As Baldur's Gate 3 continues its adventure through early access, the fantasy RPG from the makers of Divinity: Original Sin has whacked in a load of newness. Patch 6 hit today to continue the story, add a Sorcerer class, open the new region called Grymforge, and spruce up the graphics. Some might focus on those big features, me I'm all about a little one: a Sorcerer spell which lets you turn characters tiny or giant. We'll see who's a tadpole now!
Head through the Underdark and you'll find the Grymforge, a lava-laden Sharran fortress with new quests, characters, cinematics, and violence.
Perhaps you'll enact that violence as the new Sorcerer class, who come in two flavours: the Draconic Bloodline sort who gain extra hit points as well as boosts to spells of a specific element, depending on which colour dragon their ancestor smooched; and the Wild Magic sort who use chaos magic. Their Tides Of Chaos ability sounds... an interesting challenge to friendship in co-op.
"This ability allows them to gain advantage on attack rolls, ability checks, or saving throws, boosting their powers during combat," Larian explain. "In turn, a Wild Magic Sorcerer can find themselves on the receiving end of a potential random effect. Examples include putting everyone around you on fire, gaining teleport as a bonus action or summoning a hostile mephit!"
Violence is also expanded with new 'weapon actions', giving ranged and melee weapons new signature moves for variety. These range from a Heartstopper strike to the chest which can reduce actions to a Backbreaker that can knock someone down. And apparently a salami weapon? Kids these days, eh.
In terms of visual fanciness, Larian say the game now as a "completely revamped lighting system with volumetric fog/lighting", and that they've added translucency, atmospheric scattering, dynamic clouds, local directional lights, and new colour grading, improved the tonemapper and HDR rendering, and made all particles lit by the environment and global illumination. They've added support for DLSS 2.3 and AMD FSR too. Also, characters can now get dirty, sweaty, bloody, and bruised across their adventures, the poor dears.
Matthew Castle got to play the update a bit in advance, as well as chat with the devs. He says Grymforge "is the sweaty icing on the early access cake: a clearer view of where the story is going and a stronger taste of the fun we'll have along the way."
Patch 6 also brought balance changes, bug fixes, and more, so see the 'Forging The Arcane' patch notes for everything.