You have a fair point in general, about good/bad writing approach, but can you please connect it to some specifics from BG3? Where are we taught on the part of good and evil specifically? And what are those characters that are predefined as good or bad?
Here’s a few off-hand. Minthara. Ludicrously ‘evil’, and unbelievably in-your-face about it. I don’t have quotes, but think back on the scene – she really pushes the comic-book evil persona.
The illithids. The ‘bad guys’ are the overly evil illithids you encounter everywhere. No attempt to disguise it. Then the ‘good illithid’ (the guy in the underdark) is too ‘good’ – he’s too ‘pure’. That’s blandly black and white.
It’s been a while since I played it, but the red hobgoblin and Minthara and the goblins have very, from what I remember, one-sided ‘evil’ motivations for assaulting the druids. There’s no sense of any conflict of interests where there’s an interesting ‘grey area’ that might make you stop and think about choosing sides. So siding with Minthara and co. is clearly the ‘evil path’.
The writing is so forgettable that I can’t remember what the druids are about. But Halsin is an overly virtuous – noble, infallible, mallet-over-the-head good guy.
I think there’s some ‘dark druids’ or something in the grove as well, but from what I recall they’re so patently ‘evil’ as well that there’s no nuance to it.
If I was writing the story, Halsin would be a bit of a conman – smooth-talking, ‘noble’ druid who despises ‘abominations’ such as the goblins. He’s trying hard to sell you on the fact that they look like monsters and want to eat humans. But he’s also a genuine gent to his ‘own kind’, the druids: he will fight for them to the bitter end.
Meanwhile, in ‘monster land’, I’d put Minthara as an embittered Drow who has experienced racial hatred ‘on the surface’, but is conflicted about going all-in on killing everyone because of it. She doesn’t like what she’s come across, but she at least gives you a few stories about how she’s been messed around with by the surface-dwellers. Plus, her culture is to take no prisoners. Interesting, but needs some ‘internal conflict’.
Red hobgoblin and goblin crew in general likewise have seen some hatred because of how they ‘look’. They’re angry. And they’ve been spat upon.
But some of the goblins have genuinely also stolen from the druids, attacked them and even tried to rape them.
And some of the druids – some – have retaliated by capturing goblins and torturing them.
Minthara, despite being a ‘victim’, has also given in to her hatred a few times and murdered some of the druids and their children (you hear about this later).
Presented with the above, where there’s no black and white, who do you choose?
IMO, it would make the different paths more interesting, because no one – like all of us, let’s be honest – is a saint or a devil.