Looking for some thoughts on how to approach the addition of party members in a tactical, story-driven rpg. For discussion purposes, I'll assume a total party of 8 members, 4 of which are selected to be used in combat. Let's also assume that the party members are somewhat unique. I think its safe to say that you players should have access to 4, even 5 characters, very early. How far into the game should it take for you to assemble the entire team of 8? If they are all provided too early, I fear that the gameplay could get stale late into the game. A new character is a great way to freshen up gameplay and offer the player new strategic choices. Its also a really great reward, giving the character a greater sense of achievement and progression than something like a new weapon or skill. At the same time, holding out on a character for too long can have downsides. If a player loves a particular archetype, and that character is not available for most of the game, that player might burn out early or get frustrated that they only have a handful of missions to use their favorite character on. Are there any other pros/cons for simply giving access to the full party early in the game, or on spreading the characters out across the entire game?