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Roland

I hope future FE games have smaller casts of characters.

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So, this has been on my mind for a while now. I personally think that the reason why FE can be so hit and miss with it's characters is because the cast of playable characters is so huge, which I believe can lead to an increased risk of inconsistantcy in character quality and character balance.

Now, the quality of characters is subjective, but I think that if future Fire Emblem games focused more on a smaller cast of characters, say 20 playable characters maximum, I believe that the writers will have a much easier time build stronger character development, as well as stronger unit balance.

But again, that's just me. 

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The problem I think this would face is actually the classic playstyle. If you get all the characters in a balanced manner throughout the game then the balance would ruin the experience if someone gets killed. At least by having a higher number of characters, you've got more backups should something go critically wrong.

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^- Seconded, you need around thirty, I think, if you want to keep stuff like permadeath and growth rates. Otherwise, you could too easily be screwed over without chance of recovery, since you don't have all that many chances to burn. I think a tactical RPG with a smaller cast would be a great idea, but it would require some fundamentally different design principles.

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59 minutes ago, Roland said:

So, this has been on my mind for a while now. I personally think that the reason why FE can be so hit and miss with it's characters is because the cast of playable characters is so huge, which I believe can lead to an increased risk of inconsistantcy in character quality and character balance.

Now, the quality of characters is subjective, but I think that if future Fire Emblem games focused more on a smaller cast of characters, say 20 playable characters maximum, I believe that the writers will have a much easier time build stronger character development, as well as stronger unit balance.

But again, that's just me. 

I disagree - Sacred Stones had one of the smallest casts, but didn't really have good balance (FFS, you get the game's best unit in the prologue), nor did it have quality characters (imo). Aside from that, there's the part where too small a cast, as stated earlier, would mean you would have less units as backups if someone gets killed. And speaking of Sacred Stones, the fact that you only got one of quite a few classes is another turnoff to having a small cast.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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so i'm gonna tackle what i see as the major issue with this as best i can rn

 

the problem is the assumption that fire emblem characters are built to be equal, which is at this point basically entirely false. balance is not going to be achieved in a fire emblem game. fir emblem is literally built around the idea that all these pokemon are inequal and you gotta figure who is worth giving your time to.

 

if you reverse this assumption, what you're going for is actually a strength of the series op. figuring the good units from the bad becomes a source of replayability. making runs to use the bad units on purpose becomes a source of replayabilty. the bad units literally contribute to the series' longevity. this happens in practice - i always use neimi playing fe8, even though she's crap. et cetera.

 

thus a small, well-balanced cast, literally runs against what makes fire emblem a popular series, being getting you to run the same game repeatedly with different nerds. if all the nerds are essentially equal, where's the replay value? where's the challenge from running with 'bad' units? it becomes a single-playthrough game, like valkyria chronicles.

 

EDIT: it's worth noting that games that have no character for their dudes, xcom et cetera, do a great job without variation; the whole point of fire emblem is that you get invested in the characters' personalities/portraits and want to raise them, whether they're bad or not.

Edited by Integrity

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smaller cast pools tend to make for less unit variety, just look at gaiden/echoes as an example. now, whether thats necessarily a bad thing depends on the player i suppose, but what i personally really hope they dont do is lock half the cast behind a baby making sim, atleast not without actual gen splits like geanology.

also, character writing and quality is not dependent on a small cast, simply on the quality of each characters writing. i like por character writing and its not a particularly large cast, but a despise awakening character writing despite its also smaller cast then most fe games.

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18 minutes ago, NobodiePichu said:

also, character writing and quality is not dependent on a small cast, simply on the quality of each characters writing. i like por character writing and its not a particularly large cast, but a despise awakening character writing despite its also smaller cast then most fe games.

this is actually literally wrong, even though the point being that the writing being independent of the size of the cast is independent is correct

path to radiance actually has a cast in the notably large side of fires emblem - 60 characters listed on sf, tied for 3rd highest in the series.

awankening is meanwhile tied for the next highest after path to radiance, which puts it in the top half of fires emblem if you don't consider all fe9 characters as fe10 etc.

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With your amazing FE of 20 characters we have:

  • The lord
  • Avatar
  • Jagen/Oifey
  • The mage
  • Rescue pegasus knight
  • Red cav
  • Green Cav
  • Edgy myrmidon
  • Early thief
  • Early healer
  • Early archer
  • Early Knight
  • Combat pegasus knight
  • Prepromote of any class
  • Mercenary?
  • Different Thief
  • Other mage
  • Dancer
  • General General
  • Best Pegasus Knight.


That's 20 characters, all of them. I couldn't even mention "The one who doesn't know what tenses are and therefore he is foreign", "The woman myrmidon", "Mounted healer" and "The poor"

Also quantity doesn't necessarily mean less quality, FE7 has ~35 Playable units yet all of them are developed fine enough, you don't need to delve deep-down into their supports to understand them (not much anyway) because they show their personalities through their introductions and few instances throughout the game, also the game is a videogame and so it must focus on gameplay first rather than story, otherwise I am "playing" a movie, (That doesn't mean there should be no story however).

I know Fates has like a billion playable characters and they are all poorly written but I'll say it's the exception not the rule,otherwise all other games have more than 20 characters and have well developed characters, except when their unit count surpasses 50, that's when it's no good.

Edited by Critical Sniper

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3 hours ago, Integrity said:

 

this is actually literally wrong, even though the point being that the writing being independent of the size of the cast is independent is correct

path to radiance actually has a cast in the notably large side of fires emblem - 60 characters listed on sf, tied for 3rd highest in the series.

awankening is meanwhile tied for the next highest after path to radiance, which puts it in the top half of fires emblem if you don't consider all fe9 characters as fe10 etc.

if were talking about its total cast including major villains and npcs then sure, but in terms of its playable cast which i believe is whats mainly being referred to by roland por and awakening characters clock in at about 49 which is more about par average id say with most other fire emblem games (admittedly whenever it think about awakening i usually just think about the first gen characters since i give even less of a rats ass about the second gen characters so including only first gen awakening clocks in at about 36 characters but im getting away from myself here). if we were to include all characters in the story itself though, then yes your probably right.

3 hours ago, Critical Sniper said:

With your amazing FE of 20 characters we have:

  • The lord
  • Avatar
  • Jagen/Oifey
  • The mage
  • Rescue pegasus knight
  • Red cav
  • Green Cav
  • Edgy myrmidon
  • Early thief
  • Early healer
  • Early archer
  • Early Knight
  • Combat pegasus knight
  • Prepromote of any class
  • Mercenary?
  • Different Thief
  • Other mage
  • Dancer
  • General General
  • Best Pegasus Knight.


That's 20 characters, all of them. I couldn't even mention "The one who doesn't know what tenses are and therefore he is foreign", "The woman myrmidon", "Mounted healer" and "The poor"

Also quantity doesn't necessarily mean less quality, FE7 has ~35 Playable units yet all of them are developed fine enough, you don't need to delve deep-down into their supports to understand them (not much anyway) because they show their personalities through their introductions and few instances throughout the game, also the game is a videogame and so it must focus on gameplay first rather than story, otherwise I am "playing" a movie, (That doesn't mean there should be no story however).

I know Fates has like a billion playable characters and they are all poorly written but I'll say it's the exception not the rule,otherwise all other games have more than 20 characters and have well developed characters, except when their unit count surpasses 50, that's when it's no good.

radiant dawn, binding blade, and the judgral and arcahnea series had their stand out characters but yeah they tend to be the ones that suffer the most in terms of character quality writing.

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5 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

I disagree - Sacred Stones had one of the smallest casts, but didn't really have good balance (FFS, you get the game's best unit in the prologue), nor did it have quality characters (imo). Aside from that, there's the part where too small a cast, as stated earlier, would mean you would have less units as backups if someone gets killed. And speaking of Sacred Stones, the fact that you only got one of quite a few classes is another turnoff to having a small cast.

Sacred Stones is a bad example, because even if you don't enjoy the cast (which is perfectly fair), it's typically regarded as having a very strong cast, if not, one of the best the franchise. It's also one of the few Fire Emblem's that actually integrated a sizable amount of playable side-characters into the overarching narrative. 

45 minutes ago, NobodiePichu said:

radiant dawn, binding blade, and the judgral and arcahnea series had their stand out characters but yeah they tend to be the ones that suffer the most in terms of character quality writing.

I have the same sentiment. The weakest casts in the franchise tend to be the largest ones, especially when characters become nothing more than a ball-of-stats with virtually no characterization. It wasn't till Fates where all characters, despite its overwhelming cast size, got a considerable amount of characterization through their supports. Although, that comes with its own flaws considering how cookie-cutter some of the characters are in exhibiting generic anime tropes. 

As for the TC, I'm pretty certain Three Houses will have a huge cast. Even ignoring the fact that they need to make a sizable amount of characters to fill out the allies or other family members of the three separate houses. I'd doubt they'd ever go back to the Sacred Stones or Valentia-size of cast since a big cast is completely within Intelligent Systems interest as it indirectly increases the longevity of Fire Emblem: Heroes, assuming the game will continue that far down the road. The more characters there are, the more likely they'll get a new monetary "hit" side character like Tharja, Camilla, Nino and so on.

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6 minutes ago, TheWill said:

I have the same sentiment. The weakest casts in the franchise tend to be the largest ones, especially when characters become nothing more than a ball-of-stats with virtually no characterization. It wasn't till Fates where all characters, despite its overwhelming cast size, got a considerable amount of characterization through their supports. Although, that comes with its own flaws considering how cookie-cutter some of the characters are in exhibiting generic anime tropes. 

As for the TC, I'm pretty certain Three Houses will have a huge cast. Even ignoring the fact that they need to make a sizable amount of characters to fill out the allies or other family members of the three separate houses. I'd doubt they'd ever go back to the Sacred Stones or Valentia-size of cast since a big cast is completely within Intelligent Systems interest as it indirectly increases the longevity of Fire Emblem: Heroes, assuming the game will continue that far down the road. The more characters there are, the more likely they'll get a new monetary "hit" side character like Tharja, Camilla, Nino and so on.

i dont think its the exact sentiment, since yes well there is definitely a correlation, i personally dont think large casts themselves are inherently at the route of this problem. Well it is certainly easier and often preferable to work with smaller casts to further characterization when it comes to story writing itself, it is not a necessity is the thing. Yu can definitely make a larger cast work, it just requires putting more resources and time to those characters which isnt necessarily possibly all the time.

i mean think about it, the games with the larger casts tend to also suffer from major hardware limitations that prevent them from utilizing those characters to the fullest extent. those that dont have the same limitations are usually remakes.

i suppose my thoughts really are just 'if its in the budget, im all for more playable characters'

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I've only played 4 Fire Emblem games & while I do think have a smaller could be beneficial it's not the solution either.

 

SOV/Gaiden had a pretty small cast & in my opinion the most boring out of the 4 games I've played. There's barely anything going for the majority of the cast of Echoes/Gaiden because they didn't barely did anything to flesh their characters even with the base conversation. The Deliverance manage to avoid that problem because of the DLC

Edited by Zangetsu

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4 hours ago, NobodiePichu said:

i dont think its the exact sentiment, since yes well there is definitely a correlation, i personally dont think large casts themselves are inherently at the route of this problem. Well it is certainly easier and often preferable to work with smaller casts to further characterization when it comes to story writing itself, it is not a necessity is the thing. Yu can definitely make a larger cast work, it just requires putting more resources and time to those characters which isnt necessarily possibly all the time.

i mean think about it, the games with the larger casts tend to also suffer from major hardware limitations that prevent them from utilizing those characters to the fullest extent. those that dont have the same limitations are usually remakes.

i suppose my thoughts really are just 'if its in the budget, im all for more playable characters'

You're completely right that a large cast is not the determinant factor for a weaker cast. As you said, a larger cast, requires more resources to individualize each playable character. Even in Fates, which did try to individualize every playable unit, there were still characters shafted like Reina, Scarlet and Yukimura which severely limited their potential. This is especially disconcerting considering support conversations were the only method of character exploration in Fates (and previous FE's). This is mirrored by other installments like Radiant Dawn and Shadow Dragon where support conversations didn't exist which hurt the overall cast tremendously. From a gameplay perspective, it made sense not to have (real) support conversations in Radiant Dawn due to the narrative and chapter structure, but it essentially killed characters like Vika, Kyza and Lyre. 

Moving forward from Valentia, if full voice acting is the baseline requirement for every future Fire Emblem entry, I can see them struggling with a larger cast in voicing each story conversation and support. I can definitely see more budget "Reina's" who only have a single support option, which would really suck. 

4 hours ago, Zangetsu said:

SOV/Gaiden had a pretty small cast & in my opinion the most boring out of the 4 games I've played. There's anything going for the majority of the cast of Echoes/Gaiden because they didn't barely did anything to flesh their characters even with the base conversation. The Deliverance manage to avoid that problem because of the DLC

Whilst I completely understand your reasoning for why you feel SoV's cast is boring, I don't agree with your comments on the base conversations. The base conversations in Echoes were superbly written and unlike pretty much every Fire Emblem entry before it, these conversations actually portrayed the characters in a relatable way that made them feel like real human-beings. The removal of the 'relationship' dynamic that support conversations hinge upon allowed for a singular focus on a characters thoughts, motivations and anxieties. They gave more depth and insight to the Valentian cast better than most support conversations do. 

IMO, if there's anything that needs to stay from Echoes, it's memory prisms and base conversations. They were great additions!

The biggest problem with the base conversations was that they were randomized and so most people missed a majority of them anyway. 

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5 hours ago, Zangetsu said:

SOV/Gaiden had a pretty small cast & in my opinion the most boring out of the 4 games I've played. There's anything going for the majority of the cast of Echoes/Gaiden because they didn't barely did anything to flesh their characters even with the base conversation. The Deliverance manage to avoid that problem because of the DLC

YES!!!! THANK YOU!!!!! Someone finally said it!! Honestly when it gets to a point where I am confused as to who is Tobin and who is gray YOU HAVE A PROBLEM! These characters have little to no nuance or defining character traits to stand out at all. I mean say what you will about a character like peri but at the very least she has nuance. I can tell you stuff about her like what she likes, dislikes, what kind of person she is, her worldview, hobbies, etc. What can I tell you about Tobin or Mae besides their surface level personalities? Well with Tobin he has an inferiority complex I suppose but that’s never really explored anywhere else in the game so. And with mae I can tell you she has a thing for boey but THAT’S it. Hell even the DLC barely does anything to flesh out these characters only reaffirming what we already know without truly expanding on it. Honestly SoV’s cast to me is a perfect example of poorly written likable characters cause yeah they’re likable and generally inoffensive but they’re soooo boring!! Ugh anyway rant over

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12 hours ago, TheWill said:

You're completely right that a large cast is not the determinant factor for a weaker cast. As you said, a larger cast, requires more resources to individualize each playable character. Even in Fates, which did try to individualize every playable unit, there were still characters shafted like Reina, Scarlet and Yukimura which severely limited their potential. This is especially disconcerting considering support conversations were the only method of character exploration in Fates (and previous FE's). This is mirrored by other installments like Radiant Dawn and Shadow Dragon where support conversations didn't exist which hurt the overall cast tremendously. From a gameplay perspective, it made sense not to have (real) support conversations in Radiant Dawn due to the narrative and chapter structure, but it essentially killed characters like Vika, Kyza and Lyre.

Can't say much about RD or SD since I barely touch them but yea, more or less.

 

12 hours ago, TheWill said:

Whilst I completely understand your reasoning for why you feel SoV's cast is boring, I don't agree with your comments on the base conversations. The base conversations in Echoes were superbly written and unlike pretty much every Fire Emblem entry before it, these conversations actually portrayed the characters in a relatable way that made them feel like real human-beings. The removal of the 'relationship' dynamic that support conversations hinge upon allowed for a singular focus on a characters thoughts, motivations and anxieties. They gave more depth and insight to the Valentian cast better than most support conversations do.

I completely disagree. Most of the base conversation didn't get me invested in the cast. The lack of support made the majority of character very one noted & didn't help characters like Atlas, Kliff, Jesse, Luthier, & Delthea. If there were more supports that could have help build more of their characters. Like Valbars talks about his family ever again.

 

12 hours ago, TheWill said:

IMO, if there's anything that needs to stay from Echoes, it's memory prisms and base conversations. They were great additions!

I won't call them "great additions" but they never did any harm. I would go as far to say if they did remove the memory prism & base conversations that would be more detrimental if not a regression of expanding a character. I suppose there's the wiki but that's so boring.

 

11 hours ago, Otts486 said:

YES!!!! THANK YOU!!!!! Someone finally said it!! Honestly when it gets to a point where I am confused as to who is Tobin and who is gray YOU HAVE A PROBLEM! These characters have little to no nuance or defining character traits to stand out at all. I mean say what you will about a character like peri but at the very least she has nuance. I can tell you stuff about her like what she likes, dislikes, what kind of person she is, her worldview, hobbies, etc. What can I tell you about Tobin or Mae besides their surface level personalities? Well with Tobin he has an inferiority complex I suppose but that’s never really explored anywhere else in the game so. And with mae I can tell you she has a thing for boey but THAT’S it. Hell even the DLC barely does anything to flesh out these characters only reaffirming what we already know without truly expanding on it. Honestly SoV’s cast to me is a perfect example of poorly written likable characters cause yeah they’re likable and generally inoffensive but they’re soooo boring!! Ugh anyway rant over

While I do understand what you're coming from, I don't quite feel that on the same level. Generally speaking the reason why I found the cast of SOV/Gaiden to be the most boring is because how many of them I'm indifferent to them. I just don't care about them.

Edited by Zangetsu

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18 hours ago, TheWill said:

Sacred Stones is a bad example, because even if you don't enjoy the cast (which is perfectly fair), it's typically regarded as having a very strong cast, if not, one of the best the franchise. It's also one of the few Fire Emblem's that actually integrated a sizable amount of playable side-characters into the overarching narrative. 

A sentiment that I strongly disagree with, since imo most of its cast is rather unmemorable - I personally see the number of standout characters in SS as a number I can count on one hand.

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I'd say about 40 is the sweet spot. You can do a little over, a little under and still be good, but once you're reaching about 50 units, you're getting diminishing returns when it comes to characterization of the units. PoR is the biggest cast I can think of with an overall solid cast, and even it has a few clunkers. And if you're going under 30, until variety really takes a hit. I love SoV's cast but that game's pretty limited in what you can do, admittedly by design.

40 is a reasonable amount for distinct, fleshed out characters, and just enough for an acceptable amount of redundancy in the roster. 

Edited by Slumber

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3 hours ago, Zangetsu said:

While I do understand what you're coming from, I don't quite feel that on the same level. Generally speaking the reason why I found the cast of SOV/Gaiden to be the most boring is because how many of them I'm indifferent to them. I just don't care about them.

I may have exaggerated a bit both in part to get my point across and it’s just something I’ve thought about but never really have the chance to talk about. Also the fact that you don’t care is the main issue I’m getting at here. Cause if you don’t care the character and the writer has failed in their duty. You should care about the characters presented to you otherwise why bother. Even if you hate the character’s attitude at least you care enough to feel any emotion other than indifference. This is something SoV characters fail at. They’re so flat and one dimensional that I couldn’t care less as to what happens to them. I realize I’m probably preaching to the choir at this point but I just need to get this off my chest.  That being said there are a few gems among the cast like sonya and to a much lesser degree clair and delthea.

 

15 hours ago, TheWill said:

. The base conversations in Echoes were superbly written and unlike pretty much every Fire Emblem entry before it, these conversations actually portrayed the characters in a relatable way that made them feel like real human-beings. The removal of the 'relationship' dynamic that support conversations hinge upon allowed for a singular focus on a characters thoughts, motivations and anxieties. They gave more depth and insight to the Valentian cast better than most support conversations do. 

IMO, if there's anything that needs to stay from Echoes, it's memory prisms and base conversations. They were great additions!

The biggest problem with the base conversations was that they were randomized and so most people missed a majority of them anyway. 

Also while I do see where you’re coming from, a couple of my main issues with those base conversations are A. It just kind of feels forced and out of no where and B. Whatever is said in them is never really elaborated on anywhere else in the story be it in supports or subtle hints in dialogue or actions. Well in some cases it is but as far as I can tell it’s relatively rare and depends on the character(I.E delthea and clair) and yes memory prism are a must stay.

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3 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

A sentiment that I strongly disagree with, since imo most of its cast is rather unmemorable - I personally see the number of standout characters in SS as a number I can count on one hand.

Like I said, there is nothing wrong with your opinion. I was just pointing out that Sacred Stones isn't necessarily a good example in terms of general opinion, since even though you disliked the cast, Sacred Stones is typically known for having one of the strongest supporting casts in the franchise. This supports TC's notion that smaller casts have higher quality writing, although it's still a premature conclusion. 

Quality cast is purely a subjective notion, and neither side is wrong in how they feel about a particular cast.

3 hours ago, Zangetsu said:

I completely disagree. Most of the base conversation didn't get me invested in the cast. The lack of support made the majority of character very one noted & didn't help characters like Atlas, Kliff, Jesse, Luthier, & Delthea. If there were more supports that could have help build more of their characters. Like Valbars talks about his family ever again.

I completely agree that Echoes of Valentia's support conversations hurt it's cast, as even though they were present, they were so small in number and some felt almost entirely pointless aside from maybe one or two narrative quirks (eg. Faye & Silque). As for the comments on base conversations, it's absolutely fine to not be invested by them. However, to say base conversations didn't flesh out the Valentian cast is factually incorrect. Base conversations absolutely fleshed out the cast in Echoes and gave more insight and depth into their personal thoughts, feelings and anxieties even better than a majority of support conversations. If you dislike the way this information was presented (in a one-way conversation), that's completely understandable, but the conversations did provide a lot of humanizing aspects and even though they didn't click with you personally, to claim "barely did anything to flesh their characters" isn't true. 

3 hours ago, Zangetsu said:

I won't call them "great additions" but they never did any harm. I would go as far to say if they did remove the memory prism & base conversations that would be more detrimental if not a regression of expanding a character. I suppose there's the wiki but that's so boring.

The reason I said they're "must-haves" is because the individual character becomes the sole narrative focus for the brief conversation. Supports can provide the same personal insight as base conversations, however, as support conversations depend on the interaction between two individuals, it becomes difficult to implement personal insight into the character unless it's particularly relevant to the relationship between the two supporting characters (which, in most cases, it's not). I feel like this type of "conversation" is a great addition adding a personal flair to each character rather than the say, regurgitated "Charlotte wants to marry a rich man" that happens in virtually every male support conversation she has.

33 minutes ago, Otts486 said:

Also while I do see where you’re coming from, a couple of my main issues with those base conversations are A. It just kind of feels forced and out of no where and B. Whatever is said in them is never really elaborated on anywhere else in the story be it in supports or subtle hints in dialogue or actions. Well in some cases it is but as far as I can tell it’s relatively rare and depends on the character(I.E delthea and clair) and yes memory prism are a must stay.

Interesting, I appreciate your insight. At times I actually felt the base conversations were integrated very well, for example all the Ram villagers having their base conversation change to discussing Alm and Celica's relationship after the falling out between their reunion felt very natural narrative-wise. Or members of Celica's army reacting to the revelation of her lineage. 

As for point B, is that necessarily a bad thing? As humans, we're flexible and dynamic. We can have something effect us on a personal level, but whether we bring this up within a conversation will completely depend on how that conversation is going. For example, in her base conversation, Catria remarks that a person described her as cold and distant, causing her anxiety and self-doubt towards her own demeanour whilst wondering if this was a consequence of her upbringing. This isn't something she relays in her support conversation with Palla or Est, but IMO that just adds to the realism. With different people, you discuss different things. It doesn't need to be brought up to multiple people you talk to. 

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40 minutes ago, TheWill said:

As for point B, is that necessarily a bad thing? As humans, we're flexible and dynamic. We can have something effect us on a personal level, but whether we bring this up within a conversation will completely depend on how that conversation is going. For example, in her base conversation, Catria remarks that a person described her as cold and distant, causing her anxiety and self-doubt towards her own demeanour whilst wondering if this was a consequence of her upbringing. This isn't something she relays in her support conversation with Palla or Est, but IMO that just adds to the realism. With different people, you discuss different things. It doesn't need to be brought up to multiple people you talk to. 

I’m not necessarily saying that it has to be brought in literally every support or whatever that in it of itself would be a problem(it would make the character repetitive and annoying). It’s just that some more nuance would be nice. They don’t even have to talk about the issue itself just some small subtle hints on how those things influence their behavior, worldview, personality, etc. as an example delthea is described as being a genius in the art of mage craft which is something she hates because everyone is always hounding her about it.  She’s never really had to work hard because well she’s a genius which results in a generally laid back attitude and since she’s young she doesn’t really understand the value of her “gift”. This in turn creates a disconnect with the rest of her family and particularly her brother who lecture her on how she’s wasting her talents which makes her loathe her powers even more and results in a sort of spunky rebellious attitude. Again a lot of this can be learned from just the way she speaks and how she acts which in combination with what we know about her from base conversations makes  her character feel more natural and organic. Contrast this with say Tobin who we learn has a sort of inferiority complex stemming from alm. We don’t see how this effects his personality all too much aside from maybe a few voiced lines and maybe he’s a bit eager but not much else. Hell if it weren’t for the base convo I wouldn’t even know he had one. even after learning about It, it’s not like this big revelation “ like now everything makes sense” like with delthea but rather it’s just sort of “that’s cool” and I move on. I should not have that reaction after a big dump of character development like that. Idk if I explained that as well as I could have but I hope you got what I was trying to say. You see some subtlety can go a long way in terms of characterization. 

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1 hour ago, TheWill said:

I completely agree that Echoes of Valentia's support conversations hurt it's cast, as even though they were present, they were so small in number and some felt almost entirely pointless aside from maybe one or two narrative quirks (eg. Faye & Silque). As for the comments on base conversations, it's absolutely fine to not be invested by them. However, to say base conversations didn't flesh out the Valentian cast is factually incorrect. Base conversations absolutely fleshed out the cast in Echoes and gave more insight and depth into their personal thoughts, feelings and anxieties even better than a majority of support conversations. If you dislike the way this information was presented (in a one-way conversation), that's completely understandable, but the conversations did provide a lot of humanizing aspects and even though they didn't click with you personally, to claim "barely did anything to flesh their characters" isn't true. 

I don't know what "good writing" is & I'm long pass caring what it is, but those "flesh out" moments didn't flesh them out enough. Maybe actual gripe is how there isn't more base conversations. It got tiring hear the same conversation in every new location until the next act.

 

1 hour ago, TheWill said:

I feel like this type of "conversation" is a great addition adding a personal flair to each character rather than the say, regurgitated "Charlotte wants to marry a rich man" that happens in virtually every male support conversation she has.

Yes, I do agree with this to some extent. Yes the "Charlotte wants to marry a rich man" works with Xander & Leo, but for the next 10 supports, no. Maybe I would be more ok with it if there were more different reactions to it, but it just felt too repetitive.

 

2 hours ago, Otts486 said:

I may have exaggerated a bit both in part to get my point across and it’s just something I’ve thought about but never really have the chance to talk about. Also the fact that you don’t care is the main issue I’m getting at here. Cause if you don’t care the character and the writer has failed in their duty. You should care about the characters presented to you otherwise why bother. Even if you hate the character’s attitude at least you care enough to feel any emotion other than indifference. This is something SoV characters fail at. They’re so flat and one dimensional that I couldn’t care less as to what happens to them. I realize I’m probably preaching to the choir at this point but I just need to get this off my chest.  That being said there are a few gems among the cast like sonya and to a much lesser degree clair and delthea.

Right, but I wouldn't use myself as a good example. There's plenty of times where something was declare both good & bad & I just didn't have a reaction or feelings towards it. Different game, tone, & direction altogether but who's even worse as an antagonist, Surtr or Bruno? For me personally, that Surtr because everything that's you do he keeps nullifying iit because the plot demanded while Bruno on the other hand never comes across invincible. That & there's still something salvageable about Bruno but that's beside the point is. The point am I trying to get is that one character piss me off to no ends & the other I have feeling or reaction to whatsoever.

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On 11/11/2018 at 12:25 AM, TheWill said:

Like I said, there is nothing wrong with your opinion. I was just pointing out that Sacred Stones isn't necessarily a good example in terms of general opinion, since even though you disliked the cast, Sacred Stones is typically known for having one of the strongest supporting casts in the franchise. This supports TC's notion that smaller casts have higher quality writing, although it's still a premature conclusion. 

The problem is, for me to believe that Sacred Stones's cast is as good as you say, I have to willingly ignore everything that makes it bad... yeah, that ain't gonna happen.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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I think you need a decent sized cast, not too big and not too small. A cast that is too small doesn't have as much variety and their are less relationships between each character. If you have a bloated cast, there won't be enough attention to develop the cast and this way a lot of blank slates will exist. I think Blazing Sword and PoR do the best job at developing their cast of characters and they are both middling in roster size. RD works for the most part because it borrows most of its characters from PoR.  

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