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Remakes: Binding Blade & balancing

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If you'll indulge me: Balancing is integral in rpgs in all games balancing is a delicate practice and requires many deliberate and meticulous little tweaks that on the large scale may seem inconsequential but can drastically affect the players relationship to the game. This is especially true of rpgs as in an rpg the players main way of interacting with the game is based on there stats as well as often how rng and the stats of opponents relate to it. I've spent a bit of time on this forum talking with the fanbase on binding blade it's flawed, as well as it's merits, and i've come to the conclusion that consistently people seem to feel it's biggest flaw is in it's balancing. In some of the best fire emblem games and in tactical games in general, every unit is viable, while also having strengths and weaknesses requiring you to use them to there fullest potential in tandem with other units, in chess each unit is suited to a particular role for example rooks can be used to defend the king in a practice known as "castling", pawns are limited in movement but have potential to move and knights are great offensively (Forgive my limited chess-knowledge). The idea of each unit being viable in fire emblem also parallels themes within the franchise, every individual unit is of value and can change the course of battle. Good balancing and carefull attention to stat values can also help to convey certain aspects of a character, such as a clumsy character having low skill, but then developing that stat throughout the game, both developing in a character sense and in a gameplay sense. I think if Binding Blade is to be remade it would benefit from focusing on implimenting balancing of this nature, making characters not only more viable but more developed through this kind of subtle visual storytelling.

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First of all, the OP would benefit from better formatting and/or grammar for improved readability.

Second, I agree that Binding Blade's character balancing could be a lot better, but something you have to keep in mind is that Binding Blade has a large cast of cannon fodder characters and fleshing them all out while also giving them fitting stat spreads and development will be challenging.  Perhaps one workaround could be making Supports grow faster, because if I remember correctly Supports in Binding Blade grow very slowly.

I'm particularly keen on class rebalancing.  Monks ought to be added to a remake and Saul should be changed to one, seeing as being a healer is not terribly integral to his personality.  Having the Trinity of Magic around but no unpromoted classes able to wield Light tomes is completely inexcusable.

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Honestly, we just bump a few unit's bases a bit and put in FE7 weapon accuracy and triangle and make thrones/gates slightly easier to deal with like -5 avoid is fine enough, and a small increase in growth rates to most units but not anything that cmpletely changes the game.

The one thing I do not want in a remake is that they nerf characters, no please keep the overpowered characters overpowered. The best way to balance is to buff the weaker units not nerf the stronger ones. 

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2 hours ago, Von Ithipathachai said:

Saul should be changed to one, seeing as being a healer is not terribly integral to his personality.

That's the joke though. He's a womanizer and he shouldn't be so as a priest. He's meant to be unconventional. Dorothy is there to remind him of that.

He should remain a priest.

Edited by Vince777

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32 minutes ago, Vince777 said:

That's the joke though. He's a womanizer and he shouldn't be so as a priest. He's meant to be unconventional. Dorothy is there to remind him of that.

He should remain a priest.

I thought the Church of St. Elimine employed both Priests and Monks, though.  Like Lucius.

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I don't mind the absence of Monks, I never thought they added much in FE7 and it would be hard to add a playable one without adding another character. Saul doesn't fit too well as a non-combatant class and it's tough to pinpoint another character who could be reclassed.

Anyway, the talk about unit balancing is all fine and good but I think some of the maps also need an adjustment. FE6 is praised for good map design, and while it has several highs there are also several lows.

  • Chapter 6 has eight chests with only one thief to collect them all, plus some non-intuitive reinforcements and very rude Hard-only reinforcements.
  • Chapter 8 is awfully long and windy with only a few scattered pockets of enemies until you're six or seven turns in.
  • The B route of Western Isles feels like a weaker version of A route, in particular 10B vs 11A.
  • Chapter 16's two entrances are ass-backwards, with the main entrance being a lot of dead space and Hugh being on the side entrance side.
  • Ilia has a metric ton of terrain that makes it tedious for non-fliers to cross.
  • Sacae has some nasty maps, with 18 being a flat plain with RNG reinforcements around the boss and 19 having as slow a start as Chapter 8 without Warp.
  • Chapter 24 is incredibly long, windy, and monotonous. Fliers being unable to cross the abyss here really puts a damper on progress.
  • And of course there's the gaiden gimmicks. The first two are minor annoyances but from 14x on they become more tedious or frustrating (looking at you, 16x).

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1 hour ago, This boi uses Nino said:

The one thing I do not want in a remake is that they nerf characters, no please keep the overpowered characters overpowered. The best way to balance is to buff the weaker units not nerf the stronger ones. 

If you only buff the bad units then the game will become significantly easier unless you also buff the enemies, wich will indirectly nerf the overpowered units because they stayed the same while everyone else improved. 

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1 hour ago, X-Naut said:

Anyway, the talk about unit balancing is all fine and good but I think some of the maps also need an adjustment. FE6 is praised for good map design, and while it has several highs there are also several lows.

  • Chapter 6 has eight chests with only one thief to collect them all, plus some non-intuitive reinforcements and very rude Hard-only reinforcements.
  • Chapter 8 is awfully long and windy with only a few scattered pockets of enemies until you're six or seven turns in.
  • The B route of Western Isles feels like a weaker version of A route, in particular 10B vs 11A.
  • Chapter 16's two entrances are ass-backwards, with the main entrance being a lot of dead space and Hugh being on the side entrance side.
  • Ilia has a metric ton of terrain that makes it tedious for non-fliers to cross.
  • Sacae has some nasty maps, with 18 being a flat plain with RNG reinforcements around the boss and 19 having as slow a start as Chapter 8 without Warp.
  • Chapter 24 is incredibly long, windy, and monotonous. Fliers being unable to cross the abyss here really puts a damper on progress.
  • And of course there's the gaiden gimmicks. The first two are minor annoyances but from 14x on they become more tedious or frustrating (looking at you, 16x).

I agree that its maps need improvement - the bad ones are really bad, while the "good" ones are just eh. It REALLY doesn't help that the game is too in love with long, winding maps...

Edited by Shadow Mir

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1 hour ago, Flere210 said:

If you only buff the bad units then the game will become significantly easier unless you also buff the enemies, wich will indirectly nerf the overpowered units because they stayed the same while everyone else improved. 

Exactly, do what echoes did except the part where they nerfed Kliff. Make enemies stronger and buff the weaker units, this video explains it better than I do. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsC8io4w1sY

 

 

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A list of gameplay changes from my one, recent run of Normal Mode:

  1. Allow enemies to drop items when defeat. That this isn't a thing when practically every other game allows this, including both GBA followups, is weird. It is also why there are so many danged chests in this game- they have to contain the things which enemies would otherwise drop. Droppable items thus forces a correction to the flawed map design.
  2. Hit rates are something which should be changed, but we have to be careful here. This game is balanced as is around low enemy hit rates with Double RN calculation, particularly in the earlygame. If you just went and added +10 hit to all Axes, you'd make the game much harder when you're most vulnerable. Raising hit rates requires either increasing ally Spd/Lck or concrete durability values, or a weakening in the potency/number of enemy units at certain points.
  3. Alter Hugh's AI to not actively attack you. He might not be getting paid he thinks, he likes money, what reason does he have to attack you?
  4. Include a more elegant way of working around Douglas, just surrounding him with those who can't kill him and healing whoever gets hurt, is easy, but in no way is it smart. Give me a smart, puzzle-like solution for dealing with him.
  5. Speaking of Douglas, the game needs to make Divine Weapon chapters more clear as to how to access. A blind player could easily miss them.
    1. I think the game made "keep Lilina alive" noticeable enough, but even this could be stressed more.
    2. For Douglas, alter it to say his loyal troops are defending the Saint's Tower Aureola. If he dies, then Bern/the Revolutionaries will overwhelm it now and pillage the tome. They still conquer the tower for the sake of the side chapter obviously, but with Douglas's death they do it sooner and are able to run away with Aureola.
    3. We don't need to the chapter boss to say "Hurry Goon B, get the Divine Weapon in 25 Days (turns)!" for Chapters 12x, 14x, 20x, and 21x, but some additional messaging, with a "~5 turns left alert", would be good.
    4. Furthermore, I'd remove the requirement that certain characters must be alive for the above chapters, or at least modify it. Sophia can remain needed for Forblaze since C14 is her joining chapter- but make her outright say "I will guide to you to the Divine Weapon if you save Arcadia" beforehand. Yet otherwise, change the life requirements, since Elffin doesn't die even when recruited regarding Armads, and Guinevere is an unkillable Bernese so Melady and Zeiss are not needed. For Ilia, make it so I only need Juno or Zelot, and Dayan, Sin, or Sue for Sacae.
  6. At least on Normal, do away with Same-Turn Reinforcements.
  7. Increase the deployment slots on a couple of Divine Weapon chapters. 12x in particular I'd say.
  8. Alter the vanishing floors mechanic of 14x- I got MASSIVELY slowed down here because I wasn't rushing things and only had Melady as a trained flier. The result is that the way forward took eons to open.
  9. Tone down the number of siege tomes in a couple instances- 14x is one case- did we really need one near the boss who already has Bolting?
  10. Give Fae's Divinestone more uses, add an obtainable Firestone for her, or modify her dragon mechanics to that of FE3 Tiki and Bantu.
  11. Perhaps add some enemies to Chapter 21 who differ based on whichever place you didn't go to. Loyalists to Bern who remain after being forced out of their home country.
  12. Character rebalancing is a tricky thing, but I will say Juno needs massively better bases. Dayan's are good, but hers are unusable.
  13. Make Merlinus's deployment slot free, not taking up anyone else's.

 

Regarding narrative and not gameplay:

  1. Enliven the plot. The "Merlinus says Y. Roy does the opposite of Y. Victory!" + exposition approach is dull. What this would involve, I'm not sure. More characters maybe? Or more from those who already feature at least. Roy by himself tastes like paper mache.
  2. Add a quip explaining what happened to whichever of Ilia and Sacae you didn't visit. I find it odd they say nothing about this. Just write so they defected after the other's defeat, or that Bern had to pull out after the other defeat, or a smaller Etrurian force independent of Roy's freed the country.
  3. Some of the Chapter 24 exposition dump has to be relocated elsewhere. Mystery of the Emblem's, that which Binding Blade's "false myths" are derived from, distributed the exposition over the course of the multi-chapter Anri's Way and the finale, which made it much less burdensome.
    • Since the Divine Weapon chapters are fillerish in plot, I'd make it so that the Divine Weapons were all part of the seal on the Dragon Sanctuary, but when Zephiel removed the Exaccus, the seal was already sufficiently weakened for it to break after 1000 years. When Roy obtains some of the Divine Weapons, an illusion of Jahn appears, without him naming himself, and then describing part of the exposition before fading away.
  4. Give Zephiel more screentime, as is, he only appears in three chapters. And overall he is much too unlikable as is.
  5. Give Brunnya a stated reason why she loves Zephiel so, she doesn't have one as is.
  6. Decrease the amount of time spent on those pesky Etrurian nobles! They are some of the worst pesky nobles in all of FE for all the time wasted on them, despite how flavorless they are! If you dislike RD's Senate, then one should really dislike Arcardo and Roartz, since both of these "Revolutionaries", whose "Revolution" is in no way "revolutionary" in common parlance, even worse. At least everyone but Numida in RD had some quirk to them. I'd kill Arcardo in Chapter 12, Chapter 15, or 16 as a miniboss with a little rewriting, and have Roartz die in Chapter 17.
  7. Flesh out the world more. While Elibe as great and wonderful geographical variety which we get to see, the actual cultures of these lands is undercooked in some places. Etruria has it the worst, since technically the only battles we get in Etruria proper are Chapters 16 and 16x. Because the game insists on showing you the entire world in one game, you spend fairly little time in any location, and thus have little time to develop a connection to any place. The game does nothing to suggest the Marquess system of Lycia is at all good, Arcadia is a Tinder fling in duration. The Resistance in the Western Isles isn't a greatly felt resistance, Dayan supposedly leads one, but shows up alone in one fight while sitting out another in a house. The Djute on this note don't feel like a serious threat when Roy crushes them in single battle, leaving only remnants to defend a Divine Weapon.
    • Sacred Stones has a similar issue, Awakening I think the same, and from what I've played of FE4 so far, I can see some of this criticism too. A world tour sounds wonderful in a game, but that world can easily outpace the writing resources needed to make it more than just a map. Tellius chose to forsake in both games battles in Goldoa, Phoenicis, Kilvas, and most of Gallia, to the detriment of our understanding of Laguz societies. However, in those Beorc countries we do trudge through time and again, we do get a good sense of what each of them is like.

 

2 hours ago, X-Naut said:
  • Chapter 6 has eight chests with only one thief to collect them all, plus some non-intuitive reinforcements and very rude Hard-only reinforcements.
  • Chapter 8 is awfully long and windy with only a few scattered pockets of enemies until you're six or seven turns in.
  • The B route of Western Isles feels like a weaker version of A route, in particular 10B vs 11A.
  • Chapter 16's two entrances are ass-backwards, with the main entrance being a lot of dead space and Hugh being on the side entrance side.
  • Ilia has a metric ton of terrain that makes it tedious for non-fliers to cross.
  • Sacae has some nasty maps, with 18 being a flat plain with RNG reinforcements around the boss and 19 having as slow a start as Chapter 8 without Warp.
  • Chapter 24 is incredibly long, windy, and monotonous. Fliers being unable to cross the abyss here really puts a damper on progress.
  • And of course there's the gaiden gimmicks. The first two are minor annoyances but from 14x on they become more tedious or frustrating (looking at you, 16x).

Agreed as much as I can for C6!

Again, agreed, the chapter just throws wave after wave of weaklings for much of C8. The map needs to be contracted, as is, it only serves to favor mounties with its windiness.

10B's top half is totally empty, beyond the Berserker and goons you have Rutger kill. It makes the map feel like it has excessive wasted space and makes saving the civilians too easy (whose reward is rather lacking). I'd have flier reinforcements come in from the north and increase the civilian flow, with Bartre and his two allies retooled into protecting the civilians in their fleeing.

C16 is another point of agreement. Its main entrance folding in on itself does nothing but waste time and make mounties better.

Aww... I kinda like Chapter 18 Sacae. It's closer to how I'd think nomad warriors on their turf would fight than any other map in the route. I do acknowledge the reinforcements are a pain though.

For Chapter 24, I'd retool it to make it into a game of sorts revolving all around Jahn. Make his illusions into actual threats. I'm not quite sure what I'd do, but make him go crazy with the Dragon Sanctuary's power.

 

 

 

And of course, throw in some retroactive FE7 references. But don't go overboard with them. Perhaps Pent shows up for a brief moment, but no side trip to Valor/Dread Isle for Nils and Ninian (and they better not even think of forcing her into Eliwood's canon wife).

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4 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

A list of gameplay changes from my one, recent run of Normal Mode:

  1. Allow enemies to drop items when defeat. That this isn't a thing when practically every other game allows this, including both GBA followups, is weird. It is also why there are so many danged chests in this game- they have to contain the things which enemies would otherwise drop. Droppable items thus forces a correction to the flawed map design.
  2. Hit rates are something which should be changed, but we have to be careful here. This game is balanced as is around low enemy hit rates with Double RN calculation, particularly in the earlygame. If you just went and added +10 hit to all Axes, you'd make the game much harder when you're most vulnerable. Raising hit rates requires either increasing ally Spd/Lck or concrete durability values, or a weakening in the potency/number of enemy units at certain points.
  3. Alter Hugh's AI to not actively attack you. He might not be getting paid he thinks, he likes money, what reason does he have to attack you?
  4. Include a more elegant way of working around Douglas, just surrounding him with those who can't kill him and healing whoever gets hurt, is easy, but in no way is it smart. Give me a smart, puzzle-like solution for dealing with him.
  5. Speaking of Douglas, the game needs to make Divine Weapon chapters more clear as to how to access. A blind player could easily miss them.
    1. I think the game made "keep Lilina alive" noticeable enough, but even this could be stressed more.
    2. For Douglas, alter it to say his loyal troops are defending the Saint's Tower Aureola. If he dies, then Bern/the Revolutionaries will overwhelm it now and pillage the tome. They still conquer the tower for the sake of the side chapter obviously, but with Douglas's death they do it sooner and are able to run away with Aureola.
    3. We don't need to the chapter boss to say "Hurry Goon B, get the Divine Weapon in 25 Days (turns)!" for Chapters 12x, 14x, 20x, and 21x, but some additional messaging, with a "~5 turns left alert", would be good.
    4. Furthermore, I'd remove the requirement that certain characters must be alive for the above chapters, or at least modify it. Sophia can remain needed for Forblaze since C14 is her joining chapter- but make her outright say "I will guide to you to the Divine Weapon if you save Arcadia" beforehand. Yet otherwise, change the life requirements, since Elffin doesn't die even when recruited regarding Armads, and Guinevere is an unkillable Bernese so Melady and Zeiss are not needed. For Ilia, make it so I only need Juno or Zelot, and Dayan, Sin, or Sue for Sacae.
  6. At least on Normal, do away with Same-Turn Reinforcements.
  7. Increase the deployment slots on a couple of Divine Weapon chapters. 12x in particular I'd say.
  8. Alter the vanishing floors mechanic of 14x- I got MASSIVELY slowed down here because I wasn't rushing things and only had Melady as a trained flier. The result is that the way forward took eons to open.
  9. Tone down the number of siege tomes in a couple instances- 14x is one case- did we really need one near the boss who already has Bolting?
  10. Give Fae's Divinestone more uses, add an obtainable Firestone for her, or modify her dragon mechanics to that of FE3 Tiki and Bantu.
  11. Perhaps add some enemies to Chapter 21 who differ based on whichever place you didn't go to. Loyalists to Bern who remain after being forced out of their home country.
  12. Character rebalancing is a tricky thing, but I will say Juno needs massively better bases. Dayan's are good, but hers are unusable.
  13. Make Merlinus's deployment slot free, not taking up anyone else's.And of course, throw in some retroactive FE7 references. But don't go overboard with them. Perhaps Pent shows up for a brief moment, but no side trip to Valor/Dread Isle for Nils and Ninian (and they better not even think of forcing her into Eliwood's canon wife).
  • (1) Enemies in Binding Blade not dropping items upon defeat is probably something IS forgot to correct from Thracia 776, where you have to capture enemies for their items.
  • (2) Here I would buff Axe hit rates and/or nerf enemy growth rates slightly.
  • (3) Fully agreed.
  • (4) I used a Sleep staff on Douglas to temporarily stop him from chasing my units.
  • (5) I would put gaiden chapter requirements in a "Secondary Objective" window when possible.
  • (6) I think same-turn reinforcements/ambush spawns should be done away with on all difficulties.  They're cancer.
  • (10) I think giving Fae's Dragonstone 50 or 60 uses should be enough for her.
  • (13) I'm pretty sure Roy's mother would be left ambiguous.  Then again, they did outright make Sumia Lucina's mother in the opening of Awakening.  At any rate, I'm sure they'll somehow find a way to shoehorn Lyn into the game.

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With the gameplay balancing, scrap the pure numbers system that the original game have, and adopt Fates Conquest's gameplay with modifications to both allow weaker units to gain experience other than with battles, and to make the game legitimately difficult even with Milady, Rutger, Percival if you don't deploy your units as a proper army with good numbers and synergy.

  • Higher difficulties should have smarter AIs who can both attack (and attack-stance) as a group against your better units, more units using effective weapons (besides bows), and even support bonuses between different units.
  • Also, read starbust's reply to me in the Unpopular Opinions Thread, and my reply back after - which is my commentary on how to make an FE game more teamwork-based.
  • In the case of certain former enemies like Milady or Zeiss, you also have to contend with resentment penalties that makes teamwork more difficult (accuracy/avoid penalty from lowered morale, and a chance in dual block/attack failing to activate).
  • For Roy, read the first post I wrote for this thread/link.

 

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On 3/15/2019 at 9:58 AM, henrymidfields said:

With the gameplay balancing, scrap the pure numbers system that the original game have, and adopt Fates Conquest's gameplay with modifications to both allow weaker units to gain experience other than with battles, and to make the game legitimately difficult even with Milady, Rutger, Percival if you don't deploy your units as a proper army with good numbers and synergy.

  • Higher difficulties should have smarter AIs who can both attack (and attack-stance) as a group against your better units, more units using effective weapons (besides bows), and even support bonuses between different units.
  • Also, read starbust's reply to me in the Unpopular Opinions Thread, and my reply back after - which is my commentary on how to make an FE game more teamwork-based.
  • In the case of certain former enemies like Milady or Zeiss, you also have to contend with resentment penalties that makes teamwork more difficult (accuracy/avoid penalty from lowered morale, and a chance in dual block/attack failing to activate).
  • For Roy, read the first post I wrote for this thread/link.

 

The problem I have here is that you're trying to shoehorn in features that the game wasn't originally built around, which isn't likely to end well. And you're trying to overcomplicate things, which is VERY likely to end poorly too.

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19 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

The problem I have here is that you're trying to shoehorn in features that the game wasn't originally built around, which isn't likely to end well. And you're trying to overcomplicate things, which is VERY likely to end poorly too.

To be honest, I say the whole gameplay system in Binding Blade needs an overhaul, because - let's face it - it's 15 years since the original game came out. As for the complications, we can keep things simpler on the novice difficulties and gradually introduce more features on higher difficulties.

Edited by henrymidfields

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20 minutes ago, henrymidfields said:

To be honest, I say the whole gameplay system in Binding Blade needs an overhaul, because - let's face it - it's 15 years since the original game came out. As for the complications, we can keep things simpler on the novice difficulties and gradually introduce more features on higher difficulties.

Like removing Fog of War on Easy Mode?

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