Baldur’s Gate 3 Community Update #24 – Karlach Story Changes, Act 3 Improvements

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a massive game, so it might not have surprised players who found the game’s final act a little rough around the edges. Yet the high bar Larian Studios set with the game’s preceding segments make the issues with Act 3 all the more jarring, with bugs and performance issues that were rare or nonexistent early on in the game suddenly becoming a problem. Today’s community update addresses these issues, plus addresses cut content, epilogues, and the ending of Karlach’s questline. The message from Larian also contains info on their future plans for BG3, which includes another mention of the ability to change your character’s appearance mid-campaign.

You can read our brief summary below, or check out the complete announcement below that!

BG3 Community Update #24 TL;DR:

  • Performance Improvements
    • General and Act 3 specific
  • Bug Fixes
    • General and Act 3 specific
  • Content Failing to Trigger
    • Some content wasn’t cut but is simply not triggering due to bugs (Minthara’s reactivity being the example given) — this is being worked on
  • Epilogue Expansion
    • Epilogue cut content was cut because Larian felt they were too long, but they’ve heard the feedback and are going to “do something about it”
    • Karlach will get a new ending that is “fiery, poignant, and gives her the ending she deserves.”
  • The Future of BG3 Updates
    • More bug fixes
    • More improvements based on player feedback
    • Wither’s Wardrobe of Wayward Friends – Tool to remove offline co-op party members

Community Update #24: Looking To The Future

Hello all,

Since launching last month, a lot of tweaks and updates can already be seen in Baldur’s Gate 3. Over the past few weeks we’ve chased down bugs, polished up some cinematics, and used your feedback to help organize our thoughts and inform our plans going forward. The first major patch just launched, solving over 1000 bugs to hopefully make Baldur’s Gate 3 an even better experience. But it was still a patch designed primarily to squash bugs.

We want to go further than that. We now find ourselves at a time where we’re able to properly sit down and consider how to parse feedback beyond bug fixing and UX tweaks. Patch 2 is just around the corner, and while it does include bug fixes, it also includes substantial performance improvements for the first time since launch. Perhaps more notably, we’re adding better closure to the story’s final act in the form of a more fleshed-out ending for Karlach – something many of you have been asking for.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a moment to focus on a conversation some of you have been having in the background. Many of the points that come out of this conversation are being funneled into the umbrella term of ‘cut content’, so we thought it would be helpful to give you some clarity about that as we think about the future of Baldur’s Gate 3.

We went through many different threads and reviews with our community teams, and we think we’ve managed to truncate the discussion about cut content and Act 3 into three topics: Performance, Bugs, and User Experience.

Performance. The city of Baldur’s Gate itself is ambitious. Technically, narratively, and in scope. One of the biggest issues with creating games is that technology is always trying to keep up with your ambition, and here we’ve been hit pretty hard by some setbacks. We know that Act 3’s performance isn’t as good as the first two acts, but the good news is that Patch 2 is bringing major performance improvements to the entire game, but more specifically to Act 3 where you’ll feel it the most. We’ll also be working throughout September to improve performance in Act 3 further with new technology that’s been taking a bit longer to release than we expected.

Bugs. We’ve seen your reports about Act 3, and we are as frustrated as you are by bugs spoiling the experience. So we’re dedicated to solving these quickly. And as you’ve noticed by our Hotfix and Patch rollout, we’re getting pretty fast.

Our approach is that whenever blockers pop up, we either release a hotfix if a patch is not imminent or include the fix as part of a patch if the patch is imminent. With Patch 1, your experience should already be a lot better, with most big issues solved by at least a workaround.

Patch 2 looks to further eliminate some of the more major issues, including those found in Act 3. Some things that are currently being associated with ‘cut content’ are actually things like companion reactions to events in the world that didn’t trigger. These are being solved. Where there seem to be loose ends, we’re tying them up.

User Experience. UX covers a lot of things: from how it feels to play the game, to how you feel when you’re playing it. Baldur’s Gate 3 is a game 3 years in Early Access and 6 years in the making. Many of the ‘building blocks’ or ideas, tests, or however you want to refer to the junk data that falls outside of what we shipped with, can and is being datamined.That’s okay, but it’s important to understand that not every building block in the giant box of Lego is needed to create the experience we ultimately envisioned and intended over years of iteration.

We’ve seen three types of complaints that are being referred to as cut content:

The first references content that actually doesn’t properly trigger because of a bug, for instance some of Minthara’s reactivity. We’ve located what’s causing that and are working on it – expect a fix for this soon.

The second is about the epilogue. What’s been datamined is not really cut content but content that we didn’t want to release because we didn’t think it worked. We’re pretty strict with ourselves and our ideas. If it isn’t good – if it isn’t fun to play – it doesn’t make it into the game. One of the reasons why we trimmed the epilogue is because we were afraid the ending cinematics were becoming too long and would detract from the epicness of the experience. But clearly, not everyone agrees with us! So we’re going to do something about it.

We’ve started expanding the epilogues and you’ll see the first results of that in Patch 2 with the addition of a new optional ending with Karlach. It’s fiery, poignant, and gives her the ending she deserves.

The third is about the things we actually didn’t plan for, and those we once considered but ultimately didn’t do.

It was always our intention for the Upper City to be an epic, cinematic epilogue bringing the story of Baldur’s Gate 3 to a close. But we didn’t talk about that in advance because it would have been a major spoiler.

We feel confident that there’s enough content in Baldur’s Gate 3, and the city itself, clocking in weeks-long playthroughs at a time. But that’s not to say Baldur’s Gate 3 didn’t see cuts just as every game. It’s just important to know that what ultimately shipped was planned long ago, in function primarily of making Baldur’s Gate 3 fun to play, not for us to close development quickly.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a game with many release dates, and despite us moving its launch up by around a month, it’s still a couple years late. It was late because we grew teams, ambition, and ideas in function of it being the best game it could possibly be. Thankfully, not every idea makes it into the final launch. It wouldn’t be the game you enjoy if they did.

We’re happy that Baldur’s Gate 3 has resonated with a great many of you, but we’ll never take that for granted. We’re committed to tying up loose ends, fixing the remaining bugs, and improving things where we see they could – and should – be improved.

So, what can you expect from us in the future?

First: we’ll keep on monitoring what bugs you encounter and we’ll make sure to patch them as fast as we can.

Second: We’ll start making improvements based on the feedback you’re giving us. Baldur’s Gate 3 means so much to a great deal of you, and in turn that means the world to us. We love this game and we’re not done with it yet. We welcome your feedback, your threads, and also your words of encouragement.

Withers’ Wardrobe of Wayward Friends – which we hope to launch very soon – is an example of us integrating your feedback. This feature allows you to get rid of co-op party members who join your campaign, so you can continue on without them. We’re also working on the ability to change your characters’ look once you’ve started a campaign, though we don’t have a release date for that yet. There will be more and you can expect us to come with modding support at some point too.

Once again, thank you for giving us so much feedback. It’s incredibly motivating for us and drives us to do better and better.

We’ve been asked if we’re “going to be patching in the cut content.” We think we understand where that question comes from, now. We’re going to be looking at Act 3, figuring out how to make the final act & epilogue land in a stronger way. But there’s more than that. Karlach’s new ending, our performance fixes, and our event trigger solutions are the first step in doing that. These are coming with Patch 2.

We’ve also got an internal version of what we’re calling Withers’ Wardrobe of Wayward Friends which we hope to launch very soon. This feature allows you to get rid of co-op party members who join your campaign, so you can continue on without them. We’re also working on the ability to change your characters’ look once you’ve started a campaign, though we don’t have a release date for that yet.

There’s a lot to do. There’s a lot to play. Clearly, Baldur’s Gate 3 means so much to a great deal of you, and in turn that means the world to us. We love this game. We’re not done with it yet. We welcome your feedback, your threads, and also your words of encouragement. We do ask that you phrase your feedback in a way that makes it easier for us to parse, rather than untangle, but that’s a small nuance. We hope that as a group you all feel listened to, and if at any moment you do not, please never hesitate to let us know.

We’re looking forward to the future of Baldur’s Gate 3.

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DanielD
DanielD

Unabashed FromSoftware fanboy still learning to take his time with games (and everything else, really). The time he doesn't spend on games is spent on music, books, or occasionally going outside.

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