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Whitfield1999

Having New Games focus so much on Growths, and "making a core team" has made fire emblem lose a part of the older games core design philosophy.

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Fire emblem has been straying further and further away from the "strategy" part of SRPG and more into the RPG direction. 

Before I start ranting and raving I want to get my biases out of the way first. My favorite games in the series are Mystery of the Emblem and Thracia 776. and the reasons I love those games so much more then the rest of the series is for 2 reasons. Meaningful class differences and a 20 stat cap.

When I say "Meaningful class differences" what I mean is, for specific maps/parts of maps some classes have better tools then others that would better fit the task you're trying to do causing you to use a valuable deployment slot in order to field a unit of that class. For example take Mystery of the Emblem chapter 14, most of the chapter takes place indoors (meaning mounted units can't use there mounts) so you would generally want to bring foot units, but there are ice dragons inside who ignore defense so you'll you want to bring a unit with a lot of hp as well. Also there is a thief running away  outside with a warp staff so you'll want to bring at least 1 high movement mounted unit to get that high value item.

this Is why I love the fact that mounted units can't be indoors, not because it nerfs mounted unit, but because it adds another layer of strategy and consideration for the player to decide who to bring along for the chapter. Now some people might be hesitant to bench a unit they're "training" for a chapter, but luckily having stats cap at 20 across the board compliments this aspect of the game.

By having a stat cap of 20, it doesn't matter if some units miss a chapter, or maybe even a few chapters! first off enemies are usually very bad in these games, but also training units 20/20 to cap their stats yields little reward to the amount of time you put in.

also having super high stats are meaningless if whatever class a unit is in is unfit to deal with the level design. in fe4 there are tons of foot locked units with 10/10 combat that will clear the arena without fail 100% of the time, but that doesn't change the fact that it's very hard for them to see combat in the first place since the maps are so vast and spread out.

In new games there is very little consideration on who to bring with you because of the level design. In 3 houses i'm never "oh a desert map, better not field any of my cavs" its more like "oh a desert map, sucks my cavs aren't going to see much combat but might as well bring them cause everyone else who I don't use regularly is to under leveled to use even if they would be useful otherwise."

don't mean to sound elitist, but I think the pushing of RPG mechanics over strategy mechanics has made the series lose some of what made it unique in the first place. what do you guys think?

Edited by Whitfield1999

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Funny, "oh a desert map" means that the only horses that get fielded are Holy Knights with Physic.  Which is hardly the worst of 3H's balancing philosophy IMO.

It's all about how you approach the game.

Edited by eclipse

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6 minutes ago, eclipse said:

It's all about how you approach the game.

Yea I guess your right. I Just am not a fan of having the game centered around training 10 units for the entire game instead of there being a real decision on who to bring for the chapter ya know.

The example I gave could have easily been solved through reclassing as well so wasn't really well thought out on my end lol. 

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7 minutes ago, Whitfield1999 said:

Yea I guess your right. I Just am not a fan of having the game centered around training 10 units for the entire game instead of there being a real decision on who to bring for the chapter ya know.

The example I gave could have easily been solved through reclassing as well so wasn't really well thought out on my end lol. 

But you really don't have to focus on those units if you don't want to.  The game's flexible enough where you can rotate your units after a certain point.  It makes it a lot more fun IMO.

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To me personally the high growths are annoying because enemies are scaled according to the expectation of how your units will grow, but the higher the benchmark is, the higher chance that you won't get there becomes and the harder it will be when you don't get there because level-ups haven't changed in the series, it's always a single point increase except for those over 100%. 

I agree with what you said though, I like being able to rotate my units, which is why I like Thracia's fatigue system in theory. Though I have yet to play that game for a bunch, but it becomes interesting where in the early game I use Halvan to take some fatigue and so Orson or literally anyone else can fight later.

Also on the note about 3H's, there comes a point where deployment slots are tight and I don't want to bench anyone (unless they suck) so I keep them despite the circumstances

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I don't necessarily consider the loss of the older design philosophy to be a bad thing. I've never liked having to bench units lategame that I enjoyed using earlier.

 

However, if growth-focus core teams are to be a thing, I would like to see higher deployment limits to match.

 

And also, we really do need to nail down distinguishing factors between units instead of this "everyone can be everything" homogenization we have going on. Set or branching classes are a better approach, IMO. But perhaps we could even experiment with giving each unit their own "similar but different" variant of the known classes. IE: Edward's Myrmidon could promote to a Thunderblade with magic use while Zihark's promotion could be to a Hero with axe use and Mia's to a Swordmaster with dedicated swords, but increased stats.

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I think your core argument derails itself by going more into class balance than actually talking about the design philosophy's consequences on unit design and the "core team" part. Like, how about how Three Houses' cast is all trainees with late-joiners merely being thrown into the auto-leveler? Characters start with minimal diversity and there's no dedicated Jagen or late-game characters. Sure, people give the excuses of the former falling off and the latter not being used much when you have the core team; but there's the positives of giving you a taste of power and having a safety net for endgame, respectively.

Part of the diversity problem is built into the class system itself though. Mounted units have a ton of mobility advantage without any real downsides while armor is strictly a negative trait. Lock away some of the tools to foot units, take mounted terrain penalties more seriously and give armors something. Dismounting isn't the holy grail of this for a reason below and because it's too free even outside of Three Houses. In fact, I'd argue you'd balance mounts and fliers better by making indoors their own personal desert.

The core team part isn't just a matter of growths accelerating the game's progression, although a slower curve would help enable rotation. Reclassing has been a staple in the core cast formula because it lets you get the roles you want with the same set of characters. That said, I think the games have been getting better with handling it; FE12 is arguably the worst offender because it's free and promoted classes get free weapon EXP, its only restriction is the class limits. The 3DS games have an opportunity cost to it and don't give you weapon ranks, while Three Houses makes you earn those ranks first.

All that said, there's another complaint I'd like to address about the series that the new philosophy exposes: the bench is such a dead weight zone that it makes deviating from your core team all the more punishing. I know EXP is supposed to be a resource, but if characters could level up on the sidelines we'd have less issues with them taking a chapter off. Not to the extent of deployed units, just enough that a late-deployed unit has a fair shake at catching up. I think the monastery activities would be a great addition for benched units, as needing to tutor for a chapter could be a good cost to reclassing.

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26 minutes ago, X-Naut said:

All that said, there's another complaint I'd like to address about the series that the new philosophy exposes: the bench is such a dead weight zone that it makes deviating from your core team all the more punishing. 

Dude you hit the nail right on the head. This is what I was trying to say but like you said, I kinda got side tracked a bit. But I 100% agree, the bench is a death sentence for a unit in modern fe

I can't really think of a way to curve the issue without just straight up lowering growths and stat caps. fe9's bonus xp I feel like is a step in the right direction but I feel most of the time Bonus exp is just used to make your core team even better...

Edited by Whitfield1999

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17 minutes ago, X-Naut said:

Characters start with minimal diversity and there's no dedicated Jagen or late-game characters.

This really annoys me about 3H's... why.... WHY couldn't Jeralt be there with us in the battle of the red canyon? And in the map after that... would make playing the game much more fun in the first chapters instead of just doing nothing.

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I feel you, it's just like that sometimes with the games we play

I imagine how some of the series fans felt after playing Thracia 776 and then playing Binding Blade

it's kind of how series evolve, and I'd probably blame Koie Tecmo since they handled the bulk of the development

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I think reclassing plays another part in this. It's no longer, "I want units from this class for a map like this" when it can be "oh, guess its time to reclass if I want to keep using my team". Then again such scenarios don't really come up in Three Houses since every class line ends with a mount anyway except for war masters, who will have the same class path as the wyvern lords until level 20.

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Counter point: Conquest. It's one of the most strategic games series wide (if not the most strategic one) while still having RPG elements. Increasing the RPG elements doesn't necessarily mean losing strategy elements. There are other factors in play here (like map design).

And the optimal way to play FE is to have a core Team. Even in Thracia i had a core Team i always stuck with (although it's a bit bigger there since i switched around due to fatigue). Units that are weak there i also never used, while i used alot of my units who stat capped early.

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5 minutes ago, Shrimperor said:

Counter point: Conquest. It's one of the most strategic games series wide (if not the most strategic one) while still having RPG elements. Increasing the RPG elements doesn't necessarily mean losing strategy elements. There are other factors in play here (like map design).

And the optimal way to play FE is to have a core Team. Even in Thracia i had a core Team i always stuck with (although it's a bit bigger there since i switched around due to fatigue). Units that are weak there i also never used, while i used alot of my units who stat capped early.

haven't played the 3ds fire emblems except for awakening so can't comment on that, but I think our definitions of core team may be different. you can never use every single unit, but if you are switching units in or out depending on what chapter it is then it can't really be compared to games where there is literally no reason not to use the same 10 guys for every chapter. even in games where I think they are a lot better having you make meaningful decisions on who you bring, there are always staff users you are going to want to bring. 

But what i'm talking about, in mystery of the emblem, By chapter 8 I have 3 cavs/paladins who I use for outdoor maps and sometimes indoors. But after chapter 8 there is a desert chapter, an indoor chapter, then another desert chapter, then another chapter that starts indoors but you can mount after you leave the floor tiles. For those 3/4 chapters I don't use those paladins at all, but at chapter 13 I start to field them again. Now depending on what you want to call a core team, these guys can be considered part of a core team because they are my go to for big outdoor maps or they could be considered not part of a core team because I don't use them all the time. The point is that there's no strategic merit benching units for a few chapters in growth rpg heavy games because in the long run you would be screwing them so hard that they would be almost unusable for the rest of the game.

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2 minutes ago, Whitfield1999 said:

The point is that there's no strategic merit benching units for a few chapters in growth rpg heavy games because in the long run you would be screwing them so hard that they would be almost unusable for the rest of the game.

Never played FE3 so can't talk about that (and i take it FE12 is bit different in that regard?), but even in ''low growth'' games benched units for some chapters i tend to never use again. Only Exception is Thracia due to fatigue, but i wouldn'T call not using a unit for a chapter benching. And even in Thracia in indoor maps i tend to use my trained cav units unmounted rather than untrained foot units, even with the less mov they would've after dismounting.

As for desert chapters, it's usually the time for units not punished by deserts to shine, like Mages/Fliers, which are usually part of my core Team anyway.

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to continue, that isn't to say you can't deploy the same units over and over again in these games. You can, it just might not be as optimal or good to do so depending on the map.

you can still play the way you want. But to the players who want to play like the way I described above, will only get shafted the more it's like an rpg and I think it's a shame that way of playing fire emblem is being faded out

Edited by Whitfield1999

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6 minutes ago, Shrimperor said:

Never played FE3 so can't talk about that (and i take it FE12 is bit different in that regard?), but even in ''low growth'' games benched units for some chapters i tend to never use again. Only Exception is Thracia due to fatigue, but i wouldn'T call not using a unit for a chapter benching. And even in Thracia in indoor maps i tend to use my trained cav units unmounted rather than untrained foot units, even with the less mov they would've after dismounting.

As for desert chapters, it's usually the time for units not punished by deserts to shine, like Mages/Fliers, which are usually part of my core Team anyway.

are you sure you're playing optimally?

I mean I can kinda see using unmounted units in fe3, but in thracia unmounted units are SOoooo crappy. 5 move and E swords (if you aren't fergus) really hurts in that game when you got 7 move daddy dagdar over there

Edited by Whitfield1999

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Just now, Whitfield1999 said:

are you sure you're playing optimally?

I think i do tend to clear Maps pretty fast (although not LTC fast). Even in Thracia i usually cleared Maps so fast I sometimes had to wait a few turns to wait for enemy reinforcements with good stuff to come so i can steal them before i can seize.

Making your strong units stronger is more optimal than using weak units and trying to make them strong.

Now unmounted units might have a problem in Thracia due to Sword lock, but that never hurt someone like Finn, Fergus or Karin much, who'd i take every time over someone like Marty Party or Dalshin. And i usually tried to plan it in such a way that not all my strongest units are fatigued at the same time (or had enough S-drinks).

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6 minutes ago, Shrimperor said:

 

Now unmounted units might have a problem in Thracia due to Sword lock, but that never hurt someone like Finn, Fergus or Karin much, who'd i take every time over someone like Marty Party or Dalshin. And i usually tried to plan it in such a way that not all my strongest units are fatigued at the same time (or had enough S-drinks).

there are way better units then marty party and dhalsin that mounted units have to compete against indoors. at base, ralph and dagdar who need no investment whatsoever, they come ready to work, would be a better choice then a cav unit with 5 move and e swords no matter how good their stats are compared to them lol.

Also I think finn and fergus are good despite the fact they are mounted units, finn cause of his supports with leif and nanna, and fergus because he's a sword knight with a good rank in swords. karin Idk much about indoors cause i've never used her for indoor maps

Edited by Whitfield1999

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5 minutes ago, Whitfield1999 said:

at base, ralph and dagdar who need no investment whatsoev

Hard disagree on Ralph, who is so useless he got benched once i got him. He was alot weaker compared to my core team.

5 minutes ago, Whitfield1999 said:

e swords

They are only E-swords early on, and you are sword locked with them for like 3 chapters (4, 4x and 5). My Karin for example hat better Sword Rank than Lance Rank. Sword Lock ain't that bad, considering Swords are the lightest weapons and dismounting means benefitting from Terrain.

Edit: That aside, each one plays differently, and i think you should play conquest before you judge ''Rpg elements bad'' 😉

Edited by Shrimperor

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weaker stat wise maybe, but he comes as a hero with 6 move, A swords and C axes. And you really don't need to have that good stats in thracia to beat the game, I think even on the final chapter some enemies have 0 AS. There is much bigger factors to consider then stats.

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13 minutes ago, Whitfield1999 said:

And you really don't need to have that good stats in thracia to beat the game

You don't, but better stats makes it easier and more efficient

10 minutes ago, Whitfield1999 said:

He's just way better then an mounted unit indoors no mater how good that mounted unit is stat wise

Nope. Having dismounted units who support each other and support Leif (or get supported by him) are way better than some Medicore swordsman.

Not to mention Mov Growth is a thing in Thracia. Even if they are low, it isn't unlikely to get Mov lvl ups.

Edit: I am not saying it's bad or wrong to use Ralph, but ''Core Team'' has always been a part of FE, and i honestly prefer making my own guys i got from the beginning grow over the game throwing prepromotes at me.

Edited by Shrimperor

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There's more than one way to play the games.  Which I feel is something that isn't being considered.

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just accept it, and find your own way to make it more fun. With me, I try to edit, use code to the game. 

FE:Awakening , change theirs classes, skills, growths, v....v.......

FE8: randomizer, add classes(currently Idk about this, currently i'm searching online), add more green and red unit in every maps, every map is a battlefield of blue+green vs red units. I find it really fun to play

      So I think you should find your own way to make your gameplay more interesting

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While I can agree that FE has been moving more in the direction of RPGs, that doesn't necessarily mean less strategy and specialization is required. In every FE game you will have certain units for certain tasks, regardless of stats; and certain characters will always have better stats and skills to handle a situation better than others would. For example, even if I grind my units in 3H to be crazy strong, I can't just run in and expect to dominate. I have to plan and place my units so I can have the most effective victory with as minimal casualties as possible. It's not less strategy as much as it is different strategy, in my opinion. Yeah, you can absolutely make the game into Grind Emblem and focus on stats, but you also have the option to not grind and more cautiously approach each battle in the way that you want to. The sheer amount of options are what make Fire Emblem appealing and satisfying to both the casual and the classic FE fans.

Edited by twilitfalchion

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