The way I see it, there are three or four large issues with the camping/resting mechanic in the game as is:
Most glaring issue is the lack of a Day/Night cycle:
Sadly, Larian seems dead set against implementing a proper day/night cycle as in the original games. The reason given for this is to my knowledge what I consider a rather poor excuse to follow the DOS2 formula: That a day/night cycle would require a massive overhaul of the AI "living routine" akin to The Elder Scrolls series. This disregards the fact BG3 is a mostly linear game with static encounters unlike the vast changing sandbox that is TES, and a day/night cycle would ONLY require the illusion of passing time. The AI would largely behave very much the same, bar having the added potential of camp-fires and additional sleeping enemies (reflecting nocturnal/diurnal patterns). Encounters with sleeping enemies could be balanced with adding more of them. If Bioware managed to do this in 1998, Larian can do it over 20 years later.
This change would bring immersion to the eternal day, it would bring variety and new interesting tactical opportunities. It would set a sort of framework/suggested limitation to resting and thus also address some of the balance issues in a roundabout way.
Other major issues:
* How the camp is static and does not reflect your area, breaks immersion.
* How resting is near unrestricted when the story impresses upon us we are running out of time, is an immersion breaking narrative dissonance.
* How virtually unlimited resting in D&D where are classes built on a more restrictive formula, affects balance. When boredom/patience becomes THE limiting factor (like ie. weapon dipping); you know the game design is BAD.
Suggestions for improvements:
1. Immersion/narrative dissonance. Camp could be explained to be a specific place, perhaps a pocket dimension, connected to a teleportation/dimension door device. This dimension could even have time flowing differently (ie. eternal night) that would also address the narrative dissonance of you resting and relaxing while the tadpole eats your brain/nethernese destruction orb beating in Gale's chest. Both allegedly ticking time bombs.
2. Balance. Tricky subject. Clearly an already relative weak subclass like the Champion Fighter compared to the likes of Battle Master, is weakened even further. Yet once per day abilities like their Action Surge can in effect be used once per encounter if resting in between every fight. Full casters are significantly stronger, but casters like Warlock less so. I would suggest balancing these directly by making some several abilities stronger than the rules normally dictate.
Example: Champion Fighter's level 18 ULTIMATE ability is akin to eating one or two of Larian's magical healing apple/food stuff (a micromanaging implementation I dislike, just give us passive regeneration as part of tadpole powers if you must). It is very weak in RAW, it is practically useless in BG3. Stuff like this would NEED to change.
Good points. I would also like to add that the ability to magically teleport back to camp pretty much at will and no matter where you are really breaks immersion for me. As I said once before in these forums, it's like the Fellowship of the Ring zipping back to Rivendell every night to rest.
I'm not too sold on the notion of a pocket dimension camp though, it feels 'wrong' somehow for a low level party? I would rather have to find a safe place to rest, as with the previous games, and the risks that entailed.
Also the mechanism whereby all party interactions are locked to the camp is not great game design; it's been noted several times how players have missed out on dialogue because they weren't aware that that is the only place interactions can happen. I assume this is due to the cinematics; it would seem the tradeoff for having fancy cinematics is that others factors get left by the wayside.
It all just feels so restrictive, I thought cRPGs were about (the illusion) of freedom of choice but with BG3 I find myself being railroaded by their dubious design decisions.