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On 6/17/2021 at 3:09 PM, Etrurian emperor said:

I said why its a good idea. Because it would save Berkut from being the absolute loser he is currently. I don't think it would be particularly problematic. It would hardly be the first time a FE main character lives despite being defeated.

It'd be complete and utter bs to make Berkut a moron that had victory at his fingertips and threw it away "just cuz". That's worse in every way than him losing in battle and consistently getting chewed out for it. Especially when FE fans already have a distaste toward characters retreating from fatal blows/fatal situations; Alm never had to deal with such a case in Gaiden, furthering how dumb of an idea it is as the plot can't handle a way of making Alm lose to ruthless battle-hardened Rigelians and survive. No amount of attempted reasoning will ever justify a character like Berkut, who's shown to have brutal thought processes and zero mercy, beating Alm and not killing him. It just makes Berkut's character worse and his downfall even more of a laughing stock among his detractors since he did in fact win but let it go for no good reason in his character outside of literal plot convenience. 

And rarely does a FE main character get defeated in a direct battle and live. It's not common at all and when it does happen sometimes, it's occasionally made fun of depending on the protagonist as it makes little to no sense. I get that Berkut losing can be off for some people, but replacing a "contrived plot measure" with another contrived plot measure is counterintuitive, and none of your approaches handle this problem. It just makes Berkut a bigger dumbass.

Edited by Seazas

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56 minutes ago, Seazas said:

It'd be complete and utter bs to make Berkut a moron that had victory at his fingertips and threw it away "just cuz". That's worse in every way than him losing in battle and consistently getting chewed out for it. Especially when FE fans already have a distaste toward characters retreating from fatal blows/fatal situations; Alm never had to deal with such a case in Gaiden, furthering how dumb of an idea it is as the plot can't handle a way of making Alm lose to ruthless battle-hardened Rigelians and survive. No amount of attempted reasoning will ever justify a character like Berkut, who's shown to have brutal thought processes and zero mercy, beating Alm and not killing him. It just makes Berkut's character worse and his downfall even more of a laughing stock among his detractors since he did in fact win but let it go for no good reason in his character outside of literal plot convenience. 

And rarely does a FE main character get defeated in a direct battle and live. It's not common at all and when it does happen sometimes, it's occasionally made fun of depending on the protagonist as it makes little to no sense. I get that Berkut losing can be off for some people, but replacing a "contrived plot measure" with another contrived plot measure is counterintuitive, and none of your approaches handle this problem. It just makes Berkut a bigger dumbass.

I don't see how it'd be all that contrive for Berkut to best Alm in a brief confrontation but still be unable to actually kill him. This is happening in a moment where Berkut and literally just two other guys are attacking an entire army. Like in the canon as it is this is not a battle they're intending to win, but a precision strike to show off how powerful they are. Getting one of Alm while still being forced to retreat is entirely within reason (well, with as much reason as one can muster when trying to justify three people attacking an army).

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1 hour ago, Jotari said:

I don't see how it'd be all that contrive for Berkut to best Alm in a brief confrontation but still be unable to actually kill him. This is happening in a moment where Berkut and literally just two other guys are attacking an entire army. Like in the canon as it is this is not a battle they're intending to win, but a precision strike to show off how powerful they are. Getting one of Alm while still being forced to retreat is entirely within reason (well, with as much reason as one can muster when trying to justify three people attacking an army).

Jotari, this isn't some random tournament arc where Berkut is an exaggerated rival played for laughs, where he beats the protag and rubs it in for comedy or whatever. This is war and every battle was treated seriously by both the Deliverance and the Empire with dangerously sharp weapons all over the place. Berkut has already established to desire the Deliverance dead and saw nothing special in Alm, he wouldn't keep him alive if given the chance because in Berkut's eyes, there's nothing WORTH keeping alive with Alm. He'd mock Clive for his shitty leader-picking decisions, mock Alm for his weakness, and proceed skewer the village boy right then and there. You know that one moment with DIO where he bests Jotaro once and he says "I've seen enough. I'm satisfied." That's what Berkut would do with Alm in the broader context of a ruthless Rigelian's character like him. Berkut gives zero fucks and has zero respect for Alm.

562739493_Iveseenenough.Imsatisfied..jpg.cb8de3436bf9e91bf2a0ae9ff710c779.jpg

Berkut may have confidently ran in with only two others, but he still fought with the intent to kill and canonically gave the ragtag army a bit of trouble because Berkut was still fighting fairly ferociously. It'd be completely stupid for Berkut to beat Alm and not kill him, as it would weaken the army drastically and keep them from being a pain in the future. He, Fernand, and Generic Cav were clearly aware of the opportunities it entails as they willingly kill anyone they defeat on the map, fitting the Rigel standard of being ruthless and battle-hardened. To not do so would just make him a big dumbass that complains about not ridding the thorn in his side yet dropping the opportunity early on. Literal plot convenience especially when the Deliverance would essentially shrug it off like it's nothing and proceed to still do stuff against Rigel, making Berkut a fucking moron for not landing the fatal blow as the Deliverance doesn't stop. It just makes his character worse and hypes him up as this "badass that beats the protagonist" for nothing as he still loses and is essentially tossed aside, blindsided by Rudolf and his plan. That would make Berkut's ultimate fate an even worse case of wasted potential since he shows he can beat Alm, yet it doesn't even MATTER.

At least SOV had the decency to make Berkut lose and have those losses be acknowledged for his downfall, Berkut getting reality quickly shoved in his face rather than getting away with somehow beating Alm and yet the Empire still loses. It would be worse than Gaiden in every way if Berkut was forced and overhyped to win, as Alm isn't meant to lose due to the stakes of this war. The war is consistently given large stakes in both Gaiden and SOV. If he loses once, it's over as this isn't some sort of joke. Changing it so he can just lose willy nilly against Berkut and not mean a single thing as they succeed regardless is just dumb. Protagonists losing needs to be meaningful in war, such as Sigurd and Leif's losses that really hit hard. All you do in this case is just make Berkut an idiot and feel like bullshit that Alm and co. can lose to Berkut in the midst of literal war and yet Berkut lets them live anyway. I hate that idea in the context of a war-filled hell hole.

Edited by Seazas

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1 hour ago, Seazas said:

Jotari, this isn't some random tournament arc where Berkut is an exaggerated rival played for laughs, where he beats the protag and rubs it in for comedy or whatever. This is war and every battle was treated seriously by both the Deliverance and the Empire with dangerously sharp weapons all over the place. Berkut has already established to desire the Deliverance dead and saw nothing special in Alm, he wouldn't keep him alive if given the chance because in Berkut's eyes, there's nothing WORTH keeping alive with Alm. He'd mock Clive for his shitty leader-picking decisions, mock Alm for his weakness, and proceed skewer the village boy right then and there. You know that one moment with DIO where he bests Jotaro once and he says "I've seen enough. I'm satisfied." That's what Berkut would do with Alm in the broader context of a ruthless Rigelian's character like him. Berkut gives zero fucks and has zero respect for Alm.

562739493_Iveseenenough.Imsatisfied..jpg.cb8de3436bf9e91bf2a0ae9ff710c779.jpg

Berkut may have confidently ran in with only two others, but he still fought with the intent to kill and canonically gave the ragtag army a bit of trouble because Berkut was still fighting fairly ferociously. It'd be completely stupid for Berkut to beat Alm and not kill him, as it would weaken the army drastically and keep them from being a pain in the future. He, Fernand, and Generic Cav were clearly aware of the opportunities it entails as they willingly kill anyone they defeat on the map, fitting the Rigel standard of being ruthless and battle-hardened. To not do so would just make him a big dumbass that complains about not ridding the thorn in his side yet dropping the opportunity early on. Literal plot convenience especially when the Deliverance would essentially shrug it off like it's nothing and proceed to still do stuff against Rigel, making Berkut a fucking moron for not landing the fatal blow as the Deliverance doesn't stop. It just makes his character worse and hypes him up as this "badass that beats the protagonist" for nothing as he still loses and is essentially tossed aside, blindsided by Rudolf and his plan. That would make Berkut's ultimate fate an even worse case of wasted potential since he shows he can beat Alm, yet it doesn't even MATTER.

At least SOV had the decency to make Berkut lose and have those losses be acknowledged for his downfall, Berkut getting reality quickly shoved in his face rather than getting away with somehow beating Alm and yet the Empire still loses. It would be worse than Gaiden in every way if Berkut was forced and overhyped to win, as Alm isn't meant to lose due to the stakes of this war. The war is consistently given large stakes in both Gaiden and SOV. If he loses once, it's over as this isn't some sort of joke. Changing it so he can just lose willy nilly against Berkut and not mean a single thing as they succeed regardless is just dumb. Protagonists losing needs to be meaningful in war, such as Sigurd and Leif's losses that really hit hard. All you do in this case is just make Berkut an idiot and feel like bullshit that Alm and co. can lose to Berkut in the midst of literal war and yet Berkut lets them live anyway. I hate that idea in the context of a war-filled hell hole.

 No one talked about Berkut beating Alm and choosing to spare him. We're talking about being able to get the upper hand in a battle but not being able to kill Alm because Alm's forces are larger than his.  Or if you want a Jojo comparison, Hol Horse and J Geil managing to "kill" Avdol but Hol Horse being forced to retreat due to the efforts of Kakyoin and Polnareff (hell let's make that parallel stronger and kill Slayde at this point, as he does absolutely nothing to justify his continued existence at this point in the story). If you can't imagine a situation where Berkut can get the upperhand against Alm personally, but is still forced to retreat because this is a battle and not a 1 on 1 fight then, well, all I can say is that your imagination is very lacking.

Edited by Jotari

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3 hours ago, Seazas said:

It'd be complete and utter bs to make Berkut a moron that had victory at his fingertips and threw it away "just cuz". That's worse in every way than him losing in battle and consistently getting chewed out for it. Especially when FE fans already have a distaste toward characters retreating from fatal blows/fatal situations; Alm never had to deal with such a case in Gaiden, furthering how dumb of an idea it is as the plot can't handle a way of making Alm lose to ruthless battle-hardened Rigelians and survive. No amount of attempted reasoning will ever justify a character like Berkut, who's shown to have brutal thought processes and zero mercy, beating Alm and not killing him. It just makes Berkut's character worse and his downfall even more of a laughing stock among his detractors since he did in fact win but let it go for no good reason in his character outside of literal plot convenience. 

And rarely does a FE main character get defeated in a direct battle and live. It's not common at all and when it does happen sometimes, it's occasionally made fun of depending on the protagonist as it makes little to no sense. I get that Berkut losing can be off for some people, but replacing a "contrived plot measure" with another contrived plot measure is counterintuitive, and none of your approaches handle this problem. It just makes Berkut a bigger dumbass.

To be honest I don't think Berkut is as ruthless, brutal or even remotely intimidating. The only true brutal thing he does is sacrifice his girlfriend which is long after his sanity cracked. Aside from that all he does is pick fights with Alm and lose. He's not even particularly driven since his approach to the defense of Sophia's capitol is to just sit back and watch Alm take it. It would absolutely be in character for Berkut to scoff and go ''pfff you're not even worth my time''

Though as Jotari said Alm surviving wouldn't have to be about Berkut being merciful. Celica doesn't keep surviving those ambushes because the enemy was feeling generous. Alm and Co can simply retreat after being defeated, Mycen can dive out of the bushes and pull a Conrad or Clive and the Ram boys can drag Alm to safety. Would it be perfect? No, but it at least ensures Berkut isn't an absolute loser. 

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23 minutes ago, Etrurian emperor said:

Though as Jotari said Alm surviving wouldn't have to be about Berkut being merciful. Celica doesn't keep surviving those ambushes because the enemy was feeling generous. Alm and Co can simply retreat after being defeated, Mycen can dive out of the bushes and pull a Conrad or Clive and the Ram boys can drag Alm to safety. Would it be perfect? No, but it at least ensures Berkut isn't an absolute loser. 

I'd give the saving role to Lukas. He has the tanky class and doesn't really have many standout moments in the game as a plot crucial character. I'll also add that it's not like asking for Berkut to win the fight is even that major a change. Canonically we know they did give Alm and co trouble, it's just asking for that to be shown rather than told by displaying Alm's difficulty more in the in engine cutscene and making it clear that he needed his friends to come out on top there.

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1 hour ago, Jotari said:

 No one talked about Berkut beating Alm and choosing to spare him. We're talking about being able to get the upper hand in a battle but not being able to kill Alm because Alm's forces are larger than his.  Or if you want a Jojo comparison, Hol Horse and J Geil managing to "kill" Avdol but Hol Horse being forced to retreat due to the efforts of Kakyoin and Polnareff (hell let's make that parallel stronger and kill Slayde at this point, as he does absolutely nothing to justify his continued existence at this point in the story). If you can't imagine a situation where Berkut can get the upperhand against Alm personally, but is still forced to retreat because this is a battle and not a 1 on 1 fight then, well, all I can say is that your imagination is very lacking.

That essentially happens in Echoes when Alm and co. were given trouble with an army of 3, they're acknowledged as formidable. Berkut isn't some incompetent warrior that gets curbstomped in canon. He gives a good fight but ultimately can't win. Which makes sense, Alm losing in a way your comparison highlighted (Avdol? Seriously?) feels like total nonsense. He doesn't do that in Gaiden nor should he, him being remotely taken down by Berkut is overhyping a character in a way that would be disproportionate to his ultimate role. He's not some badass rival that ultimately comes on Alm's side or a big baddie on his own terms. He's just an arrogant douche that gets a taste of reality and loses it, giving it all up in the end. Completely changing a successful battle from Gaiden into something Alm has to retreat from is... nah, that ain't it. Just feels forced and trying way too hard to make Berkut something he's not. He's a loser, always has been.

1 hour ago, Etrurian emperor said:

To be honest I don't think Berkut is as ruthless, brutal or even remotely intimidating. The only true brutal thing he does is sacrifice his girlfriend which is long after his sanity cracked. Aside from that all he does is pick fights with Alm and lose. He's not even particularly driven since his approach to the defense of Sophia's capitol is to just sit back and watch Alm take it. It would absolutely be in character for Berkut to scoff and go ''pfff you're not even worth my time''

Though as Jotari said Alm surviving wouldn't have to be about Berkut being merciful. Celica doesn't keep surviving those ambushes because the enemy was feeling generous. Alm and Co can simply retreat after being defeated, Mycen can dive out of the bushes and pull a Conrad or Clive and the Ram boys can drag Alm to safety. Would it be perfect? No, but it at least ensures Berkut isn't an absolute loser. 

The game sees him as such, Berkut makes a sport out of cutting people down. Compare his debut attitude about war to Rinea's attitude about it, Berkut's definitely a little ruthless. Also him going "you're not worth my time" is just plain stupid for him. Berkut being that stupid that if given victory he goes full tournament-arc villain and essentially LETS Alm continue to march and slay more enemies in Zofia's benefit. That's just plain absurdity, especially when they're continuing to cut through Rigelian troops around that point as well. This only makes Berkut a bigger moron and that stupid ass moment would be torn to shreds by critics because anyone with common sense would just roll their eyes at the literal throw just for the sake of not ending the plot there. Worst of all, it's in a WAR, with a battle Berkut was still fighting hard in even with three troops. Him not joining in with Desaix's troops where Berkut + Desaix was expecting them to be cut down like nothing doesn't really correlate to him defeating Alm and just... letting him walk away

That's the entire point of Berkut and his arc. That he's a sore loser and pretty much goes unhinged because of everything unraveling to be a lie with his own people in Rigel doubting him/sleeping on him. He declines so much that he pushes away Rinea, ignores Alm's outstretched hand in the end, blinds himself in Duma's power, and was forced to use Nuibaba's mirror: something he thought he was above. Making Berkut super successful against Alm completely contradicts that and would overhype him in ways that are disproportionate to his role and actions. You have to completely change the game from something Gaiden never was in terms of structure and cast if you wanted Berkut to be bigger.

Edited by Seazas

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51 minutes ago, Seazas said:

That essentially happens in Echoes when Alm and co. were given trouble with an army of 3, they're acknowledged as formidable. Berkut isn't some incompetent warrior that gets curbstomped in canon. He gives a good fight but ultimately can't win. Which makes sense, Alm losing in a way your comparison highlighted (Avdol? Seriously?) feels like total nonsense. He doesn't do that in Gaiden nor should he, him being remotely taken down by Berkut is overhyping a character in a way that would be disproportionate to his ultimate role. He's not some badass rival that ultimately comes on Alm's side or a big baddie on his own terms. He's just an arrogant douche that gets a taste of reality and loses it, giving it all up in the end.

Yeah, and that's pretty much exactly the point. A lot of people feel Berkut is a pretty superfluous and annoying character because he is simply a douche who keeps losing, moans about losing and then loses more without ever having any meaningful impact on the story. He doesn't develop Alm's arc in any way. Nor even Fernand or Rudolf's. Take him out of the story and literally nothing changes. He's living and dying on the merits of his own arc which mainly consists of him being an annoying character (with some top class voice acting though).

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Completely changing a successful battle from Gaiden into something Alm has to retreat from is... nah, that ain't it. Just feels forced and trying way too hard to make Berkut something he's not. He's a loser, always has been.

 

Oh I never mentioned anything about retreating. I'm saying the player and Alm's army still wins, Alm just has more visible trouble in the cutscene that already exists and shows him having some trouble. This is literally something that happens in the game already, it's just underplayed and delivered by telling instead of showing.

Edited by Jotari

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Berkut more or less is what people think Alm was meant to be: the problems of following Duma's philosophy to the extreme, with some classism tucked in as well.

After all, who best to be punished for recklessly charging in without thinking things through than the guy who ordered a three-men charge against an army. He's the one the game illustrates why it's bad to follow Duma's philosophy to the extreme, as Alm was not meant to be the one to begin with.

Edited by Acacia Sgt

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21 minutes ago, Jotari said:

Yeah, and that's pretty much exactly the point. A lot of people feel Berkut is a pretty superfluous and annoying character because he is simply a douche who keeps losing, moans about losing and then loses more without ever having any meaningful impact on the story. He doesn't develop Alm's arc in any way. Nor even Fernand or Rudolf's. Take him out of the story and literally nothing changes. He's living and dying on the merits of his own arc which mainly consists of him being an annoying character (with some top class voice acting though).

Oh I never mentioned anything about retreating. I'm saying the player and Alm's army still wins, Alm just has more visible trouble in the cutscene that already exists and shows him having some trouble. This is literally something that happens in the game already, it's just underplayed and delivered by telling instead of showing.

Valid opinion, but that's just the way Berkut is. He's an antagonist who we get to see more of, which helps make him likable for many. By extension, it gave us more of others and what's going on with them (primarily Rudolf, Nuibaba, Fernand, and Jedah). I find it nice to see his own perspective and it fully lays down his personality. Also, Berkut and his ultimate fate does tie into Fernand's. Fernand gets to live long enough to see the error of his ways thanks to Berkut and his downfall.

Edited by Seazas

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40 minutes ago, Seazas said:

Valid opinion, but that's just the way Berkut is. He's an antagonist who we get to see more of, which helps make him likable for many. By extension, it gave us more of others and what's going on with them (primarily Rudolf, Nuibaba, Fernand, and Jedah). I find it nice to see his own perspective and it fully lays down his personality. Also, Berkut and his ultimate fate does tie into Fernand's. Fernand gets to live long enough to see the error of his ways thanks to Berkut and his downfall.

It is of course nice to get more time and exposure to the villains, but even then I don't think Berkut provides much intrigue. I think he has a grand total of two scenes with Rudolf. The stuff with Nibaba seemed posed to be interesting, but ultimately just turned out being sort of weird. I don't think he ever actually has a scene with Jedah? Maybe they share an early scene together with Rudolf, but I don't recall them having any significant interaction. By far his largest potential is with Fernand whom he spends the most time hanging outwith, but any potential  bromance with them really boils down to nothing. Berkut's sliding into self pity is never shown to actually change Fernand's views or really influence him at all. In fact Fernand does basically nothing throughout Part 4, and all he does in Part 3 is sneer. His arc just has a sudden swerve back towards redemption when Berkut kills him out of nowhere for literally no reason. Which is a bit of a shame as his final moments with Clive are pretty well done, there's just no build up to it and it happens purely because this is the end of the game and he's a loose end that needs to be tied up.

57 minutes ago, Acacia Sgt said:

Berkut more or less is what people think Alm was meant to be: the problems of following Duma's philosophy to the extreme, with some classism tucked in as well.

After all, who best to be punished for recklessly charging in without thinking things through than the guy who ordered a three-men charge against an army. He's the one the game illustrates why it's bad to follow Duma's philosophy to the extreme, as Alm was not meant to be the one to begin with.

True he does show something of the Rigelian philosophy, but I think the theme of classism they added to the plot actively takes away from that. The idea of an inherited birthright seems entirely at odds with the idea of what Duma's philosophy is meant to be. I think depicting Rigel as a meritocracy where station of birth is irrelevant compared to competency would make a lot more sense with the theming. Or if they really want that Fernand betrayal and this as an aspect of Berkut, make Rigelian nobility a society built outright on philosophy of eugenics, with people having absolutely no choice over who they reproduce with (which granted was kind of like how real medieval nobility was, but like turned up to 11). Duma wants the strongest and most capable to prosper, while also providing elevated station to people who are merely born in the right family. Station via being born into abundance seems way more like a Mila thing. And there's already ground work built in Gaiden for it being an outright meritocracy. Zeke came from absolutely nothing and somehow managed to become a prominent general in like less than a year. How does Berkut feel about that inexplicable rise to power? Does he see it as unfair for a man of no discernible noble origin to have such a close relationship with Rudolf? Or does he see the innate nobility in Zeke's bearing and not care that a completely nobody has managed to raise through the ranks so incredibly fast? The existence of him does at least suggest that people of no known noble station can raise up through the ranks via competency, and that just seems to be directly at odds with a classest society who see themselves as superior based on birth.

Edited by Jotari

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On the topic of Berkut, if you read developer interviews, Kusakihara has gone on record to explicitly state that Berkut is supposed to be a foil to Alm. The whole idea being that Berkut is what Alm could’ve been had he been raised in Rigel. And if that was legitimately what they were going for, then they failed miserably at it. I’m made the Naruto comparison before and yeah it’s a completely unfair comparison but I can’t understand how anyone could read that manga and not even pick up the basics of how to write an effective foil relationship. Alm and Berkut’s relationship is just so shallow and one sided it’s pathetic. The key to writing a good foil relationship is to make the characters be as similar as possible while seeming completely different. 
 

if the whole idea is that Berkut is what Alm could’ve been, then we should have seen that parallel. We should’ve seen Alm act like Berkut in some ways. Have him have that same air of arrogance or whatever. The point of a foil relationship is to use similarities to highlight differences. And it’s those very differences that help develop both characters and create more meaningful conflict between them. Problem is Alm and Berkut are nothing alike and the most their conflicts amount to is that he keeps whining that he’s constantly losing to a peasant that isn’t actually a peasant but is in fact his cousin. If the the intention was to create a proper foil relationship, then they failed utterly.

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38 minutes ago, Ottservia said:

On the topic of Berkut, if you read developer interviews, Kusakihara has gone on record to explicitly state that Berkut is supposed to be a foil to Alm. The whole idea being that Berkut is what Alm could’ve been had he been raised in Rigel. And if that was legitimately what they were going for, then they failed miserably at it. I’m made the Naruto comparison before and yeah it’s a completely unfair comparison but I can’t understand how anyone could read that manga and not even pick up the basics of how to write an effective foil relationship. Alm and Berkut’s relationship is just so shallow and one sided it’s pathetic. The key to writing a good foil relationship is to make the characters be as similar as possible while seeming completely different. 
 

if the whole idea is that Berkut is what Alm could’ve been, then we should have seen that parallel. We should’ve seen Alm act like Berkut in some ways. Have him have that same air of arrogance or whatever. The point of a foil relationship is to use similarities to highlight differences. And it’s those very differences that help develop both characters and create more meaningful conflict between them. Problem is Alm and Berkut are nothing alike and the most their conflicts amount to is that he keeps whining that he’s constantly losing to a peasant that isn’t actually a peasant but is in fact his cousin. If the the intention was to create a proper foil relationship, then they failed utterly.

Maybe it's just me but Alm not being arrogant kinda was the point.

Berkut's an noble who think he's superior to everyone else while Alm is an peasent who doesn't. (to the point of not catching on to him being Rudolf's son because hey, he's just some normal peasant with combat training.)

I kinda saw the whining as basically intentional irony, you have Berkut/Fernand rambling about how they're losing to a peasant who's actually royalty (and I think would be considered higher up than them actually?), I kinda saw that as intentional irony. (And even then it's still true since Alm doesn't have any of the perks of royalty such as fancy expensive armor or anything like that, so it's both "Losing to a peasant who's probably less well-trained and equipped than you, but also they're actually royalty higher up than you" so it's basically them getting double humiliated kinda.

 

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A big foil is the fact they're both Rigelians, cousins even, but while one grew up in Rigel proper, the other did so in Zofia. With Mycen as his only connection to Rigel. Alm got tempered with both philosophies as he grew up. Sure, sometimes he still shows his Rigelian roots, like how he sometimes charges into things, but usually is motivated by kindness like doing it to save someone, and is also driven to settle things through force, like how he insists the war must be ended by the sword. But considering he grew up in Zofia, how much you determine is nature vs nurture is at play there...

In any case, him being "child of both worlds" is a foil to characters like Berkut or Celica, who were both born and raised under just one.

Edited by Acacia Sgt

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2 hours ago, Samz707 said:

Maybe it's just me but Alm not being arrogant kinda was the point.

I mean yeah that is the point. It’s just the execution is worse than chapter 15 of conquest and chapter 15 of conquest is garbage

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33 minutes ago, Ottservia said:

I mean yeah that is the point. It’s just the execution is worse than chapter 15 of conquest and chapter 15 of conquest is garbage

That's not true, the essential point of a foil characters is showing two characters with different approaches and two different personalities. It can be handled in a multitude of ways. Echoes was never really dishonest with Berkut, they were pretty clear cut with their characters and the general showcase Berkut and Alm's differences. They have paralleling backgrounds while having arcs that are literally the opposite of each other. Both Alm and Berkut have dialogue where they're aware that they're meant for something. But Alm doesn't let his arrogance claim him, he's aware of his weak points and always working to win and improve himself. Berkut however did let arrogance claim him, and instead of trying to improve himself. He broke down and couldn't accept anything that didn't fit his view. Alm, however, broadened his view and didn't shrug off commoners. 

6 hours ago, Jotari said:

It is of course nice to get more time and exposure to the villains, but even then I don't think Berkut provides much intrigue. I think he has a grand total of two scenes with Rudolf. The stuff with Nibaba seemed posed to be interesting, but ultimately just turned out being sort of weird. I don't think he ever actually has a scene with Jedah? Maybe they share an early scene together with Rudolf, but I don't recall them having any significant interaction. By far his largest potential is with Fernand whom he spends the most time hanging outwith, but any potential  bromance with them really boils down to nothing. Berkut's sliding into self pity is never shown to actually change Fernand's views or really influence him at all. In fact Fernand does basically nothing throughout Part 4, and all he does in Part 3 is sneer. His arc just has a sudden swerve back towards redemption when Berkut kills him out of nowhere for literally no reason. Which is a bit of a shame as his final moments with Clive are pretty well done, there's just no build up to it and it happens purely because this is the end of the game and he's a loose end that needs to be tied up.

Well actually, Fernand didn't have a swerve. He was having reasonable thoughts even before Berkut attacked him and his care for Clive was always genuine. That mirror scene directly dedicated a focus on Fernand and how he believes using Duma's power isn't holy and morally right. He directly questions what the Empire is trying to accomplish... he's starting to have doubts. Doesn't that by default shows Fernand isn't beyond redemption since he still has his own morals and disagreements with the Empire? He shows that he's able to think for himself. 

I get that Berkut's character isn't for everyone, but I can't agree that making him win wouldn't make this issue worse. Because it only hypes him up more and it'd make his ultimate fate of losing constantly even MORE glaring. Like, he did all of that and gave Alm trouble of losing against Berkut only for it to not matter at all in the context of Echoes' story. Such a loss essentially never mattered due to the structure of Gaiden, which should never be said for a protagonist losing in a war game like Fire Emblem. They need to be impactful and change context of the story in its' entirety or what's the point? It's why Sigurd and Leif's specific losses were praised so highly. There's just no point. Alm as a character was just meant to win.

I already see a solution with Berkut that doesn't involve changing his losing role. Just give him more likable qualities or just more time in the story in general. Give more of that relationship with Rinea, his beliefs, his care for Rudolf, some talks/disagreements with Fernand, more set morality for Berkut, and more acknowledgement of the fact that Rigel shaped him into who he was (he has a brief line where he says that his father and mother constantly forced pressure on him of being the greatest no matter what). Whether it's through memory prisms or a scene in the story similar to Berkut's other intermissions. Maybe both.

Edited by Seazas

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Shadows of Valentia Day 20: Too Accurate for Sand People

Alright, so, a couple of things. I looked up how to make a killer bow. I'm gonna see what that would cost me, because I'd love to get that on Kliff for obvious reasons, namely Hunter's Volley.

Was it a deliberate joke by the remake devs that in addition to the brave sword having high crit, the killer bow now has a double-attack art?

Speaking of combat arts though, I think making the combat arts cost HP was a bad call. Especially given how readily available shit like physic is. Making it cost weapon durability in Three Houses was probably a better idea, though I'm still not sure how I feel about combat arts overall. The fact that they can't double feels weird to me, and for the most part I only ever find myself using them with units who can't double, or if it's a brave combat art.

...At any rate, I forged a steel bow into a steel bow +1, then into a silver bow, then into a silver bow +1, and now I just need 100 more silver marks to make a killer bow. Let's see if I can scrounge that up, and sell my spice while I'm at it too?

...Yep! Alright, I've got that set up! Pity it's gonna have 2 more weight than the iron bow until and unless I forge it up to a +3 for 300 silver marks and 2 gold marks, but fuck it, that'll be worth it. Eventually. I do not have that kind of silver right now. Kinda hilarious how the gold is the limiting factor thanks to that spice.

But today is not an Alm day! Today is a Celica day! We have to actually make some damned progress towards her next checkpoint with the flood of reinforcements! Thankfully, we have a myrmidon Atlas now due to all the backtracking Celica's part forces you to do in order to promote. But I don't think we'll have any more promotions for a while, so we should be fine from here on out. I'll try to skip over these repeat battles quickly.

Anyway, Atlas is pretty damned good now, being a myrmidon after just two skirmishes. That's what happens when you have mercenary line promotion bases. It's almost impossible to suck no matter how shitty your growths are, and while the others have managed to use their growths to pull ahead of him in things like skill, luck, speed and defense, Atlas has an incredible attack lead on them that I know is gonna be really useful. And it's only going to get more ridiculous the further into the game we go.

Woo! Mae just learned aura! It's a ridiculously heavy spell, but it does a ton of damage, so it'll probably have its uses.

So, I get to the zombie fight to discover I've unlocked Palla and Catria's C support. Aside from some mildly interesting allusions to what's going on back in Archanea, the main thing I take away from this support is the incredibly clumsy way they try to mention Est in a context that makes sense both if she's still held captive and if she's in the party. It fails, because it mostly comes across as them not being concerned about Est's situation at all because she always gets into trouble like this.

In Kamui and Leon's B support, Kamui asks Leon what he thinks makes a good man (not sure why), and Leon basically sums up what he sees as Valbar's virtues. And... honestly, the interesting thing is that as far as I can tell, Leon's summary of him is pretty darned accurate, with no rose-colored glasses making up virtues that don't exist.

He should be kind, strong and mature... while maintaining a boyish innocence. He also needs to listen, but be ready to tell the hard truths when necessary.”

...Yeah, I don't think any of that contradicts what we see of Valbar. Actually, I'm kind of envious of Leon here in the sense that I really wish I could put into words what exactly I like about other people. Hell, not even just what I like about them! If you put me on the spot and asked me to describe my friends' personalities, I'd... honestly struggle to do so even though I've known them for years. It's not that I don't know anything about them... it's that when I try to think of words to describe them I just kinda get confused.

...Alright. Now then... we're finally ready to face these fucking archers in that fucking fortress in that fucking desert.

Thankfully my Leon outspeeds all of them, so we might be able to handle this without diving right into the ridiculous lion's den, but still, this is an annoying map, namely because of all the sand in the way of you and the place you're supposed to go. Because this is where the gimmick of Act 3 Celica Route comes in: fucking sand. Sand that mages can't go across. Making fliers the only ones who can traverse it normally.

Which would be great except the fort is full of archers, several of which have proper bows.

...Some of the mercenaries are retreating into the fort on turn one. I have no fucking clue why.

Hmm, this is going surprisingly smoothly so far... I definitely remember having way more trouble with this map befor-

...Oh.

Right.

The fucking indoor evasion bonus.

I don't know who thought it made sense that it's just harder to hit people who are indoors (even if you are also indoors with them)... but christ these hit rates are annoying.

...Does Wolff... have... the same boss quote as Zakson?

Anyway, the archers are leaving the fortress to chase after me, which is... frustrating, because they're so damned tricky to approach in this rough terrain, and also it can force me to backtrack and have to tread through the desert again even more.

But I get Leon and Valbar's B support, where Valbar opens up about the grief of losing his family. It's... it's not bad. Nothing particularly eye-catching or profound in there, but it was okay.

But yeah, if they had to engineer a map specifically to inspire frustration, this is pretty close to what they'd come up with using these given mechanics. A ridiculous swarm of archers you have to fight in a desert you can't cross quickly, making sure the only units with any mobility are completely useless.

...Aaaaand Genny got killed by Wolff because she couldn't escape his attack range due to the sands.

I genuinely don't understand what kind of fun strategy the devs thought could be employed on this map. Seriously, there are a huge number of units who just have to stand back and watch, and it feels like they expect you to just take a big beefy guy and have him do everything.

At any rate... I'm sorry, but I am not in the mood to retry this map today. Holy shit, the thought just sounds painful. I'm gonna have to come up with a better (and more boring) strategy in order to handle this properly, and I want some time to breathe and simmer down a bit before doing that.

So much for completing Act 3 this week.

Stay safe, everyone.

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14 hours ago, Samz707 said:

I kinda saw the whining as basically intentional irony, you have Berkut/Fernand rambling about how they're losing to a peasant who's actually royalty (and I think would be considered higher up than them actually?), I kinda saw that as intentional irony. (And even then it's still true since Alm doesn't have any of the perks of royalty such as fancy expensive armor or anything like that, so it's both "Losing to a peasant who's probably less well-trained and equipped than you, but also they're actually royalty higher up than you" so it's basically them getting double humiliated kinda.

Well nitpick, but he does have that fancy Royal Sword only royals can use after their first battle.

11 hours ago, Seazas said:

Well actually, Fernand didn't have a swerve. He was having reasonable thoughts even before Berkut attacked him and his care for Clive was always genuine. That mirror scene directly dedicated a focus on Fernand and how he believes using Duma's power isn't holy and morally right. He directly questions what the Empire is trying to accomplish... he's starting to have doubts. Doesn't that by default shows Fernand isn't beyond redemption since he still has his own morals and disagreements with the Empire? He shows that he's able to think for himself. 

You say mirror scene, but as far a I can recall from checking yesterday, that's literally just one line of self-doubt and then literally the next time we see him he's killed by Berkut and completely reverses his opinion.

11 hours ago, Seazas said:

I get that Berkut's character isn't for everyone, but I can't agree that making him win wouldn't make this issue worse. Because it only hypes him up more and it'd make his ultimate fate of losing constantly even MORE glaring. Like, he did all of that and gave Alm trouble of losing against Berkut only for it to not matter at all in the context of Echoes' story. Such a loss essentially never mattered due to the structure of Gaiden, which should never be said for a protagonist losing in a war game like Fire Emblem. They need to be impactful and change context of the story in its' entirety or what's the point? It's why Sigurd and Leif's specific losses were praised so highly. There's just no point. Alm as a character was just meant to win.

It's not like it wouldn't matter. It'd just make Berkut come across as more of a competent character, which canonically he is meant to be. Like I said, the elements for what people are suggesting are already there in the game, they're just underplayed. And Berkut would still ultimately be losing the confrontation overall as it would be Alm's army forcing him to retreat. It would even help the foil aspect of them if both of them see that confrontation as a loss, Alm because he went up against a foe he couldn't beat alone and Berkut because his guerilla strike failed. Though it was obvious always meant to be a harrowing attack without any purpose to scout out strength, so for it to even be seen as a loss is a bit silly. The number of losses Berkut actually has against Alm is more telling than showing now that I think about it, as they only fight three times, once was not a serious attempt, one genuine loss at the border and then the final confrontation where he's killed, long after he's already considered a loser. He's admonished and treated like he's on his last legs before the border fight when all he's ever done up till that point is recklessly charge Alm's army once in a bid he reasonably never expected to win. Yet it's treated like the advancement of Alm is all his fault. Maybe he's meant to have lost in the grander strategy of the whole thing, or maybe the game wants us to see his guerilla strike as a stupid thing to do, but that's not the way it's treated. It's simultaneously treated as a non serious scouting exercise that was successful and gave Alm more trouble that it was worth, and simultaneously a genuine loss that Berkut should be ashamed of.

11 hours ago, Seazas said:

I already see a solution with Berkut that doesn't involve changing his losing role. Just give him more likable qualities or just more time in the story in general. Give more of that relationship with Rinea, his beliefs, his care for Rudolf, some talks/disagreements with Fernand, more set morality for Berkut, and more acknowledgement of the fact that Rigel shaped him into who he was (he has a brief line where he says that his father and mother constantly forced pressure on him of being the greatest no matter what). Whether it's through memory prisms or a scene in the story similar to Berkut's other intermissions. Maybe both.

Well like I said, because his arc has so little connection to the rest of the cast aside from Fernand (whose own arc is similarly underdeveloped beyond it's beginning and end), it lives and dies on how compelling he is as a character. Making him compelling would help, though we can say that about almost any character in fiction. I certainly think they should have given us more detail on his mother. That feels like something that was planned and cut. Because he gives us his mother's ring after the final fight and it's like "Did I miss something? Who the hell is his mother? What does this keepsake symbolize? Why should I care and actually keep it when I can sell it for a few gold pieces to upgrade Falchion?"

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6 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

But yeah, if they had to engineer a map specifically to inspire frustration, this is pretty close to what they'd come up with using these given mechanics. A ridiculous swarm of archers you have to fight in a desert you can't cross quickly, making sure the only units with any mobility are completely useless.

Few realize it, but Gaiden was the very first Ragefest submission.

6 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

Yeah, I don't think any of that contradicts what we see of Valbar. Actually, I'm kind of envious of Leon here in the sense that I really wish I could put into words what exactly I like about other people. Hell, not even just what I like about them! If you put me on the spot and asked me to describe my friends' personalities, I'd... honestly struggle to do so even though I've known them for years. It's not that I don't know anything about them... it's that when I try to think of words to describe them I just kinda get confused.

Leon is a treasure.

6 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

Speaking of combat arts though, I think making the combat arts cost HP was a bad call. Especially given how readily available shit like physic is. Making it cost weapon durability in Three Houses was probably a better idea, though I'm still not sure how I feel about combat arts overall. The fact that they can't double feels weird to me, and for the most part I only ever find myself using them with units who can't double, or if it's a brave combat art.

What should they cost, in a game without weapon durability? Should it be a "limited number of uses per map", like spells and gambits in Three Houses? Anyway, I'd counter that Physic isn't that readily available: Genny gets it, but you're not guaranteed a user on Alm's side until Tatiana. Faye and Tobin can learn it, yes, but they have several other class options.

6 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

Was it a deliberate joke by the remake devs that in addition to the brave sword having high crit, the killer bow now has a double-attack art?

Huh, never noticed that. I can only imagine they were hearkening back to the FE4 tradition, of the Killer Bow being really easy to double with, and generally overpowered.

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8 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

Shadows of Valentia Day 20: Too Accurate for Sand People

Alright, so, a couple of things. I looked up how to make a killer bow. I'm gonna see what that would cost me, because I'd love to get that on Kliff for obvious reasons, namely Hunter's Volley.

Was it a deliberate joke by the remake devs that in addition to the brave sword having high crit, the killer bow now has a double-attack art?

 

Maybe, but I doubt it as the Killer Bow still has high crit. Keeping the Brave Sword actually named the Brave Sword and not renaming it the Killing Edge is something I also categorize as "Honor (to Gaiden) before reason". Early installment weirdness is a thing, you don't have to keep it intact just for the sake of it. The Gaiden Brave Sword is not the same thing as the brave sword that has been established to be in almost every single game in the series. And if they did insist on calling it the Brave Sword then they could have given it something like Double Lion, wouldn't be any more broken than Hunter's Volley, which is Double Lion only from 5 tiles away.

8 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

 

Speaking of combat arts though, I think making the combat arts cost HP was a bad call. Especially given how readily available shit like physic is. Making it cost weapon durability in Three Houses was probably a better idea, though I'm still not sure how I feel about combat arts overall. The fact that they can't double feels weird to me, and for the most part I only ever find myself using them with units who can't double, or if it's a brave combat art.

 

Yeah, but Shadows of Valentia doesn't have durability. And the game is kind of balanced and designed around that that idea with its singular equipment slot. So what else could they do other than HP in Shadows of Valentia? A mana system like Three House's magic?

8 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

I genuinely don't understand what kind of fun strategy the devs thought could be employed on this map. Seriously, there are a huge number of units who just have to stand back and watch, and it feels like they expect you to just take a big beefy guy and have him do everything.

 

Summoning to bait them out is an option too. Really Wolf is the most dangerous thing here, the other archers, even the ones with the bows aren't all that strong. I think even Palla and Catria can take a hit from the ones with bows without dying immediately (just make sure to position them right so it is only one hit). But not from Wolf though, he's a bit of a beast who can probably double a large portion of your army despite wielding a steel bow. If you can forge the 2-3 ranged lance you can also enemy phase the unequipped archers with Valbar (it also comes with Defensive to shrug off enemy fire), though I expect you won't have the money for that since you've just got your killer bow.

 

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19 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

Speaking of combat arts though, I think making the combat arts cost HP was a bad call. Especially given how readily available shit like physic is. Making it cost weapon durability in Three Houses was probably a better idea, though I'm still not sure how I feel about combat arts overall. The fact that they can't double feels weird to me, and for the most part I only ever find myself using them with units who can't double, or if it's a brave combat art.

I quite like how combat arts can't double because it somewhat addresses the longstanding problem of speed being the one stat to rule them all. Speed is still good in SoV and TH because doubling is typically still better than using a combat art but the gulf between a fast unit and a slow one isn't quite as vast any more. Without combat arts, doubling is literally just twice as much damage; with them it's often going to be more like an extra 50% damage. It goes some way to making strong-but-slow style units more viable and increasing unit diversity.

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44 minutes ago, lenticular said:

I quite like how combat arts can't double because it somewhat addresses the longstanding problem of speed being the one stat to rule them all. Speed is still good in SoV and TH because doubling is typically still better than using a combat art but the gulf between a fast unit and a slow one isn't quite as vast any more. Without combat arts, doubling is literally just twice as much damage; with them it's often going to be more like an extra 50% damage. It goes some way to making strong-but-slow style units more viable and increasing unit diversity.

An issue here though is that this frequently makes combat arts just not all that great. As if you're doubling your enemy then you're probably doing more damage. I think Ragnarok Omega is probably the best example of this, as not only does it lose Ragnarok's ability to double, but because it's not technically black magic it can't be used in conjunction with the mage ring to increase its range. Although Ragnarok's superiority over it's Omega counterpart is more something that pops up in the endgame and Thabes, as Ragnarok is usually so heavy that it's hard for Celica to double with it until she gains some points of speed. The fact that it's an art and not black magic also makes it an excellent method for killing Dread Fighters who are commonly the hardest enemies to deal with. You can also get it much earlier than the normal Ragnarok spell if you know what you're doing.

So in short Ragnarok Omega is a perfectly balanced art with postivies and negatives compared to the Ragnarok spell...wait a second I was meant to be talking about how arts are bad in Shadows of Valentia 0.o Yeah, so stuff like Grounder or Penetrate I just plain never use because attacking normally is usually a better option. If an art isn't stupid powerful like Tigerstance, or allowing me to attach without getting a counter attack like ArchBallista or Windsweep, then it's probably just plain not worth using. The fact that it's tied to weapons and not the characters, and also that it takes time using a specific weapon (which by the time you're done you'll probably want to be upgrading that unit to a different weapon) also makes it harder to actually access a wide variety of combat arts. The design philosophy of rather high quality bulky enemies in low numbers also means combat arts aren't particularly well suited for three houses, as it's not always common you can use the extra power to kill an enemy in one hit and not eat a counter attack, and because it takes HP to use, it's pretty common where actually taking the enemy hit and killing on a second strike is more beneficial than the HP cost of an art. Double Lion is usually thought of as one of the best combat arts, but on paper it's' actually quite mediocre, being just Desperation (sure it removes the speed check and increases avoid, but you'll probably be able to double anyway and you'll probably be killing the enemy before the have a chance to fight back). But it's Desperation on Alm and that's fantastic, because Alm's a great unit.

In short, Arts in Shadows of Valentia aren't terrible, but they're way more useful in Three Houses. Were I in charge (and with the benefit of hindsight), I'd either make arts like Three Houses classes, where in once you master a weapon you get an ability you can use even when not using that weapon, or I'd just make skills part of a units spell list as something they learn when they hit certain levels. This would make them more consistent and easier to access. Mathilda is always my Hit and Run girl and she can use that skill in conjunction with a Ridersbane. This would add a lot more defined characteristics to the Shadows of Valentias units which are defined very much by their class (or they're Clair, who is defined as a rather weak member of what is otherwise a good class). Already how good a mage is is more largely determined more by their spell list rather than their stats.

Edited by Jotari

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36 minutes ago, Jotari said:

An issue here though is that this frequently makes combat arts just not all that great. As if you're doubling your enemy then you're probably doing more damage.

That's my point, though. They're not that great if you're doubling. They're considerably better if you're not doubling. Let's say you're Lukas and your speed is garbage. You go to attack something but because you are so slow, you aren't able to double. In fact, you're probably going to get doubled. You have the option of doing a regular attack or using Tempest Lance with the steel lance that you're holding. Provided that you can afford the hp cost, Tempest Lance is just plain better and will do more damage. Now let's say that you're Clair and you have really great speed. You also have a steel lance and the option of using Tempest Lance, but because you're fast you can just do a regular double attack instead. Now, sometimes you will want to use Tempest Lance because the numbers line up better but most of the time you're going to want to double attack instead. That is to say, the existence of combat arts gives a bigger buff to slow units than it does to fast units. This narrows the gap between slow units and fast units, which I consider a good thing. Fast units are still better, but they're not as much better than they would be without combat arts.

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11 minutes ago, lenticular said:

That's my point, though. They're not that great if you're doubling. They're considerably better if you're not doubling. Let's say you're Lukas and your speed is garbage. You go to attack something but because you are so slow, you aren't able to double. In fact, you're probably going to get doubled. You have the option of doing a regular attack or using Tempest Lance with the steel lance that you're holding. Provided that you can afford the hp cost, Tempest Lance is just plain better and will do more damage. Now let's say that you're Clair and you have really great speed. You also have a steel lance and the option of using Tempest Lance, but because you're fast you can just do a regular double attack instead. Now, sometimes you will want to use Tempest Lance because the numbers line up better but most of the time you're going to want to double attack instead. That is to say, the existence of combat arts gives a bigger buff to slow units than it does to fast units. This narrows the gap between slow units and fast units, which I consider a good thing. Fast units are still better, but they're not as much better than they would be without combat arts.

Seems weird to put in an entire game mechanic that gets replaced with a more boring one if you have better stats, no?

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9 minutes ago, Alastor15243 said:

Seems weird to put in an entire game mechanic that gets replaced with a more boring one if you have better stats, no?

I guess? Personally, I'm quite happy with the idea that different units will play differently. It's more interesting to me if there are some units who want to use combat arts and some who don't than if spamming combat arts is always the right answer. But to each their own.

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