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Dark Holy Elf

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Everything posted by Dark Holy Elf

  1. Normally I'm generally of the opinion that the game is better if you don't recruit everyone, as leaving some people unrecruited humanizes the "other side" of your playthrough, which is an important part of the game's message IMO. That said it weirdly doesn't matter much on Silver Snow, where you fight Ashe / Lorenz / Hubert / Edelgard regardless, and nobody else. I find it amusing that the route completely invalidates your choices.
  2. Excalibur vs weakness has 33 mt, while Ragnarok has 15, a gap of around 16-17 points once we account for Mercie's slightly higher mag. Checking things, though, that is about the gap in "magic atk needed to OHKO" between pegasi and low-mdur enemies, though, so I take it back, Excalibur can be used to get pegasi as well (until lategame, as you note, when pretty much all magic stops OHKOing). So yeah, you're right, there. I do think Mercedes's extra 5-6 points of atk against everything else can easily make the difference between OHKO and not against other enemies, though. And in general I feel like there's more of these enemies than there are are fliers... or perhaps I just feel that way because fliers are already be priority targets for my archer(s) already? I suppose the fewer archers you use, the more valuable Excalibur-users become relatively. As for Excalibur's hit, infantry mages don't struggle too much with hit later, I find, because many of the best infantry mage battalions often have pretty substantial hit boosts (Gloucester, Ordelia, Macuil, Edmund). It's definitely a much bigger concern for flying mages, but that's not an option available to Linhardt anyway. The comments on Warp vs. Fortify are fair. I don't see too much daylight between them myself, but I'll readily admit playstyle can change that. I just feel that really that's the only reason to consider choosing Linhardt above Mercedes for BL/GD runs.
  3. I basically agree with everything you've said, but this especially. It's quite ridiculous that in the route where Edelgard is Byleth's former student, that she still gets no more screentime than in VW (SS has the post-TS scene, but VW has Gronder). The game also does nothing with the fact that Hubert is Byleth's former student as well.. even Claude comments on Hubert's character after receiving his letter, but neither Byleth (his former teacher) nor the remaining Eagles (his former classmates) have anything to say about it. Things like this make it feel like a shell of a route.
  4. The speed matters more for defence than offence on Maddening, although it can matter for offence... later in the game Lin can start to have trouble doubling armours and particularly great knights, is my memory. Mercedes' Ragnarok can claim a good number of OHKOs midgame (with the usual investments like +mag battalion, Mag+2, Fiendish Blow, Magic Staff). Reunion at Dawn stands out in particular as a map where optimizing her offence can be decisive. Linhardt has a lot more trouble doing this. As for Excalibur, my experience is that it will never OHKO pegasus/falcon knights due to their high res, and while grounding wyverns in one hit is cool, there are relatively few of those in the main game - I may be forgetting some but offhand they only appear in Myrddin (all routes), Derdriu (CF), monastery defence (CF), Enbarr (AM only), and endgame (VW only), compared to the numerous low-res enemies like sword- and bow-users (also fist-users though you'll need some solid accuracy for them due to Tomebreaker). I definitely find Ragnarok more useful than Excalibur in general (not just in this comparison). If you have two people who need healing, then Fortify upgrades from "another shot of Physic" to "a shot of Physic, a free dance, and a second shot of Physic". With more it becomes quite the action economy indeed. Between that and Live to Serve I find Mercedes excels in situations where you need a lot of healing, and the fewer healers you play the more valuable she feels, as such. I also think she allows you to play her much more aggressively than other healers; you don't need to protect her precisely because she'll heal herself for free, as long as you keep her from being one-rounded. (Additionally there are situations where you don't really want to keep your healer protected anyway, such as baiting enemy magic users; they tend to have the highest Res on the team.)
  5. It's hardly insane. We know she "buttered up" a noble. That could be anywhere from flirting to sex or something in between. Whatever it is, she felt she needed to do it, and she seems hurt by others suspecting it, so it's clear that she at least feels some shame for it. I don't think her having contempt for the nobles who propositioned her, or having a moral code disapproving of them, says anything about what she did or didn't do. Their behaviour is not analogous to hers (they are immensely privileged, she is not). Her actions don't invalidate her beliefs of what's right and wrong. Yeah, Japan puts more emphasis on female virginity/purity and I've heard that floated as a reason that Dorothea is less popular there (although it's hard to confirm for sure). If true, it doesn't reflect very well on the Japanese fanbase IMO. Even your own words I quoted here reveal how problematic those views are. Is Dorothea less "good" and "wholesome" if she felt pressured into using her sexuality to escape from poverty? I certainly don't think so. And I really hope you aren't arguing this from the perspective of just wanting to believe she's "wholesome" yourself. I think it's also worth considering that even if Dorothea had traded sexual favours to get where he is, the game would likely want to be very circumspect about this fact, precisely because of the negative reaction this knowledge would generate from parts of the fanbase. In-universe, Dorothea herself would also want to be circumspect about it, if the mores surrounding such things in any way resemble those of our world. So for multiple reasons it's not surprising that she doesn't talk openly about it, even before accounting for the fact that 3H has a tendency to avoid talking about sexual matters in general.
  6. Three Houses is so unwilling to talk about sex directly that it's hard to say for sure, so there's room for the player to believe what they want. I find the shame Dorothea expresses in her Linhardt support is congruent with a person who probably has traded some manner of sexual favour to get where she is, moreso than someone who just flirted. It fits her self-hatred that she did something that society considers wrong in order to get to Garreg Mach. But I respect interpreting differently. I will say that regardless of the truth Dorothea absolutely deserves our sympathy for her actions. She came from utter poverty and was placed in an environment which was clearly dangerous and exploitative (see various supports), and used her talents to try to find a way out, and reach financial stability. Looking down on her for that comes across as incredibly priveleged. It's easy to say moralizing things like "she shouldn't lecture Sylvain if she's had loveless sex for personal gain herself" but that completely ignores the social conditions outside her control which made her feel this was her only good option. Many people in Dorothea's position have had to make similar choices in our own world, and we should not have contempt for them out of some misplaced overvaluation of a woman's "purity".
  7. I really like both Azure Moon and Crimson Flower. Voted for CF but it depends on my mood somewhat. AM is basically the most cohesive story by itself, and if someone was only going to play one route of the game I'd probably recommend that. Dimitri's struggle is compelling, Edelgard is handled much better than on the other routes where she's an antagonist, Claude actually has a role to play (unlike SS). But CF is arguably the route the game is truly about for me. Three Houses is a game that asks when revolution is justified and the costs of violent conflict and CF addresses that the most directly. The other routes have a similar amount of bloodshed but often gloss it over (VW by often being a jokesy fun time, SS by stripping almost out all the named opponents so you don't feel the gravity of your actions).
  8. I dunno. Constance has the same problems as Lysithea - no Physic and no 3-range spell. Bolting is cool, but her limited support list makes it less cool than it could be, since the linked attack bonuses are a big part of what makes those spells so appealing to me. She feels too much like a second Lysithea to me, and without Luna I feel she's largely a worse one. It's possible I'm underrating Bolting's offensive potential, though, especially if you go Warlock/Gremory for four shots of it. Hapi only has 5% more mag growth than Dorothea (= 2 points at most), and starting with E faith + only being neutral means she isn't getting Physic any faster, and Warp is an incredible slog if you want that. She has to wait for B rank to get her 3-range spell, to boot, and never gets Meteor. Being reliant on dark magic for offence also basically locks her into Valkyrie at Advanced, which is a solid class but means she suffers if you want her to have more mobility (Dark Flier) or power (Warlock). Both are decent enough, mind, but I found them a bit less to my taste than the mages already in the game.
  9. I think people are definitely a bit too hung up on Mercedes lacking (three shots of) Physic for just a single chapter. It's a disadvantage, for sure. But then, unlike 5-speed Linhardt, she isn't one-rounded by the archers on that map, so she can take a hit if necessary, and then heals herself for free when she heals someone else. If Linhardt or Mari are better than her for that one map it isn't by that much. And Chapter 2 is before you can recruit a faith user from another house, anyway, so the comparison is largely moot. The operative question when comparing them is really "should I bench my own healer in order to use one I've recruited from another house" and that question doesn't come up until chapter 4 at the earliest, realistically. In later maps I find Mercedes more useful than Linhardt because of her better stats (speed and charm in particular), better offensive spell list (Ragnarok hits much harder than Excalibur, allowing her to claim OHKOs he can't), Live to Serve, and Fortify. Lin's really only got Warp against that and that's nowhere near enough for me. I find her overall better than Marianne too (being +reason goes a long way) although Marianne has more advantages (Thoron and magic combat arts) so I can see disputing this.
  10. I've never actually encountered anyone who thought that! There are plenty of references to Dagda still being a nation that exists. Not that I'm doubting you, people believe strange things sometimes.
  11. This is a fascinating topic and I've enjoyed reading everyone's input on it. Fire Emblem is a series about war, usually between different nations, and race has often been a factor in that historically. So it's good that the series is addressing race. And therefore any criticism I make of how 3H handles race should be viewed in the context that I definitely think the series should continue to examine this theme instead of sweeping it all under the rug in the next entry because it's too "complicated" or "controversial". One portrayal I found very effective was the anti-Duscur racism. You learn first about the Tragedy of Duscur as some sort of terrible incident where Lambert was killed, and only later do you figure out about the wildly disproportionate retribution in which Duscur was basically genocided. And yet the people in Fodlan still blame Duscur for it and look down on them. It definitely brought to mind similar things in history where a privileged race continued to look down on and blame an opporessed race for their own suffering, ignoring their (the priveleged race's) own responsibility for the situation. As a white North American I'm reminded of both racism against blacks in post-slavery America, and our treatment of indigenous people. I agree that the racial relations between Fodlan and the other cultures (Almyra, Brigid, Dagda, Sreng, etc.) are not as well explored, sadly. This is very well put and I'm very glad someone else pointed it out. It's something I've long felt very uncomfortable about: the portrayal of the Agarthans is dangerously reminiscent of anti-semitic portrayals of Jewish people. Which makes it extra bothersome how the game basically goes full hog into portraying them as deserving to be wiped out. And I hate how the fanbase has embraced this and actually likes to rate routes based on how effectively each one genocides the Agarthans, as if that's some sort of positive. If I could make one broad change to the game's story, it would be to change VW's lategame so that Claude learns the truth of the conflict between the Nabateans and Agarthans, and attempts to reconcile them (and humanity). It would have fit so well with his own goal if breaking down the walls between Fodlan and Almyra if he could do the same with the walls between races which have shaped centuries of conflict. Obviously this would require the game actually care about the Agarthans as something beyond a source of evil. But in a game that was willing to show that conflicts happen because of nuanced views colliding rather than black and white, wouldn't have been cool if they'd extended that even to the usual FE "group of evil cultists"?
  12. We know Arundel wants the relics stored in Derdriu based on CF. It makes perfect sense that he's leading what he thought would be an easy battle with the reward of getting first crack at them. Although I agree that Bergliez should have been in the game, to be clear. Anyway I like Azure Moon a lot. Its pros, IMO, are that it has perhaps the most complete storyline without the help of other routes (the tragedy of Dimitri and Edelgard is effectively told), and it has numerous outstanding setpiece battles late in the game (Gronder 2 and both Enbarr maps are two of my faves, I like the defence of Derdriu as well). Its con is that, IMO, viewed in the context of the entire game I don't really feel that great about the prospects for the future of Fodlan. It's not as bad as SS in making me feel like I've restored the ugly status quo, but it's the next closest route to that. Fortunately that's not what the route is about, and what it is about is done well IMO.
  13. I'd argue that Rhea isn't as interested in someone's religious views as she is in their loyalty, and she already has that from Cyril in spades.
  14. Catherine, Felix, Leonie, Petra, Dorothea, Lysithea, Mercedes, and Marianne would probably be my list in some order. Catherine, Felix, Leonie, and Petra are the best non-lord physical units in some order. All have excellent speed. Felix and Catherine have good strength on top of that, and in Catherine's case she joins as a complete powerhouse if recruited ASAP, while Felix's personal allows him to start snowballing quickly in chapter 1-3 BL even if it rapidly becomes irrelevant thereafter. All except Felix can access pegasus and get Darting Blow to further their speed advantage. Petra has a ridiculous talent list on top of that (axe+flying, yes please), while Leonie has solid growths across the board (bulk, charm) and has the option of Point-Blank Volley. Dorothea, Mercedes, Lysithea, and Marianne are the best magic units in some order. Dorothea is the best user of Meteor in the game (a bit less good on GD, but the way she supports most of the key combat units on BE/BL is amazing), and gets Thoron and Physic besides. Mercedes is the best healer with Physic + Fortify + Live to Serve, but gets Ragnarok and enough magical oomph to claim OHKOs with it to boot. Lysithea I find a touch overrated but is still good, amazing magic power is a good place to be and Luna/Warp are nice utility even if I wish she had a 3 range spell or Physic. Marianne also has Thoron and Physic, and a quick access to Frozen Lance. Both the deer mages were improved notably by the DLC imo, Lysithea because she finally has a useful class in Advanced tier and Marianne because the DLC classes make her Reason neutral less of a drawback and her Riding/Flying talents more important. Honourable mentions include Ferdinand, Sylvain, Ingrid, and Shamir.
  15. I feel like the systems were designed such that they're entirely playable just offline, but online gives you an advantage and above all, makes it easier to navigate. You don't have to worry about ore swaps, you just get what you need. It lets players customize their playing style while not totally gating the systems off from people who can't or don't wish to go online. Personally I prefer playing offline for what I feel is a more "pure" experience (in this and most other games), but to be clear that's purely a personal preference. I still find forging an extremely viable option, since the combination of ore swap and arena gives you steadily more access to resources as the game goes on. It is a bit RNG (the initial ore + lottery can give you a notable boost if you get a new ore type), especially if you don't reset bad arena runs (since arena itself is a bit RNG), but I view that as similar to the RNG on stats: they make the progression slightly different in each playthrough but it'll go roughly on the same trajectory long-term.
  16. I like FE10's and FE16's best. FE10 you already covered, FE16 does a good job of introducing mechanics (thickets in particular, but also combat arts) and the list of available PCs is obviously neat.
  17. I liked the end-chapter-9 scene, one of the few videos in the game I'm a big fan of. Something terrible happens, rewind time and change things, but Jeralt dies anyway. My read on the scene was always that that was Byleth's last use of divine pulse available. Similarly with any other things it isn't able to prevent, I assume that Byleth has always used up all his/her shots of Divine Pulse (e.g. for the death in a certain Azure Moon scene) trying to keep his/her allies alive in the battle before. I took Sothis's talk of fate as somewhat metaphorical: sometimes, no matter what you try, you won't be able to prevent all tragedy. That's true in real life, true in Three Houses (there's no way to completely forestall the war and prevent the deaths of many good people), and it's worth emphasizing that it should remain true even if one has magical powers, or there will be no stakes to the story.
  18. I like most of this cast a lot. I almost hesitate to participate in this thread because I don't want to hurt feelings of the fans of the characters I like less, but here we go: Yuri: I found his plot in CS not credible, and in the main game he feels a bit all over the place with an overly complicated backstory. I also really, really dislike his Bernadetta A support where he basically apologizes for her abusive father. On the plus side, I like his design and his flirtatious behaviour; definitely a character I wanted to like. Constance: Split personality (where both personalities are overexaggerated to boot) based on sunlight feels like anime nonsense... not to say that can't be enjoyable (it wouldn't be out of place in Awakening), but I find it tonally jarring with the more serious Three Houses. Cyril: He seems to care for little besides being a Rhea stan. There was an opportunity to explore his internalized racism but it wasn't really taken. And he's sometimes randomly extremely rude in his supports, and unlike other rude characters this is almost never examined or apologized for. Gilbert: Very different from the other three, I think Gilbert is actually extremely well-written and believable. But god, the way he treats his wife and daughter due to his self-piteous, self-centered beliefs is very hard to watch. (Rhea and Seteth tick some similar boxes as Gilbert, although not as strongly; I find them easier to like because IMO they aren't as selfish, even if they remind me too much of some very awful people from real life. We see their good/caring sides more.) Oh yeah and obviously the slitherers (well, Kronya / Solon / Thales at least) are terrible villains, what everyone else said. It's definitely more that they're inoffensive (though I have seen some people who strongly dislike Ingrid for her racism, if not in this thread). Alois and Shamir in particular aren't that popular if we go by Choose Your Legends. However, the game swings for the fences with many of its major characters and that means some people are gonna really like them, and some people are gonna really dislike them. And that's fine!
  19. I think you're right that they basically forgot to give Circe an effect, or Thales a weapon at all. In general I feel like the designers cared very, very little about the slitherers. I get the impression that whoever came up with the early drafts of the game (Kusakihara?) thought up these characters and whoever actually filled in the writing and gameplay (Koei Tecmo?) really didn't care about them, and this shows up in both story and in gameplay. I see where you're come from when you call Thales the main villain but honestly he never truly plays that role, despite all the bad things he did: CF and AM are very much more concerned with another clear main antagonist, and VW/SS spend only a single chapter with him as the main opponent, and in neither route is he the final boss or particularly difficult to defeat. He doesn't even get a unique battle music, just the same track as plays for the other Agarthans + major opponents.
  20. Byleth has 6 magic base and 35% growth (dedicated mages have 10-12 and 40-60%). She's not in danger of making any dedicated mages feel redundant, no matter the spell list. I definitely think some more utility would have been fitting for a hybrid character, especially with the unique role Byleth plays as the teacher / supportive leader of most of the other playable characters.
  21. Mages don't use many weapons, so they have loads of inventory slots. They can switch between accessories easily (as easily as a physical unit changes weapons), and you get two Healing Staves relatively early. Naturally you'll give them to two people who have Physic (and/or Fortify), since they're so much easier to use than range-1 options. As I said, there's a reason that people recommend magic builds just for Physic, and not just for Recover. Heal/Nosferatu/Recover is the worst faith list in the game. Adding Aura, which is in the running for worst offensive spell in the game, does not significantly improve it.
  22. Strongly disagree. Even without Bishop's bonus, Physic restores (8 + Mag/3 + 10 from Healing Staff) HP, which will easily go well into the 20's even off of mediocre to poor magic stats. That's a substantial chunk of anyone's HP. I find this substantially more useful than Recover, especially since many magic-using classes have poor move (particularly if playing without DLC, in which case no magic-using class gets more than 4 until Master tier, except, admittedly, Enlightened One). Over the months I've seen plenty of people say things to the effect of "you should try ____'s magic build, they have Physic". Nobody says the same thing about Recover, and there's a good reason for that. Crit just isn't very useful on heavy tomes, because they are bad at doubling. This means the difference between a 20 crit spell and a 5 crit spell is literally just 15% chance, and the resulting higher crit will still be way, way too low to be counted on, so it's pretty useless except as a YOLO desperation tactic to kill an enemy you can't otherwise. One note worth pointing out about accuracy: accuracy on faith tomes is worse than it looks, compared to reason, because of how their Prowess skills work. Reason Prowess 5 gives 20 hit, Faith Prowess 5 gives only 10, scaling down as appropriate for lower levels. It's still not that bad, but Aura is definitely one of the most likely things to run into accuracy issues in the entire game (hitting magic avoid helps, but only so much). I agree that swapping Aura for another damage spell would be fairly pointless (though Seraphim is a bit better, IMO, because of its monster weakness niche; at worst it can one-shot monster barriers from range), and would much prefer a utility spell instead; it fits someone who is already good at killing things with swords.
  23. A couple of people have said Meteor and that would truly be a game-changer. Byleth supports everyone (except Anna) so if s/he had Meteor that would essentially give +7 to +10 hit (+15 to +20 on gambits) to the entire team, which is, needless to say, a pretty big deal. But while I'm not sure about this gameplaywise, I do like it thematically: you'd have a teacher whose direction is making all their students more likely to succeed. Otherwise I think Byleth's reason list is fine. Faith is definitely shaky seeing as it's their budding talent, and Aura (like the other heavy faith spells) is just kinda underwhelming compared to reason spells, including Ragnarok which Byleth already gets. I like Rescue, again thematically, for Byleth to pull their students out of trouble.
  24. I reaaally like the way this scene plays out in Birthright so I definitely wouldn't change it! I just can't see Xander wanting to be alive after he literally killed Elise.
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