I'm *really* unhappy about the five man party. It just annoys me to limit my options and tell me it's for my own good 'cuz combat was to hard.
It's not even combat that annoys me about this, though. It's having to replay through a whole game again in order to get the storyline of one additional character I'm interested in.
... I am sure Deadfire will work as any other modern RPG and give you all the story, even if you barely use someone.
I don't remember ever hearing Obsidian saying that combat was to hard and that is why they reduce the party size. If I remember well, they said that they found that your party forced them to put bigger pacts of enemies which made combat more busy than it needed to be. I find it to be a good reason. It doesn't make combat easier, or more shallow, just cleaner. Of course, we will be only able to judge it fully once we get our hands on it.