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Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

I think the idea of surprise reinforcements is to make you always keep your force in a strong formation. "Someone could come up behind me, so I should have one tank at the rear and one tank at the front."

It doesn't work because you don't get enough units to actually make a 360-degree defensive shell, and reinforcements can come from utterly improbable places.

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Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

While it would be nice to have the game reward maintaining a ready formation at all times, it's just not built for it. There's no mechanic akin to "blocking" in American football, where your tough guys actually intercept enemies headed toward your squishies. At the same time, the enemies never actually run past holes in your line.

I'd be fascinated to see a Fire Emblem type game with two extra mechanics:

1) Enemies that will think a turn ahead, prioritizing soft targets that are almost but not quite in reach.
2) An 'attack of opportunity' or 'intercept' mechanic, so running through a character's threatened zone (into the zone and out of it again in the same movement) would give them a free shot at you, probably with some kind of accuracy penalty.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Manatee Cannon posted:

Overwatch makes no sense in a predominantly melee focused game.

If I'm standing still in a field doing nothing, holding an axe, and an enemy runs right past me, you have to assume I'll do something.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Manatee Cannon posted:

One range overwatch is a dumb idea.

Why?

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

To me, part of this debate seems to centre on disagreements on what counts as a justifiably punishable player action. If the player should only be punished* for failing tests she could reasonably be expected to pass on a first playthrough, spoiler-free, FE6 suffers badly because there's no way to find out breaking a weapon will lose the game until you do it. But if the player can be punished for anything she can reasonably be expected to do right once she knows to try it, whenever that happens to be, FE6 doesn't have a problem; the hoops are easy to jump through once you've looked them up on Serenes Forest.

"Gotcha!" moments are one of those hate 'em or grudgingly tolerate 'em things, I find.

e: punished harshly, like by withholding the ending and imposing a de facto lose state; obviously there are and should be loads of minor punishments for all kinds of minor sub-optimal moves

Sorites fucked around with this message at 15:32 on Feb 21, 2015

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Jumping down from reading the War Room to say this:

I really appreciate you explaining your reasoning so thoroughly, all the way from principles down to examples. A lot of informative LPs stop at the game-mechanics post.

I've played Fire Emblem extensively, and done a lot of challenges, and this is still a blast to read. It gives me the same kind of fun I get from well-done exposition in a mystery or sci-fi story: "Here is how it works, and here is what that means for you."

Rock on.

e: One bit of con-crit. If I actually hadn't played FE7 before, and especially if I'd played other FE titles, I would probably wonder why keeping Merlinus alive was so low on your priorities. It gets explained later, but maybe that moment of "bwuh?" would be averted by putting Merlinus's breakdown first.

Then again, I wonder how many FE7 newcomers are even left on the forum after the various LPs, so :shrug:

Sorites fucked around with this message at 11:19 on Feb 22, 2015

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Re: Organization of sections

What if characters got their breakdowns in the first break in gameplay after they mechanically join? Merlinus's breakdown would be just before the War Room, since his convoy is now available; Priscilla's breakdown would be at the end of False Friends to be after she joins but not to interrupt the flow.

e: Or, if it's better to have consistency, character breakdowns could be in the first Preparations after they mechanically join. Athos would have to be a special case, but he would kind of have to be a special case anyway.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Melth posted:

Oh, by the way, I think I got the table of contents sorta working with the new system someone proposed. However, it now seems to link only to the specific chapter posts on their own with no way to see the comments that followed or anything.

You're linking to the postid. You want to link to the pageid with a # bookmark. You can find that URL by clicking the # button in the corner.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Here's a link to your post just now.

Here's the code for the link above:

code:
[url=http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3701153&pagenumber=6#post441891673]Here's a link to your post just now.[/url]
Some (generally outdated or otherwise bad) browsers just don't know what to do with the # references, so they won't scroll down to the post no matter what you do. It's a problem.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Folks posted:

dodge tanks

Thing about dodge tanks: They actually work as (or almost as) well as defence tanks, but you get the most screamingly frustrating resets from them. Losing Hector because he just took more damage than you thought from a group of Heroes is annoying, but you basically understand why you lost. Losing Lyn to a displayed 5% hit makes you want to bite your own leg off because it doesn't feel like your fault.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

quote:

Are castles EVER actually used for their intended purpose in the FE series?

There's a chapter in FE9 where you try to man a fort but are undermanned and can't. There's a chapter in FE10 where you actually man a fort, but the mechanics reward you for charging out to kill the boss within the turn limit.

Apart from that, I can't think of one.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Yep, I'm with them. You did it, then lost it by accident to get us a screenshot. Just give it back to yourself.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

I thought nothing in that update could top Raven's character analysis. Then there was the first-turn blitz in the starting area, using a party composition I'd never considered.

Then there was the carry chain.

Dear God. I'd never really put thought into how much advantage you can create with logistics. I mean, I've used rudimentary shove chains in FE9. But wow.

---

I know it's way early in this LP, but I might as well say this while I'm fangirling: Have you turned your mind to the possibility of showing us what can be done in other Fire Emblem systems? 9, for me, is another sweet spot game that gives you enough tools to create interesting strategies without turning every character into "Vantage! Wrath! Astra! Critical!"

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

quote:

Peasant railgun

I always hated that one. Not because it's exploitative, but because it isn't exploitative enough.

Passing an item was a free action, taking zero time. So if you passed an item even from one person to another, the item was moving at infinite speed: A distance, divided by zero time.

You could do the railgun with two people; there was no need for a lineup.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Yeah, this chapter is intensely goofy and I don't like it. It puts this big dent in Fargus's otherwise impeccable-character status, and I always feel like the dev team is judging me for killing everyone rather than sneaking around.

---

One thing: You mention circled pirates on the map, distinguishing the tough ones from the grappling dummies. But I don't see that any of the pirates are circled.

Am I just totally missing it, or is something off?

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Trasson posted:

I was always under the impression that we're knocking Fargus's crew around a bit, but not actually trying to kill them. It's the only thing that really makes sense.

Is there even a way to do that with, say, a Thunder tome?

Also there's the issue that your defeated characters totally die. And the Dart problem.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

One thing I noticed just now: Why is Dart in a different place on HHM?

I don't see the difference between putting him next to Fargus and putting him near the Arena's north wall like in Eliwood's story. Does the altered position make a tactical difference, or is it just...like that?

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012




That bandit is not alright.



Here's a compilation of various frames interesting frames from the myrmidon combat animations.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Yeah, it didn't work and is confusing.

You should probably include some kind of definitive punchline before the chapter gameplay starts, even if you plan on then continuing the joke, just to be sure the reader is there with you. The 'overly long gag' trick is only progressively funnier every repeat after the audience has had its laugh to begin with.

I've played FE7 a dozen times and was only 50% sure I hadn't gone crazy and missed that Aion was Araphen somehow.

---

On another note...is *anyone* on your team not plus-offence minus-defence? Hell of a glass cannon crew you've got going there...

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Silver Falcon posted:

I agree that your joke was not particularly funny and pretty obtuse to people who don't know this game backwards in forwards.

I've never even seen this chapter. :sweatdrop: I guess I take too long on that stupid Fog of War Map. (gently caress fog of War.)

A good time to drop in the punchline would have been when Lynn goes to attack him, since she would have had some unique dialog for sure. Something like "Nothing to say? Oh, you're not Marquess Araphen. Just some shmuck who looks like him. My mistake."

"Just some schmuck who looks like him."

*screenshot of Lyn's follow-through, with Aion's health at zero*

"My mistake."

It would even fit with Lyn's ruthlessness.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

I think Lyn Mode being nominally optional and Hector Mode being nominally secret does a lot to influence this. There's this stock idea in fantasy that the main hero uses a sword, ideally a magic or legendary sword. Lyn and Eliwood are the protagonists of the two standard stories, so they get swords and upgrade to special swords.

I suspect that if Lyn Mode was mandatory on every playthrough, and especially if the game used a Lyn -> Eliwood -> Hector three-act progression, Eliwood might have a lance from his outset.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Lyn as a Nomad lord would have been neat.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

I really get the sense the FE devs think it's all about Player Phase, with maybe one or two counter attacks per unit on Enemy Phase. Bows certainly aren't balanced around an understanding that they're only useful for a fifth of all combats.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Melth posted:

Anima magic ... 3) is just as effective for achieving ultimate cosmic power 4) doesn't inevitably lead to death or worse.

This I don't agree with. A lot of the out-of-combat applications of dark magic seem unmatched by Anima (or Light). Even in 19xx there's the magic fog, and then there's all of Nergal's spoiler stuff. You could even call Kishuna's field an offshoot of (an offshoot of) dark magic, though I don't think the game itself ever does.

Anima magic feels much more like...I don't know, the Destruction school from Skyrim. "Fire, bigger fire, even bigger fire. Zap, bigger zap, even bigger zap." It lacks versatility, even implied off-screen versatility.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Fire Emblem Conspiracy Theory: Anyone can use a staff with basic training, regardless of magical talent. Various organizations keep this a secret to preserve their monopoly on healing. The whole FE10 plot is an omnidirectional false flag to cover up Big Staff's need to stop Micaiah from eroding their power.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Fionordequester posted:

Btw, for anyone who is curious...Melth is wrong about one thing. It is actually possible to get Nils to Level 7 while still S ranking Lyn Hard Mode at the same time if you keep letting enemies attack him on Chapter 10 (thereby giving him effectively 14 Exp. per turn rather than 10). In fact, I've actually done it, although I had to use a good bit of RNG manipulation (mostly so your Combat score isn't completely tanked by the end). Would anyone be interested in seeing it?

*raises hand*

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

I don't know about Ereshkigal, but Athos is S-rank in Dark magic as well as everything else. It's actually kind of strange, now that I think about it, and seems to break the rule about losing your mind.

e;f;b

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

It's less strategy and more logistics, if you ask me. Everyone having their own money supply, and weapons being untradable, means you can genuinely get yourself into an unwinnable scenario by misallocating your resources. And then not realize you've done this until several chapters later, when you actually hit bottom and mathematically can't win.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

A supposed-to-lose fight at this point in the story would have to telegraph itself as unwinnable very, very clearly. Otherwise the player would mistake it for the endgame, and would misread the "YOU'RE DOOMED" warnings as building up tension.

If anything, this calls for an FE9-style Escape chapter. That would convey the danger and impossible odds while not feeling like a cheat (or confusing first-time players).

Sorites fucked around with this message at 21:24 on Mar 2, 2015

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Cake Attack posted:

the only way to do a you're supposed-to-lose-map would be as an escape map, and that's not entirely the same thing

Heh, posted while I edited my own post.

I could see an Escape map working quite well here, especially if the ante was upped by making you lose any character who didn't escape. Or maybe something less punishing, where anyone left behind would survive but lose 1 from every stat (3 HP) to represent quintessence drain.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Ephidel doesn't send Jaffar away. Jaffar is the boss standing on the Escape tile. He retreats when knocked to 0 HP (his HP would be 1 less than his "actual" HP from his recruitment chapter, so really you're knocking him down to 1). Maybe take away his Silencer ability for game feel reasons.

I like it.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

quote:

"Oh God, run!" moments

FE9 also had some good ones, especially its version of the port chapter. Of course, once you know the special mechanics it isn't as stressful. But on a first playthrough it can lead to some big-time chaos.

And then again on your first Hard Mode run.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

I'd forgotten how drat weird Fire Emblem threads always get.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

But we're on the way now. Two pages ago we weren't on the way. The dams were holding.

Now it's inevitable.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Nihilarian posted:

Edit: Geop's Wind Waker LP is doing sea shanties.

This is easily my favourite point raised in an argument throughout my whole time on these forums.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

The EXP ranking is really unforgiving, and it's hard to get very far ahead of it. The difference between five-starring any given chapter (except zero chapters) and no-starring it is only 200 points, for example.

I'll wager you were just barely in the five-star range. Then you fought the last chapter using (perhaps) some maxed-out units? And because the last chapter is full of tough enemies, the potential experience there was high. So you fell to the very tip-top of the three-star range.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

The problem here isn't the high bar per se (although that's a big part of it). It's that the gap between perfect and mediocre is so tiny, and there aren't (for example) half-stars. You don't really get meaningful feedback as to how well you're doing, because a 2999-point four-star and a 2901-point four-star look the same despite the massive practical difference.

If you have a four-star ranking, and you want to know whether the run can be salvaged, you might have to go through and add up every character's gained xp and compare it to the requirement.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

My beef with the 9/10 weight system wasn't the continual uptick in capacity, it was tying the uptick into an existing stat. It made melee fighters stop caring about weight, and it made mages care far too much about STR (a stat they didn't even have before).

My ideal weight system would be tying capacity into a non-growing CON stat, but making that stat increase by one every N chapter deployments, kinda like Merlinus leveling up. Healthy veteran soldiers in the primes of their lives would start with almost as much CON as they'd ever need, but gain very little more; they're already peaked. The various JRPG child soldiers would start with terrible CON, but gain it quickly.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Dr Pepper posted:

The problem with weapon weight is that it's either arbitrary and crippling or completely meaningless.

Yep. A growth system tied into a stat that governs nothing else would avoid the two problems.

CON sucks because you get a CON score that's kinda meant to represent your character's narrative role, and you're stuck with it forever.

9/10's Strength-based system sucks because warriors need loads and loads of Strength, and mages need none. So there's this weirdo divide between AS.

If CON (or something better-named for mages, like Expertise) came back with its own growths, you could have the actual vision: Rookie fighters would start out clumsy and grow into their weapons (regardless of melee/magic type). At the same time, the physical titan would have an edge over the stripling wannabe and the genius wizard would have an edge over the self-taught dilletante - at least until the underdogs caught up.

Sorites fucked around with this message at 01:35 on Mar 11, 2015

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Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Yeah, the underlying combat system isn't really deep enough to accommodate too much mechanical variety. You can't elect not to attack, you're stuck with one weapon for a whole Enemy Phase, and damage is high enough that a player-controlled character really should be two-hit-killing most enemies by midgame. So there's not much room for complexity.

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