Hi all! This is my first post (took me days to get in here! lol) --- but I have been reading the forums for a while now and have 200+ hours in early access.
I have been reading everyone's post in this topic, and I just want to offer my two cents. I think the best part of a party-based game like this is interacting with your party and seeing how your decisions impact them --- both in terms of their personal growth (or lack thereof) and the way their individual quests play out. At the end of games like Dragon Age Origins or Mass Effect (sorry -- I know more about old school Bioware games than anything else, so they are often my frame of reference), the absolute best part is seeing what happens to the rest of the party based on all you have done. Moreover, getting to deeply craft your own origin character is the very heart of RPGs in my humble opinion. No game matched DAO in this, because they had character origin stories that gave you some frame of reference to build up your own unique personality. Origin tales which fundamentally altered several aspects of the main quest...but with YOU and YOUR choices at the heart of it.
The biggest part --- I never felt like my origin char in DAO was not MINE.
And that person you create? That character? They are infinitely important. Your actions, more than anything else, impact your party members. YOU matter. YOU help decide the fate of many, in small ways and in larger, world-changing ways (more often than not). It is a wonderful experience.
Sure --- games like the Witcher and Mass Effect have engaging characters for you to play that you only slightly modify in behavior and choices --- but it still feels like YOU are making the impact when you play. Geralt is NEVER a side character. Neither is Shepherd. They are them...but they are also YOU.
The party characters in those games I just mentioned were all amazing too --- just look at the absolute gobs of fan fiction that came out of those games --- people felt things after playing them (albeit--- alot of those feelings are rather *naughty* if the fan fiction is any reflection)...but feelings nonetheless.
And I think the party chars in BG3 are just as fun and full of life as those other games. Maybe a teensy bit shallower...but still an interesting crew. I love seeing how I impact them, getting under their skin, romancing them, arguing with them...I simply cannot wait to see how it all plays out!
For me -- the issue with the "origin" characters in BG3 is that if you do a playthough with them --- YOU no longer matter. YOUR impacts on them are meaningless because they exist in this amazing story without YOU. If you play as a custom char, they give you NO background (which is unfortunate, although I know some people dig the blank slate) --- but at LEAST you get to create a story that impacts your team by the choices you make (even if your char is a bit...err...boring in comparison).
And sure -- you get to impact your part as an Origin char too. I am sure playing as, say, Gale, might be kinda fun in the way that you get to more immerse yourself in his point of view and all -- while also interacting with the crew as a "i know more than you all" wizard. HOWEVER, as fun as that might be for a few rounds... it essentially negates your custom character entirely. Your druid does not exist in the Origin characters' tale..but THEY exist in YOURS.
Thus --- YOU are kinda pointless. The party Larian wrote feels more important than the one YOU create.
I really think this cheapens my own experience with my custom chars. My choices, my time in that world --- it was fleeting and trivial. The other characters did not need me, they did not benefit from me, they did not even care if I was there or not. THAT is what the origin char stories do to me, personally. They make my character seem completely superfluous. This, compounded with the fact that the game is ALREADY structured to make you seem like the least interesting person in your party (because you never get to articulate or express yourself in it) --- idk --- it kinda makes the wound a little deeper.
I have never had that feeling in an rpg before. Yes I know I can ignore and never play the Origin chars. Yes I know that in reality, YOU were "never really there". Yes I know one could make this argument about one play-though versus another for custom chars alone (ie, they forgot all about my druid when I played my rogue...of course they did).
This is not an argument based in logic. It is just what it makes me *feel*. I feel like my custom char is cheap, tacked on, and completely meaningless. I feel like this story is my party's story, not mine. And honestly...I ONLY feel that way because of the option to play as one of them WITHOUT my custom char in their party.
Not a deal breaker in any way --- I dig the game...but that is my opinion about this particular topic.