Ellesméra (Alyssa's Tiefling Bard) shocked.

Week 1 Stats Released, and We Are Definitely Playing Different Versions of ‘Baldur’s Gate 3’

Despite the stiff competition from Tears of the Kingdom, Baldur’s Gate III (BG3) is definitely a shoo-in for Game of the Year consideration. While it does have some backing from Wizards of the Coast (which owns the Dungeons & Dragons IP BG3 is set in) the effort has been very unique as Larian Studios is considered a larger indie developer. Until its release, much of the excitement about this game has been word of mouth developing slowly over three years of early access. In the first weekend alone, the game reached over 850,000 concurrent players on Steam. This far surpassed the 100K expected by the studio. As yet another gift to its players, Larian released week one player stats—and y’all, I’m simultaneously shocked and, in other ways, very much not surprised.

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In the first seven days—keep in mind this is just PC as the game comes out for console in a few weeks—roughly 1.6 million characters set out on their adventure. If you add all the playtime together for the first week, Larian says this is over 1,225 years. So far, 368 people completed the game’s main story. However, they can play it again and again to different endings because the game is that big. Back in June, the studio shared that the game features over 174 hours of cinematics. That’s more time than watching all of Game of Thrones—twice (which totals 140.5 hours).

Nearly half of Baldur's Gate III players pet the dog, and millions of hours have already been played of the game.
(Larian Studios)

Last week, I shared some tips and tricks I wish I knew going into the game, and Larian shared stats for those actions too! Specifically, the Belgium-based studio revealed that players spoke to over 1.4 million corpses, and 2.4 million animals. This is a large number, sure. However, this says that only a fraction of people have picked up either of these abilities because there’s no using these abilities once. Storywise, nearly 2/3rd of players played a mostly “good” run in Act 1. Players are mostly choosing to save the grove from its big threat. You can see more of what that means in the full post, but there will be spoilers for Act 1.

Character creation stats and Gale The Wizard of Waterdeep

Gale from Baldur's Gate 3 being a dork
(Larian Studios)

In BG3, players can choose to play as an Origin Character character (premade), or their own. (With or without The Dark Urge). Unsurprisingly, Larian Studios revealed that 97% of players choose to make their own characters. Unless you remembered to change the name (or just didn’t want to) this character’s name is Tav. For those that chose to pick an Origin Character (7% or roughly 115,175 plays), one out of every four picked Gale. I’m not sure if it was the sparkling earring or the fact that he’s super charismatic with a compelling quest. Gale showed up a LOT in the stats for a character a lot of people complain about. Maybe it’s because he’s the 7th cause of death for most players, too.

Speaking of player deaths, Larian shared that 12% of deaths were caused by friendly fire.

@larianstudios So, who are you making first? #baldursgate3 #gamingontiktok #gaming #dnd #dndtiktok #gamingtiktok #character ♬ For movie / picture / action / suspense – G-axis sound music

First, let’s talk about character creation. This is where we picked race, class, subclass, and all the cosmetics. About 10% of players spent over an hour on this menu making their pièce de résistance. (Probably making sure the hair is perfect.) All the hours players spent on the menu combined totaled 88 years. Between my solo run (Tiefling Sorcerer) and party run (Tiefling Bard), I probably only spent about an hour. That’s because I spent a whole hour-plus during early access and most of the customizables were already live. Additionally, this time doesn’t factor in the half-hour over my partner’s shoulder as he made his solo-run character.

@mrspurplelightning I absolutely love this game ?? #baldursgate3 #charactercreation #representationmatters #clip #reactions #foryoupage #fypシ ♬ original sound – Purplelightning

The two most popular classes chosen by players are Paladins (200K+) and Sorcerers (175K+). Yes, Paladins can be interesting. However, they give off default character vibes to me so this was weird to see. At the very end of the spectrum, Druids (120K) and Clerics (60K) rank dead last. Interestingly, Clerics rank among the most popular D&D classes. However, I could understand skipping that option if you already know Shadowheart (a Trickster Cleric) can be in your party early on. By accepting Withers into your camp, you can change your class and respec later in the game if you don’t like your original character’s abilities.

Top class and race picks for the first week release of Baldur's Gate III.
(Larian Studios)

Race-wise (also known as species in D&D as ‘species’), the stats were split up into thirds with Half Elves, Humans, and Elves each cracking well over 250K players. Next came Dragonborn, Tielfing, and Drow at about 200K. Unfortunately, with the exception of Githyanki (who placed dead last at 30K) the shorter your race, the less likely you’re going to be chosen by players. These choices probably aren’t utilitarian based on weight and size otherwise more than 100K would’ve chosen Half-Orc. While no one in any play-throughs (solo or with friends) chose Dwarf, Halfling, or Githanki, I find myself shapeshifting to them the most. Seeing how Githanki and Gnomes work, I might play as one of them in the future. They need love!

Let’s talk about you and me

The only SFW image I have of me and Lae'zel from 'Baldur's Gate 3' is her holding my hand.

While Larian Studios doesn’t like to kiss and tell, they do like to embarrass everyone. They revealed almost 100,000 players have been rejected by Astarion. They also added that they “expect that number to climb.” I believe it! Since I first learned you could romance characters, I immediately jumped to get to know Astarion. It took me well over 10+ reloads (during an event) in early access before he invited me to bed. I’m kinda an expert now because I only had to try twice since BG3‘s full release. (I’m not sure if the first failure counts towards this 100K.)

@ttvkennkneee we’re really shooting our shot and failing out here #baldursgate #baldursgate3 #astarion #bg3 ♬ original sound – Kenny

Since the full game was released, I’ve found myself flirting with many characters (except Shadowheart). In my solo run, I kissed Wyll at the party, hit on Halsin, and spent the night with Astarion. I became a save-scummer (and wear it proudly) trying to make Astarion happy. He’s very fickle at first as sass and cutting words surely seem like a defensive mechanism. Despite this, he’s not jealous of my relationship/not-a-relationship with Lae’zel. She does not like labels but does like our friends-with-benefits arrangements.

@dmotta3 #gaming #videogames #baldursgate3 ♬ original sound – dmotta

Most players have tried to romance Shadowheart (including fellow TMS writer Madeline Carpou), followed by Gale. One of my favorite sub-genres of BG3 content online is seeing just how many people (particularly cis-straight men) try to win Lae’zel’s favor only for their characters to lean towards Gale—putting them closer to a cosmic experience. Gale and Lae’zel are both great in different ways. I’ll admit Gale is on my bad side now though for reasons I will get to another day. (No, I didn’t kill him.)

I can’t wait to see how these stats change when the game becomes available to console players, giving us a better picture of how people are playing this game.

(via Steam, featured image: Larian Studios, screencap by Alyssa Shotwell)

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Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.