After only a few days' buildup, Larian has released the second major patch for Baldur's Gate 3. In addition to a host of bug fixes and UI changes, Patch 2 also adds new story content for PC Gamer's top ranked Baldur's Gate 3 companion, Karlach.
There's also a new epilogue for Karlach that builds on an ending option already in the game, a mondo-spoilery breakdown of which can be found past the other patch additions.
The promised Withers' Wardrobe of Wayward Friends is here, letting you boot your co-op partners' custom characters when you reach that point in every gaming group where someone is no longer free on Tuesdays at seven.
Patch 2 also brings a host of gamepad tweaks and optimizations to BG3 ahead of its Playstation 5 launch on September 6, including improved radial options, tooltips, and pathfinding. Additionally, Larian has introduced a number of performance tweaks, including the cryptic "improved CPU load," that will hopefully improve things across the board, but especially in the CPU-punishing city of Baldur's Gate itself.
If you don't mind hearing spoilers, more details on that expanded Karlach epilogue can be found below (but you have been warned):
Karlach spoilers ahead!
Even before the endgame, the patch has "added new moments for companion and avatar Karlach to reflect on the state of her engine between acts." These are likely meant to better foreshadow the possibility of her infernal engine being irreparable.
Rather than an all-new ending for Karlach, this patch expands on the pre existing ending where she returns to Avernus with either a renewed pact for Wyll, or a romanced player character. Notably, the language of the patch notes seems to imply that a player character who hasn't romanced Karlach can now join her in hell:
"If Karlach is in your party at the end of the game and the Blade of Avernus offers to go to the Hells with her, you can now decide whether to go with them, go alone with Karlach, or let them go by themselves."
I'm still in the middle of Act 3, but PCG staff writer Harvey Randall loaded into his endgame save to see how the new epilogue shakes out. What was originally a much more abrupt and ambiguous ending now seems a bit more fleshed out and bittersweet: "I'd imagined this outcome anyway," my fellow Karlach fan informed me, "but to see it play out is a much-needed capstone to Karlach's love story. My boy gets to rip and tear with her until the job is done."
More than anything else, it's impressive just how much Larian has tweaked and added to Baldur's Gate 3 in the months since release—and it's not like it felt particularly unpolished to begin with either. Looking forward, Minthara fans still need their day with the restoration of 1500 lines of bugged out dialogue, which is slated for a future patch. Larian has also said that other companions will see epilogue expansions similar to Karlach's.