Third Time’s The Charm
I waited for the third Hotfix, and then I tried a bit of the co-op on Baldur's Gate 3 with Eric Benson, who you may know better as The Notorious EJB or Edge. I can't speak for the previous builds, but the two hours we spent in there were informative. Here is the information:
1. Animating Mind Flayer tentacles must be quite difficult, and
2. I think we're in very, very good hands.
It's kinda chunky now. It does not have a uniform texture. That didn't stop it from being great. They have a "take" on 5E that I think is pretty cool, and they put some basic actions front and center that I think might be useful people who want to play on the table. They're also trafficking - the addition of the "k" there always makes my heart skip a beat - in some uncut fucking hard drugs literally from the jump. I would have written this campaign. Shit, I probably did at some point.
The thing I will say about Larian's NPCs in Baldur's Gate is, and it probably sounds like I'm trying to fashion some kind of ironic insult, but these all seem like people's real characters. I'm not gonna call any particular one out right now because I'd rather you saw for yourself, either now or if you get in later. But I swear to fucking God I've been at tables with these people. I know them. I know their secret heart.
What it says to me is that they understand what D&D is, which is that... it's a little much. It's too close. It's a set of mechanically defined parenthesis, judged and executed at varying levels of rigor, that enable the kind of self discovery you might not even recognize until years later. I think this is something that a Game can do that a Movie can't, not directly - that's why Stranger Things is actually a better representation of D&D than its official excursions. D&D is a kind of funhouse mirror, and doing it correctly means risking exposure. On this point, so many years later, I will grant part of the hoary eighties thesis: Dungeons & Dragons can be incredibly dangerous. In ways you don't expect.