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Party size limitation


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I know it has been announced that party size will be limited to 6 + temporary companion, but I can't help feeling that this is anti-roleplay and kind of frustrating.

 

Isn't it possible to put more roleplay-like limitations, such as:

  • NPCs that can't stand each other, preventing you from taking them together
  • NPCs that may refuse to follow you on certain tasks
  • On the contrary, the player may not want a NPC to see him doing things against his ideals

That way the player may change his party (and his strategies) according to the incoming task. Plus, it may be nice to be able to "convince" NPCs to put aside their disagreements for one big assault, for instance.

 

I also think it's a shame that put-aside NPCs are just... put aside. By giving the player the ability to give them missions like gathering intelligence, trading, etc. the player may be tempted to reduce his "fighting party" and assign non-combat roles to some NPCs.

 

What do you think? Am I the only one that this fixed limitation bothers? Are there arguments in favour of this limitation that I haven't considered? (For instance, I know that balancing the game may be, if not more difficult, at least different from what we are used to)

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Are there arguments in favour of this limitation that I haven't considered?

 

Yes.

 

Replay the game with a different party setup in order to experience the interactions between different characters. This was one of the strong points of Baldur's Gate 2. You don't necessarily have to see all the content that the game has to offer in a single playthrough.

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I think I was misunderstood.

I didn't mean that I wanted to control more than six characters at once, but that the way to limit the number of characters in the party seems a bit artificial.

 

I agree with you, when you say that it is nice to be able to replay the game with a different party and that six characters parties are being rare, but I was pointing out how that limit was introduced.

 

I remember walking through plains and suddenly meeting someone that could come into my party. I also remember thinking "Huh, my party is full, shall I try to take him with me and to part with one of my loyal fellows, or decline his offer and maybe lose him forever?".

On the other hand, having one of my so-called loyal fellows telling me that he could not stand that new NPC coming into my party would achieve a similar goal but in a more roleplay manner.

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Let the flames ignite: I loved the spaceship / party camp system in those games by the developer the name of which I dare not speak aloud in here.

 

Same here. I'm not asking for similar system, but I think allowing you to choose your party depending on current situation without fear of losing anyone would be great. I hated system in Baldur's Gate where dismissed company just left never to be seen again. Wouldn't it make more sense if they went back home (or nearest tavern if that's more their style :D) and could be re-recruited from there at any point of the game.

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3 person party made sense sometimes, walk around friendly station, going somewhere in a shuttle with limited space, stuff like that.

But "let's assault a stronghold, I think there's about 200 of them there so we'll take... you and you. The rest can stay here and play checkers."

 

No, usually I'm not for party size limits. You're constantly facing overwhelming odds, yet you still refuse to take a willing master swordsman

with you because "the party seems a bit crowded already". But hey, that's the way the game plays so that's how it's played.

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Let the flames ignite: I loved the spaceship / party camp system in those games by the developer the name of which I dare not speak aloud in here.

 

Same here. I'm not asking for similar system, but I think allowing you to choose your party depending on current situation without fear of losing anyone would be great. I hated system in Baldur's Gate where dismissed company just left never to be seen again. Wouldn't it make more sense if they went back home (or nearest tavern if that's more their style :D) and could be re-recruited from there at any point of the game.

 

Oh no, not for me. Whilst I think the party hub in both ME and DA:O were actually handled quite well as spaces they just felt a little bit gamey on the whole, if you get my drift. Like everyone is just standing around awaiting your convenience? With these two games in particular I didn't mind it so much - as they were a part of your travelling "camp" the implication and effect was not that all the characters you met were always a part of your party, with selected teams tackling each scenario. In ME in particular that context felt appropriate

 

However, by and large, with a large 6 person party game like this, I would rather my companions be the whole party. I also want them to feel valuable, rather than slots to chop and choose, and to feel like choosing to take someone on board or keep those I'm with is a real decision with weight. I loved "bumping" into people in BG and then they would be on their way, it felt like they had their own thing going on.

 

Having said that, I would probably welcome a second chance with characters. but I'd like it to be an organic experience with the same weightiness. Rather than just going back to where I know this supposedly epic character is just hanging around, pining, waiting for me to just ask them to tag along.

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  • NPCs that can't stand each other, preventing you from taking them together
  • NPCs that may refuse to follow you on certain tasks
  • On the contrary, the player may not want a NPC to see him doing things against his ideals

 

Can't stand all of these things, to be honest. It should still be possible to take them with you together and exactly because of their rivalery/whatever there should be interesting situations because of it.

 

For me, it's just arbitary and the game saying "No, you can't do that. Here's exchangeable story reason #234343442.*

 

The game should encourage taking different companions with us by providing lots of reactivity. For example, you get a quest where one of the solutions is a sneaky one. So, for one if you bring two people that hate eachother their quarrel could result in you being detected. Or......

 

Possibilities for reactivity is endless (naturally too much to really account for everything. Don't expect that though)).

 

So, the content itself should give me reason to assemble a certain team (and give me corresponding results if I'm doing it differently). This shouldn't be forced by preventing me to try something.

Edited by C2B
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when the time for the final battle comes, i want to either face the big boss alone or with all the companions. so i dont leave 6 of my 11 companions at home and face the enemy with me and 5 others. i want to have all 11 of them with me and kick some serious ass in an epic scale battle. so instead of me and 5 companions facing the big boss with his overpowered 5 companions, i want me and all my 11 companions, fighting against the boss, his 5 lads and 50 goons

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Hmmm. I don't like the party camp system but I don't hate it either.

 

What was the problem with the BG2 system? Drop off your NPCs at a tavern. Want to swap them out? Go and pick them up.

 

It would be cool if some NPCs wandered off and left you a message (Oh, you're looking for Bob the Wizard? He said he was looking for spell components at the Tower of Mystery, he'll meet you there if you swing by"). Others might just be where you left them. The idea that the party follows you around waiting for a slot on the team is just more Bio ego-massage of the PC.

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I like being presented with choices and consequences in all aspects of a RPG. It allows for more strategic and intellectual play. So in the case of party formation, I like the idea of having to pick and choose and then live with the decision. Having a troupe of characters to choose from for any given scenerio is too easy-mode.

 

I also like the idea of characters having a life of their own, so one or two may decide to go their own way. But for such a thing to be balanced, there should be the opportunity at some point to replace what is lost. So if Bob the Wizard decides he's happier frolicking and picking spell reagents in the Fields of Bababooey or whatever, another spellcaster should come along at some point.

Edited by Data4
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Actually the party system I like best (simplistic as it is) is in Mount & Blade (Warband, but I recall the base game had the same system).

 

You can pick every companion in the world, but then they'll argue over stuff, hate each others and start dropping out.

You can keep them a bit longer if you get good foods and drinks and do stuff they like, but in the end you can only keep about half of the potentials.

(less if you don't follow some guide as to how to get the biggest party)

 

And it's not simply good vs evil, a noble knight will annoy the hell out of some robin hood type and vice versae.

A scholarly type will get in arguments with a self made surgeon, who will in turn disapprove the disciplinarian trainer whipping recruits.

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Hah, one of my favourite moments in BG1 was when Khalid picked a fight with someone - I cannot remember who (possibly Xan?). They'd been bickering on and off for a week or two in-game time and suddenly Khalid drew his sword and attacked. Khalid actually died. That was an interesting playthrough! I had to get rid of Jahira too!

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Actually the party system I like best (simplistic as it is) is in Mount & Blade (Warband, but I recall the base game had the same system).

 

You can pick every companion in the world, but then they'll argue over stuff, hate each others and start dropping out.

You can keep them a bit longer if you get good foods and drinks and do stuff they like, but in the end you can only keep about half of the potentials.

(less if you don't follow some guide as to how to get the biggest party)

 

And it's not simply good vs evil, a noble knight will annoy the hell out of some robin hood type and vice versae.

A scholarly type will get in arguments with a self made surgeon, who will in turn disapprove the disciplinarian trainer whipping recruits.

I actually like that idea a lot. You wouldn't have to leave anyone behind because of some unexplained law of universe which allows you to travel with maximum of 5 people, but there would actually be kind of natural cycle when two companion can't get along and you would have to choose who goes and who stays. Those decisions could be even harder than Baldur's Gate system, because there you could drop the most useless character, but in this you might actually have to choose beetween two of your best companions.

 

But I still prefer system where all companions are always available for recruiting.

PlanescapeTorment-1.jpg

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For big assaults and the like, I think a split party system might be best.

 

In tactics Ogre: knight of Lodis, their were a few battles where two battles went on simultaneously. You fought one battle, then the next. Units deployed in the first battle could not be used in the second. Something tot hat effect would be neat.

 

Suppose you have companions 1-11 and the hero. Say you, and companions 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 decide to do a frontal assault on a castle, because you're a chivalric warrior like that (*or whatever reason you want). Meanwhile, Companion 6 is like "You know, I think I'll just lead the rest of the guys here to the back gate. We can cause a ruckus, make things easier on you, hero." And at some points during your frontal attack, their will be a "Meanwhile..." and hop over to the second party. As an option, people could choose to avoid the second party hopping, and just have the computer abstract it all out.

 

Anywho, enough rambling from me.

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I've been thinking that I simply won't recruit more companions than my party can hold, so as to avoid having people waiting for me in some dumb camp.

 

I can always recruit differently on my next playthrough, after all.

Something stirs within...

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  • NPCs that can't stand each other, preventing you from taking them together
  • NPCs that may refuse to follow you on certain tasks
  • On the contrary, the player may not want a NPC to see him doing things against his ideals

 

Can't stand all of these things, to be honest. It should still be possible to take them with you together and exactly because of their rivalery/whatever there should be interesting situations because of it.

 

For me, it's just arbitary and the game saying "No, you can't do that. Here's exchangeable story reason #234343442.*

 

If anyone of you have played Jagged Alliance 2 1.13, you may know that it had similiar character relationships. Some people hated each other and other loved, etc. Great thing in that game was that it was up to player to choose if he wanted to have these relationships affect gameplay. If you didnt like it you could turn it off from ini.file. Thats where you changed settings in that game, if you dont know it...

 

I hope that this game will also have wide range of settings for player to choose the ones, that they like.

 

Btw, if you like turn based tactics JA2 is the game you should play.

Edited by Laakeririkko
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Actually the party system I like best (simplistic as it is) is in Mount & Blade (Warband, but I recall the base game had the same system).

 

You can pick every companion in the world, but then they'll argue over stuff, hate each others and start dropping out.

You can keep them a bit longer if you get good foods and drinks and do stuff they like, but in the end you can only keep about half of the potentials.

(less if you don't follow some guide as to how to get the biggest party)

 

And it's not simply good vs evil, a noble knight will annoy the hell out of some robin hood type and vice versae.

A scholarly type will get in arguments with a self made surgeon, who will in turn disapprove the disciplinarian trainer whipping recruits.

I didn't have to follow a guide, I just had insane reputation, over 2000 or something. Everyone stayed with me once I got my own kingdom.

Then, endless battles between Boyard Sir 5 0 and Jarl Sir 4 1 happened and I gave up. Damn bugs.

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I wouldn't mind an approach that actually rewards the player for taking smaller teams on specific quests. That way the party size cap seems like less of a limitation.

 

There's probably a number of ways to do this. One could, for example, split the team for performing simultaneous quests. Another is for the patron to reward the PC for keeping the number involved small. A third approach would be to divide earned party influence by the size of the team; the smaller the team, the more closely knit they become and the faster the player's influence rises with those involved.

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Let the flames ignite: I loved the spaceship / party camp system in those games by the developer the name of which I dare not speak aloud in here.

 

OP: I also love your idea of giving NPCs something else to do than joining the excursions.

 

Hehe. I'm good with this convention - and thought the Normandy 2, in particularly was really well executed in this respect. Might have been nice for it to bit more dynamic, but on the whole, thought it had a lot of personality and tied the party together as a "crew."

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I think limiting the party size because of the specific situations at hand, like people not wanting to work with each other, or needing to go through a small tunnel to get to somewhere, a great idea, actually. I think the main issue would be combat balance, as you might, for example, have 20 people in a fight if you play some way and be forced into it alone, if you play it another way.I actually care very little for this, I think a game that has very different difficulties according to your playstyle is better for it. But I think a lot of people would hate it here. Another problem might be programming issues, such as the UI and having enough memory to deal with combats in any situation.

 

Still, I think it could be worth it, exactly because it would make the game so much more unpredictable.

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I think limiting the party size because of the specific situations at hand, like people not wanting to work with each other, or needing to go through a small tunnel to get to somewhere, a great idea, actually. I think the main issue would be combat balance, as you might, for example, have 20 people in a fight if you play some way and be forced into it alone, if you play it another way.I actually care very little for this, I think a game that has very different difficulties according to your playstyle is better for it. But I think a lot of people would hate it here. Another problem might be programming issues, such as the UI and having enough memory to deal with combats in any situation.

 

Still, I think it could be worth it, exactly because it would make the game so much more unpredictable.

 

Definitely like this idea. Possibly during major missions (like say, storming the Evil Ominous Castle of DOOM), you could have as many as you want, but more companions = more visible group = more attention = more people making a fuss and trying to smash your brains in.

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