Tag: Feh

Scattered Fangs, Shattered Dreams

Scattered Fangs, Shattered Dreams

Edgy_Title.deck

If you missed part one of this two-part posting session on the Fire Emblem Heroes updates this week — which are frankly only connected by coincidental timing and the fact that I’m bringing it to your attention up top — check out the Version 2.6.0 update post through this link!

Whenever Heroes updates, the developers tend to package that update together with a new summoning focus and story missions. Version 2.6.0 was no exception, as it brought us new heroes from the Blazing Blade.

Except retroactively put ‘new’ in quotes because not all of them are new.

But I’ll discuss that as soon as I get through my discussion on the merit of these new units!


img_8515

NinoPale Flower

Skill Set:

  • Giga Excalibur (Might = 14 / Range = 2)
    • Grants +3 Speed. If unit’s Speed > foe’s Speed, boosts damage dealt by 70 percent of the difference between stats (Maximum bonus of +7 damage, combos with Phantom Speed).
  • Moonbow (Cooldown = 2)
    • Treats foe’s Defense or Resistance as if reduced by 30 percent during combat.
  • Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
  • Aerobatics (B Skill)
    • Unit can move to a space adjacent to any infantry, armored or cavalry unit within two spaces.
  • Speed Smoke (C Skill)
    • Inflicts -7 Speed on foes within two spaces of target through their actions after combat.

Analysis:

Nino has been one of my favorite units in Heroes since the game first came out. I never played Blazing Blade, but when I summoned the green mage for the first time I loved the way her art looked and she quickly become a unit I used so much that she was the first I ever upgraded to a five-star through hero feathers. She was also the first unit I built-up with skill inheritance.

While that should theoretically make me more excited to see this new Nino… It’s kind of the opposite, honestly. That’s not because of her skills. If anything, she’s got a weapon with a dope animation (though the effect just seems okay at best) and has some effective power behind a glass canon speedy attacker build. Plus Aerobatics feels like it would be broken on a physical unit, if somewhat situational on a mage.

What really bugs me about her is the fact that she’s continuing a trend of units getting alternate forms outside of holiday events. First came cavalier Eirika, then Kinshi Hinoka. While I was willing to blow all my orbs on Hinoka because she was a dope new alternate, as a whole I find I really dislike the practice of taking the slot of fan-favorite characters who have yet to be introduced into the game and giving them to units who already are. During special occasions like holidays it makes sense, but the main banners should be reserved for new units like promised.

It just kind of feels like Intelligent Systems is hoping to pad out how long they can milk this game… Even though there are 20 billion units waiting to be introduced, and at the rate of three-to-five units being added every other week it certainly doesn’t seem like they’re close to drying up anytime soon.

But that’s enough ranting for now, we have two other heroes to discuss.


KarlaSword Vassal

Skill Set:

  • Vassal’s Blade (Might = 16 / Range = 1)
    • Accelerates Special Attack trigger (cooldown -1). If unit’s Speed > foe’s Speed, boosts damage dealt by 70 percent of the difference between stats (Maximum bonus of +7 damage, combos with Phantom Speed).
  • Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts Attack by 30 percent.
  • Wrath (B Skill)
    • At the start of a turn, if unit’s Health ≤ 75 percent and unit’s attack triggers a Special Attack, grants Special Attack cooldown -1. Deals +10 damage when Special Attack triggers.
  • Even Speed Wave (C Skill)
    • At the start of even-numbered turns, grants +6 Speed to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (Bonus granted to unit even with no allies adjacent).

Analysis:

I’ve heard lots of people calling Karla just a weaker version of Ayra, a unit we’ve already got that is considered one of the most broken in the game. I suppose I can’t argue with that, since I don’t have Ayra to compare her to, but at the same time I think Karla appears to do the job she’s been given exceedingly well based on her skill set.

Both Vassal’s Blade and Wrath are clearly focused on increasing the power and activation timing of her Special Attack, Draconic Aura. Though I imagine there are far better Special Attacks to give her out there, most if not all of them will likely be impressive. On top of that, Even Speed Wave is a nice buff to a team’s stats in a form that has thus far only been seen with Ishtar.

Long story short, I like the cut of her jib.


LegaultThe Hurricane

Skill Set:

  • The Cleaner (Might = 12 / Range = 2)
    • Adds total bonuses on foe to damage dealt during combat. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions.
  • Glimmer (Cooldown = 2)
    • Boosts damage dealt by 50 percent.
  • Swift Strike (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Speed and Resistance +4 during combat.
  • Attack Tactic (C Skill)
    • At the start of a turn, grants Attack +6 to allies within two spaces for one turn. Granted only if number of that ally’s movement type on current team is ≤ two.

Analysis:

In my opinion, Legault feels like he’s just on the outskirts of being the greatest dagger-wielding unit in the game.

His weapon The Cleaner just needed to have its text slightly adjusted. Instead of buffing Legault’s damage by the bonuses tacked onto the foe, it should have given him damage buffs based on the bonuses on his person. It should have been a Blade Tome Dagger, in other words.

Without it, Legault is rather basic with Glimmer, Swift Strike and Attack Tactic. There really isn’t anything special about him. I seriously just don’t have anything to say about the guy, he’s the lowest on the totem pole of units I want to summon on this particular banner.


To be totally blunt about this banner right off the bat, I probably won’t be spending a lot of time or orbs on these three units. After Legendary Ryoma quite literally bled me dry for nothing, I’m not exactly looking to spend anything on any unit until building my stockpile up again, to be fair.

But these three specifically don’t excite me that much on top of that. Like I said before, Nino would have been top of the list for my emotional connection to her in Heroes at least, but I’m internally protesting the practice IS has been using by not pining after her.

My orbs will probably be better spent either on the 2018 brides banner (which I still haven’t gotten anything out of) or on whatever summer-themed banner I’m sure will inevitably be coming out in the next few weeks.

That or I’ll just fill my coffers with orbs and feel better about myself. Having a security fund in this game is a magical thing, honestly.

Because I’m not planning on summoning too much here, I don’t have a section about my summoning experiences to share. So instead, let’s jump right into some story, because it’s a quintessential example of my favorite FEH meme:

Feh Plot Meme


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

With a story chapter and mission both named ‘The King’s Demise,’ there’s no way we aren’t getting some plot all up in here.

Following the defeat of Helbindi in Chapter 9, the Order of Heroes continue to make their way into Múspell with hopes of defeating King Surtr once and for all. In general, the aesthetic of the land of fire isn’t my favorite when compared to the beautiful tundra environments and glassy castles of Nifl, but it’s serviceable and well done.

I do like Surtr’s throne room in particular, it reminds me of something I might build as an intimidating throne room with my friends in Minecraft. But that’s beside the point — we’re a long way away from his throne room at the start of the chapter.

Things kick off with the team conversing on how to best get to the King. Form’s youngest sibling offers her advice to move through the forest to get there having heard to do so from her prior captors.

I do still subscribe to the theory that Ylgr is actually the shapeshifter Loki in disguise,  as her extensive knowledge of the area might help suggest, but the game doesn’t really drop any more hints regarding that through this chapter. So we’ll see.

That resolve becomes a motif throughout the chapter, however.

Somewhat…

See, during the first and last missions it’s referenced quite a bit. Those are typically the most important parts of every chapter, after all.

The middle three tend to just be brief introductions to the characters who have been added into the game.

The Blazing Blade units feel like they were shafted somewhat in that regard. Besides the funny coincidence of their game’s name having ‘blazing’ in it, the added characters feel a bit out-of-place in the hellish land of Múspell and don’t get too much time to converse, something which may have helped otherwise.

There is a nice little continuity of throwing all the other members of the Black Fang into the missions to fit with Nino and Legault… But Karla feels very out-of-place as a result.

I don’t know, maybe my feelings toward the units in general colored my opinion of their appearance in-game, but I just wasn’t a huge fan of this one in that regard.

So instead I’m just going to focus solely on the conflict with the King.

When the Order clears out Legault on the first map, he drops some mad foreshadowing.

Then once the Blazing Blade units have all been routed, the Order makes it to his castle, ready for battle. It’s a battle that has been built up for 10 chapters now, with the game showcasing all of Surtr’s brutality through cutscenes and invincibility through battles.

It’s a battle that has been 10 chapters in the making through the quest for the Rite of Ice that brought about conflict in Nifl, the death of Gunnthrá and some strange sickness in Fjorm.

In other words?

It has been the progenitor of maximum lore.

That hope, it is revealed, is the magical power granted to the player character’s summoning gun weapon (because yes that’s still a thing) granted through the Rite of Ice.

When it’s utilized, the protection spell that brings the king invincibility disappears:

With the battle made more fair, Surtr is finally defeated.

There’s a pretty hilarious dissonance at this point in the game, for me at least, watching the all-powerful lord of flames who has been built up for so long finally be defeated…

By a level 40 unit that has a weapon triangle advantage while he’s sitting at about level 15. In one hit. With him unable to do anything in return.

Gotta love when game mechanics usurp plot armor.

Granted he is much tougher in the lunatic-level fight, but that’s a different story.

Once Surtr is defeated, the Order celebrates.

But wait.

There’s more.

Apparently, the Fire ritual that gave Surtr his power also prevents him from dying.

Because sometimes plot armor has to usurp game mechanics as well. God bless the push-and-pull of game development.

If I had to inject my own theorizing into the game’s story, I’d say the revival of Surtr (and some other details yet to come) are indicators of us only being halfway through Book II. Following a proper hero’s journey — because that would be fitting for FEH, wouldn’t it? — this is the halfway point where all seems hopeless before we find a way to build up to the ultimate climax.

Because Surtr’s description indicates he’s a descendant of the Fire Dragon, I’m under the impression we’ll eventually get to fight that dragon.

Plus there are other plot points that have yet to be resolved:

  • Where did Veronica go? Obviously she’s still summoning units for Múspell, but they said they would be using her as a ritual sacrifice. Will that be the next major plot device?
  • Is Ylgr secretly Loki? Also, what is Loki’s plan in all this? The bridal Tempest Trial indicated she’s the mother of Laevatein, so is she just in it for the king and her daughter? Or is that a lie and she has ulterior motives?

There are more, but we’ll get to that.

When Surtr is revived, the team is distraught and forced to retreat.

Yeah… He’s kind of a dick, too.

A very, very overconfident dick.

img_8585

Foreshadow?

Perhaps. Time will tell in that regard.

After that retreat, the scene cuts away to a post-battle discussion between the king’s daughters that serves to set up where everything seems to be going next.

So we’ve got that going for us.

These two dialogue boxes alone are rather interesting in my opinion. The first is a reference to the way Fjorm treated Laegjarn so amicable when she was captured following the battle in Nifl (featuring Chrom and the two Morgans).

If my shipper’s heart is to read into it… I’m led to believe Laegjarn might just have a crush on the ice princess based on that. Though it could just be a mutual respect and admiration. But I’d giggle if it were the prior.

The second seems to set up that the final Nifl sibling will become relevant to the plot from here on out.

Perhaps the next Legendary Hero will be a surprise appearance from the eldest Nifl royal? That or he’ll simply arrive in the story to help lead a charge against Surtr once the next path to weakening him is discovered.

I just hope he’s a more well utilized character than Celica’s brother in Echoes, who was a cool masked cavalier that felt wasted once he was actually turned into a unit… Like… three-quarters of the way through the game.

That’s right, #EchoesShade. Don’t @ me, gamers.


With the story fading to black from there, leaving our heroes on a low note that makes it seem as though all is lost — but throwing in a glimpse of hope to cut through the darkness — I’ve officially run out of things to say.

Overall I appreciate the hero’s journey that has been set up in the long-term, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the developers do with it.

How do you feel about the way the story is developing?

Plus, let me know what you think of the brand new heroes from Blazing Blade in the comments down below!

Advertisements
Dancing with the Genealogical God and Goddess

Dancing with the Genealogical God and Goddess

This post here is part two of my big two-part Fire Emblem Heroes update from the last week. I’m doing it all post-hoc since I’ve been heavily focused on the end of the school semester, but I didn’t want to leave things on the back burner forever.

If you want to see part one, where I talked about the Version 2.5.0 update, read all about it here.



I’ve had no qualms talking about the fact that I have zero history with many Fire Emblem games in the series’ long history. In a sense that creates a dichotomy with my Heroes posts between new heroes who I adore (See: Kinshi Hinoka) and new heroes who I have no connection with (See: The Thracia 776 heroes).

This post is going to be more of the latter. I don’t have much to say about these characters outside of whatever context I’ve gotten from heroes that joined the fray in the app before them.

However, despite my lack of in-game context, I do have a lot of positive things to say about their skills and my excitement to summon them. So let’s see what we’re working with!


img_8207

  • AresBlack Knight
  • Skill Set:
    • Dark Mystletainn (Might = 16 / Range = 1)
      • Accelerates Special trigger (cooldown count -1). If Special triggers before or during combat, grants Special cooldown count -2 after combat.
    • Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
      • Boosts Attack by 30 percent.
    • Brazen Attack/Defense
      • At start of combat, if unit’s HP ≤ 80 percent, grants Atk/Def +7 during combat.
    • Seal Defense/Resistance
      • Inflicts Def/Res -5 on foe through its next action after combat.
  • Analysis:
    • Ares lives up to his name sake, the Greek god of war, quite well. His father’s Mystletainn was already a powerful weapon, but with the new upgrade it allows him to trigger Special attacks that have three-turn cooldowns (like Draconic Aura, for example) in a single blow. That’s kind of a scary amount of power for a unit with such high range as a cavalier, especially one that strikes hard when weakened against enemies he can weaken further. Definitely a powerful unit to grab.
  • LeneYearning Dancer
  • Skill Set:
    • Safeguard (Might = 14 / Range = 1)
      • If foe initiates combat, grants Defense +7 during combat.
    • Dance (Range = 1)
      • Grants another action to target ally.
    • Firestorm Dance
      • If Sing or Dance is used, grants Attack and Speed +3.
    • Sword Valor
      • If unit survives, all sword allies on team get 2x SP.
  • Analysis:
    • In all honestly, Lene is probably the weakest of the three in this banner. Or, perhaps it’s not fair to call her “the weakest” considering dancers are in a league of their own, but she’s the least valuable to pull in my opinion. The defense boost from her weapon is great to have considering a dancer’s frailty, and the multi-faceted boost given by Firestorm Dance is nice… Though arguably Performing Arts Azura had a better boost inherent to her weapon.
  • IshtarThunder Goddess
  • Skill Set:
    • Mjölnir (Might = 14 / Range = 2)
      • Accelerates Special trigger (cooldown count -1). If unit initiates combat, grants Speed +6 during combat.
    • Moonbow (Cooldown = 2)
      • Treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 30 percent during combat.
    • Swift Sparrow
      • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
    • Vantage
      • If unit’s Health ≤ 75 percent and foe initiates combat, unit can counterattack before foe’s first attack.
    • Odd Attack Wave
      • At start of odd-numbered turns, grants Attack +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).
  • Analysis:
    • Ishtar is, unapologetically, my current video game girl crush. That’s right I said it. But no, it is not just because she has a fairly provocative set of poses drawn up. As the inspiration for Reinhardt and carrier of a tome named after Thor’s hammer, it’s clear the developers wanted to have her live up to those namesakes as much as they did with Ares. She hits hard and gives herself massive boosts to both attack and speed quite often, which makes her a force to really be reckoned with. Plus, she can hit an opponent before they can kill her if she has a little health gone, which may just be a nice saving grace here or there. Long story short: She’s the one that I want (hoo, hoo, hoo).

Alright so I’m trying a new layout for the character analysis here. Let me know what you think, because it’s a bit more labor intensive but I feel like it lays out on a page way nicer.

My more extensive standalone ‘analysis’ section for each character also lays out what I would usually fill this break with, so I can jump straight into my current summoning experiences.

They’re uhh… Not great so far.

In my first set of summons, I did pull a five-star red hero. Unfortunately…

img_8211

It was Soleil.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love Soleil. One of my favorite characters from Fire Emblem Fates. In fact, when she first arrived in the game, I blew all of my orbs just to summon her!

But then she got downgraded to summonable at four-star rarity. Since then, I’ve summoned her quite a few times.

Maybe I’ll make her my next merging project once I’m done with Cordelia… And Nino… And Eirika…

Yeah I’m working on a few.

That said, I can’t say I’m particularly excited to have pulled Soleil when there are two red heroes on this banner that are both worth getting — one moreso, but still.

In terms of summoning on this banner as a whole, I am a huge fan of how strong these units look so I’ll continue to spend some orbs. As far as how many, I’m not too sure. At the very least I’m going to try to keep myself above 50 orbs minimum, as the new calendar that came out recently confirms that special heroes are coming out on May 10.

Will we see more brides coming into the game? Who knows. All I know is I’ll try to save some orbs until then.

That said, the story section always nets me some orbs, and the plot is getting exciting overall. Let’s see what they’ve got in store for us this time around:


 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“Hellfire” is a pretty apt name for the series of levels in which the Order of heroes finally leaves the frozen tundras of Nifl to walk into the volcanic landscapes of Surtr’s homeland, Múspell.

Even though for some reason we needed a few chapters as a transition where everyone walked to Nifl, but they just decided to whisk us to this new location through a portal.

But I digress, because I’m not here to discuss the clunky parts of the story.

When they arrive, Fjorm seems to still be feeling the aftereffects of the Rite of Frost (to a currently unknown end), but nobody has a lot of time to reflect on what’s going on.

 

Among the first strike party is a new significant character, Helbindi. He’s a general under Surtr who looks… Interesting, to say the least.

img_8233

Yeah. Not sure I even have to say anything about that face of his.

After you defeat him at the entrance to the Kingdom of Flames, he retreats back to his fortress where you find out just a little more about his actually kindhearted nature.

 

 

Oh yes, that’s right. Helbindi isn’t the only new character unveiled in this chapter. We also have Ylgr, the youngest sibling in the Nifl royal family (alongside Fjorm, Gunnthrá and their currently unseen brother Hrid). She’s cute, she’s kind of sassy and she brings out the best in this new villain.

So all-and-all a pretty great character, for just being introduced.

 

 

Gotta love that dysfunctional sister/brother Stockholm relationship we’ve got going on.

From there, the Order makes their way through the typical mission set of fighting our new Genealogy heroes in various configurations. No real plot relevance, just minor original game references to give them characterization.

My only real thought process throughout the three filler battles actually went back to a character we don’t see: Veronica.

Yeah that’s right, the good old princess of the Embla Empire. Obviously she was the one who would have made the portal between Nifl and Múspell, as well as the one who would have gone to get the Genealogy heroes.

But at the end of the last chapter, we found out that Surtr was going to bring her back to his Kingdom to use her as a sacrifice for a ritual of sorts. If so, why would they still be giving her the chance to possibly escape their grasp by going around signing contracts with new characters?

I don’t know, perhaps that’s getting too into the weeds when thinking about what’s going behind the scenes, but I’d like to see them show what she does in the background once in a while.

That said, the lull of thought dies off quickly when the final battle starts with a cutscene featuring our favorite new Stockholm brother/sister pair.

 

 

 

Things actually get fairly deep as Ylgr digs up some past details about Helbindi’s real sister, and how she must be the reason why he can’t bring himself to hurt the young girl.

Like I said before, for a couple of characters who just got thrown into the game, I quite enjoy how much development and intrigue is being put into their interactions.

 

The second battle against Helbindi goes rather smoothly, with a little bit of playful banter between him and Fjorm leading into it.

If you consider sizing one another up ‘playful,’ that is.

Once you win the fight, the fate of Helbindi seems vague:

 

On the one hand, it’s typical for a Fire Emblem death prattle to sound like this. Calling out to a loved one, saying they need more time to live.

But with Helbindi being such a fresh, interesting character, is Intelligent Systems really going to kill him off right away? Or will he slip away to find his sister, for us to find later?

Who knows right now, I suppose. Time will tell and all that.

Now is not the time to mull it over, because the plot quickly moves into a different beat.

 

 

Remember that she said this, it’s actually going to be important in a second.

Introductions go around, and Fjorm begins to cough again, which offers Ylgr an opportunity to show some of her good nature. As well as hint at the fact that she may be some sort of cleric if added into the game.

 

When the plan to move forward comes out, Ylgr asks to come along, but does not seem to get a very positive reception.

 

 

Then everyone agrees to bring the sister along, and chapter 9 ends on a… Sort of quiet note.

However, it’s the underlying details that make this scene as interesting as it is.

See I cut a few panels out that show Ylgr being introduced to almost everyone in the main circle of the Order… Except the player character.

Yet the player character is called out specifically. That, in a sense, has become the basis of a fan theory that my friend Jonathan pointed out to me. It seems as though Ylgr might actually be the shapeshifting trickster Loki in disguise.

After all, she’s shown off the ability to hide as almost anybody quite often before, and it would explain not only the convenience of a little girl escaping the clutches of an evil empire but also the convenience of her knowing that name without being told it.

Feh Plot Meme

Yeah it is, Feh.

I quite like this theory, and I can easily imagine it actually being where this plot is going, so I wanted to bring it up here.

While I’ll be disappointed if things go in such a predictable direction, I am impressed that the fanbase is so cognizant of such minor details that they’re able to extrapolate on them so quickly.

But I suppose we won’t find out whether or not this is the case until the next few chapters hit. With a special set of characters coming soon, however, there’s no guarantee that’ll happen for some time now.

So stay patient, everyone. You know I’ll be here to talk about plot as it’s developing.


That’s all I’ve got today I’m afraid. With this post I have officially caught up with everything going on in the game.

Until May 20 when the special heroes drop. Because you know, no rest for the wicked and all that jazz.

In the meantime, let me know what you thought about this two-parter in the comments. I know it’s really no different from just doing two posts a few days apart when they were first happening, but I like to think there’s something special about putting them under the same umbrella.

While you’re at it, let me know what you think of the new set-up I’m trying for establishing details on the new heroes added in a summoning banner. I think I’ll keep it up for the next few banners just to see if it sticks at least, but I’d love some feedback all the same!

‘Gushing about things I’ll never receive,’ a Fire Emblem Heroes memoir

‘Gushing about things I’ll never receive,’ a Fire Emblem Heroes memoir

Alternative title: The Wings of Fate are cruel.

Hello everyone, welcome back to another episode of “Fire Emblem Heroes updated and I feel obligated to stay up into the ridiculous hours of the morning to have a timely post about it for some reason.” This is your host, Jason Rochlin.

In today’s special episode of that thing I just wrote out, you’re going to observe the ramblings of a madman, driven to insanity by his own gluttonous desire and lack of self-control in the face of an entity that, pardon my french, does not give a fuck.

All observers of this program should be 18 years old or older, or at least mature enough to understand the truly empty sadness of a somewhat successful college-age boy who thinks and talks far too much about a collection of lines one person drew that is perceived by everyone’s abstract brain as representing a twenty-something year-old redhead in a mobile app game for iOS and Android devices.

Viewer discretion is advised. Not really. But you’ve been warned.


img_8016

Fire Emblem Fates is a game that hasn’t gotten any love in Heroes since the Children of Fates banner some time ago that brought in a number of characters. Included in that list of characters was Soleil, one of my favorite units from those titles.

At the time I spent all my orbs to get her, only for her to eventually become a four star unit that I now have 5 copies of.

How shall these new units I’m excited for screw me over, I wonder?

  • KanaDragon Princess
    img_8077

    • Kana wins the award for the cutest artwork in this update hands down. However, skill-wise she’s… Okay. I already have two powerful green dragons in the forms of Myrrh and Grima so perhaps I’m somewhat disillusioned, but having another green dragon with a breath that calculates damage using the lower defensive stat without actually having a built-in way to hit from a distance is disappointing. It’s hard to argue with Draconic Aura and Fierce Stance however, so luckily her cute butt is on my radar this time around. Just don’t call the police on me for saying it like that.
  • ShigureUplifting Artist
    img_8078

    • Okay… So… Shigure is here for his second time since the Performing Arts banner. He’s a lot more underwhelming this go around, sporting a weapon that powers up his special attack to ensure he restores a little more health… But beyond that doesn’t have too much going for him in my opinion. Perhaps if Mitama comes out soon and I can ship them together he’ll have a bit more utility, but until then he’s far outclassed by the other flying unit in this banner.
  • HinokaBlue Sky Warrior
    img_8076

    • Okay, hold up.

I need a little more free space to discuss this one because I’ve quite literally been mulling over this Hinoka alt since she was announced Sunday night.

Who… Who exactly over at Intelligent Systems allowed this?

Let me break it down. Hinoka is a flying unit based on the Kinshi Knight model from Fire Emblem Fates. Already a good start because the Kinshi Knights were one of my favorite things about that set of games.

She’s a bow-wielding flying unit (which is unique up until now if I’m not mistaken) with a bow that actually, literally has four effects.

  1. Effective against flying units, as all bows are.
  2. Effective against armored units, which is unprecedented for bows and quite welcomed in the world of Black Knights and Hectors.
  3. Grants +3 Speed, which I’m assuming is on top of an already solid speed stat.
  4. Drive Attack. Just… Straight up built-in Drive Attack skill on a bow with three other skills already built-in.

Like how is that legal in the state of California?

Hinoka also comes out of the box with four other main slot skills attached. On top of having all of that utility in her special 14 might bow: She also has Luna as a special attack that reduces defense or resistance by 50 percent when triggered, Attack/Speed Bond to grant her +5 in both stats when next to an ally, as well as both Flier Formation and Flier Guidance to allow her to jump next to units two spaces away or vice versa.

Those last two skills basically guarantee she’ll have the bonded boost and will likely activate her Drive Attack bow for allies.

There’s so much synergy in this one unit that I just cannot understand how we’ve allowed this to happen. If she has fantastic base stats as well, Hinoka is going to be an absolute monster.

Oh and let’s not forget… She’s Hinoka. And the Hoshido sisters are leagues better than the Nohrian sisters.

img_8017
Here she is being the best auntie on the planet for proof.

Don’t @ me, Internet.

Okay but with all this gushing over Hinoka, I suppose I should also lay out my issues with her inclusion here.

For one, I would be remiss not to talk about my problem with Hinoka appearing as a “brand new” unit in a main story banner like I did when cavalier Eirika was introduced a while back. That slot could have very easily gone to someone else from Fates.

Reina seems to be a name that’s going around a lot as a Kinshi Knight, for example. Or maybe one of the other Hoshido children like Midori.

On top of that, my flier emblem team is already pretty stacked so I’m really not sure who to replace.

But those are small complaints all things being equal. I’ll still be spending all of my 140-ish orbs on this banner if I have to.

Just watch me get destroyed.

What’s that? I already did get destroyed?

img_8021

Oh. I see.

Well I suppose it’s time to store up orbs again so I can keep bashing my head against this brick wall. Thank god the Tempest Trials are still going so I can squeeze some more orbs out of those.

Also side note, I’m glad to see Nanna got demoted to four-star status so quickly after her token banner considering she’s the only one of those heroes I got.

But I digress. I’m sure you’re all tired of me complaining and want to get into the story. So let’s do that.


I will say, just to start off this portion of the episode, that I appreciate how frequently Intelligent Systems has been moving the main story forward. I’m a sucker for a developing story, after all.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thematically I think the developers killed it when putting together this portion of the story for a number of reasons. For one, the ice castle aesthetic is pretty great on its own. On top of that, it looks like the kind of environment I would expect to see coming out of the Fire Emblem Fates world, so everything feels copacetic.

But on top of both of those things, let’s also not forget that the music coming out of Fates is just mm-mmm good. Seriously I’ve had the map’s main theme stuck in my head since the banner trailer was first released.

Now if only I could remember the name of the track…

I’ll think about it. In the meantime, let’s talk about story.

We start this leg of the race suddenly much further ahead than we left off before. Essentially, we’ve completely skipped over any and all exposition between Gunnthrá’s death in the Thracia missions and the arrival at this castle for the Rite of Frost.

But wait, we aren’t getting out of this without a cinematic cutaway to a Kevin Smith-style conversation between characters who could otherwise be doing super action-y stuff based on what they’re saying.

Surtr continues to be as brutal as ever, which for some reason still surprises me. Also fire ritual foreshadowing that I bet won’t become relevant for the next twenty chapters or so.

HEY WAIT A SECOND, THERE’S A PERFECT DISTRACTION RIGHT HERE!

img_8035

XANDER IS STILL HERE GUYS!

Yeah I know that’s like a small detail, but I seriously always forget that Xander is for some reason still the top general in Veronica’s army. It’s such an obscure fact, but the more it becomes relevant the more I’m starting to think maybe Veronica is Xander’s perfect match instead of Hinoka.

… Except there’s probably some pedophilic implications in that statement all things being equal.

Also I just reminded myself that Hinoka is a thing in this banner and she’s alluding my wanton desire, so I’m just going to move on.

Battles happen as usual until the Order of Heroes makes it to the part of the castle where they can begin the ritual.

Figures we can’t go a single Fire Emblem game without a legendary dragon getting involved.

So you fight all of the Fates enemies (including the awfully handsome Kaze, because I mean…)

img_8079

(Damn dude.)

There really isn’t much of a challenge to it, so soon enough Fjorm is able to begin pre-preparation of rites.

All seems to have gone well. Until…

You know what this calls for?

Feh Plot Meme

Yeah that’s right, welcome back Feh plot thickening meme. How I’ve missed you.

What’s that? Should I actually say something about the moment? Well… Fjorm is probably going to die. Join her sister in the afterlife or whatever. Unless of course this is all just a ploy to make her sick at the last-minute so we need a Deus Ex Machina to save the day and defeat Surtr once and for all.

I guess only time will tell.

Speaking of Surtr, as he so eloquently established by threatening to break someone’s legs, the next step of the journey for our rag-tag bunch of orb-hording freaks is the fire kingdom itself so they can take on the hulking brute.

Will the Order succeed in taking on Surtr? Will hilarious or emotional hijinks ensue? Who will be the units that preside over the final fight with the King of Fire?

Find out on the next episode of-

Oh wait, there’s more. What is this a Marvel movie post-credit scene?

Gasp! Time for a Feh meme x2 combo.

Feh Plot Meme

Okay so real talk, as much as I appreciate the double-cross twist of the big bad guys actually just wanting to use the little bad guy as a sacrifice for bad things, I do think this development was a bit rushed.

When I made the cut-away joke about Xander suddenly appearing again, I really was serious when I meant there was an interesting amount of foreshadowing happening. But no, that foreshadowing was just alluding to a portion of the story coming up at the end of the same mission.

Hopefully there’s a little more filler between this point and fighting the final battle, because otherwise rushed may unfortunately be the only way to describe the ending to this really cool long-term plot experiment.


Alright, with all that said, we’ve once again reached the end of another exhaustive night (morning?) of writing about dumb mobile game shenanigans.

How do you feel about the new heroes that have been brought into the game? Or, more specifically, how much do you agree with me about Hinoka being broken as hell?

Let me know in the comments down be-

THAT’S IT, THAT’S THE SONG THAT PLAYS UNDER THESE NEW MAPS!

Shout out to my boy Jonathan for helping me find the tune, because I was honestly going to go crazy if I couldn’t remember the name sometime soon to listen to it on repeat for the next couple of weeks.

Hope you all enjoy the kick-ass track. Because I’m going to sleep now so I can take on another day of visiting the tailor and going to work.

The circle of life.

My literal work in progress

My literal work in progress

Alright so this is an unequivocally silly idea. Going to get that out in the open right off the bat.

Earlier this week there was an update to Fire Emblem Heroes that I did a rather extensive post for. You’ll recognize it for having the amazing pun in the title.

Also no, don’t tell me you would not have done the amazing pun in the comments. Because it’s amazing and literally everyone would have.

If it wasn’t obvious enough to anyone who reads these on a regular basis, I have a bit of a formula when it comes to pulling the Heroes posts together. I capture all of my images directly out of the game and try to organize them where they should belong for easy access.

As a result I always end up pre-writing my thoughts using pictures and quippy statements summarizing what I want to say.

For some reason the pre-writing skeleton I did for the Thracia 776 character addition post just… Really tickled my funny bone.

Maybe it was the fact that the origin of my new favorite Feh meme came out of the quickly written blurbs?

Feh Plot Meme

I’m not sure.

Whatever the reason is, I really enjoyed this first draft more than most of the others I do.

So… I decided to save off what I did as a separate post before going out and finalizing my thoughts.

This is that unabridged ‘first thoughts’ draft of my post. I figured that this is a blog meant to be a source of practice in the craft of writing, so why not try to show off some of the behind-the-scenes baseball?

There isn’t a single hair out of place. It’s a bunch of large, unadjusted pictures occasionally separated by text with me being snarky about the game. I assume nobody is going to want to see that, and I don’t want to bog down the blog overall with it, so I’m leaving everything under a read more on the off-chance anyone wants to test their luck.

Consider this my attempt to keep content flowing on an off day with something potentially of interest. Could be fun to do a compare/contrast maybe?

I don’t know, I’ll leave that up to the audience.

That said, I hope you all enjoy!

– Jason

Continue reading “My literal work in progress”

Intelligent Systems won’t “Leif” us alone

Intelligent Systems won’t “Leif” us alone

So remember in my Daily Titan article archiving post from yesterday when I said I haven’t posted on this blog recently and kind of jokingly passed it off as not having enough time?

Well allow me to completely destroy all credibility in that regard by immediately jumping into another post all about Fire Emblem Heroes. Everyone’s favorite, I’m sure.

What can I say, it’s hard for me to stay away when this game updates itself and gives us some new people to play around with, especially now that I’ve personally gotten more into creating powerful units to fool around with. That or it’s just hard for me to get away from this writing crutch that I’ve rested on one too many times as an excuse to write more fun things that I’m interested in.

Either or works as an explanation honestly.

But that said, let’s quit all the meta talk and move into some Fire Emblem talk.


img_7887

Welcome to the World of Thracia 776 ©, the Fire Emblem game that literally nobody would have remembered existed if Reinhardt wasn’t added into Heroes with one of its first updates and became an overpowered meme machine.

Mm-mmm, That’s the kind of meme quality I’m after.

Though with that said, I think the elephant in this particular room should be addressed before I get too deep into things.

No, I will not apologize for using such a perfect pun in my post title.

Don’t bother asking.

But in all seriousness, my actual gripe comes from the fact that half of this new hero summoning banner is literally a re-tread of the only heroes from this game that we actually already have from that early update.

Like what’s the deal Intelligent Systems? I know that Reinhardt is a popular meme — as I’ve so graciously pointed out before — but are there really no more than three new heroes we can include from this generally unacknowledged title before resigning ourselves to new versions of ones that are already here?

They aren’t even special holiday variants guys. Seriously guys, come on.

But I digress. Even if they are partially re-releases, these heroes must have something to offer in their own rights, right?

… Right?

  • LeifPrince of Leonster
    img_7882

    • Where to begin with these new heroes… I don’t have that much of a connection to any of them, so I suppose I’ll have to stick with their possible competitive viability. Lief arguably has the best chance to fit in somewhere in my opinion. His weapon has a cool effect that boosts his own defense and subsequently boosts his attack based on his defense. Add that to the Spd and Def boost and he’s got a nice core if you disregard the just ‘ok’ special attack. Plus I’ve been getting more into Drive skills lately so I dig that. However… He comes with an energy drink. For some reason. If it’s a reference I don’t get it, but what I do know is that drink is literally useless outside of Chain Challenges and Tempest Trial runs. So clearly this boy isn’t meant to be used in too many other places.
  • NannaNordion Princess
    img_7883

    • Nanna is painfully forgettable. There aren’t too many cavalier healers in the game so she has a slight boost in intrigue there, but it clearly falls off a cliff from there. Her staff absorbs health, which is really only useful if you buff the staff to equal the damage of regular weapons. Restore is interesting but highly situational if the opponent doesn’t have stat negating abilities. Healing everyone with the special attack is also situational. A +2 buff to two stats isn’t anything to write home about. It’s just a mess. Granted, not pictured is a Drive Def skill, but even then it’s mostly good for passing off onto others. 0/10, would not want to summon.
  • OlwenRighteous Knight
    img_7884

    • Here we go, into the strange clones. It’s like when Eirika showed up in the last Sacred Stones banner as a totally new unit all over again. Except this time she isn’t even radically different since our previous Olwen was also a mage cavalier. Blue last time to be fair, but in this iteration she simply gains a slightly bugged version of the Gronnblade tome. I already have a +10 merged Gronnblade Cecilia, game. I don’t need a new one. Even if she does come with Swift Sparrow, which is a decent ability to pass along. Next…
  • ReinhardtThunder’s Swordimg_7885
    • Despite being another clone, this Reinhardt offers something interesting for himself at the very least. Rather than being a buffed up brave blue tome using cavalier, now he’s a buffed up brave sword using cavalier. Because that makes sense in the lore I suppose? I like his weapon a lot, since it’s along the lines of Elincia’s Amiti sword but works offensively and defensively. Plus adding onto that with Death Blow and Vantage is fantastic. Just switch out Pavise for something, get a new C skill other than the Spur x2 and he’d be pretty useful. It’s just a shame that weapon of his can’t be passed on… Especially because of it’s fantastic name. Meisterschwert. That’s on par with Mystletainn honestly.

Oh yeah by the way, there’s also a lance cavalier named Finn lingering around in the story mode who seems like the great knight early game protector-archetype character. But he’s a Tempest Trial reward character for the future, so we don’t need to worry about him yet.

All-and-all I’m not super excited about any of these guys. Leif and Reinhardt take two are probably the best looking units in the bunch, but I won’t be clawing at the seams trying to summon them desperately with the last of my orb reserves.

I’m back up to 70 at this point following my female Grima debacle, so I’d like to keep storing up for a rainy day at this point.

It doesn’t help that Mia from the Radiant games decided to show up unannounced as a red five-star unit instead of the two aforementioned characters I wanted.

img_7898

Even though there’s currently a banner running that features her as a focus unit.

img_7900

But that’s a gripe for another day. Because new character update also means new story missions! So let’s jump into that.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So one thing I have to give props to for the team that designs Fire Emblem Heroes is the map design. Even though we’ve mostly moved away from maps that reference the original titles directly (outside of Paralogues of course), Nifl is still an interesting winter wonderland to see develop over time.

Plus the transition into the last map where most of the snow is melted away thanks to the flames of the enemy is particularly beautiful.

Unfortunately, losing out on referential maps also coincides with losing out on a lot of the referential character-driven dialogue. As much as I enjoy the overall story arc being woven, it would be nice to see the characters being added into the fray getting a little more time to shine.

But hey I haven’t even gotten into the overarching story, so why don’t we discuss that first.

Once again this chapter begins with a dream sequence.

That’s right, Gunnthrá is back again and ready to drop some exposition all up on us.

You just know that if a fairly plot important character shows up with secret knowledge about how to win a war and the intent to meet with your party soon following a multi-chapter build-up, everything is going to work out.

But hey, dream sequences are so overrated. We’ve gotta get back to where the actual real plot left off.

Feel caught up? Good, because that’s about all they give us to jump back into things. I suppose it does the job, and gives us more time to get into who these strange Thracia people are.

Except just kidding. They all get one or two lines and that’s it. Most of the missions have no plot, hurray!

Though to be fair, in this case I’m led to believe it’s 100 percent intentionally cast aside just to show how in-tuned they are with the Reinhardt memes.

img_7846

Clearly magic isn’t everything.

Also for real support these Fire Emblem meme generators, they’re awesome.

But back on track, after dealing with a couple of mindless battles the Order of Heroes finally arrives at the temple they’re supposed to meet Gunnthrá in. Except- Oh no! Plot development!

img_7881

Darn right it is, owl.

The story actually gets surprisingly dark and serious at this point kind of out of nowhere.

Yeah it looks like Surtr straight up set a trap by capturing Gunnthrá and tortured her (not that her in-game art changed to reflect that) trying to find out what the Order of Heroes is planning to do in order to stop him.

Except obviously nobody tells him what we’re planning, so he does the next best thing.

She’s dead, yo.

Yeah in a dark twist, someone actually dies in this mobile Fire Emblem game. A pseudo-main character no less.

I was totally caught off guard by this development honestly, how could they have done something of this caliber without totally telegraphing their plot thread ahead of-

img_7836

Oh wait they totally did.

Yeah, the whole death scene as a whole was hinted at a bit too strongly for my tastes. Kind of too obvious to really be a good twist.

Though to be fair, the fact that they killed a main character is still rather impressive. Especially considering they let us summon her… Months ago. In a Legendary Hero banner. Because she’s a Legendary Hero.

Who is now suddenly dead in the canonical story without having done anything.

But we can still use her if we summoned her…

img_7874

So how much bearing does the canonical story bear on the in-game mechanics then? Because I’ve always been under the impression that they’re fairly tightly linked due to the fact that heroes in Paralogue missions always mention they can join you in your main army.

Though more than just raising a strange existential in-game question, the fact that Gunnthrá was summonable months ago also brings up the question of why Fjorm needed to have a moment of emotional turmoil?

Like I get it your sister died, but did she really? I could go S-rank your relationship right now if I wanted. And if that wouldn’t be a total waste of stat buffs.

Also, evil laugh is evil. Just saying.

Except wait, plot twist take two. As suddenly as before, turns out she’s not really dead?

 

img_7881

Darn right again, owl friend.

Except just kidding again, she totally is dead. We just needed hers back for two seconds to Deus Ex Machina a solution for killing the ultimate invincible bad guy.

Just like she also telegraphed in her dream sequence.

So you go to follow the light because the invincible evil general who planned the ultimate evil ruse in this chapter and killed a main character… Kind of just lets you escape.

All is good in the world and now your party has a new mission to complete this ancient ritual and gain the power to defeat Surtr and get revenge. Even though your mission was already about revenge because Nifl was being destroyed as is.

So same mission, different route to get there?

The end.

Or is it?!

Dun dun duuuuuuunnnn!

But for real, that’s about it for the plot.

I know I made fun of it a lot in this post, but let’s be honest it is a bit too obvious and contrived as a way to move the story along this time around. It’s serviceable, but just a bit disappointing for my tastes.

Also I’m expecting a revival Jesus-style in the near future. But if they keep Gunnthrá dead, I suppose I’ll be impressed by the balls it took to kill off someone integral in this kind of silly mobile game.

Despite the fact that I already ripped that decision apart for being a little nonsensical from a gameplay perspective.


Fire Emblem Heroes also had a new big update just the other day. Version 2.4.0 baby!

I feel kind of bad about skipping over it before thanks to my class/work schedule, so I wanted to just run down exactly what was added into the game in my continued effort to keep a running log of the Heroes evolution over time.

But I’m already at 2,100 words, so I’m going to summarize it all with screenshots.

Totally not because I’m just lazy.

There are a few cool things that were added into the game this time around.

  • More Grand Hero Battles being available on a regular basis is pretty dope, especially for someone like Berkut who sucks but I love as a character.
  • I don’t use any of the heroes that are getting weapon upgrades in this cycle, though I have a Roy who might get some use now that he has a better Binding Blade. Plus it’s cool that OG Ephraim and Hector can use the weapons their variants own.
  • I’ll probably delve more into Tempest Trial changes when the next Tempest Trial run arrives, since I haven’t done a post on the special game mode in a while.
  • Aesthetic changes like a scrolling banner are neat, though somewhat negligible.
  • SPECIAL ORB PROMO MORE LIKE SPECIAL GIVE US YOUR MONEY!
    • Let’s see how many times these deals force me to spend money on the game for good deals…
  • New game mode: Grand Conquests?

Whoa, mysterious new game mode time. I’m going to love talking about tha-

Oh. It’s just a tease at this point. So I literally don’t have a lot to say yet.

Alright, guess that will be a post for another day.


With that, we come to the end of the line once again.

Obviously there was a lot to tackle here between the new characters and the overall Version 2.4.0 update. I didn’t even get into the recent Feh Channel that I still haven’t watched… But considering what they talked about there is likely coming out with all of these updates, I’ll just let it slide.

However, speaking personally, I think there’s one major takeaway from everything that happened here today:

Feh Plot Meme

I’m going to abuse the hell out of this. Get ready, world.

How do you all feel about the new Thracia heroes? Or the fact that half of them are just rehashed versions of heroes we already have?

Let me know in the comments down below!

Though if you’re more interested in other Heroes topics… Well… Just wait a few days. Seems like there’s some stuff coming down the pipeline.

Fire Emblem Heroes’ Book II update – Part 1

Fire Emblem Heroes’ Book II update – Part 1

So remember a few days ago when I said I was going to be taking a hiatus from doing blog stuff because of finals coming up soon? Also remember when I said I would probably come back early if the big update we’ve been waiting for in Fire Emblem Heroes came out?

Well, it came out. So here I am, a few days late as usual, but still quiet excited about the huge volume of things added. Huge enough that I’m splitting this post into two posts, one to go over the mechanical changes and one to go over the big story additions.

It’s a large task at hand, and I’d rather not be up all night doing it, so let’s get going shall we?


img_6562

Version 2.0.0 is here, bringing with it Book II of the game’s story and some game-changing new additions. Like I said above, I go more into details on what Book II entails in this post here, so let’s dig more into what’s different about the Heroes experience from a technical level.

First and foremost, I would say the most immediately striking thing about this update is the User Interface changes, most of which contribute to making a more engaging and aesthetically pleasing experience.

Most notably to me was the menu background changes:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Though these appear to be small additions, the change is actually fairly big all things being equal – and much appreciated at that. Most of the time spent playing Fire Emblem Heroes, while not specifically in battles, is spent on these menus deciding what to play and how to play it. Thus, having something new to look at all these months later is pretty wonderful in my opinion.

Especially since the new backgrounds look way better than what we had before.

The new menu backgrounds are also joined by other aesthetic differences to things like actual menu layouts and designs, including the addition of ‘Seasons’ in the main hub.

 

These seasons tie into another brand new concept introduced in Version 2.0.0: Legendary Heroes.

img_6560

Fjorm, along with just about everything else I’m talking about here today, was introduced a while back during an episode of Feh Channel that I didn’t really talk about. Mostly because I knew eventually I’d get into a long post like this once the actual updates came out.

I’ll talk more about Fjorm’s role in the ever expanding story later on, so for now what you need to know is she’s a princess from an icy land near Askr who does cool flips, buffs her allies according to the in-game season and is just generally overpowered and great.

Legendary Hero blessings are a somewhat inherently confusing mechanic that I’m not even sure I full understand just yet, so I’ll let the game explain the blunt of it for now:

 

img_6572

While I believe I understand the idea of applying a blessing to an ally who is going to be fighting alongside Fjorm during a Water season so they can get a substantial boost, what I’m still iffy on mostly ties back to some small questions that I’m sure will make sense as I actually get the chance to play with the mechanic. Where more blessings come from, whether or not the blessings last forever, whether you can have multiple blessings active at once… Things like that.

One thing I can say I understand about Fjorm is her summoning banner, which is extra special in a number of ways.

Firstly, it features a huge number of five star focus heroes rather than three or four like we usually get. Twelve to be exact.

Second, in that pool of twelve five star focus heroes, four of them are extra special seasonal heroes back from the dead. Spring Camilla and Xander return in their Easter bunny-themed attire alongside Bride Caeda and Cordelia from the June special banner. Though the two bride heroes are the ones I had personally pulled from the original, both the spring heroes are novel for my collection.

Third, not only are there a large amount of special heroes featured, but the banner has an inherent eight percent summoning chance for those special heroes. Eight percent! For context, most banners start at three percent, so eight is incredible.

Of course that eight percent hasn’t helped me out very much. I’ve only managed to pull one five star focus hero after blowing a ton of orbs, enough so that I’m probably going to wait and save up the rest of the orbs I can get with the special events going on right now for the Fates children coming in a few days.

Though I can’t complain all that much, since this is the hero I pulled.

img_6667
Spring Camilla is quite the meme in my circle of friends for her… Well, sizable assets. So it’s honestly rather hilarious to me that I pulled her, as did a few of the others in my circle. She refuses to leave us alone.


Cute ice princesses and well-endowed bunny princesses aren’t the only things that are special about this update. There’s a much bigger mechanical addition to the game that once again seems to be shaking up the game’s tier list for useful heroes:

Weapon refining.

To unlock weapon refining, you have to go through a quick story mission, but it’s relatively separate from the Book II stuff, so I’ll go into it here.

img_6573

The Rite of Blades intermission has one battle, which begins with a setup that introduces you to a mysterious girl in your dreams.

As it’s later revealed, Gunnthrá is related to Fjorm and wishes to help you prepare by gaining access to a new power.

img_6580

By following her directions, the Order of Heroes arrives at a shrine where they must fight through a number of guardians to make their way to a tablet inscribed with Emblian text.

Your team decides to take that power and use it for your gain, because honestly how could they not?

The story leading into weapon refinement is simple, yes, but it sets up an interesting addition to the game.

As the text shows, refining weapons… Well, makes them more powerful. As obvious as that must sound. However, it does so at the cost of a ton of materials, so it must do something weighty, right?

It does, in fact. Most legendary weapon-wielding heroes can make use of the refinement to give their weapons a variety of buffs.

To show this off, Eldigan has the best example of these buffs for my purposes:

Mystletainn, one of my favorite weapons of all time in the Fire Emblem universe I might add, can be adjusted in a number of ways for the right price. One adjustment gives it the effect of Fury 3 inherently, boosting all of Eldigan’s stats at the cost of some life points with every hit. Eldigan comes with Fury naturally, so he has double the boost for double the cost. One adjustment increases his health and defense while also making it so he activates special attacks faster.

These extra weapon upgrades open up lots of opportunities for new strategic character builds with some high potential. A wide range of units can make use of these kinds of upgrades, too. Minerva is another unit I own who can have her weapon refined, and I know I want to take advantage of both possibilities.


While there are a few other small but important updates that came with this version, such as Staves getting a power boost to make healing units more useful, lowered special attack cooldowns in some cases, an increased barrack size to hold more units and an adjusted stamina use in story missions… Well, I just laid it all out right here. So I didn’t think I needed to go too much more into it.

From here, it’s time to go into the story changes that came with Book II’s addition. Unless of course you’re coming from that post to this one, in which case you’ve hit the end of the double update road, bucko. Congratulations!

Though of course I’m prone to breaking my own already thin fourth wall, so I’ll let you all know that I’m planning on writing the second half to this update later this afternoon or tomorrow… Since it’s about 2 a.m. right now.

So much for getting in and out quick on this one.

Oh well, either way look forward to seeing more later or tomorrow regarding my thoughts on Book II and what it brings to the table! Plus, now that December has hit, we’re going to be getting a new summoning focus soon with some heroes from Fire Emblem Fates… Including one of my favorites, Soleil. So I’ll probably be talking about that too.

Plus, in non-gaming news, I also have probably two more stories that will be coming out in the Daily Titan by the end of the semester, and some projects I’m doing might be worth putting up here as well. Look forward to that in the near future!

Happy half a year, Heroes!

Happy half a year, Heroes!

You may think I’m strange for celebrating the six-month anniversary of a mobile game, but I can assure you that I haven’t been obsessivly counting down the days since release. I’m just jumping on the celebration boat Intelligent Systems has set afloat!

After all, if Duel Links and Fire Emblem Heroes have taught me anything, it’s that mobile games apparently really enjoy celebrating half a year’s worth of existing.

img_5814

It’s strange to think that this game is already half a year old. To be completely honest, I’m not sure whether or not that seems like a long time ago or not long ago at all. The last semester of school I endured was such a slog for a variety of reasons that I feel like things changed completely between the beginning of Spring 2017 and now.

Yet, I can still distinctly remember the day when Fire Emblem Heroes dropped as if it were yesterday. I remember riding down one of the elevators in the College Park building on campus with (I believe) my friend Megan there next to me, trying out a game that had just been announced not long prior, one that I was very excited for in the midst of still playing Pokémon Moon. The classic music and game art was so refreshing for a mobile game that I instantly fell in love.

Then I remember sitting in front of a classroom in the basement of the Education building waiting for my honors history class with Professor Hall to begin while writing an awfully long-winded and ridiculously in-depth review of a mobile game to be published in the school paper. One which eventually my buddy Kaleb had to help me cut the hell down because seriously who wants to read that much about a dumb mobile game except me?

Hell, even in this small niche I’m trying to carve out for myself I’m not totally convinced anyone wants to read my long-winded speeches about this game. I certainly never expected Fire Emblem Heroes to blossom into being the biggest thing I talk about into this void I call my blog after that initial review I wrote, but here we are. I suppose the game is just a gift that keeps on giving.

Hopefully the new Arts & Entertainment editor for the Daily Titan will be as accepting of stupidly intimate game reviews as Kaleb was…

That’s probably more than enough waxing poetic for one day. I was the one who made a joke about celebrating a six-month anniversary at the beginning of this post, after all. Now here I am talking endlessly about fond memories for a game only six months old.

Though I suppose I can appreciate the overall sentiment of celebrating this. In a time where we’re constantly barraged by stimuli of all kinds and live through an interconnected virtual web that has the memory of a fruit fly, any new venture that manages to last six months without really losing a hefty degree of zeal from its fan base certainly seems like something to celebrate.

ESPECIALLY in the field of free-to-play mobile games. I’m sure most of those things die off fast from frustrating their core player base alone.

Plus, it’s not like I can complain about a celebration. The game is planning to celebrate their anniversary with free goods, after all!

img_5813
Give me all of your orbs, Feh…

The most important thing going on for the game’s six-month anniversary, I’d argue, is the big orb dump. The game will be providing two log-in bonus events that provide players 20 orbs if they log in ten times over two week periods. One starts today and goes until the 21st, while the other starts the 22nd and will go until September 10th.

40 orbs? Not a bad deal, Nintendo. I can respect that.

As I’ve expressed plenty of times in the past, one of my biggest idiosyncrasies when it comes to Fire Emblem Heroes is a strange peace of mind and security that comes with hoarding a large quantity of orbs just in case a certain hero arrives that I desperately need in my (probably somewhat pathetic realistically speaking) virtual life.

My last hoarding session was cut off somewhat pre-maturely by the arrival of the second summer heroes banner, but since I managed to summon summer Elise:

img_5786
Perhaps the Loli bait is strong with this one, but she’s grown on me. Something in the way her face is drawn is just way too cute.

I’ve been pretty good about saving up again. Sorry Xander, as much as I love your Lilith floatation device, I gotta start saving up again. Plus most of the tier lists say Elise is better anyway. So there.

Speaking of summer heroes, this six-month anniversary celebration began the day after our last Voting Gauntlet ended. I don’t have a lot to say about it, but I felt it was worth bringing up, so this seemed like a good transition.

Overall I did pretty poorly.

 

I lost the first two rounds when backing my girl Elise against Corrin before joining my friends to back Robin against Corrin, but she steamrolled me both times. Then I supported Corrin in the final round and…

Naturally we destroyed Gaius, who is ironically my favorite guy from the first summer summoning banner. Funny how that works.

These Voting Gauntlets don’t tend to mean much outside of getting some extra feathers, however, so really that’s about all I have to say on the matter. Except for the fact that they added some extra orb rewards on each cycle of the rounds, which was a much appreciated addition.

img_5796

Keep that up I’d say. It definitely encouraged me to participate in the event more often.

Getting back into the meat and potatoes of this post, the six-month anniversary celebration isn’t just a couple of orb showers.

Though they haven’t arrived yet, part of the celebration will include two limited edition special map challenges and two presumably prize-heavy quest lines toward the end of August. Given the nature of those events I don’t believe I’ll be talking about them on here that much, but just know they’ll more than likely include lots of orbs, lots of colored level-up stones and some new Sacred Seals.

Also later this month, starting on Thursday actually, there’s going to be some events meant to help Fire Emblem Heroes newcomers… Though the events will also be beneficial to veterans like myself, if not more beneficial. A second “Hero Fest” banner will be coming for a week, allowing players to get the chance at popular heroes with an increased summoning chance. Plus, there will be a secondary log-in bonus to coincide with the starter support event that I believe will overlap with the anniversary bonus and give us an additional 20 orbs.

That’s at least 60 orbs, not including whatever we’re going to get from those special maps and quests I mentioned before.

I didn’t personally take advantage of the first Hero Fest when it rolled around since it happened during my very first orb collection binge (the one that got me to 200+ orbs I might add), though I get the feeling this one might sway me more easily if the heroes are desirable enough.

The reason this Hero Fest might sway me is also thanks to the final part of the anniversary celebration: Core summoning changes. Two of them to be exact.

First, a free first summon has been implemented.

img_5815

Pretty much what you read is what you get with this one. Every time a new banner is released, the first five orb cost to summon one hero is waved. One hero free of charge.

While it isn’t much, the teaser given in regards to this change stands pretty true. Everyone can try each banner at least once, and there’s no harm in that when you have the possibility of drawing one of the rare focus heroes in that first summon.

Because that’s what we all say before sinking money into the pit hoping to get that hero we’ve already invested time and effort into finding.

Anyway…

Second, the rates of summoning four star and three star heroes have been switched. Now, starting with every summoning banner released on August 7th and beyond, it will actually be more common to summon four star heroes rather than three star heroes.

 

This change, despite not applying to the ‘Summer focus’ and ‘Life and Death focus’ banners we already had before today, is actually really beneficial. If nothing else it makes it a lot easier to get your hands on higher leveled units that take less investment to train up if desirable, and there are a lot of abilities you can inherit that come from four star allies.

Since it ties in with a lot of what I talked about already, I figured it would also be worth brining up the Bound Hero Battle that began today featuring Cecilia and Lilina from Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade.

img_5827

 

This special map collection offers a challenging map layout with three difficulty levels for summoners to try their hands at. The catch with each difficulty level is that you can’t lose a single unit. Once one of your four heroes dies, you automatically lose.

It’s a bit of a brutal task for sure, but those who have the skills to take it on can net themselves an extra nine orbs to put in the bank. Don’t think I’ll be able to beat the Infernal level since it really does live up to it’s name, but I’ve already beaten Hard and have a good strategy going for Lunatic, so we’ll have to see.

The special map challenge also comes with a brand new summoning focus:

img_5817

With the focus on Roy, Cecilia and Lilina, this banner overall isn’t really for me. I already have all three heroes in my collection, so the increased chance at nabbing them really isn’t all that appealing. I still figured it would be worth mentioning, however, as this banner is the first to implement both the free first summon and the swapped summoning chances that I mentioned earlier.

I used my free summon and got a four star Stahl. He’s pretty useless… But the fact that I got a four star with my free summon kind of proves that something in the new system is working, right? I like to think so, anyway.

All of these new things in the game also coincide with the version 1.6 update, an update that includes a variety of changes also worth talking about… But changes that I’m not sure I have the energy for tonight.

Seriously, it’s right around 2 a.m. and this post has taken me much longer to write than I anticipated. While rambling ceaselessly in the early hours of the morning has served me well in the past, I’m afraid I’m just a little too tired to keep going. Probably in part due to feeling sick over the last couple of days, something which honestly should have driven me to bed sooner anyway.

Ah well, ’tis the life of a Masochist I suppose.

Because I have some time with my friends later today (during normal daytime hours) and orientation for the Daily Titan throughout the week, I think I’ll skip out on the version 1.6 talk tonight. If anything I’ll include that as a post-lengthener when I talk about the Hero Fest on Thursday, though it could come earlier if I feel the writing mood come on.

Either way stay tuned, it’ll be here.

Until then, let me know how you feel about the six-month anniversary celebration for Fire Emblem Heroes in the comments below! Are you as excited for all the cool give-a-ways as I am? Or are you more stuck in the kind of temporal confusion and awe in regards to time passing that I was toward the beginning of this post?



Before I sign off and hit the hay, I also thought this would be worth mentioning.

The other day I tried something strange by posting a tweet from my Nintendo Switch. To test the feature out I tweeted about the results of Splatoon 2’s first Splatfest.

A disappointing outcome… But that’s beside the point.

While posting to social media from my game console was an undoubtedly strange experience… It wasn’t necessarily one I was all that opposed to. Particularly if it’s the only real way to get the pictures I take on that device off of the device so I can show cool things off to the world.

Thus, although it probably won’t be an earth shattering change, I may just wind up posting to twitter independently more often with Switch-based content. That in itself could lead to more individual social media posts in general… Though for now I doubt it since I still like to tell myself I’m not a huge fan of using social media.

Still felt like it would be worth mentioning here as sort of a shameless self promotion. After all, if you’ve made it this far into the post you clearly enjoy my company to an extent, so it might be worth checking out my Twitter for some sort of an evolution in the future.

Even if it’s mostly a conduit for getting these blog posts you see already in front of more eyes as it currently stands.