Hi everyone. Just to preface; I thoroughly enjoyed my time with EA. And a huge thanks to everyone at Larian. BG is back after 20 long years! It's clear a lot of hard work and love has gone into this. I have about 35 hours in it and "completed" the content available. I'm sure there were some things I missed, but I got the ending cutscene. I think the amount of work that has gone into the game is incredible and when it's done will be amazing.
I am not very familiar with DnD 5e in general as I'm mostly just a BG/DoS fan. So please excuse any incorrect information/questions. The following is some input about my experience. Some may have been mentioned already. I have gone through many of these pages, but may have missed something. Apologies if I did.
This forum seems like the best outlet. Steam and Reddit are just full of people complaining about everything. I don't have those. I want to see a masterclass of a game, which is why I am here. I realize some of this may be in the complete version of the game and not yet implemented, but since we don't have access to that, no way to know yet.
Sorry in advance for a long post. I tried to make it as detailed as possible!
Character Creation: - I realize the UI is still incomplete, but it seems like a mix between DoS and BG. It doesn't have it's own identity. The character creation screen is clearly influenced by DoS, which is fine, but needs to look more BG. - Have ability to invert certain tattoos. Some are on one side of face. Option to invert would be nice - Believe this was mentioned but, Heterochromia. Separate color eyes, or split one eye color. - Some of the starting gear seems "too nice looking". I get that Lae'zel is a Githyanki Warrior and Shadowheart a Cleric of Shar, but they were abducted onto an enemy ship and thrust into a situation. As prisoners, should they have this great looking gear? I understand the need for their "Signature Look" but consider more out of story context.
UI: - Do not close Inventory each time a scroll/book/note is read. Extremely tedious to reopen the window each time you want to read something. - Piggybacking off the previous: The "new" notification disappears when you hover over the scroll/book/note in your inventory. This notification should remain until document is read, resulting in less time guessing which we have already viewed. There's lot's of documents! - Piggybacking further off previous: Add some kind of appendix/log book to consolidate all documents once read. - Further: For magical scrolls/etc. add a Tome of Holding for these to reduce overall clutter in inventory. BG2 had something similar. - Add item such as Bag of Holding. This is a magical item that will reduce weight in inventory or be able to keep certain kinds of items (wares, etc.) for ease of access for players. I do not suggest it be given to the player within the first 5 minutes of play, but make it a drop/quest reward (reward for exploring/etc.) - Character Portraits are extremely bland. Remember what you told us about boring main PC's? I know it was a joke, but consider spicing portraits up! - In the Quest Log, make it so if you hover anywhere over the quests you can scroll up/down. Currently there is only a VERY small area where you can scroll.
Gameplay/Exploration: - Food is OP. I appreciate food restoring health and there being another alternative to healing spells. There should be a "Full" status depending on food consumed. Make it based on a point value ie. small food (fruit, etc) is shorter than a chicken leg. Being able to eat endlessly is useful but too powerful. - Camera panning through buildings/doors. I'm not sure this is entirely possible, but it's like x-ray mode currently. I know you can turn camera panning off. I'll give easy example. Door where Troll/Orc (might be wrong about races, I forget) are getting it on. You can open the door to disturb, or keep moving. But if I pan up slightly, I can x-ray through the door and see the NPC's inside. This can also be abused out of combat sometimes to see what's waiting for you on the other side. If my character can't see it, I shouldn't be able to either. - Puzzle speed. Wasn't sure what to put this under. The moon puzzle is extremely tedious. I LIKE the puzzle. I do not like how long it takes each wheel to spin. I know it's stone. Consider speeding it up slightly. - Illithid Powers: Running into another touched NPC you can exploit results in the same line every single time "Symbol Glows, Power courses through you. Authority" etc. This line gets stale very fast. Consider adding more iterations of this line. - XP. Ah the source of much discontent right now. How you gain XP. I realize you level up fairly quick at level 1. Almost too quick. I was level 4 in no time at all. Consider a bigger scale. You gained XP in BG1/2 by learning spells and picking locks successfully. Not sure if this is something removed in 5e, but to echo, more options should be added to gain XP for players.
Skills/Abilities: - If I am using a skill or ability to target a party member, I should be able to use spell by clicking on character portrait, even if detrimental. - Lockpicking/Pickpocket seems broken. What is my level 1 mage with low Dexterity able to pick practically every lock in the game for? What purpose does rogue serve at that point? - Not sure if this is a 5e rule or not; forgive me if it isn't. If a character has a shield, we should be able to take a defensive posture for a turn (using their action up) to reduce accuracy. Unless this is factored into having a shield.
Story/Plot Development: - Consider adding another cut scene at the start of the game adding more background for brand new players. A la animated story scene in DoS2. How was I abducted? What is Avernus and why was the city of Elturel pulled in there? It doesn't specifically need to be that, but giving the player more back information at the start will help draw them in more. Not everyone here plays DnD. Not everyone wants to read a campaign before playing and would be nice if there was a little tie in between BG2 -> BGIII - PC created by player. What is the point of this character? Again I realize it might not be entirely fleshed out yet, but in BG/BG2 your PC felt like YOUR PC. It was happening to you and was made very clear from the start you had a role to play in the story. In BGIII, they are more or less a blank slate. And by choosing an Origin character you are seeing a more interesting tale. Why should I care about a PC if they don't have an interesting back story? - "Guardian Angel" character (Who you dream of) only seems to trigger if I exploit my Illithid powers. This seems like a very important plot thread. If I choose not to use my powers, will this still occur? I noticed it more the more I used my powers. Which may be intentional. I'm not sure because the rest of the game isn't available. But it seems imperative to the plot. What if we never use the powers? Will I still have those dreams? - Spreading of companions - I'm sure we will have more NPC's both temporary and full time as the game goes on, but I can't guess how many. I'd say another 2-4? Either way, having your entire party given to you within the first hour of playing (even if there are a few we did not meet), how is the rest of the game going to be fresh? In BGII there were companions everywhere. You could miss several of them in one play through if you didn't click/missed a certain area. - Companions in camp are very temperamental. They hate everything you do in certain situations, but because the plot demands it, you speak to them and they spill their guts to you.
Camp: - Camp. How does it get there? I fall out of the sky and meet a companion within 5 minutes. If I tell them to go wait at camp, when I go there, it is just there. Already set up and waiting for me. Was sort of immersion breaking. I can easily look past things for the sake of plot, but it would be nice to see HOW your camp initially would be nice. Have your PC/available companions set up camp. Or at least talk about it. - Build up over time. Again I realize this will happen as I play, but the camp just building up each time I visit takes me a bit out of it. Introduce a NPC that oversees camp construction and has limited amounts of wares and restocks as you travel. Similar to Bodahn in Dragon Age. Not as egregious though. He had tons of OP wares. This NPC would only have basics to help your party out. - Dog should be relegated to specific areas of the camp. Or unable to get too close to certain areas. As I am going to rest for the evening, the dog comes into camera literally walking over sleeping bags. Keep him in background sniffing around. Or add borders to where he can and can't go. - Companions can be exploited to have the same conversation over and over to gain their favor. This should be removed once favor is gained/lost.