Do people Static or fluid party designs?

Would you prefer a static or fluid party system(read OP first if confused)

  • Fluid, i don't like being limited to just 2-4 characters.

    Votes: 7 43.8%
  • Static, too many characters is unnecessary!

    Votes: 9 56.3%

  • Total voters
    16

Demimura

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I've gotten to the party portion of my project and was wondering how i should go about the characters, i was thinking at first only 4 since its the most basic and easy way to do it. then i thought that's lazy and should make at least 6 or 8 o choose from making it the players choice on what to play the option to recruit them would be the decision of the player.

What i mean by "static" and "fluid" is along the lines of being able to form a custom team or keeping the same players your given throughout the whole game.

Static - only 2-4, with the option to change the formation, a good example of this would be bravely default

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Fluid - 5-??, have a larger group of people to choose from,pick the most strategic group per scenario or play as your favorite 4!! like the tales of series for example.

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on a side note, how great are these games =D
 
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I'll be the first to say: "depends on your project".

But personally I prefer fluid parties as long as they are properly balanced and each member has its specialization to deal with enemies or situations.

That said the game I am planning you won't have more than 2~3 people on your party per chapter.
 

trouble time

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I only like fluid parties when you can switch mid battle.their specializations can be more relevant that way, since you'd always have access to them and wouldn't be screwed for not having the right party set up when they enter a new area.
 

Andar

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neither - for me, an actor has to have a story, it is not enough to be a bunch of numbers to add in battle. Because of that, actors should usually add their own sidequests and cutscenes to a game.


That makes each actor a lot more work than simply placing a few numbers into the database - and this is what limits the number of actors in a game.


If you can pull it off to give a selection of different actors to choose between, then that is the best option.


But providing one or two dozen different actors that are nothing but empty number-templates does not help any RPG
 

encapturer

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Strictly speaking in battle mechanics, it would probably be best if the fluidity of the party is inversely proportional to the fluidity of the actors themselves.  With enough variation in the characters, the less customizable the characters need to be.  With a static party,  you'll want the player to be able to mess with their abilities more.
 

Wavelength

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Both fixed ("static") and customizable ("fluid") party compositions have their purposes - some games will work better with one and some with the other - but in general I'm fond of the Tales-style customizable compositions, where you end up with a predetermined roster of characters that's about twice as big as your battle party can hold and it's up to you to choose who you want in there in any given situation.  Bonus points if there are mechanics that reward swapping characters in and out a lot, encouraging (but not forcing) you to use everybody.

There's an even more "fluid" version of this found in games like Star Ocean, Fire Emblem, or Disgaea where your roster of characters may not be the same from game to game.  Although the choices can be very interesting from a gameplay standpoint, it's really hard to make the non-mandatory characters feel significant story-wise.  Usually they are literally absent from storyline scenes (e.g. Disgaea) or they basically contribute boilerplate "yeah, let's do that!" dialogue (e.g. Star Ocean).
 

jonthefox

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If the game is more story and character driven (i.e. we're supposed to really care deeply about the characters), I think fewer characters is better :  have 3 to 5 but make them all really great and distinct in personality and gameplay.

If the game is more gameplay-driven (we chuckle at some of the character concepts or backstory, and then say 'that's cool though') then, then you don't need to worry about going into nearly as much depth with each character, and then I think more options (as long as they all feel unique in some way) is always appreciated by the player.  
 
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terrorchan

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I prefer static, but I don't mind having an extra on certain missions or something, but four or so main characters is enough.
 

Archeia

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I prefer static. I can't keep up with games with so many characters. Usually in the end I just make use of 3~4 people due to party synergy...;;;
 

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