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.
I hear you. I would prefer a camp that reflected the changing environment (and a day/night cycle). But seems like Larian is set against it. Teleportation to a pocket dimension/specific place is the only thing I could think of that could explain a static camp system. Pocket dimensions for camping is a D&D staple, from Rope Trick to Magnificent Mansion, and Dimension Door style teleport would be a nice homage to the original BG (something the game really needs more of if it is to live up to the namesake).
Even a scripted camp system would be better than the current system in my mind. This would work and be immersive given the linear nature of the game. Add slow regeneration to passive tadpole powers to overcome the need to rest just for full health (scrap Larian cheesy food items) prior to hard encounters. Expandable magic assets would be enough to carry the party through to victory even when low on spells (good thing with cantrips being so strong in 5e).
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.
I agree completely. There is something artificial in forcing all major conversations in the camp. The original games could surprise you with these moments wherever and this made it flow more organically. Larian is perhaps trying a little too hard to make their static camp useful beyond the mechanical effects.