Because that’s the decision Larian went with, and I’m not bothered by it. You are; therefore, you’re the one who has to work through it. Or not, it really doesn’t matter.
Yes I also can enjoy an RPG with a party of four; just not a D&D-based/similar game. Four is fine in DA because they only have three classes total anyway. Four is also fine for D:OS because it is a classless system game (they have “classes” but the classes are superficial because anyone can do anything so the game is in reality classless). But D&D is, and has always been, extremely rich in a very wide range of classes (and then sub-classes and prestige classes on top of that), each meaningfully different from the others. That makes six the optimal party size for a D&D game: the four basic classes (and ok, you can sub some classes for others, especially in 5e where the classes have been made a lot more similar to one another unfortunately), one slot for an eclectic character, and your PC who can be anything you want without forcing you to use your PC to cover one of the four basic party roles.
D&D has never had six as the expected size of a party. The tool for helping DMs build encounters - Challenge Rating - assumed a party of four characters during Third Edition and during Fifth Edition - which is what Larian is using - it assumes a party of five characters. Having more than four characters allows for more flexibility to cover all of the core roles, but it’s perfectly possible to build a party that covers those four roles with other classes. The sorcerer can substitute for the wizard or the druid for the cleric - and while they many not have all of the same tools, they can cover some of them while also doing other things so that people can build other parties. The alternative is that every party has the four base classes and then one or two weird choices, which is just a boring way of approaching everything. Making choices and trade-offs lets players really build their own unique experience.
As for why Larian chose a party of four, remember that Baldur’s Gate 3 is using a turn-based system - this means that players will have to pay a lot more attention and micromanage all of their characters, and using more characters means more decision-making and longer fights. Maybe five or six characters could still be doable, but Larian decided that four was the number that they wanted to work with. I would personally prefer five or six as well, but I expect that the game will works just fine with a party of four and allow for lots of flexibility in party creation anyways.
Oh please. Larian did not choose four because of TB. They chose four to facilitate co-op play. The game is being made, first and foremost, for co-op. Single-player is very much secondary. The TB modes in both PoE2 and P:Km show that having more than four does not necessarily cause combat to be longer, which is to say, combat remains just as stupidly slow as usual. The additional character actions are offset by fewer rounds needed to complete the combat.
But bottom line, I hope this at least is a mistake (among the many bad mistakes Larian is making with the game) that someone will correct by creating a mod. I hate using mods in my games, but for this I will absolutely use such a mod because I am yet to hear a rational argument justifying the party size having been reduced to four. It just comes across as pure cussedness to me, just a way to denigrate the original games as having been wrong about yet another major game design choice.
It’s true, that D&D (from a certain point/edition) became very diverse in terms of classes, but BG3 seems not to feature so many classes anyway (at least not the basic game), so this point isn’t really a big one compared to a game such as Kingmaker or WotR for example where we really have a lot of different classes. From what we know so far, there are 12 base classes + a few sublasses and each of those can easily be a substitute for the 4 basic classes ‘needed’ and sometimes can cover even 2 (or more) - esp. if you also consider multiclassing. Not to mention, that there certainly will be different ways of solving problems (as it should be) and one probably could handle things even with an odd party combination even though that might be very challenging.
I’ll admit that I would like to have more space for party members since I love interacting with party members and the more the merrier I’ve found. And yes the smaller party size does make party composition more limited but 4 is hardly the end of the world. I have every confidence the game will be good and I look forward to seeing how all of this shakes out.
My thoughts exactly, though we’ll have to see if people are willing to do the micromanagement for the whole duration of the campaign, or if they’ll rely on AI after a while (which I usually do in real-time with pause when the combat is not too difficult).
This mostly relies on the versality of the classes in the 5th edition, with a 4-member party you must choose the classes more carefully, and I suppose this will be driven by the campaign so they’ll take care of most of the user’s choice for their own character. With 5 or 6, it allows for some redundancy and will cover the choices more safely, leaving more freedom to the user in the path of the character. It also avoids the problem we saw in NWN, for instance, with Tomi (but yeah, that was a 1-companion initially, if I remember correctly, so the problem at the extreme). With 4, we’re indeed likely to be stuck with one rogue, cleric, fighter, … we don’t like but absolutely need. With 6, it’s possible to go around the problem with more choice, and each character becomes more diluted.
Still, I think any number from 3-4 to 6 would be fine with me, because the campaign would be designed on that basis and hopefully well implemented.
Я, ваши заморские речи, конечно, плохо понимаю, но 4 человека это оптимально, нет заморочек с обилием действующих лиц и при этом сохраняется тактический момент.
Dragon age хорошим примером