As it stands this, plus the divinity arrows, divinity barrels, divinity skills on weapons, and divinity surfaces is a dealbreaker. I won't enjoy the game and am not inclined to buy it.
I wanted the advertised 5th ed experience. Not a DOS3 with DnD flavors.
Unfortunately, DOS3 is what we're getting. I think DOS was a pair of crap RPGs that catered to the lowest common denominator that thinks it's awesome that everything is weird and silly and meme-filled, and when it was announced that Larian would do BG3, I was immediately concerned that it would just be more of the same. I gave them the benefit of the doubt, but my fears came true: this game really is just Divinity 3 with different mathematics under the hood, and I don't think they intend to change that. It'll remain what we see now in EA, just with bugfixes coming up. The spirit and soul of Baldur's Gate is gone, because Larian never intended to carry that torch, they just wanted to boost the sales of their new RPG and chose to hijack a beloved franchise to accomplish it. This game has everything that was bad about DOS and little of what was great about BG.
Just look at the trash-tier writing. If this game had been a movie, it would be laughed out of the insdustry. The acting is so painfully awful and the story itself is like something written by a 14 year old who just wants to cram as much superficial epicness into it as possible with no sense whatsoever of taste or pacing. Nothing is believable, nothing is immersive, nothing is grounded in realism. It's just all a bunch of the most low-hanging fruit of RPG clichés. Every character over-acts to extreme degrees, every NPC is a hamfisted stereotype, every area feels fake and videogamey, and there's just not a grain of organic quality to the product. It's one giant pile of campy bullshit concocted by people who can't write for shit and don't have the slightest interest in respecting the legacy of the franchise they hijacked. This is to D&D RPGs what McDonald's is to the restaurant industry.
The 4-man party size is just one of countless examples of what I mean. There's no ideological reason to stick with that. There's no sensible argument for it. Reducing party size from 6 to 4 does not improve gameplay, but it's what they had in DOS so it's what we'll get in BG3. That's the sum total of what it boils down to. That's how it was in DOS and so that's how it will be in BG3, because BG3 is really DOS3. It's awful for the game, but Larian never truly meant to make the next Baldur's Gate, they simply meant to make the next Divinity and rake in some extra money from calling it Baldur's Gate 3. It's pathetic and disappointing, but it's very obvious as well, and we saw it coming a mile off. Ever since the first preview, I knew this would be the case, and they did nothing to acknowledge the complaints that were raised at the time of how this game felt nothing whatsoever like BG.
This is not a good game. The writing is garbage, the mechanics are weak, the gameplay is boring, and they haven't even lived up to their own promise of respecting the D&D rules. There's a superficial likeness to the ruleset, but they've taken so many liberties with it that one cannot conclude anything other than the fact that they didn't really give a shit about D&D. Eating food for healing? Elemental surfaces? Unlimited consequence-free rests anywhere, anytime? Half the spells and abilities are different from their D&D counterparts, and the more I scratch the surface, the more I realize that they only did just exactly enough to be able to say that the game is even based on D&D at all. There's a few things that they might chance throughout EA in this regard, but a lot of it is clearly how they want the game to be. Don't expect much more than bugfixes. What you see is what you'll get.
I see that we're of the same mind here. Reading that they WotC turned down Oblivion in favor of Larian is gutting when I get to see what Larian is doing with the BG3 name (and by extension, legacy).
Larian can still turn this ship around, I think. There IS balance in the 5th ed rules. Just copy them - it's probably not overly hard when you've reached this far in development. You don't really have to deal with different power spikes for different classes either if the game ends up at (guesswork) 12-15th max level as early spikers mellow out and early weaksauce gain significant power later on.
Larian should really start to consider the possibility of a PR disaster from deviating this far from 5th ed rules and general Baldur's Gateness. I know there are many DnD-lovers out who are just assuming it's gonna be totally 5th ed and all the Baldur's Gate goodness. Disappointing these people (who are certainly not few) could tarnish the Larian name quite well.
One of the worst things is that purchasing the EA can make Larian feel validated in their decisions to disregard all DnD stuff in favor of DOS3. However, if they had not released an EA, we would not know the potential shipwreck this could be. Double edged sword galore.