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Quick note: In the future I'll eventually move these topics to the fan-game discussion forum. But for now, the ideas are broad and general enough that I think it makes more sense to discuss them in the context of the FE games we already know. Once I get to discussing more specific ideas that are further divorced from the context of any previous FE game, I'll swap over to fan-game discussion. Last time, I floated an idea for making skill and luck more valuable by tying them to a meter system instead of an RNG chance of crits/misses. It wasn't popular. Let's try the opposite approach. Instead of a system that removes most RNG, what if we actually increased the random factor, but reduce the punishment factor? But first, why do I want to change these aspects at all? Here are a couple reasons: I think 3X damage crits are horrendous. There's strategic merit in needing to have a backup plan. But 300% damage crits don't create those sorts of situations. They're more likely to be instant resets. It's certainly not a common problem, but that doesn't make it good design. Skill and luck feel underwhelming. That isn't to say they aren't important stats, but most units have, in a word “enough”. Individually, each point into one of these stats feels less important. There are a series of changes here, feel free to voice your opinion on all of them, or just each individually: Change 1: Make luck, not speed, the primary factor in dodging attacks. The formula changes in most games, but speed is always more important than luck. Sometimes by a factor of 2, or 1.5, or even 3. I think this needs to be reversed, so that luck is 75% of your dodge rate, with speed being only 25%. I was also considering making speed 0% of the formula. I think this is totally fair balance-wise, as even with the changes to doubling I proposed in the other topic, speed is still an insanely useful stat on its ability to let you double, at all. I'm also admittedly drawn to the simplicity of binding each stat to one purpose, instead of having formulas become complicated blends of stats in various proportions. But despite all this, it would also make speed a totally worthless stat to gain for someone already fast enough to meet relevant doubling thresholds. Luck's role in evading crits and your own hit rate remains unchanged. Change 2: Reduce critical damage. I've got 2 separate ideas on how to do this: First, we could reduce the 300% damage rate to a flat 150%. The only problem I have with this is the potential for confusion on if that extra 50% rounds up or down on odd damage numbers. Second, we could change the formula entirely. Getting a crit now adds the unit's skill stat directly to their strength/magic. This will mean lower crit damage across the board in many cases, but will be more notable for enemies as they typically have lower skill stats anyway. However, enemies might also do more damage with crits under this system, too. An enemy that would've done 0X3 damage off a crit may now deal actual damage. If this change were implemented, I'd include a “Crit Damage” number in the battle preview, so that players could see at a glance how much total damage they could take in the worst-case scenario. Change 3: Double the effect of skill on the critical hit rate formula. This means that players and foes alike will now have a greater chance of scoring a critical hit. Seeing a crit rate won't be rare, even on an enemy with a good chance to miss. This makes skill more desirable, since each single point gain is basically worth twice as much now, in terms of crit chance. It will mean enemy crits will be something you see far more of, but due to the above changes, you're far less likely to instantly die to one. Perhaps counter-intuitively, I think this will also make luck more valuable, despite being comparatively less effective at reducing crit rate now. A point in luck will seem more valuable when it's reducing the crit rate of a dozen enemies from 4% to 3%, instead of the 0% to 0% “change” we usually see. The enemies with crit rates in FE games are usually the ones with Killer weapons, where oftentimes no amount of luck will reduce their crit rate by an appreciable margin. This isn't an entirely novel idea – Thracia 776 and Fates both halved the effect of luck in reducing crit rates. While not quite the same as doubling the effect of skill, changes have been made in the formula to increase crit rates before. Still, if this becomes too much, and it very well might scale too drastically for higher levels and lategame maps, here are a few simple tweaks: Make skill 1.5X as important for crit rate instead of 2X. Make luck 2X as important at stopping crit rate. So essentially, if the attacker's skill = the defender's luck, no change. But each point of excess skill now has twice the implications on crit rate. Again, I think this makes both crit and luck more valuable. TL;DR: Make luck, not speed, the primary stat in the evasion formula. Make critical hits more likely for both the player and the enemy, but reduce critical damage. As they say “Crit happens” but now an unplanned crit is more likely to put a player onto the back foot, forcing them to come up with an emergency strat, instead of outright killing a unit. More chaos, but also more control.
Ideas for a FE-inspired game #2) Meter-based crits and dodges. NOTE: To be clear, when I say “dodge” I'm referring to avoiding attacks entirely. I think some FE games use “dodge” to represent your ability to avoid receiving a critical hit. Last time, we discussed changing the double-attack system so that players only double on their own phase. Let's discuss a more drastic change to stat functionality this time. What if, by default, all attacks hit their mark? Instead of skill and luck providing you with small percentage chance bonuses, they now fill two separate meters. When the critical meter is full, your next attack will automatically crit. When the dodge meter is full, you'll automatically avoid the next attack. The formula for filling these meters would look something like this: Crit meter gain = your skill – their luck. Dodge meter gain = your luck – their skill. Perhaps divide the end result by 2 or something, if this feels too “swingy”. So just like in FE games, the frequency of crits you'll perform is based on your skill vs. the enemy's luck. Same goes for dodging attacks. You just have more control over when it all happens now. Some further stipulations I'm currently imagining, but which are open to change: - The meters max out at around 20-30 points. - The meters only charge when you attack. - Your meter only charges once per round of combat, regardless of how many attacks occur on either side. - Both you and the opponent always gain at least 1 point for both meters, even if the above math says you'd get nothing, or even lose meter instead (IE, their luck > your skill). Here are my arguments for such a system: Skill and luck are often seen as “dump stats”. When people judge the quality of a level-up, it usually comes down to gains in your relevant attack/defense stats, and your speed. Very rarely is anyone truly happy to receive a level up of only skill and/or luck. Under this system, with proper balancing of the amount of points needed to fill the meters, skill and luck become incredibly useful stats. Every gain in one of those stats is a tangible and immediate boon to the frequency with which you gain the ability to crit or dodge, instead of a minute % chance. Maybe it's more a matter of psychology than fact, but I think those stats would just 'feel' better under this system. They're not useless stats by any means, but the vast majority of characters have “enough” to get by. Characters with seriously crippling accuracy, or those that are prone to being crit on all the time, are generally rare, and for a simple reason – they're not fun to play with. One or two can usually get by OK thanks to stat boosters to patch them up, but under this new system, a player-controlled unit with low skill or luck isn't a complete gamble to use, which allows for more diversity in viable stat spreads. No more complaints about 1% crits or 99% misses. These systems aren't entirely novel. Fates had a meter-based dual guard mechanic that was generally seen as a vast improvement to the random nature of the equivalent system from Awakening. And Heroes uses cooldown-based specials in place of crits. I'm basically just proposing that we tie skill and luck into these systems, to give them a more consistently-useful function. Speed now has nothing to do with dodging attacks. As an aside, enemies would likely be given smaller meters to fill, since any single enemy isn't expected to live long. An enemy with a “killer” weapon, might even start out with a full or nearly-full crit bar. Another solution would be to assign enemies to small squads that share critical and dodge meters. The enemies won't gain their shared crit bar if they don't get a chance to attack, so this change, like the one I proposed last time, would encourage player phase activity. Another implication of this system is that it would be impossible to dodge or crit consecutively. At most, you could only do so every other battle, if you're able to fill your meters up in a single round of combat. Oh, and crit damage may need to be adjusted too. The upside and downside of this system is that it removes almost all RNG from the game. Now the main source of RNG comes from level-up gains, and to some extent, enemy movements. If this becomes an issue, two possible solutions could be implemented: Add random variance to meter gains. The above formulas still apply, but you may gain a bit more or less than that. It could keep you on your toes around enemies with nearly-full crit bars. Add a bit of random variance to regular attack damage. No more than +- 3 points, but enough to keep you guessing. IMO, these solutions are a lot less frustrating than the random chance of missing entirely, or taking a massive 3X damage. It may screw up your damage thresholds on occasion, but that's better than a chance of doing no damage at all. Does this all make sense? If you think I've described anything poorly, please let me know. It's vital that players understand it, so if this sounds too complex I may have to reword some things or even re-think the entire system. What other benefits or flaws do you anticipate this theoretical change would entail?
While I haven't gone very far in my current Fates Conquest game card, I have heard rumors both in and out of Fates that their units fell to enemies with low hit rates. This has got me thinking, and I want to ask the audience: Which games are the best in investing in Avoid rate, and sideline (or even outright ignore) Defense? Which games have more reliable Defence or unreliable Avoid? I think a lot of people can agree, and I certainly think, that Binding Blade is one of the most suitable for dodge-tanking enemy attacks. I had so much milage with Thany, Clarine, Sue, Shin, and Fir in which they dodged everything left, right, and centre, with enemy hits under 10% and often even 0%. Even weapon disadvantage only "boosted" hit rates up to 20-25% at most. And because of the frequent doubling and criticals from enemies, I've found Defense-oriented units to be somewhat lacklustre to outright bad. Shadow Dragon was the other way around, where I had the biggest letdown with Navarre - his avoid seemed gimped (due to the calculations) and he doesn't have the defense to make up for that. I was better off using Draug against physical attacks, or Lena/Maria for tanking magic attacks. (Merric for some reason didn't have as high a Res for that - less than 15. I have to check my old file, but Lena was above 20, and Maria was around 20 too.)
I've always been quite fond of the avoid stack. For those unfamiliar with the term, this is where you pile up avoid boosting abilities onto a unit, making them nigh on unhittable. But my question today is, how good is it, really? Is running a set like Odd Rhythm, Lucky Seven, Quick Burn, Outdoor Fighter, Limit Break a bad idea on a Nah!Morgan, for example? Or ingame, giving Sully Outdoor Fighter, Tantivity then reclassing to Myrmidon? What about using single avoid boosting skills on their own. Outdoor Fighter in Apotheosis for example for the universal +10 avoid/+10 hit boost, is that not good? Is Charm for +5 avoid and hit to everyone near Chrom worthwhile? In game, should I look to remove those avoid boosting skills earlier if there's other options (although, I guess in game you're not likely to see more than about 6-8 skills...)? Are avoid boosting skills underrated, or am I overvaluing them? 10 avoid seems pretty decent on it's own, to me, for example. It's mathematically better than DG+ on a front unit, unless the enemy has 80ish+ hit (although running DG+ on a front unit is questionable).