I agree about the Helsin point, and I think this is the problem when we define the paths as good or evil. I discussed it earlier here with killerabbit and I don't think he realised where I'm coming from so I'll try again. Good evil neutral it doesn't matter to me. What does matter is that if you have a choice to do something in a game, that this choice would feel interesting and meaningful to presue.
And when I say interesting and meaningful to presue I do mean rewarding, but not in the literal item sense of reward, but narratively rewarding. It could even be a bad consequence for my character as long as it is something interesting and impactful.
Example from The Witcher 3 - if you help Triss and the mages escape Novigrad, when you come back you discover the fanatics turned on the non humans. And it is bad, very bad. But in the meta narrative sense, it is a reward. You did something, and it had a meaningful effect on the world.
Yup, this is why I think something different is going on with the story. We don't really get any sort of help from anyone, potentially making the tadpole even more powerful with our actions and who knows what else. I am definitely wrong with a lot of my theories though. I see how some could be implemented and could work with the story, but I might be wrong with all the symbolism¬
On my first playthrough Keira ended up dying in Novigrad, didn't see that coming at all. In general I made some choices, that I later did regret, but you are right. They felt meaningful. None of the choices we are provided right now feel like that.
Just to make sure I understand, your theory is that a lot of the story is some sort of an illusion?