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Dark Holy Elf

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About Dark Holy Elf

  • Birthday 01/22/1982

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    Video games (Fire Emblem, JRPGs, and Nintendo games in particular), fantasy novels, writing, ice hockey, and mathematics
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  • Favorite Fire Emblem Game
    Three Houses

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  1. I'm not a particularly fan of crossover elements in otherwise serious games. I think they take me out of the story a bit. I have no problem with e.g. the Whitewings (because the game made their presence in the story believable) but I find dimension-hopping to be pretty goofy at best, and a cynical effort to increase sales at worst. I'm not a fan of the emblems, and was definitely a bit put off by Awakening trio (though I ended up forgiving them because I felt they actually ended up feeling integrated into the Fates cast well, it's still not a choice I would have made). Like others I was pretty happy that the Fodlan games largely stand alone outside of minor references (shared weapon names and the like don't bother me). Though I will say I have no problem with crossover games being crossovers. Smash Bros. is good fun. Fire Emblem Warriors is good fun. Fire Emblem Heroes is/was good fun... except for the part where it's a gacha game and all the problems that come with that, but I digress. I will readily admit I played both FEW and FEH primarily because it was a chance to see characters I already liked in a new gameplay style - had the games being otherwise identical but featured a cast of characters I did not know, there's only a low chance I'd have played FEW and zero chance I'd have played FEH. Maybe it helps a bit that I'm not playing these games remotely for story in the first place? The plots of these games generally range from non-existent to terrible, but I can deal with that. Well first of all I suppose I'd ask to what extent does canonicity matter? Is it important whether or not Ignatz has a rabbit, or (to pick an actual example) whether Caspar's father is named Leopold? In many cases the answer is probably not. That said, I would generally say in the circumstances where it might matter, that a second work about the same characters by the same writer(s) is something I would generally consider to be "canon", and in my experience most people are the same. (It gets a little murkier if different writers are involved.) If someone asks the question "Does Bilbo Baggins have children?" and I answer with "well, The Hobbit ends when Bilbo is still relatively young, so there's plenty of time for him to have children; my headcanon is he has seven" I think most people would consider that a somewhat eccentric response. Lord of the Rings exists and Bilbo not having any children of his own (and instead adopting Frodo) is a plot point in that story, it's generally understood that questions about Bilbo would concern all his appearances in JRR Tolkien's works, not just one, unless specifically stated otherwise. Having said that, if someone wanted to write a fan sequel to The Hobbit which ignores Lord of the Rings, I certainly think that would be fine! Though they probably would want to state that clearly, or they would likely have numerous confused readers. To circle back to Houses/Hopes, as someone involved in discussion and editing of fanfiction, I would say that most people consider any details introduced in Hopes to be canon to Houses and vice versa; this is the same setting, and the same characters, with the only difference being the that the timeline branches off in the prologue of both games (which isn't even a new thing; Houses already had timeline branches shortly after that point). Caspar's father is named Leopold; this is about as "factual" as information about a video game character gets, and you'd not be surprised to see it mentioned on any wiki articles written about him. If someone, in 2024, writes a fanwork about Caspar and names his dad Bordncord von Bergliez, most beta editors (certainly including me) would note "FYI, his name is actually Leopold". Now maybe this writer will choose to keep the name Bordncord, but just like giving Bilbo seven biological children, that would be done with the understanding that the majority of their readers would consider this a canon divergence.
  2. Thanks! That's kind of you to say so. For the record I've very much enjoyed our discussions on these topics as well. Yeah, Sturgeon's Law (and similar sentiments) very much depend both on your sample space, and on your definition of crap. I've generally found it overly harsh. Even in the case of fanfiction published to AO3 (or similar), which has a lower bar for entry than a the shelves of a bookstore (though still higher than including unfinished projects, naturally), i feel like if I selected a work completely at random, the chance I would consider it "crap" is considerably below 90%, myself. That said maybe some people have different definitions of crap. In particular, the chance I would actually want to read such a work is pretty low. A lot of fiction out there, fan or original, isn't for me. And for all but the most voracious of fiction readers, I imagine the same is true. But I'm not really comfortable labelling everything that isn't for me as "crap". I would personally reserve that label for things I consider particularly poorly written.
  3. Tethys makes really good use of the Swiftsole, which helps alleviate the move issue. Yeah I suppose if I bench her I can give it to someone else but I don't feel anyone else makes nearly as good use of it. I wouldn't rate Tethys above Vanessa or Ephraim myself, but I can see it. On the other hand I'd unquestionably rate her above Gerik (easy comparison since they join at the same time). She's a unit who, IMO, has very little reason not to be used in every map she's available. Sacred Stones doesn't have any ambush spawns who can take advantage of her lowish durability, so she's a flexible extra player phase action every turn in whatever way you need most, and that's always great in any Fire Emblem. So really, the only units who I would rate higher than her are also units who should almost always be used but beat her at availability. I don't really feel strongly about whether she's "really good" or "pretty good" but I do feel that if she's not "really good", then the game doesn't have that many units who are.
  4. Full disclosure that I have created, edited, and participated in group fan projects involving fanfiction and other fanworks, so obviously you know where my opinions on this topic are going to lie. Most of what I would say has already been said very eloquently by @lenticular. I rather strongly feel that fanfiction, and fanart, etc., are honestly some of the most positive things to come out of fandom. Certainly when I look back on my own contributions, I know my own works of writing left far more of a positive impact on others than my trying to convince folks that [unit x] is better than [unit y]. Reading the rather loaded-sounding questions in the opening post make me a bit sad. I'm not sure if they reflect your own opinions, @Nozomi Kasaki, or just what you perceive is out there, but I guess my parting thought is that... fanfiction and fanart are both created primarily by women, even in fandoms which skew relatively male. And sadly, I don't think this fact is unrelated to the fact that some people try to paint fanfiction as illegitimate/undesirable.
  5. Congrats on finishing it! I may check it out some day in the distant future if I ever start playing this game primarily by emulation instead of on the Switch. This is of course very fair, and it's an excellent point that you don't need everyone to do everything. That said, I do think if everyone is straitjacketed into a single role it can become limiting sometimes. Sometimes there are three heroes coming at you at once and it's nice if at least one of your axe-users has an answer to them. This is more true the more axe-users you have... which is certainly something that can occur on teams considering how good Wyvern is. Your point about inventory and combat art slots is also correct, and I agree with basically ally of it (repositionals do rule, the only time I'll have a unit without one is if they join after Chapter 5 pretty much). That said, going from Helm Splitter + Smash to Helm Splitter + Knightkneeler/Curved Shot is a lateral choice; the unit will become worse at some things but better than others. And for your inventory points, some of the weapons you mention switch out easily. If I'm running bows then I might trade out the Hand Axe; if I'm running lances I might trade out the steel weapon or the training one. etc. (Perhaps the only major difference is I don't usually run vulneraries on units past the earlygame, so that does at least give me five weapon slots. My reason is precisely what you mention: I don't normally end up using them. Of course, there is the odd map where someone will hold a key of some sort, and I have occasionally run double accessory builds on physical units, so certainly there are rare cases where I am down to four weapons.) On my current run (which has some randomized class builds so not a perfect analogy to normal play) I ended up with four axe-users, and I've been happy that some of them can do other things. One joined with a high lance rank so Knightkneeler with a relic lance has let me devote one combat art slot and one inventory slot in order to troubleshoot axebreaker enemies and mounted enemies. One has Curved Shot with a Steel Bow+ and high strength which is enough to one-shot pegasus knights (and also provides accurate ranged chip against anything else). And one (Yuri) has Windsweep which troubleshoots both axebreaker enemies and anyone with particulalry mean counters, and while this arguably doesn't need Sword Prowess (which only offers 5-10 hit), I certainly think it has been worth the combat art and inventory slot. One could counter with "well why not have Yuri be a pure sword wyvern?" (etc.) and that's certainly fair. However, on anyone with Axefaire, axes are gonna be so far ahead on raw power that I don't ever want to go without them. A Silver Axe+ or similar has 22 effective might; no sword or bow is coming close to that. It's an interesting tangent, thanks for sharing!
  6. Congrats on the win! Yeah some of the earlygame maps are definitely tough, with Chapter 5 standing out as you noted. Learning how to use gambits effectively is huge for Chapter 13, but it's a good feeling when you do. I was kinda the opposite of the hypothetical you described, I did Golden Deer after playing-or-watching the Eagles and Lions and I found it a bit lackluster myself. I imagine it's a matter of looking for different things. I thought Zombie Nemesis made for a dreadfully uninteresting final confrontation and felt that Claude really needed some more battles designed around his story, instead of Silver Snow's. I was personally much happier with the direction of Claude's route in Three Hopes. Definitely agree with lenticular that no one route is more "canon" than the others. Balancing the number of rewinds is very tough. For me, I doubt I'd get close to 20 more than once in a blue moon, so I liked the tension of a lower number. But conversely, I do think in the earlygame the number is too low; having only three rewinds for Miklan's map, which is typically the longest in the game, is too few (especially given that a blind player should be almost expected to lose at least one on the reinforcements with Pass). I'm not sure what the best solution to this is. I think a separate difficulty slider would probably be the most elegant (e.g. you could set the number of divine pulses to Unlimited, Generous, Normal, Limited, or None) but I'm a big fan of customizing difficulty-related things generally.
  7. The issue, I think, is that Nintendo has a captive audience for their games. People will put up with shoddy hardware to play the next Fire Emblem game (or Mario, or Zelda, or Metroid, or Pokemon, etc.). It's possible for a third-party controller maker to get in on things, and I certainly have some of those too, but most of them have some issues of their own.
  8. Yeah I think this drives home how much the gaming world has changed in just a few years. The combination of the heteronormativity you describe and the fact that the main character gets this "avatar-like" feel by you choosing their partner, but then you can't even choose anything else about him, feels very off to me. And unfortunately it's very pushed in your face, the game all but forces you to do the obvious-marriage-proxy event and the ring's even named the "Ring of the Maiden" which almost screams that giving it to a man isn't canon. I still gave it to Josef though, I put off my decision until I'd gotten A rapports with Alain and all the characters I cared about, and I enjoyed that one a lot. So no regrets. Anyway I beat this game a month or so back. It was a good time. Really wish the story/writing were better. I don't even disagree with it being pretty comparable to the median Fire Emblem story but I don't think very highly of that, either, and for a game with this much dialog (not to mention this much effort put into character design) I'd like to think we can do better. That said, the game has lovely spritework as well as fun, unique gameplay - the only games I've played which do anything similar (Soul Nomad and Ogre Battle) are so, so much worse at it than Unicorn Overlord, since UO actually makes team-building highly engaging, and it turns out that counts for a lot because the actual battle themselves are not as tightly-designed as Fire Emblem. Certainly a good game, and I'll definitely replay it at some point, if not as often as my favourite Fire Emblem games.
  9. I'd argue min-max-pilling is a trap in some cases (I often find having units able to do more things makes it easier for me to get out of tough situations in this game, because different situations call for different things), but that's a broader philosophical point. Let's go with your example: already, some of those skills are not actually helping on any given attack. Lancebreaker only does anything if you're attacking lance-users; trading it out for Lance Prowess is essentially trading performance against enemy lance-users for better performance against enemies with Axebreaker+. And even the stat skills aren't actually always relevant. In principle one could look at the map and determine if Str+2 is useful against the arrayed enemies; if there are two enemies it actually helps secure KOs against but five enemies with Axebreaker+, Lance Prowess is most likely the better choice. That said there are certainly downsides to having two prowess skills and I want to emphasize that I often use builds with just one, too; probably even more often than not. I do agree that a class probably shouldn't be only balanced around using two weapons. In my mind a class with two -faire skills should be usable and have a niche even if you only plan to use one of the two weapons. Mortal Savant (while it could probably still use a slight buff) at its core it already works for units who can't benefit from Black Tomefaire (either Lysithea, or a sword-focused unit who wants access to white magic utility) and perhaps even units who don't plan to make use of Swordfaire (it has +1 move on Gremory and requires less training than Dark Knight especially for recruited Dorothea/Marianne who get some sword training for free). But it's obviously at its best for units planning to make use of both (a sword/magic user who does their best damage at range 1 with swords but still uses black magic to attack at range 2+). Yep. In my mind, those three skills greatly change the number of enemies a given unit can one-round, so they get top billing in my eyes. Hit+20's value is murkier since it gets into reliability; it doesn't let you do anything you couldn't before, it just lets you do it more reliably, and how valuable that is varies a lot by type of playthrough and playstyle. I basically second lenticular's comments here. Beyond that, I suppose what it means by a top three mastery. I would tend to consider accession time for this, and that definitely puts it outside the top three for most. For female physical units, Death Blow+Darting Blow are better, and getting a third intermediate mastery is a hard sell for me. Mages, as you mentioned, just don't want to go through no-spells archer. Swift Strikes users include one unit who has a bow bane, one who already has innate Hit+15, and one who doesn't waste time on a backtrack. There are certainly some for whom I'd agree that it is (as I mentioned, e.g. units with Bow Range+ and units who are relying on Vantage), so it's still pretty good, but I think there are a lot for whom it isn't, or for whom the payoff does not justify the 50 actions in archer and possibly some bow training I might otherwise not do. I feel this comment in the very depths of my soul.
  10. That's a good point. That said, for what it's worth I don't really think "no banes" is really too much. Hm, well, I personally wouldn't have a hangup with some classes having more -faires than others at a given tier; Valkyrie and Trickster have zero -faire skills, after all. That said, if you want to emphasize tankishness, I think its mods should show that beter; 4 def and 0 res is above average but I didn't really figure out that was what you were going for. It's a 5 move class, it's gotta be a bit better to stand out from the crowd. Going to like 5 HP / 5 def / 2 res would communicate its purpose a bit better, I think. If you do end up deciding to keep authority as a prereq, definitely go for B as a requirement imo. Definitely agree with this. And I'll mention Seraphim is a pretty cool spell on any magic stat, since IMO its main purpose is instantly breaking a monster's barrier, moreso than damage. It's worth mentioning that Catherine's "Prepare to taste the blade of one who serves the goddess!" definitely establishes that she has devotion to the Church/faith as a whole, not just Rhea. I don't feel too strongly about this overall, but I do think this decision depends a bit on tuning these characters. Would Gilbert be better with Def+2 and Reposition as an option? Sure, but obviously there are other ways you can buff him too (for instance, just raising his starting defence by 2 is strictly better than giving him access to Def+2). In the intermediate class balance as is, different characters would benefit different amounts from automatically mastering earlier classes. Alois getting free Death Blow would be a huge help, whereas Gilbert's prior masteries are pretty minor (Reposition would normally be a big deal, but he already has Smite, which is fairly similar). I don't think this is totally fair. First of all, Sword/Lance Crit+ are pretty situational for most builds, and even the -breakers are often a battle-to-battle thing e.g. Axebreaker is only useful if you're planning to fight a bunch of axe-users. Having two prowess skills can be useful just to have an option to avoid enemy breakers (which are more potent than your own). I don't think sword+lance is great (except maybe on an evade-over-everything Ingrid), but I think some other combinations have definite uses. The classic one to me is Wyverns, who will run axes for immense power, but it's often nice to have another weapon type to more reliably hit mercs/swordmasters/heroes, or just give access to other combat arts. Which weapon may depend on whatever is convenient for the unit in question (lances for Ingrid, who can also use Burning Quake; bows for Cyril/Leonie, who have Point-Blank Volley, swords for Catherine, who starts at A rank and will likely wield Thunderbrand, etc.) I don't think it's necessary for the build, mind - one-weapon wyverns certainly work fine too, either axes or something else - but I think it's a valid choice, particularly for some units. The other nice thing about prowess skills is they're often quite low-cost to acquire; you don't need to master a class, you just need to train a skill some at some point in the game (and for later-joiners this training may even occur automatically). This is why I might favour a second prowess skill as a solution to weaponbreaker+ over say Hit +20, which is not only less effective at the same job (though more effective at other jobs) but actually requires a potentially significant detour. Not even a top three skill for intermediate masteries imo! (which admittedly says more about the top three). 3H just makes it too easy to get hit in other ways. And if you're not averse to using the 8+ uses of Divine Pulse you have by the time you're mastering intermediate classes, pulsing away bad misses the rare time they happen is one of the easiest uses of the mechanic. But... I dunno, I've done an ironman run of the game, and even then I only got Hit+20 on two people, when by comparison, 8 units mastered Brigand. And if I did another such run I would build my units similarly, because I was happy with my ability to achieve reliable hit rates on that run. I basically agree with lenticular that it's useful, but its value really varies - it's great for Vantage/Wrath builds (which can't afford to miss and can't benefit from non-adjutant linked attacks) and bow range+ classes, but I'm kinda lukewarm on it otherwise. Yeah I definitely agree with this, I think Manuela is a unit who can be safely buffed in a few ways. I kinda like what they're going for with her: a hybrid character who can do well in both physical, magical, or hybrid builds, but without the raw strength/magic to dominate at at one of them. The biggest problem though, is that starting at E reason, E authority, E axes is a hard hole to climb out of. Honestly, I would probably swap her Reason bane for a boon (she's Dorothea's mentor, I kinda like Dorothea inheriting her own boons from Manuela) and getting easier access to Mage and Fiendish Blow alone would do wonders for her. She already has quite a different stat build from Dorothea (and Hanneman for that matter), so I wouldn't worry about her feeling too similar. I'm not sure what you mean by switching here... are you considering Bow Knight to be an evolution of Assassin? Because flavour-wise they feel very different. Bow Knight, to me, is an evolution of both Sniper and Paladin, and the game reflects this with its required ranks.
  11. Neat list! Trading Dimitri's axe bane for a flying bane counterinuitively makes it even easier for him to become a flier, since axe is the higher requirement for Wyvern Rider. Also, if "axes handle similarly to lances" is a reason to not give Dimitri an axe bane, surely that would apply to Ingrid as well. You could give Ingrid a brawling bane since it's the least "knight-like" weapon, but I think she's fine as is myself. Also not a big deal, but since it's in the quoted section I'll mention it: Seal Movement is very bad as is and I would either increase its effect to at least -2 (may not be possible via easy hacking methods) or trade it out for something else. Bernie losing Vengeance (assuming you're keeping alive the trend of characters only getting unique arts in their boons) is a significant nerf, though I suppose you've removed Swift Strikes as well, so perhaps this is just the trend of the hack? (If Cyril still gets Point-Blank Volley at C+ he's smirking, though.) While I'm talking about combat arts, I really like Ingrid and Flayn getting their magic arts moved to C+, A is way too late considering that 1-hit moves peak midgame. Paladin is now very OP. I don't think an 8 move class needs this. Thunder losing its (5) crit is virtually irrelevant, this is now the best D rank spell by a mile. Meteor and Agnea's Arrow also both rule. I'm not sure if this is a deliberate effort to make Dorothea ridiculously good but if so I'm not complaining? Abraxas is great as well. Class thoughts: -It's not a big deal, but I'd keep Hero as requiring axe instead of authority. There's a very strong tradition of Hero being an axe+sword class (GBA, DS, Awakening/Fates). Also, C authority is basically trivial by Level 20. Hero still feels weak, too (unless Sol is tuned very strong, I suppose). Maybe trade out the mostly useless Defensive Tactics for Axefaire? -Mortal Savant is incredible for infantry now. 10 speed on player phase, super evade on enemy phase, magic access, decent stats otherwise? Yikes. Now even non-sword mages would strongly consider getting to C+ish sword just to get into this instead of Gremory (which has more spell uses but worse everything else). -Dark Knight losing Dark Tomefaire is indeed a downer, as noted. I'd consider giving it back and then giving Lancefaire to Holy Knight. The "sword + magic" niche is already filled twice over by Mortal Savant and Trickster, no need for a third. (Another option is to combine Black and Dark Tomefaire.) -Falcon Knight getting magic is interesting! Compared to Dark Flier, it loses Black Tomefaire but has generally higher stats otherwise. Since it keys on different skills and is available at a different level I think both classes manage to avoid stepping on each other's toes. (Never mind that now non-DLC havers can use a flying mage... although they stlil miss out on the one +mag flying battalion.)
  12. There are two main issues with Claude's paralogue. One of the boss, who is a lot like the turtle. He has a bit of a different stat build (much faster, but lower defence) but past that is quite similar, and also attacks magically. He doesn't have Quick Riposte, but Miracle does return. Chances are whatever tactics you found effective for the turtle will probably work here too, but be warned that slower, lower-res units will be in extreme danger from counters should they attack. If you have a particularly gifted offensive physical unit with 31 speed or less, consider giving them a guard adjutant which will allow them to survive the second hit of a double. The strategy of first lowering his HP some, then breaking him with gambits to make the later lifebars easier is still the way to go; Ashes and Dust is great in particular. The other issue is that on the first enemy phase after you engage the boss, four wyvern lords will appear from the north and west sides of the map. If you're going in blind chances are very good you will have someone in their range they can kill, since on Maddening they have stupid offence and mobility. The trick is that they don't move if nobody is in their range. Learn where they appear (either by watching them once and using divine pulse, or looking up a video), count 9 squares from those tiles (8 move + 1 attack range), and make sure nobody is in those squares when you engage Macuil. One of the safest (if slow) ways to do this is to take the long way around and gather all your forces on the south and/or east side (assuming starting map rotation) to attack him, but there are some squares to attack safely from the west/north if you really want.
  13. Ooh, that's a good and simple idea that also rewards fast playtimes, I like it. I might suggest assigning +2 fatigue per turn instead of +1, but once again you can set the numbers wherever you'd like to get the desired feel. I might even be tempted to go higher than +2 later, just because Radiant Dawn HP scores get so high.
  14. I think fatigue is a cool concept but I do think it'd be a bit annoying to count this by hand. Do you sit there with a notepad or laptop nearby putting a tickmark for every combat you get into? I guess you could, but it's a lot of bookkeeping. You could probably also estimate it just by assigning a certain number for each battle (say, 15) and increase everyone's fatigue by that. Or you could go super simple, forget HP, and just say "if you're deployed in 2 consecutive fights, you get fatigued for the next" (replace 2 with another number if you prefer... even 1 if you're feeling spicy). One change I would make is that I definitely would not consider break fights. IMO 3-8 and 3-10 are absolutely consecutive, as are 1-8 and 1-E. And yeah I'd definitely want fatigue to affect part 4. I think I would only reset fatigue in the manner you describe at the end of Part 1 and again at the end of Part 2, since those are implied to be significant time gaps. This is neat! I like the flexibility that's built in. I can see part 4 being really entertaining as you try to set up where your 10 lowest-levelled people are actually at least mildly competent. I've done lowest-level-only runs of games and I usually try to build in some rule along the lines of "don't let the permanently forced deploy get overlevelled" and would recommend doing so here, but your last paragraph basically covers that.
  15. I'd say it's possible but not super-likely. The main thing that makes me think it's possible is that the 3H was very popular and (unlike Awakening or Fates) it was praised specifically for its setting... and yeah there's even a plausible dev team for the game that might specifically want to do more with said setting. But otherwise I agree that the series tends to move on from settings after a game or two, and Fodlan has had its two followed by the move on to Elyos. If a second mainline Fodlan game does exist, I would agree that it's probably not gonna be a direct sequel, but there are a lot of ways to avoid route canonicity (prequel, or a jump to Dagda / Almyra / Morfis / etc., or even a game set during the timeskip similar to Thracia). I certainly think a Genealogy remake is possible (though far from the given some of the fanbase seems to assume), but more marketable, let alone far more marketable? I'd definitely disagree there. It's easier to market connections to the most popular game in your series than needing to rely on "oh yeah I kinda recognize that guy from FEH/Engage" which is kinda what Genealogy would be outside of Japan for all but the hardcore fanbase.
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