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Hi, me again (it's been a while though) Today the topic is Laguz, but not about their tiering in their respective games. It's about how they were affected by the changes between POR and RD. First, what I love in RD: transformation gauge management was a damn good improvement! In POR you could only watch the gauges go down and up passively without any active control of them, in Radiant Dawn you can revert and retransform at will (when it's full), get more exp for countering in human form, thus level up faster than tier 2 average units (opposite to their transformed state which levels up like a tier 3 or even slower), the possibility to counter in human form itself (especially for tigers and hawks, since cats barely deal any damage in human form, sucks to deal less damage as a supposedly stronger race than Astrid's RD weakling version), well, in general Laguz MECHANICS have improved. Second, what I love in POR: good base stats even in human form, since Lethe and Mordecai barely gained stats from their first encounter in POR and their first encounter in RD although RD's ennemies have like twice their POR counterparts (sure double stats, but cats loose like 6 points or so per fight, which means they're usable only if you manage their gauge like a boss, plus their base strength and claw damage really suck, basically they deal T1 units damage untransformed and just promoted t2 damage transformed with an iron lance, which is really ass, barely scratches a general for 3-4 damage in the first chapter where you can play Lethe in normal, not even talking of hard mode's stat inflation that looked like lunatic awakening to me when I started it, with early game mymidons doubling or nearly doubling everyone on my team WTF IS please playtest your games before selling them). So in POR, human form couldn't counterattack sadly, but at least they weren't cannon fodder for ennemies (I'm glad Mordecai is tanky even in human form, can't say the same about RD Lethe who gets doubled by nearly everything as a speedy class/race and dies in 5 weak hits although she has very high HP...her base speed is inferior to Volug's although her class has higher average speed). POR had amazing items called laguzguard and beorcguard. Where did they end up in RD, where they were 10x more needed due to transformation mechanics? In the unused data, as skills. They could've been given to units (Lethe with beorcguard in P2 would've been 5x better at least, especially since she could've levelled up in human form without fearing every ennemy on her joining map where you don't see anything because of annoying FOW, and really ennemy units shouldn't be able to see you in FOW, if you don't see them hw can they see you? they're not magic creatures FFS). With the growth bands, Laguz could've had bonuses to their weak growths in RD, with blossom accessible from part 2 they could've gained good level ups as soon as chapters 2-3, with BEXP to make them close to level up. But no, instead laguzguard and beorcguard are hidden in the data file with no way to get them in the game (not even with Dolphin cheats since they don't work due to weird changing code, even the unit exp gauges don't stay at the same number for the whole game, if you change them too often they just move to another number location), part 2 skills are unmovable because why would you want to move skills from one unit to another in the hardest chapters of part 2? It's not like there are 80% of the units in p2 that would benefit a lot from skills being movable (paragon, terrain nullifying skill mainly), and they didn't even give anyone wildheart before the late part 3 (how much better would Mordecai be if he had wildheart? at least 5x better in my book, with 3 more base def than Brom and 20-ish more HP, 3 more movement, and the ability to revert and transform at will...OMG I want it! he wouldn't loose 2 turns just to fill his garbage base gauge level, or be forced to waste a laguz stone for something Lethe can do from the start of every chapter IIRC). Finally, something really bothers me. Base stats/stat caps: Tigers: POR: 28 hp, 8>15 str, 2 mag, 6>10 skl, 7>10 spd, 7>10 def, 2>5 res, 75 hp, 30>37 str, 20 mag, 33>37 skl, 34>37 spd, 40 lck, 30>35 def, 24>27 res. RD: 36 HP, 6>12 str, 0 mag, 6>12 skl, 5>10 spd, 4>8 def, 1>2res, 75 hp, 23>46 str, 5>10 mag, 18>36 skl, 15>30 spd, 30 lck, 22>44 def, 10>20 res. If their caps were just as high as in POR, tigers would be infinitely better for endgame. What about their base strength, def and res all being lower than POR's? at least they have more HP but their strength is really bad. They could use higher magic cap to be decent imbue users for better performance as tanks, but not only have they less cap, their base is also 0 vs 2, loosing magic from the previous game. Kiza would've made a wonderful tiger if he was really the weird tiger he's supposed to be (which he isn't at the end of the day because he's just a worse Muarim in every way but availability). Kiza could've been the tiger who tanks magic in endgame, the tiger who doubles late game bosses, the tiger who can use imbue better than the garbage skill named renewal, useless after part 1 and even then only Volug can get anything out of that ****. Kiza could've been the Fiona of tigers (with more usable bases than hers even if he's weak at start). But instead you have 3 tigers, the tank with amazing availability but really lackking even in strength and who doesn't even have access to wildheart before 3-8 or something like that (even then, I bet hawks make better use of it at that point), and Muarim and Kiza being clones or not far from it but Kiza having a shitty start and not even good availability. Female cats (because Ranulf is a whole other class): POR: 26 hp, 6>12 str, 4 mag, 6>10 skl, 8>11 spd, 3>8 def, 3>6 res, 70 hp, 26>32 str, 20 mag, 34>38 skl, 36>39 spd, 40 lck, 27>32 def, 27>30 res. RD: 47 hp, 7>14 str, 6>12 mag, 11>22 skl, 11>22 spd, 7>14 def, 8>16 res, 65 hp, 18>36 str, 10>20 mag, 20>40 skl, 20>40 spd, 30 lck, 14>28 def, 16>32 res. Radiant Dawn cats have less max stats compared with Radiant Dawn in all decisive areas except strength, where they make up for lower comparative cap by having S and SS ranks with +5 and +10 damage. they loose 13-4 def with stats capping up to 10 points higher than in POR, which means they loose 5 hp, 24-8 real skl cap, 26-9 real spd cap, 20 real luck cap (highest luck cap is 50), 23-14 real def cap and 21-8 real res cap. There isn't a single stat cats are as good in in RD as in POR! Cat (Ranulf): POR: lv 9: 46 hp, 19>25 str, 4 mag, 17>21 skl, 17>20 spd, 13 lck, 17>22 def, 6>9 res, 70 hp, 29>35 str, 20 mag, 34-38 skl, 35>38 spd, 40 lck, 30>35 def, 24>27 res. RD: lv 26 (=6): 55 hp, 14>28 str, 6>12 mag, 16>32 skl, 15>30 spd, 23 lck, 13>26 def, 10>20 res, 65 hp, 18>36 str, 10>20mag, 20>40 skl, 20>40 spd, 30 lck, 16>32 def, 14>28 res. Base RD Ranulf is 3 comparative levels lower than POR Ranulf, has decent availability for a prepromote-like unit, good base stats in cat form, but in human form he gets doubled by early every ennemy in his joining map, has inexistent offense (just like Lethe 1 whole part earlier), less defense/hp than Mordecai one whole part earlier, his only saving grace being res. In POR, he's a bit slow for a cat but I guess he should double fine for the most part since POR scales reeeeeeeeaaaaaalllllyyyyyyyyy sloooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwlllllyyyyyyyyyyyyy even in hard mode, to the point you barely need more than 20/3 on your units to get the job done for most of the game except endgame where, according to forums, ennemy stats suddenly jump from the underground to the roof (never got past the chapters in Beignion, don't remember which one, I've recruited Shinon, Beaten Muarim but I don't recall in what order it is, even recruited Danved and done the next chapter, but the game is so sluggish that I got bored at that point). What's even worse, with 14 levels up left he only has 30% str growth, 35% speed, 55% lck that will absorb most of the first 7 BEXP levels alongside the 70% hp, 15% def and 10 res% that are unlikely to get better at all although they're already BAD in p3! And about his caps, much like females cats, all defensive caps are obvious downgrades from POR, on top of his growths being 40 to 50% lower than in POR except in skl, spd and luck (-10, -20 and +20 respectively). Meaning his 9 level ups left in POR are 40% or so more effective than in RD, and if he only gains 4 levels in POR then I don't even imagine how many he'll gain in RD with even lower exp gains although more chapters to achieve it, still with his massively sucking growths totally unadapted to his game, he won't do anything better than in POR past a few chapters after recruitment. Even worse, Janaff has better base stats in everything but res, with only -4 res in bird form, nearly capped lck for better BEXP levels, Marksman's spd cap as his base value, higher skl base than most beorc classes, more hp base than many beorc classes and good offensive/defensive growths (40% str, 45% skl, 25% spd, 35% def) even though his bases already trivialize endgame as a full form falcon. So, Ranulf, councellor to the next king of Gallia, Giffca's future replacement, is inferior to a young falcon general for their whole availability in bases, growths and utility (hawks have both shove + super canto) on top of having a worse transform gauge and Janaff having wildheart from join. Hawks: useless to say hawks are far better than in POR at base since Janaff's bases are quite similar to Stephan, who's tower ready from the get-go, only their strike rank is less than desirable, so I'll only go for caps here: POR: 65 hp, 26>32 str, 20 mag, 34>40 skl, 36>39 spd, 40 lck, 26>30 def, 26>30 res. RD: 65 hp, 19>38 str, 5>10 mag, 23>46 skl, 21>42 spd, 35 lck, 16>32 def, 12>24 res. Although much better than tigers and cats put together, hawks still have the same magic cap issue as tigers (unable to use imbue at max potential), overkill speed to double but still 25-7 less comparative spd cap (which highly affects their avoid), 15 comparative luck cap (again highly dents their avoid as 15 is a full earth affinity avoid boost), 20-8 less comparative def and 24-16 less comparative res in a game where endgame is filled with magical threats! I think you see what I mean, when Laguz loose this much in stat caps, even if they weren't reaching them on average, the difference between having more def than a general, more speed than a swordmaster, equal res than a bishop and more hp than a general and on the other side better speed/skill than a swordmaster by little, same strength as a wyvern master and same def/res as a swordmaster...means they just lost half of what made them good in POR, namely durability difference with Beorcs in late game. Even the skill deficit is affecting their crit rate since their weapons have 0 naturel crit rate (not even 5 at SS sadly) and their skill activation rate. As for tigers it's the differece between doubling most non-Ashnard to every non-Ashnard ennemies vs not doubling any fast/boss unit in endgame, it's like tigers speed cap is in a permanent wildheart state... On top of that, add the fact that demi band was movable at all times from one laguz to another and didn't take a skill slot, demi form still had full unit's base stats so you barely lost any stat from half to full form (well, I think actually half transformation was better handled stats-wise in RD than in POR but the availability of wildheart and the human form base stats were the real problem on top of the class caps I already criticized earlier). Add to it the beorcguard or laguzguard and Laguz had much more potential in POR than in RD, they just needed better endgame weapons (like double damage on blessed weapons for endgame or something like that). If IS just combined POR stats with RD mechanics and let the guard items available in game, while fixing character availability and growth rates of Laguz forcing BEXP or blossom abuse...we'd have the most satisfying experience of Laguz units we could according to me. What do YOU guys think of this?
So, I just started painstakingly recording all of the rewards I get for feeding these animals: Spreadsheet here As you can see, this would take forever to fill out with enough info to be statistically significant. My progress alone will be incredibly slow. If you want to help, feel free to make your own copy of my "Template" sheet for your own records. Then, link it here so that I can copy it from time to time. I'd be grateful. If the way this system works is known, I would very much appreciate an explanation or a link to one. Even if it's just a theory.