Larian Studios has released the latest update to Baldur's Gate 3 Update, Patch 8, today, and it looks phenomenal. The focal points of this new update are the Gnome race that has been made available and the new Bard class.
Baldur's Gate 3 is a colossal RPG where the player's choices matter heavily. Here are some of the Patch 8 highlights and critical changes that have been made:
- Bard class with College of Lore and College of Valour subclasses.
- Musical instruments, usable by any class with the Performer feat at Level 4.
- Playable gnomes with three subraces: rock gnomes, forest gnomes, and deep gnomes. Gnomes start with Gnome Cunning and +2 Intelligence. Added gnome reactivity to dialogues and situations.
- Ranged critical hits now have combat cameras!
- Baldur's Gate 3 is now playable in Brazilian Portuguese - vamo nessa!
- New spells: Calm Emotions, Enthral, Heroism, Phantasmal Force, and Vicious Mockery. Bards, try out Cutting Words, Song of Rest, and a new tadpole power.
- New hair-shading model, upgraded hairstyles, and all 66 hairstyles are now available to every race and body type.
- Added hair highlights.
- Added grey hair.
- Swarm AI, which bands together minor creatures so that they move at the same time and take quick turns to attack. Fighting numerous enemies should now be smoother and faster.
- Rogues can access Expertise at Level 1.
- Use a shovel to dig up treasures and secrets throughout Act 1.
- Sustained emotion acting in cinematics. New facial animations allow characters to continue emoting realistically while you make decisions in dialogue.
- Cinematic acting for background characters, who now react to the drama unfolding in dialogues.
- Elves are now a uniquely animated race.
- Detect Thoughts rework - cast it from within dialogues!
- Committing crimes now triggers a new type of cinematic dialogue.
- Sunlight through clouds has a bigger effect on shadows and lighting, and gameplay now more closely aligns with the in-game light and dark areas.
- Revamped lighting across Act 1.
- Implemented sound occlusion to simulate the behavior of sounds coming from other rooms and behind doors.
- Introduced auditory attenuation. Dynamic audio-mixing features enhance immersion by focusing on your actions and selecting the most important elements of the soundscape.
- Added 10 new skin colors to character creation.
- Updated Gale's face and hair.
- Displayed class passive features in the Character Sheet.
- Redesigned the movement bar.
- Implemented the first phase of our networking improvements: players with slower and less reliable internet connections should see improvements to stability and lag in multiplayer.
- Implemented support for Nvidia DLAA as an anti-aliasing alternative.
- Extensive UI updates.
- Low-spec PCs no longer become unresponsive and fail to load assets when loading saves files.
- You can now cast Mage Hand with an active summoned familiar.
- Short Rest can now heal Ranger's Companions and familiars.
- Creatures summoned with Ranger's Companion and Find Familiar now remain with the party after a Long Rest.
The Bard is a very versatile class, where players will use the charming sounds of music to soothe party members and wreak havoc on foes. Their main move is called Bardic Inspiration, and the spell's effects place a buff on party members, boosting their effectiveness in combat and making their attacks hit harder and faster than usual. There are also two sub-classes to choose from:
- College of Valour: This sub-class uses simplistic yet overpowered weapons that deal with heavy-hitting attacks. The signature ability that comes with this sub-class is Combat Inspiration, which will inspire allies, increase their valour, increase weapon damage and armor class, and even add a +1d6 bonus to their next move.
- College of Lore: This subclass is all about spell-casting and the use of wordplay to confuse and debuff enemies. The signature ability of this sub-class is Cutting Words which allows the player to throw insults at their foe, dealing a 1d6 penalty until their next turn.
Adding an entirely new race is refreshing, and the Gnome race was a great choice. This is the first race they have added since the beginning of early access, and they are described as being cautious and adventurous. Gnomes are known for their intelligence, made known by their +1 intelligence and Gnome Cunning available from the start. They come with three different sub-races that change the entirety of the gameplay:
- Forest Gnomes: Come with +1 Dexterity on top of the initial +1 intelligence and Gnome cunning stat and standard Darkvision. They are also known to be very reclusive.
- Rock Gnomes: Start with superior Darkvision, which allows them to see further into the dark than the other Gnomes.
- Deep Gnomes: Start with +1 Concentration on top of the +1 intelligence and Gnome cunning stat, standard Darkvision, and Artificer's Lore which gives players a double proficiency bonus.
The final version of Baldur's Gate 3 is set for release in 2023, keeping it in early access for a decent amount of time, as the game initially launched at the end of 2020. Those who want to try out the game can download it on Steam and test out the latest and greatest from Patch 8.