The Baldur's Gate 3 patch that Larian warned last week is going to break your saves is now live, and as promised, it's a big one. It's the first patch to make "major changes to design and gameplay," the studio said, which include increased rewards for non-violent behavior, less punishing dialog skill checks, improved resting and spellcasting, and less dickish from your companions.
The patch announcement cites the example of the goblin rooftop ambush (spoiler alert: there are goblins on the rooftop waiting to ambush you), which 56 percent of players managed to avoid—a smart move in terms of conserving resources and not getting killed. But it's also the less rewarding approach to take—no kill, no experience—and so now, "players will be properly rewarded without needing to kill the goblins," Larian said.
"Our games have always been about rewarding creativity and exploration, but some people were disappointed with the lack of experience rewards for pacifism, and creative solutions that utilize the road less traveled. Patch 3 introduces rewards for avoiding combat situations, whether in dialogue or through exploration and environmental puzzle solving. Now, all you pacifists will be able to carve out a journey more true to your character’s identity. Or, it’ll just offer more options for specific circumstances."
NPC companions have also been given attitude adjustments, and now won't be quite so eager to "nitpick about every single little thing" you do. If, for example, you let Astarion snack on your blood, Shadowheart will no longer take issue because it's "a private moment between the two of you." This is also a welcome change: I kept Jaheira in my party through the entire Baldur's Gate saga, but I don't think I'd want five of her following me around everywhere.
A "wildly popular" request to change up the spell system has also been put into place. Spells that cost resources will feel "much more impactful," while cantrips will be less so, which Larian said will make spell management "a lot more meaningful." The Fire Bolt, Ray of Frost, and Acid Splash cantrips will also no longer create surfaces on impact, although Fire Bolt and Ray of Frost will still ignite or freeze pre-existing surfaces. Inspiration points are now visible in the interface, and "upcasted" versions of spells are selectable through a separate widget, reducing the clutter in the hotbar.
Dialog skill checks have been rebalanced to help ensure players aren't locked out of entire tracts of content because of a blown dice roll, "unless the situation really merits it." Jumping has been changed so that you'll no longer have to manually jump each character over gaps—now, when you jump across a gap your party will follow you automatically—and resting has been changed so that you can now take two short rests after a long rest, instead of just one.
Cross-save is live now, too: Larian said that it had "partially functional" between Steam and GOG previously, but that it hasn't said much about it because it wanted to have it working across all platforms first.
"Now, your Larian account facilitates cross-save via the omnipresent 'cloud' the world is always talking about. The best thing is that we’re the ones running this cross-save service, so we’re totally in control of it. This means you’re able to share your saves across Steam, Stadia, Mac, and GoG. If you’re online, your save file will automatically upload to the cloud once it’s created, including all autosaves as you play."
It's an extensive update, but as we mentioned, it's also going to break your saves: If you install it, you're going to have to start over. If you'd rather stick the Baldur's Gate 3 as-is for now so you can wrap up your current playthrough, instructions for switching over to the secondary branch (which will remain on patch 2) can be had here. The full patch 3 notes are below.
- Improved character follower movement.
- Added an option to hide your helmet in the equipment screen.
- Added trajectory preview for force application when using spells.
- All characters now correctly stop running when forced turn-based mode is activated.
- Companions will now jump to follow the main player character.
- Fixed and re-enabled Larian Cross Save between all platforms.
- Assorted tweaks to companion approval ratings.
- The Combat AI now accounts for falling from jumps.
- Changed AI behaviour archetypes for the Boar, Intellect Devourer, and Tiny Spider.
- Combat music no longer ends when a character joins combat.
- Audio configuration now updates on selection of an option.
- In multiplayer, other clients can now hear the dice roll events of a player in dialog.
- Decluttered the hotbar UI by allowing selection of upcasted versions of spells with a separate widget.
- Improved look of toggle-able Passives that can be added to the hotbar.
- Improved some skill tooltips in Character Creation.
- Added a tutorial for Inspiration points.
- Cinematics: Adjusted emotions and lookats in certain areas.
- Cinematics: Camera tweaks and lighting improvements in certain areas.
- Cinematics: A large pass of improvements on emotions and attitudes.
- Cinematics: Improved fade timings.
- Cinematics: Improved blending between poses.
- Any dialog associated with a mask will play before equipping it instead of after.
- Jumping down a hole now teleports any following characters as well.
- Overhauled the sheath/unsheath weapon logic for more consistent behaviour.
- Experience is now awarded for avoiding combat and completing smaller side quests.
- Added a new sound for rolling initiative in combat.
- Fire Bolt, Ray of Frost and Acid Splash no longer create surfaces on impact. Fire Bolt still ignites flammable surfaces, and Ray of Frost still freezes water and blood puddles. Fire Bolt's damage has been adjusted accordingly
- Tweaked default ability distribution for Clerics and Rogues. Clerics start with more DEX to take advantage of medium armor; Rogues start with more INT to open them up for Arcane Trickster archetype.
- It is no longer possible to perform infinite actions by moving in and out of a White Spore Cloud in a single turn; the status from a White Spore Cloud should now persist until the end of a character's turn.
- Toned down camera shakes for spell prepare effects.
- The Shatter spell now works properly with Sculpt Spells.
- Melee Sneak Attack now requires a finesse weapon.
- Invoke Duplicity now only works properly if the attacker is within 3m of the summon.
- Surprised statuses can no longer stack.
- Increased price of drow armor to 800 gp.
- Allowed effects of multiple Hex spells to stack on the same character.
- You can now use Dash while staying hidden (sneaking).
- The party can now take 2 short rests per long rest.
- The default action on a container's tooltips is now 'Open' instead of 'Pick up'.
- Rebalanced difficulty of dialog skill checks.
- Changed the melee skeleton's ability from Cleave to Slash to make it consistent with his weapon.
- Fixed NPCs not reacting to Hunter's Mark as a hostile action.
- Tweaked the AI archetypes of Goblins.
Performance and Stability
- Fixed not being able to load some saved games.
- Reduced long save times - better thread planning for 4-core CPUs.
- Improved stability of the Vulkan version.
- Fixed a random crash when removing a character that has followers.
- Fixed a random crash when switching weapon set while dual wielding.
- Fixed a crash when deleting a lot of saved games
- Fixed a crash when lock-picking a heavy chest.
- Fixed a random crash on passive roll fail.
- Fixed a crash that can occur when items fall on top of each other.
- Fixed a crash while loading, related to being in a jump state
- Fixed a crash when looting several imp bodies in a sideroom in the tutorial.
- Resolved a multitude of cinematic staging issues.
- Fixed incorrect flow in some dialogues.
- Characters can now walk to positions even if blocked by an invisible object.
- Automatic pathfinding has been fixed for a few specific items.
- A weapon that can't be dual wielded will now automatically be equipped by double-clicking on it.
- All Passives should now display on the Character Sheet.
- In combat, the chance-to-hit preview should now be correct — even if your character still needs to move.
- AI melee archetypes now properly calculate damage done to allies and neutral characters. This should reduce unnecessary friendly fire when characters use any area-of-effect attacks or abilities.
- Incantation sounds have been restored to some spells.
- Summoned guards will now patrol an area before leaving it.
- Some dialogs got stuck after being prompted with a Persuasion check roll - these have been fixed.
- You can no longer switch weapon sets when casting a spell or moving to cast a spell.
- After loading a saved game, quest markers should now correctly disappear when objectives change.
- Added input delay to prevent spamming through roll states.
- Fixed a desync issue where client characters would move back to their previous positions after a jump.
- Journal notifications should no longer get stuck on the screen.
- Fixed a bug where visuals wouldn't show up in the Examine window.
- Fixed a bug where the player profile would not be created correctly when using specific characters in the profile name.
- Profile switching now carries over any changes made to sound settings.
- Fixed animation issues when applying statuses to NPCs in forced turn-based mode.
- Doors that have been opened now look like they're open.
- Scroll of Invisibility now costs the same as scrolls of other 2nd-level spells.
- Armor of Agathys now correctly deals 10 cold damage when using a 2nd-level spell slot.
- The Life Domain Cleric's version of Cure wounds now heals for 2d8 HP when using a 2nd-level spell slot.
- Great Weapon Fighting no longer triggers on ranged weapon attacks.
- When wielded two-handed, the quarterstaff now does 1d8 base damage instead of 1d6.
- Dissonant Whispers now shows the correct damage values at 2nd-level.
- The Mother's Loathing potion now lasts until rest (as stated in the tooltip).
- Some broken healing potions no longer display as Superior versions.
- When loading a game saved during turn-based mode (on an NPC's turn), characters now have all of their equipment properly equipped.
- Characters will now take fall damage when hit by an Eldritch Blast with the Repelling Blast passive feature.
- Faithbreaker's weapon action (Absolute Power) now correctly triggers a pushback.
- No more UI overlap when 4 players recruit Lae'zel and Us in the tutorial.
- Removed trade & attack buttons from Lae'zel's recruitment.
- When recruiting Lae'zel, you can no longer gain double XP.
- Harpies should now be able to reach more spots in combat.
- Journal entry is now correct when players leave without fighting the harpies.
- In the Thayan Cellar, skeletons now destroy their caskets when spawning.
- Music should now play and transition more cleanly in the goblin camp.
- Minthara no longer vanishes after asking certain questions.
- The moon puzzle no longer flips the moons after rotating adjacent disks in succession.
- The stats of the companion bear no longer have ten times the intended weight.
- The dialogue with Ethel and Mayrina's brothers no longer ends early if you side with no one.
- Fixed a bug preventing you from picking up the letter to Kagha.
- Removed an incorrect music trigger in the swamp.
- Lae'zel no longer refuses to speak after the encounter with the Githyanki at the bridge.
- When entering the aura of a Sussur Bloom, spells are now correctly disabled in the hotbar.
- More general quest fixes and flag check improvements to make the story experience smoother.
- Flags fixed in Kagha's denouncement scene to prevent nearly-identical nodes from repeating.
- Fixed a custom crime flag when clicking the goblins' beer tub to make sure the right dialogue appears.
- Fixed quest-giving and journal flags in the Zhent's shipment situation.
- Ensured Arabella dies when she's meant to.
- Flow-blocker fixed in Anders' dialogue - it now correctly checks the right flags.
- The Thayan undead now has idle behavior.
- Flags added to add reactivity to Shadowheart's part of the Arabella court scene.
- Edits to Lae'zel's recruitment flags in the plains to better account for the flow leading up to it.