Larian's latest Panel From Hell update has revealed some big changes coming in today's Baldur's (opens in new tab)Gate 3 update, including the addition of the paladin class, a rise in the level cap, a new "reactions system," and who will be providing the voice of Minsc, the stalwart companion from the original Baldur's Gate games who's returning for BG3.
The paladin class is a powerful enemy of evil, equally capable of dropping the hammer in melee combat and also providing aid and support to other members of the party. Paladins in Baldur's Gate 3 will have two subclasses to choose from, each with a unique ability: Oath of Devotion, which enables paladins to call on a "vengeful aura" that deals damage to anyone who strikes them, and Oath of the Ancients, which grants the power to heal nearby allies.
But there is also a hidden subclass, the Oathbreaker, which is not so much chosen as it is inflicted upon those who stray from their vows. It's not necessarily a bad thing: Oathbreakers will be granted new powers, which they can use pretty much however they like (such is the upside of not having vows), and if you really start to feel bad about the choices you've made, you can always begin the walk along the path to redemption.
The new patch will also grant Baldur's Gate 3 players a significant power by increasing the level cap to 5. That's especially beneficial for magic types, who gain access to level 3 spells including the classic (and very destructive) Fireball spell, plus other handy stuff like Counterspell and Animate Dead.
Players will also have the opportunity to undertake special actions like attacks of opportunity in the heat of combat thanks to the update reactions system, and Larian also confirmed what sharp-eyed observers may have caught a glimpse of in last week's teaser: Spellcasters will have access to the "Fly" spell, which can be used in and out of combat to literally fly to places that would otherwise be unreachable.
As for the return of Minsc, the deranged ranger will be portrayed by Matt Mercer, probably best known these days as the lead DM of mega-popular D&D streaming outfit Critical Role. But he's also a prolific voice actor who has appeared in dozens of previous games including Marvel's Midnight Suns, Return to Monkey Island, Ruined King, The Last of Us, Death Stranding, Metro Exodus, Star Wars: Jedi – Fallen Order, God of War, Red Dead Redemption, World of Warcraft, and a whole bunch more.
We've been getting loads of questions about who we've cast in the critical role of Minsc...... and we took that literally. 😏Please welcome VO and DM extraordinaire @matthewmercer as the voice of Minsc in Baldur's Gate 3! pic.twitter.com/nkwMfXUUCDDecember 14, 2022
Larian didn't say why original Minsc voice actor Jim Cummings (opens in new tab) didn't return for the new game. I've reached out to ask why (I'm an old-time BG fan, so I'm curious) but it's possible that he just couldn't squeeze it in: Cummings is still in the voice business and his 2022 schedule included work on Multiversus, and the films (opens in new tab) Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers. He's a busy man! As for who's voicing Jaheira, that remains a secret for now.
Baldur's Gate 3 patch 9 is live now. The full patch notes are available on Steam (opens in new tab).