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[IDEA] Endgame Mode: Campaign

FEH: Campaign  

3 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think about this mode?

    • I love it, I'd welcome an endgame mode like this.
      1
    • Pretty good, but would need some reworking.
      1
    • Absolutely not, the game is a grindfest already, last thing we need is a stressful, high difficulty mode.
      0
    • I'd take it or leave it.
      1
  2. 2. What do you think about the Hero system?

    • It's great.
      1
    • Decent, but needs work.
      1
    • Terrible.
      0
    • It's fine, but you shouldn't get the hero after the campaign.
      1
  3. 3. What do you think about permadeath?

    • It's great.
      0
    • Meh.
      2
    • Bad. If I wanted a classic FE experience I'd play classic FE.
      1


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Warning: This is a big post, this is something that's been in my head for a really long time and I've never completely fleshed (or typed) it out until now. So if you want to give an informed opinion you're gonna have to do a lot of reading. Why not give this a listen? I wrote a lot of this while listening, helps the time fly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bj21RsMTZXw&t

 

So... currently despite the constant flow of new modes that come in, the game modes are mostly fluff and grindfests with a few exceptions (Hall of Forms, etc) with the closest thing to an "endgame" mode being AR which is somewhat cancerous as well as Abyssal maps which only come around once a month. Relay Defense I feel was an attempt at an endgame mode but it was poorly implemented. I feel like the game needs something more, so here's my pitch. 

 This will be a brand new mode and true endgame mode for the veterans and to a lesser extent the midgame players. Introducting:

Fire Emblem Heroes: Campaign Mode

Now, if you've read this much you're clearly willing to listen to me run my mouth, so how about a table of contents. 

  • 0.Format
  • 1. Story
  • 2. Difficulty
  • 3. Permadeath
  • 4. Heroes
  • 5. Rewards
  • 6. Drawbacks
  • 7. Conclusion

0. FORMAT

Spoiler

 

So, the idea behind "Campaign Mode" is a gauntlet of maps about the length of a short FE game. Think 1 to around 20-30. The mode would use the large map format of Grand Conquest/Rival Domain maps, allowing you to deploy 8 units. However that's where the similarities end. Each map, rather than an endless wave of reinforcements and teleporting fortresses would have more elaborate and authentic FE maps with strategically placed reinforcements (if any at all) and no teleporting shenanigans. 

Now, why call this mode "Campaign"? Because this would be the closest to a standard FE experience. Each map would vary in objectives from "Defeat Boss" to "Seize Throne" to "Last xxx turns" to "keep specific unit alive. And these could either be randomized or if limitations of a moblie game are a thing, are predetermined maps that IS simply alternates between on each map. Each map layout can vary with some being based on real FE maps from unit placements to bosses to specific reinforcements (think a miniature version of battle before dawn, but a bigger one than the one we have.). Now let's talk about bosses. The bosses would be juiced versions of regular units, so if you're playing a map with a bunch of +0's, the boss would be +5, if the map is infernal grade enemies, the boss would be Infernal+ or even a low level Abyssal enemy, etc. 

Objectives would come in a variety such as:

  • Defeat Boss
  • Seize Throne/Boss Tile
  • Rout Enemy
  • Last X Number of turns
  • Destroy Target (Partition with multiple HP, etc)
  • Protect Target for x number of turns (Partition with multiple HP)
  • Clear Map in x number of turns.
  • Rout map with x number of units (4-6 etc)

The mode would either be monthly or Bi-monthly and give players one full month to complete it. Your objective is to clear every map and defeat the final boss on the last stage before the month is over. If you fail a map you can retry it as many times... as possible. I'll elaborate on this later.

 

1. STORY

Spoiler

The story is simple. Kiran and the Askr Trio are taken to different worlds from different FE universes and must make their way to the final stage in order to enter a portal to return home. A selectable hero from a limited pool can be chosen to accompany you them and will be mandatory for every stage. Once the final boss is defeated, you and the trio enter the portal and say goodbye to the world of that specific FE. 

The final boss would vary depending on the world. If the villain of said game is present then they would assume their native role. Otherwise replaced by another prominent unit in the game (IE, Ashera is not present in FEH, so Yune would take her place as the final boss of a Tellius campaign.)

2. DIFFICULTY

Spoiler

 

Why give players a month to complete this mode? Well... because it's hard, really hard. This will be the hardest mode in the game (though not quite relay defense levels of terrible). The layout of each stage will be akin to classic FE maps (within the limitations of the GC map format mind you) but the enemies will range from Hard all the way to Abyssal+. The first few maps will have level 30+ enemies to give newer players a chance at rewards but the maps will quickly shift to lunatic and eventually infernal tier enemies. The last 5 maps or so would be Abyssal tier enemies with the final boss being a super boss and probably one of the most horrendously powerful things you've ever seen in FEH.

The enemies would be unshackled in this mode. Now, what does that mean? That means enemy units can and will have higher stats as you climb into the upper stages and have all slots filled, including seals. This means they can have any skill within the limitations of their class type. This means ranged units can and will have CC at different points and melee units will have DC. In the case of bosses, even generic bosses can have powerful weapons such as Sinmara or Ragnell. In addition, the Boss will sometimes be on a defense "throne" tile with a "Renewal EX" seal to heal for 10 HP every turn ala classic FE. Reinforcements will act the same as Hero Battles with specific units coming on certain turns. Enemy beasts will also be a thing.

The last set of maps would be absolutely brutal and nothing short of strong units and great tactics will clear them. The boss itself will be a stat giant. Not a mindless HP sponge like the Rokkrs, but a fair (enough) and strong challenge worthy of your time. Sometimes they'll move, sometimes they won't. But if they don't they'll probably have DC. Most players will not finish the campaign because of this. It is not meant to be an easily accessible mode for everyone. It is meant to be an endgame mode that rewards the height of investment and months-years of effort into FEH. The more you play FEH, the more you're likely to get out of the campaign. 

 

3. PERMADEATH

Spoiler

 

Now let's talk about permadeath. It's what separates this mode from the other modes. This is the most authentic FE experience you are going to get in FEH. In this mode when your unit dies, they're gone for the rest of the campaign. Even if you fail the map, your units are gone, full stop. This choice discourages surrendering to try over and over again with the same units. This is more akin to a game like XCOM where even when you failed the mission dead units stay dead. If you surrender, the units that are still alive during the time of surrendering return to your barracks, but any ally unit that died during prior to surrendering will be gone for the rest of the campaign (this also applies to not resuming bookmarked maps when you close and reopen the app.)

This encourages smart play, gives a more classic and rewarding experience as well as allowing mid-high to top level players to utilize the full potential of their 300+ unit barracks. Lost your Summoner Support +10 F!Corrin? Too bad, maybe you can finish the mode without her. Maybe not. You are free to start the campaign from the beginning and all of your units will return, but you will not get rewards for repeat map clears. Hope you've been building up those healers because there is no dodge mechanic and you'll be using them here more than any other mode. Revive Stones will be a reward given in the campaign in order to bring back heroes of your choice for use, but this will be an extremely rare item, so as not to be used carelessly.

 

4. HEROES

Spoiler

 

Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword Heroes: 50px-Eliwood_Marquess_Pherae_Face_FC.web 50px-Hector_General_of_Ostia_Face_FC.web 50px-Lyn_Lady_of_the_Plains_Face_FC.webp 50px-Matthew_Faithful_Spy_Face_FC.webp.p 50px-Nino_Pious_Mage_Face_FC.webp.png?ve

Let's talk about the thing that makes this mode the most special. Hero characters.

A "Hero" is a character that you will be given at the beginning of the campaign. You can do so many things with this but currently I want to keep things realistic. Each Campaign will have a theme so let's assume this is Blazing Sword. 5 characters will be chosen from the game (IE' Eliwood, Hector, OG Lyn) and you will be able to select which one you want as your Hero. What makes this unit different from their standard version is that they will have them Gen 4 BST for their unit type and will start at +5 merged. Increases for each stat will be based on that particular hero's built in growth rates.

(I love the idea of being able to select the stats you wish to increase with the BST boost, but we can't have people dumping +10 ATK into Hero Reinhardt or nonsense like that)

They will start the campaign at Level 25 with a normal version of their legendary weapon and a basic special such as Moonbow. It will be up to you to feed your initially weak hero kills and build him/her up throughout the course of the campaign. This will prove to be invaluable, but also mandatory as the hero must be deployed on every map and their death is an immediate campaign failure. To circumvent this very strict rule, the Hero will have a special (campaign only) seal that increases damage by 15%, mitigates damage by 30% and has Renewal 2 effect.

After the map, if your Hero got a kill you will be taken to a screen similar to the Hall of Forms screen, however there will be more flexibility in build variety. Instead of a single option for each skill slot you will be given 6 options for a single skill slot at random (Ex, 6 options for an A skill, 6 options for a special, etc.). Or you have option to either give your Hero a merge or a Dragonflower. All heroes are neutral natured. After all slots have been filled, further clearing of maps and getting hero kills will give you options for slots at random. This means once you've selected a B skill, you will not be able to change it until all other slots have also been filled, then the rotation repeats, but changing your B skill also means you are not getting a merge for said character or potential Dragonflower. Clearing a map after you've already done so will not give your hero additional EXP or skills, so no grinding.

Lastly there are blessings. They are here but work a bit differently than in the main game. You will be able to give your hero one of the blessings of your choice early on and any ally that is deployed with the same blessing will be given a boost that varies depending on the blessing. I don't have anything specific but let's just give examples.

  • Anima Blessing: +4 to all stats
  • Water Blessing: +5 RES, 30% damage reduction for the first hit from any magic foe.
  • Dark Blessing: -2 Special Cooldown at the start of each map.
  • Fire Blessing: +3 ATK, Brave Effect for the first 3 turns.
  • Earth Blessing: +5 DEF, Wary Fighter effect for the first 3 turns.
  • Wind Blessing: +4 SPD, Forseti Effect during combat
  • Light Blessing: Recover 10 HP after each round of combat, negates visible debuffs during combat.
  • Astra Blessing: Special Spiral effect.

With abilities such as Renewal and damage midigation skills, brazen skills and those sort of things being possible, the boost of Blessings can largely influence a campaign, but only one blessing can be chosen for your hero so it would be a very important choice. Needless to say, every campaign would have a different set of heroes tailored to that world, but strive for variety over character relevance within reason.

 

5. REWARDS

Spoiler

 

Let's face it, a mode like this is massive. Probably the most massive mode of FE as a whole so the rewards would have to be worth it. I feel very much a way about locking orbs behind high level content so for the sake of fairness I wouldn't put orb rewards past map 10. Orb rewards would carry up into infernal maps and rewards from there would be different. So let's look into reward options, high level ones. You wouldn't get all of these at once. For pairs of rewards I'll but a "+" there so you know it's a pair of them.

  • Hard Maps: Orb x5 + Revive Stone +1 / Refine Stone x50 / Hero Feathers x5000 / Sacred Coins x50 /
  • Lunatic Maps: Orb x5 / Refine Stone x50 / Hero Feathers x7500 / Sacred Coins x50 + Revive Stone +1 / Dragonflowers x25 (all 4 colors)
  • Infernal Maps: Orb x5 / Divine Dew x50 / Divine Codes x30 / Heroic Grails x50 + Revive Stone +1 / Sacred Coins x75 / Dragonflowers x50 (all 4 colors)
  • Abyssal Maps: Divine Dew x100 / Divine Codes x50 + Revive Stone +1 / Heroic Grails x100 / Sacred Coins x100 / Dragonflowers x200 (one color)
  • Final Map: Hero x1

To touch on Revive Stones, they would be rare items used to revive a dead character during your campaign. I imagine giving out 2 or 3 of them per campaign would be fair. Unlike other rewards, you would get these again even if you restarted your campaign.

Just as it says, the final map's reward would be your campaign's hero transferring to your standard barracks with all the skills and merges they gathered in the campaign. I can think of no other way to reward loyal and hardworking players that clawed their way to the end of the game's hardest mode and came out on top than to give them the Hero they built up during the course of the campaign. This is not without it's limitations however. Each reward can only be claimed once, including the hero. This means there's no replaying the campaign to get a stronger hero. You could play up to the map before last and restart your campaign if you're unhappy with how your Hero turned out before beating it, but once you beat it and claim your hero it's done. The last few stages would be made exceedingly difficult to discourage repeat plays in order to achieve the most OP hero possible.

 

6. DRAWBACKS

Spoiler

 

Wouldn't be able to make a post like this without talking about drawbacks would I? Ok, let's talk about the elephant in the room. The final reward. This mode would be rewarding players with essentially a BST boosted super-version of a character they more than likely have already with more than likely extremely powerful stats. For a lot of people they will cry that this is unfair to newer players, and I'm going to be frank with you here. It doesn't matter.

Nearly every mode in the game caters to newer players in one way or another and newer players are given boosts in the form of free *5's and various other earlygame boosts. The game as it stands lacks a true endgame mode. A game mode that rewards all of those hours, months, years or even dollars you've invested in the game. A "Hero" in your barracks is more than just a shiny stronger version of an OG Lyn or Alm or Caeda, it's a badge of honor. Undeniable proof that you are either a loyal fan and true player of FEH that's put in the time and effort to clear a nightmarishly hard mode, or someone that has supported IS(IE money) to the point of having the tools needed to finish. (IE, unless you're a Veteran, a Dolphin/Whale or a Genius, you aren't finishing the campaign.) It is a specialized, unique version of the hero built and tailored likely to that specific player's liking, a form of personalization in a way.

The mode throws a bone to newer players by generally having orbs be the low hanging fruit of the mode and peppering those rewards throughout the Hard/Lunatic maps with maybe one batch of orb rewards for an infernal clear. The rest of maps up the ante on rewards on all the other fronts with Abyssal having big time rewards. Yes, the mode rewards stronger players, it's 100% intentional and there should be at least one mode where the strongest of the strong are rewarded something other than a golden accessory. By all accounts the campaign is optional regardless.

Next thing we'll talk about is rotation. What happens if you miss a Campaign? Well... you didn't play for a month so if you missed it then it's no different than missing a TT's rewards or anything else. There are currently 13 mainline FE games with a few spinoffs/remakes peppered in so that would be a campaign for nearly every FE in the game in a single year or peppered out across 2 years if we were doing it bi-monthly. This also doesn't account for FEH's own worlds and kingdoms, Meaning re-runs are unlikely. In the event we did get them we'd have two options: 1. each rotation of a specific game has a different set of heroes. I could see this getting dicey so I would go with the 2nd option: each rerun uses the same hero, but if you've cleared the campaign with a specific hero, you cannot clear that same campaign again with that hero.

This would prevent 2 uber Hectors or some nonsense like that.

The last drawback is... unit choice. Unit choice is so important for a mode like this... imagine spending 100s of dollars or saving for months to +10 a unit only for tons of whales and vets to get a stronger +10 version of that unit for free. The idea of it makes you want to rip your hair out. The thing is... that's already being done on a lesser scale. A +10 Gen 1 unit is getting outclassed by a Gen 4 unit that a lot of people are pulling for free, it's the nature of powercreep. 

Now that's a paper thin answer to a question like that. This is where I'm going to say unit choice for heroes would be important and that's where I draw the line: No Legendary or Mythic Heroes on the table as heroes. For each game among the 5 choices would be standard characters, maybe a seasonal here and there but for the most part just normal units. A lot of these units have been taken out of the normal pool and are of less consequence (such as Shiro) to be given as rewards. There's no way to give a reward like this without stepping on someone's toes. But in that regard I will say that the players that have invested in that unit specifically will be rewarded for their trouble. Still a pretty paper thin response, unfortunately there's no clear solution for an issue like this, but I wouldn't abolish the mode to avoid stepping on the toes of a few players. Even if I could potentially be one of them. It's a double edged sword sadly.

7. Conclusion

So, did you read all that? What do you think? How would this work. This is usually when I tag a crapton of people but that can wait. I want to see if this goes anywhere first. If you got to this post you did a lot of reading and can give your opinion on what you think a mode like this would mean or maybe even if you have a different idea in mind for the game's "endgame" or "high level" mode. Maybe you have a different idea for blessings, hero choices, maps, worlds. Or maybe you want to pick the mode apart. Let's hear it, I'm all ears.

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I am iffy on permadeath, since permadeath is not a permanent thing unless you make it so in the main series. People often just restart the chapter and attempt again and again with largely the same units, maybe switching a unit or two, try a slightly different formation, or just plain old doing the same thing over and over again and pray to RNGesus that your unit lands a hit or dodges an enemy's attack at a crucial moment.

For the boss being difficult, there is a fine balance between having high HP and high Atk. Most Player Phase units are Desperation nukes, and they are unviable in Røkkr Sieges in dealing with the boss as they will die to a counter attack. The only reason the mode is bearable or easy is because the Whitewings and Cain and Abel are relatively easy to obtain, and the Røkkr does not out right destroy them with high Atk. For another example, Counter-Vantage has been completely unviable in Infernal and Abyssal for a long time now due to the high bulk of enemies.

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