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EdwardSunnyDisposition

RH Concept: Fire Emblem: Malady of the East

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Heya. I had an idea for a rom hack. I'm no programmer though, it just came to me and I was wondering what people thought of the idea.

Base game: No clue. I suppose this concept may work in some and not in others.
Concept:
             Story: A wicked disease is scourging the land, and no one knows how it is contracted. Whole armies have fallen victim to it. One brave expedition group take it upon themselves to find the root cause...
             Gameplay: Original: Be prepared to lose units. At the start of each map, a random unit from the roster is permanently "berserked", (cannot be cured of it), and will most likely have to be killed to proceed. I say most likely because if a chokepoint and sturdy unit successfully keep them at bay, the unit will be cured at the end of the map. Of course, that unit still has the chance of contracting the disease again, this malady seemingly cannot be defeated by resistant strains. The random element could lead to your best or worst units being killed, which is horrifying in its own way.
                                EDIT 1: Suggested by Topaz Light: (Makes more sense from an engaging gameplay perspective than relying on random luck)

  • Isn't actually random, but appears to be at first due to its method of spreading being unknown to the player until later on. A very perceptive (or lucky-guessing) player should be able to sort of pick up on it early, but probably not completely figure it out all on their own without extensive experimentation.
  • Is sort of a "normal" ailment or thing that can happen to your characters during gameplay instead of something that's just randomly inflicted at the start of each map.
  • Is gradually explained/learned about over the course of the game, in terms of both its story explanation and how it works in gameplay. Make it so that the player and the expedition team each learn to combat it in unison with each other.
  • Is manually-curable, but not in an immediately-obvious way. It should make sense, of course, but it shouldn't just be a plain ol' "use a Restore staff and presto!" dealio.

                                 EDIT 2: Suggested by Eclipse: The disease evolves over time - more status affects can surface other than berserk.
            Units: Initial thoughts I had was either the Expedition Force is the main and only army thematically, or as another option there are two playable armies: The Expedition Force trying to find a cure, while the Main Army is at war with the antagonists, losing men/women by the day and clinging to the hope that the Expedition Force is successful.

Anyways, I was just wondering whether the concept can be implemented, as well as what people think of that kind of story. Cheers :)

Edited by EdwardSunnyDisposition

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Any concept can be implemented with enough ASM hacking, although some are easier than others. This seems to work with a lot of things that are already present in the game, though, so I'd imagine it wouldn't be too hard to get working.

However, from a game design standpoint, I think it... needs some work. Game designers need to be able to compromise when the kind of game that's fun for them to come up with conflicts with the kind of game that's actually fun to play, and I think this is one such time. The notion of a random ally being berserked each chapter is certainly an interesting one, but it wouldn't really be that fun in practice, since the whole game would boil down to being very luck-based, which is simply frustrating rather than enjoyable.

My advice would be to tweak it so that the disease...

  • Isn't actually random, but appears to be at first due to its method of spreading being unknown to the player until later on. A very perceptive (or lucky-guessing) player should be able to sort of pick up on it early, but probably not completely figure it out all on their own without extensive experimentation.
  • Is sort of a "normal" ailment or thing that can happen to your characters during gameplay instead of something that's just randomly inflicted at the start of each map.
  • Is gradually explained/learned about over the course of the game, in terms of both its story explanation and how it works in gameplay. Make it so that the player and the expedition team each learn to combat it in unison with each other.
  • Is manually-curable, but not in an immediately-obvious way. It should make sense, of course, but it shouldn't just be a plain ol' "use a Restore staff and presto!" dealio.

Making the disease a game mechanic is a very interesting way to have it start working its way into the experience in meaningful ways early on, but a game mechanic that's basically "a random one of your units dies each chapter, have fun!" is frankly just annoying and not really conducive to a fun gameplay experience. The challenge it would create would be the wrong kind of challenge; the kind that's overcome through luck and/or cheesing rather than skill.

I don't mean to seem negative, and I'm sorry if I come across that way. I think the concept is neat, but the way of working it into the gameplay that you proposed is something I highly doubt will lead to any sort of positive gameplay experience.

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Hmmm, that sounds interesting.  But instead of Berserk, why not take advantage of the other status effects?  For example, someone can start asleep on one chapter, with reinforcements (but do telegraph those reinforcements).  Or a map where everyone is silenced, and the enemies are all defense-oriented (but again, balancing).  That way, you'll get the random factor, but it'll be something that can be worked around, instead of a game where killing your own units is seen as a necessary evil.

If you really want berserk, have a weaponless NPC be the victim, with the map objective being that unit's survival or something.

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3 hours ago, Topaz Light said:

Any concept can be implemented with enough ASM hacking, although some are easier than others. This seems to work with a lot of things that are already present in the game, though, so I'd imagine it wouldn't be too hard to get working.

However, from a game design standpoint, I think it... needs some work. Game designers need to be able to compromise when the kind of game that's fun for them to come up with conflicts with the kind of game that's actually fun to play, and I think this is one such time. The notion of a random ally being berserked each chapter is certainly an interesting one, but it wouldn't really be that fun in practice, since the whole game would boil down to being very luck-based, which is simply frustrating rather than enjoyable.

My advice would be to tweak it so that the disease...

  • Isn't actually random, but appears to be at first due to its method of spreading being unknown to the player until later on. A very perceptive (or lucky-guessing) player should be able to sort of pick up on it early, but probably not completely figure it out all on their own without extensive experimentation.
  • Is sort of a "normal" ailment or thing that can happen to your characters during gameplay instead of something that's just randomly inflicted at the start of each map.
  • Is gradually explained/learned about over the course of the game, in terms of both its story explanation and how it works in gameplay. Make it so that the player and the expedition team each learn to combat it in unison with each other.
  • Is manually-curable, but not in an immediately-obvious way. It should make sense, of course, but it shouldn't just be a plain ol' "use a Restore staff and presto!" dealio.

Making the disease a game mechanic is a very interesting way to have it start working its way into the experience in meaningful ways early on, but a game mechanic that's basically "a random one of your units dies each chapter, have fun!" is frankly just annoying and not really conducive to a fun gameplay experience. The challenge it would create would be the wrong kind of challenge; the kind that's overcome through luck and/or cheesing rather than skill.

I don't mean to seem negative, and I'm sorry if I come across that way. I think the concept is neat, but the way of working it into the gameplay that you proposed is something I highly doubt will lead to any sort of positive gameplay experience.

Not negative at all. Honestly, I agree with everything you've said, and can see how people would be put off by the luck based thing.

I'm going to update the main post with ideas/reasoning that make more sense, so I appreciate more of this:D

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2 hours ago, eclipse said:

Hmmm, that sounds interesting.  But instead of Berserk, why not take advantage of the other status effects?  For example, someone can start asleep on one chapter, with reinforcements (but do telegraph those reinforcements).  Or a map where everyone is silenced, and the enemies are all defense-oriented (but again, balancing).  That way, you'll get the random factor, but it'll be something that can be worked around, instead of a game where killing your own units is seen as a necessary evil.

If you really want berserk, have a weaponless NPC be the victim, with the map objective being that unit's survival or something.

I wanted Berserk because I thought it would work thematically as a disease that makes people insane or rabid, thus causing them to turn on each other. That being said, I like Topaz Light's idea because it keeps the core Berserk mechanic, while still giving the player fair options to save their units. Yet if the player does not plan accordingly, the necessary evil will come to fruition etc.

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6 minutes ago, EdwardSunnyDisposition said:

I wanted Berserk because I thought it would work thematically as a disease that makes people insane or rabid, thus causing them to turn on each other. That being said, I like Topaz Light's idea because it keeps the core Berserk mechanic, while still giving the player fair options to save their units. Yet if the player does not plan accordingly, the necessary evil will come to fruition etc.

Yo don't double post!

The issue with only having berserk is that it becomes predictable.  If you want a world-building reason, the perhaps something about how the disease affects people differently, so there's no telling how someone will be afflicted until they're sick.  The paranoia, combined with the occasional berserked unit should be enough to rip apart even the most staunch army.

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