Nice review. Found myself agreeing with nearly everything you said *except* the "too much loot" point. I got a little dopamine rush each time I got something new . . . And, yes, the MMO bar was especially frustrating, I eventually gave up trying to organize it I just kept hitting the F key and doing a visual search. "where the hell is that spell . . ." good thing it was turn based combat.

But I'm really going to respond to content because that is most relevant to my hopes and anxieties about BG3.

In my mind there are two cRPGs – those that want you to create your character and roleplay and express it, and those that put you in shoes of mostly pre-defined protagonist and want you to play along. D:OS2 is… neither?

Apt description. I think the one cRPG that manged "neither" was Ps:T. The nameless one had lived multiple lives and whatever you chose mapped onto one of those lives. I liked the DOS2 characters -- minus Ben Zed who was cobbled out of cliches -- but the experience wasn't immersive. The characters were rough sketches, good for a laugh and that's about it. And, as so many others have said, if you make a custom character you lose out on large portions of the content.

And what you call 'twitch' sense of humor also interferes with immersion. The game itself seems to encourage a sense of irony where the player is both in the world and out of it. Probably to replicate the experience of playing with a group where someone might decide to take the piss if you get too much into roleplaying that dwarf. If you think someone is a going to tease you for what you like, it's a good idea to have your skin coated in a layer of iron . . .

Which is one my worries about BG3, the DOS2 humor was so snarky and sardonic I often felt like I was being ribbed for liking what I like. Snark is fine if you think the person taking the piss really shares your likes and interests -- but I'm not at all sure that was the case. It was clear that I playing a game made by people who really liked the horror genre. Was I playing a game in which the authors liked medieval fantasy? Not really. Instead got the sense that the writers would have been equally happy to write for another genre altogether.

If BG3 is going to overcome that problem I think they need to hire / highlight a writer who is a longtime D&D fan. Which was the case with BG1 -- Minsc was someone's character.

On the hopeful side I think the BG3 idea of camp conversations is a good one -- let's see if that allows them to create deeper characters.

TL;DR -- future games need more character development, less snark.