Baldur’s Gate 3 Bug: How the Game’s Endless Mulling of Evil Deeds is Causing Issues

Baldur's Gate 3 character Gale staring mournfully at the camera
Enlarge / Conscience do cost, as a certain fictional denizen of Baltimore’s East Side once said.

Larian Studios

Experience the immersive charm of playing Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3) that beautifully simulates the presence of a real Dungeon Master. The second-person narration, dice rolls, and openness to embrace your unconventional ideas make you feel like there’s a conscious intelligence orchestrating the game session for you.

However, consciousness can also be a burden, as evidenced by a recent patch to BG3 that introduced overwhelming complexity to the game’s decision-making process. A lag and slowdown in the game’s progress were attributed to the decision engine’s constant assessment of past instances of theft, murder, and other dubious actions by players.

These performance issues have persisted since the release of Patch 4, which came with over 1,000 changes. One small-scope change involved the “Scrying Eyes in Moonrise Towers” area, where the game failed to react to certain in-game crimes. Even when attempts at sneaking or invisibility were made, the floating orbs in the area continued to overlook players’ actions.

Although this fix was meant to improve the game, it inadvertently caused the engine to dwell on other unnoticed deceptive actions. As stated by developer and publisher Larian Studios in a statement to IGN, it led to previous thefts and acts of vandalism remaining stuck within the game’s thinking process indefinitely, impacting the performance of the logic engine and leading to overall slowdowns in the game.

Due to the persisting issues, Larian Studios announced Patch 5 to be released this week, with a focus on addressing the ongoing slowdowns caused by the previous patch’s focus on theft and violence.

The intricacies of BG3 create a setting that necessitates comprehensive consideration for every interaction. It’s not surprising that a seemingly minor patch could lead to wider issues and present challenges in testing. Given the diverse player behaviors and individual experiences, pinpointing and resolving such bugs can be quite challenging.

With its immense intrigue and widespread acclaim, BG3 stands out as a strong contender for numerous Game of the Year lists. The persistent bug issue almost feels like an unconventional sub-story instead of the typical developer-player performance struggles.


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