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Create a unique general map objective

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If there’s anything I feel like FE needs, it’s more unique general map objectives (general as in “Rout the enemy”, “Defend X person for Y turns”, etc.). What kind of ideas do you have for more unique objectives in the general sense? Mine are:

-Capture X location (fortress, village, etc.) and defend for Y turns

-Keep the enemy commander alive for X turns

-Capture X commander’s item and return to Y location

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Here is a good setup:

protect a soldier from your allies who are trying to kill them, all green units, and the soldier is the only red unit, low defensive abilities but high offence, and the green units can kill him. For x amount of turns. 

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In Genealogy of the Holy War, Chapter 4, there's a part where a group of civilians flee from enemies. An ally unit can move next to one such civilian and "rescue" them, which gives then 100 free experience. I think a map which ends when all the civilians are gone (either because you rescued them or because enemies killed them) would be interesting.

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Here's some food for thought.  Fire Emblem titles almost seldom paint war in a positive light - they typically show war as a grim event where good people die, sometimes even by your hand.  But one thing lacking in this anti-war angle is the ability to choose to not slaughter every last enemy you see.  So I'd like to pursue conditions that would encourage you to not kill every enemy you see - because we FE fans see virtually any objective and think "kill every last one of them, and do the main objective last".  Also, these would come with the assumption that there are more ways for a unit to gain EXP than fighting and defeating enemies... or that it's possible to beat the game without ever fighting anyone, which might sound ambitious but I think it could be possible.

  • Defeat X number of enemies - the idea is that as soon as you defeat a certain number of enemies, the chapter ends; what I think could be appealing about this idea is it could put the player in a place where they have to decide whether they want to prioritize defeating weak enemies to get through the chapter more easily, or defeating strong enemies to get the most EXP out of them.  This could also be engineered towards specific enemies - for example maybe if you defeat the dracoknights in Chapter 2 of Book 2 in Mystery everyone else would flee because the best of their forces were defeated.
  • Lower X enemy's HP to Y value - self-explanatory, the idea being that you don't have to kill them but rather weaken them enough to convince them to retreat.
  • Summon X number of allies - what I'm thinking is, for example, you have a chapter with maybe five different activators; perhaps they're switches or altars for trained clerics.  In any case, you'd summon intimidating allies (whether they're beasts, powerful soldiers, or simply large detachments of troops) that force the enemy to retreat.  Bonus, the chapter doesn't necessarily end until the enemy actually retreats, and you can't rout to defeat them because they'll keep spawning (and the reinforcements will all be like the monsters in that one Conquest chapter where you couldn't earn EXP, so they're just a nuisance rather than a cheap grinding opportunity).
  • Destroy X objects on the map - this would be an optional objective.  You would have a main objective that would be pretty typical, but this optional objective would be an alternate way to beat the chapter.  Maybe you destroy the foundations of a mighty fortress, or you destroy crucial barricades that exploit weak break points across enemy lines.  Completion of this objective would either result in a great collapse of the enemy stronghold rendering the main force inert, force a retreat, or even force a surrender.  This could also introduce an interesting story branch - nothing too major, but it'd serve as an alternate way for the chapter to end.
  • Obtain X amount of Y and/or Z items - simply, this would be a treasure raid mission.  This would give thieves a real chance to shine for a main mission objective, especially if there were stealth skills they could obtain.  Perhaps you'd be raiding an enemy's armory stealthily (or loudly).  If you start making noise, the enemy takes notice and they start taking the contents of the armory out of there, so it's a race to try to obtain as many of that item as possible.  If failed, then the objective changes to something more appropriate.  And if successful, the objective will change to leaving the armory.  What could be added to make this more interesting and cool is alternate passageways that allow you to avoid some enemies - passageways which you'd really have to look for.
  • Don't defeat X number of enemies - the inverse of the first condition.  Partly inspired by the Fire Emblem: Three Houses paralogue "War for the Weak" where you have to prevent the deaths of Duscar warriors by defeating them yourself instead of letting the Kingdom knights kill them.  However, this would actually be more of a defeat condition - if you kill too many enemies, you fail (perhaps by killing too many the enemy will see you as a big threat that must be destroyed, basically putting you in an Alvis BBQ type of scenario; or killing enough enemies might ruin diplomatic relations with that nation, which is crucial for winning the war in the story).  You would be given another objective that isn't "rout the enemy" or "defeat X number of enemies" which you're encouraged to try to accomplish as quickly as possible so that you don't kill too many enemies.

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my main problem with map objectives is that most of them are played very similar to each other:

Rout the enemy: kill everyone
Defeat the boss: kill everyone (not required, but come on who doesn't do it) then kill the boss
Escape: reach a certain tile, kill the boss (because 90% of the times the boss is on the tile you have to reach in order to escape), and only then you can actually escape
Conquer: again, reach a certain tile, kill the boss, then conquer

the only objectives which imo are played a bit differently are "Defend for --- turns" and "Escape within --- turns", because they require you to plan in advance in order to clear the map (if the turn limit isn't too generous), while you're also struggling not to get your units killed

with these informations, i wonder: "how can i create new objectives so that a map is played very differently from other map's objectives?"
first, let's think about most of the mechanics a Fire Emblem game has to offer: let's take Fire Emblem 7, for example

1) well of course we have the Weapon Triangle, as well as the Trinity of Magic;
2) then we have every class's quirks and peculiarities, as well as Class Change;
3) every character's Stats, Experience, Attack Speed, Accuracy and Critical, and Growth Rates;
4) different commands such as Rescue;
5) Player Phase and Enemy Phase, pretty obvious but i think it's important to mention them;
6) Villages, Houses, Shops and everything you can find on a map;
7) every weapon, their Stats and effects;
8 ) Items, Consumables and Money

i know there are more, but let's focus on these ones
now, what kind of interesting new objectives can we create with these mechanics?

the first thing i thought about is a prison map (similar to that Thracia map where you recruit Fergus), and your objective is "Escape or Rout the Enemy within 10 turns"
let's say that you start the chapter with a new unit, who's in the same cell as your lord, and this new character tells you that a friend of his is about to get there soon
at the beginning of turn 2, the 2 guards will be distracted by a merchant who's trying to sell his products; he suddenly kills them, then opens your cell and gives your lord and the new unit a weapon each: he's a green unit, and he won't move, he'll just stay close to your cell
what he will do, instead, is allowing your units to purchase items such as weapons, door/chest keys, vulneraries and everything you may need to clear the map, and since all of your other units are unarmed and locked in other cells, you WILL need to buy something... or maybe not?
at the beginning of turn 3, other guards will notice the 2 corpses, and they'll start to call for reinforcements: that's when the turn count starts to matter, and you're basically forced to make a choice: 1) Escape: rush towards the exit, trying to take on the guards' attacks while they're still a reasonable and manageable amount, or 2) Rout the Enemy: play slower, try to open treasure chests and kill enemies to get EXP, at the cost of giving your units items and weapons you bought from the merchant, and risking not to kill every enemy within the turn limit

if you clear by Escaping, your allies will still be saved by activating a mechanism which automatically opens every cell, and the merchant, as a reward for your "rash and daring performance", will reward you with valuable items, such as 2 stat boosters and promoting items, as well as a Brave Sword

if you clear by Routing, you'll still save those allies you left inside their cells (if any), and the merchant, impressed by your prowess in battle, yet not completely satisfied with what he saw, will give you just one stat booster and promoting item

so basically the entire point of this map is that you can't get everything it has to offer, you either get EXP, chest items and the merchant's worst reward, or you get almost no EXP and chest items, but you save your money and get the best reward
these are not your only options though, as you can still try to open chests AND escape with only your 2 starting units, or you can also choose to free your allies, buy them weapons so that they can get EXP too AND escape, maybe leaving only one guard so that the chapter doesn't automatically end, although that would definitely be the hardest way to clear the chapter (you'd still please the merchant and get his best reward, it's still a game after all)
but the way you choose to clear the map may also vary depending on your previous resource management: if you don't have enough money to free your allies and/or give them weapons because you spent it all in previous chapters, you're basically forced to rush and escape, but you'll still get the best reward

this is what i came up with for now, but there are surely many more original map objectives one can imagine

Edited by Yexin

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I heard this idea somewhere:

Break down X amount of walls to let an allied army come in in 10 turns (and enemies inside the fortress are super strong)

Buy a lot of equipment to destabilize the opposing country's economy.

Encircle the enemy and don't let them escape for 15+ turns (a siege)

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This is something I just came up with on the fly but something I'd like to see is a map where you have a number of force-deployed units who start far away from each other, and the main lord has to talk to all of them in a certain order as if you were seizing castles in FE4, except you have to keep these other units alive. You could also have an objective where these units have to regroup somewhere. Or even all of them need to reach and seize some castle somewhere before the enemy gets there and each group of units can interfere with other batches of enemy forces.

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So, in the fourth map of Hyrule Warriors, you have a sub objective where you need to escort an engineer dude so he can help reset a bridge that gets you into the pyramid thingy you need to reach.

I think "escort X to location Y" would be a neat idea.

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We did get something similar in FE6, although instead of being a general objective it was more a side-reward for doing it.

Getting Sophia across chapter 14 does get you a guiding ring if she reaches the gates of Arcadia, so I guess that kinda counts, doesn't it?

But yeah, escorting missions actually sounds like something I'd like to see in FE, so long as the escorted character is a blue unit and not an NPC.

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I think objective is not necessary what make the level interesting but instead the amount of option you can try and the opportunity for a certain kind of class to shine.

For example:

-Most warrior aren't good because they lack of purpose other than combat which they aren't the best. That's why Dagda is one of a few warrior who is viable because in Thracia 776 exist capturing mechanic which give him purpose.

-Oswin is one of a few example of a good game design for armor tanking. Because he's nearly indestructible early game combine with a certain situation like choke point, small map also give him opportunity. There are lots of way to make them good in which developer often overlook. For example, clashing battle between two full scale armies in the open field. You can't run or advance quickly in that case and armored unit become a reliable vanguard. Reinforcement from behind, when your army need to advance quickly and enemy is chasing them as well, armor knight who falling behind become your rear guard. Defense support, an armor knight can block a choke point range unit and healer can stay safe behind. However, if they can also boost nearby allies defense and resistance as well then having a tight formation around them become viable in the open.

-Sometime foot unit suck compare to cavalry, especially in FE4. There are solution as well. Making area in which only a certain foot unit can access but not cavalry like ladder, wine, cliff, small window then place something that make player want them to get there. It could be a dangerous artillery that will become annoying if left alive, treasure, objective or shortcut. Also you can avoid making inflating map like FE4 when there is too much of open field, traveling and back tracking.

-Branching path way and chaining objective will be useful sometime as well. Splitting/converting/separate deploying into different paths each favor a certain group for example will encourage players to try different units and can also make the map design become more deep.

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I thought of a few: Rescue X and Escape within Y turns, Recruit Z before he/she flees the map, Sieze without engaging foes.

Edited by Malfaria

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The map features three ballista in the centre. Not like normal fire emblem ballista, were talking massive drive engines that take up six or more spaces each. These siege weapons are trying to destroy a castle wall. The player has to defend them as the enemy tries to destroy them. Only one needs to survive to finish the chapter, but the turn limit isn't set, if the enemy takes out one or two of the ballistas then the amount of time you have to spend defending them increases (as they destroy the castle walls more slowly the less if them there is). Maybe done even make it a turn thing and instead you need to use up a units turn by having them fire the ballista.

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On 4/2/2020 at 1:43 PM, Jotari said:

The map features three ballista in the centre. Not like normal fire emblem ballista, were talking massive drive engines that take up six or more spaces each. These siege weapons are trying to destroy a castle wall. The player has to defend them as the enemy tries to destroy them. Only one needs to survive to finish the chapter, but the turn limit isn't set, if the enemy takes out one or two of the ballistas then the amount of time you have to spend defending them increases (as they destroy the castle walls more slowly the less if them there is). Maybe done even make it a turn thing and instead you need to use up a units turn by having them fire the ballista.

Ballistae weren't meant for knocking down walls; that task was handled by trebuchets. Ballistae were for dealing with castle occupants. 

I like the idea; just substitute "ballista" with "trebuchet".

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3 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

Ballistae weren't meant for knocking down walls; that task was handled by trebuchets. Ballistae were for dealing with castle occupants. 

I like the idea; just substitute "ballista" with "trebuchet".

Sure. That then.

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I usually have secondary goals per map, specially early game, and some of them could be implemented into the story.
Examples of secondary goals are: reaching a support level among these units, completing the map before the reinforcements appear, level-up one or two units to catch up with the rest of the party, level-up for two or three levels to learn a desired skill, or make sure to reach a weapon proficiency level in order to use a certain weapon in an upcoming chapter...

Say, in Conquest, I value knowing the units and thus I usually try to unlock some children units as soon as possible; meaning that during all early maps some pairs of units must battle side by side to gain support points, in addition to the chapter goals. Things get more interesting when the relevant units have no synergy, like an archer and a healer, but it is part of the challenge.


While children units may not be present in future games, there is no reason to believe that Intelligent Systems will get rid of supports anytime soon. Thus, based on the support level among your units, a chapter could force you to use pairs or small groups of units battle side by side X number of battles to unlock details through the dialogue, which are necessary to complete the map. This way, you would be forced to come up with different approaches to tackle map sections, for some units would be "locked" to others, which could increase the challenge and make the story more interactive.

Another one: In the setting of a school like "Three Houses and a Basement", a chapter could ask you to level-up your units within a 1-3 level range, with the excuse that it is the only way for the party the pass an exam, or because a certain level of knowledge is necessary to understand the secret that is about to be revealed, or whatever. This way, you would need to come up with new strategies, for you are now forced to level-up your weaklings and cannot rely on over-levelled or overpowered units.

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On 3/25/2020 at 8:40 PM, Hello72207 said:

Here is a good setup:

protect a soldier from your allies who are trying to kill them, all green units, and the soldier is the only red unit, low defensive abilities but high offence, and the green units can kill him. For x amount of turns. 

No idea if you've seen this but someone has actually thrown that together. 

https://youtu.be/Uk6HErrqWrs

Tellius had some cool ones, like the priest chapter (22?) and the prison escape (10) in PoR, 3-endgame in RD, among others. Crazed Beast in fe7 with capping multiple points was neat, same with gorgon eggs in fe8. They're capable of coming up with cool stuff, unfortunately it feels like they've basically moved away from everything not named rout / seize / boss since Tellius. 

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Kiss the Boss 

Early mid game, the party with 10 units need to defeat the enemy army to battle the boss. So when you kill almost everyone and reach the be boss you need to pick one unit to interact with the boss, surprisingly resulting in a kiss. Anyone can be chosen, the avatar, lord or the side characters in the battlefield. 

 

So different cutscenes will play with each character kissing the villain, who will get angry and will push the kisser away, that will fall on their butt on the floor. The boss will scream  

"What are you doing? Are crazy?"

But he will never forget. Later in the game the boss will ask to be recruited because the kiss was so good..

 

Edited by Mylady

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I've had one idea for years, only now I realize it is kind of similar to the battle of the eagle and lion in 3H.

The goal is simply to reach the other side of the map, twist is, there are 2 other armies, much much larger armies than yours. The other armies will mainly try to attack each other, but if your units are in the way, they will be targeted. All you need to do is pass through this battlefield to the other side. Bonus objective: some units in the other armies are named, make sure they stay alive so you can recruit them later.

You can let these other armies wear each other out for a while first, to make things easier. But that might cost you possible recruits, or maybe the chapter could be lost if you let it get so far that an opponent general gets defeated before you reach the other side of the chapter. 

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