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About me and my perspective:

I have never played a computer-game before.

Not this kind of game, anyway. Battlefield 1942 a couple of times when I was 13 years old on a friend's computer, but that was it. I'm thirty now and games had existed only at the periphery of my life until I a couple of years ago was introduced to the tabletop roleplay-game Dungeons & Dragons 5e.

The game appealed to me as a storyteller, artist, writer, theatre-enthusiast and overall creative person for the roleplay aspect of it - and at the center of it, the collaborative storytelling.

So after a few years of weekly tabletop gaming, I decided to buy this new shiny videogame: Baldur's Gate 3. Needless to say the learning curve was rather steep (WASD doesn't move the character anymore! That took me a hot second to figure out.) but it's also been a lot of fun. Even if I died twice standing in fire not realizing it was burning me (What? Interactive environments?!)

But I am excited! It a whole new world! I spent a weekend messing around with it. Keep getting murdered by literally everything. Watch me click on traps in the sarcophagus-room fifty times and only getting a frustratingly unhelpful "I can't disarm this" from Astarion before I realized I could right-click and was given the option "Disarm"! Wow! (Astaion totally could disarm that. Ass.)

Game-mechanically, I should say, I can't give much input. I couldn't tell you anything about balance or combat-design or what have you. I have no experience.

But I do have some input about the storytelling and immersion. Specifically the importance of the visual design to support and enhance certain scenes. From a person who loves storytelling and getting immersed in the quests and plots, the non-player characters and their progress and relationships. And from a person who cares a lot for aesthetics (it is such a beautiful game!)


So here is my suggestion:

The visual experience is extremely important.

The game is already beautifully designed. I love the companions. I love the main-character. (I'm sure we'll get more design options later for them! Maybe even a scaling-mechanism for their features like in The Sims! And outfit options! Exciting!)
But while we talk about outfits, I do have an actual thought-through suggestion for you, the developers of this amazing game, that directly ties into immersion and is plot-relevant.

There are several scenes in the game that take place in (1) the camp, and (2) dream sequences. Many of these scenes are powerful, exciting and emotional. They bring a lot to the game, push the plot forward and create a sense of community or belonging between the MC and the companions.

We're even given the very exciting option to romance companions. This far, I've only explored the option of romancing Astarion and can therefore just mention his scenes in my examples. I assume the other companions have similar scenes.

And the issue I take is very simple. It has to do with outfits and how it affects the immersion.

My suggestion is this: I would design a non-armored version of each armor (MC and companions) particularly for the camp- and dream-scenes. That is to say, a "shirt-and-trousers"-option where the armor on top is removed.

The reason for this, I will illustrate here:


Example (1:1) Camp interactions: The vampire bite

There is a scene in the game where Astarion (in the camp) approaches the sleeping Main Character to draw blood from them. The MC wakes up and confronts Astarion in some way - and there is an option to allow him to take blood from them.

If you choose this option, the MC will lay down and Astarion will hold them carefully and bite their neck. It is an intense, exciting and erotic scene which made me hold my breath in anticipation (Would he kill me? Would it bring us closer? What would this lead to?)

An immersive and intense experience that was broken by the fact that my character was wearing full plate armor (visually and I'm sure due to early access glitches) poor Astarion can't physically really reach my MCs neck properly. It took me out of the moment a little. Felt awkward and out-of-place.

This scene would have benefited a lot from having the MC sleep in the shirt/trouser-combo they are wearing under their armor, instead of sleeping in the armor (which is generally not recommended.) Wearing only a shirt also makes them both look a lot more vulnerable and adds to the intimacy of the scene.


Example (1:2) Camp interactions: Getting cute with Astarion

The same could be said for the first love scene. If you choose to romance Astarion (or another companion, but I have personally only played one round!) you will be given the option to see him in the forest and initiate a sexual relationship.

Now, I would definitely ask who on earth shows up to a date in full armor?

This scene is absolutely delightful and will be even better once the game is done! But it does suffer a lot from the presence armor. Astarion slinks out from behind a tree, approaches the Main Character, kisses them and you can choose to have a nice, soft scene or throw him to the ground and get wild.

But it is so, so awkward that they are both wearing armor. Full armor. Dagger on belt and all. It's strange. Immersion-breaking. And it ruins the mood of the scene. The characters should both wear plain clothes. Just like Astarion needs to be shirtless after to reveal his scars.


Example (2:1) Dream sequences: MC

The Main Character wakes up in a dream to the voice of a mysterious individual dressed in soft, beautiful clothes, who seduces them and treats them like a lover. There are options that lead to a tender embrace, to being held and cared for. Very sweet. Very dangerous, too, I think. It definitely feels ominous.

And then there's that damn armor. Chunky, big, awkward armor breaking the immersion and making the scene strange and alien and silly. It is an intimate dream about a fantasy lover. Who wears armor in their sweetest dreams (or, again, sleeps in armor?)

Losing the armor and wearing only a shirt-and-trouser alternative that the MC would wear underneath it would do a lot to add to the sense of intimacy, and I think it would also heighten the sense of forboding you are definitely left with as this dream lover appears and attempts to seduce you.


Example (2:2) Dream sequences: Astarion (spoilers!)

There is a glitchy, early-version of this scene up on the internet, which is why I'm aware of it. This is not a scene I've been able to access myself yet, as the companion-player options are not available. But since the dream sequence was so different from the dreams of the MC, I wanted to add my thoughts on this as well.

Astarion has a nightmare, not a sweet dream of a tender lover.

Cazador appears speaks to him, alone in the forest, tormenting him and reciting his rules to him. This later prompts Astarion to try to draw blood from a companion, as he needs to know that Cazador has not reclaimed control over him. It is all very dramatic and beautifully done, I'll say. Poor Astarion.

In the dream, Astarion is vulnerable, alone and (apparently) at the mercy of his old master. He is afraid and can choose to try to run or to bow to Cazador (from what I could see from the leaked footage.)

Having Astarion wear only a shirt and trousers would increase the feeling of being open to attack. It would heighten the sense of risk, of threat, and perhaps prompt a player (playing Astarion) to act accordingly. It adds to the dramatic feeling of it, I think. The idea that Cazador (apparently) has chosen to approach Astarion when he is most defenseless (armorless and alone.) makes narrative sense and builds more tension.


Point illustrated with Mod that gives you a shirtless-option for men and an open shirt (and jewelry) for women

[Linked Image from media.discordapp.net]
[Linked Image from media.discordapp.net]

TLDR; I think each armor outfit should have an accompanying casual outfit (basically the shirt/trousers they wear under the armor) and I think this outfit should be incorporated in the Camp-scenes and the Dream-sequences instead of the armor to add to the immersion and enhance the story.

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+1
Very good points and arguments!

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I didn't really think about it but it makes a lot of sense to have a "lose outfit" for the night.

Even just for the sleeping/intimate sections, if nothing else.


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Nightgowns and nightshirts for everyone!


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It may be pretty Offtopic but you got me after

Originally Posted by JulieGris
I'm thirty now and games had existed only at the periphery of my life until I a couple of years ago was introduced to the tabletop roleplay-game Dungeons & Dragons 5e.
The game appealed to me as a storyteller, artist, writer, theatre-enthusiast and overall creative person for the roleplay aspect of it - and at the center of it, the collaborative storytelling.
to tell you only one thing.

If you want the best immersive fantasy roleplay game to have ever played, you must at some point try out Witcher 3 - Wild Hunt.
I have it on steam + all the DLC's or "Expansions" one might say.
Feels a little wierd to write this in the BaldursGate3 Forum.
But it must be done. grin
The two former games are somewhat inferior in terms of actual gameplay and you do not need to know the story chronologically to just throw yourself into.



We are here for Baldurs Gate 3 of course but I can without glee say I don't expect Larian to be able to do a better job in the terms of immersion and storytelling, when it comes to Witcher 3.
I will probably die and have never again played a game coming close to it. This is how good it felt compared to around everything else over 26 years of gaming experience.
Allthough just in terms of erotic cutscene footage, just in that, they might have already surpassed Witcher 3. grin

Sexy time stuff is also in Witcher 3 but all scenes are just copys of the same steamy action you can get on with any other character in the game and you play only Geralt normally, the main protagonist of the series.

May your PC be strong ^_^
and your settings not too low.
There is a vast difference between high and low after all.

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Nice points to add in the thread about armors and civil clothing. By the way have you tried to unequip the armor before the long rest or the forest date? (never cross my mind to try this until I read your post, gotta try).

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Hey there, JulieGris, welcome to video games! Yikes!
An early access title is one heck of a rough and ready way to jump back into things!

You're not wrong about appropriate attire for scene having a major impact on the atmosphere and engagement with what's going on, though we've had no indication yet that camp attire is anything they're working on.

In the interrim, if you're the kind of person who wants to immerse in your character in even the little ways, you can always do what I do; that is, when I go to camp, and I've gone through all of my little bits and pieces of evening behaviour, talked to people, and am getting ready to sleep for the night, I just plain take off my armour (gloves and boots too, so it doesn't look strange)... I'm going to bed after all. I put it on again in the morning. Now, certainly, it might seem a little out of place to have some of the evening scenes play with relevant characters in their underwear... but it feels and looks better than, as you say, having Astarion trying to bite you through your full plate ^.^

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...You guys don't sleep in boots?

But don't you get cold?


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Originally Posted by Dexai
...You guys don't sleep in boots?

But don't you get cold?


laugh laugh laugh I'd fear more about insects and other arthropoda bites ^^

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I would like for this to be the case as well, as the camp should always visually reflect that they are at rest from combat and thus have no need to wear their armor.


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Originally Posted by JulieGris
TLDR; I think each armor outfit should have an accompanying casual outfit (basically the shirt/trousers they wear under the armor) and I think this outfit should be incorporated in the Camp-scenes and the Dream-sequences instead of the armor to add to the immersion and enhance the story.

Loved reading your insight on the game! Would love to have a casual outfit to make camp scenes more immersive!

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Originally Posted by Capt.Wells
I would like for this to be the case as well, as the camp should always visually reflect that they are at rest from combat and thus have no need to wear their armor.
This should be a menu toggle like the helmets. I would find it really unimmersive on most characters to not be wearing armour at camp, you never know when to expect attack. Perhaps in later acts where we might have a more secure location, casual clothes would make more sense.

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Originally Posted by Zarna
Originally Posted by Capt.Wells
I would like for this to be the case as well, as the camp should always visually reflect that they are at rest from combat and thus have no need to wear their armor.
This should be a menu toggle like the helmets. I would find it really unimmersive on most characters to not be wearing armour at camp, you never know when to expect attack. Perhaps in later acts where we might have a more secure location, casual clothes would make more sense.


I couldn't agree more on this here, after all, when your out in the open you never when or what might attack and you can't be too careful.

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Originally Posted by DragonMaster69
Originally Posted by Zarna
Originally Posted by Capt.Wells
I would like for this to be the case as well, as the camp should always visually reflect that they are at rest from combat and thus have no need to wear their armor.
This should be a menu toggle like the helmets. I would find it really unimmersive on most characters to not be wearing armour at camp, you never know when to expect attack. Perhaps in later acts where we might have a more secure location, casual clothes would make more sense.


I couldn't agree more on this here, after all, when your out in the open you never when or what might attack and you can't be too careful.

"Sleeping in light armor has no adverse effect on the wearer, but sleeping in medium or heavy armor makes it difficult to recover fully during a long rest. When you finish a long rest during which you slept in medium or heavy armor, you regain only one quarter of your spent Hit Dice (minimum of one die) If you have any levels of exhaustion, the rest doesn’t reduce your exhaustion level.""

That is from Xanathar's Guide to Everything (page 77) and I thought it makes a lot of sense. I believe it is an optional rule.

Now, most of the characters use light armor, but my suggestion is mostly about the scenes that are awkward with armor, such as sex scenes and the dream sequence. And the vampire bite scene because Astarion can't physically actually get to the Main Character's neck. I describe the specific scenes I think suffer from awkward armor in my original post.

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I understand your issue with that scene but I still think a toggle would be best. That way everyone should be happy, those who want immersive cut scenes and those who want immersive camping in an unsecured location. Maybe I play too much of survival games and have very cautious characters in DnD, but I would happily give up one bite scene (if I even let him do that) and sex scenes (that I will mostly skip) to have something that makes sense the majority of the time. If they end up adding the Xanathar's rule then I will take the penalty or switch to light armour to sleep in.

I do wonder if for the bite and the sex scenes that removing the armour could be a part of them, or cut to the undressed part. Dream scenes also should be part of the toggle option, of course I think any forced "romantic" stuff in these will probably be unarmoured whether we want to be or not.

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Originally Posted by Zarna
I understand your issue with that scene but I still think a toggle would be best. That way everyone should be happy, those who want immersive cut scenes and those who want immersive camping in an unsecured location. Maybe I play too much of survival games and have very cautious characters in DnD, but I would happily give up one bite scene (if I even let him do that) and sex scenes (that I will mostly skip) to have something that makes sense the majority of the time. If they end up adding the Xanathar's rule then I will take the penalty or switch to light armour to sleep in.

I do wonder if for the bite and the sex scenes that removing the armour could be a part of them, or cut to the undressed part. Dream scenes also should be part of the toggle option, of course I think any forced "romantic" stuff in these will probably be unarmoured whether we want to be or not.

The sex scenes fade to black, but they're kissing and laying down on top of one another etc. still in full armor (and helmet if you haven't turned that off) and it's genuinely just a little off-putting and ridiculous. My whole issue with the armor are these scenes that are negatively affected by it. If you choose not to romance any companion, then you won't see the scene anyway.

And when Astarion bites the character it glitches like crazy because they just merge together a little because of the bulky armor getting in the way. He still "reaches" the neck, but pretty much by the game glitching and his face sinking through the shoulder plate. And let Astarion eat, you villain! :') He's not mean hes just hungry.

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@JuliGris What armor is that that the female elf is wearing? The blue Thanks

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Originally Posted by JulieGris
The sex scenes fade to black, but they're kissing and laying down on top of one another etc. still in full armor (and helmet if you haven't turned that off) and it's genuinely just a little off-putting and ridiculous. My whole issue with the armor are these scenes that are negatively affected by it. If you choose not to romance any companion, then you won't see the scene anyway.

And when Astarion bites the character it glitches like crazy because they just merge together a little because of the bulky armor getting in the way. He still "reaches" the neck, but pretty much by the game glitching and his face sinking through the shoulder plate. And let Astarion eat, you villain! :') He's not mean hes just hungry.
They should just cut to being unarmoured for the kissing and other stuff then, that would get rid of the issue altogether and most likely if you are going that far with a character you would trust or pretend to trust them enough to not wear armour around them. I think the Minthara scene started unclothed but I don't remember, most likely all the future sex scenes will be that way. As for Astarion and the bite, either show removal of armour or cut to a clothed scene. Some of my characters would let him bite them, others have more common sense than that. He can eat in combat, this is a good chance for him to practise control. smile


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