The extensive update, simply called Patch 3, clocks in at a massive 4.8GB and is the first patch to come with “changes that affect story”, among other new additions. As previously reported, the patch will also render all current saved games incompatible with future versions of the game, although the developer has a temporary workaround for that.
The most notable change in Patch 3 will be the behaviour of companions, which Larian admitted could be “a little negative at times”. After the update, companions will be more “tolerant” of player actions and “start focusing more on the bigger picture.”
“[Companions will not nitpick] about every single little thing they don’t like but rather focusing on the things they do like while still maintaining their personality and having strong beliefs about certain things,” it added.
Players will also now be rewarded more for taking alternative story paths, specifically when choosing “pacifism and creative solutions that utilise the road less travelled”. Whether it’s a combat situation, dialogue, exploration or puzzle-solving, players will be able to “carve out a journey more true to your character’s identity” without being penalised for it.
The patch also tweaks Cantrips (a spell that can be cast at will, without using a spell slot or being prepared in advance) to be less impactful in the game than ‘true’ spells. “This’ll make the management a lot more meaningful, and the ‘true’ spells a lot more rewarding to use,” Larian Studios noted.
Larian Studios has also implemented the cross-save for Baldur’s Gate III, which means players will now be able to share and access their save files across Steam, GOG, Mac and Google Stadia. “The best thing is that we’re the ones running this cross-save service, so we’re totally in control of it,” it added.
The extensive patch also included changes to surfaces, UI updates and new party jumping mechanics, alongside a slew of bug fixes and improvements. Check out the full patch notes here.
Baldur’s Gate III is currently in early access for PC, the Google Stadia and Mac. In a glowing four-and-a-half star review, NME’s Jordan Oloman called the game an “ambitiously built, well-written tale of adventure framed by lovable companions and stunning fidelity”.