But if you have 4 party members and 6 enemies, it makes for 10 turns per round. 6 party members and 6 enemies: 12 turns. But indeed, it might mean that you will feel more agency througout the fight, as the ratio of allies/enemies will be better, if they go with "buff enemies" rather than "add more". One problem I could potentially see with this is that buffing enemies in a meaningful way (not just pump numbers) requires more effort than adding more of the same... Or not, if the enemies are unique and would require new models/animations/voices. Still, rebalancing might be more complicated than it would seem. But I think we might have a better idea of this when we see the difficulty options, which are said to be more interesting than "buff numbers". Perhaps a solution would be "bump this type of difficulty settings by 1 for 5-man party and by 2 for 6-man party to experience a similar level of difficulty".
(I'm playing a bit of a devil's advocate here, I would strongly prefer a party of 6. I mentioned the "parroted" argument because it seemed like a legitimate concern, I will be happy to be proven wrong.)
How to go about adjusting difficulty is an important concern, I would imagine for some fights increasing numbers would be the best approach (number of fodder mobs or HP values), some fights would be better served by adding a mini boss or a lieutenant type mob, some by adjusting the fight environment slightly. In some encounters this would be easier to do than others I'm sure. There really is no other way but to look at every encounter individually which will already be happening to some extent while balancing for 4 man party, there is obviously an increase in workload to adjust things from their current state to make it suitable for a 5 man party and even more work would required to adjust for a 6 man party. Hence I think 5 is a better answer than 6, as much as i would like to have 6 with a potential 20ish companions to choose from, that simply isn't a realistic ask.
5 gets my vote due to practicality.
Originally Posted by Eireson
As someone who has been playing D&D computer games since they first appeared (alas yes I am that old!) I'd have to say I was more than a little disappointed when I tried to get a 5th member to join only to find out it wasn't possible. The vast majority of D&D games have had six party members as the standard size - Gold box series, Eye of the Beholder series, actually pretty much all the SSI games, Baldurs Gate 1 & 2, Icewind Dale 1&2, Temple of Elemental Evil, Pool of Radiance - Myth Drrannor etc etc. Even Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2 had 5 I think.
I wouldn't count NWN1 here, didn't really have a "party", it used mercs that the player didn't have direct control over and they had limited story interaction, they were like BG1 companions in terms of their input, not in the same league as bg2, you had your main character and 1 ai controlled follower that was of... limited usefulness fairly frequently, they played more like summoned creatures than party members (HotU did improve on their interaction levels though). NWN 2 varied your party size in the campaigns and returned full control to the player. The OC had a 5 man party that increased to 6 for a part and you took all companions for the finale, Mask of the Betrayer had a 4 man party iirc, but your choices were reasonably adaptive, 1ofMany could swap his entire build and honestly even with the very limited implementation of 3.5e character builds were much more flexible than 5e and much more easily broken, especially at epic levels. Regardless nwn1 and 2 were a far cry from the class+kit of BG1 and 2 or the class+subclass of 5e where those choices are so heavily defining. The increased flexibility reduced role rigidity making smaller party size infinitely easier to handle than a larger limit.
Last edited by Malkie; 08/10/2004:58 PM. Reason: typo