As I see it, there are the people who want to have control over the story that their game tells, and the people who want to beat up RNGesus even if it means both of their hands are tied behind their backs. The later crowd, in my experience, has a lot more overlap with the achievement hunters of the world than the former does. Tying the achievements to playing without any character customization gives an incentive toward playing with whatever junk characters the RNG gives you, while players that want to use custom characters likely won’t care. Heck, if you really want to take a page out of Paradox’s book you could even toss out character customization as a 5$ DLC (queue an entire forum’s worth of outrage here).
As it is right now, I often find myself restarting a new game several times until I have a crew that I deem “playable”, and I doubt that I’m the only one who does this. That isn’t what a functioning system looks like, and if the main argument against incorporating some form of character customization is essentially “but that will make the game easier!” then I really think that locking the achievements away from people in playthroughs that use custom characters would nip that in the bud. After all, who cares if the game is easier for me, if it won’t mean that I can get the same “Congratulations on Winning the Game” picture more easily than the other guy.
Everyone wins. I get to play with characters that I want to play with. Achievement hunters aren’t having their achievements devalued by “easy-mode” players.
Seriously. Paradox already solved this. Do correct me though, if I am wrong.
Honestly I don’t think that most of the anti-customization people really care about achievements to any degree more than the pro-customization folks; it’s still about story telling, it’s just a desire for more open-ended storytelling created by mechanics and events rather than player fine-tuning. I certainly don’t care about achievements, and I’m more or less against customizing individual characters.
For me personally, I think there should be a system in place so that people have some choice over the backgrounds of the initial brothers, but I don’t think there should be any ability to know or tweak the traits or stats of starting characters. Changing faces/hairstyles I’m also somewhat against, but don’t particularly care about it one way or the other. The frustration of multiple restarts is something that should be dealt with though. Both a purchase system or semi randomized ‘tiers’ based on difficulty sound like they would be good. I think founding brother perk should probably be removed as well.