I'd love to see a mod raise the party limit to 6 and adjust the encounters to balance for that. My most hated trend in modern rpgs is the move away from the 6+ party. I liked to actually be able to use formations - even the first BG1 had a whole set of auto-formations, where you could have a 3-man wall up front with your squishies behind, a 2 x 2 x 2, a ring with one squishy in the middle, diamond, inverted diamond etc. That stuff used to be standard, and with a proper meatshield up front you can make the aggro system far more intuitive and immersive - i.e. the enemy doesn't attack your mage because they have to get through the physical bulk of 3 fighters blocking the corridor and who will slice them with flanking hits on the way through.
It also allows for a lot more creativity in party set up. Going magic-heavy or melee-heavy means a BIG change - playing BG2 with an all-caster party and summons for tanking was a very different experience to going all melee with a cross-class healer:-). It opens up a lot more opportunities for archery and support characters as well.
Frankly it's one of those things where I just can't fathom why they dropped it. There's no advantage of smaller party limits - the games with large limits ALL allowed you to play with smaller parties. Often 'solo-runs', or peculiar party builds made 4th, 5th runthroughs exciting./ The game just had to award more experience for a smaller party, and it balanced out just fine.
The only possible reason I can think of was that the lastgen consoles couldn't handle battles of 6 party members vs opposition parties of the same size on screen. I remember KoToR being the first one to have smaller party size - it was a real WTF moment when I found I couldn't have more than 2 members in my party at once. But surely modern consoles can handle it - turn down the graphical features if need be. Good graphics are good and all, but not when they eliminate (rather than enhance) gameplay options. I'm not even sure that could be a plausible excuse these days. It's just been a few years now since the small-party trend started, and they don't trust console gamers to be capable of handling larger groups. Given that the standard party size was 6-8 not very long ago (with summons on top of that), I think they're underestimating gamers' intelligence.
Do not eat - [found inside the box my last TV came in] ''Like a dog, like a dog he cried' as if the shame of it was meant to outlive him.' - Kafka
Eh I think the small party size is both because of console not being able to handle the larger party, and a cheap way to encourage replayability by only allowing you to use a select few.
Problem with that for me at least is I usually play all these kind of games with a core party, then alternate out extra slots or take different people with my core group.
BG2 I always take Aerie, Edwin, Viconia and Minsc. The last slot I usually alternate out until I decide on a final character. (usually Jan)
NWN2 I always took Zhajeve, Neeshka, The... A man..., Khelgar and Elanee. Until I get the A man I alternated out the 6th slot.
In DA I always take Leiliana, Morrigan and Alistair. Problem with that is that is all you can take. I can't bring myself to kick any of them out for anything but short bursts. With 1 more slot I could alternate out the last character and add a ton to the game for me.
TL;DR Dragon Age's small party size sucks giant, erect, donkey *****.
The clouds pass... the rain does its work and all individual beings flow into their forms." The Book of Changes
Part of me is just happy we have a party based game (esp one that I can control the partys build, even tho Spec are pre-determined) in this day and age. NWN seriously had me worried, and most of my fears have come true, one of them the shift in focus to a smaller party.
6-8 member parties used to be standard for RPGs on PC, anything smaller was the realm of consoles. And the RPG was one of the flooded genres on PC, long before there was a Baldurs Gate. Its sad that 4 people seems normal to me now, didn't even become an issue for me - ignored during the years of pre-release hype. But the fact I have to choose between a lock picker and a healer - core members in any RPG - kills me.
Anyhow - Do you have to use a command to get the 5th and 6th members out of your party? Was hoping I could re-load to an earlier save and get the extra party members out if glitches that were mentioned pop up.