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Today I mourn. Please understand, that I have loved your game for over 500 hours. Well worth the money spent. Variety, possibilities, choices. Oh, how I have loved it. But the illusion of choice was abruptly shattered when I got to the choice of freeing Orphias. Not in that choice, but in the fact that “only an Illithid” can beat the game. All good and lasting stories have one thing in common, the people overcome.

Your story comes to a pinch point of only by becoming or joining the enemy can we defeat them. For this to be the epic tale it was built to be, there needs to be a way to defeat the final boss without the transformation or trusting the Emperor. If you cannot see the immediate path to that, then you missed something in your story. There should always be a way for the adventurers themselves to prevail without the external intervention. It may be more difficult, but available. For instance, using the parasites makes the game easier with the extra powers, but if you want to play in a way that you don’t trust them, then why would you suddenly trust, what Withers declared, a soulless creature (confirmed by The Emperor killing his own dragon friend to keep the power).

It just feels as if you, as a crew has chosen to have the minflayers be the ultimate race (above the gods) unable to be challenged by anyone. This even though you are told over and over again that the Gith did just that.

I was saddened at this point because for me the whole of all the good you did is now ruined in the fact that the transformation or trusting someone you know has literally stabbed his allies in the back, becomes a necessity to progress. My character’s efforts and chosen path became obsolete.

I know I am just one voice, but I hope you will find a way to allow this flaw to be rectified sometime before I forget about the game.
nbaird: All good and lasting stories have one thing in common, the people overcome.
You're going to love the Iliad when you find out about it (to paraphrase Tony Randall).
you have a choice you can do iit or stop playing
Not all stories have a happy outcome....
I had a classical happy end. All the characters celebrated the victory together, no tadpoles anymore. Only Karlach turned full illithid to defeat the Carsus crown, but it allowed her to stay alive without having the engine blown. Even Laezel remained in romantic relationship with the main hero Astarion (although I was pretty sure I'd have to kill her because of killing Orpheus). I did made all characters half-illithids at some stage to enjoy the special perks, but in the end they all returned to normal (except Karlach of course).
I have not yet beaten the game myself, but there IS another option...


Get Gale to make the sacrifice and detonate the Netherese Orb. Perhaps THIS is why Mystra tasked him with his quest to begin with, because she knew that your only options were to trust the Emperor (who may or may not be trustworthy going forward), become an illithid yourself (with all that it entails), or have Orpheus make the sacrifice and thus doom the githyanki to Vlaakith's rule.
another option is to let Wizard boy into your camp then kill or otherwise ignore the little shit until that one full rest your game is over!