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Fire Emblem: Three Houses DLC Wave 2 Available Now (Maddening Difficulty, New Outfit for Students, Glasses for Byleth, Male Byleth's Voice Changed)

papasmurf

Member
Oct 25, 2017
332
Like people have said, it really feels like Three Houses could benefit from having four difficulty settings, ranging from Easy to Very Hard. Obviously that's a lot of work to balance properly, but Fire Emblem is reaching such a diverse audience these days that it's tough to please everyone with just three.

The lower difficulties are awesome for broadening Fire Emblem's appeal and need to be there. But as it stands the game lacks a good entry point difficulty for more experienced players, and it doesn't sound like Maddening is doing anything to remedy that.
 

Slim Action

Member
Jul 4, 2018
878
Way more games should just let you tweak a bunch of difficulty settings individually. Just include a warning message that's like "we can't test every combination of these, play at your own risk."

My top requests at this point would be:
- more map variety
- something, anything to do at the monastery in Act II
 

Moist_Owlet

Avenger
Dec 26, 2017
1,856
Cool this is almost a fire emblem game. Just take away all the padding in the monastery and put in a few decent maps.
 

sibarraz

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
9,244
Is maddening way too hard, or after a third playthrough on new game + it should be fair?

Also why does lysithea destroy DK?
 

NSESN

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,312
Is maddening way too hard, or after a third playthrough on new game + it should be fair?

Also why does lysithea destroy DK?
She, and Hubert, learn a skill that is effective against him
She just learns it faster than hubert and also isn't route locked so that is why people meme her, but Hubert can also one shot DK when he learns the skill
 

Crayolan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,887
Way more games should just let you tweak a bunch of difficulty settings individually. Just include a warning message that's like "we can't test every combination of these, play at your own risk."

My top requests at this point would be:
- more map variety
- something, anything to do at the monastery in Act II
Just tweaking numbers isn't really the best way to handle difficulty in FE though. Sure the numbers should be high enough to pose a threat, but at some point raising stat numbers just becomes stupid and unfair.

Changes to enemy placements, skills, weapon loadouts, and AI, and designing maps around making certain combinations of these aspects difficult to combat, goes much farther in creating meaningful and interesting challenge in Fire Emblem games than just raising stat numbers. The best example of this is FE Conquest, in which despite not increasing enemy stats between Hard and Lunatic modes at all, it still manages to provide a notable bump in difficulty simply by adding a few more enemies in key locations on maps and giving enemies additional skills.
 

BizzyBum

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,648
New York
Honestly, mages are probably the sole reason I won't attempt Maddening. Some maps, especially the last few, were littered with mages. The last 2 battle maps for BL were legit hard even though the rest of the game was pretty easy, I can't imagine completing the final map on Maddening unless you grind everyone to level 50 or something.
 

Slim Action

Member
Jul 4, 2018
878
Just tweaking numbers isn't really the best way to handle difficulty in FE though. Sure the numbers should be high enough to pose a threat, but at some point raising stat numbers just becomes stupid and unfair.

Changes to enemy placements, skills, weapon loadouts, and AI, and designing maps around making certain combinations of these aspects difficult to combat, goes much farther in creating meaningful and interesting challenge in Fire Emblem games than just raising stat numbers. The best example of this is FE Conquest, in which despite not increasing enemy stats between Hard and Lunatic modes at all, it still manages to provide a notable bump in difficulty simply by adding a few more enemies in key locations on maps and giving enemies additional skills.
I think we're actually in agreement here. By "tweak a bunch of difficulty settings" I was thinking of games like Dishonored 2 which has difficulty options that go beyond enemy "stats" like HP or Attack power. So, like, in Fire Emblem there could be individual options for:

- Enemies have higher stats Y/N
- Enemies have better weapons Y/N
- Enemies have more skills Y/N
- Enemies are more aggressive Y/N
- More enemy reinforcements A lot/A little/N
- Your units gain less experience Y/N

And so on. Basically breaking down all the discrete elements that make a higher difficulty harder and splitting them up into individual toggles or sliders. And then going a little further beyond that with additional options.
 

FF Seraphim

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,032
Tokyo
If the enemies actually used their combat arts that would make battles more difficult by default. Can you picture bishops also using warp/rescue, snipers using that double bow attack. There is a lot they can do without just raising stats.
 

Crayolan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,887
I think we're actually in agreement here. By "tweak a bunch of difficulty settings" I was thinking of games like Dishonored 2 which has difficulty options that go beyond enemy "stats" like HP or Attack power. So, like, in Fire Emblem there could be individual options for:

- Enemies have higher stats Y/N
- Enemies have better weapons Y/N
- Enemies have more skills Y/N
- Enemies are more aggressive Y/N
- More enemy reinforcements A lot/A little/N
- Your units gain less experience Y/N

And so on. Basically breaking down all the discrete elements that make a higher difficulty harder and splitting them up into individual toggles or sliders. And then going a little further beyond that with additional options.
Oh I thought you meant like a difficulty slider that would just increase/lower stats. This is a more interesting idea but I still think it's flawed because not all maps are the same and you can't just apply a blanket "increase this part" to every map and have it still be balanced. For example, while adding more reinforcements on a defense map would usually be fine, adding more on a rout map would just be tedious. Improving all enemy weapons on a map is also not a good idea, cause like, on an early game map taking all irons and turning them to steel might be too punishing, but on a late game map when every enemy is wielding silver changing all weapons to crit weapons or brave weapons is just silly. Things like this need to be individually balanced by map and can't just have a simple binary choice which puts a blanket "increase" on all maps.
 

Disclaimer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,374
Just tweaking numbers isn't really the best way to handle difficulty in FE though. Sure the numbers should be high enough to pose a threat, but at some point raising stat numbers just becomes stupid and unfair.

Changes to enemy placements, skills, weapon loadouts, and AI, and designing maps around making certain combinations of these aspects difficult to combat, goes much farther in creating meaningful and interesting challenge in Fire Emblem games than just raising stat numbers. The best example of this is FE Conquest, in which despite not increasing enemy stats between Hard and Lunatic modes at all, it still manages to provide a notable bump in difficulty simply by adding a few more enemies in key locations on maps and giving enemies additional skills.
Yeah, which is why the implementation of this higher difficulty mode is so disappointing coming off of the relatively tame Hard mode. Three Houses has no difficulty that's just right, that's consistently challenging for the right reasons.

A big part of Three Houses' fun is, of course, the enormous flexibility of its systems and customization, which inherently make it more difficult to balance meticulously, but making enemies so absurdly statistically advantaged is a lazy way out. (The other things, like giving them more abilities, increasing unit counts, and changing placements, are of course much more interesting... but the degree to which the stats were inflated is probably going to reduce the player's feasible customization outside of NG+.)

I think we're actually in agreement here. By "tweak a bunch of difficulty settings" I was thinking of games like Dishonored 2 which has difficulty options that go beyond enemy "stats" like HP or Attack power. So, like, in Fire Emblem there could be individual options for:

- Enemies have higher stats Y/N
- Enemies have better weapons Y/N
- Enemies have more skills Y/N
- Enemies are more aggressive Y/N
- More enemy reinforcements A lot/A little/N
- Your units gain less experience Y/N

And so on. Basically breaking down all the discrete elements that make a higher difficulty harder and splitting them up into individual toggles or sliders. And then going a little further beyond that with additional options.
In this specific situation, I agree this would have been a better choice than what Maddening provides. Usually I prefer thoughtfully designed but fair higher difficulties, but I'd take individual toggles over this.
 

slothrop

Member
Aug 28, 2019
105
I think we're actually in agreement here. By "tweak a bunch of difficulty settings" I was thinking of games like Dishonored 2 which has difficulty options that go beyond enemy "stats" like HP or Attack power. So, like, in Fire Emblem there could be individual options for:

- Enemies have higher stats Y/N
- Enemies have better weapons Y/N
- Enemies have more skills Y/N
- Enemies are more aggressive Y/N
- More enemy reinforcements A lot/A little/N
- Your units gain less experience Y/N

And so on. Basically breaking down all the discrete elements that make a higher difficulty harder and splitting them up into individual toggles or sliders. And then going a little further beyond that with additional options.
This is not a bad idea but it speaks to a difficult tension in game design theory. Should the designer of the game be making these decisions in an artful considered way so that it is completely transparent to the player and perfectly optimal? Is this even possible? Or should they off load these decisions to the player and be agnostic about it themselves. Does this empower the player or debilitate them with too many choices? Is this choice array them giving up making hard decisions about their art, or is it in fact a key artistic decision itself that is only possible in this medium.
 

Tfritz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,959
Yeeees, finally! Thank you! I love the difference in color for men and women.

By the way, judging by Claude's portrait, this is Part II? Is the "lounge wear" just for the Part I models?
In NG+ you can set which models each character uses, presumably they have everyone set to their student models.
 

BlackJace

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
3,106
The disparity between Hard and Maddening reminds me of like my only gripe with XCOM 2. I wished there was a difficulty between "Veteran" (difficult) and "Commander" (Holy shit please this is too much)
 

Discharger

Member
Oct 25, 2017
172
posting this from the OT

Oh wow, they toned down Bernies support in the latest patch.

New

Old

I need to see the whole scene with the changed line to see how it flows together, but I think the original hits harder for sure. I would have preferred it unchanged, but maybe the scene still works with the adjustment.
 

HBK

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,763
Some people are theorizing this is related to Australia's rating boards.
Err. I know it’s a complex matter but ... me really don’t like censorship. I mean come on that’s like censoring blood or something. Makes no friggin sense. Put the appropriate label on the box and get done with it.
 

SapphiCine

Member
Oct 25, 2017
987
For anyone interested, here is the altered menu background for completing Maddening on NG:

That's it?? That's the only reward for putting yourself through hell? I thought they would at least have it be some kind of hint towards the eventual new story content.
posting this from the OT

Oh wow, they toned down Bernies support in the latest patch.

New

Old

I'm honestly okay with this. The original lines are a little over the top, and I'm not a fan of how they chose to generally display how her PTSD affects her. The Japanese voice acting is especially egregious.
 
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