I agree with one of the previous replies of not understanding the hate for Astarion. I think he's underrated. If you choose to keep him, he's actually pretty useful when it comes to fighting. Keep in mind that Larian has said that your choices will have consequences in the game. Once you find out that Astarion is a vampire when he tries to feed on you and you let him, he will gain a pretty powerful ability known as Vampire Bite. That ability will take away about half of an enemy's life. He's also good at the backstab sneak attacks and the powerful range bow, he also gets some type of magical abilities. I haven't unlocked all of them. I have done a lot of critical hits with Astarion, although because he's a rogue he is weak against magic and heavy warrior hits.
Completely agreed. He's super useful and I actually like his character quite a bit--and I do usually play as a good character. He's my husband's favorite too after they had a heart-to-heart about beheading if they began to turn squiddy. But I agree that there should be some revisions to his meeting encounter. Players should be given the option to attack him from dialogue and it would be nice if Shadowheart had a line about not getting involved since she doesn't seem to care about the pc at that point. If Gale was recruited first either a line from him or him actually helping in the scene would be good.
When I started the game, I didn't like him one bit.
I dropped him from my first run because he wasn't really needed in my party. But, esp. after he tried feeding off me and we became friends, I did regret that a bit. His personality grew on me - I like me some more excentric people sometimes. I mean, he's supposedly of noble heritage, I'd be full of myself if I was noble lol.
So, now I'm REALLY looking forward to exploring the game a 2nd time, with him in my party this time