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6 Person Party vs. 5 Person Party (Argument Number 4,721)


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I know there has been a ton of controversy around Obsidian's decision to drop from a 6 person to a 5 person party. I was not a fan of the idea then and after playing Deadfire a little more, I can confidently say I'm still not a fan of the decision. Let me explain another reason (4,721) why:

 

This morning before work, I played for about 20 minutes and was finishing up exploring the second map of Neketaka (the one north of the starting map/dock area). I came across a Water Guild building where an additional party member can be obtained. I am roughly 18 hours into the game and currently have 5 party members. Through these hours, I've learned more about each member and now it's come to a point where certain members are concerned about other members and want to help them. One of these said members is someone I would like to drop, but since I can only make a 5 party group, this is something I don't want to do, since their relationship is starting to form. This means I will miss out on the party member I just obtained from the Water Guild.

 

An argument could be had that this inspires multiple playthroughs (something I'm fond of), but knowing that I used to have a 6 party team still sticks in my craw, since I could have instantly added this new party member and started using them and learning more about their story and their abilities.

 

What I'm getting at is due to the 5 member party decision, I feel I'm missing out on more character development and story. I feel the decision to move to a 5 member party has really limited the story and character stories in this regard.

 

Please sound off with your thoughts.

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LET ME CHEAT AND TAKE ALL OF THEM!

 

*ahem*

 

well thats what I like to say  :p

 

it just that..I aint a visionary . I don't know who gonna say what and where and about who . So yeah , it isn't about having an army to back me up . But about seeing companions dialogues and reactions . 

 

I don't know why they went from 6 to 5 , anyone know? 

 

But..in NWN2 , at least I could cheat . Raise affection + taking all of them with me . And seriously , would have it been that hard to add an icon for changing party ? instead of having to get out of the city and do it ? 

 

if you limit peoples , you should at least make the switching easier . 

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Elderly Hive Dweller

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Obsidian really didn't have any good reasons to do this drop in party size in the first place; I've got a feeling it's one of those brain dead inane ideas that came from someone influential and no one that wanted to keep their jobs could criticize it.

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Following the same idea, I could also say that six characters suck, because it is not seven. Indeed, I could start using the seventh character right away, no problem !

 

But wait, what about eight or nine characters in my party, would not that be great, too ?

 

Joke aside, they decided to go with this number because of the amount of micro needed to use with every characters. Later in development, when they implemented successfully the AI Behavior system and thus alleviated the problem considerably, it was already too late to start changing things up.

 

I remember watching a stream about it, from Obsidian. I think it was on Twitch, if you want to look it up.

 

Among the most recent ones.

Edited by Occursus
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I like it. Even if 5 and 6 is not that much of a difference, you have to make a slightly harder choice who to add to your party or what party composition to build. With 6 characters it is kinda too easy.

 

I also think the reduced clutter in combat is a good thing. It is already pretty annoying as is with 5 guys and gals when you have to zoom in to even find where to click for attacking an enemy.

 

Finally, pathfinding... *deep breath*... this travesty is still not completely fixed from the first game and characters get stuck on each other, run into each other and are generally very bad when it comes to navigating narrow passages, doorways or simply not bumping into each other all the time.

 

Five is good. It makes you choose more wisely, it makes you agonize a little more over party composition and it reduces the annoyances with regard to clutter and pathfinding.

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I think it came down to party management. I agree I would prefer to have a larger group of companions because I want to maximize the narrative value of every play-through since I don't have time for a lot of them. But I understand the game play argument for having 5. 

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You can always switch people in and out, and develop them all on a play through... you can even talk to them when they aren't in your party on your ship.

 

If you do end up parking one of them for a while, and want to grab him later on, he'll still have the xp of the rest of your party (basically) and you can level them back up to match you so you aren't dragging around dead weight for story reasons.

Edited by Lokithecat
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It was made because 6 characters was too much micromanagement, too tedious, in combat.

 

Add to the fact a Ranger made 7 things to manage in combat, then summons, i think it's a good change.

 

I was happy and having a ball with a 5 character party in combat, but once i got the 6th it just seemed a little too micro manage intensive, oddly. Seemed to be the line.

 

I've always believed that in a game, gameplay > lore/character collect'em all etc.

 

P.S There really hasn't been much controversy over it, not nearly as much as you try to make it sound ;) i've been following the forums relatively closely.

Edited by whiskiz
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Obsidian really didn't have any good reasons to do this drop in party size in the first place; I've got a feeling it's one of those brain dead inane ideas that came from someone influential and no one that wanted to keep their jobs could criticize it.

What a feeling to have. It's completely baseless speculation. As mentioned above, the reasons are crystal clear. You can disagree with them, but that doesn't make them non-existing. Less combat clutter, and better accessibility for more casual players is valid arguments for Obsidian to make. They have an obvious interest in making combat fun for a larger audience. And even if some grognards like myself prefers 6 party members, that shouldn't be defining for their descision making.

Edited by TheisEjsing
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Prior to the release, it was not appropriate to comment on the party character change as many would say your opinion have no basis if you have not played it yourself. After playing the game now that it has released, i would say i'd still prefer 6 party character. I love the options for the formation, the added flexibility to add the 6th member (be it gameplay or for storywise). Now with 1 party member reduction and 3 returning characters: Pallegina, Aloth and Eder that i really want them to be in my party for every playthrough, the party composition really limited my flexibility. Another point i would like to make is the multiclassing. Multiclassing supposed to address the issue of having 1 lesser party character. But i felt the multiclassing in Deadifre is half-cook. It is not there. They have taken out the flexibility and the greatness of single player class we have in first POE into multiclass and subclassing it which greatly limited character development. 1 skill per level up for both classes really limit flexibility especially for casters.

 

The other issue that i have more problems with is combat clarity. I came to understand the party reduction, the spell/talents and visual effects have to be GIMPED in favor of combat clarity. This greatly saddened me. It seems to be they have overdone it where these abilities have to be in short duration and in favor of clarity on screen. To me they have failed in this section greatly. I'm wondering why in MOBA games like DOTA we have 10 characters we dont have this combat clarity issue but we seems to have the need to gimp visual effects and even SOUND effects for a 5 party characters SINGLE PLAYER game and it's not done professionally. Of course this is just my opinion and i hope to see more improvements incoming over the course of the longevity of the game.

Edited by Archaven
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Obsidian really didn't have any good reasons to do this drop in party size in the first place; I've got a feeling it's one of those brain dead inane ideas that came from someone influential and no one that wanted to keep their jobs could criticize it.

What a feeling to have. It's completely baseless speculation. As mentioned above, the reasons are crystal clear. You can disagree with them, but that doesn't make them non-existing. Less combat clutter, and better accessibility for more casual players is valid arguments for Obsidian to make. They have an obvious interest in making combat fun for a larger audience. And even if some grognards like myself prefers 6 party members, that shouldn't be defining for their descision making.

 

 

I concur.

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I'm all for a party of 6 (it wasn't too much micro when we used to play BG 20 years ago) but I'm happy with a party of 5 if it means we don't get to experience the pathfinding issues that plagued PoE1.

 

4 in Tyranny was just not enough but 5 works. I'm not going to pretend it doesn't feel odd after all these years playing Infinity Engine games but it's still better than the alternative.

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My initial fear of the 5 party was breaking my traditional Infinity Engine party, but until now, I never thought about how it could limit party member story and interaction.

 

I remember Obsidian stating something about moving to 5 member party would help out combat and limit bad path finding and would limit micro management. My question is....these types of games have ALWAYS had micro management. That's the whole point of real time with pause combat system imo. I suppose Obsidian is trying to please both sides; veterans like myself and new comers to this genre.

 

EDIT: With regard to path finding, I don't see why this matters for a 4, 5, or 6 party team. D:OS has some of the best path finding I've seen in this genre. I know they only have a 4 member party, but I would imagine that path finding is more of a coding issue than a party size issue? If they are coded to run around fire and not through it, should it matter how many members are in the party?

Edited by Jayngo
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Obsidian really didn't have any good reasons to do this drop in party size in the first place; I've got a feeling it's one of those brain dead inane ideas that came from someone influential and no one that wanted to keep their jobs could criticize it.

 

No, it was simply lack of V I S I O N. :rolleyes:

Edited by algroth
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It was made because 6 characters was too much micromanagement, too tedious, in combat.

 

 

 

Bad argument. You were never forced to take 6 and the previous game didn't have the current AI implementation (which we all asked for way back during the POE kickstarter)

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I prefer 5 instead of 6. Not only does it increase replayability by a ton but it makes party building an actual thing now. With 6 in PoE1 it was waaaay to easy to create a party with all roles filled and no weak points. With 5 you have to make actual decisions about how your party is going to work in a battle. Each character that you take with you has more "weight".

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I can certainly understand the concern about micro, as PoE is heavier on that than most of the IE games were. But it strikes me as solving the wrong problem - PoE's problem was never that the fights had a lot of micro, but that there were a lot of boring, insignificant fights where all of the micro felt like a waste of time. Eliminate those, and it ceases to be a problem.

 

(I will never stop beating this dead horse, shut up.)

 

 

It was made because 6 characters was too much micromanagement, too tedious, in combat.

 

 

Bad argument. You were never forced to take 6 and the previous game didn't have the current AI implementation (which we all asked for way back during the POE kickstarter)

Combat was balanced around a party of 6, so that's a bit unreasonable.

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I prefer 5 instead of 6. Not only does it increase replayability by a ton but it makes party building an actual thing now. With 6 in PoE1 it was waaaay to easy to create a party with all roles filled and no weak points. With 5 you have to make actual decisions about how your party is going to work in a battle. Each character that you take with you has more "weight".

I completely agree with this theory, however; Deadfire is pretty easy across the board at this time (maybe a patch will change that), so the weight of my choice for character choice doesn't feel as heavy as it should.

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Regarding OP post. The same argument can be done against 6 man party. and party of 7. You can't have everyone at every given time. You couldn't have everyone in BG1&2. Seems like the best way to solve your problem is not designing more companions than there is party slots. Even if party size would be still 6, two unfortunate perons (Maia and Takehu for sure) would be left out.

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It was made because 6 characters was too much micromanagement, too tedious, in combat.

 

Bad argument. You were never forced to take 6 and the previous game didn't have the current AI implementation (which we all asked for way back during the POE kickstarter)

It's cool that they added that. At the same time, if gameplay is tedious enough that you are supposed to not play the game, than something is quite wrong. I have turned all the scripts off and it has very enjoyable. Making "not playing the game" the default option the game is designed for, seems like a bad bad bad idea. 

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Regarding OP post. The same argument can be done against 6 man party. and party of 7. You can't have everyone at every given time. You couldn't have everyone in BG1&2. Seems like the best way to solve your problem is not designing more companions than there is party slots. Even if party size would be still 6, two unfortunate perons (Maia and Takehu for sure) would be left out.

I get what you are saying, but BG2 was like 150 hours. By all due respects, Deadfire is like 50 give or take.

 

I don't know, I'm just biased toward the 6 member party. For whatever reason, when I came across certain characters in BG, I could tell almost immediately if I wanted them in my party or not. I think that's where Obsidian is missing the whole "Alignment" thing. I think it needs to be implemented badly. Maybe don't say Neutral, Chaotic Evil, etc, but this would really help when it comes to party composition and knowing who would be a bad or good fit.

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Obsidian really didn't have any good reasons to do this drop in party size in the first place; I've got a feeling it's one of those brain dead inane ideas that came from someone influential and no one that wanted to keep their jobs could criticize it.

No, it was simply lack of V I S I O N. :rolleyes:

Not what you meant, but I do believe this was one of the stated reasons: Characters and mobs have much more abilities than the old IE games, and also more of them have flashy visuals, leading to more visual clutter which they wanted to cut down on for clarity, especially for new players. Iirc anyway, don't quote me on that.

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