The PS3 Atelier games have their issues - boy, do they ever! - but I think they get a couple of things right that most CRPGs don’t:
1. You rank up your relationships with your party members simply by doing gameplay activities - fighting monsters, gathering materials, etc. - with them in your party, because friendship doesn’t come from expensive gifts or correct answers; mostly it just comes from doing stuff together.
2. Even when they’re your best friends in the whole world, you still have to pay them to accompany you on quests, because adventuring is their profession, and friends don’t ask friends to work for exposure.