I think the rest system in today's game market probably does need to be different from 20 years ago to be honest. Modern culture has moved into a very impatient meta where instant gratification and short attention span are the default. That doesn't mean you have to let everyone do everything RIGHT NOW though. I think they have the framework of a decent system that with a little cosmetic work could address the story and immersion issues without necessarily going down the full day/night route they are unlikely to pick up at this point.

What I'd go with would be along these lines:

Where Gale jumps out the glyph cliff, have a moderately tough fight. During the fight have him emerge and help. Once combat is over, add dialogue to the effect that his "expert wizard skills" have unlocked a magical glyph that allows transport to a secure location. In camp, have standing stones with glyphs for all the travel points for that map location, which you can unlock 2-way travel for by finding their counterpart in the map.

Then, ONLY have fast travel work via the camp location; and ONLY allow short rests at the camp location as well. Finally, give short rests a 30min cooldown, and only allow a long rest once they have both been used; but don't have a separate cooldown on a long rest so you can transition straight from 2nd short rest into a long rest if you want. You can justify this in the world by making a short rest the equivalent of preparing a meal which also explains the HP regen, and makes it perfectly reasonable to eat dinner and then go to bed.

That gives an effective 1hr cooldown on a long rest which makes resting more tactical and resource economy more involved; and means that if you want to go from, say, the Goblin camp to the Druid Grove you need to fast travel via the campsite which can trigger companion updates and dialogue options. Same goes for if you want a short rest: you don't just bust it out, you travel to the nearest glyph and port to the campsite, again giving companion arcs a chance to trigger.

Last edited by Elessaria666; 23/02/21 08:30 PM.