It brings me no joy to say this, but I can’t play Baldur’s Gate 3 for the foreseeable future. Is it because my plate of games is full and will remain so for the next eight years? That’s true, but it’s not the reason. Or is it because the game has taken over my life such that I ignore my personal and professional responsibilities? Also true — but still not the reason. It’s bugs.
Bugs in a huge game like Baldur’s Gate 3 aren’t uncommon, and more often than not, they’re tolerable nuisances. My bug encounter rate in Act 1 and 2 was negligible, just minor graphical issues, texture pop-ins, and noticeable delays between when an NPC stops talking and my dialogue choices appear. Ignorable. But in Act 3, I’ve encountered an apparent bug so frustrating that I just can’t continue until it’s fixed.
Light spoilers for Baldur’s Gate 3 Act 3
Somewhere in Act 3, I lost my druid Jaheira. She didn’t die or leave the party in disgust; she just disappeared. I know that characters can periodically disappear on their own quests in the game, but everything I’ve found indicates this simply wasn’t supposed to happen. I even completed her companion quest, recruiting an old friend of hers hoping she would show up. And she did. She appeared in the after-action cutscene back at camp, but the moment it was over, she was gone again.
If it were only that, I feel like I could handle it and continue playing. She’s not my favorite character, and she joined my camp at a time when I had pretty much locked in my party composition. But her disappearance exacerbates other issues I have with how Baldur’s Gate 3 handles inventory and party management.
I hate how BG3 handles inventory. It is infuriating that I can’t see all of what I’ve accumulated at any time. I’m sure there’s a game developer reason as to why this is, but I feel like I should be able to shuffle around armor, weapons, scrolls, or potions no matter if it’s on my non-party companions or in my camp’s inventory stash. Which brings me back to Jaheira. Before she disappeared, I bought a very, very expensive piece of armor. I meant it for my boyfriend, Halsin, but since he wasn’t with me at the time and I was controlling Jaheira when I bought the armor, it went into her bag. Meaning it disappeared when she did.
And I am pissed.
Not only am I out a companion but I’m also out a very good piece of armor and a good half of my money. And it’s so demoralizing that I just don’t want to play anymore.
Fortunately, Larian has seemingly heard my frustrations with its most recent community update and the fact that the game’s second patch dropped just today. “We’ve seen your reports about Act 3, and we are as frustrated as you are by bugs spoiling the experience. So we’re dedicated to solving these quickly,” Larian wrote in its community update on Steam.
Excited for the new patch, I booted up BG3 this morning after about a two-day hiatus.
But Jaheira still isn’t there. Sigh.
I perused the patch notes and found no mention of fixing an issue related to Jaheira potentially disappearing. It just seems like Larian didn’t catch this bug this time around.
[Editor’s note: speaking of bugs, please make Astarion stop thinking I left him behind during an important companion quest — I promise, he was right there!]
I hope future patches address this and do something about my other quality-of-life gripes. I should be able to change my party on the fly without having to go to camp, kick out one member, and add another before returning to the field. It’s clunky and slow and probably responsible for adding at least a few hours to my already extensive playtime. And I should be able to Magic Pockets into my non-active party members’ pockets to take what I need from their inventory.
I had hoped this patch would address my issue so I could return to the game and possibly finish it over the long American holiday weekend. While I was content to pause playing to wait for this patch, seeing now that it doesn’t fix my issue, I might just have to continue playing down a companion, down half my gold, and down a very friggin’ cool piece of armor I was excited to see my big, beefy bear of a boyfriend in.