Very early: Larian Studios held their latest “Panel From Hell” event today. During the live stream, studio director Swen Vincke donned his basic plate armor and teamed up with a fellow developer to show off some of the latest content, features, and enhancements for Baldur’s Gate 3, all of which arrived today alongside the sixth major patch of the game.
The full list of patch notes is too much time to include or describe here, but we’ll touch on some of the main points. The first important part of the patch, and probably the most interesting for our readers, is the inclusion of AI enhancement technology in the game. Both Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology and AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) technology have been added to Baldur’s Gate 3, and gamers looking to squeeze additional performance out of their game can turn them on.
I tried the “Quality” preset for both FSR and DLSS and found that both options gave me a boost of around 20 FPS. That’s more than 60 at 1440p (tested on a 2080 Ti and an 8700K). FSR’s push was just a little a little louder than DLSS, but it was also a bit more blurry so I’m probably sticking with Nvidia’s tech for now.
In addition to these technologies, Baldur’s Gate 3 has received a complete graphical overhaul. Lighting, textures, animations, color grading, and particle effects have been dramatically improved. Other visual features, such as volumetric fog, real-time clouds, and atmospheric scattering, are entirely new additions. Additionally, your characters can now get bruised, scratched, and bloodied during combat; these effects will remain visible even after combat ends (their intensity is reduced to your current HP).
In terms of gameplay, Baldur’s Gate 3 now features a wider variety of “Weapon Actions” – weapon-specific special abilities that are meant to bring martial arts-based characters like Fighters, Rangers, and Rogues to life. Since those classes don’t have access to spells, Larian wanted to give them more tactical options in the middle of combat. Mobile Shot lets you fire a crossbow arrow even after Dashing, while Backbreaker can take down your enemies, making it easier for melee characters to hit them.
Then, of course, there are the two highlights of today’s patch: the Sorcerer class and an entirely new area known as “Grymforge.” We’ll let you discover the latter yourself, but it takes place at the end of the currently available Early Access story, essentially extending your playtime by a precious few hours and allowing you to meet some fascinating new characters.
The Sorcerer, on the other hand, is a new class of casters whose power does not come from learning books or from a deity, as is the case with wizards and clerics, but from within. You can choose the Draconic Bloodline or Wild Magic subclasses, each with unique active and passive effects. Wild Magic Wizards, for example, will occasionally trigger a “Wild Magic Surge”, a random effect drawn from a list of 10. You can get a free teleport, or you can summon a hostile fire demon; you never really know.
Draconic Bloodline casters will instead gain an additional spell that varies depending on the dragon ancestor they choose. An ancestor of the Green Dragon grants you the Sickness Ray spell, while an ancestor of the Golden Dragon grants you the Disguised Self.
We’ll let our readers (at least those who play Baldur’s Gate 3) discover the rest of the patch 6 content for themselves. All in all, it’s a substantial update, and I’m even more excited to play the endgame, whenever it comes out.