I will start with a little introduction : I am a roleplayer and -without surprise- a rpg lover who completed BG1/2 (I am still playing this game now) and DOS1/2. I know almost nothing about D&D rules so I may be wrong about how I understand game's mechanics. I am someone who is more interested in story and interactions between characters than combat but to be honest, I found it fun in DOS1/2 so I knew I would like it too in BG3. I usually play on normal mode. I like having little challenges from time to time.
Here you have the feedback of my playthrough (completed by reading informations about the game, player's feedback and watching streamers), a mix between ideas to improve the game and my feelings. By advance, I am sorry if I make mistakes (English is not my native language) or if I repeat things that have already been proposed. I wanted to be as exhaustive as possible by including even ideas that seems to be obvious or unrealistic.CHARACTER CREATION/COSMETICS
1) More faces or facial sliders or both
2) If you do not add facial sliders, replace the face chosen for custom character with a backup one for npc who have the same to help immersion
3) Body types or body sliders or both
4) More voices or being able to modulate actual voices so they can be more acute or deep
5) Jewelry, except if it is planned to make what we equip visible
6) Hide helmet with three options : dialog/cutscene, in combat, out of combat
7) Sometimes, people just want to have a break and leave this weapon and this armor behind (except Swen, maybe) so add casual wear for the main character and his companions. An idea with two possibilities : one equipment slot dedicated to this, so it can be used whenever wanted or only applied in safe places/moments (for example, Astarion's outfit)
8) Add the possibility to change material appearance/colors of weapons/armors/casual wear that have a common lookDICE ROLLS
1) More colors for dices. I have three ideas about it : simple (red for malus, white for vanilla, green for bonus), sophistical (red for failure, orange for malus, yellow for vanilla, blue for bonus and green for success) or creative (give an option for the player to customize dice colors)
2) Hide passive checks with three options : dialog/cutscene, in combat, out of combat
3) Except for people who never reload when they fail a dice roll, inspiration points are useless. Using an inspiration point to give a bonus to the dice roll beforehand would be more interesting for everyone because it would be a good reason to keep them and use them when this is hard (15+) or important from the player's perspective. Another idea would be to allow them to unlock special dialog with companions or important npcs.GAMEPLAY
1) I think this is weird that everyone in my team can examine the enemy without penalties and know everything about it. Examine could rely on passive intelligence checks, with bonuses or automatic success according to the race/class (for example, a drow have better chances to recognize creatures from the underdark than a human) or it could be an action and/or a bonus action done by one of the characters in the team allowing to know everything about the enemies involved in the fight
2) At the beginning of the game, I felt cantrips were strong but later, especially in the underdark, raw damages were so ridiculous (except eldritch blast) that I only used them to finish an enemy or to create a useful surface. Because of this, it rarely felt useful to keep items to throw to create surfaces. I think this is wrong. Here is a way I think it could be better : cantrip's damages adapts to the level of the character (while never doing more damages than a spell on their own) or their damages are equalized so they can be used freely, depending on the situation (melee/ranged) or resistances. Cantrip would not create surfaces on their own but react to already existing surfaces. It would make throwing items interesting if throw becomes a bonus action
3) I noticed I rarely wanted to use buffs (for example, bless or aid) unless they are on a scroll because it felt more profitable to use my spell slots for damage spell like magic missile or heal spell like cure wounds. Maybe it would be interesting to try one of these ideas : buff spell consumes half of a spell slot or remove them from the spells and allow them only to be scrolls usable with the appropriate class or allowing a new resource for buff so I would use them without thinking I waste my spells slots (of course, changing this should mean harder encounters)
4) Hide is too strong at the moment because we can easily abuse it (for example, shove or infinite knock unconscious). If someone engages the fight, characters who are hidden should directly engage after their first action, no matter what it is, unless it is specified that it can be done hidden (for example, minor illusion). Only rogues and rangers (maybe small size too, like halflings and familiars) should be able to hide in combat
5) Jump and disengage together are too strong : I can avoid opportunity attacks and surfaces at the same time while using my useful action point. This is a problem for the characters and the enemies, mostly for melee. You should dissociate them so jump would be used to reach higher spots and avoid surfaces while disengage would concentrate in avoiding opportunity attacks. Although I am convinced disengage should be an action, I am not so sure about jump
6) Shove should be an action and chances to shove should always depend on strength. Come on Larian, you can not tell me Gale shoves as well as Halsin...this is the worst lie since the cake and the tadpole dream
7) I never felt the need to short rest or use prayer of healing because drinks and food were enough to heal my characters out of combat (besides, this is weird to be able to eat or drink something that is not a potion in combat). Moreover, most fights are so easy that I do not feel the need to use my spell slots that much. This is easy to rely only on melee/ranged/actions/cantrips
8) I would like to see these two things added : defend, an action usable on self to improve chances to avoid damages or usable on others to take damages for them (I saw that fighters have protection as a class passive but I did not play a fighter so I do not know if it works this way) and the ability to delay my turn after anyone playing after my character
9) Weight is useless because it takes a lot to have the malus on a character (and mine has 10 strength) and it is easy to cheat by letting things at the campCONVENIENCES
1) The underdark – beach portal always put Astarion into water. Portals should always be located at a safe place
2) If I want my character to jump from a too high spot, a prone ghost instead of a normal one would be appreciated
3) If characters are linked and out of combat, it would be nice to have all of them automatically jumping and hiding when I do it with the character I control
4) Characters who follow should be able to avoid harmful surfaces or traps if obviously visible/detected
5) In combat, I would like my character to run into the direction I selected even if she will not have enough movement
6) Add options for automatic forced turn-based mode : damages out of combat, downed/dead, after a fight, hiding, trap detected
7) Sometimes, I do a successful passive perception check but I am not able to find what my character found. Please, make it more obvious
8) Instead of showing objects and lootables chests by holding the key pressed, change it so I only need to press it once to switch
9) In DOS, it somewhat made sense to have a lot of lootable containers because I could find interesting things (mostly better equipment) thanks to lucky charm but in BG3, this will not work. Because they are mostly empty or full of mostly uninteresting things, it feels like an annoying waste of time and yes, this is not like I am forced to loot everything but at the same time, I will never be assured if I missed something important or an item which could have been useful like a scroll or a potion. That is why I would like to see less lootable containers
10) Unlimited stacking of objects of the same type
11) Reading should not close the inventory unless it triggers a dialog/cutscene
12) I would like to have a tag that allow me to send automatically an item to a character (for example, I always put thieves tools and trap disarm toolkit into Astarion's inventory because he is my rogue). Note that this kind of tag could work with specific capacity bag like those in BG1/2 (ammunition bag, potion bag...)
13) I would like to have forbidding options for automatic looting according to the item type/value (for example, saying I only want to loot one-handed weapon or items that cost more than ten golds). Story items should always be looted, no matter what forbidding options have been applied
14) Spells should work like hex to avoid clutter : I click on the icon then I choose at which level I want to use the spell (the ultimate convenience would be to hide spell level my character can not use because all spell slots for the level were used)
15) For the map, add pins and notes. For the minimap, remove the north arrow : this is useless when rotating minimap is off
16) Being able to choose who will talk during a dialog to avoid the problem of these annoying npc running at the first character they see instead of the one I want to talk with (of course, the character must be nearby and able to talk)
17) When I am out of combat, I would like the game to pause when I am in one of the user interface screen USER INTERFACE
1) I am sorry Larian but I have to tell you this...I dislike this chain system. I always felt uncomfortable dragging portraits this way
2) I was surprised to see the decoration of the user interface because I expected something as stylized as BG, with Illithid heads because their tentacles are perfect for making arabesques and it would fit the game's theme
3) Main interface (map and action/spell bars) are good enough to play but I think it could be better
And now, because pictures are better than words, here you have my ideas to improve all of this (and admire this glorious skill with Paint
Besides, I appreciate the easter egg of BG1/2 with the portrait becoming more and more red as the character takes damage MUSIC
The boss battle theme (phase spider) is the closest to BG feels with the main theme. Down the river and The Weeping Dawn are good too. I would like to hear good remix of BG1/2 themes too.IMMERSION
1) Custom character can use baldurian lines and that gave me an idea : why not creating a tutorial zone based on that ? Like candlekeep for the bhaalspawn, this time it would be baldur's gate for the tad'spawn. Even da blade of fruntieeers will tell ya : a new hero and a new story deserves a new introduction ! Here is how it could be :
- Super narrator Malady presents baldur's gate, specifying that the story takes place a century after bhaalspawn's story (good occasion to show easter eggs or old/origin characters that live their life as usual or Volo, because Volo)
- Then Malady presents your custom character according to the background chosen in character creation. Starting of the tutorial zone when you learn absolutely everything about the game (let an option to skip the tutorial if done once)
- End the tutorial with the kidnapping of the custom character followed by a black fade (or a confused dream) where Malady explains the custom character do not know how long he was unconscious
- Badass cutscene and poof ! A custom character in a nautiloid ship !
2) This is something I already reported because it may (I doubt highly, but well...) be a bug but I will put it here too : during cutscenes, sometimes no character react even if they are next to me or only one of them react when more of them could do (for example, with Aunt Ethel, after she says she has seen worse, Astarion and Wyll have a reaction about it but I only see Astarion or Wyll). The same seems to happen for dialogs that are not too personal (for example, after the fight with the undead in Jergal's ruins, I knew Astarion could talk with my character about it but I had Shadowheart instead).
Maybe this is intended like this but I feel sad missing these little pieces of dialogs that are not too personal. While I feel life's anecdotes and secrets should be tied to beyond neutral approval (for example, Gale talking about him when he was a child) or special events (Astarion's biting), please consider letting reactions and dialogs that are not too personal for everyone because it really adds to immersion, helping me believe my character is with people who have their own opinion and not silent puppets who will only say something if the sun and the moon are aligned
3) I would like more nuanced dialog options. To make it clearer, I will take my example : I play a good but logical cleric character. She usually helps people but because her life is threatened by the tadpole, she is less inclined to lose her time acting as usual (because, well, you know... my character will not be able to help anyone, herself included, if she turns into a mindflayer). That is why she will say maybe instead of yes if someone asks for her help, except if it does not take too much time and/or this is on her way (for example, talking to Kagha for Zevlor before going to Nettie). The problem is dialog options tends to be like this...
- Mad hero who does not care about living because, like Xan said, life is so vain : yes, I will help you even if I do not know when I will turn into a mindflayer and ironically kill you instead of helping you...but do not lose hope ! Maybe I will solve your problem before turning into a mindflayer, so you may be alive after all
- Greedy character who will do nothing except if you pay him
- Selfish character, because nobody has never been as important as himself so he will never care directly about your quest
Murderhobo character, because Boooal said murder is fun (Is it still useful to put an attack option when we already have the attack button...?)
So I usually end up choosing the mad hero or selfish option even if this does not reflect at all my character mindset. Why can not I say “Sorry, I have a big problem so I am not sure I will be able to help you but if I can, I will” ? Why a more neutral or evil character would not be able to say “I have a more important problem at the moment so I'll see.” ? Here is an example of what I have in mind with Zevlor asking to fight the goblins :
1 (Mad hero) Of course, I'll fight the goblins for you so your people will be able to travel safely.
2 (Neutral good) Goblins are a problem for everyone so kill two birds with one stone.
3 (Greedy) Alright, I'll fight the goblins but that won't be for free.
4 (Selfish) Don't misunderstand me, I never cared about you. I'll only fight the goblins to save Halsin to cure me.
5 (Neutral evil) It seems that our interests meet. So be it...I'll help you. (of course, if what the goblins offer to the character is more interesting, he can decide to change his mind)
6 (Murderhobo) A good goblin is a dead goblin anyway...unless...(and you can choose to fight Zevlor right away)
4) In my playthrough, I decided to not use the tadpole options or detect thoughts but I wonder if this is that worthy. While using the tadpole and detect thoughts unlocks dreams, powers and special dialogs, what did I have ? It is like it changed nothing to refuse all of this. I hope not using the tadpole will have consequence in the future and about detect thoughts on companions, I am not sure if there is consequences at all. I saw a video of Astarion's biting where someone used detect thoughts thanks to a cheat. Her character succeeded the check and this unlocked a dialog saying "You ate animals because you were forced to. Not because you wanted to.". Astarion had a little reaction about it, answering "I-yes. Yes. I ate whatever disgusting vermin my master picked. So you can see why I'm slow to trust you." but nothing else, which is unfair. Failed detect thought should have no consequences because the character saw nothing (and it would differenciate detect thought from the tadpole option) but succeeding should always be at the cost of disapproval. Companions should feel safer, more inclined to trust someone who does not pry forcefully into their thoughts
5) I will not lie, I appreciate the fact that every character have animations and a voice but I am worried about the future. Will Larian be able to do this for every character in game without hurting too much his wallet ? Of course, that is not my problem but what I want to say is that I did not expected they go that far. If it was only our companions and the most important npcs that would be treated this way, it would be fine for me because every cutscene would be special while flavor npc would have no cutscene, only dialog.STORY
If I knew nothing about the game beforehand, I would have logically gone to the druid's grove to see Nettie then I would have rushed to the goblin's camp to save Halsin to finish in the underdark to reach moonrise towers, missing a lot of content and approval. Furthermore, even if I would be able to come back after knowing my tadpole is in stasis or after being cured, it would not be the same because there is temporary content. That means if I really wanted to appreciate all the work put in this part of the game, me, the player, must know beforehand that the tadpole threat is nonsense. Because of this, there is a paradox between the player thinking he must find a cure as fast as possible for his character so he does not turn into a mindflayer and the will to explore the world and learn about his companions.
The character should be assured (not a maybe, a real yes) the tadpole is in stasis as early as possible so he will worry more about how the stasis could break (my guess is it will break if we use too much tadpole options) than when it could break. To achieve this, this is easy : Nettie says that Halsin found the drow's tadpole is in stasis like the character's one but because they do not know how it works since they are a new kind of tadpole, she feels paranoid and still tries to poison the character. After that, the player can choose to believe this information and think the character have the time to explore or the other way around (that would solve the problem I talked about earlier, for mad hero dialog options).
Now, about the choice of whom the character sides with...I understood siding with the goblins was the evil choice but this seems to be a bad one, except if the character is crazy and love the idea turning into a mindflayer or becoming a mindflayer's zealot/slave. I think this would make much more sense to side with shadow druids and having Kagha as a companion/follower instead of Halsin.RELATIONSHIPS
From what I understood, approval rate purpose is to unlock interactions between the main character and the companions. However, I noticed it did not act naturally. For example, Astarion acted annoyed for a long time even if I let him bite my character and defended him the next day. His attitude only changed (I would even say updated) when I killed Gandrel. I think companions should act differently when you talk to them and recruit/dismiss them at camp according to the approval rate or, at least, according to what the main character did for companions during key moments. The same could be said about moments when the main character is in danger (the Illithid with the fishermen, first encounter with Astarion, Nettie's poisoning). It does not feel natural for companions to stand around saying or doing nothing, be it good or bad, when the main character is in danger.
It would be nice to have concrete numbers too to know how much is needed to further or not the relationship, though it can already be done by taking screenshot of every approval/disapproval (some does not count as one point but more...). I remember hesitating about how it works. I was wondering if it was a single bar, where points adds and deducts (for example, if I have 2 approval but 1 disapproval, the approval rate will be at 1) or if it was a double bar, where approval and disapproval piled up (the 2 approval and the 1 disapproval separated), but after all, I think this is the first one.
However, I have to praise you for not making it impossible for a good aligned character to befriend this bunch of problematic companions, although I had a few cold sweats at druid's grove *accusing look at Gale
* but I will write about it later in the companion's section.COMPANIONS
To begin with, even if I already wrote it a lot of times, I played a good aligned high-elf cleric who romanced Astarion, with Wyll and Gale in the team. Next to each companion's name, I put numbers. The first one is the total of approval (disapproval was already deducted) and the other one, the total of disapproval. I may have missed some of them because of bugs but not that much in my opinion. I put it too which characters from the previous Baldur's Gate may have a connection, why and the potential path they could have. Here I will only write about how I understand each companion and what I am looking forwards for them.
Astarion (21 – 4)
The first time I saw him during presentation, I knew I wanted to have him in my team and to romance him because, like he said, he is a man of taste. He is a better Sebille (and I already thought she was interesting). I feel Astarion used to be a good/neutral magistrate who unfortunately did his job so well that he poked his nose into Cazador's business, ending in a plot where he became Cazador's slave to shut him up or because of some noble's matter (Astarion may have the noble tag because he used to be a magistrate or because of Cazador but maybe he is a noble himself who mysteriously disappeared for his family). Being an abused vampire spawn for two hundred years obviously twisted him, though I find impressive he did not become as crazy as I would expect considering how hard it was for him. I am feeling curious about how he managed to remain rather sane, his life before he was a vampire spawn and, of course, his life with Cazador. About the romance with Astarion, well...that escalated quickly. I like the idea of love at first sight or Astarion being a little manipulative about the character to keep it close to himself (because having a high-elf living meal who wants to help him is useful, right ?), but I think it would be nice to have an option which allows the character to tell him he is attracted to him but want to wait before "having a little fun". And please, change that "unleash the beast" line. The "bare your neck inviting him to bite" was better and clearer.
Potential previous character connection : Xan
Depending on the story with Astarion and Cazador, maybe Xan would have been sent once again to the sword coast to investigate about them.
True freedom path : Astarion gave up on power, using Cazador's heart to be revived thanks to a god's blessing (like in BG2). Free from everything, he is ready to move on and take a new turn in life.
Vampire lord path : Realizing being a vampire with a tadpole was a good idea, Astarion drank Cazador's blood to become a vampire lord and created his own covenant with Cazador's slaves.
Gale (27 – 4)
Do not misunderstand me, Gale is fine. Even if he is a genius that had fun with a goddess, he still looks like a nerd-next-door for me. He is a breath of fresh air in the midst of all these rightly secretive characters but damn it ! if he could stop worshiping my character like she was his mystress, it would be better ! In my first attempt to romance Astarion, he locked the star's conversation because I had the good idea to sleep before talking to Zorru with Lae'zel...and Gale came to talk about his little problem and that was the end. No more star's conversation because Astarion was pouting, seeing how well Gale and my character got along (and yes, I know it is probably not necessary but it felt to me it was a first step towards romance with him). In other words, this is too easy to gain Gale's approval. He was double approving so much everything I did that I was thinking soon he would approve every time I breathe. In other words, that was very annoying because not only he ate my magical items, he ate dialogs/cutscenes too since his approval was so high so easily. Besides, it felt useless to feed Gale with my magical items after he told my character he thought this would be enough for the moment. I saw no change, even when I gave everything to him (except the beholder flask and necromancy of thay).
Potential previous character connection : Edwin(a) as a lich ?
His vanilla BG2 ending was not, well, very happy but I would not be surprised to see interactions between these two, even more knowing that Edwina tends a bar in a waterdeep tavern.
Wise path : Gayle decided to move on and forget about Mystra to take care of himself and became one of the best teacher of the weave.
Godhood path : Still in love with Mystra, Gale decided to build up power to become a god himself, trying to be wiser than Karsus.
Wyll (20 – 4)
He is my favorite with Astarion because he is a very human character. He was a plain -a nobleman, but still- man who did not always did the good choices in life, who knew defeat and is still learning from his mistakes, trying to become a better person. Because of his pact with Mizora, this is easy to say he is a con artist, a false hero with illusory pride but deep down inside him, behind all of this, he seems to be a good man. The question is : does he like to help people to heal his own ego or does he like to help people because he thinks this is the right thing to do ? Maybe the two are right, maybe not, and I am eager to see the answer in the long-term.
Potential previous character connection : Minsc
Because Minsc was petrified, he is still alive a century later. Minsc is a little like Wyll : a nobody who became a hero, but contrary to Wyll, Minsc is strong and not prideful. I am convinced these two could have an interesting relationship, where Minsc show him how to become a true hero (and why having a miniature giant space hamster as a patron is better than a cambion).
True hero path : Wyll learnt to accept his own weaknesses and failings to become stronger and learn little by little how to be a true hero.
Con artist path : Too prideful, Wyll finally maintained his pact with Mizora and became more powerful. He is feared and respected as the so-called blade of frontiers but how long will this lie last ?
Shadowheart (12 - 6)
She is a cleric of Shar so this is not surprising that she absolutely does not want to share her story and her secrets to the main character. I read she opened up according to special conditions but because I never took her after having Wyll, she never told me anything, though she wanted to spend the night with my character at the tieflings party. I feel she is torn between two ways of thinking and I would not be surprised if she was a selunite brainwashed to serve Shar.
Potential previous character connection : Jaheira, Viconia
It seems that the harpers are looking for selunite fanatics (though this is stated that Jaheira never returned to the sword coast at the end of BG2) and Viconia is a cleric of Shar (this is stated that she found a cult of Shar in waterdeep, that she fought the zhentarim and that she was acknowledged by Ellesime herself)...what else ?
While it seems obvious she would have a "Selune path" and a "Shar path", I hardly imagine what could happen.
Lae'zel (6 - 6)
I am not very interested about Giths but she is indeed well written. She is evil because of her culture and while I agree she is not a pleasant character, I have no doubt that her story will prove interesting.
Potential previous character connection : Sarevok
I suppose I will surprise with that one but I think Sarevok and Lae'zel could share a tale or two since they are both great fighters. Maybe Sarevok will feel the connection with the dead three and look what is happening out of curiosity.
Outcast path : Lae'zel realized the madness of her kin and decided to leave them behind, becoming more open-minded about the world around her. Though she will never be the nicest person in faerun, she is renowned to be a great warrior, strong and faithful.
Vlaakith path : Stronger than ever with the tadpole, Lae'zel became the new Vlaakith and teached all she learnt about the Illithid during her journey. Because of this, Giths became a far important threat to the Illithid and the world.NPC
1) I was wondering why Raphael appeared so early in the game, except to taunt my character about her search for a cure. I would expect him to appear when I tried everything so his offer would be more appealing. I was surprised there was no mention of the soul coin during this conversation. Even if the tadpole is probably more interesting for him, a soul coin has a great value too. I read that it was not possible to attack him, which is weird. How about giving us a more convincing reason like “This is not really Raphael but a magical projection of himself so attacking him would be pointless” instead of plotarmor ?
2) I love Aunt Ethel and her quest but I feel this is kind of unfinished. We should be able to persuade or intimidate Mayrina's brother to leave Ethel alone or at least knock them out. I did not want to kill them because they sounded more like annoying Noober from BG1/bullies than dangerous bandits. We should be able to save people who have the mask by looting them or killing Ethel beforehand. A good to a fault character should be able to tell Mayrina to move on and be more caring about her baby but I will be honest...I loved the plot twist about her being a stupid ungrateful bad mother. For once, my character thought Astarion was right to be selfish
3) Can we have Alfira as a bard companion, please ?
Aaaaaaand...I think that is all. Thank you for your hard work ! (and sorry for the one who will read this, probably Composer