Hello Ken, and thank you for your insightful comments.
The simpler, offline, standalone version is definitely to be. Exactly how it’ll work is still to be decided, we’re considering various options.
Your escrow scenario with the split key operation, is something else again. Not really sure how I’d like that to work. Will have to think about that one some more. I still do not like the idea of going back to use of multiple passwords à la 1.x, I don’t think that’s the solution here.
I do have a thought about the possibility to *add* passwords to files, that would actually fit your bill. See https://bitbucket.org/axantum/axcrypt-net/issues/131/add-sharing-password . This would not have the risk we’ve seen of people forgetting what they entered, you’d still use your own password normally, but you could add a “sharing password” (and construct it like you suggest in split parts) and give to other people whole or in part.