Larian Studios just wrapped up their “Panel from Hell” presentation in which they provided an update on Baldur’s Gate 3 and finally announced the new date for when early access would begin for the hotly anticipated title.
First things first, early access will begin on September 30th for Baldur’s Gate 3. It will be available on Steam and you can find the store page here.
Now if you hadn’t previously caught up on the details of Baldur’s Gate 3, you can find our early preview here.
Today, Larian followed up with a new Q&A for fans who may want to join in on Early Access:
Why Early Access?
“We’ve learned that working directly with our players during development makes our games better. RPGs this large, with so many permutations, thrive from feedback as new features and fixes are incrementally added to the game. Early Access gives players a chance to participate in development and it gives us an opportunity to explore different game ideas with a live community. We want to learn how you play the game and use that to make it a better experience for everyone.
Will I enjoy Early Access?
You should not buy Baldur’s Gate 3 in Early Access if you want a polished experience.
Early Access gives you a chance at an early taste of what the gameplay will be like but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. While we did our best to remove the most annoying bugs and optimize the game as much as we could, there are still plenty of issues and it will take us time to fix them. Only buy the game now if you want an early look or if you want to participate in community feedback. Otherwise, you’re probably best off waiting until version 1.0 releases.”
Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?
“Though Act 1 (the content for Early Access) is defined, Act’s 2 and 3 are work in progress. It’s therefore difficult to predict when 1.0 will launch. We anticipate Baldur’s Gate 3 being in Early Access for at least one year but we’ll have to see how it goes. It’ll be ready when it’s ready.”
How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?
“Leading up to release you can expect a plethora of incremental improvements and new features to be added to the game, as well as the inclusion of new classes and races. The 1.0 release will include the full game including Acts 2 and 3.”
What is the current state of the Early Access version?
“The Early Access version of Baldur’s Gate 3 includes Act 1 of the game which, in one playthrough, is approximately 25 hours of self-contained content. 6 player classes are supported and XXX races/subraces with more to be added later. There are 5 origin characters which you can recruit (but not play as for now). Most of Baldur’s Gate 3’s advertised features are included though some are still work in progress. Not every language is currently supported, as our writers are still developing the game which makes translation difficult.
We’ve worked hard to release an Early Access version that feels complete, fun to play, and has as little stub (unfinished) content as possible. There are bugs and there will be changes to content (often based on player feedback), but our goal is to already now give you something that’s genuinely fun to play.”
Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?
“We are creating our most ambitious RPG yet, and pricing won’t change during development of the game, into release. We hope that by purchasing the game early, you’re on board for the Early Access journey, and we thrive from your feedback, letters, and discussion around our games. Our community is incredibly important to us, and we value each and every one of you who opt into the Early Access journey.”
How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?
“Since day one of Baldur’s Gate 3’s announcement, community discussion, feedback, and organization (thank you) has shaped what we’ve said and done. Though we have a strong vision for the game throughout our team of over 300 people, our goal is to create a game that gets our audience excited, and to maintain a healthy relationship with those who take the time to provide feedback and help us create a better game. We use automatic data collection tools to help us better balance the game but we also listen to forum feedback and use that to drive internal debate. We create massive, sprawling games, and we couldn’t possibly explore every single permutation and combination of skills, choices, reactions and conclusions without our community. Working with your thoughts, feedback, and behaviour helps us to better understand how our ideas are toyed with, and how we can improve things.”
If you happen to miss the Panel from Hell and would like to catch up fully, you can find the full broadcast below:
We are incredibly excited for Baldur’s Gate 3 and it’s great to finally have a confirmed date for Early Access. From the sound of it, Larian is treating this as a true early access build which means that players should not go into it thinking this is a cut of the final game. So with that in mind, while we’re excited to dive in and will report our early impressions, fans looking for the full experience should likely wait for full release in 2021.