Baldur's Gate 3 Patch 6 Preview - A metamagical experience
For over a year now, fans have been testing and exploring the early parts of Larian’s latest epic, Baldur’s Gate 3. In that time, players have already received several game-changing patches that have added classes, fixed numerous issues, and expanded what is offered in this Early Access adventure. The latest large-scale update for Baldur’s Gate 3, Patch 6, is now available, and any players that have an affinity for slinging spells should take note of this one.
This time, the significant additions include a brand new Sorcerer class, a new area full of quests and danger, and a host of visual improvements! Starting with the new area, Grymforge will take players deep into the Underdark, a dreary dangerous place where spiders, Drow, Duergar, and worse await parties of adventurers. I had such a thrill running through the deep underground. The ambiance of this new zone, with dim flickering torches doing their best to beat back the encroaching shadows, instantly took me back to trekking through similar caverns in my home games of Dungeons & Dragons.
I will openly admit that, for the most part, I avoided much of the new NPC interactions and quests in the new area. I want to keep a lot of those experiences for when the game has its final release. That isn’t to say I avoided them altogether though, either. Instead, I opted to approach the situations in ways that only Larian’s freeform gameplay allows; that is to say, I fought every NPC I encountered. Most seemed like stand-up folks, though, minus those that strung up, killed or enslaved people. The Underdark and Grymforge is a rough place.
What excited me most about Patch 6, and what I spent the most time tinkering with, was the brand new Sorcerer class and its two magical origins, Wild Magic and Draconic Bloodline. For those unfamiliar with the class from the tabletop D&D game, what sets the Sorcerer apart from other spellcasters like the Wizard is their unique Metamagic ability and the Sorcery Points resource.
Metamagic allows the Sorcerer to augment the spells they are casting, granting them various added properties. These can include allowing the spell to hit an additional target, if it would normally only hit a single one, or extend the spell’s range, among many other alterations. These metamagic augmentations can open up the possibilities for a sorcerer, and I’m incredibly impressed so far with how it’s been implemented in Baldur’s Gate 3 so far!
To take advantage of the metamagic features, though, you will need to tap into your reserve of Sorcery Points. Each metamagic option will cost between one and three points to use, but those aren’t the only uses for these points. Debatably, the more beneficial use these grant to sorcerers are the option to replenish their spell uses. And as any magic-user knows, the more spells you can cast, the better!
Unlike a wizard whose spells come from a book, or a druid who draws their power from nature, a sorcerer’s magic comes from their very being. This causes them to be considered rarer among other spellcasters, as they simply exude and erupt in magical forces. This natural manifestation is presented in Baldur’s Gate 3 by being able to choose where your character gets their magic from; either the wild, magical forces within themselves since birth or from a distant draconian ancestor. Each possessing unique boons for and conversation choices during your playthrough.
Should you choose a Dragon ancestor, you are granted even more choices to customize your Sorcerer. In the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons, there are many types of dragons composed of the chromatic variety (colors like red, blue, black) and metallic (gold, silver, copper, etc.), each possessing a different elemental affinity. Whichever dragon ancestor you pick, you will gain a physical hint on your character’s face that alludes to it and gain a spell of your chosen dragon’s element. All of this just deepens the role-playing potential you have with your character.
With every new element that is added to Baldur’s Gate 3, more I’m impressed with how it is shaping up and Larian’s immense display of talent. Admittedly, I haven’t played much of the game in a few months, so the touted new graphical enhancements weren’t jumping out at me as much, but with the exception of the occasional graphical oddities and glitches, this game has always looked great and continues to do so.
On top of the big new elements here in Patch 6, there are also six pages worth of patch notes detailing bug fixes, tweaks, new weapon attacks, and more. All of which can be found in Larian’s extensive patch notes, which I recommend you take a look through.
While there is still no set release date and even the prospective 2022 release window feels shaky, Larian continues to drop enough of these large updates to temporarily satiate the fans. Baldur’s Gate 3 remains one of my most anticipated RPGs in a long time and every time I get to revisit and check out the new toys that get added, that anticipation simply grows more. I already find myself counting the days until the next big patch and dreaming about what goodies it may contain.