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Hello you wonderful people. So I was listening to a Retrospective of Fire Emblem series by ShaneBrained (in case someone was not aware, but was interested), and while listening to it, there was talk about how core the concept of Permadeath was to the game's design. This led me to think about how Permadeath could be implemented so it remains relevant in FE going forward. , I do feel like classic mode (permadeath) shouldn't be pushed to the side or abandoned. Unlike something like Nuzlock for Pokemon, permadeath was part of its established identity that was created by the company through a large chuck of its series history. So there is precedent that it will constantly come back. And I'm aware that there is a decent size player base that wants to keep it as well. I've seen some discussion about permadeath within FE, listing reasons why its positive and good to keep. I think I have a general idea where the ranges of opinions are for it, and I think most people will agree with me, if I say: 'Permadeath should stay in Fire Emblem, but ... as an option' So, why I making this thread? Because I think it can more than an option (but still technically be an option). I think it can be the 'intended way' of playing the game, without gating those who want less punishing game. It's all about communication [Gamemaker's Toolkit Youtube Video]. The video I'm linking is a 2018 video about how game devs can communicate to players to get them to understand what is the 'intended way of playing this game'. Now, there is no examples in that video that directly relates to Fire Emblem and my suggestion, but I think the core concept works here too. Give players the options to modify the QoL features & Permadeath. Imagine this, upon selecting to start a new game. Instead of being given two options, you are given three options (Story Mode, Classic Mode, & Free Mode), and after picking one, it takes you to difficulty options. So why am I treating this like this is a brand new idea, when they already sort of does this? As I said earlier, it's all about communication. Let's first talk about Free Mode. Selecting this will enable players to specifically change the QoL features the game has. This should not include anything that directly relates to game balance of units/classes/items. This can includes stuff like: - New game plus - Maximum Amount of Divine Pulse (or whatever the name of undo-actions will be called) - Auto-Save occurrences [At the start of the map / At the start of every turn / After every player action (or death) or at the start of the turn] - Enable Skirmishes [On or Off] - Permadeath [On or Off] - Subset for Permadeath (if turned off): When the character is 'revived' [Completing the next player's turn / Completing a Map / Completing 2 Maps?] The reason why I list the options for Customize mode is because Story Mode & Classic Mode will be pre-set versions of Customize Mode, and exist as 'intended ways of playing the game', and when selecting one of those two options, it should give a short description on each mod's intentions and why the challenge is important. The devs are at a crossroad and I believe the best option is communicate what the intended plays are, but give us the option to adjust what are personal needs. This would enable them to be able to design games with permadeath still as a feature, but allow a more causal audience can engage it without having to design the game themselves. Lastly, I don't think it would even be too hard to create. ... But uhh... that's just my idea and most likely a pipe dream. What about you guys? What do you think they should do, specifically about permadeath and intended play? Quick Summary of the Actual Concept: - Reframe Quality of Life Features to something like Assist Tools, existing to help players stay engage in the game & reduce frustration. - Make these QoL features adjustable throughout the game (maybe in-between maps or something). Ideally all modes should be able to do this, but notify the player that if they change it while playing Story or Classic mode, that they are changing the intended design of the game. - I'm classifying 'non-permadeath' or 'casual mode' as a quality of life feature, which implies and maybe nudges players to understand that permadeath is an intended way to play the game with worthwhile value (assuming they design the game with that intention). - Lastly, I am not advocating that the creators should includes stuff like 0% growth mode, toggleable ambush spawns, or extremely harder enemies/difficulty within the QoL toggleable features. I merely excludes those type of stuff because considering how the game is typically programmed, I can it see it causing a lot more extra work for not a lot of gain. The QoL features on the other hand, I think it would easier to make adjustable because they typically function outside of the core gameplay of a tactical RPG. It would still require work and effort, but it wouldn't really require a nearly complete overhaul of the game and/or maps.
On my third playthrough, new game plus, playing as Blue Lions. Used my renown to regain supports with every possible character, whom I recruited very early on. Most recent recruit was Catherine. The last battle I remember being in was the first mock battle between the three houses. In this battle, my recruit Ignatz "fell" in battle, but we were otherwise victorious. I was under the impression that permadeath would not be incurred based on the fact that it was a mock battle. Now I'm exploring the monastery (immediately prior to the Tomb of Seiros mission, where you first fight the Death Knight and acquire the Sword of the Creator) and notice that I can only talk to Ignatz and can't interact with him at all, even through the menu (i.e. can't gift, lost items, tea party, inventory, support, roster, etc.). I can't tell if it's because he fell in the mock battle, or if it's because my roster size has maxed out. Or is it because Claude needs at least one recruit in the Golden Deer house? The thing that's throwing me off is that he's still alive and well in the monastery. Has anyone else experienced this?
In one of the first posts I ever made, I asked which game in the Fire Emblem series handled permadeath the best. However, I believe I presented the question quite confusingly there, as I didn't get too many responses. That, and I was asking a specific question, and thus received specific answers. Now, as the title implies, I'm asking more broadly about what you think about permadeath in Fire Emblem, as well what improvements or changes you would make to this series staple. My Overall Thoughts: (I put this into a spoiler partially to save space, but also because, put plainly, I don't have a high opinion of how the series handles permadeath, and I know that not everyone enjoys reading a (subdued) rant. I also don't want this thread to delve into "why permadeath sucks" or anything like that. I just want to see what your thoughts on the matter are.) The improvements I would make: This could work if the game in question had multiple campaigns (a la Battle for Wesnoth), as I know not everyone would like this if it was its own game, but either have the ability to recruit characters (maybe like Jagged Alliance), and/or you would be given more characters than you would need, and have the difficulty be designed where loosing a few units is expected, and the player has to decide which units are worth raising, and which ones they could sacrifice in need be. As I said, I don't want this to have an entire game around it, but a change of pace might be nice. Bringing back a modified and improved of the gaiden mechanic from Shadow Dragon. It would be possible to unlock every available unit, but you would either need to go out of your way to unlock some of them, or you would get them later down the line. If you loose a certain amount of units, you would get these characters earlier on with less hassle. It would be a way of allowing those good at the game (or completionists) to still get everyone, while people with trouble could get a powerful unit to compensate for their losses. They would still be punished for bad playing, but the game wouldn't become more difficult that it would need to be. Keep casual mode and Mila's turnwheel, though lower the amount of uses allowed for the latter. Also have The Aum staff appear again, but give it more than one use and the ability to repair it, while still keeping its uses very limited. So those were my thoughts on permadeath in the Fire Emblem series. What are yours?