We are currently playing the first act in EA and I am already capable of getting my relationship to Very High with Gale before even hitting lvl 4 and with Shadowheart after the camp party event. I guess I saw also Exceptional as next level. I doubt there are much further steps coming so I fear I could already hit max relationship with companions before reaching Baldurs Gate. I am also not a friend of quest-locked relationship where your relationship only changes after doing certain quests. But in the the end I fear we get one (or both) of the following outcomes:
- Character relationship maximized already in first act
- Relationship does not change over great parts of game because it is locked to a quest nearly at the end of the game
Here are a few ideas how you could avoid getting into these problems:
- Divide approval into a longterm and shortterm value where the longterm value rises or falls after long rests or important story points depending on your shortterm value
- Lock approval not only to one but multiple quests over the entire story to ensure a progression over the entire game instead of a long time where nothing happens between your characters
And another interesting concept: Make your relationship status dependent from where you came: e.g. an approval of 80/100 could mean you are good friends and becoming great ones soon ("Good friend"). But it could also mean you were great friends and something happend to change that ("Disappointed friend"). You could also say: It doesn't only matter what happend in the past but also in which order.