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Would like feedback on this bit from a video essay I'm working on


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Context: I'm working on a video essay that is kinda like a retrospective on the Elibe duology as well as a "What If" ideal remake off the two games (FE Echoes: Embers of Elibe sort of 2-in-1 kinda deal). This isn't part of a script or anything as I'm mainly trying to run through core changes I think would have to be made to improve the games (in the case of this post specifically 6). I'm asking here and Sernes Forest for feedback because my no one in my social circle has any experience with FE, except for one who only played 3 Houses and 3 Hopes and doesn't hold the any games prior in high regard, to put it nicely. So if I pitch something to them they can't really give me effective feedback on whether it would actually work in excution while sounding nice in concept.

(Edited: added 2/13/23 5:11 am) Gonna clarify a few things before I get into it:

- This 2-in-1 what if implies that you'd play 7 and then go into 6 so you'd have a 7 file to load from. 

- I'm trying to keep from changing the original games mechanics. So I could obviously just have universal promotion items or npc Merlinus but the original game didn't so I'm trying to improve those original ideas since I don't think they are inherently bad things to have (though convoy is Roy, not Merlinus). Taking notes from other entries or modern FE titles are gonna be used to flesh out or add content, not to take away or replace.

So yeah. Sorry in advance for the long post.

This post is mainly addressing common conplaints I've seen about FE6 in regards to the roster viability, Roy's late promotion and the promotion system in general. Thanks in advance.

A lot of the issues with the promotion system come from the fact that the knight/hero crests, orion bolt, guiding ring, and elysian whip can either be very common or rare depending on what run you're on and the kind of army you're trying to build. For example, FE6 gives you:

- 6 units who need a knight crest (with 8 chances to obtain; steal from enemy in Ch. 19A or Murdock in Ch. 21, chests in Ch. 8 and Ch. 16, village visit in Ch. 21, a Percival event in either Ch. 13 or Ch. 15, and Secret Shops in Ch. 16/21)

- 8 units who need the hero crest (with 6 chances to obtain one; a chest in Ch. 16, a village visit in Ch. 7, an end of chapter event if all villages survive in either Ch. 11A/Ch. 10B, Secret Shops in Ch. 16/21, and from stealing from Zephiel in Ch. 22/Endgame)

- 4 units who need the elysian whip (with 7 chances to obtain; 1 through stealing, 1 through a Thea event at the end of either Ch. 10B or 11A, 1 from secret shops in Ch. 16/ 21, and 1 from a chest from Ch. 8/Ch. 12)

- 6 who need the guiding ring (with 7 chances to obtain; Steal from Brunya in Ch. 23, chest in Ch. 8 and Ch. 20B, village visit in Ch. 18A, Secret Shop in Ch. 16/21, and a sand spot that requires Sophia to land on it in Ch. 14)

- 3 who need the Orion's Bolt (with 6 chances to obtain; Steal from enemy in Ch. 20B, village visits in Ch. 11A and Ch. 10B, Klein events at the end of either Ch. 11A or Ch. 10B, and through Secret Shops in Ch. 16/21)

The big issues with this is the fact that the quantity is fine, it's the difficulty around getting these items. For example, getting the Guiding Ring in Ch. 14 is incredibly annoying as it is a hidden spot in a sand movement Fog of War map that requires Sophia, a unit who is notoriously mediocre at best when she's first usable. Or the Hero Crest in Ch. 22 which may be the last chapter for several players. Or the possibly difficult situations around Ch. 11A/10B as it requires you to recruit Klein/Thea and all the ally units to survive, or the villages in the same chapter to not be destroyed to get the Hero Crest with brigands spawning very close (granted, part of that issue with saving villages is partially a fault of the map design is FE6 to be spotty). 

Then there is the location of secret shops such as Ch. 21 where you must have a flier go to a mountain locked spot on the map while having not sign of that being the proper location, only to only realistically be able to buy 2 crests as they are 10000 each.

This awkward/abitrary resource location leads to the player possibly going several chapters without access to these items leading to many units becoming irrelevant or unusable due to level cap (natural lvl 20 or a pseudo one from difficulty curve) or underwhelming stats/growths as the story goes on, such as Lance, Wendy or Thea for example. These issues are worsened by FE6's notorious hit rate and reinforcement system which seems to miss a decent amount at high rates in the 70%-80% range and hit on lower ones such as 30%-40% or get swept by sudden reinforcements that get to move the moment they appear. Leading to you possible not even having characters left with a high enough level to promote or good enough stats to warrant it.

Outside of addressing obvious issues like the infamous hit rate and fixing the base stats of certain characters to be reasonably viable upon introduction (Wendy and Sophia for example), I have a few ways to address these issues:

1. Give Merlinus a purpose

Merlinus was a character who I thought felt like a waste in terms of gameplay. I feel a way to fix frequency/price issues with these promotion items could be tied to Merlinus. Giving him a combat role as a convoy/archer could lead to his level ups being less about battle utility and more focused his core purpose of item management. 

For example, feeding Merlinus fodder exp from lower level enemies who may not benefit your core army could lead to him exclaiming "I found a wonderful deal in the shop!" and rare items being up for purchase in between battles. From armorslayers to berserk staves to Hero Crests, based on Merlinus's level/progress in the story, your RnG based selection of items would change in between every battle. Sometimes you may get something you need, sometimes you may not, but the chance is always there and it gets higher as Merlinus levels up. 

So a lvl 5 Merlinus guarantees 1 weapon, 1 staff and 1 cosumable of varying quality while lvl 10 is 2 weapons, 2 staves, and 2 cosumables of "rare and above" items, and lvl 20 is 3 of each, "5 star quality". This is all with the note that Merlinus, whose focus as a unit is not necessarily combat, while gain a greater amount of exp from a fodder unit who may only granted 10 exp to any other unit so leveling him up isn't super tedious.

2. Take a note from the Tellius Saga, have the promotional items be optional.

Simply put, have units automatically promote upon reaching the level 20 cap and the items be there in case you want to promote a unit early and the remaining levels may not be worth the wait. I feel like it's an easy way to keep the items around but still keep pre promote units usable without them.

For possible added depth to the items, you could also have them act as unique reclassing options for lvl 10+ units. Need a 2nd flier earlier than Ch. 10B? Make Sue a unique flier at level 10. Because of her being bow locked before reclass, her flier class could have unique access to bows and her promoted class could as well with adjust weapon values of course (For example, Pegasus Knight Sue could A rank bows and C rank Lances, while Falcon Knight Sue could D rank swords, A rank lances and S rank bows).

3. In line with some modern FE, impliment ways to gain exp outside of story battles on the world map.

As someone who isn't a fan of grinding, yet isn't opposed to it either, I think this is fine as long as it's not done without the balance of the game in mind. Like, I wouldn't want to take from Gaiden/Echoes and implement dungeon crawling as that felt unique to those games and would feel cheap to just do it again for FE6. I think having map exploration would be fine as that has been fairly common in modern FE. I think you could easily have it change as the story goes on so it's not an easily abused grind fest like Awakening.

For example, during each in between battle there is a few random events that Roy can choose to take part in. Such as when in the Western Isles you can choose to liberate miners with map goals being survive for a turn count, defend an area, allow ally units to escape, route enemy, etc. But once you finish that part of the story and you start marching toward Bern through Sacae/Ilia you're select becomes protect sacaen villages, keep Ilian mercenaries alive, push back Bern (push back to reinforcement spawn points and cover them all, then route enemy), defeat commander and liberate town.

This could easily fit in line with the story so you aren't bolting across the map multiple times before tackling a map while still being something entirely optional. It could operate similarly to how Echoes/Awakenings Maps did where if you return after not playing for a while, complete any story/dlc/spotpass type battles the options in the world map would change/respawn.

4. Again, a note from Tellius. Bonus Exp.

Pretty self explainatory. Gain a set amount of bonus exp by finishing a story chapter in less than a set amount of turns, or in situations like Chapter 10B/11A, complete certain objectives, that you can then dish out as you see fit to units in between battles. In 10B/11A, if you recruit Thea and all her allies survive, you get an Elysian Whip. If you recruit Klein and all his allies survive, you get an Orion's Bolt. Finally if you keep all the villages from being destroyed, you get a Hero Crest. Three separate objectives that don't necessarily require the others to be successful to complete. But if you complete all 3 of them, you get all 3 of those rewards and some bonus exp.

Finally, the lion in the room.

5. Roy (edit: 2/13/23 - 9:24 am)

For Roy, adjusting base stats and growths only help him so much as the core of his issues is his late promotion. My fix to this may break him stat wise but it's two options and I'm open to other options.

First, you could either make Roy function similar to Marth Lodestar class where he doesn't promote (of course til the story required bit in Roy's case) and he's balanced to be viable up to that point.

My personal favourite way comes with the note that the game would be balanced around this and would be involving FE7. As this is a 2-in-1 "What If" remake, a lot of units in 7 would be married by the end of that title and their kids would be a decent bit of the roster in 6 (Roy, Sue, Lugh/Raigh, Lilina, Fir, Wolt, Clarine/Klein and Hugh. Ignere maybe, I don't remember if you can really pair Hawkeye up with anyone). This, of course, only helps a select few, but I think most of them need it. In regards to Roy specifically, this could act as a way tk effect a traditional promotion for him. 

For example, if Eliwood isn't supported with anyone by the end of 7, Roy will function basically the same during 6. But if you were to get Eliwood and Ninian together, Roy would start as a Lord, and upon reaching lvl 20 or giving Roy a specific promotional item, he could become a some Roy only class, like a Fafnir Knight. A class I wrote out for this "what if" that uses dragonstones and swords. The dragonstone gained through merlinus or something far earlier than after Ch. 21/21x, such as a paralogue that becomes open once Roy promotes.

Visually it could operate in a similar vein to Corrin's partially transformed crit animations, except as regular attacks and the crit animation is a full transformation with the FE7 Fire Dragon/Ninian Dragon appearance on display. Or if Lyn is his mother he gains access to bows and swords, something reminiscent to Lyn's Blade Lord class from 7. 

(Edit 2/13/21 - 9:29 am) Of course not every single pairing would lead to a VISUALLY unique class for characters like Lilina who isn't locked to a single weapon like Roy, but would still be a viable option depending on how you want to use a character (glass cannon Roy, Tank Lilina, berserk spam Lugh, just weird shit).

U̶p̶o̶n̶ ̶g̶a̶i̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶B̶i̶n̶d̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶B̶l̶a̶d̶e̶ ̶a̶f̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶C̶h̶a̶p̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶2̶1̶/̶2̶1̶x̶,̶ ̶R̶o̶y̶ ̶w̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶m̶o̶t̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶s̶e̶c̶o̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶i̶m̶e̶,̶ ̶a̶k̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶R̶a̶d̶i̶a̶n̶t̶ ̶D̶a̶w̶n̶ ̶o̶r̶ ̶E̶c̶h̶o̶e̶s̶,̶ ̶w̶h̶e̶r̶e̶ ̶h̶e̶ ̶k̶e̶e̶p̶s̶ ̶a̶c̶c̶e̶s̶s̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶s̶w̶o̶r̶d̶s̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶w̶h̶a̶t̶e̶v̶e̶r̶ ̶s̶e̶c̶o̶n̶d̶a̶r̶y̶ ̶w̶e̶a̶p̶o̶n̶ ̶h̶e̶ ̶h̶a̶d̶,̶ ̶w̶h̶i̶l̶e̶ ̶g̶a̶i̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶s̶o̶m̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶r̶d̶ ̶w̶e̶a̶p̶o̶n̶ ̶(̶D̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶B̶ ̶r̶a̶n̶k̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶a̶n̶i̶m̶a̶ ̶M̶a̶g̶i̶c̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶r̶e̶f̶e̶r̶e̶n̶c̶e̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶t̶r̶a̶i̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶C̶e̶c̶i̶l̶i̶a̶)̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶c̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶c̶a̶l̶l̶e̶d̶ ̶s̶o̶m̶e̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶r̶e̶f̶e̶r̶e̶n̶c̶e̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶R̶o̶y̶'̶s̶ ̶"̶y̶o̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶l̶i̶o̶n̶"̶ ̶m̶o̶t̶i̶f̶,̶ ̶l̶i̶k̶e̶ ̶B̶l̶a̶z̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶L̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶(̶L̶i̶k̶e̶ ̶L̶e̶g̶e̶n̶d̶a̶r̶y̶ ̶R̶o̶y̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶H̶e̶r̶o̶e̶s̶)̶ ̶o̶r̶ ̶s̶o̶m̶e̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶.̶ 

T̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶r̶d̶ ̶t̶i̶e̶r̶ ̶c̶l̶a̶s̶s̶ ̶w̶o̶u̶l̶d̶n̶'̶t̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶l̶o̶c̶k̶e̶d̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶R̶o̶y̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶c̶o̶u̶r̶s̶e̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶I̶ ̶w̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶n̶k̶ ̶c̶h̶a̶r̶a̶c̶t̶e̶r̶s̶ ̶l̶i̶k̶e̶ ̶L̶i̶l̶i̶a̶n̶a̶ ̶w̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶ ̶e̶x̶c̶l̶u̶s̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶c̶l̶a̶s̶s̶ ̶(̶s̶h̶e̶ ̶n̶e̶e̶d̶s̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶w̶i̶e̶l̶d̶ ̶A̶r̶m̶a̶d̶s̶ ̶s̶o̶m̶e̶h̶o̶w̶)̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶p̶o̶s̶s̶i̶b̶l̶y̶ ̶G̶u̶i̶n̶e̶v̶e̶r̶e̶.̶

The promotion for Roy would be decoupled from the Binding Blade as to not make Roy a broken unit considering the massive buff that is the BB. There may still be third tier promotion dlc like in SoV but dlc isn't super high on my bullet point list.

This is really it for what I needed feedback on. The Roy promotion bit at the end is mainly focused on him since I haven't fleshed out a balanced way to do that for more specific characters/general classes like Liliana or a standard third tier for a Sage unit. I would think character specific ones would have paralogues to add more content and character development. If this is interesting I might post more questions for feedback once I have more done, but these issues were at the top of my list of things to fix for FE6 so I addressed them first

End added notes:

- Streamline supports somehow. They add so much character to units like Roy in base FE6 but are such as slog to get to cause of turn count.

- In the "What If" remake, I'm open to any feedback on "what if" dlc. I'd like to avoid any like 3H as felt that was incredibly disappointing. Mainly gameplay and character specific, like how Fernand in Echoes got a dlc story, maybe give one to Idunn, Zephiel/Murdock/Brunya and Lyn/Eliwood/Hector post 7 but pre 6.

- I have notes for how this what if would need to include older characters somehow, like Eliwood is a late pre promote unit in Ch. 23 and Lyn is like a Paralogue if you go Sacae route. Get parent supports with it would be cool.

- To address any comments about IS not bundling these games as 1 because of profit, I think with remakes they are kinda grading them on a different metric as they've been spotty in terms of success. Hopefully they don't, or at least they shouldn't, expect 3H level sales. Even with a really safe option like FE7, the first title for the west and FE6, the game with Roy so it should have fairly casual audience pull thanks to his history is Smash. So while there isn't a 100% chance they'd be bundled together, it's one I could realistically see more than 4/5 or even 9/10 (that one purely because of how fresh those games are in comparison and Roy's standing in Smash as a JP only character carries him a surprising amount) (Edited 2/13/23 - 9:05 am)

Thanks again and sorry, again, for the length.

Edited by Turkey
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