a way where it becomes incredibly simple to resolve - throw a dice, add your bonuses, which number is bigger.

It sounds like not a big deal, but saving ~10 seconds on something you're going to do (a combat attack) sometimes hundreds of times across a single play session is groundbreaking.

Most people don't fuck with ADND2 anymore, the "die hards" these days typically run 3.5 (or pathfinder, which is based on 3.5). It just has more arcane rules that get streamlined in DND5 - and a faster to play game with simpler rules means you can spend more time in the game and less time in charts and graphs.
Except it doesn't take longer at all:

- Roll dice.
- Add enemy AC.
- Did you get your THAC0 or higher? If so, you hit! Roll for damage!
- Oh, and if you got a natural 20 it's a crit and if it's a natural 1 its a fumble.

It's only confusing to people who don't realise that, say, 14 + -5 is 9.
 

Fek

What could possibly go wrong?
kiwifarms.net
Oh boy, another franchise rape incoming. I'm not going anywhere near this, because there's no way it's being made in good faith. There is absolutely no way it'll do anything but disappoint and anger.

This shit is only happening because the gaming industry as a whole is looking to cannibalize old titles for the sake of nostalgia-driven sales. They're doing this in two ways: By rebooting a long dead yet beloved series (Vampire - The Masquerade 2: Wokelines), and by pulling shit like Final Fantasy ___: Remastered! or Call of Duty ___: Regurgitated!

When new stuff stops selling, you fall back on the old stuff, resurrect it, and bleed it dry all over again because it's safer than trying more new stuff. It's what I like to call the "Obsidian Entertainment business model."

Just like every other reboot or resurrection - too many assholes will eat it right up and encourage more bad behavior. Impulsive idiots without more important shit to spend their money on (go have a fucking family, buy a goddamn house, or just grow up a little bit please) will continue to ruin things in the same way they do with every other issue plaguing the gaming (I'd even go so far as to say entertainment as a whole) industry for the last decade.
 

Tanner Glass

kiwifarms.net
Except it doesn't take longer at all:

- Roll dice.
- Add enemy AC.
- Did you get your THAC0 or higher? If so, you hit! Roll for damage!
- Oh, and if you got a natural 20 it's a crit and if it's a natural 1 its a fumble.

It's only confusing to people who don't realise that, say, 14 + -5 is 9.
It's not that hard to assume that sometimes people would get confused by

14 + -5 is 9 when it very easily turns into
14 + -5 with a +2 shield is 7
14 + -5 with a +2 shield (defense) and a +1 weapon (attacking) is 8.

I get it though, once you break it down it's not that crazy - but the 3/5e versions are way easier to understand and repeatedly implement.
 
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