I had a few points I was hoping someone might want to discuss! And some points I hope the studio might see and consider in the process.
So far I've played 72 hours of the Open Access and seriously, I love the game. I love it so much that the thought of waiting for the full release sits in my head like a tumour. But I digress, I'd rather the studio releases the game when they think it'll be good, when they're happy with it. I do not want to encourage the game industry's crucnhing and mistreatment of workers just to get a game out quicker. Though if someone could give me a rough idea (considering Divinity was in OA for about a year, do you think it'll be the same for BG3? Obvs BG3 is a lot bigger, but so is the studio compared to when DOS2 was being made).
Before anything, know that I've not played DOS2 (But I will soon!) so I'm not familiar with Larian all that much. But following BG3's development has given me an adoration for the studio. They clearly love their fans, their work and I sincerely thank the entire team.
But in other words, here were the main points so far, both good and bad feedback!: Companions and Narrative:
- I worry that companions will be hard-set and won't truly change throughout the story. Mainly because it's using 5e 'alignment' system and I never really liked that in the first place, it feels constraining. I think the easiest example I can think of is with Astarion who is quite CE but I hope that progressing through the game, we - the player - have chances to lead him onto a different path. Neither good nor bad, just give us the option to change opinions without sacrificing the way they see us. Essentially, I hope the work we put into relationships (platonic or romantic) is rewarded in a way. Again, with Astarion, I've been trying to appeal to his personality and humour but I also don't want to be a murder-hobo (which if you're going solely for his approval, he encourages) but in terms of his story, there's clearly hints of a confronation with Cazador (even the possibility of killing Cazador and allowing Astarion to become a full vampire) at which point I hope the work we've put into gaining his trust won't be thrown out just for 'the twist' or a random roll of the dice. I use Astarion as he's the easiest to think of examples for, but I hope it'll be like that with all the characters. I know everyone will want to play the game differently, some won't care about their companions whilst others do. I just hope that if we do actuvely try to appeal to them, we won't be shafted later down the line for the sake of a 'twist'. Like I've really been struggling to get Shadowheart's approval and sometimes it'll just go down because I failed a role, and it's a bit tricky. I'm fine with it taking longer, it's just I don't want my effort to then be thrown out the window!
- I really do love the amount of choices in which the player can try to remove the tadpole. Of course it wouldn't fit narratively to be able to simply take it out straight away, but the amount of options available really gives flavour and agency to the players. It really does make us feel like it's a threat and genuinely scary. The multiple choices throughout the game so far also feel real, they're not satellites, they're kernels and they matter,
- Please please make Alfira a companion character. Maybe not one that gets involved in combat but one who sticks with the party. There's an easy way to impliment her into the story, she wants to travel and she can do that with the camp. You've introduced such a likeable character who would fit perfectly as a bard, and I really do hope you will make her a permanent companion! It'll be a nice change from the stoic Lae'zel and the secretive Shadowheart!
- The story is so far great, from second one, I'm invested and on the edge of my seat! I'm always questioning and wondering what's hidden. Though I still wonder if the true inciting incident has happened? Of course one could say the tadpole's infusion with the player was the inciting incident. It reminds me of Dragon Age: Origins. Where the players have their small personal stories, their origins which itself is a small confined story but the true II happens when joining the Grey Wardens. Hence why I wonder if the true inciting incident has yet to happen and will instead occur at the Moonrise Towers? This is more a curious thought I had!
- With each character having a pre-disposed backstory, it gives the prospect of their playthroughs as something new and exciting! I'm already interested in playing as Astarion, Gale and Shadowheart's story as soon as I can. However, as of now, the background options for our player character haven't shown up much other than passive remarks in conversation. This is an understandable choice, there'd be far too much work to give further origins, but I wonder if perhaps there'd be a potential to give the player a relationship tree before the start of the game. Depending on the player's background choices and race and whatnot, perhaps they could have the option to know of various people before hand, like friends or enemies? Or perhaps even a text-based version of Xanathar's background rolling system. Things like rolling a d100 to see what life events had happened to you, siblings, parents, what kind of home you grew up in, special events that might have happened ot you, etc...? I think that could bring a great sense of agency already, giving the player the chance to have their character be pre-existing in the world and not just suddenly thrown in! It's just not often RPGs like this give the player that much freedom. Plus it would also give the game an insane amount of replayability. Say you played as a Tiefling from Elturel, you might have known about Zevlor before! Or even a druid who once knew Kagha... Etc...
- I love seeing when the companions talk to each other, not just to the player. I hope it happens more frequently as it gives depth their their character relationships with each other.
General Issues: - There's been one thing that's frustrated me. I've had to reload a lot of saves to get the outcome I want but I don't want ot sit through the dialogue waiting for the options to show up. Pressing space skips the dialogue but it also auto-selects the first option in the multiple dialogue choice. So if I'm maybe a little too quick, I'll skip through a vital dialogue moment and have to reload again.
Honestly, other than the various bugs in the OA, I really do adore the game so far!