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Baldur's Gate 3 Community Update #17: Patch 9 - Holy Knight

Baldur's Gate 3 Community Update #17: Patch 9 - Holy Knight

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 14 December 2022, 23:00:00

Tags: Baldur's Gate 3; Farhang Namdar; Larian Studios; Nick Pechenin; Swen Vincke

Larian unveiled the ninth major patch for Baldur's Gate 3 today during a special Christmas edition of the Panel From Hell. As expected, the highlight of the patch is the Paladin class, which at character creation comes in two flavors: the nature-oriented Oath of the Ancients and the classically lawful good Oath of Devotion. Uniquely, paladins who stray from their oaths during the game can obtain a third subclass, the Oathbreaker, who has the power to summon the undead. Just as importantly, the patch increases the Early Access build's level cap to 5, unlocking a host of new spells and abilities for all classes. Fans of Solasta should also be glad to hear that Larian have finally implemented a reaction system similar to the one in that game.

As for the panel itself, it was even sillier than the usual, involving a fireball-lobbing Geoff Keighley, an Astarion cosplayer and a paladin Santa Claus, with no fewer than three on-screen deaths. Most notably, after a brief fakeout Swen revealed that Minsc is being voiced by prolific voice actor Matt Mercer. There was also a behind-the-scenes style video with the game's writing team. The panel's gameplay session was fairly straightforward, taking the the party through a sequence of battles with owlbears, tieflings and a squad of githyanki to showcase some of the patch's new features. It's much easier of course to just read the accompanying community update:

Critical Roleplay: Introducing Paladin

A hybrid between cleric and fighter, Paladins are marked by the ability to unleash formidable and devastating blows on enemies while providing support to their team in the form of actions like Lay on Hands, their classic Paladin heal. While they progress more slowly through their spell slots than other spellcasters, they also pack extra damage thanks to their specialised Paladin feature Divine Smite which imbues weapons with a holy radiance and does massive damage.

Building on the direction of this class in 5th Edition, Paladins in BG3 are distinct from our other divinely inspired classes. Their powers are channelled through the Oath to which they have sworn -- one that they choose at the start of character creation.

Patch comes with two Paladin subclasses. Take the Oath of the Ancients and fight on the side of light and the natural world. Like Arthurian Green Knights in plate armour, these Paladins vow to preserve the sanctity of life and the beauty of nature, using Healing Radiance to let nature heal all nearby allies.

Take the Oath of Devotion and uphold justice in the pursuit of the greater good. These are your classic Knights In Shining Armour, Paladins who follow a code of honour and virtue both in and out of battle – the kind of guys who’d probably do their taxes early just because it felt like the right thing to do. Their signature feature, Holy Rebuke, lets them call upon their Oath in combat to envelop an ally in an aura that deals 1d4 Radiant damage to anyone who hits them with a melee attack.

Paladins are very much a roleplaying class, and those who take this path will have the opportunity to explore their character’s moral code and, depending on the choices they make, discover what it means to be an
Oathbreaker.

Oathbreaker is our third, hidden subclass that is triggered if a Paladin goes against their moral code. Once that Oath is broken, say by killing an innocent or selling out the Druids to the Absolute, you’ll lose your previous Oath-inspired actions. But in turn you will gain darker ones like Control Undead – a Level 3 spell that lets you enlist an undead creature to fight for you. This is a subclass for those eager to explore their character's motivations and beliefs in dialogue, who seek to define justice for themselves.

Powering up to Level 5

We’ve raised the level cap! D&D players will recognize Level 5 as a big power boost for many of the classes, and in Patch #9 you can now reach those same heights in Baldur’s Gate 3. To wet your appetite, here are a few examples: Spellcasters gain access to powerful 3rd-level spells like Fireball, Counterspell, and Animate Dead. Clerics receive Spirit Guardians, a spell that deals heavy radiant or necrotic damage to foes around them, while Sorcerers and Wizards get Haste, giving their character an additional action point, movement, and more AC. Fighters, Barbarians, Rangers, and Paladins also receive the extra feature at Level 5 allowing them to make a second weapon attack for free.

Level 5 also unlocks the Fly spell, which is ideal when positioning for a death-from-above ranged attack or just to escape the grasp of your pitiful gravity-bound enemies.

A Reactions System fueled by your choices

This update includes one of our most requested features: a revamped Reactions System. The Reactions System refers to the way that certain combat actions can be triggered by various combat circumstances. For example, if you have Counterspell prepared and an enemy casts a spell at you, the game can now pause and ask if you want to use your Counterspell to block the enemy’s spell.​

The full patch notes for the update are available here. According to Swen, this will be the final major update for the Baldur's Gate 3 Early Access build before the game launches in August. That seems like a lot of time to go without any updates. I wonder how they plan to promote the game from now on.

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