I have edited my previous post, but to be clear: I generally agree with the vibe
that the romances in their current state are
- forced - Especially in playthroughs where you don't talk with your companions much. Take Lae'zel: "We don't really know each other, we are completely different species (by the way, as a Githyanki I'm a bit of a Nazi and consider you an enslavement-worthy Untermensch race) and you have given me absolutely no notion that you like me (especially not in that way), nor did I give you any notion that I like you (the opposite, if anything), but you made the tiefling kiss my boots, you let the snake kill the tiefling kid and you drank water from the well that smelled like rotting corpses, so let's f**k!" The dialogue when you do not have enough approval or choose someone else is even cringier. Other companions seem (slightly) better and it seems less out of place if you always try to exhaust all the dialogue options with that specific companion, but it still feels forced AF.
- unnuanced / obviously gamified / scripted - You either have enough approval points at the specific time (the celebration), or you don't. ROMANCE variable is either true, or false. ROMANCE_COMPANION variable can be set to exactly one person and everyone immediately knows who it is and reacts to your choice in their dialogue - but don't worry! Even if you are completely dumb, we will actually let you choose your "romance" companion again when you go to sleep. My job as a software developer may be a factor here, but this feels like lazy scripting, not just writing.
- progressing too fast - This may be due to EA being only Act I and the romance arcs being "compressed" to only that one act, as lots of the dialogues would make more sense in later parts of the game. Also, the way the game currently handles (well, ignores) time progression may be a factor here as it is kinda hard to understand where in terms of knowing you and each other the companions stand - dialogues (and banters between the chars) give you some clue, but really, depending on how much you abuse the rest/camping system, you may reach the celebration part in a week or 2 months and there is no difference (other than not resting enough may make you miss some dialogues).
Hmm, yep, fair points. Alright I understand where you are coming from.
Someone agreeing with your actions does not necessarily correspond to them liking you in a romantic way - that should be rather obvious.
I have to say, quite a few options are not romantic in nature, but more of a ''let's fck to blow off some steam after battle.'' In which case the only plothole would be if you created a character that is not very pretty.
Wrong combination of companions/race/gender - This depends, but I generally like romances implemented as something optional (or borderline secret) that is not easy to achieve (or the very opposite, the romance being pivotal to the main story of the game, but that is clearly not the case here). More believable than making sure that there is someone for everybody, which cannot usually be done without the story/logic/writing/believability suffering too much.
This was the case, and I like Minthara more than any party member currently.
our arguments about alignment make it even more puzzling for me to understand how can you be OK with the current system of romances: "collect enough approval points for the companions you like and select the one you want to see a soft-porn scene with".
I don't know.. maybe my bar is very low, romances are a little extra that I don't really expect much from, I headcannon and rolpelay for it to make sense. It's just that romance in an RPG is like car driving and shooting in GTA, Need for speed and Call of duty do it better, but it's not the whole point of GTA, there is a whole seperate video game genre dedicated to romance.