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lenticular

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    Three Houses

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    Tellius

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  1. One thing that I don't want to see come back is accessories that are just small stat boosts. Bonuses like +2 speed or +10 evasion can be pretty powerful, but I don't find them interesting to use.I'd much rather see off-hand items that give skills or abilities of some sort.
  2. For me: no, because he isn't a character from Mario games. I know they added a few characters from other franchises to MK8, but I don't like them there and am hoping that it will be back to just Mario characters when MK9 happens, whenever that might be. Nintendo already has Smash Bros as their "big gaming crossover" title, and I don't really want another one. I always felt that there was a certain charm to having a bunch of Mario characters setting aside their differences to spend the day karting together, and having them joined by Link or Isabelle or whoever else made me enjoy the game less.
  3. Just as there are multiple different ways to rate units, there are also multiple different ways to rate tier lists. I would say that a good tier list should ideally be well defined, rigorous, clear, and useful. However, there are often trade-offs between these different categories, which means that it's essentially impossible to create a perfect tier list. Here's what I mean by those different criteria. First, "well-defined". By this, I mean that a tier list should state upfront what it is trying to measure. A tier list that has no accompanying text and just lists the units and their rankings is not well-defined at all. One that has accompanying text "tier list of strength of units" is slightly better, but not much. One that is labelled "tier list of units based on how useful they are on hard difficulty, assuming a player who is a series veteran but has never played this game before" is considerably better. "Rigorous" refers to the determination of what unit goes in what tier, what rules are followed, how much room there is for argument, etc. A tier list based purely on the opinions of a single person is not at all rigorous. One arrived at purely by mathematical methods with no opnion at all is extremely rigorous. "Clear" means how easy it is to understand the tier list's methodology and purpose and how concisely it is presented. In a lot of ways, this is why tier lists even exist in the first place. It's a lot easier to take in the information presented by a tier list than it is to read a 50,000 word essay about relative unit strengths and weaknesses. The essay probably conveys a lot more information, but the tier list is clear, quick and easy to understand. And finally, "useful", which is, essentially, a measure of whether the tier list is giving information that anyone actually cares about. If someone looks at a tier list, it then informs which units they pick in a game, and after they have finished playing, they think that the tier lsit was helpful, then it has been useful. If they read a tier list and then ignore it, or if they follow the tier list but later regret doing so, then it has not been useful. Of these, well-defined stands somewhat apart from the other three, since I think that it's something that all tier lists can and should aim for. The other three, however, often stand in opposition, and you often end up with a "pick any two" situation. For instance, "tier list of units by sum of all stat caps" is clear and rigorous but isn't useful. "Tier list of drafting priority in LTC drafts based on the opinions of an expert on the format" is clear and useful but not rigorous. "Tier list based on the criteria laid out in my accompanying post-doctoral mathematics thesis" could be rigorous and useful but it wouldn't be clear. The important part in the construction of any tier list is to know from the beginning exactly what it is that you're trying to accomplish and who the target audience is, and then to focus on creating and communicating that specific tier list. If you successfully communicate what you were trying to do, then that implicitly acknowledges what you weren't trying to do and so (in theory) reduces the possibility of criticism for not being something it was never intended to be.
  4. I am on the autistic spectrum and a lot of what you describe sounds very familiar to me. Here is what works for me. First, remember that communication inherently requires two (or more) people. It is a collaborative process. There is a speaker and a listener, a reader and a writer. If there is a failure to communicate effectively, then that is the responsibility of both parties. There are lots of reasons why people might have different communication styles. It could be neurodiversity, cultural background, personality, or any number of other things. But regardless of the underlying reason, if two people who communicate differently are trying to communicate with each other, then the onus lies on both those people to put in the effort. If you're only thinking in terms of how the other person isn't communicating effectively to you then that will probably lead you astray. At the same time, you also need to think about what you need to do to communicate effectively with them. Consider the circumstance you describe where you are confused by something but the person you are talking to won't offer any clarification. The reason for this is often that they don't recognise or understand that you are confused; you have not adequately communicated this fact to them. You may think that you have. You may have said something that seems to you to obviously and unambiguously state that you are confused, but for whatever reason they haven't understood this. But at the same time, they might be thinking that what they said was obvious and unambiguous to them. It's the same problem in both directions. Which brings me onto: always try to assume good faith whenever possible. The majoirty of people you interact with will be making genuine attempts to communicate with you. If you assume that they aren't trying, are disingenuous or aren't credible, then you are closing off the possibility of effective communication. It's basically saying "I don't think that you're trying, so I'm not going to try either". And in a few cases, yeah, that's the right reaction. Some people don't act in good faith. But most people do. Which means it's generally a good idea to assume that someone is acting in good faith until or unless they demonstrate to you that they aren't. I will also add that it is much more difficult to communicate effectively in situations when one or both parties are angry, upset, or otherwise highly emotional. The groundwork for solid two-way communication needs to be put in before things get to that point, and if it breaks down then it is worthwhile to go back after the fact and try to figure out why. If there was an unpleasant social interaction then it's easy to not want to think about it, but that's just inviting the same thing to happen again. Trying to figure out what went wrong and how to avoid it in future -- as a collaboration between both parties if possible -- is something that should be happening when everyone has cooled down and is calm and happy. I believe that about 1% of the population is on the autistic spectrum. This means that as an autistic person, I have to try to communicate with neurotypical people much more often than an average neurotypical person has to communicate with autistic people. This is simulataneously an advantage and disadvantage for me. The disadvantage is that it can be exhausting. Pretty much every single conversation I have is with someone who thinks differently to me and communicates differently to me, and I have to put in the effort to accommodate that. But it's an advantage because it means that if I have a conversation with a neurotypical person, I probably have a lot more practice and experience talking to people like them than they do to people like me. Sadly, that means that a lot of the time I end up being the one having to put in most of the work (which increases the exhaustion aspect), but such is life. And for close friends and family -- those who I interact with a lot -- they will generally put in at least as much effort to accomodate me as I do to accomodate them. Summary version: assume good faith and remember that communication is a two-way process. If there is a failure to communicate but both parties are willing to assume good faith and put in the effort to overcome the communication barrier, then it is usually possible to overcome it.
  5. There's definitely always the tension between novelty and familiarity, and both have their benefits. I don't think it's at all obvious that you should be able to have more fun when you know what's coming. Sometimes that might be the case, certainly, but not obviously so. As you say, it's fun to be presented with a novel problem that you've never seen before, figure out a solution and have it work out, and that can't really be replicated in subsequent playthroughs. But the other side of the coin is that on subsequent playthroughs you have more knowledge of the game and the mechanics, so you can prepare better, make long-term plans, pull off more audacious strategies, etc. It's a balance. The ideal scenario that most games would like to strive for is to offer an excellent experience on a first playthrough, but then also an excellent -- but different -- experience on replaying. But often the two desires are in tension with each other. The best first-time experience does not always make for the best replay experience and vice versa, so prioritising one to excess can often hurt the other. What counts as the optimal balance varies from person to person based on preference. For myself, I tend to prioritise a good first-time experience more than I value replay value in most games that I play, including most Fire Emblems. For others, I know that isn't true. I guess my question could be, do you think that Conquest tips the balance further towards the replay value side of thing than other Fire Emblem games do, or is there no real difference?
  6. I'm wondering if Conquest was specifically designed for replayability value and, if so, did that harm it from the perspective of how good a first time through is? I'm asking because of things like this: Which I am interpreting basically as there being a way to play that level that is fun but that it's only realistically available to people who already know the game very well, otherwise you're left with the not-fun way of approaching the level. Or there's this: Which, similarly, seems to be implying that you can have more fun with the level when you already know that it's coming (and can prepare accordingly). Any thoughts? Do you think that prioritising replay value over first-time experience was part of the design philosophy here? Or am I reading too much into things?
  7. Off the top of my head: strategy, tactics, turn-based, story-driven, indie, queer, grand strategy, 4X, RPG, walking sim, dating sim, visual novel, TRPG, fantasy, science fiction, retro, management sim, deck builder, art game, non-game.
  8. First person, social, open world, shooter, gacha, horror, survival, live service. And also, not a genre but a word that gets used in marketing copy and always drives me away: "hilarious". Whenever I see that, I always read it as "tries way too hard to be funny but actually isn't".
  9. This was the point where I gave up engaging with the game on its own term. Yet another map where player-phase and non-combat units felt like a liability, so I gave up and decided I'd just do a Corrin solo from this point on because it would be less annoying. A dual consequence of my not caring about any of the characters and being ground down by all of the long-range staves, stoneborn and siege weapons over the game.
  10. That's fair. For the vast majority of games, I'm much more interested in first-time experience and much less interested in replay-value. That's a personal preference thing, though, and I can definitely see how the experience could be different for people who prioritise the other way around. That could have been cool. And the self-doubt that Xander would have got from that could be the catalyst that leads him to actually start questioning himself, listening to Corrin and therefore being willing to turn on Garron. Alas, this is Fates storytelling.
  11. Yeah, I liked that way of doing it as well. It felt very natural, and solved the problem without really creating a new one. I also found it pretty intuitive to pick up on "huh? why did that enemy hit me for 1 rather than 0? Oh, because 1 is the minimum damage. OK!" It did seem particularly well suited to the legions of summons that SoV throws at you, but I don't see why it owuldn't also work in other games.
  12. I'd draw inspiration from CCGs. Magic: the Gathering has been around for almost 30 years and is still a juggernaut, so they're obviously doing something right. Their solution is to have a constantly rotating set of legal cards, with every year seeing new sets released and older sets rotating out. That way, they can potentially lower power level if they want to, just by letting the most powerful cards rotate out. At the same time, they also have a bunch of different formats, with old cards being legal in some of them, so people don't ever have to feel that their old cards are now completely worthless. And, well, the proof of the pudding's in the eating. It's worked for them. They've remained culturally relevant since the 1990s, and sold tens of billions of cards. Unpopular opinion alert! This is why I really wish that they would completely get rid of the National Dex from Pokémon. The more different pokémon that get added to the game, the less and less likely it is that they'll be able to retain anything that remotely resembles balance.
  13. How do people generally feel about this mechanic whereby the AI will ignore anyone they can't hurt? For me, it's one of those "good in theory, annoying in practice" things. I like the idea of making the AI slightly less stupidly suicidal. That seems like a good thing. But in practice, it just ended up feeling like yet more annoying bookkeeping. If the enemy deals exactly 1 damage then that's scarcely any more threatening or less suicidal than when they deal 0 damage, but they'll still make those attacks without hesitation. Which means that you often have the tedious task of a Price Is Right style challenge of trying to get your defense up to the enemy's damage but without going over. I am fully expecting most people to like this, since most of y'all seem to enjoy the stuff that I think of as tedious bookkeeping, but I am interested to hear thoughts on it even so. And speaking of things that I like in theory but not so much in practice: this level. My big problem with it was the Stoneborn, and how their ranged attacks can make any non-combat units or frail player phase units feel like an absolute liability. I am generally not a huge fan of long-range enemy units in Fire Emblem, because of how much they distort how you play the level. Which is typically either "use your two or three best units who can tank everything" or "carefully dance around everything without getting into range until you have killed everything else". I don't mind if it happens once or twice per game, but with the combination of Stoneborn, offensive staves, and siege weapons, there are just too many of them in this game for my tastes. I like the idea of having the infinite no-experience reinforcements spanwing behind you to hurry you along, but it just didn't work all that well for me in practice.
  14. There definitely are ways to have a captured unit shift loyalty, but it is the sort of thing that needs an explanation. The default assumption would be that someone captured and forced to fight on the opposite side would be disloyal in some form, so if we're being asked to believe that they won't be then I want to see some story or dialogue or something that explains why. If that works for you, then great. It's not for me, though. I just don't really enjoy FE very much if I don't connect well with the characters. Different strokes for different folks.
  15. Not if it looks like it did in Fates, and probably not at all. There are three main problems that I have with it. Having it tied to specific characters and their personal skill. If you don't want to use those characters or if they're dead (or not recruited or otherwise unavailable) then that completely disables the mechanic. And it also makes those characters worse than they otherwise would be, since whenever you aren't capturing, they effectively don't have a personal at all. Captured characters not being fully realised. By which I mean a full set of supports, their own personal, etc. Without all the trimmings, captured characters feel flat. With the exception of the few capturables with interesting skill combinations, you're generally just getting inferior versions of what you already have. Which sounds like it might be useful as a way to pick up replacement units in a struggling ironman, but see point 1. It can't even be reliably used for that since the only character who can capture might be dead. Story concerns. It often just doesn't make any storyline sense. We capture someone from the opposing army, imprison them, and then they say "sure, I'll fight alongside you now" so we let them out and completely trust them to help us invade their home territory and kill their royal family? And don't ever stop to think that maybe they were just telling us what we wanted to hear so they could either betray us or just escape? Are we complete idiots? If I had to design a capture system that I wouldn't hate, I'd start off by having it tied to a class skill rather than a personal skill so that it isn't tied to specific individuals. Then I'd make it so you could only capture named enemies, not generics. Everyone you can recruit by capturing would be a fully realised character with a personality, supports, a personal skill, etc. For most of them, capturing would be one option and not the only way to recruit them. For instance, if there's an enemy character that is normally recruited by talking to them with a specific allied character, you might be able to capture them with a different unit, then recruit them after the battle. A few could be recruited exclusively via capture, though. Give them enough personality and backstory to make it believable that they would switch sides and that we have reason to trust them. Also make it so that capturing can give different results other than just recruitment. Some you might be able to ransom, some you might interrogate for intelligence, some you might be able to take their equipment, etc. I still wouldn't be super thrilled with capture even if they did all of that, but I'd be much more interested in it than I am in the Fates version.
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