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Reality

Pros and Cons of Leadership stars

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Enemy unit leadership stars

Pros: 

Encourages you to approach combat differently, since assassinating enemy sub-commanders will allow you to debuff armies rather than fighting them at their full strength.

Cons: 

Flat stat bonuses aren't always a good way to create a challenge. Especially in the case of hit and avoid.

Fire emblem AI does not focus on walling off it's support characters.  (although it's not a complicated AI to program as shown by games like Vantage Master). FE4 and FE10 use enemy's starting position to forcefully provide a simile of this, but they can be forced out of it far easier than a human or a strategy game AI would and make no effort to get back into this position once they get out of it.

In some cases, if you can kill an enemy leader, then you are probably done with the map anyway (or 1 seize turn away), so sticking around to fight weakened becomes tedious and non-threatening. (grind abuse VS something like an early finish bonus) 

This can be avoided with larger maps or multiple bosses, but those open up their own problems.

If the stat bonuses are too large then killing leaders overshadows all other aspects of the combat design (Ogre Battle SNES and N64 being examples of this)

Visual confusion if you have enemies benefiting from both an overall leader and a sub-boss leader at same time, some units only receiving bonus from their own group, etc.

Maps designed to allow for assassinations are often unnatural (even in other genres) and tend to go ham on player advantages or forcing players to follow a "script" 

Player unit leadership stars

Pros:

Encourages you to deploy units that you might not otherwise.

gameplay advantages of more hit/avoid

Allows a representation of charisma or tactical ability for characters in the story rather than the cursor and unit selector.

Cons:

In FE10 the effect was free and map wide, which allows for a version of FE 13-14's "backpacking" problem - leadership units could be deployed and left at your base or out of combat solely for the bonus with no risk and don't really add to the scenario.

You don't need to position the leadership unit to get the advantage of the effect as with more conventional support bonus buffs or abilities like FE5's charm. (Or something like Langrisser's / Days of Ruin  leadership zone) 

Protecting your VIP to keep the leadership boost as long as possible doesn't really add a gameplay dynamic in a FE context the way microing  a "Stimpack" unit in a strategy game does. This is because of the encouragement to keep ALL troops alive, which means that most players will already be moving units conservatively to being with. 

FE10 overbalances the mechanic, to the point where it's possible to totally ignore it during a blind playthrough.

If it was too beneficial, you would have a situation where players would feel obliged to always commit a deployment spot for these characters, which works against the freedom of army composition that Fire Emblem traditionally encourages.

It's generally suggested to be placed on Lord units for story/flavor reasons, but in cases where those characters are force-deployed (a design choice of most FE games), it has no functional difference than having all the characters have higher base stats.

 

Edited by Reality

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6 hours ago, Reality said:

Player unit leadership stars

Cons:

In FE10 the effect was free and map wide, which allows for a version of FE 13-14's "backpacking" problem - leadership units could be deployed and left at your base or out of combat solely for the bonus with no risk and don't really add to the scenario.

You don't need to position the leadership unit to get the advantage of the effect as with more conventional support bonus buffs or abilities like FE5's charm. (Or something like Langrisser's / Days of Ruin  leadership zone) 

Protecting your VIP to keep the leadership boost as long as possible doesn't really add a gameplay dynamic in a FE context the way microing  a "Stimpack" unit in a strategy game does. This is because of the encouragement to keep ALL troops alive, which means that most players will already be moving units conservatively to being with. 

FE10 overbalances the mechanic, to the point where it's possible to totally ignore it during a blind playthrough.

If it was too beneficial, you would have a situation where players would feel obliged to always commit a deployment spot for these characters, which works against the freedom of army composition that Fire Emblem traditionally encourages.

It's generally suggested to be placed on Lord units for story/flavor reasons, but in cases where those characters are force-deployed (a design choice of most FE games), it has no functional difference than having all the characters have higher base stats.

I don't consider any of these to be cons, to be honest, rather the opposite.

Edited by NinjaMonkey

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Con: Saias

Anyway, I think they're fine, but they only really worked in 4 and slightly 5. There, as said, there were multiple bosses that sometimes affected different groups and so you could pick them off to make things easier. Or in Saias's case, he acted as a soft turn limit occasionally. 

In RD 99% of the time, if not 100, by time you could get to or kill the unit granting the authority, the map was over. At that point, it really wasn't any different than giving every enemy that much extra luck.

As a whole, I think it's fine to bring back, but I would prefer more like 4 or 5, and there are a lot of other mechanics I'd rather have back.

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On 1/30/2018 at 9:50 AM, Reality said:

In FE10 the effect was free and map wide, which allows for a version of FE 13-14's "backpacking" problem - leadership units could be deployed and left at your base or out of combat solely for the bonus with no risk and don't really add to the scenario.

 

Most of the Authority Stars in RD were flavor text, nobody save the army's official leader gave any bonuses from them. So only for Ike, Elincia, Tibarn, Geoffrey, Lucia, and NPC Skrimir did they matter at all on the player side; Micaiah infamously has none forever while Nailah whose kingdom we never see gets 3 useless ones.

Reducing them to an AW: Days of Ruin CO Zone effect that works only on select units, so for example Skirmir anyone Gallian, would have been better. As it would be if the bonus they gave varied between the leader character, like Elincia giving Hit-Evade, but Caineghis giving Str and Def.

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18 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Most of the Authority Stars in RD were flavor text, nobody save the army's official leader gave any bonuses from them. So only for Ike, Elincia, Tibarn, Geoffrey, Lucia, and NPC Skrimir did they matter at all on the player side; Micaiah infamously has none forever while Nailah whose kingdom we never see gets 3 useless ones.

Not only that, but you have no choice in regards of who gets deployed. You are also required to keep your leader alive at all costs. Which means that there is no strategic value to them whatsoever because the player has absolutely zero control over them. It's fascinating that they basically cherrypicked traits from FE4 and FE5 that when combined make the mechanic completely worthless.

It's not really any better with enemy leaders. Very few bosses have leaderships stars in the first place. And the map design usually insures that the map is basically over once you reach the boss. There isn't really any opportunity to take out bosses early in order to weaken the enemy. And that's assuming the map isn't "Defeat Boss" in the first place. The only exception I can think of is the map with Pain and Agony.

Edited by BrightBow

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My own two cents (I don't know their application in FE4/FE5 so this is all regarding FE10), is that, it's similar to biorhythm (though it's "less/no" rng I guess), in that it's an "interesting idea" in theory, but the implementation is kind of flawed.

For my part, at least my experience in FE10, authority stars is unavoidable for starters. While I'm not sure, I think if you completely removed all authority stars from the game, most of the game would be the same (Micaiah's army would probably do a bit better in certain chapters, Ike and the rest a bit less, but I don't think it would be all that earth shattering)

It kind of falls into the same/similar issue, if it's too strong, it's game balance breaking, if it's too weak, it doesn't really matter.

From extrapolation, if they had a short range authority bonus it would kind of just be like a skill that buffs nearby allies anyway, and we kind of already have those.

 

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I think authority stars are interesting in concept but were mishandled in Radiant Dawn. First off, authority stars can convey how charismatic a commander is but if we were to take them literally, it would mean Zelgius and Micaiah have little charisma which is blatantly false as the story made it quite clear that just their mere presence boosted morale and inspired their troops. What's worse is that there are generic commanders that have more authority than them which makes zero sense. This is a case of gameplay-story integration gone horribly wrong. 

Strategically, authority stars are fixed in each chapter because only the leader's matter and the leader can't be switched out. So this is a pointless mechanic with no strategic depth. Just an artificial way of increasing/decreasing difficulty but then why make the Greil Mercenary chapters easier and the Dawn Brigade chapters harder when there is already a gap in difficulty? 

Killing the boss to remove their authority is a cool concept but like BrightBow mentioned, this hardly mattered with the way chapters were designed. 

22 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Most of the Authority Stars in RD were flavor text, nobody save the army's official leader gave any bonuses from them. So only for Ike, Elincia, Tibarn, Geoffrey, Lucia, and NPC Skrimir did they matter at all on the player side; Micaiah infamously has none forever while Nailah whose kingdom we never see gets 3 useless ones.

Reducing them to an AW: Days of Ruin CO Zone effect that works only on select units, so for example Skirmir anyone Gallian, would have been better. As it would be if the bonus they gave varied between the leader character, like Elincia giving Hit-Evade, but Caineghis giving Str and Def.

My idea for authority stars is similar to yours. 

 

4 hours ago, BrightBow said:

Not only that, but you have no choice in regards of who gets deployed. You are also required to keep your leader alive at all costs. Which means that there is no strategic value to them whatsoever because the player has absolutely zero control over them. It's fascinating that they basically cherrypicked traits from FE4 and FE5 that when combined make the mechanic completely worthless.

It's not really any better with enemy leaders. Very few bosses have leaderships stars in the first place. And the map design usually insures that the map is basically over once you reach the boss. There isn't really any opportunity to take out bosses early in order to weaken the enemy. And that's assuming the map isn't "Defeat Boss" in the first place. The only exception I can think of is the map with Pain and Agony.

There is Catalena in chapter 4-1 who you can kill long before everyone else. Zeffren in chapter 2P can be killed before the chapter ends as well. But aside from Zeffren, they only have one authority star so it's hardly a compelling reason to rush to a boss. 

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