So, I'm finding it near impossible to complete the quest "Painted Masks," thanks to what I can only assume is a bug in the quest "Cruel Cargo."
Relatively early in the game, Aloth tells me we ought to seek out the Wahaki, but in absence of any way to ask anyone where to find them, I just shrug and assume I'll bump into them eventually.
Later on, I go to Crookspur on behalf of the Principi, then since my character is a former slave from the Deadfire, I go berserk at the slave auction and kill all of them, release the slaves, and leave. On the way out, a Royal Deadfire Company ship meets me and thanks me for clearing out Crookspur for them (I had a quest called "Clearing out Crookspur" in my journal that completed, but it had still been on the stage of telling me to go to the Brass Citadel - I hadn't actually gotten any instructions to take the fort for the RDC. Again, I shrug and move on.
Soon before the Ashen Maw, I've been following the Huana questline, since I figure colonialism is giving them a raw deal. Queen Onekaza asks me to go get the Wahaki on Ori o Koiki to start fighting Royal Deadfire Company ships en masse, but I decide I don't want to be party to starting open war, so I tell her I'll think about it. I don't believe I got a quest in my journal, when I went looking for the Island to complete "Painted Masks," it wasn't in my list of known places.
I'm right on the cusp of the endgame - got good relationships with all the factions, done basically all the sidequests, just gotta mop up a few things like companion things before I hash out who to take to Ukaizo. I still haven't gotten any leads on where to find the Wahaki, since even when I'd bumped into them while looking for a map, it hadn't advanced the quest. So I just circle the sea until I find Ori o Koiki on my own.
I bring Aloth, he mentions the symbol out front looks like a modified leaden key, he notes the mosaic of Thaos ix Arkannon, all good, we go talk to the chieftain, Aloth mentions her facepaint, Cool, we should be getting somewhere with this...
Here's the issue. There are two dialogue options that seem to relate to Aloth's quest, but both of them are dead ends. "What is the significance of your facepaint?" just makes her exchange a look with her advisors and warn me not to waste their time, and "Do the words 'Thaos' or 'Leaden Key' mean anything to you?" makes her impatiently demand I get to what I REALLY came about.
Apparently I REALLY came about the alliance with Queen Onekaza, or at least to see what quests they wanted me to do for them. They bring up Crookspur, I tell them the place is already a graveyard, they thank me. Then, without another dialogue choice coming up, the Ranga starts talking about broken promises and betrayal, and blames me for the Royal Deadfire Company taking over Crookspur MONTHS earlier. My options are "[stay silent]" which gets me told off and sent packing. "The Royal Deadfire Company has plans for Crookspur," which gets me threatened and sent packing, and a combination Streetwise/Diplomacy check that lets me explain pretty reasonably "You guys weren't there, what exactly did you expect would happen when a coastal fort on a large island was left abandoned?" which gets me talked down to and sent packing.
After this conversation, it's impossible to initiate dialogue with her or any of her advisors again, and no clear way to advance Aloth's personal quest. Even worse, I've been told by others that one advances the quest by reading the Ranga's soul, which... might have come up as a dialogue option at any point and made sense, but just didn't. Apparently you can also read her soul if you KILL her, her advisors, and all her guards, but... nope, not gonna play that kind of monster.
I ran into this problem about three weeks ago, and decided to set down my first playthrough until a patch came out to fix it. The patch came out yesterday, so I eagerly went back to a previous save and repeated my whole approach to Ori o Koiki, the conversations, the whole thing, and... ran into the exact same problem. I'd hoped that this line from the patch notes:
- Fixed an issue where the quest "Fruitful Alliance" was not updating properly if the player dealt with the slavers at Crookspur before talking to Ruasare at Ori o Koiki.
Would fix the issue, but sadly not. I'm probably going to need to wait another month to roll the dice on whether or not anyone notices this bug and/or finds it a big enough deal to fix.
This especially stings since I accidentally locked myself out of Aloth's personal quest in the first game, too, so this marks the second time I'll have to abandon his character development. I was mostly okay with it the first time, since it made sense in-universe that I couldn't go to Brackenbury after the riots, but this time really sucks. I guess I can always just skip it for now and reload a save or do a second playthrough if/when it gets fixed, but I've been feeling really connected to the sense of continuity with my Watcher, mostly thanks to the pleasant surprise of how well my made-up backstory and characterization meshed with the overall themes across the games. "Retcons" would just feel especially cheap to me.
I'm posting this in the hopes of visibility. If anyone knows of any official channels to take this through, I'll post it there, too.