A good list OP, even if a lot of people seem to disagree.
I would, personally add another point:
DOS2 act 1 ends on a boat ride out of Fort Joy, BG3 EA also ends on a small boat ride to the Moonrise Towers. Currently we have no other ways to get to MT other than that raft in the Underdark, but obviously that is a subject to change once Larian opens up the other 2 paths to MT - the mountain pass and the forest path.
And as to all these feeling conversations going on.
1. Does BG3 feel like a D&D game set in the Forgotten Realms?
2. Does it feel like a Baldur's Gate game?
Currently? Not really.
3. Does BG3 feel like a DOS game?
To explain myself:
1. It does have the lore clearly, references to things that had happened in the FR. Faerunian gods are more or less present. The races, the xenophobia of the drow. It's all there. The monsters. This list could go on forever. But yes, it does have the feeling of a D&D game. So Larian doesn't really need to do much more than polish the stuff we currently have, fix those low lvl 'archdruids' and 'red dragons' clearly. Fix the HP bloating, and the game will be in a really good state D&D wise.
2. Aside from the shared title and the promise of visiting the city in the future? Ehh... that's the thing.
In BG1 you start off doing mundane tasks for the people in your life - you can help Firebeard get his identify scroll back (or you can be a dick and keep it), you can get an antidote for Dreppin's cow, help a guard get his sword (without alerting his superior that he's got a hangover and forgot it - or you can be a massive douchebag and spill the guard's secret to his superior). There are those assassins of course who want your head, rats in a cellar. All of this servers as the perfect tutorial - on movement, on combat, quest rewards, quest experience and all that juicy stuff. It's all introduced to the player gradually, you get a feeling of home (more or less) from the tutorial zone at Candlekeep, you get some worrisome rumors about iron shortage, but you don't really feel them as of yet. You also meet the closest person you have to a sister - Imoen. Then, you follow your father figure out of the 'gilded fortress' and you lose him, are introduced to your nemesis as well, and with no way of going back to Candlekeep you set out to figure out what's going on (as a lead you can choose to loot Gorion's body and get his letter from Elminster, the one pointing you towards Khaleed and Jaheira). From that point, you are free to do as you choose.
BG2, sure, you start off as a prisoner, you meet your captor and nemesis in the first minute of the game. Then you grasp an opportunity when Imoen (closest thing to a sister eh?
) frees herself and gets an opportunity to free you. Again, you can free Minsc and Jaheira that are locked in the same room as you, or you can be a douche and leave them in their cages. And just like Candlekeep of BG1, Irenicus' prison serves 2 purposes - a tutorial zone (for people who skipped BG1 perhaps) and to introduce you to Irenicus (via journals, his experiments, Ellesime's room + clones), to give you a reason to hate him, a singular purpose that would drive you forward. And while, you start off at lvl 9+ in BG2, the monsters you meet aren't too outlandish for your lvl.
Conclusion being - both BG games have a similar starting zones, BG1 you are just a newbie trying to understand what's happening and why, it grounds you, gives you a reason to care about your foster father's imminent death, and introduces Sarevok perfectly and gives you a good reason to seek justice/vengeance/revenge for what Sarevok has done. Same goes for BG2, but you have a more personal reason to hate Irenicus, after all, he experimented on YOU and your friends got caught in the crossfire.
BG3 you start off abducted with a mind flayer tadpole in your head, aboard nautiloid, luckily freed from the holding pods by the confusion and damage caused by the dragon riders, we are free to explore, there are a lot of dead mind flayers scattered around, there are a lot of intellect devourers running around and on top of that the mind flayers decided it was a good idea to plane jump into Avernus, of all things, we don't know why they chose the hells and not some other plane but fine, the githyanki dragon riders are not easily lost, even in the goddamn hells, sure, we get to fight low lvl imps while in Avernus, we encounter a mind flayer dueling some devils, we get ordered to use the transponder we get to the helm and plane jump back to the prime material plane and we conveniently crash land on a beach, we somehow survive the fall from the ship, caaaaaaause magic tadpole
I guess? But is not all, still at lvl 1, we get to explore a bit of the beach and fight off goddamn intellect devourers?
WHOEVER THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO START THE GAME LIKE THAT? DOESN'T IT ALL SOUND HELLA CONTRIVED TO ANYONE WHO HAS ANY IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON? FOR BEING A DAMN TUTORIAL ZONE NO LESS?
Doesn't it at all sound like one of these 'chosen one' stories? No? And from the get go no less. Sure, Gorion's ward was a chosen one, but (s)he had no idea at the very beginning of the journey.
Watching dragon riders, fire explosions, the mindflayer duel with a devil - it's all a pretty flashy spectacle, if highly inappropriate for a start of a lvl 1 newbie campaign. Also, in contrary to previous BG games, we don't have a clear nemesis. Not a single figurehead to hate, sure, we can hate githyanki, can hate the devils and demons of Avernus, can hate the mind flayers. Mind you we don't even hear of 'the Absolute' until later in the act. There is nobody like Sarevok or Irenicus to absolutely despise for what they've done.
Sorry for this long post, but it's the reason why, for me personally, BG3 doesn't really have that BG feeling. Starting zone alone looks like a (bad
) DMs wet dream. Also, the PC of BG3 shouldn't even be alive, but fine, magic tadpole
3. I think that OP has captured the feeling of DOS in BG3 better, so.