Originally Posted by Sacred_Path
In Wiz8, formations got really interesting when you had 8 characters. Unfortunately, the game was by far more playable with a small group due to the insame amount of skill grinding (on Expert difficulty at least). So, nice idea, shoddy execution. But of course formations are an interesting thing - for SRPG's, when you're controlling a group of 10-20 units. Otherwise, formations tend to be a bit ridiculous and gamey. So your archer is hiding behind 1(!) paladin, but what stops the ogre from walking around him? Nothing except no AI. You can of course rectify this, but then you force players into hugging cliffsides and walking sideways like crabs. Perverse incentive right there. If mages hiding in the back are a common occurence, why doesn't everyone carry a ranged sidearm? Etc.
Bottom line is, formations are a weak argument for more characters in a CRPG.