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Roster Size and Deployment Limits: Less or More?

Roster Size and Deployment Limit  

41 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you prefer FE with more or fewer playable characters?

    • More.
      22
    • Fewer.
      13
    • I don't care.
      6
  2. 2. Do you prefer FE with higher or lower deployment limits?

    • Higher.
      27
    • Lower.
      9
    • I don't care.
      5
  3. 3. Do you prefer FE with a specific combination of the two?

    • More characters, high deployment limit.
      18
    • More characters, low deployment limit.
      4
    • Fewer characters, high deployment limit.
      11
    • Fewer characters, low deployment limit.
      3
    • I don't care.
      5


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I recently finished playthroughs of both Shadow Dragon and New Mystery, and something that struck me during the latter is that despite having the biggest roster in the series at 77 you never get to deploy more than 12 units on any map. Meanwhile the former allows you to deploy 15 or 16 units in later chapters despite having a significantly smaller roster (59 total playable characters, but you'll never have all of them at once). Then I got to thinking about the newest games in the series: Shadows of Valentia and Three Houses. I haven't played either of them, but I do know their rosters are on the smaller side for the series, something that's compounded by the route splits. Conquest and Birthright don't have particularly large rosters either (41 and 42 respectively if you count Anna), while still allowing you to deploy 15 or 16 units in later chapters.

The point of this rambling is that I'm curious where people stand on both roster size and deployment limits in Fire Emblem games. On the one hand you have games like New Mystery and Revelations where you can only deploy a small fraction of a huge roster, on the other hand you have games like Genealogy and Shadows of Valentia where you can deploy the entirety of a small roster. Explanation of one's reasoning why they prefer one way or the other would be greatly appreciated.

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i like FE games better when the roster isn't absurdly huge, because writing automatically becomes a secondary aspect and most characters become mere sprites with no other purpose

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I voted "fewer characters", but it's more of "before critical mass" than actually "fewer." But yeah, definitely larger deployments, if only so I can train more characters (and raise supports faster). 

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I think generally speaking, thinking in terms of gameplay and not plot, there's no real downside to a larger roster. You just need to make sure characters are distinct enough from one another. Which I think New Mystery sort of fails to do, but Radiant Dawn with a cast almost as large does pretty well. Typically speaking Radiant Dawn gives you three(ish) of every class, one unit in the class adheres very much to the stereotypes of said class, while another is pretty esoteric for said class by focusing on a different stat, and the third stands somewhere in between. It also varies up some traditional classes by altering the weapons they use (ie Axe General, Sword General etc). This isn't really a bad way to design things. Of course Radiant Dawn still isn't perfect with mages being quite underwhelming and non Royal Laguz being largely useless, but in concept I think it handles a big roster well. Roster pacing is also something worth considering. New Mystery has a shit tonne of characters, but it's also not that long a game. Discounting the really short prologue chapters  I think it caps out somewhere before the 30 mark, while Radiant Dawn has over 40 and splits the game up with different armies. This allows you to actually get a proper introduction to each unit and get some gauge of how they play, while New Mystery just throws hoards of units at you, none of which give much prompting to actually indicate whether you should drop a unit you've been raising in favor of them.

 

On the short side of things, the only game that I really feel like the roster is too small is Sacred Stones. Unlike Radiant Dawn's three of every class approach, this game has an approach of one of every class, and maybe a prepromote. It just feels a bit limiting that Neimi is literally the only character who can use an Orion's bolt. She's all I have to use as an archer until I eventually get Innes. It's still a good game because the branching promotion lends more choice to each individual unit (usually, I think some promotion options are just plain better), but I definitely could do with another few units in the game.

Gaiden technically has fewer units than Sacred Stones, but I didn't feel as if it were lacking in units as much, and I reckon that's because it also has fewer classes so each unit feels as if they're distinct, and even the ones that are samey get the advantage of being on different routes so they don't step on each other's toes.

Edited by Jotari

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This is a tricky question to answer because the two play into one another, but I'd say having a cast about three times the average deployment limit is ideal. A cast of that size gives a good deal of character choice, replay value and reserves for ironman players. It can drift in either direction based on how said cast is distributed, but too high and you run into extreme cast bottlenecking; and too low and permadeath becomes too restrictive.

Average deployment size I think is best between 10 to 15 characters. It doesn't have to be constant but too much swing can be annoying depending on how quickly the game scales up.

Also @Jotari posted while I was wording this out and I want to add that another problem with New Mystery isn't just the limited uniqueness, it's also the wide gaps in unit quality. Some units are just plain better than others and a lot of them come early, to the point where it feels like the game is shoehorning you into a specific roster. Binding Blade and Radiant Dawn have this to a lesser extent but neither has zero effort reclassing, the former has a smaller cast-deployment ratio and the latter has a semi-malleable skill system.

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19 minutes ago, X-Naut said:

This is a tricky question to answer because the two play into one another, but I'd say having a cast about three times the average deployment limit is ideal. A cast of that size gives a good deal of character choice, replay value and reserves for ironman players. It can drift in either direction based on how said cast is distributed, but too high and you run into extreme cast bottlenecking; and too low and permadeath becomes too restrictive.

Average deployment size I think is best between 10 to 15 characters. It doesn't have to be constant but too much swing can be annoying depending on how quickly the game scales up.

Also @Jotari posted while I was wording this out and I want to add that another problem with New Mystery isn't just the limited uniqueness, it's also the wide gaps in unit quality. Some units are just plain better than others and a lot of them come early, to the point where it feels like the game is shoehorning you into a specific roster. Binding Blade and Radiant Dawn have this to a lesser extent but neither has zero effort reclassing, the former has a smaller cast-deployment ratio and the latter has a semi-malleable skill system.

It really doesn't help that the last map expects you to deploy four specific units to get the best ending. Which in turn encourages you to actually train those four units (well in theory it does, in practice you're going to warp rush+Again that map and never let Medeus get an enemy phase meaning you don't need to train Sirius and co at all). Overall that was never really avoidable with it being a plot point in Old Mystery, but the still could have made it a bit less restrictive on your freedom of roster choice by having certain other characters be capable of rescuing the maidens. Michalis for Maria being one so obvious they need to actually handwave it in game.

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For deployment limits, I definitely prefer relatively fewer. Somewhere around 8-10 is ideal for me, maybe as many as 12 at a push. Any more than that and it almost always ends up with some units making up the numbers and not doing much, essentially just being extra work to move every turn. Around about 10 is enough people that I feel that I can bring a diverse selection of units, I can sneak in one or two non-optimal units just for personal preference (or for training) without harming myself too much, and I can still perform meaningful tactics in battle like splitting my forces or organising into a front line and a rear line.

I will say, though, that one thing that ties into this is how easy or not it is to keep more units trained to a point of combat readiness than are deployed every map. What I ideally want is to be able to have a core of maybe around 12-15 units who I keep trained up and then have to pick which 8-10 of them I deploy in each battle based on the specific considerations of that battle (eg, oh, it's a sand map so I'll lean heavily on mages and fliers here). Games with good catch-up mechanics (like Tellius bexp) are great for this style of play; games where it's too easy for someone to start falling behind are not. If I'm in a game where I'm realistically going to be deploying exactly the same units every battle, then a slightly larger deployment limit is probably necessary.

For the size of the roster, my ideal is basically "as many as they can manage without having the quality suffer". By "quality" I mean across all conceivable aspects of the character: personality, writing, supports, art, character design, game stats, everything. I would rather have 30 great characters than 60 OK characters but I would rather have 60 great characters than 30 great characters. In practice, though, that usually means that I prefer small rosters because small rosters usually have more well-realised characters, but that's for practical reasons not for any sort of underlying fundamental belief that large rosters are bad.

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To me, it depends on what the game's exactly trying to do. For something like the DS games, having large casts makes sense, as if a character does get dialogue, it's really minor-the large cast does kind of excuse that, and IMO FE11's cast size does have benefits to its gameplay. Same applies to something quite simple, like the GBA games. Since all that defines a unit are stats and class, you may as well have a boat-load of each class to try and get variety in there. And RD is a sequel, so I think the larger cast size works brilliantly.

However, if the game is trying to have a really strong plot with strong characters, which, in my opinion, only two or three FEs actually tried to do, then a smaller cast is better in my opinion. Even if you CAN write a story with, say, 60 really well-developed characters who are fleshed out, have lots of dialogue and interactions, I still think that for a playable cast, one that has 30 would be better. Especially if Supports are a thing in this game. Even if the amount of interactions per character were the same, keeping things more concise or spread out improves the game a lot. If there is too much mostly irrelevant text with nothing else happening in a game chapter after chapter, then I do tend to get extremely frustrated with the game, which is what happened with TH. If you remove supports or put a higher emphasis on info conversations, I think that I'd be more willing to see a larger or more developed cast*, since the way these characters get the characterization could potentially be a lot less Wall-Of-Texty, unlike this rambling response.

*Radiant Dawn does this somewhat well, in my opinion. It obviously has the benefit of being a sequel and it arguably didn't do a good job as a whole on the new ones, but most of the cast is reasonably developed or has at least one memorable moment.

 

I do seem to prefer larger cast FEs over smaller cast ones, (FE6, FE11 and FE10 are my favorite FEs) but I've also only played two smaller sized casts-Three Houses and Sacred Stones, so they do have a 50% batting average. Berwick Saga has a small cast, and it is my favorite SRPG, so I guess I could say 67% batting average, even.

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Fates Revelation made me realize my preference towards wanting smaller rosters.  It's roster felt far too bloated for it's own good.  Playing each Three Houses route the first time without doing any out of house recruitments helped re-enforce that preference.  It was a lot of fun sticking to the house I picked (It's how I primarily play Three Houses at this point).

For deployment slots, I like around 10-12, with 15 being the upper limit.

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That's a really difficult question. On one hand, I like being able to make sure every unit gets some experience and supports without grinding, but I feel like larger deployments would make the battle either imbalanced, and/or be way too long, though I'm all for having one or two end/post-game battles where you can deploy basically your entire army (See Valentia's final boss, or Awakening's Priam Paralogue) to make it seem all the more epic.

As for the size of the cast, I'm one of those people who has to have at least one unit in every Top-Tier class and still have some diversity/flexibility/replayability while still not having too many characters who are what I like to call "dead meat" units who are just kind of "there" just for the sake of adding to your army and add nothing to the story or world-building. Depending on the number of classes, I'd say anywhere from around 15-upper 40s is ideal.

Edited by Morgan--Grandmaster

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I don't care about the limit of deployment, but I prefer fielding less units. More characters makes the game more  interesting and gives you replay value for future runs.

Edited by the actual real soul

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On 6/26/2021 at 7:38 AM, Yexin said:

i like FE games better when the roster isn't absurdly huge, because writing automatically becomes a secondary aspect and most characters become mere sprites with no other purpose

In what FE is this really a criticism? Path of Radiance and 3H have some of the largest rosters in the franchise, and both also have some of the most consistently liked casts in the franchise. 

 

Those with weak casts (Radiant Dawn and Shadow Dragon) tend to be weak because they lack support conversations entirely, or are full of literally disposable characters (Geneology and Shadow Dragon replacement units).

 

 

 

Anyway, I'm on the big roster side here. Helps with replayability and finding personal favorites. As for deployment limits, I'd like them to just be consistent - always growing or staying the same, never shrinking from one chapter to the next.

Edited by Fabulously Olivier

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1 hour ago, Fabulously Olivier said:

In what FE is this really a criticism? Path of Radiance and 3H have some of the largest rosters in the franchise, and both also have some of the most consistently liked casts in the franchise.

That's not really true. Three Houses is on the lower side of the casts with 40 characters (41 if you count Byleth twice). The only games it has a larger cast than are Gaiden, Shadows of Valentia and Sacred Stones. It's on par with Birthright/Conquest and exceeds Genealogy if we're talking in terms of number of characters you can use in the campaign, but since this topic is about character writing it pretty solidly loses to both of them in terms of characters created for the project.

Path of Radiance meanwhile has 47 characters which is a bit more but still falls below average. It beats out Blazing Blade and both Old Mystery books, but still manages to lose to the original Shadow Dragon (and it's remake), Genealogy's combined cast, Thracia, Binding Blade, Radiant Dawn, New Mystery and Awakening.

In terms of number of characters that need to be written for in the game the series (including both genders of Avatars and their kids) is as follows

New Mystery: 78
Radiant Dawn: 72
Fates: 71 (technically this could outstrip New Mystery if you count the capturable bosses, which I haven't)
Genealogy of the Holy War: 63 (knock it down 14 if you want to discriminate against substitutes)
Shadow Dragon: 59
Binding Blade: 54
Thracia 776: 52
Dark Dragon and the Blade of Light: 52
Awakening: 50
Path of Radiance: 47
Old Mystery: Book 1- 47  Book 2- 45 (combined it's something like 60, I think)
Blazing Blade: 44
Three Houses: 41
Shadows of Valentia: 38
Sacred Stones: 33
Gaiden: 32

There's some room for error there with unit choices and avatar genders that might cause a mistake or two, but the margin should be small enough that the relative placing of games is largely unaffected and overall the average number would be the same. Said average number of playable characters in a Fire Emblem game currently is 51.5, which is the number of characters in the first game, funnily enough (at least when you count both the Mystery books separately, when they should really be combined, but I'd have to count the exact number between the two books myself which is a pain).

1 hour ago, Fabulously Olivier said:

Those with weak casts (Radiant Dawn and Shadow Dragon) tend to be weak because they lack support conversations entirely, or are full of literally disposable characters (Geneology and Shadow Dragon replacement units).

I'd also object to the notion that Radiant Dawn has a weak cast, in fact I'd say it has one of the stronger casts in the series, especially for its size. Sure the characters newly introduced in Radiant Dawn tend to be on the weaker side, but it handles the returning characters from Path of Radiance very well. And I don't think that is all due to the goodwill of Path of Radiance's supports, as I played Radiant Dawn before playing Path of Radiance and still found the newly introduced characters underdeveloped. I've also only played Path of Radiance once, so I haven't seen the slightest fraction of the supports it has to offer, yet characters like Nephenee and Haar are still pretty well defined to me based more on their appearance in Radiant Dawn than Path of Radiance, this especially goes for Calill who is just sort of randomly added to Path of Radiance almost like they were foreshadowing New Mystery. Yet in Radiant Dawn she has a bar and a kid and everything.

Edited by Jotari

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I don't really have too much of a preference when it comes to deployment limits, since I think what makes sense for those is something best determined on a per-chapter basis, depending on what experience the chapter is trying to provide.

I do tend to prefer larger rosters of characters, although not infinitely large. Something in the realm of 1.5x ~ 2x as many recruitable characters as there are chapters is about how I like it, to give a broad estimate. I think it gives you a good number of characters to pick from and play around with, and it's also a good roster size-to-chapter count ratio if you're designing around permadeath, I think. In a story like the ones Fire Emblem often tells, I'll admit I also rather like the "aesthetic" of a larger cast. Having more people involved can contribute to the feeling of the world being bigger, the events of the story playing out on a larger scale, etc. Granted, not every story is going to be going for that sort of feeling, and that's alright, too! I just think that it's something a larger party size is complementary to.

Edited by Topaz Light

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On 6/26/2021 at 3:55 PM, FailWood said:

Fates Revelation made me realize my preference towards wanting smaller rosters.  It's roster felt far too bloated for it's own good.  Playing each Three Houses route the first time without doing any out of house recruitments helped re-enforce that preference.  It was a lot of fun sticking to the house I picked (It's how I primarily play Three Houses at this point).

For deployment slots, I like around 10-12, with 15 being the upper limit.

I would say the real issue with Revelation is that it has big gaps in unit quality (which, to be fair, is the case in some other FE games, notably Binding Blade and New Mystery). For example, Setsuna already compares unfavorably against Takumi in Birthright, despite joining earlier. In Revelation, however, Setsuna has it even worse, as she joins long after Takumi has joined, to say nothing of Reina and Shura, the latter of whom comes right before she does. Speaking of, Nyx comes in in the same chapter as the aforementioned Shura, but while he comes at level 10 promoted, she comes in at the same level she does in Conquest... Basically, I'd think this quote applies:

Quote

It's less about that - after all, that can be solved by grinding if the character's growths/personals are worth it(see: Elise, the game's answer to L'Arachel).

It's just that some underwhelming chars which MIGHT have had a chance to be useful are just utterly destroyed by the statting of other units that join a few chapters later(kaze vs saizo), or ON THE SAME SAME CHAPTER THEY'RE IN(effie vs benny), or just plain face palmingly bad join levels that make them crap in the same chapter they join(leo and xander's retainers). All this together makes investment so much harder to justify, especially for no grind/minimal grind runs.

Of course, the fact that you gain access to both families of royals is another issue for balance.

Anyhow, personally, I find that within the houses themselves, there seem to be serious gaps in terms of unit quality which turn me off from sticking to only the students in my house (most notably in the Golden Deer, where the boys save Claude are nowhere near as useful as the girls are).

Edited by Shadow Mir

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Few characters and low deployment limit. I find the latter more important, as I believe that designing an interesting map with fewer playable units should be simpler, and map design is a core aspect about Fire Emblem to me.

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Gonna copy something the legendary Pandan said in this feuniverse thread.

Not every character needs to be super fleshed out, but it’s possible to have a large cast with good characters.

I don’t think there needs to be an inverse relationship between the size of the cast and the quality of the writing. It is a false dichotomy and I see this come up a lot as a reason to avoid the large cast.

In my experience, players will latch onto characters they like if they are fun to use and have a few lines of dialogue that resonates with them. Modern FE tends to overdo it by writing so much for each character that it gets repetitive.

There’s a sweet spot to strive for with the average unit, I’d wager a few convos or scenes in their join chapter, then 4-7 GBA style support chains, and a few boss convos is plenty to establish a character and even give them some sort of arc if you want. You can get away with less.

Sage advice.

Consider that Saul is the greatest Fire Emblem character of all time and he comes from Binding Blade. Gameplay wise, it's clear that a larger cast is better. I haven't seen anyone argue against this. Since Fire Emblem is a game series, the gameplay concern should come first.

I like a standard-to-smaller deployment limit, around 14 or so by the lategame chapters. That might not technically be small, but it sure as heck doesn't seem super large to me. It keeps it from becoming too tedious to move everyone around. Another thing to consider is that the more characters you let the player deploy, the more enemies you'll need to add, or at least the tougher they need to be. I feel this could lead to a great deal of bloat, and personally I think 12-15 is the sweet-spot. Not too restrictive, but not too busy.

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6 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

Anyhow, personally, I find that within the houses themselves, there seem to be serious gaps in terms of unit quality which turn me off from sticking to only the students in my house (most notably in the Golden Deer, where the boys save Claude are nowhere near as useful as the girls are).

Black Eagles are pretty balanced within itself, and Blue Lions are debatable (Ashe has to contend with Dimitri and Felix).  As for Golden Deer, I can't argue against Lysithea or Leonie, but I'd argue Marianne isn't as good as Lorenz or Ignatz, and Raphael is underrated in general.

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23 minutes ago, FailWood said:

Black Eagles are pretty balanced within itself, and Blue Lions are debatable (Ashe has to contend with Dimitri and Felix).  As for Golden Deer, I can't argue against Lysithea or Leonie, but I'd argue Marianne isn't as good as Lorenz or Ignatz, and Raphael is underrated in general.

Bold: I'm afraid I need you to explain why, because I have a LOT of issues seeing this. Especially since I see Lorenz and Raphael in particular as frontrunners for being the worst student character in the game.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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2 hours ago, AnonymousSpeed said:

Gonna copy something the legendary Pandan said in this feuniverse thread.

Not every character needs to be super fleshed out, but it’s possible to have a large cast with good characters.

I don’t think there needs to be an inverse relationship between the size of the cast and the quality of the writing. It is a false dichotomy and I see this come up a lot as a reason to avoid the large cast.

In my experience, players will latch onto characters they like if they are fun to use and have a few lines of dialogue that resonates with them. Modern FE tends to overdo it by writing so much for each character that it gets repetitive.

There’s a sweet spot to strive for with the average unit, I’d wager a few convos or scenes in their join chapter, then 4-7 GBA style support chains, and a few boss convos is plenty to establish a character and even give them some sort of arc if you want. You can get away with less.

Sage advice.

Consider that Saul is the greatest Fire Emblem character of all time and he comes from Binding Blade. Gameplay wise, it's clear that a larger cast is better. I haven't seen anyone argue against this. Since Fire Emblem is a game series, the gameplay concern should come first.

I like a standard-to-smaller deployment limit, around 14 or so by the lategame chapters. That might not technically be small, but it sure as heck doesn't seem super large to me. It keeps it from becoming too tedious to move everyone around. Another thing to consider is that the more characters you let the player deploy, the more enemies you'll need to add, or at least the tougher they need to be. I feel this could lead to a great deal of bloat, and personally I think 12-15 is the sweet-spot. Not too restrictive, but not too busy.

Ahem.

On 6/26/2021 at 3:16 PM, Jotari said:

I think generally speaking, thinking in terms of gameplay and not plot, there's no real downside to a larger roster. You just need to make sure characters are distinct enough from one another. Which I think New Mystery sort of fails to do, but Radiant Dawn with a cast almost as large does pretty well. Typically speaking Radiant Dawn gives you three(ish) of every class, one unit in the class adheres very much to the stereotypes of said class, while another is pretty esoteric for said class by focusing on a different stat, and the third stands somewhere in between. It also varies up some traditional classes by altering the weapons they use (ie Axe General, Sword General etc). This isn't really a bad way to design things. Of course Radiant Dawn still isn't perfect with mages being quite underwhelming and non Royal Laguz being largely useless, but in concept I think it handles a big roster well. Roster pacing is also something worth considering. New Mystery has a shit tonne of characters, but it's also not that long a game. Discounting the really short prologue chapters  I think it caps out somewhere before the 30 mark, while Radiant Dawn has over 40 and splits the game up with different armies. This allows you to actually get a proper introduction to each unit and get some gauge of how they play, while New Mystery just throws hoards of units at you, none of which give much prompting to actually indicate whether you should drop a unit you've been raising in favor of them.

 

On the short side of things, the only game that I really feel like the roster is too small is Sacred Stones. Unlike Radiant Dawn's three of every class approach, this game has an approach of one of every class, and maybe a prepromote. It just feels a bit limiting that Neimi is literally the only character who can use an Orion's bolt. She's all I have to use as an archer until I eventually get Innes. It's still a good game because the branching promotion lends more choice to each individual unit (usually, I think some promotion options are just plain better), but I definitely could do with another few units in the game.

Gaiden technically has fewer units than Sacred Stones, but I didn't feel as if it were lacking in units as much, and I reckon that's because it also has fewer classes so each unit feels as if they're distinct, and even the ones that are samey get the advantage of being on different routes so they don't step on each other's toes.

 

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6 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

I'm afraid I need you to explain why, because I have a LOT of issues seeing this. Especially since I see Lorenz and Raphael in particular as frontrunners for being the worst student character in the game.

Lorenz: Has a pretty good Reason spell list even though it's nothing flashy (Sagittae as a great all-rounder and has both Ragnarok and Agnea's Arrow for nuking), has good enough bulk to take advantage of Thyrus giving him both Pavise and Aegis, and those traits complement his natural progression towards Dark Knight because of his boons.  While Marianne also has a good Reason list, she's only neutral with it, so it'll take her more time.

Ignatz: Watchful Eye (Hit +20) is one of the better personal skills in the game (especially when compared to Marianne's near useless Animal Friend), learns useful Rallys and quickly due to his boon in Authority, and is flexible in what to make him because of his varied boons (Swords, Bows, and a hidden talent in Reason, which he can surprising function well as a mage despite having only 3 spells).

Raphael:  To better clarify, I meant more within Golden Deer, as his primary roles are already fulfilled by others in other houses.  He's great at taking on hordes of physical enemies due to a mix of high HP and Defense, is one of the better boss killers in the game, and like Hilda, could also take the path to Wyvern Lord (they're both neutral with Flying, and he'll need more time with Lances).  Also learns Rally Strength quick.

Now the ball's in your side of the court.  Why do you think Marianne is better then these 3?

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5 hours ago, FailWood said:

Lorenz: Has a pretty good Reason spell list even though it's nothing flashy (Sagittae as a great all-rounder and has both Ragnarok and Agnea's Arrow for nuking), has good enough bulk to take advantage of Thyrus giving him both Pavise and Aegis, and those traits complement his natural progression towards Dark Knight because of his boons.  While Marianne also has a good Reason list, she's only neutral with it, so it'll take her more time.

Ignatz: Watchful Eye (Hit +20) is one of the better personal skills in the game (especially when compared to Marianne's near useless Animal Friend), learns useful Rallys and quickly due to his boon in Authority, and is flexible in what to make him because of his varied boons (Swords, Bows, and a hidden talent in Reason, which he can surprising function well as a mage despite having only 3 spells).

Raphael:  To better clarify, I meant more within Golden Deer, as his primary roles are already fulfilled by others in other houses.  He's great at taking on hordes of physical enemies due to a mix of high HP and Defense, is one of the better boss killers in the game, and like Hilda, could also take the path to Wyvern Lord (they're both neutral with Flying, and he'll need more time with Lances).  Also learns Rally Strength quick.

Now the ball's in your side of the court.  Why do you think Marianne is better then these 3?

Because she gets Gremory access (honestly, Dark Knight is rather underwhelming for how much effort is needed to achieve it), and she isn't a Master of None, which Lorenz is (also, Thyrsus is usable by anyone), or cripplingly overspecialized, which Raphael is (it doesn't help that Raphael's few good points are nullified by his being slower than a Magcargo; I find it hard for him to be great at taking on physical enemies when he is doubled by nearly everything and not nearly durable enough to make up for it, especially after the timeskip; if he struggles to tank enemies early on, I'd hate to think how bad he's gonna be at it after the timeskip, when most enemies are in advanced classes with -faires. Even early on, I found Hilda and Leonie better at taking physical enemies because they aren't so slow they get doubled by almost everything). Ignatz does get some rallies, but he's not as good at it as Annette is (she gets speed at C+, while having innate strength; Ignatz has to wait until S authority to have both... yeah, that's not happening).

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3 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

Because she gets Gremory access (honestly, Dark Knight is rather underwhelming for how much effort is needed to achieve it), and she isn't a Master of None, which Lorenz is (also, Thyrsus is usable by anyone), or cripplingly overspecialized, which Raphael is (it doesn't help that Raphael's few good points are nullified by his being slower than a Magcargo; I find it hard for him to be great at taking on physical enemies when he is doubled by nearly everything and not nearly durable enough to make up for it, especially after the timeskip; if he struggles to tank enemies early on, I'd hate to think how bad he's gonna be at it after the timeskip, when most enemies are in advanced classes with -faires. Even early on, I found Hilda and Leonie better at taking physical enemies because they aren't so slow they get doubled by almost everything). Ignatz does get some rallies, but he's not as good at it as Annette is (she gets speed at C+, while having innate strength; Ignatz has to wait until S authority to have both... yeah, that's not happening).

From what I can see, Dark Knight is statistically better than Gremory. It matches Gremory in every stat except resistance, where Gremory has a point in advantage, or beats Gremory in the case of strength and, most vitally, movement. Paired with Canto and a Faire skill, it's just plain better. Gremory is better for some select characters for its doubled spell list to use more warp/fortify/seiege magic, but for the majority of the cast Dark Knight is a far better choice. The only thing Gremory has compared to it is easier access for most of the (female) cast, but qualifying for Dark Knight is not a struggle for Lorenz at all as he has an aptitude for all three of the stats that are required for it. Even if Lorenz could go Gremory, Dark Kight would be a pretty clear superior choice. I'd even argue Dark Knight is better for Marianne, though slightly more difficult for her to get into compared to Gremory.

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49 minutes ago, Jotari said:

From what I can see, Dark Knight is statistically better than Gremory. It matches Gremory in every stat except resistance, where Gremory has a point in advantage, or beats Gremory in the case of strength and, most vitally, movement. Paired with Canto and a Faire skill, it's just plain better. Gremory is better for some select characters for its doubled spell list to use more warp/fortify/seiege magic, but for the majority of the cast Dark Knight is a far better choice. The only thing Gremory has compared to it is easier access for most of the (female) cast, but qualifying for Dark Knight is not a struggle for Lorenz at all as he has an aptitude for all three of the stats that are required for it. Even if Lorenz could go Gremory, Dark Kight would be a pretty clear superior choice. I'd even argue Dark Knight is better for Marianne, though slightly more difficult for her to get into compared to Gremory.

I'm not sold on Dark Knight being better, because it requires MUCH more investment to get into and the payoff is rather meager for all that extra work (A measly 2 extra damage over Gremory for all that extra investment??? Pah. Color me unimpressed). Not to mention that being mounted is not as great as it was in prior games, in part because being mounted does bad things to your speed growth, and in part because a lot of maps have terrain that slows cavalry down. It's like I pay much more to get a Dark Knight, and the performance is only worth a portion of the price, aka I got ripped off big time. Anyway, while Lorenz may have an easy time getting into Dark Knight, that doesn't absolve him of his statistical failings.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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1 hour ago, Shadow Mir said:

I'm not sold on Dark Knight being better, because it requires MUCH more investment to get into and the payoff is rather meager for all that extra work (A measly 2 extra damage over Gremory for all that extra investment??? Pah. Color me unimpressed). Not to mention that being mounted is not as great as it was in prior games, in part because being mounted does bad things to your speed growth, and in part because a lot of maps have terrain that slows cavalry down. It's like I pay much more to get a Dark Knight, and the performance is only worth a portion of the price, aka I got ripped off big time. Anyway, while Lorenz may have an easy time getting into Dark Knight, that doesn't absolve him of his statistical failings.

Dark Knight has a -5% speed growth. That means 1 less point of speed every 20 levels. And you are not going to be spending 20 levels in a Master Class. And any terrain based issues with being mounted (which from my memory are very minimal) can be negated by simply dismounting. And even if your using it purely dismounted, it still has additional movement over Gremory. Dark Knight is a flat out better class if you can qualify in it. And Lorenz can qualify for it extremely easily. Probably more easily than Marianne can qualify for Gremory. Lorenz might not be the best mage in the game, but his class access is absolutely not holding him back as a unit.

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