You can always make it so that Trust NPCs disappear when you join a party. Or you can't accept the invite until after you've Released your NPCs.
There's no reason we shouldn't be able to solo using our Trust WHILE looking for party (flag up) without being penalized.
No they can't. Trust NPC's count as party members. You can't seek a party, while in a party. The only way to allow you to seek while having them out would be to make them like your companion NPC, i.e. a pet. Then Kupipi's protectras wouldn't hit you, and none of our spells or abilities would affect the Trust NPC's either.
Now there's actually no good reason why we shouldn't be able to invite 2 actual players to this 4 person party our trust NPC's make with us. Or allow 3 people with Trust NPC's to make an alliance of 3 parties. Because as it stands, if a friend wants to help me with something, he's only slowing me down. I'd have to replace 3 characters of equal item level as me, with only 1, meaning it's counterproductive to play with other people until there's at least three
Maybe if we wait long enough, he'll tell us about how he walked barefoot uphill through snow both ways in Uleregand and defeated the evil Snoll Tzar with nothing but a stack of pebbles. Men were men back then. Mithra were men, too, but they don't talk about that.
Mellowy is awesome, now.
I'm sorry. My hoovercraft is full of Summoners. As soon as I claim a thread, they just flood out and cover the whole place. Slippery suckers, those Summoners.