Jump to content
Fire Brand

Most and Least Balanced Fire Emblem Game?

Most Balanced and Least Balanced Fire Emblem Game?  

36 members have voted

  1. 1. Most Balanced?

    • Dark Dragon
      0
    • Gaiden
      0
    • Mystery of the Emblem
      0
    • Genealogy
      1
    • Thracia 776
      4
    • Binding Blade
      1
    • Blazing Blade
      8
    • Sacred Stones
      2
    • Path of Radiance
      2
    • Radiant Dawn
      4
    • Shadow Dragon
      1
    • New Mystery
      2
    • Awakening
      0
    • Fates
      8
    • Echoes
      1
    • Three Houses
      2
  2. 2. Least Balanced?

    • Dark Dragon
      3
    • Gaiden
      0
    • Mystery of the Emblem
      0
    • Genealogy
      12
    • Thracia 776
      1
    • Binding Blade
      1
    • Blazing Blade
      0
    • Sacred Stones
      1
    • Path of Radiance
      1
    • Radiant Dawn
      3
    • Shadow Dragon
      1
    • New Mystery
      0
    • Awakening
      8
    • Fates
      3
    • Echoes
      0
    • Three Houses
      2


Recommended Posts

Which FE would you consider the most and least balanced, and why? By balanced, I mean no one weapon, weapon type, character or class dominates the meta over all others or completely breaks the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel Thracia was the most balanced with forced dismounting (I don't like how you can only use swords tho) and the scrolls. You can make anyone good in that game. Some take more effort than others like with Marty. Though, he does have amazing promo bonuses to compensate for his horrible bases.

With Fates, Revelation is the most broken of the three. When you have all the royals, you do not need to use anyone else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A month ago I would have said Genealogy, but I just played Dark Dragon and now know better. Gaiden might turn out to be even worse, hard to tell at this early stage of playing, but the balance issues in Dark Dragon are so completely insane that I struggle to visualize how they were created by a human being. Everything seems arbitrary and bizarre in utterly surreal ways.

As for the best... It's hard to say. Conquest is my favorite game in the series, but it has several bizarre design choices that are just barely big enough to be impossible to ignore. So ultimately I went with the game with the fewest things that ever stuck out to me as absurd, and that's Blazing Sword.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Genealogy is the easy choice for least balanced, between the lack of balance between weapon types in general (wind magic is utterly broken, while fire magic is nigh useless; among physical weapons, swords rule and axes drool), holy weapons making the units who are already among the best in the game even better, Pursuit, and the maps in general heavily favouring horses. Dishonorable mention to Binding Blade for lack of weapon balance and having a lot of units that are obviously more trouble to work with than they're worth (Wendy and Sophia come to mind, but they're hardly the only ones).

In terms of being the most balanced, I went with Blazing Blade because there's little that stands out as egregious in terms of balancing choices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's see

Dark Dragon is basically "Marth solo, the game", and otherwise isn't balanced at all. Your early units are, for the most part, your best units, and Dragons are broken.

Gaiden gets less and less balanced as you go through. At the start, each unit and class has a defined purpose. But by endgame, it's just Falco Knight and Dread Fighter party. At least the other classes can somewhat stay up due to warp being broken.

Mystery of the Emblem is basically an extension of Dark Dragon, so still pretty unbalanced. 

Genealogy is comparatively more balanced, mainly since more units are broken. Most Gen 2 units are busted, so if everyone is busted, no one is.

Thracia is balanced around being broken. Scrolls make everyone usable, but this also has the effect of making the strongest units even more strong. Dismounting somewhat mitigate cavs, although some unit types get somewhat screwed regardless. Staves being the way they are makes staff units the best in the game. Probably the best of the Kaga era, but still not very good.

Binding Blade is a GBA game, these all basically have the same balancing, which is that cavs and fliers are the best.

Blazing Sword, see above

Sacred Stones, see above

Path of Radiance has the foundation for something with good balance, but they don't go all the way, because the one that goes all the way is

Radiant Dawn, the best balanced game in the series. Fliers aren't absolutely broken and have proper counters, for the most part, cavs are limited so that they can't bust through everything, mainly on the Greil Mercs path. Granted, many of the Beast units are either limited or the best units in the game, but since most of those units power is limited to like five maps, it doesn't utterly destroy the games balance. By most accounts, I'd say this game is the most balanced, at the very least on principle it is.

Shadow Dragon is semi balanced, with the reclassing both adding and destroying the balance. Flier emblem is very real in this game, and good lord is it thriving.

I haven't actually played New Mystery, but from what I gathered it's very similar to SD.

Awakening is an unbalanced mess, we all know that. I don't need to go into detail. It's so unbalanced that Lunatic + is basically just "Use the unbalanced units to win", the difficulty mode.

On paper, Fates is one of the most balanced games in the series. In practice, it is utterly broken by the Royals.

SoV is Gaiden without the saving grace of Warp being broken, so by an element being less broken, the game as a whole is more unbalanced.

3H is just generally unbalanced. Nothing outstanding, just general preference of a few classes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe NM as the most balanced. I haven't played it, but I recall hearing from someone who has played all the games that the game is well designed gameplay wise, but I'm speaking words of someone I can't recall. But based on my own experiences. Probably PoR. RD does in theory does have a balance gameplay wise, but the game is unfairly balanced towards several units.

Most unbalanced. Yeah... Genealogy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm tempted to go with Fates as the most balanced solely because Kodachi are a thing, but then again there ARE the royals.  So instead I might go with Blazing Blade for the reasons given above of nothing really sticking out.  Except maybe the Lords not being very good.

Genealogy of the Holy War is a pretty easy pick for least balanced.  Where does one even start?  Being the original Horse Emblem game?  Axes being way too heavy?  Wind just being outright better than Fire and Thunder?  Holy weapons?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No Fire Emblem game is perfectly balanced, each has outliers of the broken and the underpowered at opposite ends of the "efficiency" spectrum.

But, there are those games in which the outliers are closer to the hypothetical mean/median unit, and which the outliers themselves are less numerous. Those Fire Emblems where the outliers and mean/median are closer, are the games with greater balance.

 

Whether one counts "Fix Me Ups" like Shadow Dragon forged effective weapons and reclassing, monster grinding in Gaiden and SS, the Orb fragments and Scrolls of Old Mystery and Thracia, the PoR BEXP dump, the infinite leveling of Awakening, the plethora of Fates options, is up for debate and personal preference. As is the logic of "everyone being broken makes things balanced", which is embedded into many of those above possibilities.

 

I can't choose least balanced, but for most, I'd lean on Blazing Sword or Path of Radiance. Thracia isn't so bad either, with the exceptions of Ronan, Eda, the two Armors, and a handful of cavalry with poor Sword ranks who join in the midgame. I've been playing TearRing Saga, and I might put it in the category of being rather balanced, in the better half of FE at least.

 

 

And one particular thing I choose to focus my lens on in this topic, Radiant Dawn!:

 

Radiant Dawn is an oddball with its outliers so numerous. The Laguz Royals and Haar rest at the broken end, while others like Tormod, Vika, Fiona, and Astrid are firmly placed at the underpowered endpoint.

And yet, I can't unhesitatingly call Radiant Dawn the most unbalanced, even if it has severe problems. My reasoning for that is that the Part system constantly jumbling up your army means that on a given playthrough, I am more likely to use a subpar character than I would in a game with more "traditional" availability.

For an example of what I mean:

Astrid has a good chance of shooting a few arrows off in RD and contributing that way. Because Astrid is around for several fights where I don't have many units to use and she is being deployed without taking a unit slot that leaves someone better on the bench. Someone like Tomas in New Mystery doesn't have that chance, because only once is he freely deployed, the rest of the game he has to fight for a very highly contested unit slot, when I have so many better units I can choose from.

And yet, Tomas is easier to train and make good with long-term payoff than Astrid. Because Tomas once recruited has all of the remainder of the game to train and fight, while the Part system denies that chance to Astrid. This then raises the question- is a game where:

  • Pro- A unit is guaranteed to contribute, however little it may be.
  • Con- That unit's long-term growth is stunted.

...more balanced than game where:

  • Pro- A unit, if you choose to put them in your main lineup, will be able to grow well in the long term.
  • Con- The unit in the short-term makes less contribution on their own without having to use a limited deployment slot

?

Which of the two scenarios is more balanced? Ideally you want units to readily contribute in the short-term without being a burden, and to have good long-term growth. But either-or, which matters more to balance?

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately I don't know how the entirety of every game in the series plays out, so I am working off of incomplete information.

That said, I think it's key that the poll asks about balance, of all things.  That's different from, say, mechanical functionality or difficulty.  If it was the former, I'd easily say the NES titles were the worst, and if it was the latter I'd probably say Sacred Stones or the Valentia games (Awakening would be a contender if not for its BS Lunatic mode).  But balance-wise, it's easily Genealogy that's the worst.  The characters who are most powerful are such leaps and bounds stronger than the rest of the cast that you'd be stupid not to use them; anyone who does a run without using Sigurd and Seliph, for instance, is probably actually insane.  Oh, and what about Arthur with Holsety?  What need does one have for any other unit if they're gonna have a Holsety wielder pretty much right near the beginning of Chapter 6?

As for best balance... I'd almost be inclined to give it to Thracia 776 because I've actually made use of just about every unit in the game, but that isn't because they're well-balanced.  I'd also be inclined to say Fates because even the non-royals could be useful, but Revelation easily proves just how stupidly OP they are (it isn't that Revelation is undoable without them, it's more that it's a flat-out cake walk when you're using all of them).  In the end, I'd probably just default to Blazing Sword - not all the units are great, and there are some notable BS moments (HHM Chapter 28, anyone?), but overall it seems to me like it has the best player-to-enemy balance and every unit is at least usable.  Only mark I'd really put against the unit balance is Nino because like any Est she requires investment at a point in the game where you should probably have your team filled out, but there aren't any units I can think of that are particularly OP (mostly because there aren't stupid 1-2 range PRF weapons that give any unit a real edge).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am vouching Three houses  as the least balanced. WL are as broken as genealogy mounts, except that everyone can become one, so every team will be "general utility, then as many WL as humanly possible."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went with Sacred Stones as most balanced. I know it contains the infamous Seth, but it's easy to appreciate almost everybody else is sitting in an ocean of mid tier viability. Whereas the gap between Pent and Rebecca in FE7 or Titania and Rolf in FE9 is insurmountable. The only low tiers that immediately come to mind are Eirika and the latter two trainees. There's an additional wrench when playing Creature Campaign where all the enemies are undead and makes bishops outshine other units but Moulder and Natasha appreciate the boost in viability compared to L'arachel who would normally throttle them. As for class balance, since this is a game with branched promotions, is decent. The reintroduction of skills mostly doesn't come into play except for bishops who have no activation rate to rely on, and there are three sword locked infantry promoted classes which is especially braindead. But altogether there are few moments where the choice between two classes is painfully obvious besides the aforementioned bishops.

Least balanced is hard for me to pick. FE1's low stat caps, buyable stat boosters and warp skipping let you destroy the game with almost any crew of units with only Tiki, Xane, and Marth standing out as entirely unique units with unique advantages. I never played FE4's second gen to judge and haven't played FE6 in almost ten years to remember much beyond what people always mention. FE9 horse domination is obnoxious and unlike FE4 the non mounted units don't have some kind of arena to excel at, but the game is also so easy you can get away with using whoever and bonus exp boosts units with bad availability. Radiant Dawn's unit balance is remarkably bad, but every unit's issues and strengths being summed up through "availability" gets the player using a huge fraction of the massive roster without really trying except for the dawn brigade crew who have the biggest proportion of terrible units. The Laguz royals are dumb but it's only the last ten percent of the game where they contribute. Three Houses is tempting due to awful class balance, but generous base stats patch up the poor unit stat allocations and I love that design. 

This may be my jaded attitude toward the game but FE11's balance bothers me enough to pick it. The reclassing system in practice just makes the good units better while making the bad units harder to justify due to limited slots for each class. Letting more classes promote is an improvement over the original, but the higher stat caps just widens the gaps laid out by poor unit balance of the mid game. Forging wing spears gives you something to do with your excess cash but makes Ceada way too good as a fighter which she wasn't before. And giving up the starsphere and lightsphere for Falcion is an awful trade in a way it didn't used to be. Because Medeus was thoroughly defanged and Marth and the Falcion were overnerfed.

Edited by Glennstavos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, none of them, because there's always a clear bias towards mounts.  So. . .

Most - I'm going with New Mystery, because it opens up the most broken classes to most of the cast.

Least - Genealogy's mount bias was so bad in part 1 that I have yet to finish it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Flere210 said:

I am vouching Three houses  as the least balanced. WL are as broken as genealogy mounts, except that everyone can become one, so every team will be "general utility, then as many WL as humanly possible."

I strongly disagree - Genealogy mounts tend to be so far ahead of everyone else that you pretty much have to hold back on purpose if you want your foot units to do ANYTHING. And this is ignoring all of Genealogy's other balance problems. I also think Wyvern Lords are overrated, but that's neither here nor there.

Edited by Shadow Mir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing is, many genealogy chapters have castles not in a straight line, so once you know the order, you can move the cavalry to castle 1 while the infrantry crawl to castle 2 or 3. Maybe if you LTC cavaliers will reach castle 2 first anyway, but in any ither case infeanty can fight. 

And again. If Ayra kill a single red unit any map, is still more points for the swordmasters compared to "why are you fielding a swordmaster instead of a WL or BK?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Flere210 said:

The thing is, many genealogy chapters have castles not in a straight line, so once you know the order, you can move the cavalry to castle 1 while the infrantry crawl to castle 2 or 3. Maybe if you LTC cavaliers will reach castle 2 first anyway, but in any ither case infeanty can fight. 

And again. If Ayra kill a single red unit any map, is still more points for the swordmasters compared to "why are you fielding a swordmaster instead of a WL or BK?"

No. You sometimes get blocked from progressing until you capture the castle you're supposed to be capturing.

Good luck with that when by the time she gets to the fighting, it's over. Unless, again, you intentionally hold your mounted units back. And let's not ignore how the best units in Genealogy tend to be mounted anyhow, which really does not help the infantry's case (which, to be fair, can be said of any Fire Emblem game, as @eclipse mentioned, but I find Genealogy to magnify the advantages of being a mounted unit to a massive extreme).

Edited by Shadow Mir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Flere210 said:

The thing is, many genealogy chapters have castles not in a straight line, so once you know the order, you can move the cavalry to castle 1 while the infrantry crawl to castle 2 or 3. Maybe if you LTC cavaliers will reach castle 2 first anyway, but in any ither case infeanty can fight.

Okay, but the issue with sending infantry to the next castles while the cavalry go after first one is that it requires prior knowledge of how the objectives will shift to work, whether it be from a walkthrough or witnessing it for the first time.  A blind player probably won't know the initial order to take castles in and will likely send everyone to Castle 1 not knowing how much manpower he/she can leave behind.  Being able to save at the beginning of every chapter to any of multiple different save files alleviates the problem, but that doesn't hide the fact that these details that might help infantry out are initially obscured and less likely to be considered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

Good luck with that when by the time she gets to the fighting, it's over. Unless, again, you intentionally hold your mounted units back. And let's not ignore how the best units in Genealogy tend to be mounted anyhow, which really does not help the infantry's case (which, to be fair, can be said of any Fire Emblem game, as @eclipse mentioned, but I find Genealogy to magnify the advantages of being a mounted unit to a massive extreme).

Yes and no.  To understand this, you'll need to understand the maps.

Chapter 1 has that famous forest.  This cuts mounted move down to 2-3 (the latter is if your name is Sigurd or Quan), on par with the foot units.  Chapter 5 (IIRC) is the desert map, which again more-or-less equalizes movement.  I remember the Silesia chapter also had a bunch of forests, which put everyone not named Erinyes on roughly equal movement terms.  Given the terrain variety, the mount spam shouldn't be as bad.  There's also Warp/Return, which completely cuts the movement thing out of the picture, and it's a staff that can be repaired.

BUT.  The early chapters are littered with roads, which gives every single non-flier class a percentage advantage to movement.  This means Arden gets 7 movement, which is great.  Most other foot units get 8 - on par with horses.  But the horses?  The unpromoted ones get 11, while Sigurd/Cuan get 12.

Genealogy had the potential to balance mounts nicely, but no thanks to the road bonuses, and the number of early maps it's on, the horses will pull away.  IMO the fix for that would be to give the road bonus to non-mounts, and spam them a little less early-on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, eclipse said:

Chapter 5 (IIRC) is the desert map, which again more-or-less equalizes movement. 

I don't think you really even have to send units that far into the sands, or that many. After you take the castle not that far into the sands, you don't need to send many units much further. Erinys to poke dead any Meteor enemies in your way, Lewyn to Forseti nuke, and Sigurd to finish Gen 1. Aida betrays and helps you as soon as you fight any Freege unit, and Erinys I recall was able to safely bait a stray Freege. After that, Lewyn can snipe Leptor from over a cliff, and once he dies, the rest of the Freege forces disappear.

Most of Chapter 5 is empty space anyhow, the only major fighting ground is the straight stretch between the starting castle and Lombard's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO least balanced are Genealogy (Horse emblem the first, Pursuit, lolbroken legendaries, lolaxes and lolfiremagic), Radiant Dawn (lolmages in general, plus GMs will pull ahead of any Dawn Brigade or CRK unit just by virtue of availability and higher starting level) and Fates: Revelation (lolAzama/Setsuna/Odin/Niles, also compare Nyx and Shura or Arthur/Effie/Charlotte/Benny and Silas, and in both cases it's the same join chapter).

Best are Thracia (dismounting holds back Horse emblem, Pursuit is plain gone, as are legendaries aside from Forseti, which you don't get until last 3 chapters, although staves...), Blazing Blade (I mean, aside from Rebecca being underwhelming most units are balanced) and maybe New Mystery (as long as we disregard "free silvers").

Edited by Kruggov

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Kruggov said:

Radiant Dawn (lolmages in general, plus GMs will pull ahead of any Dawn Brigade or CRK unit just by virtue of availability and higher starting level)

No mention of the laguz? Most of the non-royal laguz feel atrociously underpowered for all the crap you have to put up with to work with them, and then you have the royals, which are overpowered to the point that you might as well not have bothered with the non-royals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say the most balanced is Echoes, because even if you farm EXP the game is difficult, and if you don't it's still beatable, I say the least balanced is Fates: Conquest, because I think you have to know things you couldn't have known, and have to have good stats to win.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Fates-Blade said:

I say the most balanced is Echoes, because even if you farm EXP the game is difficult, and if you don't it's still beatable, I say the least balanced is Fates: Conquest, because I think you have to know things you couldn't have known, and have to have good stats to win.

What do you mean about conquest? The game is deliberately and meticulously designed for that sentence you used to describe it to not be true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Fates-Blade said:

I say the most balanced is Echoes, because even if you farm EXP the game is difficult, and if you don't it's still beatable, I say the least balanced is Fates: Conquest, because I think you have to know things you couldn't have known, and have to have good stats to win.

Yeah, I'm afraid I need an explanation for what you mean about Conquest.

Share this post


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

No mention of the laguz? Most of the non-royal laguz feel atrociously underpowered for all the crap you have to put up with to work with them, and then you have the royals, which are overpowered to the point that you might as well not have bothered with the non-royals.

Yeah, slipped my mind. Tbh some non royals are pretty well off too (Ranulf, hawks, Volug if paired with Zihark or Fiona), but i'm sure you know that 🙂.

Share this post


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

Yeah, slipped my mind. Tbh some non royals are pretty well off too (Ranulf, hawks, Volug if paired with Zihark or Fiona), but i'm sure you know that 🙂.

The hawks and Skrimir are great, but I find it hard to agree on Ranulf and Volug - the former is a cat, which is quick to revert. The latter is great during part 1, but struggles near the end of said part.

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...