Which is fine, and as a pleasant side effect also makes things easy on the DM.I too find this to be ideal, but players often screw it up. How so? I think its a combo of not being able to articulate what they want out of theme and mechanics. I think some of us folks that really love this stuff, like enough to talk on a forum during the workday about it, take for granted that a lot of gamers simply dont have that level of TTRPG acumen. They dont really know what they want outside of the most general play experience. Worse is many of them just want to play a game with their friends and go along with whatever the GM is enthusiastic about.
Thing is, you could ask em what I want from a game today and I'd say [whatever], then ask me again in a week and I might say something completely different. Getting someone to arciculate in one moment what specific elements they're willing to commit to for many years is IMO asking for long-term trouble.
Very broad-brush is one thing e.g. "it's old-school dungeon-crawling anything-goes play, are you in?" is fine, but getting into picky details isn't, as preferences on those can change almost from day to day.
Simple answer there: don't sign on to adventure paths, but instead sign on to things that are more open-ended and that have less of a "box" constraining what the players/PCs do in the setting.Which is why I'm reluctant to sign onto an adventure path with folks I dont know. I need to know you can work within a box and be creative and have fun.
Splitting the party is just part of the game, in my view. Let 'em split.I also been drifting from D&D because its hard to get players who want to be Riddick instead of Conan, or Shaft instead of Nick Fury to work as a group. God forbid you split the party too, which is exactly what anti-hero loner BAMFs are inclined to do.