Larian Studios
Posted By: GM4Him Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 19/12/21 03:28 PM
I played through Patch 6 as evil first. Now I'm playing good. Definite difference. Evil path = MUCH less fun. It's pretty much a more "Don't speak to me. I'm busy just being a Murder Hobo" playthrough. When I got to the Underdark, it's like my companions are just there, now. No dialogue. No convos. It's pretty much just business, like the fun is dead and there's no real interaction or nothing. It's like the game has just stopped and In playing through an unfinished area.

Meanwhile, not so with good path. People chat still, etc.
Posted By: Lady Avyna Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 19/12/21 04:18 PM
If a character is evil its uncharacteristic of an evil character to be too chatty. As for the good character, you could make them less chatty but they should still be more friendlier than an evil character. These are polar opposites. I think currently in the game, if you choose to be evil, I believe Gate and Wyll may leave the party, since they are considered "good" characters. In most rpg video games where your choices matter, they also have consequences from those choices. Being too evil may cause a companion to not like you, leave or stop talking to you. If you are friendly with them, this will cause them to talk to you more because they like you and consider you their friend.
Posted By: RagnarokCzD Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 19/12/21 06:38 PM
I wonder what kind of talking would you expect ...
Something like:

"Hey friend, nice work eviscerating those innocent civilians back there ... what are you doing afternoon today?"
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 19/12/21 08:42 PM
What I mean is that prior to the underdark you at least have some sort of character interactions going on even on the evil path. Astarion, Lae'zel and Shadowheart would at least make your comments here and there and during dialogues or just on the path asking each other questions etc. I went through almost the entire Underdark and Grymforge, and they just aren't talking.

But, good playthrough, they're making comments about things all the time. "I like the way this guy thinks. It's a bit genocidal, but effective.". Stuff like that.

Evil path? Eerily silent. It's like they don't want to speak for fear my MC might kill them. It's just a bit... Weird.
Posted By: 1varangian Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 19/12/21 09:46 PM
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
If a character is evil its uncharacteristic of an evil character to be too chatty.

You're thinking of some stereotypical cardboard villain. Morality and personality are definitely two different things. And villains who can mask their evil agenda with light hearted chat or purposeful small good deeds are much more interesting and dangerous.
Posted By: Lady Avyna Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 19/12/21 10:23 PM
Originally Posted by 1varangian
Originally Posted by Lady Avyna
If a character is evil its uncharacteristic of an evil character to be too chatty.

You're thinking of some stereotypical cardboard villain. Morality and personality are definitely two different things. And villains who can mask their evil agenda with light hearted chat or purposeful small good deeds are much more interesting and dangerous.

That depends on what type of evil character you are. Not every evil character behaves the same way. It's just common to not expect an evil character to be too friendly.
Posted By: mystakai Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 19/12/21 10:50 PM
Originally Posted by GM4Him
I played through Patch 6 as evil first. Now I'm playing good. Definite difference. Evil path = MUCH less fun. It's pretty much a more "Don't speak to me. I'm busy just being a Murder Hobo" playthrough. When I got to the Underdark, it's like my companions are just there, now. No dialogue. No convos. It's pretty much just business, like the fun is dead and there's no real interaction or nothing. It's like the game has just stopped and In playing through an unfinished area.

Meanwhile, not so with good path. People chat still, etc.


Are you sure you're playing as an evil character or are you just playing as a murder hobo?
What exactly do you mean by "evil character" ? My character helped defend the grove and the tieflings, then sicced some hyenas and gnolls against the two of travellers in the cave, saved Mayrina but kept the wand to control her undead husband. The companions were a bit silent in the underdark, though I am not sure this is due to the path and choices (all companions had medium to high approval) or due to the game being in EA?

On a slightly different matter, is Astarion's scar scene (where you write the runes on the dirt)related to a romance or dependent on approval? I never got it (even with a High approval), though I did romance Shadowheart.
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 20/12/21 04:57 AM
Evil = You butcher the Grove and become Minthara's Lover.

Yes. I'm aware there are other ways of being evil. In fact, my character was a charlatan, pretending to be good and then stabbing everyone in the back.

So, my point is that everything was going fine until after I said goodbye to Minthara. Suddenly, SH, Astarion and Lae'zel all went silent. Gale and Wyll hated me and left and the others hardly speak anymore. They don't give opinions or thoughts or feelings. They don't have anymore dialogues at camp. I especially thought SH would have some serious stuff to say at Grymforge, but no. Hardly a few words. It's weird. And definitely no more Approval/Disapproval system. It's like they stopped approving or disapproving altogether, as if they no longer care about anything I do.

But in good playthrough, where you save the grove, it's like everyone is carrying on as before.
Posted By: Topgoon Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 20/12/21 05:05 AM
So I agree that the "evil" path still needs more work, but what you're describing here sounds more like Murder-hobo-ing, which is a very distinct, "me vs. the world" kind of evil.

At least last time I played, my problem with the "Evil Path" (or more accurately, the Cult path) is that it's not really tempting or aligned to your character goals enough enough - the cult does very little to sell you on joining their side. If you're not hostile to her, Minthara just starts ordering you around, basically going like "you gonna join or what?". At most she mentions that you'll be "first amongst her favorites" if you guys successfully destroy the Grove, whatever that means. Honestly, I might have forgotten, but I'm not even sure why the Cult wants the Grove gone, other than Cult = bad.

The Cult doesn't offer you any solutions in terms of removing the tadpole, nor do they make a convincing case that you should keep it in there (which I think might be the way to go). It always felt like such a jump for my character who's #1 goal is to remove the tadpole to suddenly join in with the tadpole cult, without getting a thorough convincing that the tadpole should be kept.
Posted By: Blackheifer Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 20/12/21 06:06 AM
Originally Posted by Topgoon
So I agree that the "evil" path still needs more work, but what you're describing here sounds more like Murder-hobo-ing, which is a very distinct, "me vs. the world" kind of evil.

At least last time I played, my problem with the "Evil Path" (or more accurately, the Cult path) is that it's not really tempting or aligned to your character goals enough enough - the cult does very little to sell you on joining their side. If you're not hostile to her, Minthara just starts ordering you around, basically going like "you gonna join or what?". At most she mentions that you'll be "first amongst her favorites" if you guys successfully destroy the Grove, whatever that means. Honestly, I might have forgotten, but I'm not even sure why the Cult wants the Grove gone, other than Cult = bad.

The Cult doesn't offer you any solutions in terms of removing the tadpole, nor do they make a convincing case that you should keep it in there (which I think might be the way to go). It always felt like such a jump for my character who's #1 goal is to remove the tadpole to suddenly join in with the tadpole cult, without getting a thorough convincing that the tadpole should be kept.

I think the problem is one of assuming that the rewards are the only reason to align with the goblins. There are RP and POV reasons to align with them as well. Let's consider it from the perspective of those who respect strength.

-The Goblins, Minthara, Dror Razglin etc...have an active army that has dominated the countryside and is searching for the Druid grove to destroy them.
-The Goblin Camp are all trained fighters unified and organized into Warbands. (There is some internal competition but its not an issue)
-The Goblins have accumulated a lot of treasure from the raids they have been carrying out. They have food, money, and magic.
-The Goblins have clear leadership (again with some internal competition, but they are all firmly on the same side and not trying to destroy each other)
-The Goblins have strong allies supplying them(Zhentarim).

-The Druids/tieflings are hiding from and are in fear of discovery.
-The Tieflings and Druids have some warriors and Druids. They are not organized nor are they unified. Most are untrained.
-The Druids and Tieflings are running out of food and supplies, the cupboards are bare. Druids have moved to Goodberries to sustain.
-The Druids and Tieflings are on the verge of civil war. Shadow druids are making a play for control. ArchDruid is being held prisoner by Goblins.
-The Druids have no strong allies. They have some animals and Volo. No one is supplying them. They are trapped.

For a character that respects strength the choice is clear who you should side with here. Its VERY hard to respect those in the Druid grove - as those unable to protect themselves are basically useless; after all isn't that the definition of innocent? What use are the Druids and Tieflings as allies? None. Best to wipe them out and plunder what resources they have to strengthen yourself before they end up in the hands of an enemy.
Posted By: RagnarokCzD Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 20/12/21 08:03 AM
GM4HIM: Can you be a little more specific?
Like where that conversation happened in good play and was missin in the other.
There is no way to tell if you arent just connecting unrelated dots right now. :-/

But when i was thinking about it ...
Originally Posted by GM4HIM
When I got to the Underdark, it's like my companions are just there, now. No dialogue. No convos. It's pretty much just business, like the fun is dead and there's no real interaction or nothing. It's like the game has just stopped and In playing through an unfinished area.
It seems like direct oposite to me ...
I mean what is our business down there anyway?

Minthara sended us to Mountain pass ...
Gith to the creche ...

I mean the only reason to get there is to search for a Nightsong ... wich on the other hand sound like HUFE detour for "no fun all business" character. :-/

Originally Posted by Blackheifer
They have some animals and Volo.
Actualy they dont. laugh
Goblins have him quite litteraly.
Originally Posted by Blackheifer
-The Goblins, Minthara, Dror Razglin etc...have an active army that has dominated the countryside and is searching for the Druid grove to destroy them.
-The Goblin Camp are all trained fighters unified and organized into Warbands. (There is some internal competition but its not an issue)
-The Goblins have accumulated a lot of treasure from the raids they have been carrying out. They have food, money, and magic.
-The Goblins have clear leadership (again with some internal competition, but they are all firmly on the same side and not trying to destroy each other)
-The Goblins have strong allies supplying them(Zhentarim).
The Zhents are not their allies; they just do business with them, and they will do business with you as well. The goblins can be hardly called an army; there are a large group at best, but considering the druids are not exactly a military force defeating is not much of a feat. The don't even control much of this countryside, just the ruins and the nearby village. Any larger military force would likely cut them down with ease, which might be the reason Minthara is so impatient.

Allying with the goblins gets you no real rewards, you just do the job that Minthara has been failing at for the dubious pleasure of her acting like she's your boss. If you value strength, both factions are weak, if you are motivated by greed, you can destroy both factions for their treasures, if you are motivated by the promise of tadpole powers, Daisy gives you that regardless of your alliances.
Posted By: Blackheifer Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 20/12/21 04:22 PM
Originally Posted by ash elemental
Originally Posted by Blackheifer
-The Goblins, Minthara, Dror Razglin etc...have an active army that has dominated the countryside and is searching for the Druid grove to destroy them.
-The Goblin Camp are all trained fighters unified and organized into Warbands. (There is some internal competition but its not an issue)
-The Goblins have accumulated a lot of treasure from the raids they have been carrying out. They have food, money, and magic.
-The Goblins have clear leadership (again with some internal competition, but they are all firmly on the same side and not trying to destroy each other)
-The Goblins have strong allies supplying them(Zhentarim).
The Zhents are not their allies; they just do business with them, and they will do business with you as well. The goblins can be hardly called an army; there are a large group at best, but considering the druids are not exactly a military force defeating is not much of a feat. The don't even control much of this countryside, just the ruins and the nearby village. Any larger military force would likely cut them down with ease, which might be the reason Minthara is so impatient.

Allying with the goblins gets you no real rewards, you just do the job that Minthara has been failing at for the dubious pleasure of her acting like she's your boss. If you value strength, both factions are weak, if you are motivated by greed, you can destroy both factions for their treasures, if you are motivated by the promise of tadpole powers, Daisy gives you that regardless of your alliances.

You arguments are based in semantics.

The Goblins have a supply chain is the point - which includes access to weapons and gunpowder. The Druids do NOT have a supply chain and are on the verge of starvation.

The Goblins/Absolute have an organized force that has managed to successfully complete a number of military operations. They raided Waukeens and Rest captured Duke Ravenguard, they control the blighted village, and the Shattered Sanctum. They have traps set up all over the area outside the Blighted Village all the way to the Chionthar. There is evidence to suggest they are running patrols through the entire area.

Objectively the Goblins are stronger here. As I mentioned, actual rewards are not the issue or the argument I am making, simply who would make the stronger ally at first glance.
In almost every single RPG, the evil path is crap. Especially so in Pathfinder, it's downright ridiculous in that game. smirk
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 20/12/21 04:52 PM
Eh. Whatever. I almost never play evil. I really just wanted to let Larian know that it's kinda weird. I mean, everything Underdark and after seems incomplete and such if you take the "Murder Hobo Joining Minthara" route? Is that a better name for it? I mean, I thought it'd be just easier calling it the evil path since I"m fairly certain that at some point you're going to have to make a decision between joining the Absolute or rejecting the Absolute; joining being "evil" and rejecting being "good."

Whatever you want to call it, the point is that after I left the company of Minthara, I went into the Underdark, and the next thing I know, all my companions are silent. No additional interactions.
Mmm yeah... I truly hope they do make ALL routes interesting in the end, for sure.

In case of evil routes, I think it would be awesome if you can take a "manipulative" evil route where you turn factions and powers against each other and capitalize on the outcome, opportunistic like.
Posted By: RagnarokCzD Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 20/12/21 06:29 PM
Personaly i like it as it is and i hope it will stay as it is ...
My characters have enough reason to follow both pathes respectively ... and quite honestly if some player feels "not motivated enough to follow this quest" ... then he probably should not follow that quest, his own loss i would say. :-/
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 20/12/21 07:50 PM
Originally Posted by andreasrylander
Mmm yeah... I truly hope they do make ALL routes interesting in the end, for sure.

In case of evil routes, I think it would be awesome if you can take a "manipulative" evil route where you turn factions and powers against each other and capitalize on the outcome, opportunistic like.

Oh, I loved the ability to choose already. Oh how manipulative! Save Sazza, but that doesn't mean you're evil. You could pretend to be on Minthara's side and say you'll help her only to stab her in the back at the gate. Or, you can manipulate all your companions into thinking that's what you're doing only to help Minthara wipe out the Grove. I loved the different ways it could go.

But that's what I'm saying. There's nothing else after that. I guess maybe say you're helping Spaw only to murder him, but it's not quite the same. And the point is that by that point none of your companions even give their opinions. I choose to side with Spaw, not a word from Astarion. I choose to help Glut? Not a word. They just don't talk anymore. They're just there, always watching but it's like their personalities died with the tieflings and druids.

BTW. SO can't wait for the HALF ORC Minthara tells you to go meet on the road. 🥰🙏. Next patch please. Half orc and Cursed Land path please. And please throw in gnomes, barbarians, monks and paladins...

And Karlach and Minthara as playable companions. 🥰🙏
Originally Posted by Blackheifer
Objectively the Goblins are stronger here. As I mentioned, actual rewards are not the issue or the argument I am making, simply who would make the stronger ally at first glance.
So what if the goblins are stronger than the druids? This still doesn't make them strong enough to be an interesting option to ally with, except if you play as Astarion. Because he is the only character for whom the alternative is worse. But for everyone else? The absolute cultists are blissfully unaware that they are just being used, and might end up as either food or mindflayers. As such, they don't even have valuable information on how to get rid of the tadpole before you end up same as them.
Posted By: Blackheifer Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 21/12/21 12:32 AM
Originally Posted by ash elemental
Originally Posted by Blackheifer
Objectively the Goblins are stronger here. As I mentioned, actual rewards are not the issue or the argument I am making, simply who would make the stronger ally at first glance.
So what if the goblins are stronger than the druids? This still doesn't make them strong enough to be an interesting option to ally with, except if you play as Astarion. Because he is the only character for whom the alternative is worse. But for everyone else? The absolute cultists are blissfully unaware that they are just being used, and might end up as either food or mindflayers. As such, they don't even have valuable information on how to get rid of the tadpole before you end up same as them.

You are sort of starting to get it.

This entire exercise was predicated on looking at it from the perspective of an evil character that values strength and power over other considerations. A character that would look at the weak being destroyed as part of the natural order of things and even from their perspective as an ultimate good.

Both Lae'zel and Astarion would look at things like that.
Posted By: Sozz Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 21/12/21 03:56 AM
I think most characters' prime directive is finding a cure to the tadpole in our head, if you want to make the evil path more compelling, draw more, and more clear, lines between how they might be able to provide that. It's something you have to do especially considering goblins are typically buffoonish opponents.

Also currently aligning yourself with the goblins requires, without some metagaming anyway, turning down your first clear lead (Halsin) and taking for granted that you're loyalty to the people responsible for your plight will reward you for siding with them, this in the context of having been implanted with a mind controlling brain parasite.

None of our evil characters seem too interested in joining the goblins, Astarion is intrigued by the Priestess Gut, but he's also the only guy so far who doesn't want our tadpole removed. I guess this is a long walk to arrive at a conclusion that I can only think of Chaotic Evil characters not being interested in finding a cure. Though I'm not sure how a non-gith Lae'zel would figure the pros and cons of joining the Absolute.

I've spoken a little bit about this, how choosing to help the grove doesn't mean you're good, because it still makes sense for a self-interested characters. This whole grove/goblin conflict should only interest good characters, people interested in intervening for the sake of others, for evil characters your questions about power and strength would presumably be secondary to your own self-preservation.

Edit: I saw this mentioned somewhere, but making us able to side with the goblins in the first fight would also be a serious improvement. Is that possible?
Posted By: Blackheifer Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 21/12/21 04:25 AM
Originally Posted by Sozz
I think most characters' prime directive is finding a cure to the tadpole in our head, if you want to make the evil path more compelling, draw more, and more clear, lines between how they might be able to provide that. It's something you have to do especially considering goblins are typically buffoonish opponents.

Also currently aligning yourself with the goblins requires, without some metagaming anyway, turning down your first clear lead (Halsin) and taking for granted that you're loyalty to the people responsible for your plight will reward you for siding with them, this in the context of having been implanted with a mind controlling brain parasite.

None of our evil characters seem too interested in joining the goblins, Astarion is intrigued by the Priestess Gut, but he's also the only guy so far who doesn't want our tadpole removed. I guess this is a long walk to arrive at a conclusion that I can only think of Chaotic Evil characters not being interested in finding a cure. Though I'm not sure how a non-gith Lae'zel would figure the pros and cons of joining the Absolute.

I've spoken a little bit about this, how choosing to help the grove doesn't mean you're good, because it still makes sense for a self-interested characters. This whole grove/goblin conflict should only interest good characters, people interested in intervening for the sake of others, for evil characters your questions about power and strength would presumably be secondary to your own self-preservation.

Edit: I saw this mentioned somewhere, but making us able to side with the goblins in the first fight would also be a serious improvement. Is that possible?

I would say evil is not a monoculture. There is the kind of evil that values self-preservation over everything else, but Githyanki are not like that. They are literally the type of evil that values strength and imposes those values on the multiverse. To a Githyanki, anyone who cannot impress them with their martial prowess and ability to defend themselves is just a future thrall they have to deal with. This informs their worldview and is key to their ability to survive in such an inimical environment.
Posted By: Niara Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 21/12/21 04:35 AM
Being good or evil is not about whether you save the box of puppies or burn down the orphanage - it's about Why you saved the box of puppies and burned down the orphanage.
Posted By: Sozz Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 21/12/21 04:40 AM
If you're taking issue with the self-preservation angle, I don't think we disagree.

I see Lawful alignments as being about hierarchies that preserve larger groups above individual interest, and the difference between Lawful Good and Lawful Evil being about how those hierarchies are formed and enforced. The Gith are a highly militarized society with divinely enforced lines of authority, which is why Lae'zel isn't about to sign up with the Absolute without serious cause (and why our encounter with the kithrak is so fraught narratively)

But for any Joe Tyrant to come along what exactly does the goblin horde really have to offer? What group is Tav a part of that he's willing to sacrifice himself to preserve it. For Lae'zel sacrificing herself is on the table because she values her people's safety and strictures as paramount, but for any Lawful Evil character on their own, I would assume you're at the top of the pyramid, until you're forced to submit into the hierarchy of a stronger group. Is that something that happens in the EA, are we submitting to the tadpole and it's visions? Maybe.

In short the Lawful Evil option is siding with Kagha :p
Originally Posted by Sozz
In short the Lawful Evil option is siding with Kagha :p

YES!!!

Side with Kagha, cleans/lock the grove, actually join the Shadow Druids, AND wipe out the stain of the goblin horde!

Been wanting these from day one!
Originally Posted by Blackheifer
You are sort of starting to get it.

This entire exercise was predicated on looking at it from the perspective of an evil character that values strength and power over other considerations. A character that would look at the weak being destroyed as part of the natural order of things and even from their perspective as an ultimate good.

Both Lae'zel and Astarion would look at things like that.
You miss the point yet again. Astarion is the only one interested in the absolute cult not because he thinks the goblins strong, but because without the tadpole powers he'd be compelled to return to Cazador and be enslaved. It is about the risk vs. reward for him.

As for Lae'zel, why would she be impressed by those weak enough to fall for a ghaik deception? Githyanki see that as a sign of weakness. And she isn't the only one; Nere will leave the absolute cult in disgust if you convince him it's a mind flayer plot.

It's like the evil characters you describe completely ignore that they have a tadpole in their head and what that means.
Posted By: RagnarokCzD Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 21/12/21 02:47 PM
Originally Posted by Sozz
I think most characters' prime directive is finding a cure to the tadpole in our head
Personaly i see this as one of main problems ...
Right now we have 5 companions of wich 3 are woting for Halsin (yes i know Shadow seems to be voting for every option Gut included ... but you can easily find out that Gut is a deadend before you join any side definietly) ... 1 for goblins ... and 1 for screwing them both and go elsewhere entirely.
That alone create conciderable pressure on both Tav and player to follow this patch. :-/

Originally Posted by Sozz
if you want to make the evil path more compelling, draw more, and more clear, lines between how they might be able to provide that.
Disagree ...
I mean the Evil path isnt and is not suppose to be "you scratch my back il scratch yours" ... its more like "i shall pretend that im scratching your back but i shall stab you there once i get opourtunity."

And that seems fitting to me. :-/

I also honestly kinda like that its not made clearer ... it seems more like a path for player who thinks "what if..."

On the other hand since all Goblin leaders are threating you like a member of their tribe from the start ... i cant imagine how to make existence of that option clearer. :-/

Originally Posted by Sozz
Also currently aligning yourself with the goblins requires, without some metagaming anyway, turning down your first clear lead (Halsin) and taking for granted that you're loyalty to the people responsible for your plight will reward you for siding with them, this in the context of having been implanted with a mind controlling brain parasite.
I dont think this must be your first nor clear lead ...
I mean if you dont talk with Zevlor about searching for healer ... OR you will talk with Wyll afterwards ... you know that your first lead is false anyway. You could then easily come to conclusion that Druids are dead end ...
Then you talk to Sazza ... and you get alternative, even Shadowheart approves ...

Then you get to the Goblin camp and you find out that this group have much more interesting options than just healing. smile

I dont think you need to believe that they will reward you ...
If there is any potential reward you simply take it once the opourtunity reveal itself.

Originally Posted by Sozz
I've spoken a little bit about this, how choosing to help the grove doesn't mean you're good, because it still makes sense for a self-interested characters. This whole grove/goblin conflict should only interest good characters, people interested in intervening for the sake of others, for evil characters your questions about power and strength would presumably be secondary to your own self-preservation.
Agreed.
Also this whole good/evil is too limiting.

Originally Posted by Sozz
Edit: I saw this mentioned somewhere, but making us able to side with the goblins in the first fight would also be a serious improvement. Is that possible?
Honestly i fail to imagine some way that would not feel forced.
Do you have anythin specific in mind?
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 21/12/21 03:06 PM
Wow. Sorry for the confusion. I just assumed everyone was calling it the "evil" path if you sided with Minthara.

So, yes, there are a gazillion ways to be evil. Robbing the tieflings of all their goods, murdering them just for the sake of murdering them. Manipulating people to get what you want and stepping on everyone to get where you want to go.

We could go on and on. It's true.

Honestly, I think there needs to be more dialogue options for good and evil both in most scenarios in the game. For example, why can I not save Sazza but first explain to Arca and my own companions that my motivation for doing so is to use Sazza to get into the goblin camp easier? I mean, that was my very first thought in the game when I encountered this situation on my first playthrough. I was thinking, "Yes! Trick the stupid goblin into guiding me right to Minthara, and then I'll kill Minthara in her own chambers right under the noses of all the goblins and their leaders." That's just smart strategy for the good path.

You know what also makes sense whether you're good or evil? Not fighting a horde of goblins or trying to kill their leaders in the heart of their camp with only a party of 4. It makes a whole lot more sense to lure Minthara to the grove so that you have help killing Minthara and her host of goblins and you have the advantage of a gate and walls and explosive traps. Whether "good" or "evil," that's just a smarter move than trying to kill all the baddies in the heart of their lair with a gazillion of them around and only 4 party members.

And yes, it makes absolutely no sense to really join Minthara. That part alone needs more work. It's almost like she just orders you to obey, and you just do it like a dumb thug. No promises for greater power or anything. You're just told to help her slaughter the grove for some reason, and you must either decide to simply just do it or reject her. No real motivation to help her.

It reminds me of Anakin Skywalker going from hero of the galaxy to Jedi Youngling Murder Hobo just because... um... why again? Oh, he was having a dream that Padme was going to die while giving birth to who? Oh right. His OWN CHILD(REN). So, it seemed a really far stretch to me that Anakin decided to join Palpatine, whom he just learned was THE Sith Lord and responsible for literally all the bad things happening in the universe to him and everyone he knows and loves, who he was fighting against the whole time, FOR YEARS, going from protector and savior to child murderer, just because of some dream he was having so he could what? Oh. Palpatine promised him that if he murdered all the Jedi he'd gain more power in the Dark Side, which he was fighting against the whole time.

So, in this game, we have something similar. Why are we joining Minthara? Is she promising to remove a tadpole that people are telling us is going to turn us into Mind Flayers eventually and suddenly and drastically? Is she offering to give us the power to control it and use it to become something greater? Nope. She just tells you go kill people. Thanks. Bye now. Only AFTER you kill everyone in the grove does she say something in regards to you gaining more power and becoming something truly awesome. Then she tries to kill you. ???

But, all that said, this post was really more towards how once Gale and Wyll left during the goblin celebration after the grove slaughter, it was as if the game died. Dialogues stopped. Characters weren't talking anymore.

During a "good" playthrough, where I helped the grove, I'm talking to Glut or Spaw, can't remember which, and Astarion makes an offhanded comment about liking his style even if it is a bit genocidal. "Evil" playthrough where I killed the grove, nothing. Why? "Good" playthrough, Shadowheart's chatting about things we discover in the underdark. "Evil", nothing. Is my game just glitching, or are other people experiencing this lack of anything once you slaughter the grove? It's like everyone is just completely quiet once you start down into the Underdark. No one chats at camp anymore. No one chats on the road anymore. No one comments on your decisions or even Approves/Disapproves. It's like, what happened?

Anyway, I guess the point now is that ultimately "evil" needs a LOT more work, but good also. I'd like to be good smart and not have people disapprove. Convince Sazza to take me to the goblin lair. Trick Minthara into attacking the grove and then turning on her, giving me an advantage over her and her army by having allies to help me fight. I should be able to explain to my companions the method behind my madness instead of having them just approve/disapprove flatly based on what I do. Again, I literally saved Sazza the very first playthrough for the intent and purpose of using her to get into the goblin camp, but I had so many disapprove of my plan. I wasn't saving her because I wanted to save a goblin's life. She's a monster who'll eat me. I planned on using her to get into the camp only. So, I should be able to explain that to people like Astarion and Lae'zel and have them go, "Ah! That's smart. Good thinking. Yes. We will use this beast and toss her to the wolves in the forest afterwards." Approval rating goes up with Lae'zel.

And we definitely need more incentive to be evil besides, "I like Minthara. She's cool."
Posted By: mystakai Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 21/12/21 03:13 PM
The Neutral Evil path to me is one of selfishness. As such, my neutral Evil Tav only engages in conflict when the odds are in his favour and there is a clear benefit to him. I think the evil path will be a lot more fleshed out once we have the option to go straight to Lae'zel:s creche.

Currently, my character only fought 3 "fights". I took the easy assassination job offered by Anders after discovering that the target was already alone and injured. I freed halsin after discovering the creche was a dead end. I had no reason to return to the grove to risk myself for any party as halsin already provided me with info about moonrise towers. My final fight before grymforge was the bulette and minotaurs which was just me putting to naturalistic forces against each other to clear the way. Now I'm in grymforge at level 3 with 1 companion.
Posted By: Gray Ghost Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 22/12/21 03:48 PM
I agree that the evil path definitely needs more work. The most baffling part is how none of your companions, the companions who are supposedly the evil ones of the game, are in favor of it. I honestly think that having a companion that's in favour of the Absolute path would make it at least a bit more reaosnable as a path to go down.

The other big problem is that we know so little about the cult. Sure, it's easy to say your character wants to join up with them and stab them in the back when they get an opportunity, but to what end? What do we actually know the cult has to offer us? We only get vague context clues that suggest the cult is meaningfully bigger than what we see in this area and maybe some forces beyond. No one else knows about the tadpoles so their usefulness as solution there is dubious. Maybe this is a path for a player that can say "what if?" but there are just so many what ifs and so little solid facts to ground ourselves in. There's vague indications of higher-ups that you could find, but again, it's all vague. Which ties into another issue I've had with the game recently; that this starting area gives you barely any context for world beyond it, and just as little reason to care about the area itself.
Posted By: RagnarokCzD Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 22/12/21 05:21 PM
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
I agree that the evil path definitely needs more work. The most baffling part is how none of your companions, the companions who are supposedly the evil ones of the game, are in favor of it. I honestly think that having a companion that's in favour of the Absolute path would make it at least a bit more reaosnable as a path to go down.
We are still missing some tho.
Maybe this will get resolved in the future?

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Sure, it's easy to say your character wants to join up with them and stab them in the back when they get an opportunity, but to what end?
Depends on your own character ambitions ...
Since we are only talking about what would be your motivation ... the only limit is your own imagination. wink

Its the simmilar situation as Gale suggests with Raphael, he also believes that he can outsmart him in his own game. smile And that is exactly the case here aswell. wink
Play along until opourtunity emerges, and then simply GRAB IT. smile

Also i dare to say that the same question should be asked for other option (killing the Goblin leaders) ...
What end are we hoping for there?
Sure, you help few civilian refugees that you possibly not even see for the rest of your life. laugh

But unless you explore whole Goblin camp (wich kinda can require some small metagaming ... or just really strong dedication to THAT quest. laugh ) and save Halsin, you have no ensurance he is even alive, nor if he will be able to help you (funny enough, you dont have ensurance in this particular topic even if you save him, whole Grove, kill litteraly everyone in Goblin camp and redeem Kagha. laugh but ofc, you dont know that when you are deciding what to do)

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
What do we actually know the cult has to offer us?
Well ... It depends:
- If you are Drow Male, cult can offer you a new society where you will no longer be taken as something lesser, just bcs of your gender ...
Same goes for other "often enslaved" races, as Deep Gnomes ... or maybe Goblins if they will be included ...
- Protection against ceremorphosis ... after all, every True soul is tadpoled as we know, yet nobody is changing ...
- Favour of new deity, that seems to be quite powerfull (concidering our encounter with her voice in Goblin Camp) ...
- Ensured good status in this new cult ... since so far every True Soul we met had some local leader position ...
- Raids and looting (its vague reason, but can be motivation for some people) ...

And as mentioned abowe there are few things as:
Contacts between Zhentarims ...
Military power (even tho not exactly the best, but still at least some compared to civilian refugees) ...
Allready gathered loot ...
Beer ... laugh

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
No one else knows about the tadpoles so their usefulness as solution there is dubious.
That is not exactly true ...
Why exactly would they "need to know about tadpoles" ?

I dare to say they dont.
They obviously have it ... they obviously are using it ... and it obivously dont change them ...

Therefore all we need to learn from them is (quoting Astarion) "how to control it". wink
And since they do that allready, we should be able to learn that from them. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Maybe this is a path for a player that can say "what if?" but there are just so many what ifs and so little solid facts to ground ourselves in. There's vague indications of higher-ups that you could find, but again, it's all vague.
It have to be vague, once you are choosing between two crystal clear options its no longer "what if" ... then its set if A then 1, and if B then 2. laugh

I believe siding with Goblins is suppose to give you potential, not promise of anything specific ...
You either are willing to risk it, or not. No other option is acceptable. wink
Posted By: Gray Ghost Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 22/12/21 06:12 PM
You make a lot of good points. Maybe the lack of companions pulling for the cult path will change when more are introduced, I just find that odd since these are supposedly the evil companions that we have (or just evilest, since I don't think Gale and Wyll are all that evil, and to my mind, the jury is still out on Shadowheart being all that evil).

As for your comment on character ambitions, my problem there isn't your character thinking you can outplay the cult, it's that what you stand to gain by outplaying them isn't at all clear. It doesn't entirely feel like you get to learn much about them until you're already there in their base doing stuff, and I'm not entirely sure how you could reasonably get there unless you'd already agreed to go find Halsin. Otherwise it seems more like a place you'd just steer clear of. Maybe if they tweaked that meeting with the True Soul and his followers from early on so that when you and he meld minds, you get a better sense of the cult, that would make more sense to me. I wouldn't want that mind meld to give you all the information, but having that be when you learn that True souls are respected in the cult, maybe get a vague sense of how far-reaching it is, and where their base is, that would give clearer impetus to go there. As it stands, you don't actually learn much from that encounter beyond the fact that the cult exists in some form. Based on what you see, you don't have much reason to believe the group is meaningfully organized or powerful or a thing you can join. Basically you don't have much reason to seek them out and try to join them until you're already there, no reason to think that infiltrating and trying to take them over would be an excercise worth your time. It's all well and good to leave room for the player's imagination, but if you leave too much to the player's imagination then it's not going to be a coherent, cohesive story anymore.

This also makes your comparison to the lack of guarantee with the Halsin quest weaker, because it's not as though you ever reach a moment where you have to stop and think "do I try and find Halsin or go with the cult?" It's more like "I could try and find Halsin. Also th goblins that took him turn out to be part of a weird cult I don't get any opportunity to learn much about."

You make some good points about why some characters would join the cult, but most of your points hinge on the assumption that the cult can actually do something about the tadpoles. My problem with that assumption is that no one in the cult knows they've got tadpoles. So there's no way to know if they can actually control it, if they're being actively used by Mindflayers or the Absolute, or if, like us, their tadpoles have just been postponed somehow and will still transform them eventually. I don't really think that it makes sense for most characters to fully disregard the threat of the tadpoles until they have some concrete answers as to what's going on with it. And the cult very specifically lack those answers. We do know that their mark allows access to extra powers, but we don't know why and we get no opportunities to try and figure it out beyond "it's the goddess." What makes it worse for me is that the circumstances of our infiltration make it to where we can't actually ask questions that would give us all this information. There should at least be journals and bits of text we can find that give us more insight. The fact that they're in the dark about being tadpoled means that it's even more likely they're being manipulated by some mysterious entity you know nothing about. If they did know they were tadpoled then that at least puts them in a position of potentially having more information than you, thus making them a somewhat reliable source of information. But as it is now, the information they actually have is shrouded behind superstition you have to work to uncover alongside all the other work you need to do. Infiltrating a cult is long term work, probably a project involving months spent ingratiating yourself, figuring out who you can manipulate and how.

Ultimately my issue with the Cult path is that it doesn't feel like a path written in a way that I don't find appealing, as someone who's encountered plenty of evil paths in games which didn't appeal to them, I can understand that. This feels like a badly written path.
Posted By: Sozz Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 22/12/21 07:26 PM
First of all being evil doesn't need to mean being interested in joining the bad guys, much like not being given an option to join Sarevok or Irenicus isn't a shortcoming for those games. But in BG:3 we are given a thin 'in' into the cult, siding with Minthara doesn't even directly lead to it, you have to side with her, then suborn her into your scheme. The problem there is that, I have very little idea what our motivations for going through all of that is, are we on board with the Absolute or is it just a long con to get us into a position to remove the tadpole. Either option might be interesting but it's also not very supported by the game, of course my experience siding with Minthara is very minimal so people should chime in with how that route has developed.

I think there is one thing that the game has gotten across pretty well. Everything leads back to Moonrise Towers, you'll probably learn that everyone with a tadpole was taken there first, that you were en route there before the gith attack and that some spooky shit happened there that cursed the land. But connecting that with your motivations for either helping the grove or the goblins (but really the goblins) might make it work better, otherwise the most obvious choice will be just to head there post-haste.

As for moving things around to make siding with the goblins more natural:

Instead of having our first encounter with the mercenaries be a cutscene of them hammering on the gate followed by unavoidable combat, move it back so that we run into them still trying to get to the grove, how this encounter goes down could be very depended on how you're roleplaying your character and their alignment

Aradin: quick! we have to make it to the hidden grove goblins are on our tail!(sic)
*G: Of course lets go/fight/hide
LG: Whatever happens we can't lead them to your grove, we'll fight them here -->persuade?
NE: Good luck with that...(Odd, goblins don't usually tussle with druid groves)
LE: You'd be willing to draw those things to your people, turn around and face them or I'll kill you myself ->intimidate?
CE: Things look pretty bad for you guys, I think I'll just put you out of your misery now.

Now you've got a scenario where you might be the ones who kill the mercenaries followed by an encounter with the goblins who were chasing them...in fact in this scenario finding the grove actually becomes you're main objective similar to how killing the goblin leaders is your main objective now...it could work.
Now, I still think the game has not done a bad job: the options and the logic behind them are there. But the dice is a bit weighted to go in a certain direction. Perhaps the choice might be made a little bit more random and/or more difficult. Especially for characters with not highly operational moral compass.

I can only talk from limited (personal) experience.

I was running a male drow character with dubious morality.

One of the things that have influenced him not to join Minthara:

1. he hates being controlled and fears the transformation (he clashed with both as a result of camp talks and what he saw on the nautiloid)

2. Halsin is a big promise; he is rumored to be an able healer and one that can help him with the affliction

3. Minthara contributed to that herself as she did what most female drows do: treat the males like garbage. My drow has been a plaything and a guinea pig of the Lolth priesthood, that was a big no-no.

4. goblins are pathetic, simple and petty (that one is fine with the lore, though and was the least important for my character's decision; it can also be a plus for a character who searches for servile servants; this was not the case with my drow who was mostly about survival).

On the other hand the promise of power is not formulated that well, it can be assumed but is not very obvious. Astarion is simply curious about the cult of the Absolute (but has reservations). Shadowheart and Gale favor finding the druid and Wyll is bound to the tiefling's cause. Lae'zel does not care about this conflict (I think). She relies on a different method of cleansing.


That's more or less what determined the choice to go against Minthara. But that's not all.

You also have the choice to go tieflings only or druids only.

In my case, the dialogue with Nettie was very important how the future relations with the druids would go. As of patch 6, she did not try to poison my character (which likely would have triggered a fight and led to her death). In turn, her death might have led to the realization that the alliance with Halsin is not quite feasible (to his knowledge we simply killed his student, my character is a drow and the druids does not seem very benevolent). That in my case might have led to the theft of the Sylvan idol and likely massacring the druids. None of this happened as Nettie was very helpful. No complaints, just stating facts (it might have been a lucky turn of affairs). From that moment on, my character despite the fact he would not hesitate to lie and steal, and sometimes even kill, was very cautious not to cross the druids. Because of Halsin.

The decision to support the tieflings was almost predetermined. My drow has been a sort of refugee, even a slave for some time, he knows what it means to be an outcast with no home. Tieflings are also discriminated like the drows on the surface (less feared, though). I do not think he considers the children as innocent as we do but it will take quite a bit for him to attack (and slaughter) the whole tiefling congregation with their children. What might have possibly thrown him onto a different direction would be facing extreme hostility (a lot of offensive or belittling behaviour or being attacked). For some characters the promise of loot and the mercy of the Absolute (see the beginning) or even Kagha, might be strong motivations.

Once again, I am not unhappy my drow took the turn he took in supporting both the tieflings and the druids. I am satisfied with the game overall. But if the goal is really to put dilemmas and a chance that a certain character will end at a completely different path based on luck and nuances in morality (esp. valid for neutral or evil characters), then the developers might play a little bit more with the plot.
Posted By: Leucrotta Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 25/12/21 10:17 PM
(spoilers)

The game right now does some things in regards to 'evil' quite well. The evil characters are pretty charismatic and likeable IMO, and the game is occasionally quite creative and extensive in regards to how nasty you can be resolving quests and dialogues. (they put a *lot* of work into things that can happen to Alfiria's lute, for instance). It's great at 'petty evil' sort of stuff. There are lots of great ways to play evil on the small-scale level. It's when it gets scaled up to the main story questlines that it really falls apart, IMO.

The underwhelming and uneven distribution of rewards is something that comes up a lot in critiques of how Larian has handled evil playthroughs. I don't think this is even disputable at this point after the Grymforge patch-the disparity holds true across the board.

You get locked out of three romances by helping the goblins, while only Minthara(more on her later)-by far the least developed romance so far-is exclusive to helping the goblins. This is even without the three remaining origin characters we know are going to be added, and we know are going to be good-aligned. It seems like Larian is fine with making evil players lose half their party members in at one if they resolve the earliest main story event in an evil way, but doesn't feel like good playthroughs should have consequences for their choices.

Then there's how Larian handled the idea of the player siding with the Shadow druids-or rather didn't. Despite the patch that added druids giving unique content to druid characters and giving new quest rewards for helping the refugees and druids, you still can't actually side with them, even if you are playing a druid yourself. It even has dialogue options where you can sympathize with them and another where you can ask to join them, but you get shut down by the shadow druids abruptly and then have to awkwardly shift gears mid-conversation to morally browbeating Kahga into doign the right thing seconds after you were willing to turn on everyone. The process of throwing the tieflings out of the grove is still very lacking (Zevlor tries to kill you, you tell Kahga he's dead, she asks you to finish the job, but nobody else even notices Zevlor's death, you get no rewards for doing it, no closer to your goal of the cure, and lock yourself out of both the evil and good paths, and the romance scenes) It feels like janky unfinished or cut content right now.

And of course the narrative flow of the major good vs evil narrative choices we have so far just isn't as natural or satisfying as it could be- Every patch so far seems to add more reasons to avoid helping the goblins. The new scene with Shadowheart's box, the dialogue options in the temple of Selune where companions point out that the True Souls are brainwashed and that your fate was likely to be the same, and really drawing connection to the mindflayer-cult connection that was already the big obvious reason to avoid the cult. There just aren't many good reasons to join, and your companions aren't exactly lining up to offer support for helping them. Even Asterion, who is the closest the game comes to an advocate for helping the goblins, really doesn't care who you side with.

As an extension of the narrative reasons not to play evil, non-item rewards are also very skewed in favor of those who complete quests in a good manner as well. Right now you can collect several titles and allies-some of whom will continue to journey with you as 'camp followers', but outside of the owlbear & dog pets, these are tied to good choices in the main quests-and even the pets will be upset with you if you help the goblins and use magic to speak with them.

The most recent patch added Grymforge, and unfortunately only seems to have added to these trends. You get several magic items for killing Nere, and nothing for helping him. You gain the Myconids and Gnomes as allies for killing him, and Barcus as a camp follower, while if you are evil you can get the Order of Soul Spiders as potential allies against the absolute, but only as a drow and only if you sided *against* the goblins and killed Minthara prior to meeting him-and only if you mention that you killed her after helping Nere (what?!?)
Posted By: Dez Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 25/12/21 11:51 PM
Am I the only one who thought that the evil options in Pillars of Eternity looked really tempted and well made?

I for one was really overwhelmed how tempting it was to take "the easy way" to power.

I mean, I have no idea how it would turn out if one actually played the evil path among companions and such (as I only saw the options, I never took them) - but I could imagine that *most* of our companions seemed slightly too good-aligned to make for good evil-run companions.

...

Also, regarding Pathfinder. I agree that murder-hobo options are ... Well, murder-hobo options. But while I mostly agree with RagnarokCzD on the matter (basically, you're in charge of your motivation and own creativity), I would also comment that I believe it is the correct choice to include these options just cause "murder hobo", as long as there are other options available as well that come off as... Slightly less obviously evil. I have not made it that far on my evil playthrough so cannot comment too much, but I do know that most of my options have been neutral.

Meanwhile, while this is most subjective, I definitely would say that Owlcat knows how to write evil *characters* well. I mean, most of our evil companions are not murder hobos, (*glances suspiciously at those-who-know-they-know*) but more like charismatic villains.

Anyways, I do hope that Larian manage to balance out the evil playthrough! There's a lot that does not seem quite right about it. :[
Posted By: MrToucan Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 26/12/21 09:29 PM
Originally Posted by Leucrotta
[...]

The underwhelming and uneven distribution of rewards is something that comes up a lot in critiques of how Larian has handled evil playthroughs. I don't think this is even disputable at this point after the Grymforge patch-the disparity holds true across the board.

[...]

Excellent post, and mirrors a lot of my thoughts exactly, especially with regards to the lack of consequences for the good characters. In comparison to how much you lose by siding with the goblins, the evil companions are very tolerant of our good deeds. grin Having finished my latest playthrough of Patch 6 on the so-called "evil path", I felt compelled to share my issues with the direction of narrative and quest design in BG3, and it's gratifying to see other people echoing similar sentiments.

So to add onto what has already been said regarding item, companion, and narrative rewards and punishments, the variety of quests currently available is quite bad for an evil (or even a non-evil non-heroic) playthrough as well.

Quest-wise, there just isn't enough to do if you're playing something as simple as a cookie-cutter self-interested NE character. Why should he care about what happens to Mayrina, or risk himself entering a burning building, or waste his money buying some artist’s freedom? He shouldn’t and he doesn’t. The logical course of action, then, is to skip those quests altogether. That’s fine by me, I don’t mind locking myself out of content based on my character, it’s a part of roleplaying after all. The problem is, there is no balance. If I skip everything that an overall evil character would have no interest in, I’m skipping most of what is currently in the game. In contrast, there are almost no such considerations for overall good characters. The only things that would give a good character pause are helping the Zhents and Glut. Those are the only significant quests a good character may want to skip to keep to their alignment. Even then, you can do most of the Zhent questline without knowing about the hideout, and if you turn down Glut you can continue Spaw's quest uninterrupted. For evil characters however, entire questlines and all rewards are skipped because there is little reason to engage in the first place. How is that fair?

It’s true that this can be less of a problem if you use your imagination. It’s possible to justify some things to yourself, I certainly do. We’re not here to save Mayrina, we’re just raiding the hag’s basement for magical artifacts to feed to Gale – even though the game still treats us as if we’re here for Mayrina, never mind that we killed her brothers and never expressed any interest in her situation to Ethel. My Baldurian character is buying the artist because he happens to know who Oskar and his patroness are, and thinks this may be a useful connection to make – even though he shows no sign of recognition until Oskar actually names himself, and furthermore it makes no sense to let him travel alone on the roads infested with goblins and gnolls if my character plans to use him for favors. Still, some things are harder to justify – Waukeen’s Rest stands perpetually burning because I can’t find the reason to even talk to the Flaming Fist storming the front door, lest they try to rope the party into helping. And why should I have to do any of this in the first place? Why should I have to twist my reasoning into pretzels and ignore how the game reacts to me just to properly roleplay my character without skipping most of what’s available, when good characters get the majority of the game's content, most of which feels natural to pursue without resorting to mental gymnastics?

Ideally, in an RPG that gives you alignment options, being overall good and overall evil should balance out. Otherwise, there is no reason to play one over the other, as one will always be a strictly better experience. Some quests make sense to pursue only to good, some only to evil; same for earning allies, rewards, suffering positive and negative short-term and long-term consequences. On practice, that is rarely the case. In any RPG, when was the last time picking the “evil” option to resolve a quest ended up giving the player the best outcome? How about picking the “good” option resulting in the worst outcome, or cutting a questline short, as is often the case with evil options? This almost never happens. Most of the time, the evil path is both mechanically and narratively inferior. From the looks of it, BG3 is not going to be any different, and that's very disappointing.

Larian, of all things, this is not what you should have taken from BG1 and 2. eek


As for the OP, I think there may be some bugs at play. While the Underdark is generally quieter due to lack of content (made worse by the diminished party on an evil playthrough), your companions shouldn't be complete voiceless dummies regardless of which side you picked. At the very least, this hasn't been my experience.
Don’t forget roasted dwarf Mmmm 😋!
Posted By: RagnarokCzD Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 27/12/21 10:33 AM
Sory i was going to respond to you, but them i simply forget somehow. :-/

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Maybe the lack of companions pulling for the cult path will change when more are introduced, I just find that odd since these are supposedly the evil companions that we have (or just evilest, since I don't think Gale and Wyll are all that evil, and to my mind, the jury is still out on Shadowheart being all that evil).
I dare to presume that sentence was suppose to continue and say something like "evil companions that we have ... dont encourage us to follow this path."

And i agree, as i said earlier there is lot of pressure on both Tav and Player to follow certain path (help the Tieflings) ... wich also come with zero consequences for us (i think both Lae'zel and Astarion should at least concider leaving us, i mean i would not mind if there would be persuation option to keep them, but they should be pissed off at least ... Lae'zel bcs we are wasting our time instead of pushing for Creche, wich is our only vital option in her eyes ... and Astarion bcs he hates the idea that we would be helping everyone and anyone on our future path).

The problem here is that i cant quite imagine any reasonable NPC that would encourage us. :-/
I mean i can ... but they are either Drow Male, or Goblinoid, or something simmilar ...
Most reasons i usualy use as an argument for following this path and join Goblins works only for main character and when used on NPC, they would imediatly give him "potential traitor" mark on his forehead. laugh

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
As for your comment on character ambitions, my problem there isn't your character thinking you can outplay the cult, it's that what you stand to gain by outplaying them isn't at all clear. It doesn't entirely feel like you get to learn much about them until you're already there in their base doing stuff, and I'm not entirely sure how you could reasonably get there unless you'd already agreed to go find Halsin.
Well, yes ... you do get your informations when you get to the camp.
That a problem?
I mean you were quite oblivious, when you accepted this contract ... only when you enter the camp, and pray around a little you can fully understand how high stakes are here.

And about timeline, it fits to either after you either help Sazza or after you allready agreed to go find Halsin ...

Wich dont seem like and issue to me, since for powerhungry evil traitorous character, such agreement means as much as personal higiene for those Goblins. laugh
After all, this is what being evil is (or rather can be) in my eyes ... see and opourtunity and use it. wink

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Maybe if they tweaked that meeting with the True Soul and his followers from early on so that when you and he meld minds, you get a better sense of the cult, that would make more sense to me. I wouldn't want that mind meld to give you all the information, but having that be when you learn that True souls are respected in the cult, maybe get a vague sense of how far-reaching it is, and where their base is, that would give clearer impetus to go there. As it stands, you don't actually learn much from that encounter beyond the fact that the cult exists in some form.
Well, no, just no ... this asumption is wrong:

Its not explicitly said, that is true ... but once you are marked as "True Soul" the two followers are imediatly concider themself as your subordinate ... therefore you logicaly should presume that True Souls are supperior in this cult.
Also every single goblin starts to grovel, once your reveal your tadpole power to them.
Once you reach the camp, you find out there are 3 more True Souls, and they all are leaders.
Also if you listen to Gut, as she marks the followers, she litteraly tells them that they will not "hear the Absolute, since that would be too much for their weak brain ... only a True Souls are strong enough" or something like that, im only paraphrasing.

I dare to say that all informations you need are there, you just need to read the contexts. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Based on what you see, you don't have much reason to believe the group is meaningfully organized or powerful or a thing you can join.
Except they allready control Selune temple, Blighted Willage, and half of Underdark, they succesfully raided Waukeen's Rest and Tollhouse, and are threatening Druid Grove. O_o
Seems powerfull enough to me. laugh

Especialy if you compare that to group of Tieflings and Druids that for one are trying to rip each other throat out ... and for two are hidint in their home hoping nobody will notice them. laugh

About organisation ...
Im not sure why would you even care, what True Soul comand, they obey ... that is all organisation you need. laugh

And about joining ...
I mean when you speak with Gut, Ragzlin and Minthara, they all presume you joined them allready ... i think this option cannot be clearer. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Basically you don't have much reason to seek them out and try to join them until you're already there, no reason to think that infiltrating and trying to take them over would be an excercise worth your time. It's all well and good to leave room for the player's imagination, but if you leave too much to the player's imagination then it's not going to be a coherent, cohesive story anymore.
Yes, i agree ... and that is what i like about it. smile
Its not like the world is full of signs "Uncle Dror wants YOU to join the Absolute cult." laugh

So you indeed dont seek them out (unless you are metagaming) but once you get there, no matter why ... you can be searching for Halsin, you can be brought there by Sazza, you can just search for the Nightsong (aka entrance to the Underdark for the Nightsong), or you could simply take wrong turn when you were searching for Auntie Ethel, who promised to help you. laugh
Possibilities are endless. smile

Also, speaking about Sazza ...
I believe she were advertising the cult quite well. laugh

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
This also makes your comparison to the lack of guarantee with the Halsin quest weaker, because it's not as though you ever reach a moment where you have to stop and think "do I try and find Halsin or go with the cult?" It's more like "I could try and find Halsin. Also th goblins that took him turn out to be part of a weird cult I don't get any opportunity to learn much about."
Not sure what do you mean ...
But i believe i have seen both cases ... it all depends on how do you play. smile

You can either rush for Halsin and ignore others, or you can just mess around and gather intel first ... you also can totally free Halsin first and find out that he is certainly not willing to help you right now, actualy he is acting quite avoidable to be honest, take it to context with Lae'zel claiming that no druid great talent or healing skills would be able to help you ...
And voila. laugh Yet another reason for you to try this other option is there. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
You make some good points about why some characters would join the cult, but most of your points hinge on the assumption that the cult can actually do something about the tadpoles.
Thanks. smile
Yup it is just assumption, even tho i would say its quite strong one supported by many unspoken but present facts ... but my point is that it should be just assumption, that is one of things i like about this most ... your character should be willing to risk it, when s/he will follow this path ... this isnt and never was ment to be path for people who want to see clear goal before they even start. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
My problem with that assumption is that no one in the cult knows they've got tadpoles.
Yup, that is your advantage. smile
Just as Gale points out. wink

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
So there's no way to know if they can actually control it, if they're being actively used by Mindflayers or the Absolute, or if, like us, their tadpoles have just been postponed somehow and will still transform them eventually.
That is the risk of bussines. smile
As bodybuilders often say: No pain, no gain. laugh

I mean we know they are controling it, since just as we do, they get special powers unrelated to their classes ... i mean, i believe that our characters should be able to figure out that some powers they are using are not standard. smile
So there certainly IS some power for us to take in game.

The risk of them being used by someone, or something ... yes that is certainly there, and its essential part in "outsmart someone in his own game". smile
You need some power character who thinks that s/he is controlling things ... otherwise there is nobody to outsmart. laugh
So i dare to say that our characters should be counting with this option, but concidering it as "acceptable risk" (or be ready to faint away once it become unacceptable risk laugh ).

Last point is little slipery ...
We dont even know if we will transform eventually after all ... i mean everyone presumes it (except Omeluum) but only bcs that is "standard progression" of our curent condition.
And they all admits (except Ethel, she just states she dont want to have any business with us) that our case is allready atypical, so its quite possible that same rules dont aply on us ... sometimes they even admits that they dont allready. smile
That is why my characters use other True Souls as "transformation indicator" ... i mean, they clearly have this tadpole longer than i do ... since i never seen them on the ship, and i dont quite believe that they would be able to create such powerbase in few days. Therefore ... while Ragzlin, Minthara, Gut and Nere are not turning, presuming that our transformation was only delayed, i should be fine. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
I don't really think that it makes sense for most characters to fully disregard the threat of the tadpoles until they have some concrete answers as to what's going on with it.
I dont think they do ...
Its just different approach.

Like having a Tiger if your house ... you can either shoot him, or try to make a friend out of him.
One path is clearly much easier, and certainly safer.
But the other provides potential benefits the first one dont, but it certainly include some risks. smile
(Dont take it litteraly, its just example ...)

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
And the cult very specifically lack those answers.
And i think that is intentional. smile
And certainly hope it will never change, since it would ruin the whole scene. frown

I hate to bring real religion to this topic, but there is some example i think could be used here:
My favourite religion paradox:
Do you know what is the only thing that would completely destroy religion? Proof of Gods existence. smile
It might seem like a nonsence, but hear me out:

Base definition of believe is that you need to have option to doubt. You dont need to doubt actively, but the option needs to be present ... if you cant doubt, you dont believe, you know.
(This concept was greatly used in Constantine)

Therefore if anyone would give you undeniable proof that God never existed ... you can easily refuse it, claiming that they probably forget, or didnt concidered something (you dont even need to specify).
BUT! (And this is a big butt!)
Once that person would give you undeniable proof of existence of God ... you can no longer believe ... and you cant even deny it, since that would be the mentioned paradox. Denying proof of existence of entity in wich existence you believe. smile

(yes im aware that there is multiple religions in the world, but that is irellevant, this example logicaly presume that every person would be offered proof that HIS god is or was real)

---

And the same would happen here.
Once we would have those answers present and undeniable, we would no longer "try to outsmart someone in his own shady game" ... we would instead "follow different clearly marked road to certain goal" and that would be shame. frown

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
We do know that their mark allows access to extra powers, but we don't know why and we get no opportunities to try and figure it out beyond "it's the goddess."
We dont know that even in our own powers. smile
Same story as abowe. laugh

Also i believe we will find out later in game, the question is whether it will not be too late to change your mind.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
What makes it worse for me is that the circumstances of our infiltration make it to where we can't actually ask questions that would give us all this information. There should at least be journals and bits of text we can find that give us more insight.
Nah.
I mean if you want clear path, you have it ... just help Halsin and Tieflings for your own selfish benefits and evilness of your character should be satisfied. laugh

This path is not for "just evil" characters ...
Its more like for "intriguing, treacherous, backstabbing evil characters ... willing to risk everything, for option of their personal gain". smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
The fact that they're in the dark about being tadpoled means that it's even more likely they're being manipulated by some mysterious entity you know nothing about. If they did know they were tadpoled then that at least puts them in a position of potentially having more information than you, thus making them a somewhat reliable source of information. But as it is now, the information they actually have is shrouded behind superstition you have to work to uncover alongside all the other work you need to do.
I disagree here.
They do have more information mo matter how much you potentialy dislike it, the only difference there is that they are not telling your straight if you ask.

Minthara say: "Godess will reward us."
Tav hear: "My tadpole will become stronger."

And that is the cool part. smile
Of course Tav can missinterpreting, im really looking forward to if Larian will have guts to let some of us cross point of no return. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Infiltrating a cult is long term work, probably a project involving months spent ingratiating yourself, figuring out who you can manipulate and how.
Usualy yes.
But since you are concidered True Soul, you are litteraly starting in at least upper middle of food chain here. wink

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Ultimately my issue with the Cult path is that it doesn't feel like a path written in a way that I don't find appealing, as someone who's encountered plenty of evil paths in games which didn't appeal to them, I can understand that. This feels like a badly written path.
Honestly, this is probably what i like most about it.
Not sure if that is bad writing, or brilliant one ... but it feels realistic and right to me that the path isnt actively appealing on us. smile

I mean in real cult they would also not offering themselves to us, we would either play along or being destroyed. laugh
Posted By: OneManArmy Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 27/12/21 11:18 AM
I will duplicate the comment from the adjacent thread because it is important here.

5 DIFFERENT Chaotic Evil character in Pathfinder:WOTR

One of them is a generally positive character (compared to the rest of the demon lords) who can become chaotically neutral depending on the player's actions (Nocticula)

One of them hides his identity (Camellia)

Another very ambiguous person who is sympathized with even by good characters in the end (Areelu Vorlesh)

And only Swarm who walks this "classic" chaotic evil where you need to kill everything that moves, and both the goddess and the demon lord try to stop the protagonist.

And the Demon mythic is also a kind of Chaotic Evil, but the "good" chaotic evil. Yes, there are some evil deeds and decisions there. But we have demonic friends, power in the Midnight Islands, and Nocticula who appreciated the loyalty and rewarded them at their true worth, playing this version of evil is the most enjoyable


How many shades of evil are there in BG3? Before Pathfinder, I thought lawful evil was more interesting than chaotic. Ha, no, Necromancer Lich and Regill were boring. The question is writing and in variations.


In BG3, the path of evil is the path of vile goblins who will make you kill a bunch of people, and then try to kill us. Perspectives are a kind of Absolute, which is not even a real goddess, but just an illusion which resembles Lolth.

Minthara and the opportunity to befriend her is the only thing that seduces in an evil way.

If she was not in the game, the option with the help of goblins would have been chosen by a maximum of 1% of the players.
While I believe in Minthara's ability to save the evil passage in SOLO because she's cool, there must be something else interesting there.
Posted By: Wormerine Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 27/12/21 12:02 PM
Originally Posted by Dez
Am I the only one who thought that the evil options in Pillars of Eternity looked really tempted and well made?

I for one was really overwhelmed how tempting it was to take "the easy way" to power.
PoEs are the most replay able RPGs for me (perhaps aside from Fallout2), though quite rarely PoEs have what I would consider straight up “good” or “evil” choices.
Posted By: Gray Ghost Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 27/12/21 10:51 PM
Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Sory i was going to respond to you, but them i simply forget somehow. :-/

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Maybe the lack of companions pulling for the cult path will change when more are introduced, I just find that odd since these are supposedly the evil companions that we have (or just evilest, since I don't think Gale and Wyll are all that evil, and to my mind, the jury is still out on Shadowheart being all that evil).
I dare to presume that sentence was suppose to continue and say something like "evil companions that we have ... dont encourage us to follow this path."

And i agree, as i said earlier there is lot of pressure on both Tav and Player to follow certain path (help the Tieflings) ... wich also come with zero consequences for us (i think both Lae'zel and Astarion should at least concider leaving us, i mean i would not mind if there would be persuation option to keep them, but they should be pissed off at least ... Lae'zel bcs we are wasting our time instead of pushing for Creche, wich is our only vital option in her eyes ... and Astarion bcs he hates the idea that we would be helping everyone and anyone on our future path).

The problem here is that i cant quite imagine any reasonable NPC that would encourage us. :-/
I mean i can ... but they are either Drow Male, or Goblinoid, or something simmilar ...
Most reasons i usualy use as an argument for following this path and join Goblins works only for main character and when used on NPC, they would imediatly give him "potential traitor" mark on his forehead. laugh

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
As for your comment on character ambitions, my problem there isn't your character thinking you can outplay the cult, it's that what you stand to gain by outplaying them isn't at all clear. It doesn't entirely feel like you get to learn much about them until you're already there in their base doing stuff, and I'm not entirely sure how you could reasonably get there unless you'd already agreed to go find Halsin.
Well, yes ... you do get your informations when you get to the camp.
That a problem?
I mean you were quite oblivious, when you accepted this contract ... only when you enter the camp, and pray around a little you can fully understand how high stakes are here.

And about timeline, it fits to either after you either help Sazza or after you allready agreed to go find Halsin ...

Wich dont seem like and issue to me, since for powerhungry evil traitorous character, such agreement means as much as personal higiene for those Goblins. laugh
After all, this is what being evil is (or rather can be) in my eyes ... see and opourtunity and use it. wink

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Maybe if they tweaked that meeting with the True Soul and his followers from early on so that when you and he meld minds, you get a better sense of the cult, that would make more sense to me. I wouldn't want that mind meld to give you all the information, but having that be when you learn that True souls are respected in the cult, maybe get a vague sense of how far-reaching it is, and where their base is, that would give clearer impetus to go there. As it stands, you don't actually learn much from that encounter beyond the fact that the cult exists in some form.
Well, no, just no ... this asumption is wrong:

Its not explicitly said, that is true ... but once you are marked as "True Soul" the two followers are imediatly concider themself as your subordinate ... therefore you logicaly should presume that True Souls are supperior in this cult.
Also every single goblin starts to grovel, once your reveal your tadpole power to them.
Once you reach the camp, you find out there are 3 more True Souls, and they all are leaders.
Also if you listen to Gut, as she marks the followers, she litteraly tells them that they will not "hear the Absolute, since that would be too much for their weak brain ... only a True Souls are strong enough" or something like that, im only paraphrasing.

I dare to say that all informations you need are there, you just need to read the contexts. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Based on what you see, you don't have much reason to believe the group is meaningfully organized or powerful or a thing you can join.
Except they allready control Selune temple, Blighted Willage, and half of Underdark, they succesfully raided Waukeen's Rest and Tollhouse, and are threatening Druid Grove. O_o
Seems powerfull enough to me. laugh

Especialy if you compare that to group of Tieflings and Druids that for one are trying to rip each other throat out ... and for two are hidint in their home hoping nobody will notice them. laugh

About organisation ...
Im not sure why would you even care, what True Soul comand, they obey ... that is all organisation you need. laugh

And about joining ...
I mean when you speak with Gut, Ragzlin and Minthara, they all presume you joined them allready ... i think this option cannot be clearer. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Basically you don't have much reason to seek them out and try to join them until you're already there, no reason to think that infiltrating and trying to take them over would be an excercise worth your time. It's all well and good to leave room for the player's imagination, but if you leave too much to the player's imagination then it's not going to be a coherent, cohesive story anymore.
Yes, i agree ... and that is what i like about it. smile
Its not like the world is full of signs "Uncle Dror wants YOU to join the Absolute cult." laugh

So you indeed dont seek them out (unless you are metagaming) but once you get there, no matter why ... you can be searching for Halsin, you can be brought there by Sazza, you can just search for the Nightsong (aka entrance to the Underdark for the Nightsong), or you could simply take wrong turn when you were searching for Auntie Ethel, who promised to help you. laugh
Possibilities are endless. smile

Also, speaking about Sazza ...
I believe she were advertising the cult quite well. laugh

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
This also makes your comparison to the lack of guarantee with the Halsin quest weaker, because it's not as though you ever reach a moment where you have to stop and think "do I try and find Halsin or go with the cult?" It's more like "I could try and find Halsin. Also th goblins that took him turn out to be part of a weird cult I don't get any opportunity to learn much about."
Not sure what do you mean ...
But i believe i have seen both cases ... it all depends on how do you play. smile

You can either rush for Halsin and ignore others, or you can just mess around and gather intel first ... you also can totally free Halsin first and find out that he is certainly not willing to help you right now, actualy he is acting quite avoidable to be honest, take it to context with Lae'zel claiming that no druid great talent or healing skills would be able to help you ...
And voila. laugh Yet another reason for you to try this other option is there. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
You make some good points about why some characters would join the cult, but most of your points hinge on the assumption that the cult can actually do something about the tadpoles.
Thanks. smile
Yup it is just assumption, even tho i would say its quite strong one supported by many unspoken but present facts ... but my point is that it should be just assumption, that is one of things i like about this most ... your character should be willing to risk it, when s/he will follow this path ... this isnt and never was ment to be path for people who want to see clear goal before they even start. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
My problem with that assumption is that no one in the cult knows they've got tadpoles.
Yup, that is your advantage. smile
Just as Gale points out. wink

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
So there's no way to know if they can actually control it, if they're being actively used by Mindflayers or the Absolute, or if, like us, their tadpoles have just been postponed somehow and will still transform them eventually.
That is the risk of bussines. smile
As bodybuilders often say: No pain, no gain. laugh

I mean we know they are controling it, since just as we do, they get special powers unrelated to their classes ... i mean, i believe that our characters should be able to figure out that some powers they are using are not standard. smile
So there certainly IS some power for us to take in game.

The risk of them being used by someone, or something ... yes that is certainly there, and its essential part in "outsmart someone in his own game". smile
You need some power character who thinks that s/he is controlling things ... otherwise there is nobody to outsmart. laugh
So i dare to say that our characters should be counting with this option, but concidering it as "acceptable risk" (or be ready to faint away once it become unacceptable risk laugh ).

Last point is little slipery ...
We dont even know if we will transform eventually after all ... i mean everyone presumes it (except Omeluum) but only bcs that is "standard progression" of our curent condition.
And they all admits (except Ethel, she just states she dont want to have any business with us) that our case is allready atypical, so its quite possible that same rules dont aply on us ... sometimes they even admits that they dont allready. smile
That is why my characters use other True Souls as "transformation indicator" ... i mean, they clearly have this tadpole longer than i do ... since i never seen them on the ship, and i dont quite believe that they would be able to create such powerbase in few days. Therefore ... while Ragzlin, Minthara, Gut and Nere are not turning, presuming that our transformation was only delayed, i should be fine. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
I don't really think that it makes sense for most characters to fully disregard the threat of the tadpoles until they have some concrete answers as to what's going on with it.
I dont think they do ...
Its just different approach.

Like having a Tiger if your house ... you can either shoot him, or try to make a friend out of him.
One path is clearly much easier, and certainly safer.
But the other provides potential benefits the first one dont, but it certainly include some risks. smile
(Dont take it litteraly, its just example ...)

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
And the cult very specifically lack those answers.
And i think that is intentional. smile
And certainly hope it will never change, since it would ruin the whole scene. frown

I hate to bring real religion to this topic, but there is some example i think could be used here:
My favourite religion paradox:
Do you know what is the only thing that would completely destroy religion? Proof of Gods existence. smile
It might seem like a nonsence, but hear me out:

Base definition of believe is that you need to have option to doubt. You dont need to doubt actively, but the option needs to be present ... if you cant doubt, you dont believe, you know.
(This concept was greatly used in Constantine)

Therefore if anyone would give you undeniable proof that God never existed ... you can easily refuse it, claiming that they probably forget, or didnt concidered something (you dont even need to specify).
BUT! (And this is a big butt!)
Once that person would give you undeniable proof of existence of God ... you can no longer believe ... and you cant even deny it, since that would be the mentioned paradox. Denying proof of existence of entity in wich existence you believe. smile

(yes im aware that there is multiple religions in the world, but that is irellevant, this example logicaly presume that every person would be offered proof that HIS god is or was real)

---

And the same would happen here.
Once we would have those answers present and undeniable, we would no longer "try to outsmart someone in his own shady game" ... we would instead "follow different clearly marked road to certain goal" and that would be shame. frown

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
We do know that their mark allows access to extra powers, but we don't know why and we get no opportunities to try and figure it out beyond "it's the goddess."
We dont know that even in our own powers. smile
Same story as abowe. laugh

Also i believe we will find out later in game, the question is whether it will not be too late to change your mind.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
What makes it worse for me is that the circumstances of our infiltration make it to where we can't actually ask questions that would give us all this information. There should at least be journals and bits of text we can find that give us more insight.
Nah.
I mean if you want clear path, you have it ... just help Halsin and Tieflings for your own selfish benefits and evilness of your character should be satisfied. laugh

This path is not for "just evil" characters ...
Its more like for "intriguing, treacherous, backstabbing evil characters ... willing to risk everything, for option of their personal gain". smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
The fact that they're in the dark about being tadpoled means that it's even more likely they're being manipulated by some mysterious entity you know nothing about. If they did know they were tadpoled then that at least puts them in a position of potentially having more information than you, thus making them a somewhat reliable source of information. But as it is now, the information they actually have is shrouded behind superstition you have to work to uncover alongside all the other work you need to do.
I disagree here.
They do have more information mo matter how much you potentialy dislike it, the only difference there is that they are not telling your straight if you ask.

Minthara say: "Godess will reward us."
Tav hear: "My tadpole will become stronger."

And that is the cool part. smile
Of course Tav can missinterpreting, im really looking forward to if Larian will have guts to let some of us cross point of no return. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Infiltrating a cult is long term work, probably a project involving months spent ingratiating yourself, figuring out who you can manipulate and how.
Usualy yes.
But since you are concidered True Soul, you are litteraly starting in at least upper middle of food chain here. wink

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Ultimately my issue with the Cult path is that it doesn't feel like a path written in a way that I don't find appealing, as someone who's encountered plenty of evil paths in games which didn't appeal to them, I can understand that. This feels like a badly written path.
Honestly, this is probably what i like most about it.
Not sure if that is bad writing, or brilliant one ... but it feels realistic and right to me that the path isnt actively appealing on us. smile

I mean in real cult they would also not offering themselves to us, we would either play along or being destroyed. laugh

I think we're just looking for different things out of this path. I won't address all your points since a lot of them come down personal preference. I for one find the lack of ability to find any answers at all at this stage to be incredibly frustrating. It feels like the game is going out of its way to keep us from knowing more without any good reason. To me, a character that assumes as much as you say doesn't seem conniving, strategic and inclined towards intruige, they seem reckless and stupid for gambling their lives against an unknown player for an unknown prize. And the whole path feels bad from a writing standpoint. As a story it feels very unsatisfying to experience in a way that I rarely experience in games period. It doesn't feel like the game wants me to rely on context clues and piecing together bits of information. Instead the game makes me feel foolish for wanting answer in the first place. It refuses to give me feedback as a player and expects me to do heavy lifting to compensate for poor writing. It just feels unfinished, lacking connective tissue. As it is now, it feels like it fails as a story and plays into the bigger problem of act one-a lack of real grounding or sense of scope. It suggests a lot of things, but the way it does so doesn't feel like I can put the hints together into something coherent, it just feels like they threw a lot of stuff together without thinking about the final whole. And that's what I was trying to say with my last point. Not that the path is unappealing on purpose, but that it was poorly written and is actually MEANT to be at least somewhat more appealing.

It just feels like there are chunks missing that would make us as the players CARE about the cult. In real life, cults actually DO try and make themselves appealing. They offer themselves as a solution, a temptation that promises something to its members, even if that something is as simple as peace of mind and community, or something like the chance to amass riches and power. The whole first act thus far feels like it's just trying to rush us through and discourage us from caring about the area, promising us things to hook into and be invested in later.
Posted By: RagnarokCzD Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 28/12/21 08:46 AM
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
lot of them come down personal preference.
Practicaly all of them, yes. laugh
Im not convincing you, just offering alernative point of view. wink

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
In real life, cults actually DO try and make themselves appealing.
Yup ... bcs we dont have luxury of tadpoles that will work both as killswitch, and brainwashing machine. smile

In real life cults nees to persuate you to join them, since they WANT you to join them ...
I would say that the Absolute is more like Freemasons ... or some different secret society, than actual cult when compared to real world ... their members are in important places and only them know full scale of their plans (or they at least believe they do laugh ) ...
While they have masses of followers, willing to do anything for them to stay on their good side.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
They offer themselves as a solution, a temptation that promises something to its members, even if that something is as simple as peace of mind and community, or something like the chance to amass riches and power.
Like when they lured that Drow Male to society where his gender will no longer mean that he is lesser creature compared to woman?
Or like when they lured those Goblins to the same, by promising them riches and power while they will conquer the world? smile

I dunno, seems pretty appealing to me, we just usualy dont fit their target group. laugh
(from character creation only Drow Male, and maybe Half Drow might be interested in my opinion)
Posted By: Gray Ghost Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 28/12/21 09:19 AM
[quote=RagnarokCzD
Like when they lured that Drow Male to society where his gender will no longer mean that he is lesser creature compared to woman?
Or like when they lured those Goblins to the same, by promising them riches and power while they will conquer the world? smile

I dunno, seems pretty appealing to me, we just usualy dont fit their target group. laugh
(from character creation only Drow Male, and maybe Half Drow might be interested in my opinion)[/quote]

Do they actually make that offer if you play as a Drow male? Because if so then that is exactly the sort of thing that I actually want to have exist in this path. And ARE their members in important places? Again, what information do we get that suggests this cult has meaningful reach outside of this area? (his area that I just realized I don't think has a name) Also your mention of them wanting to conquer the world actually bgrings me back to something you mentioned earlier.

"Except they allready control Selune temple, Blighted Willage, and half of Underdark, they succesfully raided Waukeen's Rest and Tollhouse, and are threatening Druid Grove. O_o
Seems powerfull enough to me."

They control a temple that seemed to have already been abandoned and let them just move in, they don't really control a village, they destroyed it, just like they destroyed an inn and a tollhouse, which seems to just have been a place where this one guy and maybe his family lived, from the impression I got. And I don't think we get a sense of how much of the Underdark they control until we actually get there, I at least didn't find any hints as to what they control. As for the druid grove, that ties into a problem less with the path than with the game at large-no sense of scaling. We don't know how powerful druids are and how easy or difficult it should be for them to be threatened. As someone who isn't familiar with D&D lore, I don't really know how daunting druids would be for the group. As you've pointed out, Halsin their leader got captured by them, so why should we think their ability to threaten the grove is especially noteworthy, even on top of the fact their other resistance is in the form of tired refugees. We don't learn anything about the wider world that would help us put the Cult and their threat into context.

Oh and another problem with the game as a whole that impacts the experience of the dark path; we can't actually talk about our intentions regarding the cult with our companions. We can't ever say that we're joining them with the intent to betray them to any of our companions, we don't even get the option. Which weakens the roleplay value to me since the only differene between genuinely joining and joining to betray them is all in your head. And when the option of "join to backstab" is one of the obvious motivations you could have for joining the cult, the fact that we can't bring this up is an issue. One which ties into the lack of ability to talk about ourselves and our own characters in game, thereby solidifying the character in the world.
Posted By: MrToucan Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 28/12/21 10:29 AM
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
[...]

Oh and another problem with the game as a whole that impacts the experience of the dark path; we can't actually talk about our intentions regarding the cult with our companions. We can't ever say that we're joining them with the intent to betray them to any of our companions, we don't even get the option. Which weakens the roleplay value to me since the only differene between genuinely joining and joining to betray them is all in your head. And when the option of "join to backstab" is one of the obvious motivations you could have for joining the cult, the fact that we can't bring this up is an issue. One which ties into the lack of ability to talk about ourselves and our own characters in game, thereby solidifying the character in the world.

Interesting thing about that – it's actually possible to talk about your plans for the cult... with Volo. At the goblin party, if you rescued Volo, he'll be sitting in a cage (again), and he'll ask you some questions about what you did and why. One of the responses you can give is "I needed the goblins to think I'm on their side", so joining the cult with no intention of converting to their religion is an option Larian considered. That being the case, it's odd that you can have this important conversation about your intentions with a side character you may not even have access to, but not with your teammates, who had to risk their hides and possibly go against their morals just because you said so.

This is a part of the larger problem with how the narrative is presented, but that is another topic entirely.
Originally Posted by OneManArmy
In BG3, the path of evil is the path of vile goblins who will make you kill a bunch of people, and then try to kill us. Perspectives are a kind of Absolute, which is not even a real goddess, but just an illusion which resembles Lolth.

Minthara and the opportunity to befriend her is the only thing that seduces in an evil way.

If she was not in the game, the option with the help of goblins would have been chosen by a maximum of 1% of the players.
While I believe in Minthara's ability to save the evil passage in SOLO because she's cool, there must be something else interesting there.
In my opinion, goblins are the best thing on the evil path.
Mintara is boring and her snobbish attitude towards everyone, including the player's characters, does not do her credit. Seriously, the only thing that sets her apart from the typical priestess of Lolth from Drizzt's novels is her devotion to the Absolute.
At the same time, goblins are quite amusing and even well designed. It's just fun to have a dialogue with them.
And when ordinary NPCs are more interesting than named characters (And now I'm not just talking about Mintara, all three leaders in the goblin camp are flat and boring), it says a lot about game problems.
So yes, I wish there were more interesting characters on the evil path.
Posted By: RagnarokCzD Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 28/12/21 12:57 PM
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Do they actually make that offer if you play as a Drow male?
Nope, its only mentioned by Drow male NPCs.
I believe i have heared it as reason why he joined the cult from the dead Drow on Halsin table, when i was playing Drow female and used my Racial choices.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
And ARE their members in important places? Again, what information do we get that suggests this cult has meaningful reach outside of this area?
Depends ...
Minthara, Ragzlin, Gut and Nere ... all are leaders, if that is what you mean, so its obvious that you will not start as some lowly apprentice.

If you are talking about infiltrating the curent goverment ... we obviously dont know yet, since even datamining content still can be changed. smile
The only clue we have is the Grand Duke ... and that Deep Gnome, he isnt exactly "important person" himself, but the formula to that rumepowder certainly is important enough. laugh

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
They control a temple that seemed to have already been abandoned and let them just move in, they don't really control a village, they destroyed it, just like they destroyed an inn and a tollhouse, which seems to just have been a place where this one guy and maybe his family lived, from the impression I got. And I don't think we get a sense of how much of the Underdark they control until we actually get there, I at least didn't find any hints as to what they control.
You seem to be forgetting those dead Flaming Fist soldiers all over the Waukeen's Rest ...
There certainly was some force to overcome. How big? I dunno. But to say that they just killed family of civilians would be huge understatement. smile

About Underdark ...
Yes, you are totally right you will know scale of their control down there only after you visit it ... but there is nothing stoping you to visit it before you even enter Goblin camp. wink
Larian even counts with that option by implementing conversation with Minthara after Nere send you to her, in case you get to Grimforge first and explore surface after. wink

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
As for the druid grove, that ties into a problem less with the path than with the game at large-no sense of scaling. We don't know how powerful druids are and how easy or difficult it should be for them to be threatened.
Well, we certainly know that once they find the Grove, they will massacre them all.
(even without your help, if you decide to Long Rest)

That gives me quite good image of their power. smile
I mean there is no reason to compare anything to PC, since PC is "allways suppose to win". :-/
But when they fight each other without us, it should tell us something.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
As you've pointed out, Halsin their leader got captured by them
Did i?
Personaly i believe that Halsin was "kept in the cage" just bcs he wanted to. laugh

Especialy since when you dont free him, but tell Minthara where the Grove is ... he will massacre them all and free himself. smile So, they obviously dont even match his power. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
so why should we think their ability to threaten the grove is especially noteworthy, even on top of the fact their other resistance is in the form of tired refugees.
Well, im not saying that they are the most powerfull military force in Faerun ... but the fact is that they control this region fully.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
we can't actually talk about our intentions regarding the cult with our companions. We can't ever say that we're joining them with the intent to betray them to any of our companions, we don't even get the option.
Except Wyll ... if you have him in your party, you can tell him that you are just luring Minthara out so you can set trap on her ...

But yes, i agree there should be some "what are you even doing now?" conversation ... certainly +1!
Posted By: Gray Ghost Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 28/12/21 02:52 PM
You make good points overall but you misunderstood what I was saying about their power compared to the druid grove. What I was saying is that we don't know how impressive their ability to massacre the druid grove actually is because we don't get a good sense of how powerful druids in this setting generally are. We see them being intimidating to a bunch of ragged refugees, but that doesn't give us as players a baseline. I can guess how powerful the average druid is expected to be, but I don't have any good comparisons aside from the already vague fighting power of the cult. So we have one fighting force we lack good context for able to massacre another fighting force we lack good context for. Your point about the flaming fists is a good one though, I'd forgotten about thim. Though it gets even muddier with your point that Halsin could have easily broken free when he wanted to, which makes judging the strength of either group even harder.

Also to your point about them controlling the region fully, it's a region without a lot there. There's a village they destroyed, a tollhouse, a druid grove. It seems like some random backwood of indeterminate size that doesn't have anything of worth to the world beyond. We don't get a sense of scale as to how big this region actually is meant to be, and in general the sense I get is that this region is just a place people go through to get to other, more important places. Sure, they have to start somewhere, and if it was clear that they achieved all this in a really short space of time that could be impressive, but we don't even know how long they've been at this.

This isn't even just a problem with the cult path, but with the game as a whole, it seems allergic to giving you concrete context for the setting as a whole. That sort of thing is fine for a game like darksouls, where ferreting out information is part of the game and not knowing the full context won't generally take away your enjoyment of the game as presented. In a cRPG though, having an investment and understanding of the setting is vital to telling a good story. I'm all for players digging for more lore, but the game still needs to give us the baseline information we need to let us care about the given plot points.
Posted By: RagnarokCzD Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 29/12/21 10:40 AM
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
What I was saying is that we don't know how impressive their ability to massacre the druid grove actually is because we don't get a good sense of how powerful druids in this setting generally are.
I understand ...
I simply dont think we need to know that. :-/

Its not like we need to compare all military forces in this world, or sort them all by their power ... if one destroys the other unless we help them, then the one is clearly stronger ... thats all that matters, if we wish to decide sides by their power. laugh
I mean ... there is no differene between 1 < 2 or 1 < 2.000.000 ... if your only job is to figure out wich number is biger. wink

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
We don't get a sense of scale as to how big this region actually is meant to be, and in general the sense I get is that this region is just a place people go through to get to other, more important places.
I disagree ... we at least have idea how big the region is:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

It seems to be aproximately 5-10 times as big as Baldur's Gate.
And if you ask me, while there indeed isnt much in it ... its certainly quite wide. O_o

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
This isn't even just a problem with the cult path, but with the game as a whole, it seems allergic to giving you concrete context for the setting as a whole. That sort of thing is fine for a game like darksouls, where ferreting out information is part of the game and not knowing the full context won't generally take away your enjoyment of the game as presented. In a cRPG though, having an investment and understanding of the setting is vital to telling a good story. I'm all for players digging for more lore, but the game still needs to give us the baseline information we need to let us care about the given plot points.
How many information is enough information? smile
I know, that is once again matter of personal taste ...

I like it as it is, to be quite honest ... i have some info here and there, and i need to put pieces together myself ... just as our character do.
And i simply like it that there is option that i put them together incorectly and ugly surprise is waiting for me somewhere beyond next scene. :3
Posted By: Gray Ghost Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 29/12/21 10:29 PM
I think we need to know because if we don't know how powerful the druids should be, then we can't adequately judge how much of an acheivement it is that the cult is a threat to them. Yes, the cult is stronger than them, but the cult would also be stronger than a group of hippies. If the game wants us to take the cult's superior strength over the druids as a meaningful indicator, then they should give a clear indication of how daunting a challenge druids typically are in the setting.

I grant you that we do have that map, though we don't actually see it until far into the game, probably well past the point we'd be trying to decide to back the cult or not. And though it's wide, it's not like they're doing anything with it beyond preying on travellers.

As for the question of information, enough information is the amount of information we need to properly understand the stakes and plot points presented in the story. Again, needing to put information together is a good thing in a game, but to me it feels as though we lack ANY information about the wider setting. In particular, we don't know what our character should know. I don't know what average people think of druids, I don't know anything about the gods of the setting, etc. And I'm not even just saying that. I have no idea how druids function in this setting. Should my character know what they are to begin with? Would they have met other druids before? Are druids a thing that people commonly know about? Let me give you an example I used in another forum. The tieflings we meet tell us that their town was pulled into hell. How common an occurence is that? I can obviously assume that it's unusual, but how unusual? Is it incredibly rare to the point of being unheard of? Or if I'm an adventurer, will dealing with hell and devils be something I'll face frequently even though common folk don't?

D&D is getting more mainstream and if you're getting this game then you probably know at least something about the game, but that doesn't excuse the game from giving us as players a baseline understanding of the setting. Like, Gale is from Waterdeep, and we can't ask him about what Waterdeep is like. We also can't actually ask anyone what Baldur's Gate is like. Everything is pointing us there, I can assume that it's a big city that's somewhat important, but that's it. The game isn't doing anything to actually build up Baldur's gate and make me excited to see it.
Posted By: RagnarokCzD Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 30/12/21 09:50 AM
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
If the game wants us to take the cult's superior strength over the druids as a meaningful indicator, then they should give a clear indication of how daunting a challenge druids typically are in the setting.
Yes, you said that allready. smile
What i dont quite catch tho, is why do you need to know?

If your character wish to join the stronger site, s/he have exactly same informations:
Druids and Tieflings are fearing Goblins ... Goblins are more than willing to attack Druid and Tieflings ... logicaly Druid and Tieflings seems to be weaker side in this battle.
And this decision does not change if Goblins are twice as strong, or thousand times stronger ...

And if you dont wish to join stronger site ... well, then i dunno why do you care about their strength in the first place. laugh

Sure they can be thousand times stronger against druids IF druids are actualy group of hippies ... and sure they can get their asses kicked once they meet first group with actual military training and gear. laugh
But it seems meaningless to me, in this particular conflict you have only Hippies, eh i mean Druids and Goblins ... why should it matter that in Baldur's Gate Goblin army would be decimated in dozen seconds by Flaming Fist? O_o They are not here. laugh

So the only reason i can find is your own curiocity ... wich i can understand, but dont find it relevant to this topic. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
I grant you that we do have that map, though we don't actually see it until far into the game, probably well past the point we'd be trying to decide to back the cult or not.
Well, actualy ... you can see it way before you will decide ...
When you travel through Goblin gate and went west(?) ... there is mountain pass entrance, the exact place where Minthara send you later. smile

But the important word here is "can", i know ... yet i still see it as good thing, since players decisions (in this case explore surroundings or go straight to the camp) reflects his options.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
And though it's wide, it's not like they're doing anything with it beyond preying on travellers.
The Waukeen's rest was regular raid ... aswell as Tollhouse ... as well as curently planned attack on the Grove ...
I believe its safe to say that they are conquerors.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
As for the question of information, enough information is the amount of information we need to properly understand the stakes and plot points presented in the story.
Yes in general matter certainly.
The problem here is we "require" different amount as first part of this post shows.

It was rethoric question tho. wink

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
I don't know what average people think of druids, I don't know anything about the gods of the setting, etc. And I'm not even just saying that. I have no idea how druids function in this setting. Should my character know what they are to begin with? Would they have met other druids before? Are druids a thing that people commonly know about? Let me give you an example I used in another forum. The tieflings we meet tell us that their town was pulled into hell. How common an occurence is that? I can obviously assume that it's unusual, but how unusual? Is it incredibly rare to the point of being unheard of? Or if I'm an adventurer, will dealing with hell and devils be something I'll face frequently even though common folk don't?
I dont think its even possible to answer the first question ... every person can have different opinion based on what kind of Druid he met, or hear about ... i mean person who only encountered Halsin would have quite different opinion about Druids than person who only encountered Olodan (wich would be probably dead after that encounter). laugh

Same problem goes with Gods ... i mean yes, there certainly are Gods in this settings, and yes they certainly play A HUGE role in it ... yet it all matters on what character you play, since (and feel free to corect me anyone) there isnt any inquisitive intentions from church, that would force you to choose.
Dont get me wrong here, im sure that every God worshipper would try hard to get more followers for him, her, or it ...
The point im trying to make is that since there are so many different gods, and since their followers are so often (not allways tho) able to live besides each other in relaive peace ... i dont think that your character needs to know them all ... i can even imagine that you are able to play litteraly anything between peasant who never thought about litteraly any god in his life, to fanatic believer who prays 12 times per hour. laugh
(That is only if you are not part of some culture that have stronger ties to their gods ... like Lolthsworn Drow)
Sure it would be better if there is any "codex" where player could read at least basic information about certain Gods ... but if you want to play Cleric or Selune and yet have no idea who Selune even is, and refuses to google it ... even then i would dare to say game gives you pretty nice picture by choosing her specific dialogue options. smile

Since nobody is providing any explanation ... i believe its safe to say that most people "knows" that there is some group of people interested in nature, who call themselves "Druids" ... so yes, they are commonly known.

Same rule that aplies on Gods should aply to Elturel in my opinion ...
You can play anything in between person who never heard about it, to person who actualy personaly experienced it (ok, maybe not that exactly, but you get the idea). laugh

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
D&D is getting more mainstream and if you're getting this game then you probably know at least something about the game, but that doesn't excuse the game from giving us as players a baseline understanding of the setting. Like, Gale is from Waterdeep, and we can't ask him about what Waterdeep is like. We also can't actually ask anyone what Baldur's Gate is like. Everything is pointing us there, I can assume that it's a big city that's somewhat important, but that's it. The game isn't doing anything to actually build up Baldur's gate and make me excited to see it.
Agreed with Gale example ...
Disagree on Baldur's Gate example, since unless you are Gith or Drow ... you are curently FROM the Baldur's Gate youreself. laugh
Posted By: Gray Ghost Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 30/12/21 02:55 PM
I'll leave the first two points alone since that's firmly an agree to disagree thing, it seems. But regarding the stuff abut druids and gods, let's start with the druids. My issue with stuff like that is that the game gives us as the player very little insight into this stuff. If meeting a druid should be so rare that the person meeting them wouldn't have any preconcieved notions, then the game should play up that strangeness and let us know that it's strange. If they're meant to be so commonly known that it's not worth giving an explanation, then there should be an out of game explanation given to us as the player so we know what the typical opinion would be.

As for the matter of gods, we as players should at least be given the elevator pitch of the various common gods our character would have heard of. In a bunch of other crpgs I've played, they do a thing where for certain bits of lore, the names are highlighted and you can hover your cursor over the name and get a few sentences of context. Wrath of the Righteous does this for things like gods, certain countries, etc. This way you as the player have a baseline understanding of the world. And that baseline understanding lets you roleplay better because then you're not scratching your head over every new piece of lore that gets dropped casually in conversation. If you the player aren't sure what any of this stuff is, then it makes roleplaying harder because it's harder to stay in character. If you want to play a farmer who's been thrown into the deep end, then should you be shocked by meeting tieflings and druids? I think that in a roleplaying game, we should KNOW, not just be left to assume, the very baseline stuff that an average person in the setting would know. That's what worldbuilding is for.

The biggest offender for me is Shar and the shadowheart reveal. Based on the dialogue choices, it's clearly intended to be a big reveal that our character is supposed to be shocked by. But all I knew about her when I reached that point was that she was a dark goddess that's set up in contrast with Selune, goddess of the moon. She's clearly somewhat dubious because her followers endorsed mind-wiping, but that could just have been due to the dangerous nature of the mission. But I never learn in-game what the average person's feelings on Shar would be, so I couldn't properly choose my character's opinion in turn. It's only on this forum that I learned that she's apparently supposed to be an incredibly evil and notorious goddess that's tried to end the world. When there isn't enough information given for a reveal to have any weight, that's just a failure in writing, nothing less.

And with regard to the Baldur's Gate thing, if they keep it so that we're from Baldur's gate, then that's honestly worse in my opinion because we are unable to know anything about it. We as players don't actually know anything about it beyond it being a fairly metropolitan fantasy city. We can't talk about it, which would give us as players insight through dialogue options, we hardly hear anyone else talk about it in depth, it's just a mystery place that we don't learn anything about. Why the hell can't we talk to Astarion about Baldur's Gate? That's a perfect way to introduce the place to us. Have him express opinions about the place and we can either agree or disagree. THAT'S how you worldbuild and give the player information smoothly. Sure in-universe it makes sense, but out of universe it makes it harder for players to feel invested in this new setting. It frustrates me how little about the wider world we learn in act one, when act one is when we should be learning all this stuff.
Posted By: etonbears Re: Evil Path Still Needs A Lot Of Work - 02/01/22 11:55 PM
I hope Larian read and consider the views expresed in this thread, as it provides a reasonable sampling of the way players approach the game ( i.e. we are all different in what we look for in RPGs).

To address the thread topic directly; yes, EA as we currently have it is lacking in many ways, but that is perfectly well understood by Larian, and probably intentional. Most video games start with an outline to work towards, with the final game often resolving to something quite different than the original imaginings.

By my personal "guesstimate" EA was released with less than 50% of the content planned for Act 1, and as of patch 6 has, maybe, 60% of Act 1. I base this on the observation that there appear to be 3 general paths laid out to follow.

1. The "Halsin" path, where you move through the Goblin fortress to the Underdark and follow the trail to Grymforge, and ( eventually ) continue to Moonrise Towers. This is the path that seems most complete, but we don't really know how much more content there might be before reaching MT.

2. The "Minthara" path, where you follow M's instructions through the Druid grove, then meet her Drider underling and take the Risen Road to Moonrise Towers. This is a partially complete progression, perhaps less than 50%, but, again, we don't really know.

3. The "Lae'zel" path, where you largely Ignore the Goblin/Grove questlines and instead move through the Gith encounter and on to the Creche in the mountains, probably also ending up at Moonrise Towers, but we don't know that at present. This path is barely started in EA as of patch 6.

On top of finishing these "paths", Moonrise Towers itself may or may not be in Act 1 ( we don't know ), and we will also have an unknown amount of content related to additional companions (and probably existing companions), that we have not yet seen. We can also expect a steady stream of "tinkering" where we receive additional/changed content.

Perhaps 60% of Act 1 is actually an underestimate of the current content?

One thing I particularly like about the way Larian are approaching the story is that the 3 "paths" mentioned above are really more like suggestions than linear game tree pruning.

There are actually very few choices you make that reduce your agency; most obvious being when you become hostile to members of a faction, you generally lose access to questlines associated with the faction, but may gain access to other quests elsewhere. But even if you make a faction angry, it is not clear that that locks you into a particular path. At present, you can happily trash the druid grove for Minthara, then follow the underdark route through Grymforge, killing Nere et al along the way.

Similarly, as you travel around the EA map, it seems almost every encounter hints at future content either in Act 1, or more likely later Acts. Even the dead postman hints that you may be able to visit his employer in BG, and little of this hinted content seems in any way gated.

In fact, the only real binary choice that I have seen in EA is whether you continue to use the tadpole powers to the point where the game labels your tadpole dialog choices with "True Soul" rather than "Illithid". And if this is a binary choice with permanent meaning, we do not see this in EA.

So, returning to the original critique of the quality of the "Evil Path", I am personally not even sure what the "Evil Path" actually is; and Larian did not really help by asking us to test "The Evil Path", while at the same time WotC are downplaying alignment in 5e.

There are definitely a lot of discontinuities in the story as it stands in EA, so I'm sure that GM4Him ( and others ) are right in feeling that the game can feel "off" when following certain behaviour paths.

In fact, the more you deviate from the obvious paths, the more the game struggles to cope with a coherent story. I have even had the camp cut-scenes for individual companions delivered out of order.

So, while I understand that we should not criticize a far from complete Act 1 too harshly, I really hope Larian are aware of how inadequate the event-based triggering they are currently using is for the intertwined stories they want to tell.
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