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Should the next Playable Shapeshifters use Monster Mechanics?

Should the Next FE Game Have Shapeshifter Units like Three Houses Monsters?  

34 members have voted

  1. 1. Should the Next FE Game Have Shapeshifter Units like Three Houses Monsters?

    • Yes
      17
    • No
      17
  2. 2. If so, in which ways?

    • Take up multiple tiles when transformed
      12
    • Have Barriers reducing damage until destroyed
      7
    • Have Latent Abilities
      13
    • Have a Staggering Blow
      6
    • Have weaknesses to certain weapons/magic
      16
    • I didn't answer "Yes"
      16
  3. 3. If so, which methods below would be best for balancing them?

    • Cannot have battalions assigned
      11
    • Cannot receive battalion benefits or use gambits when transformed
      10
    • Cannot fit through narrow spaces (1 tile wide) while transformed
      10
    • Cannot transform in indoor maps
      1
    • Cannot use weapons in humanoid form
      1
    • Can only transform in specific classes
      11
    • Other (Please Specify in a reply below)
      2
    • I didn't answer "Yes"
      16


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Since FE: Three Houses made a lot of changes to the standard FE formula in terms of gameplay, it's highly unlikely they'll throw it all out when it comes time to make the next FE game. A staple of FE has been shapeshifter units; most notably Manaketes and Laguz. 

With that in mind, for the next FE game, should the next playable shapeshifters use the same mechanics as monster units from Three Houses?

 

Regarding Question 3, if more than two people list the same balancing idea, I'll add it to the poll. 

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No. I don't see them using the mechanics of 3H Monsters. And even if it was a realistic proposition, movement would likely be a big hassle.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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No.

The idea of big enemies running around on the map is cool and for what it´s worth I enjoyed fighting them in TH but this doesn´t seem like a good idea for a playable unit. Movement alone seems like it would be a big concern, when you have to drag your 2x2 body around every damn obstacle, unless it´s a flier.

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43 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

No. I don't see them using the mechanics of 3H Monsters. And even if it was a realistic proposition, movement would likely be a big hassle.

37 minutes ago, Imuabicus said:

No.

The idea of big enemies running around on the map is cool and for what it´s worth I enjoyed fighting them in TH but this doesn´t seem like a good idea for a playable unit. Movement alone seems like it would be a big concern, when you have to drag your 2x2 body around every damn obstacle, unless it´s a flier.

They are shapeshifters; IS could probably get around that problem by having it that you can revert them back to humanoid form to get through tight areas and otherwise get around that issue. 

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Yeah, it's an interesting idea. I'd probably balance it like this:

  • Put a time limit on transformations. It would promote more careful usage and allow for transformations to have more power than if they were indefinite. 
  • Put a usage limit on transformations per map so they function like FE:TH spells and gambits. That would discourage hoarding while still keeping the number of transformations down. 
  • Attach it to a personal class. It would be much easier to balance without having to worry about other classes potentially breaking it. At the very least, mounted units shouldn't be able to transform for gameplay and practical reasons (where would the horse go during a transformation?)

Those are the main points that are important imo. I'd also like to see a "Summoner" type unit that can bring out Demonic Beasts, considering 

Spoiler

Hapi is able to do it, and as an enemy in Cindered Shadows, she summons a beast to block the way, iirc. It would've been cool to see that in action with the capability to control them. 

 

Edited by LegendOfLoog

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Not for me. Monsters in Three Houses are pretty much designed to be overpowered (you're supposed to use multiple of your own units to take one down) and that would only grow worse if they were player-controlled since players will be smarter in how they use any given unit. There are ways to balance around that, but I generally don't care for any of them. Having a limit on transformations so that the unit is very weak half the time and very strong the other half can work in terms of balance, but I don't find that sort of unit fun to play with. Having it limited to a very small number of characters could also work, but that would risk having "must use" characters and reducing the number of viable team compositions. And so on.

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The only limit they need is map design. 

Mounted combatant pretty much move like that in D&D and even if they can do crazy shit(and if you are riding a griffin, or a wyvern if we want to be more FEsque, you can do ALOT of crazy shit), usually those kind of built are underpowered because you can't bring your griffin everywhere

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I think multi-space, multi-bar, shielded monsters work better just as enemies. In the player's hands, they have the potential to really be overpowered. Enemies won't be gambiting you six ways to Sunday, and you can bait them out one at a time, so you're never really threatened. Plus Monsters are explicitly larger, and generally have less mental control, than humans. Whereas previous shapeshifters generally had sound psyches, and some types (kitsune and non-dragon laguz) don't get much bigger.

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It's impossible to say without knowing how the next game will be balanced. Also, something to note is that this game didn't have playable shapeshifters.

Edited by Vitezen

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Honestly, anything better balanced than the Laguz is a victory for me; I'd be happy with anything that does that, no matter how weird.

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No. If anything, I think they're more likely to draw from Heroes' transform mechanic for beast units than monsters from TH. Balancing the monster mechanic for player units is a huge headache. I think there's a reason why lore-wise, it makes sense for certain units in TH to transform (Flayn, Seteth and even students like Marianne) but they chose not to implement the mechanic. Instead, they very briefly mention why they can't transform and left it at that. 

 

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10 hours ago, LegendOfLoog said:

Yeah, it's an interesting idea. I'd probably balance it like this:

  • Put a time limit on transformations. It would promote more careful usage and allow for transformations to have more power than if they were indefinite. 
  • Put a usage limit on transformations per map so they function like FE:TH spells and gambits. That would discourage hoarding while still keeping the number of transformations down. 
  • Attach it to a personal class. It would be much easier to balance without having to worry about other classes potentially breaking it. At the very least, mounted units shouldn't be able to transform for gameplay and practical reasons (where would the horse go during a transformation?)

Those are the main points that are important imo. I'd also like to see a "Summoner" type unit that can bring out Demonic Beasts, considering 

  Hide contents

Hapi is able to do it, and as an enemy in Cindered Shadows, she summons a beast to block the way, iirc. It would've been cool to see that in action with the capability to control them. 

 

The Laguz in the GameCube titles kind of works that way. The idea behind the balancing was to tie the power budget of the transformation to a bar that filled up over the course of battle, and you only had so many turns before the transformation exhausted, sped up whenever you did an action or got attacked. You're extremely vulnerable in your humanoid form but very powerful when transformed. And even when transformed you're generally one-dimensional, IIRC outside of the Herons (who are dancer types) everyone else can only basic attack and you can't change to a "normal" class.

IS unbalanced the system, though, by introducing consumables that can be used to fill up your transformation bar on demand. Most of the Laguz royals also have items that allow them to be permanently transformed. So you could easily have most if not all of your Laguz characters at maximum power whenever you need their strength by hoarding the consumables and abusing the permanently transformed ones. I avoided using Laguz in my playthroughs because the game just gets too easy with them.


The transformation balance is easily fixable by making transformation always available but limited in uses per map (like magic spells in 3H). But it would require some delicate work to make sure that the transformation is not overpowering and yet satisfying enough to use, as well making you weaker when not transformed but not completely useless.

Barrier, AoE spells, rattling, multiple health bars... just having these things alone would make you a MOBA-like tank which is something that's not really accessible to players, and would be a nightmare to balance. So if transformations were introduced, I don't think characters can have the same skill set as 3H monsters currently have.

Edited by NolanBaumgartner

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15 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

They are shapeshifters; IS could probably get around that problem by having it that you can revert them back to humanoid form to get through tight areas and otherwise get around that issue. 

The issue with this would be that they would presumably spend 1 turn transforming and 1 turn reverting back, no? So, in essence:

  1.  Turn: Walk to chokepoint and revert.

  2.  Turn: Walk through chokepoint (in weaker form?).

  3.  Turn: Transform an eventually attack an enemy (if in range).

During these 3 very theoretical turns the rest of your army would probably be out there trying to kill shit, rather than wait for 2x2 Monster. 

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19 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

They are shapeshifters; IS could probably get around that problem by having it that you can revert them back to humanoid form to get through tight areas and otherwise get around that issue. 

Even then, they'd just fall behind the moment they run into something that they'd need to revert to pass. And what about maps like, say, chapter 13 on non-CF routes? Then they'd likely be a huge liability.

8 hours ago, NolanBaumgartner said:

The Laguz in the GameCube titles kind of works that way. The idea behind the balancing was to tie the power budget of the transformation to a bar that filled up over the course of battle, and you only had so many turns before the transformation exhausted, sped up whenever you did an action or got attacked. You're extremely vulnerable in your humanoid form but very powerful when transformed. And even when transformed you're generally one-dimensional, IIRC outside of the Herons (who are dancer types) everyone else can only basic attack and you can't change to a "normal" class.

IS unbalanced the system, though, by introducing consumables that can be used to fill up your transformation bar on demand. Most of the Laguz royals also have items that allow them to be permanently transformed. So you could easily have most if not all of your Laguz characters at maximum power whenever you need their strength by hoarding the consumables and abusing the permanently transformed ones. I avoided using Laguz in my playthroughs because the game just gets too easy with them.


The transformation balance is easily fixable by making transformation always available but limited in uses per map (like magic spells in 3H). But it would require some delicate work to make sure that the transformation is not overpowering and yet satisfying enough to use, as well making you weaker when not transformed but not completely useless.

Barrier, AoE spells, rattling, multiple health bars... just having these things alone would make you a MOBA-like tank which is something that's not really accessible to players, and would be a nightmare to balance. So if transformations were introduced, I don't think characters can have the same skill set as 3H monsters currently have.

Said consumables tended to be rare, though; you only get four (by which I mean two Laguz Stones with 2 uses) in Path of Radiance and eight (three Laguz Stones with three uses) in Radiant Dawn (before part 4, anyway; Laguz Stones have three uses in Radiant Dawn, but Nealuchi uses one charge of the one he has before the start of the fighting in part 2's prologue). Incidentally, most of the non-royal laguz were pretty awful in Radiant Dawn. They were so weak as to be complete liabilities untransformed, and even transformed, most of them were hardly better than beorc units.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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On 2/29/2020 at 10:00 AM, LegendOfLoog said:

Those are the main points that are important imo. I'd also like to see a "Summoner" type unit that can bring out Demonic Beasts, considering 

  Reveal hidden contents

Hapi is able to do it, and as an enemy in Cindered Shadows, she summons a beast to block the way, iirc. It would've been cool to see that in action with the capability to control them. 

 

I like this idea. If she only have the Summon Ψ spell.

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Reading this topic I started to wonder, why does a transformed unit need to be stronger than an untransformed one? Can't they just be equally strong but have separate specialties? Maybe both forms are slightly worse than a regular character but the shapeshifting gives more variation to the unit?

Not sure of this makes sense, the thought just popped into my head.

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8 minutes ago, whase said:

Reading this topic I started to wonder, why does a transformed unit need to be stronger than an untransformed one? Can't they just be equally strong but have separate specialties? Maybe both forms are slightly worse than a regular character but the shapeshifting gives more variation to the unit?

Not sure of this makes sense, the thought just popped into my head.

Because all transformers we had so far were highly limited in what they could do, such as having no 1-2 range, no effective weaponry, no canto and some of them even a gauge.

And in the saga that always awarded "good enought" stats, having a good enought x that transform in a good enought Y is almost always going to be better than having someone locked in a class whit stats above "good enought".

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