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Mandokarla

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About Mandokarla

  • Birthday January 22

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  • Website URL
    https://medium.com/@calen_bender

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  • Interests
    Aspiring Novelist -- in process of writing first story for publishing. Short story vignettes published on Medium.
  • Location
    In a state of existential despair

Previous Fields

  • Favorite Fire Emblem Game
    Three Houses

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  • Members
    Arvis (Cipher)

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  • I fight for...
    Jugdral

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  1. Wow that is an unpopular opinion. I'm not sure where I stand on this one, because on one hand, linear gameplay does test strategy more than anything with a grindable world map. On the other hand, I think traversable world maps with skirmishes have been underutilized from a narrative AND gameplay standpoint, so there's more depth to be had with this. If FE developed more of a larger campaign, where holding territory mattered more a la FE4, a traverseable world map could be really cool and interactive. Ex. Villain-dude orders three armies to march out towards three different locations, and you choose which to counter--or maybe split your army to try and counter them. Pros and cons to each scenario, and it opens FE up to dipping its toes into a more grand strategy side of things. Really give you the "wartime tactician" kind of feel.
  2. I'm assuming the in-game overworld animation is what you're talking about? Where Fleche literally does the "I'm ready to move" animation to mime an attack? Yeah that was pretty damn bad--it definitely weakened the impact of the moment. I think the CG's after were pretty good though.
  3. Derdriu and Enbarr would be wonderful opportunities for the devs to flex new graphical capabilities, and would offer some interesting and unique terrain options. Waterways, canals, bridges and whatnot would make the former diverse, and Enbarr could give you the claustrophobic feeling of fighting in a dense city--could be interesting.
  4. My unpopular opinion (not sure how unpopular, but whatever): This community has an absolutely asinine way of discussing the writing quality of anything, but especially Fire Emblem games. This isn't to say that FE stories don't have problems (dear god do some of them have problems), but the people on this forum and in this fandom in general take either a ridiculously hardline approach to what "good writing" means, or they get super defensive about a game they like that has widely-acknowledged bad writing--when it's okay to like a story that isn't particularly great. As an example of the latter, FE7's plot is a mess, but people like the writing because of the relationships between the three lords, even though some of it (Lyn, all of Lyn) is irrelevant or purely carried by nostalgia--AND THAT'S OKAY. As an example of the former, one that I'm seeing more now that we've entered "New Game Response Stage 2: Time for Hate" is most of Three Houses. There are a host of things that people point to as "bad writing" that in reality is based on a difference in taste, not a lack of skill. There are real problems or missteps, don't get me wrong, but let's go over a few examples. Example 1: Blue Lions doesn't deal with TWSITD/Killing Thales as Arundel. The big criticisms of this route that I've seen are either (A) Dimitri doesn't actually solve the problem (he does, pay attention), or (B) It's not satisfying to deal with TWSITD that way, so it's poorly written. That is not how this works. Each route of the game has a specific focus, BL is more of a character story, VW is more of a lore and worldbuilding story, and CF/SS are mostly plot focused--all of which are valid story focuses. Dealing with TWSITD is not the primary focus of BL because they aren't as important to the core characters. This is a story about tragedy, growth, and reconciliation. It doesn't need to do everything, that's not the story it's trying to tell, and saying that a story with a focus that you personally don't like is bad writing is entitled and childish. Example 2: Rodrigue's death sequence. There are two prevalent criticisms here, one of which is VERY valid, and could have been easily fixed. Firstly, the obvious one, why not Divine Pulse the attack? There are easy ways to fix or explain this away, but the writers didn't do it, so it is a legitimate plot hole--especially because DP is explicitly used in the plot early on (it's not a purely gameplay based ability). The other big criticism is that people have a problem understanding why Rodrigue's death is the thing that opens the door for Dimitri's recovery. The people that don't get it, I'm willing to bet, haven't experienced mental illness of any kind, and also (more importantly) haven't been paying attention to the themes of the story. The sacrifice having the effect it does makes sense in the narrative and to the characters. TL;DR the Fire Emblem fandom has a generally asinine approach to storytelling, and one that often is deaf to any brand of subtlety--or marks subtlety as "bad writing". I could get started on Claude here, because he gets WAY more shit than makes any sense, but I'll be here all day if I do.
  5. Virion x Literally Anybody. Virion is a really well written character (especially by Awakening standards) and I love almost all of his supports. The chemistry with him and Cherche is really nice, his support with Tharja is just good fun, his support with Robin had a nice theme to it, etc. Virion doesn't get enough love. But personally, I'm a really big fan of Odin/Selena in Conquest. It shows (A) that Odin actually does have a degree of magical power, (B) they're still traumatized and affected by the events of Awakening, and (C) they genuinely care for eachother despite their bickering. It makes Ophelia less-than-a-godslayer, but you have to actively try to make Ophelia bad. A less explicitly romantic (but come one, let's be real) pairing I liked a lot was Dedue/Dimitri. Their paired ending hit me hard, and I could see it so viscerally. It was very bittersweet.
  6. Swordmaster Marianne was so much fun for me. Swordmaster bases + her crest let her do significant amounts of physical damage at base, while still letting her abuse soulblade/levin sword/Blutgang magical damage. I turned her into mortal savant at endgame for spell utility for fun. I really, really want to try her as a trickster now that Cindered Shadows is out. I think it'd be really fun, and would be more viable than Mortal Savant. My current Maddening SS run has Marianne as a Valkyrie, gonna see how that goes.
  7. Eventuality =/= eventually. They have different meanings. But I said I'd leave, and now that I've addressed the reading comprehension issue in the room I will do so. To OP, use whoever you want. Everyone is usable and decent, and I advocate for sticking to the house students with no subs on the first run of each route, but it's your game and there is no "right" way to play. Have fun!
  8. On Maddening Leonie gets doubled about half the time, and when she gets double she nearly dies--like the rest of the cast. Raph's HP helps mitigate that eventuality. But I'm not going to waste time with this any longer--you're focusing on deficiencies in certain stats without thinking about how the stats he does haveare utilized naturally and powerfully. I'd forgotten how you weave your brand of snark into any discussion, it's tiring. tl;dr Raph is fine. He's mid-tier at best, but that's still fine, he fills his role well with very little needed planning and attention.
  9. Any stats Raph is lagging in, that he actually needs, will be patched up by class bases as the game goes on. His growths aren't great, but 45% defense isn't terrible when a high base growth in this game tops out at around 60% for non-hp stats. He will be your main early game tank on all difficulties, because recruiting other students takes a few chapters. If Maddening can be beaten in 0% growths by abusing class bases, Raph can get by on any difficulty without needing to cross class into 8 different things to function. He requires no more investment than any other starting student, and doesn't really require babying either. His stat deficiencies don't really matter. He enters a bit of a power trough in the midgame, but everyone else is doing fine enough at that point for that to not matter. He can hit Warmaster a few chapters after the timeskip without much issue, even on Maddening. I guess the point of all of this is that you're making a mountain out of a molehill. The biggest criticism of his kit is that his personal skill is literally worthless, but he can contribute a great deal without babying. What non-lord unit would you say doesn't need babysitting until advanced classes? Or, even better, give me another example of a unit that needs babying to get "good" in your eyes? Not Cyril, that one's too easy.
  10. On Hard, Lorenz has the power to oneshot a lot of units with his strong nuke spells from range, which is value. He also provides access to his relic. On Maddening, pretty much nobody not named Ingrid, Petra, or Leonie doubles, so massive chip damage is also valuable. Recover becomes more useful as HP pools grow, and Ward has (albeit niche) defensive utility. No investment required. I don't like Raph either, but if you put him through grappler (like you should to begin with) you gain access to a melee Hunter's Volley, but with more damage at the cost of that range. So Raph can become essentially a delete button lategame. His high hp and gauntlets built in brave effect is also valuable on Maddening, where doubling normally is rare. He's also naturally inclined towards gauntlets, so it's easy. There aren't really a lot of hoops to jump through here. Most characters have 1 or 2 really easy lines of progression that don't require a lot of micromanagement. It's only the tangential/memey shit that requires a lot of hoops (like my Mortal Savant Marianne I'm building--lots of fun on Hard, probably entirely useless on Maddening). I'm not sure what you define as jumping through hoops here. It's okay to say you find certain characters boring, but saying they're bad full-stop just isn't true. The only unit that might deserve that is like, Cyril, because his investment/reward ratio is still lower than most students, and might be less than certain faculty.
  11. His spell list gives him solid nuking potential, his relic is absurdly good and can be passed around, he has a decent white magic spell list (no physic isn't good, but recover and ward are strong in their niche), and he can frontline better than every other mage in the game. He's versatile, and one of the better recruitable Dark Knight candidates. Let's compare him to the other mages: Dorothea has the best spell list in the game when it comes to options, but she doesn't hit as hard as Lysithea and is almost as frail. She has range over Lorenz, but the difference between her magic growth and Lorenz's is I think 5%, which is inconsequential, and his spells generally have higher base might. Her real competition is Marianne, not Lorenz, because of the similarity in their spell lists. Lysithea is, while overrated, still an exceptional mage when it comes to damage output, and access to long-range Warp makes her extremely useful. She dies to a stiff breeze though, which means you have to be more careful with her than with Lorenz. She's better, but she's also in the same house anyway so it's not like you have to pick and choose. Annete gets Excalibur, but her spell list is really unimpressive otherwise, and her white magic isn't that much more impressive. She serves her role in BL, but isn't a character you get excited to recruit unless you like her personality a lot (which is fine, she's adorable). Not worth trading for. Hubert is CF locked, so isn't relevant to this discussion. Marianne is samehouse, and is generally a healer/dancer despite having solid offensive spells. Not really competition. She's cuter though, best girl don't "@" me. Mercedes is just a generally fantastic unit, and the undisputed best healer in the game. She has some of the same nuking spells that Lorenz does, and her relic really helps bolster her survivability (not frontline though). She might be worth trading in, but she performs a different role. Don't teach Sylvain magic, his budding talent is useless. Hanneman and Manuela just kinda exist. Both have their roles and both are usable, but neither are top tier. Manuela is more of a utility bot than a healer, and Hanneman can hit hard...once. Flayn's offensive spell list is decent, but neither super hard hitting or long range. She's there for fortify + rescue and that's about it. I don't think I missed any mages that matter. Lorenz does his job and fills his niche well--he's also a pretty well-written character to boot. He pulls his weight. Most of the mages that outclass him, vague as those terms are, already exist within his own house. If you wanted to compare his overal unit performance as a whole versus the entire rest of the cast, this would be a different question. But when it comes to specifically mages, Lorenz can do his job.
  12. Also hard disagree on Lorenz. Use him as a mage and he pulls his weight. I also just tend to recommend sticking to your house students for your first playthrough of each route anyway, they were designed with that in mind. 
  13. We're all here, presumably, because we really enjoy the Fire Emblem style of video game: structure, gameplay, art styles, etc. I like the combination of turn-based strategy and RPG elements that aren't well done elsewhere. The art and music are iconic as well. Obviously, we all have other forms of media that we are also very fond of. So, if you were to take another franchise, or story, or book/movie/etc and place its characters and related story/stories into the framework of a Fire Emblem game, what would it be and why? I would personally love to see Star Wars in this kind of a setting. I know you can get close with XCOM 2 mods, but it isn't quite the same thing. If I were to be a little more obscure, I honestly think Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn books would be a lot of fun to adapt into this kind of a game (mostly because implementing the magic system of those books into any kind of satisfying realtime gameplay is literally impossible, and a turn-based medium would let you go bonkers on the animations). What are your ideas? What would you do? 
  14. My one contribution to all of this is about Nemesis' seemingly-random appearance. It's established early on that Flayn's blood is special, and we know that her crest + her proficiencies are all around being a healer and supporting figure. Easy logical step from there is that Flayn's blood has healing properties of some potency. We also know that the Slithers successfuly took extracted some of Flayn's blood. So it seems easy to assume that Nemesis' body was revived from stasis in part due to the use of Flayn's blood. Is that clear enough to satisfy the average player? Nope. I honestly think that 90% of the narrative issues people have with that game (the one's that don't stem from ignorance or lack of paid attention) would be solvable with the addition of like, 3 new cutscenes at 3-5 new CG's, just to transition more into "show don't tell". The game definitely felt some crunch time in terms of final polish.
  15. That feast is to celebrate the ending of the War of Eagle and Lion, which is what the mock battle commemorates. Not the mock battle itself.
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