CUSTOMIZATION OF TEMPORARY PARTY MEMBERS' EQUIPMENT?

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This is a question I've been asking myself: How customizable should equipment of temporary/non-permanent party members be? Should items be removed from the character upon leaving the party? This wouldn't always make sense, especially if the character in question is still alive (they aren't just going to give you all their clothes and then wish you farewell, lol). However, leaving equipment on a character as they leave leads to other problems. While playing games, I don't like it when a party member, who I recently equipped with a rare, powerful item, leaves the party, and then I'm either forced to reset or I'm stuck without said item for an indefinite amount time. This would be more simple if every character had all unique equipment, but let's say that there is at least some cross over in customization. Another solution might be to lock all customization of the character's equipment, but then that might give away that the character is temporary (although an alternative might be that the character just possesses equipment that would be overpowered for the rest of the party at the time).

Assume that the character in question may or may not return to the party. Also, assume the player has never played the game before (i.e. ...
(FFT spoiler/reference)
no declothing Gafgarion and then wailing on him in the next fight)


Would any one like to weigh in on this matter?

Or maybe, are temporary party members something to avoid altogether in the first place?
You could just have the temporary member take whatever they started with back when they leave. Or present a choice that forces the player to give them some equipment when they leave, but choose exactly what.
author=FlyingJester
You could just have the temporary member take whatever they started with back when they leave. Or present a choice that forces the player to give them some equipment when they leave, but choose exactly what.

Hm, that sounds like good ideas. So say you equipped the temp character's equips onto someone else or you sold them, you would just spawn new default/starting items for the temp character? (this would be if they just take back their starting things when they leave, since the latter option isn't always good in the case the character leaving is a surprise to the player or is a sudden event in the story)
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5478
If you give the temp character his own unique unsellable equipment, the player is guaranteed to still have the items when the temp character leaves, even if the character isn't wearing them any more. If you need it to, it can probably be basically identical to normal equipment except for the name, which might be something like "Biggs's Sword". Making it have a unique effect is more interesting, though.

Note that if you only do this for temporary characters, it'll tip the player off as to which characters are temporary. If that's a problem, then you'll need normal characters to also start with unsellable equipment.

Alternately, just let the player keep the items because seriously who gives a shit? Making the gameplay suffer in the name of realism is pretty much always a bad idea.

I approve of letting the player customize characters, unless their time in the party is really short, or they're supposed to intentionally be extremely weak or extremely strong compared to the rest of the party, or some other shenanigans. Setting up your party's strengths and weaknesses is a major part of RPG gameplay, and it sucks when it's temporarily stripped out in the name of trivial plot details.

In my older games, I didn't give the character's equipment to the player if the character returned later in the game. Only if they were permanently leaving. However, those games were shitty and had very little customization of characters. Also, one of them had you changing back and forth between different parties after almost every dungeon for about half the game, so it would seem like overkill. But still, if equipment were really a meaningful element of customization and not just a thing you upgraded in every town, I think I'd want to remove it any time you had to play without a character, even for just one battle.
I think that the best way of getting around this is to make it so that temporary characters don't share equipment classes with other members of the party. If you do this then the player has no reason to be upset about losing equipment when the temporary character leaves because it wouldn't be usable by any of their remaining party members anyway.

EDIT:

Thinking about it more, this could be difficult for accessories since those are usually shared across all character classes. In this case, giving them "unique" accessories that it makes sense shouldn't be removable might be the best option.
It does highly depend on what kind of class system you have, though.
Hesufo
I am pretty interested in hooking up sometime. Screw me.
1199
I don't understand what's wrong with removing the leaving character's equipment. I'm pretty sure nobody is going to be weirded out by it, since it's obviously a gameplay-oriented decision. The player will be more than happy to get the pieces of equipment back from an unexpected character leaving the party.

Alternatively, you can just remove his accessories (especially if the character in question is only leaving temporarily).
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