Yes, incredibly annoying. And the poor design of common Blades doesn't help.
Yeah I don't like those. Very badly designed. I don't know, I think the concept as a whole is ok. It being random is fine. It's mostly saved by the fact that the mercenary system gives them something to do. But you don't unlock that till over 10 hours into the game(if you do a few sidequests). In general I agree. I'm not a fan of the system.