Either can work... but I think I enjoy Locked in classes. FF6 comes to mind. That was a sort of combination since espers could basically turn everyone into a mage. But if you wanted to be able to steal, you needed Locke. If you were a fan of the Runic Blade, you needed Celes. If you fancy blitz moves (a weird favorite of mine), you needed Sabin. It allows the player to kind of create their own custom balance with the choices that are given. In a four party team, for example I will have 3 commonly formidable members, and one vaguely unusual one. Why? Because I enjoy turning the vaguely unusual one into a vague and mysterious warrior of unbelievable power!!! (Muahahahha!!!!) ...I may have gotten a little carried away there. Others will disagree with me... ...but I don't care. It is not about their vision, but rather my own. As for your project, I would say the same... critics will be critics (the world is overflowing with them), but the vision shall be yours. It is a question also of the world you are creating. Which works better in that world. If the storyline is leaning toward a locked class system - then I would definitely stick with it. My own projects vary... I have about 4 that I am working on... one that is becoming great. My best project has a storyline that works best with locked classes... but the game is broken into "Chapters" (thank you Arcana on SNES). Each chapter (almost) gives you the ability to select your 3 companions from 8 "playable characters" (which can be upgraded to as many as 13... if you manage to unlock certain NPC's who can actually become playable). Sidequests can be unlocked along the way that has you temporarily teamed up with alternate players that are exclusive to that miniquest. Despite not being playable throughout the rest of the game, they too have a locked class system. I feel that it makes the storyline more robust. It adds depth to the characters.