Hello once again! We hope you’ve been doing well since Patch 4 released, because it seems a whole lot has happened since then. The ocean burned, the West Coast boiled, UFOs may or may not be a thing, and that was all just this past month. But while the world invents new ways to surprise us, at least there’s one thing we can always count on like a dependable old friend, which is the rise and fall of floods as they lap at our Belgian office servers once again. Through all of that we’ve been hard at work to bring you Patch 5.
So what can you expect from this patch? New game-changing mechanics, tons of combat and AI improvements, a bigger focus on roleplaying, a tantalizing step toward unearthing Shadowheart’s mysteries, and more Owlbear cub content to make your heart burst, just to name a few.
And, well, we’re partial to some of the incoming fixes as well:
· Skeletons are no longer in a celebratory mood when emerging from coffins.
· Fixed being able to eat some buckets.
· Fixed being able to cast Charm Person on yourself.
· Liam will no longer run away while unconscious
This update features a ton of improvements directly inspired by the community, many of them addressing things you’ve raised in your feedback so far. We’ve been listening closely to requests you’ve made throughout Early Access and we hope you’re really going to be excited by these changes - We definitely are. Together they improve the game a lot, and they bring Baldur’s Gate 3 yet another step closer to its 2022 release ambitions.
We’ve got lots up our sleeve this update, so let’s jump right in.
Active Roll: A new way to die (as in dice, it’s a dice pun)
One of the biggest improvements coming in Patch 5 are Active Rolls, our new dice mechanic. In addition to a full upgrade of the old UI, the biggest change here is in how you can influence dice: While previously, the accepted method for attempting a skill check was to tightly cross your fingers ahead of a roll, now you have the option to apply spells and bonuses to these checks to help increase your odds.
So what does that mean exactly? Well, let's say the chances of you passing a certain check seem pretty slim. Rather than leaving you at the mercy of the RNG gods, you now have more agency in the outcome of those rolls. For example, cast Enhance Ability to add an Advantage bonus to the skill check in order to roll twice, or you can cast Guidance to bump that number up for good measure. You can also cast spells from your other party members, although in multiplayer your teammates will have to decide for themselves whether they'll let you use their spells during these rolls. You’ll be spending a spell slot any time you do this, so use them wisely. That is, unless the skill check relates to recruiting the Owlbear cub, in which case we’d recommend you let your heart guide you.
Get rewarded for roleplaying
In this patch we also wanted to find new ways to really celebrate roleplaying. Enter, Background Goals.
You know how the character creator includes an option to choose your character's background? Folk Hero, Acolyte, Urchin, and so on. Now every character will have their own series of secret miniquests based on these roles. Finding out how to complete them is part of fun, but for each you complete you’ll receive an Inspiration Point. Players will get a maximum of four Inspiration Points which can be put toward rerolling dice whenever they wish. Or alternatively, if you’ve already reached your IP cap for the moment then any further point becomes XP.
One of the main comments we've received about our resting system has been that it's far too lenient. Before Patch 5, you could initiate a Long Rest and recharge all your spells and HP between every fight without penalty. A lot of players felt this just didn't feel right, and we couldn't agree more. So we've fully revamped how camping works.
Camp Resources are a new feature that will make you think a little more strategically about when to activate a Long Rest. Now in order to make camp, you first need supplies. You know all the food and scraps you find around Baldur's Gate 3? Starting this patch, those can be used to unlock camp for the night. So if you ever wondered to yourself “how much Waterdhavian cheese wheels could one person possibly need?” the answer is as many as you can physically carry, for cheese is now one of the sacred doorways to sleep. Alternatively, you can still initiate a Partial Rest without using any resources but this won't recharge you fully.
Another new addition are Mini Camps. Previously, any time you camped for the night, you would return to your HQ down by the river regardless of how far away it was from the area you were exploring throughout your day. This made us feel sorry for all the characters who were being forced to partake in marathon hikes just to go to bed. So we’ve now introduced smaller localized camps. From the Chapel near the Ravaged Beach to the Underdark, we've recreated every landmark as its own isolated location that can be accessed when you’re ready to hunker down for your Long Rest.
Smarter enemies, revamped spells, and a little something for the pacifists among you
This update comes with a lot of combat improvements, from smaller fixes - we’ve now made sure Mud Mephits are no longer afraid of mud - to more substantial alterations. Let's have a look at some of those below.
You’re going to discover a lot of AI improvements in this patch, so expect to see enemies who are a lot smarter and more resourceful in combat. For instance, now if there is a weapon nearby, unarmed enemies will grab it to defend themselves. Not only does this make fights more challenging, you can also use this behaviour to your advantage: if you disarm an enemy, they’ll have to use up an Action Point to go retrieve the weapon, which puts them at a disadvantage.
You can also expect better resource planning from enemies – when it comes to deciding what spells to use in a fight, who to target, whether to use actions like Dash, or to throw a health potion to a character in need, they’re a lot more adept. And all of these actions are new to friendly NPCs too.
You can also expect to see updated class spell animations, which are looking awesome. Spells that are specific to a class now have an identifiable look, and spells that are usable by multiple classes have had a full revamp to create more cohesion with the class-specific ones. Oh and by the way, you can now cancel a concentration spell. That’s a small quality-of-life change but it’s something a lot of you have been asking for.
We’ve done some tweaking to the game which should please our pacifist players, too. We have added a new Nonlethal Attack Mode. This means that if you steal something from NPCs and they start attacking you, you can actually just knock them out instead of killing them.
In another widely requested change, we’ve separated the jump and disengage actions! So now players have the ability to either Jump to gain some strategic positioning during combat, or Disengage from melee range with an enemy and move to a safe distance. Finally, we’ve introduced a shortcut key for Jump, so it's much easier to navigate the various intricate levels as you explore the world. This has been a big request from the community too, and if there are other situations you wish you could solve through peaceful means let us know!
Nested Tooltips offer extra clarity to the new and confused
The world is a bewildering wilderness; games should not be. In this patch, we've updated our old tooltip system and created something we feel will make the rules and concepts of BG3 much easier to digest. Nested Tooltips are essentially hyperlinked tooltips. Think Wikipedia. If there's a term in the text that you don't understand, we got you. Just hover over it for more information. And you can now pin tooltips to your screen so there's no fear of losing previous tooltips along the way.
Shadowheart’s storyline just got a little more mysterious
Shadowheart got extra love in this patch. Not only does this update feature extra dialogue permutations with her, her storyline was also kicked up a notch. Expect to start hearing a little more about the mysterious item she carries with her. Oh, and you can now free her in the tutorial! Or leave her of course.
And now introducing Point and Click dialogue
Speaking of dialogue, let’s take a look at our new Point and Click dialogue system. This is something fans have been asking for from the beginning: Your character will now speak as you click through the world, reacting to the story and environment around them in real-time. A lot of recording power went into making this feature come alive - not only is the dialogue context-sensitive, it also changes depending on which character you're playing. But, of course, if you're of the 'less talk, more game' philosophy then there is an audio option to change the frequency of their barks.
These are just some of the improvements in this patch. We didn’t even mention the new dog. There are also a ton of visual and audio improvements and tweaks. You'll be able to jump in to experience these changes for yourself when Patch 5 releases
Tuesday 13th July!