Baldur's Gate III News

Black Elk

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I saw the same thing floating around on the Larian boards the other day, though I'm pretty sure it was just because everyone was at that same gaming convention, apparently the first time they were all together in the same room at once? Kinda crazy to think how much work must have been done remotely for this game. There will be another one of these in mid October for the Comic Con in London, where 10 of the VA principles are signing autographs and whatnot. I wish I could imagine them heading straight from the conventional hall to the mocap recording studio.

Another potential issue is that SAG-AFTRA members will vote on whether to authorize a strike for video games in a week here on Sept 25th. Doesn't mean they'd immediately call for a strike. I'm not sure who they'd be negotiating with in this case. The LA times article I just read says...

"The industry bargaining group of signatory video game companies includes Activision Productions Inc; Blindlight LLC; Disney Character Voices Inc.; Electronic Arts Productions Inc.; Epic Games Inc.; Formosa Interactive LLC; Insomniac Games Inc.; Take 2 Productions Inc.; VoiceWorks Productions Inc.; and WB Games Inc."



So yeah, doubtless, EA there for sure lol.

Larian might still be independent enough, or 'across the pond enough', that it may not affect their development plans much, but either way, media in 2024 is going to be pretty rough once we start feeling the after effects of all these production delays.

The main sticking point, like with the other screen actors' and writers' strikes, seems to be around the use of AIs to replace creatives and creative work. I can see this being very consequential for video and computer games. Absent some sort of general binding contract, studios would probably jump at the chance to digitize their actors' voices and faces and then just never call them back into the studio again to save on production costs, which would be absolutely terrible for the artform.

The concept artists and illustrators who have taken a hard stand against generative AIs, have been pretty successful at moving the needle on this one in the public perception, least for still images and title sequences. Publishers and individual artists who have used image making AIs, have been thoroughly shamed and scandalized for allowing stolen and uncredited work to skate in. The results are always pretty shoddy, and the practice is pretty indefensible once it's called out. Like a real black spot on the reputation.

I could see the same for something like a generated voice or motion captured performance in a video game. All it would take is for some VA actor to say, "hey wait, I never read that line!" And the house of cards would come tumbling down over night. Game Studios shouldn't even try to go there! Just get on the right side of it here, sooner rather than later, would be a much better plan for them hehe.
 
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Antimatter

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A few snippets:

Felipe Pepe, who recently put out the expanded edition of his gorgeous non-profit tome with Bitmap Books, tells a story of playing the very first Baldur’s Gate with his brother years ago. A certain quest lets you craft armour from human skin, but only wear it if you roll an evil alligned character. “I could do the quest, but I couldn’t wear it, and that made me almost drop my save and start a new one,” he says. He recently learned how BG3 lets druids in cat form hop through cell doors, while I just found out I can have Karlach yeet my gnomes up ledges they can’t reach. “See, even between us, talking about the things we’re finding. You don’t get that in any other genre,” he points out.

For Pepe, BG3’s presentation is what’s allowed it to catch on in such a huge way. “We were playing and loving Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous. It’s a similar ruleset. In terms of reactivity and crazy things that can happen, they’re basically the same game,” he says. “The difference is that presentation. It combines the complexity from traditional CRPGs with the presentation of a Witcher 3 or Dragon Age. It wouldn’t work if it was isometric. We have very well written isometric games, but they don’t land the same way.”

“In the years we’ve been discussing RPGs, there was always an example: you take a very traditional roguelike and compare it to Mass Effect, you have freedom, but you basically don’t have graphics,” Pepe continues, “and I think it was a BioWare developer who said the graphical fidelity in those games prevented, say, a grapple maneuver. But then you see Larian pulling this off. You can literally grab a man and hit an enemy with it, and you have animations for it! It’s just something we didn’t think was viable. So it really feels like you’re combining lineages, and bringing together the two audiences.”

Darrah says that, if the games industry learns anything from Baldur's Gate 3, he hopes it’s that “perfecting visuals is kind of a death cult.” BG3, he says, has a lot of the sort pops and hitches that would be filed by a QA team and fixed in most AAA narrative games. “And, honestly, probably better spending your money somewhere else.” Rather, he says, Baldur’s Gate 3 represents something close to a triple A budget being spent in an AA way. It’s a formula that rings true for last year’s Elden Ring, too. “Games like Zelda, like GTA, ultimately end up being not very influential on the marketplace because they’re not really things that can be replicated. But when you look at something like Elden Ring, or BG3, there are lessons to be taken there. Having scrappier people competing in this space is good for the space… You get a lot of AA for AAA prices.”
 

shmity72

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So it really feels like you’re combining lineages, and bringing together the two audiences.”

I've noticed this, much. my son is in several bg3 campaigns. He's 22 years old and likes awesome graphics over some other elements. Larian captured some kind of magic in a bottle to get him and the hard core rpg fans the same yummy grub of video games they both wanted.
 

Antimatter

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How are you folks doing? Still playing the game? I've been busy in RL so haven't really continued since ~2 weeks ago (still about to finish Act 2).

That said, Patch 3 was released today. The fix list is quite big, and includes performance improvements for the Lower City.

 

Antimatter

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I’d be interested to hear how it performs on Mac.
Seems to be performing ok as I haven't seen any major complaints.

On a different note, Baldur's Gate 3 has 17 different "narration styles", according to Amelia Tyler.


"A lot of people that are on their first playthroughs don't realise there are distinct narration styles, depending on who you're playing as," says Ameilia Tyler. "So we ended up with 17 completely different narration styles, depending on what's happening [and] which character you're playing.

"If you're playing a Shadowheart, it's much [more] higher pitch. It's much lighter, it's a little more emotionally tense. If you're playing as The Dark Urge, it's like full-on 'I want to tear you apart and ruin your life'."
 

Antimatter

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Tracy Wiles discussed her character Jaheira.


"It took over a year and a half of preparation and sessions in the volume studio for all of Jaheira’s lines to be recorded.

“I have never done any acting gig in my life for 19 months, but it was such a joy that Jaheira was the one I got because I just love the character so much. It was a joy to play her.

“She is passionate, old, wise, and full of grief for her murdered husband, whom she loved so much.

“But she is also hilarious and very funny. One favourite line of mine is when she says to a bunch of drunk guys, ‘He who keeps his manners, keeps his teeth’.

“Ruairí Moore has done a brilliant job writing these joyous quips, lines, and speeches.”

However, it was not always set in stone that Tracy would work on Jaheira.

“I have not voiced the character in the first two games, and I think a lot of people were hoping that the brilliant Heidi Shannon would reprise the role.”

But with the previous voice actor unavailable, Tracy was chosen as the best for the role, and after 19 months of becoming one with the character, she was finally able to see Jaheira in action from YouTube videos after the game was released.

“To see what my character actually looked like – how they modelled her head, her body, and her clothes – it was extraordinary, the level of detail just astounds me,” she said.
 

Antimatter

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That's really good. I wondered if they ever planned to release another patch this year, looks like they're planning to.




"In Patch 4 we introduced a fix that would prevent the Scrying Eyes in Moonrise Towers from immediately calling the guards on you when stealing, even if you were sneaking, or invisible for example," Larian said.

"This fix had the unintended consequence of causing unnoticed thefts and acts of vandalism to remain stuck forever within the ‘did anyone see me’ pipeline, rather than timing out and moving on, as is intended. Essentially, your dungeon master — in a real-world sense — constantly thinks about the acts of theft and violence the player keeps doing, without ever moving on or verbalising them. Mulling on it ad infinitum.

"These unnoticed and eternally-active acts of theft and violence eventually bogged down the game. The more a player commits those acts, the more the game is trying to keep that all up to date and in memory, and so the more slowdowns start happening. Essentially, the dungeon master becomes unable to operate. By Act 3 this caused slowdown issues, which after some sleuthing we’re extremely happy to say we’ve solved in Patch 5, which is in testing and scheduled to release this week."
 

Antimatter

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If there was one big thing I was waiting for in order to finish the game, that's the addition of cut epilogues. And seems like we're getting them. Maybe even the Citadel DLC-like party... HELL YEAH!

epiloguescoming.png

The patch will be released this week, and all I can think of is how they invited all the actors back to the VO sessions not long ago. :giggle:
 

Urdnot_Wrex

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That would be so nice. Good thing I'm progressing so slowly.

I hope though that all those in-game decisions of who to side with, who to kill or to save and which decisions to take will make a visible and palpable difference, almost like playing a different game the second time, and not just picking who to fight the same battles with and getting different epilogues.
 

Antimatter

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And here we go! Kotaku published the article before the patch even went live, YES!!!!


"The epilogue is described as a gathering of all your friends six months after the original ending, letting you say your final goodbyes to everyone. Well, everyone who’s alive, anyway.

According to Larian, this epilogue includes “some of the most complex writing” in Baldur’s Gate 3 as it accounts for relationships and choices made throughout the whole game. The team wrote 3,589 new lines for this segment, but you’ll likely only hear a fraction of those in any given playthrough."
 

Cahir

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According to Larian, this epilogue includes “some of the most complex writing” in Baldur’s Gate 3 as it accounts for relationships and choices made throughout the whole game. The team wrote 3,589 new lines for this segment, but you’ll likely only hear a fraction of those in any given playthrough."
That kind of answers your doubts, @Urdnot_Wrex. At least I hope, it does ;)
 

Black Elk

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Currently attempting Minthara recruitment on a Gurge run! According to Crimson, all I gotta do is make her temp hostile (like from stealing, not full hostile) in the Gobbo camp, then knock her out with the non-lethal damage and she should show up at Moonrise. Fingers crossed!

I restarted a new campaign, bringing Jah Din out of retirement as a Dragonborn, Pewter Lineage. In my head canon he's just clairvoyant groundhog enough to save Alfira and be super honorable, down to the last zombie if needs be heheh.

Finally, they got their timing down for a Xmas surprise! Io Saturnalia!

I know everyone already got these probably, but still so cool! I really respect him taking the fight to cancer as well. I've been a little bummed and a bit overwhelmed lately cause the emperor of maladies is coming for my moms, got the news over thanksgiving like always tends to happen I guess. Had me shook there for a minute, fuck cancer, but then you get some good Baldur's Gate news like Santa's Little Helper come early and that sorta tips the scales back. These were both great!



 

Urdnot_Wrex

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A few interesting facts, a few laughs, a few question marks.

The last one is surprising though... almost 500 parties have finished honour mode in just a few days already? Wow.

Edit: Question mark feeling for example like an outsider for not understanding about the sentient wheel of cheese...
 
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