Larian Studios has announced “Patch 4: Nature’s Power” for the Early Access version of Baldur’s Gate III, which includes the game’s first new playable class since launch—the Druid—and a number of other improvements, changes, and fixes. A release date for the patch was not announced.
Get the details below, via Larian Studios.
Of all the adventurers in the party, the Druid is the most versatile. This is because Druids are like an avatar of nature, a pure extension of its power. Druids heal the party, magically ensnare and destroy their foes, and can also form a defense against adversity using their transformative Wild Shape feature.
Quite apart from your choice of Druidic Circle, you’ll have the opportunity to decide what values you embody as a character. For example, you could represent the conscience of the adventuring party when it comes to the balance of civilization and the wild. As a different perspective, players might choose to become the vengeful wrath of that balance scorned. Both mechanically and in personality, Druids are wonderfully adaptable like that.
The versatility of Druids is reflected in the way they approach roleplay, battle, and the more complicated issues of morality.
Druidic Circles are manifestations of how Druids organize to interpret nature, balance, and cultural tradition.
- Circle of the Moon – Changeable as the moon, these stewards of nature haunt the deepest parts of the wilderness. Transformation is no problem for most Druids, but those who keep the ways of the moon gain the ability to morph into more powerful combative Wild Shapes – like the Polar Bear.
- Circle of the Land – Keepers of the Old Faith, these Druids are connected to arctic wastelands, sunny coasts, scorching deserts, fair forests, green grasslands, tall mountains, treacherous swamps and even the vast and otherworldly realm of the Underdark. Based on what type of geography they’re connected to, they gain additional power.
With the power of the wilderness at their fingertips, Druids can transform their shape in order to adapt to different situations. Crunch bones and slam into enemies as a Dire Wolf or Polar Bear. Spin your silken thread over the environment as a Spider. Soar above Faerun as a Raven. Sneak into hostile spaces unnoticed as a Cat. Burrow under the earth and ambush opponents as a Badger. Or temporarily embrace the tadpole that the Mindflayers have implanted inside you, and discover a new and mysterious Aberrant Shape.
With over 30 new spells and abilities being added, here the uniquely druidic spells you’ll get cast in Baldur’s Gate III:
- Entangle – Animate vines, weeds and creeping roots to snare and restrain your foes in a specific area.
- Flame Blade – Summon a scimitar of flame, shedding bright light around you and swinging it to scorch enemies.
- Moonbeam – Create a damaging pillar of radiant moonlight.
- Produce Flame – Light dark areas with this flickering flame in your palm, illuminate torches, and immolate patches of flammable liquid.
- Shillelagh – When more powerful spells fail the Druid, this Cantrip imbues a melee weapon like a club or staff with glowing energy and makes it hit much harder.
- Thorn Whip – This prickly vine lasso cuts your enemies and yanks them closer to you.
- Barkskin – The Druid turns their skin, or an ally’s, as hard as the bole of an oak tree.
- Destroy Water – Remove damaging fog or hazardous puddles in your path.
- Enhance Ability – Give an ally or yourself Bear’s Endurance, Bull’s Strength, Cat’s Grace, Eagle’s Splendor, Fox’s Cunning or Owl’s Wisdom.
- Flaming Sphere – A ball of fire that sticks around, Druid’s can keep this blazing orb rolling into the path of their foes.
- Goodberry – These berries grant some healing that can be carried in your inventory or eaten right away.
- Heat Metal – Superheating metal can have harmful—or even deadly—effects, especially if an opponent of yours is wearing that metal.
- Protection From Poison – This spell neutralizes toxins in the blood and also acts as a silver bullet against all known forms of poison.
- Spike Growth – Druids can transform nearby terrain into a nest of barbs that slows and damages their foes.
■ Global Expansion
The Panel from Hell 2 also covered the ways in which Larian has, and continues to meet the challenges of such a gargantuan RPG. Already situated in Belgium, Ireland, Russia, and Canada, the studio today formally announced expansion into England and Malaysia, with the Guildford and Kuala Lumpur studios respectively. This expansion is not only about increasing the number of developers working on the game, but also allowing development to follow the sun, with each studio acting as a mirror-image of one another, insofar as it’s possible.
The result of this continued commitment is of course all the updates through to Patch 4, but also today as covered in the Panel From Hell 2, specific examples of how Larian were able to quickly address and work with player feedback to create tangible changes and quality of life improvements to the game.
■ Big changes in Patch 4
Along with the Druid, “Patch 4: Nature’s Power” brings a number of improvements and changes to the game, including of course fixes, but also major quality of life improvements, and increasingly polished cinematics. Many of which have been requested by the community or influenced by community feedback:
- Optional Loaded Dice – This optional change helps smooth out the extremes of the bell curve. It retains the core elements of RNG, ensuring a player can no longer be unlucky or super lucky with several dice rolls in a row. The system also runs in two parts. Dice rolls in dialogue are different to those in combat, and this change only impacts the d20. Not damage rolls.
- Speak with Dead and Polished Cinematics – Cinematics in special cases like Speak with Dead have made huge improvements along with the ability to join conversations as an animal. The patch also adds improved animations with the Druids in the Grove as they cast spells and use their abilities. Major improvements have been made both in animation and lighting, which… though not obvious in this paragraph of text, look really neat in the game. Channel your imagination.
- Multiplayer – Those embarking on their adventure together with friends can now see other players Equipment, Spells, Inventory and Character Sheets. As well as the ability to take and place items to and from. There is no lock function – that will come in a future patch. Your friends could for example steal your items, because there’s no lock function yet, but there’s no rush, because they’re your friends. They wouldn’t do that to you, would they?
Quality of Life – A series of much-requested features have been implemented. Players can now target friends and enemies with spells and equipment by clicking on their portraits. As an alternative to trying to click on a character in the world, players can now easily select and attack whoever they want from the UI. We also added a flee button for the errr… tacticians among us. And using torches has never been easier thanks to the long-awaited addition of the torch button!
- Improved Cinematics – Narrative cinematics have been given a new lease of life thanks to a fresh lighting pass, resulting in some truly spectacular sequences in which the story of Baldur’s Gate III is told.
Watch the Druid reveal trailer and full “Panel from Hell II” live stream archive below. View a new set of screenshots at the gallery.