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Dark Holy Elf

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About Dark Holy Elf

  • Birthday 01/22/1982

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    Video games (Fire Emblem, JRPGs, and Nintendo games in particular), fantasy novels, writing, ice hockey, and mathematics
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  • Favorite Fire Emblem Game
    Three Houses

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  1. Historically, it's... very difficult to make a puppet ruler stay a puppet for long, unless you have an extremely strong hold on him or her. Consider all the Nemesis had going for him. He had the Sword of the Creator. He had the loyalty of many people: an army, a nation, the Elites. If the Agarthans had tried to coerce him to do things he didn't want, I do not think they would have been successful for long... any threats they might try to hold over him (e.g. to his family, if any) would be temporary, and he would have had decades to use the many resources at his disposal to cut his strings and become a King in truth. Cornelia and Arundel were literally replaced; the Agarthans had no such option with Nemesis, because he bore the Crest of Flames. Once he had established his leadership and obtained the relics used by himself and his allies, the Agarthans would have needed Nemesis more than he needed them, for their goal of winning the war against Seiros. It's very difficult to control someone under those circumstances. We see the same thing with the Agarthans and Edelgard, and we know how that story ends.
  2. Oh yeah, no doubt. I'm not contesting that he had Agarthan cooperation, and it's certainly not surprising that Thales would want to credit his success to Agarthan influence and discredit Nemesis's own personal accomplishments (after all, if Nemesis really was a powerful leader who didn't actually need that much Agarthan help once he got rolling, it's really in Thales' interest not to let a certain Flame Emperor know that... even if Thales were an unbiased source on the matter!). I get the impression that he had a significant chunk of Fodlan's humans on his side, otherwise how would he have been able to keep a war going, and to maintain his territory during it? A successful military campaign isn't just a matter of shiny swords and a few clever scheming mole-men, it requires the resources of a large number of people to keep an army fed, supplied, and in high morale for so long. We also know he had control of much of northern Fodlan. So it's more likely that he legitimately was a king of sorts. Even if he's a bit of a brute (a characterization which, I'll remind you, comes from his enemy), I'd expect him to be something closer to Genghis Khan or Atilla the Hun than a self-important crime lord. Also, the title "King of Liberation", whether self-styled or ascribed to him by his followers, speaks to someone with loftier ideals than mere banditry. (Yes, it could be a reference to him liberating people's heads from their shoulders... but Occam's razor suggests that's not the case, to me at least. Had the writers wanted him to come across as a jerkass bandit and nothing more, something like "the butcher king" would have been more fitting, no?) Finally, it's worth remembering that on Crimson Flower, Rhea is very willing to characterize her foes, and Byleth in particular, as the second coming of Nemesis: This doesn't really prove anything, but it's interesting, and if you put any stock in the parallels it makes it that much less likely that Nemesis is just some stupid bandit. Also notice that even she acknowledges him as a King.
  3. @RainbowMoon Hm, can you cite any sources for that? (I can't really either, so I'm certainly open to the idea that I might be missing something!) We know very, very little about the time of Nemesis, but my impression was that he was a worthy foe for the combined might of Serios and the young Adrestian Empire of the time, which suggests someone competent. You can credit all of that to skillful Agarthan influence, but given how woefully ineffective the Agarthans are at attempting to do the same thing in the present day, I'm not inclined to be as charitable to them as you. This is someone who led an army and was styled as a king by his people, whose leadership (along with the Elites) was popular enough that the falsified history kept them on as heroes and Nemesis as a tragically corrupted figure (rather than Kostas-like brute). That does not sound like a weak patsy. To the extent that his motives differed from those of the Agarthans, I'm inclined to imagine that he would have had an awful lot of control of the situation.
  4. I don't know what that means. That said I think if any definition of "not smart" includes someone who can successfully lead a war effort for decades, it's probably not a very useful definition.
  5. It's up to you. Certainly, even on Maddening, you absolutely can just reload the file and do fine. The only real disadvantage to doing so is that the training you put into Edelgard and Hubert ends up being "wasted" on your Silver Snow run. (And you definitely do want to train at minimum Edelgard for Crimson Flower, both because she is forced for every story map and because she is very good.) This is easily survivable, though. Just keep in mind that you are preparing for both routes, and in particular, you should train (or turn into a Dancer, etc.) all of Dorothea, Petra, and Caspar, since they will be forced on Silver Snow Chapter 13 and your life will be a lot easier if they are effective combatants.
  6. The revived Nemesis certainly doesn't seem to have much in the way of smarts, from what very little we see of him. Given his single-minded zombie-like dialog (and the fact that the Elites are even worse, being mute automata), I wouldn't necessarily take that as indicative of what he was like when he was alive, where he was apparently able to wage an effective military campaign.
  7. Thanks for running this, and I look forward to whatever comes next.
  8. Do you mean Knight/Defender -> Dragon Knight? The point of going Dragoon is to get their passive which raises crit with move, which you can then swap with power to deal 80+ damage per swing. But yeah certainly there are times when following class lines linearly is a less good idea. Conjurer is great for its HP drain, for instance, but I don't see much point in going from that into Pyromancer when Illusionist and Wizard are much stronger classes, unless you're going for weapon type diversity.
  9. Yeah, that's right, your HP growth is actually 100% higher than what's listed. I would want multiple playthroughs and/or to run numbers but I'm most impressed with Alden and Sloane overall. Mages are IMO the strongest class line as I mentioned (due to 1-2 range, great durability, and Phase), and Alden has great growths in magic and speed, allowing him great offence. Sloane's a little slower to get rolling because her speed isn't as good (though still decent, she was doubling most things by the end) but has crazy dex which means her accuracy/evade are very high. Especially after reaching Illusionist (that class is busted) she was seeing 1% hit rates from most enemies. They're not the only great mages to be clear - Monroe has monstrous HP, and Liberty joins right before tier 3 so she's hugely flexible. Sara's probably the weakest, early on she's the bulky mage but she's outclassed at that role later. Any fighter can be good with Dragoon -> Dragon Knight plus the aspect which swaps crit and power, but only one unit can do that, and it doesn't hugely matter who, so I'm not hugely inclined to hype any individual unit for this (and otherwise the fighter line is pretty unimpressive IMO).
  10. Just finished this a couple days ago. Solid game, not going to be one of my favourite FEs but it certainly scratched the new Fire Emblem itch anyway. I definitely ran into some bugs/glitches similar to some described here (though not tied to specific units), which is unfortunate. They are still working on bugfixes, so it's worth keeping an eye on as they game should hopefully continue to be more playable with time. For me they didn't destroy the experience but it certainly could be a bit frustrating. The good news is there's now an auto-save so even if the worst case happens and a glitch gums up your turn, you can close the game and reload to be at the turn's start. As for the maps, I understand where the criticism of a flat-plane map comes from, because there is one, about 2/3 through the game, which is a bafflingly empty square (what's extra weird is that the locale of the battle is shown in a drawn cutscene right before the battle, and there clearly should be things on the map). It is just that one map, though - otherwise you should expect the FE norm, just without terrain like forests/pillars (which isn't a big deal to me). As mentioned, map objectives are something the game does well, though - you'll be seeing defend, escape, arrive, and others in addition to the usual rout and defeat boss. I found Aurima (high damage and avoid) very effective in the spear line, a bit reminiscent of an FE4 swordmaster without the move problems in that he'd usually proc something to secure a kill, while being dodgy. The surge line with its mobility and range-3 encloser-type ability is also very neat, though they seem to have problems taking hits... a problem I solved with Thae'lanel who can't take more than 30% damage per normal swing. The class line I had the most trouble getting use out of was rogues - at best I got decent dodgetanks with shaky damage, and often not even that. The class line I found most effective was mages who have incredible enemy phase thanks to 1-2 range and shockingly good bulk (HP, draining, avoid in some cases), and even have great utility (Reposition, but it can be buffed with certain class lines!) on top of that.
  11. Battleground Cleanup: 4/10 -> 3/10 Absolute Defence: 4/10 -> 3/10 Suffice to say that, on reflection and reading comments from others, I think I'm overrating both of these a bit, and I'm happier with them a bit lower. I'm also going to add a score for Dance of the Goddess, but full disclosure that I'm mostly motivated to do this by feeling that its current listed average score is too low. If you feel that my reacting to the score currently present is "gaming the system" I'll abstain, but I did already say that I thought the gambit belonged in the 9 to 10 range. I'll just go with Dance of the Goddess: 9.5/10 if that's okay. Netting three extra action is obviously very powerful, potentially insanely so due to the flexibility it offers. My litmus test for 10/10 is "would I trade Ashes and Dust for this in Reunion at Dawn" and I think my answer is no, though. Like Stride, I'd send it straight to 10 if I cared about speedrun strategies for maps, at that point it's one of the two best gambits in the game full stop.
  12. I think rallies might be the most overrated abilities in 3H, vastly nerfed from Awakening/Fates (where they were good but not broken) in no small part because they're singletarget and range 1 (and are also one of the only actions which don't contribute towards class mastery). A version of them which is addresses these flaws is kinda nice. That said, even their gambit versions aren't great. I don't think it's controversial to say their effect isn't as potent as Blessing. Absolute Defence: 4/10. Well, it's much better than Rally Defence... both because it's 1.5x as potent but also because it's available earlier; def is a more valuable stat early and for some inexplicable reason we don't get Rally Defence until Chapter 12, while Absolute Def can be obtained in chapter 9. Its main use is as a ghetto impregnable Wall: buff someone who already has pretty good def and they can take crazy amounts of punishment that turn. Unlike IW you still get to counter for real damage, but on the other hand it requires you have good def to start with and doesn't do anything against magic. Battleground Cafe: 4/10. Probably the easier one to rate of the two. Buffing strength on your units allows you to secure some one-rounds they might otherwise miss. Of course... so does just having the user of this gambit attack themselves. Or more to the point, tossing out an AOE damage+rattle. Obviously a large AOE rattle is going to be superior to this, so Blaze and Assault Troop rank more highly to me. But things like Onslaught and Disturbance? That's tougher, because those still have to make charm checks, and sometimes have trouble securing more than one target, at which point the ability to str-buff multiple targets may win out. I think the same score as Disturbance is fair. Fun series! Looking forward to moving on to the battalions themselves.
  13. @lenticular Totally agree with the first point, yeah. Getting four player phases out of a single unit, with no conditions attached besides positioning, is utterly monstrous. I'm surprised they let you do it, even, since otherwise the series tends to go with a "you can't refresh a refresher" rule; they could have made the dancer untargetable by Dance of the Goddess. It's true that there are more tools for Dance of the Goddess to work with with Galdr, but I'm not convinced that makes it better... I could turn things around and point out that because there are fewer broken tools in PoR/RD than Galdr stands out all the more for enabling ridiculous player phase strategies in a way that nothing else does in that game (especially with almost every worthwhile unit in PoR having canto to get in position for it). In fact I'd go so far as to say that four-unit Galdr trivializes most Tellius battles while available (i.e. I'd disagree with your statement that it's not outright broken). Rafiel has garbage availability, though notably, still more than Dance of the Goddess does on any non-AM route! As for Reyson, his Galdr is so good that you should pretty much give any laguz stones/gems to him to keep him transformed as much as possible because he is that game-breaking. One other positive point for Dance of the Goddess is that you can give it to a unit with high mobility (not a flier, but a paladin etc.) at no cost, whereas in previous FEs the units with four-unit refresh have low move by default. Naturally, investing in their movement (Boots, Leg Ring, Knight Ring, Celerity, etc.) is an obvious choice, but it still takes those resources away from others.
  14. Blessing: 6/10. A nice little effect which boosts survivability. It's definitely not just straight worse than Impregnable Wall, because it can ward off a death on an unknowable turn. In particular, Blessing on your four best boss-fighters allows them to tangle with low crit rates (which is common from Indech, Macuil, Hegemon Edelgard, both forms of the Immaculate One) safely, or brave Bolting crits. As mentioned it's great vs Nemesis or other human bosses too, allowing anyone to survive anything they can do if they also have a guard adjutant. Otherwise, set it up on your most important units at the battle's start and enjoy. There are also specific strategies like setting up low-HP builds more safely but I don't value that use very much. Naturally its value fluctuates a fair bit depending on the type of enemies present and your strategies for dealing with them. In some battles it won't see much use, but at worst lets anyone take one extra hit in a pinch. Dance of the Goddess: Very good. I basically don't ever use it because it's attached to trash battalions and has wretched availability (one can only theorycraft its value in a map such as Reunion at Dawn), so I'll abstain from saying how good, but yeah I'm confident it's in that 9-10 range. I'm not sure what it says that FE4/9/10 give you this effect for free.
  15. Another way to think of it is that instead of forging a Zoltan+ you can forge a Brave into Brave+ and then repair it twice, giving you potentially 120 swings, compared with just 25-30 swings from a Zoltan+ (and likely less, because a major reason to use a single-swing, high-mt weapon is with combat arts). So realistically I'd only ever make a Zoltan+ on a playthrough where I had more wootz steel than I could possibly use, e.g. if I got unusually lucky on all my wolf-breaking and I'm using fewer physical units than normal. Possible, but I've never actually done it. Relics also kinda take the place of the zoltan+ weapons: for lances, axes, and bows, there's an even higher-mt weapon available (Lance of Ruin/Areadhbar, Freikugel/Aymr, Failnaught) at least on some routes.
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