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Default Baldur's Gate 3 - Interview With David Walgrave

March 2nd, 2020, 13:03
Eurogamer has talked with Baldur's Gate 3 Executive Producer David Walgrave about the gameplay presentation of last week, the relation with Stadia, the Telltale people, some of the choices made during game design and other stuff.

How'd you feel the gameplay presentation went? Happy? There was a lot of chaotic energy…

David Walgrave: Yes! When we do these presentations, we have the script in mind so that we cover everything that we want to cover. Because it doesn't look like it, but we do have a plan with it. And then you enter the chaos factor Swen Vinke, and as a developer your heart stops every time he does something. He goes like, "Oh but I could also try this" and you're going "No! You can't!" [laughs].

So it's always a bit of an adventure but I think - what we are trying to show - is that there are so many options and choices and ways that things can go. And we have actually implemented all of them. What we don't always know is whether they work or not, at this point. But I'm very confident of the systems. So for instance, dialogue choices and scripting, that's something that can break because QA is still going through the game. But systemics is a thing that we've been building up for the last decade or so, and systemics we can trust.

But I do think - or I hope - that from the presentation, you see what we're trying to do with Baldur's Gate.
Thanks Ilm.

More information.
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March 3rd, 2020, 11:15
Walgrave: "And, to be very blunt, we didn't need a "well known" writer for now because I think that our team is really good."

hmm…Im not sure:

D:OS - starts with the ship, sunny beach, small zone which leads to city gates, cutscene at the gates.

D:OS 2 - starts on the ship, sunny beach, small zone which leads to city gates, cutscene at the gates. You have magic neckring and must remove it.

BG3 - starts with the space ship, sunny beach, small zone which leads to city gates, cutscene at the gates. You have tadpole in your head and must remove it.

Artists have this misfortune to start repeat themselves mostly because they concentrate on many small things thus losing the whole picture, while people from aside clearly sees what's going wrong.
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March 3rd, 2020, 11:35
I think that this is an important issue that people might have overlooked when focusing only on combat mode. The story, companions and adventure itself where important highlights for me in BG and Dragon Age Origins.
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March 3rd, 2020, 12:21
Combat was never strong point of BG so it should be quite hard to fail on this field for Larian. Story, companions, exploration and atmosphere … that is completely different beast in this case and I dont expect Larian to be able to beat it. For me, the critical question is, how much they will fail in it at the end. Because if they dont screw up completely, it might be at least enjoyable DnD game.
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March 3rd, 2020, 12:59
Originally Posted by Andrew23 View Post
Combat was never strong point of BG so it should be quite hard to fail on this field for Larian. .
I'm not sure how this claim became popular; as I've seen it around on Steam a bit lately as well. I don't actually think it's true though for a second - The Baldur's Gate games had plenty of memorable encounters and great fights. Off the top of my head there's Firkraag (thank you cloudkill!) The Sarevok showdown at the end of BGI, Kangaxx, Demogorgon, Aec'Letec, the miscellaneous enemy party-banter fights, even Mulahey was fun to take down. The spell system in BG2 is reasonably intricate as well with an understanding of the counters required to efficiently bring down a mage. This is not even considering some of the more epic fights in Throne of Bhaal.

Thus, I don't think it's as easy as people are claiming to get the combat right; making it satifsying and giving enough tactical depth to make it memorable I think in 5E with such a small party will be a decent challenge to Larian.

I certainly agree with you on the topics of atmosphere, exploration and companions though. They are vital ingredients to the Baldurs Gate experience and making a sequel in the spirit of this is going to be a real test of Larian's creative mettle.
I'd also tentatively add memorable dungeon design and great soundtrack to this list; I know I'd love to see something in the vein of Durlag's Tower in BG3.
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March 3rd, 2020, 13:20
Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
I'm not sure how this claim became popular; as I've seen it around on Steam a bit lately as well. I don't actually think it's true though for a second - The Baldur's Gate games had plenty of memorable encounters and great fights. Off the top of my head there's Firkraag (thank you cloudkill!) The Sarevok showdown at the end of BGI, Kangaxx, Demogorgon, Aec'Letec, the miscellaneous enemy party-banter fights, even Mulahey was fun to take down. The spell system in BG2 is reasonably intricate as well with an understanding of the counters required to efficiently bring down a mage. This is not even considering some of the more epic fights in Throne of Bhaal.

Thus, I don't think it's as easy as people are claiming to get the combat right; making it satifsying and giving enough tactical depth to make it memorable I think in 5E with such a small party will be a decent challenge to Larian.

I certainly agree with you on the topics of atmosphere, exploration and companions though. They are vital ingredients to the Baldurs Gate experience and making a sequel in the spirit of this is going to be a real test of Larian's creative mettle.
I'd also tentatively add memorable dungeon design and great soundtrack to this list; I know I'd love to see something in the vein of Durlag's Tower in BG3.
Agreed. Loved it. Still do. It's part of the reason why it has such a high replay value for me (I've passed 50 times easily, two in the last year alone). I wouldn't still be replaying it if I found the combat mediocre, as I know the story and quests very well by now.
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March 3rd, 2020, 14:16
Having the same writers from DOS for BG3, is the first big step to failure.
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March 3rd, 2020, 14:25
Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
I'm not sure how this claim became popular; as I've seen it around on Steam a bit lately as well. I don't actually think it's true though for a second - The Baldur's Gate games had plenty of memorable encounters and great fights. Off the top of my head there's Firkraag (thank you cloudkill!) The Sarevok showdown at the end of BGI, Kangaxx, Demogorgon, Aec'Letec, the miscellaneous enemy party-banter fights, even Mulahey was fun to take down. The spell system in BG2 is reasonably intricate as well with an understanding of the counters required to efficiently bring down a mage. This is not even considering some of the more epic fights in Throne of Bhaal.

Thus, I don't think it's as easy as people are claiming to get the combat right; making it satifsying and giving enough tactical depth to make it memorable I think in 5E with such a small party will be a decent challenge to Larian.

I certainly agree with you on the topics of atmosphere, exploration and companions though. They are vital ingredients to the Baldurs Gate experience and making a sequel in the spirit of this is going to be a real test of Larian's creative mettle.
I'd also tentatively add memorable dungeon design and great soundtrack to this list; I know I'd love to see something in the vein of Durlag's Tower in BG3.
Exactly. BG combat was very tactical. There were tons of different spells and counterspells. In difficult fights you had to keep track of the enemie's spell protection to find the right time to remove it and deal damage. Same for other way round to keep your crew protected.
The reasonable criticism was, that on higher difficulty levels you had to know which enemy was waiting in the next encounter, so you could prepare the correct spells.

However I agree that combat is not what made BG famous. I'm slightly sceptical if Larian manages to capture the magic of the original series apart from character building and bringing your builds to action.
That's why I'm quite dispassionate when it comes to to combat in BG3. They could screw RtwP and they could screw TB. Or they could likewise excel. Saying they're doing TB because DnD is TB and Larian has experience in TB is quite a good point that's hard to argue against. I like that they don't try to sugarcoat their decision. They seem to stay true to their vision. Perhaps I'll like it, perhaps not.
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March 3rd, 2020, 14:56
That was probably too harshly said with regard to BG combat. It was definitely entertaining, but I still think it was mostly thanks to DnD ruleset and encounter design and despite combat system choice.

Given that ruleset of BG3 is DnD as well and provided now possible visual feedback on combat actions, they have chance to make combat better now. And I personally think TB is right choice to make it more tactical.
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March 3rd, 2020, 18:49
Baldur's Gate 2 has some of my favorite combat from any RPG. Not so much BG1 - too many trash mobs and repetition. But BG2 had a lot of variety in its encounters. I didn't feel like I could autopilot my way through most fights.

I'm not against BG3 being turn based, by any means. But I won't get there by saying BG2 combat was bad or boring.
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March 3rd, 2020, 20:07
Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
I'm not sure how this claim became popular; as I've seen it around on Steam a bit lately as well. I don't actually think it's true though for a second - The Baldur's Gate games had plenty of memorable encounters and great fights.
(snip)
Only with Sword Coast Stratagems combat in BG I/II became interesting.
https://www.gibberlings3.net/mods/tweaks/scs/
Before it was way too easy to cheese your way through every fight.
Last edited by Darkheart; March 4th, 2020 at 00:33.
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March 3rd, 2020, 20:10
The mechanics are already in place for them (5e); what they need to bring to table is a well-written story, a good-paced narrative (with worthy antagonist), and interesting itemization. IMO, Larian has poor grades across the board in all of these for their past games and rely more on mechanics gimmicks. I'm hopeful but my expectations are pretty low.

I still don't see the point in making the game part of the BG franchise (beyond name recognition$$$) - Baldur's Gate was and is the Bhaal saga. It has concluded.
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March 3rd, 2020, 22:42
I don't like the way the DOS games have small areas that are closed off by "Acts" where you can't have an open world. I hope it's not like this in BF3…ACT 1 a small beach…Act 2 Small Village…Act 3 Baldurs gate. I want to be able to wander freely in the setting.
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March 4th, 2020, 00:51
Well it is as I thought: They chose TB over Rtwp because it was a lesser risk and because they are familiar with TB systems. Since this is Larian's first big AAA title, it is understandable that they don't want to fuck it up.

I'm not going to argue against that logic even though I would have personally liked to see Larian do some cool innovations to rtwp combat. All being said, at the end of day I'm just glad that we're getting a new singleplayer rpg based on D&D license. Hopefully they'll do justice to the great name.
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March 4th, 2020, 06:33
In 1998 Baldurs Gate was a pretty amazing achievement. The fact that it has legs today is pretty amazing. Kids these days….

I think PoE has a much more Baldurs like atmosphere than what I've seen for BG3. I wish Larian would reconsider their world building. Its too damn bright and happy for the Sword Coast.
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March 4th, 2020, 10:31
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
In 1998 Baldurs Gate was a pretty amazing achievement. The fact that it has legs today is pretty amazing. Kids these days….

I think PoE has a much more Baldurs like atmosphere than what I've seen for BG3. I wish Larian would reconsider their world building. Its too damn bright and happy for the Sword Coast.
PoE definitely had potential and beginning of game was full of BG feeling. Unfortunately, the ruleset quality was nowhere near DnD and half of the game was nearly empty, compared to BG1-2. Large DLC helped a lot, but didnt save the game for me.

PoE 2 was much better. World was full of things to see and large city really had the feeling of crowdy place where things happen. Ruleset remained flawed, but new TB mode helped to mitigate this. But main plot is a joke. Linear, short, just meh.

Thankfully, Pathfinder also happened. No TB mode, but nobody is perfect, right? (Not even BG )

Towards Larian and BG3, I am little strugling to keep open-minded approach. Time will tell.
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March 4th, 2020, 13:18
Originally Posted by Zogar Sag View Post
hmm…Im not sure:

D:OS - starts with the ship, sunny beach, small zone which leads to city gates, cutscene at the gates.

D:OS 2 - starts on the ship, sunny beach, small zone which leads to city gates, cutscene at the gates. You have magic neckring and must remove it.

BG3 - starts with the space ship, sunny beach, small zone which leads to city gates, cutscene at the gates. You have tadpole in your head and must remove it.
Risen starts with a ship, sunny beach, a closed zone with nearby NPC that leads you to city gates…
The last Ys grinder game (Lacrimosa IIRC) starts like that too.

The plot setup at a game's start doesn't matter. What happens once you enter the city (or in BG3 some sort of a camp) is what does matter.
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March 4th, 2020, 13:50
I'm one of the minorities apparently but as far as I'm concerned PoE is the real BG3. I never had a problem with the game system, the world or the story. But my comment was around the "look and feel" of the world and consistency with BG/BG2. The PoE world is far more consistent with those old titles than what Larian is building here. Game systems aside.
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March 4th, 2020, 13:59
Originally Posted by Zogar Sag View Post
BG3 - starts with the space ship, sunny beach, small zone which leads to city gates, cutscene at the gates. You have tadpole in your head and must remove it.
Congratulations to them if they manage to pull that one out.

Originally Posted by Dez View Post
Well it is as I thought: They chose TB over Rtwp because it was a lesser risk and because they are familiar with TB systems. Since this is Larian's first big AAA title, it is understandable that they don't want to fuck it up.
If a corp has gone the no risk confession, they would have been blasted.

The whole extract makes no sense. They had to go UgoIgo because DnD is UgoIgo. They could not stick to RTwP on the sole ground BG was originally RTwP.

The common point: DnD that has been UgoIgo all the time. Just as BG3 must UgoIgo because DnD is, BG and BG should have been UgoIgo.

The dev used justification from origin on one hand and dismisses origin on the other hand.

It shows little respect for the decision to make BG a RTwP game in the first place.

As to being proficient, it does not hold water either. If indeed they thought they lack the proficiency, they could have not started BG3.
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