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September 7th, 2012, 20:53
Originally Posted by wolfing View Post
To me it's simple… 8 is too much
Several reasons:
- Long battles: 8 characters means enough monsters to have 8 characters challenged, or big opponents go against 8, but then it's like, too many hands in the cake.
Not necessarily true but some of us LIKE long battles full of tactics and such.

- Micromanagement hell: I like controlling each character, but with 8, might be easily cumbersome to handle equipment, skills, spells, etc.
I cannot for the life of me understand this contention. I have never, in all the 8+ party member RPGs I have played run into such a problem. Wizardry 8, Helherron, Natuk/P.O.W.S./ Nahlakh, Wizard's Crown, etc. Never had a problem with handling equipment, spells etc. In fact I would argue that an 8 person party makes it EASIER to manage since there are more people to carry stuff and more options for item use. In a 4 or even 6 person part you run into the "Wow…this hand axe is awesome! Would really help in that fight against the Snozzwoggler. Too bad I don't have anyone who can use axes…" scenario, which leads to having to lug around valuable gear until you find a shop that will buy the items you cannot use.

- Replayability: One of the main factors for replayability (for me) is try different party compositions. 8 seems to me that I'll probably have pretty much 1 of everything, leaving few things out to try (that are not really a variation of something I already saw).
While I can understand your reasoning here in my experience this is never really the case. True in Natuk or Helherron for example I usually play 'one of each' character type but I have replayed those games literally dozens of times and it never gets boring because there is more to replayability than party composition. And besides, the way to 'fix' this would be to design the game so that no one party can cover all the possibilities. In Natuk there are only 3 races and 5 classes so there are only 8 possible builds (half-trolls can only be warriors, ogres can only be shamans and warriors) but if Tom had added one or two more races and/or classes (not that this was needed) then the 'problem' would have been solved.

- Characters: Just like students in a classroom of 40 get each less attention than those in a classroom of 30, my attention to each character will 'dilute'.
I cannot understand this contention at all. Maybe it's because I do not get too emotionally invested in computer game characters but really…how much attention do you have to give to these characters?! spending level-up/exp. points/raising skills and sometimes selecting new spells? The classroom analogy is a false analogy because the point of a CRPG is not to teach a class room full of easily distracted, attention deficit children and managing a CRPG party is nothing at all like teaching a class full of children.

So, to me, 6 is the magic number. Enough to make tactical battles interesting, not too many as to have my brain treat each character as just a class instead of a character.
To each his own.
"I am in a very peculiar business; I travel all over the world telling people what they should already know." - James Randi
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