Unless this is communicated to the player through gameplay I see no point in pretending there is a bigger picture we are just not seeing.
Well ... i havent seen any "big final reward" for being good either. :-/
So it seem only fair to presume the same for both paths.
The player knows ingame that the Absolute is a sham and its forces are presented as weak and newly emerging, no sudden massive increase in power on the Absolute's part is going to convince me otherwise.
A sham? Not at all ...
For one, Absolute is that magic entity that stoped your transformation ... even that aloe is proof enough of her being real.
For two, players dont know ... other characters presume, or are quite sure about, but they dont "know" since they have no source.
Forces presented as weak?
There is goblin army that whole druid groove, and tiefling refugees are affraid off ...
Duegars seem to have own fortress in Underdark, and they were strong enough to wipe out Myconid village ...
And Absolute have demonstrably Drows on her side ...
That is what you call weak?
It's like the Absolute is the new cool villain on the block that is going to overtake all the gods (the goblins disavowed Maglubiyet, Minthara possibly disoved Lolth) but none of the NPC's who are not already aligned with the Absolute take it seriously. The NPC's that are already with the Absolute are over the top zealots who hate you for telling them their True Souls are tadpoled.
Well you cant reveal main antagonist if first ten minutes of game ...
And it seem to me understandable that they hate you for telling them, they see themselves as Clerics that have this unnatural power given from their gods ... not some braineating parasite.
That kinda diminshes their social status.
Not to mention that even if what you say is true, I don't see why siding with Minthara is the same as siding with the Absolute as a whole.
Me neither ...
Im not sure if i ever even sugested such thing.
Presuming that Larian will be loyal to their permutation standards ...
We may be possibly do many things ... ally her, betray her and take her place, boss her, etc.
If that were the case, surely the goblins would not betray you.
Goblins obey their misstress ... she comand, they follow ... they dont even think for themselves.
Therefore Goblins "technicaly" never betrayed you ... Minthara did(read as could), and they just followed orders.
Helping the Absolute feels like being its thankless errand boy right now
A bit, yes ...
In my country we say: "Who come late, harms himself."
everyone else already on board with it is in an established position in the Absolute's forces and would kill a newcomer like you on a dime. Nobody tries to sell you the side of the Absolute other than the being itself through those dreams
Yup, totally ... so far we met 2 Absolute priests ... and conveniently she was both selfish beneficial b**ch, that was just planning to use us and betray us for her own benefit.
and it is unclear right now how much agency the Illithid tadpole has in this.
It would be fun, if illithids will be used just as we were in this scenario. :3
But i believe they know about it ... since that dead Illithid in Goblin camp known quite good answer for: "What is absolute?"
Maybe its some new kind of elder brain? :-/
That could explain why everyone sees it as beautifull being. :P
What we do know however is that we are infected, for some reason nobody else on the Absolute's side knows this. What if you go through with the evil path and the Absolute just extracts your now incredibly powerful tadpole, then kills you?
I gues we will die in that case?
Dunno, but its possible ... i would not take it as certainity, there will for sure be some dicerolls to save your ass ... or brain ... or both, separately.
I think the Absolute is meant to be more powerful than several gods combined, considering there are hints towards it wanting to overthrow the Dead Three. This is not conveyed to the player well at all though, it seems as though the Absolute is a small upstart cult in the area you are in and nothing more.
Nothin more yet ...
Minthara specificly say to you (when you win your dicerolls) that she will go prepare the army, while you shall go meet the Absolute, and you will come back as "something magnificent" (or something like that).
75% to 25%... This confirms that this binary choice is the only one that matters and how poorly implemented it is.
I think not ...
It certainly confrims that through multiple permutation, wich can suit multiple different character you can get two outcomes by the end.
After all, even if you were able to take half Tieflings to prison, and then sell them as slaves ... wich was one of suggestions here, you will be still concidered as "helped goblins" in this statistics.
Wish the absolute people actually tried to recruit you though. Isn't that the whole point of putting the tadpole in us? They could offer us a way to control it, tempt us with power.
Wait here ...
Absolute (as potential godess) do all that. When speak to you through your dreams.
Instead, they're all wanting to kill us
True, but that is not Absolute, that is her Cultists ...
While Absolute may be godes, or some entity that will try to become godess, and may want another followers, worshippers, etc.
Cultist are merely mortals, who want their power in this new system ... so they, on the contrary are affraid of competition, and therefore erase it as soon as possible.
At least that is how i understand it.
Then I saved the tieflings since Halsin would be best bet for removing my tabpole in that instance.
Well ... so far all we know is that Halsin can point you the direction where from is that "strange dark magic" that alternet tadpole ...
Meaning he will just show you the way to the Absolute, simmilar (if not just the same) as Minthara.
Another issue with the current evil path is that to get on it you actually need to perform an act of altruism first.
Stepping in front of the crossbow to save a mere goblin is not something most evil characters would do. Gale even treats this moment as the very height of heroism when you do it and when he talks to you later about why he trusts you so much. I did it in my game because my Gith reasoned that getting the goblin to lead him back to camp would be the quickest way to Halsin and a cure, but I could see another evil character not consider the option at all.
Is there any way to meet Minthara and join the Absolute without rescuing Sazza first?
Well ... not sure if that isnt bug (and i presume it is) ...
Every time you walk into that camp you are able to simply walk and talk to Minthara, not sure if you can allways walk through front doors ... but there is few other ways.
For som strainge reason, all goblins are neutral to you when you get there, even if you kill guards behind the bridge and even if they sound the allarm with that cute buggy drum. :-/