A new patch for Baldur's Gate 3 has introduced a load of new features, improvements, and bug fixes for the acclaimed RPG, but it's also introduced a shared stash system that everybody hates so much that many are assuming it must be a bug.
Since Patch 3 landed last week, dismissing a companion from your party now sees any story items they were carrying automatically transfer into your avatar's inventory. This is an intended change. The patch notes (beware of spoilers at that link) include this detail: "When dismissing party members, story items (and characters they were dragging along in their inventory) will now properly transfer over to another party member."
What's probably not intended is that, in addition to story items, a dismissed companion's alchemy pouch, camp supply sack, and keychain will also transfer to your avatar's inventory, potentially leaving you crushed under the weight of a bunch of food, herbs, and keys. To borrow BG3's own terminology, it's safe to say that players disapprove.
The shared stash from BG3 Patch 3 is wildly annoying.September 23, 2023
i hope they hotfix the new shared stash thing bc its kind of annoying to get a bunch of shit dumped into my inventory when i swap someone out 🥲 i get the idea behind it but it could have been implemented betterSeptember 23, 2023
REALLY want to see a hotfix for @baldursgate3 to either fix, rollback, or give option to disable the Shared StashWhy would I take a book I'm locked out of reading from Astarion? (Why would I take the legendary weapon I gave to Karlach?). This has fundamentally hurt my game. pic.twitter.com/WlE5VCxNAXSeptember 24, 2023
In a white-hot Reddit post titled "Shared stash after patch 3 has ruined the game for me," user Sylph777 says: "Call me back when this is fixed back to the way it was or there's a mod for it. My main character is not a mule to carry all of companions bags and pouches when they're dismissed from party. And I don't want to play without sorting items into bags, it's a giant untenable mess. It also moves orange equipment to your main character's inventory, which means armor and weapons!"
The intended function of this update seems to be preventing you from leaving a key story item in the inventory of a forgotten party member, which would be great if it didn't also include items that stopped being useful dozens of hours earlier.
There's a fair amount of confusion over whether this is a bug or a feature, but it seems likely that it's actually a bit of both. Getting story items back from dismissed party members is definitely intentional, but the patch notes also include this line: "Alchemy pouches, camp supply sacks, and keychains will now show up in the trade UI and won't be highlighted as story items."
Larian hasn't yet commented on this, so this is speculation on my part, but it looks like those container items didn't actually get properly updated to be exempt from the automatic story item transfers. At least, not in existing saves - I started up a new save to check this out, and upon getting Shadowheart in my party and dismissing her to camp, everything seemed to work as it should. The story-critical artefact she carries transferred to my inventory, but her pouches holding Baldur's Gate 3 crafting and alchemy items did not.
Assuming some sort of hotfix correctly marks containers as non-story items, that's a big part of the annoyance alleviated, but not the whole thing. Some of the game's best pieces of equipment are also technically story items, which means that they'll be unequipped from your party members when you send them to camp. That's going to make the already fiddly inventory management in Baldur's Gate 3 even more annoying, so you can add my voice to the chorus of players hoping this new 'feature' gets a fix.
If you're looking to change appearance in Baldur's Gate 3, the new patch does have some very good news on that front.