I’m sure I’m not the only one who has felt overwhelmed by the intricate world of computer role-playing games (CRPGs) in the past. Games like Divinity: Original Sin 2 have always fascinated me with their depth and flexibility, but the complex systems and mechanics have held me back. However, with the full release of Baldur’s Gate 3 just around the corner, I’ve decided it’s time to conquer my fears and truly enjoy this groundbreaking CRPG. And I believe you should do the same.
Guide my Hand
For a long time, there has been a mistaken belief in certain gaming circles that using guides or seeking help somehow diminishes the purity of the gaming experience. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. While it’s true that relying too heavily on guides might spoil the challenge of puzzle games, they can also enhance the overall experience. Some players may take pleasure in unraveling obscure riddles, struggling with bosses that have unclear mechanics, or spending hours unlocking hidden weapons. However, this approach doesn’t suit everyone.
When I considered whether to set aside my pride and dive into Baldur’s Gate 3, one important design philosophy guided my decision: the game is designed to allow failure. CRPGs, including those developed by Larian, draw inspiration from the classic pen-and-paper Dungeons & Dragons rulesets. While these games have been modernized to a certain extent, they strive to retain the open-ended nature of the original experience. This means that you could potentially create a character that is ineffective or even unsuitable for completing the game.
While some players may find this aspect appealing, I don’t have the luxury of time or patience to discover, five hours into a campaign, that I made a character I’m unhappy with and need to start over. This is where a guide can be invaluable. It ensures that I avoid these pitfalls, allowing me to enjoy the parts of the game I’m truly looking forward to experiencing. And in a game rumored to offer a hundred hours of gameplay, this is crucial.
Image: A mage holding a flaming object. (Credit: Larian Studios)
Even during the preparation phase, consulting class guides has given me the confidence to delve into Baldur’s Gate 3. The game offers 12 classes to choose from, with a total of 46 subclasses within those 12. Just this variety alone could overwhelm me before I even begin to think about distributing ability points or selecting weapons to specialize in. Thanks to early guides, I can at least create a functional build. Even if it turns out that I don’t enjoy it as much as I anticipated, I can switch to another recommended build once I figure out what truly suits my playstyle. This way, I can assure myself that it’s not my fault if I don’t enjoy certain characters due to my own choices.
During the initial stages of the game, guides can be a lifeline for players like me who value deep and immersive storytelling. Of course, I’m also excited about the combat, but what sets Baldur’s Gate 3 apart is its unparalleled freedom, allowing players to approach the game however they please. This level of openness is rare to find in most games, and it’s the reason why many newcomers might be attracted to the game. However, without a little help, we might bounce off the game before truly experiencing its full potential.
There’s no shame in using guides for any game—and I’m not just saying this because I write them. Games offer unique experiences that cater to different individuals, each playing for their own reasons. Utilizing a guide doesn’t diminish those experiences; it simply helps players get to the essence of what they came for.
Baldur’s Gate 3 will be launching on August 3 for PC and September 6 for PS5.
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Note: This article was written for OnSpec Electronic, Inc..