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Baldur's Gate 3 Community Update #19: Mechs and the City

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Baldur's Gate 3 Community Update #19: Mechs and the City

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 12 June 2023, 00:24:32

Tags: Baldur's Gate 3; Larian Studios; Swen Vincke

Our goggles are on, our posture is aerodynamic; like a gnome hurled through the air by a barbarian with a mean overhead throw, Baldur’s Gate 3 is rapidly hurtling toward launch.

This weekend, we unveiled the city of Baldur's Gate for the very first time, with a glimpse behind its walls and around its familiar labyrinthine streets. It's been about 20 years since we last had a pint in the Elfsong Tavern or crawled through the sewers beneath the city streets and, as you might have spotted during the PC Gaming Show, many of these locations are back, and many news ones are waiting to be discovered for the first time - giving you a chance to explore the menacing roads of the Outer City, the opulent estates of the Upper City, and the dark alleys and pubs of the Lower City.

But the Baldur's Gate that we've built is a lot more than faithful geography. As a modern adaptation of an iconic fantasy setting, this city couldn’t be a mere backdrop. It needed to feel more like a complex organism: alive, changeable, and interconnected. Your journey, and your story, has been heading in this direction since the start of the game. You’ve finally arrived.

Welcome To Baldur's Gate

Though your journey hasn’t been easy, you arrive at a city preparing for war. As the Steel Watch patrols Baldur’s Gate’s labyrinthian streets, the printing press prepares the daily news cycle. There are factions within the city vying for control, all disagreeing on what to make of outside threats, and new faces within the city walls. Opportunity in times of struggle is rife. What you make of it, and what it makes of you, will be determined by your choices up to the city walls, and beyond their shadow.

We’ve built a truly next-gen fantasy city, and upped the stakes. Our latest trailer gives you a sense of that scale, showing rolling vistas of grand buildings that recede into the horizon, boisterous docks with harbours thick with ships, and lively town centres populated with over a thousand individual characters. You can explore all of it.

On cobbled streets, bustling crowds go about their day, each one with a story to unravel, a secret to uncover, or a personal reaction to be stirred. Peer further down those steep hills and you might spot a distant bell tower that you can climb for a panoramic view of the city. Make a wrong turn to the visiting circus and explore your deep-seated clown phobia. Or you could case the local inn, where sinister rumours lurk in secret back rooms. In short, Baldur's Gate is your oyster. It is its own vast, complex organism inside of a game already filled with opportunities for exploration. What your role is within it is entirely up to you.

Our scope for the city is big. But it's also grown substantially over the past year.

From the very beginning, we envisioned a Baldur’s Gate that players could navigate however they chose - whether that’s flying to the hidden rooftop nest of Gale's pet tressym, burrowing into a locked prison cell as a giant badger, or slipping into the Counting House in the form of a little cloud (not technically considered breaking and entering as per Faerûnian property law). But in our original prototype, the city was actually much more compartmentalised - a series of small, contained regions connected by teleporters. And so it remained until midway into developing the city, when we decided to make some major changes.

"[Swen] said, like, can't we just connect everything?" reminisces World Building Director Farhang Namdar. "And that was an interesting day."

What's come out of that decision is something we’re very proud of. The districts of Baldur's Gate are now three seamless open worlds. No matter whether you’re investigating underground crypts, climbing the stairs of a towering citadel, or descending into hidden cellars, open-ended exploration reigns supreme. No longer are they broken up into much smaller chunks. This - though ambitious - means that we were finally able to achieve that grand sense of hustle and bustle, where all the stories within the city were truly interconnected. There’s plenty to discover, and to be distracted by, and nothing is off-limits. We wanted every house to have real characters who had stories, and who could offer quests with secrets to uncover.​

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