I joined this forum in Oct specifically to make this post . Others have posted similar improvement ideas since then and I think that is great. Maybe if enough people make similar or even the same suggestions, Larian will listen.
I thought I would make some updates to my primary post before moving on to Cyberpunk for a while. Companions Help with traps/locks:
Originally I suggested after being stopped from setting off a trap, that "the most qualified" person should speak up. In retrospect, it is probably best to just hard-code checks for the presence of Astarion\Shadowheart. Then if the player accepts help with a trap or lock and they don't have the needed item, the NPC follows up by saying something like "Sorry, looks like I am out of lockpicks\disarm kits". Point is that qualification logic (like inventory scans) can be expensive, but checks for specific NPCs should be cheap. Also recording all the possible voices that may say something could get expensive. This was the performance/budget tradeoff FO4 made and if I added this feature with a mod, it would likely be the approach I would take.
Also, to expand a little, I wouldn't limit "Help" to traps and locks. For example, OneManArmy brought up the scenario of approaching someone who is injured. Have a check for Shadowheart (or future ranger companion) and have them pipe in and offer to help. But again, for budget and time reasons, I would simply check for specific origin NPCs... not traits or equipment that anyone could have.Interjection Controls:
I would like to change this to Interjection/Reaction Controls
. In BG3, you have both interjections that happen mid dialogue and reactions that happen afterwards. Reactions are when an exclamation point appears over someones head after you finish a conversation. Nettie is perhaps the best example of this. Almost every companion has a reaction to how things go down with her, but only 1 random companion gets an exclamation point. Many times these reactions offer opportunities to increase reputation with that person. I think explanation points should appear above all the heads of those present/within earshot if they have a reaction, chained or not. I personally wouldn't want companions back at camp to react, but this goes back to the Companion Dialogue options I mentioned earlier where you let the user control if 1 companion|all present|all companions react.
I know Larian is limiting things for replayability, but I will emphasize again: many, if not most people will only play the game start to finish maybe twice. Oh, they may start the game 20 times, but actually finish the game? I would guess 2 times for most users. Larian probably has statistics on this. So let users experience as much as possible on each of their play-throughs, especially if you take companions away at the end of Act 1. At least give them the options to allow a maximized experience.
Great work Larian. Keep it up!