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SuperNova125

My problem with Three Houses.

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This is a weird topic that I didn't know where to fit so I posted it here alone. Also, note that I rarely scrolled down the forums to see what people think about the game until now. So, I bought 3H day 1 and I don't regret it I played BE and BL and I loved the game. Then I started playing GD but something made me get bored and eventually I gave the game up at the month with the Remire business.

After some thought I concluded that the reason I gave up the game was because I was bored of playing mostly the same paralouges and generally side-maps, yesterday I opened again the game and I was at Felix's paralouge, which would be the 3rd time clearing it so I closed the game and generally when doing sidebattles I am really bored. But it's a shame as I really wanted to clear GD which I have heard is one of the best routes. 

To me this is the biggest problem with 3H as a whole. To experience the whole game you have to replay it 4 times which means that you have to replay the same paralouges and side-maps more than once and mostly the map design is quite boring and repetitive. Is it me being picky and perhaps unreasonable or do other people agree with me? What is your opinion on the matter? 

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I agree on the tiring nature of replays, but my disdain is everything that isn't those maps. My general viewpoint of Three Houses is that only half the gameplay is engaging and I wish there was an "auto monastery button". I can skip battles and I can skip instructing, but I can't just do what I think is important in the monastery, then tell the game "how should I spend my activity points? I dunno, surprise me". If I could have gardening, fishing, and motivation of students done for me, it'd shave hours off the experience. Unless you're recruiting all units for a support grinding run or doing Maddening mode, absolutely none of what happens in the monastery is integral to progressing the game - certainly not post time skip. Yet the game was absolutely designed for you to take advantage of opportunities unique to the monastery. I'm annoyed that hour 5 of the game is identical to hour 50.

But I've expressed disdain at this side of the game before and the response I always get is "how can you be mad at something that's optional." Yeah, how can I be upset sitting at loading screens like a speedrunner and involuntarily handicapping my units? Just because something is optional doesn't mean it was designed to be skipped. They cater to the player that wants to skip the fire emblem parts of fire emblem, but not the busy work.

I have to wonder if there's an alternate universe where Three Houses is a game with one story, more engaging route splits, actual player choices and role playing opportunities, is 30 chapters long, and came out in 2018. Fire Emblem games weren't inferior back when they were just one campaign. Dump the three paths concept.

Edited by Glennstavos

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While it didn't bother me personally, I agree that there is potential for burnout. I can do 3-4 full playthroughs of the game (albeit skipping most cutscenes) before I need a break to play something else. Currently I'm doing one last CF playthrough before shelving it until the DLC comes out (gonna go back to MUA3, haven't played any of its DLC yet). Take a break, play something in a different genre, and in early February try coming back. See how it feels then.

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The problems I have with the game:

  • Honestly a bit too long, and a lot of it is from the monastery, which gets grindy
  • The fact that there's far more characters than are able to really be used, theres a max of 10-11 deployment slots plus a few adjuvants, and Byleth plus the lord are mandatory, so you end up ony using a small fraction of the army.  Plus there's also the fact that some units make the rest superfluous, like Lysithea and Leonie for mages and bow users.  

Overall though, a very good and #BASED game.

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Yeah, I agree that the "sameness" of different routes, especially pre-skip, is an issue when it comes to replayability. I like the little details that are unique to each route, but they seem few and far between. I don't really know how to solve it, though, since I don't want anything cut out. And getting a "skip to post-skip and autolevel" option would lose you some of the customization and character development.

49 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

But I've expressed disdain at this side of the game before and the response I always get is "how can you be mad at something that's optional." Yeah, how can I be upset sitting at loading screens like a speedrunner and involuntarily handicapping my units? Just because something is optional doesn't mean it was designed to be skipped. They cater to the player that wants to skip the fire emblem parts of fire emblem, but not the busy work.

This is how they balanced the weekend option - Monastery is the strongest, but you have to actually spend time on it. If you want a fast playthrough, that's what Rest and Seminar are for. An "auto-monastery" ability would make those options even less viable.

Also getting "one story" but also "more engaging route splits" and "character choices" sounds contradictory. I could argue that Three Houses is one story, the route split just comes very early. I'd rather not have a game that ends the same, regardless of the choices I make.

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59 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

This is how they balanced the weekend option - Monastery is the strongest, but you have to actually spend time on it. If you want a fast playthrough, that's what Rest and Seminar are for. An "auto-monastery" ability would make those options even less viable.

god, it sounds even more scummy when you put it that way. Like mobile games. You COULD dedicate hours of time to a game or just pay your way through the game's obstacles and restrictions. Seminar and Rest are unviable because of developer oversight on how much you can accomplish in the Explore option. To suggest it was anything other than a mistake is just scandalous.

An auto monastery option would follow the same design as Auto Battle and Auto Instruct. The game makes the choices for you, but you don't get the full benefits. Auto battle AI is idiotic and gets your units killed. Auto instruct only allows for "good" results on instructions so you don't earn greats, perfects, or the support points that come with those possibilities. Auto fishing would just be the blue fish results. Auto activity points would just dine until all your students are motivated, then do faculty training for the remaining points. Things like this.

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Also getting "one story" but also "more engaging route splits" and "character choices" sounds contradictory. I could argue that Three Houses is one story, the route split just comes very early. I'd rather not have a game that ends the same, regardless of the choices I make.

And I'd rather not have a game with four routes that play the same for the first half and only sort of the same for the second half. You could consolidate all of the game's characters and factions into one playthrough. And I'm not the first person to suggest the existing routes are all equally disappointing with how little ground they cover. Do I even need to bring up the value proposition of playing "church route"?

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Putting aside Fates's route-specific issues, I think they actually got the point at which to route split right. There's a handful of shortish chapters that are the same for every route, then split into long routes that are largely different. I was a bit surprised that Three Houses didn't do that here, instead opting to go for twice as many chapters before route splitting. Which also meant that each unique route is only half of the game at most, versus the roughly 3/4ish that Fates's were. I think having twice as many chapters in the Prologue-y part really demonstrates how wearing the same-y content can get. Granted, I get that they can't cut it too short because they wanted to really build up the professor-student relationships, but they could have streamlined some of it to get White Clouds down to like 8 chapters or something, then make up for that by extending each of the unique routes. Like, right now, White Clouds feels far too busy, but post-time-skip almost doesn't feel busy enough, with us spending so much time on lesser issues and smaller skirmishes, then five years later, we come back to this massive, stalemated war, but the game's all, "OhheyBylethisbackandnowwe'reintheenemyHQhowaboutthat?"

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26 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

And I'd rather not have a game with four routes that play the same for the first half and only sort of the same for the second half. You could consolidate all of the game's characters and factions into one playthrough. And I'm not the first person to suggest the existing routes are all equally disappointing with how little ground they cover. Do I even need to bring up the value proposition of playing "church route"?

I think you missed his point:

1 hour ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Also getting "one story" but also "more engaging route splits" and "character choices" sounds contradictory.

If there's still route splits, how is it one story?

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43 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

god, it sounds even more scummy when you put it that way. Like mobile games. You COULD dedicate hours of time to a game or just pay your way through the game's obstacles and restrictions. Seminar and Rest are unviable because of developer oversight on how much you can accomplish in the Explore option. To suggest it was anything other than a mistake is just scandalous

Interpret it however you like. The point is, time is effort, and putting in more effort and thought should be rewarded by better outcomes. The whole point of Monastery exploration is choosing how you use your points to your best advantage, so an auto-choose function seems to defeat that purpose. Rest and Seminar, again, are already the "low-time, low-effort" weekend options.

48 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

And I'd rather not have a game with four routes that play the same for the first half and only sort of the same for the second half. You could consolidate all of the game's characters and factions into one playthrough. And I'm not the first person to suggest the existing routes are all equally disappointing with how little ground they cover. Do I even need to bring up the value proposition of playing "church route"?

All the characters and factions exist in any given playthrough, they're just not necessarily on your side. And @Sid Starkiller pointed to this: How, exactly, do you propose having "one story" that lets you join either side in a major war? If you can't side with Edelgard, you lose a big chunk of the ability to choose that drove how this game was designed and marketed. There's no perfect route, sure, but I would say CF, AM, and VW all do great things in their own rights. I don't know enough about SS to give it a firm thumbs up or down, but it's folly to treat the weakness of one route as a weakness of the game's overall design.

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It didn't turn me off but I do notice it. When doing multiple routes repetition starts settling in. The first generation being the same for every route can make it a bit of the chore. The Paralogue being optional and dependent on having certain characters makes it less noticeable but in two playthroughs you'll be seeing the same paralogues a lot. 

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For all the complaining people did about FE Fates for its route split, there at least was only ever five chapters and five paralogues shared between the paths, so it felt worth it content-wise to go through all the different paths (obviously the substance of the content is another story, but purely judging by original content they got it right).  Wouldn't advocate for more games that are split up into 3 different pieces, but at least each of the three pieces felt like a fresh new experience.

My complaint isn't just the repeating of paralogues and the same... oh, 12 chapters.  What really bogs down the game on a second or third playthrough is everything else surrounding the actual battles.  The exploration, the teaching mechanics, the planning going into how you're training yourself and your team...  The first time it feels great, but subsequent times I'm thinking to myself "I just want to see the end result, okay?"  It's particularly bad if you do New Game+ and have so many more options.  And no, you can't just let everything be automated, because then your team will end up weaker than they ought to be.  You have to do this if you want to build your team to be the best you want them to be.

The only other Fire Emblem game in the series with this same burnout potential is Genealogy of the Holy War.  But you play a game like, say, Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword, and you're just immediately plopped into every chapter - just boom, boom, boom, chapter-to-chapter, no BS in-between, just the scenes and then the battles.  The only potential for burnout comes from how willing you are to ignore the possibility of grinding your team up to max level with the arenas, but those are only accessible in certain chapters and there's only so many chapters with arenas where you aren't under some big time crunch.  Even the "hey, time to grind/buy all the stuff you need" chapter has a time crunch.

I still enjoy Fire Emblem: Three Houses, but I think it's a real bitch to play through multiple times.  I still find myself going back to playing games like Awakening, Fates, or New Mystery, but I don't know if I'll be returning to Three Houses much after I beat every path (yes, I still have yet to beat every path in the game).

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1 hour ago, Sid Starkiller said:

I think you missed his point:

If there's still route splits, how is it one story?

The GBA games have the route splits I'm referring to. Why is this even a question? I'm asking for player choice, not "pick which game you want to play" an hour into a playthrough.

44 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

All the characters and factions exist in any given playthrough, they're just not necessarily on your side. And @Sid Starkiller pointed to this: How, exactly, do you propose having "one story" that lets you join either side in a major war? If you can't side with Edelgard, you lose a big chunk of the ability to choose that drove how this game was designed and marketed. There's no perfect route, sure, but I would say CF, AM, and VW all do great things in their own rights.

There's only one enemy that is not unique to any of the routes - and they happen to be the most powerful anyway. The Slitherers. They're the villain. That some routes don't end with their defeat is just further evidence of their incompleteness in terms of narrative. I'm not asking for a "perfect route". Player choice in a good game has consequences.

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I don't know enough about SS to give it a firm thumbs up or down, but it's folly to treat the weakness of one route as a weakness of the game's overall design.

If I can't point to one of the routes as evidence of flawed route splits then I have no idea how I could convince you of anything. Seeing that you have nothing to say about my original post, you can stop now.

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im on my 5th playthrough and i agree that im burned out as well. I havent even played jeritza yet and i dont plan to until the next DLC wave comes out. ill be really disapointed if the 4 characters are route locked (if they were thatd be a huge mistake by IS) i plan to do my black eagle run with edelgard to get jeritza and the 4 new characters all at once, in one playthrough. 

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Yeah after my third route I had to wait a month before I started my final route, the SS route.

I recommend that when playing another route that you don't do any side battles and always try different classes for your units to keep it fresh and somewhat challenging. Luckily every house has different units so you can try a lot of different things.

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48 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

The GBA games have the route splits I'm referring to. Why is this even a question? I'm asking for player choice, not "pick which game you want to play" an hour into a playthrough.

There's only one enemy that is not unique to any of the routes - and they happen to be the most powerful anyway. The Slitherers. They're the villain. That some routes don't end with their defeat is just further evidence of their incompleteness in terms of narrative. I'm not asking for a "perfect route". Player choice in a good game has consequences.

If I can't point to one of the routes as evidence of flawed route splits then I have no idea how I could convince you of anything. Seeing that you have nothing to say about my original post, you can stop now.

It's obvious we want different things out of this game. I do like route splits in other games, but don't feel they're necessary in this one (though I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to the game saying "you can do this paralogue, or that one, but not both"). I quite like the "three-route" structure, and prefer that the game does not have a single overarching villain - but, rather, that antagonist and ally can switch depending on the decisions you make. That you get to build a close bond with a specific Lord and house, and follow them on their journey. That the end state of the world depends on the choices you (as Byleth) make. I wish there were more choices, sure, but I respect Three Houses for delivering something different than a single, uniform narrative. 

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4 hours ago, Glennstavos said:

The GBA games have the route splits I'm referring to. Why is this even a question?

You put forth an idea that, devoid of context, sounded weird. I asked for clarification. Why is it so terrible that I asked to clarify something?

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11 hours ago, Xenovia said:

The problems I have with the game:

  • Honestly a bit too long, and a lot of it is from the monastery, which gets grindy
  • The fact that there's far more characters than are able to really be used, theres a max of 10-11 deployment slots plus a few adjuvants, and Byleth plus the lord are mandatory, so you end up ony using a small fraction of the army.  Plus there's also the fact that some units make the rest superfluous, like Lysithea and Leonie for mages and bow users.  

Overall though, a very good and #BASED game.

Unfortunately the deployment slot thing is just a general issue with certain FE's, Blazing Sword Hector Hard Mode comes to mind with it's 7 to 8 deployment slots.

Edited by Jedi

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15 hours ago, Jedi said:

Unfortunately the deployment slot thing is just a general issue with certain FE's, Blazing Sword Hector Hard Mode comes to mind with it's 7 to 8 deployment slots.

My favourite part of HHM is when going into a cave means we can only bring Hector and one other person.

It's easy to have the polar opposite problem, as well. Prime example is Priam's Paralogue in Awakening where suddenly the player can deploy what, 20 units? That map has never felt like anything more than a huge slog to me. I feel like 11-12 slots is a pretty comfortable amount.

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18 minutes ago, Kuroi Tsubasa Tenshi said:

I feel like 11-12 slots is a pretty comfortable amount.

Agreed, especially for 3H since I tend not to recruit other students (except Lysithea in CF because she's basically a free unit in Part 2). My starting class plus however many Church of Seiros units I get is just enough to have full deployment/adjutant slots without waste.

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I dont think theres much i could complain about this game besides the battle animations are kinda bland. 

2 hours ago, Kuroi Tsubasa Tenshi said:

It's easy to have the polar opposite problem, as well. Prime example is Priam's Paralogue in Awakening where suddenly the player can deploy what, 20 units? That map has never felt like anything more than a huge slog to me. I feel like 11-12 slots is a pretty comfortable amount.

I disagree with this, I enjoy being able to use alot of units at once. So I wouldn't say it's an issue rather than a preference.

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Eh, I kinda understand. Especially since I found in general Verdant Wind and Silver Snow's stories weren't quite as good as Crimson Flower or Azure Moon and I played those two first. But I still was pretty engaged throughout. Idk what beyond that. I know my playthrough for Hard and Maddening I just skipped story since I've already played all four routes. Sorry to hear you got bored though. I think the most boring part for me is Monastery stuff.

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On 1/4/2020 at 3:39 AM, Glennstavos said:

I agree on the tiring nature of replays, but my disdain is everything that isn't those maps. My general viewpoint of Three Houses is that only half the gameplay is engaging and I wish there was an "auto monastery button". I can skip battles and I can skip instructing, but I can't just do what I think is important in the monastery, then tell the game "how should I spend my activity points? I dunno, surprise me". If I could have gardening, fishing, and motivation of students done for me, it'd shave hours off the experience. Unless you're recruiting all units for a support grinding run or doing Maddening mode, absolutely none of what happens in the monastery is integral to progressing the game - certainly not post time skip. Yet the game was absolutely designed for you to take advantage of opportunities unique to the monastery. I'm annoyed that hour 5 of the game is identical to hour 50.

But I've expressed disdain at this side of the game before and the response I always get is "how can you be mad at something that's optional." Yeah, how can I be upset sitting at loading screens like a speedrunner and involuntarily handicapping my units? Just because something is optional doesn't mean it was designed to be skipped. They cater to the player that wants to skip the fire emblem parts of fire emblem, but not the busy work.

I have to wonder if there's an alternate universe where Three Houses is a game with one story, more engaging route splits, actual player choices and role playing opportunities, is 30 chapters long, and came out in 2018. Fire Emblem games weren't inferior back when they were just one campaign. Dump the three paths concept.

Agreed with pretty much everything. It was a novelty to have precise control over the development of your characters through monastery activities but eventually it just became a chore. There are mechanisms to automate some of the monastery activities but you miss out on a lot of rewards. Resting gives a paltry amount of motivation to students and you miss out on the greenhouse and fishing, not to mention faculty training which is the only practical way to develop Byleth's skills. When my characters, with manual play, are barely meeting their skill requirements for class changing by the time they are at the level to, I know that I'd be at a severe disadvantage if I automated it. Optional these activities may be, but the game is balanced around always choosing that option.

While the different perspectives are intriguing, I really think the game could have been shaven down to two more unique routes. We only have 4 routes because maps are repeated and each story cuts our huge chunks of the narrative so that they can justify repeat play throughs.

Edited by NekoKnight

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true it gets a bit boring. having my favorite routes AM and SS were the best. I finally started my last route (Crimson Flower). the plus side is that its short i guess lol.

Edited by DivineLion

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Yea, fully agree, being the kind of person who plays FE to death after the 4th route I just couldn’t bring myself to do another one. I actually saved and quit in the middle of a level and started playing Fate. That’s not a good place to be.( apologies to everyone who likes Fate, I think it’s mediocre)

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To me, the main problem with the game is that it's a game that's supposed to make you want to play it four (or at least three) times, but more than half of each playthough is the same (there are 12 chaps that are shared and then ~10 after). And even then there are quite a lot of shared chapters after the split as well.

 

I like the three houses story a lot more than the fates story, but man fates really did the split a lot better from a gameplay perspective; most of the maps were different after the split, and the split was very early. Plus, you could just save right before the split and make each different choice and only play the shared segment once. In three houses you can't do this because you pick your house long before things actually diverge. I guess they thought it would be fresh to play the same maps again with different units, but to me that fell a bit short of the mark.

 

I waited for maddening to come out to play the game the first time, and only now have I started playing my second house. And four months is about the shortest possible time I could have reasonably waited between them; any sooner and I would really not have a good time at the shared chapters.

 

 

I guess my bottom line is, I wish they used the selling multiple games model of fates. I would gladly have bought thee games if it meant that they would actually be significantly different.

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