Would you rather have a game where any team comp can work, or a game where, without a balanced party, you're gonna go through hell unless you're playing Story mode?
Playing with any team is already possible and I am sure it will stay that way, no matter if they add the extra party members for those of you who want them or leave it the way it is.
Originally Posted by Try2Handing
On the other hand, if your party can only have 4 party members, and you know that you're gonna need a cleric and a mage, that just doesn't leave you much of a choice, does it? You're going to need a rogue-ish character for the utilities, traps, and locks. And you're also going to need a frontliner who can keep enemies occupied. If you take into account the idea that maybe we won't even have a whole lot of companions to choose from, it's actually pretty depressing to think about. If you just tell me which class you're playing, I can pretty much tell which other companions your team consists of. And IF we also take into account that, some companions we like, and some we don't, then, what? Can I go make my custom party members now?
Is this game going to be so easy that even the most casual players who care nothing about party comp and such can still finish it comfortably, without having to lower the difficulty to Story mode?
You don't "need" anyone. This game can so far be soloed by any class. I can only speak for Ranger and partially for Wizard (stopped playing that character) but others here have done different classes. This will probably be done by someone on max difficulty a few days after the game is fully released. Don't need a cleric, just use healing potions. Don't need a rogue to pick locks, use the tools and I think Sleight of Hand affects it as well. Trap searching is Perception which anyone can easily have proficiency in. Definitely don't need a frontliner if you play cautiously or prefer an all ranged party. Don't need a mage either although they are possibly the most useful for all situations. There will be the custom option properly added later on to take care of the not liking certain characters issue, but you can do that now with the trick.
I think it is a good thing that many games have moved on from requiring a specific party makeup. Doesn't necessarily mean it is easier, using a non traditional party often means being creative and stubborn. "Casuals" will most likely be able to play on normal difficulty but I think we have different definitions of that word. Most "casuals" I know tend to play what they think they are supposed to play, meaning a traditional party setup and some of them don't bother with anything other than story mode.