Good morning/evening/whatever time of the day it is to you fine folks.
The reason I am making this topic directly is to address one of my main “problems” with Early Access. Again, I’m going to preface this with I enjoyed the hell out of EA. Honestly I am glad for the EA release, it shows Larian is confident of their work, but also their confidence & respect in the player base. Truly appreciated.
Before we start, I know that this game is still in development. Not everything may be implemented yet. There could be several things that are being held back, to which we are not privy to yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the case. But since it isn’t currently present, I feel it is a fair subject to broach.
I don’t want this to seem like a complaint. I enjoyed the hell out of the available content. But it is a concern that I think several people have.
This subject should have it's own topic. It's a big one.
I also know that this game is being made 20 years after the fact from a different developer. But if we’re getting a true sequel to these beloved games, it should FEEL like it’s taking place in the same universe even if it’s 100 years later. So there will be some comparisons. But I will do my best to be fair.
And that problem is my created PC. The one that we must create at the start of EA.
What is the point of this character? For what purpose does it exist?
Immediately at the start of BG1, your PC has a purpose. He’s Gorion’s Ward. There’s some greater purpose that you find out about over the course of the 2 games/expansion. Every action you did felt like you were making for your character. And furthered your story. Whether you embraced your heritage and treated people terribly or rejected it and were the savior of The Sword Coast.
Even though you have “simple” origins, you still have an origin. There is something for you to latch on to and explore their history over the course of these games. At the end of your journey in BG:ToB, your story was finished, you felt like you earned that ending.
I could go on about the created PC in BG1/2 but I don’t think it’s necessary. Most everyone knows the history.
In BGIII, since we cannot select an Origin character, we are forced to create a PC. Don’t get me wrong. I like the character creator. I am looking forward to the full version with all the options available. I also very much enjoy the companion NPC’s. But I can’t help but shake this feeling a big chunk of something is missing. In the original BG2, we are given a brief history of the PC in an opening cinematic, catching us up. You pick up shortly after in a new setting, continuing your story.
The issue in BGIII is the complete opposite. Your PC has almost no identity. Aside from a few spoken lines, you are a complete blank slate. Milquetoast. There is no explanation to show where your character hails from. There's not even a back story to show the events that led up to this game. If you read into the lore, you see the game takes place after Decent Into Avernus. But if I'm a casual BG fan, where are my connecting dots? I feel like another opening cinematic should be added if we create a custom PC giving some kind of back story.
It seems clear from the storytelling thus far that the Illithid are after individuals with special conditions. The companions anyway. It seems like every Tom, Dick and Harry you run into was abducted or touched in some way. Nobody seems “normal”.
The only normal person in this game is my PC. They’re vanilla as it gets. Nothing about my PC feels “special”, or there being a tale worth telling. Quite the contrary. There is no tale. Why were they abducted? What did they do pre-abduction? What are their aspirations? If they have any, they certainly aren’t revealed through the course of EA. Sure, selections can be made to mold the PC a certain way, but a giant piece seems missing. Every one of our companions has a unbelievably crazy back story. That’s fine, I like them all. But where’s my crazy back story?
So my options are select a blank slate or one of these pre-made origin characters. Again, nothing wrong with any of these characters. But they aren’t MINE. The decisions being made by me feel like nothing but choices to move the story along. When you’re using an origin character, that’s fine. But if we’re making a custom character who barely has any dialog, where is the intrigue to keep me going?
We need to feel like our creation is important. Like they have a place in this world. Currently they feel like they did in DoS. A blank slate that makes decisions. A merc for hire, with all the events happening to more interesting characters around us.
Again, maybe this hasn’t been added yet. The game is still a ways out. There’s tons to be added.
Either way, thank you for your time. Happy playing!