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Baldur’s Gate 3’s Patches Are So Good That I’m Scared To Keep Playing

Baldur’s Gate 3 has become one of the only things occupying my brain right now. I’m somewhat late to the party, given my friends and colleagues have been singing its praises for months already, but man, does it feel amazing to sink my teeth into this masterpiece and not want to pull away. I’m like Astarion in the middle of the night, hoping to coax just a little more blood from its neck before I begrudgingly retire.


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By that, I mean I’ve been staying up far too late getting through Moonrise Towers and finally making my way into Act 3. Now I’m in Wyrm’s Crossing, the titular city is finally within my grasp.

These updates are going to be chill until Larian adds a new companion, only to pretend they’ve actually been a part of the game this entire time.

But so is the fifth major patch for the game, which developer Larian has been hyping up on social media in recent days with new Astarion kiss animations and promises of even more features and content. There is no way of knowing what these things will be, and part of me is paranoid that by pressing on with my playthrough I’ll suddenly be greeted with a gargantuan update that will change the way I appreciate the RPG.

Yes, I’m probably overthinking it, but only since Baldur’s Gate 3 is so brilliant that I’d be foolish to turn down any opportunity to make it even better, regardless of whether that comes in the form of an additional way to smooch my vampire boyfriend or being about to sort through an inventory system that doesn’t feel like pulling my teeth.

Baldur's Gate 3 Inside the city screenshot

It’s testament to how much Larian is listening to and responding to the community, addressing criticisms big and small in a time period that other developers would kill to emulate. We were outspoken about Karlach’s ending lacking resolution, and it turns out Larian was well aware of this shortcoming and was already working on additional material to not only improve the arc we had already experienced, but implement changes to other parts of the game as well. While I haven’t seen nearly enough from Act 3 to sympathize with the plight of other players, one of the biggest complaints around launch was how, at least when put up against the content available in Early Access, everything felt slightly more rushed and slightly less curated.

That seems like a natural consequence of speeding up development and hoping to fill it with as much compelling content as possible before a strict deadline though, not to mention much of the latter two acts likely didn’t have the benefit of player feedback and experimentation that helped the former shine so brightly. Every playthrough is unique, and I feel like I’m only going to learn more about this world’s events and its characters as I see them through to the end several times.

Baldur's Gate 3 Patch 5 Epilogue

That being said, Ketheric Thorm and the conflict at Moonrise Towers sure felt confusing at times. Granted, I hadn’t read all the notes offered to me that served to provide exposition, but I did exhaust every piece of dialogue and context I possibly could before freeing Dame Aylin and murdering Isobel’s father. It came together very quickly, and who knows if future updates will either add more meat to the bones or completely reinvent how some parts of the narrative work out. Larian has shown that either is very possible.

The beauty of Baldur’s Gate 3 and the arrival of its major patches is how, regardless of what Larian wants to add, additions seem to gel seamlessly with the game we’ve already fallen in love with. Whether that be new animations, extra dialogue, or even entirely new quests and mechanics, everything feels complementary instead of beefy updates awkwardly putting out those who ran through the game at launch. We’re all on the same page, so even if a patch introduces a weird bug or takes something too far, chances are our voices will be heard, and more changes will follow.

Baldur's Gate 3 Patch 5 Epilogue

We live in a gaming world where even single-player RPGs like this are always in flux or subject to change. While the core experience remains untouched, developers now have the power to implement major changes or better their original vision through big updates that not only provide essential fixes, but build upon the foundations in a way that wasn’t even imaginable ten years ago. Now, it’s seen as normality.

Part of me is scared about embracing the third act with another update looming over the horizon, but I’m also learning to respect the fact that this is just how Baldur’s Gate 3, and modern games as a whole, have come to operate. Future playthroughs await in the future, and it’s more constructive to be excited about how the adventure will change in the months and years to come than to get hung up about missing a minor quality of life update in the midst of my current run.

Next: Being A Bad Guy In Baldur’s Gate 3 Feels Impossible

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