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Roland

What do you want the most out of Three Houses?

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So, with Three Houses bring about a month away, what do you want the most of the upcoming Fire Emblem title?

Personally, I want improved writing. I’m not asking for Excalibur or Lord of The Rings levels of amazing, I’d just like a story and cast of characters I’ll be able to enjoy. 

What about all of you?

Edited by Roland

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Along the same vein of better writing, I would like better quality supports that not only provides characterization but also world building. Also more diverse supports that deal with different topics. Also less of the following type of support because it’s so boring and my least favourite:

C Support: Let’s spar!

B Support: Wow you’re really tough!

A Support: Let’s spar again! (I think I’m in love)

I felt that Fates and Awakening were littered with this type of support and it provides no new information about the characters. The older games also had this problem but it wasn’t as apparent.

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I always want two things from my fire emblem games: fun combat and some great support conversations. These two things are what got me into the franchise and they are what keep me coming back. I think that the combat is at least good in every fire emblem game I've played so I'm not too worried about that. Good support conversations make me a lot more invested in the characters so I really hope IS makes them better than ever. I have a couple of friends who are interested in Three Houses so I really hope that this game shows them why I fell in love with this franchise.

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I'm hoping the game isn't very grindy with its class changing. In particular, the class change exams having a chance to fail or even succeed when requirements aren't met worries me a great deal, as it will definitely serve to sell their launch day DLC grind maps. But even without factoring in DLC worries, I think basing a strategy game around class changing dilutes the need for deciding what units are actually good. Since anybody could become the best class and rush for the best skills. I want a game that is a strategy game first that asks me to use what I've got and has meaningful choices and consequences than just another RPG that sinks my time away. That's really the hardest thing about playing Fire Emblem games with these grinding elements, feeling like I should just level up until nothing can hurt me.

Edited by Glennstavos

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6 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

I'm hoping the game isn't very grindy with its class changing. In particular, the class change exams having a chance to fail or even succeed when requirements aren't met worries me a great deal, as it will definitely serve to sell their launch day DLC grind maps. But even without factoring in DLC worries, I think basing a strategy game around class changing dilutes the need for deciding what units are actually good. Since anybody could become the best class and rush for the best skills. I want a game that is a strategy game first that asks me to use what I've got and has meaningful choices and consequences than just another RPG that sinks my time away. That's really the hardest thing about playing Fire Emblem games with these grinding elements, feeling like I should just level up until nothing can hurt me.

Regarding your concern about class changing, I wonder how personal units’ stat growths will come into play. I’d expect that on paper, even though units can turn into any class, their natural stat growths will provide another layer of decision making in terms of making which units into a certain class. 

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I know it's basically cliche at this point to ask Fire Emblem for for better storytelling but I'd love to see something the borrows more from Tellius and less from TheContinentWithNoName. I mean that the conflict should be human driven and not lazily explained away with "magic evil force make people do bad" and "dragon went insane because dragons do that apparently woe is him". Rely on actual human flaws to write antagonists (examples provided): Greed, Bigotry, Arrogance (Berkut), Bitterness (Fernand), Zealotry (Jedah), Vengefulness, Entitlement, Ruthlessness, Nihilism, etc. Actually explore what made them the way they are, even if just briefly it'll make them better than "brainwashing/insanity made them do it". This effortless conflict writing is part of what drove me up the wall with Fates. 

I'm also hoping that we get Tellius-tier world-building, from what I've seen of Radiant Dawn from BigKlingy's playthrough I was much more engaged than I was with Awakening, Fates and Echoes. We already have a world map and a vague idea of what kind of governments (if I'm even using the right word here) the differing nations have so we're already stepping in the right direction, though I'm still a bit concerned about just what kind of plot Three houses will have within this world. Seriously hoping all of my jokey predictions about the tropes this story would use were wrong.

As for gameplay since they're going the "make your own units" route I hope we don't end up with an army of juggernauts again, that just makes the game boring.

21 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

I'm hoping the game isn't very grindy with its class changing. In particular, the class change exams having a chance to fail or even succeed when requirements aren't met worries me a great deal, as it will definitely serve to sell their launch day DLC grind maps. But even without factoring in DLC worries, I think basing a strategy game around class changing dilutes the need for deciding what units are actually good. Since anybody could become the best class and rush for the best skills. I want a game that is a strategy game first that asks me to use what I've got and has meaningful choices and consequences than just another RPG that sinks my time away. That's really the hardest thing about playing Fire Emblem games with these grinding elements, feeling like I should just level up until nothing can hurt me.

This too.

Finally, even though Byleth is definitely the main I hope more emphasis is placed on the non-self insert characters. They have the potential to be interesting characters and I hope more time is given to develop them than stoic teacher senpai. I don't HATE Byleth, I just like everyone else far more if only for the fact that they aren't audience inserts.

Edited by TheDreamReturns
needed to change the word "despair" to "nihilism"

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4 minutes ago, TheDreamReturns said:

I know it's basically cliche at this point to ask Fire Emblem for for better storytelling but I'd love to see something the borrows more from Tellius and less from TheContinentWithNoName. I mean that the conflict should be human driven and not lazily explained away with "magic evil force make people do bad" and "dragon went insane because dragons do that apparently woe is him". Rely on actual human flaws to write antagonists (examples provided): Greed, Bigotry, Arrogance (Berkut), Bitterness (Fernand), Zealotry (Jedah), Vengefulness, Entitlement, Ruthlessness, Nihilism, etc. Actually explore what made them the way they are, even if just briefly it'll make them better than "brainwashing/insanity made them do it". This effortless conflict writing is part of what drove me up the wall with Fates. 

I think the Fates art book revealed that the continents are literally just Nohr and Hoshido (like Europe and Asia). Anyways, I would like more meaningful reasons behind why someone turned evil but looking at the history of the franchise, they can really go either way. Fates isn’t unique in the whole brainwashing/insanity thing as Sacred Stones and Blazing Blade (and I think Binding Blade too but I haven’t played that game) used that device as well for their conflicts.

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I just want a game I can enjoy. Birthright was what got me into the series and I absolutely enjoyed it. Yeah the story isn't anything special but it was still fun to play and I never found myself wanting to give up even when I was struggling. The same cannot be said of Echoes. Yes I like the characters but I find the fights too hard to be enjoyable once you get about halfway through Act 3 so I gave up. And that was while playing on the lowest possible difficulty setting. With the apparent lack of Phoenix Mode, I'm hoping the game is more balanced so that while there are tough parts, they aren't too tough to make the game enjoyable. I just want the game to be fun. Birthright level writing/characterization is fine so I don't really need that to be improved. Just give me funner gameplay and we're good.

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3 minutes ago, zuibangde said:

Regarding your concern about class changing, I wonder how personal units’ stat growths will come into play. I’d expect that on paper, even though units can turn into any class, their natural stat growths will provide another layer of decision making in terms of making which units into a certain class. 

It depends heavily on how free we are to grind. Even Fates/Awakening made the player pay gold to earn more grinding opportunities. Or else wait a day for more monsters to spawn like we're playing some kind of mobile game. Even if a mage's HP and defense growth are a pitiful 40 and 20%, if the player just grinds for long enough he'll eventually have a mage that not only one rounds and dodges every enemy but has little to fear from being hit when it happens. It creates an environment where you auto battle to get levels, then auto battle to beat the game since nothing is threat anymore. And then there's class and skill balance. If there's a wonderful skill like Galeforce in the game, every character that can get it can grab it in the safety of grinding maps then switch back to a class they're good at for the real challenges. The choice to class change was not meaningful in that scenario.

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11 minutes ago, zuibangde said:

Anyways, I would like more meaningful reasons behind why someone turned evil but looking at the history of the franchise, they can really go either way. Fates isn’t unique in the whole brainwashing/insanity thing as Sacred Stones and Blazing Blade (and I think Binding Blade too but I haven’t played that game) used that device as well for their conflicts.

Well that's depressing news, always room for improvement though. Maybe they won't trip over that pebble this time.

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10 minutes ago, TheDreamReturns said:

Well that's depressing news, always room for improvement though. Maybe they won't trip over that pebble this time.

Honestly it depends on the writing. I quite liked how Sacred Stones and Conquest dealt with brainwashing and insanity for their respective antagonists. As long as it isn’t baseless and far fetched, the insanity/brainwashing device can be utilised well (even though it would be a bit boring/repetitive for the franchise). 

Edited by zuibangde

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4 minutes ago, zuibangde said:

Honestly it depends on the writing. I quite liked how Sacred Stones and Conquest dealt with brainwashing and insanity for their respective antagonists. As long as it isn’t baseless and far fetched, the insanity/brainwashing device can be utilised well (even though it would be a bit boring/repetitive for the franchise). 

I mean I'm personally not a fan of it at all, but I haven't played SS yet so maybe that game's version will change my mind?

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29 minutes ago, zuibangde said:

the whole brainwashing/insanity thing as Sacred Stones and Blazing Blade 

Blazing Blade I don't think qualifies. The only "brainwashed" people are warriors who were already killed and resurrected in a way where none of their mind or feelings remain. In order to turn them to your side, you have to kill them first. It's just zombies. I would sooner point to Gharnef's brainwashing in Archanea, (spoiler)'s brainwashing in Warriors, or the Duma Faithful's brainwashing in Echoes. I also think Lyon gets an unfair rap for his brainwashing. I felt like he was a realistically written character who, in the absence of a support group, decided that his country might be saved from a very real catastrophe if he manages to harness the power of a sealed God. He probably even thought that it worked until he started hurting innocent people, and fomortiis feigning some remaining humanity even convinces Eirika at a crucial part of the story. By contrast, you can't be convinced that people who have been Anankos'd are still in their right mind when all they do is laugh and mutter die die die.

Edited by Glennstavos

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2 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

Blazing Blade I don't think qualifies. The only "brainwashed" people are warriors who were already killed and resurrected in a way where none of their mind or feelings remain. In order to turn them to your side, you have to kill them first. It's just zombies. I would sooner point to Gharnef's brainwashing in Archanea,

  Reveal hidden contents

's brainwashing in Warriors, or the Duma Faithful's brainwashing in Echoes. I also think Lyon gets an unfair rap for his brainwashing. I felt like he was a realistically written character who, in the absence of a support group, decided that his country might be saved from a very real catastrophe if he manages to harness the power of a sealed God. He probably even thought that it worked until he started hurting innocent people, and fomortiis feigning some remaining humanity even convinces Eirika at a crucial part of the story. By contrast, you can't be convinced that people who have been Anankos'd are still in their right mind when all they do is laugh and mutter die die die.

Oh I should clarify that I don’t think Blazing Blade’s primary antagonist is brainwashed but I do think he’s insane because...you gotta have some insanity sprinkled into that evil to do what he did. Unless we’re talking about insanity through brainwashing then yeah I agree Blazing Blade doesn’t apply. 

I also agree with the stuff about SS which is why I think brainwashing/insanity can be done well. 

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I think the way Blazing Sword wasn't being referred to for brainwashing, but for insanity. Though in that regard I think the way it handled it was actually amazing and made for a compelling and tragic story, the only issue is it was only fully revealed if you did all the special side quests and stuff and pieced certain pieces of info together, so some people completely missed it the fully story.

In those who don't know are curious (major spoilers for the game of course).

Spoiler

The main villain, Nergal, is at first glance just EVIL with a capital E for apparently no reason. Later you learn some of his backstory, that he wasn't always evil and was once a friend with the powerful wizard Athos, but he started using magic that allowed him to drain the life out of people. This magic eventually corrupted him completely and pretty much destroyed his original personality. But at least initially and in the Eliwood campaign, you never find out why he started using the magic in the first place. Why would an otherwise decent guy suddenly decide "you know what magic would be fun to try? DRAINING THE LIFE FORCE FROM PEOPLE AND ANIMALS TO POWER MY OWN STRENGTH"

Well, eventually in the Hector campaign you can learn that many, many years ago, during the war between humans and dragons (which ultimately led to all the dragons leaving the world through magical gateways), Nergal fell in love with a dragon. They even had kids. But at some point Nergal's wife got captured by evil people, and so he went to try to rescue her. He told his kids to wait for him for a certain period of time, and if he didn't return by then they should go through the gateway to the other world where the dragons were fleeing to.

You never find out exactly what happened, but he didn't return in time, and his kids went through the gate to the dragon world. Presumably Nergal's wife died with Nergal failing to save her. And while it's never explicitly stated, it's extremely strongly implied that the reason Nergal started dabbling in dark life draining magic was because he needed more power to try and figure out how open the now closed dragon gate and reunite with his children.

And the really tragic thing is: he succeeds. His kids, Ninian and Nils, are major characters in the game, but by the time Nergal got them to open the gate and come through, he'd been driven so insane by the evil magic that he didn't even remember them, or his original purpose. He merely attempts to use them as pawns to get more power for power's sake, and they don't recognize him as their father either. And he dies without a single character ever truly realizing who he was or what his connection to Ninian and Nils was.

 

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I'll repeat the sentiments about better writing. In particular, world building is something I always appreciate. I want a world for the characters to exist in with its own history and variety of locales. Luckily we are seeing some of this already with the different country bios. It will be hard to top Tellius in this regard but my fingers are crossed.

I would also like there to be sub-stories with the supporting cast that don't directly involve the protagonists, for example, in Blazing Sword, the actions of the black fang end up affecting the lives of Ninian, Nils, Nino, Jaffar and Mathew. This feels more organic than the story events only affecting the main lords.

Concerning Nergal and the value of "insanity" as a antagonist motivator, it's not my favorite plot element but in this case, it was a strong piece of world building that we see reflected in Brammimond and Canas' borthers. Nergal's story was also incredibly tragic which, for me, puts it above the typical "for teh evuls" villains.

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I want a game that doesn't have a single mechanic that decides the entire game (Thanks, Pair Up!), has solid maps and a likeable cast with meaningful supports.

Supports actually affecting the plot in a more than cursory way would be my ideal, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

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1 hour ago, Glennstavos said:

It depends heavily on how free we are to grind. Even Fates/Awakening made the player pay gold to earn more grinding opportunities. Or else wait a day for more monsters to spawn like we're playing some kind of mobile game. Even if a mage's HP and defense growth are a pitiful 40 and 20%, if the player just grinds for long enough he'll eventually have a mage that not only one rounds and dodges every enemy but has little to fear from being hit when it happens. It creates an environment where you auto battle to get levels, then auto battle to beat the game since nothing is threat anymore. And then there's class and skill balance. If there's a wonderful skill like Galeforce in the game, every character that can get it can grab it in the safety of grinding maps then switch back to a class they're good at for the real challenges. The choice to class change was not meaningful in that scenario.

I’d imagine that the new level up system is implemented to discourage endless grinding though I can’t be sure. Also I wonder if the calendar system will also be used to affect your actions and create a time limit on your grinding. But we have little to no information on that so it’s all speculation. 

I think fact that the levels don’t reset after class change is also good news in terms of balance as it prevents endless stat gains like Awakening. 

Honestly, I’d expect and hope IS will know how to create a well balanced game now in terms of difficulty despite the new ‘everyone can become anything’ mechanic. 

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2 hours ago, Glennstavos said:

I'm hoping the game isn't very grindy with its class changing. In particular, the class change exams having a chance to fail or even succeed when requirements aren't met worries me a great deal, as it will definitely serve to sell their launch day DLC grind maps. But even without factoring in DLC worries, I think basing a strategy game around class changing dilutes the need for deciding what units are actually good. Since anybody could become the best class and rush for the best skills. I want a game that is a strategy game first that asks me to use what I've got and has meaningful choices and consequences than just another RPG that sinks my time away. That's really the hardest thing about playing Fire Emblem games with these grinding elements, feeling like I should just level up until nothing can hurt me.

The class changing thing is kinda worrying me too, frankly - how will it work? That's just one question out of many I have.

2 hours ago, Glennstavos said:

It depends heavily on how free we are to grind. Even Fates/Awakening made the player pay gold to earn more grinding opportunities. Or else wait a day for more monsters to spawn like we're playing some kind of mobile game. Even if a mage's HP and defense growth are a pitiful 40 and 20%, if the player just grinds for long enough he'll eventually have a mage that not only one rounds and dodges every enemy but has little to fear from being hit when it happens. It creates an environment where you auto battle to get levels, then auto battle to beat the game since nothing is threat anymore. And then there's class and skill balance. If there's a wonderful skill like Galeforce in the game, every character that can get it can grab it in the safety of grinding maps then switch back to a class they're good at for the real challenges. The choice to class change was not meaningful in that scenario.

The Galeforce mention, I'm not really feeling - it was a level 15 skill in a game where you normally wouldn't see such skills until the very end of the game, particularly in Fates, where it was nerfed (to be fair, though, that nerf was needed), in addition to being locked behind a paywall. On the other hand, I would be concerned if Canto came back...

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i just want it to be good and worthy of my money

if i have to say one thing that i absolutely want, that would be no marriages during the game (the ones described in character endings are fine to me) and no children

Edited by Yexin

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A flexible class system with inspiration drawn from Heroes' normalisation of armoured, cavalry and flying mages/bow users. We seem to have a flexible class system already but having these classes as offshoots of Knight/Cavalier/Pegasus Knight would make them a lot more available and widely used.

I hope for a smaller pool of supports and marriage options for each character(assuming marriage returns, although I'd like it limited to the endings for each character). Having a smaller range of possibilities for each unit allows each relationship to be developed differently and also leaves room for LGBT relationships to be developed more appropriately also. Also bring back platonic paired endings like have one for Mercedes and Annette, since they seem to have a close bond.

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