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lenticular

Let's talk about Rallies

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2 hours ago, lenticular said:

I also dislike the fiddly micromanagement of "I want to fully replenish all of my battalions except for the one that Dimitri is using" after every battle. I suspect this will be somewhat controversial, but I'd be in favour of getting rid of the Battalion skills entirely. And while we're at it, can we also add a bit of accuracy with gambits to the "Authority Lv n" skills to make them less terrible?

Oh yeah, trash the battalions skills for sure, they're awful design-wise. They reward direct manipulation of battalion HP in a previous fight to be maximally effective (e.g. the best thing you can do to set one up is to purposefully grind battalions down to the start of the red zone for use in future fights, either by dragging out a required fight or doing an aux battle for this purpose) which is just bad IMO, and I'm not sure what if any interesting design space they open up. Regular low-HP skills have an obvious risk/reward within a battle so they're fine.

For buffing the authority Lv N skills, I'm not sure I'd buff their accuracy, unless it was a fixed boost at Authority Lv 1 that didn't scale. There are already lots of mechanics which make it so gambits get more accurate later (support ranks and PC threat ranges increasing is the biggest, but also Hit+20/Uncanny Blow/Accuracy Ring and the ability to spam tea time to outpace enemy charm), so I don't think there should be another scaling mechanic that allows it. If one wanted to make the Authority skill valuable later, you could increase its damage scaling, and also make it so gambits could kill non-primary targets. Still does nothing for utility gambits though, I'm not sure if that should be changed.

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2 hours ago, lenticular said:

That's a fair criticism, but if I had my druthers then all the other authority skills would see a big shake-up as well. Model Leader and Defensive Tactics are both basically trash and I don't think anything of significant value would be lost by getting rid of them entirely. Then there are the Battalion [Whatever] skills which are, frankly, a mess. They mostly fall into either "allows you to break the game" or "completely worthless" depending on how you're using them, without covering much of the in-between ground. I also dislike the fiddly micromanagement of "I want to fully replenish all of my battalions except for the one that Dimitri is using" after every battle. I suspect this will be somewhat controversial, but I'd be in favour of getting rid of the Battalion skills entirely. And while we're at it, can we also add a bit of accuracy with gambits to the "Authority Lv n" skills to make them less terrible?

Y’know, I was about to defend defensive tactics but realised there really isn’t anything going for it. I’ve seriously used it once, and that’s about it. I guess it has a place on regular vantage Battalion Wrath (or vice versa) set ups but that’s all really.

I still have never met anyone who used battalion renewal for anything. If it actually healed battalion health that would be a different story.

And yeah, even if the accuracy boost capped at 10 or something I’d be fine with that change to the Authority skills

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4 hours ago, lenticular said:

That's a fair criticism, but if I had my druthers then all the other authority skills would see a big shake-up as well. Model Leader and Defensive Tactics are both basically trash and I don't think anything of significant value would be lost by getting rid of them entirely. Then there are the Battalion [Whatever] skills which are, frankly, a mess. They mostly fall into either "allows you to break the game" or "completely worthless" depending on how you're using them, without covering much of the in-between ground. I also dislike the fiddly micromanagement of "I want to fully replenish all of my battalions except for the one that Dimitri is using" after every battle. I suspect this will be somewhat controversial, but I'd be in favour of getting rid of the Battalion skills entirely. And while we're at it, can we also add a bit of accuracy with gambits to the "Authority Lv n" skills to make them less terrible?

Oh, you won't hear me defending the Model Leader skill (I'm no fan of the "battalion leveling" system to begin with). While Defensive Tacitcs has a couple conceivable niches (i.e. on Battalion Skill builds, or a "don't spend any money" challenge run), it's generally a bad skill. As for the Battalion Skills, I consider the setup required of them to be a worthy barrier-of-entry to the benefits proferred, as variable as they are (LOL Battalion Renewal). As for Authority Lv. X, what if each rank gave "+1 Might, +4 Hit" rather than "+2 Might"? Ergo, by A+ Authority, you'll have "+5 Mt, +20 Hit". Seems a worthwhile use of a skill slot, at least with 2-charge offensive gambits.

4 hours ago, Jotari said:

One could say the same thing about magic, why not let every unit  (especially Emperor) use it? Instead they went with two (sort of three) class chains that are pretty indistinguishable at most levels.

IMO the White Magic and Black Magic lines are plenty distinct - Priest and Bishop get better healing and more charges, while Mage and Warlock deal more damage with more charges. The Dark magic classes exist in a weird space (IMO Dark Mage > Mage excepting the mastery skill, while Warlock > Dark Bishop on all potential users not named Hubert), but that ties into the game's weird handling of Dark magic in general.

This does bring up an interesting point, though - suppose all physical classes got magic at half-charges. Would magic-specialist classes become irrelevant, or would they stay viable? The thought of getting any spells on a 6-move flier or 7-move mount, as soon as level 10, is an imposing one.

2 hours ago, SumG said:

When I threw out those numbers, I was initially thinking of the speed stat.  On Maddening, the speed stat of enemies scales so quickly and is so much higher than player units in the same classes that a dramatic stat increase is necessary in order to have any impact at all.  And there isn't any reason that the different stat categories could have different sized benefits.  As it is, Rally Luck is already a +8 instead of +4.  There's no reason Rally Speed couldn't go up to +12 while Rally Strength might be capped at +8.

Numerically, here's what I'm thinking the Rally boosts could become:

Mov - 2/3/4

Str, Mag - 4/6/8

Spd, Def, Res, Cha - 6/9/12

Dex, Luk - 8/12/16

Where all rallies upgrade to "Lv. 2" at B Authority, and "Lv. 3" at A+ Authority. I think this could scale respectably, while justifying the skill slot each Rally would take up.

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3 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Numerically, here's what I'm thinking the Rally boosts could become:

Mov - 2/3/4

Str, Mag - 4/6/8

Spd, Def, Res, Cha - 6/9/12

Dex, Luk - 8/12/16

Where all rallies upgrade to "Lv. 2" at B Authority, and "Lv. 3" at A+ Authority. I think this could scale respectably, while justifying the skill slot each Rally would take up.

My only gripe with these is with MAG.  I understand the desire to make STR and MAG comparable, but there are two significant differences.  First, mages tend to have extremely low Attack Speed, due to a combination of low unit speed (there are no fast mages) and high tome weight.  On Maddening, mages will effectively never double, with the occasional rare exception being an armored knight, while there are at least some units that can reliably get follow-ups.

Second, strength has a number of options available to it to force a double attack (Brave weapons, Swift Strikes, FIF), which does multiply the strength bonuses as you've implied.  There is no such skill or spell for mages.  Mages will always hit once, and only hit once.  There are benefits to mages in that they hit like a truck and can do so from range, but if a rally is going to move the needle it needs to be a larger magnitude than in strength because the chance of a follow-up attack is so much lower.

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6 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Oh, you won't hear me defending the Model Leader skill (I'm no fan of the "battalion leveling" system to begin with). While Defensive Tacitcs has a couple conceivable niches (i.e. on Battalion Skill builds, or a "don't spend any money" challenge run), it's generally a bad skill. As for the Battalion Skills, I consider the setup required of them to be a worthy barrier-of-entry to the benefits proferred, as variable as they are (LOL Battalion Renewal). As for Authority Lv. X, what if each rank gave "+1 Might, +4 Hit" rather than "+2 Might"? Ergo, by A+ Authority, you'll have "+5 Mt, +20 Hit". Seems a worthwhile use of a skill slot, at least with 2-charge offensive gambits.

IMO the White Magic and Black Magic lines are plenty distinct - Priest and Bishop get better healing and more charges, while Mage and Warlock deal more damage with more charges. The Dark magic classes exist in a weird space (IMO Dark Mage > Mage excepting the mastery skill, while Warlock > Dark Bishop on all potential users not named Hubert), but that ties into the game's weird handling of Dark magic in general.

This does bring up an interesting point, though - suppose all physical classes got magic at half-charges. Would magic-specialist classes become irrelevant, or would they stay viable? The thought of getting any spells on a 6-move flier or 7-move mount, as soon as level 10, is an imposing one.

Numerically, here's what I'm thinking the Rally boosts could become:

Mov - 2/3/4

Str, Mag - 4/6/8

Spd, Def, Res, Cha - 6/9/12

Dex, Luk - 8/12/16

Where all rallies upgrade to "Lv. 2" at B Authority, and "Lv. 3" at A+ Authority. I think this could scale respectably, while justifying the skill slot each Rally would take up.

I don't find the extra healing all that useful in early stages when it's just basic healing spells. Especially when you want every mage to get Magic Death Blow (name eludes me right now). And holy knight vs to knight is a laughable comparison. I actually meant what I said pretty literally, half the class stages there's no strong distinction, that means half the time there is. There's definitely reaso s to want to go Bishop.

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13 hours ago, Jotari said:

Personally ever since they were introduced I've thought rallying should be something that's dedicated to a support class. Ie  only one class can rally, but they're really good at it. That would fit pretty well with a whole "every unit has a rally list". Every unit has a spell list, but only certain classes can use spells. Every unit has a rally list, but only one class chain (plus maybe lord class and Enlightened One) can use rallies. You can also then have skills that increase the range or power of rallies, or let the rallybot rally themselves when using it. 

Lord seems like it'd be an inherently good class for a dedicated cheerleader, in part because Etrian Odyssey has made it a dedicated buffing class in the past for me. But also because 3H Lord naturally has Charm as a class passive, as do all of EDCs' personal classes. And what defines a "lord"?  Being in a position of authority over others and able to issue orders over others.

The issue is Lord is a restricted class, and everyone who could be one (barring maybe Yuri?) have great combat stats and would rather stab than rally. So what to do about non-main characters? I present three options for the rallying classes' theme:

  • Military Ranks
    • Lieutenant (Intermediate) > Brigadier (Advanced) > Commandant (Master)
    • The names indicate the individual has ranking authority and is permitted to issue others over others. Orders that force stat boosts on allies.
  • Entertainers
    • Bard (Intermediate) > Troubadour (Advanced) > Oratorio (Master)
    • Makes singers distinct from dancers in FE and 3H specifically. Their peppy words raising stats instead of giving more actions.
    • Oratorio is a piece of music, not a musician, but don't you agree the word sounds really grandiose?
  • Military Minds
    • Tactician > Strategist > Grandmaster
    • Copies Robin's old class, with Strategist as the in-between because strategy is bigger picture than tactics (and it's also a Fates class).

Now to flesh out the Military Ranks idea in the style of 3H because I like it.:

Spoiler

Shared Features of All Three Classes

  • High Charm and a +2/3 Authority boost are provided to all three of Lieutenant, Brigadier, and Commandant
  • Gambits are also issuing orders, hence the bonuses to them.
  • Gambits have limited charges, unlike dancing and the charges are more limited than spells. So Rallying all the time with the occasional Gambit or round of combat would be the norm with this class line.

Lieutenant:

  • Infantry
  • Examination Requirements:
    • Swords C
    • Authority C+ 
  • Skill Levels:
    • Swords are the rich person's weapon historically, and spears and axes were for the non-elite. But then we're just looking at Lord again, is that alright?
    • Perhaps a +1 to Swords, Lances, and Bows for Lieutenant? (And +2 Authority.)
      • This would show training in a variety of weapons, permissible for an elite soldier.
      • And no one wanting to have a big offense would want to practice in three weapon types, it'd dilute the skill training a tad too much.
  • Stats are kept very average/mediocre everywhere outside of Charm.
    • This would neuter Lieutenant in any specialized role other than Rallying and Gambits.
  • Abilities:
    • Rally Range +1: Rallies can be applied to allies 2 spaces away from the user.
    • Charm
  • Mastered Ability: Command & Conquer- When using a Gambit, applies all Rallies equipped to this unit to allies within 2 spaces, excluding the user.
  • Lord gets buffed to include Rally Range +1 to match this class. And maybe halved magic uses to give it another reason to still exist other than Resistance +2 and Subdue.

Brigadier:

  • Infantry
    • Historically, we've had images of glorious commanders on horseback and or dressed in sumptuous armor.
    • But, we should not obsolete the already lousy Fortress Knight and Great Knight!
    • Since Armor is irredeemable, I keep this Infantry instead.
    • 5 Move is a mistake for a fully promoted infantry unit, 4 is a terrible error, 3H goofed here. But, I'll keep this class at 5.
  • Examination Ranks:
    • Bows C
    • Authority A
  • Has halved magic uses. Studying the textbooks have lead to coincidental learning of the basics of magic.
  • Skill Levels:
    • +3 Bow, +1 Reason, +1 Faith. +3 Authority.
    • The Brigadier has retired from the frontline, so it doesn't need Sword and Lance training.
  • Stats:
    • Leans on Mag, Def and Res (in addition to Charm of course). Halved magic uses limits its magic offense, as it should be (barring magic weapons and Combat Arts).
    • Spd is a little low, the Brigadier doesn't flex their muscles too much now.
  • Abilities:
    • Rally Range +2: Rallies can be applied to allies 3 spaces away from the user.
    • Rally Effect +1: Rallies now apply to allies adjacent to the targeted unit, excluding the user.
    • Gambit Vigor: After using a Gambit, this unit can act again.
  • Mastered Ability: Finest Hour- Doubles (or increases by 50% if 100% is too strong) the potency of Rallies on units with less than 25% of their maximum HP.

 

Commandant:

  • Cavalry
    • Move is set to 7, the lower of the two final class mounted Move numbers.
    • No armor, again, to avoid obsoleting Great Knight.
    • I'd like name this class "General", but FE (yet not 3H), has reserved that name for the promoted armor class.
  • Examination Ranks:
    • B Lances
    • B Riding
    • A Authority
  • Skill Levels:
    • +1 Swords, +3 Lances, +1 Axe. +3 Authority.
  • Stats:
    • Leans on Str, Skl, Lck, and Charm.
    • Def and Res are a little low, making it squishy.
  • Abilities:
    • Presence: Provides each Rally this unit currently has equipped as a passive bonus to adjacent allies. Can stack with Rally bonuses.
    • Battle Cry: After using Rally, enemies within 3 spaces of the user receive matching stat debuffs for each Rally the user currently has equipped.
    • Canto
  • Mastered Ability
    • Self-Motivating: Rallies used by this unit now apply to them. Does not affect Presence.
  • Mastered Art: Mass Attack-
    • Lance
    • Range 1
    • +4 Might
    • +10 Crit
    • 4 Durability
    • Might increases based on this unit's Charm.
    • Enemies adjacent to the target are also hit by Mass Attack, with the final damage halved and nonfatal. 
  • Premise:
    • The idea of the Commandant is try to create an alternative to the Brigadier that does not obsolete it solely from having a horse and that precious additional Move.
    • Brigadier and Commandant are modeled after two different kinds of leader.
      • The wise Brigadier keeps a safe distance when issuing commands, slinging spells and arrows when they aren't doing that.
      • The Commandant by contrast is a reckless, charismatic individual who throw themselves into the horrible fray armed with melee weapons. The Commandant stays dangerously close to the soldiers who risk their lives for them, and so the soldiers are endeared to their selfless Commandant.
    • Presence and Battle Cry aren't simply weaker versions of the same skills the Brigadier gets, they're entirely different.
      • The Commandant has extra Move, and it needs to use it to be functional.
      • It needs to allies adjacent to it their Presence to be felt. It's kinda like Charm, but better (provided you have Rally Strength).
      • And it needs nearby enemies to scare them shitless with a fierce rallying roar.
    • High Str, Skl, Lck reflect a love for gutsy combat up-close, playing into the personality.
      • But iffy Def and Res, and no real bias towards HP and Spd, to keep it from taking on the hits no problem.
    • Mass Attack is a pseudo-Gambit, for flavor's sake.
    • And if you really wanted to, you could combine a Brigadier with a Commandant. The two hardly overlap.

And I think I would lower Offensive Tactics to A+ Authority rank, and add +1 Gambit Use to S+? -Just as an aside. Is that too broken for the sheer amount of SEXP to would take to get?

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

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1 hour ago, Jotari said:

I don't find the extra healing all that useful in early stages when it's just basic healing spells. Especially when you want every mage to get Magic Death Blow (name eludes me right now). And holy knight vs to knight is a laughable comparison. I actually meant what I said pretty literally, half the class stages there's no strong distinction, that means half the time there is. There's definitely reaso s to want to go Bishop.

That is fair, I will concede Priest isn't that different from Mage. +5 Healing on Physic can be nice, but 10 extra Heals rarely come up, nor do 10 extra Fires on units who already get Fire. Ironically, the "Fire" skill offered by Mage is better for dark magic specialists than anyone else, since it's their only way to participate in the "Black Magic Tournament". Miasma can be a decent option, depending on a unit's innate spell list, and Dark Mage does hold the notable niche of doing the most magical damage among Intermediate classes. That said, Fiendish Blow is the skill to go for.

Things do get kinda wacky at Master tier, though. Essentially there's a three-pronged choice - Mortal Savant, Gremory, and Dark Knight. Admittedly, male units are missing a prong here. Gremory has the least movement and least Reason damage, but most spell casts; Dark Knight has better movement and damage, but fewer spell charges, and its certification demands can be tricky for some; and Mortal Savant is like a "worse Dark Knight" that some units have an easier time getting into (huh, kind of like Holy Knight).

And if we consider DLC classes, things really get out of ha- wait, wasn't this a thread about Rallies?

4 hours ago, SumG said:

My only gripe with these is with MAG.  I understand the desire to make STR and MAG comparable, but there are two significant differences.  First, mages tend to have extremely low Attack Speed, due to a combination of low unit speed (there are no fast mages) and high tome weight.  On Maddening, mages will effectively never double, with the occasional rare exception being an armored knight, while there are at least some units that can reliably get follow-ups.

Second, strength has a number of options available to it to force a double attack (Brave weapons, Swift Strikes, FIF), which does multiply the strength bonuses as you've implied.  There is no such skill or spell for mages.  Mages will always hit once, and only hit once.  There are benefits to mages in that they hit like a truck and can do so from range, but if a rally is going to move the needle it needs to be a larger magnitude than in strength because the chance of a follow-up attack is so much lower.

I agree to an extent, although I think there are a couple oversights here. In fact, there are ways to strike multiple times with magical damage... albeit much more niche than their physical counterparts. The Aura Knuckles are the most apparent, but you can also run either Point-Blank Volley or Hunter's Volley with a Magic Bow, or use Swift Strikes with the CF-exclusive Arrow of Indra. These cases are hard to set up, but if you do, then the Magic boost will be comparable in its effect to the Strength boost.

Reviewing growth rates, most apparent magic-users fall in the "middle-of-the-road" Speed-wise, with a growth rate between 35% and 50%. Hanneman sits at a uniquely low 20%. But there are a few bright spots, such as Manuela at 60% or Yuri at 65%. What's more, female mages at least have the option to go Pegasus Knight for Darting Blow, especially if their target is Dark Flier (the one full-count magic class with a positive speed growth modifier, I should add). Speed +2 from Myrmidon, and Weight -3 from C-Armor also exist, although those may seem too out-of-the-way to be worth it. The lesser Strength of most magic users can reduce the weight-offset factor, making tome weight an even bigger deal than weapon weight, though.

Bottom-line... yeah, I can agree that Strength +4/6/8 is less exploitable than Magic +4/6/8, outside of particular builds. That said, are they really in competition with each other? If a unit wants the Magic boost, they have little use for a Strength buff, and vice-versa. +8 magic is still great on a magical attacker, even if it's usually less great than +8 strength on a physical attacker. I don't really see a need to make each rally "equally good", so long as each one is good enough to justify its own skill slot, and the effort it takes to get there. I think with the right target in mind, Magic +4/6/8 is certainly worth it, if it can help secure kills that would otherwise be missed.

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10 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

This does bring up an interesting point, though - suppose all physical classes got magic at half-charges. Would magic-specialist classes become irrelevant, or would they stay viable? The thought of getting any spells on a 6-move flier or 7-move mount, as soon as level 10, is an imposing one.

Honestly, I kinda like the idea of giving physical classes some limited magic access. It avoids the weird situation where going from Commoner/Noble to Myrmidon/Fighter/Soldier feels like a downgrade if the character learned even a single magic spell, since the stat boosts offered by those classes are meager and you lose magic access.

But I'd probably change how "some magic uses" worked. A proposal:

  • The D-rank spell learned by a character with "some magic" can be used at full uses (10 heals, 10 fires, 8 thunders, etc.)
  • The D+ (if any) and C rank spell learned by a character with "some magic" can be used at half uses rounded up (2 Thorons, 3 Physics, etc.)
  • Spells learned at B or beyond can not be used. If you want Warp, get in a magic class.

I'd bump Trickster and War Monk/Cleric to full magic under this, so they maintain access to Warp/Fortify/Rescue/Meteor/etc. I don't think Trickster's in danger of being too strong anyway. War Monk/Cleric... you could argue me on that. I'd also be open to some classes dropping down to "no magic" as an exception/balancer, but not sure which - obviously they'd have to be classes that give clear perks otherwise. Grappler/War Master (to further distinguish War Cleric) and Wyvern Rider/Lord (for obvious reasons) are possible candidates.

2 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

That is fair, I will concede Priest isn't that different from Mage. +5 Healing on Physic can be nice, but 10 extra Heals rarely come up, nor do 10 extra Fires on units who already get Fire. Ironically, the "Fire" skill offered by Mage is better for dark magic specialists than anyone else, since it's their only way to participate in the "Black Magic Tournament". Miasma can be a decent option, depending on a unit's innate spell list, and Dark Mage does hold the notable niche of doing the most magical damage among Intermediate classes. That said, Fiendish Blow is the skill to go for.

Things do get kinda wacky at Master tier, though. Essentially there's a three-pronged choice - Mortal Savant, Gremory, and Dark Knight. Admittedly, male units are missing a prong here. Gremory has the least movement and least Reason damage, but most spell casts; Dark Knight has better movement and damage, but fewer spell charges, and its certification demands can be tricky for some; and Mortal Savant is like a "worse Dark Knight" that some units have an easier time getting into (huh, kind of like Holy Knight).

And if we consider DLC classes, things really get out of ha- wait, wasn't this a thread about Rallies?

I think those 10 fires are pretty important for units who have Thunder or Miasma as their D rank spell, to be fair, and not just for tournaments. 1-2 less weight and 10 more hit can definitely sometimes matter! This isn't to say Fire is necessarily "better" than Thunder/Miasma, but the option of both is better than being stuck with one, and by a fair bit IMO. Agreed that for units who already have Fire, 10 more uses is probably just overkill (and units with WInd don't gain as much, since Fire just exists "between" two of their existing options, i.e. Wind and their C rank spell, in terms of power/hit/weight). But it's enough to make it so that Mage is easily better to be in than Priest or Dark Mage for Lysithea/Hubert, for instance, at least IMO.

Mortal Savant is weird in that it's almost strictly worse than Dark Knight for a majority of units... but not ones with magic sword combat arts, where they actually get +5 damage with those at which point it's a much more balanced "sword damage vs. canto" (with move which favours DK on most maps but MS on some others due to terrain). In that sense I think it's a bit better than Holy Knight, which (almost?) nobody would really prefer to be in versus Dark.

And hey, nothing wrong with a little spiralling naturally into other topics! It's not like 3H is a a bunch of completely separate systems... the balance of rallies (in this case, str vs magic) is tied to how the magic system is implemented after all.

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8 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

But I'd probably change how "some magic uses" worked. A proposal:

  • The D-rank spell learned by a character with "some magic" can be used at full uses (10 heals, 10 fires, 8 thunders, etc.)
  • The D+ (if any) and C rank spell learned by a character with "some magic" can be used at half uses rounded up (2 Thorons, 3 Physics, etc.)
  • Spells learned at B or beyond can not be used. If you want Warp, get in a magic class.

My more "radical" shift would be, give each class a number of "spell slots". Physical classes would get 2 such slots; so, Myrmidon Lysithea could bring Swarm and Heal, or Miasma and Nosferatu. Magical classes would have more slots, with the "pure" classes having more (i.e. 5 for Warlock/Bishop, 6 for Gremory) than "hybrid" classes (3 on Trickster, 4 on Dark/Holy Knight). No classes would have "halved" spell charges. In turn, physical classes would have more combat art slots - Noble/Commoner starting with 1, then increasing by 1 per tier for physical classes (so War Master could equip up to 5).

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22 hours ago, Anathaco said:

I still have never met anyone who used battalion renewal for anything.

 

20 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

(LOL Battalion Renewal)

Question for the class: Is Battalion Renewal literally the worst ability in the game, or just one of the worst? (Not including personal abilities. Some of those are doubtlessly worse. Hi, Linhardt! Hi, Raphael!)

10 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

In that sense I think it's a bit better than Holy Knight, which (almost?) nobody would really prefer to be in versus Dark.

How about Ingrid? She has more uses of offensive white magic (12 Nosferatu and 8 Seraphim) than she has of black magic  (10 Blizzard, 4 Thoron, 3 Fimbulvetr) and has enough Strength and Speed to have a chance (depending on build, RNG and difficulty level) to still be able to double with Nosferatu despite its weight.

1 hour ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

My more "radical" shift would be, give each class a number of "spell slots". Physical classes would get 2 such slots; so, Myrmidon Lysithea could bring Swarm and Heal, or Miasma and Nosferatu. Magical classes would have more slots, with the "pure" classes having more (i.e. 5 for Warlock/Bishop, 6 for Gremory) than "hybrid" classes (3 on Trickster, 4 on Dark/Holy Knight). No classes would have "halved" spell charges. In turn, physical classes would have more combat art slots - Noble/Commoner starting with 1, then increasing by 1 per tier for physical classes (so War Master could equip up to 5).

I'm not sure how I feel about this, given that it seems like it would mostly be a nerf to magic classes and a buff to physical classes, but if you did go down that route then you could also work rallies into the same system. Take Rallies out of the existing ability system and turn them into their own thing. Everyone gets one rally slot to be able to equip one rally (with no opportunity cost in terms of other abilities), but someone in a dedicated rallier class would have more Rally slots. Would that work at all?

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2 minutes ago, lenticular said:

Question for the class: Is Battalion Renewal literally the worst ability in the game, or just one of the worst?

Hmm... running down the ability list:

  • Resistance +2
  • Pomp & Circumstance
  • Defiant Resistance
  • Warding Blow
  • Seal Magic
  • Seal Movement
  • Model Leader
  • Miracle
  • Unarmed Combat

I think we could all throw these into the running for the worst not-personal ability? Battalion Renewal could maybe patch up a healer over 2-3 turns without needing to waste an action healing them?

Resistance +2 and Pomp & Circumstance might not be worse on paper than Bat Re, but being restricted to Lord & the first EDC promotion classes really limit their usability. Seal Movement is a paltry -1 Move, Miracle is iffy even with Pulses available, Unarmed Combat is not worth equipping, and Model Leader has already been mocked. Defiant Resistance, Warding Blow, and Seal Magic all run into the issue of magic enemies being a minority, and hence less useful than their physical counterparts.

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2 minutes ago, lenticular said:

Question for the class: Is Battalion Renewal literally the worst ability in the game, or just one of the worst? (Not including personal abilities. Some of those are doubtlessly worse. Hi, Linhardt! Hi, Raphael!)

I would go as far as to say it’s as bad as both of those personals. Raphael’s is very unlikely to ever activate when you need it, and it’s also unlikely for such a small amount to be worthwhile, but there is, at least, a conceivable scenario where it could come in clutch. As for Linhardt’s, I can see it being maybe helpful on a meme build where he actually becomes a combat unit instead of healing, since healing doesn’t give him a free turn to wait in the first place. Or if for some reason there literally is nothing for him to do and he’s taken damages it could help him out. Again, useless except in a very very niche situation.

Battalion Renewal is also useless (though I could definitely come up with some niche cases for this skill too), but what makes it so terrible is just how counterintuitive the skill is. It’s an ability that restores health (more than the other two abilities mentioned, true), but because the nature of battalion abilities discourages the unit from taking damage, the two aspects of the ability quite literally work against each other. Don’t take any damage in this battle otherwise you’ll lose the ability, and as a reward, you get to heal the damage you take in this battle. There are theoretically uses for it, but the contradictory nature of its design fundamentally offends me to the point where I unironically consider it the worst ability in the game.

If you ever even used it it wouldn’t be an ability you specifically set up beforehand like the other battalion skills, it would literally be a “just in case you get your battalion damaged down to a third in a single battle and need healing. And you don’t have regular renewal or just a sacred weapon or something”
 

 

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20 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Hmm... running down the ability list:

  • Resistance +2
  • Pomp & Circumstance
  • Defiant Resistance
  • Warding Blow
  • Seal Magic
  • Seal Movement
  • Model Leader
  • Miracle
  • Unarmed Combat

I think we could all throw these into the running for the worst not-personal ability? Battalion Renewal could maybe patch up a healer over 2-3 turns without needing to waste an action healing them?

Resistance +2 and Pomp & Circumstance might not be worse on paper than Bat Re, but being restricted to Lord & the first EDC promotion classes really limit their usability. Seal Movement is a paltry -1 Move, Miracle is iffy even with Pulses available, Unarmed Combat is not worth equipping, and Model Leader has already been mocked. Defiant Resistance, Warding Blow, and Seal Magic all run into the issue of magic enemies being a minority, and hence less useful than their physical counterparts.

I'd say it's defiant res. Not only is magic rare, but the very skill requires you to already be heading towards death before it even comes into play.

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1 hour ago, Anathaco said:

Battalion Renewal is also useless (though I could definitely come up with some niche cases for this skill too), but what makes it so terrible is just how counterintuitive the skill is. It’s an ability that restores health (more than the other two abilities mentioned, true), but because the nature of battalion abilities discourages the unit from taking damage, the two aspects of the ability quite literally work against each other. Don’t take any damage in this battle otherwise you’ll lose the ability, and as a reward, you get to heal the damage you take in this battle. There are theoretically uses for it, but the contradictory nature of its design fundamentally offends me to the point where I unironically consider it the worst ability in the game.

I think the way to fix it would be to flip the comparison symbol. From Battalion HP < 1/3, to Battlion HP > 1/3. Suddenly, the skill becomes much more useful, it would provide near-constant healing for six squishier units (Lin, Mer, Anne, Mar, Man, Fly), and Edelgard. It'd still go poof! at a point, but you've have twice as long to benefit from it. And when you stop getting its benefits, you would still have the Battalion and its bonuses on you. It could wick away one hit's worth of pain every turn for at least most of a battle if the unit isn't taking extreme damage all the time.

Reading all these "3H would be better if you changed Y" comments makes me wish the game was on PC. What an active modding community it could have!

 

49 minutes ago, Jotari said:

I'd say it's defiant res. Not only is magic rare, but the very skill requires you to already be heading towards death before it even comes into play.

And it also requires mastering Holy Knight, a class universally agreed upon as lousy. 

Theoretically, it has usefulness in an extreme build where you stack Res so high, the unit reaches the point of total magical immunity. So as long as you don't into anything physical with this setup, your HP doesn't matter. Except, I don't think there is much of anything to use such a build on. Unlike the same high risk build but applied to Def.

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

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1 hour ago, lenticular said:

Question for the class: Is Battalion Renewal literally the worst ability in the game, or just one of the worst? (Not including personal abilities. Some of those are doubtlessly worse. Hi, Linhardt! Hi, Raphael!)

It's definitely one of the worst, I'd say (largely because it's rather counter-intuitive; the healing is only relevant if you're taking damage... but if you're taking damage, your battalion is taking damage too, and because it requires battalion endurance being 1/3 or less, you're soon to lose your battalion, and the benefits that come with it), though the medal of dishonor goes to Defiant Resistance for reasons already mentioned (that said, Defiant Defense isn't much better; for bonus points, it also comes on a class that's generally considered not worth it).

Edited by Shadow Mir

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2 hours ago, lenticular said:

Question for the class: Is Battalion Renewal literally the worst ability in the game, or just one of the worst? (Not including personal abilities. Some of those are doubtlessly worse. Hi, Linhardt! Hi, Raphael!)

It is pretty trash. I'd put it in the Bottom 5, with the likes of Defiant Resistance, Warding Blow, Seal Movement, and Model Leader.

2 hours ago, lenticular said:

I'm not sure how I feel about this, given that it seems like it would mostly be a nerf to magic classes and a buff to physical classes, but if you did go down that route then you could also work rallies into the same system. Take Rallies out of the existing ability system and turn them into their own thing. Everyone gets one rally slot to be able to equip one rally (with no opportunity cost in terms of other abilities), but someone in a dedicated rallier class would have more Rally slots. Would that work at all?

Perhaps? I've had pretty wild ideas about Rallies (limited uses per chapter, or turn them into items with single-target and AoE variants, or turn them into supportive Reason spells), that are probably enough to fill their own thread. Sigh, if only we had a thread to discuss rallies...

2 hours ago, lenticular said:

How about Ingrid? She has more uses of offensive white magic (12 Nosferatu and 8 Seraphim) than she has of black magic  (10 Blizzard, 4 Thoron, 3 Fimbulvetr) and has enough Strength and Speed to have a chance (depending on build, RNG and difficulty level) to still be able to double with Nosferatu despite its weight

Ingrid is conceivable - whether she'd rather get a boost to Seraphim or Thoron could vary from chapter-to-chapter. Same for Lysithea - much as she's known as a Dark Mage, she does get more offensive White magic than anyone else, including the lauded Seraphim. Finally, there's Marianne, who gets Aura, but would mostly be going Holy Knight for convenience's sake. Same for hypothetical horseback builds of Manuela or Anna.

Huh. Despite being a gender-neutral class, I can't find a single man who would even hypothetically prefer Holy Knight. Outside of a weird Dimitri meme build, that is.

1 hour ago, Shadow Mir said:

It's definitely one of the worst, I'd say (largely because it's rather counter-intuitive; the healing is only relevant if you're taking damage... but if you're taking damage, your battalion is taking damage too, and because it requires battalion endurance being 1/3 or less, you're soon to lose your battalion, and the benefits that come with it), though the medal of dishonor goes to Defiant Resistance for reasons already mentioned (that said, Defiant Defense isn't much better; for bonus points, it also comes on a class that's generally considered not worth it).

Defiant Defense isn't good, but it does have hypothetical utility on physical tanks (which are useful against more foes, and can be set up in more ways, than Resistance tanks). Not to mention, it synergizes with Balthus's personal skill.

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3 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Defiant Defense isn't good, but it does have hypothetical utility on physical tanks (which are useful against more foes, and can be set up in more ways, than Resistance tanks). Not to mention, it synergizes with Balthus's personal skill.

That's true, but it still has the problems that Defiant Res does, and what's more, the class it's tied to is really awkward to qualify for.

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For battalion renewal, wouldn’t someone try to use a devil weapon with vantage + wrath? Or is this too specific and too unreasonable to pull off? Because I can’t think of any other use otherwise.

Definitely will say that the other bad abilities are just that…bad. Seal Movement has barely a niche for Dimitri other than allowing him to level up riding faster. Which I did but never used Seal Movement. It’s awful. 

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3 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

That's true, but it still has the problems that Defiant Res does, and what's more, the class it's tied to is really awkward to qualify for.

Yea Defiant Res is among one of the worst. At least most useless. The only defiant abilities that is even worth considering is Defiant Crit, Avoid, Magic and Strength

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You know, I'm about to do something I never thought that I'd do: defend Defiant Res. Now, don't get me wrong, it's undoubtedly terrible, but I think it's more of a D- than an F. Which is to say that I can think of a conceivable use for it. Imagine that you are running a dodge tank build using Defiant Avoid. Further imagine that you have a sufficiently high Avoid that you are completely immune to all physical attacks. However, due to the different way that it calculates hit and avoid, there is a small but non-zero chance that magical attacks could hit you. Since you are at low HP for Defiant Avoid, this would then prove lethal. However, you might already have pretty decent res, possibly from being a Falcon Knight, so it might not be lethal by all that much. In this very specific circumstance, Defiant Res might potentially allow you to survive a hit that you otherwise wouldn't. And since you're already at low HP for Defiant Avoid, you're getting the extra res at no extra cost.

Obviously, this is extremely unlikely to ever actually come up and is definitely not worth going out of your way to master Holy Knight for, but it's still something.

4 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Huh. Despite being a gender-neutral class, I can't find a single man who would even hypothetically prefer Holy Knight. Outside of a weird Dimitri meme build, that is.

There's something of an argument to be made for male Byleth, thanks to White Magic Avoid +20. I'm not sure it's a strong argument, but it's at least defensible.

4 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Perhaps? I've had pretty wild ideas about Rallies (limited uses per chapter, or turn them into items with single-target and AoE variants, or turn them into supportive Reason spells), that are probably enough to fill their own thread. Sigh, if only we had a thread to discuss rallies...

I can't help but feel that this is some sort of karma for me starting off a thread by saying how I didn't want to go off-topic.

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2 hours ago, Barren said:

For battalion renewal, wouldn’t someone try to use a devil weapon with vantage + wrath? Or is this too specific and too unreasonable to pull off? Because I can’t think of any other use otherwise.

Definitely will say that the other bad abilities are just that…bad. Seal Movement has barely a niche for Dimitri other than allowing him to level up riding faster. Which I did but never used Seal Movement. It’s awful. 

I’m pretty sure that even devil weapon damage impacts battalion endurance as well, though it’s low enough that it’ll take a while to completely deplete it, even from a third health. 

Seal Movement does have a legitimate argument for worst ability in the game too.

1 hour ago, lenticular said:

You know, I'm about to do something I never thought that I'd do: defend Defiant Res. Now, don't get me wrong, it's undoubtedly terrible, but I think it's more of a D- than an F. Which is to say that I can think of a conceivable use for it. Imagine that you are running a dodge tank build using Defiant Avoid. Further imagine that you have a sufficiently high Avoid that you are completely immune to all physical attacks. However, due to the different way that it calculates hit and avoid, there is a small but non-zero chance that magical attacks could hit you. Since you are at low HP for Defiant Avoid, this would then prove lethal. However, you might already have pretty decent res, possibly from being a Falcon Knight, so it might not be lethal by all that much. In this very specific circumstance, Defiant Res might potentially allow you to survive a hit that you otherwise wouldn't. And since you're already at low HP for Defiant Avoid, you're getting the extra res at no extra cost.

Obviously, this is extremely unlikely to ever actually come up and is definitely not worth going out of your way to master Holy Knight for, but it's still something.

Defiant res is good for the 99 res master race, so hey at least it has a purpose in making funny big number go bigger.

Actually though, yeah, I think as bad as it is the niche case it does have is a bit better than the possible uses of something like battalion renewal. If you’re looking at a unit like Flayn (ignore the riding bane lol), her res is high enough that the boost from defiant res might actually help from time to time, or even reduce the damage she takes to 0. Maybe.

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4 hours ago, lenticular said:

There's something of an argument to be made for male Byleth, thanks to White Magic Avoid +20. I'm not sure it's a strong argument, but it's at least defensible.

Granted, it will be an easier reach for Teach than Dark Knight. Even though they'd both demand some serious Faculty Training. The faire on Nosferatu and eventually Aura is nice... ish.

4 hours ago, lenticular said:

I can't help but feel that this is some sort of karma for me starting off a thread by saying how I didn't want to go off-topic.

Such is the fate of all threads - they unravel. That said, many of the ideas I touched on go way further than the scope of this thread. Less so "how could they have made Rallies better in 3H?", moreso "what kind of Rally system would I want to see in future games?".

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I think people have already covered the main points, that Rallies are okay early but don't scale, with the sole exception of some sort of lategame Vantage / Retribution enemy phase build that needs Str / Dex / Lck.  I'll also add on the off-topic side that I agree that M-Byleth might be one of the very rare units worth considering Holy Knight for.

Anyway, my one addition is prescriptive rather than objective: I don't *want* Rallies to be good.  I think the game should make it so that the fun options are also the most effective options, and I don't think Rally stat-tinkering is all that fun.  I don't think building a "pure support" unit who nerfs their own combat to fill up their skill slots with Rally skills, and whose job is just to press the Rally button, is all that fun either compared to a full team of combat-capable units.  I think that Annette / Hanneman / Alois have the right idea: it doesn't really cost a skill slot, but they have something mildly helpful they can do if they have a spare turn.  That's it.  I'd probably consider *removing* Rally skills from other characters, although this would require some new incentive to level Authority for certain characters like Ignatz of course.  Anyway, you don't always need every gameplay feature to be super-crucially powerful.  Shove is only rarely useful in FE9, but that's fine.  Some wacky variant of FE9 where Shoving is somehow buffed to be super powerful and a key strategy doesn't actually sound that fun: it's distracting from the core game.  I think Rallies are similar.

If I really had to change how Rally skills work, I'd have made them work something like "after combat with an opponent, provide (Rally buff) to nearest ally."  This encourages your support units to get down & dirty in combat.  You can especially see this in multiplayer games that want to ensure every player feels useful: in League of Legends, they made changes over the years to ensure characters like Sona & Soraka have a reason to frontline and fight rather than cower in the back providing heals & buffs.  When one player controls everybody, it's not as bad of course, but...  make the bards get in the fight!

Edited by SnowFire

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On 10/6/2021 at 11:12 PM, SnowFire said:

Anyway, my one addition is prescriptive rather than objective: I don't *want* Rallies to be good.  I think the game should make it so that the fun options are also the most effective options, and I don't think Rally stat-tinkering is all that fun.  I don't think building a "pure support" unit who nerfs their own combat to fill up their skill slots with Rally skills, and whose job is just to press the Rally button, is all that fun either compared to a full team of combat-capable units.  I think that Annette / Hanneman / Alois have the right idea: it doesn't really cost a skill slot, but they have something mildly helpful they can do if they have a spare turn.

Honestly I agree with this. The risk with really good rallies, especially with enemy phase combat, is things start to centre very strongly in a small number of powerhouses and then other units are all about enabling them. One of the reasons I don't care for LTC style gameplay is it also tends that way.

On 10/6/2021 at 11:27 AM, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Ingrid is conceivable - whether she'd rather get a boost to Seraphim or Thoron could vary from chapter-to-chapter. Same for Lysithea - much as she's known as a Dark Mage, she does get more offensive White magic than anyone else, including the lauded Seraphim. Finally, there's Marianne, who gets Aura, but would mostly be going Holy Knight for convenience's sake. Same for hypothetical horseback builds of Manuela or Anna.

Ingrid's possible; I think I'd favour boosting Thoron more on average but there's a case to be made. Lysithea's a tough case to make; Seraphim is cool but less for raw damage than for the shield-breaking it provides. Her list of reason spells is extremely useful and worth boosting.

Marianne clearly prefers boosting Thoron and Cutting Gale to her faith attack spells, though yeah there's a convenience case if you decide to raise her faith to reach silence but don't bother to raise her reason much. (That said my original point, though not perfectly-expressed, I now realize, is that Mortal Savant has a niche over Dark Knight even if you satisfy the requirements for both, whereas Holy Knight has less of one.)

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