Jump to content
Jotari

In all seriousness, what were the developers thinking with Path of Radiance's Knife Sages?

Recommended Posts

So Path of Radiance gives some units the ability to select a weapon on promotion. And one of these choices is between staffs and knives for mages. Sages have the lowest strength and knives have the lowest might leading to a weapon choice that is virtually useless and only serves to make prepromotes that come with it worse in comparison to their fellow sages that have staff utility. This isn't really news for anyone who's played Path of Radiance. But today I want to ask the question why? Why do you think the developers went to the trouble to make this a choice? To (presumably, because I've never once actually used a knife with a sage in Path of Radiance) model these characters using knives when it is virtually useless in gameplay? Was the idea to give sages a physical weapon to fight other mages, even though all the knives in this game are 1 range? Is the stiletto's cavalry effectiveness considered good enough for the occasional mage to use one against an enemy paladin? Was it just an aesthetic thing? Did they think sages would look good with knives? Did they just want more than one class to have knives and figured it'd ruin the purity of swordmasters or warriors? Is there some kind of beta knife that dealt magic damage? Were they just high? Any theory you have as to why the developers decided to go with this bizarrely useless option would be welcome.

Edited by Jotari

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was probably for mages to have an easier time fighting other mages. It makes sense in theory, but in practice, you may as well either use a spell or send another unit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was probably a means to nerf the prepromote Sages so that if you wanted a good magic and staff user you'd need to train one yourself. Tomes and staffs are both very powerful on their own, even if both are at their lowest in Tellius.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because tonberries!

But serious answer, I think it was to give sages both types of damage.  Unfortunately, they sucked at physical damage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, X-Naut said:

It was probably a means to nerf the prepromote Sages so that if you wanted a good magic and staff user you'd need to train one yourself. Tomes and staffs are both very powerful on their own, even if both are at their lowest in Tellius.

That's actually an interesting theory. No more Pents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's kind of funny considering PoR really has some of the most limited Staff options, since usually, pretty much every tome user gets staves eventually, and there's usually a prepromote or two that you can use as a staff bot, but with PoR, there's just Rhys and Mist, then Elincia near almost the end of the game.  You have 3 mages that can get them upon promotion, assuming you go that route, but the two sages both come with knives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Rezzy said:

It's kind of funny considering PoR really has some of the most limited Staff options, since usually, pretty much every tome user gets staves eventually, and there's usually a prepromote or two that you can use as a staff bot, but with PoR, there's just Rhys and Mist, then Elincia near almost the end of the game.  You have 3 mages that can get them upon promotion, assuming you go that route, but the two sages both come with knives.

I never really thought about that before.

Furthermore, the sages cap at B so   that really narrows your A/S Rank staff users. Fortify is a beautiful thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nerfing the prepromotes was how I always justified it. Those units have such good stats that if they came with staff utility I probably wouldn't waste exp on Soren and Illyana. But if sticking them with a knife was just a means to nerf them, why give mages the ability to pick knife and become equally bad? Just because the animations for them swinging a knife are in the game? It's a beginner's trap for sure. And the devs must have known it. They probably also felt weird about only the cavs getting a choice of new weapon type after promotion. That was pretty novel idea at the time that was fairly underutilized before it got scrapped in the sequel. Ultimately if I were patching PoR, my solution to these issues would be to take away the choice, and give your mages both staves and knives on promotion. Because we all know the addition of knives to their kit won't make a difference, but novice players will think that it's cool.

They also could have made knives better as a weapon. Maybe not in raw damage but perhaps crit rate. Volke has some pretty decent combat, but that's mostly owed to great bases/growths, certainly not the knives. And you can't forge them either until Radiant Dawn which is another knock against them. 

I think in my last playthrough there was that one chapter with the green units priests. And I had Calill carve them up for free experience without killing them.

Edited by Glennstavos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Literally just to showcase that the Str/Mag split was back. I don't think they ever had any delusions of it being a good call for the units' utility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Calill having knives always felt like a balancer to me, to offset that she has high tome ranks and respectable stats without any investment needed. Bastian should have had staves though (and clearly the makers of RD agreed with me, since he gets a good base staff rank there).

Otherwise I suspect it's there for aesthetic reasons (knives being a classic weapon for wizards in fantasy) and yeah to help showcase the return of the strength/magic split.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally feel like it was a mix of "knives work better with Calil/Bastian's characterization (brains/beauty/brawn line and Bastian's whole sneaky shtick) ... hey wait a sec, two out of the five sages have knives already, eh we might as well give promoted sages the chance to have it, otherwise they'd be weird outliers."

FE doesn't seem to like gameplay outliers unless it's for Very Specific Story Foreshadowing reasons (which is one reason I love the series tbh).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Jotari said:

Is the stiletto's cavalry effectiveness considered good enough for the occasional mage to use one against an enemy paladin?

Actually, the Stiletto's effective against armors. Which is irrelevant as far as sages are concerned, because they can do more damage to armors with spells.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Stiletto is also only 8 MT in a game where effective damage is only 2x.

I'm leaning towards the thinking that it gives the unpromoted magic units a niche. If tomes only hit at 2 range in that game, it would've made more sense but still be pretty bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

It was probably for mages to have an easier time fighting other mages. It makes sense in theory, but in practice, you may as well either use a spell or send another unit.

If that really were the intention, then I'd expect knives to have 1-2 range so you can at least enemy phase other mages with them.

Quote

They also could have made knives better as a weapon. Maybe not in raw damage but perhaps crit rate. Volke has some pretty decent combat, but that's mostly owed to great bases/growths, certainly not the knives. And you can't forge them either until Radiant Dawn which is another knock against them. 

My idea to make knives better as a weapon has always been to make them have no counter attack, like a firesweep weapon from Heroes. Or like actual hidden weapons. Strike fast and quick before the enemy can fight back. It would give thieves a definitive niche in combat without actually improving their ability to kill things. You'd be motivated to use them as chip damage as they're safe on player phase. As opposed to now when you're just not motivated to use them at all unless it's one of the few thieves in the series that is actually good at combat (or it's a game like Genealogy where their thieving component comes from combat).

Quote

I think in my last playthrough there was that one chapter with the green units priests. And I had Calill carve them up for free experience without killing them.

Oh wow 0.o Dark.

Edited by Jotari

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's also very ironic when you consider Ilyana and Tormod have far better Str in FE10, as well as a usually Str stat...by FE9 standards, maybe. They have really bad Str, both in base, and growths when it comes to the mages you get in FE9, and it's surprising they even reach the double digits.

I can't really think of a reason why they would give them Knives, but I honestly just went with it for the novelty feature. I started with the GBA games, and having both, Mag & Str at the same time was really innovative and refreshing for me. I really wanted to make something out of it, so I somewhat invested in Ilyana's Str, at least.

They could've, at the very least, made Knives a real weapon in this game. FE10 really upgraded them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll also take this opportunity to note that while both the playable sages come with knives, all of the enemy sages have staff ranks, even though none of them carry staves. So I don't think it's a case where the developers somehow thought it would be a good idea and it just isn't. They knew magic+staves was the optimal choice and gave that to the minor bosses even if they don't actually make use of it.

Share this post


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

Nerfing the prepromotes was how I always justified it. Those units have such good stats that if they came with staff utility I probably wouldn't waste exp on Soren and Illyana. But if sticking them with a knife was just a means to nerf them, why give mages the ability to pick knife and become equally bad? Just because the animations for them swinging a knife are in the game? It's a beginner's trap for sure. And the devs must have known it. They probably also felt weird about only the cavs getting a choice of new weapon type after promotion. That was pretty novel idea at the time that was fairly underutilized before it got scrapped in the sequel. Ultimately if I were patching PoR, my solution to these issues would be to take away the choice, and give your mages both staves and knives on promotion. Because we all know the addition of knives to their kit won't make a difference, but novice players will think that it's cool.

They also could have made knives better as a weapon. Maybe not in raw damage but perhaps crit rate. Volke has some pretty decent combat, but that's mostly owed to great bases/growths, certainly not the knives. And you can't forge them either until Radiant Dawn which is another knock against them. 

I think in my last playthrough there was that one chapter with the green units priests. And I had Calill carve them up for free experience without killing them.

Letting knives be 1-2 range would help a little, and I like the idea of knives not getting counter attacked on player phase.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, UNLEASH IT said:

I want to know what the developers were thinking with PoR/RD Knives and Daggers in general.

With PoR knives that's more than fair.

With RD knives, though? I think those are fine. They're a low-power physical weapon with plentiful 1-2 options, which makes them a great fit for thieves and other utility-based fighters. I think RD's design for them was successful seeing as it essentially returned in both Fates and Heroes, with modifications in both cases.

Share this post


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

So Path of Radiance gives some units the ability to select a weapon on promotion. And one of these choices is between staffs and knives for mages. Sages have the lowest strength and knives have the lowest might leading to a weapon choice that is virtually useless and only serves to make prepromotes that come with it worse in comparison to their fellow sages that have staff utility. This isn't really news for anyone who's played Path of Radiance. But today I want to ask the question why? Why do you think the developers went to the trouble to make this a choice? To (presumably, because I've never once actually used a knife with a sage in Path of Radiance) model these characters using knives when it is virtually useless in gameplay? Was the idea to give sages a physical weapon to fight other mages, even though all the knives in this game are 1 range? Is the stiletto's cavalry effectiveness considered good enough for the occasional mage to use one against an enemy paladin? Was it just an aesthetic thing? Did they think sages would look good with knives? Did they just want more than one class to have knives and figured it'd ruin the purity of swordmasters or warriors? Is there some kind of beta knife that dealt magic damage? Were they just high? Any theory you have as to why the developers decided to go with this bizarrely useless option would be welcome.

 

 

Question answered right there. If you look at some of PoR's internal workings this is the logical conclusion. This reasoning fits the best for why some things in the game tick the way they do code wise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder, can Flare activate when using a knife XD Could it half a stat that you're not even attacking? Or does it just work like Luna? Or did they have the foresight to not let it trigger? Anyone who has an endgame Path of Radiance file willing to check for me? My copy is in a different country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Jotari said:

If that really were the intention, then I'd expect knives to have 1-2 range so you can at least enemy phase other mages with them.

That's a good point. Path of Radiance is a very enemy phase FE game after all.

I think, at this point, I agree with everyone else that's saying it's for aesthetic and/or showing off the strength/magic split. I suppose it might've also been to nerf the pre-promotes, but I'm honestly not sure about that one.

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...