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lenticular

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  • Favorite Fire Emblem Game
    Three Houses

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  1. Unit choices are a bit of a weird one, because, ultimately, Fire Emblem already has a ton of unit choices baked into its design. There are always more characters than most people will use in a run, so we're already choosing between units all the time. Having mutually exclusive units only really matters in cases when you would like to be able to use both of them. And sure, it makes sense that you can only choose one out of Claude, Dimitri and Edelgard, or one out of Tibarn, Naesala, and Gifca. They're very strong units, and having all three of them would overshadow everyone else. But when the game asks me if I want Arran or Samson, or whether I want Deen or Sonya, then typically my answer will be "no, not really". If I don't want to use either of them, then the choice isn't meaningful.
  2. I think that the rehabilitation of the prequels is somewhat similar to the rehabilitation of FE: Fates. People who disliked them when they first came out still dislike them now, but they just don't care as much. Time has passed, other movies have come out, they've grown invested in new things. Which means that more of the people who are talking about the prequels these days are the people who like them. And the passage of time also means that people who were kids when the prequels came out -- and are more likely to look at them with the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia -- are now in their twenties and thirties and forming a sizable portion of online discourse. I honestly expect that, in twenty years, you'll be able to find people saying that they're glad that the sequels have seen rehabilitation, but that [trilogy four] is just objectively bad. From memory, the big things that people hated about The Phantom Menace were: JarJar Binks, midi-chlorians, and child Anakin. Which I can largely agree with, although the degree of hatred and vitriol directed towards it was way out of proportion. The hatred and harassment directed at Jake Lloyd (who played young Anakin) was particularly gross and uncalled for, obviously. No movie can ever possibly be bad enough to warrant destroying the life of a ten year old with a concerted harassment campaign. Anyway, my unpopular opinion and lukewarm take is that I enjoyed Attack of the Clones the most out of the three prequel movies. It had the fewest parts that irritated me, and I thought that the arena battle (especially the first part, versus the monsters) was one of the better Star Wars set pieces. My memory of the novels is that anything written by Zahn or Stackpole was pretty great and anything written by anyone else ranged from mediocre to terrible. I definitely wasn't all that high on Roger MacBride Allen's Corellian trilogy; they were far from the worst, but I didn't love them either. Either way, I don't blame Disney for making the old EU non-canon. There was just so much damn stuff that it was all but impossible to keep up with all of it. And I can only imagine how much of a nightmare it must have been to try to write in that continuity and have to make sure that you didn't contradict anything that had gone before. Sometimes, starting over with a clean slate is the best idea.
  3. I think that it depends on the game's durability system. If the effective weapons have limited availability, durability, and can't be repaired, then that is their weakness. I'm not going to use my rapier to enemy-phase a bunch of infantry mooks, because if I do then it will quickly break and I won't have it when I need it. But for games without durability or with durability but with easy repairing, then I like for there to be some sort of drawback so that they aren't just strictly better than basic weapons.
  4. I view it as a positive that some characters are already in established relationships, as opposed to "everyone is young, pretty, and available". I also view it as a positive that other types of relationships are given an equal footing with romantic relationships, that philia is not depicted as lesser than eros. I think that the big misstep was in the presentation. With the way it's presented, I know that a lot of people were expecting a romantic relationship between male Byleth and Alois, and when they didn't get it, they felt like it was a big bait and switch. I think that if it had been clearer to people from the outset what those S supports represent that people would have been more positive about them.
  5. Personally, I tend to differentiate between characters who are canonically LGBTQIA+ regardless of the player's actions and characters who can potentially be LGBTQIA+ if the player chooses to play them that way. So, for instance, I don't think of Byleth and Corrin as being examples of LGBTQIA+ representation. Yes, the player can choose to play them that way, and yes I would definitely much prefer that that choice does exist for avatar characters, but I don't think of it as the same thing as having a character be canonically written as LGBTQIA+. Similarly for "gay for the avatar" style characters, who are a romance option for the avatar, but otherwise show zero evidence of any same-sex attraction. Again, I'd rather that they be included than not included, but I find it hard to think of characters like Rhea and Jeritza as being good LGBTQIA+ representation. Fire Emblem has definitely got a whole lot better in this regard than it used to be (I think that Dorothea is an excellent character, for instance), but it's still not exactly great. As for other characters, I think there's a case to be made for Petra, depending on how you interpret her paired ending with Dorothea. And while I'm not hugely familiar with Fates so someone please correct me if I'm wrong, doesn't Forrest fall somewhere on the transgender spectrum? Or is that another case of "it depends how you interpret the character and/or "it depends how broadly and inclusively you define the LGBTQIA+ spectrum"?
  6. Ahh, yeah. I see now how it would work. Although, I presume that positioning would still be an issue? Since you basically have to make sure that everyone is in range for the gambit, which puts some real limits on what you'd be able to do. Still, especially if you use hihg-range characters (bow knights, a mage with Thyrsus, etc.) then you should be OK. But even still, you're still limited on how many units you can kill per turn, and also limited on how many charges you have on Impregnable Wall, so it still seems like something you'd have to use carefully rather than just being an insta-win. Yeah, it does sound like a cool idea that's worth checking out. I'm definitely not trying to say that it's completely worthless. I'm mostly just pushing back a little against the slight hyperbole in your thread title. But it's a neat trick.
  7. I've been thinking about this some more, and I agree that strong and interesting personal abilities would be the best way to make late joiners relevant. An AoE buffing ability could be neat, but Three Houses seemed to want to tune down all such buffs to be for adjacent units only, so I can't imagine this would happen. Instead, I'm imagining that Judith could get something along the lines of Sword Avoid +20. I think this would give her a niche, and it would be neat to allow a sword dodge tank build without having to sacrifice your dancer. Depending on how powerful you wanted to make her, you could either have (a renamed) Sword Avoid be her personal, or you could have her "learn" it at low rank swords (like how Jeritza gets mastermind) and then give her another personal on top of it. I'm imagining "Hero of Daphnel: unit has +4 strength when counterattacking" as a strong option. For Nader, you've pretty much got to put him on a wyvern to fit his character, which is kind of a problem, given that you're guaranteed to already have Seteth as a lance wyvern and Claude as a bow wyvern. So my solution would be to emphasise his tankiness. "Undefeated: This unit is immune to super-effective damage, critical hits, and follow-up attacks".And yes, that is aggressively tuned to be powerful, since it combines Effect Null, Vital Defense, and (an improved version of) Wary Fighter. It would be easy enough to tune it down by removing one or more of the abilities if it ended up too powerful.
  8. On the Assassin/Impregnable Wall combo: sure, I can see how this can be used very effectively to not die. (Although I assume there would still be problems facing more than a few units at once, since if the wall got fully surrounded, then units who couldn't reach the wall would then start going after the Assassin.) But I'm not really understanding what this actually accomplishes. The Assassin has to use their turn to apply the gambit, and the wall isn't going to be doing any (meaningful) damage while the gambit is applied. So I'm not sure how this is really helping you to get kills or complete objectives, in most cases. I guess you could send the pair off on their own to grab a chest or secondary objective sometimes? But I'd consider that more of a neat trick than being secretly OP. I'm also not sure how effective they could be at drawing aggro. If there's any other friendly unit in range, then they become a potential target instead of the wall. And if there are more than four enemely melee units, then there's the problem of getting surrounded. I'm just not seeing this; how are you using the combo? On Ignatz as being best suited for this role: I don't think I'd agree that Ignatz is the best character for this role. Yes, it is very easy for him to get the require skill ranks, but they're easy to get anyway. At the absolute maximum, you need a B in swords, C in bows, and C in authority to make this work. And that's assuming that you want 100% pass rate for certification, and that you're using the battalion with the highes authority requirement (out of the ones that come with Impregnable Wall). This is incredibly easy to reach by level 20 with little to no investment, even for characters that don't have all three relevant boons. I'd think it would be less important to have all the relevent boons than it would be to have a strong early-game to be able to reach level 20 quickly and easily.
  9. Path of Radiance could have used a few extra characters. First, and most important, I think it would have benefited from a Bishop. There's a huge drought of recruitable staff users between getting (underleveled) Mist in chapter 9 and getting Elincia in chapter 26. Furthermore, Rhys is the only playable unit who can use light magic. Having a playable Bishop would solve both problems. Somewhere around about chapter 17 or 18 would be a natural storyline fit. Second, there should be a playable non-royal Raven, since you don't get one and there's no real reason why you shouldn't. Nealuchi could have been added fiarly easily, or there could have been anew original character, but to me, the obvious choice would have been to have Vika join at the same time as Tormod and Muarim. Finally, I think it would have been nice to have seen a second Fighter or Warrior, since Boyd is the only one, but I don't think that's too big a deal. Radiant Dawn definitely doesn't need more characters. It already has a huge cast. Some tweaks to availability and to class frequency might have been nice, but not more people. If anything, maybe it would have been nice if they could have found a way to bring Largo back, but I can easily live without him.
  10. For sure. I'm not saying that he was exclusively a bumbling idiot in the original trilogy. I'm saying that even in the original trilogy, he wasn't particularly treated with reverence. There was some amount of badassery there, but he was still treated as an expendable character who could have a throwaway nothing of a death. And I'm not even saying that it is right that he be portrayed like this; I'm just saying that it isn't new. No media franchise can survive on old fans alone. There will always and inevitably be a turnover of old fans who lose interest, move onto other things, and so on. They absolutely need to continue to bring in new audiences, and that pretty much inevitably means that they need to change. What was popular in 1977 is not the same as what is popular in 2022. And any change is inevitably going to alienate some old fans who prefered the way that things used to be. That's unavoidable for any long-lived media franchise. And yeah, it can be a little bit heartwrenching when something you used to love changes into something you don't care for any more, but it happens. There's no shortage of franchises that I used to be invested in but that I no longer care about (and yes, Star Wars is one of them) but I'm OK with that. There are other things that I've grown interested in instead. (And none of this should be taken as a defense of Disney as a company. I disagree with a lot of what they do. It's more that I think that the problems that you're identifying as being new are actually ones that have always existed.)
  11. In the original trilogy, he was a minor character who took a comedy pratfall to his death after losing control of his jetpack in a fight with a blind man. I think it has always been more of a product than an art. Or at the very least, being a product has been a core part of what Star Wars is ever since its inception. It might be that the product to art ratio has shifted even further in favour of product, but it's only reinforcing what was already there. I'm thinking of all the Star Wars action figures that I had as a kid growing up in the 80s, for instance.
  12. I wouldn'ty say it was either over- or under-tutorialised. Rather, I think it was badly tutorialised. It's not that I didn't understand the mechanics. It's that I couldn't remember everything that I was being told. It would pop up with some mechanic or other, and then before I'd had a proper chance to get used to it or sometimes even to try it out at all, it would give me another tutorial message about something else. and then another one. It was very enthusiastic about barfing out its tutorial messages, but didn't actually give any time or space to learn the game.
  13. I played for maybe an hour to an hour and a half and the most prominent thought and feeling that I have after that time is that this game has absolutely no interest in teaching me how to play it. I've very little experience with Musou/Warriors games before. I played a tiny bit of Hyrule Warriors but bounced off it pretty damn quickly. So I was only really here for the Fire Emblem, but was plenty happy to give the gameplay a try. But eesh. The game just flashed up tutorial message after tutorial message introducing me to new feature after new feature and new button combination after new button combination, and there is no way in hell that I'm remembering all of that. Do they just assume that everyone already knows how the gameplay works and so there's no need to teach it and ease people in gently? Or do they just assume that new players will just play on easy mode (which I did) and not actually need to use half of the different features? Or am I just terrible at remembering instructions?
  14. It could be a combination of both, honestly. It's hardly the only part of Three Houses that was underdeveloped, bordering on unfinished, so it might be that they were rushing to put something in, but wanted to err on the side of underpowered and oversimplified. After all, an underpowered mechanic is just useless, whereas an overpowered one can break a game. Who knows, though? This is all just speculation. Interesting thought, though I think ti would also have a lot of potential to mess with game balance and difficulty. Without a unit cap, there wouldn't be the inherent trade-off that pair up had in Awakening and Fates. In those games, having units paired up makes meaningfully fewer units deployed on the field. In SoV, it would technically mean fewer deployed units, but if those units weren't doing anything anyway, then it's basically free power at no cost. And given that SoV is already one of the easier games in the series, I'm not sure I'd really want something that made it even easier. Still a neat idea though, especially if it could be combined with a hypothetical harder difficulty setting.
  15. I can easily imagine that they might have decided that they wanted something along the lines of Pair Up but that it had to be less powerful than in Awakening and also less complicated than in Fates. And if that was the design spec, then I can also imagine how they might have ended up with the Adjutant system of Three Houses. Which is underpowered and oversimplified. So, not what I would consider a particularly good design decision, but one I can understand.
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