Baldur’s Gate 3 is Split into Multiple Huge Regions, Custom Characters are Fully Developed
Last month Larian Studios finally pulled the curtain back on Baldur’s Gate 3, revealing over an hour of detailed gameplay footage. Of course, Dungeons & Dragons fans are a pretty serious bunch, and so a lot of questions remain. Thankfully, Larian head honcho Swen Vincke, producer David Walgrave, BG3 lead writer Adam Smith, and more took to Reddit to participate in an AMA. They covered a wide range of topics, some of which will only be of interest to hardcore D&D nerds, but I collected up some of the more interesting revelations, below.
First up, Walgrave spoke briefly about the size and scope of the Baldur’s Gate 3 world, implying it won’t quite be an open world, but a series of large staging areas…
You're in a huge terrain, but between acts you will travel from one huge region to another.
Swen Vincke provided some additional detail about the world’s layout.
The small portion of the adventure we’ve shown takes place many miles East of Baldur’s Gate, and the initial journey will take players along the banks of the river Chionthar, and surrounding wilderness and settlements, toward BG and the coast. You won’t be walking the whole way to BG in real-time, so there will be several large, open regions. Later, you’ll visit the city of Baldur’s Gate itself, of course. Other places I’m not going to spoil for you because discovery and exploration are part of the joy.
One subject that was clearly of concern to fans participating in the AMA was custom characters. Of course, D&D is all about rolling your own character, but the BG3 demo we saw focused on a pre-determined “Origin” character. So, the question is, will custom characters have the same depth as Origin characters? Or are you better off playing with Larian’s creations?
This is our campaign, but it's absolutely your adventure. The small amount of gameplay we've shown focused on one of our Origin characters, but whether you roll a custom or Origin character, the choices you make and the actions you take carry the same weight. In Baldur’s Gate 3, ‘Origin characters’ are basically fully-fledged companions, that you can optionally play. Even if you’re not playing as an Origin, you can explore their backstories and personal quests by having them in your party. Custom characters will see the world react to them based on their chosen race, class and background. Creating a character gives a sense of who you are, but the heart of the game’s reactivity is based on what you do after character creation
Writer Adam Smith provided some more detail on how Larian is handling custom characters.
This isn’t [Divinity: Original Sin II]. In BG3, custom characters have a much stronger connection to the world and the main arc of the story - whether they’re from Baldur’s Gate, further afield, or somewhere else entirely (hey, githyanki). The campaign is much more reactive to your actions - when we say there are serious consequences to your choices, we really mean it - and as you move through your adventure, you’ll discover quest-lines and stories that relate directly to the character you’re roleplaying, and the things that you’ve done. We’re confident that you won’t feel short-changed in terms of narrative breadth and depth if you choose to play as a custom character- we love our Origins, but this campaign is built for all of you.
Speaking of customs, it seems like BG3 will have quite a deep character creator.
After you select a race and a class, you could be all set and ready to go, but if you want to, you can dive in deeper, and change all the abilities, spells, skills, cantrips… and customize visuals. You will be able to select a face type, hairdo, facial hair, skin colour. I cannot give numbers or details, because it's still a work in progress, but there won't be sliders. We have more diversity in creation than in any other game we’ve done before. You'll be able to mix and match a wide variety of defaults, to create something unique.
Back to Origin characters, it sounds like there will be quite a few of them, and it doesn’t end there! You’ll also be able to recruit more generic mercenaries for your team.
We are trying to make all characters with backstory available as origin characters. Other than that, you will be able to recruit generic mercenaries and customize these. We’re also planning to allow you to build a custom party from the character creation screen though that most likely won’t be present in early access from the get go.
Those were the main things covered by the AMA, but here’s a few more quickie answers. Will all D&D classes be available at launch?
Yes, all classes from 5e Player’s Handbook will be included at launch. In Early Access you’ll be able to play as a Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Warlock or Wizard.
Can you create an entire custom party?
We’re planning to allow you to build a custom party from the character creation screen though that most likely won’t be present in early access from the get go.
Will modding be available at launch?
We're focusing first on developing and finishing the main campaign, once we have some space, we can talk about that.
What’s the initial level cap going to be?
We’re planning to cover levels 1 through 10 in full release.
If you’ve got a few minutes to spare, you can wade through the full Baldur’s Gate 3 AMA, right here.
Baldur’s Gate III is coming to PC and Google Stadia. A release date has yet to be announced, but Google recently let slip that the game will arrive sometime in 2020.