Baldur’s Gate 3 doesn’t do Harpers justice – but there may be a good reason for it

Baldur’s Gate 3 doesn’t do Harpers justice – but there may be a good reason for it

Baldur’s Gate 3 introduces the Harpers in Act 2 after decent hype, and the group kind of falls flat. It’s not how the Harpers are meant to be, but it may just be by design.

In legends, the Harpers in Baldur’s Gate 3 are a massive, semi-secret group that influences world events and fights for the innocent. Which is why their incompetence when finally met is so shocking to players.

When met during the game’s second act, the Harpers can join the main character and companions in a few missions, and they look like they don’t know what they’re doing.

Baldur’s Gate 3 doesn’t do Harpers justice – but there may be a good reason for it

This introduction is disappointing for a lot of people who were eager to see Baldur’s Gate 3’s portrayal of this group. However, there may just be a logical reason for it.

Criticism of the Harpers has been going on in the Baldur’s Gate 3 subreddit, where a player asks: “Are the Harpers supposed to give me a sense of incompetence?”

It’s an understandable question, as they don’t do much to really impress anyone when interacted with, which feels contradictory to their lore in Baldur’s Gate 3 and beyond.

The Harpers are an immense organization that seem to have their hands involved in most things across the Realms, if stories are anything to go by.

In most any other kind of media, these kinds of characters should be powerful and able to dispatch of most foes. However, this changes when brought to a video game.

In a video game, the main character needs to be the hero, and they can’t be that if other characters can handle their situations on their own. A game is meant to evoke that feeling of power in order to feel rewarding.

If every NPC was as powerful as they could be, then there really wouldn’t be a need for the main character or hero of the story. Or, at the very least, the stakes would feel small to the point of irrelevance.

There needs to be a reason why the main character is needed in the scenario, and having the Harpers be what the legends say they are would take that reason away.

Further, especially in Baldur’s Gate 3, the main character and their companions are meant to be the best of the best; they have the capability to be better than almost anyone else.

These are not just random people who have stumbled on this huge crisis. These are characters who were once the greatest at what they do and have fallen out of favor.

An argument could be made that the Harpers shouldn’t be included at all if the main character and friends needed to look stronger, but that would be difficult to do as they are a heavy influence in a lot of what is going on in the world.

It’s a near-impossible issue to resolve for Larian, and Baldur’s Gate 3 certainly doesn’t suffer for it. At the end of the day, it’s a game that is meant to entertain, and it does that in spades.

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