Thoughts about Dialogues (also, Overgrown Alcove)

Popping back in after a long absence…
As always, I fully visit all areas, and talk to everyone I can.
Turns out quite a lot has changed, almost always for the better.

Most dialogues have been vastly improved, as in, when you ask a question, the NPCs actually answer it, instead of just saying a completely unrelated random line regardless of what line of conversation you chose. An example would be the outcast camp in Risen Lake, where you are now greeted by a sentinel with whom you can chat, and a few other outcasts throughout the camp also give consistent conversations. The cultists outside Welryn are also a lot more pleasant to talk to.
In general, in almost all areas, much more dialogue consistency, and much better writing. Well done.

Still a few bugging me a little bit. To name a big one, in one of the very first side quests, when someone asks me to find their niece, I get there to learn that the distress signal, of which I had never heard about, was a trap. I then come back to inform the quest giver, who apparently knew about the distress signal (why didn’t he tell me?), but has completely forgotten he had a niece…
The outcast queen, and even more the oracle, would also deserve a bit more flavour, both through their own chats and the people surrounding them.

Overall, still a bit of proof reading needed, but a lot of improvement, this is going the right way.
(He was already here before, but I still love the merchant in the Oracle Abode who is baffled when we offer to help with the harvest. More funny sneaky lines like that, please!)

Now, a question for my fellow explorers:
I think the Overgrown Alcove has changed. There is now some kind of apparatus in the middle , surrounded by 4 thingies that can be activated. Or was it always there and I had forgotten?
Anyway, with a bit of running and movement skills usage, I managed to activate all four corners at the same time, but nothing happened. Also tried a few different orders, without success. Any of you found something in this area? Or do you think it is just a fool’s errand? (Don’t mind if it is, it has kept me entertained for a while, that’s fair enough.)