The recently released Baldur’s Gate 3 is a massive RPG with high replay value due to all the choices you can make, so it might seem weird to be talking about the game getting an expansion. But the question has been asked, and the response from the people behind the hit RPG is basically, probably not, because high-level Dungeons and Dragons characters are too powerful.
If you’ve been on the internet lately, it probably seems like the world is obsessed with Baldur’s Gate 3, which fully launched last week to rave reviews after an extended period in Steam Early Access. The turn-based Dungeons and Dragons RPG is truly blowing up on Steam, with hundreds of thousands of players logging in all at the same time to play (and also to have sex…a lot of sex). And while the game is huge—taking dozens and dozens of hours to fully complete, with multiple endings—some are already wondering about future expansions. But, that’s probably not going to happen. And if it does happen, it’s going to take a long time.
In an interview with PC Gamer on August 7, Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke said that the team hadn’t even started on an expansion. And sure, the game caps out at level 12, but DnD supports level 20 characters. Naturally, that seems to leave room for a big follow-up expansion. However, Vincke explained that he thinks it would be “very hard” to continue the adventure with the high-level characters players have at the end of the game. That’s because, in DnD, when players start reaching level 13 and beyond they become nearly godlike. Spells that high-level players gain access to include the ability to see the future, or just instantly kill anything with less than 100HP.
“[High-level DnD] adventures require a different way of doing things, in terms of antagonists you’re going to have to deal with, which require a lot of development to do them properly,” Vincke said, “Which would make this much more than an expansion in terms of development effort.”
Vincke explained that this is why a lot of DnD campaigns are designed for level 12 or lower characters. So while it might seem like a perfect opportunity for an expansion, to just let players hit level 20, it’s “not as easy as one would imagine.”
Promising an expansion too early could cause problems
Another issue that Larian Studios faces when trying to make a big follow-up expansion to Baldur’s Gate 3? All the choices you can make and the endings you can get. Vincke tells PC Gamer that if the studio was to build DLC for the RPG it would be hard, and players would have to wait for “a long time.”
There’d be one other complicating factor to making a Baldur’s Gate 3 expansion that picks up at level 13: all the possible permutations of a finished Baldur’s Gate 3 campaign feeding into that starting point. If Larian were to build something like that, “you’d have to wait for a long time,” Vincke said.
He further added that if the studio announced expansion plans too early and then, partway through development, realized the expansion was boring or not very fun, it’d have to keep working on it and try to get people to buy something it doesn’t fully believe in.
“That would not be cool. So we have to have the freedom to experiment and do our stuff. And then when we’re ready to announce it, we will.”
So for now, there is no plan to make a Baldur’s Gate 3 expansion, but there’s a small chance it could still happen. One day. Maybe.