Do you have a preference on how many party members you like in turn based battles?

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by atoms, Mar 7, 2019.

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You can vote more than one. How many party members do you prefer? Or what's your favourite?

  1. I prefer 1 party member in turn based battles.

    5.2%
  2. I prefer 2 party members in turn based battles.

    6.5%
  3. I prefer 3 party members in turn based battles.

    57.1%
  4. I prefer 4 party members in turn based battles.

    67.5%
  5. I prefer 5 party members in turn based battles.

    26.0%
  6. I prefer 6 party members in turn based battles.

    10.4%
  7. I prefer 7 party members in turn based battles.

    1.3%
  8. I prefer 8 or more party members in turn based battles.

    1.3%
  9. Anything, including 1, 8, or more than 8, party members in turn based battle goes for me.

    7.8%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. atoms

    atoms Veteran Veteran

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    I'm just curious what people think. You can vote more than one, if you like more than one.

    I'd vote for 3, 4, 5 and 6, as I think I can like those four. I have played at least two games with two party members in a turn base battle RPG Maker game, and have enjoyed them, but they still are not my own preference, for me.

    I can enjoy games with one party member too, but I'd prefer at least three. Many games I play start with one party member and build up to four or five or even six later on. I like that build and setup a lot too, even with just the three party members, but my preference is always having at least three to six. I'd say six is rare however, so three, four or five is what often is used, and I can like all those.

    I do like them if you have them all from the start as well, most games that do that seem to tend to stick with four or three, from what I know.

    I know skillsets, and other mechanics can effect things so much when it comes to this, but here I'm saying assuming all the other mechanics are the way you like them to be in that particular type of party.

    You can talk in more depth with the anwser you have if you want too.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
    #1
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  2. sura_tc

    sura_tc Loner Veteran

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    The thing with small party (1 ~ 2) is that there aren't much you can add to the combat with default battle system.

    It needs to be at least four (Tank, healer, and 2 extra) in order to create some kind of tactical plan for boss fights and so on. I wish RPG Maker MV had SRPG combat elements though, like Fire Emblem.
     
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  3. Poryg

    Poryg Dark Lord of the Castle of Javascreeps Veteran

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    I don't care.
    Different amounts of combat members allow and disallow certain things you may do with the game. For example you cannot have bosses with ridiculous AOE spells if the actors are weak. It still doesn't change the fact that if the combat sucks, it doesn't matter how many party members it has and if it's good, it's good maybe because it exploits some key advantages to having x members.
    Although it is true that 4 members is kind of getting boring.
     
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  4. Milennin

    Milennin "With a bang and a boom!" Veteran

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    Pretty sure there was a thread like this a while ago...

    1 party member would need some kind of gimmick to make it interesting. Default turn-based gets pretty limited otherwise.
    2 party members can work, I think. Works best in earlier stages of the game, so the player isn't overwhelmed by choice.
    3 party members is my preference. It's the perfect balance between covering all main roles in combat without becoming too cumbersome.
    4 party members is like the old school default, and it's fine, but not a fan of it.
    5+ party members (backseat characters/parties not counting) I've rarely seen, and when it happens, it just becomes too much. Taking turns takes a long time, and there's just too much going on for my tastes.
     
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  5. NinjaKittyProductions

    NinjaKittyProductions Professional Murder Hobos Veteran

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    When playing rpgs, it really does depend. Dragon Warrior for instance did a great job with having a lone protagonist. Final Fantasy 6 was a classic for me that while you only had 4 party members for battles, you had a good selection of characters to change in and out of, each with their own personal abilities.

    For my own creations, I am lean towards 3 battle members for most of my games... typically a tank, a healer, and a dps.
     
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  6. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    Here is my personal preference

    One party member = Action/Twitch battle
    Two party members = Turn-based/ATB/Action is still fine too
    Three to four party members = Standard turn system is fine
    Five and more = Geared toward tactical.
     
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  7. Doktor_Q

    Doktor_Q I'm not a real doktor, but I am a real Q Veteran

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    I find 3-5 most comfortable for typical RPGs.

    In general, the more members you have, the more complex your mechanics become to make sure everyone has a job to do. By contrast, the smaller the party, the fewer your mechanics should be, lest they be ignored because your actions are too precious. A dedicated buff-user might fit well in a party of 5, but seems a bit of a waste in a party of 3, because of how much of your total actions they're consuming.

    Two members is a bit of a special case, as they can turn into "main + helper," where the helper might be free to buff because they were never expected to directly contribute as much as the main character.
     
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  8. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Depends on how it is done. I find though the more people you put in battle the harder it is to make bosses pose a threat without going the one hit KO or here's a lot of status ailments route.
     
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  9. Conflictx3

    Conflictx3 Veteran Veteran

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    as a traditional jrpg fan, 4 on the battle field with 3-4 additional members in the party that you have to manually switch out in the main menu feels most comfortable for me

    however i also am a big fan of games like Persona 5 and even the much earlier breath of fire 4 (idk if the other entries did it as well) where i can have my main party in battle and swap them out on the fly.

    and outside of the Valkyrie Profile series i absolutely hate RPGs with 100 million recruitable characters, this is also a big turn of for me in alot of rpg maker games, after the 5th character at best in these types of games character 6 and forward have 0 story or purpose and are literally just another random face with a bunch of random skills, its like a self contained gacha game. obviously tactical games like FFT, Disgaea, Fire emblem do not apply to this rule of mine.
     
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  10. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

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    I've enjoyed games with only 3 party members as well as games with as many as 6 party members. It really all depends on the balance and, specifically, how many roles need to be fulfilled. In the game with 6 party members, there were so many specific roles you needed for the harder fights that sometimes, not even 6 felt like enough.
     
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  11. TWings

    TWings The Dragon Whisperer Veteran

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    The only game I've played with 1 party member in battle is Pokemon. I guess it kinda works but it's definitely not my preference and can make battles actually pretty boring.
    I've never played anything with only 2 party members, so it's pretty hard to tell if I'd like it or not. I'd tend to think not, unless it's saved by some amazing concept.
    As for 7+ members parties, it does sound like a bit too much for a standard RPG, and would probably feel overwhelming (also it has too be dayum well done to make every member matter). The only type of games where I've seen that so far are Tactical RPGs and MMO RPGs. Those are the cases where that works for me.
    So my choice is 3 to 6. That's what I've experienced the most and feel comfortable with. Maybe I got a slight preference for 4+, because 3 can be a bit restrictive and unforgiving sometimes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
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  12. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

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    I dont really have a preference per se because most games that I played had different party sizes and they all (almost) worked, because the gameg were made with those party size in mind and were balanced around it.

    Most games though kinda keep it at around 4 probably because then you can easily have the "normal" tank,healer,mage,physical party
     
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  13. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    If the 2 battle party members but tons of them in reserve that you can swap in and out during the combat, do you consider it's 2 party members or tons of party members?
     
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  14. Kupotepo

    Kupotepo Fantasy realist Veteran

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    Well, I think it depends on story plots. For example, if a character is a general, this general fight in a war which has reinforcement soldiers (4-5?). If characters get separated by the earthquake, you are likely to have one or two characters per team. That team will join each other in the future.
    Of course, more characters, more you have to maintain their place, but you can kill battle characters off that way. Few characters are easy to maintain focus and keep up narrative, however, if the main characters are badly designed which can make players characters, therefore, hate the game.
     
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  15. TWings

    TWings The Dragon Whisperer Veteran

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    I wasn't really counting swappable members into my reply (else i wouldn't have put Pokemon into the 1 member system category). I was trying to keep it as simple as possible (lol). That's another depth of the battle system alltogether imo.
    Still it kinda seems a waste to have tons of characters available and only features 2 at a time during battles. I'd rather have one or two more in the field and no backup. But again I don't remember having played anything like it so far.
     
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  16. mauvebutterfly

    mauvebutterfly Veteran Veteran

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    For me this would completely depend on the complexity of the combat system (and to a lesser extent how complicated gear or level up mechanics are for each character).

    In a complicated roguelike game like Tales of Maj'Eyal having only a single character is enough complexity, since in late game you end up with 20~30+ skills all with their own cooldowns, elemental and state resistance requires managing, armour is implemented in a relatively complicated way, you potentially have multiple mana resources to manage, and your positioning relative to enemies is important. There are other factors on top of all that too.

    The alchemist class gets a golem that is essentially a simplified second character, and dealing with the extra gear and level up points involved makes that class feel somewhat tedious. Fortunately the golem is controlled by the AI during combat (although you can modify this behaviour as well if you really want to).

    Final Fantasy games usually allow 3 or 4 active member parties, and each character usually requires direct player input in all aspects (equipment/skills/spells before combat, commands during combat) but these game aren't too demanding and the number of options in any given situation is usually pretty limited. This allows for combat to still flow fairly quickly despite controlling more than one character.

    Baldur's Gate had a real-time combat system with a party of 6 characters based off of Dungeons and Dragons. This was a lot of management, and even with the ability to pause and issue orders in the middle of combat battle still felt really clunky there. It was too much to manage at once. It's not that it was hard, necessarily, just that it was a pain to keep coordinating everybody. When Neverwinter Nights switched to a system where you only control one character and the other NPC characters in your party were controlled by AI I think it was an improvement.

    For an 8 or more character game I can't think of any, but I would really want a basic combat system when dealing with this many characters at once. Either AI controls all but 1 character, or combat literally consists of just picking a target for each character's one ability every turn. I don't think I'd enjoy a game with this many characters to manage, to be honest. I never really got into the tactics games, and with a standard FF style system I just don't think it would work out.
     
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  17. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

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    Hmmmm I've got some more time to think and hmmmm

    If the battle system is turn-based and its derivatives excluding those that also employ a tactical/large-grid battles, I prefer a maximum of 4/5 because its easier to think of strategies with that party size..

    For those that use a tactical/large-grid battle system, I feel like any number goes as long as the field size can accomodate them in a good way.
     
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  18. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    3 or 4 is usually the sweet spot for Turn-Based RPGs in my opinion. 3 is great for keeping battles quick yet diverse, and not making the players worry about too many numbers. Often bosses are designed so that 3 actions is the minimum your party needs to function and make forward progress (such as Revive, Heal/Item, Attack). 4 is nice because it adds more room to slot in a character you personally like, or experiment with a specialized comp (like 2 heavy DPSers). 4 gives a truer feel of managing a full "team" working together, without becoming so bloated that it gets carried away.

    I do think that larger teams can work in the right combat systems. Ideally you want the input for actions to be VERY fast, and you want the actions to play out fast as well. Additionally, you want most battles to end within two turns, and even tough battles should only take three or four, with enemies pumping out enough AoE damage that you actually feel threatened. SaGa Frontier and some of the other SaGa games were good at this kind of thing. Systems where each member's action creates a "combo" or similar can also justify the 5-8 member battle team as well.
     
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  19. Nekohime1989

    Nekohime1989 Veteran Veteran

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    3 to 5 is a good number. Depends on the difficulty curve.
     
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  20. DJK1NG_Gaming

    DJK1NG_Gaming Veteran Veteran

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    I am fine with 3-4 Party Members in Battles.
    I wouldn't mind 2 either only if it done like the Mario & Luigi series.
    As for 5 in battles. As long as it done well like Final Fantasy IV I don't mind it but if 5 or more is needed for a battle system.
    The game will either have balancing issues or broken difficulty. Because 5 Party members could easily make the game easy and it could also make it hard depending on how the enemies and bosses are scaled.

    Just go with 3-4. Anymore than that drags battles on for too long. Nobody want to be in a Boss Battle for more than 20 minutes.
    Optional Boss sure it can be longer.

    But the key to make it work is balancing. If your balancing is terrible. It won't matter how many Party Members are active.
     
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