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What is your Ideal Transformation Mechanic?

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Beast units were introduced in the Tellius series. Using a gauge that was either frustrating or impractical, and the laguz units were crippled in order to 'balance' their doubled power. That was already restrained by the limited gauge. With the only good laguz being the herons, and the humorously overpowered royals.

The mechanic took a vacation before returning in Awakening as discount manaketes. With beast units, that being Panne and Yarne, using beast stones. Fates continued this and it seems beast units are back to being lost on an abandoned island.

So assuming you were put in charge of beast unit implementation in the next FE. What would you do with them? Keep them as manaketes furry edition, or return to the gauge mechanic of Tellius?

As for me. I think I would personally return to the gauge system with some much needed tweaks. Though if dragon units return they would keep the age old manakete system of dragonstones as a weapon unique to them.

The suggested tweaks are

Every single beast unit's gauge is a flat 30. And it only goes down from ending turns. Each unit loses a differing amount, generally allowing transformation to last 5-7 turns sequentially. Units recharge the gauge untransformed by both start and end of the turn. And units could generally recharge fully in 3 turns. 4 if they're slow. And 1 if they're the main character (Assuming a beast lord is being allowed. Presumably not.)

Personally I really like the fisticuffs/kickboxing that the Laguz did in Radiant Dawn. And since 3H introduced brawling. I think its pretty reasonable that untransformed would be inclined for it.

Pre 3H weapon system i think its fair to give the beast units something of a monopoly on it, with maybe only 1-2 brawler/grappler human units. 3H style. I think just give the beast units banes in all other weapon types, and a complete inability to use magic.
And I do mean complete inability. Like even if you hacked their reason/faith levels up. Their spelllist is completely empty.

As for transformation bonuses. While doubled stats was a fun gimmick for the royals. For everyone else it meant their growths were completely crippled.

Instead of generally excellent statboosts to everything, like with dragonstones and manaketes.

I'd envision transformations having a strong boost to one stat (Like +4 strength. Or +50 Dexterity.)
{Note if something like Sol is around that's Dex%. A +50 dexterity buff is a bit insane. But in a vacuum its basically hit +50. So good but not OP.)
And a smaller boost to another auxillary stat. (Like +3 speed. Or maybe +3 defense.)
with other stats remaining the same pre-transform.

Now instead of a strike rank that takes a bazillion years to make a bad weapon slightly less atrocious. (Especially since forges are going to be a thing like 100% of the time.)
Every beast unit has a unique weapon to them. (Well player ones anyway. Getting the 'class' weapon+ their own adjustments.)
Generally they'll be strong. Between steel and silver. Shaky hit of around 70-80~ and completely weightless.

As for promotion. If were going pre 3H. I would like to make a nod to Beastones by making them the promotion item. Making your beast units bigger, stronger, fluffier (which does mean more defense after all. That hide is triple c thiccck) As well as improving the weapon, resetting level, yadda yadda. New skills the whole promotion package.

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I don't much like the normal dragonstone mechanic, since at that point they function a little too similar to regular old units.

Of course, the gauge mechanic sucks too. A big part of the problem is that you can't tell how many enemies are going to attack a unit without detailed knowledge of the AI, so even if you were willing to do the math you probably wouldn't be able to.

I hear FE3 did something different than all the other games and I'd be interested to look more into that.

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2 minutes ago, AnonymousSpeed said:

I don't much like the normal dragonstone mechanic, since at that point they function a little too similar to regular old units.

Of course, the gauge mechanic sucks too. A big part of the problem is that you can't tell how many enemies are going to attack a unit without detailed knowledge of the AI, so even if you were willing to do the math you probably wouldn't be able to.

I hear FE3 did something different than all the other games and I'd be interested to look more into that.

If I recall correctly. (Though I haven't actually played FE3, just read about it.)

Manaketes still used stones. But the stones were consumables, not weapons. Use a stone, and your transformed into that dragon and can attack with that dragon's breath attack.

I really like it from the sounds of it on a gameplay perspective. But not really a lore one. Like. It seems to imply that the dragons don't come from different tribes. Rather each stone ascribes an element to them.
Which seems odd. Isn't Medeus's entire plot is that he's the king/prince of the Earth Dragons? As in, they are a specific group and not "Every single dragon ever that comes into possession of an Earth Stone. Including Medeus's nemesis but also excluding Medeus when he makes a senile mistake."

Just seems peculiar.

But yeah the dragonstone being a consumable that transforms, rather than a weapon. Is preferable to me but it seems IS has no intention of ever doing it again. So that sucks.

Also yeah the Laguz gauge does drain from attacking, but I did specify in mine that its only through ending turns.

The idea is that once transformed the beast units have 4-5 or so turns where they are buffed and pretty strong to cause as much havoc as possible. But after that they are left primarily as brawlers that work best picking off weakened units without eating a counter attack. (Due to gauntlet brave.)
 

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Bantu could only use the Fire Stone. Tiki was the only one who could use all the others.
Considering divine dragons are those uber dragons, it's not too far fetched.

Plus, Earth Stones are not available to the player anyway. No reason to assume Tiki could actually use it.

Edited by BrightBow

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11 minutes ago, BrightBow said:

Bantu could only use the Fire Stone. Tiki was the only one who could use all the others.
Considering divine dragons are those uber dragons, it's not too far fetched.

Plus, Earth Stones are not available to the player anyway. No reason to assume Tiki could actually use it.

Ah. Wasn't aware of that in the slightest. Again, read didn't play.

(Perhaps after I've thought about it some more. I should do another topic about what would be ideal manakete transformations. Cuz yeah the current implementation can be. Kinda lame to be honest.)

Regardless thanks for clarifying.

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Hmm, for me, i'd make ''conditions'' to transform, and have them have hold some kinda weapon/ultility before Transformation, so they aren'T useless while untransformed.

For example, a Unit x can only transform if no Allies are nearby. Could fit in with a backstory of discrimination of that unit in their past.

Another Unit can only transform while High or low HP, another only on certain Terrain, every other turn, etc.

Could create for some fun to use and interesting units.

Edited by Shrimpresident

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1 minute ago, Shrimpresident said:

Hmm, for me, i'd make ''conditions'' to transform, and have them have hold some kinda weapon/ultility before Transformation, so they aren'T useless while untransformed.

For example, a Unit x can only transform if no Allies are nearby. Could fit in with a backstory of discrimination of that unit in their past.

Another Unit can only transform while High or low HP, another only on certain Terrain, every other turn, etc.

Could create for some fun to use and interesting units.

Ooooh I like this!

I do think it might be a bit impractical depending on map designs. But as a basic guideline. I think conditional transformation, rather than a universal gauge or needing to use items. Can be a fun way to distinguish different beast units from each other.

It probably be a bit awkward to design maps around allowing these transformations. But as a whole I think it be a perfectly fine way to do it.

And yeah beast units shouldn't be defenseless while out of their transform power. They shouldn't be OP but they should be useful.

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Interesting topic. Before answering this question, I want to go over what I think are some of the common criticisms of the transformation gauge:

In PoR:
-You have next to no control over the gauge.

In RD:
-Always being untransformed on turn 1 is annoying.
-Characters die too quickly if attacked while untransformed.

On the other hand, unlike the thread creator I really like the idea of untransforming faster with more combat. It discourages overrelying on one combat unit which is a very good thing in my books.

I'd do something like the following, I think. All numbers are for illustration and can be adjusted somewhat to taste, or even for individual characters/classes if desired.

-Everyone starts at, say, 50% gauge. You can play with this number in individual battles for flavour if you'd like, but it's a baseline. The key is that this number is less than 100% but is higher than the number in the next point, so you can transform on turn 1 but there's some incentive not to.
-Transforming does not consume a turn and immediately burns 25% gauge. It can only be done if their current gauge is above this number. Untransforming does not consume a turn either.
-Untransformed characters gain a large amount of gauge (possibly class-dependent, but 25-50% in general) at the start of a turn. Transformed characters lose a small amount of gauge (~10%) at the start of a turn.
-Transformed characters lose a small amount of gauge per combat (5-10%), after the combat.
-If a character reaches 0% gauge they untransform. If this would occur due to the start-of-turn penalty then they untransform before the start-of-turn effect kicks in.
-Transformed characters gain stat boosts and other effects, but nothing as dramatic as the doubled stats of RD (which is why untransformed characters were so frail in that game). The biggest boost should generally be to attack, but could also include things like 1-2 range, critical hit boost, movement, etc.
-Untransformed characters can still attack, they're just not very good at it due to poor (but not hopeless) stats.

The idea is that the transformation gauge becomes a very controllable resource which the player can use, choosing to have units transform when they will be most effective.

1 hour ago, AnonymousSpeed said:

Of course, the gauge mechanic sucks too. A big part of the problem is that you can't tell how many enemies are going to attack a unit without detailed knowledge of the AI, so even if you were willing to do the math you probably wouldn't be able to.

That's a fair criticism, but I think we can operate under the assumption that the aggro lines from 3H are here to stay, which helps make this less of an issue.

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I don't dislike the gauge idea in theory, but if all you do is make the gauges more manageable, you still have the issue of most of these units just not having enough advantages over weapon users. Most non-royal Laguz don't have more than 1 range, their weapons are all just basic damage with no crit, their stats aren't even anything special, and there's no beast weapon triangle so they all end up feeling kind of samey. If they're going to be kept that simple, then their gauges need to much easier to manage, something like: turn 1 full gauge transformed, -1 per battle, -2 per turn, +15 per turn untransformed, for all. This way it's reasonable to keep them transformed for an entire map if you use Olivi Grass every third turn or so, varying depending on how much combat they see, and they'll get back into the action quickly if they do untransform.

If you want a more dynamic gauge, you need more to go with the system. For starters, give each class unique attributes. Maybe Cats get bonus crit (a lot, like +30). Maybe Tigers get a Pavise-like ability. I don't have any more ideas at the moment. Yeah.

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24 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Interesting topic. Before answering this question, I want to go over what I think are some of the common criticisms of the transformation gauge:

In PoR:
-You have next to no control over the gauge.

In RD:
-Always being untransformed on turn 1 is annoying.
-Characters die too quickly if attacked while untransformed.

On the other hand, unlike the thread creator I really like the idea of untransforming faster with more combat. It discourages overrelying on one combat unit which is a very good thing in my books.

The idea is that the transformation gauge becomes a very controllable resource which the player can use, choosing to have units transform when they will be most effective.

 

(Won't go into the number stuff since that's not really my specialty.)
But you put the reason for PoR and RD being bad/obnoxious in a very clean and concise manner that I couldn't. So thanks because yeah, those are my big gripes too.

(As well as combat bleeding gauge.)

You do make a good point about how it can potentially be a good mechanic. And anything that can limit unlimited juggernauting is generally a good change. I would like to try to respectfully defend my position on the matter and explain why I chose a turn-based gauge.

1. Losing transformation from combat often means that every single beast Unit can "Suffer from Success"
This is most true with the extreme disparity Laguz have, but even with a more subdued system.  If you lose transform just by seeing combat. Than yes. You can't juggernaut. But you also pretty much can't front line ever. And if you are a unit that's supposed to be at the front. (To use a Laguz example. I'm thinking Mordecai.) Your basically handicapped because just 1 attack too many means your at the front. Exposed to attacks, with likely dropped defenses/speed.
Suffering from success is frustrating enough when it comes from skills/criticals. So making that every single beast unit needs to have it accounted for 24/7 can easily make them an unnecessary mental tax. Rather than a potential tool. Non-beast units can bring an extra iron sword so they don't break their current one and use a killing edge (and thus suffer from succces due to crits.) You can't bring an additional gauge.
There are other ways to make them unable to juggernaut. Primarily actual weaknesses as units. For example. I think giving every beast unit atrocious resistance. I'm taking permanently in single digits. Can make sure that even one mage can dent them. Two is easily lethal. (Beast killing weapons are also another excellent example of this.)

2. A turn based gauge that only increases/decreases by turns is not only incredibly easy to track. But also gives transform units very clear and apparent moments of power. With their use of gauntlets, low might brave weapons (attack only) untransformed giving them a niche to safely pick off weakened enemy units.
Think about calculating how much gauge is lost not just per turn, but per enemy encounter for a single beast unit.
But lets say you want to use two, or maybe even three. (Perhaps a map is super flier friendly so you want to bring two ravens/hawks+pegasi and wyverns.)
Speaking from my Tellius experience, handling one laguz isn't the worst ever. A bit troublesome but hardly taxing. Having to handle 2-3 in addition to every other calculation you must make seems overkill. Especially in a stressful scenario like a blind FoW map or an ironman run.

In a simpler turn only basis. This is simplified by basic turn count.

As for the strategic balancing to be done around it. 3H is a good example of a game that generally has enemies come to you in an orderly wave-like fashion. If you don't use warp/stride to skip you will generally encounter a separate wave every three or so turns.

If a beast unit is transformed for five turns, and there are say, enough enemies to make for around 20 turns of clearing. (EP might speed things up. But you still need to reach secondary objectives or trigger reinforcements/etc.)

That means your only transformed for 1/2 of the map assuming no turtling. I think that's enough time to make conscious decisions of how to use a beast unit effectively without having to micro-manage their gauge so they don't run out mid-way into EP and die for it.

And if they have SOME niche outside of transformation They aren't useless for half of it. Just merely not as good.

I really hope I don't come off as a disrespectful contrarian. I still like your suggestions. I just disagree on one particular point. I think juggernauting can be discouraged or prevented without making every beast unit you decide to bring another calculation you have to make every turn. (And it should be discouraged and prevented where possible. FE is about commanding an army! Not sending one guy to beat everyone like he's Neo in the matrix.)

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18 minutes ago, Florete said:

I don't dislike the gauge idea in theory, but if all you do is make the gauges more manageable, you still have the issue of most of these units just not having enough advantages over weapon users. Most non-royal Laguz don't have more than 1 range, their weapons are all just basic damage with no crit, their stats aren't even anything special, and there's no beast weapon triangle so they all end up feeling kind of samey. If they're going to be kept that simple, then their gauges need to much easier to manage, something like: turn 1 full gauge transformed, -1 per battle, -2 per turn, +15 per turn untransformed, for all. This way it's reasonable to keep them transformed for an entire map if you use Olivi Grass every third turn or so, varying depending on how much combat they see, and they'll get back into the action quickly if they do untransform.

If you want a more dynamic gauge, you need more to go with the system. For starters, give each class unique attributes. Maybe Cats get bonus crit (a lot, like +30). Maybe Tigers get a Pavise-like ability. I don't have any more ideas at the moment. Yeah.

Yeah there is a lot of problems with the Laguz in Tellius besides what Holy mentioned earlier (Though I think he gave the biggest.)

I didn't really think about including a menangerie of different beast units when I opened this topic. But I would actually like if it was returned. Admittedly beast units do need actual advantages over humans. Or at least not have so many disadvantages.

The idea(s) I had for that is giving them something of a monopoly on gauntlets. (or if 3H is the rule) making them the most suited for dedicated brawling. Gauntlets are pretty balanced in my opinion. Besides Killer gauntlets being too easy to reach 60+crit with. And even if beast units aren't ORKOing with gauntlets. (And they shouldn't) it gives them a niche to pick off weakened units safely. Until they decide to transform and can start properly one rounding with increased stats.

Speaking of increased stats. The doubling of stats seems OP until you realize that, yeah. They did cripple every Laguz's bases and growths.

Personally ideas for stat boosts I had (and going into line with my idea of a "centralized boost and an auxiliary boost) The two concrete examples I've thought up is.

At the extreme end with a Beast Lord (who should be strong and above average.) I thought of a Jaguar transformation that gave a very meaty boost of +5 to STR and SPD. Which is pretty crazy, but its also a lord.

While on average the idea I had for snake beast was a comparatively modest +4 speed. +5 luck. Which, assuming on a unit that's already decently fast. Should ensure doubling threshold, and give an extra bit of avoid too.

But also. I already said that strike weapons should be pretty good (Between steel/silver MT. above 70  hit. Weightless so you never get a speed penalty.)

Though giving each weapon different effects does give me ideas. Like big cats are pretty infamous for going for the neck. So give the jaguar strike weapon crit chance. (Maybe not +30. But Laguz cats would need like +80 lol.)
And the snake weapon could debuff on hit. Poison sucks, but having a snake beast have a mini-Draconic hex (-2 to every stat) on hit seems useful. Stuff like that I really should've thought up and talked about in the OP to be honest!

Edit 1:  Its a bit off topic but I felt compelled to edit in my opinion on Lords being good.
In my opinion, unless the story is served by the Lord primarily being a weak supportive leader. They should be your best unit as they are the focus of the story. It enhances gameplay and story integration if they are easily core to any strategy a player makes.
That doesn't mean I "hate" Lords that can't fight. I personally believe IS should create at least one game with a dedicated support lord. Its just that 9/10s. I believe the gameplay is improved by having a very strong lord. Its an opinion but I wanted to clarify why I decided to make the Jaguar Lord's bonuses so high.

Edited by DoomRPG

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3 hours ago, DoomRPG said:

I really like it from the sounds of it on a gameplay perspective. But not really a lore one. Like. It seems to imply that the dragons don't come from different tribes. Rather each stone ascribes an element to them.

Fair, however- gameplay is more important than lore. Besides, you can always have a new setting with new lore where that would make sense.

I'd actually be alright with use-based dragonstones provided they have significantly different stat buffs. One gives +10 speed and another +10 defense, for instance.

1 hour ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

That's a fair criticism, but I think we can operate under the assumption that the aggro lines from 3H are here to stay, which helps make this less of an issue.

Perhaps, but as @Saint Rubenio et all have described, the aggro lines are not entirely reliable, especially when a character's condition changes in the middle of the turn (such as from untransforming).

On that note, I think it would make beast units more intuitive to use if they didn't untransform until the start of the next player phase. So perhaps instead of having the gauge decrease per battle, make it an all or nothing thing. You fill up, click transform, and then you can take however many enemies you need to. Since laguz are useless for large chunks of time, they need to put in a lot of work when they're transformed, and most of the work in Fire Emblem is done on enemy phase. So if they're going to be useful, they need to put in a lot of enemy phase work.

I'd even be alright with letting beasts transform, move, and then untransform, losing a little bit of gauge for more maneuverability.

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Instead of empty gauge start Laguz with full gauge and move the transformation time to start of the action (i.e. before moving).

Also use the unit's transformed state for the stat baseline and apply an untransformed penalty, it makes the stat maths easier to work out. Also enables milder penalties like say, only having three-quarters or two-thirds of your full stats while untransformed.

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3 hours ago, DoomRPG said:


You do make a good point about how it can potentially be a good mechanic. And anything that can limit unlimited juggernauting is generally a good change. I would like to try to respectfully defend my position on the matter and explain why I chose a turn-based gauge.

1. Losing transformation from combat often means that every single beast Unit can "Suffer from Success"
This is most true with the extreme disparity Laguz have, but even with a more subdued system.  If you lose transform just by seeing combat. Than yes. You can't juggernaut. But you also pretty much can't front line ever. And if you are a unit that's supposed to be at the front. (To use a Laguz example. I'm thinking Mordecai.) Your basically handicapped because just 1 attack too many means your at the front. Exposed to attacks, with likely dropped defenses/speed.
Suffering from success is frustrating enough when it comes from skills/criticals. So making that every single beast unit needs to have it accounted for 24/7 can easily make them an unnecessary mental tax. Rather than a potential tool. Non-beast units can bring an extra iron sword so they don't break their current one and use a killing edge (and thus suffer from succces due to crits.) You can't bring an additional gauge.
There are other ways to make them unable to juggernaut. Primarily actual weaknesses as units. For example. I think giving every beast unit atrocious resistance. I'm taking permanently in single digits. Can make sure that even one mage can dent them. Two is easily lethal. (Beast killing weapons are also another excellent example of this.)

2. A turn based gauge that only increases/decreases by turns is not only incredibly easy to track. [...]

I really hope I don't come off as a disrespectful contrarian. I still like your suggestions. I just disagree on one particular point. I think juggernauting can be discouraged or prevented without making every beast unit you decide to bring another calculation you have to make every turn. (And it should be discouraged and prevented where possible. FE is about commanding an army! Not sending one guy to beat everyone like he's Neo in the matrix.)

First off, no, you definitely don't come off as disrespectful!

For point (1), well, RD laguz absolutely can frontline well. My usual strategy for 3-6 involves Volug out in front using Olivi Grass most turns because he frontlines better than anyone else on the team by a lot (50+ HP, competent defences, isn't doubled, high spd+luck, earth supports...). Now, granted, it's a fair point that perhaps that without Olivi Grass this would be much less practical. But in general as long as the game is very open about the costs of combat on the gauge (preferably more open than PoR/RD were), I don't find it unreasonable that the player might be asked to anticipate how many enemies their transformed character is in range of and plan accordingly; after all, it's something we already do to decide if one our units is going to die, and is mathematically simpler because we don't even need to check enemy attack stats.

I do agree that having the gauge be entirely based on turns makes it easier to track, but, well, I like a little complexity. Especially if the idea is that a beast unit is unusually hard to kill, asking the player to track their gauge changes is a fair tradeoff for needing to pay less attention to their HP.

2 hours ago, AnonymousSpeed said:

Perhaps, but as @Saint Rubenio et all have described, the aggro lines are not entirely reliable, especially when a character's condition changes in the middle of the turn (such as from untransforming).

Yep, true; they're really more useful in determining if a character will be attacked at all, not how many times. That said you can still plan for the worst-case scenario of assuming every enemy who can attack this character will do so.

Edited by Dark Holy Elf

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2 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

First off, no, you definitely come off as disrespectful!

Oh.

My bad >.<

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree as for the exact specification of the gauge mechanics. Personally I'd prefer a largely static gauge and powerful but mortal transformation. Rather than being extra bulky but having to calculate an "off" switch for every single beast unit on every single turn they're expected to see combat.

Personally I prefer complexity to arrive from things like weapons, skills, and interaction and synergies between classes. Rather than fundamental aspects of the game. Perhaps humorously. it seems we desire complexity to be included, just in different sources.

 

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16 minutes ago, DoomRPG said:

Oh.

My bad >.<

 

oh my god

I meant to write "you definitely don't come off as disrespectful" (I've since edited it in). I'm very sorry!

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2 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

oh my god

I meant to write "you definitely don't come off as disrespectful" (I've since edited it in). I'm very sorry!

xD

False alarm then. It happens. At least its cleared up now.

To keep a bit more on topic and discus something else. I mentioned the idea of using Beaststones as a promotion item and really in general. The concept of promoting beast units in general. I think only Fates actually does this, and I'm curious what other people thing about it.

I'm envisioning that the big 3 things with promotion is 1. A bigger gauge, or a gauge that drains slower. (Depends on the exact mechanics we'd use.) 2. Upgraded weapon. 3. Improved transformation buffs. At the cost of worst promotion buffs. (Generally I'm thinking around +5~ stats from transformation buff. But -3~ or so stats from just raw promotion.)

And I guess as more of a bonus thing. Maybe give beast units proper class names. Its absolutely a petty pet peeve of mine, but I hated how in Tellius/Awakening the class was just the race name.

It felt. incomplete. To me anyways.

Some suggestions I had was

Cats being
Forest Stalker/ For.Stalker -> Hidden Hunter.

Tiger
Mauler -> Feared Beast

(and for the Jaguar lord I mentioned.)

Beast Lord -> Queen of the Jungle.

Hawks
Seneschal of Sky > Judicature of Clouds
(While historically this basically means "Home steward of the Sky" I'm using the definition of an officer of the home that was responsible for dispensing justice.)

Ravens
Craven of Sky > Sole Murder of Clouds.
(Craven means cowardly. So Coward of Sky.)
(Sole as in, alone, Murder, as in a flock of crows. So Single flock of crows of Sky.)
(Its intentionally contrarian. As if its a deception on its own.)
(Perhaps its not as clever as I think it is...)

{dunno about others. Any ideas?}

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3 hours ago, AnonymousSpeed said:

I'd actually be alright with use-based dragonstones provided they have significantly different stat buffs. One gives +10 speed and another +10 defense, for instance.

I was certainly on board with Fates adding the "Beastrune" as a defensive option.

3 hours ago, AnonymousSpeed said:

On that note, I think it would make beast units more intuitive to use if they didn't untransform until the start of the next player phase. So perhaps instead of having the gauge decrease per battle, make it an all or nothing thing. You fill up, click transform, and then you can take however many enemies you need to.

Ooh, I like this. Gonna steal it.

Here's what I'm thinking: the Gauge runs from -10 to +10. Each Beast unit starts the map at 0, in their human form. They gain 4 points every turn-start while untransformed. They can freely shift into their Beast form on player phase with a positive (at least +1) gauge value. In Beast form, they lose 1 point for every combat scenario, and 2 points when the turn starts. If their gauge is negative (-1 or less) after this, then they're forced to revert. So, say a Lion with 2 gauge faces 6 attackers. They lose 1 point per combat, then 2 when the next turn starts, dropping them down to -6. Thus, they revert right after the next turn starts.

While untransformed, they can fight with their hands or feet (depending on species). These have 0 Might, but as their Brawl rank increases (E through S), they start to gain more Hit and Crit. They can initiate combat while untransformed, but their attack won't have a "brave effect". If attacked at range (unable to counter), they gain 2 gauge points.

While transformed, they receive a 50% boost (rounded down) to Strength, Skill, Speed, Defense, and Resistance. They can also use their "Beast weapon", such as a Fang or Talon. This one increases in Might as Strike rank goes up (E through S). Increasing Strike rank does one more thing - it gives the unit access to "Savage Arts". Basically, think Combat Arts, but at the cost of gauge points. These vary with race - at B-rank Strike, for instance, a Cat gains a "Throat Strike" attack - for 2 gauge points, it grants +20 Hit and inflicts Silence upon the target. Meanwhile, a Raven with B-rank Strike learns "Fierce Flight", striking at 1-3 range with +30 Crit, for 3 gauge points. These can be defensive, too - a Bear with D-rank Strike can use "Hibernate", restoring all HP, for 2 gauge points.

Basically, I want beastformers to be interesting to use, in a series that's largely limited them to one or two attacking options. I think Savage Arts are a way to do that.

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8 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

While transformed, they receive a 50% boost (rounded down) to Strength, Skill, Speed, Defense, and Resistance. They can also use their "Beast weapon", such as a Fang or Talon. This one increases in Might as Strike rank goes up (E through S). Increasing Strike rank does one more thing - it gives the unit access to "Savage Arts". Basically, think Combat Arts, but at the cost of gauge points. These vary with race - at B-rank Strike, for instance, a Cat gains a "Throat Strike" attack - for 2 gauge points, it grants +20 Hit and inflicts Silence upon the target. Meanwhile, a Raven with B-rank Strike learns "Fierce Flight", striking at 1-3 range with +30 Crit, for 3 gauge points. These can be defensive, too - a Bear with D-rank Strike can use "Hibernate", restoring all HP, for 2 gauge points.

Basically, I want beastformers to be interesting to use, in a series that's largely limited them to one or two attacking options. I think Savage Arts are a way to do that.


I am ashamed of myself for not thinking up Savage arts as an equivelent to combat arts independently.

To make it worst I did think up of a separate mechanic for battalions/gambits. Which I named gadgets.

Basically stronger gambits that didn't come with battalion stat boosts. And gadgets were restricted by beast units.

One last mechanic is that gadgets were elemental. And came in two categories. Prep and burst.

A fire-prep elemental would basically be a gadget/gambit that douses enemies in fuel. Causing them to suffer fire effectiveness when attacked by a fire spell. (One time thing.)

A lighting-prep elemental would be water basically. So on and so forth

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For me, the big problem with (non-royal, non-heron) laguz in the Tellius games is that the transformation mechanic feels like pure disadvantage, without any associated advantage. The idea seems to have been that they're amazing units half the time but basically useless the other half of the time. Which seems like a reasonable idea, except that I mostly find that it's relatively simple to have beorc units who are amazing units all of the time. Let's say I'm looking at a basic player-phase attacker. The most important metric is whether or not I one-round the enemy, and many beorc do so. At that point, it doesn't matter to me if my transformed laguz is stronger and faster; that's just overkill. The beorc unit is better because they can attack every turn while the laguz can't.

Admitedly, this is slightly less of a problem in Radiant Dawn than in Path of Radiance, due to the weird availability issues and army swapping of the former. When you just have to work with whatever you're given for a specific map, sometimes you might not have enough well-trained beorc... but mostly you do. And a well-trained beorc is just better than a well-trained laguz.

(As a little bit of an aside, I also hate the story and lore implications of this. Whenever a laguz talks about how they don't need weapons, it makes them come across as an idiot. "Sure, we're completely defenceless for half the battle and any competent beorc can just mow us down at that point, but that's just peachy! We like it that way. What would we want weapons for?")

No matter how you change the exact mechanics of the transform gauge, being useful only some of the time is always going to be worse than being useful all of the time. One possible solution would have been to nerf beorc units, but that doesn't sound like fun to me. I want for all of my units to feel strong and satisfying to use, not just my transforming ones.

The there's the Awakening and Fates approach, which is just to get rid of transformation as a mechanic entirely. Panne or Kaden work basically the same as any other unit. This removes the price of transformation but has a lot of problems of its own. It's boring, it means the beast units don't feel special, beaststones have no story justification, the small number of different weapon options means they're less flexible than non-transforming units. They exist and they're fine, but they're not exciting.

My idea for a solution to all this would be to make it so that transformation is not so much a boost in power, but a lateral shift that changes the type of unit. That is, I want the unit to be able to fully and meaningfully contribute both while transformed and while untransformed, but to do something different in each state. Effectively, they have two different classes.

For example, imagine a raven laguz who is a wind mage when untransformed. Or a bulky and tanky tiger who is a fast attacker (eg with TH style gauntlets) while untransformed. Or a cat/thief. Or a wolf/archer. And so on and so forth.

The idea here is that they should still be good units in both forms, but very different. The advantage here is that you're effectively filling two combat roles for the cost of one deployment slot. The disadvantage is that they don't fill either role as reliably as a non-transforming unit and that you have to be careful to shift them between roles and not get caught out of position.

This could also be good for unit diversity, since units of the same transformed class could have a different untransformed class. So, you might have both a raven/wind mage and a raven/swordsmaster. And while they'd be very similar while in raven form, they'd be very different overall.

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4 minutes ago, lenticular said:

For example, imagine a raven laguz who is a wind mage when untransformed. Or a bulky and tanky tiger who is a fast attacker (eg with TH style gauntlets) while untransformed. Or a cat/thief. Or a wolf/archer. And so on and so forth.

The idea here is that they should still be good units in both forms, but very different. The advantage here is that you're effectively filling two combat roles for the cost of one deployment slot. The disadvantage is that they don't fill either role as reliably as a non-transforming unit and that you have to be careful to shift them between roles and not get caught out of position.

This could also be good for unit diversity, since units of the same transformed class could have a different untransformed class. So, you might have both a raven/wind mage and a raven/swordsmaster. And while they'd be very similar while in raven form, they'd be very different overall.

I really like this idea personally! Its something of an exaggeration of my suggestion of making the untransformed serve as the brawlers with gauntlets. Admittedly its way more uniform then this would be. But it was an easy way to give them a niche when being untransformed means loss of strength.

Yeah they still won't ORKO with the low mt, and their EP will still be awful. But with the brave effect on attack. You can have them clean up surviving enemy units without getting countered in between them being ACTUALLY stronger than your average non-beast.

That's generally another issue with the laguz. Often a beorc was just as strong as a transformed Laguz. Sure the laguz might technically have higher stats. But their strike weapons are consistently terrible. They also could never get 1-2 range and so on and so forth. (There is also the fact that since Laguz growths were horrid. Often Beorc had higher stats anyway!)
 

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Fates had the best implementation as far as I´m concerned, suffering essentially only from lacking weapon diversity. Yeah it´s nice to have a stone for attack and defence, but we could just have had stones for attack, defence and then dodging, skill activation, 1-2 range where reasonable and whatever else I can´t currently imagine (regeneration?). All the better if they had a base version of said stone and an advanced version of it - though I´ll say the stat debuffs I´d preferably see gone on the beast weapons.

 

Random Rambling: 

Yes to dragons dealing magic damage. Why bother smashing the tin can when you can just roast it. Also, higher range for breath attack than 1-2.

Promotion for beast units is ok too, but like, what’s the evolution of a werewolf - Large Werewolf? Bigger Dawg? Ludwig the Accursed? 

Having your Transformers utility depend on some gauge sounds a lot like Fates guard gauge, except worse in every aspect. Screw using items - you might need them later.

Alternatively, a wolf that howls, encouragingly, to emulate rallies - specifically Rally Spectrum. 

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4 minutes ago, Imuabicus said:

but we could just have had stones for attack, defence and then dodging, skill activation, 1-2 range where reasonable and whatever else I can´t currently imagine (regeneration?). All the better if they had a base version of said stone and an advanced version of it - though I´ll say the stat debuffs I´d preferably see gone on the beast weapons.

that could work just right if you could access a menu the moment you get attacked like in Super robot wars series. which let you choose whether to defend, dodging, or specific counter attack . but we're stuck with whatever last used item until next move. having more option doesnt always translate into better implementation automatically in FE

9 minutes ago, Imuabicus said:

Ludwig the Accursed?

i know that reference 😮

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Radiant Dawn, but the gauge starts at 100%. Done. Never made any sense that Laguz would start a battle "exhausted". No need to make things more complicated. Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Getting rid of Cat Gauge would be good too - I don't hate that Laguz have to spend some of their player phase actions grassing up if they want to stay transformed through multiple rounds of combat for an extended period of time, but it's a bit silly that three fights on enemy phase cost more gauge than a charge of Olivi Grass restores. Honestly, I think I would even say say that -4/turn and -2/battle (which is between Lion and Tiger/Wolf/...) would be a good spot for the worst gauge.

Oh, and faster weapon rank progression would be appreciated. I like the "alternative leveling-up" for Volug, but it's really annoying for all the other Laguz since they aren't around as much.

Edited by pong

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Of the various incarnations FE has had, they got best with FE3. Bantu might be limited (though not worthless), but Tiki was excellently balanced. Unique, without being broken. Huge 1-hit damage, with 1-2 range and tankiness, but never quite enough to OHKO anything that isn't very frail, and a complete incapacity to double. The different dragon forms offered some variety, not perfectly so, but it was beneficial. Transformation honestly lasted too long and the stones ended up with too many uses to actually use them all up.

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