Larian Studios have revealed the gameplay for Baldur’s Gate III.
During the presentation, Larian Studios Swen Vinke confirmed that the game will be entering Steam Early Access “in a couple of months,” though Vinke said they would not know when the game would be ready for that. “We wanted to announce it ourselves today,” Vinke stated, “but people were very excited to announce it for us.”
Vinke also emphasized the gameplay footage was pre-alpha (stating the save system did not work, and as evidenced by the glitch at the end of the gameplay presentation).
During character creation, Vinke showed that players can modify their background, race, gender, class, ability points, and skills. Players are also able to pick an “Origin Story,” which appears to have a pre-designed character.
Races include Tiefling, Drow, Human, Githyanki, Dwarf, Elf, Half-Elf, Half-Drow, Halfling, and more in the full game. Some races also have sub-races. The six classes available when the game enters early access include Wizard, Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, and Warlock.
During the Q & A segment (1:24:35), Vinke semi-confirmed that players could respec their companions (by modifying their ability points and class), though Vinke stated he could not answer the question at that time as it was a point of discussion with the development team.
When asked if the player will come across characters from older Baldur’s Gate titles, Vinke stated “we’re only talking about the five companions today, so I can’t answer that question.”
Whether this means certain past characters will become your companion is open to interpretation- though the question asker did ask if Minsc would return.
Vinke also confirmed the game would be purely turn-based, rather than the older semi-real time systems of older games (the turn-based combat running at full speed, not waiting for the player’s input).
When asked about how the alignment system would impact the game, Vinke explained that in 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons (what the game’s rules are based upon) alignment is “less pronounced,” and that Wizards of the Coast (the owners of D&D) asked them to “tone down” the more “black & white” system that had earlier in development.
Much like past games however, good aligned characters will not stay with a player who regularly performs evil acts, and vice versa. He also stated there was no modification of the player’s alignment based on actions “for the moment.” This may imply it will come later in development, or after feedback in Early Access.
When discussing Early Access, Vinke stated while the players will have access to a large amount of content, it will not be all of the game’s content, “so that when release comes, you’ll have plenty of content to play, pretty much like we did with out previous games.”