Furthermore, why isn’t there an automatic optimal equipping option? Equip the “best” armor/weapons/”omni tool” or whatever for your guys, or fully un-equip an ally so as to make sure you aren’t saddled with a bunch of extraneous bullshit. Sure, this feature wasn’t perfect in FF III (VI), as it went for ATK/DEF over say, Dodge % or whatever, but hell it was a great starting point to easily and effectively equip a group without having to think too hard about it if I didn’t want to micro manage each persons equipment and make sure most people were well equipped for the fight ahead, unlike ME where if I switch characters they might have armory from the beginning of the game. The thing that makes this funny, is that there is an auto leveling option, which seemed far less useful to me, because I loved choosing my characters’ paths toward leveling up.
Why does every person need to have 4 weapons equipped? When I first started ME I thought it was cool that my Shepard specializes in shotguns and assault rifles, but can still use the other weapons! Then I realized that no, the other weapons may be usable, but they are far from a good, viable option if the weapons are not a thing that a character specializes in.
The fact that the game forces you to have them equipped, besides helping to create the aforementioned inventory issues, just leaves the player confused about his options. In say, Final Fantasy Tactics, a soldier can’t use a Knight’s sword; it’s not what he’s good at. But he doesn’t keep one equipped in his bag just in case, because that would just be fucking stupid. He doesn’t also have the option to wield it yet but not be able to use it properly because that would be equally stupid. It would have made far more sense to just put on the little weapon circle menu for each character only the weapons he or she specializes in.
If you’re going to clutter a wheel with weapons that people can’t use, why stop there, magical “let the player have every weapon in their inventory equipped” gods, and why not allow me to highlight and attempt to put on armor that I cannot use, only to then stop me from moving afterward and say it’s too heavy or something equally asinine? Yeah I thought so; bad design.
You can choose any one of these, but only one will actually do anything: I have to say, the options for armor and all of the upgrades are terrible.