Party limit size

Posted by NickL (2246 posts) -

Did anyone ever play a final fantasy game and ask why only four characters can be brought into battle? 
 
Well I have and I have thought about this for a long time now. In final fantasy, and most rpgs in general, this is not a huge problem in my eyes.  After all, the games generally focus around a small group of people changing the world in one way or another. 
 
Now that I have been playing my way through dragon age: origins, this question has again been entering my mind.  With how far I am in this game so far (have only been to one place so far) it appears that a major theme in this game is building an army to face the blight.  Thats no problem, but i have about eight party members and I am only allowed to use four of them.  In a game that is all about the big battles and building an army as fast as possible, it just seems extremely out of character that my dwarven noble says "No, you four stay in camp, we don't want this to be TOO easy."
 
Why can't a game let me use all of my party and scale the amount of enemies to that amount? It seems like a simple enough idea and yet i cannot think of a single game that does that.  
 
Can anyone tell me a reason why this shouldn't happen besides an arbitrary decision to make four the limit? 
Are there any games that have ever toyed around with this idea? If so, did it work?

#1 Posted by NickL (2246 posts) -

Did anyone ever play a final fantasy game and ask why only four characters can be brought into battle? 
 
Well I have and I have thought about this for a long time now. In final fantasy, and most rpgs in general, this is not a huge problem in my eyes.  After all, the games generally focus around a small group of people changing the world in one way or another. 
 
Now that I have been playing my way through dragon age: origins, this question has again been entering my mind.  With how far I am in this game so far (have only been to one place so far) it appears that a major theme in this game is building an army to face the blight.  Thats no problem, but i have about eight party members and I am only allowed to use four of them.  In a game that is all about the big battles and building an army as fast as possible, it just seems extremely out of character that my dwarven noble says "No, you four stay in camp, we don't want this to be TOO easy."
 
Why can't a game let me use all of my party and scale the amount of enemies to that amount? It seems like a simple enough idea and yet i cannot think of a single game that does that.  
 
Can anyone tell me a reason why this shouldn't happen besides an arbitrary decision to make four the limit? 
Are there any games that have ever toyed around with this idea? If so, did it work?

#2 Edited by Vaile (355 posts) -

Well, in Baldur's Gate you could have up to six characters in your party, but none on reserve. I know they reduced the size because they wanted to focus more on character development. That's really all I can tell you, though.

#3 Posted by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

I've wondered the same thing. 

#4 Posted by kashif1 (1428 posts) -
@NickL: If the camp is attacked while your not around?  I wouldn't know i haven't played the game
#5 Posted by jorbear (2517 posts) -

Yeah, there really is no good story explanation. @kashif1's suggestion is probably the best BioWare could come up with anyway. 

#6 Edited by NickL (2246 posts) -
@kashif1: In dragon age, the only reason for the camp is so that your party has somewhere to rest, there would be no reason for a camp if your party stuck together 
 
 @Vaile: Character development is a pretty good reason, but on the flip side, the back story of my four other players that i can't use doesn't advance at all besides the dialog trees that i can unlock through giving them gifts 
 
I think a happy medium might be to have four important main characters that you get attached to and have the rest of your team just be part of your trusty squad that goes into battle with you , that seems like it would satisfy everything to me
#7 Posted by Grissefar (2842 posts) -
@NickL said:
"Did anyone ever play a final fantasy game and ask why only four characters can be brought into battle? 
 
Well I have and I have thought about this for a long time now. In final fantasy, and most rpgs in general, this is not a huge problem in my eyes.  After all, the games generally focus around a small group of people changing the world in one way or another. 
 
Now that I have been playing my way through dragon age: origins, this question has again been entering my mind.  With how far I am in this game so far (have only been to one place so far) it appears that a major theme in this game is building an army to face the blight.  Thats no problem, but i have about eight party members and I am only allowed to use four of them.  In a game that is all about the big battles and building an army as fast as possible, it just seems extremely out of character that my dwarven noble says "No, you four stay in camp, we don't want this to be TOO easy." Why can't a game let me use all of my party and scale the amount of enemies to that amount? It seems like a simple enough idea and yet i cannot think of a single game that does that.   Can anyone tell me a reason why this shouldn't happen besides an arbitrary decision to make four the limit? Are there any games that have ever toyed around with this idea? If so, did it work? "

Because it's an RPG and not an RTS? Who would ever want to or be able to control 8 dudes at once? It would just be chaos. I think the game you are looking for is called Starcraft.
#8 Edited by Yummylee (21242 posts) -

During the battle near the end were you bring forth all your mustered armies, all of your party members will fight at once, though you can't control any of them. But in any case, four is a decent amount anywhoo, with more potentially making it to be far too demanding with the micro-managing.
 
Besides, just be glad it isn't as bad as say Mass Effect were you only take 2 out of 12 with you at a time.

#9 Posted by ImHungry (376 posts) -

Because it's not as simple as "Let us have more characters to control and just add more enemies!". Restrictions on party size exist so that the number of characters who fill a certain role are restricted. If you had 3 tanks, 2 mages and 3 DPS characters all fighting at the same time then that wouldn't be very hard at all would it? Boss fights would be completely broken too for that same reason. Even if they gave the bosses better stats, it wouldn't account for the fact that you could rotate 3 tanks and have the rest of your team on ranged DPS or whatever. 
 
As for story justification I guess taking care of the stuff in camp is the best possible one. Pretty sure Bodhan and Sandal can't take care of themselves!

#10 Posted by LiquidPrince (15840 posts) -

Logistics. The game just runs smoother with less people to worry about.

#11 Posted by JJWeatherman (14557 posts) -

There's probably many many reasons for this decision. 
 
One reason probably is that it's harder than you'd think to balance a game, so keeping you at four ensures an even playthrough for the most part. Just a guess, and there's probably a lot more good reasons.

#12 Posted by Yummylee (21242 posts) -
@JJWeatherman said:
" There's probably many many reasons for this decision.  One reason probably is that it's harder than you'd think to balance a game, so keeping you at four ensures an even playthrough for the most part. Just a guess, and there's probably a lot more good reasons. "
Invests even more replay value potential as well, allowing you to have a completely different set of party members in another playthrough.
#13 Posted by QueenNadine (28 posts) -

Your party members don’t make up your army so you wouldn’t have to have them around for that reason. As was said above, it’d be pretty mad trying to control all 8 of them at once with all   the pausing and strategy settings.    

#14 Posted by Brodehouse (9576 posts) -
#15 Posted by Deadmeat (94 posts) -

I'd be curious if they could make a large coop scenario... 2 players, each controlled 4 members. That would be an interseting take on a coop game.

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