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Snowy_One

How should the series become harder?

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Okay. I want to make this clear. This is NOT a topic complaining about how 'the older games were better' or 'the new games coddle you too much'. This is a topic about trying to make the series legit-harder. In order to make it legit-harder it will need to follow these guidelines.

1) The player MUST be informed beforehand. Enemies popping up out of nowhere and insta-killing one of your units before you can even react is NOT difficult. It is memorization and unfair. A player should not have to rely on memorization in order to win.

2) It MUST be beatable without making maps too long. This is another big one. One big problem with Fire Emblem is that, if you screw up or get RNG screwed and lose a unit and restart a level, you have to go through 10-20+ minutes of the same thing to get back to where you died. Not fun. Just punishing. Same thing goes for 'no saves/restarts'. If the game needs to deprive you of something like that in order to be challenging, it's not challenging.

3) It MUST allow for flexibility. A team with all mounted units should be just as capable of completing a map as a team without any. Maybe one team will have some edges that the other doesn't, but it should NOT become 'use this unit or you will fail/die'.

Anyways, here are my suggestions on how to make the series harder.

1) Increase the enemy defense. A simple idea, but one that holds a lot of weight. Increasing the average enemy defense makes it so that doubling isn't super-potent. This means warriors single-strike is more useful, slower knights aren't as hobbled by their doubling inability, and units with average stats end up having their lack of a pronounced advantage work in their favor. Of course this also hurts units who rely on doubling (like swordsmasters) so it may not work/be a universal solution.

2) Let enemies have supports. This is an interesting idea, but... What I came up with is each enemy gets a skill called 'army tactics' or something similar. In a nutshell, for every enemy that attacks a single target, all enemies afterwards get +10 hit, +1 MT, and -1 DEF/RES until the start of the next EP. So if three enemies attacked a single target, on the next PP all would have bonuses (varied depending on their order) to hit and MT, but lower defenses meaning ranged units have a chance to capitalize (since they don't risk the counterattack) on the stronger units while high DEF units can serve to group enemies together to stack said bonus.

3) Multiple option map design. Okay. This is a bit of a 'no duh', but every map should provide at least two or three possible ways to win as well as some clear problems. The Bridge of FE9 is a good example of this, IMO, since it lets the player decide to storm the bridge while possibly tripping off mines, or risk flying over. But in a nutshell, maps need to provide more than one set way to 'win'.

4) 'Fixing' growth rates (and letting the player know). One of the bigger problems with the game series is that it is VERY possible to end up with a growth unit screwed or a high-base power unit blessed, which ruins the investment/makes a unit OP'ed. While it can be argued that this is key to the series (and I won't disagree), if it was made that units stats leveled up at fixed points in fixed ways, games could be designed to take this into account, instead of trying to have to deal with 'well, their unit might be blessed or screwed' type stuff.

Edited by Snowy_One

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make messy RNG like FE6 duh,,,

really, they must even had new mode called *random mode* where the Random Odds of RNG are doubled,, (or to be direct, it's like FE4/5's rng where 99 hit miss and 11% hits are common)

and some certain enemies can pair-up, that makes thing more interesting and FAIR,, (more than the pavise spam that FE4 general/barons used)

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increasing enemy skill and luck, im actually kind of serious

player critrates are generally too high in most games and enemy hit is laughable in most as well

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increasing enemy skill and luck, im actually kind of serious

The power of Shin levels are truly unmatched!

But I agree, there's something wrong when you can dodgetank even with WTD. I'd also bring back single RN use. That'll teach people to stop relying on 80% hits!

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I think the solution to the problems you outline would be a Resurrection staff that healers could use in emergency.

Edited by Espinosa

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1) Increase the enemy defense.

not a good idea, otherwise you end up getting things like chapter 2 of FE9 maniac mode where your non-titania units can't damage enemies.

I'd also bring back single RN use. That'll teach people to stop relying on 80% hits!

single RN is so infuriating; this should never be brought back.

there are two very simple ways to make the series harder:

1) make enemies hit harder

2) make enemies hit more frequently (already stated by horace)

and FE13 introduced so many player-only mechanics that additional measures need to be taken to compensate for this imbalance.

Edited by dondon151

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there are two very simple ways to make the series harder:

1) make enemies hit harder

2) make enemies hit more frequently (already stated by horace)

So, we can indirectly conclude that the DS FE is a move in a right direction?

huh

Edited by I have a Dragon Boner

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While increasing the difficulty of enemy units is one way of increasing the difficulty of a game, it isn't the only one. What if we looked at the map and objectives present and see if we couldn't increase the difficulty of those to help increase the challenge level a bit. They could inclde new and multiple objectives to increase the versitility and challenge of maps to go beyond "rout", "sieze", "kill the boss" and "survive X-turns" and add new options for players. Also providing the option to save at any time or using check points might be a good option as well, to limit the annoyance factor associated with longer or more objective heavy maps. Additionally, perhaps this could be done incrementally along with the increase in difficulty of enemies based on what mode you choose. Like say on Easy Mode, a map's only objective might be "Defeat the Boss." On Normal Mode, you could have it become "Defeat the Boss and liberate/save two towns" to increase the challenge level of the map. Lastly on Hard Mode (along with further strengthened enemies as described thus far) also include an objective such as "Protect 2/4 citizens on the map" or "secure safe passage for refugees." Of course, these objectives could still be present on easier modes but offer them as optional objectives that just provide bonuses to the player for completing like bonus money or items. Thus far the only real area of consideration seems to be buffing the enemy units but map design and objectives should also be considered if you want a more challenging Fire Emblem.

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single RN is so infuriating; this should never be brought back.

there are two very simple ways to make the series harder:

1) make enemies hit harder

2) make enemies hit more frequently (already stated by horace)

Enemies typically have lower hitrates, a single RN system would mean they hit more and the player hits less. It also means units with defense are actually useful since you can't loldodgetank every hit.

The side objectives thing could work, but it's often annoying when NPC's are involved, since they have the brains of turnips.

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I think side-objectives are a good thing. They make players looking for a harder challenge have to accomplish more instead of just rushing to the end for an LTC. That is the point of making things harder after all, to make it so that the player can't rely on cheap tactics to win and needs to use skill. Likewise, this could be further combined. If we assume that all characters *must* be recruited, at least on Hard, if only because of side-objectives, then we can also make it so that certain units *must* be deployed or *must* not be deployed. This would outright neuter jeigan-spamming and actually serve as a bonus since it would kind of shepard them back into their original intent (on easy/normal you could always have them on your team, but on hard they could be forcibly excluded for certain missions).

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I'm with dondon on the double RN system. FE4's RNG, while technically fair, is still bullshit. Just make it so enemies generally have >50% hit rates. I'd gladly take enemies being able to hit more reliably than enemies still having shitty, but slightly less shitty, hit and players having less reliable hit.

The side objectives stuff sounds like a few chapters of Berwick Saga, which sounds cool. As for other ways, make the enemies competent and don't give the player OP characters.

Edited by bottlegnomes

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Okay. I want to make this clear. This is NOT a topic complaining about how 'the older games were better' or 'the new games coddle you too much'. This is a topic about trying to make the series legit-harder. In order to make it legit-harder it will need to follow these guidelines.

1) The player MUST be informed beforehand. Enemies popping up out of nowhere and insta-killing one of your units before you can even react is NOT difficult. It is memorization and unfair. A player should not have to rely on memorization in order to win.

2) It MUST be beatable without making maps too long. This is another big one. One big problem with Fire Emblem is that, if you screw up or get RNG screwed and lose a unit and restart a level, you have to go through 10-20+ minutes of the same thing to get back to where you died. Not fun. Just punishing. Same thing goes for 'no saves/restarts'. If the game needs to deprive you of something like that in order to be challenging, it's not challenging.

1. How is this unfair? What Video game do you have absolute complete knowledge on how to beat the first time through without a guide? Most games give you fair warning about enemy reinforcements, and they do add to the challenge in the game since they keep you on your toes and force you not too dick around too much.

2. Perma death does add to the difficulty in the game. Games without perma death allow you to use strategies where you don't care if you're units die, and it makes the game much easier. No one forces you to restart the chapter.

If IS wants to make the games harder, they need to add in more enemy player advatanges (Such as lots of units with command stars, effect staves, long range magic, "illegal forges", enemy only units, enemy only skills, etc.) and make there be more conditions for the player to get a game over. Otherwise, Fire Emblem is still a series that has traditionally had some of its difficulty come from limitations the player sets on themselves anyway, which just allows for more ways and freedom to enjoy the game.

As far as newer mechanics go, dual guarding and attacking need to be nerfed in activation rates. Vengeance should probably be changed so that if it activates you can't heal from it and veteran should be changed to be some kind of support bonus skill rather than gaining more exp.

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Nah, Pair up needs to get rid of. The intention was to promote teamwork but all it did was cause the opposite effect (imo). Jeigans are fine, as long as they don't make another Seth. Buffing enemy defenses is a terrible idea because of what dondon pointed out. I also agree 1rn is dumb as fuck.

Edited by PKL

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1. How is this unfair? What Video game do you have absolute complete knowledge on how to beat the first time through without a guide? Most games give you fair warning about enemy reinforcements, and they do add to the challenge in the game since they keep you on your toes and force you not too dick around too much.

2. Perma death does add to the difficulty in the game. Games without perma death allow you to use strategies where you don't care if you're units die, and it makes the game much easier. No one forces you to restart the chapter.

If IS wants to make the games harder, they need to add in more enemy player advatanges (Such as lots of units with command stars, effect staves, long range magic, "illegal forges", enemy only units, enemy only skills, etc.) and make there be more conditions for the player to get a game over. Otherwise, Fire Emblem is still a series that has traditionally had some of its difficulty come from limitations the player sets on themselves anyway, which just allows for more ways and freedom to enjoy the game.

As far as newer mechanics go, dual guarding and attacking need to be nerfed in activation rates. Vengeance should probably be changed so that if it activates you can't heal from it and veteran should be changed to be some kind of support bonus skill rather than gaining more exp.

1) It's not a question of 'when the game gives you warning', but 'when the game doesn't give you warning'. If enemy reinforcements appear and can kill a unit before you've even had a chance to respond, the balance is wrong. It's as simple as that. Memorization isn't difficulty. It's Simon.

2) The problem with your argument against two is that it assumes that the player cares enough to actually miss the unit, while not caring enough to be willing to reset a chapter for them. Outside of roleplay/story runs, I don't know any situation where that happens. Besides, many games manage to be hard without Perma-death, so perma-death clearly isn't the answer on its own.

Edited by Snowy_One

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Playable characters don't really have to be gone for the rest of the game to discourage players from sending characters against enemies willy nilly. You could place in permenant stat penalties every time a character reaches 0HP, as well having that character be unavailable in one or more chapters.

Nah, Pair up needs to get rid of.

Or we could nerf the bonuses, have stat penalties, let enemies use it, etc.

Anyway, there are several ways to deal with FE's difficulty. Not only is there what's already mentioned in this topic but there's also lowering the growths and and doing what Shining Force does when it comes to growths.

Edited by The Void

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Honestly, Perma-death is more of a story-element reflected in gameplay than an actual gameplay mechanic. Casual players will likely restart, advanced players either won't care or will restart depending on if the unit was important or not, it really doesn't have a place in the series beyond it's story implications (E.X. enemies can't just resurrect themselves to start again).

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1. Varied objectives (I've had enough routs for a while, not to mention FE11's seizes). This also lets you do actually challenging things with the maps (e.g. enemy numbers, power and distribution in defend chapters). Proviso: make an unusual objective actually matter, unlike, say, FE13 ch10, where defeating the boss and rout are pretty much the same thing

2. Harder maps on harder modes (like Advance Wars)

I think that's all I want to add

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Nah, Pair up needs to get rid of. The intention was to promote teamwork but all it did was cause the opposite effect (imo).

*scratches head* You do intent to explain that, right?

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I'm rather fond of Super Robot Wars' "Skill Point" system - every chapter has bonus objectives or criteria which give provide a skill point; if you get most of them the game puts you on the harder difficulty setting and sometimes changes the routes or adds a bonus chapter.

But that's more of a 'where', rather than a 'how'.

I agree that enemies need to be more accurate, hit harder and take less damage.

Perhaps not to the level of DS FE's accuracy, mind you. That was more due to the dodge formula, though.

The less damage one is especially interesting to me, since it shifts the curve of Strength's value. Overall, it becomes a much more consistently valuable stat instead of something completely overkill to axe users. With forging around, it's also possible to get over this hurdle when needed (at a price!) for lightweight units.

Durable enemies also increases the value of chip/ranged attacks, making them and their position much more important on player phase.

Giving enemies stacking bonuses for piling on the same character is good, too. In tandem with a buff when attacking someone unarmed, I think you'd have a decent formula for defensive design.

For movement and attacking, bonus objectives like catching thieves (either enemies in DSFE and Awakening, or Legault/Rennac in GBA FE) are excellent in providing the player to push through and split their group.

Put together, you're looking at scenarios where you need to carefully divide your team, allowing both sides to squeeze in enough attacks on one choke that you can break through and reach a bonus in time.

Similarly, the positioning with multiple attacks to kill someone means you need to be much more careful about reducing enemy numbers. When everything takes 2-3 rounds of combat to kill, triage becomes a big factor when you aren't sure you can survive an enemy phase. Fancy that! When enemies take multiple units to kill, space itself becomes a factor and Bow users become more desirable! You actually need to fill your unit roster to have enough chip damage.

Edited by LunaSaint

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I don't know any situation where that happens. Besides, many games manage to be hard without Perma-death, so perma-death clearly isn't the answer on its own.

A character dying because of perma death means that you lose that unit and all the benefits you get from having that unit. Imagine losing Chad in FE6. You no longer have a Thief until Astol joins you. Imagine losing Serra in FE7. You won't get another healer until you promote someone or are able to recruit Priscilla, which not everyone will always be able to do on their first run through the game and what then if she or all your other magic users die? And let's not forget dancers, of whom you only get one of in every game but FE10 and FE7 IIRC. Perma-death adds plenty to gameplay, and most SRPG's I've played without perma-death tend to be much easier than FE beause of it, since you don't care if people die or not since it will have little to no impact on your army.

And saying "memorization isn't difficulty" still only applies for the first time you go through the chapter. Every other time you do it, that level just becomes slightly easier with a more challenging experience than the enemy showing up on player phase. I'd rather suffer one moment of slight unfairness with similar situations attributable to a multitude of video games, that then still results every time afterword in a more challenging experience than having an infinite number of easy experiences.

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3) It MUST allow for flexibility. A team with all mounted units should be just as capable of completing a map as a team without any. Maybe one team will have some edges that the other doesn't, but it should NOT become 'use this unit or you will fail/die'.

Why are we trying to make the games harder by removing real life challenges that armies face? The cold, hard, unfair reality is that some military materiel and personnel do not do well in certain conditions. The Battle of Passchendaele is one example of WWI tanks getting fucked over by mud. Hannibal tried to take war elephants through the Alps and lost most of them to the environment. It sucks, yeah; but it's also a factor in real military operations.

Honestly, I think Intel Systems should take a page out of Advance War's book and implement climate conditions. Weather changes. Those changes affect the environment. The environment determines the effectiveness of certain units in real life and it should affect units in Fire Emblem. Have rain and snow slow down foot soldiers. Have high winds and tornadoes randomly appear on the map and mess with flying units. Have landslides, floods, quakes, and sinkholes pop up and wreak indiscriminate havoc on maps. In real-life warfare, weather and battlefield conditions make a difference and not every change in the environment is foreseeable. Just ask the Japanese about that Mongolian invasion they were supposed to endure. Honestly, I'd think weather and natural disasters would be a very big problem in the FE universe considering the lack of any kind of storm detection capabilities and I recall Jill Fizzart mentioning dangerous floods and landslides whenever Micaiah warned Izuka about a battle in Talrega (don't remember the exact chapter off hand, but I think it was 1-6 or 1-7).

I'd also make strategic decisions actually matter. I really got a kick out of MU destroying half of his fleet in FE Awakening's Ch 14 (iirc). Seriously, he loses half of his ships (on loan from Plegia. Whoops) and everyone's like "eh, whatever." I think the game should have repercussions for your choices (like deciding to throw away half of your fleet). E. g. you can skip Ch 5 and go straight to 6, but doing so means some armories get destroyed and weapons cost more for an amount of time. Or maybe by skipping one chapter, the army from that chapter joins up with the army in a future battle and makes things harder on you later on. I think having the battles change depending on what you did earlier in the game would be a good way of making it harder and also make the game more interesting since each play-through would be slightly different (unless you do the exact same thing every time).

Last but not least, there's a fun way of making the game harder: online PvP Story Mode. Set it up where one person plays as the "good guys" and another plays as the "bad guys." Have a different ending for each side, a cast of characters for both armies, and let players fight other players in the main campaign. Actually, screw that. Why have just two armies when you can have six-way campaign MEGABATTLEZ! :evil:

Edited by Dieselpunk

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