- 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'm pretty sure that Astarion has been done right. He's a psychopath/sociopath. Have you ever had experience dealing with those types of characters in real life? You cannot 'sway' those type of people on the new path because it's coded in their DNA. You can make them behave out of fear of repercussions but you cannot make them caring or feel any empathy. Because it's like if a dolphin tried to 'sway' you to feel echolocation, which you unable to do physically. In this sense it's well done actually from Larian side. And no, you don't have to be a murder hobo for him to like you, just choose callous dialogue options, which he approves.
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!
Getting Shadowheart's approval is very easy. Just respect her secrets and her religious beliefs and don't press her on those topics, she doesn't like nosy people. She also likes animals. You probably pressed her to reveal everything about her right away and in full.
- 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.
Let me guess... you haven't played Divinity: Original Sin 2. The origin characters concept is straight up taken from there. So, you have another great game to try out. D:OS2 is definitely better than DA:O.
- 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...
It would be great to have an origin story for generic characters too, I agree. But it's kind of a lot of effort to implement.
- 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.
I think it's coming because in some locations they actually already do that. There's a place in the swamp and a garden on the bottom level of the magic tower that triggers companion chatting with each other.
- 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 to 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.
Actually it's not an issue. This is a D&D game, therefore by design you suppose to live with the consequences of outcomes you didn't like. Just relax and accept the given outcome. At least, that's the idea how D&D games suppose to be played.