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Next Baldur's Gate 3 update fixes performance bug caused by the RPG's inability to forget your terrible crimes

Larian aiming for release this week

Gale, a Wizard companion in Baldur's Gate 3, shows a face of concern.
Image credit: Larian Studios / Rock Paper Shotgun

Baldur's Gate 3's next update, Patch 5, will address various performance issues caused by the bountiful fantasy RPG's previous patch. The source of the lag? No, it's got nothing to do with teeth. According to Larian, the slowdowns are actually connected to the game's understanding of crime and morality: Patch 4 left it unable to "forget" player thefts and acts of vandalism that haven't been detected by NPCs, meaning that BG3 players who break the rules often and get away with it have been saddling their simulations with unfinished tasks. That's right, the game's latest technical crisis is in fact a crisis of conscience. Oh the humanity!

All that's according to a statement to IGN, in the wake of a social media post just yesterday from Larian's director of publishing Michael Douse. "Patch 5 is *a lot* and we're getting ready to talk about it," he wrote. "For now, we caught the nasty bug causing slowdowns and the good news is: it's fixed in Parch 5! That, and so much more, is cooking for this week."

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Pressed by IGN to explain, Larian sent over the following: "In Patch 4 we introduced a fix that would prevent the Scrying Eyes in Moonrise Towers from immediately calling the guards on you when stealing, even if you were sneaking, or invisible for example.

"This fix had the unintended consequence of causing unnoticed thefts and acts of vandalism to remain stuck forever within the 'did anyone see me' pipeline, rather than timing out and moving on, as is intended," it goes on. "Essentially, your dungeon master - in a real-world sense - constantly thinks about the acts of theft and violence the player keeps doing, without ever moving on or verbalising them. Mulling on it ad infinitum.

"These unnoticed and eternally-active acts of theft and violence eventually bogged down the game. The more a player commits those acts, the more the game is trying to keep that all up to date and in memory, and so the more slowdowns start happening. Essentially, the dungeon master becomes unable to operate. By Act 3 this caused slowdown issues, which after some sleuthing we're extremely happy to say we've solved in Patch 5, which is in testing and scheduled to release this week."

I absolutely love this. If only all lag could be explained as the result of the game experiencing second-hand guilt about your antisocial behaviour - certain games and genres (GTA?) would become unplayable towards the finale. We could also tell which Youtubers are Machiavellian ne'er-do-wells from the number of frames dropped during streams.

Perhaps it could even factor into multiplayer community moderation, with upstanding players enjoying a performance advantage over trash talkers and obnoxious lone wolves? Good lord, the possibilities are endless. It's the kind of thing Peter Molyneux promised to add to Black & White. Somebody rush me some VC money so I can put these ideas into practice.

Disclosure: Former RPS deputy editor Adam Smith (RPS in peace) now works at Larian and is the lead writer for Baldur's Gate 3. Former contributor Emily Gera also works on it.

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Baldur's Gate III

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Edwin Evans-Thirlwell

News Editor

Clapped-out Soul Reaver enthusiast with dubious academic backstory who obsesses over dropped diary pages in horror games. Games journalist since 2008. From Yorkshire originally but sounds like he's from Rivendell.