Jump to content
Benice

Why are supports still considered to be a good form of storytelling in FE?

Recommended Posts

5 hours ago, Florete said:

Fire Emblem without permadeath has existed since Awakening.

As an option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Florete said:

Fire Emblem without permadeath has existed since Awakening. Permadeath is not a necessary part of Fire Emblem's identity.

It's been possible to play Fire Emblem without permadeath since New Mystery (not Awakening, I guess the lack of credit there is down to lack of localisation), but it's still part of the core design philosophy of Fire Emblem. Fire Emblem chapters are designed around the idea that it can be cleared without losing any units. The design philosophy has shifted more towards expecting the player to have a full army, but this core has remained in tact. It's not like Advance Wars or a tonne of other strategy games where you're sending waves of enemies at the AI to hold a position. In Fire Emblem when you're baiting an enemy in, the enemy is designed to be strong enough to not be able to kill everyone in your army.

Edited by Jotari

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd rather not derail this topic with a discussion of permadeath. Probably shouldn't have made that first response, but I'll end it here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Spoiler

 

On 4/29/2021 at 5:05 PM, Ottservia said:

I think you need to re-examine your definition of “One note” if Ike is fitting into that definition 

Meant moreso in RD than PoR, but I didn't specify, so dat's on me.

On 4/29/2021 at 7:08 AM, Use the Falchion said:

Imagine how robust RD's cast would be had the support system actually been good?

I dunno, at least in my opinion, it would have been pretty awful-The game already has a ton of dialogue as-is, if it added a system where each character supports, for example, three other characters, we'd end up with roughly...Well, ~210 individual support chains, which is a lot and not that much individual characterization anyways.

That said, RD is a weird case for a game, since a majority of the cast is pre-developed via PoR. I don't disagree that there were characters who certainly needed more characterization-But RD having a cast of 73 playables makes giving lots of screentime or development to all would a pipe dream in my opinion. If I were to remake RD, I would absolutely put more into developing newcomers-But universal supports wouldn't really be needed when about 80-90% of the cast already had PoR. Like, I bet that with ten or so info conversations, you could very easily pack in a ton going on for the entire newcoming cast.

On 4/30/2021 at 6:37 AM, Use the Falchion said:

And then very little would change. It's still be: 

C-Support - inciting conflict

B-Support - reference to curse

A-Support - we move on

If they were to follow a three-ish segment system, this is true. However, taking Nyx again for example, rather than seeing Conflict-Curse-Something else 18 or so times for her (I.E, once per support), we'd only need to see it about two or three times. This basically fixes the problem for most characters feeling too one-note or repetitive. You absolutely can still make terrible characters, but writing a full cast of characters who have enough facets to hold ~30 conversations with ~10 different characters is really, really hard. Especially if you don't want to make every character's conflict feel formulaic, which is sorta something that the series already has goin', but that's somewhat off-topic.

On 4/29/2021 at 7:08 AM, Use the Falchion said:

but I don't think throwing them out works either. 

Why not? There is practically no reason at all that other systems cannot fulfill the same role without many of the drawbacks.

On 4/29/2021 at 7:08 AM, Use the Falchion said:

Only for certain characters at best. There's no tonal inconsistency in the supports of a majority of characters. You're treating the exceptions like it's the rule. 

The problems with this are that I see about three solutions to supports arriving at the wrong time-

1. Let supports arrive as the player views 'em, it don't matter too much when. I.E, don't add conditions to lines.

2. Modify lines at times so that a plot-point from the past isn't brought up incorrectly.

3. Don't allow supports to viewed until certain points or make them unviewable after certain points. Or make supports unviewable at certain parts of the game.

The last two are generally what Three Houses opted for. However these pose two problems:

For the line modification...That's a lot of extra work, especially if there's a large volume of supports. Moreso if the conversation is voiced, but simply having multiple branches that have small effects to the conversation is time consuming.

For limiting when supports are viewed, my problem is when things are in large volume. For example, in Three Houses, I chose not to read every single support after every map, since there were too many for me to stomach at once. This caused me to completely miss out on about six support chains. I had no indication that these supports wouldn't be able to start in Pt. 2, and because of the magnitude of individual supports, it makes missing certain characters pretty easy.

Having events and info conversations fixes this with much less effort for the devs, as well as solving the problem of character development resetting every support chain. Info conversations have very clear conditions as to when they are available, and barring major gaffes on the writer's part, won't have a random scene that is 100% out of place.

On 4/29/2021 at 7:08 AM, Use the Falchion said:

Xenoblade 2 shows you the downside of subplots exclusively! The subplots focus on the character's gimmick, with maybe one or two extra things thrown in. Vale is still edgy, Ursula is still shy, and Godfrey is still Godfrey. And those H2H's you praise so much? They do the exact same thing as supports, but they're limited to maybe one or two conversations per blade, and you don't get to see nearly as many fun interactions. That's the benefit of supports. Oh, and they're also locked behind arbitrary things, much like supports.

Xenoblade and FE aren't quite the same thing. To me, H2Hs work well for a few reasons. One of them being that, in Xenoblade 2, the random rare blades the player MIGHT pull are NOT plot relevant, and they aren't intended to be. Since, with a few exceptions, missing these blades is likely, putting lots of effort and depth to each H2H would be pretty annoying for the devs. H2Hs simply provide characterization to a character who is not meant to be very deep, and often do so in entertaining manners. Would Xenoblade 2 be a better game if Finch ended up having a backstory about how he has bad memory because his parents mistreated him so he pretends to forget, and it spins into a tale about how running away from your past and reality doesn't work? Well...For most players, no. Many wouldn't see him or know he existed, and having a toothsome subplot about this missable character would require a series of events that are still completely irrelevant to the story. Structurally, H2Hs work well for what Xenoblade 2 needed them to do. They, as a whole, paint a brief sketch of characters who aren't integral to the main story and will often make you laugh to break up the exploration and fighting. H2Hs aren't meant to carry the plot, but are there to provide something for the Blades who'd otherwise get nothing. Plus, they don't all revolve around Rex, handing the spotlight to someone else for a moment.

Plus, H2Hs are, in my opinion, BETTER than supports because of the more interesting and relevant to the moment interactions allowed, but still inferior to events.

 

The difference in FE is that very few characters are missable, and the implication I'm getting from the two most recent FEs is that they WANT to make FE have a really rich and deep cast. To name a few missables, there's Stefan, Karla, Harken/Karel, as well as recruitable enemies, although these are basically gone in all FEs that put a heavy emphasis on story. (RD, FE13 onwards, unless I am forgetting someone.) Putting a lot of effort into a character is much more practical when a player has an excellent chance of seeing them and they do have a good chance and reason to be relevant to the main story or having something going on alongside it. If I only had H2Hs to develop a cast in an FE, that would be reasonably easy to do well and they'd do a better job than supports IMO, even if everyone only got two. It'd be hard to get it done in two convos apiece, but supports perennially struggle with developing a strong character in ten.

On 4/29/2021 at 7:08 AM, Use the Falchion said:

The problem with your solutions are the same with the bad supports however - the details that could be shared won't unless they are necessary, or unless they're shoved in. In your scenario, we wouldn't learn about Ogier's sister if it didn't come up in his subplot. In your scenario, we probably wouldn't learn about how Tharja writes home to her family or her good deeds to civilians, because her subplot would be focused on Robin, not about those things. Supports can be used to benefit these and/or supplement them. How awesome would it be if you learn about Tharja's writing of letters in one support, and in a base conversation she read a draft to said support character, or to another character you knew she was close with (in my head it'd be Olivia) about the events of the previous battle(s)? Or maybe a trio support where Tharja, Miriel, and Ricken are working together and debate their differing uses of method-testing, and then in a latter base conversation we gain a randomized spell-book that they created together? This isn't one erasing the other, but everything working in tandem to create characters with depth. Or, if one got far enough on a support chain between Bernadetta and Seteth, and maybe Seteth and Hilda, they would start a Book Club, and you could have base conversations surrounding that. No subplot needed, but more interaction and building upon relationships already there in a cool, collaborative setting. (...I may want to write a Trio support about this now...) 

I think you still misunderstand me. I do not want the removal of these facets of characters. My point is this:

Supports cannot do much* that events can't, while events can do tons of things supports can't, while being able to provide better characterization.

Is there any reason that Ogier wouldn't have an event about his family? No, not at all. Same with any of the other characters you mentioned. Supports are not the only thing able to facilitate these interactions. The reason I mention subplots is because events make them POSSIBLE. They don't force them to exist, but the option is there, unlike with supports.

Alone, supports cannot allow a character to properly have an arc and grow past their flaws. Events would not force a character to grow or change, but it would allow it to be possible, and wouldn't let the character reset every single interaction they have. Alone, supports cannot allow something like a randomized tome you get from an event. Alone, events can but do not have to.

*Off the top of my head, player choice is about the only thing it does for paired endings and whatnot, but this is possible without supports as well.

 

 

To close, I have a question... Why can't events allow for the interactions people enjoy from support conversations?

 

Only half a month late! New Record!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/25/2021 at 8:52 PM, Baldrick said:

That's exactly how RD handles it's support mechanic. It maximises the gameplay side of the mechanic, and the characterisation is handled elsewhere so they don't have to contrive reasons for two characters to interact.

Honestly, sometimes Supports in the modern games just read like RD Supports but extended to fifteen lines each.

On 5/1/2021 at 12:13 PM, Use the Falchion said:

Three Houses did a similar thing on an admittedly much smaller scale.

https://forums.serenesforest.net/index.php?/topic/94525-support-conversation-branches

3H compared to PoR is anything but smaller scale. PoR has like five Supports that change based on circumstances total, and only one of which is not in response to permadeath. The fact 3H is the first game since PoR to return to the idea of Supports that change is also rather telling.

 

This point is one I heartily agree with, but sadly, I don't see Supports going away. If you count the total chains across the series, you'll notice that the total amount per game slowly started dying off from Binding Blade to Path of Radiance before they were removed outright in RD, and they weren't considered vital enough to backport into SD. Both games got panned specificially for lack of Supports, and now Awakening and 3H have more Supports total than Binding Blade, and Fates had like twice as many. SoV and 3H have represented them starting to go back to Base Conversations and the like.

I think another argument I've seen a lot in this thread in general for keeping Supports over other means has a bit of a flaw: namely, how costly they would be to include. Supports aren't exactly a zero-sum inclusion, there is active development time being put into each one, and saying "either remove or cut down on these" opens up time to start brainstorming and writing these alternate ideas. Other than the "this is the way it has always been done" advantage, Supports should really present no less of a narrative challenge to justify.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Benice said:

Meant moreso in RD than PoR, but I didn't specify, so dat's on me.

I mean just because he gets less characterization/development in one game that doesn’t erase the development and characterization he got in the ither. Again I think you need to re-examine your definition of one note.

 

11 hours ago, Benice said:

The problems with this are that I see about three solutions to supports arriving at the wrong time-

I mean that’s more so on the player rather than the game itself honestly. Fire Emblem stories are extremely linear with hardly any deviation or break from the plot. The only exception being 3H. These stories work on a chapter by chapter basis. There’s no “break” in between like your traditional jrpg where you can go around and do side stuff or explore dungeons or whatever. For the most part you’re just thrown into the next chapter. We have overworld maps/hubs but they’re extremely limited with what you can do. It wasn’t until 3H and SoV that we got actual side quests and they were far from complicated.

 

A lot of your complaints seem to completely misunderstand how Fire Emblem as a game is inherently structured. Like I said you just kinda go from one map to the next with maybe a small trip back to the hub in between to I dunno restock items or view a couple supports. Things like H2H and events wouldn’t work because of the fundamental way these games are structured. Where would you even put them? In a static menu well then that’s no different from how the support and paralogue system already work. I can see things like H2H and events working in something like 3H though because of how much more robust the hub exploration is. Those things would essentially be putting paralogue/supports access in the monestary rather than a static select menu(which I feel like would be 100% better tbh). Like you’re talking about this like FE is an open world dungeon crawling Jrpg when it’s not. It’s a linear on rails tactical rpg which makes character interaction that much more limited outside of the main plot. Again, I don’t necessarily disagree. I just don’t see how it would all work with the way Fire Emblem games are typically designed and structured.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Ottservia said:

I mean that’s more so on the player rather than the game itself honestly. Fire Emblem stories are extremely linear with hardly any deviation or break from the plot. The only exception being 3H. These stories work on a chapter by chapter basis. There’s no “break” in between like your traditional jrpg where you can go around and do side stuff or explore dungeons or whatever. For the most part you’re just thrown into the next chapter. We have overworld maps/hubs but they’re extremely limited with what you can do. It wasn’t until 3H and SoV that we got actual side quests and they were far from complicated.

I would say the linearity was lost as early as Awakening. In that game, there was the main story, yes - but also a bunch of Paralogues that you can do whenever. Also, random Risen encounters on the map. Also also, you can interact with other "Robins" that you StreetPassed with. Also also also, DLC through the Dragon's Gate, if that's your thing. And Fates works pretty similarly, albeit replacing the World Map with a "My Castle" system.

Still, a think a time-limited linear one-on-one support system can work in either style of game. Path of Radiance did it, then Echoes and Three Houses used that paradigm, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

I would say the linearity was lost as early as Awakening. In that game, there was the main story, yes - but also a bunch of Paralogues that you can do whenever. Also, random Risen encounters on the map. Also also, you can interact with other "Robins" that you StreetPassed with. Also also also, DLC through the Dragon's Gate, if that's your thing. And Fates works pretty similarly, albeit replacing the World Map with a "My Castle" system.

 

What I meant by linearity is that it’s not like your traditional jrpg where the design is very open-worldy where you go visit different towns, explore dungeons, and do side quests. No Fire Emblem is a tactical rpg. Stuff like H2Hs in Xenoblade flat out would not work with the way these games are structured because the only way you’d be able to access them is through some kind of static which is no different from how supports already work so it’s just redundant. They work in Xenoblade because they’re a little side thing you can do while exploring the world. And the developers can place in just the right locations as to be relevant to the situation at hand because they know for a fact that the player can’t get acess to this area until that particular point in the game because Xenoblade is designed with that open world exploration in mind. Fire Emblem is not structured like that. You just go from map to map to map. The fact that there’s a central hub or overworld doesn’t change that. It’s more or less a glorified chapter select. Cause all you can really do in “my castle” or awakening’s map is just buy items, access paralogues, dlc maps, the next chapter, supports, or various online features. That’s it. Unlike in a game like Xenoblade or dragon quest where you have this vast world to explore with towns to visit and npcs to talk to. In that way supports work because of the way the game is designed and structured. I’m not arguing against time sensitive supports. I’m just saying taking the H2H system from Xenoblade and just plopping it into Fire Emblem would not work at all because Fire Emblem is not a jrpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/9/2021 at 11:38 PM, Benice said:

he game already has a ton of dialogue as-is,

Because of how the story is told, not because of character interaction. The bulk of the dialogue is going to storytelling. Supports don't need to do that. 

 

On 5/9/2021 at 11:38 PM, Benice said:

But universal supports wouldn't really be needed when about 80-90% of the cast already had PoR. Like, I bet that with ten or so info conversations, you could very easily pack in a ton going on for the entire newcoming cast.

That's a fair argument. I think RD's problems run a tad deeper, but I see what you're saying and it would be a pretty interesting case. 

 

On 5/9/2021 at 11:38 PM, Benice said:

For the line modification...That's a lot of extra work, especially if there's a large volume of supports. Moreso if the conversation is voiced, but simply having multiple branches that have small effects to the conversation is time consuming.

That's a good sign though. It means the developers and writers care about little details like chronology. Small things like this only help.

 

On 5/9/2021 at 11:38 PM, Benice said:

For limiting when supports are viewed, my problem is when things are in large volume. For example, in Three Houses, I chose not to read every single support after every map, since there were too many for me to stomach at once. This caused me to completely miss out on about six support chains. I had no indication that these supports wouldn't be able to start in Pt. 2, and because of the magnitude of individual supports, it makes missing certain characters pretty easy.

I don't blame the game for that one. Fire Emblem has a support library in virtually every game. If the supports become overwhelming, then you can always skip them, gain the bonuses, and review them later. In terms of the Part 2 stuff, I don't think I've personally ever had that problem outside of Rhea. Every other character I've seen can have their C-B support happen in the second part of the game. Sure, it was weird seeing Sylvain confront Hilda about a book that Byleth needed five years ago, but it was also funny. It didn't ruin the game or the experience because I know where the support was meant to go, and it's not the game's fault for planning something to go in a certain place and for it not to happen there. 

 

On 5/9/2021 at 11:38 PM, Benice said:

They, as a whole, paint a brief sketch of characters who aren't integral to the main story and will often make you laugh to break up the exploration and fighting. H2Hs aren't meant to carry the plot, but are there to provide something for the Blades who'd otherwise get nothing. Plus, they don't all revolve around Rex, handing the spotlight to someone else for a moment.

I mean, that's exactly what a good Support Conversation does...

But that's also the problem with H2Hs and side arcs - they provide their respective characters a brief moment in the spotlight. Most of the time they highlight something we already know about them, but can't dig as deep as supports can because they simply don't have enough time. Speaking about branching paths earlier, why do H2Hs get a pass and supports don't? Again, I'm not saying H2Hs are bad, simply that they don't do anything that a good Support Convo or Base Convo doesn't already do. 

 

On 5/9/2021 at 11:38 PM, Benice said:

Putting a lot of effort into a character is much more practical when a player has an excellent chance of seeing them and they do have a good chance and reason to be relevant to the main story or having something going on alongside it. If I only had H2Hs to develop a cast in an FE, that would be reasonably easy to do well and they'd do a better job than supports IMO, even if everyone only got two. It'd be hard to get it done in two convos apiece, but supports perennially struggle with developing a strong character in ten.

Hard disagree here. I think two H2Hs would do the same as one mediocre C & B support - it would highlight the features we already know about the main character. Going back to Finch's example, we already know Finch is incredibly forgetful due to his lines of dialogue as a Blade. His H2Hs only expand upon that one aspect. Now if he had supports, maybe we could get an arc about Finch trying to remember something in one, Finch actually remembering something in a second, and Finch and another character exploring why Finch's memory is so bad in a third. As it stands, we get H2Hs about the same thing and one good side-quest. 

 

On 5/9/2021 at 11:38 PM, Benice said:

I have a question... Why can't events allow for the interactions people enjoy from support conversations?

Because events are one-off things while Support Convos can build towards something, even if it's just in the mind of the players. I don't have a problem with event/base conversations - I welcome them! I don't have a problem with sub-plots in FE games - if it fits the game, I welcome them! But event conversations are one-offs that don't give characters the chance to learn and grow to respect each other. Look at Laslow and Saizo. If they had an event convo, it would either be their C and B support or the B and A support. But getting the C, B, and A Support allow players to see Saizo come to respect Laslow. Or better yet, look at Leonie and Lorenz. Throughout the support we see Leonie and Lorenz talk and interact, and we see Lorenz point of view from four perspectives - how Leonie originally views it, how Lorenz actually views it, and the new perspective of them both. If this was an event/base conversation, we'd either get the first or the last, but no growth. All of the interactions in-between would be assumed and told, not shown. And Three Houses has tried your way in the form of the dialogue for some of the Paralogues. It...doesn't always work well, to say the least. For characters who don't support each other, it comes off as weird. After all, when did Caspar and Mercedes get so close? (...which is a support I now really want to write...I think I'll try that...) Leonie and Linhardt, Caspar and Mercedes, Lysithea and Ferdinand von Aegir...they all feel so unearned compared to the paralogues where supports are necessary to unlock. (I actually missed Annette's paralogue on my latest BL playthrough because I didn't support her and her father...) 

You're not going to get Selena/Severa addressing her mother and abandonment issues in one event conversation, but you may make some progress in a Support Conversation where there's more time to dig into and explore that element.

 

And I get it, grinding supports sucks. I'm playing FE8 right now - I GET IT. But it's also so much easier than it has been in the past. There are multiple ways to raise supports, and they all carry cool bonuses or fun pieces of dialogue. 

 

On 5/10/2021 at 12:46 AM, bethany81707 said:

https://forums.serenesforest.net/index.php?/topic/94525-support-conversation-branches

3H compared to PoR is anything but smaller scale. PoR has like five Supports that change based on circumstances total, and only one of which is not in response to permadeath. The fact 3H is the first game since PoR to return to the idea of Supports that change is also rather telling.

 

Even better than I expected! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Spoiler

 

On 5/10/2021 at 9:53 AM, Ottservia said:

Where would you even put them? In a static menu well then that’s no different from how the support and paralogue system already work. 

I'm open to more interpretations of how bases/prep screens work in FE, but in that static menu indeed works. For example:

xrmi19p.jpg

This is Berwick Saga's base, which is basically like an expansion to Tellius'. Each one of those locations has a purpose for the player, such as the stables selling horses. However, they serve another purpose as well-Before main missions, (Which are basically FE chapters) there will be roughly three "citizen requests" that come from these buildings, with requests varying from trying to find a painting of someone's wife to getting costumes from a shop. Depending on who is alive, and later on, who you used, you'll get different requests. Afterwards, you'll get another scene depending on if you completed the request or not. However, these are not merely "do this for me" quests. Most often, these revolve around the character arcs of the people involved. Other times, there are just miscellaneous events that occur at points in the story. Berwick Saga has no supports, but the cast is very well-developed and has great depth. Plus, since most of the game sees you using Navaron as a base, these requests tend to develop NPCs, who often get their own character arcs as well.

It doesn't have to look identical to Navaron, but something even remotely similar to it would work fantastically. Static menus can be excellent and feel like real places.

...Incoherent rant aside, supports are basically just three or four events who correspond with one another, but have a different name. The difference is that supports limit characterization in a wide variety of ways and don't allow for the richer and more in-depth worldbuilding that other methods do.

4 hours ago, Use the Falchion said:

The bulk of the dialogue is going to storytelling. Supports don't need to do that. 

That's fine, but there's a point where dialogue and text becomes too much, at least to me. If there were, like, ten info conversations in each RD chapter, it'd have made it a far worse game IMO. RD has a absurdly large cast of course, but the absurd amounts of dialogue in TH is the thing that made me shift from "Yeah, supports are aight, even if I like what BS did better" to "Supports are holding the franchise back in a big way". If TH hadn't needed its interactions to be one-on-one every time, it would have needed about 1/3 of the supports but would have had all of the substance in a much more interesting setting.

4 hours ago, Use the Falchion said:

That's a good sign though. It means the developers and writers care about little details like chronology. Small things like this only help.

I don't mind attention to detail, but there's a point where it becomes a waste of time, and holding onto a system that forces the devs to put in much more menial work instead of putting in more detail in places where it would matter more is a waste IMO. That time could instead go to adding more depth to a minigame, detail to battle systems, etc.. I would rather that the devs put in that work if they keep using supports, but to me, that work is really unnecessary. It's the same thing as, say, a game dev company having the choice of moving from programming engine A, which is generally slower and requires a lot of toiling to get running, to Programming engine B, which is much more powerful and easier to use. I would not want that company to use engine A just to prove that they care when engine B lets them show it in more beautiful ways, even if it's as simple as having more CGs or prerendered cutscenes.

4 hours ago, Use the Falchion said:

I mean, that's exactly what a good Support Conversation does...

And a good event could do exactly the same thing, but wouldn't need it to be limited to two characters.

4 hours ago, Use the Falchion said:

Speaking about branching paths earlier, why do H2Hs get a pass and supports don't?

Because the side characters in Xenoblade 2 don't seem to matter as much as the playables in modern FE games do*, and H2Hs aren't the only way for the important characters to interact, unlike in FE. Xenoblade 2's protagonists interact a lot over the course of the main story as-is. H2Hs aren't instrumental to allowing them to be developed.

*What I mean by this is that they don't really try to make them deep or varied, while modern FEs do try to do that with their side characters.

4 hours ago, Use the Falchion said:

But that's also the problem with H2Hs and side arcs - they provide their respective characters a brief moment in the spotlight. Most of the time they highlight something we already know about them, but can't dig as deep as supports can because they simply don't have enough time.

Two conversations is plenty of time to add more depth to the characters. The fact that H2Hs don't isn't really relevant- an H2H is perfectly capable of doing just that. They simply don't because XB2 didn't seem to want to make the pullable Blades relevant to the main story or be particularly deep.

4 hours ago, Use the Falchion said:

Now if he had supports, maybe we could get an arc about Finch trying to remember something in one, Finch actually remembering something in a second, and Finch and another character exploring why Finch's memory is so bad in a third. As it stands, we get H2Hs about the same thing and one good side-quest. 

And why are the H2Hs incapable of having Finch do those things? They didn't, but that is because of the writers choosing not to rather than H2Hs being incapable of doing those things. One H2H and one quest would have worked just fine to do the job, even if it had been rather crispy. As-is, H2Hs simply are structurally superior to me, since they allow for more variety in the interactions. The contents aren't what I like about them per se, it's merely that "supports with 2-6 characters and don't have to be structured in one uniform way" are better than "supports with 2 characters every time".

4 hours ago, Use the Falchion said:

Because events are one-off things

What forces an event to be a one-off thing? Because supports are just three events that exist in a vacuum. There is no reason at all that multiple events aren't able to link.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Benice said:

It doesn't have to look identical to Navaron, but something even remotely similar to it would work fantastically. Static menus can be excellent and feel like real places.

...Incoherent rant aside, supports are basically just three or four events who correspond with one another, but have a different name. The difference is that supports limit characterization in a wide variety of ways and don't allow for the richer and more in-depth worldbuilding that other methods do.

I think you missed my point in that implemting something like that in Fire Emblem is kind of redundant because that’s what supports and paralogues already are just in a smipler form and work slightly differently. At this point I don’t even know what you’re criticizing because supports and paralogues already do what you think they aren’t doing. It just feels like you want Fire Emblem to be something that it isn’t. Just taking different systems and plopping them into Fire Emblem won’t work because those systems weren’t made with Fire Emblem in mind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Ottservia said:

At this point I don’t even know what you’re criticizing because supports and paralogues already do what you think they aren’t doing.

The problem I have with supports is that they don't actually allow character arcs to happen, force one-on-one interactions and as a whole exist in a vacuum. They limit what can be done with characters by a ton, and don't actually have any benefits over just events and info conversations. If FE wants to have a really deep cast as modern games seem to imply, supports have got to go in my opinion.

8 minutes ago, Ottservia said:

It just feels like you want Fire Emblem to be something that it isn’t.

I would argue that the things that make Fire Emblem what it is, is the setting, gameplay and structure. Take away supports and replace them with events that do the same thing but better and nothing is lost in the franchise's identity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well... dont forget that supports effect gameplay as well. That's kinda important to consider, as they revolve around more than just character building.

Edit: to clarify, they are a two in one, characterization and gameplay bonus.

Edited by lightcosmo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Benice said:

The problem I have with supports is that they don't actually allow character arcs to happen,

Except that they do? Again I don’t get what your complaint is here. Also characterization is far more important than character development anyway and supports do that just fine. You shouldn’t have to fix what ain’t broken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Benice said:

The problem I have with supports is that they don't actually allow character arcs to happen, force one-on-one interactions and as a whole exist in a vacuum. They limit what can be done with characters by a ton, and don't actually have any benefits over just events and info conversations. If FE wants to have a really deep cast as modern games seem to imply, supports have got to go in my opinion.

I would argue that the things that make Fire Emblem what it is, is the setting, gameplay and structure. Take away supports and replace them with events that do the same thing but better and nothing is lost in the franchise's identity.

I can't see any reason why they'd specifically need to go. Couldn't they coexist with whatever replacement arc based development you suggest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Benice said:

don't actually allow character arcs to happen, force one-on-one interactions and as a whole exist in a vacuum.

H2H's are worse in that regard. There's no arc, they primarily exist in a vacuum (the price of having them be opportunistic not unlike FE), and force arbitrary interactions with no real benefit. We've gone over and over again about how character arcs DO happen in Supports, both the good (Lorenz, Felix, Lon'qu) and the bad (Nyx, Ignatz, etc). They don't affect the plot, and THAT'S FINE. The only thing H2Hs do better is include more people. And no one here is saying that there shouldn't be a system to include more than two people in a conversation, all we're saying is that the Support system doesn't have to be taken away for that new system to exist. 

 

11 hours ago, Benice said:

H2Hs aren't instrumental to allowing them to be developed.

*What I mean by this is that they don't really try to make them deep or varied, while modern FEs do try to do that with their side characters.

That's WHY Support Convos are important. BECAUSE characters won't get developed outside of those supports. Not every character can be a main character, but we still want to interact with them and learn about them and empathize with 

 

11 hours ago, Benice said:

Two conversations is plenty of time to add more depth to the characters. The fact that H2Hs don't isn't really relevant- an H2H is perfectly capable of doing just that. They simply don't because XB2 didn't seem to want to make the pullable Blades relevant to the main story or be particularly deep.

And Fire Emblem is trying to make characters deep, which requires more than two conversations per person. But it seems like you're also conflating story importance with depth of character, and that's absolutely not the case. Support conversations don't need to relate to the story to be good. 

 

11 hours ago, Benice said:

it's merely that "supports with 2-6 characters and don't have to be structured in one uniform way" are better than "supports with 2 characters every time".

Again, no one here is saying that those types of conversations can't be a thing, we're simply saying that exclusively, they aren't inherently better than one-on-one conversations. I'm not going to talk to one of my best friends the same way I'm going to talk to him AND his wife. The things I'm going to talk about with my sister will be different if it's just us compared to if we had mutual friends over, or if they're all her friends. Neither cancels out the other, but seeing someone in a group setting doesn't give you a fully accurate view of who they are. How would you feel if you only saw the person you wanted to date/court/be exclusive with in group settings? Would you feel as though you actually got to know them, surrounded by other people and only seeing their public face?

Or if we want to go more tangible - My friend has some friends who I went out to eat with a few weeks ago. We're getting together tonight to eat as well. That doesn't make us nearly as close as if we had a one-on-one conversation or there was a problem only two of us could solve - because our interactions were superficial and stunted due to how many people we had to accommodate in the setting. And that's fine, but the group setting isn't the place to get to know someone as well as IntSys creators want you to know their characters. 

Group convos are great - I LOVE them in games and I wish FE as a whole had more of them. But I'm not going to say they're better than what we have on an exclusive level either. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Use the Falchion said:

And Fire Emblem is trying to make characters deep, which requires more than two conversations per person. But it seems like you're also conflating story importance with depth of character, and that's absolutely not the case. Support conversations don't need to relate to the story to be good. 

As an add on to this I much prefer when FE supports are slice of life-y in nature as it allows for more varied and interesting characterization. You wouldn’t know M!Robin is a terrible cook otherwise or that Severa is a shopaholic which leads to a fun little conflict with Laurent. It allows us to see these characters in more relaxed scenarios when they’re allowed to have fun and be human. The system we have now is perfectly fine. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is nothing that supports do that can't be done in ways that are integrated more with the story.  Rather than being the best method IS could think of to develop characters, Supports seem more like they're just there to be easily digestible character development that's easier to write in a vacuum, which is probably why they aren't going away.  They're cheap, easy, and you can repurpose a lot of the same dialogue/conversation ideas with this method to make it seem like there's more when really a lot of a single character's supports just retread the same ground.  See: the games with near-unlimited supports.  

Though honestly, I wouldn't mind if they were just better written.  I think there are only a few supports that I feel like make the character genuinely interesting, and it's not in any of the games with streamlined supports.  On that thought, supports actually feel like they are what they say they are: purely vehicles to show two characters interacting, rather than enhancing the characters of either, which might be why they can be so tiresome to read.  I like seeing characters interact, but there's only so much one can take.  When you get to an A/S support and the characters express how strongly attached they are to one another...I just don't feel it.  I saw you talk about your favourite food in your C, talk about some flaw in your designated character quirk in your B, and suddenly you'd die for one another.  Sorry, I just don't feel it.  Why even does there need to be a WHOLE conversation just to discuss something minor when that could be expressed in a quick dialogue snippet in the story?  That's how writing normally works.  

Funny thing is, loredump Supports are usually the best ones for me because at least they're talking about something that matters.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/10/2021 at 12:38 AM, Benice said:

Would Xenoblade 2 be a better game if Finch ended up having a backstory about how he has bad memory because his parents mistreated him so he pretends to forget, and it spins into a tale about how running away from your past and reality doesn't work?

While I appreciate you using XC2 as a comparison, that wouldn't work because Finch doesn't have parents. Also, Finch is a girl.

Anyway, H2Hs are basically supports already, except they are location dependent. Xenoblade 1 has them be unlocked by meeting affinity requirements between party members, like FE's support system, so you can find some early on and go the whole game without viewing them. H2Hs in Xenoblade 2 are viewable as soon as you find them they lack affinity requirements, and the ones that require specific Blades don't appear on the map until you have them. Each rare Blade also has a personal quest to give them more development, so their H2Hs aren't the only content they're getting (similarly 3H gives each character their own paralogue, though some characters get more focus than others).

The only way to translate this into FE would be to drop support points and have characters talk to each other in the middle of the map. Pent and Louise's supports already did this, but it would be more complicated if every support conversation did, especially since you can't return to previous areas in most FE games.

2 hours ago, Sayyyaka said:

When you get to an A/S support and the characters express how strongly attached they are to one another...I just don't feel it.  I saw you talk about your favourite food in your C, talk about some flaw in your designated character quirk in your B, and suddenly you'd die for one another.  Sorry, I just don't feel it.

In most cases it's assumed that the characters interact more offscreen between supports, so it's not like the supports are the only times they ever talk to each other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/13/2021 at 4:40 AM, Benice said:

The problem I have with supports is that they don't actually allow character arcs to happen, force one-on-one interactions and as a whole exist in a vacuum. They limit what can be done with characters by a ton, and don't actually have any benefits over just events and info conversations. If FE wants to have a really deep cast as modern games seem to imply, supports have got to go in my opinion.

I would argue that the things that make Fire Emblem what it is, is the setting, gameplay and structure. Take away supports and replace them with events that do the same thing but better and nothing is lost in the franchise's identity.

Lethe & Jill - Serenes Forest


 

Now that we've established that your entire presime is easily disproven, let's talk what the actual problem is with current supports;

It's the fact that people often want every support to be this well made. And sad to say, some characters are more interesting than others. Jill is a character that intends to gain fame and glory but ends up having to question her entire indoctrinated youth and all her beliefs.

Meanwhile Gatrie is a womaniser who left his mercenary company after the death of it's leader. Gatrie because of his personality will obviously have mostly women as support partners and wee see a clear 3/4 split. The last 1/4 being of course Shinon. Sadly, the Shinon support also delves further into the womaniser aspect of Gatrie, adding him being gullible. In the end the growth we see is mostly for Shinon, with Gatrie being the butt of the joke. 
His supports are all fine, but never stellar. That is OK. As long as a character has decent writing in their supports and the supports cover different aspects of the character, the writing does not have to be of the highest order. It has to succeed in making a believable character that you are getting to know better. It also does nto matter if it's solely 1  on 1's or if ther characters get in the mix. A decent example for this would be Part 4 - Serenes Forest, the Volug/Ike/Nailah conversation. Or as a better series, that clearly is meant to reflect the supports that do not exist. Nolan/Edward/Leonardo's base conversations in part 1 and 3. 

Some characters have more to work with, and easily get fleshed out supports that are even able to take in the current state of the world into accounts like Mist & Jill - Serenes Forest. Other characters are less interesting by nature, but can still have a series of fleshed out supports that look at the character from different angles and cover different topics. 

The problem arises when all supports cover the same character aspect and never take it in a different direction when this is clearly not needed. That's when supports turn into rehashes. There are exceptions to this even, Bernadetta for example is a fine example. 

I'm not saying Bernadetta's supports are all fantastic, however, i am willing to defend the fact that all her C supports are fine in that they start from the same character trait. It makes sense from her character that no matter who approaches her, she's going to be in fright mode. It would not make sense for her to be all chill and happy with Dorothea or Edelgard or Felix or Byleth in a C whilst being panicky in the rest because she's just so traumatised that all interactions scare her.
Where they take it from there is a different story. But for a few characters, their defining trait is a fine starting point for every support chain.


TLDR, "supports need to go because they don't allow for character arcs" as an argument is a crappy argument. And every H2H or Events replacement mentioned so far is just a support conversation with a different label slapped on top. Congratulations for changing barely anything and shouting you solved the problem. 


Supports need to explore different aspects of characters to create a more three dimensional character. They do not all need to be the most interesting person in the world and do not all need massive arcs. Supports can easily slot in cameo's from other characters besides the 2 support partners and supports do not always need to be 1 on 1's. Supports tend to be better when they're able to reference things that happen in the world during the game. They don't need to do this, but a time gated system allows for character building accompanied by worldbuilding. Lastly, supports get better if they have different versions depending on who is dead/wounded/recruited, be it ally or enemy. 

In conclusion, PoR support system based. PoR's system would have been even better if you could keep reading supports after the first 5 but those would not give bonuses. So you pick the first 5 and those give the bonus, then you'll still be able to unlock the rest but they are merely for the reading pleasure and have no gameplay impact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

12 hours ago, Lightchao42 said:

In most cases it's assumed that the characters interact more offscreen between supports, so it's not like the supports are the only times they ever talk to each other.

In some cases, it's outright stated! In their S-Supports, Henry and Lissa mention taking naps together, Stahl and Sully mention multiple sparring sessions, and I think Lon'qu and Maribelle mention multiple sessions spent trying to conquer Lon'qu's fears of women. Felix and Byleth are clearly having multiple sparring sessions, and Byleth is clearly spending enough time around Dorothea to know how much the glares and looks are lessening. Eirika is clearly having spear lessons with Seth, and Saleh explains Valega to her off-screen (which is then repeated on-screen for us). 

 

(Also I referred to Finch as a guy too...sorry about that...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Vicious Sal said:

TLDR, "supports need to go because they don't allow for character arcs" as an argument is a crappy argument

This isnt true, depending on how you look at it, Benice has a good point. FE games dont focus multiple chapters on other characters like Berwick does, it's usually they appear once then disappear into the background. 

Them focusing a few chapters on other characters is actually a good idea, and not really a "crappy" argument. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Lightchao42 said:

In most cases it's assumed that the characters interact more offscreen between supports, so it's not like the supports are the only times they ever talk to each other.

That assumption doesn't really solve the issue.  Instead of implying it they could have a casual dialogue exchange on the battlefield through the talk command or interact in the actual story where real events are taking place.  This only really works in 3H where they actually have lots of extra dialogue and events for characters to spend time together.  And due to the small casts in each routes, students within their classes get to interact in the main story as well.  The problem is that this required the restrictive route and monastery setups to actually work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, lightcosmo said:

This isnt true, depending on how you look at it, Benice has a good point. FE games dont focus multiple chapters on other characters like Berwick does, it's usually they appear once then disappear into the background. 

Them focusing a few chapters on other characters is actually a good idea, and not really a "crappy" argument. 

I mean that part of the argument does have some merit to it and to an extent I do agree with it. But saying “Supports are bad because they don’t allow for character arcs” is just straight up not true because they do. I can name several supports from awakening alone that develop a character arc(Severa’s father support, LucinaxInigo, lissaxMaribelle, RobinxCordelia, Pretty much every Tharja support, and many many more) and even then a character doesn’t necessarily need an “arc” to be well written. Character development encompasses more than just the character changing over time. Learning more about their backstory and how they became the person they are today helps with that as well. Also a character can work just fine off of characterization alone and characterization I would argue is more important than a character arc. And the way supports are now handle characterization just fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Ottservia said:

I mean that part of the argument does have some merit to it and to an extent I do agree with it. But saying “Supports are bad because they don’t allow for character arcs” is just straight up not true because they do. I can name several supports from awakening alone that develop a character arc(Severa’s father support, LucinaxInigo, lissaxMaribelle, RobinxCordelia, Pretty much every Tharja support, and many many more) and even then a character doesn’t necessarily need an “arc” to be well written. Character development encompasses more than just the character changing over time. Learning more about their backstory and how they became the person they are today helps with that as well. Also a character can work just fine off of characterization alone and characterization I would argue is more important than a character arc. And the way supports are now handle characterization just fine.

I wasnt saying this isnt true, but saying the opposite is completely false isnt true at all, and it isnt even close to a "crappy" argument. And replying as such is implying that said reply is just that, rude at least 

Supports have merit, but only within their limited scope, basing plenty of gameplay time around different characters? That also has its charms, ignoring that possibility is silly.

Some people like the more "centered" characterization rather than being "grouped", either way works out, so I didn't understand the rude remark, was all I was saying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...