Larian knows Baldur's Gate 3's D&D combat is super complicated: "We used to joke you basically need a tutorial for every class"

 Baldur's Gate 3 party stands overlooking on a cliff
Baldur's Gate 3 party stands overlooking on a cliff

Baldur's Gate 3's combat can be hard to get your head around, particularly if you're not well-versed in the rules of Dungeons & Dragons, and developer Larian Studios knows it.

Speaking to GamesRadar+, lead writer Adam Smith addressed the game's complex nature and how the team at Larian tackled teaching the ins and outs of D&D to players enticed by Baldur's Gate 3 but with little to no prior knowledge of the table top RPG's mechanics without having them overwhelmed and running for the hills.

"[Cinematics and character art] may bring people in, but then they might bounce out again as soon as it gets too complicated," Smith said. "So then it's onboarding people, teaching them how to play D&D, which is really complex. We used to joke you basically need a tutorial for every class in D&D because they play very differently sometimes.

"So you don't want to win people over and they put their money down, and then they go, 'Oh, this is not the game for me.' It's gonna happen occasionally. But we needed to give people something that they could just enjoy."

As well as onboarding, Smith explained that having various difficulty settings also helps to make for a more accessible adventure. One of the three options available is Explorer mode, which makes battles significantly more forgiving so that players can focus more on the many other alluring facets of Baldur's Gate 3, such as its rich world and deep narrative.

"One of the things that's very nice about making RPGs is, if people aren't enjoying one aspect of it, there's another aspect of it," Smith continued. "You can have an entire session that's just combat, you can have entire session that's just exploration, or an entire session that's just character building. So usually, if one element of the game isn't quite working for you, then another one hopefully is, and the pacing tries to bounce people around to do different things. But also they're in control of the experience."

Elsewhere, when recently asked about post-launch expansion plans for Baldur's Gate 3, senior product manager, Tom Butler, said Larian "wants to do more" but isn't quite sure what shape that new content will take just yet.

Struggling to find your feet in Faerun? Check out these Baldur's Gate 3 tips and tricks.