For the next game, I think that the known characters of our group should be divided into two groups: Those who accompany you to the battle in your travels, and those who stay at your base, and give you advice.
- Among those who accompany you, you should see Maia, Pallegina and Durance. (Apart from the new colleagues you meet during the new adventure.)
- And among those who are at your base and talk to them from time to time, I would put Aloth, Eder, Fassina, Ydwin, Kana and Hiravias. (Oh, and also our dear Vela)
What is your opinion?
First of all, it greatly depends on where a PoE3 was taking place. Obviously, if it took place in the Deadfire (unlikely), you could see pretty much the same cast of characters. OTOH, if a PoE3 took place elsewhere, you might end up with very few or none of the familiar faces.
Frankly, I think that having Eder back seems fairly likely, no matter what. And since the voice actor for Aloth is the same guy who does Eder, it wouold seem that the chances of Aloth being around would also be pretty good.
As for the other companions, unless a companion actually travels with the Watcher from the Deadfire to wherever, it will always require a real story-telling stretch to get that companion over to the new location. Just look at PoE2. Eder is there because he travelled with the Watcher. Aloth is there because he just happened to be chasing a Leaden Key lead that led him to the Deadfire. And Pallegina just happened to be ordered to the Deadfire by the Valian Trading Company. But it seems to me that you can only reuse those reasons once, except for the travelling with the Watcher one. Eder now has a bit of a history of tagging along, so it wouldn't be a stretch for him to tag along again.
Not long ago, there was a thread on what you'd like to see in a PoE3. And I suggested that a possible interesting story might be for the Watcher to escort Rekke home to "Rekke-land". Were such a story to occur, it would seem obvious that including Rekke as a companion would be justifiable simply because the Watcher was bringing him home, presumably on the Watcher's own ship.
Anyways, I'm with Boeroer on this. I'd prefer to see plenty of fresh faces. I might not mind seeing someone from PoE1 who didn't show up in PoE2. But so much about which old faces, if any, could be seen would depend on where the PoE3 story took place. Place the PoE3 story in the mysterious Rekke-land, and the only familiar faces you'd be likely to see would almost have to have come along with you. Place the story in, oh, the Living Lands, and it becomes more possible for familiar faces to show up.
Pallegina would have to be, because with it we addressed several issues: antipathy towards the gods, the defense of the progress of animancy, hatred towards the godlike and the future of the republics.
With Maia, Kana, or one of her brothers, something similar, but with Rauatai. See if they can be inclined more towards war or the co-operation and their advance in ships, firearms and machinery.
Hacros, I don't see it that way at all. I'm tired of all these "serious" issues, such as the gods, animancy, godlike related racism, and so on.
I would prefer a return to a lot more fun and adventure, and a lot less of the "serious" stuff. For crying out loud, we get more than enough of this "serious" crap in real life. Why do we have to wallow in it in our games as well?