Jump to content
Alastor15243

Alastor plays and ranks the whole series! MISSION COMPLETE! ...For now.

Recommended Posts

10 hours ago, Sunwoo said:

Because it makes way more sense for Dimitri and Claude to be teaming up against Edelgard.

It does on paper, but the circumstances are not that simple. Both the Kingdom and Alliance are divided with sides supporting the empire and those who stay the loyal to the original territories. Even if the Kingdom and Alliance were to team up with each other, the combined power wouldn’t still be enough to overturn the Empire's progress, especially since Dimitri was overthrown from his position as King and Fhirdiad, the most powerful location in Faerghus, is being ruled by the Empire. Also the scene where the Kingdom soldiers are found dead are most likely the Empire's attempt to prevent an alliance between the two nations- Edelgard openly states in Chapter 17 that she will create " chaos so great " that the Alliance and Kingdom cannot tell friend from foe, all in an attempt to stop them from allying. 

On 11/1/2021 at 10:15 AM, Alastor15243 said:

I've heard people say that Three Houses does the concept of a route split way better than Fates, and, genuine question: how? The only argument I've seen that I can remotely understand is that they don't charge you money for each separate route, but here's the thing: the routes in Fates are actual routes. Entirely separate games, with different places visited, different things happening, and different actions done by different people! Three Houses... just has different people.

 

Let's give you another perspective on the topic. Developers have officially stated that they did not expect most players to do all four routes, which explains why design choices there is a lot of overlap between routes as well as the commitment of the Monastery. And besides the narrative is very different between the routes thanks to the lord's different ideals, making it worth investment . I can understand why the developers believed that most people would play only one route, this game is very long, and unless you are a huge fan, you are probably struggling to do another playthrough. I know this for a fact because I played Catherine: Fullbody and AI: The Somnium Files, and I've yet to do another route because I'm not nearly invested into the series. By having overlap with the routes, there's less of a cost for those who don't want to invest in the games. And besides, even if there is overlap that doesn't mean that the game can't be fun to replay. A big reason why Pokemon X and Y are considered to be one of the best games to replay is because of the incredible diversity of Pokemon you can get before the 1st gym, which includes: Flabebe, Ralts, Pansage, Panpour, Pansear, Ralts, Azurill, Litleo, Bunnelny, Riolu, Pidgey, Pikachu, Caterpie, Weedle, Scatterbug, Fletchling, Burmy, Dunsparce and Psyduck. And this is all before the first gym. And it only gets better from here. I replayed Y at least 5 times and and I still have a blast playing through thanks to amazing Kalos Pokedex, which has the largest Dex to date. The same logic also applies Three Houses and why I don't get tired of playing through it. Because the majority of units are blank slates, and also the fact that recruiting is optional in Three Houses for the most part, it means that two playthroughs are rarely going to be exactly the same, meaning that different players will have different experiences depending on what units they have recruited  and what classes they have been trained in even if the maps are the same.

As for Fates, the price is exactly why the routes are vastly  different, its effectively an 80$ game, and a lot of people think its a scam, which is debatable topic to say the least. It also doesn't help that if the Eshop ever goes down, you cannot purchase other routes, meaning that you'll have to buy Conquest or Birthright separately, and Revelation will be completely unavailable unless you buy the Special Edition Fates Cartridge which is difficult to find and you have to pay at least a 100$.

On 11/5/2021 at 10:19 AM, Alastor15243 said:

..Uh... question... who's paying us to work at the stables of the Monastery? Presumably the Church was paying us before, but... uh... we're in charge of the Monastery now. We're in control of the war budget. Where is that 1,000 gold from working at the stables coming from?

It stated that the Church has still some funds remaining, and surrounding hamlets have money to give to the army as well. Were you not paying attention to the dialouge? 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

But that's exactly why the story-integrated time control is such a terrible idea, because they have to awkwardly and without warning take it off the table and hope you don't notice before anything can go wrong for the hero. Literally the only effect divine pulse being canon has on the story is making the avatar look incompetent. It is never used to advance the plot in any meaningful way except saving the avatar from something any protag worth their salt could have survived at the start of the game.

I think that there needed to be some sort of display of divine power from Sothis very close to the beginning of the game, though it needn't necessarily have been time rewinding. But if you just completely removed the time powers from the script and didn't replace them with anything else then I don't think that Sothis's story would have worked. Having a big show of power right at the start shows both Byleth and the player that this isn't just some weird halucination. It's something real and it's powerful. I think that was necessary for later events (Sothis being revealed as the name of the Goddess, Sothis merging with Byleth to escape from the void) to make sense and not feel like they came completely out of nowhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Ooh, we get the Jotari Audio/Visual experience! Your game actually looks really cool; if I had the time, I'd definitely give it a try! Anyway, I can see that a chapter could be balanced around doing fog-of-war that way, but I was considering how it would work if applied to, say, a 3H Maddening chapter (not great).

Oh, no, I was just talking about interesting ways to make fog of war work in general. On the subject of Grondor II, I can think of a way that would be...interesting to play while also being plot integrated. My other idea for fog of war would be that you can see units just outside of your range of vision, but you can't check their class or stats, they're just figures in the mist. This still accomplishes the same thing as fog of war in general play, but leaves some wiggle room for the player to not be ambushed completely each turn. You know something is coming and where, just not what. Now that's general ideas for fog of war, where this could work very interestingly for Three Houses specifically, is if you could attack allies in the fog, and vice versa. So, essentially, Sylvain can rush out of the fog and attack one of your units, but after the combat he becomes an allied unit and assist you. Make it so the whole map isn't three different deployment zones and that everything is instead mixed together, and the map revolves around seeking through the fog for allies while at the same time trying not to attack them (and having a Raging Storm Edelgard hiding somewhere in the fog would be absolutely terrifying). It probably wouldn't be the best chapter ever, but it'd be pretty distinctive as far as Fire Emblem chapters go and it would make sense for what is actually meant to be happening at the time. The only issue so to speak would be how easy it would be to cheese using divine pulse. Then again divine pulses are limited, granted the limit is way too high, but abuse it too much and you could find yourself in a situation where Dimitri is rushing out of the fog and activating Atrocity on you and there's nothing you can do but let him kill a unit and watch him apologise afterwards.

The other solution to this three way mess would be to give Dimitri and Claude reasons to fight each other. The one that would require the least amount of writing would be to make Dimitri's forces racists towards Almyrians and have Claude painted as someone who is selling out the entirety of Fodlan to a foreign power.

7 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Do you want SoV Witches and Thracian Rewarp-toting Loptian Mages back? Although at least using rewarp wastes the Loptians' turn. Leading you the player to decide how to kill this slow, fragile, but high single-hit damage + poison enemy unit on your own turn.

Better than that, you then get to steal their stuff and play around with rewarp yourself.

5 hours ago, ZeManaphy said:

It stated that the Church has still some funds remaining, and surrounding hamlets have money to give to the army as well. Were you not paying attention to the dialouge? 

 

Aha! So I was right. Byleth is taxing the peasantry.

4 hours ago, ZeManaphy said:

Let's give you another perspective on the topic. Developers have officially stated that they did not expect most players to do all four routes, which explains why design choices there is a lot of overlap between routes as well as the commitment of the Monastery. And besides the narrative is very different between the routes thanks to the lord's different ideals, making it worth investment . I can understand why the developers believed that most people would play only one route, this game is very long, and unless you are a huge fan, you are probably struggling to do another playthrough. I know this for a fact because I played Catherine: Fullbody and AI: The Somnium Files, and I've yet to do another route because I'm not nearly invested into the series. By having overlap with the routes, there's less of a cost for those who don't want to invest in the games. And besides, even if there is overlap that doesn't mean that the game can't be fun to replay. A big reason why Pokemon X and Y are considered to be one of the best games to replay is because of the incredible diversity of Pokemon you can get before the 1st gym, which includes: Flabebe, Ralts, Pansage, Panpour, Pansear, Ralts, Azurill, Litleo, Bunnelny, Riolu, Pidgey, Pikachu, Caterpie, Weedle, Scatterbug, Fletchling, Burmy, Dunsparce and Psyduck. And this is all before the first gym. And it only gets better from here. I replayed Y at least 5 times and and I still have a blast playing through thanks to amazing Kalos Pokedex, which has the largest Dex to date. The same logic also applies Three Houses and why I don't get tired of playing through it. Because the majority of units are blank slates, and also the fact that recruiting is optional in Three Houses for the most part, it means that two playthroughs are rarely going to be exactly the same, meaning that different players will have different experiences depending on what units they have recruited  and what classes they have been trained in even if the maps are the same.

The problem with there is that, at least in terms of plot, none of the routes actually feel like a complete story. They present us a choice of Edelgard, Dimitri and Claude at the start of the game, and then the other two just outright disappear from the plot until over half the game later, where they then show up in a minimal capacity hinting at what's going on in there side of the war. For example, I played Silver Snow first and one of the scenes in that has Dimitri as a ghost lamenting his failure and death. But who the in the world is Dimitri? I had no context or insight into who he was as a person. All he was to me was the guy with the bowel haircut from the start of the game whom I could have chosen. As a scene in isolation it just plain doesn't work because I have no knowledge or connection to the character. It feels like it's there to encourage me to play the other paths of the game. Likewise with Edelgard's death scene in Verdant Wind or Rhea and the Agarthans straight up vanishing in Blue Lions. If they gave us four solid stories that felt like complete stand alone pieces (like Fates did for its three routes, even if the quality of story telling each was worse, the stories still at least feel complete) I could see this working. But instead we got four hollow shells for stories that suggest the other routes are meant to fill in the gaps (but then largely don't).

Edited by Jotari

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, ZeManaphy said:

It stated that the Church has still some funds remaining, and surrounding hamlets have money to give to the army as well. Were you not paying attention to the dialouge? 

That doesn't answer my question at all. Why is the money being given to us in the process of doing what used to be school chores?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, ZeManaphy said:

I can understand why the developers believed that most people would play only one route, this game is very long, and unless you are a huge fan, you are probably struggling to do another playthrough. I know this for a fact because I played Catherine: Fullbody and AI: The Somnium Files, and I've yet to do another route because I'm not nearly invested into the series

AI: The Somnium Files is an interesting attempt at a counter-example. By merit of the game's design and narrative structure, you need to play all the routes for everything to make sense. You could argue that things are explained just after the "True ending", but you need to reach the other four endings for the True ending to open up. In Three Houses, there's no "True ending", and the routes can be played in any order. New routes shed more light on the full story, but each route still tells its own story with its own internal sense.

4 hours ago, Jotari said:

probably wouldn't be the best chapter ever, but it'd be pretty distinctive as far as Fire Emblem chapters go and it would make sense for what is actually meant to be happening at the time.

That is... an idea, to be sure. I worry it'd turn too much into something like the "snow shoveling" map on Revelation. Having 7+ move enemy classes in maps with 2 tiles of sight is always gonna be a bad time.

8 hours ago, ZeManaphy said:

big reason why Pokemon X and Y are considered to be one of the best games to replay is because of the incredible diversity of Pokemon you can get before the 1st gym, which includes: Flabebe, Ralts, Pansage, Panpour, Pansear, Ralts, Azurill, Litleo, Bunnelny, Riolu, Pidgey, Pikachu, Caterpie, Weedle, Scatterbug, Fletchling, Burmy, Dunsparce and Psyduck. And this is all before the first gym. And it only gets better from here. I replayed Y at least 5 times and and I still have a blast playing through thanks to amazing Kalos Pokedex, which has the largest Dex to date. The same logic also applies Three Houses and why I don't get tired of playing through it.

The "best Pokemon game to replay" seems highly subjective. I could counter that X and Y aren't especially enjoyable because they're too easy. The EXP share is overpowered and most trainers have small teams.

Also, if the argument is "so many options", wouldn't this apply better to an FE title with an especially large cast, like New Mystery or Revelation? You can build 3H units in different ways, sure, but reclassing is an option in both the prior games I mentioned. Also, the difference between, say, Fortress Knight Caspar and Grappler Caspar isn't like the difference between Lucario and Medicham. It's more like the difference between a physical Lycario set snd a special one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

AI: The Somnium Files is an interesting attempt at a counter-example. By merit of the game's design and narrative structure, you need to play all the routes for everything to make sense. You could argue that things are explained just after the "True ending", but you need to reach the other four endings for the True ending to open up. In Three Houses, there's no "True ending", and the routes can be played in any order. New routes shed more light on the full story, but each route still tells its own story with its own internal sense.

Also helping is that that's more a pure adventure/visual novel game. The entire reason to play the game is for the story, that's most or all of what VNs are. Gameplay is a form of baggage that hinders multiple runs of 3H (although it is alleviated somewhat by the NG+ feature).

Gameplay is also a form of baggage, in the sense that it limits how much can be done to differentiate any individual route. If you wanted to replace a few of the White Clouds chapters, you'd need to draw up new maps or at least map layouts. It's probably a reason why Shin Megami Tensei games overwhelmingly limit things to different endings, plus maybe a dungeon or two at very best. VNs aren't hindered by this, since they're just dialogue and accompanying artwork.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Three Houses Day 60: Chapter 18 Week 1

Alright, so, I've decided that since Leonie's having some difficulty attacking things from longer distances, I'm gonna try and get her to master sniper for hit+20. Given that I also have Ingrid to master a class with, I'm thinking a lot of my free time this month will be devoted to skirmishes. Especially since the latest Anna quest gives me a giant shell.

However, I'm going to have to start my day with a hefty batch of fishing, because I'm now out of bullheads.

...Gilbert has two quests for us. It asks you which one you want to view... and then just shows you the other one immediately afterwards anyway. Leaving me to wonder what the point of that menu even was.

Well, I don't have the supplies he needs, so guess there's nothing to be done about that right now.

...I apparently have been stocking up four months with my fish bait.

...Christ, this is gonna take a while. Better put on a podcast or something. Starting at 8:21 AM.

13 minutes later, at 8:34, I'm done.

...With the lowest tier of bait.

Three more sessions of that length to go.

8:46, done with the second tier of bait. Taking quick break to do something.

8:54, resuming.

Finish right at the tail end of 9:20. So I've been fishing for a little over 50 minutes, not counting the break. And that's four chapter's worth of fishing. Implying that it is possible to spend something upwards of four straight hours in this game just catching fish for a single playthrough.

...I don't think there's anything I can say here that really needs to be said at this point.

Felix got really annoyed at my answer to his question about what sword to use.

And now Professr and Shamir's A support.

...She... says that we vividly remind her of her first love, someone she lost in the conflict between Dagda and the Empire.

...I wish she went into more detail about this person. As it stands it feels more waffle about the avatar's superhuman charisma.

...So Manuela just learned warp. Interesting. I may have to keep that in mind, that might somehow make it worth fielding her in some situations.

...But yeah, I don't think I can finish three battles today with the time I have, so unfortunately I'm going to stop it here.

It seems I so frequently wind up doing the big missions on Thursday and then have nothing interesting to finish off the week with. Shame. Guess I'll have to find a way to fix that.

Stay safe, everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Jotari said:

Oh, no, I was just talking about interesting ways to make fog of war work in general. On the subject of Grondor II, I can think of a way that would be...interesting to play while also being plot integrated. My other idea for fog of war would be that you can see units just outside of your range of vision, but you can't check their class or stats, they're just figures in the mist. This still accomplishes the same thing as fog of war in general play, but leaves some wiggle room for the player to not be ambushed completely each turn. You know something is coming and where, just not what. Now that's general ideas for fog of war, where this could work very interestingly for Three Houses specifically, is if you could attack allies in the fog, and vice versa. So, essentially, Sylvain can rush out of the fog and attack one of your units, but after the combat he becomes an allied unit and assist you. Make it so the whole map isn't three different deployment zones and that everything is instead mixed together, and the map revolves around seeking through the fog for allies while at the same time trying not to attack them (and having a Raging Storm Edelgard hiding somewhere in the fog would be absolutely terrifying). It probably wouldn't be the best chapter ever, but it'd be pretty distinctive as far as Fire Emblem chapters go and it would make sense for what is actually meant to be happening at the time. The only issue so to speak would be how easy it would be to cheese using divine pulse. Then again divine pulses are limited, granted the limit is way too high, but abuse it too much and you could find yourself in a situation where Dimitri is rushing out of the fog and activating Atrocity on you and there's nothing you can do but let him kill a unit and watch him apologise afterwards.

This reminds me of Ace Combat 7's late-game gimmick, which was cool in my opinion. No fog to speak of, but everything on the map was labeled as unidentified, and you had to get close so the AWACs could analyze and update the IFF. Then if they were friendly but you attacked them before the IFF updated, they automatically turned hostile.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Jotari said:

The problem with there is that, at least in terms of plot, none of the routes actually feel like a complete story. They present us a choice of Edelgard, Dimitri and Claude at the start of the game, and then the other two just outright disappear from the plot until over half the game later, where they then show up in a minimal capacity hinting at what's going on in there side of the war. For example, I played Silver Snow first and one of the scenes in that has Dimitri as a ghost lamenting his failure and death. But who the in the world is Dimitri? I had no context or insight into who he was as a person. All he was to me was the guy with the bowel haircut from the start of the game whom I could have chosen. As a scene in isolation it just plain doesn't work because I have no knowledge or connection to the character. It feels like it's there to encourage me to play the other paths of the game. Likewise with Edelgard's death scene in Verdant Wind or Rhea and the Agarthans straight up vanishing in Blue Lions. If they gave us four solid stories that felt like complete stand alone pieces (like Fates did for its three routes, even if the quality of story telling each was worse, the stories still at least feel complete) I could see this working. But instead we got four hollow shells for stories that suggest the other routes are meant to fill in the gaps (but then largely don't).

It was always the opposite for Fates with me. The biggest problems with Fates in term of the story is that Anankos remains undefeated, bringing up the question why the war doesn’t continue in both routes. Nothing was stopping him from stirring up conflict. And there's also the fact Azura keeps her mouth shut for no good reason, especially in Conquest where she and Corrin visit Valla. In contrast, I feel like Three Houses stories are satisfying conclusions, at least in the sense that there are no huge gap holes like Fates. There are the remains of TWSITD, but the games does state that they indeed to rise again to threaten Fódlan, but are defeated for a second time in certain character ending. 

That same logic you are describing Dimitri also applies to characters like Xander, Niles, Charlotte in Birthright as well. I never got to know these characters, so that compels me to play these games, and I never knew Xander in BR that well so his death scene plays out poorly. So I should play Conquest because BR did fill all the missing gaps. And by the way, you did know Dimitri. He was a student at the Officer's Academy, and you’re friend, at least intially. 

 

6 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

That doesn't answer my question at all. Why is the money being given to us in the process of doing what used to be school chores?

You need money to train your army obviously, Tea Parties, Food, and reopening the Sauna, and those are facilities required to train your units. Is it not obvious?

 

4 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

The "best Pokemon game to replay" seems highly subjective. I could counter that X and Y aren't especially enjoyable because they're too easy. The EXP share is overpowered and most trainers have small teams.

Also, if the argument is "so many options", wouldn't this apply better to an FE title with an especially large cast, like New Mystery or Revelation? You can build 3H units in different ways, sure, but reclassing is an option in both the prior games I mentioned. Also, the difference between, say, Fortress Knight Caspar and Grappler Caspar isn't like the difference between Lucario and Medicham. It's more like the difference between a physical Lycario set snd a special one

I never said it wasn't the perfect title, I'm just saying that the sheer options its a big factor in why its so enjoyable to replay. I could also say that Conquest isn't that enjoyable of a game because you can't grind at all without DLC meaning that its impossible to gain optimal skill sets due to the limited gold or the maps are too hard thanks to the lack of grinding and the enemies having optimal skill sets. 

 

I never said it didn't. I can't comment on New Mystery because I never played it, but in Revelation, I agree the game does give you huge customization options when it comes to classes, though I don't feel like the game does not encourage it as much, since units are already in classes and there's no consistent way of increasing weapon ranks outside of battles, especially since you are stuck using E-Rank weapons should you change from Sniper to Dark  Knight for example. In contrast, I find Three Houses more encouraging in trying different classes since there's plenty of sessions of increasing Weapon Experience and the fact that classes are not locked to weapons bar magic which makes leveling up much easier. 

  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, ZeManaphy said:

You need money to train your army obviously, Tea Parties, Food, and reopening the Sauna, and those are facilities required to train your units. Is it not obvious?

We're talking about in-universe. The story reason. Remember when you accused me of not even reading the dialogue earlier?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

Finish right at the tail end of 9:20. So I've been fishing for a little over 50 minutes, not counting the break. And that's four chapter's worth of fishing. Implying that it is possible to spend something upwards of four straight hours in this game just catching fish for a single playthrough.

...I don't think there's anything I can say here that really needs to be said at this point.

OK, sure, but... why? It's not as if doing all that fishing is meaningfully increasing your chance of beating the game. It's not as if you needed to do more fishing to decide how you feel about it. It's definitely not that you're doing it because you enjoy it. So why are you doing it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, ZeManaphy said:

It was always the opposite for Fates with me. The biggest problems with Fates in term of the story is that Anankos remains undefeated, bringing up the question why the war doesn’t continue in both routes. Nothing was stopping him from stirring up conflict. And there's also the fact Azura keeps her mouth shut for no good reason, especially in Conquest where she and Corrin visit Valla. In contrast, I feel like Three Houses stories are satisfying conclusions, at least in the sense that there are no huge gap holes like Fates. There are the remains of TWSITD, but the games does state that they indeed to rise again to threaten Fódlan, but are defeated for a second time in certain character ending. 

That same logic you are describing Dimitri also applies to characters like Xander, Niles, Charlotte in Birthright as well. I never got to know these characters, so that compels me to play these games, and I never knew Xander in BR that well so his death scene plays out poorly. So I should play Conquest because BR did fill all the missing gaps. And by the way, you did know Dimitri. He was a student at the Officer's Academy, and you’re friend, at least intially. 

Fates has a meta narrative leading to Anankos in Revelation. The Anankos stuff are, essentially, sequel hooks. Only the sequel isn't canonically later in time but takes place at a parallel time. Just like how Fate/Stay Night has two routes that are complete in themselves but lead into Heaven's Feel as a finale. It's not like in Three Houses where I literally have no context for multiple scenes.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, lenticular said:

OK, sure, but... why? It's not as if doing all that fishing is meaningfully increasing your chance of beating the game. It's not as if you needed to do more fishing to decide how you feel about it. It's definitely not that you're doing it because you enjoy it. So why are you doing it?

To demonstrate how much of a time sink this mechanic can be and how badly-optimized it is as a resource-gathering minigame. Also, I do a lot of "cooking together" and needed the bullheads for it, as I said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Alastor15243 said:

To demonstrate how much of a time sink this mechanic can be and how badly-optimized it is as a resource-gathering minigame. Also, I do a lot of "cooking together" and needed the bullheads for it, as I said.

All you're really demonstrating, though, is that if you deliberately play the game in a way that isn't fun then the game won't be fun to play. Which is true but hardly something that needed a demonstration. Pretty much any game can be played in a way that stops being fun if you really put your mind to it.

And OK, so you do a lot of cooking together, but do you really need the bullheads? Is it really that imperative that you have that extra point or two of speed? If you didn't have it, then would any of the upcoming maps become so much harder that you wouldn't be able to get through them? Or so hard that they'd be frustratingly difficult to get through to the point where you'd have less fun due to how hard they were?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, lenticular said:

All you're really demonstrating, though, is that if you deliberately play the game in a way that isn't fun then the game won't be fun to play. Which is true but hardly something that needed a demonstration. Pretty much any game can be played in a way that stops being fun if you really put your mind to it.

And OK, so you do a lot of cooking together, but do you really need the bullheads? Is it really that imperative that you have that extra point or two of speed? If you didn't have it, then would any of the upcoming maps become so much harder that you wouldn't be able to get through them? Or so hard that they'd be frustratingly difficult to get through to the point where you'd have less fun due to how hard they were?

My central critique here is that the game is veritably riddled with game mechanics that are neither balanced, nor fun, nor respectful of the player's time, and there's basically no consistency or grace about where they pop up in a system that is presented to the player as something they at least tried to make an interesting subsystem of resource management, but which instead wound up being, as you described earlier, a system in which grossly imbalanced free shit is awarded to the patient. There is absolutely no justification for the practice of getting fish being this monotonous, grindy and time-consuming, and the entire free time system would almost objectively be improved by trimming the fat in it. I should not have to be this patient to cook with fish, especially since the methods of getting other the other two ostensibly equal food resources, plants and red meat, are radically different.

Edited by Alastor15243

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like the argument of "just don't use it" in regards to fishing, kind of ignores the fact that it gives access to resources you wouldn't be able to get otherwise. Most noteworthy is that if you decide to Stockpile all of your bait for the fistfuls of fish event you can (IIRC) Get to Professor level A/A+ By chapter 9 which is utterly nuts. Though it also requires spending a pretty mindnumbing amount of time fishing. And the fact that the game incentivises stockpiling for certain events like this is in my opinion the worst designed part of it as it incentivizes playing the mini-game for far far longer than it could ever be considered fun. And the advantages from fishing are especially beneficial in Maddening.

To be fair I don't use fishing in my playthroughs just due to how much I don't like it as a game mechanic. But it's definitely an incredibly awfully designed mechanic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Jotari said:

Fates has a meta narrative leading to Anankos in Revelation. The Anankos stuff are, essentially, sequel hooks. Only the sequel isn't canonically later in time but takes place at a parallel time. Just like how Fate/Stay Night has two routes that are complete in themselves but lead into Heaven's Feel as a finale. It's not like in Three Houses where I literally have no context for multiple scenes.

 

Never does the game imply that Fates multiple games are supposed to be sequel hooks. Each game is presented as a separate isolated story, with Corrin having to believe in the ideal that the choice they have made is the correct one. The way the two Corrins interact with each other in Heroes strongly presents the truth that the campaigns of Fates are isolated and not intended to be played as a sequel. Or put this way: Would you ever consider playing Pokémon White after Pokémon Black just because the sides are  swapped? The game does encourage you play Revelation last, but that’s more likely because it’s a golden route ending and wouldn’t make sense to play the golden route before playing 

 

4 hours ago, lenticular said:

All you're really demonstrating, though, is that if you deliberately play the game in a way that isn't fun then the game won't be fun to play. Which is true but hardly something that needed a demonstration. Pretty much any game can be played in a way that stops being fun if you really put your mind to it.

And OK, so you do a lot of cooking together, but do you really need the bullheads? Is it really that imperative that you have that extra point or two of speed? If you didn't have it, then would any of the upcoming maps become so much harder that you wouldn't be able to get through them? Or so hard that they'd be frustratingly difficult to get through to the point where you'd have less fun due to how hard they were?

I found the fishing minigames fun. And as someone who plays competitive Pokémon, I’d argue yes. A few points in a correct stat could be difference between a OHKO or a 2HKO. Here’s an example from this year’s VGC. This is damage from a Palkia without a special attack boosting nature:

252 SpA Lustrous Orb Palkia Hydro Pump vs. 252 HP / 236+ SpD Incineroar: 198-234 (98 - 115.8%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO

 

252+ SpA Lustrous Orb Palkia Hydro Pump vs. 252 HP / 236+ SpD Incineroar: 216-254 (106.9 - 125.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
 
As you can see here, running a Modest nature guarantees a OHKO while Timid does not. For some, getting that OHKO is good enough to use that Modest nature at the cost of some speed. Granted, this is a more than just one or two points of offense, but the point stands that some tiny buffs can make a difference. It’s the same logic on why Rally Skills are so sought after and valued.

 


 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

My central critique here is that the game is veritably riddled with game mechanics that are neither balanced, nor fun, nor respectful of the player's time, and there's basically no consistency or grace about where they pop up in a system that is presented to the player as something they at least tried to make an interesting subsystem of resource management, but which instead wound up being, as you described earlier, a system in which grossly imbalanced free shit is awarded to the patient. There is absolutely no justification for the practice of getting fish being this monotonous, grindy and time-consuming, and the entire free time system would almost objectively be improved by trimming the fat in it. I should not have to be this patient to cook with fish, especially since the methods of getting other the other two ostensibly equal food resources, plants and red meat, are radically different.

That's fair. I don't really think of Three Houses as being a resource management game, but if that's the lens that you're viewing it through, then yeah, it's a pretty lousy one. I guess I think of the monastery parts of the game as being more like a life sim. There are some basic bare-bones minigames in there, but they're pretty straightforward and -- for me at least -- not really the point. I view the monastery as primarily being aboutstory. Or not even that; I think of it as primarily about characters. Yeah, there are some basic minigames there too but they're not why I'm there.

This somewhat gets into questions of authorial intent, which always tend to get messy. I'm not sure I'd agree that it's presented to the player as being a resource management system, because that's not how it came across to me. I play both resource management sims (eg Banished, Surviving Mars) and raising sims (eg Long Live The Queen, Growing Up), and the monastery portions of the game came across as much more akin to the latter than the former to me. I think it is fair to say that if the monastery was intended as a resource management system then it didn't really succeed at that; it's also fair to say that if it wasn't intended that way but came across that way then there was a failure to communicate the intent behind the game.

5 hours ago, deskita said:

I feel like the argument of "just don't use it" in regards to fishing, kind of ignores the fact that it gives access to resources you wouldn't be able to get otherwise. Most noteworthy is that if you decide to Stockpile all of your bait for the fistfuls of fish event you can (IIRC) Get to Professor level A/A+ By chapter 9 which is utterly nuts. Though it also requires spending a pretty mindnumbing amount of time fishing. And the fact that the game incentivises stockpiling for certain events like this is in my opinion the worst designed part of it as it incentivizes playing the mini-game for far far longer than it could ever be considered fun. And the advantages from fishing are especially beneficial in Maddening.

Yes, it gets you resources that you can't get from anywhere else, but my point is that you don't actually need those resources. You need to fish if you want to be able to cook the +speed meal, but you don't actually need to be able to cook the plus speed meal. You can get through the game perfectly fine without it. You can get through the game perfectly fine without hitting professor rank A by chapter 9. And sure, there's an argument that game devs should protect players from themselves, but that only goes so far. It's also a player's responsibility not to play in ridiculous anti-fun ways.

If you choose not to fish, all you are doing is making the game slightly harder. You're not locking yourself off from any content. There aren't any characters that you can only recruit if you fish, any chapters that you can only play if you fish or any support conversations you can only view if you fish. Just a slight increase in difficulty. For a player who is struggling to make it through the game (on whatever difficulty settings or self-imposed challenges they're playing by) then I can certainly see why they might feel that they absolutely had to fish and might resent that fact, but I certainly don't see that Alastor is struggling in his currecnt play through.

50 minutes ago, ZeManaphy said:

I found the fishing minigames fun. And as someone who plays competitive Pokémon, I’d argue yes. A few points in a correct stat could be difference between a OHKO or a 2HKO. Here’s an example from this year’s VGC. This is damage from a Palkia without a special attack boosting nature:

First, if you find the fishing minigame fun then you absolutely should play it as much as you want to. You're not the only person who finds it fun. I have a friend who typically hates basically every fishing minigame in every game ever, but for some reason actually enjoys the one in Three Houses. There's no accounting for taste. If you enjoy it, then that's great! It's there to be enjoyed. The point that I'm trying to make is that people who don't enjoy it really shouldn't feel compelled to do it anyway.

As for the rest of your comment, well, obvious statement is obvious, but: Fire Emblem is not Pokémon. And perhaps even more to the point, single-player Fire Emblem is not competitive Pokémon. In competitive games, it makes sense to eke out every tiny advantage that you can because your opponent is probably doing the same. Games can and do come down to absolutely razor thin margins. Single player games don't work like that. The challenges that you face are always going to be at the same predictable level, and once you've surpassed that level, you are going to win. Having an extra point of speed might occasionally allow Alastor to use strategies that he wouldn't be able to, but it isn't going to alter the final result. He's going to beat the game either way.

If you want to use a Pokémon analogy, let me ask you this: do you need to breed a full team of pokémon with perfect IVs in order to beat the Elite Four?  No, of course you don't, because the Elite Four just aren't that difficult. If you built a perfect competitive-viable team, grinded them all to level 100 and then took them to the Elite Four then you'd get nothing but a big anticlimactic letdown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

My central critique here is that the game is veritably riddled with game mechanics that are neither balanced, nor fun, nor respectful of the player's time, and there's basically no consistency or grace about where they pop up in a system that is presented to the player as something they at least tried to make an interesting subsystem of resource management, but which instead wound up being, as you described earlier, a system in which grossly imbalanced free shit is awarded to the patient. There is absolutely no justification for the practice of getting fish being this monotonous, grindy and time-consuming, and the entire free time system would almost objectively be improved by trimming the fat in it. I should not have to be this patient to cook with fish, especially since the methods of getting other the other two ostensibly equal food resources, plants and red meat, are radically different.

 

5 hours ago, deskita said:

I feel like the argument of "just don't use it" in regards to fishing, kind of ignores the fact that it gives access to resources you wouldn't be able to get otherwise.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a strategy RPG. As an RPG, there exist options of grinding: incredible time sinks that let the player become more powerful. Fishing in this game (particularly past a certain point) is one such. So is grinding off regenerating enemies in aux fights (and arguably aux fights in general). So is running around in a circle repeatedly triggering optional random encounters in your average Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, or Pokemon game.

In all cases, you should not do those things after they stop being fun. As lenticular noted, it is completely unnecessary to grind in order to beat the game - even Maddening NG. The option exists because some people do find grinding enjoyable. Personally, I don't... so I don't do it. The fact that you're choosing to do it suggests you're just trying to dislike the game. I don't think such options mean the game is badly designed, unless you think all RPGs are inherently badly designed.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, lenticular said:

As for the rest of your comment, well, obvious statement is obvious, but: Fire Emblem is not Pokémon. And perhaps even more to the point, single-player Fire Emblem is not competitive Pokémon. In competitive games, it makes sense to eke out every tiny advantage that you can because your opponent is probably doing the same. Games can and do come down to absolutely razor thin margins. Single player games don't work like that. The challenges that you face are always going to be at the same predictable level, and once you've surpassed that level, you are going to win. Having an extra point of speed might occasionally allow Alastor to use strategies that he wouldn't be able to, but it isn't going to alter the final result. He's going to beat the game either way.

The point I'm trying is that numbers can indeed matter, and granted, maybe the margins aren't nearly as high, but it can still make a difference even in a single player campaign. I know this for a fact because Rally Charm was an incredibly useful skill in my Maddening playthrough for increasing my Gambit hitrates due to the increased charm of enemies. Understandably, using competitive calculations may not have been the best analogy, but the logic still applies. I used Pokemon calcs  because I didn’t have any calcs using Rally Charm.  Actually the fact that Three Houses has limited time for auxiliary battles means that it is very unlikely for someone to be overleveled on while playing Hard or Maddening,  meaning that it never hurts to have the most optimal stat distrubution for the battles. 

That being said, I'm surprised to see that people don't really compare Fire Emblem to Pokémon. I've always found the franchises very similar thanks to gameplay and mechanics, a big factor I got into Fire Emblem was how similar it was and how I could apply many of the skills from competitive battling into thee gameplay of Fire Emblem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, ZeManaphy said:

The point I'm trying is that numbers can indeed matter, and granted, maybe the margins aren't nearly as high, but it can still make a difference even in a single player campaign. I know this for a fact because Rally Charm was an incredibly useful skill in my Maddening playthrough for increasing my Gambit hitrates due to the increased charm of enemies. Understandably, using competitive calculations may not have been the best analogy, but the logic still applies. I used Pokemon calcs  because I didn’t have any calcs using Rally Charm.  Actually the fact that Three Houses has limited time for auxiliary battles means that it is very unlikely for someone to be overleveled on while playing Hard or Maddening,  meaning that it never hurts to have the most optimal stat distrubution for the battles. 

My point isn't that increasing stats is good. If you increase your stats then that will make the game easier and will potentially allow you to succeed with strategies that would otherwise have failed. I do not dispute this. My point is that the game is sufficiently lenient and has sufficient margin for error that it was never necessary to rely on these borderline strategies in the first place. For instance it is absolutely possible that giving +1 speed to all your units might allow Annette to reach the speed breakpoint to allow her to double enemy swordmasters, and this might allow her to secure a one turn kill that she otherwise wouldn't have been able to hit.  However, this is completely irrelevant if you could instead secure a one turn kill with Felix or kill the unit by attacking with both Annette and Mercedes or use a gambit to disable the swordmaster and then kill him next round. In this case, having the extra point of speed isn't really helping you beat the level; it's only giving you more options for how you do so.

(I also think that it's a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison to compare Rallies to the boosts from cooking, given that Rallies give a stat boost that is 4 times as large. Also, if we're specifically talking Rally Charm then it's worth noting that the food buff that gives charm doesn't actually require fishing.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ZeManaphy said:

Never does the game imply that Fates multiple games are supposed to be sequel hooks. Each game is presented as a separate isolated story, with Corrin having to believe in the ideal that the choice they have made is the correct one. The way the two Corrins interact with each other in Heroes strongly presents the truth that the campaigns of Fates are isolated and not intended to be played as a sequel. Or put this way: Would you ever consider playing Pokémon White after Pokémon Black just because the sides are  swapped? The game does encourage you play Revelation last, but that’s more likely because it’s a golden route ending and wouldn’t make sense to play the golden route before playing 

Doesn't the Conquest campaign end with Corrin and the royals speculating as to exactly what corrupted Takumi and Garon? Because that is in my book implying that the answer to that question lies elsewhere. Also of note, Birthright ends with Garon stating that at some point he changed and he lost his old self. This is more subtle than Conquest, but it still hints that someone - or something - else is behind the scenes. What's more, I would say the big reason why Revelation is encouraged to be played last is because its story spoils details of both Birthright and Conquest; with a name like "Revelation", that's to be expected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ZeManaphy said:

Never does the game imply that Fates multiple games are supposed to be sequel hooks. Each game is presented as a separate isolated story, with Corrin having to believe in the ideal that the choice they have made is the correct one. The way the two Corrins interact with each other in Heroes strongly presents the truth that the campaigns of Fates are isolated and not intended to be played as a sequel. Or put this way: Would you ever consider playing Pokémon White after Pokémon Black just because the sides are  swapped? The game does encourage you play Revelation last, but that’s more likely because it’s a golden route ending and wouldn’t make sense to play the golden route before playing 

But that's exactly what I said.

8 hours ago, deskita said:

I feel like the argument of "just don't use it" in regards to fishing, kind of ignores the fact that it gives access to resources you wouldn't be able to get otherwise. Most noteworthy is that if you decide to Stockpile all of your bait for the fistfuls of fish event you can (IIRC) Get to Professor level A/A+ By chapter 9 which is utterly nuts. Though it also requires spending a pretty mindnumbing amount of time fishing. And the fact that the game incentivises stockpiling for certain events like this is in my opinion the worst designed part of it as it incentivizes playing the mini-game for far far longer than it could ever be considered fun. And the advantages from fishing are especially beneficial in Maddening.

To be fair I don't use fishing in my playthroughs just due to how much I don't like it as a game mechanic. But it's definitely an incredibly awfully designed mechanic.

Sure the game gives you resources, but you only need to play it to the extent that you need those resources. To play it for hours upon hours when you don't actually like it is just...weird. It's like Fortress Knight isn't a great class, so to prove how badly balanced the game is, I'm going to make my entire army Fortress Knights. That doesn't really prove anything if you're forcing yourself to do it when the game doesn't compell you at all (though actually, making your entire army Fortress Knights actually sounds like it could be a fun challenge. Would be interesting to take on Three Houses maps with such slow paced movement. Stide Gambit would be key).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a strategy RPG. As an RPG, there exist options of grinding: incredible time sinks that let the player become more powerful.

Three things in response to this:

1: It is also a Fire Emblem game, and mechanics of this sort in Fire Emblem games have historically been very limited, with the majority of games in the franchise either only having the arena and boss abuse as a method to do this, and many not having it at all.

2: Even in the cases where boss and arena abuse were allowed, the game's scoreboard punished you for excessive, or even mild, use of this tactic. Even in the games without a ranking system, the games still showed off how many turns it takes you to beat a map as if lower turn counts are something to be proud of. By contrast, spending four hours of your campaign fishing, or not resting at every conceivable opportunity, has no impact on any visible score that Three Houses presents during the "campaign complete" scoring.

3: As far as I'm concerned, the second you try to put a limit on something's use, the interpretation that it was intended to be overpowered, broken and not a part of how the game was balanced flies out the window. Everywhere you go, you see at least the attempt at putting a limit on these broken, time-sinking mechanics, from mutually exclusive options for what to do with a free day, to limited actions per free day, to limited free days per month. These weren't instances of "let's put these things in as an optional thing that we know full well breaks the game". These were, by all appearances, instances of the devs mistakenly going "yeah, this is balanced, right?".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Alastor15243 said:

Three things in response to this:

1: It is also a Fire Emblem game, and mechanics of this sort in Fire Emblem games have historically been very limited, with the majority of games in the franchise either only having the arena and boss abuse as a method to do this, and many not having it at all.

2: Even in the cases where boss and arena abuse were allowed, the game's scoreboard punished you for excessive, or even mild, use of this tactic. Even in the games without a ranking system, the games still showed off how many turns it takes you to beat a map as if lower turn counts are something to be proud of. By contrast, spending four hours of your campaign fishing, or not resting at every conceivable opportunity, has no impact on any visible score that Three Houses presents during the "campaign complete" scoring.

3: As far as I'm concerned, the second you try to put a limit on something's use, the interpretation that it was intended to be overpowered, broken and not a part of how the game was balanced flies out the window. Everywhere you go, you see at least the attempt at putting a limit on these broken, time-sinking mechanics, from mutually exclusive options for what to do with a free day, to limited actions per free day, to limited free days per month. These weren't instances of "let's put these things in as an optional thing that we know full well breaks the game". These were, by all appearances, instances of the devs mistakenly going "yeah, this is balanced, right?".

1. Sacred Stones, Awakening, and Birthright all provide easy, unlimited options for the player to become more powerful, to a greater extent than Three Houses does (on non-Normal difficulties). 3H lies in the middle of the series as to how easy such things are to do. As you note, though, such methods are always possible, and indeed there's a section of the player-base that gravitates towards them. I got into the series with Blazing Blade; one of the earliest points of discussion I remember on the game was how to boss abuse and arena abuse to become more powerful. If Fire Emblem's goal was to limit grinding, it has repeatedly failed.

2. The scoreboard is absent from a majority of the games and ignored by the majority of players in games when it is present. As for arguing that "turns taken" is a scorecard (despite the fact that several games in the series, including 3H, do not even show you the total number of turns taken at the end)... I could just as easily argue that "time taken" is the actual scorecard, and thus excess fishing is ruining your score. (We'd both be wrong; the game clearly isn't using either as a scoring method.)

3. 3H is far from the first game to include grinding, and not the first game to put some sort of soft or even hard limits on it [Valkyrie Profile and Final Fantasy XIII for two prominent examples off the top of my head]. Fishing is very clearly a form of grinding and thus the developer intent is very clearly that you do as much or as little as you want - the fact that bait can only be finitely bought is, I suspect, either a point of flavour or a gentle prod to move on with the game, rather than a point of game balance.

Now, I think the free day and explore action uses are a separate issue (since those are part of the game's main loop and thus there is more of an eye to balancing them) and if you think something is poorly balanced there that's a discussion worth having. Although it's worth emphasizing even before we start that the devs very clearly considered real time a balancer in those choices, too (e.g. Rest is an underpowered option if time is not considered, but a reasonable one if it is; same with seminars to a less extreme extent).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...