Hey everyone, and happy weekend to those of us that it applies (and happy, whatever day it might be wherever you are)! My wife and I were talking about RPG companions because I had shared with her the other thread from here from yesterday about worst video game companions (found here). At some point as we were talking about favorites we've had, least favorites, and those that were forgettable, I mentioned that I find it frustrating when RPGs don't continue to level up the companions you have on the "bench", so to speak, while out with your main party. My argument is that I've played so many RPGs now, I want to conveniently see the stories of all of the characters involved without feeling like I have to swap them in and out over and over just to ensure that they remain at a reasonable level to be useful. I feel like this is a pretty modern setup anymore. My wife, however, actually prefers when she is forced to choose who to commit to, saying that it helps her to feel a larger connection to the characters in her remote squad, and within her personal role playing it makes more sense to her that those hanging out at the base wouldn't be getting stronger, naturally, because they aren't seeing the action required to gain the necessary "experience" to improve. I thought that this was a pretty neat take that I can totally respect, despite maybe not completely meshing with how I like to play games anymore. It made me want to pose the question to the rest of you to see where everyone shakes out!
So, do you like it when "bench" characters level up with everyone else no matter what, or do you prefer when they only level up when they're in your immediate party?