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Default Baldur's Gate 3 - Early Access Review @ Game Rant

October 20th, 2020, 09:57
Ah yeah another interview and my tenth post on this thread.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Interview with Swen Vincke- PCGamesN
PCGamesN: Can you walk us through how Baldur’s Gate III came about, and how you won the trust of Wizards of the Coast?

Swen Vincke: After the first Divinity: Original Sin, I flew to Seattle to pitch the idea of Larian making BG3 to Wizards of the Coast [publisher of Dungeons and Dragons]. They didn’t immediately buy it, but they did listen to us, and to what our vision for the game would be.

Time went by, and we kept bumping into each other at trade shows and player shows. At some point I got a message from Nathan Stewart [director of strategy for Dungeons and Dragons], and he said “do you still want to do this?” And so I said “yeah, of course I still want to do it!”

He invited me to go have dinner in Seattle. He had a PowerPoint that he wanted to present to the board [of Hasbro, who own Wizards of the Coast] on why it would be a good idea for us to make this game, and he remembered all the stuff that I’d told him. And that was that, the board said yes, and we started working on the story together with Mike [Mearls, creative director of D&D and co-creator of its current edition].
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October 20th, 2020, 10:25
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
Anyone heard if they are going to continue to add to the EA until it's ready for release? For instance act 2 when it's ready. Like blackguards did?
Best guess probably a new act every 5-6 months at best. A few classes and origins wont be added to the Early Access version also. Writer confirmed that on Twitter and Twitch.

The game should have a total of three acts. Hence why Larian has stated a minimum of one year development on Early Access, but it can take more time if needed to finish.
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October 20th, 2020, 11:53
Concerning the fact that you have an unchangeable party after Act 1: is this being discussed somewhere in the community (Larian forums etc.)?
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October 20th, 2020, 12:41
Originally Posted by Morrandir View Post
Concerning the fact that you have an unchangeable party after Act 1: is this being discussed somewhere in the community (Larian forums etc.)?
Dude, Larian forums are very confusing and I am having a hard time believing they can mine anything useful out of that mess. People keep spamming the forum with their opinions every minute and it is hard to keep track of what is going on over there.

Anyway, it seems that the general discussion is going further than the defined companions introduced in the EA. People are hoping for a 5-6 member party, write about at least 12 origin characters, etc. As it seems, nothing has been set to stone quite yet.

I personally understand the focus on a few well-written characters and especially the decision on 4 party members. Those battles are long enough as they are. As for locking to only 4 characters after Act 1, I don't get either. There should at least be more joinable NPCs later on during the game.

I also feel that many things most people "agree" on that thread would make the game worse. More loot, more party members, more this and that. Less is more for low-level characters.
Last edited by largh; October 20th, 2020 at 13:26.
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October 20th, 2020, 13:18
Originally Posted by Morrandir View Post
Concerning the fact that you have an unchangeable party after Act 1: is this being discussed somewhere in the community (Larian forums etc.)?
I actually left a link to the official forums on this subject in the other thread if you didn't already see it. There's at least two major threads at the moment in the general forum there.

The latest from the reddit on Kevin Vanord's stream (he's one of the writers) appears to be that there is still Larian discussion on the "locked party after act 1" issue.
His justification for it:
One reason he gives for having a fixed party is because it can be hard to experience a character's full story arc if they aren't in your party enough, and for the writers, continuing their arc into the second act when you haven't experienced it enough is very hard.

Ultimately for me, that choice as in the original games, should be with the player. Limiting player choice in the name of narrative - "you will experience our imposed companion storylines and like it!" doesn't really strike me as choice enhancing nor obviously is it in line with Baldur's Gate tradition.

https://www.reddit.com/r/BaldursGate…anords_stream/

Bah! What kind of self-respecting D&D party based game, let alone "sequel" to Baldur's Gate only has 3 supporting party members? Ok, grumpy D&D nerd rant over. That they plan to have eight companions, possibly more is heartening (based on that reddit) but there's still a long way to go before I'll consider purchasing.

Also….we still have to see Larian's reimagining of Minsc yet.
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October 20th, 2020, 13:32
Yes, optimal party size is 8 characters. 6 player created characters and 2 spots for temporary members.
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October 20th, 2020, 16:56
Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
Also….we still have to see Larian's reimagining of Minsc yet.
Can't wait to see how they explain how he's still alive.

Originally Posted by bjon045 View Post
Yes, optimal party size is 8 characters. 6 player created characters and 2 spots for temporary members.
Nah, that's too many imo. 6 would be good if it was RTwP, and 4-5 is good for turn-based. Otherwise, encounters either become too chaotic or too drawn-out.
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October 20th, 2020, 18:06
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Can't wait to see how they explain how he's still alive.
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October 20th, 2020, 22:11
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Best guess probably a new act every 5-6 months at best. A few classes and origins wont be added to the Early Access version also. Writer confirmed that on Twitter and Twitch.

The game should have a total of three acts. Hence why Larian has stated a minimum of one year development on Early Access, but it can take more time if needed to finish.
Thanks! Informative as always, Couch.

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October 21st, 2020, 09:10
Originally Posted by largh View Post
Dude, Larian forums are very confusing and I am having a hard time believing they can mine anything useful out of that mess. People keep spamming the forum with their opinions every minute and it is hard to keep track of what is going on over there.
Didn't Larian use some platform allowing for more constructive feedback where users could create ideas or feature requests and other could vote on it?
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October 21st, 2020, 10:34
Originally Posted by Morrandir View Post
Didn't Larian use some platform allowing for more constructive feedback where users could create ideas or feature requests and other could vote on it?
Not that I am aware of. Would have expected that too. Also, I did not find "report a bug" feature from the EA either. Did anyone else?
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October 21st, 2020, 10:37
Well I did find this today might help with the answer to your question.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Uses a AI for QA Testing - Polygon
It does not eat, it does not sleep. But unlike the Terminator, the quality assurance AI that Larian Studios uses to help test old-school RPG throwback Baldur’s Gate 3 is meant to help people build the most solid video game possible, at a pace much faster than a human could achieve alone.
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October 21st, 2020, 13:26
I don't think the AI has anything to with community feedback though - it just runs around trying to do every possible combination of things to find breakages for QA testers.
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October 21st, 2020, 14:51
I agree, I don't think a pre-test AI has anything to do with EA testing (the EA builds have already passed that and the QA team too). I am a bit surprised how chaotically Larian appears to handle the potential help EA players could give them. It seems that they have to use a lot of resources to scout all the problems mentioned in their forums and in Reddit. Anyway, they probably know what they're doing. Not my problem, really.
Last edited by largh; October 21st, 2020 at 16:36.
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October 21st, 2020, 16:19
Originally Posted by largh View Post
Not that I am aware of. Would have expected that too. Also, I did not find "report a bug" feature from the EA either. Did anyone else?
When the game crashed on me (4 times in 2 hours) a report tool would pop up.
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October 21st, 2020, 17:29
And of course, they still use good old QA team. They were looking to hire lot of new testers for BG3 over here in Quebec City, a month or two ago. One of my friends got hired. He stays quiet, unfortunately ;-)
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October 21st, 2020, 17:48
I was able to report a crash as well.

I haven't tried to report any bugs though. I am not always sure something is a bug. Like dialogue sometimes pauses … I never thought of that as a bug (although I knew you could use the space bar to move along). I thought it was more like a stutter or a pause as the game was thinking or chugging along … as usually if I waited long enough it fixed itself without needing to hit the space bar.

Another example, which has to be vague to avoid spoilers, was a quest where the one of the NPC's didn't seem to realize Y had happened - but since it was critical to the quest itself, was more dialogue flavor, not sure if it was a bug or they didn't care to check for that particular situation since it wasn't critical and they can only cover so many branches.

Also some companion things with timeline of events and who you have met with some of their quests don't line up correctly - that seems more like a real bug as the game should be aware. But not always easy to tell.
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