Highly anticipated: When Baldur’s Gate 3 first released into Early Access in late 2019, developer Larian Studios said full launch would be at least a year away. Now, thanks to the game’s growing scope and the worldwide pandemic we’re all suffering through, the studio says we’ll be getting the game early next year at the soonest.
Fortunately, most Baldur’s Gate 3 players probably won’t be too disappointed here. Larian has been very good about not giving specific dates and deadlines when they aren’t sure they can meet them — so a delay is never truly a delay in the traditional sense.
Additionally, while Baldur’s Gate 3’s Early Access won’t receive any new content outside of Act 1 (though it has received a couple new questlines within Act 1), Larian still continues to pump out meaty patches every three months or so. We received one of these today: Patch 7, and it is filled to the brim with new features, and bugfixes for fans to chew on.
As usual, Larian has uploaded the full changelog for your viewing pleasure, but the team has condensed some of the highlights into a Community Update post.
To abridge things even further, here are some of the main improvements you can look forward to when you download the latest 50GB update:
- The new Barbarian class, which can ‘Rage’ in combat to gain access to new abilities, attacks, and resistances.
- Two Barbarian subclasses: Wildheart (based on D&D 5th Edition’s Totem Warrior) and Berserker.
- A complete UI overhaul with enhanced Inventory, Spellbook, and Equipment menus.
- Customizable hotbar ‘decks’ that can organize various class abilities, weapon abilities, spells, and items into easily-accessible groups.
- Improvised weapons and enhanced throwing. It’s now possible to pick up chairs, tables, and other environmental objects and smack nearby enemies with them, or hurl them at distant foes. You can even pick up characters (provided your character is strong enough) and perform the very same actions!
- Better lighting and shadows for stealth gameplay.
- “Room Portals” which shroud unexplored, closed-off rooms in darkness to prevent you from seeing their contents before entering.
- New magical items to find and test out.
There’s plenty more on offer here, too, but those are the changes that you’re likely to notice right off the bat. If you want to snag Baldur’s Gate 3 for yourself, the game is available on Stadia, Steam, and GOG for $60 each. To recap, it’s expected to release sometime in the first half of 2023, but as usual, Larian isn’t committing to anything today, and it could very well launch much later than that.
Patch 7 can be downloaded right now, though Stadia users tend to get updates a little slower than everyone else.