Patch 8 for Baldur’s Gate is now live, bringing a number of graphical changes, as well as adding bards, gnomes, new spells, and swarm AI to the game.
The Patch 8 update for Baldur’s Gate 3 is now live, adding a ton of new content to the game. The biggest additions to Baldur’s Gate 3 are bards and gnomes, which were highly requested by fans, especially the ones who want to solve all problems with magical trickery. Patch 8 has also added a ton of graphical updates, changes to the UI, lots of bug fixes, some new spells, and swarm AI, which will hasten the speed of battles.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is currently in Early Access, which means that it is gradually adding content until it’s ready to launch. The current version of the game is actually close to adapting all of the classes and races from the Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook, as all that’s left to add to Baldur’s Gate 3 is the monk and paladin class, and the dragonborn and half-orc races. There are also some subclasses that are missing, but those aren’t as much of a priority as the main classes and races. It could be that Baldur’s Gate 3 hits its 2023 launch window, even if it’s the end of that year.
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Patch 8 is bound to make a lot of D&D fans happy, as it has added some incredibly popular character choices to the game. Bards were once one of the most disliked classes in D&D, as their jack of all trades nature meant that they were underpowered compared to all of the other classes. In D&D 5e, the bards are a force to be reckoned with, and the magical musicians of the multiverse can now spread their songs through the video game version of the Forgotten Realms once more.
The Bard Class & Instruments Are Now In Baldur’s Gate 3
Larian hinted that bards were coming to Baldur’s Gate 3 in the initial Panel From Hell announcement. Patch 8 finally adds bards as a playable class to Baldur’s Gate 3. Bard is a primary spellcaster class, with access to healing spells, buffing spells, and status effect spells. The bard has the ability to grant inspiration to allies, allowing them to add bonus dice to specific rolls. Baldur’s Gate 3 also includes the two bard subclasses from the D&D Player’s Handbook: the College of Lore and the College of Valor. The College of Lore bards can use their Cutting Words ability to reduce enemy dice rolls, and they gain bonus skill proficiencies, while College of Valor bards can use their inspiration to let allies deal bonus damage in combat, and they gain extra armor and weapon proficiencies.
Patch 8 has also added musical instruments to the game, with the bard receiving one for free at character creation. The list of instruments includes hand drum, lute, lyre, flute, and viola. A character who reaches level 4 and selects the Performer Feat will also be able to play instruments. Bards use these to cast spells and they can be played in the overworld. The bard class also has the Expertise ability, which doubles two of their skill proficiencies. This is notable, as the Rogue class now receives the Expertise ability at level 1.
The Gnome Race Is Now In Baldur’s Gate 3
Larian Studios had accidentally leaked the fact that playable gnomes were coming to Baldur’s Gate 3 in the past. Gnomes are a race of small demihumans with an aptitude for illusion spells and scientific inventions. The gnomes of the Forgotten Realms are also known for their jovial nature, which is why they once had bard as their Favored Class in D&D 3.5. In Baldur’s Gate 3, all gnomes start with +2 Intelligence and Gnome Cunning, which grants advantage on Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws. Baldur’s Gate 3 also has three gnome subraces: forest gnome, deep gnome, and rock gnome.
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The forest gnomes gain +1 to Dexterity, the ability to cast speak with animals, and Darkvision; deep gnomes have +1 to Dexterity, Superior Darkvision, and advantage on stealth checks; and rock gnomes have +1 to Constitution, Darkvision, and Artificer’s Lore, which doubles their proficiency bonus for History checks. The rock gnomes also start with a musical box that plays the Baldur’s Gate 3 theme, which can sold for some extra gold.
New Spells Have Been Added To Baldur’s Gate 3
Baldur’s Gate 3 has added new spells in Patch 8. These include calm emotions, enthrall, heroism, phantasmal force, and vicious mockery. In D&D, calm emotions can surpress charmed and frightened conditions, and can make creatures less hostile; enthrall distracts individuals who fail their saving throw, causing them to be drawn to the caster; heroism grants temporary hit points and immunity to the frightened condition to one target; phantasmal force can create an illusion in an enemy’s mind that they believe is real; and vicious mockery deals psychic damage and an enemy who fails a saving throw has disadvantage on its next attack. The developers at Larian also recorded 97 different insults that can be heard when using vicious mockery, which might be the most D&D thing in the game so far.
New Animation & Appearance Options In Baldur’s Gate 3
Larian has added lots of visual upgrades to Baldur’s Gate 3 in Patch 8. A lot of options have been added for hair, including the ability to add highlights, as well as have grey hair, with 66 hairstyles available to every character. The elven race in Baldur’s Gate 3 now has unique animations. The party member called Gale has had work done on his face and hair, in order to make them more detailed. There is sustained emotion acting in cinematics, with new facial animations allowing characters to continue emoting realistically while the player make decisions in dialogue. There is now cinematic acting for background characters, who now react to the drama unfolding in dialogues. The 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. There are also 10 new skin colors available during character creation.
Swarm AI Will Make Battles Faster In Baldur’s Gate 3
One of the best additions to Baldur’s Gate 3 in Patch 8 is swarm AI. This allows groups of monsters to act at the same time, which will drastically increase the speed of enemy turns. Swarm AI isn’t active in every battle, but it will make most combat encounters a lot faster. One of the worst aspects of Baldur’s Gate 3 was waiting for all of the enemies to take their actions during the larger battles, but those arduous affairs will soon be a thing of the past.
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Scott has been writing for Screen Rant since 2016 and regularly contributes to The Gamer. He has previously written articles and video scripts for websites like Cracked, Dorkly, Topless Robot, and TopTenz.
A graduate of Edge Hill University in the UK, Scott started out as a film student before moving into journalism. It turned out that wasting a childhood playing video games, reading comic books, and watching movies could be used for finding employment, regardless of what any career advisor might tell you. Scott specializes in gaming and has loved the medium since the early ‘90s when his first console was a ZX Spectrum that used to take 40 minutes to load a game from a tape cassette player to a black and white TV set. Scott now writes game reviews for Screen Rant and The Gamer, as well as news reports, opinion pieces, and game guides. He can be contacted on LinkedIn.
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