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    Three Houses

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  1. Again, though, you're talking about things that are specific to Fates, when that isn't the point I'm trying to make. If the system that I'm proposing isn't compatible with Fates-style debuffs then great, don't put it in a game that has Fates-style debuffs. The vast majority of games in the series manage just fine without them. Personally speaking, they were another element of Fates that I didn't enjoy, so I'd be quite happy with them never coming back. I'm not saying that I want a game that's like Fates but with this one thing changed. I'm saying that I want a game that's nothing like Fates but maybe it could borrow one or two ideas that I liked while reworking them into something completely different.
  2. Voice of the Cards and Kirby and the Forgotten Land were the two new announcements that caught my interest. Not super excited for either, but they're interesting enough for me to keep an eye on. I've somehow managaed to get to this point in my life without ever having played a Kirby game, but maybe this will end up being my first. Triangle Strategy is a terrible name. Even worse than Octopath Traveler. I honestly thought that this time the working title was bad enough that it would force them to come up with a proper title rather than just saying "meh, good enough", but nope. The Mario movie has a sad lack of female characters. I know there aren't exactly a ton of female characters to choose from in the source material, but nine characters and actors announced, and only one female character among them? I can maybe see why they wouldn't want to include multiple princesses, but why not Pauline, Toadette, or Birdo, for instance?
  3. CD-i. Let us finally play Hotel Mario, Link: The Faces of Evil and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon on a Nintendo console. Realistically, though, I'm probably not going to be interested in paying extra for the more expensive Switch Online package unless they really improve either the size of their library or how often they roll out new updates. Just knowing that the game that I'm interested in might or might not appear at some point in the vague and non-specific future doesn't really excite me.
  4. Just top be clear, I'm not saying that Fates would have been better if they'd made this one change but left everything else the same. I'm saying that if they had made different decisions about how fundamental mechanics work then they would have built a different game around it with different balance considerations. I'm saying that if they choose to revisit the idea of different stanes in a future game then I would prefer that they design it differently and then balance around these decisions accordingly. The question I'm interested in answering isn't "would Fates be balanced with these changes?" but "would it be possible, in the future, to create a well-balanced game with these changes?" It's not "no downside". It's "less downside". In your example of having Xander paired up with Camilla, that would still mean that on the following turn you would be able to attack with either Camilla or Xander but not both. That is a considerably weaker player phase than if you hadn't paired them up and were able to attack with both of them. Is this enough of a downside for the specific enemy formations that you encounter in Fates? Probably not. I don't know Fates well enough to really comment. It certainly shouldn't be enough downside, because Fates was balanced around the system as it actually is, not as I'm suggesting. However, I believe that it absolutely is a meaningful and significant downside and one that could be balanced around. Calling that Galeforce 2.0 seems like an exageration. Galeforce (the Awakening incarnation, anyway) had a lot of benefits that this doesn't have. Galeforce was great for movement but also great for pure offense. If you just wanted to kill as many enemies as possible on player phase, then galeforce let you do that. Galeforce was also widely available. At the very least, the class line was available to Lissa, Maribelle, Sumia, Cordelia, Olivia, Say'ri, Cynthia, Severa, and either Robin or Morgan. You can then potentially add even more characters on top of that if you're using spotpass or DLC, or if you make specific decisions for your child units. For your example, you get exactly one singer in the whole game, so you can only ever do this with one unit. Awakening Galeforce also had the option of pairing up two units both of who had Galeforce and then getting triple movement from them. What you're suggesting could be kinda neat, but is nowhere near Galeforce in power level. It's also only three squares further than what you can do anyway just by having the two units be separate and having Azura sing for Camilla. Sure, there are circumstances where an extra three spaces of move makes a difference, but in the pantheon of completely busted Fire Emblem movement tech (Shadow Dragon Warp, Awakening Galeforce, Three Houses Stride, etc.) an extra three squares is pretty low on the list.
  5. I don't have a problem with it from the perspective of balance. My problem was with how fun it was to use. Or at least, how much fun I had with it. I enjoy tactical flexibility much more than I enjoy tactical rigidity. I like being able to adapt to changing circumstances. That is what I would have liked the different stances in Fates to have been, but they aren't. My experience with them was that once I had put two units into defense stance then I wouldn't ever want to take them out of it until the immediate engagement was over and I was able to take a turn or two to reposition, heal up, and so on. Also, the problematic scenario that you outline is only really a problem when you are facing a single isolated small group and are able to effectively control aggro. If you are facing successive waves of enemies on consecutive turns then you can't do it. Or rather, you could, but then you'd be left with nobody in defensive stance for the enemy phase that immediately follows it. I also think that there's plenty of middle ground between "changing stance costs both unit their full turn" and "there's no penalty for shifting stance". For instance, it could have been the case that dropping a paired-up unit causes the dropped unit to end its turn and ends the movement of the dropping unit, but still allows the dropping unit to attack. In that case, there's still a substantial opportunity cost to being in defensive stance on enemy phase. If you hadn't been paired up, you'd have been able to use those two units to make two attacks (and get two dual attacks). Having exited pair up, you'd instead only get one attack (with one dual attack). This is slightly better than the one attack (and no dual attack) that you'd have got if you stayed in defensive stance but considerably worse than if you'd never been in defensive stnace to begin with.
  6. Endgame is 12 slots plus 3 adjutants (same on all routes). The War of the Eagle and Lion is a historical war from centuries ago, which saw the Kingdom win independence from the Empire. The Battle of the Eagle and Lion that we participate in during the game is basically a re-enactment.
  7. Just to offer up the contrary opinion, my experience of Fates was much closert to that of the original poster than the one everyone else seems to have. To me, it felt a bit like a corss between a hidden object game and accountancy. Trying to figure out something like "if I have my unit stand on this square, will it die on enemy phase?" is typically simple in most Fire Emblem games but it felt like a chore for me in Fates. As usual, you have to consider all the units who are in range to attack you and compare their attack to your defense. But then you also need to consider their skills, and their weapon swaps, manually calculating how much damage they can potentially do with each one, because their displayed attack value isn't necessarily what they'll actually be attacking you with. Then you also need to make the same calculations for any back-row pair up units they have who might switch to the front. Then you also need to do the same again for any units who can't get in range to attack you but can get within one square of someone who is attacking you. And then maybe you also need to account for the different orders that the enemies might hit you because of the way that dual guard builds. And so on and so forth. Now, to be clear, none of these calculations are difficult. They're all just basic arithmetic. But there are a lot of them, and I found they got very tedious very fast. I didn't find it fun or interesting at all to have to repeatedly do those calculations. And of course, you only need to make one small error and it's the difference between a unit just barely surviving and just barely dying. Oops, I didn't notice that one of the weapons on one of the units is of a different type so they'd do more damage due to weapon triangle advantage so now my unit is dead. All of which made the game agonisingly slow. I felt that I had to stop and double check every single unit to make sure I hadn't missed some little detail and then double check all of my arithmetic, because there are so many little fiddly things going on and if I missed any one of them then the game would punish me for it. And to a large extent, doing these calculations felt like it was the game. It very rarely felt that I was focusing on the wider ebb and flow of the battle, like whether to form a defensive line, launch a counter-attack or fall back. Instead, I was focusing on doing damage calculations which I found easy and boring yet fiddly and error-prone. Which isn't to say that Fates didn't have some good ideas. I do like the idea behind attacking and defensive stances (though I don't like that it costs both units their turn to exit pair-up, which really harms flexibility and the ability to react quickly). I also really liked the gauge for dual guard; I hope that more abilities in future use that approach as opposed to being activated abilities or random procs. But on the whole, it just wasn't the game for me. (Of course, my opinion here is likely shaped by the fact that Fates does a whole lot of other things that I don't like, so I was generally grouchy while playing it and not predisposed to see it in its best light.)
  8. She’s a very minor noble compared to all the other noble students. The others are all sons and daughters of counts, dukes and margraves. She’s the niece (that is, further away from the title) of a baron (a lower/less important noble title). It seems reasonable that that wouldn’t entitle her to the same admission privileges as the higher-ranking nobles.
  9. "Win-more" is a concept that I'm mostly familiar with from CCGs (eg, Magic: the Gathering, Hearthstone) but that I've also seen applied sometimes to other strategy games. It applies to a card -- or in our case, an ability -- which is potentially very powerful but which is only good in situations where you've basically already won. It's not something that helps you turn a loss into a win; it's something that helps you turn a win into a blowout. That is, it makes you win more than you were already doing. Which usually isn't actually helpful. In the case of Defiant Crit, you definitely can do some very powerful things with it, but if you have a dodge-tank who can happily sit at below 25% hp because you're that confident that you'll never get hit (for instance) then you've already won. Adding Defiant Crit just means that you win in a flashier way. Of course, in a single player game like Fire Emblem, it's sometimes fun to win in the flashiest and most emphatic way possible (cf. the ongoing thread about reaching damage numbers far higher than any enemy's hp) but I don't consider abilities that let you do so to be good.
  10. I will typically have my paladins go through cavalier, because it's one of the better classes at intermediate level thanks to its high movement and canto. Sure, it means that you aren't spending the time training towards an actually useful class mastery, but I always like to strike a balance between being strong now and being strong later. I also don't mind going back to grab a couple of masteries later through adjutanting after I have a knowledge gem. Obviously, you can't do that on everyone, but I've never had a problem doing it for a couple of units.
  11. Given the astonishing underwhelmingness of the Lords' unique classes, I doubt that this would ever have been a problem. Oops. I missed this paragraph in my first reply. Hero has been a male-only character for most of the history of Fire Emblem. For games without reclassing, that's just meant that all the characters who start at or promote into it have been male. But then in Shadow Dragon (DS) which did have reclassing, it was exclusively a male class. I've never played New Mystery, but I believe it was also male exclusive there. I wouldn't categorically swear this, but I believe that Awakening and Fates are the only FE games to have female Heroes. I don't think that Gremory is really an analogous class to Sage. It isn't easy to draw direct comparisons between Three Houses magic classes and those from other games in the series, given how differently the magic system works in Three Houses. If we're looking for classes that can use both Reason and Faith magic then that's every magic class in the game. Giving a class staff access on promotion just wouldn't make any sense in Three Houses. Gremories are also equally proficient with all forms of magic which is rarely the case with Sages, who are usually stronger with black/anima magic, in some games because they have lower weapon rank caps for staves, and in some just because you've promoted from Mage and have been training your tome rank all game up to that point. If I had to pick a Three Houses class to be analagous to Sage, then I'd say Warlock. Both are end-game classes that are most proficient in black/anima magic but that are also able to competently wield staves/white magic. I also don't agree that there was no lore behind the class in Three Houses. There isn't much lore, certainly, but there's a little. Though it is implied rather than stated outright so maybe I'm reading too much into things? However, Gremory is named for a demon who appears in the form of a beautiful woman and can answer questions about the past, present, and future. (I am very much not an expert on demonology; I just repeat what I have read on the Internet.) It is also the class used by Cornelia, an Agarthan who appears in the form of a beautiful woman and who doesn't necessarily know the future but is unusually knowledgable in a lot of areas. It is also one of the few classes in the game that has an affinity with dark magic (which is to say, Agarthan magic). I've always imagined Gremory as being, essentially immitating Cornelia's style of magic, so having it be gender-locked doesn't seem like a stretch to me. As for Dark Mage... yeah, I've got nothing there. That one just seems like a weird choice to me too. I don't mind it, but I have no clue what their motivation was with that decision.
  12. A few thoughts, in no particular order: Definitely don't discount Frozen Lance, which does enough damage to be relevant throughout the whole game. Not as high a ceiling as Swift Strikes or Vengeance, but it's still very much legit. The three lance relic combat arts (Atrocity, Burning Quake, Ruined Sky) are also great. I find it hard to think of many circumstances where I'd put a female lance (er, Bernadetta, Ingrid, Marianne) user into Wyvern Lord, given that Falcon Knight is also an option, will have a higher damage output, and are easier for lance users to get into. Speed is largely (though not entirely) irrelevent for Swift Strike users and almost entirely irrelevent for Vengeance users, especially if they're on a mounted class with Canto. You don't need to double if you're using a combat art, and it doesn't matter if you would get doubled if you're killing your enemy before they even get a chance to fight back at all. And then you Canto out of range to make sure you're not getting hit on enemy phase. It can still be useful occasionally, but I'm not about to care about the -10% speed growth from Paladin. I still think that Defiant Crit is a win-more ability at best. Although it can be easily mitigated with dismounting, weakness to bows is a definite con for flying classes, since enemy archers are far more common than enemy horseslayers. Riding is a lot easier for male units to train than flight, since they can start getting it through combat at level 10, whereas flying can only be picked up through tutoring/seminars/etc. until level 20. When optimising damage output, all that really matters is whether you get the kill or not. If a paladin does 6 more damage with Swift Strikes than a Wyvern Lord, then that usually only really matters if the break point for the kill is within that 6 point range. Yeah, sometimes the extra bit of chip can make a difference, but not that often. Typically, if my only goal was to optimise a single (male, lance-using) unit, I'd use Wyvern Lord. However, in an actual play-through, I'm more likely to use Paladin so that I can save my flying battalions for my axe Wyverns and my Falcon Knights.
  13. I guess that this just isn't a distinction that I personally care about. I consider "doesn't have access to War Master" an innate part of Hilda's kit and "doesn't have access to Gremory" an innate part of Hubert's, for instance. If it is a distinction that matters to you then it makes sense that we would end up with different preferences. Sure, and I don't want to discount your personal experience, but we've already established that we have different play styles and preferences (eg, with our differing opinions on how Claude and Leonie's existence alters our experience of Ignatz) so I don't think it's reasonable to assume that my experience would be the same as yours here. Normally, this is the point where I'd go away and actually try it for myself, but as I've already mentioned, hacking my Switch isn't something I'm willing to risk. Yeah, let's not get too deep into the weeds with something tht would belong in the Serious Discussion forum. I'll restrict myself to three very brief points here. 1. I entirely understand why your real life circumstances might lead to your opinions here. 2. I am happy for you that you managed to mod the game in such a way to let you play how you want to play it and remove the parts that annoyed and frustrated you. 3. My opinions are born out of my own personal real life experience with gender identity and expression. And I will leave it at that. That's fair. It's hardly surprising that something would have a different emotional ressonance for someone new to the series compared to someone who's been playing for a long while (my first FE was Path of Radiance). Not that either response is "right" or "better", of course. Just that it's expected that they would be different. I agree in the one specific case of lack of access to brawling classes for female classes without DLC. For me, the distinction is that there were no options at all for female brawlers, whereas for all other cases, it's just a matter of optimisation. I'm absolutely fine with things as they are with the DLC whereby Catherine or female-Byleth can happily use War Cleric as their end-game class and be perfectly viable. They aren't as strong there as they would be if they had access to Grappler or War Master, but I'm fine with that. (And besides, they have the unique perk of access to Darting Blow for easier quadding, which other gauntlet users don't have.)
  14. Honestly, the way that I like to play the game, yeah, I do find Ignatz a difficult unit to justify. I don't like having multiple people in the same class. I will rarely run more than one copy of a class in my end-game team, and I don't think I've ever run more than two copies of a class. Part of that is for practical concerns like making sure that I have units who can fill different combat roles and niches or making sure that I don't have too many bow users and not enough good bows, but a lot of it is also just personal preference. I run lots of different classes and builds because I enjoy running lots of different classes and builds. So when it comes to Ignatz, sure I can make him be a Sniper or a Bow Knight but if I do that then he'll probably end up feeling like worse-Leonie or worse-Claude. Yeah, he has his rallies and his debuffs going on which differentiate him a little, but only a little. So I usually either turn him into a Dancer or drop him entirely. Sure, I'm not disputing that unrestricted access to all classes would make a lot of characters stronger. I just don't necessarily want them to be stronger. There are a lot of characters who would appreciate access to Swift Strikes or Windsweep or Warp or Bolting or a Crest or a higher strength growth or any other number of things. I want for units to be different. That means that I want them to have their individual strengths but also their individual weaknesses. For example, Felix is an excellent unit. One of his weaknesses is that he isn't ever able to pick up Darting Blow. I have no problem with this. Personally, I didn't enjoy the class system in Fates at all. Primarily because it's so deeply tied into the game's support system and I didn't enjoy that at all. It's not an objectively bad system, I know that a lot of people liked it, but for me personally, I would rather go back to no reclassing at all than revisit the way it worked in Fates. That's absolutely fair, and I can definitely understand that way of thinking. I guess that for me, though, I don't really expect my fantasy worlds to be flawless, and I see the gender essentialism as being a whole lot less disturbing than, for instance, war, authoritarianism and genocide. It's also not as if Fódlan is otherwise a progressive utopia but then there's this one weird bit of gender essentialism that's completely at odds with everything else in the lore and world-building. It's entirely believable that it would have weird traditions about how some classes would interact with gender roles (though I certainly wouldn't object if this were actually covered in the text rather than left to subtext). Also, if I'm being honest, sometimes I just like playing at storybook princess. Of course, the actual real basis for the archetype and its stories is pretty garbage. I certainly wouldn't enjoy the reality of it. But there's nothing unique there. I can enjoy the fantasy of the archetype of a heroic master swordsman while also recognising that the reality that it's based on is also pretty terrible. I've always had a soft spot for the Pegasus Knight line because it's kinf of the princess class, with characters like Caeda, Elincia (not technically a Pegasus Knight, but close enough) and Clair (not technically a princess, but close enough). It's also a class that has been portrayed as embodying traditionally feminine virtues like grace and elegance, but without ever being weak or helpless. And I low-key love that there's room for something like that to exist in the middle of this game series about war and battles. Now, would it be possible to have a world where the class was still about the exact same virtues but wasn't gender restricted? Yes, absolutely. Would it be a potentially fascinating subplot to see a character like Felix or Dimitri have to step outside their comfort zone of performative masculinity in order to master a new fighting style? Oh hell yes. I would love that. However, would I trust Intelligent Systems and Nintendo to be able to tell this story in a way that was both compelling and culturally sensitive? No, not even a little bit. If they actually do get rid of gender-locks again, then we'd probably end up back with something like Fates, where a pegasus is just another mount that people ride into battle and all of the history of the lore and uniqueness of the class would be lost. Which would make me a little bit sad. Yeah, I can't argue with that. That there were no brawling classes at all for women did annoy me a little. I'm glad they recified it in the DLC, but it should never have been a problem to begin with.
  15. In terms of meaningful differentiation between units, yeah, there isn't actually all that much in the game. But the comparison between Hilda and Raphael is a pretty good one. They're kinda similar units in a lot of ways, except that Hilda is pretty much just better. So why bother using Raphael at all? Well, maybe because you want a War Master or a Grappler. That's probably the biggest single thing that he has over Hilda, so having her be locked out of those classes helps to keep Raphael relevant. Of course, you then get situations like Hapi and Linhardt, where they're very similar units except that Hapi is just a little bit better and she also has access to the relevant gender-locked class (in their case, Gremory). That sort of thing isn't doing anyone any favours. But in theory at least, if not in practice, I do think that gender locks could be used to help balance and differentiate units. I've looked into Switch homebrew stuff before, but decided that I don't want to take the risk of either bricking my Switch or getting it blocked by Nintendo. Especially since most of my games are bought from the eshop, so losing the Switch would mean losing them as well.
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