Loot is one thing, but for me the reward is in the outcome of the plot and the immediate world around me based upon my decisions and thus my morale compass.
Loot is one thing ... Reward as another thing ... and Outcome as another thing ... there we kinda agree as it seems.
Ofc, "rewarding experience" is just another words for "satisfying experience" ... sadly, if you actualy read trough those 14 paiges, most people are simply talking about "need better reward" ... i dont see much space for missunderstanding, even if some will for sure tell me that they meaned it as satisfaction with story. -_-
Funny enough, if you really actualy read trough those 14 paiges, you will find out that many people are actualy comparing Mynthara's neck and mace ... and loot from Zevlor and Kagha ... if anyone here wants to tell me that those people are talking about "writing" i have nothing but laugh for them. :-/
So far the evil route doesn’t appear to sell itself at all to you. Even the dream sequences don’t seem to suggest control and power, at least not enough to overwrite the idea of it being a horrible trap into giving in and becoming a mindflayer.
And are you sure, you have seen them all?
Burning Baldur's Gate, and your "dream mate" telling you: "Your enemies will fall, the world will bow, you'll have everything you could ever desire."
That seem not enough suggesting?
In that case i kinda cannot imagine what more do you want.
Then no one else “I met”, even suggested another way. Again, the whole set-up is “get rid of tadpole”! Every character we meet who tags along says the same, Raphael tries to tempt us in order to help. That is for all intents and purposes “our story”.
Well ... i think you didnt listen so carefully ...
Wyll is kinda pasive about tadpole, he have his own problems and tadpole seem dormant, so he dont seem to care that much.
Astarion even wanted to control that thing, so he can exploit it as much as possible.
Gale wants to do the same with Raphael, outsmart him in his own game.
Shadowheart seem to be desperate ... if you talk to her, she is only one willing to give herself to Gut, or the Hag ... just to get rid of that thing.
And Lae'zel was even in EA proven to be wrong about her people ... what if even other of their teachings are wrong? :P
And if you want to count NPC aswell ... most of them wants to get rid of your tadpole, or yourself, just to be sure ... bcs tadpole in general means potential trouble (big one, i admit that), but many of them are confess with same breath that your parasite is unusual and they have litteraly no idea what will be going in the future.
Hells, even Halsin himself (wich is for some reason concidered around here as best expert ... odd since, you have even mind flayer in Underdark, wich i presume should know more about his own kind than some Elf that was watching tadpole crawling out of dead Drow) tells you: "Good news is, you have time. Bad news, i dont know how many."
So based upon that how do I act? And I think this is the issue of kinda not being that important (hero/messiah complex) and being free to waltz around. No one tries to pick you out of a crowd. Anyone you meet usually ends up wanting to insult and or kill you. I certainly feel as though the goblins need to not just be subjugated by you using your tadpole but also actively then want to get you in front of Minthara first and foremost. Then it’s a who makes the best case. I might not trust Minthara, but if she sells the Absolute and being able to help me sooner then I might listen.
I like our insignificence ... we are suppose to be random nobody who was abducked by Nautiloid.
I kinda have feeling that i was sended to Minthara ...
When i played my first evil playthrough, i released Sazza ... and she was leading me straight to Minthara ... and since i did that i was automaticly concidered as ally by Minthara ...
In my second evil, tadpole using, playthrough (as Wood Elf) ...
It seem pretty selling to me. Ofc. she is this whole time still arogant and haughty b***h ... but that is just what she is, and i like it.
You ofc, need to keep in mind that you are this whole time talking to someone, who as you know DO have tadpole (even if not knowingly) and dont seem to have any problems with that. So there obviously is a way to get all pros, but none cons.
The issue is, by the time I get to her I might as well just slaughter them all and free the Druid. There you go, I’m either a hero or still a murderhobo but it’s disappointing that I’ve not been sold a seedy darker route out of my predicament early enough for me to care.
You certainly might ... that ofc seem like perfect example of those "stupid" choices you were talking about ...
Especialy since main goblin camp is not hostile to you, even if you kill all goblins at first gate, and they manage to play their alert drum (kinda odd to me, probably bug).
For myself i presume that every character, no matter if neutral or evil ... should at least first explore his options, before he starts to kill anyone ... ofc. if you wish to play chaotic evil homicidal maniac and attack litteraly everyone on sight ... that is kinda different story.
But i presume we arent talking about that right now.
I hear you, but cant imagine any situation how you could find out about that option sooner ...
No one but Minthara can offer you place on raid, since they dont even know where groove is ... that information is delivered by yourself, in that second plans for raid starts to exist, and you are instantly given opourtunity to join them ... and there is even few options to avoid it! Goblins can do all dirty work for you!
Do you have anything in mind about how do you wish to find out sooner?
I know that some people here are convinced that we are not suppose to tell Larian how they should to their story ... but i cant help the feeling that "this story seem dull, improve it" isnt even half as helpfull, as "here i would like to be sugested to join goblins at their camp and listen to their counter-proposal".
I caveat all of this by saying I’ve only done 1 play through so far and was rather chaotic good/flirted with evil, so I’m not a character to seek it out, but that has always been my point, I shouldn’t have to work at being evil, evil should be the easy route. Avoiding the temptation, working for a good outcome and becoming the hero, that’s the challenge and that’s reward.
I cant help the feeling that this is old way ... and that Larian are geting this new much more nuanced, and thereofre much better route.
I see it as simple two sides conflict ... you dont even need to join one, and there will be hard choices on every path ... i dont think any should be easier, or more challenging ... they are just different and that is more than enough.
Honestly im not even sure if we can talk about some good route, and evil route ... what is good for tiefling is just as bad for goblins as the other side around.
Sure, we can talk about good and evil characters, but that is simply theme about motivations of our protagonist.
"Rewards" does not mean gold and swords, but it could mean a more solid lead on fixing the tadpole problem or giving you stronger allies down the line.
Read those quotes ...
Or even better, read those Reply, from where i quoted ...
The evil route does not do that at the moment, the goblins always betray you and Minthra often does too. Halsin is objectively your best bet, because Minthara, Gut and the goblins all want to kill you. The player knows this even without meta knowledge.
Gut dont want to kill you, she is more like Hag, or Raphael and wants to exploit you as much as possible ...
Same with Minthara ... she also wants to use you, then she wants to kill you ... unless she will find pleasure in you.
And Razglin wants to kill you only if you reveal yourself as enemy of their cult.
Anyway its coresponding their characters ... therefore i dont see any problem.
Laezel wants to do that too ... multiple times ...
Astarion wants to do that too ... multiple times ...
That Dwarf druid wants to do that too ...
And i bet that only reason Zevlor, or Kagha dont turn hostile toward you for the same reason is that there isnt any dialogue choice to tell him that you were infected with tadpole and may turn to Mind Flayer. Nobody know how they would react ... but concidering litteraly everyone else? I think we can gues.
No, Evil route dont offer you a way to get rid of tadpole, it offer you a way to conquer it, get all its benefits and minimalize the risk.
You will find out by the end, when you are talking to Minthara, if you convince her to not kill you.
A smart evil player would therefore always side with the Tieflings; they just have the most to offer and stand the least in your way.
Maybe ... i however dont make decisions as player, but as character.
Its called roleplaying.
Honestly Kagha as a third option would already solve a lot if Zevlor didn't ape jump you when you tell him it's time to leave.
What do you mean would ... she allready is there as option, im honestly not exactly sure how i managed it, maybe its some certain amount of long rests after telling Zevlor that they have to get out imediatly (and kill him ofc.)
But then Ritual of thorns is done, and you dont help no one ... since Tieflings are dead in groove (there is still way to get inside and check), and since you cant attack the groove Minthara gets pissed off, and attack you ...
So both sides dead.
Then i personaly rescued Halsin, who even no longer cares if you kill goblin leaders or not.
(Note: He will tell you that without them world will be better place, and goblins keep friendly toward you until you kill Ragzlin)
So ... if we want to concider wich story is most interesting for player, where he gets best loot, and how can he get his best chances to get rid of that tadpole ... i presume that "smart evil player" will do exactly this.
When you betray him at the gate, the player says "sorry, but Minthara and her cult are the best option I have". When was this established? They are hostile to you all the time, show they know nothing about the tadpole and Halsin clearly does. He even studied one up close. What in all of that incentivises the player to murder a group of innocent refugees for some hostile tadpole denialists that betray you, other than "ooh I'm evil!"?
Who is hostile to you? Goblins? They are not ... they welcome you at their celebration, they trade with you, they offer you a plae on raid, they even not attact you when you beat one of them (yup, Crusher) ... that dont seem hostile at all.
When was established that Minthara is your best option? Its common sence.
She and leaders of her cult have tadpoles in mind clearly for longer time than you, since they was not it that Nautiloid ... the godess they are praying to is the same being that is alterning your own tadpole and therfore is saving your life allready ... they are also gathering strenght around whole sword coast, allready managed to wipe out two towns, and even Tieflings are affraid of them ... and ofc. there are those dreams promising power and domination.
First of all, they dont betray you ... they may potentialy betray you ... we allready was talking about this, more than once ...
Second, Halsin studied one ... wich you will find out just after you kill goblins, so no metaknowlenge here ... you know that there is either some druid that maybe possibly able to help you, unless you thrust Lae'zel that strictly tells you that he have litteraly no chance, and all hopes holding toward his skills are empty ...
Third, Minthara and her cult, are connected direclty to godess (or some entity that is presented as godess) that is directly controling your tadpole allready ... so some elf who watched one crawling out of dead drow eye have certainly less experience than she ...
And finaly ... everyting else abowe, and possibly even under this sentence.
Not just complex, evil should be rewarding. Why people steal or work for mafia? They do if for profit. If the whole benefit is having sex with some drow who sounds like an old truck and wants to kill you afterwards then it is not exactly rewarding. It seems like a bad investment.
Yet another great example of someone who is litteraly talking about writing, and dont demand any better items, right?
Nah ... do you at least realize that you are rating quest before completing it? :-/
One of the thoughts I had was regarding Sezza the Goblin (the one in the Tiefling cell within the Grove). She herself tries to sell us on the Absolute and we can free her and sneak out or presumably fight our way out (last time I went through front door a fight ensued) but Sezza dies immediately). Why can't I talk my way out, be deceiptful and say I am using the Goblin to get closer to the Goblin leadership in order to murder them. I mean it's technically a solid plan as far as the Tieflings should be concerned. If I fail to convince them, maybe I could pretend to put Sezza back in her cell (escaping via the back route) / sneakily murder the guards and get out said other way when they insist on locking her back up.
That sounds like a bug ... when i freed her, and take it trough village i was able to talk my way out.
It was pretty hard roll however, and since my character have -1 to charisma ... well ... we fighted.
Either way, I am not interested in the Absolute, why would I be? Later, oh later maybe, but Sezza could be just such a hook to ensure her mistress could help me (That or Sezza needs to sell the abilities of the Absolute more so I think to myself that they "could" be an option). With Sezza in tow through the Goblin camp I can "skip" the insults and be sold the concept of helping Minthara and destroying the Druids. Power could be mine!
This is exactly the question no one can answer for you ... you are the one who are making your character's personality ... therefore you are the one, who need to find answer for every "why would i". :-/
And if you dont ... i gues you would not.
Speaking for myself ... my drow was interested, since Absolute promises some races (Drow included) better life (Sazza tells you) ... im quite sure that my Drow had different image of that life in mind than for example Sazza, but that is nothing he would worry about.
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.
If i recall it corectly in some interwiev someone from Larian (not sure if that wasnt Swen himself) was asked if this game main antagonist will be Mind Flayers ... and that one answered something like: "Oh you dont know even a tiny bit of what we prepared for you."
So honestly i wont be even surprised if we manage to either remove our tadpole after Moonrise Towers, and possibly keeps some of its power ... or make it permanently dormant.
Just to make sure I understand, your theory is that a lot of the story is some sort of an illusion?
Or we simply died falling out the Nautiloid, and this forum ... errrr i mean sword coast is our hell.
No really ... i just wanted to say that we may not even go so far to gods ... after all there was some tadpole activity just before we should smash on that beach ... maybe we are still laying there and all Act1 is just hapening inside our minds, some simualtion controlled by tadpole to make us dormant before we change.