Regarding the OPs post, many of the complaints I've seen are IMO are just complaining about Larian including people who've been excluded from public sphere before as not ideal/normal/sane/moral etc. into their game. They're basically just attacks aimed at people whose likenesses, gender, sexuality and other ways of being don't fit the norm the complainers are championing. The prime example being the "ugly masculine women" -type of threads mining into the vulnerabilities and pains of others not fitting the norm, or threads destined to railroad into "straight pride" -declarations. The kinda stuff that is prevalent in just about every cRPG social network. Generally you're demanded to take this stuff at face value, which is IMO just a way to normalize these types of violence.
Having said that, its sort of nice that my problem with the female companions(as always) was that they're not mean/authoritative/independent/contributing/equal/alive enough, which probably means I'm not qualified to speak outside the "neckbeard gang" of the consumer base. My view is that, if you don't see consumer culture others are invested in, as basically progressive/ethical/unproblematic, that means you're viewed as a regressive, troll, nuts etc. Assuming the worst is also is in line with the general, often warranted, paranoia of social interactions online/everywhere. So I'm just going to assume that I'm viewed as one of "them" and reiterate (parts of) my complaint as a musings of a regressive neckbeard, or worse.
But even though what I've been saying earlier is probably all just an inverted neckbeard antics, attempting to thirst after a male fantasy (domme-of-steel) version of John Hamm the dominator(and being special at the expense of others), it seems to me the women companions still cater too much to my "neckbeard customer base" e.g by reassuringly pitting (the only) two "mean" women at each others throats and repeatedly shoehorning them into the rescuee positions. I'm pretty sure, while being genuinely appalled by "the unbearable meanness of women in BG3", everyone at the neckbeard part of the stadium likes a good chick fight where female aggressions forms a closed, mostly non-threathening loop for men that on a fantasy level highlights the inability of women to work as a team without splintering to wantonly domineering warring factions a la the Drow in the Underdark etc.
Also, I don't think Shadowheart manages to "mean" her way far enough out of the reach of outdated stereotypes. Not at least based on what I've seen in chapter 1. Shadowheart has too much of that brainwashed cultist escapee -type feel(though to be fair, everyone in the party is basically a cultist escapee treated to the same career choice as Shadowheart because of the tadpole) to actually qualify as anything other than a "new" glazzy eyed version of the "doe-eyed waify" someone mentioned previously. I'd say this is especially so, if you can as a PC either rescue, or guide back to the loving care of her abusers/exploiters/murderers later in game. Maybe this scenario plays out as some sort of unconsumable poison pill version of the previous type of relationship, but I doubt it.
Anyways, stuff like this feels like Larian isn't trying hard enough to create anything new in this regard, but are just succumbing to the impulse of trying to please the broadest customer base possible while ignoring the problems of including stuff like this. But maybe the finished project somehow makes it work. Also, I'm not saying this might not work as a production guideline economically(it most likely will), but cynical nostalgia/repetition in the guise of novelty/progress seldom works well outside the box office.
Last edited by IdPreferNotTo; 20/10/20 08:43 PM.