I haven't actually played the game yet and I'm very curious how I'll feel about the matter. BG1&2 had an awesome balance of humour and seriousness and Larian (if I were to judge by the interviews) seem to understand it. They've also stated that they understand that BG is an entirely different brand of humour than Divinity. Reading this thread makes me quite optimistic.
BG2 fans are split on Jan who was a comic relief character. I love Jan and I had him in most of my parties. Minsc was about 50 percent humor.
But you could also assemble downright morose murder party -- Valygar musing on whether he was right to murder his parents, Keldorn depressed after he murdered his wife, Anomen repenting for having murdered Saerk, non romanceable Jaheria musing about her murdered husband.
I think they've got the tone right -- once Minsc comes we'll get some humor. BG is more Star Wars than Guardians of the Galaxy or Spaceballs.
Jan is objectively the best character out there! But what's great is that he's not JUST a joke character; his companion quest is quite serious, and at times his stories end up having a non-comedic point to them - like one conversation with Mazzy is actually heartwarming. He's funny - but it's also shown that there's depth to his character.
Now I want to give it a try! My attempt at different BG parties:
"Serious goody-two-shoes" BG1 party: Ajantis(?), Dynaheir, Jaheira, Kivan, Yeslick
"Weirdos" BG1 party: Alora, Minsc, Quayle, Tiax, Xzar (would be a rather short-lived party, though...)
"College kids" BG1 party: Coran, Eldoth, Garrick, Safana, Skie
"Post-traumatic" BG2 party: Imoen, Jaheira, Anomen, Keldorn, Valygar (expanded on your "morose murder party")
"Light-hearted" BG2 party: Minsc, Aerie, Haer'Dalis, Jan, Korgan
I never actually tried to theme BG companions like that, I usually just take the ones I like leaning to "good run" or "evil run". It would be an interesting experiment to do two playthroughs back-to-back with two contrasting parties. I imagine it's a completely different experience.
I don’t mind 1 party member with emotional issues but when everyone is like that, it’s basically Lone wolf mode if at all possible.
I'm the same and I'm a bit afraid it will be the case in BG3. "Emotional issues" are often conflated with character depth. I very much prefer psychologically strong characters... or just crazy ones. Not emotional trainwrecks (be it overt or hidden).
DnD is first and foremost whatever you make of it.
It does seem a bit serious business (I mean other than the random banter from the goblins). I just assumed D&D is like that.
It is "anything particular" only second. Humor itself can be whatever we make of life, so it can go with anything or fail miserably.
A very interesting post. I hope Larian devs see it, I think it's a good analysis of what works and what doesn't - and what would be a good direction to take BG3 humour.