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Interview Interview with Baldur's Gate 3 lead systems designer Nick Pechenin at Rock Paper Shotgun

Infinitron

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Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Tags: Baldur's Gate 3; Larian Studios; Nick Pechenin

Rock Paper Shotgun have released a 50 minute video interview they conducted with Baldur's Gate 3 lead systems designer Nick Pechenin. As you might expect, it's a mechanics-centric interview that's mostly focused on Larian's adaptation of various 5th Edition D&D systems. The interview includes footage from last month's demo build and is split into two parts. Topics covered in the first part include the new initiative system, the reduced emphasis on elemental surfaces compared to Divinity, scouting and stealth, adapting the Ranger's Natural Explorer and Favored Enemy class features, and the implementation of companion Astarion's vampire weaknesses. The more eclectic second part covers the inspiration mechanic, low level difficulty and the level cap, drunkenness, adapting the less useful spells from the D&D spellbook, the still WIP reaction system, death and resurrection, long and short rests, using turn-based mode outside of combat, and more.



I'm impressed by how thoroughly Larian are adapting the D&D ruleset. It's not exactly the impression we got when the game was announced and Swen was talking about how D&D had too much missing. If you're interested in a particular topic and don't want to watch the entire interview, RPS have helpfully provided timestamps in the video descriptions.
 

Curratum

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The more I look at gameplay of this thing, the more I hate it.

I have no idea why WotC decided to give their precious license that they held stuffed in their rear end for decades to a bunch of clowns who made two successful games without an art director and are now obviously making a third one without an art director as well.
 

Zeriel

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The more I look at gameplay of this thing, the more I hate it.

I have no idea why WotC decided to give their precious license that they held stuffed in their rear end for decades to a bunch of clowns who made two successful games without an art director and are now obviously making a third one without an art director as well.

Reminder that WOTC avoided using their license like the plague for 20 years, then gave it to , Larian is not even close to their worst decision, WOTC just hate D&D fans the way an ex-wife hates her ex-husband
 
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underground nymph

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Strap Yourselves In
Lead designer is about 25 years old? I’m not doubting his job experience, but hey what about being at least familiar with the classics.
 

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Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Lead designer is about 25 years old? I’m not doubting his job experience, but hey what about being at least familiar with the classics.

Lead systems designer: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nick-pechenin-65a77ba4/

0


The guy began his undergraduate degree in 2009, so he's at least 29 years old.

Apparently he made this during his final year:

 

KeighnMcDeath

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Hmmm..... Battle Mages painting the lawn like q-bert; now I want to try it.

BUNNIES!!!!


 
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Thac0

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I'm very into cock and ball torture
A lot of stuff is looking good to decent in this, but what annoys me is that they still have some focus on surfaces in there. He goes on a long detour on why they are focussing on more surfaces with less changes than before and more unique surfaces, when the whole thing is tedious and superflous. Surfaces add nothing to DnD combat, apart from those that are already built into the spells. Tacking on surfaces to a bunch of enemies and spells only serves to make melees even worse and improve wizards and archery further - which is the opposite of what 5e needs.

Also it does not seem like the designer gets 5e or DnD combat in general. He talks about combos and party dynamic specifically mentioning that in DnD compared to Divinity you need a tank and a healer. This has not been true for the majority of DnDs lifetime. While a tank is cool to have, it is very different from the WoW concept of a tank. Healers dont exist, clerics are potent miracle casters who buff or curse most of the time and only occasionally throw a clutch heal.
Treatmonks guide to wizards is till the go to description of the party dynamics in 5e for me. Also includes a nice writeup on why the mechanics of the game do not favor classical healers.
https://docs.google.com/document/u/0/d/1IeOXWvbkmQ3nEyM2P3lS8TU4rsK6QJP0oH7HE_v67QY/mobilebasic

This bit in particular made a bit more worried about the game, its a bad omen when the lead systems designer does fundamentally not get the party dynamic of 5e. Maybe he is just an awkward guy not getting across his thoughts here well tho.
 
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Ulysa

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The more I look at gameplay of this thing, the more I hate it.

I have no idea why WotC decided to give their precious license that they held stuffed in their rear end for decades to a bunch of clowns who made two successful games without an art director and are now obviously making a third one without an art director as well.

I sadly agree, I don't want to hate, I just feel terribly disappointed every time I open one of these videos.
 

Elex

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I like how people complain while larian have increased the effort to de-larianize the game and icrease the rule accuracy beyond any D&D game ever: stuff like “we limit the number short rest” is stuff that mean “we are more raw than any dungeon master” that can be considered too much.
 

Farewell into the night

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I've payed it thru family and friends access. Game is not finished, it's quite far from it. I won't spoil the story, sorry. My impression is that it feels quite ok. Rather boring fantasy game set in D&D world, and I can already say that it is going to be a huge hit, and will habe good reviews in the media, IGN will probably give it 10/10, but... if you're old and have a hard spot for classic BG's, then I advise to squint your eyes while playing... Literally, it's too colorful. It's like a mix of the witcher 3 and dos 2. Combat wasn't really that challenging. I was pretty much nuking and owining everything. They need to work on AI, because sometimes it acts smart and sometimes stupid. It's unbalanced. Overall it's retarded in some parts, but I wouldn't mind to play it after a glass or 2 of wine. It's buggy, and it's still work in progress, but the bones are already in the game, so I don't expect it to change that much in the future. Yeah, and btw. PoE's and Kingmaker are more thruthfull to the BG than this. I was having hard time getting into it mentally. It feels different, btw. but it's not the worst i'm try. Kids joking will love it, that's for sure.
 

Falksi

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Credit where it's due, the vids show that they're really considering how everything works gameplay-wise at least.

But I just can't get past how bad the game looks. It's fucking atrocious. Got that horrid Dragon Age:Inquisition brightness & mulkyness. Fucking shit.
 

Curratum

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Yeah, I have no doubt that they are taking good care of preserving the system and making fun encounters but fuck me, it looks SO HIDEOUS, I can't get over it.
 

Goldschmidt

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Dragon Age Origins (yes you read that right) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> this abomination

Combat mechanics, camera, and probably also story and c&c are better in DAO. People seem to forget how much c&c you had in DAO. More than Icewind Dale, Baldur's Gate and even the codex beloved Planescape Torment.

Stop putting retarded emojis, you retarded elex. You all goddamn know it is true.
 
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NJClaw

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Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture
Dragon Age Origins (yes you read that right) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> this abomination

Combat mechanics, camera, and probably also story and c&c are better in DAO. People seem to forget how much c&c you had in DAO. More than Icewind Dale, Baldur's Gate and even the codex beloved Planescape Torment.
Maybe people forgot how much C&C you had in D:AO, but how the fuck do you know how much C&C is going to be in BG3?
 

Sprout

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The more I look at gameplay of this thing, the more I hate it.

I have no idea why WotC decided to give their precious license that they held stuffed in their rear end for decades to a bunch of clowns who made two successful games without an art director and are now obviously making a third one without an art director as well.
I think I spotted DOS2 on the steam top seller list again recently. Three years after its release and it's still selling. Why is this such a mystery? WotC obviously wants a bite out of that pie.
 

roshan

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Are there Larian devs on here? Can we tag them and let them know how shitty their game looks, worse than the original Baldur's Gate which came out 22 years ago?
 

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