Increase both responsibilities and privileges of the party leader
Only party leaders should be able to START a quest. Party members could then choose if they want to follow or not.
Some decisions could be entirely up to the party leader, and even some information about the quest. The leader role would then be more interesting to play, and in relation to the other members he/she would have more responsibilities e.g. for not putting them in dangerous situations or providing them with equipment.
We’re considering giving the party leader responsibility for selecting quests in the final release of the game. We might give them a few other privileges as well, such as breaking ties in voting. We don’t plan to give them responsibility for handing out equipment, however; we want each player to have full control over his or her character.
I'd like to have an option to automatically vote for the same quest option as the party leader for group play.
I'd really want this as only an optional thing, and even then, not on by default. I don't really feel that this adds anything other than giving someone power that isn't necessary for play.
In my opinion, I don't personally believe that mission choices should put players into "safe" or "dangerous" choices. The choices should simply branch the mission into other parts of a quest that is simply different, otherwise entire sections of quests would get ignored once players memorize optimal paths.
It's more logical to have one branch that goes to a tavern brawl and one to a forest fight just so that players that know both branches could just optimize a little purely based on party makeup, or go to one tougher fight to save time on 2 smaller fights on another branch.
You want players to enjoy playing through a quest and see all the ins and outs, and if you min-max paths, lots will be skipped, and with lots of branching, some quests could have LOTS of replay ability.
If players could choose to place their character under another player control (say to go to the bathroom or whatever) that would also allow them to give control to the party leader.
Joshua Nicholson commented
I'd like to see an optional flag, perhaps, to set whether only the leader can start quests or whether anyone in the party can. I don't like the idea of having leaders distribute equipment, though.