The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #211
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Draconi Redfir View Post
    it's a minor one, but i've never been a fan of the RPG mechanic where you get a bunch of characters to use in fights, but you can't use all of them at once.

    off the top of my head, offenders are Golden Sun, tales of Symphonia, and Wildermyth. In some cases i can understand it if you get a LOT of characters such as in pokemon, but if you can use four characters in a fight, and you only ever get eight total, then it feels a bit of a waste. I feel like it'd be better to implement a system where the additional four characters can still participate in the battle, just maybe as support characters using ranged attacks and spells, or even just providing passive buffs and jumping in when someone goes down or something.


    With Golden Sun in particular i noticed this. if your four heroes go down then the other four jump in sure, but if those first four don't go down, then those second four never see any action. I would have preferred if i could have put the melee fighters up front and the spellcasters in the back. Then if a melee fighter goes down, then the enemy can attack the spellcaster directly behind and to either side of them or something.


    not going to stop me from playing a game or anything, but it can be annoying, particularly if you find yourself using some characters more then others, and so the others get left behind in terms of levels and such.
    This actually has stopped me from playing a few games. That one series where you get 108 characters but can only use 4 in combat springs to mind - it means every quest introduces you to new characters who you aren't going to use, aren't going to get to know, etc.

    I don't mind it in games where you're already using a ton of characters at once. In Fire Emblem it's easy to rotate out a half-dozen characters each battle and keep your roster up to snuff.

    It's especially galling in games that don't feel like you're given enough characters to begin with. I gave up on Mutant Year Zero because it's an X-COM style game with a max party size of 3 characters. That isn't enough for fully engaging gameplay and you always feel massively outnumbered, but the game slaps this arbitrary party size cap on you anyway.

  2. - Top - End - #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    History would seem to suggest that releasing a broken game at launch without a fix immediately and widely available will spell the doom of the game, even if a fix does eventually become available.
    Stronghold 3 comes to mind... If the bugs are horrible enough, even the diehard fans will keep away.

    Unless it's a title in the Stalker series, in which case self-inflicted pain and the game world breaking up are part of the experience. Any reference to Clear Sky is purely casual...
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful ó but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

  3. - Top - End - #213
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    A thing I dislike is the lack of modern extract here games where you just plain extract the game and it runs and you can just copy paste the thing from one computer to the other and it runs.
    We do not have many new games where you can just copy paste a folder to get the game to work.
    Last edited by noob; 2019-06-21 at 05:31 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    As for the Half-Life and 2001 supposedly being unrelated, I would point out another vice they share, other than being groundbreaking yet bad, they all have 20 minute sequences where the protagonist sits in a moving vehicle and doesn't do or say anything (the boring tram sequence from the beginning of Half-Life 1, the boring train sequence from the beginning of Half-Life 2 and the mind-numbingly boring hyperspace sequence from towards the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey)
    You keep designating things that I find rather interessting as "boring".


    For my part I quite enjoyed HL2, narrative, gameplay and all.

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    2001 isn't bad, though. Even if you don't understand the plot in the second part (I didn't), it's still a perfectly satisfactory aesthetic experience, which is something that films forget they can try to be (unlike demoscene productions). And I think that the director was aware of this.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful ó but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

  6. - Top - End - #216
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    This actually has stopped me from playing a few games. That one series where you get 108 characters but can only use 4 in combat springs to mind - it means every quest introduces you to new characters who you aren't going to use, aren't going to get to know, etc.

    I don't mind it in games where you're already using a ton of characters at once. In Fire Emblem it's easy to rotate out a half-dozen characters each battle and keep your roster up to snuff.

    It's especially galling in games that don't feel like you're given enough characters to begin with. I gave up on Mutant Year Zero because it's an X-COM style game with a max party size of 3 characters. That isn't enough for fully engaging gameplay and you always feel massively outnumbered, but the game slaps this arbitrary party size cap on you anyway.
    Something like Suikoden (Old Playstation series), and its spiritual successor Exit Fate have 100 characters that you only use 6 of in combat.

    It solves the problem in a few ways, though:

    • Each character has unique moves
    • Some characters have unique combination abilities that they can only do when they're partnered with specific characters in the same party.
    • Characters earn EXP even when they aren't part of the active team.
    • Certain party members are needed to get other specific party members.
    • These games have a Turn-Based Strategy portion, where your characters act as officers in a tactics-style war. Some characters are better in RPG fighting, but others are better officers and provide powerful bonuses to an army.


    I would love a game that combined both elements. Like having multiple parties that are all out adventuring at the same time that you either:
    • Swapped to as needed
    • Programmed them to act in a specific way while they weren't your active party, a la Final Fantasy XII.
    Last edited by Man_Over_Game; 2019-06-21 at 10:16 AM.
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  7. - Top - End - #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    Something like Suikoden (Old Playstation series), and its spiritual successor Exit Fate have 100 characters that you only use 6 of in combat.

    It solves the problem in a few ways, though:

    • Each character has unique moves
    • Some characters have unique combination abilities that they can only do when they're partnered with specific characters in the same party.
    • Characters earn EXP even when they aren't part of the active team.
    • Certain party members are needed to get other specific party members.
    • These games have a Turn-Based Strategy portion, where your characters act as officers in a tactics-style war. Some characters are better in RPG fighting, but others are better officers and provide powerful bonuses to an army.


    I would love a game that combined both elements. Like having multiple parties that are all out adventuring at the same time that you either:
    • Swapped to as needed
    • Programmed them to act in a specific way while they weren't your active party, a la Final Fantasy XII.
    See, to me that doesn't solve the problem - that being that I have 100 faceless mooks in my party because I'm only playing with them 4% of the time (I looked up the specific game, and it was indeed Suikoden for the DS, which had a 4-person party limit and 108 characters). The fact that they're particularly unique makes the problem even worse, because I am definitionally locked out of over 90% of my party and unable to play with them at any given point. If I have a really cool character but can never use them because there isn't party space, it doesn't make me feel better to know that the AI is off having a ball with the character while I'm playing.

    Either give me the party size to reasonably rotate through my squad (with 108 characters, that would be 20+ in the party) or don't put them in the flipping game.

  8. - Top - End - #218
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    While I mostly don't care if a game gives me more characters than I could reasonably need to use, I'm inclined to agree with rodin on this - half a dozen party slots is far too few for a hundred characters. Either you're going to have a chosen dozen or so characters that you rotate between, or you're not going to spend much of any time with any of the characters.

    Characters earn EXP even when they aren't part of the active team.
    I wouldn't call this much of a solution to the problem of having too many characters. Sure, it means that the characters that aren't being used in the party don't get left (as far) behind, and it helps avoid the problem that games have when they have an oversized character list and no reason to use any but a limited subset until you get to a one-off late-game encounter that requires you to use twice as many characters as you've ever needed at any previous stage of the game, but it doesn't actually do anything about the real problem - namely, that there are way too many characters for the player to spend a reasonable amount of time with any of them unless the player uses a default party and ignores the 90% of characters in the game that aren't part of it.

    Some characters have unique combination abilities that they can only do when they're partnered with specific characters in the same party.
    Certain party members are needed to get other specific party members.
    Incentivized party rosters. Hooray, what a wonderful solution to Too Many Characters Syndrome - not only do you get 100 characters to fill four to six slots but you also need to have Character A in the party for a particular event and won't get full value from Character B without also having Character C.

    Isn't a large part of the point of having so many different characters the number of (notionally) unique parties you can build with them? Incentivizing/requiring certain characters to be in the active party runs counter to that, especially if it's done in such a way as to make using one pair of characters flat-out better than the alternatives (taking slots either individually or coupled). Also, you can give characters special combination moves when they're in a party with certain other characters in any party-based game, and, personally, I'd say it works better with smaller numbers of characters.
    Last edited by Aeson; 2019-06-21 at 12:49 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #219
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeson View Post
    Isn't a large part of the point of having so many different characters the number of (notionally) unique parties you can build with them? Incentivizing/requiring certain characters to be in the active party runs counter to that, especially if it's done in such a way as to make using one pair of characters flat-out better than the alternatives (taking slots either individually or coupled). Also, you can give characters special combination moves when they're in a party with certain other characters in any party-based game, and, personally, I'd say it works better with smaller numbers of characters.
    It's not always a problem, though, when you combine it with the first bullet.

    Using Exit Fate as an explicit example, your team is separated into a front line and a back line, each which might have different effects on combat (a character might have different ranged attacks than melee ones, for instance). Sure, it might be worthwhile to combine Characters B and C in the same team, but they're both melee-specific characters that do terribly in your back line, and some of your favorite characters use melee-specific magic.

    Even early on, when I only had about 10-15 characters to choose from, I found that choosing the perfect team was pretty hard, and shifted every few levels.

    Overall, though, I think it works better than a limited roster.
    In the worst-case scenario, you use a specific, rigidly formed team that never changes, designed to be the best possible team ever. This is effectively identical to a limited roster that never changes.
    In the best-case scenario, you have plenty of characters to choose from to cater to a specific playstyle, so that you can make a party using unorthodox tactics, or for having numerous backstories and relationships.



    I guess, my question is, if having an extra amount of allies is a problem, why is the alternative acceptable? If you're playin a JRPG, why is it acceptable to have 3 characters that never change compared to another JRPG that has 3 characters with 3 more as backups? Verisimilitude? "Wastefulness"?
    Last edited by Man_Over_Game; 2019-06-21 at 01:18 PM.
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  10. - Top - End - #220
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    Final Fantasy 9 had something of a unique solution. Only two characters combined, and it had an even number of characters so, you could split the party and have two even bits. (Which was a plot point.) But each character was perfectly useful on their own. Just because you can get an additional benefit, shouldn't make them only useful if all characters are together.
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triaxx View Post
    Final Fantasy 9 had something of a unique solution. Only two characters combined, and it had an even number of characters so, you could split the party and have two even bits. (Which was a plot point.) But each character was perfectly useful on their own. Just because you can get an additional benefit, shouldn't make them only useful if all characters are together.
    I'd like it if each ally had a passive ability they provided while they were outside of your team. Like a 10% chance to cast Fireball each turn, or revives the first ally who falls in combat, things like that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    It's especially galling in games that don't feel like you're given enough characters to begin with. I gave up on Mutant Year Zero because it's an X-COM style game with a max party size of 3 characters. That isn't enough for fully engaging gameplay and you always feel massively outnumbered, but the game slaps this arbitrary party size cap on you anyway.
    Eh, the game wouldn't really work with more. You're supposed to be massively outnumbered because a large part of the game is studying the enemy layouts and figuring out who you can pick off without alerting their friends.

    Plus once you get levelled up a bit you get some powerful abilities that can shut down enemies for several turns, so if you could have more characters you'd be horribly overpowered and nobody would get a go.

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    I do think "useless party members" is a long standing issue with many games, and it can take many different forms. From real time AI that makes them rather useless, to simply not having any good skills/abilities, to just never having enough space to take them. Mass Effect had a lot of good characters, but depending on your class there were some that were only ever worth taking for their dialog, not for their skills/uses. They did at least have a few critical missions where the whole team at least took part and a few could be switched out at certain points in-mission.
    I just played Shadowrun Dragonfall and there was one character that I simply never took with me because she didn't have a place on the team, it wasn't even just because I picked the same class, I was a completely different class, just that what she brought to the team wasn't worth much, being a melee character she just had to be too exposed to be worth it when I could apply at least as much damage from the safety of cover with a gun. They also added a few jobs where I could take a hellhound or a robot, both of which would have been interesting to have but they just didn't have enough else going for them to make the cut. And at least in that game I didn't run with a single "hired runner," the previous campaign I ran with a lot of hired runners, but that was because there wasn't a set team, even then I found myself using the same hired runners the majority of the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    This actually has stopped me from playing a few games. That one series where you get 108 characters but can only use 4 in combat springs to mind - it means every quest introduces you to new characters who you aren't going to use, aren't going to get to know, etc.

    I don't mind it in games where you're already using a ton of characters at once. In Fire Emblem it's easy to rotate out a half-dozen characters each battle and keep your roster up to snuff.

    It's especially galling in games that don't feel like you're given enough characters to begin with. I gave up on Mutant Year Zero because it's an X-COM style game with a max party size of 3 characters. That isn't enough for fully engaging gameplay and you always feel massively outnumbered, but the game slaps this arbitrary party size cap on you anyway.
    felt that while watching someone play Mario V Rabbids kingdom battle too. think you get around 8 heroes, Mario, Luigi, peach, and yoshi, and then their rabbid counterparts. the game permanently locks you into four three characters only though.

    upon writing that, "Legend of Dragoon" also comes to mind. you get... at least six heroes at a time, at least two of those swap out with someone else. but your party can only ever hold three characters in battle. and of those three, one of them MUST be the main protagonist, you can't ever swap him out, so he's always vastly outlevelling everyone else. And of course you'll want to put a healer in the roster, of which i think there are two so.... yeah.

    to be fair, LoD was so big it had to be put on four seperate disks. more then three heroes per combat might have been too much for it. Would have been nice to swap out the main guy though.
    Last edited by Draconi Redfir; 2019-06-21 at 04:58 PM.
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    Eh. Again, I feel differently. I don't mind unused characters, because usually with an RPG like that I'm going to play it through more than once. Having a large enough roster for two playthroughs seems fine to me, and not every character is going to suit every player. Having every character be usable means that some people are going to feel mechanically forced to use more decisive characters, even if they don't want to. (Looking at you, Bishop.) Writing a tight knit cast that will suit every player seems like a narrative nightmare, and having a few extras means you can have ones that aren't going to be liked by everyone and explore nastier or less popular concepts.

    When you get more characters than that, especially when some are flimsy or feel incomplete, yeah, that's another problem.

    Of course, this is assuming there's something for the other characters to be doing, like keeping an eye on the ship. If they are just yahoos standing around contributing nothing on my travels, no, that's a problem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    A thing I dislike is the lack of modern extract here games where you just plain extract the game and it runs and you can just copy paste the thing from one computer to the other and it runs.
    We do not have many new games where you can just copy paste a folder to get the game to work.
    Definitely for piracy reasons on that one.

    Once upon a time, you could download the Popcap demo versions of their games, when the "demo" was just some small programming that forced a timer on your version of the game. You can make a small modification to a file to "freeze" the timer, and now you just play the full version of the game. Worked on everything of theirs except for Plants vs. Zombies (which DID have a hard cap to how far you can play).

    My point is, the easier it is to copy a game, the more it invites piracy. Now that I'm a contributing member of society, I actually pay for games (when I don't get them on free Epic giveaways or something), but I used to pirate the hell out of things. And it was a really good call to add that extra bit of protection from games. Now it can't be hosted on anyone's random server.
    Last edited by Man_Over_Game; 2019-06-21 at 05:00 PM.
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    as a general rule, i say it's acceptable if you can bring half your total roster out into fight, like in Golden sun. you get eight heroes, you can bring out four. getting twelve heroes though and only being able to bring out three just isn't okay for me.


    even then though, like with Golden Sun, if you can bring out half your party, it'd still be nice if the other half could also be brought out. Golden sun does this sort of by having your 2nd set of four replace the first set of four when they first four go down, but in that situation you need to swap one of them back out for a downed character in order to revive them and cycle them back out. In that case at least i feel like it'd be more intuitive to have all four on the field, so the active heroes can revive the downed heroes and get them to instantly jump back into the fight.


    it's all very fuzzy and hard to explain. *shrugs*
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    Quote Originally Posted by Draconi Redfir View Post
    felt that while watching someone play Mario V Rabbids kingdom battle too. think you get around 8 heroes, Mario, Luigi, peach, and yoshi, and then their rabbid counterparts. the game permanently locks you into four characters only though.
    Three, actually. Though the bigger problem is that the game also locks you into using Mario (regular, not rabbid), so you're only really choosing two to bring with him in each stage. And long-term, the two Luigis (who are among your first party members) wind up as pretty clearly the best teammates, with regular Luigi being the game's only sniper and quite good at it, and Rabbid Luigi getting his insane Vampiric Dash that is so powerful that it actually lets him solo the final boss. And you don't even need to do anything special to pull it off - I did it on accident on the first try. Lost Luigi early in the boss fight due to not understanding it yet, lost Mario a little later, then Rabbid Luigi just kicked ass the whole rest of the fight and won on his own.

    Honestly though, in general I don't think that this is an issue. Having more party members than party size just lets you customize your preferred team and use the ones you like, which is totally fine. You probably shouldn't have a ridiculous imbalance between number of team members and the number that you can actually use, like I hear happens in the Suikoden games, or like I know happens in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon (which just throws characters at you every stage as if it expects you to be constantly losing people and needing to replace them), but even then there can potentially be reasons for that. For instance, right now I'm playing Persona Q2. As a crossover of the casts of three separate Persona games, it has way more characters than the five you can use in a single party. Five times as many, in fact - slightly more if you count the navigators, but they get used separately from the main party. But the whole point of that game is that it's a crossover between those groups, and you still get to see them all interact even if you're not using them in your party at the moment, so that's all fine. Just a little frustrating how hard it would be to keep them all leveled if you wanted to, but that's pretty minor, unless it turns out that some will be required for specific events later on, but that never happened in the first game, so I have no reason to think it will in this one.

    Gameplay imbalances like the above-mentioned one from Mario + Rabbids are another matter of course, and one I can totally get behind being a problem.
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Heh, this discussion reminds me of the old Secret of Mana 2 game that's just now getting a translation as Trails of Mana (but it was available before as a fan-translated rom).

    You have 6 characters, each with their own plot, but you pick 3 before you start the game and you kinda see the other 3 as occasional NPCs.

    Nobody had any complaints about the prospect. You miss out on 50% of the characters, their abilities, and their storylines from the getgo, and everyone loved it.

    So I think it's less of a matter of "I'm missing out on playing these characters", but more of a matter of "I have all this waste". And the concept of "waste" in a video game is really odd to me. It's worse to have "waste" than it is to not have excess. Players seem to be happier to have no choice with 3 characters than have to choose 3 characters out of 6.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    Definitely for piracy reasons on that one.

    Once upon a time, you could download the Popcap demo versions of their games, when the "demo" was just some small programming that forced a timer on your version of the game. You can make a small modification to a file to "freeze" the timer, and now you just play the full version of the game. Worked on everything of theirs except for Plants vs. Zombies (which DID have a hard cap to how far you can play).

    My point is, the easier it is to copy a game, the more it invites piracy. Now that I'm a contributing member of society, I actually pay for games (when I don't get them on free Epic giveaways or something), but I used to pirate the hell out of things. And it was a really good call to add that extra bit of protection from games. Now it can't be hosted on anyone's random server.
    I still think that once a company does not except to get money from a game anymore that at that point making an extract here version would be nice instead of just shutting down servers and having the game utterly impossible to play for everybody.

  21. - Top - End - #231
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    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    I still think that once a company does not except to get money from a game anymore that at that point making an extract here version would be nice instead of just shutting down servers and having the game utterly impossible to play for everybody.
    I wouldn't be terribly surprised if in a lot of cases, when the game company goes bust there might be some disagreement on who owns what or an unwillingness to completely abandon an IP, even if the current iteration didn't do so well. There has been cases of older series getting successful revivals, after all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zevox View Post
    Three, actually. Though the bigger problem is that the game also locks you into using Mario (regular, not rabbid), so you're only really choosing two to bring with him in each stage.
    Oof, yeah. Much as I loved that game, that was the biggest sore point of the entire game for me. I know it was probably executive-mandated or something, but, man, did I wish for some more ability to mess with the party there. Co-op, at least helped some with that... but I'd still have loved if beating the game meant that you could replay any level you beat with any composition you wanted.

    Having a bunch of seemingly-arbitrary restrictions on limited choices is probably one of the things that irks me in general. I get, sure, being forced to have a protagonist... but if one of my two party slots is taken up by another character I don't want, or several of my item slots by useless key items, or anything like that... it just feels bad. Because you see what you could have, what the game says you should have... but you aren't allowed to have. If that makes any sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DataNinja View Post
    Oof, yeah. Much as I loved that game, that was the biggest sore point of the entire game for me. I know it was probably executive-mandated or something, but, man, did I wish for some more ability to mess with the party there. Co-op, at least helped some with that... but I'd still have loved if beating the game meant that you could replay any level you beat with any composition you wanted.

    Having a bunch of seemingly-arbitrary restrictions on limited choices is probably one of the things that irks me in general. I get, sure, being forced to have a protagonist... but if one of my two party slots is taken up by another character I don't want, or several of my item slots by useless key items, or anything like that... it just feels bad. Because you see what you could have, what the game says you should have... but you aren't allowed to have. If that makes any sense.
    That reminds me of Chrono Trigger where somebody prophecizes that one of the party members will die soon.

    And I instantly guessed up it had to be Chrono himself because he was the only party member you couldn't switch out (and the others would be stuck at the End of Time with no way out so they couldn't suffer death by plot).

    Then after he does die you can compose your party however you want.

    Xenoblade Chronicles 2 at start has each character able to keep 3 Blades at hand, but each character also has one personal plot Blade they can't switch out so it's more like only 2 picks per character which can get annoying as half the game's combat is coming out with interesting Blade combos (and one specific character can only pick 3 blades total so they don't get any choice at all, although in the other hand said Blades have a much higher customization level than the others). However eventually midgame you get an ability that allows you to detach the plot blades from most of the party and in New Game+ you can do so from the start.
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    ...so we built a five millionth, three hundreth, twenty first one. That one burned down, fell over, then got eaten by the snarl, but the five millionth, three hundreth, and twenty second one stayed up! Or at least, it has been until now."

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    I've just thought of a couple of shady things THQ used to do that bothered me. I don't know if other companies do these things or not, so I'm not sure whether they are considered "trends," but either way I don't like them.

    1. Removing features, then adding them back in later games and treating them as "all new." For example, in their yearly WWE video games, THQ would regularly remove match types, wrestling moves, and other features, then bring them back 2-3 years later as if they were new innovations instead of just giving back features they had taken away previously.

    2. Locking certain features (primarily online play) from the game, then including a code with new copies of the game so that they could squeeze money from the resale market.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataNinja View Post
    Oof, yeah. Much as I loved that game, that was the biggest sore point of the entire game for me. I know it was probably executive-mandated or something, but, man, did I wish for some more ability to mess with the party there. Co-op, at least helped some with that... but I'd still have loved if beating the game meant that you could replay any level you beat with any composition you wanted.

    Having a bunch of seemingly-arbitrary restrictions on limited choices is probably one of the things that irks me in general. I get, sure, being forced to have a protagonist... but if one of my two party slots is taken up by another character I don't want, or several of my item slots by useless key items, or anything like that... it just feels bad. Because you see what you could have, what the game says you should have... but you aren't allowed to have. If that makes any sense.
    Honestly, I'm not even a fan of compulsory use of the protagonist. I mean, I'd usually use them anyway in most games, but it's annoying to be told I can never use a party composition without them. I can understand it for select, plot-important battles, but not for every single random battle in the entire game.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zevox View Post
    Honestly, I'm not even a fan of compulsory use of the protagonist. I mean, I'd usually use them anyway in most games, but it's annoying to be told I can never use a party composition without them. I can understand it for select, plot-important battles, but not for every single random battle in the entire game.
    exactly. even for cutscenes, rabbid peach will always take a selfe in front of that Kong statue even if she wasn't in your party during the fight. Why can't Mario be the same? Just hang out with the other characters you're not using during the fight, then appear during the cutscenes anyways.
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    Curiously enough, Final Fantasy Tactics actually had the ability for you to leave the hero behind during random encounters. Could occasionally be helpful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zevox View Post
    Honestly, I'm not even a fan of compulsory use of the protagonist. I mean, I'd usually use them anyway in most games, but it's annoying to be told I can never use a party composition without them. I can understand it for select, plot-important battles, but not for every single random battle in the entire game.
    But they are the protagonist, the story usually literally revolves around them. He is the reason everything is happening the way it is. It would make no sense if cloud just faffed off and let everyone else handle things barring specific battles. Honestly, what DOES bug me is when cutscenes and such show that your entire crew are traveling together and yet only your three man team is doing any fighting. Everyone else is just like, "Meh, we will wait back here, you guys go fight emerald weapon or whatever. Dont worry, if someone dies we can act totally solemn afterwards. I mean yeah if we all joined in this weapon would die super quick, but im sure you three got it."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    But they are the protagonist, the story usually literally revolves around them. He is the reason everything is happening the way it is. It would make no sense if cloud just faffed off and let everyone else handle things barring specific battles. Honestly, what DOES bug me is when cutscenes and such show that your entire crew are traveling together and yet only your three man team is doing any fighting. Everyone else is just like, "Meh, we will wait back here, you guys go fight emerald weapon or whatever. Dont worry, if someone dies we can act totally solemn afterwards. I mean yeah if we all joined in this weapon would die super quick, but im sure you three got it."
    That I don't agree with, because then you have to limit every game's party size to the number of characters that can be used in a fight, which just becomes silly. You either never have more than 3-5 companions in a game, or the developers have to figure out how to balance larger party sizes, which likely involves either inflating enemy health or numbers, making battles more tedious either way. A certain amount of gameplay/story separation there makes the games better.
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  30. - Top - End - #240
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    I think most games wouldn't be improved by having giant teams or no choice in team members. But I think it should be a reasonable proportion between the two. I also think they need a good reason to switch between party members and at least some reason why the team is limited.

    Having a party of 3 but having a dozen possible members with a lot of overlap in skills/uses doesn't really fit. Mass Effect did a reasonable job of giving each character fairly unique sets of skills even if they were overlapping, so you didn't miss anything just because you didn't take one specific character, but there were too many characters to spend time with all of them.
    A couple people can infiltrate where a huge group would cause more problems that it solves is often used, but that can't be universally appropriate in setting.
    "No more than 2 people can walk together in this wide open space" when you often see large groups of NPCs clearly traveling together.

    I think it would help reinforce the idea if there were some times when whatever "the limit" is changes because it would make sense to change. Like Battletech is normally limited to 4 because that is all a drop ship can hold, but there are other times where you're waiting on planet and not being dropped in and you're still limited.
    Shadowrun is normally set to 4, but there was at least one mission where your team was attacked at the base and you ended up with like 6 people, which made more sense.

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