I disagree. Reyn is absolutely useless now you have the other party members. He has no defence, no speed, no strength (even Riki is stronger, and he has far superior Arts), his Arts are pathetic etc. ALL characters outclass him in every way. Believe me, you want him out. Dunban or Riki make far superior tanks, and Melia and Shulk are far superior damage dealers.
Also, Sharla can't chain well at all. She only has healing Arts, and her strength+ Defence are pathetic. Also, the cooldown is too long, and the AI may heal/protect you at the wrong time, so it's best if you play with her, but if you do, you deal little damage. She's a good healer, but I'd try with other characters. Riki and Shulk have good healing spells for emergenices, for example.
I'd recommend Riki/Dunban/Melia at this stage of the game. Best to control Melia, because Riki's and Dunban's AI are very good. Shulk isn't needed here. Use this time to experiment with other characters, and choose your favourite fighting style for the second, more difficult half of the game.
This is just plain false. Reyn sure enough is not a useless character.
You'd better say that you don't know how to use him, which would be more correct. For one, he has the best defence of all characters.
Each character can be maxed out and be a beast in various ways. Of course, when you get everything from every characters, there are powerful combinations. The key is to put the right gems on characters depending on the situation, or have a good default set.
With what they call Spikes in english version of the game, Reyn is just a killing machine on most enemy groups, and he doesn't even need to deal damage on its own. He can even get back life when he is dealt damage, and when an aura is active.
Every character is useful in Xenoblade, and depending on your style, you'll prefer use some combinations more.
What actually counts strategically in Xenoblade, and what define how you play them is :
- The 3 characters in your party
- The order they have in the party
- The gems they have
- The affinity between characters
- The skills they have
- The armors they have
- The weapon the have
You think only of damage dealing with your weapon, so you can't ever figure out how great Reyn is. He's not just a tank like in MMORPG.
All these DPS, Tanks and other Healer are meaningless in Xenoblade. There are gems that allow you to heal while dealing damage, get back HP while putting out auras, get back HP with chain Attack and so on. You can make nearly every character into anything, but of course some will be better in some areas.
The same is true with Sharla. Actually, you just show that you don't know how to control the characters, like most people that think they mastered the combat system but are far from it. I never had any problem with Sharla controlled by the computer, but I actually played with every character to max out the relationships, changed the Arts to suit my playstyle, and know when to go encourage my characters, when to tell them to go near me and stop attacking or go all out, when to prioritize maximizing aggro, when to prioritize tension, ... If you master all of that, you can beat any ennemy in the game with any combination of characters (yes, even the 120 level beast). If you don't, you'll be stuck with a few combinations that work better than others, and won't be able to do anything with the others.
But it doesn't mean the other characters are useless.