Referencing and instancing maya asset nodes



I’m having a problem with maya’s asset nodes (as in Create -> Assets -> Asset with transform)
I reference one in, then instance it a few times, then save the file and finally reopen. Now all instances loose their shapes except the actual asset node. I doubt that’s the expected behavior…? (this is on maya 2017 / windows )
I’m mainly keen on the “lock node” feature of assets to let our artists place around complex hierarchies of meshes in a layout/rendering scene.

As an alternative I’ve also looked into asset assemblies, but the problem there is that it doesn’t seem to be possible to save back reference edits to the assembly. We do want to to tweak materials of our library assets in the lighting scene though. One way seems to be referencing the lighting into the assets file but that’s a bit around the block :confused:

If somebody has some wisdom to share, I’d love to know!

Thanks in advance,