Impressions/Questions

Talk about FE7x here, plz.

Impressions/Questions

Ghoul King
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Joined: 06 Feb 2017, 18:30

06 Feb 2017, 22:30 #1

As of this writing, I've played the Prologue, Chapter 2, and Chapter 5. Currently wondering if 1, 3, and 4 just aren't in this version or if I'm actually supposed to unlock those chapters? Guessing the former. but the plot unfolds coherently enough as-is that it's legitimately unclear.

Plot-wise, I'm not sufficiently invested in the Elibe setting to have much to say on the topic. So far I'm a bit bothered by the commonality of swearing -not because it's 'un-Fire Emblem-y' or whatever, but because a portion of it reads like it's... trying too hard? I was caught off guard by the first instances of swearing, and even after I cottoned on to how Immortal Sword is actually aiming for a fairly medieval feel and adjusted my expectations of swearing appropriately (And then adjusted them again as it was laid out how Uther really prefers to hold himself like a common man, not a respectable noble), it still felt like there was a certain amount of gratuitous swearing.

Marcus having a freak-out over killing people after Chapter 5 also feels a bit weird to me, I'll admit. Yes, the previous chapters are supposed to be non-lethal combat, and he's supposed to be a young soldier, but nothing has really set me up to think Marcus comes from a background that makes this a plausible/natural reaction. Given Immortal Sword's interpretation of Elibe is fairly medieval-accurate, he's probably seen executions among other things, which would make death a less shocking/horrifying thing to witness/deal out. So it feels odd.

Gameplay-wise, I'm impressed on a number of levels, and find a lot of the choices interesting, though I can't make informed statements on some topics, such as the balance of growths, seeing as that information is opaque in-game. So far my characters have tended to have poor rolls, but I dunno if that's bad luck or a deliberate choice to make all the Trainee classes lean on having an extra 9 levels and an extra set of promotion bonuses.

In any event, I'm quite enjoying the "start with primarily trainees" aspect of the game progression. It gives a stronger sense of progression with your characters than you usually see in a Fire Emblem game, since they level quickly and get a promotion early on. I like how 'level 11' is an auto-promote, compared against Sacred Stones' "hit level 10, then wait until the start of the next mission" approach, making it so you're encouraged to treat them like regular units, rather than try to grind them until they're read to promote in a single mission. (In Sacred Stones I usually use Bazba's bandits as an opportunity to grind Ross up to level 10, for example, even though this dramatically slows down the mission, so I don't have to deal with him hitting level 10 early in a later mission and then having to either sideline him to avoid wasting experience or... waste experience)

I'm also quite the fan of the trainee battle animations. (Out of the ones I've seen so far) The Scout and Squire animations in particular are fantastic, and the Skywatcher, as silly as it is, is great too. I really like how the Scout and Skywatcher look nervous/casual, and then it gets tied into the animations in a more significant way.

(Though Marcus' overland sprite looks way too feminine. I can tell it's been modified from Amelia's one, but I don't think it's been modified enough. It's particularly striking as his battle graphic, though I can see the origin as an Amelia-edit, doesn't have me going "Why does Amelia have purple hair?")

I have more mixed feelings about how all the trainee classes have 4 Move. It was fine in the Prologue, where you're mostly supposed to let the enemy come to you while you only slowly make your way to the boss, whom is, realistically, outside of anybody but Uther's ability to fight, but it seriously bogged down the following chapters and I only occasionally felt like it impacted combat maneuvering. I get that it's being consistent with the canon trainees, but I'm not sure it's an appropriate decision for Immortal Sword. In Sacred Stones, the trainees are Magikarp power, and having to baby them -up to and including slowing down your entire combat convoy so Ewan can actually get a chance at experience- is consistent with that design philosophy. In Immortal Sword the trainees seem to much more be "this is just how the early game starts." Trainees dragging the map out/slowing down the rest of your force if you want them to participate doesn't seem in line with the design philosophy of Immortal Sword.

I'm also not sure I like the Medic in practice. Healers already tend to be my last units to reach level 20, unless I deliberately draw missions out and let them heal every last booboo and scrape (Which is, in fact, pretty much exactly what I do whenever practical, and sometimes even when it's not practical), in which case they still are almost never among my first promotions, and having to work through trainee levels to boot makes me wince at the thought of it. The loss of Move is even less relevant to the Medic, too, since she doesn't really do combat maneuvering in the first place, and so most of the time it only matters in terms of adding turns to my count while I wait for her to catch up/having Eagler grab her and someone else dump her to get around that issue, which isn't gameplay-positive.

It took me a bit to really notice that Immortal Sword has player units abnormally high in HP, because I actually didn't realize initially that Marcus wasn't my only trainee unit, but having realized it, I quite like it. It reduces the degree to which luck plays into the early game ("Will Eirika be hit by one, two, or none of the two Brigands who remove half her health in one hit but only have a 30% chance to hit, each? Let's find out! Oops, time to restart the mission"), without making for invincible supertanks, which is great all-around. In general I've noticed that Immortal Sword seems to lean toward RNG-resistant mission design, such as player units tending to have very high accuracy if they aren't suffering weapon triangle disadvantage, and it's helping keep me engaged with a game I honestly thought I'd give a whirl and then lose interest in almost immediately.

Speaking of RNG: does Uther's Guts skill give him negative modifiers at max HP, and if so, is it supposed to? I kept running into situations where enemies had a chance to crit Uther, often a higher chance than the chance listed in their stat overview, and couldn't come up with any alternative explanation.

I'm also liking a lot of other design decisions for more subtle reasons. I didn't actually catch it in a meaningful way until Marcus and Isadora promoted and abruptly I realized that wait, there is no Cavalier class wielding swords+lances. The main series favoritism for cavalry has always bothered me, so this was a delight to catch. Similarly, I like how our Jeigan can be useful without being a kill-stealer, and not just through Rescue shenanigans. Though I think gaining 10 experience per Sacrifice might be a bit too much. I've gotten him to level 3 already, even though he's only been in two missions! (Though calling him a Jeigan is probably not correct, given both of his levels were good ones, indicating he has good or at least decent growths)

I also love how the game has an exclamation-point warning for Effective Weapons. Having to tediously comb through every individual enemy and identify the positions of the ones with Effective weapons so you don't lose someone out of nowhere has always been one of the more obnoxious facets of the official games, and having a "Hey, stupid! Bad idea!" that doesn't demand you do that manual combing is fantastic. In conjunction with how you get a pop-up displaying equipment just for hovering over a given enemy, it's much, much less tedious to get started on a map.

That said, it feels a bit overkill to give the player Eagler and promptly have maps sprinkled liberally with horse-killers. Less obnoxious than, say, how Sacred Stones has a single Halberd hidden in the first Fog of War mission to instantly kill Seth with no warning at all, but a bit weird. I'm assuming it's meant to discourage the newbie-trap of letting your promoted character waste experience by killing everything, but that both seems a bit odd to be doing in a fangame and a newbie likely to fall into that trap is also likely to not notice they're going to get their Paladin killed on the legions of horseslayers.

The secondary boss on Chapter 5 could also use some work. He's got a name and a different portrait from all the grunts, and he's not the chapter boss I'm here to kill, so I initially assumed I was meant to recruit him, but between him talking about "getting started", me noticing how his eyes were shadowed, and the fact that there was no hint for who could recruit him/Uther couldn't recruit him, I eventually concluded he's just... another boss. Which is nice -more experience for somebody- but he trips a lot of "probably recruitable" flags when he's apparently... not.

The primary boss of chapter 5 didn't make a good impression on me, incidentally. She's dressed to show off cleavage using Jessica Rabbit-esque gravity-defying clothes... but she's a murderous psycho who doesn't seem to have an ounce of lust in her... and her character graphic is completely out of line with a Myrmidon graphic, to boot, drawing further attention to the oddity of it all.

On the graphical end, I'm impressed, again, on a number of levels. Information of various sorts is clearly displayed, the new animations and sprites look great or, at worst, okay... it's really great stuff. I've been impressed by the flinch sprites, too, especially how natural they look even though they've gotta be new sprites, mostly made from scratch, of pre-existing sprites.

That said, there were a handful of cases of random enemy soldiers with the ? 'head' instead of the correct head sprite in no pattern I could discern, and it seems a bit odd to me that player units never flinched. Do they just not have flinch sprite implemented yet, or is something weirder going on?

-----

Other stuff I'll have to either get farther in or get direct answers before I have a concrete opinion. The Support system, in particular, is just as opaque as it is in the GBA games, so I have no idea if it's literally the same system, just a better visual presentation, or if it's actually different. For the moment I'm not bothering to try to "optimize" Supports, since I have no idea what the rules are. (ie I'm letting Eagler and the Medic build a Support, even though I don't normally like building Supports with Jeigan-esque characters)
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deranger
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deranger
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07 Feb 2017, 04:31 #2

The missing chapters are part of other story lines following other lords.

You get a "base" stage similar to FE9 and 10 in two chapters, it'll list all supports there. Also, growths aren't as opaque as you might think- a green tinted stat is above average, a red tinted stat is below.

The increase in HP is to account for the increased Mt of weapons and the increased damage due to skills once everyone is promoted.

Trainees especially have lower growths to account for the sheer number of levels and another set of promotion bonuses they receive. This game in general tries to keep growths to FE6/7 levels, as units are meant to fill their roles, not be one man armies who max every stat. Though some can come close to it. Healing with Madelyn every turn is part of good planning for her training, and means she promotes at a reasonable time without having to intentionally worsen your turn count.

I don't think seeing a public execution and killing someone with your own hands are necessarily equatable. I don't think there's anyone you can say with certainty won't completely break down after killing for the first time.

I think I'm 50-50 with you on the trainee's reduced move. It gives a strong incentive to promote them quickly, and is consistent, but their inferior movement is really annoying.

Glad you're enjoying the game, there's lots more to enjoy. And Myke said we'd be getting an update soon. So when that happens in a month or two, I'll lose my shit, again.
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Ghoul King
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07 Feb 2017, 18:06 #3

Not sure how to feel about the implication that Immortal Sword's story/party is going to jump around a lot. It explains what I'm seeing nicely, but I'm not actually a fan of that in a Fire Emblem game...

Ah, I'd wondered why sometimes someone's stat was red. Not sure I noticed green ones, but I've tended to find a green glow/tint less obvious, so I probably just overlooked them. Still doesn't tell me the actual ranges, though.

The Supports point was more about the fact that I don't know if, for instance, the game is enforcing the 5 support 'levels' limit that is typical to the series.

I haven't noticed increased Might on weapons? And anyway my main point is that the main Fire Emblem games tend to shoot for everything killing everything else in two swipes, such that you don't ever want to be doubled by anything, have to carefully control how many units can reach you in a turn, etc etc, which makes RNG shenanigans much more problematic. If a fragile-but-dodgy unit will die in four attacks, then being attacked by two units at a time per turn lets you actually react to whether they get multiple dodges or not. If it'll die in two, then even if it actually has godly dodge there's always that risk that one random dude will double them and kill them because you weren't Speed-checking, or that you'll set up your Swordmaster so only one guy can attack them because it's a corridor and then whoops they crit-killed their first attacker, took a hit in the process, and then got killed by the follow-up attack that wouldn't have happened if they hadn't gotten a crit.

So having inflated HP in the early game, such that even my fragile guys aren't constantly at risk of instantly dying, is a huge relief. If the later game makes that inflated HP less useful, as you're indicating... well, a game is supposed to get harder as it progresses, generally speaking, and a failing of the actual games in my opinion is that usually the high point for difficulty is somewhere in the early-to-midgame, because that's when careful map design can ensure a challenge/the player doesn't have enough fallbacks to deal with being growth-screwed, where in the endgame they're just fielding whoever ended up amazing and any enemy statlines that guarantee a challenge are at too much risk of being outright impossible to beat for people who got growth-screwed. (Or soldiered on after losing a handful of their best troops)

I'm not saying watching an execution and killing someone in combat is equatable. I'm saying Marcus' reaction reads like he's had literally no experience with death at all, which seems unlikely. He's focusing a lot more on the physical element -the blood and so on- then on the part where he, personally, snuffed lives, which makes it seem like he's never seen gore, let alone death.

On the trainee move, I should add that I'm a little less frustrated by it having noticed that 5 move is the typical 'base' move, not 6. It's still a map-dragging nuisance that I'm not sure really fits to the game's approach to trainees, though. As for Madelyn... I'll have to come back later to that point.

Trainee growths-wise, again, I'd have to see the actual growths, but if the 1-2 stats I've been getting per level is typical rather than bad luck, then they're going to tend to end up behind people whose growths average more like 4 stats a level, extra 9 levels or no. The trainee promotions seem to be in line with Sacred Stones, as well: normally a promotion gives so many stats that even perfect levels would take 2-4 levels to match the promotion gains, but trainee promotions, aside from granting some Constitution, are pretty much a single decent/good level's worth of stat gains. Which, since you have to expend a level's worth of experience on this in Immortal Sword, is even less impressive than in Sacred Stones, where a trainee hits level 10 and then after the mission automagically promotes for free, effectively stacking the promotion stat gains directly onto reaching level 10, as far as experience factors are considered.

It definitely helps the trainees' cases that their base stats aren't epically awful, anyway, but in the long term growths are going to be more important.

----------------

Done Trial Map 1, now. I was surprised it had actual plot, given that it's labeled as a Trial Map, and annoyed that I apparently ended up doing it before plotpoints it's premised in. Would be nice to have some kind of warning that Trial Maps may spoil you on missions you've not done yet. Or just shift this one's unlock point to past the plotpoint in question, rather than (I'm guessing) at the same time as that plotpoint.

I was amused to recognize the map from Fuin No Tsurugi, incidentally. (I think the same map shows up in Rekka No Ken, as well? Been a while) Cute.

Meant to comment last time that I'm wondering if map ranking actually matters/will matter down the line. It's sort of interesting to have the game ranking me on performance, but so far I haven't seen evidence of mechanical rewards, which would potentially help discourage shenanigans like priest statues.

I think I like the mage-killer mage. One of the wonkier 'balance' issues with the series is that mages tend to have shockingly high Resist, such that they're one of your best answers to enemy mages... except the enemy mages also have actually good resist... so actually if it weren't for the series' tendency to increasingly turn enemies into glass cannons as you get farther into the game, actual answers to enemy mages would be thin on the ground. (Pegasus Knights don't generally have that good of Resist, and their crippled HP often means you're better off using a Fighter or something!)

I was also surprised to notice that Pegasus Knights are considered cavalry for the purposes of horseslaying gear. Not sure how I feel about that. I can see it helping make Wyvern Riders less screwed over -it's pretty doofy how the GBA games have dragonslaying gear and let Bows hit Wyverns hard, while Pegasi only have to fear the Bows- but I've actually always found Pegasi to be one of the more underwhelming classes in the series. Then again, my biggest issue with them is their awful HP and horrid Constitution and given the Skywatcher started tougher than, say, Tana in Sacred Stones, it might be completely justified in context. (For instance, I found in Shadow Dragon Pegasi just needed to not be Strength-screwed to be very good, with enemy Bow users not even actually doing that much to balance them unless they positioned to be able to cover each other)

I was a little disappointed when I actually tried out Cover. When I first saw the skill, I was sort of imagining something like Defense Supports from the Super Robot Taisen games: designate an ally, tank hits for them in combat for the next turn. Instead it's just... Rescue, but you move into their position? It's an extra option, and extra options are pretty much never a bad thing, but it's actually pretty rare that I want a Rescuer moving into the rescuee's position while Rescuing them. It helps that if you have Cover you don't suffer penalties for Rescuing/Covering (Well. Savior does both, anyway) but honestly I usually employ Rescuing to do stuff like get someone out of the way so someone else can attack, or to let someone attack a boss and then be pulled away before it can retaliate. Cover seems... niche, at best.

Something I meant to say in my original post is that I appreciate how the 'flavor' Visits generally give a little experience to the visitor. 'Flavor' Visits have always bothered me in the official games, as they tend to have the contradictory nature of being aimed at helping new players (With the occasional worldbuilding mixed in) while being something that wastes turns and thus risks a player making a mission harder than it should be. (Because someone ended up out of position in the process of Visiting the guy who explains the weapon triangle, or because the player could've had the Visitor attack someone and didn't, etc) Having a concrete reward, however small, is nice -and also means that players have an incentive to go check out worldbuilding/hints/etc instead of going "Oh. These are worthless. I'm ignoring them all forever."
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deranger
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deranger
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08 Feb 2017, 01:34 #4

The game does enforce the 5 support max.
Hassar and Madelyn
[+] spoiler
have a gradual forced A support, if you wanted to know that.
I believe iron weapons have 2 more Mt than they do in the official GBA titles. Steel weapons have 4 more than that, instead of the usual 3 more. I think this is true for all weapon types.

Standard move for tier 1 has always been 5 move in GBA FE's. It was upped for PoR and RD. There's also at least 6 tier 1's in this with only 4 move, as Yeti's adding in a lot of armour and heavy mage classes.

Marcus is in shock, trying to contextualize what he's feeling. I think describing the physical aspects of it is part of that.

I don't think the growths have that large a disparity, and Marcus and Isadora just seem to have lower growths to cancel out their horse advantage (though still not terrible). Also, you have to consider more than just end game. Because of how experience is weighed, and because of that first promotion's bonuses, a lot of the trainees outclass their tier 1 counterparts intiially. Then, as they near tier2 promotion, the tier1's begin to catch up again. It's an interesting take, and I like it. End game Hassar is great.

The trail maps were released before the chapters, and don't exactly fit into the plot perfectly. They arguable occur after all the playable chapters, but that's definitely not perfect. They have a nice story between them, though. Definitely more enjoyable writing. But they were released as trial maps, and I think you'd enjoy going back to them after you finish the main story.

Rankings don't matter in the current demo, as far as I'm aware. Well, besides pride, and helping Yeti balance the maps.

The visit experience is a neat additions. The little things definitely contribute to the experience.
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Ghoul King
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09 Feb 2017, 19:01 #5

Alright, I guess I'll need to be more discerning about triggering Supports now. Inconvenient.

Hm, double-checking weapons... yeah, okay, I've confirmed Lances and Swords having 2 more Might at Iron, compared to Sacred Stones. Probably in part because of the addition of Bronze, honestly: the Bronze Sword has the Might of a Sacred Stones Iron Sword.

I dunno. I'm just not seeing the Marcus thing. Partly because the game doesn't really do a good job of spelling out that you're butchering these people prior to his freakout -it was very blunt that the drunkards weren't being killed in the Prologue, ambiguously suggested that the dude's forces Uther decides to break on through were being at most moderately injured and allowed to run, and then just not explicitly given a similar idea for when you're fighting the scout force. Like, okay, you can consider it kind of implied that you're killing them, but it's just as possible that you're beating them up and capturing them. So Marcus' reaction caught me off guard just on that level.

But part of my point is that he doesn't seem to really feel all that guilty or otherwise reacting with abstract emotional stuff? His focus seems to basically be "killing people is shockingly gross".

I'll admit, doing a direct comparison of Toni and Hassar post-chapter 6, the only growth-stat she's behind in is Luck, even though she's level 9 trainee and he's, you know, like seven levels ahead of that. Then again, Hassar keeps struggling to do real damage in fights, so that doesn't actually mean she's good, just that he's worse. Though it's actually Harken who I keep struggling to avoid having him be instantly killed through doubling and other problems while trying to level him -Marcus and Isadora were solid from second one and became amazing once they promoted, and unlike Harken they don't really have competition as yet. (Harken has to compete with Uther)

-------------

Finally remembered: the game could really use some kind of booting-up screen. The long, long nothing before it boots up makes it easy to wonder if you even started it up at all. ("Did I double-click the shortcut? Maybe I thought I did and actually only clicked once. Let's try again.") This is exacerbated by it not enforcing the usual "only one copy of the program running at a time", too. It's not a big deal, but it's a nuisance.

My first attempt at Chapter 6 involved a character dying. RNG-screw was, strictly speaking, involved (A 12% crit triggering, which even considering they were doubling the target is only a roughly 20% chance of getting a crit) but I actually came away feeling clear that this was my screwup, that I could've done better and should've done better (I didn't pay close enough attention to the Monk boss' stats, dismissing him as an experience pinata) where my typical Fire Emblem "someone died" experience is "And what, exactly, was I supposed to have done different?" I'm not sure I can convey just how much of a relief it was: I wasn't frustrated by the death, I was happy!

Speaking of RNG, my admittedly small sample size looks to me like the game actually doesn't use True Hit, which I approve of.

I also finally worked out that Bows have 'weapon triangle advantage' at range two (Except against Bows, it looks to me? I mean, you can't both be advantaged, obviously) and are disadvantaged at range 1, which is quite frankly brilliant and amazing. In the official games, Bow users aren't even really worth baiting out anything except maybe throwing axe users and other Bow guys (And fliers holding a ranged weapon) because you've got other, better options: bait mages with other mages for magic triangle advantage, bait Javelin-holders with throwing axe-holders for weapon triangle advantage, bait magic swords with, again, mages for magic triangle advantage. Here, Bows are always at least as good as other weapons for baiting out such enemies, and indeed are the go-to option if you want to bait out multiple disparate ranged attacks. (eg standing at the edge of a Javelin-holder's range and a Mage's range) Meanwhile, being disadvantaged in melee means that it's ill-advised to use them, as I often end up doing in the official games, as meatshields that won't kill their attacker. (In Sacred Stones I have repeatedly had Neimi sit around, tanking hits from melee enemies so Ewan or Amelia can safely plink away at a target for experience) It also means that if the game has any range 1-2 Bows, they're still ranged-oriented weapons, just ones that aren't completely helpless when meleed, which is fantastic!

I also really like how Ballista are handled. Being able to have a tank absorb a hit, then rush into their range on the next turn, is great and does away with the main reasons why I think they're an awful, hateful mechanic in the official games. I do think the AI might need a bit of work -I was caught off guard by how willing Archers were to abandon the Ballista in pursuit of a Bow-shot, and it seems a bit exploitable in a way that I doubt is intended.

Now I'm looking forward to seeing how Siege Tomes are handled.
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deranger
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deranger
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09 Feb 2017, 19:57 #6

Shell shock might be the wrong word, but I think being on a battlefield could be traumatic for anyone. Don't know how else he would express it. This might be beating a dead horse at this point, though.

Hassar is an Est. He's got pretty good growths, and an amazing t2 class/abilities. Harken can be a bit all over the place. He was godly my first run, but being sword based infantry with lackluster speed has made him unimpressive most of my other runs. Still, I never had issues with him dying, and don't think you will once he gets promoted. Unless he already is, in which case, odd. He's got absurd HP.
Noteable end game stats:
[+] spoiler
Forgot if I mentioned, but I agree that the game definitely rewards smarter playing with, if not assured, at least much higher chances of success.

I'm pretty sure true hit is still used.

The bow range advantage does make them more useful in general, but especially as mage killers. It also makes anticipation great, and adds an interesting element to longbow and the arbelist skill that allows them 1 range. How do you see the bow men abandoning the ballistae as exploitable? I thought it makes a bit of sense.

There's a seige tome in Ch12 as well as Trial Map 3. They're basically the same as far as I can tell except they have 3-7 range instead of 3-10.

I think I'm playing the game through for the first time again vicariously through you. Keep it up.
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Ghoul King
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10 Feb 2017, 18:52 #7

One of the main things that gets people freaking out when they've killed people on a battlefield is that cultures tend to drive home some variation on "thou shalt not kill fellow human beings". So you get people whose "I'm not supposed to kill people" reaction kicks in and they feel some mix of shame, horror, guilt, etc, struggling to reconcile these "you're bad if you kill people" messages with "I just killed people". Especially with how Elibe is A: in general pretty strongly medieval-Europe and B: Immortal Sword seems to be doing this even more than the official games, I'd basically expect Marcus' reaction to center around feeling like he's a horrible person for killing people in a manner reminiscent of how you get Christians who struggle with the topic, if he was going to have such a response at all.

On my Normal Mode run, Harken has yet to double anybody and keeps getting doubled (It doesn't help that I've done stuff like given him the Zanbato so he can actually get kills, and it's way too heavy for him), and it was him that got killed by the Monk boss. I finally got him promoted just now, and he was still struggling to Not Die post-promotion because he was getting doubled by the Nomads. (Who admittedly doubled an alarming fraction of my party, but most of the other people who got doubled had high enough Defense that it wasn't actually that threatening) His Luck is also so low he keeps being at risk of 1% chance to instantly die where literally nobody else on the team is fearing crits from random Mercenaries etc. On my Hard Mode run, he's doing a bit better, in part because there's just more enemies to feed him experience to, and in part because he's gotten more consistently decent levels. (In particular: Speed! Normal Mode Harken got like no Speed on any pre-promote level up)

Hassar is most certainly not an Est. An Est is an under-level character you get late in a run (Like, level 5 un-promoted when everybody else is already promoted level 5) who needs to be babied but will become amazing. Magikarp power. Hassar is closer to whatever the Jeigans-that-don't-actually-suck get called, since he shows up as not-a-trainee when most of your party is probably still trainees.

If true hit is being used, then the RNG is in love with giving me insanely long odds events on a constant basis. (Which, to be fair, every RNG in every game I've ever played seems to hate me and hate the idea of sensible ranges of randomness, so it could just be me) In the actual GBA games if you're at least 90 Accuracy, a miss is already a less-than-2% event. I've repeatedly had characters -enemies and ally alike- dodge 90~% Accuracy hits at a rate far, far beyond 2%.

Archers abandoning the Ballista means that Archers can be baited out away from people standing ready to punish attacks on the Archer. Like, in the mission in question, I thought the northern Ballista Archer was going to be a knotty problem, because anybody attacking the Archer in melee range was going to then be attacked by a unit or two hanging out over near the main boss, which meant that if the character who baited out the Ballista shot was actually hit by it they'd probably be in serious danger if they then rushed the Archer. Then I discovered that actually Archers are eager to abandon their Ballista (By virtue of Isadora attacking the southern Archer and them promptly abandoning it to attack her) and adjusted to "tank a Ballista hit, then bait the Archer out toward my forces so I can chop them up away from any other enemies."

This can be made less exploitable by adjusting scenario design, of course (eg putting guards right next to the Ballista), but that first map suggests to me that the map designer's expectations of how Archers+Ballista work is a bit different from how they actually work.

Glad you're enjoying my commentary.

-------

So I did the first Fog map. It was... an experience.

Things I like: ranged swords! Thieves being something other than "sucks at combat but has a bunch of non-combat utility functions"! Being able to steal weapons, just like in Thracia! (Okay and I think also Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn but whatever) Enemies being affected by Fog rather than being dirty cheaters who cheat! Enemies being able to use the Trade command! (One enemy grabbed a Potion to use it off a buddy, which so shocked and confused me that my first thought was "But [other enemy unit] isn't a Staff user!") Bandits being a different color and having a different turn!

Training is a fantastic function! (Among other points, I retract my complaints about Madelyn: she'll level quickly due to overseeing training sessions. I also love that Eagler having Sacrifice is enough to let him oversee a training session. I wish I had a better idea of what was going on in Training, though. Do units get more experience for the battle lasting longer? More for cleaner wins?...) Being able to have Support conversations outside of missions is fantastic! I haven't used it yet and I'm only assuming it's basically a Hammerne Staff in functionality but I approve of the Repair Kit! Pirate man having an A rank Support with the Sea is hilarious and I only hope it also has mechanical effects! (ie him getting Support bonuses for being near/on ocean tiles) Bart Junior, Bart Junior, and Junior-who-isn't-Bart! The Tent being able to oversee Training sessions, and apparently this is just how they level because holy crap they gained one level per training session! The Tent being useful to retreat to in the field, rather than just that place you keep your items!

Things I do not like: Fog. Fog is still terrible, even with the AI no longer cheating. The boss having a Killer Lance. The Juniors being clinically retarded, such that I failed to keep them all alive solely because the boss got into town limits and they rushed him en mass, which still shouldn't have killed any of them except 2 out of 3 attacks were crits on a crit chance of roughly 30%. Hell, one of them he doubled, one of which was a crit, and he didn't kill that Junior, but then he hit another Junior once but since it was a crit, that was it, they were gone. Niime's predictions being pretty much filthy lies, aside from correctly warning you about horseslaying gear.

The Thief's punk hair doesn't precisely bother me, but he looks so out of place among the cast. And it's a bit weird coming from someone who is apparently a spy. "Pay no mind to the blatant weirdo" is not great spy tactics.

For the moment I'm sticking with having a Dead Junior partly because this was my fourth attempt at the map and partly because I'm curious to see what, if any, effect it actually has on later play.

Thing I have no opinion on: oh look we have Shadow Dragon-esque base conversations. Meh.

--------------

I also did the Prologue and Chapter 2 on Hard. The Prologue didn't feel that different -if anything, I've gotten better enough at the game that it was easier- but Chapter 2 I took a lot longer on (Primarily because I was trying to train up Harken, Isadora, and Marcus) compared to Normal and there was clearly more enemy units and all. I also ended up seeing a Cavalier Rescue a Soldier for... no reason?... and saw units wait to be healed before attacking (Where in an official game they'd have either suicided or had their turn roll around and then Waited, wasting their turn entirely), saw units retreating to a Priest to get healed, and in general saw the AI being, to my astonishment, about ninety times smarter than the official games' AI. (While still being suicidally stupid, as they should be for game design purposes, so I'm doubly impressed!)

I also had the curious experience of Marcus ceasing to get experience out of a Mercenary that he kept plinking at while they got healed by a Priest. I approve of the game having a mechanism for reducing abuse of enemy healing -there's a reason the main games only rarely give the enemy units with Staves capable of healing- though it would be nice if it were a bit less opaque. I actually initially believed that game was refusing to give Marcus experience because he was about to promote, and so I was guessing there was some arbitrary requirement that he actually land a kill when he promotes.

I actually only ended up getting a C on Chapter 2 Hard because I took forever and apparently the game considered me to do poorly on combat, even though I got 150 on Experience. I'd wondered if it was even possible to get a strongly positive score in Experience, so that's cool to know.

I also got asked if I wanted to overwrite my Normal Mode save each time I beat a chapter on Hard, which I refused both times. I frankly have no idea what that even means, and refusing it hasn't had any of the effects I might've guessed it having... so that's just confusing.

Incidentally, I approve of Checkpoints. Being able to semi-save after setting up people the way you want, but then being able to back out and do different Training, give different people stat items, etc, is very nice and frankly in the actual games the lack of such a mechanic is just wasting a player's real time if they want to do such. (Since they can just do all that kind of stuff, not save, and then reload if they don't like how things go) So hooray for Checkpoints on that level! Also hooray for them on the level of being given free ones on longer missions -in the official games it gets infuriating to be doing a mission that takes 40+ minutes and then restart it from scratch because RNG-screw killed someone, or "hey here's reinforcements with no warning that immediately move and attack your guys lol" kills someone, or whatever. (I never finished Fuuin No Tsurugi because the game did this constantly, and once I was past the early game where it cost me like 5 minutes to restart it went from "obnoxious" to "Can I strangle the creators?")

The game really comes together in a lot of ways on this Fog mission. It's just too bad it's a Fog mission, as while Immortal Sword not having the AI cheat in Fog makes it vastly superior to Intelligent Systems' Fog missions, it's still pretty awful. (Again: beat it without my-own-party-deaths on my fourth try. Prior to this point I'd only restarted one mission one time)
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deranger
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deranger
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10 Feb 2017, 19:22 #8

I'm under the impression that killing a human for the first time can be traumatic, regardless of upbringing.

Harken's speed is pretty average, I've found (but if he gets enough of it to double, he can be pretty godly, as most of his other stats are good). You'll have enough units to drop Harken soon, if you want, but (Ch 7, item related:)
[+] spoiler
if you have Eagler talk to Marcus, Isadora, then Harken in Ch7 you get a knight's crest at chapter end.
Oifeys are Jeigans that continue not to suck/have good growths. I don't think Hassar would be an Oifey either, since he definitely dips behind, say, Toni, mid game. Don't think the definitions are that set, though.

As for the archer, it might be a little tricky programming, but nothing beyond Yeti, for the archer to not move until attacked or to have a smaller trigger range to move. Your case seems quite specific, and takes essentially 3 turns to execute, so if you want to play it that safe, I say you should be welcome to.

Thieves (and most units in general in 7x, actually) do have a pretty nice niche.

Training is great, though Madelyn only gains 45 (or 60? I forget) exp from it a chapter. It can be done well to give some weaker units 3 levels, though like Eiry, Eiry, and maybe Eiry.
More on training:
[+] spoiler
Also, Eagler is better as 3 free levels for anyone who can best him, as opposed to one extra training session, imo.
Dead Juniors:
[+] spoiler
A dead Junior means no ch7x, which really hurts as that chapter has another set of training, a bit of exp in chapter, and some nice items. I think you'll struggle more in later game. You do have to deal with Ch7's boss before he hits town. Eagler can survive a round with him, even with a crit.
Had no idea the game stop enemy healer abuse, interesting.

Combat measures how much damage you took in a chapter.

If, in one "file" you use your hard saves to overwrite your normal saves, if you were to play the chapter following it on Normal, instead of hard, you'd get your hard mode units. It has to do with how 7x lets you go back and replay any chapter.
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Ghoul King
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11 Feb 2017, 20:31 #9

My point was that his probable background provides a grounding for his reaction, and the nature/focus of his reaction doesn't feel grounded in the story's world. Folks who live in cities and get meat from a grocery store are the people who tend to latch onto "oh god blood and guts". Cultures where the average citizen butchers animals, personally, are a lot more comfortable with the mess -and yes, that extends to when the gore is from a person. I'd expect his reaction to be more "oh god I'm a murderer" and not "oh god the gore", was my point.

It doesn't help that that the bad guys are largely being written as either indifferent to the topic or actively enjoying it. I realize it's supposed to help the audience feel like they're bad and we're justified in killing them or whatever, but in conjunction with how our heroes (Marcus aside) evince no revulsion over killing people (And indeed Uther seems to be borderline bloodthirsty) it paints a picture of the overall culture being very comfortable with death. Which is normal for medieval societies, too: among other points, part of why people historically had larger families is because death was omnipresent. Plenty of cultures didn't even name their kids until their first birthday, because most babies died before then: no point getting attached before then.

So instead of Marcus reading like he's new to all this, he's reading like he's got an unusually weak stomach. (And also new to all this)

... that thing with Eagler and the talking is pretty awful, I must say. Good play in any Fire Emblem game is going to involve sidelining your Jeigan/Oifey as soon as possible until everybody else catches up to them, to minimize wasted experience/maximize how many units you'll actually allow to fight are on the field. That's basically punishing experienced Fire Emblem players, which seems a really weird decision for a fangame whose playerbase is basically guaranteed to be 99% experience FE players.

Part of my point about the Archer/Ballista issue is that Ballista are normally supposed to be fairly difficult to approach and deal with. Immortal Sword is already reducing that by having them only able to fire every other turn, and then being able to lure the Archer away from its allies just makes things even easier. Compared to how in other games I usually have to wait out the entire ammo load of a Ballista before it's actually safe to start moving through the Ballista's strike zone, 3 turns is fast.

It's not how much experience Madelyn gets that's my point, it's that she will gain experience from Training every single chapter that's my point. Your other characters are competing with each other over limited healer charges. Madelyn is not. As such, her minimum experience gain rate per mission is higher than it would be in an official Fire Emblem game. It doesn't have to be a lot to make a difference, consistently.

Since equipment is automatic, there's not many opportunities to have someone defeat Eagler (No having Uther win via Claymore) until your characters are catching up enough that he's not worth that much in the first place. Anyone who can defeat him is probably also one of your more powerful characters, too, and thus doesn't really need levels. The comparison you're making is also misleading, because having Eagler be beaten by someone three times means you have one person gaining levels and one person not gaining levels, where if you had the group sparring among themselves you could potentially get 6 level-ups instead of 3 -8, counting Eagler acting as a healer for one more session. I can see the utility to doing so in some cases -such as if some later mission puts one of your characters by themselves, and they happen to end up powerful enough to fight Eagler shortly before then- but overall it looks to me like a comparatively poor allocation of your Training resources.

In particular, generally if you want to dump 3 levels on someone, it's probably because they're a weak link who desperately needs the levels, making it especially unlikely that they'll be able to beat Eagler.

Huh. I assumed Combat was based on what portion of your combats it considered you to "win" by some metric. (ie combats in which you took more damage than you dealt being considered 'losses' or some such)

If I follow your explanation correctly, basically I could do Prologue Normal, then Prologue Hard, and then accept the save, and then do Chapter 2 Normal and it would have my Hard party from the end of Prologue?

----------------------

Made an attempt at the trash-the-tents mission. Didn't work out, partly because my planning was centered around the suspicion, between Niime's prognostication and general FE Troll Logic, that Green Guy was going to stubbornly stand where he was until I got to him. Since he was actually fleeing to me, I ended up with unnecessary inefficiencies, and things fell apart.

Things:

-Even though Uther is mandatory, his position is not. Hooray for sanity!

-The tent can be placed in whatever position I want, instead of having a fixed location, too. Useful.

-... on the other hand he eats a deployment slot. What? Why? The biggest improvement Rekka No Ken made over Fuuin No Tsurugi was making Convoy Yes/No entirely unrelated to the rest of your deployment! And the dialogue implying that Immortal Sword is, yes, sticking to "no Convoy on the map means you end up trashing extras", which is one of those things that's never made any sense to me. Extras are already getting friggin' teleported when you send them to the Convoy! I don't necessarily mind too much having to burn a deployment slot on being able to access the Convoy during a mission -especially since he provides infinite passive healing in Immortal Sword!- but having to burn a deployment slot on being able to teleport my gear instead of trashing it? No!

-Finally noticed units have 6 item slots, not the 5 I'm used to from the GBA games. Sweet!

-At this point I am officially of the opinion the game is Too Sweary. Not because it offends my sensibilities, but because having seen that poll back from 2010 (!) indicate part of the motive behind including swearing was to bring more emotion into the dialogue? Yeeeah that stops working if you overuse it, especially since Madelyn admonishing Uther the one time is like the only time the game has suggested anybody is actually offended. Did you know 'shit' isn't really considered a swear word by most farmers? Relevancy: the audience infers cultural norms in part by paying attention to the reactions (or lack thereof) of the characters in the story. At this point Uther swearing is just "Oh that wacky, crude-for-a-noble Uther" rather than "Wow, Uther must be upset or something."

... it's also pretty jarring to see 'fuck' and 'cunt' in the dialogue. The former doesn't usually see use in pseudo-medieval stories because it's like less than a hundred years old as a word at all. The latter... I'll admit I have no idea whether that would fit contextually, but it's a word I don't usually see used at all, outside of people trying really hard to shock and offend.

'Damn' and 'hell' work well enough because Vaguely Christian Religion, and 'shit', though I don't think it really started being considered a swear word until sometime after the world stopped having the vast majority of the population be farmers, is at least a word that's been around for a while and, for instance, calling someone a 'shithead' would still probably be understood to be pretty insulting in Medieval Britain regardless of whether it was in use at the time. But 'fuck' is pretty literally out of place.

----

Anyway, hopefully I can figure out this mission tonight, though so far my reaction to it is basically "Oh, there's Intelligent Systems-style trolling!" (Such as that Thief who is placed juuuuust so, where I can have at most one of my 7 Move characters perform a ranged attack on turn 1, with basically no chance of being able to double his ridiculous 16 Speed and thus basically no chance of killing him) Which, uh, I'll be honest, the whole "Intelligent Systems seems to actively hate the player and hate the player having fun" thing is the reason I've only ever actually completed Sacred Stones and Radiant Dawn, so that's not a good sign...
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deranger
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deranger
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11 Feb 2017, 23:31 #10

(@Marcus) Ah, I see. I'll have to go back and reread it before I comment any further, then.

There are different types of FE players, and efficiency enthusiast usually use their Jeigans all game. The objective distracts Eagler from other objectives, which takes a decent amount of planning, I found.

I think the idea is to make camp out the ballistae unnecessary if you plan it right. The archer's other option in that case is sit their and do nothing, which I'd argue is easier to deal with. Because you're right, usually the archer's guards will be next to him, not 1 movement back. In your specific example, if the archer doesn't move, the person attacking the archer would only need to survive two axe hits (ballistae can't move or attack directly).

About half your party will be t2 after 3 or 4 more training sessions, so I'd say it's usually not that significant compared to what she gets during chapters. Definitely helps, though.

As for trainng, pitting two equal level characters against eachother usually results in something like 50 exp for one and 20 for the other. Eagler usually gives 100. Bands (and wta/d sometimes) definitely help with fixing training results. Usually, I want to get Marcus or Eiry to lvl 10 to promote (in Eiry's case, so she can provide 3 more training sessions). To each their own, though.

@HM pro -> NM ch2: Correct.
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Ghoul King
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12 Feb 2017, 20:43 #11

As an efficiency enthusiast (Unless you mean something rather different from any definition of efficiency I can think of), the only uses I see for a Jeigan are

-Disarm them and use them as nigh-invincible bait (Primarily before the game starts making me select party members to bring)

-The least worst unit to have spending its turns on Rescue Shenanigans, passing items from one person to another without requiring them to actually meet, shopping, Visiting, or otherwise doing drudgework that doesn't generate experience. (Again, primarily before the game starts making me select party members)

They're usually so strong it's hard to even have them soften up enemies for your other units, because they just end up killing everyone instead, which is a waste of experience and will make all following missions unnecessarily difficult. Early missions are almost always designed such that having the Jeigan engage in any combat at any point is unnecessary and thus a mistake, and Immortal Sword has so far stuck to this bar perhaps the Killer Lance boss in the Fog map being a jerk.

Re: Ballista: hence why I said it could be solved with altered scenario design. The northern Ballista in that first map would be a decent little hurdle if the Archer refused to leave the Ballista until it was out of ammo (Not that there's enough turns for that to actually happen, mind) as per traditionally Fire Emblem AI, but just having guards harder to lure away without entering the Ballista's strike zone would work, too.

50 experience to the one and 20 to the other is already 70% of the gains Eagler provides. I mean, even just focusing on one person's total experience, what you're saying is sessions with Eagler will result in only twice the experience for them while taking away a training session from two other people and meaning that Eagler is receiving nil experience where someone else could be getting 60. That sounds even more wasteful than I'd already imagined it to be. Realistically, you're very possibly only talking 1 extra level for Eagler's dedicated sparring partner, too, since 150 experience is plenty to level twice if you're already a good chunk to the next level.

I personally never promote prior to level 20 if I can avoid it. More levels=more stats.

---------------

At this point I'm fairly sure stat colors isn't (directly) indicative of growths, it's indicative of their current performance relative to their expected average. I see stats turn green/glowier green when being increased on a level and turning red/glowier red when they fail to increase on a level. Which is interesting, since it means a player can actually, with a bit of effort, infer more-or-less what the growths actually are -no need for screenshots or anything, since the game retains saves per chapter!

As an aside, something that keeps giving me heart attacks is how the game likes to move the screen back to whoever initiated the battle when the battle is done. In the official games, the screen only moves to someone when they're going to make a move/being targeted by an extreme long-range action. As such, you can, when it comes to archers and the like, tell when you're about to be doubled before the animation kicks in. Especially since crossbowmen actually engage in a reload-or-whatever animation well after their shot has hit, I end up going "OH GOD (name) IS ABOUT TO DIE oh wait I guess not."

---------

Try two of the supply-burning mission:

Capitol, not capital, when talking about the seat of governmental power.

I've gotten to the mid-mission checkpoint and taken a break. The beginning is a mess, but now that I've made it about halfway through the mission, things seem to be fine, actually. So long as there's no troll-y reinforcements from here, the mission just has a chaotic start, which I actually consider to be a good thing! But of course I'll have to beat the mission first.

Meant to mention last time that I was caught off guard by how the bad guy army's general dude is just... a Diviner. When I saw him having a battle graphic before, I was guessing it was unique to him, or at least something promoted. (Incidentally: unsure what the difference between a Monk and a Diviner is intended to be, beyond different promotions)
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Myke
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Myke
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13 Feb 2017, 07:00 #12

B- boy I forgot just how much we changed over the years


Plot-wise, I'm not sufficiently invested in the Elibe setting to have much to say on the topic. So far I'm a bit bothered by the commonality of swearing -not because it's 'un-Fire Emblem-y' or whatever, but because a portion of it reads like it's... trying too hard? I was caught off guard by the first instances of swearing, and even after I cottoned on to how Immortal Sword is actually aiming for a fairly medieval feel and adjusted my expectations of swearing appropriately (And then adjusted them again as it was laid out how Uther really prefers to hold himself like a common man, not a respectable noble), it still felt like there was a certain amount of gratuitous swearing.

Marcus having a freak-out over killing people after Chapter 5 also feels a bit weird to me, I'll admit. Yes, the previous chapters are supposed to be non-lethal combat, and he's supposed to be a young soldier, but nothing has really set me up to think Marcus comes from a background that makes this a plausible/natural reaction. Given Immortal Sword's interpretation of Elibe is fairly medieval-accurate, he's probably seen executions among other things, which would make death a less shocking/horrifying thing to witness/deal out. So it feels odd.
These are concerns that have been raised before, and I plan to address them when I get some free time. Mostly I think it's an issue of dissonance between the themes in the writing and the colourful, fun nature of the game. (Also yes, I may have been trying a bit too hard when I was younger.)



Increasing trainee movement is an interesting idea, we'll give it due consideration and see how we feel about it.


Speaking of RNG: does Uther's Guts skill give him negative modifiers at max HP, and if so, is it supposed to? I kept running into situations where enemies had a chance to crit Uther, often a higher chance than the chance listed in their stat overview, and couldn't come up with any alternative explanation.
This is a mechanic called hit overflow. If a unit has higher than 100% hit chance, the excess is converted into crit.


That said, there were a handful of cases of random enemy soldiers with the ? 'head' instead of the correct head sprite in no pattern I could discern, and it seems a bit odd to me that player units never flinched. Do they just not have flinch sprite implemented yet, or is something weirder going on?
This stuff is just a case of missing assets. We're working as fast as we can :)


I was a little disappointed when I actually tried out Cover. When I first saw the skill, I was sort of imagining something like Defense Supports from the Super Robot Taisen games: designate an ally, tank hits for them in combat for the next turn. Instead it's just... Rescue, but you move into their position? It's an extra option, and extra options are pretty much never a bad thing, but it's actually pretty rare that I want a Rescuer moving into the rescuee's position while Rescuing them. It helps that if you have Cover you don't suffer penalties for Rescuing/Covering (Well. Savior does both, anyway) but honestly I usually employ Rescuing to do stuff like get someone out of the way so someone else can attack, or to let someone attack a boss and then be pulled away before it can retaliate. Cover seems... niche, at best.
You may not have noticed that an armour can cover from their max move range and move one extra tile. Also, it's bundled with the saviour skill, which negates rescue penalties.


Finally remembered: the game could really use some kind of booting-up screen. The long, long nothing before it boots up makes it easy to wonder if you even started it up at all. ("Did I double-click the shortcut? Maybe I thought I did and actually only clicked once. Let's try again.") This is exacerbated by it not enforcing the usual "only one copy of the program running at a time", too. It's not a big deal, but it's a nuisance.
The new version has a black screen with 'loading...' text :)



We do use true hit.



I also feel archers abandon ballistas too readily, guess I'll bring it up with the big man.


I wish I had a better idea of what was going on in Training, though. Do units get more experience for the battle lasting longer? More for cleaner wins?...
Nope, as far as I know it's just regular battle exp: winner gets kill experience based on the difference in levels, loser gets combat experience based on the difference in levels



The exp limit very simply that all units have a set limit on how much exp can be gained from them. I believe bosses have a higher cap.


I also got asked if I wanted to overwrite my Normal Mode save each time I beat a chapter on Hard, which I refused both times. I frankly have no idea what that even means, and refusing it hasn't had any of the effects I might've guessed it having... so that's just confusing.
When you beat ch2 on normal mode, all your units' levels and items are saved to be imported on ch5 normal. When you beat ch2 on hard, you can overwrite your normal save and import your ch2 hard units to ch5 normal.



Eagler's talk chain in ch7 is supposed to be an explicit handing-down-the-sword, a signal that you shouldn't deploy him past this point. If you don't want to deploy him in ch7, that's also fine, you'll just have to wait for part 2 to promote someone.


Capitol, not capital, when talking about the seat of governmental power.
I had it that way originally, yeti keeps undermining me on it :/


(Incidentally: unsure what the difference between a Monk and a Diviner is intended to be, beyond different promotions)
Every magic weapon type has two classes; one heavy, one light. The heavy one has reduced movement, higher stats, and different skills.



As far as your overall concern about transparency, the final version will include an in-game encyclopedia to explain all the nitty-gritty details, and we plan to show growth rates in the UI update.
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Myke
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Myke
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13 Feb 2017, 16:29 #13

... it's also pretty jarring to see 'fuck' and 'cunt' in the dialogue. The former doesn't usually see use in pseudo-medieval stories because it's like less than a hundred years old as a word at all.
I'd also like to call bullshit on this argument. If you were to look at the language 100 years ago, it would be nearly unrecognisable, but noone complains about the game being written in modern english. It would be incomprehensible if it were written in period english, so just imagine that it's being translated by a scholar with a fondness for the F-word P:
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deranger
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deranger
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13 Feb 2017, 16:32 #14

efficiency is usually low-turning the game. Which Jeigans are essential for. I also don't like using Jeigans in combat roles early on, but it's sometimes helpful to get the setup I want. The rankings given in game also help guide subjective "efficient" play.

Also, strictly doing the math on trainng 3x(100+5) > 4x(50+20)+10 by a small amount, but it is up to preference- I usually have someone specifically I"m trying to train up. The current release of the demo is short enough, and I want to see t2s, hence me promoting as soon as possible. I feel like you'll be missing out on a lot of t2 fun by waiting to lvl 20, at least with the current demo, but that's your choice.

stat colour does indicate preformance compared to avg
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Ghoul King
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13 Feb 2017, 18:53 #15

Myke @ Feb 13 2017, 07:00 AM wrote:


Oh hey someone who isn't Deranger responding!
These are concerns that have been raised before, and I plan to address them when I get some free time. Mostly I think it's an issue of dissonance between the themes in the writing and the colourful, fun nature of the game. (Also yes, I may have been trying a bit too hard when I was younger.)
I dunno, maybe that (The colorful nature of the game) matters to other people, but for me it's more the way the characters interact/behave and the lack of any kind of lead-up. I mean, yes, Marcus is... charging wildly off for some reason during the mission... and I can sort of see, in retrospect, how that's intended to lead into his post-battle freak-out, but it just felt like it came out of nowhere and didn't really fit the way the world was being written.

I mean, if the 'colorful, fun' nature of the game was what made it dissonant for me, I think I'd be more put off by the swearing than I am.

But glad to hear that topic won't simply be ignored entirely, regardless.
This is a mechanic called hit overflow. If a unit has higher than 100% hit chance, the excess is converted into crit.
Ah! That's fantastic on a number of levels, among other points solidifying the series' own insistence on connecting accuracy and crit chance. (Not just on the mechanical level of Skill being your primary stat-source of accuracy, but on the design level of doing stuff like giving crit boosting to classes that are intended to be highly accurate, not so much to classes like Generals who are conceived of as inaccurate)
You may not have noticed that an armour can cover from their max move range and move one extra tile. Also, it's bundled with the saviour skill, which negates rescue penalties.
I noticed the first point and understood the second one, but it still feels fairly niche. Even with no actual Rescue penalties, leaving a unit to start your turn still Rescued means that unit misses its turn, and unlike, say, Taisen, it's sufficiently easy to physically blockade enemies that I pretty much only use Rescue to

A: transport someone over impassible terrain with a flier (Rarely made useful in practice by the series -Rescuing Ross with Vanessa in Sacred Stones is a rare exception)

B: shuffle people out of range of an immobile boss after having gotten in an attack ("Rescue Shenanigans") specifically in cases where it's not safe for them to stay in the boss' range (Range 2 strike on a boss who is currently wielding a melee weapon but is carrying a ranged weapon they will murder the character with on their turn, or they can only survive one combat at a time and I don't have enough healers, etc)

C: pull someone out of a bad situation, then have another character take them out of that character's hands to dump them off, trusting in my physical blockade to protect the character

and D: occasionally, get slower characters to keep up with the main force by Rescuing them with a Canto-capable unit and then having someone drop them off as an incidental part of their own turn.

Rescuing someone with the intent to have the Rescuer stand there, holding them, is an unnecessary waste of a character's turn in 99% of situations, and Savior doesn't address that. Cover at most makes it slightly simpler, occasionally, to maintain a defensive formation while still pulling the vulnerable character out, or even more occasionally can be shenanigans-ed for the free move with the assistance of Canto-capable characters to avoid wasting the turn of the Rescued individual being used for the Cover-move/avoid wasting anybody's turn outright.

Rescue's 'intended' functionality ("I will take the hits for you, vulnerable unit!") is pretty much the worst possible way to use it, honestly, and Savior is very much premised on the idea that it's the primary way of using Rescue, not the worst way of using it.
The new version has a black screen with 'loading...' text :)
'New' as in the release I downloaded less than two weeks ago that is doing no such thing or 'new' as in 'the upcoming release'?
We do use true hit.
You... miiight want to take a closer look at your RNG, then? Because my experience has consistently resembled that of the games that don't use True Hit, particularly Shadow Dragon, which is most similar to Immortal Sword in terms of player units having 90+ Accuracy against enemies in most situations. At this point I've played enough missions that it just being weird luck seems unlikely.
I also feel archers abandon ballistas too readily, guess I'll bring it up with the big man.
Hooray!
Nope, as far as I know it's just regular battle exp: winner gets kill experience based on the difference in levels, loser gets combat experience based on the difference in levels
At this point it looks that way to me, too. I got thrown in part by not realizing the 'letter grade' I was seeing was weapon rank.

... now I'm curious what happens when Training units with multiple weapons they can wield. Hm. Something to pay attention to when I get such units.
The exp limit very simply that all units have a set limit on how much exp can be gained from them. I believe bosses have a higher cap.
I'd figured it was something like that. I'm glad to see it, definitely.
Eagler's talk chain in ch7 is supposed to be an explicit handing-down-the-sword, a signal that you shouldn't deploy him past this point. If you don't want to deploy him in ch7, that's also fine, you'll just have to wait for part 2 to promote someone.
It's still a reward you're only getting for deploying your Jeigan, and with no hint whatsoever that you're missing out if you don't do it. If I hadn't been explicitly told it, I would never have found out about it, because I endeavor to avoid deploying my Jeigan the instant that's an option so I can get experience on the units I'm actually using/will probably handily outperform the Jeigan once they catch up to him.

I still wouldn't be happy if the game did forewarn me -I needed all hands on deck to get through the early part of the mission, it hurt enough as-is bringing the tent, and I'd hate to feel forced to waste kills on Eagler just to get the Knight's Crest- but if the game at least made sure I knew I was missing out on something by not bringing Eagler, Isadora, Marcus, and Harken (Incidentally, I didn't bring Harken either due to him both underperforming and being a non-fast pure-melee unit in a mission emphasizing speed and filled with ranged enemies) it would be less obnoxious.
Every magic weapon type has two classes; one heavy, one light. The heavy one has reduced movement, higher stats, and different skills.
Eeeeh. I'm personally not a fan of trying to say a class's distinguishing features include "higher stats" in a game where that's A: personal to characters and B: completely random anyway. The Diviner's real advantage over the Monk is that +5 damage against mages is a much bigger deal than +10 aim or evasion or whatever the Monk gets, in that case. Which isn't bad, particularly for the class locked to the weakest Tome over-category, but in conjunction with their reduced Move it's going to push them toward being a defensive anti-mage tool (That is: stand somewhere waiting for the enemy mages to come to them) compared to the Monk's more general utility for combat.

I've already noticed that enemy stats vary when generating a mission a lot more than in the official games (Where you'll see stuff like two Knights, one of which has 20 HP and 12 Defense, and the other has 21 HP and 11 Defense, and are otherwise identical, as about the extent of the game's randomization of enemy statlines) so this isn't even a caveat specific to player units, it applies universally.
As far as your overall concern about transparency, the final version will include an in-game encyclopedia to explain all the nitty-gritty details, and we plan to show growth rates in the UI update.
Hooray!
I'd also like to call bullshit on this argument. If you were to look at the language 100 years ago, it would be nearly unrecognisable, but noone complains about the game being written in modern english. It would be incomprehensible if it were written in period english, so just imagine that it's being translated by a scholar with a fondness for the F-word P:
I didn't frame my point very well, I think. I'm trying to convey that 'fuck' as a swear word doesn't even have an equivalent in functionality, and doesn't, to the best of my awareness, work as a reasonable stand-in for something that has been dropped from English.

Like, Japanese is a super-duper-formal/polite language that doesn't even have swear words, but I don't object to various translations of Japanese media utilizing swearing, because what's often being done is an attempt to capture an idea that is not actually directly translatable. Pretty much anytime an English translation of Japanese media has someone saying 'You bastard!" the original Japanese was, instead, using a form of 'you' that is overly familiar and thus extremely rude to be using when said to someone who isn't a close friend -when modern English only has one form of 'you' in the first place and Americans in particular are so informal/crass/rude that it's basically impossible to convey "insufficiently polite" in a translation normalizing to American culture without just invoking swear words.

(Translations going for faux-medieval English are better able to lean on "this dude stopped being hyper-polite! How rude!" since they usually involve nobles and deliberately write said nobles as stiff and formal with each other on a constant basis)

The closest to just exclaiming "Fuck!" I'm aware of in sentiment in ye olde English is basically "Damnation!" You just didn't have a singular, one-word catch-all swear word that could be used by itself to express frustration, anger, etc.

So what I was trying to convey was less "the word 'fuck' is less than a hundred years old" ('cause yeah, I'm not expecting anything like Thou-as-singular-you being incorporated in because historical English is an incomprehensible mess) and more "the utility the word 'fuck' serves within the language is not a niche that was filled by any word at all until very recently, and thus the word is out of place".
efficiency is usually low-turning the game. Which Jeigans are essential for. I also don't like using Jeigans in combat roles early on, but it's sometimes helpful to get the setup I want. The rankings given in game also help guide subjective "efficient" play.
I think that would be called speedrunning, not 'efficient'?

No argument on Jeigans-for-speedrunning. Speedruns can go weird places.
The current release of the demo is short enough, and I want to see t2s, hence me promoting as soon as possible. I feel like you'll be missing out on a lot of t2 fun by waiting to lvl 20, at least with the current demo, but that's your choice.
I don't know how long the demo is so I'm not going to plan around it being short. (I don't want to be spoiled, either)

I don't mind on missing out on the 'fun'. When I first played Sacred Stones I went with early promotions, and it wasn't fun at all. Jumping from level 10 to level 21 takes you from getting decent experience off of similar-level enemies to getting basically none, and promotion-based stat gains don't make up the difference from missing out on levels for as long as you might hope. Like, looking at Sacred Stones class promotion gains, most promotions are worth 1-2 in a bunch of stats, which can literally be beaten by two great levels -and even using averages as the reference instead, a lot of characters will on average overcome that difference in about 4 levels.

Now, part of the difference is that Sacred Stones' skills are uncommon and mostly awful, with even the good ones still way too unreliable (Outside of the Rogue's benefits) where Immortal Sword has relatively impressive skills, so there should be a bigger, more interesting payoff to promoting in Immortal Sword...

... but I'm playing the game with an eye to seeing how it will work as a finished game. Is this mission something I can reasonably expect to beat without the short-term boost promotion gives? Because sure, if the game doesn't last long enough for promotion benefits to hamstring you now then it's a logical thing to do currently, but it provides a distorted view of what the final product will look like. ("This mission is too easy! Make it harder! Ignore that half my team got promoted in the previous mission because this is a short demo and so I'm fine with cripplingly-early promotions, make the mission harder anyway")

-----------------

Finished the mission. Accidentally screwed myself out of getting the kill on the boss, by virtue of forgetting for a second that the mission would end when the last tent died. On the other hand I was relying on Barrier to have it be the case that people weren't at risk of instantly dying to a crit. (Which is good, because that's exactly what he did to Uther on his very first attack) So I'm not sure it was really all that worth pursuing trying to kill him anyway.

Went through the plot stuff all the way to the start of the next mission. I only, with Wallace showing up, finally connected Madelyn and Hassar's forced-Support to Lynn's existence. Kudos on that, actually: this is well-handled, in terms of being a prequel setting up for a payoff that's sort-of-secret in the game it was first introduced in. (Something Rekka No Ken is itself completely awful at: Marcus couldn't be bothered, twenty-ish years down the line, to let Roy know "Oh yeah your father actually fought a Fire Dragon before you were born, this is old hat to me and everyone else in my age range on your team"?) I'm especially pleased to not be seeing the multiple choice quantum uncertainty parentage issue coming up: yes, Lynn has a specific pair of parents, unlike Roy and Lilina. (Lilina is at least definitely from a Pegasus Knight, though the Pegasus Knights are sufficiently diverse in appearance that it's still ridiculous. Roy might be half-dragon, or he might just be the result of a mercenary shacking up with a noble. Whyyyy)

I have no idea what was happening when we cut to some people accusing each other of being traitors, basically. Which is odd, because it feels like the scene is written under the assumption the player will actually understand what's going on and consider it to be of relevance to Uther's situation.

I quite liked Wallace's characterization and the things connected to him. ("WHAT?" and Madelyn going "I give no shits about your honor!" are legitimately great) I also liked how his initial arrival was handled, in that I didn't immediately recognize him but once he was named it was like "ooooh, he's just not bald is all".

I have this sneaking suspicion this mission was originally the demo's final mission, going by how Niime is recommending I do stuff like promote people, even though almost nobody on my team is even level 10!

Sort of bemused at purple-hair general dude using 'the codex' to promote. It's kind of an interesting angle, and it's nice to see that non-player entities can, you know, promote, which is something the official games are fairly awful about. Also some kind of foreshadowing, that 'the codex' is presumably some Magical Plot Artifact Of Importance. Hopefully it's done well -it would be so easy to just fail to render it sensical that he didn't break it out sooner, so I'm reserving judgment for the moment.

Have mixed feelings about the mission at first glance. It's nice to see a big allied army actually fighting, but at the same time I'm all too aware that they're just stealing my experience if they do anything useful and Fire Emblem Troll Logic dictates that I should expect the game to withhold a reward if too many of them die. We'll see how it goes in practice.

Also, as an aside: amused that the boss has a leech tome... and a special ability that lets him leech. If they stack that's useful/threatening, albeit silly, but if they don't it's just funny. ("Oh no! He activated his incredibly threatening special ability to leech health!" "... like he's already doing?" "... yes?")
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