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  1. Radiant Dawn is closer to being a game with a lot of different Lords. There's always at least one character who fulfils the gameplay role of "unit who is not allowed to die on this map". Though in terms of storyline, yeah, it's not too far removed, at least for parts of the game. But then you get things like the Micaiah and Black Knight chapter, or Ike having to land the final blow on Ashera, where it leans very heavily on "this is the main character!" Not coincidentally, Part 2 is my favourite part of Radiant Dawn, and possibly even my favourite part of any Fire Emblem game.
  2. I'm not entirely sure what you're asking me here. Yes, I would be interested in seeing a FE game without a lord. I was saying that if they did decide to get rid of the lord then they could add additional defeat conditions to compensate, but that they wouldn't have to. Does that answer your question?
  3. No, that's obviously not what I'm saying. If you genuinely managed to read what I wrote and think that what I meant was "nobody other than Nintendo should ever make anything other than 2D fighting games and FPSs", then I am completely at a loss for how to react. Look, both in business and in art, it's important to innovate. You have to offer something that is new or something that is better. It doesn't all have to be new and better, but there needs to be something there. Some reason to buy your product and not the other, pre-existing, popular one that the other company is making. And yeah, for a hypothetical Microsoft Smash-alike there are two immediate hooks: it would have Microsoft characters and it would be on Xbox. And that would be enough for some people. Maybe that would be enough for you. But it's also the sort of thinking that led to PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, which hardly set the world alight. I have to imagine that Microsoft aren't particularly keen to put the full force of their IP library into a title only to see it turn into a bit of a damp squib. If they are going to do a big marquee title that celebrates the diversity of their titles then they're going to want for it to be good and they're going to want it to be successful. A soulless Smash clone (used in the pejorative sense, here) is not going to do that. Maybe there's some game designer working at Microsoft who has an absolutely killer idea for a way to iterate on platform fighters and create a new genre-defining title. And if they do, then great, they should do that. But if they don't really have any fresh ideas and are just going to create Smash Bros But Worse because some suit told them to, then I think I'll pass on that.
  4. For me, I'd definitely like to see more platform fighters, and I don't have a problem with more media crossover games, but I'd mostly rather that they weren't the same games. For the longterm health of the genre, it needs to be able to exist independently of its media tie-ins, so let's see more platform fighters with a roster of completely original characters. Meanwhile, there are plenty of other game genres that can be used for media crossovers. Take all the characters and throw them into a kart racer or a hero shooter, as two obvious examples. Heroes of the Storm is a crossover MOBA. Kingdom Hearts is a crossover action RPG. Pretty much any genre can work, and assuming that gaming crossover has to mean platform fighter does no favours either to the genre or to the characters being crossed over. The best genre to use for a crossover depends on which characters you're using and who the target audience is. If you want to do a crossover of Doom, Fallout, Call of Duty, and Halo then it should probably be some sort of a shooter. If you're making Age of Empires vs Warcraft and don't make an RTS then you're a fool. And if you're trying to do a crossover of the entire library of Microsoft IP, then you have to ask what you're trying to acomplish and who your target audience is. My guess -- and it is just a guess -- is that if Microsoft tried to do a platform fighter that crossed over all of their characters, then it would probably end up being not as good as Smash Bros. Which would be no indictment on Microsoft. Smash Bros has had five iterations to really perfect its formula, it's had over a decade to work out deals with third parties for character inclusions, it has the advantage of a core roster of Nintendo characters who have a somewhat similar branding and aesthetic (a "typical Nintendo game" means something in a way that a "typical Microsoft game" doesn't). Smash Bros has all the advantages, and if Microsoft tried to mimic it, then they'd likely end up at "like Smash Bros, but not as good". Which would then give the impression that Microsoft are "like Nintendo, but not as good". They're probably better off doing their own thing rather than just chasing the market leader.
  5. They could do, but I don't particularly think that they'd have to. I've never found a game over due to a dead lord to be a particularly satisfying way to lose. For an ironman run, I think that "I lost too many people to attrition and now I don't have enough people left to beat this map" is a much more compelling failure state, with "I lost because the lord died" generally tending to feel very abrupt and almost arbitrary. Maybe that's just me, though. And for a non-ironman run with resets (or time rewinds), it's all largely irrelevant, since it's all but impossible to truly lose a run if you can save and reload as often as you like. With any long-running series, there's always a tension between "keep on doing the same thing we've always done, because that's the identity of the series" and "start doing things differently to make sure that the franchise doesn't stagnate or get stale". What works best for one person isn't going to work best for someone else. It's going to depend mainly on whether that person more highly values familiarity or novelty and on how central a particular element was to the individual's perception of the series identity. To me, having a lord-style character is something that FE has always done btu isn't something that I consider important to the core identity of the series, so it's something I'd be interested in seeing shaken up. Your mileage may vary, of course.
  6. Obviously, the devil's in the details for something like that, and it does depend a lot on exactly how things are balanced. My first instinct, though, is that I don't think something like this would work well. Something that's good from levels 1-30 is probably going to be a lot more desirable than something that lags behind for most of the game but then becomes good eventually. Dropping the weapon requirement entirely would be the much more elegant solution, yes. I'm slightly annoyed with myself for not thinking of that. I personally wouldn't want Yuri to have access to the class -- I don't really like it for him thematically; he's a leader but he's not a noble -- but it certainly wouldn't break anything to give it to him or to Byleth, and I can see why others would want that. This would be fine. I honestly don't see it making that much difference either way. Neither class is particularly magic-focused and it's very rare for me to even have to think about conserving spell uses with them, even at half-castings. That said, full castings would give a little extra flexibility in how they get used, so I think I agree it would probably be a good thing overall. I like this change too. High/Great Lord are classes that are almost there and just need some small buffs to really make them competitive, and a fairly small crit boost would be another nice way of doing it. Definitely thematically appropriate too. That's a fair point, but I think also difficult to balance around. It's nice for skills like that to exist, but if a class has a niche mastery skill that isn't going to be used in most builds, then that weakens the class overall (cf. Warrior and Wrath). They could just go on classes that are independently good and don't need a strong mastery skill (eg Wyvern Rider) but there are only so many of these classes to go around. Or you could just give Hero two mastery skills, but then it would seem weird and out of place. Or you could just move all of the Defiant and Seal Skills out of Master tier down to Advance tier, give all Advance tier classes an extra mastery, and then just say that Master tier classes don't get mastery skills because they're such a pain to reach anyway. I'm not really sure I completely like any of these solutions. Game design is hard. Yeah, that would be a downside. But I think it only really meaningfully impacts Lysithea and Hapi. Technically there's Edelgard and Jeritza as well, but most runs won't ever see them learn their dark magic spells, so I don't think that much is lost there. And for Hubert, I suggested replacing his Personal to allow him to keep the dark edge that he has (and because his existing Personal is less significant and interesting than Lysithea's or Hapi's). When I was thinking about it, I asked myself if Lysithea would still be Lysithea if she had black magic rather than dark magic and I think that yes, she would. At least in terms of characterisation. Maybe she'd lose a touch of nuance, but the core character would still be the same. There also wouldn't be anything stopping Lysithea and Hapi from having the strongest dark magic lists in the game, making them the characters best suited to dark magic classes. On the subject of a hypothetical combat art version of Sol, I think it would be OK but unremarkable. It certainly wouldn't be on the same power level as something like Hunter's Volley or Swift Strikes, but I can definitely see myself getting some use out of it. I don't think it's a deal-breaker if you're getting hit by a counterattack. If you hit for 30 and heal for 15 and then the enemy counterattacks for 30, then you still have 15 more HP afterwards than you would have done if you'd made a regular attack. That's not always going to be relevant, but it's not hard to think of circumstances where it would be. Certainly it would be better to have it than to have nothing.
  7. I'd say that Dimitri's relationship with Edelgard in Azure Moon is another good example of that. Unrelated, something else that I'd be interested to see but doubt will ever happen is a Fire Emblem game that doesn't really have a Lord character. By which I mean, it doesn't have anyone who is force-deployed and whose death results in game over. There are two ways I'm imagining this. One is to have a non-combatant main protagonist. So, imagine something along the lines of if PoR had been Elincia's story rather than Ike's story. Her contract was with the Greil Mercs as a whole, and it doesn't matter who they decide to deploy for each mission. Obviously, deaths would still be bad, but there wouldn't be any single individual who was indispensable. The other way I'm imagining would be to do a story that didn't really have a single main character but was much more of an ensemble cast. Where, again, no single individual would be indispensable. While this sort of story is definitely possible, it can be hard to keep a narrative compelling if it isn't anchored by a point-of-view character, and it also doesn't really seem in keeping with the sort of stories that IS like to tell, so I'd be surprised to see it.
  8. I still don't think this is enough that I'd ever want to touch the class. +2 to mag, def, str, or spd are all better than +2 to res or charm, and giving up on the movement art as well would also not be something I'd want to do. I don't really like this, either. Making it so that the mounted classes have all the best skills as well just means that there's no reason to want to go with anything else. At least in the game as it actually stands, there is some sort of tension between "power now" and "power later". If I want to be as strong as possible now, maybe I'd choose to put units into Cavalier or Priest, whereas if I'm more worried about being as strong as possible later on, maybe I'd prefer Brigand and Mage. You are addressing that somewhat by saying that the good classes should be higher investment to get into, but I don't think I'd find that a fun way of balancing them. If the barrier to entry is high enough to function in this regard, it's also high enough to be a disincentive to actually bother with the class at all. Either that, or it would incentivise grinding just to get into all the best classes, and I'm not a fan of grinding. I wouldn't want to give them just straight up Uses x4, because that would also make them the best users of support magic. Getting 4 uses of Warp or 8 uses of Fortify per map seems like way too much to me. That's why, for my proposal, I invented a brand new skill that only increased the uses of offensive White Magic, since that let me go beyond just regular double uses. I stopped at triple uses, since I thought that would be enough, but I wouldn't mind quadruple uses for offensive white magic spells only.
  9. I think this is an exaggeration. Even after the Activision purchase, they'll still only be the third largest game company in the world, behind Tencent and Sony (source), so it would take them much more than just one more large acquisition for them to get that sort of dominance. I'm also not really worried about a single company getting a monopoly on the gaming industry. That would pretty quickly get broken up thanks to competition/antitrust laws. What I don't want to see is an oligopoly with a few major players in tacit collusion with each other; that sort of thing is much less likely to come up against the wrong side of competition laws but can be equal as damaging to customers. You may well be right that it's something that is inevitably still going to happen. In fact, I'm sure that it will do to some extent or other. But merely recognising the inevitability doesn't mean that I have to like it.
  10. I'd rather not see any more large mergers. More competition is generally going to be better for customers than having an increasingly small number of huge media conglomerates. If the entire gaming world gets carved up into the competing fiefdoms of Microsoft, Sony, Tencent and Nintendo, the only people who benefit are the people who own shares in Microsoft, Sony, Tencent, and Nintendo. The only game companies that I can think of that I'd like to see bought out are Ubisoft (who need their entire management replaced asap) and Konami (who have a lot of interesting and historic IPs but mostly seem to be interested in pachinko and gambling these days, with video games as a bit of an afterthought).
  11. Oh boy. There's a lot to say about this. Time to spend way more time than I should writing way more than I should on the topic. Noble and Commoner: These are mostly fine. I'd probably throw a +5% growth to HP onto Commoner to stop Noble just being strictly better, but it's largely inconsequential. You spend 4 levels here and then get out and never look back. Beginner classes: Again, I mostly don't have a problem with these. They're not very exciting, but they all have their place. Reposition is the best of the combat arts here, which does mean that Soldier has a bit of an advantage over the other non-magic classes, but there are definitely cases where I'd prefer to pick up Str+2 or Spd+2, so Fighter and Myrmidon do still have their place. I don't think I'd like to see the Stat+2 skills as class skills, simply because it's an extra unnecessary layer of abstraction. If anything, just change the classes' stat boosts to differentiate them a little more. Intermediate Classes: This is where things really start getting messy. This is typically the "important class masteries" tier, with things like Death Blow, Fiendish Blow, Darting Blow, and Hit +20. This means that classes with bad or mediocre masteries typically don't get much of a look-in here. I will sometimes choose other classes (eg Priest, Cavalier) for what they offer in the moment, but the game doesn't really offer many challenging maps in this tier, so building for the future is normally more important. So the big thing here is upgrading or replacing the mastery skills that need it. Armored Knight: Armored Blow just isn't very good, and also doesn't really have good synergy with what armour units want to do. If you're building an armour unit, you're probably wanting them to put in work on enemy phase, not player phase. So let's get rid of it. I'm going to propose replacing it with Wary Fighter: "During battles, neither the user nor enemy can perform follow up attacks". This feels like it would probably be a pretty big buff to armour units, but they could certainly use it. Brawler: Conceptually, I really like Unarmed Combat. The problem is that it completely sucks. Other than using it for the theming/flavour or using it in challenge runs (like the "no items" run I did a while ago), I really can't think of any reason to use it. It gives terrible might and hit, and its ostensible advantage in weight doesn't really exist, given that it's easy to offset the weight of light gauntlets by having any strength to speak of. Maybe, just maybe, it could give a brawling option to a War Master whose inventory was loaded with axes, but I don't actually believe that for a second. The other big problem with Unarmed Combat as a mastery skill is that most of the other classes that might want it (Grappler and War Ascetic) get it anyway. So it's got to go. Let's replace it with Pinpoint Blow: "If unit initiates combat, grants Crit +20 during combat." Cavalier: I'm honestly not sure if I've ever seen anyone really recommend using Desparation. It seems like it shouldn't be terrible, but the circumstances for it to be useful just don't come up enough. You have to be fast enough to double in the first place, you need to be able to kill the enemy in two hits but not in one hit, and you need to be at below 50% health. And then if you do pull all of that off, the best upside is that you're able to kill one unit per player phase that you wouldn't be able to. Something that conditional really needs a bigger upside. So instead, I'm going to suggest Trample: "Unless enemy is on a mount, damage +6". Dark Mage: Dark magic is a mess. I'll cover it separately later. Lord: This really feels that it only exists for the sake of tradition. It just doesn't make much sense in the context of this game. Res +2 and Subdue are both abilities that are in the wrong game. Res +2 would be better in games with far lower res growths; Subdue would be better in games where you get more underleveled recruits. The only unit in Three Houses who requires any babying at all is Flayn, and even she is easy to level up if you do want to use her. The other big problem is that this is a sword class, only accessable to units who don't really want to use swords. It's a mess. So what to do with it? Well, if I had my druthers, I'd just get rid of it entirely. But let's assume that that isn't an option. First thing I'm going to suggest is changing the certification from C Authority and D+ Swords to C Authority and D+ in Swords, Axes, Lances, or Bows. I'd then also change the wexp bonuses to give boosts to all four of those weapons rather than just swords. Finally, I would change the mastery skill to something related to battalions. This could be something that gave extra gambit uses, but instead I think I'm going to suggest Charismatic Leader: "All stat boosts granted by battalions are multiplied by 1.5". Mercenary: This one is borderline OK as it is. I'm not really a big fan of Vantage, but it definitely has its advocates and its uses. It's very much a build-around skill, which will be either completely useless or totally indispensable for any given build. I think I would probably keep the class as is, because any buff to Vantage would risk having it be overpowered. Priest: Another borderline OK class. In this case, the mastery skill is close-to useless, but the extra healing can be nice to have, especially if you're planning for the unit to be a dedicated healer and don't care about picking up Fiendish Blow. A simple small buff could be to have Heal +5 be a mastery skill here as well as a class skill. That's a pretty underwhelming improvement, but the class doesn't need a big buff. Thief: The biggest problem here isn't the class itself, but the fact that you really don't have much need for a thief. So, I'd suggest three changes here. First, add locktouch as a second mastery skill so you can take that one forward too. Second, make chest keys more expensive so that there's actually a reason to care about having locktouch (bonus consequence: Ashe's personal ability gets better at the same time). Third, make more enemies have stealable items. Advanced Classes: These are mostly pretty good, with most classes at least having a decent niche. Being able to pick up the appropriate Weaponfaire skill certainly helps out a lot. The bad classes here are generally the ones that offer the same -faire skill as some other class, but don't do other things as well. Dark Bishop: Dark magic is a mess. I'll cover it separately later. Hero: I just don't see the benefit of having three Swordfaire classes at Advance tier. Making a different niche for all of them is difficult, and I don't think that "free Vantage!" is a particularly strong selling point. As such, I'd reimagine Hero as being something of a jack of all trades class. I would have it lose Vantage, and instead gain Axefaire and Lancefaire to go along with Swordfaire. The wexp bonuses and certification requirements would also be changed to reflect this new focus. I would give them a new mastery skill: Weapon Master: "Grants Hit/Avo +20 when using a sword against axe users, an axe against lance users, or a lance against sword users." Swordmaster: This mostly just needs for Astra to be better. Get rid of the penalty to hit, change the durability cost from -9 to -5, and change the damage per hit from 30% to 50%, and we're there. Astra is now a useful delete button, comparable to Hunter's Volley or Fierce Iron Fist. My only concern here is that this would make Swordmaster completely overshadow Assassin, but I think that Assassin would still have a niche thanks to Stealth and no movement penalties. If necessary, Assassin could be given an extra +1 point of movement to compensate. Warrior: This really needs a mastery combat art, to move it in line with other infantry weapon classes. I wouldn't want to give them a brave art, since that doesn't feel emblematic for axes. Gaining effectiveness against all enemy types has already been taken by War Master's Strike, so that's off the table here as well. Instead, I'm going to give them Stun as a combat art. It would have fairly typical combat art bonuses to hit/damage/crit, but would disallow counter attacks (as with Windsweep) and also paralyse the enemy if it hits, preventing them from acting for one turn. It's still hard to imagine really wanting to use Warrior instead of Wyvern Rider/Lord, but this would at least make it more competitive. Abyss Classes: I'm actually pretty happy with all of these. The only one I'd change at all is Trickster, which I think needs a small buff. I'd do this by improving Lucky Seven, which I would change to "Each turn, grants +7 to one of the following stats: Str, Mag, Spd, or Crit." Master Classes: What a motley bunch these are. Some of them are great. Others are some of the hardest to justify classes in the whole game. Great Knight: This is pretty much going to have problems whatever you do with it. My bandaid fix to make it less bad would be to make it more of a straight upgrade from Fortress Knight rather than a hybrid Fortress Knight/Paladin. So, give it an extra couple of points of Def so it matches Fortress Knight on that front. Then also lower the riding requirement for certification, just to make it a little more accessible. Holy Knight: Another one that has some pretty severe systemic problems that stop it from ever being good. An offensive white magic class is only ever going to be as good as the game's offensive white magic spells. That said, let's give a go at making this viable without also completely reworking the game's magic system. I'm going to ditch Terrain Resistance to make room for a new skill, Unceasing Light: Triples the number of uses for white magic spells that target enemies. One of the big problems with offensive magic is that it just doesn't have enough charges, and this seaks to remedy that. Mortal Savant: I actually quite like Mortal Savant, but only in the case of units who have Hexblade or Soulblade. So, the solution here to make the class a bit more widely applicable is to just give it built-in Soulblade. Getting a magical sword combat art is also highly thematic for the class. Unique Classes: Most of these are pretty good, with only one real stinker. Armored Lord/Emperor: Yeah, here's the stinker. These classes are little more than a noob trap, honestly. Edelgard in either of these classes is a mediocre unit; Edelgard on a Wyvern is probably the best unit in the game. It's been said many times before by many different people, and I'm going to repeat it here: these classes should have had access to magic. They still wouldn't be nearly as good for Edelgard as Wyvern Lord is, but they'd at least be unique and offer an interesting niche. I would also decrease the class xp required to master both these classes, to compensate for the shorter length of Crimson Flower compared to other routes. High Lord/Great Lord: These are mostly fine, but as a minor buff, I'd like to see them change from infantry type movement to thief type movement. Enlightened One: This should have Fistfaire. That's all. Dark Magic: As previously mentioned, dark magic is a mess. There are approximately a billion different ways it could be changed, and most of them would be an improvement on the current system. Here's one attempt. First off, every character will have two different reason magic lists: a dark magic list and a black magic list. For most classes, they would only have access to their black magic spells; dark magic spells would only be avilable in dark magic classes. The dark magic classes would be Dark Mage, Dark Bishop, Dark Knight, and Gremory. I would also change the gender restrictions here so that Dark Mage and Dark Bishop were open to all, Gremory remained female-exclusive and Dark Knight became male exclusive (if you hate gender-locked classes, as most people seem to, you could easily change it to have all classes available regardless of gender). Dark Seals would be changed such that using one on a character unlocks all the dark magic classes for that character. You would still need to certify for the classes normally through exams, but the exams would take regular exam seals. In terms of class abilities, the dark magic classes would probably look largely similar to their current incarnations. The big attraction would be that you got to use dark magic spells, which could probably even be tuned up to be slightly more powerful than they are currently. Miasma Δ could be dropped from Dark Mage and Dark Bishop, since they'd no longer be necessary. Dark Bishop would then have space to include Dark Tomefaire. Dark Bishop would also gain a new mastery ability which would allow the use of dark magic spells in regular magic classes. Hubert would also loses his existing personal ability and have it replaced with the same ability, which would mean that he and he alone could carry on using dark magic right from the start of the game. ...and there we go. I did indeed spend way too much time and write way too much on this topic.
  12. I'm not sure I necessarily have a favourite, but if I had to pick one to replay right now, I think I'd go with Radiant Dawn. Part 1, with the Dawn Brigade, is almost as much of a self-contained story as Lyn Mode is, which I think is a neat way to start a game. I also like that the Dawn Brigade chapters are far less tutorialy than Lyn Mode is. Having a robust tutorial might be better game design overall, but for someone who has played a lot of Fire Emblem, I think it's better to just leap straight into the action. Even the prologue is a proper map, rather than just a tutorial on moving and attacking, which is all that a lot of FE games get. I also like the story of early Radiant Dawn. Getting to see what happens after the "happily ever after" of Path of Radiance is a nice deconstruction of some standard Fire Emblem tropes, and having it be from the perspective of the defeated nation makes it even better. For the most part, I like the Dawn Brigade too, both as characters and units. They have some major problems later on when they're competing with the Greil Mercs and coming up short, but just for Part 1, I think they're fine. Having a Light Mage as the Lord and a Rogue as the early pre-promote is a pretty big departure from the standard FE fare of a sword Lord and a paladin pre-promote. This not only makes them feel very different to play as, but also reinforces the story; these are a bunch of street fighters in a guerilla insurrection, not a bunch of nobles in a formal war.
  13. Honestly, not that much. She'd be well suited to the class, but there isn't really a whole lot of difference between the best dancers and the worst dancers. Most of the time, all they do is dance, and anyone can do that. You definitely can optimise your dancer and it does sometimes make a difference, but it isn't a huge difference. And while you can look at her sword boon, she still wouldn't be the best dancer dodge tank. And you can look at her ability to learn Bolting for linked attacks, except that her reason bane and support lists make that harder to pull off than with other choices. The main advantage would be for people who want to use Manuela because they like her as a character but are having trouble making her work as a unit. Though, honestly, she's not that difficult to make work, so it wouldn't be a huge advantage. And the biggest advantage with turning bad units into dancers is when they show up for chapter 13. For someone who isn't around for that chapter, it's a less pronounced advantage.
  14. Am I allowed to say "neither"? I'm just not really a fan of personal and legendary weapons. In terms of story, the legendary magic weapon just isn't a trope that appeals to me. For me, it detracts from the achievements of the individual if they're only successful because they happen to have some item that nobody else does. The hero who can fight and win with whatever random weapon happens to be on hand is much more impressive and inspiring to me than the one who needs their fancy-pants magic weapon to win. Obviously, this is very subjective, and obviously magic weapons have been prominent and popular in literature for centuries, but I'm just not a fan. In terms of gameplay, they too often form a dominant strategy. When legendary weapons are strong, whoever has them often ends up just being better than everyone else, which I don't think makes for a good Fire Emblem experience. I have more fun with Fire Emblem when I'm using a lot of different units than when I'm using a few buffed up demigods. This is doubly the case when it comes to personal weapons. Another thing that I like about Fire Emblem is being able to choose which units I want to use, so I'm not really a fan of mechanics that specifically push specific units as the ones that I'm supposed to be using. At the other end of the spectrum is the crappy legendary weapon that I never want to equip anyway. Which isn't as harmful as the overpowered legendary weapon, but is completely pointless. There is a middle ground where the legendary weapon is a decent choice in some cases, but not objectively better than other choices. More of a side-grade than a direct upgrade. Which I don't really have a problem with in terms of gameplay, but then it doesn't really live up to its storyline billing as legendary. And OK, I could absolutely get behind a storyline of a weapon that was hyped up in legends, but then when the heroes actually finally acquired it, they found that it was actually just another sword, and they had to win by their own strength, character and abilities. Except that's never how it's presented.
  15. I don't think that's necessarily the case. It depends on how much control you have over the transformation. If the unit will only ever transform when you choose to, then yes, it's a pure upside. But if there is some sort of forced transformation, then that can be a downside. Even if the unit is good in both forms. Expanding on my idea of having a full untransformed class, the transformations could work something like this. The unit has a transformation gauge ranging from -10 to +10. Every turn and every action while in beast form moves the gauge towards the negative; every turn and every action while in human form moves the gauge towards the positive. You can choose to transform into beast form whenever the gauge is positive (or zero), but you have no option and automatically transform if ever the gauge ever reaches +10. Similarly, you can transform back to human form whenever the gauge is negative (or zero), but you have no option and automatically transfrom if eever the gauge reaches -10.
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