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Boomhauer007

Do you feel maddening is well balanced?

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Couldn't make sense of the poll option.

Anyway, just beat GD NG Maddening and was wondering what some impressions people had were. I liked it better than hard being too easy, but I would very much agree with people calling it lazy difficulty. Pump stats, add enemies, give certain classes certain skills, same turn reinforcements, and basically call it a day.

The bad:

Some of the paralogues don't feel like they were play tested at all. Catherine / Ashe comes down to memorizing Pegasus spawns. Alois / Shamir spawns a million STRs that are pass units and wyverns, making forward progress without warp a nightmare.  I could name some more (Hilda ugh) but you get the point.

There's an over reliance on avoid tanking late game. With attack numbers into the 60s and AS into the 50s it's pointless trying to take any hits, and much easier to just alert stance + (or impregnable wall + seal defense) all your problems away.

The good:

The enemies absolutely needed the stat buff. Even paladins could double most things on hard, and early game was your entire team one shoting everything it came across.

They finally made the church units not pointless. Catherine / Shamir / Alois / Seteth are fantastic replacements for RNG screwed people, Catherine in particular is a monster if you recruit her quickly.

I thought most (ugh ch 13) of the main line missions were pretty well done. Challenging but fair.

Stray thoughts

I didn't want this to be a bash rant so I intentionally put more positives than negatives. Most maddening missions can still be cheesed with stride / goddess dance / warp / retribution etc and are a reminder that there is no way to balance OP gambits workout fundamentally changing the game. Swords suck even more, bows still insane. Fliers are even better, but high difficulty fire emblem always widens the class gap so that's not new.

That was all over the place, more importantly what do you think?

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I feel it's hard to be objective in a game that give you so much liberty. Because everyone will have drastically different play style, as well as RNG, some of what you call unfair or OP may not be an issue for others.

That said, maddening does seem to have issues with paralogue (notably in one of them, they apparently forgot to buff Rodrigue). Thankfully they are optional and can be attempted much later.

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I waited for maddening to play, playing golden deer maddening first playthrough, maybe like 3/4 the way through now. I can't compare to other difficulties, or other houses, or even other classing strategies since I've only played it once, but I can give my thoughts on how it fares as a blind experience first time through.

As for other restrictions I'm also not using any online stuff nor did I recruit characters from other houses. I did get a few of the professors (Catherine, Hanneman, Shamir), but of those I'm really only using Catherine and sticking the others as adjutants. I also am not using divine pulse except for misclicks and stuff like that.

Overall I think it was done very well. Many of the missions really made me think about what I had to do to proceed and try a few different strategies. I hear the enemies have more skills, but it seems class based rather than directly selected like in Fates Conquest. Nonetheless many of them are quite relevant, like pass on the thieves/assassins, and poison strike on the archers.

The big thing is the stats. The enemy stats can be REALLY high. Like falcon knights with almost as much defense as my fortress knights, stuff with so much speed it even doubles my fastest character with the lightest weapon with ignatz' rally boost. Most of my units who aren't really tough just die in one shot to an enemy. It's really crazy, but somehow you can pull off some baller strats and succeed, and finding the way to do it is really interesting. In the early game, and even now, I was pretty much having to use weapon arts on every single attack for both the power and accuracy.

Unfortunately all of the side battles (non-paralogue) are just too easy. I haven't done too many of them because of that, but the ones I've done are just a real downgrade from the main game and paralogues, and TBH I don't really think there's much point to them. It seems like they just kind of put a bunch of dudes on some reused maps and called it a day.

However, the Paralogues were all really cool and interesting. For most of them, doing them as soon as they're available is quite hard. I assume that waiting would help on that, though. Instead of doing so, however, I warp skipped a couple of them,  which in the case of the Lorenz one was really fun to figure out how to do. The Catherine / Ashe one was REALLY rough (damn those assassins), but eventually I was able to prevail (though I did delay that one like a month). I didn't get to do the Hilda one, since it said it would be available until May, but then I got timeskipped and it went away, which is a little rude that they lie to you about that. The Marianne one was really fun too, and the Seteth/Flayn one required a very plodding and methodical approach but was pretty interesting to grind out.

As for the main chapters, most of them are really challenging, but some of them are kind of easy, like the burning village (, or the one where all the crest stones are being stolen (I saved about half; it would have been a lot harder to save them all I guess). A lot of the second half of part one was easier than the first half. The lava valley map was kind of easy too, once you know where the allies you have to protect are going to spawn. This is all offset by some REALLY hard maps, like the first two after the timeskip, most of the early ones up to the Tower of Black Winds, the Battle of Eagle and Lion.

Ultimately, I think what's going on is as the game progresses you have a lot more options that mess with the positioning and distance, like warp,  rescue, draw back, dancing. And also your units get access to a lot more range. The Thyrsus for example is REALLY strong (sometimes I think it's a bit overpowered, but then some really hard chapters slam me anyway, so IDK). And having these abilities lets you deal with things a lot more effectively.

So the difficulty is ultimately pretty widely varied and inconsistent, but there haven't really been any main chapters and/or paralogues which were trivial, where I didn't have to think hard about how to proceed (except maybe the burning village chapter), and all of the chapters have been very fun to play so overall I am really liking it so far. 

As for new 3H mechanics in general, the Battalions are kind of cool, in that I like the passive buffs they give your units, and picking which battalion to assign to which unit is interesting. The gambits are unfortunately pretty lackluster, however; they usually don't really do more damage than normal attacks, and the enemy not counterattacking is less of a big deal than you'd think since many of your units can attack from 3-4 range anyway. Also they're usually a really bad option since they're so inaccurate. Almost always, if I'm attacking an enemy, that enemy needs to go down RIGHT NOW, and betting on some 30-40% gambit ain't gonna cut it. Plus there's quite a lot of skills that involve the battalions, but most of them aren't really good, especially when compared to the skills that buff your stats or weapon skill. Like all these things add strength to gambits, and I don't want the gambits to be stronger, i want them to be more accurate. Or the ability only works when the battalion is at low health which is difficult to deliberately engineer. But the enemy knowing gambits is really interesting, because they don't really have to care about consistency as much, because even a 50% chance of ruining your day is pretty bad. So I guess the gambits are a case of something that is better in the enemy's hands than yours, but I can get behind that. They are pretty effective (since they're accurate) against monsters too, so hey.

The main thing that's interesting about this game compared to other FE games is how it kind of forces you to focus on being really proactive. A lot of the really hard strategizing and planning goes into finding ways to kill things before they get a chance to attack you. Most of the heavy lifting is done on player phase, using everything at your disposal to try to smoke all the enemies that might attack you next turn, because if you let them, they will freaking MURDER you. This is unlike a lot of other FE games, a lot of which is about positioning yourself so that the enemies run into you in an optimal way and kill themselves on your counterattacks. In this way it's a bit like Gaiden, which had a bit of a similar focus, with a lot of far-ranging attacks and fewer but stronger enemies.

 

Edited by Galap

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On 9/24/2019 at 2:02 AM, Modirufa6317 said:

I feel it's hard to be objective in a game that give you so much liberty. Because everyone will have drastically different play style, as well as RNG, some of what you call unfair or OP may not be an issue for others.

That said, maddening does seem to have issues with paralogue (notably in one of them, they apparently forgot to buff Rodrigue). Thankfully they are optional and can be attempted much later

Oh I wish I thought of doing the paralogues later when I was higher leveled. Felix paralogue, I couldn't get a single villager not get killed so stride rushed 3 turn with crit. No shield unfortunately.

I am only Ch 14 BL. So far the buff on Ch 13 have been insane, I legit have to EP vantage killer+. Super lucky Dimitri and Byleth had before time skip. Oddly the enemies moved toward the unmoved units too that arent trained (ashe/annette).

So far, I think some parts can be cheese with stride and flying for swift strike/volley Solon or hammer Edelgard. The rest of the levels seem what seems to be a great term from other posts, turtling. Moving slowly around to get a single/a few to kill on PP. I'm excited for the rest of the 8 chapters but so far I'm enjoying it much more than Hard mode. It is more of a chore to just make everyone a flyer and forget about who can't be useful in striding/flying.

Since I havent completed Maddening BL, out of the half of the game I think it balances some parts such as increasing usefulness rally/effective weapons/combat arts (often didn't need, like SoV, falls off past early game Hard Mode), BATTALIONS/GAMBITS, and reasons to use Catherine/Shamir. And I have loved this difficulty so far.

 

I dont understand people hate for the inflated stats. It's better than praying to RNGesus for Awakening reset simulator to give you what you want. Compare it to then what? Lunatic reverse FE12? How else can you make a game hard? Implement much more than inflated enemy stats and added objectives required? Is there a FE that changes the objectives based on difficulty though? 

 

Edited by Johnzin

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8 hours ago, Galap said:

The gambits are unfortunately pretty lackluster, however; they usually don't really do more damage than normal attacks, and the enemy not counterattacking is less of a big deal than you'd think since many of your units can attack from 3-4 range anyway. Also they're usually a really bad option since they're so inaccurate. Almost always, if I'm attacking an enemy, that enemy needs to go down RIGHT NOW, and betting on some 30-40% gambit ain't gonna cut it. Plus there's quite a lot of skills that involve the battalions, but most of them aren't really good, especially when compared to the skills that buff your stats or weapon skill. Like all these things add strength to gambits, and I don't want the gambits to be stronger, i want them to be more accurate. Or the ability only works when the battalion is at low health which is difficult to deliberately engineer. But the enemy knowing gambits is really interesting, because they don't really have to care about consistency as much, because even a 50% chance of ruining your day is pretty bad. So I guess the gambits are a case of something that is better in the enemy's hands than yours, but I can get behind that.

 

Bro gambits are absurd on your side, the damage is the least important part of them. The wide range attack ones like blaze can halt entire enemy formations in their tracks. Stride lets you ignore any range issues. Impregnable wall gives you lol 5 uses to aggro anything for free; enemies could have literally infinite attack and it wouldn't matter.

The high ranks get even crazier, retribution lets you wipe the map of siege users for free. Dance of the goddess makes one turning maps a cake walk. You get an AoE miracle that activates at 100% and lasts until it's used.

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7 hours ago, Johnzin said:

Is there a FE that changes the objectives based on difficulty though? 

Radiant Dawn. On the lowest difficulty, whatever you may call it, Escape and "X Arrives" are Defeat Boss.

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6 hours ago, Boomhauer007 said:

 

Bro gambits are absurd on your side, the damage is the least important part of them. The wide range attack ones like blaze can halt entire enemy formations in their tracks. Stride lets you ignore any range issues. Impregnable wall gives you lol 5 uses to aggro anything for free; enemies could have literally infinite attack and it wouldn't matter.

The high ranks get even crazier, retribution lets you wipe the map of siege users for free. Dance of the goddess makes one turning maps a cake walk. You get an AoE miracle that activates at 100% and lasts until it's used.

If you’re saying what I think you’re saying (apologies if not), Retribution/Counterattack only works on Meteor/Bolting casters and not ballista/other arms users. Granted the casters are way bigger threats anyways, but still. 

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I think that Maddening mode could be improved.  For example, the Gautier Inheritance map took too many turns (54 for me bc of those reinforcements...), also part of the reason that made the DK scary was his 40% avoid tile, but he moves off it lol.  But it forced me to utilize linked attacks more... but pouring experience into my healer in the early game and then heal/status spamming early on to grind white magic rank wasn’t very fun.  The experience cut hurt at first, but at least the Prof’s personal skill is kind of useful now?

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On 9/24/2019 at 11:39 PM, Galap said:

As for new 3H mechanics in general, the Battalions are kind of cool, in that I like the passive buffs they give your units, and picking which battalion to assign to which unit is interesting. The gambits are unfortunately pretty lackluster, however; they usually don't really do more damage than normal attacks, and the enemy not counterattacking is less of a big deal than you'd think since many of your units can attack from 3-4 range anyway. Also they're usually a really bad option since they're so inaccurate. Almost always, if I'm attacking an enemy, that enemy needs to go down RIGHT NOW, and betting on some 30-40% gambit ain't gonna cut it. Plus there's quite a lot of skills that involve the battalions, but most of them aren't really good, especially when compared to the skills that buff your stats or weapon skill. Like all these things add strength to gambits, and I don't want the gambits to be stronger, i want them to be more accurate. Or the ability only works when the battalion is at low health which is difficult to deliberately engineer. But the enemy knowing gambits is really interesting, because they don't really have to care about consistency as much, because even a 50% chance of ruining your day is pretty bad. So I guess the gambits are a case of something that is better in the enemy's hands than yours, but I can get behind that. They are pretty effective (since they're accurate) against monsters too, so hey.

Gambits are only really inaccurate in:

- the very early game where you have yet to build support between your units

- you are using them with low charm units

once you star getting support between your units you can use gambit boosts to make them very accurate. even my shitty charm units like Felix can have their gambits hit for 80% accuracy with some gambit boosts.
gambits are probably one of the strongest mechanics you can abuse. if you're having trouble in maddening it's probably because you are not using gambits the right way.

asides from a few chapters which are genuinely hard maddening gets trivialized by smart gambit usage.

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Something I'm noticing more and more is that difficulty through basic level inflation poses one very specific problem; characters will no longer suffer from lowered exp gains if you overuse them, and thus... well you're left with no incentive not to overuse them. On paper, anyway.
Added to the fact that only a few early battalions raise damage(aka not everyone can get a damage raise and you have to make choices), adjutant slots are limited and we can farm stat boosters... I'm not too optimistic on how the maddening meta will evolve.

That being said, it's pretty challenging at the moment, and that's very welcome.

Edited by Cysx

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The good:

Maddening generally forces you to mind your positioning, and the enemy scaling puts up stiff resistance, so I think that in general terms, it works well. I do like the choice to give consistent bonus abilities to all enemies of a given class, it eliminates those situations where forgetting an enemy has a skill results in a lethal mistake, which caught me out a few times in Lunatic+ in Awakening. Making linked support bonuses and gambit boosts more relevant is a positive change that adds depth to the game. The adjutant guard feature gives you a mid-late game option (on NG) which is more relevant to mitigate the high enemy attack speeds, but can't be used on a flier, which makes that choice more interesting. Due to limits on the casts of magic, it is no longer quite so easy to exploit a healing class to overlevel and outscale / trivialize content on the hardest difficulty just by spamming heal, which is a welcome change from prior titles.

The bad or indifferent:

I'm not a fan of ambush spawns, but divine pulse takes the edge off of that, and I have to admit giving the player a turn to uncounterably kill them wouldn't be as challenging. I think BE Church chapter 18 handles this well by telling you a turn before they are coming. I wish the game did that more often. I kind of wish they gave every boss the counterattack at any range skill, or at least a 2 range option so that they weren't so trivial to kill by outranging. There are still numerous degenerately powerful tools (avoid stacking, encloser spam, impregnable wall, etc.) that can trivialize parts of the game, even in Maddening, so I wouldn't call that balanced, although it is tactical. I think some of those powerful tools were considered when scaling the enemies, which makes Maddening a departure from the balance of simple unit vs. unit combat (like FE 6, 7, 8 ), and since it is often hard to safely win in a straight fight, it turns into more of a game of uncounterable damage or something like a strategic exchange of tactical nukes.

This is a bit playstyle dependent, but I don't like risk, so the Maddening enemy dex bonus giving quite a few enemies low percentage chances of critting my units is unwelcome. Blessing works as a bandaid for that, but also does a lot more than just protect against crits. The attack speed buffs also push enemy evasion up, so I frequently had to rely on linked support bonuses and breaker skills with accurate combat arts to avoid gambling, or failing that, to just reduce the risk, and I think the evasion is a bit too high for units that can't afford a dip into the archer class for hit +20 (especially vs. certain flying units).

I was somewhat disappointed with how boss movement worked out. Bosses being able to move actually seems to make Maddening easier in some situations, since you can lure them off the advantageous terrain, and so many of them are passive until you enter their range. Paralogue bosses generally tend to still be rooted in place. Then again, a chapter 4 where the death knight actively chases you would be a bit much.

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On 9/25/2019 at 8:54 PM, AxelVDP said:

Gambits are only really inaccurate in:

 - the very early game where you have yet to build support between your units

- you are using them with low charm units

once you star getting support between your units you can use gambit boosts to make them very accurate. even my shitty charm units like Felix can have their gambits hit for 80% accuracy with some gambit boosts.
gambits are probably one of the strongest mechanics you can abuse. if you're having trouble in maddening it's probably because you are not using gambits the right way.

asides from a few chapters which are genuinely hard maddening gets trivialized by smart gambit usage.

I don't recall my army's charm stats, but almost everyone has A supports now and the gambits are still rarely cracking the 50 against non-monsters.

 

 

On the topic of maddening in general, I played a couple more chapters since my post, and things are still pretty much in line with what I've been saying so far, some hard chaps, some easy ones, and I feel like while my units are getting base statted hard, I have a lot of positioning options that lets me deal with it anyway.

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3 hours ago, Galap said:

I don't recall my army's charm stats, but almost everyone has A supports now and the gambits are still rarely cracking the 50 against non-monsters.

 

 

On the topic of maddening in general, I played a couple more chapters since my post, and things are still pretty much in line with what I've been saying so far, some hard chaps, some easy ones, and I feel like while my units are getting base statted hard, I have a lot of positioning options that lets me deal with it anyway.

you are probably not gambit boosting then.

lowest accuracy a gambit can have is 20%, if you have 2 A rank support boosting your gambit they give you +20% each, so you get a total of 60% in the worst case scenario (aka bad accuracy gambit + severely outcharmed by the enemy). and that's with just 2 units gambit boosting.

https://serenesforest.net/three-houses/miscellaneous/linked-attacks-gambit-boost/

 

considering you have a broken trade mechanic + should probably have a sniper/bow knight in your team + long ranged spells (via lorenz's relic or just by equipping thoron or better yet meteor/bolting) you should not have trouble setting up for accurate gambits when needed

Edited by AxelVDP

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