Baldur's Gate 3 will be getting another update, with Patch #2 addressing the supposed "cut content", add new Origin Character Epilogues, and key updates to co-op multiplayer options.
Larian Studios already released the massive Patch #1 for Baldur's Gate 3. This resolved over 1,000 technical bugs, visual issues, and gameplay balance in BG3. However, there is still some work to be done, particularly with the rumor among the gaming community that there were hidden or unfinished content. Apparently, some speculators datamined the Baldur's Gate 3 files and came up with this supposed cut content.
Larian Studios posted the details for the planned Patch #2 on the official Baldur's Gate 3 website and on the Steam store page. Links to the Community Update #24 was shared on social media.
❤️🔥New Karlach Epilogue
🗄️Removing Co-Op Avatars from party
🔮The Future of Baldur's Gate 3, and your part in it.
— Baldur's Gate 3 (@baldursgate3) August 29, 2023
First, the BG3 dev team acknowledged that most of the previous hotfixes, and specifically Patch #1, were primarily to resolve technical problems such as bugs and glitches. Mainly, the game-breaking issues such as corrupted saves and issues that prevented progressing through the story.
The rest of the Community Update provided a framework of what Patch #2 will include. While there would still be bug fixes and performance enhancements to the interface and UX. Plus, they teased about the new epilogue for fan-favorite character Karlach:
We want to go further than that. We now find ourselves at a time where we're able to properly sit down and consider how to parse feedback beyond bug fixing and UX tweaks. Patch 2 is just around the corner, and while it does include bug fixes, it also includes substantial performance improvements for the first time since launch. Perhaps more notably, we're adding better closure to the story's final act in the form of a more fleshed-out ending for Karlach - something many of you have been asking for.
As for the alleged cut content, Larian Studios clarified the actual details and debunking this rumor that circulated among the game's fan community such as on Reddit:
What's been datamined is not really cut content but content that we didn't want to release because we didn't think it worked. We're pretty strict with ourselves and our ideas. If it isn't good - if it isn't fun to play - it doesn't make it into the game. One of the reasons why we trimmed the epilogue is because we were afraid the ending cinematics were becoming too long and would detract from the epicness of the experience. But clearly, not everyone agrees with us! So we're going to do something about it.
We've started expanding the epilogues and you'll see the first results of that in Patch 2 with the addition of a new optional ending with Karlach. It's fiery, poignant, and gives her the ending she deserves.
Adding to that, Larian Studios clarified that while there were plans that didn't make the final cut of the game, Baldur's Gate 3 is complete as far as what was planned. There were no shortcuts made just to ship the end result, as some critics based on datamining the files:
It was always our intention for the Upper City to be an epic, cinematic epilogue bringing the story of Baldur's Gate 3 to a close. But we didn't talk about that in advance because it would have been a major spoiler.
We feel confident that there's enough content in Baldur's Gate 3, and the city itself, clocking in weeks-long playthroughs at a time. But that's not to say Baldur's Gate 3 didn't see cuts just as every game. It's just important to know that what ultimately shipped was planned long ago, in function primarily of making Baldur's Gate 3 fun to play, not for us to close development quickly.
The latter part of the Baldur's Gate 3 Community Update #24 has Larian Studios reaffirming their commitment to hear player feedback and continued monitoring of the trends to further improve the player experience.
To that end, the devs confirmed Patch #2 will resolve players being unable to continue their progress because of multiplayer co-op party members being offline. Designated as "Withers' Wardrobe of Wayward Friends", Patch #2 will have the option to remove co-op party members who join a player's campaign, thus allowing the BG3 player to continue progressing on their own.
There is also a note on a much-requested feature to be added: that of the option to change characters' appearance after the initial creation. Baldur's Gate 3 players have been requesting for this cosmetic option, either to show how their characters grew in the course of the story or simply to update their characters' appearances more to their liking.
Options like this to change character appearances do exist in most MMOs like World of Warcraft and Dungeons & Dragons Online. It also harkens back to the D&D TTRPG, since players can describe their characters' visuals as they please with the theater-of-the-mind style of game that the traditional D&D RPG is based on. However, it was not confirmed if this option to change character looks will be in Patch #2 or in a later update.
On that note, Larian Studios also teased that the devs are looking at providing modding support and tools somewhere down the line. Many retro computer roleplaying games (CRPGs) found new life and renewed interest long after their release thanks to the modding communities. Classics like the first two Baldur's Gate games by BioWare, the Fallout and The Elder Scrolls games from Bethesda, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, Might and Magic, and many others continue to have a dedicated modding scene.
The full transcript of the Baldur's Gate 3 Community Update #24 can be found here.
What do you think about the Baldur's Gate 3 Community Update #24? Did Larian Studios really have any cut content hidden due to time constraints as some speculators alleged? Are you looking forward to the changes in the upcoming Patch #2 for BG3?
Baldur's Gate 3 is available for Windows PC through the Steam and GOG storefronts. The Sony Playstation 5 version will be released on September 6, 2023.