The Forgotten Realms is like, the worst place to live!
At least in this case they are being invaded from “outside” (the sphere, time, plane, whatevs), rather than being playthings for the gods.
@tim, are you interested in the video game, or possibly the inevitable tie digital products they’ll tie to it? As in, does everyone just want to fight those, or are we excited for whatever a new RPG looks like.
I definitely want to fight those, but I am also interested in a RPG from this team. They seem to have a history of making good plots, and although the Forgotten Realms is indeed the WORST PLACE ever to live, there is fuel for a lot of good stories in there.
I like what I see so far, because they aren’t going super complicated, you know? So often it’s like “Ok, this is DnD so lets make this super involved plot of cultists + shadow puppets + the end of their plane!” This seems like there will NOT be any bickering between in game factions you know? Pretty much whatever side of the fence you are on, all can agree to unite to stop a freaking mindflayer invasion.
And… I mean… what if you have to retreat to someplace remote to find a thing to help you protect your mind before going in? Like, oh I don’t know, Kuldahar???
Digging around I found this article about the studio and BG3:
There are a few choice bits in there:
What made you want to pursue the Baldur’s Gate license?
SV: There’s a bunch of reasons. Dungeons & Dragons is something that’s super loved in the studio. Obviously, we’re making RPGs, and it’s been around for 40 years. The second is that, if you think about what D&D is, it’s a game system in which you’re given an adventure, a reason to go do things and use the gameplay systems to overcome challenges. Typically you’re going to do all kinds of crazy things to overcome the game master. And if the game master’s any good, they’re going to make sure they can just manage to do it.
I like it when folks wrap up their game theory concisely like that. I appreciate that one, as well.
What was the reaction? Did you sit everyone in the studio down and say, “We’ve got Baldur’s Gate 3”–what was that like?
SV: There were two reactions. It was quite funny actually. So, we have four studios. And I also told Steve not to tell the other guys, because I wanted to have the joy of being the one telling them and seeing their faces.
We gathered everybody around and we had two reactions. We had the guys that were completely freaking out. But then surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, the younger ones that said, “What is it? [ whispering ]” They actually didn’t know what it was.
It shows you how long it’s been since people actually played Baldur’s Gate. Then when people explained it to them, the reaction became, “Oh my god, okay, that’s really cool.” But they didn’t have the insane reaction that you see from the ones who played it when they were young.
For a lot of them, it was their first RPG that they ever played. That was actually eye opening and told us instantly of something that we would have to overcome. If we want to make this game, we have to educate people on what this actually is.
That story makes me really happy for some reason.
Is three a reimagining? A straight sequel? How much are you taking from the originals?
SV: The previous Baldur’s Gate games were based on Dungeons & Dragons 3.5. We’re now Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition. A lot of stuff has happened in Forgotten Realms. A lot of stuff has happened in Baldur’s Gate, so this is going to be a new entry.
There will obviously be references to everything that happened in the first and the second, but this is very much its own story. You needn’t have played the previous Baldur’s Gates to understand what’s going on, but if you have, you will recognize the references. For example, if you just look at the teaser trailer, you will notice the guy’s from the Flaming Fist, he has a flaming fist on his chest.
Also, the remakes use 3.5 or something, but BG1 used weird 2 (or 2.5) rules. The common complaint for folks who played BG and IWD is the remakes messed up the balance, as the basically static encounters took the original classes/combos into account.
Having played so many games that abstract dice rolls into the background, I can’t think of anything that substantially changes between D&D 3 and 5, video game-wise.
The evolution of games over the past 20 years since the original is obviously going to influence how Baldur’s Gate 3 is.
SV: Yeah. We try to not go backwards, but going forwards. I think that we’ll be bringing a bunch of new things to the genre also. There’s a whole bunch of stuff, ideas that we’ve been sitting on that we haven’t been able to put in our previous games that nobody has put in RPGs. You’ll see that come through in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Loot boxes, season passes, premium cosmetic unlocks…
When you worked on the original Divinity, was that at all inspired by the Baldur’s Gate series?
SV: It’s funny that you mention it. Just before that, we made a game called The Lady, The Mage, And The Knight (LMK) which was canceled. And we discovered that Baldur’s Gate was in development as we were making LMK. Then obviously it got canceled and it just went on the backburner.
When it came to pitching the first Divinity to publishers, what we told them was that it was a cross between Diablo and Baldur’s Gate just to explain to them what the concept was. Yeah, there was definitely some inspiration there. Diablo was the one that had the action RPG focus. Baldur’s Gate was more about all the systems and stats that you had, and the party and them joining the exploration. There was a lot more world exploration to Baldur’s Gate than you had in Diablo because you could interact with people, you could actually talk to them whereas Diablo was really about the character progression and action.
What you’re doing in Baldur’s Gate 3, is that now influencing the tabletop version of the world of Baldur’s Gate?
SV: Yeah, and we worked very closely with Wizards on this and the people that worked on what used to be called Eclipse, Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus. They spent a lot of time with us and we spent a lot of time in their offices.
There’s been close collaboration on planting the seeds of what we needed in Descent Into Avernus, which starts just before Baldur’s Gate 3 the video game. There’s a lot of stuff that you will find in there that you will see referenced back inside of the game and vice versa. There’s seeds planted for stuff that will evolve into the video game.
What is “Eclipse, Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus”?
This is one of the first games we’ve heard about it being on Google Stadia. Can you tell us about how it’s going to work on an unknown platform like that?
SV: It’s not so unknown for us [ laughs ]. We’ve been at it for some time. The thing about Stadia is that it’s going to be accessible to anybody, at least if you have Stadia services within the country where you are. It’s going to allow you to play the game at really high settings on a very shitty PC, which is going to solve one of the problems that we have with this game because the production values are so high. We’ve always tried to make the games fairly low specs, so that solves that.
Stadia will also allow a whole bunch of community features that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to do. I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to what’s happening in the streaming sphere when it comes to Dungeons & Dragons, but there’s a lot going on there. Things like Stadia allow you to do much more.
We’re implementing Stadia fairly deep into the game, actually. In due course, we will announce the features and demonstrate it. I don’t think people understand, yet, exactly how transformative Stadia is going to be. Not in a corporate way, I actually mean it. Because they haven’t seen it, they haven’t touched it, but it is quite special.
I suppose that’s a great way of bringing something like Dungeons & Dragons that’s supposed to be accessible to anyone, Stadia seems like a perfect match for that. Like you said, anyone with a shitty PC can still play and get involved.
SV: It democratizes it. I mean, you’ll be able to access it anywhere and if you have an RPG which lasts over 100 hours that you play in multiplayer, one of the biggest problems that you have is when can I join my party? When will the party be online together?
If you can access it from anywhere with something like Stadia that will increase the chances that you can be able to continue your adventure together, I think that’s a really good thing.
@tim, you can’t tell me that doesn’t concern you. That’s some weird commentary, as well. “Democratizes”? Da fuck? Earlier there’s a mention:
While Baldur’s Gate 3 was announced within the Stadia Connect stream ahead of E3 2019, Larian plans on bringing it to PCs as a standard, non-streaming game.
So there’s that, but…
We’re implementing Stadia fairly deep into the game, actually. In due course, we will announce the features and demonstrate it.
I guess I’m saying: start pestering them about this now. If their community doesn’t demand “no bullshit”, it will not happen.
Yeah, I don’t know much about Stadia but it sounds like the devils work. More ways for companies to never let you buy a thing, but just rent instead. I hate that so much.
I guess Blockbuster was democratizing the video world by letting people rent movies instead of buying them?
A side effect that makes me even more frustrated is… ok so I’m streaming this entire game. On a smoking fast connection there will be little bits of lag. On more normal bandwidth scenarios there will be even more lag.
This will help normalize lag even more in games. And, like… Galaga is ~16000 bytes of data and there is zero lag when playing.