Great write-up, and thank you, I agree with all of the above and have similar thoughts (also played many CRPGs since Champions of Krynn era on up wink ). I haven't played the new patch yet (62G download on GOG is killing me, can't download it yet), but from I read of the softening of characters, I agree, so long as it wasn't severe. The constant nagging from the only characters you could select was very annoying.

Characters with "character" are good, but not when it makes you wish you had anyone else to have in your party.