Hi there, this is my fourth time through act 1 so I decided to go with an evil Drow cleric of Lloth, good big evil or go home, right?
My playthrough had me going to the undead/bandit temple, up to the paladins and gnolls then the flaming fist and githyanki to power and geared up, then on to the blighted village
First off, having so many cool interaction for being drow is ALOT of fun. I was able to take the express lane to eviltown while other characters would have had to make *chuckle* SKILL checks. Very satisfying
That being said... it's strange there is no 'breadcrumbs' or intro or attempt to draw you to the evil side. At no point does anybody suggest you join the goblins or the absolute, tempt you with power or anything until you walk into the fort and talk to priestess Gut or Minathra. You have to be intentional and essentially have already played act 1 to know what to do to go for the evil playthrough. Evil needs a recruiter or two out there looking to draw you to their side, after all, they have cookies
Next I walked into the goblin camp, showed my drow-card to all the goblin bouncers and walked into Minathra's room and talked to begin the exclusive evil playthrough content. Again, it would be nice if there was something leading up to this, it's very much a full on evil commitment without any quests or even reasons given for you to be evil. Entice me with loot! Offer me power! Claim you're the only ones that REALLY understand the tadpole, something to make evil feel like it has some seductive quality to it. If I wasn't playing an evil alignment cleric that wanted to spread evil on principal it would have felt very awkward.
Minathra and I plotted to attack the druid grove and there we went. About the encounter itself... it's fantastic. Goblins flying through the air, unique species of spiders, suicide bomber gobblin sappers, it's really really cool, and even on a good playthrough I think some character should make a point of suggesting the goblins be lured into an attack. Attacking the goblins in their fort was cool for my good playthroughs (never get tired of shoving Dror Razglin into the spider pit), but just letting players know that this battle could be an option for a good playthrough, because it was really fun when I went back and did it as good later. (And the drama of keeping the tieflings alive during the battle made me feel more invested)
During the cutscene where Minthara takes her highground, the bodies from the first battle at the grove gate can get in the way of the cutscene and make it look strange
Betraying Zhevlor and hearing him say "You're WITH THEM aren't you?!" was the highlight of the playthrough. That was such an awesome mustache curling moment for my evil character, loved it, loved it.
Combat music didn't play during the encounter
Teiflings got witness from guard killer, probably doesn't matter but it was distracting
Explosive gobbos stood around Taron all three times I played the battle, I had to attack him for the goblins to join me
When I went into Zhevlor's office to finish off the teiflings, I found Arabella dead on the floor infront of her parents, despite saving her from Khaga earlier? Did the parents really kill their daughter before I got in there or is that a bug?
In my first time through the grove purge I had killed Khaga after finding her shadow druid scheme and when I came to attack the grove, her body had moved outside to rest infront of the goblins near the ritual site. The door was locked from the front of the druid barrow so I took the back door and slaughtered them all.
During the battle Tusk the boar was red to me but spent all his time attacking the druids. This also happened all the other times I did the battle as well.
All the times I did the battle Maggran was rooted in place shouting petulant druidic insults at me while I slaughtered his friends
After slaughtering the druids and the Teiflings everwhere I could find them, I still couldn't finish the quest for Minthara on my first playthrough. She stopped in the area before Zhevlor's office, which makes me think that it was either her getting stuck on terrain and not going into the office that was holding me up, or the fact that I killed Khaga first had bugged the encounter.
Accepting that the Khaga kill had bugged it, I loaded up an older save and did the battle again without snitching on Khaga
This time things went smoothly except for tusk and maggran and taran as previously mentioned, Minthara thanks me for being evil and we went to camp to celebrate
The party the goblins threw was frankly anti-climactic. There is so much energy at their camp, they are having so much fun being evil little bastards but this camp celebration felt so flat, especially after having betrayed Wyll, Zhevlor and everyone else who hadn't attacked my drow ass on sight. Good side gets poetry, resolution for Arabella if Khaga killed her and acolades from all the people you saved, but evil just gets some goblins you don't know talking about how great the absolute is. I did like that one goblin that gives you a gift in the hopes that you'll put in a good word at moonrise, that was fun
So personal opinion time, but I didn't like the unavoidable betrayal and subsequent banishment from team evil after the camp. I get we're evil, we betray each other blah blah, but her atttempt to assassinate an upstart should not put you hostile with all the goblin faction. If anything, surviving that attempt after being the star of the attack on the grove should make you a mega-vip. I felt a wrench in my gut after I realized I spent all that time clearing out innocents from the grove for the goblins or the absolute, only to find I had gained no allies, no power and not even an advantage to make me stronger for the journey ahead. I literally betrayed and killed everyone who was nice to me, then got betrayed and ended with zero friends. Wyll left, Gale hated what I did, Astarion and Lae'zel seem indifferent. It just really felt like I was a big idiot for picking evil after all was said and done, I felt like I clearly made the wrong choice and that I was being an asshole just to be an asshole, when the evil way it just supposed to be a different path.
So to summaraize:
Evil needs some breadcrumbs to entice you to do it's bidding, weither that's promises of power, items, a solution for the tadpole or membership into the big fun evil club of evil
The gate battle is awesome and should have NPCs on good side suggesting to 'take on' the goblins by luring them to attack
Evil needs much, much better payoff that doesn't make you feel alienated and foolish for choosing that path