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October 31st, 2013, 17:33
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
The line between 4 and 6 is definitely a tough one. I think it actually comes down to game design more than player expectation. With 4 toons, your players are going to settle into the traditional fighter/thief/healer/caster structure. If you've built your game with lots of neat/unique classes, it will be wasted effort if there's only 4 slots. Consider the Wiz8 gadgeteer- you'd have never run one in a 4 toon party (Wiz8 junkies and short-manning masochists aside) so all that coding, balancing, gearing and such would be wasted. At the other end of the scale, if you've got your game built for fairly simple classes (even if they've got lots of customization within the class) then having 6 slots just means multiples of the same archetype.
I disagree (though I might fall in the "Wiz8 junkie" category). Wiz8 is a prime example of what I said about auxiliary characters; you'll think long and hard before taking a Gadgeteer or a Bard in a 4 person party, but it's not a wasted slot at any rate. The Bard's versatility makes him a great choice - good weapon selection, thief skills, and instruments. The Gadgeteer's main charm in a small party is the fact that his omnigun develops faster and makes a pretty powerful weapon, if the party is geared towards ranged combat. Still, you'll also be tempted to take a fighter, a ninja or a bishop in the fourth slot. It's a delicious dilemma.

edit: the usefulness of these auxiliaries quickly diminishes if you go lower than 4 though. It's a pretty good example of a game where 4 characters is a critical mass. I've always enjoyed 4 person runs the most in Wiz8.

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