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leesangstar10

Best and worst maps in 3H

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I haven't seen much on this forum talking about the maps in 3H but here we go. You can include any maps from any route, even dlc.

Imo, map design is probably the weakest part of 3H. There some good and bad, but lots of mediocre maps that are recycled. I understand it being recycled due to multiple route. But I am really disappointed when we got unique/special like maps we seen in conquest.

Best maps:

VW ch 22: I like the concept of the map where you have to defeat all the elites before defeating nemesis. No idea why there are chest on this map, but still I like the overall design. Also, the music is amazing. I have a separate save file just to play this map.

Battle of the Eagle and the Lion ch7: The map itself the design isn't great, but the concept was good. Having to face two different armies was really fun. Even though you don't have to, the map incentives you to kill the other two army before they kill each other with the objective and the army raising morale after they defeat a number of units.

Worst maps:

ch5-Miklan map: Slow, ambush spawns with merc that have pass. Gilbert is so annoying keeping him alive because it is really easy for him to die and he always suicides. I sometimes just drop the run because I hate this map so much.

ch13 Hunting by Daybreak: I like the concept, but everything else I hate. Especially on a blind playthrough.

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I'm gonna have to agree with you in that Miklan's map is shit and I hate it lmao. At least on hard and above you can shoot Miklan with deadeye from the first curve which prompts him to start running towards you, speeding up the map a bit.

My personal favourite is the final map of Crimson Flower. It feels like this big climactic showdown of you fighting surrounded by proof of the atrocities Rhea has committed, attempting to put an end to the evil once and for all. Fighting Catherine, Cyril, Gilbert, Ashe and Annette while making your way slowly through the flames, carefully destroying the golems, and defending against reinforcements felt really cool to me. The final showdown against Rhea and sending your strongest units who are usually Byleth and Edelgard felt really cool as well.

Crimson Flower as a route kinda sucked overall and Edelgard deserved better, but that final map I believe is the best one out of all the routes.

Edited by Evalko

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Best:

Chapter 12 on Crimson Flower: The map is nothing special on Blue Lions/Verdant Wind/Silver Snow, but on Crimson Flower it's amazing. The enemy units are always throwing new tricks at you as you progress further forward; giving the siege on Garreg Mach an almost rhythmic back-and-forth. You send your units down the middle? Boom: enemies in the bushes. You send your units along the sides? Boom: Seteth goes on the offensive if you defeat Flayn. Get past Seteth: not only are there ballistae and magic towers, but giant golems appear, and you still have to bring down Catherine and Rhea. And I'm sure I've forgotten some of the cool things they do with this map. 

If I had one criticism, it would be that you can't control the allied units. When I play through paralogues and I see that allied units can be directly controlled by the player in those, I think, "Finally! No more stupid AI ruining my plans!" But then I play the main story chapters that have allied units and I'm like, "What?! I thought this game finally fixed that!"

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I kind of like the prologue chapter. It covers a lot of tutorial stuff in a way that's natural and unobtrusive, unlike Chapter 5 which pauses a boss fight to deliver five minutes of tutorial. I also like that the House Leaders can gain experience, even if you don't select their route. If this were Fates, only Byleth would be earning exp. Finally, this map is the most likely one to demonstrate to the player that green units can't kill bosses, which I love. It's all downhill after that though. Chapter 1 neglects to give you the option of fighting the right house first, instead assuming the player is taking on both at once. And you can cheese the map by leaving manuela alive after she runs out of nosferatu charges. Hanneman's house never aggroes toward you all at once. I'm grateful for making the map playable on Maddening, but it's dumb design. Chapter 2 encourages you to split up, but there's no reason to when both paths have the same distance to the boss and same amount of enemies to fight through. Chapter 3 is an auto scroller with Catherine hogging the glory and your own units getting sniped by enemies from the fog of war to the north. I could go on.

I think the most impressively designed map may be Silver Snow's finale. The White Beasts are like nothing else in the game, having sky high AS and dealing magic damage. The player is unlikely to realize it without a guide, but they're presented with an interesting choice for progression. You can stop the reinforcements immediately, which powers up the boss and aggros the majority of the map to your position for massive onslaught of enemies, or you can allow the white beasts to keep spawning and chomping at your heels as you work your way to the boss. The siege weapons are also placed in convenient locations for the player to make their stand and maybe even cheese some kills with a lucky crit. The boss is also like nothing else in the game. Her armor recharges after every turn unless you manage the full break, which is unlikely given that she has higher charm than most of your units. And since every turn she uses an AoE, you want to spread out your units - very difficult considering she's walled in on all sides to the point that only fliers can spread around her. And if you chose to let the reinforcements spawn, they will heal her just by being nearby. The only issue I have with the map is the prevalence of miracle, forcing you to always have a backup plan for when the white beasts, cardinals, or the boss survive a fatal blow.

Edited by Glennstavos

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Best maps:

Capturing Derdriu (CF Ch.14) 

Spoiler

Ch. 13 is famously easier on CF compared to other routes, but Capturing Derdriu spikes the difficulty in exactly the right way. The Almyran army makes heavy use of two of the better classes in the game (WL and BK) and while this map is nicer than Edelgard's paralogue, you now have to figure out how to fight when conventional tactics won't work. The map encourages you to take Derdriu quickly (and therefore attack the Leicester army) but all the while Almyran reinforcements are assaulting your position, and since you have to kill all commanders, you can't easily LTC your way out of it. This is the best (and perhaps only) example of Claude's schemes working effectively and being integrated with gameplay. And then there's being able to recruit Lysithea and spare Claude, in line with his philosophy for saving as many of his people as possible. Overall, really well-designed I thought.

Tailteann Plains (CF Ch.17)

Spoiler

This battle feels truly epic, and it also feels heavy in a good way. The rain and the mud mean all but fliers are impeded, and parts of the map are waterlogged enough to prevent movement - but that doesn't matter for the Faerghus enemies because of the map's gimmick. When you first realise every immobile unit is basically a kamikaze waiting to happen, you have to pick up a really punishing pace so that you're not overwhelmed. But Mercedes and Rhea make that really difficult (especially if you split up at the beginning), and Rhea in particular will completely destabilise you if she's left to run around. We're evoking memories of the opening cutscene of the game, and even though we know this wasn't Dimitri's original plan, we still feel like the Faerghus-Church alliance is actually capable of turning things around. Also, gameplay decisions with Dedue give you two equally affecting, but very different moments - it was nice to see that taken into account.

Danger in the Dark (CS Ch. 4)

Spoiler

It's true that other maps become impractical if you don't do certain things/get clears quickly, but this is the only map in the game where I actually felt pressure from the turn counter. I really liked the implementation of the 3rd army here - it really was a madcap melee of everyone fighting everyone, with the Golems there to push along the pace. The conditions made sense (arriving with everyone, even though not everyone even has to survive in other chapters) and created the genuine feel of an escape mission. I wouldn't have minded it if all the enemies actively chased you, even through the gates, but still it was a lot of fun, and made strong use of the map mechanisms while still allowing for different tactics to be used.

Worst maps:

The Holy Tomb (Ch.11, but especially going into CF)

Spoiler

The main reason for this being one of my worst maps is some story/gameplay segregation shenanigans (like how an entire force just sneaks behind Rhea and co. including several Demonic Beasts). Similarly, leaving the choice to side with Edelgard till after you fight her makes absolutely no sense - if you know that the BE route split follows this map directly, and that you'll choose CF, this map feels completely pointless. Even if you don't know either of those things, playing as Black Eagles in this map is really confusing, because you don't know why you're fighting. This bleeds through into gameplay - if Rhea were on the map and at risk, for example, that would make much more sense. Stopping the thieves is fine as a secondary objective, but the map still forces you to be the aggressor and go on the offensive, rather than having Byleth and co. protecting the Crest Stones from the Flame Emperor and her marauders - reorienting the objectives would have made this map far more sensible, and perhaps made the reveal a bit more powerful on GD/BL.

Battle of the Eagle and the Lion (VW Ch. 17)

Spoiler

I don't mind this battle on AM, because at least Claude and the Leicester Alliance get addressed. But on VW, Dimitri just kinda rocks up out of nowhere, and is sufficiently out of his mind to be attacking you (even though Claude's been a good boy before then). If you haven't played AM before VW, this makes zero sense, and makes the three-way battle feel particularly forced. This map would have been a great place for Claude trickery, but not only does Edelgard turn the tables on him, she does it with the same device that already got used in the Garreg Mach defence. Not only that, but reinforcements somehow come out from your own starting position (which just makes no sense). In general the battle feels superfluous for the VW route, and the fact that Dimitri gets killed offscreen (regardless of what happens in battle) is icing on the crap cake. Poor execution both in gameplay and in story.

Sword and Shield of Seiros (Shamir/Alois paralogue)

Spoiler

The paralogue has some of the weakest rewards in the game, but one of the tougher conditions to achieve them (preventing anyone from getting into the town). Given that there are infinite fliers on this map, that means you have to be consistently guarding against dragons just popping in, which might be physically impossible to do early on depending on when you attempt the paralogue and what house you're in. However, the best reward from this paralogue can only be gotten in Chapter 11, once you recruit Alois (the Holy Knights of Seiros battalion), at which point the paralogue serves little purpose for grinding anyway - meaning the most convenient thing to do is an LTC clear. This paralogue basically never gets the balance right, and doesn't even really reward the player for engaging the map properly. A shame because I like both those characters, too. 

2 hours ago, Evalko said:

My personal favourite is the final map of Crimson Flower. It feels like this big climactic showdown of you fighting surrounded by proof of the atrocities Rhea has committed, attempting to put an end to the evil once and for all. Fighting Catherine, Cyril, Gilbert, Ashe and Annette while making your way slowly through the flames, carefully destroying the golems, and defending reinforcements felt really cool to me. The final showdown against Rhea and sending your strongest units who are usually Byleth and Edelgard felt really cool as well.

Crimson Flower as a route kinda sucked overall and Edelgard deserved better, but that final map I believe is the best one out of all the routes.

This is quite interesting to hear - I had the opposite opinion, where I enjoyed the route (even though it was short) but I found the endgame to be the least climactic of the four routes. The fire was cool to see and forced you to think a little gameplay-wise, but as has been discussed elsewhere its integration with the story could have been better. Similarly, I can understand why Ashe and Annette would be in that map even after Dimitri's defeat, but it still feels a little forced.

Ultimately, though, my main issue with CF endgame is that it actually encourages cheesing tactics (which I discovered by accident on my 2nd CF run). Killing Ashe and Gilbert are two out of three of the reinforcement triggers in the map, and the leftmost path is both difficult to reach for non-fliers and the furthest from your army, which means that everybody going right (the path with Catherine) is significantly more optimal than anything else. So while it's perfectly legit to attempt to fight everyone, it's actually simpler and easier to avoid all the named units except Catherine and Rhea. Ashe, Gilbert and Annette won't move until Rhea takes her first hit, and it'll take them at least three turns to reach you because of the terrain, which is enough time to wipe Rhea out even on Maddening. Cyril doesn't move at all for some reason (I think his AI only triggers if you come at Rhea from his side of the map - I left multiple units in his range but he didn't go for any of them). Worst of all, though, is that Rhea is significantly easier than in Silver Snow, and that's putting aside the fact that Raging Storm is a thing in CF. I feel like all the other endgame maps not only are successful in overwhelming you with numbers, but encourage you to face those numbers head-on in a way that CF endgame actually doesn't - perhaps that's meant to convey how the Empire is in a better relative position than the other pre-endgame armies, but for me it was a bit underwhelming.

Edited by haarhaarhaar

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5 hours ago, leesangstar10 said:

VW ch 22: No idea why there are chest on this map, but still I like the overall design.

My theory is that this map was originally not a final map, but a regular field battle, they later reused it as Verdant Wind finale.

But decided to keep the chests

 

Quote

This bleeds through into gameplay - if Rhea were on the map and at risk, for example, that would make much more sense. Stopping the thieves is fine as a secondary objective, but the map still forces you to be the aggressor and go on the offensive, rather than having Byleth and co. protecting the Crest Stones from the Flame Emperor and her marauders - reorienting the objectives would have made this map far more sensible, and perhaps made the reveal a bit more powerful on GD/BL.

I agree, Rhea should be a playable unit in this level and the next one. Making the stake much higher. There is no lore or gameplay reason not able to.

In chapter 12 you were supposedly to protect her, but since she's so far back on the top of map guarded by lots of knights, enemy almost never even able to get close, making this objective pretty much meaningless.

In fact I think every level Rhea that was present should be playable, including Ashe's paralouge and Shambhala, again, no lore reason not able to, and can flash out some of her arc more.

 

As for me, I don't really like lava maps in any FE title. Especially if your force has lots of armor rather than flyers.

Edited by Timlugia

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Yeah, I'll have to second (or third?) the sentiment on Miklan's chapter.  I mean, it was great for Sylvain's story, but its design is the same reason I dislike a lot of Binding Blade's level design.  All there is to the map is you slogging your units from one point to another, smashing enemies along the way and maybe occasionally picking up treasures.  There's so little variance in how you approach it - the most you might do is consider leaving a unit behind to help poor ol' Gilbert fend off the ambush units from behind.

Also don't like that one city chapter.  You know, the one where at least two paralogues take place in.  Maybe I just get sick and tired of playing the same map over and over again, but I've never had fun playing this map.

 

Not sure what the best would be.  It's been a while since I've played the game normally, that is without NG+, DLC stuff, and ceaseless grinding.  I ought to challenge myself to never use broken weapons and to do normal new game.  Probably would have a substantially funner time.

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Am I the only one that thought Miklan's chapter was fine, but just didn't like how dumb Gilbert's AI is?

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I didn't really like it. I guess its only redeeming features for me were the bottlenecks and the different elevation making it that archers could safely shoot at my units. I enjoyed baiting the archers with my tankier units and then bringing them down with my own archers. 

17 minutes ago, haarhaarhaar said:

Best maps:

Capturing Derdriu (CF Ch.14) 

  Reveal hidden contents

Ch. 13 is famously easier on CF compared to other routes, but Capturing Derdriu spikes the difficulty in exactly the right way. The Almyran army makes heavy use of two of the better classes in the game (WL and BK) and while this map is nicer than Edelgard's paralogue, you now have to figure out how to fight when conventional tactics won't work. The map encourages you to take Derdriu quickly (and therefore attack the Leicester army) but all the while Almyran reinforcements are assaulting your position, and since you have to kill all commanders, you can't easily LTC your way out of it. This is the best (and perhaps only) example of Claude's schemes working effectively and being integrated with gameplay. And then there's being able to recruit Lysithea and spare Claude, in line with his philosophy for saving as many of his people as possible. Overall, really well-designed I thought.

 

Oh yeah, that was a good map. I second Capturing Derdriu as one of the best maps. 

By the way, what did you think of Chapter 12 of Crimson Flower?

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1 hour ago, vanguard333 said:

Am I the only one that thought Miklan's chapter was fine, but just didn't like how dumb Gilbert's AI is?

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I didn't really like it. I guess its only redeeming features for me were the bottlenecks and the different elevation making it that archers could safely shoot at my units. I enjoyed baiting the archers with my tankier units and then bringing them down with my own archers. 

Gilbert's Ai is kind of high varinece imo. Sometimes he does some really good things other he does the worst possible move.  As for the map itself  I think the design is mostly fine its just the size that really makes it a slog.  Even high movement still can take you several turns to get to the action.  Even a tiny bit smaller and the map is better.

I always go the boat route in Capturing Deridru as I like allowing both Hilda and Claude to live. It can get intresting at times when I have to beat Claude before Hilda forces combat on me. And having to deal with the reinforcements from the city as two of the reinforcment points are hard to snipe without fighting Hilda.

As for the main topic: I think the last battle of CF is one of my favorite battles in the entire FE franchise. The setting and atmosphere are amazing. And the final showdown also feels like it has weight and a sense of accomplishment when done.

To give the dlc a bit of a shout out I think the last battle of the dlc has one of the most unique gimmics and actually can be fun challenge.

Edited by vikingsfan92

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1 hour ago, vanguard333 said:

Am I the only one that thought Miklan's chapter was fine, but just didn't like how dumb Gilbert's AI is?

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I didn't really like it. I guess its only redeeming features for me were the bottlenecks and the different elevation making it that archers could safely shoot at my units. I enjoyed baiting the archers with my tankier units and then bringing them down with my own archers. 

I agree with you. I also wished there was some kind of reward for keeping him alive considering how annoying it is.

1 hour ago, haarhaarhaar said:

Danger in the Dark (CS Ch. 4)

This and the last map imo were the only good maps in CS. Everything else was meh.

Imo I think CF is the best route map design wise because it doesn't have stupid Hunting by Daybreak and time skip Battle of the Eagle and the Lion and it had good maps like Capturing Deridru and ch17.

Edited by leesangstar10

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Favorites:

The Remire Calamity

Spoiler

I thin this may be one of the only Three Houses levels to have a lot of side objectives, between saving all the villagers and dealing with the Death Knight and his cronies. I had a lot of fun trying to get all of them done and between that and story stuff (particularly Dimitri's reaction) I think it contributes to the chapters right before the timeskip being one of the strongest batches of main campaign content.

Oath of the Dagger

Spoiler

Blue Lions bias, but I do think it makes for an incredibly satisfying end to the campaign and has a good atmosphere. Chests are weird but I think that's mostly a function of it being a recycled map from SS. 

Stand Strong at Shambhala

Spoiler

Again, atmosphere counts for a lot with me and this has it in spades being almost wholly unique in Fire Emblem. It also has something in the way of optional objectives like the chests and rooms with minibosses. 

 

Least favorites:

A Cursed Relic and Black Market Scheme

Spoiler

It feels like the paralouges for the Ashen Wolves were meant for NG+ and with CS clear bonuses in mind, bit it makes for frustrating, trial-and-error gameplay. I feel like A Cursed Relic is slightly worse in that Gerth seemingly has no survival instinct and will get mauled by monsters. 

Salvation at the Chapel

Spoiler

Boring chapter with my least favorite death in the game. Jeralt dying is a bit too boring imo and even building up Kronya doesn't matter cause she dies a single chapter later. 

 

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Along with some of the ones mentioned above, I like The Sleeping Sand Legend, Claude's paralogue. Making up for the lack of hidden items in the sand, the enemies already have the rare items, but there are two factions fighting each other which may result in missing out on some weapons if you don't hurry. If you want everything, you are almost forced to use Stride/Warp/Rescue and flying/magic users to reach the assassins, and you have to use Steal (which sees few uses in the game overall) to get stat boosters. The boss is noteworthy (although weak defensively) and the map is not repeated in any story battles. The map does become easy once you get the items, but you may have used a few gambits trying to get everything and there's wyvern lord reinforcements in Hard/Maddening that add either a bit of urgency (or training fodder).

Spoiler

Story-wise, the boss also has a connection with Flayn and Seteth, and adds a bit to the lore of the game and what another of the living Nabateans thinks of the situations that led to him leaving for Sreng. Claude also says the memorable "I'm the grandson of the grandson of the grandson of the elite Riegan."

I don't like Lorenz's paralogue, Land of the Golden Deer, much. Little incentive to not just defeat the 2 enemies with drops and then the easy boss with warp/stride, and the Raphael/Ignatz paralogue in the same map at least has you split up, with monsters and a side objective of helping the villagers.

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15 hours ago, Timlugia said:

I agree, Rhea should be a playable unit in this level and the next one. Making the stake much higher. There is no lore or gameplay reason not able to.

In chapter 12 you were supposedly to protect her, but since she's so far back on the top of map guarded by lots of knights, enemy almost never even able to get close, making this objective pretty much meaningless.

In fact I think every level Rhea that was present should be playable, including Ashe's paralouge and Shambhala, again, no lore reason not able to, and can flash out some of her arc more

Completely agreed about Rhea being playable -  lots of people have complained how she's not even playable in SS, even though unlike similar characters in other FE titles, there is a really strong case for her inclusion. But lol at least Rhea in Ch. 12 doesn't charge like an idiot - I guess we should be thankful for small mercies.

15 hours ago, Ertrick36 said:

Also don't like that one city chapter.  You know, the one where at least two paralogues take place in.  Maybe I just get sick and tired of playing the same map over and over again, but I've never had fun playing this map

Do you mean the one with Felix/Sylvain's paralogue? I think if you do aux battles even just a little then this map becomes stale fast, which is a shame because apart from AI stupidity those paralogues aren't bad.

14 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

Am I the only one that thought Miklan's chapter was fine, but just didn't like how dumb Gilbert's AI is?

I kinda had this sentiment as well - the chapter is a slog because there's so much ground before enemies, but that felt on purpose, so at least I can accept the devs were trying to create that feel (even if they overdid it). But Gilbert's AI is especially dumb - if he gets far enough away from the reinforcements, he'll just keep bombing up the map and leave whoever you sent to help him out to die. But that's still better than charging headfirst into mages and repeatedly missing (frustrating cause he can't ORKO anything in Hard/Maddening anyway), or charging at monster Miklan and taking up a space to attack from (and then getting whipped). What an ass. Not rewarding you for keeping him alive is also a kick in the teeth because that adds at least 3-4 turns to your playthrough/makes the whole map harder.

14 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

By the way, what did you think of Chapter 12 of Crimson Flower?

I absolutely second your comment about how it genuinely feels like a back-and-forth, and the gimmicks are interesting without being tiresome. If I had to complain, I would say that Jeritza ought to become playable from the moment he arrives - even if you can't have Randolph/Ladislava, getting Jeritza late would be better integration of the DLC than dumping him in at the beginning of Part II (and be more like how Seteth in Ch. 12 and Gilbert Ch. 13 arrive). To balance out how much easier that would make the chapter, I'd have put Dimitri and Claude in the enemy reinforcements too. But yeah, definitely a good map, and the best finish to Part I of all the routes.

Edited by haarhaarhaar

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These are more my favorites and least favorites so far since I'm still in the middle of my first playthrough.

Favorites

Dorothea and Ingrid's paralogue for sure. First off, I love the story behind it. It was the very first paralogue I did and I was amazed how it felt like an actual side story to the main quest, not just another "kill the bandits because reasons" mission. And the map itself, whether it really makes sense or not, on top of the music set the perfect atmosphere for the battle itself, which seemed so simple at the start but is really one of the first fights in the game that actually forces you to think about every move you make. Sure, the Underground Chamber and the Miklan mission were annoying, but both were just long gauntlets of enemies that you had to brute force your way through. Dorothea and Ingrid's paralogue felt like the first wake-up call when it came to strategy. And yes, I failed it quite a few times lol But it forced me to get better at the game so I wouldn't make the same screw-ups again.

On 6/23/2020 at 5:56 PM, Alistair said:

The Remire Calamity

  Reveal hidden contents

I thin this may be one of the only Three Houses levels to have a lot of side objectives, between saving all the villagers and dealing with the Death Knight and his cronies. I had a lot of fun trying to get all of them done and between that and story stuff (particularly Dimitri's reaction) I think it contributes to the chapters right before the timeskip being one of the strongest batches of main campaign content.

 

I definitely agree with this one. And I like how the villagers actually heal and try to escape, not like the suicidally dumb villagers from Felix's paralogue.

I also liked Crimson Flower chapter 14 for very much the same reason as Dorothea and Ingrid's paralogue. It's another map that punishes you for rushing in blindly, but feels very rewarding when you finally plan it out right. I had to trial and error quite a bit with Divine Pulse just to keep everyone alive. The fact that Byleth and El weren't one-rounding everything also made me realize how badly iron+ weapons fall off in part 2 and that I needed to upgrade to silver+. The option to spare Claude and the ending afterwards made it even better. Even as a Black Eagles/Edelgard fan I always enjoyed Claude as a character and I'm glad he got a semi-happy ending at least, with no hard feelings between him and El or Byleth.

On 6/23/2020 at 3:36 PM, vikingsfan92 said:

I always go the boat route in Capturing Deridru as I like allowing both Hilda and Claude to live. It can get intresting at times when I have to beat Claude before Hilda forces combat on me. And having to deal with the reinforcements from the city as two of the reinforcment points are hard to snipe without fighting Hilda.

I'll definitely remember this plan for my NG+ run! I regret taking the town route since it made avoiding Hilda next to impossible. I didn't wanna kill her but she was too dangerous to just run past.

Least Favorites

On 6/23/2020 at 2:13 PM, haarhaarhaar said:

The Holy Tomb (Ch.11, but especially going into CF)

  Reveal hidden contents

The main reason for this being one of my worst maps is some story/gameplay segregation shenanigans (like how an entire force just sneaks behind Rhea and co. including several Demonic Beasts). Similarly, leaving the choice to side with Edelgard till after you fight her makes absolutely no sense - if you know that the BE route split follows this map directly, and that you'll choose CF, this map feels completely pointless. Even if you don't know either of those things, playing as Black Eagles in this map is really confusing, because you don't know why you're fighting. This bleeds through into gameplay - if Rhea were on the map and at risk, for example, that would make much more sense. Stopping the thieves is fine as a secondary objective, but the map still forces you to be the aggressor and go on the offensive, rather than having Byleth and co. protecting the Crest Stones from the Flame Emperor and her marauders - reorienting the objectives would have made this map far more sensible, and perhaps made the reveal a bit more powerful on GD/BL.

 

Agreed. This felt like such a pointless battle. I knew full well I was going for Crimson Flower and I'd made all the preparations, so the whole time I couldn't figure out why the hell I was even fighting. To protect Rhea, who I hate and who just tried to use Byleth as a human sacrifice? To get back the crest stones that will never get mentioned again or serve any story purpose? It doesn't even attempt to explain why there are demonic beasts in there. All the demonic beasts besides Miklan so far have been TWSITD creations that had nothing to do with the Empire. It feels like they're there just because the devs decided this battle needed something else to fight besides generic mooks. They could've simply put the decision to side with El before the battle and then given us a fight in the Holy Tomb, against Rhea and her cronies, that actually made sense.

I'm gonna put Chapter 10 here as well because while it was most definitely a fun chapter, the cutscenes felt contrived as hell. Like Kronya's death scene when suddenly it's Byleth chasing her through the woods and into Solon's trap when she wasn't even anywhere near Kronya to begin with. The game just assumes that Byleth was fighting Kronya, which makes it awkward when suddenly Byleth's right on top of her when she was halfway across the map two seconds ago. But I guess Solon realizing he caught Dorothea in his trap instead of Byleth would be anti-climactic wouldn't it haha

Lastly I'd like to put the Underground Chamber here because of those stupid freaking warp pads. I wish the game had some kind of indication as to where each one went so I knew not to bother with them. Instead I missed out on killing the Death Knight because I sent Lysithea down the wrong path and she ended up on the opposite end of the map from where she needed to be. Luckily I was able to get him on the Remire mission where he litreally spawned right in front of Lys.

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On 6/23/2020 at 9:33 AM, Glennstavos said:

I kind of like the prologue chapter. It covers a lot of tutorial stuff in a way that's natural and unobtrusive ... It's all downhill after that though.

Ouch. But honestly, yep, I basically agree, at least for a while. I think back to my early memories of playing Three Houses and I was definitely less positive on the game than I ultimately ended up being, and the design of those early maps is definitely a big part of why. Fortunately, IMO it does get quite a bit better later.

Anyway, my thoughts. All my specific comments assume Maddening NG but in general, if I think a map is good on Maddening I probably like it on Hard too, and vice versa for bad maps.

Best (not in any particular order)

Crimson Flower 17: Field of Revenge

Spoiler

From a story perspective I love how the battle shifts as it goes on... the appearance and retreat of the church forces, the transformation of the kindgom soldiers and in particular Dedue, should that occur. I felt like I was watching a narrative unfold. From a gameplay perspective, it has lots of interesting moving parts, including two (potentially three if Dedue transforms) tricky bosses, a race to defeat soldiers before they can transform, a variety of enemies including powerful magic users and pegasus knights.

Azure Moon/Verdant Wind 17: Blood of the Eagle and Lion

Spoiler

Lucky #17, eh? I love the way the game pushes you to seize with an otherwise terrifying ballista from Bernadetta or her replacement, and then from there likely draws you into a bloody melee with Dimitri/Claude and their allies. The named characters each pose unique challenges. Great piece of music and a callback to the part 1 fight, as well. Gronder itself is also an excellent battlefield, with just the right amount of terrain (a river, stairs, forests) to provide interest without bogging the entire map down. Storywise this map should have been fog but I hate fog in gameplay so I'm happy it wasn't.

Azure Moon 22: Oath of the Dagger

Spoiler

I love many things about this fight. Myson and how a quick kill on him can help, but I was made to feel like I worked for it. A good mix of physical and magical enemies, monsters, and siege operators such that no one defensive game can run rampant. The Hegemon is the best-designed of the final bosses IMO, being a neat hybrid between the human and monster bosses. I like that her 30 range move requires a bit of strategising to deal with, and the balance between finding enough offence to get her barrier down and punish her while finding people who can survive her AS/crit and still leave other units to kill the endless reinforcements is a good one. Having four ninja-reinforcement siege tome users is a bit much, but divine pulse makes it palatable, and some of the ways of dealing with them are fun.

Azure Moon 21: Our Chosen Paths

Spoiler

Again I really like the mix of enemies present here (monsters/humans, physical/magical, onagers/fire orbs). To this day I'm still not sure whether going left or right is better, both present separate challenges and honestly I kinda feel which one is better might depend on your team. And I enjoy the unique challenges the named characters present here: Dorothea's high-crit Fire Orb with Alert Stance+, Petra's insane evade.

I'll also mention Crimson Flower 14 (The Master Tactician), Cindered Shadows 4 (Dangers in the Dark). I like some of the paralogues, like Edelgard's and Claude's, but generally not to the degree of my favourite story maps.

Worst

White Cloudes 5: Tower of the Black Winds The map is too long and windy. It's possible to aggro every enemy through something rather arbitrary and this has a weird effect on the battle. The pass ninja-reinforcements are kinda annoying. I think I'd like the map if you started at the north end of it. The boss is a pretty good introduction for monsters, at least.

Yuri/Constance paralogue: A Cursed Relic: Has a whole bunch of arbitrary rules which are not communicated to you (how the enemies transform if they reach Gerth, how Gerth runs towards Byleth, and a stupidly large reinforcement swarm triggered by being 2 squares from Gerth). Also I hate the east side of that battlefield and how it's a trap, it takes ages to traverse and then that turns out to be a waste of time anyway because the reinforcements will choke that group away from rejoining the rest of the team.

White Cloudes 9: The Cause of Sorrow: Boring throwdown with a bunch of monsters, with almost no actual pressure to do well since those random kids thought to pack elixirs. If you've done Sothis's paralogue before this it will seem incredibly plain.

VW21/SS20: The City Without Light: Why are my people separated into groups of three anyway? Otherwise it's a pretty dull map outside the turrets which have undisplayed battle powers but fortunately are undertuned anyway, and an incredibly anticlimactic boss.

Black Eagles 11: Throne of Knowledge: Honestly this isn't a great map regardless; the enemies get greedy with crest stones making them quite easy to stop, and the Flame Emperor is weirdly less impressive than the previous time you fought them in terms of AS/hit/crit. But on the Black Eagles route it becomes plot nonsense, whichever route you're aiming towards, and that's hard to forgive.

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2 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

White Cloudes 9: The Cause of Sorrow: Boring throwdown with a bunch of monsters, with almost no actual pressure to do well since those random kids thought to pack elixirs. If you've done Sothis's paralogue before this it will seem incredibly plain.

Yeah this one's pretty bad too imo. It's just a boring rehash of Sothis's paralogue but, like you said, without any actual pressure. The map's basically just a big square that makes it ridiculously easy to corner each monster if you split up your party. I don't even think Marianne needed to heal a single npc student either. They're just that good at dodging and healing. And Jeralt's death scene afterwards seemed very forced too. I mean, I get that he had to die for plot reasons, but the way it happened just felt like they threw it in at the last minute. Jeralt deserved better. Overall it was a huge letdown after Remire, almost like the game's way of preparing you for the trash fire that is chapters 10 and 11.

On 6/23/2020 at 11:52 AM, Evalko said:

My personal favourite is the final map of Crimson Flower. It feels like this big climactic showdown of you fighting surrounded by proof of the atrocities Rhea has committed, attempting to put an end to the evil once and for all. Fighting Catherine, Cyril, Gilbert, Ashe and Annette while making your way slowly through the flames, carefully destroying the golems, and defending against reinforcements felt really cool to me. The final showdown against Rhea and sending your strongest units who are usually Byleth and Edelgard felt really cool as well.

I can't wait to do this one! I'm loving Crimson Flower so far and this sounds like such a perfect final battle for the Black Eagles!

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Worst map is chapter 13 in non-Crimson Flower routes. It's a MASSIVE pain in the ass with over nine thousand speedy units and a crapload of annoying snipers. You start with only two units, and others come in a few turns in. Not helping matters is that in two of three routes that deal with it, the main healer doesn't show up until the hard part is over. Did I mention that you're stuck using the units from your original house for this chapter? Long story short, it feels like this (WARNING: Spoiler has highly irritating spirit battle):

Spoiler

maxresdefault.jpg

Or this one:

Spoiler

maxresdefault.jpg

Or this pain in the ass:

Spoiler

2018-12-10-1.jpg

Best map is... I'll say the last Verdant Wind chapter for now.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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Worst: 

Chapter 5:

Spoiler

Same reasons as everyone else. The map is a massive slog with a lot of blank space, Gilbert is probably the worst attempt at "help" I've seen in a while, and those ambush spawns near the northeast of the map... well, the less said about those the better

Best:

Dedue's Paralogue

Spoiler

I mainly just enjoy the objective on this one. The map itself is OK, but I liked having to rush to get the enemies before the green units got to them. Though to be fair this was the first paralogue I ever played, so that probably affects my thoughts on it.

CF Chapter 17:

Spoiler

I only ever played this on hard, so I might hate it in Maddening, but the absolute chaos of this map really makes me enjoy it. Rhea and her allies joining the fight midway, the enemy soldiers turning into demonic beasts... Even on hard this one was pretty tricky for me, having to manage the enemy as quickly as possible to prevent the Kingdom soldiers from transforming and ruining my day. In terms of pure aesthetic it might also be my favourite map in the game- dark, gloomy and indicative of the desperate nature of the enemy army.

Non-CF Chapter 14:

Spoiler

I enjoyed the gimmick of the map, having to let the green unit trigger a fire attack to turn the tables on the enemy. The beginning is standard defence map fare, getting swarmed by enemies and fending them off, only to turn the entire battle into a firestorm and having that one glorious turn to completely wipe them out. I just find it so damn fun.

CS Chapter 7:

Spoiler

Definitely a personal pick, but, as with CF Chapter 17, I enjoy the chaos of it. The boss summoning little Aelfric babies was creepy as hell, and I enjoyed how it forced you to strategise to kill all the phantoms while still leaving your best damage for the boss itself. The boss itself warping everyone around the map was just the right amount of chaos for me- it forced me to adapt to the new placements of my units, and I don't know if I was lucky or what, but I never found myself screwed over by it too much (Edelgard always got sent as far away from the boss as possible, but she was one of my weaker units so I didn't mind). My one criticism is that the boss was a little too bulky, but I guess that was how they made a defeat the boss map with only the boss into an ordeal that didn't last 5 minutes.

 

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