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Etheus

What little things really grind your gears?

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The issue with "show don't tell" means that there's a lot of things that are missed, because they weren't told.

Because if "show don't tell" was as good as it's made out to be, FFXV would be much more well-regarded.  And if a fantasy game from a franchise which is known for better stories than FE can't pull it off, I don't have a lot of faith in FE to do it right.

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Paradoxically, videogames are kinda bad at show don't tell, because you have less opportunities to freely switch PoVs, tell your story in a non linear fashion, and because contents in general are expansive to make. Having a scene of Kid Bernadetta being bound in a chair by her father would make her backstory way more impactful, but the devs have to either play favourites, or do the same for most characters backstories, wich would be expensive and time consuming as hell.

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The problem with "show don't tell" as a philosophy is that people use it as an absolute. Not everything needs to be shown, and sometimes it really is better and more efficient to tell. You kind of need to find a balance.

Edited by Etheus

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3 hours ago, Etrurian emperor said:

My incredibly shaky German skills make me think its German. Frei=free and Kugel=bullet. 

I'm at a loss about WHY IS thought those words combined into a great axe name though.

 

3 hours ago, Flere210 said:

The legend of der freishutz, the freeshooter. I don't really know the details, but is a story about an huntsman that made a deal whit the devil to get a rifle that never misses, or something similar to that. Freikugel is the name of the rifle.

Interesting.
In this case „frei" means unimpeded, unrestrained. I do not know the origin, but for me it describes a shot whose hit is magically (diabolically) guaranteed.

 

1 hour ago, Erinyes said:

Simple stories are easier to not fuck up and just like most stories, it's really the execution that matters [...]

What makes something well written is the way it's structured and presented. A lot of crappy movies, TV shows, stories, etc. may have an interesting story/character/idea hook but is executed poorly. If I watch a movie that has good pacing and presentation but a dumb story to tell, then I can at least say it's a well-written movie that entertained me in the way the director intended to.

I wholeheartedly agree with you on this, mate.
My issue with Three Houses is not the story, though; my main complaint is its tedious interactions and boring maps. The gameplay did not hook me enough to care about the story, which is secondary to me. Someday I will complete the campaign. Probably. I guess.

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18 hours ago, Flere210 said:

Paradoxically, videogames are kinda bad at show don't tell, because you have less opportunities to freely switch PoVs, tell your story in a non linear fashion, and because contents in general are expansive to make. Having a scene of Kid Bernadetta being bound in a chair by her father would make her backstory way more impactful, but the devs have to either play favourites, or do the same for most characters backstories, wich would be expensive and time consuming as hell.

Show don't tell just means if you're telling me a character is known to be charming, the character actually has to be charming or rather you never have to tell me the character is charming because they already won me over. You never write "it smelled bad" or "it was scary" you write using descriptive language so the reader is naturally disgusted or scared. Show don't tell is purely a literary technique to make words not boring.

 

As for video games it's more about consistency between informed attributes and what we see happening. If your telling me a character is so kind and all I see them is enjoying torturing a puppy that kindness is merely an informed attribute, I'm being told not shown. Bernadette acts like an abused dog to anyone who interacts with her is showing the effects of the abuse that we the viewer are informed of. We are shown that Bernadette is an abuse victim because she acts like one. The writing for three houses is serviceable if not nescesssrally good, thus it's arguably some of the best for fire emblem as a whole barring the sacred cows i'm not allowed to criticize. 

But hey the poster who started this little spiel got to dump some hate on the posters, throw out in their own SOB story, and showed that their knowledge of literary technique is lacking so yea, niiiice.

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I'll just say that if you complain about "the story was lacking" or "this part needed more writing" or "this part needed to be showed", and turn around and say you hate fanfic, then that annoys me. Fanfic is a way to fix this and people act like all fanfic is like the cringey Sonic OCs on Deviant Art that nobody wants to touch with a 10 foot pole. I hate the trollfics because of this. They make it so people hear "fanfic" and don't take it seriously.

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7 minutes ago, Dragoncat said:

I'll just say that if you complain about "the story was lacking" or "this part needed more writing" or "this part needed to be showed", and turn around and say you hate fanfic, then that annoys me. Fanfic is a way to fix this and people act like all fanfic is like the cringey Sonic OCs on Deviant Art that nobody wants to touch with a 10 foot pole. I hate the trollfics because of this. They make it so people hear "fanfic" and don't take it seriously.

You fanfic'ed a Crest onto Sylvain's genitals. I don't think you are an authority on the legitimacy of fanfiction, with all due respect.

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14 minutes ago, Etheus said:

You fanfic'ed a Crest onto Sylvain's genitals. I don't think you are an authority on the legitimacy of fanfiction, with all due respect.

It was not serious. I wouldn't write that in a serious fic. Furthermore, if Lucina can have a brand in her eyeball, and the brands can supposeably be anywhere, then why can it NOT be there?

If this is the only argument you have then you're part of the problem. Not all fanfic is "And then they all kissed Kevin and got super pregnant" Very few, actually.

Point I'm trying to make is, like, say somebody wrote a fic that fixed the Sigurd and Deirdre romance development. Would you scoff at it because somebody else wrote an Mpreg fetish fic with horrible grammar? If you scoff at all fanfic because of the actions of a few fanfic writers then that's closed minded. Same goes for scoffing at all fanfic because of a joke headcanon one fanfic writer made. Learn to tell the difference.

Edited by Dragoncat

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11 minutes ago, Dragoncat said:

It was not serious. I wouldn't write that in a serious fic. Furthermore, if Lucina can have a brand in her eyeball, and the brands can supposeably be anywhere, then why can it NOT be there?

If this is the only argument you have then you're part of the problem. Not all fanfic is "And then they all kissed Kevin and got super pregnant" Very few, actually.

Point I'm trying to make is, like, say somebody wrote a fic that fixed the Sigurd and Deirdre romance development. Would you scoff at it because somebody else wrote an Mpreg fetish fic with horrible grammar? If you scoff at all fanfic because of the actions of a few fanfic writers then that's closed minded. Same goes for scoffing at all fanfic because of a joke headcanon one fanfic writer made. Learn to tell the difference.

I never actually wrote off fanfiction. I'm only saying that if you wish to alter the perception of fanfiction positively, you should make an earnest effort to not contribute to the negative perception.

 

And I don't buy that it was a joke. Not when your phrasing was essentially "you laugh, and I admit it's funny, but here's an entire paragraph explaining why this works." 

 

I admit that that there is good fanfiction out there. Some of which has even been legitimized or been given cart blanche by the IP holder (the Star Wars expanded universe being a good example). Some of the best games ever made, The Witcher games, could be considered fanfiction because they surpass, but are not considered legitimate canon, by the novel writer. 

 

Despite this, there is an undeniable reputation of sexual deviancy in fanfiction that proceeds the medium. It's often wildly entertaining on "so bad it's good" grounds. I'd be lying if I said "My Immortal" didn't provide me with bountiful laughs for an entire afternoon. But such things do hinder the reputation of the medium as an artform, and it would be wise to distance yourself from them as consistently as possible.

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2 minutes ago, Etheus said:

I never actually wrote off fanfiction. I'm only saying that if you wish to alter the perception of fanfiction positively, you should make an earnest effort to not contribute to the negative perception.

 

And I don't buy that it was a joke. Not when your phrasing was essentially "you laugh, and I admit it's funny, but here's an entire paragraph explaining why this works." 

 

I admit that that there is good fanfiction out there. Some of which has even been legitimized or been given cart blanche by the IP holder (the Star Wars expanded universe being a good example). Some of the best games ever made, The Witcher games, could be considered fanfiction because they surpass, but are not considered legitimate canon, by the novel writer. 

 

Despite this, there is an undeniable reputation of sexual deviancy in fanfiction that proceeds the medium. It's often wildly entertaining on "so bad it's good" grounds. I'd be lying if I said "My Immortal" didn't provide me with bountiful laughs for an entire afternoon. But such things do hinder the reputation of the medium as an artform, and it would be wise to distance yourself from them as consistently as possible.

Can admit that wasn't my best idea and in hindsight it should never have been posted. Despite me saying it works though, it's one of those things that I wouldn't write in a fic project. I've written smut before but that's a whole other ball game.

Fair enough.

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On 11/2/2019 at 1:52 PM, Ottservia said:

Though funnily enough one map I found to do reinforcements well(or it could just be bias) was paralogue 10 from awakening because the reinforcements spawned so far away which gave me enough time to asses the new situation and find a way to deal with it before anything drastic happened. I find that way of doing it pretty fair because it gave me enough time to work around it. I find reinforcements are at their worst when they don't give you enough time to asses the new situation and be able to adequately counter it without completely breaking up your formation and scrambling everything around.

Funnily enough, I actually dislike Sereva's paralogue, but not so much due to the reinforcements (although I still hate those, don't get me wrong) and more because I find the enemy composition to be a pain in the butt to plan around. Not as bad as some of the other paralogues (looking at you, Yarne and Nah! They may not have ambush spawns, but the tricks they do pull work more or less on the same principle), but it's still not a level I look forward to playing.

Anyway, to an extent I do agree with your point about reinforcements being more bearable when they appear further away from the player. I recently beat Shadow Dragon, and I noticed the times I minded them the least where when they showed up close to where the player started the map, at a point where my units were already some ways into the level. I was still annoyed that they arrived without warning, which is my biggest issue regarding reinforcements, but I did have enough time and room to react to their sudden appearance. If IS brings reinforcements back yet again, I would rather the map design be handled like that rather than having them pop up all throughout the level (or replace them with Cantors. As annoying as they could be, at least they were predictable and I could take a more active stance combating them, rather than having to resort to a guide to know when and where reinforcements would appear).

On 11/4/2019 at 7:22 PM, X-Naut said:

Agreed on support points, but I think hidden growths is actually a pretty good call. It keeps newer players from making snap judgments and letting them come to their own conclusions.

I see and to a degree agree try saying that five times fast with you regarding hiding growth rates. I didn't mind not knowing them when playing Awakening and Shadows of Valentina, since everyone is viable in the former, and being able to field everyone in the latter allows even RNG screwed units to contribute. Meanwhile, they would have been nice to show in, say, Shadow Dragon, as the game has dynamic growth rates that fluctuate constantly. Revealing a growth rates could also help resolve the confusion that can occur of how character growth rates and class growths combine together.

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Goddamn. I was honestly surprised there wasn’t a forum like this before in the fandom. Oh well. 

Some things: 

1) People arguing that Mozu is a good unit. I honestly don’t know if this can be counted as a “little” thing, but nonetheless, it drives me insane. 

2) Armored unit animations. I believe the pinnacle of these were in the GBA games, and then from there on it started getting worse. Other animations were OK, but I could never get over the utterly bizzare animations in Awakening. The armor units do a fucking belly slide or something. (I don’t recall what Fates or Echoes had)

3) Ambush Spawns. Obviously.

4) Every time you put a swordmaster into an arena and got a General as an opponent. I recall one particularly awful case- I was doing a “troll” run of FE8 and I sent Joshua into an arena in the chapter where you recruit Marisa, and got a general. Joshua did 1 damage per shot. The general had 42 HP or something.  That kinda sucked. Yeah, that’s mostly bad luck but, whatever. 

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On the topic of show don't tell I hate when FE games are slammed so hard about this. spending lots of resources to bring to life very minor story elements  is such a waste of time and imo just bogs down games.

FE4 has some really good gameplay-story integration, the Yied "event" comes to mind in ch5 because it uses FE's formula to make every persons play through unique to an extent with people dodging and such , even though the end result is still the same. This was an important enough event for them to go out of their way to "show" us. Yet I have heard the same game get criticized for just telling us about the tension between the lords of Augustria and Grandvale on the map overview rather than showing us that. To me that is such an inconsequential nitpick.

FE certainly isn't perfect in this regard, stuff like the tragedy of Duscur could of used some more showing because it would of been impactful on almost the entire BL cast. But before you criticize a game for giving a little exposition over a map, please think to yourself if it really is important or not.

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2 minutes ago, JimmyBeans said:

On the topic of show don't tell I hate when FE games are slammed so hard about this. spending lots of resources to bring to life very minor story elements  is such a waste of time and imo just bogs down games.

FE4 has some really good gameplay-story integration, the Yied "event" comes to mind in ch5 because it uses FE's formula to make every persons play through unique to an extent with people dodging and such , even though the end result is still the same. This was an important enough event for them to go out of their way to "show" us. Yet I have heard the same game get criticized for just telling us about the tension between the lords of Augustria and Grandvale on the map overview rather than showing us that. To me that is such an inconsequential nitpick.

FE certainly isn't perfect in this regard, stuff like the tragedy of Duscur could of used some more showing because it would of been impactful on almost the entire BL cast. But before you criticize a game for giving a little exposition over a map, please think to yourself if it really is important or not.

I agree with all of this. If people want "showing", that's what fanfiction is for. "Show don't tell" really doesn't work as well with video games as it does with books.

Edited by Dragoncat

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14 minutes ago, JimmyBeans said:

On the topic of show don't tell I hate when FE games are slammed so hard about this. spending lots of resources to bring to life very minor story elements  is such a waste of time and imo just bogs down games.

FE4 has some really good gameplay-story integration, the Yied "event" comes to mind in ch5 because it uses FE's formula to make every persons play through unique to an extent with people dodging and such , even though the end result is still the same. This was an important enough event for them to go out of their way to "show" us. Yet I have heard the same game get criticized for just telling us about the tension between the lords of Augustria and Grandvale on the map overview rather than showing us that. To me that is such an inconsequential nitpick.

FE certainly isn't perfect in this regard, stuff like the tragedy of Duscur could of used some more showing because it would of been impactful on almost the entire BL cast. But before you criticize a game for giving a little exposition over a map, please think to yourself if it really is important or not.

Oh my god yes. This 100%. Not everything needs to be “shown” especially in a game like Fire Emblem where the presentation is visual novel-esque(all be it more limited). Like in a game like this how does one “show” that two nations are in tense relations. The only way I can think of is through player-enemy character interaction on the battlefield or small scenes between battles. Honestly whenever people make that complaint I really have to wonder what exactly they mean by that. 

As @CyberNinja said. “Showing” can mean a lot of things but generally speaking it’s there to build off of what is told. It’s mostly used to better showcase a character’s emotions or thoughts and communicate those things to the audience. Generally “showing” is much more important in regards to characterization than world building cause with world building its more a combination of “telling” and “showing” more often than not. Cause with characterization you can get away with just showing but world building and character backstory it’s a bit different.

Edited by Ottservia

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Unit/Class bias - Genealogy of the Holy War is the big one in this regard, but Binding Blade is just as much of an offender, if not even more so because a good deal of the cast is crap and the maps are really big. Also, instances like that of Marisa in Sacred Stones, who joins at level 5... when Joshua has a 5 chapter head start over her even on the route where you can recruit her earlier.

Weapon bias - Axes tend to get the short stick more often than not, even nowadays; just look at Three Houses. Either their users tend to be worse than other units, or axes themselves suck gigantic portions of ass. 

Weapons/items/etc. that are far less useful for the player than they are for the enemy - Status staves are a big one, because status staves tend to be exceedingly rare and extremely niche, but there are others. For example, one dark spell in Thracia causes poison if it hits you. Key word there: you, because that same spell doesn't poison if the dark mage you get uses it. Don't get me started on Awakening Counter. Or Berserkers in Fates.

Overtly intrusive gimmicks - Having to deal with the game actively trying to sabotage me is not cool.

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Unit/Class bias - Genealogy of the Holy War is the big one in this regard, but Binding Blade is just as much of an offender

The best characters in FE6 are fliers, staff utility, horseback units, and Rutger because he deals with bosses effectively. FE6 is no different from any other Fire Emblem game in that regard. Rutger and Shin arguably add more in class diversity than most too given that bow and 6 move 1 range locked units don't tend to be very good. If you really want to criticize a Fire Emblem game besides Genealogy go with Path of Radiance given that only two unit types are good in that game.

 

Quote

Weapon bias - Axes tend to get the short stick more often than not, even nowadays; just look at Three Houses. Either their users tend to be worse than other units, or axes themselves suck gigantic portions of ass. 

Did you mean to say bows? It's accurate to say that bows are bad most of the time, but axes were the best weapon type for at least 3 Fire Emblem games (7, 9, 10) and are competitive for several more. I'm also not exactly sure why you brought up Three Houses either when Axes are going to be one of the primary weapons used by one of the two best physical class types.

Edited by samthedigital

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Multiple tiny little niggling QOL issues in Three Houses:

The inability to highlight individual enemy attack ranges on the preparation screen.

How annoying it is to navigate the fast travel menu because none of the maps are in cardinal directions yet you still have to shift from room to room anyway, rather than just having a cursor and selecting the room you want by moving the cursor freely.

The lack of a "use" option on the convoy menu. You have to pull stat boosters into the inventory before using them. Imagine if this game had tonics! That would be a nightmare!

The lack of the Fates and Awakening "pick which skill to unequip" prompt when you have too many skills, meaning you have to wait until the next map before equipping them, and often you'll forget you even got it until you check back later.

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18 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

Weapon bias - Axes tend to get the short stick more often than not, even nowadays; just look at Three Houses. Either their users tend to be worse than other units, or axes themselves suck gigantic portions of ass. 

Axe users are often also depicted as less prominent characters in general. If they are villains then they're usually reserved for generic bandits or junior villains while playable axe users are usually sidekicks at best or just completely outside the lord's inner circle. 

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1 hour ago, Etrurian emperor said:

Axe users are often also depicted as less prominent characters in general. If they are villains then they're usually reserved for generic bandits or junior villains while playable axe users are usually sidekicks at best or just completely outside the lord's inner circle. 

On that topic I think that it's not that axes are so bad in most games, it's that a lot of games give you bad axe users. People like Barst, Titania, Minerva, and Othin are examples that Axes themselves aren't horrendous, just that a lot of the ones you get early in other games are pretty trash. The GBA fighters I think color most peoples perception.

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The GBA fighters I think color most peoples perception.

You have to be careful about that too. I don't see any difference in Marcus being an axe user compared to Bartre. If we move the discussion to axe locked users then we can compare them to sword and lance locked users, and those don't always do that well either; it's pretty obvious that being locked to one weapon type isn't good.

I don't really think of balance issues when I think of small nitpicks anyway. Things like low FoV, general game speed, and menuing/control issues annoy me a whole lot more as those are things that are impossible to ignore when playing.

Edited by samthedigital

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8 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

The lack of the Fates and Awakening "pick which skill to unequip" prompt when you have too many skills, meaning you have to wait until the next map before equipping them, and often you'll forget you even got it until you check back later.

I can 100% agree with this, I cant say how much this could have really made a difference if I could do this!

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22 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

Multiple tiny little niggling QOL issues in Three Houses:

The inability to highlight individual enemy attack ranges on the preparation screen.

How annoying it is to navigate the fast travel menu because none of the maps are in cardinal directions yet you still have to shift from room to room anyway, rather than just having a cursor and selecting the room you want by moving the cursor freely.

The lack of a "use" option on the convoy menu. You have to pull stat boosters into the inventory before using them. Imagine if this game had tonics! That would be a nightmare!

The lack of the Fates and Awakening "pick which skill to unequip" prompt when you have too many skills, meaning you have to wait until the next map before equipping them, and often you'll forget you even got it until you check back later.

Personally, I think that if fast travel is even necessary for a social base camp like this, they dropped the ball. 

 

It doesn't need to be that big. Give us a war camp the size of what Edelgard gets just before the last chapter of the school phase. Add in a few amenities via a campfire (where the cooking happens), a pond, an armory tent, and a war planning tent. No loading. No instances. No fast travel necessary.

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