Of the dozens of people in my circles making their way through Baldur’s Gate 3, most of them are still wrapping up Act 1 or just getting into Act 2. I’m entering Act 3 after 45 hours and it still feels like there’s a lot of game left. But most of that content is sidequests—the main quest has actually proven fairly straightforward, which is why I’m surprised only 368 people managed to finish the game during its first weekend.
Those numbers come from Larian, which shared several interesting data points about the first week of Baldur’s Gate 3’s full release. Paladins are the most popular class (never would’ve guessed that), lots of people are accidentally killing allies with Gale, and I repeat, only 368 people beat the main quest in its first four days. A few of those players may include press members or content creators who had about a week headstart with the game, though Larian might not count those accounts. Considering BG3 has conservatively sold a few million copies by now, I’m amazed that number isn’t higher.
At the same time, I’m also a little surprised that number isn’t lower—it must not be that hard to stick to the main quest if hundreds of people did it, but it may speak to the strength of Baldur’s Gate 3’s side stories that ~99% of players are taking it slow. I’d expect more people to speed through Starfield just to see what happens, for example.
Like my other favorite fantasy RPG, The Witcher 3, sidequests in BG3 are just as good (if not better) than the main story. No disrespect to the Grove questline or the wild stuff that goes down at Moonrise Towers, but I’m forging my fondest memories fulfilling mundane requests for weirdos. Despite the severity of the mind flayer tadpoles swimming around in our brains, everyone in my party seems more than willing to help random citizens with their problems, investigate the odd murder, and visit creepy carnivals.
I wonder what BG3 was like for those 368 trailblazers—did they finish any of the fascinating companion quests that slowly develop throughout the game? Did they find that weird book with a creepy face that all my friends found and I somehow missed? I suppose it’s possible. If they spent all 70 possible hours (allowing four hours for sleep) playing, that’s probably enough time to finish a worthwhile playthrough, right?
If not, I guess that’s what second playthroughs are for. I’ve already earmarked several Act 1 quests I never found for my next character, and I’m really hoping not to repeat a big Act 2 screw up. I’m thinking Warlock next time. Or maybe a paladin, since they’re so dang popular?