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Harvey

What tutorial method should be done?

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In today's standards, tutorials are practically essential inorder for any gamer playing a brand new game for the first time. It helps to get the basic idea of the game and it also helps to know the basics of the game.

Fire Emblem to its credit has tried doing this in the simplest manner by having very simplified mechanics...but FE's tutorials need to be better in my opinion. I personally am starting to hate the concept that a prologue has to be made to teach the basics. While most FE games explain their main mechanics, they don't explain everything else or that they avoid touching basic things such as how certain units can double attack other units, or how movement works.

Sure FE's tutorial are fine for what it is, but let's keep in mind that FE is now considered a major IP atleast according to Nintendo and if that's the case, then it either has to start doing the lame structure tutorials that Zelda or Mario are keen to do or do in some fashion like Lyn's story.

So what do you think the tutorial should be for this game is what this topic is all about.

 

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They should do the tutorial method that's always been done before. Because stuff like this

15 minutes ago, Harvey said:

they don't explain everything else or that they avoid touching basic things such as how certain units can double attack other units, or how movement works.

is stuff that anyone with a brain can figure out.

 

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10 minutes ago, Armagon said:

They should do the tutorial method that's always been done before. Because stuff like this is stuff that anyone with a brain can figure out.

What about Celica's Beloved Zofia? The game never teaches you about forging. Yes, anyone can figure it out, but is everyone going to save up Marks to specifically buff the Golden Dagger so they can try to upgrade it? No, because it's never hinted that the Golden Dagger was anything other than Celica paying Saber to accompany them. If I hadn't happened to read that while looking something else up for Echoes I still wouldn't have ever got it because the next thing I found out was that you could make the Three Regalia, and I would have completely ignored every non-Blessed weapon for Forging so I could give everyone who could use them Mercurius, Gradivus and Parthia, which would have included Celica because she can use Mercurius, so why would I bother with a pathetic dagger? In the end, maybe things like Movement's purpose and double attacking look obvious to us, but there are in fact people who might not be able to figure that out for one reason or another who would appreciate that kind of thing in a tutorial.

To answer the original question, I think they should make the tutorial always skippable so people who have played previous Fire Emblem games and know it all can just pass it up(Looking at you, Echoes), while newcomers still have access to the basic walkthrough. I also really liked Lyn's story, but it would be a little harder to do that with making the tutorial skippable even if you just bought the game and are on for the first time.

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For one thing, have it be an option, and don't give the player an incentive to always observe/go through it (e.g. in Fallout New Vegas, you get some free money, ammo, and a gun for doing the tutorial).  I would much prefer them to be their own separate thing.  Half-Life 1 did it best, IMO.  I hate how when you're playing Awakening on Normal mode, it locks out certain features/options until you come upon the tutorial segments for those, and how the tutorial just seems to go on and on.  And along with that, if the new game has any newer features that could surprise vets, make it so that there's a separate optional tutorial segment for those.

As for the specific contents that should be covered in tutorials...  I think what they currently present is enough, honestly.  Only the basics should be covered, and the rest should be left up to the player to figure out.  Also, I'm pretty sure that by covering "help at a touch" - using the touchscreen to view unit info - they, to an extent, technically also cover doubling, since checking the speed stat tells you about how it affects doubling.

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The first thing to consider is having it show up regardless of difficulty. Whether people prefer a comfortable time on easy, stick to the basic normal, or want to test themselves on hard. The tutorial for The Sacred Stones is locked behind the easy difficulty and while veterans may be happy to not have it show up at all on normal or hard, what if someone decided to start with The Sacred Stones as their first Fire Emblem game and don't pick easy? They may not realize that they can rescue or how recruiting units on the field works. It makes more sense to just have the option to enable or disable it as needed. I don't expect this to be an issue in the foreseeable future, but I figured I would mention it regardless.

The most important thing in my opinion is giving players all the necessary information to play optimally. I'm referring to the specifics here; the calculations that take place in game. Some of these aren't hard to figure out, like out how to manually calculate attack power by adding weapon might and strength. But then we have cases like attack speed. In some games, it's as simple as speed-weight. Other games throw constitution into the calculation, some use strength, some games require four or more speed, some require five or more, some require one, some require one and a skill. I've memorized the various attack speed formulas (even in games I haven't played) in the series because I find it essential to know exactly how many times the enemy will hit me or I will hit them in order to plan out my strategy. If my Lord is going to die and require me to restart the chapter, it should be because I made a bad move and suffered because of it, not because I was unable to determine if the enemy in range was capable of hitting me once or twice. Tutorials don't need to explain everything, but not every aspect will necessarily be clear at first glance.

As for the specific style, I think something akin to the tutorial panels in the 3DS games would work fine. Maybe make them a bit more detailed, as sometimes they seem overly brief, but so long as they have the needed information, I can't complain. A tutorial akin to the one in Lyn's story could be helpful if it's someones very first Fire Emblem game, but that should be optional for the sake of veteran players.

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Upon starting a new game file, game asks the player "would you like some tutorials on basic game mechanics". Yes or no. The yes option adds in the extra tutorial dialogue and even some forced moves in the style of Lyn mode. And regardless of your decision, an extensive topic by topic guide can be accessed at all times like in the 3DS games. Nobody is hindered, and nobody has trouble when they realize, "oh crap, pair up is different, I have to read up on this". I personally dislike locking tutorials and prologue chapters into the Easy/Normal difficulty settings. Some of us are cocky and do our first playthrough on Hard. Also, don't take away some actions from the player in the opening chapters, unless they're in that sort of fixed tutorial setting. I hate how you can't pair up in the first chapter of Fates regardless of difficulty choice.

Edited by Glennstavos

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6 hours ago, SoulWeaver said:

In the end, maybe things like Movement's purpose and double attacking look obvious to us, but there are in fact people who might not be able to figure that out for one reason or another who would appreciate that kind of thing in a tutorial.

Not to mention that to understand that, you require formulas that aren't even mentioned in the game but that is based on the game's code I think...

I've played Thracia a bit and I still cannot for the life of me understand how certain items thieves are able to steal easily and how they can't steal others....

11 minutes ago, Glaceon Mage said:

The way FE6 did it.  Optional, separate from the main game, explains the mechanics without taking forever to do so or going overboard.

The problem with FE6's tutorial is if you still don't get something, you have to go through the tutorial all over again instead of going to the section that seems doubtful.

I like how in Awakening, Fates and Echoes has this pop up that appears on the bottom screen. You don't have to read it immediately and you can read it anytime you like when you have no idea what this section is all about.

 

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50 minutes ago, Harvey said:

I like how in Awakening, Fates and Echoes has this pop up that appears on the bottom screen. You don't have to read it immediately and you can read it anytime you like when you have no idea what this section is all about.

 

This was what I liked about Awakening's tutorials: it teaches you what you need to know on the bottom screen, so you don't have to get distracted. And since you can read hints at almost any time in the game, in case you forget something, you can just go into the options menu in the middle of battle and read them from there.

I also liked how this carried over to the other two games you mentioned.

Edited by MetalAmethyst

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8 hours ago, SoulWeaver said:

What about Celica's Beloved Zofia? The game never teaches you about forging. Yes, anyone can figure it out, but is everyone going to save up Marks to specifically buff the Golden Dagger so they can try to upgrade it? No, because it's never hinted that the Golden Dagger was anything other than Celica paying Saber to accompany them. If I hadn't happened to read that while looking something else up for Echoes I still wouldn't have ever got it because the next thing I found out was that you could make the Three Regalia, and I would have completely ignored every non-Blessed weapon for Forging so I could give everyone who could use them Mercurius, Gradivus and Parthia, which would have included Celica because she can use Mercurius, so why would I bother with a pathetic dagger? In the end, maybe things like Movement's purpose and double attacking look obvious to us, but there are in fact people who might not be able to figure that out for one reason or another who would appreciate that kind of thing in a tutorial.

Well see, here's the difference. The Beloved Zofia isn't required to play the game. Forging the weapons to legendary status is something you as the player has to figure out on your own. A tutorial isn't needed for something that specific.

2 hours ago, Harvey said:

The problem with FE6's tutorial is if you still don't get something, you have to go through the tutorial all over again instead of going to the section that seems doubtful.

Tutorial in FE6 only takes like 10 minutes, c'mon.

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I'm not going to claim that I hate ALL tutorials- MDK2 (at least level 3) was quite funny. But I do hate them in general, and Inteligent Systems in particular isn't very good. Obviously in an ideal puzzle or action game I would demand no tutorial at all beyond the stage design- definately no text. 


This is generally seen as "unreasonable" for RPGs, although I'ts not unprecedented- granted most tutorial-less RPGs were from the 3rd console generation or earlier. 

Personally, I think whether FE Switch can get away with it will depend on whether it is a more minimalist fire emblem, or if they decide to incorporate stuff like Shadows of Valentia's Arts, or worse FFT/Disgaea style command lists. Personally I've of the opinion that FE is strongest when it's most stripped down, and that such a game could easily afford to leave tutorials in the manual due to being built around the premise of being natural to pick up.

 

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2 hours ago, Armagon said:

Well see, here's the difference. The Beloved Zofia isn't required to play the game. Forging the weapons to legendary status is something you as the player has to figure out on your own. A tutorial isn't needed for something that specific.

If anything that is featured in the game is in the actual game, then atleast a brief introduction to it is needed and the game doesn't even do that. But I'm fine with it because its exclusive to the remake compared to the original.

You can't always look up at a guide to do something as basic as this and you can't expect gamers to know of these things easily. What you're referring to are the ones who are massive RPG gamers. But a lot of gamers today are casuals and they aren't going to game big as you me or anyone here so think about that for a second.

2 hours ago, Armagon said:

Tutorial in FE6 only takes like 10 minutes, c'mon.

But its not as flexible as Awakening's, c'mon.

1 hour ago, Reality said:

Personally, I think whether FE Switch can get away with it will depend on whether it is a more minimalist fire emblem, or if they decide to incorporate stuff like Shadows of Valentia's Arts, or worse FFT/Disgaea style command lists. Personally I've of the opinion that FE is strongest when it's most stripped down, and that such a game could easily afford to leave tutorials in the manual due to being built around the premise of being natural to pick up.

This...so much this. I have no idea why games have stopped giving instruction manuals alongside the game. the instructions within the game card aren't always accurate to me atleast.

 

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10 minutes ago, Harvey said:

You can't always look up at a guide to do something as basic as this and you can't expect gamers to know of these things easily. What you're referring to are the ones who are massive RPG gamers. But a lot of gamers today are casuals and they aren't going to game big as you me or anyone here so think about that for a second.

Ok, anwser me this: what's more fun in a game? Looking up a guide, or figuring it out yourself. I'm sure most people would rather figure things out on their own, only resorting to a guide if they get really stuck.

11 minutes ago, Harvey said:

But its not as flexible as Awakening's, c'mon.

Awakening also came out a decade later, c'mon.

11 minutes ago, Harvey said:

This...so much this. I have no idea why games have stopped giving instruction manuals alongside the game. the instructions within the game card aren't always accurate to me atleast.

I mean, the E-Manual exists now, at least for Nintendo systems. I don't know how Sony and Microsoft do theirs.

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1 hour ago, Armagon said:

Ok, anwser me this: what's more fun in a game? Looking up a guide, or figuring it out yourself. I'm sure most people would rather figure things out on their own, only resorting to a guide if they get really stuck.

There's a difference between looking up for a guide in case you get stuck somewhere and looking up a guide JUST to know how to play the game. If you can't teach a gamer how to master the basics of the game and force them to use the guide, then you at most have failed to get their attention to what the actual game is really about.

I've played a lot of games that have terrible tutorials but are really good games. This includes Xenoblade Chronicles like I mentioned earlier. It took me half a month to fully understand the core idea of it and that is bad design because you can't blame the gamer for not understanding the game faster than you do and you can't say that its their fault for playing the game slower than you because that's not how game design in general works.

1 hour ago, Armagon said:

I mean, the E-Manual exists now, at least for Nintendo systems. I don't know how Sony and Microsoft do theirs.

I was referring to that. If you look at the E-Manual in Fates, the instructions are so underwhelming. About half of the things that are in the game are not even mentioned in the manual itself.

 

Edited by Harvey

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2 hours ago, Harvey said:

If you can't teach a gamer how to master the basics of the game and force them to use the guide, then you at most have failed to get their attention to what the actual game is really about.

Ok but just how often does this happen? It certainly doesn't happen in Fire Emblem, otherwise, it'd be a more relevant complaint.

2 hours ago, Harvey said:

I've played a lot of games that have terrible tutorials but are really good games. This includes Xenoblade Chronicles like I mentioned earlier. It took me half a month to fully understand the core idea of it and that is bad design because you can't blame the gamer for not understanding the game faster than you do and you can't say that its their fault for playing the game slower than you because that's not how game design in general works.

Xenoblade Chronicles literally has an in-depth tutorial for almost everything that you can access at any time through the menu. And the tutorial section expands as you progress through the game. You can even filter it out to find the stuff that you need. I'm sorry but if it took you half a month to understand the game, then it's your fault. It just means you weren't paying attention enough. 

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I'd prefer they leave tutorials out of the map design itself as much as possible. 13-14 (and I think 11-12 had them) slide tutorials worked. 

Any opinions on Tellius's optional Anna tutorial clips? I thought they were fairly clear in explaining things, and not too long for any given one.

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4 hours ago, Armagon said:

I mean, the E-Manual exists now, at least for Nintendo systems. I don't know how Sony and Microsoft do theirs.

That's not the same. There's something about a physical game manual that brings a certain kind of feeling to a game, which differs from player to player - when I was younger I always felt it was like the game makers were on our side and wanted us to beat this game, so here was a little book with the basics that I could read before even turning on my system, plus there was usually a couple pages showing some of the characters with a brief intro for each, also loved by me and also before I needed to turn any systems on. An electronic manual usually doesn't really convey the same feeling a physical one does, and that's also why I still buy physical copies of games instead of downloading them from the eShop - because I find more satisfaction in opening the cover and pulling out the little card than just waiting up to like five hours for it to download. On the other hand...

4 hours ago, Harvey said:

I have no idea why games have stopped giving instruction manuals alongside the game. The instructions within the game card aren't always accurate, to me at least.

Likely to cut production costs - it's cheaper to put a manual(or half a manual pretending to be a whole one in the case of SOME games) into the game card's data than it is to print a physical copy of the manual for each and every copy of the game.

4 hours ago, Armagon said:

Ok, answer me this: what's more fun in a game? Looking up a guide, or figuring it out yourself. I'm sure most people would rather figure things out on their own, only resorting to a guide if they get really stuck.

You can't say 'most people would always rather X' because that question is completely player preference, and it also varies from game to game and within each game for a fair number of players - for example, I'd rather have a guide for most strategy and RPG games, but for platformers(and Smash Bros.) I don't want more than the basic controls so I can figure everything out on my own, but even here there are exceptions, as I appreciated that Azure Striker Gunvolt gave me tips on how it worked differently from other platformers I'd played, and I was bothered that Hyrule Warriors pretty much held my hand for the first several maps despite never having played the series before.

7 hours ago, Armagon said:

Well see, here's the difference. The Beloved Zofia isn't required to play the game. Forging the weapons to legendary status is something you as the player have to figure out on your own. A tutorial isn't needed for something that specific.

The Beloved Zofia was just an example showcasing that forging is not covered whatsoever - I didn't even realize it was in the game my first two runs, and no, that wasn't because I wasn't paying enough attention, it was because I'd already gotten good enough at FE through Fates and Awakening that I didn't really need forging to figure things out(not to mention forging does almost literally nothing for Fates) and so wasn't looking for it until I checked my weird little Profile Card and one of the Awards was 'collect the 3 Regalia' so I looked up how to get them and was reminded of forging, whereas a new player might appreciate being tipped off about something like that. I let it go because forging wouldn't have fit in SoV's tutorial at all, but I still think those kinds of things should at least have a Slide Guide type of thing so you know it's there - even something as little as "You can make your weapons stronger here, that'll make the game a little easier if you're new or like being super overpowered. Also, some weapons can be completely overhauled if you forge them strong enough…" would be a really easy way to get people interested in the idea and get them to actively try all the different weapon upgrades out to see what they could make.

5 hours ago, Harvey said:

A lot of gamers today are casuals and they aren't going to game big as you me or anyone here so think about that for a second.

The problem with this, though, is that the definition of a casual gamer has begun to shift a bit, and casual gamers nowadays actually do game bigger than they used to, so expecting the same degree of babysitting nowadays as would have been good a while back is actually not a good idea.

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2 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

I'd prefer they leave tutorials out of the map design itself as much as possible. 13-14 (and I think 11-12 had them) slide tutorials worked. 

Any opinions on Tellius's optional Anna tutorial clips? I thought they were fairly clear in explaining things, and not too long for any given one.

The Anna clips were a little too slow for my liking, but they did a very good job teaching the game to players (the optional aspect meant that veterans could skip what they knew, but checked on what was Tellius specific (shove)). A good example and I'd be okay with them coming back, just maybe made a bit quicker.

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I liked how Awakening did them with the little slates, and instead of having it appear on the bottom screen (since the Switch doesn't have that) just have them pop up on the TV or gamepad and everyone that doesn't need the instructions can just click close immediately and move on with the game. The only problem I see is that it can get annoying to have to keep closing the slates, but they could have an option in the menu to toggle them on or off. They should also be available regardless of difficulty, unless turned off, because some people will naturally skip the easiest mode. My brothers themselves went straight to Lunatic without ever having played another FE game because they like to play on the hardest difficulty for everything. It was also their first SRPG so that was fun for them...

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4 minutes ago, YingofDarkness said:

I liked how Awakening did them with the little slates, and instead of having it appear on the bottom screen (since the Switch doesn't have that) just have them pop up on the TV or gamepad and everyone that doesn't need the instructions can just click close immediately and move on with the game. The only problem I see is that it can get annoying to have to keep closing the slates, but they could have an option in the menu to toggle them on or off. They should also be available regardless of difficulty, unless turned off, because some people will naturally skip the easiest mode. My brothers themselves went straight to Lunatic without ever having played another FE game because they like to play on the hardest difficulty for everything. It was also their first SRPG so that was fun for them...

Xenoblade has little pop-ups in the corner of the screen that you can press + to open a tutorial on the relevant notice (such as Burn or Speed Shift or whatever effect just happened). Maybe it can be that.

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8 hours ago, Armagon said:

Xenoblade Chronicles literally has an in-depth tutorial for almost everything that you can access at any time through the menu. And the tutorial section expands as you progress through the game. You can even filter it out to find the stuff that you need. I'm sorry but if it took you half a month to understand the game, then it's your fault. It just means you weren't paying attention enough. 

Having a popup for everytime you face something new and all isn't exactly helping. Since this game had voice acting, a couple of tutorial in game scenes would have helped a lot better than having these pop ups that even after reading it, you still don't get it.

Also, Xenoblade is the first real time game I've played. For someone who just played something like this for the first time, it doesn't do a good job explaining how to beat it.

6 hours ago, SoulWeaver said:

The problem with this, though, is that the definition of a casual gamer has begun to shift a bit, and casual gamers nowadays actually do game bigger than they used to, so expecting the same degree of babysitting nowadays as would have been good a while back is actually not a good idea.

The thing is, FE is getting bigger than ever and if Mario and Zelda can get away with babying players for the first couple of sections, then so can FE atleast that's what I think.

 

Edited by Harvey

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5 hours ago, Harvey said:

Having a popup for everytime you face something new and all isn't exactly helping. Since this game had voice acting, a couple of tutorial in game scenes would have helped a lot better than having these pop ups that even after reading it, you still don't get it.

You can view these pop-ups at any time. If you get stuck, you can always access the tutorial menu. It's not that hard.

5 hours ago, Harvey said:

Also, Xenoblade is the first real time game I've played. For someone who just played something like this for the first time, it doesn't do a good job explaining how to beat it.

Xenoblade was also the first real time game i've played and i had no problems understanding it. The only thing that gave me a bit of trouble was how to use Melia and that's because, surprise, i didn't pay attention to her tutorial box. But once i went back and actually read the in-game tutorial on how to use her, it became easier to understand.

5 hours ago, Harvey said:

The thing is, FE is getting bigger than ever and if Mario and Zelda can get away with babying players for the first couple of sections, then so can FE atleast that's what I think.

 

FE is also targeted at a different audience than Mario and Zelda. Mario and Zelda are games that everyone can play neither are as complex as Fire Emblem. Fire Emblem, even with Casual Mode, still leans towards the more hardcore side. 

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On Zelda's tutorials, BotW is probably the least babysitting game I've played in a while, actually.  The tutorials are quite well done, the game doesn't directly tell you how to do X with forced actions, but it eggs you in the right direction with simple puzzles that exploit the mechanics.

IE the climbing tutorial.  This is the only point in the game where you're intended to actually have to climb to proceed the story (though it is possible to bypass the climbing tutorial without climbing, it takes a lot of setup using some crates in the room where you get the threadbare clothes).  The prompt for climbing appears on the screen, and bam, the player has learned how to climb walls. 

It's very simple and elegant.  

 

HOWEVER, I don't know if tutorials as simple as this can really convey how Fire Emblem works, since Fire Emblem is largely menubased.  

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For a Fire Emblem game my preferred tutorial would be how it was done in Radiant Dawn. On easy mode you got asked if you wanted to view the Shoving Tutorial for instance and you could say either yes or no. If you selected yes, you got shown a demonstration of how shoving worked with a humorous explanation by Anna. On Normal and Hard this question didn't even pop up, but you could still view them if you wanted. What I liked about this method is that a thorough explanation on all mechanics and features was given, but you also were not forced to watch each and every time you played it either. And when you selected yes and you realized "I get the idea, I don't need to watch this." you could skip the rest of the tutorial being given.

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I have two words: Lyn's story.

I like the way Awakening implemented a help guide/internal manual for more advanced mechanics. On Normal it pops up when a mechanic shows up for the first time; on Hard and above, even though it doesn't pop up in front of the screen, you're still given a little message on the bottom left if you still need help.

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