By the time I sat down to fire up Baldur's Gate 3's full release, I'd long decided what class I wanted to play: a druid. It's a class I'd had a lot of fun with in a past tabletop campaign, it was different from what others on the team had chosen, and I was excited to see what shenanigans I could get into with their spells and shapeshifting powers.
But the more I played, the more doubt nagged at me. Putting all my points in Wisdom for druid spellcasting meant I was no good at the many social checks that came up as the party's face. A lot of my useful utility spells seemed to overlap with Shadowheart. And the subclass I was excited to check out, the mushroom zombie-raising Circle of Spores, felt underwhelming in battle. Everywhere I went, I saw opportunities a different class would be better suited to, or skill rolls I couldn't pass, and for a balanced party I ended up needing to swap out companions I liked and swap in companions I didn't.
Then I saw Fraser waxing lyrical about being a bard, and I knew that I needed to scrap my four hours of playtime and start afresh with a different class.
So, what's the moral here—bards are just better than druids? Well, sort of—they're certainly well set-up for being protagonists in Baldur's Gate 3, for the reasons Fraser outlines. But the problem isn't really any features a specific class has or doesn't have—it's my own cold feet.
I'm always like this, in any big RPG. A 100+ hour playthrough is such a big commitment, and I hate feeling like I made a wrong choice right at the start that's going to haunt me through that whole journey. Even as someone familiar with all the classes from tabletop play, I'm still constantly wondering what extra secrets I might find as this class or that, or whether I'd be having more fun with a totally different build. Whenever someone tells me a story about a cool, class-specific thing they got to experience, I feel a flush of envy and FOMO.
I'm about 20 hours in as a Bard now, and having a blast… but that diseased part of my brain is still questioning it. I'm passing all the social checks, but is that making things too easy? I'm an effective support unit in combat, but would I be having more fun if I was dealing out the damage? Would I have more opportunities to throw my mind flayer powers around with a better Wisdom score? Maybe I should pack it in and start afresh with a paladin this time. Or a sorcerer… or maybe I should be playing an Origin character… or the Dark Urge…
That's not even getting into the 11 different races and 46 different subclasses, all of which seem to have their own influence over the enormous tapestry of choice and consequence that is Baldur's Gate 3. What if being a Draconic Bloodline half-orc is secretly the most thrilling build, and I'll never even know? And on top of all that, I'm expected to choose between eight different genital types?!
I'm determined to persist this time, despite my neuroses—if only so I don't end up hopelessly behind the rest of the team. But like a parasitic worm in my brain, the doubts are always there. You can even do a full respec in Baldur's Gate 3, but somehow that would feel wrong—it'd be like turning into a different person partway through the story, and it couldn't retroactively change the adventures I've had so far. Does that make any sense? No, don't worry, I know it doesn't.
Come on though, I'm not the only one with crippling class cold feet, right? Or are all you lot happily stomping round Faerûn perfectly confident in your choices?