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What is your unpopular Fire Emblem opinion?

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On 6/3/2022 at 10:01 AM, DoubleSpeedAttack said:

My unpopular opinion is that pre-promotes should never really be a thing. Maybe in extreme circumstances you can have them for a very short time. But otherwise I would prefer every FE game to have units grow with you and feel like you actually earned it. As a result of this change though there would have to be a system in place in case you got horribly RNG screwed and I guess that would come down to items somehow boosting your stats to pre-promote levels. That is basically the only reason I don't super hate them is because they do have a use.

I don't know, there's a reason giving the player a good (combat) unit in the early game is a good idea. Early games are IMO usually the most difficult parts of Fire Emblems because it's when you have the least resources and you're the weakest relative to the enemy troops. Even if you're not doing a challenge run or playing on higher difficulties, prepromotes are great for helping first time players getting the hang of the game. And in any case I think it's good to have a variety of playstyles on the table for RPGs, and getting rid of prepromotes as a rule would limit and not expand player choice.

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It’s like any creative idea. It not about the idea itself but how it is included. Hence why I propose changing the gameplay or world. Modern FE doesn’t these scenarios into account ever since the turn back mechanics. It also impacted their map design somewhat slightly. Another way to implement a promoted unit is to make them save you a la King Mickey from KH2 where if you lose you play as him and give yourself a second chance. An easy way to do this would that if that scenario happens is to make all the exp be given to you lost unit and bring them back. At a certain point if the story requires you to lose that unit you could B support them to save them. That way they can fight but at lowered stats if you lose. That it not an instant my units are permanently dead. That way you can try again the map and learn from it since you can’t rewind but you have a general idea of how this map goes after that. If you B support them then they would die thus giving you incentive to train everyone but also pay attention to support other than waifus/husband is

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1 hour ago, NaotoUzumaki said:

It’s like any creative idea. It not about the idea itself but how it is included. Hence why I propose changing the gameplay or world. Modern FE doesn’t these scenarios into account ever since the turn back mechanics. It also impacted their map design somewhat slightly. Another way to implement a promoted unit is to make them save you a la King Mickey from KH2 where if you lose you play as him and give yourself a second chance. An easy way to do this would that if that scenario happens is to make all the exp be given to you lost unit and bring them back. At a certain point if the story requires you to lose that unit you could B support them to save them. That way they can fight but at lowered stats if you lose. That it not an instant my units are permanently dead. That way you can try again the map and learn from it since you can’t rewind but you have a general idea of how this map goes after that. If you B support them then they would die thus giving you incentive to train everyone but also pay attention to support other than waifus/husband is

This sounds like it gets into "be careful what you wish for" territory.  I think the most famous example of this kind of rubber band design was Fire Emblem 11, which introduced new content that was clearly designed to help out a struggling player - maps and characters that only joined up if your deploy count was low enough.  The problem was that if you wanted to see all the content, or just wanted to play "optimally", it encouraged Marth to instigate a massive bloodbath of his own troops, which *violently* clashes with the personality they gave to him in other media, that he was this caring nice guy who was all about teamwork and friendship blah blah blah.  If you have a super-cool prepromo character that only shows up after you kill someone off...  well...  if that prepromo character is actually good, then you've created an incentive to do just that.  Which is not great.

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2 hours ago, NaotoUzumaki said:

It’s like any creative idea. It not about the idea itself but how it is included. Hence why I propose changing the gameplay or world. Modern FE doesn’t these scenarios into account ever since the turn back mechanics. It also impacted their map design somewhat slightly. Another way to implement a promoted unit is to make them save you a la King Mickey from KH2 where if you lose you play as him and give yourself a second chance. An easy way to do this would that if that scenario happens is to make all the exp be given to you lost unit and bring them back. At a certain point if the story requires you to lose that unit you could B support them to save them. That way they can fight but at lowered stats if you lose. That it not an instant my units are permanently dead. That way you can try again the map and learn from it since you can’t rewind but you have a general idea of how this map goes after that. If you B support them then they would die thus giving you incentive to train everyone but also pay attention to support other than waifus/husband is

Can we please not have another "Kaze in Birthright" scenario? It's one thing to give the player meaningful choices, but another thing entirely to gate a unit behind a never-explained condition. That just gives the player one more chore to avoid a strictly worse situation.

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I don't think gating a death behind a support is much fun. Unless it's like a Ninan style alternate ending that's just for plot. But the logic of "if one unit dies you get another" is one that I think could work. In fact, the series has done it before, and not in Shadow Dragon. You can only get that guy with the hard to remember name in Thracia if Olwen is dead or unrecruited. And while it annoys some players who want to recruit without limitations (not something Thracia is particularly interested in as there's a bunch of characters exclusive to each route split), I think it's generally seen as a good gameplay choice as both units are considered decent. The one weakness of it though is that, as far as I know, it's completely arbitrary. Nothing about the game tells you you can only get this character if some completely unrelated character is dead. Which is stupid. If something like that is to be done then it should be integrated into the story, so you have a cause and effect situation. That character has died, this is what happens because that character is dead. Maybe they were a prince and now their younger brother needs to take up the mantel or maybe that character kills their personal rival in the plot, but if they're dead then the rival survives to join you. There's really a lot of scenarios you could come up with. It is important that it doesn't become a straight up optimal choice to kill the character though. You need to have alternate benefits rather than a straight upgraded. Like (for a non replacement unit example) if you play one of two different maps if a character is dead. There's no superior choice there unless you just happen to like one of the two maps a lot more. 

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1 hour ago, Jotari said:

You can only get that guy with the hard to remember name in Thracia if Olwen is dead or unrecruited.

Ilios, you uncultured potato pig.

2 hours ago, SnowFire said:

If you have a super-cool prepromo character that only shows up after you kill someone off...  well...  if that prepromo character is actually good, then you've created an incentive to do just that.  Which is not great.

I don't know, I think it's an alright idea. Though unpopular and understandably so, it makes sense to do something to help struggling or unlucky players. Most people don't like letting their units die anyway, so I don't think the incentive is such a big issue. Most people complain about not getting to use Norne or Athena in FE11 because they didn't kill characters, not that they had to kill characters to get them. Fire Emblem is one of the few instances where the in-universe narrative discouragement generally outweighs the in-universe mechanical incentive.

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4 hours ago, AnonymousSpeed said:

I don't know, I think it's an alright idea. Though unpopular and understandably so, it makes sense to do something to help struggling or unlucky players. Most people don't like letting their units die anyway, so I don't think the incentive is such a big issue. Most people complain about not getting to use Norne or Athena in FE11 because they didn't kill characters, not that they had to kill characters to get them. Fire Emblem is one of the few instances where the in-universe narrative discouragement generally outweighs the in-universe mechanical incentive.

Okay, but...  people hated it.  People want to be able to access content while NOT playing either A) poorly or B) sadistically sending units to their death intentionally, but if you're not willing to do either A or B, you're missing out on those FE11 chapters full stop.  Yes, most players simply accepted that they would miss some content (i.e. they took the in-universe narrative discouragement), but that doesn't mean they were happy about doing so.  We haven't seen that mechanic since for a reason.

I think at some point, you just have to reward the player for playing well, to ensure incentives are lined up correctly.  If that means you can fall behind, oh well, at least as long as some sort of lord solo is still viable on the easiest difficulty level.

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8 minutes ago, SnowFire said:

Okay, but...  people hated it.  People want to be able to access content while NOT playing either A) poorly or B) sadistically sending units to their death intentionally, but if you're not willing to do either A or B, you're missing out on those FE11 chapters full stop.

Aran and Sampson cannot both be recruited in FE11.

8 minutes ago, SnowFire said:

We haven't seen that mechanic since for a reason.

Yeah, because it was unpopular, that doesn't make it bad.

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I suppose this is the unpopular opinions thread!  I'm going to say that blood-soaked Marth was unpopular precisely because it was bad, although it does make for amusing memes in a long-running series.

Anyway, the player controls the Arran / Sampson route split.  Nobody is saying that route-locked characters are always bad (oh noes, you can't recruit Edelgard in Azure Moon).  Just they should be driven by player choices ideally (second choice: something pseudo-random, like FE7 splits), and not by rewarding failure.  You pick whichever one you want of those two, same as Sonya/Deen.  

I guess to jump in on maybe trending more toward maybe-unpopular opinions, but I like the way FE Fates & Three Houses handled character recruitment, with front-loading it into the first half of the game.  Let me use the characters I want to use, darn it, not taunt me with them for the last 3 maps.  Especially true for games with complicated character "builds" due to skill systems that didn't exist in older FEs.  If this means that you can get into a war of attrition downward spiral - good, you should feel the impact of losing units if you're allowing that to happen.  The existence of Casual mode makes this an even clearer choice, since if you want to avoid that, you have a clear option available to you.

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I think having a couple units that replace others in case they die is a interesting idea. I just would not go the Shadow Dragon method and encourage the player to slaughter 60-80% of the roster to get them. 

Another idea I would like to see return is unit(s) that can defect to the enemy side depending on what actions the player takes. Now, I would make it clear how and why this happened, so it isn`t like Kaze in Birthright, where it comes out of nowhere.

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4 hours ago, AnonymousSpeed said:

Yeah, because it was unpopular, that doesn't make it bad.

Kind of does. They're not going to keep around a mechanic people don't like. Subjectively I can think of some mechanics that I personally like, such as the biorhythm, but I'm not so arrogant as to think my opinion is some kind of arbitrator of absolute quality.

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6 hours ago, Jotari said:

Kind of does.

No it doesn't.

6 hours ago, Jotari said:

They're not going to keep around a mechanic people don't like.

Their chief motivation is financial, not artistic. Obviously they will make concessions for popularity, even if those compromises reduce merit.

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8 hours ago, Jotari said:

They're not going to keep around a mechanic people don't like

I wouldn't say this as an absoloute. They've proved time and again making bad gameplay decisions is one of their specialties! XD

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15 hours ago, Jotari said:

Kind of does. They're not going to keep around a mechanic people don't like. Subjectively I can think of some mechanics that I personally like, such as the biorhythm, but I'm not so arrogant as to think my opinion is some kind of arbitrator of absolute quality.

They keep bringing back thick fog of war and same-turn reinforcements, though. And those are hardly popular within the "community".

On the flip side, the laguz were probably the best-received incarnation of the "beastformers" (likely more for narrative than gameplay), yet they - or a similarly-functioning sort of transforming unit - haven't been seen since Tellius.

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How is that a kaze from birthright? You still keep him and he basically tanks it to give your lower lvl unit exp. This is meant to be clutch but not abused easily. Besides he could take a couple of battle with that before he dies. If he 20 in every stat and gets to lose 5 to each stat every time it happens than the unit could recover and still be around. If the enemy have 10 more points in stats than you then would die. The minus in stats could be a injured status. Again it a matter of execution. Hell I’d see this unit saving you in the prologue and explain that it might not go as smoothly if this keeps up as you progress. They would warn you to learn strategy or this could lead to your troops dying. They would only die permanently if you pass a threshold 

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All this talk about recruiting units after another  character's death makes me a bit surprised no one mentions the curious case of Sierra, the witch from Tear Ring Saga, who you can recruit early if Shigen manages to die before her earlier recruitment chapter. She does return with a revived Shigen, so it does get into the encourage you to kill off a character territory, but I think you can change that a little bit to create a better version of the idea they were going for with Shadow Dragon. In this case some characters can get recruited earlier if you are having deaths, that way you don't miss out on content/characters if you keep them alive, but players who are struggling get some better units to replace those dead units.

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7 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

They keep bringing back thick fog of war and same-turn reinforcements, though. And those are hardly popular within the "community".

On the flip side, the laguz were probably the best-received incarnation of the "beastformers" (likely more for narrative than gameplay), yet they - or a similarly-functioning sort of transforming unit - haven't been seen since Tellius.

They actually have pulled back on fog of war a lot in later games. And while they haven't used the exact mechanic of Tellius Laguz (which to be fair does have problems in both incarnations), beat units of some form have become pretty standard in the series now. Pair up being virtually absent from Three Houses is the really strange one.

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16 minutes ago, Jotari said:

They actually have pulled back on fog of war a lot in later games. And while they haven't used the exact mechanic of Tellius Laguz (which to be fair does have problems in both incarnations), beat units of some form have become pretty standard in the series now. Pair up being virtually absent from Three Houses is the really strange one.

I can easily imagine that they might have decided that they wanted something along the lines of Pair Up but that it had to be less powerful than in Awakening and also less complicated than in Fates. And if that was the design spec, then I can also imagine how they might have ended up with the Adjutant system of Three Houses. Which is underpowered and oversimplified. So, not what I would consider a particularly good design decision, but one I can understand.

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2 hours ago, lenticular said:

I can easily imagine that they might have decided that they wanted something along the lines of Pair Up but that it had to be less powerful than in Awakening and also less complicated than in Fates. And if that was the design spec, then I can also imagine how they might have ended up with the Adjutant system of Three Houses. Which is underpowered and oversimplified. So, not what I would consider a particularly good design decision, but one I can understand.

I feel more like that was just tossed in without much consideration just so it could be said pair up was there in some form. Not only is it an underdeveloped mechanic, in the first release of the game it was outright broken with dual attacks not dealing any damage, or something. So clearly not something they tested much or was a major part of their vision for their game. If I were to speculate it would be that they were jumping off of Echoes's design philosophy whit Three Houses (the project probably began before Echoes did but it was also restructured a few times) and Echoes didn't have pair up because it was a faithful remake. Although now that I think of it, while I've never felt the lack of pair up in Echoes as something that's missing, it actually could have worked really, really, well in that game. As the full army deployment means you have an inordinately high number of units deployed on the map at once when you hit the half way point of the game but with map design that doesn't require 15+ units leaving the likes of Jessie and Luther just sitting around doing nothing each map because there's not a whole lot they can contribute. Pair up with solve that issue by having them stat boost the stronger units. It would also mitigate the issues people have with Celica's maps as you can use the whitewings to ferry units over swamp and desert maps. I wonder how easy it would be to hack pair up into Shadows of Valentia, Fates's pair up might still be functional within the games code, just disabled. Though if it were that easy then I'd probably have heard of a hack like that already.

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51 minutes ago, Jotari said:

I feel more like that was just tossed in without much consideration just so it could be said pair up was there in some form. Not only is it an underdeveloped mechanic, in the first release of the game it was outright broken with dual attacks not dealing any damage, or something. So clearly not something they tested much or was a major part of their vision for their game.

It could be a combination of both, honestly. It's hardly the only part of Three Houses that was underdeveloped, bordering on unfinished, so it might be that they were rushing to put something in, but wanted to err on the side of underpowered and oversimplified. After all, an underpowered mechanic is just useless, whereas an overpowered one can break a game. Who knows, though? This is all just speculation.

56 minutes ago, Jotari said:

Although now that I think of it, while I've never felt the lack of pair up in Echoes as something that's missing, it actually could have worked really, really, well in that game. As the full army deployment means you have an inordinately high number of units deployed on the map at once when you hit the half way point of the game but with map design that doesn't require 15+ units leaving the likes of Jessie and Luther just sitting around doing nothing each map because there's not a whole lot they can contribute. Pair up with solve that issue by having them stat boost the stronger units. It would also mitigate the issues people have with Celica's maps as you can use the whitewings to ferry units over swamp and desert maps. I wonder how easy it would be to hack pair up into Shadows of Valentia, Fates's pair up might still be functional within the games code, just disabled. Though if it were that easy then I'd probably have heard of a hack like that already.

Interesting thought, though I think ti would also have a lot of potential to mess with game balance and difficulty. Without a unit cap, there wouldn't be the inherent trade-off that pair up had in Awakening and Fates. In those games, having units paired up makes meaningfully fewer units deployed on the field. In SoV, it would technically mean fewer deployed units, but if those units weren't doing anything anyway, then it's basically free power at no cost. And given that SoV is already one of the easier games in the series, I'm not sure I'd really want something that made it even easier. Still a neat idea though, especially if it could be combined with a hypothetical harder difficulty setting.

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10 minutes ago, lenticular said:

It could be a combination of both, honestly. It's hardly the only part of Three Houses that was underdeveloped, bordering on unfinished, so it might be that they were rushing to put something in, but wanted to err on the side of underpowered and oversimplified. After all, an underpowered mechanic is just useless, whereas an overpowered one can break a game. Who knows, though? This is all just speculation.

Interesting thought, though I think ti would also have a lot of potential to mess with game balance and difficulty. Without a unit cap, there wouldn't be the inherent trade-off that pair up had in Awakening and Fates. In those games, having units paired up makes meaningfully fewer units deployed on the field. In SoV, it would technically mean fewer deployed units, but if those units weren't doing anything anyway, then it's basically free power at no cost. And given that SoV is already one of the easier games in the series, I'm not sure I'd really want something that made it even easier. Still a neat idea though, especially if it could be combined with a hypothetical harder difficulty setting.

Well one solution there would be to have paired up enemies, which Fates did make conservative use of.

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22 hours ago, Jotari said:

Ah. Faultless logic.

About as faultless as "kind of does", I figure.

13 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

On the flip side, the laguz were probably the best-received incarnation of the "beastformers" (likely more for narrative than gameplay), yet they - or a similarly-functioning sort of transforming unit - haven't been seen since Tellius.

Are they, though? I think everyone agrees Laguz are pretty crappy as units. They're unique, they have a lot of lore or whatever (bad lore but still), yet nobody really likes to use them as far as I can tell.

10 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

She does return with a revived Shigen, so it does get into the encourage you to kill off a character territory, but I think you can change that a little bit to create a better version of the idea they were going for with Shadow Dragon.

That honestly sounds like a worse implementation, since it not merely incentivizes killing a unit, but makes it of no permanent consequence.

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2 minutes ago, AnonymousSpeed said:

About as faultless as "kind of does", I figure.

I did have some words after that >.>

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2 minutes ago, Jotari said:

I did have some words after that >.>

Sure, but they didn't really explain why unpopular would make it bad. I'll give you "raise the possibility" for free, though.

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