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Should IS Try Again at a Manakete Lord?

Should a future FE game have a lord who is at least part-dragon and can shapeshift?  

22 members have voted

  1. 1. Should a future FE game have a lord who is at least part-dragon and can shapeshift?

    • Yes
      17
    • No
      5


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As the title says: should IS try again at having an FE lord that's a manakete: i.e. is at least part-dragon and can shapeshift.

The first, and so far only, time that IS has done this is with Corrin in Fates, with Corrin being part-dragon and being able to take on a dragon form (as well as shapeshift parts of their body during skill activations and critical hits). However, it was otherwise very underutilized within the game itself, with the dragon form only being a plot element in the very same chapter that introduced it and never again.

One could maybe count Byleth, since they technically are a lord in the Silver Snow route and (spoilers)

Spoiler

They do have a crest stone inside them, and they are revealed to be the son of a homunculus that Rhea created.

However, I'm not counting Byleth, and for one simple reason: no transformation. No dragon form.

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I'm not entirely sure about this because dragonstones don't exactly scale well in comparison with conventional weapons and you'll be trading the evasion bonus from the weapon triangle for something that I need to look into. Can't really remember the stat bonuses from Fates, but I never forced anyone to miss with an dragonstone equipped

 

But on the other hand, it could make the game challenging by including an bunch of thugs armed with Wrymslayers. Fun way to force the lord to become an benchwarmer.

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First, I'd prefer if manaketes in particular remained exclusive to the existing continuities that already have them. And by that, I mean the use of the term "manakete" and the lore of dragons who seal their powers into stones to avoid degeneration, and instead take on human form. There's nothing wrong with this, but it's been done and I don't need to see it again. Let it come back if there are any future visits to Archanea, Magvel, or Elibe, but otherwise, let's stick with new types of dragon people, like the Goldoan laguz or like the Nabateans. This is what IS have been doing ever since Path of Radiance, and I hope they continue.

As for whether there should be a part-dragon protagonist, I said no. I'm not really against it, per se. But I'm also not really for it, either. From the perspective of flavour, lore and story, I'm completely indifferent and don't mind either way. There are interesting stories they could tell about a part-dragon main character, but there are also plenty of interesting stories to be told about purely human characters. So I'm fine either way.

Where it falls down, I think, is mechanically. Through Fire Emblem so far, dragons just haven't been all that interesting to use, because they have so many fewer options. Take Corrin, for instance. If you want to use dragon Corrin then you have two weapon options for the game, the dragonstone and the dragonstone+, and that's it. One is strong and slow, the other is weaker but faster. That's your choice.

On the other hand, if you want to use Corrin with a sword, then you have 4 basic swords and 4 basic katanas, giving you finer gradations of the strong vs fast trade off. Then you also have the killing edge for crit, the armorslayer, wyrmslayer and spirit katana for effective damage, the kodachi for 1-2 range, the levin sword for magic damage, the brave sword for extra attacks, the axe splitter and dual katana to mess with weapon triangle, multiple "joke" weapons, and two different personal swords, one of which upgrades twice. That's over 20 different swords, compared to two dragonstones. Then you also have to consider that swords are a part of the weapon triangle, with everything that that entails, whereas dragonstones just sit on their own and don't interact with anything else. Swords just give a lot more choices and a lot more tactical depth.

Sure, it would be possible to devise twenty different flavours of dragonstone as well, but that's a lot of work for very little return. Swords can potentially be used by literally everyone, are probably going to be used by multiple of your units and by a large number of enemies. Whereas for dragonstones, you'll have a maximum of three units in your army who can use them at all, probably aren't actually going to be using them on all three, and I don't recall a single enemy who uses them. Why go to the trouble of making more than two of the things, in that case?

So I think that what I want overall is for the main character's weapon to be fully integrated with the rest of the game. And they potentially could do that if they chose to, but they also probably wouldn't. They'd probably do the same "this character is super special and unique" thing like they did with Corrin, which would leave us with the same issues in terms of gameplay.

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Just now, lenticular said:

First, I'd prefer if manaketes in particular remained exclusive to the existing continuities that already have them. And by that, I mean the use of the term "manakete" and the lore of dragons who seal their powers into stones to avoid degeneration, and instead take on human form. There's nothing wrong with this, but it's been done and I don't need to see it again. Let it come back if there are any future visits to Archanea, Magvel, or Elibe, but otherwise, let's stick with new types of dragon people, like the Goldoan laguz or like the Nabateans. This is what IS have been doing ever since Path of Radiance, and I hope they continue.

I agree. I only used "manakete" for the title of this topic since it's shorter than "dragon-person with shapeshifting" and still gets the idea across.

 

7 minutes ago, lenticular said:

Where it falls down, I think, is mechanically. Through Fire Emblem so far, dragons just haven't been all that interesting to use, because they have so many fewer options. Take Corrin, for instance. If you want to use dragon Corrin then you have two weapon options for the game, the dragonstone and the dragonstone+, and that's it. One is strong and slow, the other is weaker but faster. That's your choice.

Fair enough. I do think though, with Fates at least, the limited types of dragonstone worked because only Corrin and their kid could use them, making them essentially unique weapons like the Yato. That said, I still think it would've been cool if there had also been a dawnstone and duskstone (Pokémon item pun not intended) that made Corrin look like the Dawn Dragon and Dusk Dragon respectively and had different gameplay effects.

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If FE wanted to make another manakete lord, they could definitely get creative with dragonstone options. A basic dragonstone that only hits from 1-range, another one that can do 1-2 range but has lower might or something, and a prf weapon near endgame or something. IS has options, they can make dragonstones versatile if they really wanted to.

Although I wouldn't be opposed to a manakete lord, I'd like said lord to be a full-time manakete rather than a half like Corrin, with their only weapon being a dragonstone. I guess it'd be basically "what if Tiki or Fae or Myrrh were lords", although I'd like for them to be more similar to dragon laguz in the game lore so we can have more diversity in dragons than just children (Tiki is 1000 years old in Archanea and still looks like a child; Kurthnaga is nowhere near that old, and is already a young teenager). Also, if they go this route, I'd really like to have a male manakete lord.

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2 minutes ago, Sunwoo said:

Also, if they go this route, I'd really like to have a male manakete lord.

Make him drunk.

And Scottish.

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1 hour ago, Sunwoo said:

If FE wanted to make another manakete lord, they could definitely get creative with dragonstone options. A basic dragonstone that only hits from 1-range, another one that can do 1-2 range but has lower might or something, and a prf weapon near endgame or something. IS has options, they can make dragonstones versatile if they really wanted to.

Although I wouldn't be opposed to a manakete lord, I'd like said lord to be a full-time manakete rather than a half like Corrin, with their only weapon being a dragonstone. I guess it'd be basically "what if Tiki or Fae or Myrrh were lords", although I'd like for them to be more similar to dragon laguz in the game lore so we can have more diversity in dragons than just children (Tiki is 1000 years old in Archanea and still looks like a child; Kurthnaga is nowhere near that old, and is already a young teenager). Also, if they go this route, I'd really like to have a male manakete lord.

Good point; they can make dragonstones versatile if they want to. They could also avoid avoid dragonstones and use the monster mechanics from Three Houses; they have a lot of options.

Having a male manakete as a major character would be really cool.

1 hour ago, AnonymousSpeed said:

And Scottish.

I like this. That would be cool.

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3 hours ago, lenticular said:

Where it falls down, I think, is mechanically. Through Fire Emblem so far, dragons just haven't been all that interesting to use, because they have so many fewer options. Take Corrin, for instance. If you want to use dragon Corrin then you have two weapon options for the game, the dragonstone and the dragonstone+, and that's it. One is strong and slow, the other is weaker but faster. That's your choice.

I'd say Corrin is actually the most interesting dragon unit to use thus far, gameplay-wise. Since you can specifically choose whether they use a Dragonstone or a Sword. And the two stones have different stat effects! Compare to, say, the Dragon Laguz, who only have a single attack when transformed. Or to Tiki in Shadow Dragon - sure, she can use a Firestone, but she'll be strictly worse than when she's using her Divinestone.

That said, I'm broadly against a part-Manakete main character, especially if it's a way of making them seem "more special" in the world they inhabit. If they actually bother to develop a dragon "society" and "culture", like Tellius did to some extent, with other playable Manaketes, then I might see myself getting behind it. But I don't see IS really doing this.

3 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

Fair enough. I do think though, with Fates at least, the limited types of dragonstone worked because only Corrin and their kid could use them, making them essentially unique weapons like the Yato. That said, I still think it would've been cool if there had also been a dawnstone and duskstone (Pokémon item pun not intended) that made Corrin look like the Dawn Dragon and Dusk Dragon respectively and had different gameplay effects.

Hot take - we don't need the Yato. Make Corrin's legendary weapon the Dragonstone. Let it change forms in the different routes, as the Yato did, affecting the stats that it grants. So Birthright sees it become the Dawn Stone -> Sun Stone, Conquest would have the Dusk Stone -> Moon Stone, and Revelation... let's say the Sky Stone -> Eclipse Stone. Corrin's qilin appearance could change as the stone changes, too. Like the Yato, even a Corrin in a non-shifting class will receive stat boosts by having it in their inventory.

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1 hour ago, vanguard333 said:

I like this. That would be cool.

Thank you, it would be.

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

I'd say Corrin is actually the most interesting dragon unit to use thus far, gameplay-wise. Since you can specifically choose whether they use a Dragonstone or a Sword. And the two stones have different stat effects! Compare to, say, the Dragon Laguz, who only have a single attack when transformed. Or to Tiki in Shadow Dragon - sure, she can use a Firestone, but she'll be strictly worse than when she's using her Divinestone.

I think Tiki from FE3 had various stones with different advantages and disadvantages over each other, but in terms of games I've actually played, this is a pretty accurate assessment. Dragon Laguz, like most laguz, are terribly boring, while normal manaketes are these weird glass-Est type units. They have limited uses which you must partially expend to train them to be powerful. This is less so the case in Awakening, but they're pretty generic in that game, too. Corrin's dragonstone lets him chose between being a slow, defensive unit that deals magic damage and a fast unit that deals physical damage, which basically gives him two totally separate modes.

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

That said, I'm broadly against a part-Manakete main character, especially if it's a way of making them seem "more special" in the world they inhabit. If they actually bother to develop a dragon "society" and "culture", like Tellius did to some extent, with other playable Manaketes, then I might see myself getting behind it. But I don't see IS really doing this.

To be honest, I don't really care for a manakete culture as a part of the worldbuilding. At least in their traditional form, manaketes are an ancient race of incredible power, but whether by degeneration or refusing to adapt to changing times, they fall from their place of authority and into obscurity. They should be scattered and reclusive, an almost hidden race, sleeping dragons who have isolated themselves from humanity, and usually done so alone.

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I would certainly like to see another dragon protagonist. Screw a relatable hero, let me mow down fiery breath upon my enemies with a fictional creature!

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i said YES

im still pissed because fate dragon mc not as cool i thought it was gonna be. make the story has more relevancy about you being a dragon . like i dunno, make it a story about continuing the existence of dragon instead of humankind. saving humankind can be a byproduct of that (and theres no shortage of human hero anyway), which also make human realize there are good dragon you can rely on.

and dont give lame-ass dragon transformation.  make the final upgrade to class or abilities of the MC make you a big, cool, and majestic GOLDEN dragon. if transformation not half permanent, then at least everytime you unleash their personal ultimate art.

so far i only found dragon MC that fits that criteria in western tabletop game sadly

Edited by joevar

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Absolutely, especially if they actually lean into Dragonstone variety.

A rock for 1-2 range, one for 1 range, one for tanking, one for doubling or with a brave effect, an effective damage rock, a high range rock, rocks with additional effects such as +X % skill activation or Armored Blow, rocks that give stat boosts  and benefits akin to classes - flying + X Str, armoured + X DEF/RES, mounted = mov increase.

And then of course the potential for higher tier rocks of the aforementioned rocks. 

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

I'd say Corrin is actually the most interesting dragon unit to use thus far, gameplay-wise. Since you can specifically choose whether they use a Dragonstone or a Sword. And the two stones have different stat effects! Compare to, say, the Dragon Laguz, who only have a single attack when transformed. Or to Tiki in Shadow Dragon - sure, she can use a Firestone, but she'll be strictly worse than when she's using her Divinestone.

Yeah, I owuldn't argue that they're the most interesting dragon unit we've had. Except that that isn't a particularly high bar, as you mentioned (although the Tide skills in RD are at least somewhat interesting). Plus Corrin is most mechanically interesting when they aren't being a dragon. If you're going all-in on being a dragon, Corrin is probably even less interesting than RD dragon laguz.

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

That said, I'm broadly against a part-Manakete main character, especially if it's a way of making them seem "more special" in the world they inhabit. If they actually bother to develop a dragon "society" and "culture", like Tellius did to some extent, with other playable Manaketes, then I might see myself getting behind it. But I don't see IS really doing this.

Agree with this. That does sound like a more interesting way of doing things, but I don't think it's what IS would do.

But anyway, I've been thinking about this some more, and I had an idea. If I'm a dragon, I want to be a dragon. I want to breathe fire and watch the puny humans scatter before me in terror. I don't want to just get a small damage boost but essentially be doing the same thing that I'm doing with my swordsman. Except that would make for really boring gameplay if you could just have a single unit eat the entire opposing army. So, my proposal is that transformation should be limited but powerful. I'm thinking something along the lines of gambits from Three Houses. You only get to turn into a dragon once per battle, but when you do, it really matters.

There could even be multiple possible actions that you could take on your one turn as a dragon. Breathe fire for big AoE damage, do a mass fear effect, massively boost your defense and grow to cover 2x2 squares. Or potentially even map-specific terrain effects like the dragon veins from Fates. You choose what will work best for you, but whatever you choose, that's all you're doing this battle.

This could also be done as part of a world where literally everyone is a shapechanger of some description. Everyone gets one transformation per battle, for a gambit-style effect, but not everyone turns into a great dragon so not everyone gets such powerful transformations. Maybe there's a few lesser dragons, lots of beasts and birds, could be some monsters, maybe some other mythological creatures, there's lots of possibilities. And this would allow for the main character to be anchored within the world, both in terms of lore and mechanics, while still being somewhat special and unique. (I'd be perfectly happy with a main character who isn't special or unique, but that doesn't seem the IS way of doing things.)

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this line

4 minutes ago, lenticular said:

If I'm a dragon, I want to be a dragon

with this line

4 minutes ago, lenticular said:

You only get to turn into a dragon once per battle, but when you do, it really matters.

kinda contradict, if not by implementation, then conceptually.

is this dragon MC cursed to become human or what? 
i mean, imagine this: im born a human, but then im going around as a frog, but once every new moon i can turn back as handsome human. but thats it, only for crucial time. back to frog for majority of time. am i not basically Shrek now?

someone/something should not need to spend any effort to become what they originally are.

unless we go back to standard FE cliche which is overdone: something-something happen, so every dragon need limited availability stone to assume original form. not to transform into something, but to return to their original form. 

yes yes, i know the consequences of what i said gameplay wise; balance thrown out of window

im thinking the dragon MC to have some kind of progression ala RPG instead of instant boost to stat-cap from lvl one and/or early game via stone like older FE. as much as i dislike corrin dragon we can start from there, small dragon, weak, limited to simple attack. those AoE breath of fire, bigger form, and other big attack should come after learning via story progression. theres many ways you can go from there but no need to make it like its nuclear bullet for special occasion. (i mean, dragon in many story medium like to spew breath of fire even for random common people, not just toward important people)

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

I'd say Corrin is actually the most interesting dragon unit to use thus far, gameplay-wise. Since you can specifically choose whether they use a Dragonstone or a Sword. And the two stones have different stat effects! Compare to, say, the Dragon Laguz, who only have a single attack when transformed. Or to Tiki in Shadow Dragon - sure, she can use a Firestone, but she'll be strictly worse than when she's using her Divinestone.

 

I agree with this. If we want more manaketes, I do hope Corrin is a bit of a template; let them use an existing weapon like swords in addition to their unique. Corrin is interesting because the dragonstones are a very neat option layered on top of "generic sword infantry" which is the standard issue for lords.

That said, since we've had one quite recently, I'm not really itching for a second. What I personally really want to see is another mage lord. We've really only had one (you can argue Robin, but both their mage credentials and their lord credentials are in at least a little doubt), and while Micaiah was interesting she doesn't really embody the modern main trope of someone who is one of the game's dominant units. Intsys did a wonderful job creating a bow lord and letting him have outstanding combat, I want to see that but with magic next.

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I think it would be cool to see them try a pure manakete lord. It might require some retooling of dragonstones as a weapon type, but I would like to see it happen. 

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7 hours ago, lenticular said:

If you're going all-in on being a dragon, Corrin is probably even less interesting than RD dragon laguz.

Nah, merely by merit of the fact that you don't have to juggle transformation gauge, plus the fact that he's in a game which is actually interesting on its own.

4 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Intsys did a wonderful job creating a bow lord and letting him have outstanding combat, I want to see that but with magic next.

The Three Houses Guide to Making the Bow Lord Useful: Remove any actual weaknesses of bows. They are now tomes that deal physical damage. Never actually design around a weakness.

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I don't particularly care what the protagonist is but I would like to see more dragons. It seems like you rarely see dragons that aren't generic enemies in this series and they almost never have a functioning society. I want to see a Fire Emblem world where dragons are the majority. Rather than taking human form most of the time they would remain in their true dragon form. I don't care whether the dragons are good or evil. I just want to see a Fire Emblem setting with dragons at their peak.

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Sure. I think Corrin didn't fulfill the potential of a Manakete lord both in gameplay or plot.

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On 8/6/2022 at 12:32 PM, Dark Holy Elf said:

That said, since we've had one quite recently, I'm not really itching for a second. What I personally really want to see is another mage lord. We've really only had one (you can argue Robin, but both their mage credentials and their lord credentials are in at least a little doubt), and while Micaiah was interesting she doesn't really embody the modern main trope of someone who is one of the game's dominant units. Intsys did a wonderful job creating a bow lord and letting him have outstanding combat, I want to see that but with magic next.

Another mage lord would pretty cool. I've long had the idea of an FE game where the main lord characters are two siblings: the older is a typical Marth lord (but with depth), and the younger brother is a frail and sickly mage who struggles to prove himself and is ill-suited for long campaigns (one moment that would really demonstrate this would be a scene where, after a particularly grueling march, he vomits and passes out).

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On 8/6/2022 at 4:49 PM, AnonymousSpeed said:

The Three Houses Guide to Making the Bow Lord Useful: Remove any actual weaknesses of bows. They are now tomes that deal physical damage. Never actually design around a weakness.

To be fair, they kept a bit of the weakness in the sense that countering at range 1 requires dedicating an ability slot, which is not a small thing..

Making it impossible for archers to counter at range 1 at all, while still letting lance- and axe-users (and in some games, sword-users too) the ability to both attack and counter at 1-2 range always made bows seem like they just had a weakness other weapons didn't. If javelins and hand axes are going to be a thing, then there should be some means for archers to fight at range 1, even if they're not great for it.

10 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

Another mage lord would pretty cool. I've long had the idea of an FE game where the main lord characters are two siblings: the older is a typical Marth lord (but with depth), and the younger brother is a frail and sickly mage who struggles to prove himself and is ill-suited for long campaigns (one moment that would really demonstrate this would be a scene where, after a particularly grueling march, he vomits and passes out).

There's a space for a frail/sickly mage, but I do want to see a mage lord who is comparable to Ephraim, Ike10, or the 3H lords at being a unit who can take on a significant number of enemies at once and generally feel like a high/top-tier unit for combat. For some reason that's a privelege which is often given to major characters who are physically-oriented, but hasn't yet been given to a pure magical one (not that there have been that many, I'm mostly thinking of Micaiah/Lilina/Julia here).

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I'd say the +Mag Nohr Noble build for Corrin is pretty interesting. Dragonstone for tanking, Tomes for magic offense, and Yato for physical offense. It's one of the few builds that juggle Phys/Mag pretty well. I'd love to see something of that variety return. A pure Manakete seems pretty boring but it could be made fun by having a variety of Dragonstones to choose from.

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30 minutes ago, windypanda1 said:

I'd say the +Mag Nohr Noble build for Corrin is pretty interesting. Dragonstone for tanking, Tomes for magic offense, and Yato for physical offense. It's one of the few builds that juggle Phys/Mag pretty well. I'd love to see something of that variety return. A pure Manakete seems pretty boring but it could be made fun by having a variety of Dragonstones to choose from.

I think the best way to do it would be to make the dragon stone effectively be the legendary weapon obtained in the latter half of the game. Limited in its power based on its durability. Let dragons be dragons that can wreck stuff, and provide another weapon for when it's overkill to be a dragon.

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12 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

There's a space for a frail/sickly mage, but I do want to see a mage lord who is comparable to Ephraim, Ike10, or the 3H lords at being a unit who can take on a significant number of enemies at once and generally feel like a high/top-tier unit for combat. For some reason that's a privelege which is often given to major characters who are physically-oriented, but hasn't yet been given to a pure magical one (not that there have been that many, I'm mostly thinking of Micaiah/Lilina/Julia here).

I would like that too, a mage lord who is great at combat and doesn`t die to a stiff breeze would be cool to see. 

Hey, maybe we could have multiple mage lords, like Midnight Sun (formerly a FE hack, now its own fangame). One could be the frail mage, while the other is a combat oriented mage, they could use different magic types too.

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1 minute ago, Metal Flash said:

I would like that too, a mage lord who is great at combat and doesn`t die to a stiff breeze would be cool to see. 

Hey, maybe we could have multiple mage lords, like Midnight Sun (formerly a FE hack, now its own fangame). One could be the frail mage, while the other is a combat oriented mage, they could use different magic types too.

Or we could just normalized armoured mages as a class niche. Do it IS! DO IT!

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