Yes, sadly the supposed way of playing seems to be that you pick one of the NPCs to play as like in D:OS2.
A self made character will only get the bare minimum of background.

Larian should scrap the idea of playable NPCs and use the time spend on adapting their quests for a player perspective to create new quests centred around your own character. Maybe with a choice of background at the start like in Dragon Age Origins.