There’s nothing else in the world for me right now except Baldur’s Gate 3. (No spoilers, though.)

Nothing But Baldur's Gate 3 - August 2023

1,346 words.

Nothing But Baldur's Gate 3 - August 2023

Blaugust is halfway over. I, for one, have been setting an example by putting in the absolute barest minimum of an effort. Work smarter, not harder, kids. I’ll leave the stress and dissatisfaction of self-imposed rapid essay deadlines to the newer folks.


Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur’s Gate 3 finally launched, so there’s really nothing else to talk about in the gaming space right now, and certainly nothing else for me, personally, to talk about. It’s still pretty janky, but for some reason everyone’s giving it a pass, probably because the bugs are mostly careless cosmetic and UI bugs–the kind that probably came about from someone fat-fingering an edit in a million-line configuration file on a rushed development team with no substantive peer reviews–not overwhelming game-breaking programming bugs that require extensive time and expertise to fix.

Summarizing Baldur’s Gate 3 can be done by describing it as a mashup of Divinity: Original Sin and Dragon Age with (mostly) D&D 5th Edition rules and a typical over-the-top heroic fantasy story. If any of that appeals to you, there’s probably something for you in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Solasta: Crown of the Magister is a far better D&D combat simulator, but it’s not like I’m not going to play a new Baldur’s Gate game, come on.

I find the combat frustrating because of the lack of a tactical grid, but a turn-based system sure beats the heck out of that dumb quote-unquote “realtime” Infinity Engine nonsense (you know, the “realtime” system where you had to pause the game every two seconds to see what was even happening and make extensive individual changes to everyone’s orders because the AI always got it wrong). BG3 combat is exciting and immersive and tense on Tactician difficulty, and every decision feels like the party’s survival hinges on it. And having to choose whether to run away or not (and how to run away, because it’s not easy) adds a dramatic element that’s completely lacking in Solasta.

You can always just re-load to try again, but I don’t like to lose progress or replay parts of a game repeatedly, and imposing my own set of “iron man” rules on my playthrough spices it up quite a lot. As long as at least one party member can successfully run away from a battle, you can theoretically continue without losing progress, somewhat reminscent of a roguelike. But gold doesn’t grow on trees, and it costs 200 gold to resurrect each fallen companion, so there’s quite a monetary incentive to keep people in your party from dying.

The story is as tropey as you’d expect from a heroic fantasy D&D campaign, but it’s definitely more involved and interesting than Solasta: Crown of the Magister in a narrative sense, and the voice acting and motion capture is a lot better (i.e. more expensive). And, of course, there’s all the angsty intraparty companion drama like you’d get from a BioWare game, which, let’s be honest, is really the main thing people remember from BioWare games. (I personally have no memory of any battles or storyline from Dragon Age, just the camping and the companion stories.)

I’ve written about Baldur’s Gate 3 extensively in other posts and microposts, and a running story narrative in descriptions for videos, and it’s basically all I’m doing right now. Pathfinder: Kingmaker got booted to the curb.


The new MMO Palia entered closed and then open beta, which caused a lot of excitement among Blaugustians, and then, as is typical of new MMO launches, I heard little or nothing about it a week later. (Deciding to launch anything at the same time as Baldur’s Gate 3 was a collosal blunder, if you ask me.)

In any case, it doesn’t seem like my kind of MMO. (To be honest, I don’t think there’re any MMOs that are my kind of MMO anymore, and I have no idea what I ever saw in the genre–Baldur’s Gate 3 contains all the persistent world exploration, character progression, satisfying tactical combat, and story that I want from any MMO. Make more of them, please.) Palia looks like the kind of busy work MMO that exists mainly to replace social media, which, to be fair, is probably the right direction for MMOs to go in to distinguish themselves from far better single-player RPGs. Like, say, Baldur’s Gate 3.

Anyway, I downloaded and installed Palia, but as yet haven’t actually started the game. But again, to set expectations, I very rarely find myself needing or wanting game-related busy work. (Update: As of October, I still haven’t launched Palia a single time.)

Stray Gods

I did start a game of Stray Gods: The Role-Playing Musical, though. I recommend it, if you like to hear the singing of voice actors who are famous from other stuff, but the story didn’t really grab me immediately. I guess I’m too old to relate to teenage angst anymore.


I’ve been dashing out little microthoughts every day over on my GoToSocial instance. But, a month later, I’m starting to tire of it. During work hours, I’ve been focused on programming problems, and outside of work, I’ve been focused on Baldur’s Gate 3 and everything that surrounds it, so there’s little time for anything other than that.

By the way, if anyone is replying to my notes (I will never, ever call them toots by the way, because they’re called notes), I have to apologize because I don’t really have a process to look for or see replies yet. This thing I use doesn’t seem to want to let me know about notifications. It’s a very one-way communication system at the moment.

Video Production

Baldur’s Gate 3 inspired me to make a couple of amusing YouTube shorts from my gameplay, a new thing I’ve been trying this year. (Well, I thought they were amusing.) I’ll embed one of them but they’re shorts and they don’t embed very well.

It’s a lot more work than you might think to make those, but I find it a deeply satisfying artistic experience to create an entertaining, narratively sensible one-minute video, especially the part where almost every millisecond of the audio track has to be extensively sculpted. But because the finished product is only a minute long, it’s a media project that I can actually complete, unlike all the other media project ideas I have.

And, you know, people will actually click on them, because the worst possible outcome is they’ve wasted only a single minute of their lives. Hurray for attention deficit! Win-win for everyone.

I use Davinci Resolve to make those, by the way.


I’ve been trying to stick to a regimen of making and eating mostly non-unhealthy foods, but with my only interest lately being playing Baldur’s Gate 3 as quickly and efficiently as possible, nutritional habits are starting to slip, as my brain demands “get the annoying, time-wasting eating process over with as fast as possible” solutions even more than usual.

Day Job

This past sprint has seen me mostly keeping my head down writing Java Spring code to process data from an AWS SQS message queue and store it in a database. Java code today, at least on this team, seems a lot more focused on functional programming patterns than I remember it. A very unusual week-long vacation looms on the horizon for next sprint.

World Context

  • There’s a Trump media circus almost every day now because of various indictments, a federal one for classified documents, a state one for Georgian election interferance, and probably some others I’ve forgotten. Not to mention his ongoing presidential primary campaign (which–to answer your question, world–yes, he’s still winning easily). Way too much to document.
  • Last month the agreement that allowed Ukraine to ship grain out of the Black Sea expired, jeopardizing world food supplies.
  • Wildfires caused death and destruction throughout Hawaii, most notably in the resort town of Lāhainā, on Maui.
  • Ongoing Trainwrecks of the Year: 2024 Presidential Election, War in Ukraine, Hollywood Strikes, Nigerian Coup, Sudanese Civil War.
  • Celebrity Deaths: Paul Reubens (actor), Sinead O’Conner (musician).

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