Fire serves as my not-so-secret weapon in Baldur's Gate 3
Baldur's Gate 3 presents an astonishingly intricate gaming experience. With its extensive range of options, the game features 11 races, 31 subraces, 1...
Baldur's Gate 3 presents an astonishingly intricate gaming experience. With its extensive range of options, the game features 11 races, 31 subraces, 12 classes, 46 subclasses, over 600 spells, and an almost boundless array of narrative possibilities based on how you approach main quests, side quests, companion quests, and the optional confrontation with the Dark Urge. Combat encounters are equally intricate, as your characters bring their unique characteristics and a plethora of spells and items into battle. Whether it's connecting a party member to a foe using Witch Bolt, inflicting guaranteed damage on multiple adversaries with a round of Magic Missiles, or incapacitating a redcap with Tasha's Hideous Laughter, the choices are endless. You can employ strategic tactics such as toppling a goblin to their demise with a well-executed shove, inflicting poison damage by coating your sword, or severing the chain supporting a chandelier to crush a worg.
The RPG provides such a vast array of choices that it may initially feel somewhat unconventional when you discover a particular strategy that proves effective and are inclined to stick with it. However, the game excels at challenging your established habits by presenting meticulously crafted encounters that compel you to reevaluate your trusted tactics. Nevertheless, when confronted with a truly demanding battle that puts my skills to the test, I am aware that I possess a reliable technique in reserve that can often shift the balance in my favor: setting everything ablaze.
There are numerous methods to ensure you always have a repertoire of pyrotechnics at your disposal. The cornerstone of my fire-manipulating abilities lies in my wizard character's Grease spell, capable of coating a substantial area with a slippery, flammable substance. Additionally, I make a point to carry some bottles of grease that any of my other characters can readily employ when needed. Once the ground becomes as slick as my fingers after indulging in a bucket of fried chicken, I effortlessly cast Fire Bolt or Burning Hands, observing as the world ignites. Another crucial asset is Alchemist's Fire, a magical variant of a molotov cocktail. While their weight can sometimes be prohibitive, it's advantageous to have a barrel or two of Firewine in your inventory. Consider this your very own Enji Todoroki starter kit, ready to ignite fiery prowess.
During the past weekend, I fully employed my flame manipulation abilities as I delved into the treacherous Shadow-Cursed Lands. After investing more than a dozen hours in this perilous realm, I returned to the Githyanki creche beneath Rosymorn Monastery to conclude a storyline that I had left unresolved earlier in my playthrough. Although I had already made significant progress in this section, I had made the decision to temporarily abandon it upon realizing that I lacked the strength to confront Ch'r'ai W'wargaz and his formidable Githyanki gang. However, it became apparent that engaging in combat was inevitable, as the character I embody was unwilling to risk provoking Shadowheart by relinquishing her precious artifact.
Currently at level six, I swiftly dispatched Ch'rai W'wargaz and his cohorts, as I had anticipated. However, deep within the creche, I found myself unable to utilize the fast travel or long rest options. As I stepped onto the bridge leading back to the main fortress, numerous adversaries awaited, poised to impede my progress, while my spellcasting capabilities were severely depleted. Despite the challenging circumstances, I made several attempts at this encounter, yet each one ended in failure. As I have previously expressed, the process of trial and error in Baldur's Gate 3 does not deter me, as successfully mastering a difficult confrontation makes me feel like a strategic prodigy. It is akin to my own personal Napoleon simulator. Unlike Napoleon, though, my preferred strategy almost always involves setting everything ablaze, and this battle was no exception.
The battle took place on the bridge, which served as an ideal chokepoint. However, the challenge arose when I discovered that some of my adversaries possessed the ability to teleport across the battlefield, while all of them exhibited remarkable speed. To counter this, I needed to unleash a fiery assault right at the onset of their journey across the bridge and sustain the flames as they progressed. Hence, I employed the Grease spell, casting it multiple times to cover the entire expanse of the bridge. It required several attempts to ensure I positioned myself close enough to the enemies to cast the grease on the ground ahead of them, without provoking their aggression and causing them to charge towards me.
Eventually, I achieved success, and the adversaries proceeded to trudge through smoldering embers while my wizard player character and Karlach patiently awaited their arrival. As they advanced, the relentless flames inflicted substantial damage upon all of them. When one of the warriors who had posed the greatest challenge in previous attempts finally reached me, we stood near the precipice, allowing Karlach to effortlessly push them to their demise. With the vanguard vanquished, Karlach and I tactically withdrew to the chamber where our encounter with Ch'rai W'wargaz had taken place. Joined by Lae’zel and Shadowheart, we systematically eliminated the remaining foes one by one. By the time they reached our position, they were little more than charred remnants of their former selves, and triumph was ours to claim.
All of those accomplishments were made possible solely due to the immense power of fire. If all one had in battle were conventional weapons and magical abilities, encounters like this could quickly become imbalanced. However, Larian Studios allows you to hurl anything that isn't firmly secured at your adversaries. That's what truly makes the game exceptional. Nevertheless, even if all I had the ability to throw was grease and flames, I would still find immense satisfaction in doing so.