That's an interesting perspective, however i've been playing DnD on and off for years now and have a different one.
Expecting a DnD 5e emulation in 3d is unreasonable. There are design decisions in 5e that were made because it was tabletop, translating this into an isometric RPG game will require changes and optimisation. So when playing this game it needs to be faithful to the world and *general* mechanics of 5e - which they've succeeded with. It is more closer to the source than past games, such as Neverwinter Nights, BG1&2, Planescape, etc. They've also added extra combat mechanics that make combat more fun - all of which needs to be balanced in time of course.
If it "feels" like DoS3 - why is that? Is that the result of:
> AoE throwable items
> The story being so similar (prisoner from crashed ship, need to control strange powers, manipulation by higher powers)
> Similar graphics engine
I've gone through 3 playthroughs of act1 at this point, and from someone who plays more iRPGs on the reg than DnD, this game feels *super* 5e to the point that it's probably confusing players who have to google what advantage in combat means. Anyways to your points specifically:
Ground elemental effects SHOULD absolutely be not part of DnD game
Environmental effects may need a reduction in damage or/and duration, but removing them completely would be a mistake - environmental effects add extra complexity in combat without friction which makes combat more tactical
You already have balanced system and play-tested in years
Hate to break it to you Benny, but DnD 5e is not balanced. There's multi-class cheese, rogue meta, spells that can be abused, and ect... luckily there's a DM that will tell you "no" if you're going OTT. The thing is that RNG needs balance: too little and things are predictable, too much and things are fustrating. In DnD the DM is the director, you don't have this in video-game form so there needs to be a reduction to RNG from table top.
Please remember that 5e is designed to be PERFECTLY viable for melee classes (when it comes to AC/HP vs hit chance/damage) without ANY MAGIC ITEMS AT ALL
Compared to other iRPGs the magic item pickup is still limited, IIRC it's similar to the previous BG games. The warrior class is underwhelming at this point, this is because rogues have the same AC, are quicker, and there's no strength based ranged weapons. It's also likely to do with the hieght bonuses, and number of enemies per encounter (focus-fire has always been the go-to strat, something ranged classes excel at).
Beginning is little too much for 1st level characters and party members you meet - it's very unrealistic
Most DnD campaigns I've rolled dont start at lvl1. The intro of this story indicates that the adventurers are not randoms but people of exceptional ability, so I really dont see this problem. There are plenty of RPGs that start off with killing rats in the basement, and it's boring. You do have a point tho, there is a risk of unrealistic escalation - if you're fighting observers at level 4, what will you have to deal with at level 8?
Alignments are big part of 5e system.
Alignments are not a big part of 5e.. they removed most of this to add more rpg flexibility. IIRC Larian were thinking about adding in allignment, and Wizards told them "no".