At E# last week we spoke with Swen Vincke the founder of Larian Studios. He was joined by D&D’s own Michael Mearls to talk about the incoming RPG bomb that is Baldur’s Gate 3. This title originally launched Bioware into the top RPG game studios status in the 1990s. Now here we are going into a new decade with a new generation of D&D fans and the third installment of the series is being built by a studio with a proven track record in the Divinity series. In truth, there could not be a better set up for this game, however, let’s see what the guys had to say at E3.
You got my Spell Jammer in my Forgotten Realms
Anyone who saw the trailer knows what is coming, Mind Flayers. It is no secret, they have been a popular villain in D&D lore since day one with the original first edition. Both Swen and Mike laughed about the trailer and mixing in some of the classic D&D lore.
Most importantly we asked Swen what it was like to carry the torch for such a beloved game. He was happy to take on the challenge. After Divinity 2 the team wanted a new challenge and so it was either a sci-fi title or Baldur’s Gate came up and everyone jumped at the chance.
Mike explained that Wizards of the Coast really felt confident in passing the torch to Larian Studios. A lot of the staff are fans of the games and so Swen’s team was primed to really merge the classic game into the new generation with some fresh ideas. Do not worry, there is plenty of classic being talked about for this title.
Creativity in Role Playing
Swen explained that Baldur’s Gate was one of the game which really allowed the player to feel creative. Making their character and finding companions along the way, not to mention team dynamics and skills. There were a lot of systems which really opened for fans to play how they wanted. That is a huge part of that the team at Larian wants to capture from the original. Game play was paramount, he wants to get it right.
In working with Forgotten Realms lore, Mike was quick to point out all the easter eggs on the trailer for fans of the game. Even spotting the Blushing Mermaid in the background. Mike really wants anyone to pick up the game and play, something that D&D is pushing towards more and more. They work in layers though with loads of content for older fans to enjoy. It is accessible to anyone, but the hardcore fans will really be rewarded in the game.
Combat – We Tried
Sadly, the guys could not give away much on the combat systems in the game yet, however they did share some philosophy around the subject. Swen wants it to feel like authentic D&D. Your class choice will be important, and they want you to really get the most out of what you play. There will be ways to do things like the table top like dexterity checks and all in the game. Those systems are being built in right now.
Both said they do not want to overwhelm the player with loads of combat at first. Easing into the game and getting used to multiple encounters as well as traps and other ways to adventure in the game. It is all about creativity with your party. Playing the role is important. Also, stories will crop up in the game about your party members which was inherent in all the Baldur’s Gate titles, they do not want to lose such a strong part of the game’s past, so look for a lot of these within this installment.
Swen made a point to talk about the fact that a ton of content in being built into the game outside of combat as well. There are a lot of new elements coming to this installment which impact the RPG beyond just a fight. Their main goal is to translate all the styles from the Player's Handbook and really flush them out within Baldur’s Gate 3.
We came away from the interview extremely excited about this game. We know, the hype machine moves on, however, the confidence in Swen and his crew was also at an all time high. Look for much more coverage over the next few months as we dig deeper into the Forgotten Realms.