Tag: Fire Emblem

What’s in a name?

While I can think of very few distractions better suited to the title than a video game where I’m able to kill a gun-themed dragon with bees, Enter the Gungeon cannot keep me from doing some work I need to do forever.

Mostly because the Switch battery doesn’t last forever. Otherwise it most definitely could keep me from my work for forever.

But that being said it doesn’t, and thus I have broken away from the addiction of roguelikes to work some more on my Senior Honors Project.

I’ve taken a bit of a turn in my approach to the project as the summer starts to wind down. Originally I had been simply starting to write the novel I’m working on while using a separate outline to keep track of things (as I pointed out in a previous blog post). However, I’ve found that hasn’t worked out phenomenally well.

It mostly left me in a place where I had a basic idea of some key plot points and the main characters, but no real sense of progression to build upon. Just figuring out things as I went along.

So I’ve decided to step back from the actual physical writing and focus more on the finer details of outlining this puppy.

Notably:

  • Fleshing out a more complete plot line
  • Coming up with the characters I want my heroes to encounter in their journey, with all the relationships those entail
  • Actually imagining more of the world they’re in, different names for locations included

With those in place I think writing a novel should actually be a sensible pursuit.

The thing that I’ve found most difficult about all this is naming everything. Who would have guessed that when you’re building a world from scratch you have to name all of the things?

All the characters, all the locales, all of the lore bits. So on and so forth.

Luckily I’ve made the task easier for myself by not establishing my world as one that has very strict hard-and-fast rules. I’m not Tolkien creating a crazy immersive, new fantasy world full of completely novel interactions amongst different races.

If anything… I’m kind of piggybacking off of the work he already did years ago.

See, for those who aren’t aware, my novel is a parody of sorts. It started as something meant to emulate the ideas of a book called ‘Redshirts’ but in the fantasy genre rather than science fiction.

Then I decided to narrow my focus even further. While I don’t necessarily read a ton of fantasy novels, I do play a lot of fantasy-themed video games. Zelda, Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy. So on and so forth.

This my novel evolved into one where the focus is on NPCs in a video game who gain some semblance of sentience, realizing they are caught up in the tropes of a world created by game developers who, like me, love fantasy themes.

As well as tropes of the video game medium as a whole, of course.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m hoping not to create a boring environment seeped in tropes for the sake of it. Hopefully by the end I’ll have an interesting world inspired by and utilizing said tropes.

Because of this I’ve felt free to come up with names for things in a number of ways without having to worry about standardizing too heavily.

Looking up name generators is a good general practice for character names especially, an idea bestowed by my friend Sam who does similar things for her Dungeons and Dragons campaigns.

However, I’m also trying to look to some real life inspirations. For example, the holy order of royal guards in the kingdom which presides over the land (currently unnamed since, like I said, names are hard) is based on my mom’s name.

Or in a more fun example, one character I have is named after this glorious little thing I found at Ikea the other day.

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Seriously how could I not make Eldig Black a semi-significant character in my story.

It’s just too perfect.

In fact, just perfect for the grizzled, Old veteran in charge of watching over the prince of the kingdom. The Gunter to my Corrin in Fire Emblem Fates, or the Jagen to my Marth in the original Fire Emblem.

Because at least one faction of characters in my story is not-so-vaguely inspired by the archetypical group of traveling adventurers in the early stages of a Fire Emblem game.

Those are just a few of the ideas I’m juggling right now, trying to create a cohesive world with a web of relationships among its inhabitants.

If you’re a creative-type, I’d love to hear what kind of means you tend to use for inspiration when it comes to things like character creation. Let me know somewhere on the Internet.

Dancing right into Version 2.8.0

Dancing right into Version 2.8.0

Today we got a brand new bunch of dancin’ fools in Fire Emblem Heroes on top of the ramifications of the latest version update that came yesterday.

That’s a lot of ground to cover, so I’m not going to waste your time with a flashy intro.

Let’s just see who’s new and what they can do!


XanderDancing Knight

Skill Set:

  • Dusk Uchiwa (Might = 12 / Range = 2)
    • Effective against cavalry foes. Disables unit’s and foe’s skills that change attack priority. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions.
  • Dance (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally (cannot target an ally with Sing or Dance).
  • Close Counter (A Skill)
    • Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range.
  • Quick Riposte (B Skill)
    • If unit’s Health ≥ 70 percent and foe initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
  • Odd Defense Wave (C Skill)
    • At start of odd-numbered turns, grants Defense +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

Analysis:

If I’m just being honest, the most important thing about this Performing Arts Xander is his dance.

Like. I don’t know how Intelligent Systems did it. But they created literal perfection.

Outside of that dance animation, however, he still seems to be one of the most worthwhile heroes on this banner to summon. Like every hero here, his weapon disables priority-changing skills on top of being effective against a specific kind of unit.

Plus he comes with three passive skills, again like every unit here. I don’t know why IS decided to make these dancers so stacked, but I’m not complaining.

Xander is obviously built to be an interesting defensive dancing dagger user. His close combat lets him hit from one space away, where his Wave and Quick Riposte can help him survive an attack and hit back twice.

If his stat line is any good, he’ll be an interesting character to throw onto a team.

Mainly because of that dance, though.


ElinciaEstival Princess

Skill Set:

  • Cloud Maiougi (Might = 12 / Range = 2)
    • Effective against dragon foes. Disables unit’s and foe’s skills that change attack priority. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions.
  • Dance (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally (cannot target an ally with Sing or Dance).
  • Attack/Speed Push (A Skill)
    • At start of combat, if unit’s Health = 100 percent, grants Attack and Speed +5, but if unit attacked, deals one damage to unit after combat.
  • Rockslide Dance (B Skill)
    • If Sing or Dance is used, grants Speed +3 and Defense +4 to target.
  • Drive Resistance (C Skill)
    • Grants Resistance +3 to allies within two spaces during combat.

Analysis:

Elincia holds the distinction of being the very first colored dagger unit in Fire Emblem Heroes. Hurray! Congratulations on your accomplishments girl, you’re doing the Radiant games proud.

Now I already have a pretty strong tie to Elincia as a unit in FEH because she’s such a powerful staple on my flying team. One that I happened to summon when I was in the hospital.

Unlike Xander, her skills are a little more spread around and don’t fit one play style in particular. But they leave her more readily available to fill a variety of niches.

She can be a solid blue dragon killer with that dagger of hers and the Attack/Speed Push. Probably combined with a healing skill.

Or she can be focused purely on buffing dances through that double stat improving Rockslide, improved further by her ability to grant Resistance buffs to nearby allies during combat.

There’s just a lot of potential with her, and I’d be excited to summon Elincia as well.


RyomaDancing Samurai

Skill Set:

  • Sky Maiougi (Might = 12 / Range = 2)
    • Effective against armored foes. Disables unit’s and foe’s skills that change attack priority. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions.
  • Dance (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally (cannot target an ally with Sing or Dance).
  • Triangle Adept (A Skill)
    • If unit has weapon-triangle advantage, boosts Attack by 20 percent. If unit has weapon-triangle disadvantage, reduces Attack by 20 percent.
  • Chill Defense (B Skill)
    • At start of turn, inflicts Defense -7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Defense through its next action.
  • Spur Speed/Resistance (C Skill)
    • Grants Speed and Resistance +3 to adjacent allies during combat.

Analysis:

Ohh, so sorry Ryoma. If only you were one reveal ahead, you could have been our first colored dagger unit.

Luckily we have a consolation prize in the form of a very special niche for you to fill as a red armor killer.

Yeah, oddly enough this unarmored lobster seems built to kill powerful red armor units like the Black Knight or Zelgius. He has color priority on a ranged weapon that’s boosted by Triangle Adept and effective against armor units specifically. Plus, he inflicts a hell of a defense debuff at the beginning of each turn.

Now I can’t promise Ryoma will be defensive enough himself to tank a counterattack should his effort to kill fail, but still. Thanks to canceling out abilities like Vantage he may actually have a chance to be a super solid tech choice on teams that are weak to red armored boys.


MicaiahSummer’s Dawn

Skill Set:

  • Dawn Suzu (Might = 14 / Range = 2)
    • Effective against armored and cavalry foes. Disables unit’s and foe’s skills that change attack priority.
  • Dance (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally (cannot target an ally with Sing or Dance).
  • Attack/Resistance Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Resistance +5 during combat.
  • Fireflood Dance (B Skill)
    • If Sing or Dance is used, grants Attack +3 and Resistance +4 to target.
  • Resistance Ploy (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, inflicts Resistance -5 on foes in cardinal directions with Resistance > unit’s Resistance through their next actions.

Analysis:

Color me impressed, every single unit on this banner is actually friggen useful. Micaiah here because she carries a legendary weapon with double ranged type effectiveness that cancels out abilities like Vantage while also lowering an opponent’s resistance and boosting her own Attack and Resistance during battle.

Yeah that’s front loaded I know, but it’s really solid on paper.

Of course the Fireflood Dance is a bit more situational as it seems better fitting for a purely supportive dancer, but hey. Maybe she’ll be a great offensive and defensive dancer.

Seriously I don’t have too much to say here because she’s just a good unit. I do wish she had a red dagger just to round out a banner full of each other colored dagger… But beggars can’t be choosers, I suppose.


I don’t think I can state enough how great every unit on this banner is. Seriously, if you didn’t waste too many orbs on the last Summer/Awakening/Legendary banners like I didn’t, you can have a good time stacking your roster with dancers that can fit on a variety of teams.

Personally I think Elincia and Ryoma are my favorites just based on skills alone. But I’d frankly be happy to get any of them.

In fact, for that reason I’m spending a whole bunch of my ~170 orbs on this sucker. Though probably not enough to go below 100 orbs considering all of the summoning banners coming up soon…

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But with my recent lucky streaks, I should have a good time here, right?

Actually, interestingly enough I have been rather lucky. Just… Not in the way that I’d like to be.

I’m admittedly not entirely sure where these three came from. Micaiah was sort of funny just from the novelty of her alternate skin being in this new banner, but the other two were just. Eh.

I didn’t have a five-star Shigure before, so he’s got some catalog novelty, but Sonya is unfortunately just merging fodder.

So yeah, three five-stars in about 70 orbs. Can’t necessarily complain since my friend Jonathan didn’t get anything tonight… But boy do I want to complain about only getting duplicates.

At least there’s a whole month to score some silly dancers! Plus, the story mode we got to accompany this Paralogue is as interesting in lore as it is useful for orbs.


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Unlike most Paralogues in Fire Emblem Heroes, I would argue the ‘Festival in Hoshido’ Paralogue is much cooler for the story it presents than the pretty art style.

Though that, of course, is just as pretty as ever.

We start off, as you can see, with some exposition by the great Lobster himself regarding the history of the Hoshidan festival. He’s introducing the festivities to Princess Elincia, who has been invited to partake alongside Micaiah. Also Xander. But he’s just right across the gorge so it’s a little bit less of an interesting invitation.

The stakes are raised very quickly when Loki shows up to remind the two that they’ve been put into a contract by Veronica. As they distract the Order of Heroes, who have come to protect the festivities:

Loki goes off to investigate whatever it is she has come to Hoshido seeking. Something that I’ll get into in a minute.

Already this plot is more engaging than the fifth session of Anna tries to sneak peeks at naked Heroes to raise money.

Even if Sharena doesn’t seem to be taking it too seriously.

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As the Order makes their way around, they then come across Xander giving some similar exposition to Micaiah.

While Loki arriving to put a wrench in the festivities was already an interesting point of contention, Xander adds more depth into this particular event by explaining how he’s there in more of a peaceful mission following the conclusion of Fates.

That’s actually some pretty cool world-building. Especially in a world where heroes from other realms can show up to experience the same activities.

It kind of makes up for the fact that I was upset seeing another Fates-based alternate art banner. Even with the Radiant representation, we just have way too many Awakening/Fates characters getting special treatment at this point.

Anyway, once the Order arrives at the final stage, Loki adds even more intrigue to her arrival at the festival.

Yeah, that’s right. Loki is after Anakos. ANAKOS of all things.

Apparently a fire dragon god isn’t good enough for the Múspell army. Now to be completely honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of this ultimate dragonic antagonist in Fates. Especially following Grima in Awakening, he was just sort of forgettable and weird.

But if they incorporate him into the plot of the mobile gotcha game somehow, I’m all in IS. You’ll have us good.

I agree completely.

But am also very invested in exactly where this sideplot is headed.


Normally I would just conclude my pieces here with a quick question about who you’re most interested in summoning off the banner and what you think about the suddenly interesting developments in the Paralogue story.

But this time I have a little more to jump on.

Version 2.8.0 dropped yesterday, and while it may not have added enough to warrant a full post yesterday I still wanted to dedicate some time to it. Because you know. I like cataloging this stuff.

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A lot of what was implemented here are minor adjustments to pre-existing modes. Adjustments that don’t really do a lot for me specifically.

First and foremost is a new tier being added to the Arena. Once players hit tier 20, now they can go further and become a Great Summoner. Anyone who does gets an aesthetic crown mark on top of Feh’s head on the home screen.

I’ve never made it to tier 20. So… Yeah. Doesn’t mean too much for me.

Intelligent Systems also added in the ability to have multiple skill sets for each unit. That way you could have a build if your Reinhardt is on a cavalry only team versus if your Reinhardt is on his own. For example.

There’s also some more options in the allies menu to sort different combinations of favorite characters together. But that’s another functionality I never used in the first place so… Yeah. Again.

Probably the only thing that was added which I could actually see myself using is the Order of Heroes weapon refines.

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Perhaps these three could actually be useful now! Which would be very beneficial to new players especially.

With those changes out-of-the-way, everything else is summed up as minor additions. Very cleanly summed up by this succinct list:

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Gaining extra rewards during Grand Conquests is probably the best thing just in this section alone, though I am very interested to see what it will be like to play tap battles at triple speed.

Also I would be interested in having my orbs hit quadruple digits. But that’s a different story.

That’s about all I have to say for Fire Emblem Heroes for the day.

Since I was already on track for this earlier, let me know what you think about those questions I asked in the comments! Based on the events calendar, it’ll be a couple of weeks before one of these shows up again. Considering I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who enjoys them, hopefully you all enjoy the hiatus.

The Mad Ramblings of a Man in the Heat

The Mad Ramblings of a Man in the Heat

If yesterday was a day of relative progress and hard work, through going to the gym, updating my social media accounts and turning in a Spotlight article for Gladeo, today is… Well, the opposite.

Because it is way too hot out for anyone to seriously be motivated about doing anything.

The reason my Featured Image for the day is just a picture of my fan going is because that’s what I’ve been staring at 90 percent of the time since coming home today. We don’t have any kind of air conditioning here by the beach because the heat is normally counterbalanced by a cool sea breeze, but this summer things have been especially insufferable. So downstairs, hidden in the alcove of my room with the fan going is probably the coolest area in this place.

Despite the heat I have been keeping myself busy and entertained with a few things where I can.

Probably the most notable thing involved obsessing over the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct that went on this morning.

It was 1000 percent insane and basically hyped everyone for the game even more than ever.

Castlevania characters.

King K. Rool.

Over 100 stages and 900 musical tracks.

Tons of new assist trophies and Pokémon summons.

Plus, let’s not forget Luigi dying in the Simon Belmont reveal trailer. Which the entire internet freaked the hell out about, leading to the green-capped plumber trending on Twitter. Yeah no joke.

There was so much more than that to suggest that Smash Ultimate really will be an insane, content-packed explosion of Nintendo pride from Sakurai and his team.

So much so that I considered doing a post solely on that… But I wasn’t exactly feeling the 30-minute video analysis. Today.

Just know it’s something I’ll be thinking about for a long time to come, and I’d say you should be too.

In other somewhat significant video game-related news, last night Intelligent Systems released the contents of our next special banner in Fire Emblem Heroes. So I spent some time pre-writing my post on that before starting to work on this post.

I know a lot of you probably don’t care, but I’m quite excited for these four dancers. So be ready for that on August 10th.

Those are really the two serious stand-out things that happened today between bouts of melting into a pile of goo on my bed.

I did also play some more Enter the Gungeon, which I’m having a great time slowly but surely getting better at. I’m not able to semi-reliably reach the final floor and have started the process of collecting the game’s scattered parts to unlock the true ending. But I haven’t seen even half the content available in the roguelike.

Which is, frankly, insane to me. I love how much these games are packing, since they give me plenty to distract myself with until games like Monster Hunter Generations and Smash Ultimate drop on Switch.

Plus The World Ends with You, which got an official release date of October 12th. And I’m. Just so excited to finally get to try it.

But hey all those video games aside, I also managed to do some regular work on my Senior Honors Project.

Because somewhere along the lines all of the time I had to work on having a basic product over the summer slipped away into the aether. Don’t know how that happened, but it did.

I’ll be honest, I’m not totally sure how to end this blog post. I feel like I could just endlessly ramble in a pre-heat stroke mess of keystrokes, but I’d much rather just sit around in the dark accepting my fate.

So I’m going to end unceremoniously here and say to stay tuned for other things coming soon. Things that I’m sure I have in the pipeline somewhere or another.

Did Intelligent Systems forge a fun event?

Did Intelligent Systems forge a fun event?

As many of you know, I consider myself something of a Fire Emblem Heroes recorder. I’ve been following the game since its humble beginnings and quite enjoy taking note of different things that come to it on behalf of Intelligent Systems.

New summoning focuses.

Major version updates.

Chronicling the game’s ever-expanding plot.

And of course the topic of today’s blog post: Brand new game modes.

While we still haven’t gotten anything that facilitates playing and interacting with friends in any significant capacity, many different ways to play have been attached to the overall FEH experience over time. Outside of the Tap Battles, each has built upon the fundamental style of a turn-based RPG with slightly varying rules to challenge players who wish to earn more rewards.

The newest “Forging Bonds” game mode is no exception, but hits an interesting note by emulating a more classic support system than the game boasts with its own style of supports.

Though that intrigue is pretty heavily counterbalanced by how bland the method of playing is.

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Forging Bonds sets its eyes on the characters most recently added into the game via the Awakening banner that activated a few days ago.

So Olivia, Sumia, Maribelle and Libra are the units players are meant to pay attention to. However, the game makes it abundantly clear that unlike other events where the focused characters provide score bonuses (as they do in the Arena or Tempest Trials), players get no bonuses by owning and using these four.

Which is a shame considering I summoned Sumia so early:

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But at the same time it’s objectively a great decision to make the experience open to the full spectrum of players.

Yet… I can’t argue that it’s a perfect decision. Let me explain why in a roundabout fashion.

See the four heroes of note don’t provide any bonuses because they’re simply used as reward-granting stand-ins. The actual play style of Forging Bonds is as easy as selecting a difficulty level and battling one map for each 15 stamina you spend.

Like in almost every game mode before it, whatever opponents you fight on that map are randomized but scale based on the difficulty you choose.

The catch is that some of these enemies have random item drops.

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As you can see in the image of the event’s main screen I posted above, each of the four focused heroes correspond with a colored heart:

  • Olivia — Red
  • Sumia — Orange
  • Maribelle — Green
  • Libra — Blue

When battling, RNGesus decides which kind of color you receive. There just happens to be weighted odds for finding one color over the others.

This boosted chance cycles every couple of hours, and really does make a difference. In all the times I’ve been playing, Sumia has had the boosted chance, and as of now I have over 400 points lined up with her and just 150 lined up with Olivia otherwise. Maribelle and Libra have gotten no love, apparently.

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The division of one’s points matter, because unlike other in-game events such as the Tempest Trials where there’s a single string of rewards to unlock by playing, Forging Bonds offers four completely separate strings of rewards:

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That’s right, if you didn’t enjoy the grinding for points before, now you get to do it four times over with no guarantee that you’ll get the points for the character you want! Isn’t that just wonderful.

For someone like me who has Stamina Potions literally wasting away en masse in his reserves, this isn’t so much of a problem. I can just wait for a day where the character I want to focus on has a boosted chance and go ham on those battles. Especially since there’s two weeks of event to get through.

For most other players, especially novice players, I can wholeheartedly understand why this would be far more frustrating than it has any right to be.

Seriously, I played Monster Hunter. I know the pain that comes when the desire sensor denies you the exact thing you’re looking for in place of an item you have half a billion of.

But that does leave a substantial question. Are the rewards worth the effort of struggling to get them?

There are three primary rewards that come out of Forging Bonds. The first is the source of its namesake: The support conversations.

In traditional Fire Emblem games, support conversations are discussions two characters have together that build their characters up and offer benefits like stat buffs when they fight together in battle. In the modern FE titles like Awakening and Fates, getting high enough support levels between characters also leads to marriage and subsequent recruitable ‘child’ characters.

In Heroes, the system of supports implemented was dumbed down to simply offer stat buffs and the occasional aesthetic alteration (like having the S-rank supported units snuggle in the hot springs when completing Tap Battles). It would be nigh impossible to add legitimate conversations when every character can support with every character from any and all Fire Emblem games ever made, after all.

The support conversations that can be unlocked with the four characters in Forging Bonds are much more like the prior example.

See the theme of the event, in this Ylissian version at least, is that the four heroes want to defend a town but can’t wait for reinforcements to be sent by Chrom.

Naturally the Order of Heroes arrives and offers their services, making the Ylissian Travelers more like companions in the context of the storyline this event sets up.

As a result, they have support conversations with you, the player, as you earn friendship points with them. Despite the fact that you may or may not have summoned them to join your army in the meta context of this as a video game.

After achieving some level of support with each character on the given roster, the overall story of the event also moves forward. So theoretically, by achieving an S-Rank support with all four heroes, eventually you’ll see a completed story arc.

It’s a cute idea, but flawed by its own premise in my opinion.

There’s something empty about these supports because there are no outside benefits to them.

You aren’t more likely to earn friendship points for that character once you begin to see their support conversations. Because they aren’t units you need to have to participate, seeing the support conversations offers no benefits to you if you do happen to own those units.

They’re just flavor text through-and-through. It’s actually somewhat underwhelming as a reward.

To be fair I haven’t gotten to S-Rank support with any of these heroes so I’m not sure how crazy the supports get, and that might just make them more worthwhile. Consider this a rain check on that idea.

With that long story aside, it’s pretty clear that the event probably isn’t worth players’ time if the namesake of the event itself isn’t really worthwhile, right?

Not quite. There are other rewards to accrue, after all.

The most notably rare and worthwhile are the special accessories that correspond with each character. Once you reach 100 friendship, you earn something like a flower hairband for Sumia.

Those 100 friendship accessories also add additional friendship points that stack when equipped to heroes you fight in Forging Bonds with, so they’re worth picking up in practical terms as well as aesthetic ones.

Then there are EX versions of each accessory that are available when you earn 2,500 points for each character:

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These EX variants aren’t practically useful like the regular ones… But I’d be lying if I said they weren’t each good-looking enough to not be worth the price of admission.

Then again I’m a sucker for putting cute accessories on my characters, so these rewards are inherently a draw for someone like me. That then begs the question of whether there are other rewards more useful to players who aren’t into the aesthetics.

Again, the answer is yes.

See between all of the different main reward tiers for accessories and support conversations are basic rewards. Badges for leveling up and the like.

After a while these rewards become exclusively Hero Feathers, which players can use to upgrade their units into different rarity levels.

Feathers are somewhat hard to come by considering it takes 20,000 to bring a four-star hero into a five-star hero, so those are definitely great items to go for (even if you can only get about 16,000 from all four paths together).

Unfortunately the same cannot be said about orbs. Usually special events love to give players orbs because that, in turn, encourages them to keep up the unhealthy addiction to summoning that we’ve all developed. But for Forging Bonds, only one orb sits at the top-level reward tier for each hero.

So you can get four orbs in total by playing Forging Bonds.

Now to be fair there is also one orb given away daily by playing a match once, but even so that brings the total orb haul up to a measly 18. Not even enough for a full round of summons on a given banner.

Honestly that’s pretty disappointing. More orbs would actually encourage me to participate in the event more than the support conversations do, because even if they are the focus they don’t provide any sort of long-term benefits.

At least Intelligent Systems seems to recognize that considering the day one reward for the event coming out was 20 orbs:

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Honestly, as far as content goes, that’s just about all there is to say regarding Forging Bonds. Like I said toward the top, it’s an intriguing approach to setting-up an event that falters due to its over-reliance on RNG coupled with lackluster, sometimes useless rewards that don’t encourage players to deal with that chance.

I also personally have some smaller, more nitpick-y issues with the approach as a whole.

Namely the fact that despite being an event clearly set in Ylisse where the characters are hoping to protect their homeland, the game itself doesn’t set up a world that matches the story-created expectation.

The maps seem randomly chosen, so while players will occasionally fight on a map based on a map from Fire Emblem Awakening, that chance is very rare. It’s a small detail, but it’s the kind of world-building this event missed out on that would have done it much more justice in the long-run.

Especially considering events like Tempest Trials have already shown a propensity for focusing on maps from specific games’ canons.

Just saying.

At least the music on the main screen of the event is pretty nice, so I’ll give the developers that much.

And maybe there’s more credit I should be giving the developers. Perhaps I’m being somewhat harsh on this event as a whole If I am, and you have your own opinions on it, please feel free to let me know in the comments down below!

Like I mentioned up top, I like to think of myself as a chronicler of the history of Fire Emblem Heroes at this point. But that also means I’m open to changing my opinions on things as time goes on.

So who knows, maybe the next version of Forging Bonds will take some of these critiques and run with them to create something better. I can feel something interesting under the surface, after all.

Heroes Awakens the Beast within

Heroes Awakens the Beast within

Last night, Feh Channel gave us a decent look at what’s to come in our favorite mobile gotcha game soon enough.

August is going to be full of opportunities to get free orbs for summoning and a collection of skill-based banners from 2017 will be returning for one day rotations — with a free summon each time.

Another version update will be coming soon with upgrades to the weapons of the original three Order of Heroes members. There’s also going to be updates to the Arena and the Grand Conquest game modes.

There’s also going to be a brand new game mode coming soon based on building friendship with new units in exchange for rewards and accessories using RNG-based treasure drops.

All sorts of fancy, nice little things… That I’m not going to talk about right now.

The major updates and new game mode will probably warrant their own posts down the line (shout out to easy post material). So today I’m simply going to focus on one thing:

New heroes coming in from Fire Emblem Awakening.


SumiaMaid of Flowers

Skill Set:

  • Reprisal Lance (Might = 14 / Range = 1)
    • If foe initiates combat, grants Attack +6 during combat.
  • Reposition (Range = 1)
    • Target ally moves to opposite side of unit.
  • Close Defense (A Skill)
    • If foe initiates combat and uses a sword, lance, axe or dragonstone, grants Defense and Resistance +6 during combat.
  • Attack/Defense Link (B Skill)
    • If a movement Assist skill is used by unit or targets unit, grants Attack and Defense +6 to unit and target ally or unit and targeting ally for one turn.

Analysis:

Out of all the characters introduced on this banner, Sumia is probably my favorite as far as their actual original game personalities go. She was an interesting case in that she was clearly implied to be Chrom’s canonical love interest despite the game leaving his romance options open to player interests. I fell pretty hard for her pie-based shenanigans as well though, so I can understand where he’s coming from.

In Heroes she’s also built with an interesting set of skills. Essentially the developers have made her an enemy phase unit who can gain +6 Attack, Defense and Resistance when struck by any close-range weapon. Plus she comes with the best movement Assist skill built-in to be used with that Link, so there’s almost no downsides.

Assuming her stats are decent, anyway.

Honestly I don’t have much more to say. She’s probably my favorite of the four here and the one I’d want to summon. It’s just too bad I have a +9 Cordelia that will presumably continue to overshadow her.


LibraFetching Friar

Skill Set:

  • Wo Gùn (Might = 13 / Range = 1)
    • Deals +10 damage when Special Attack triggers.
  • Noontime (Cooldown = 2)
    • Restores Health = 30 percent of damage dealt.
  • Renewal (B Skill)
    • At the start of every second turn, restores 10 Health.
  • Spur Attack/Resistance (C Skill)
    • Grants Attack and Resistance +3 to adjacent allies during combat.

Analysis:

If Sumia was an interesting case in Fire Emblem Awakening that stuck in my mind, Libra was the opposite. Unless you dig deep into a few specific support conversations (something I only found out about later), he’s essentially one-note. He looks like a girl and that causes a lot of confusion amongst various members.

So yeah, while he also has deep-rooted familial pain and all that jazz, I just never got too interested in the guy. By the time I hit his mission in my original play through, I already had Lissa as a solid War Cleric, and he was clearly outmatched by the other recruitable unit in that mission: Tharja.

Some competition, huh?

This version of Libra stands a little higher as far as my intrigue is concerned, but that’s almost purely for his weapon. Having a Wo Dao for axes is a cool idea. Especially when that axe is also a GUN.

Editor’s Note:

I know it’s not really a gun. That’s called jokes, everyone.

Beyond that, he seems to be built to survive. Healing when he triggers that Special Attack and healing every other turn. Perhaps he’ll be a pretty bulky green infantry unit, which is something we don’t have as far as I’m aware.

Or perhaps he’ll just pull out a gun and win every battle.


MaribelleDire Damsel

Skill Set:

  • Trilemma (Might = 12 / Range = 2)
    • After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts the following status on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions: “If unit has weapon-triangle advantage, boosts Attack by 20 percent. If unit has weapon-triangle disadvantage, reduces Attack by 20 percent.”
  • Martyr (Range = 1)
    • Restores Health = damage dealt to unit plus 50 percent of Attack (minimum of seven Health). Restores Health to unit = half damage dealt to unit.
  • Miracle (Cooldown = 5)
    • If unit’s Health > one and foe would reduce unit’s Health to zero, unit survives with one Health.
  • Dazzling Staff (B Skill)
    • Foe cannot counterattack
  • Staff Valor (C Skill)
    • While unit lives, all staff allies on team get 2x Skill Points after combat or after using healing Assist skills (only highest value applied, does not stack).

Analysis:

So… Maribelle is a little strange here.

In her original appearance she was a stuffy noblewoman who ran around the battlefield healing units and trying to get everyone to act more professional.

In this game she… Inflicts Triangle Adept on opponents, can’t be hit back when she strikes, heals herself when she restores Health and sometimes doesn’t die. Also she boosts the amount of Skill Points other healers get.

I’m sorry, what is Maribelle supposed to be exactly? Is she an attacking healer or a healing healer?

What kind of weird staff ability is inflicting Triangle Adept? If anything that’s super counterintuitive, as it gives the opponent an advantage more than it does offer your units an advantage in most situations.

I don’t know, man. Presumably she’ll be okay considering how good of a record cavalier healers have, but I’m just not sure I see the through-line.


OliviaSky-High Dancer

Skill Set:

  • Skuld (Might = 16 / Range = 1)
    • If Sing or Dance is used, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +3 to target.
  • Dance (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally (cannot target another ally with Sing or Dance).
  • Bracing Stance (A Skill)
    • If foe initiates combat, grants Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.
  • Chill Speed (B Skill)
    • At start of turn, inflicts Speed -7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Speed through its next action.
  • Guidance (C Skill)
    • Infantry and armored allies within two spaces can move to a space adjacent to unit.

Analysis:

Alright here we go. The controversial one.

I’ve made my issue with alternate units in main summoning banners more than apparent in the past. I’m still not a fan, and Olivia is unfortunately not enough of a beloved unit (to me at least) to justify interest.

She’s got a good weapon, much like Performing Arts Azura but with a sword instead of an axe. She also has a decent enough skill set, despite it being a bit more on the defensive than offensive side — something I’m not sure fits well with a flying unit.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just bitter about the whole thing, but I feel like there were a billion other units we could have introduced outside of a third dancing Olivia variant.

Why not Ricken? He was introduced alongside Maribelle in-game, so that would make sense. Or perhaps Miriel or Kellam as fellow original members of the Shepherds alongside Sumia?

Hell I’ll even take Vaike and screw Libra over in the summoning pool. That’s saying something, because nobody likes Vaike!

Maybe if I summon Olivia I’ll sing a different tune. But for now I’m kind of internally boycotting her. Hinoka was my one true alternate art love.


All things being equal, I think I’ve covered all of my thoughts in the analysis sections here.

Sumia is my favorite top summon for this banner, with everyone else kind of middling into obscurity for various reasons.

At least Walmart is coming and he looks pretty wicked.

Also my computer just autocorrected ‘Walhart’ to ‘Walmart’ and I’m sticking with it because that’s hilarious.

I’ve been saving my orbs for a little while following some lucky summoning on the Sketchy Summer banner (shout out to my perfect IV Summer Tiki), so I’m starting out with more than 100. Considering my lack of interest in the banner overall I might just summon a little on this banner and either save up for later or go back to try to get Camilla for the memes.

But that’s a discussion I’ll have with my wallet for later. Because that summoning addiction is something strong, so let’s see what fruits these trees have born.

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It’s going to be this kind of banner then… I see.

Glad to know my luck has finally run out on me.

But hey I got three lance pegasus knights and Chrom so… Maybe that’s a good omen for Sumia?

Probably not, I’m not sure. Either way I won’t be spending too much time on this banner like I said. So we’ll see how that goes.

In the meantime, let’s see what that story is all about, shall we?


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This chapter picks up directly where the last left off — something that I suppose should just be assumed, but I figure is worth mentioning anyway. As a segue if nothing else.

After being demolished by the incredible power of a self-reviving King Surtr (and taking a few vacations at the beach of course) the Order of Heroes is hoping to escape the fires of Múspell.

It comes to their attention that troops are pursuing from all sides except the east. Seems as though a second force is out in that direction also trying to escape.

So naturally the Order elects to follow along under the age-old adage that the enemy of their enemy must be their friend.

Unfortunately they don’t have the foresight of seeing the name of the chapter to know that Múspell’s forces are pursuing the Prince of Ice, Hríd.

After all, it wouldn’t be a complete story if there wasn’t a character everyone assumed was dead coming in to make a significant impact in the story.

He tells the Order that he was contacted by a masked man calling himself Zacharias, who provided him with the information needed to know just how to stop the Rite of Flame and kill Surtr once and for all.

Of course we the audience already knew there was a location where sacrifices are made considering that’s where we last heard Princess Veronica was being sent, but now our protagonists have a location and a heaping helping of hope.

Speaking of, can I just take a moment to reflect on the fact that somehow Múspell is still forming contracts with heroes of the week despite locking up the one character who can do that with the intent to kill her?

Because I’m not over that.

But it’s also a tangent for another day.

From this point the story seems to continue as expected. Sumia arrives first and offers a quippy character quirk to start her map.

Then… Intelligent Systems kind of throws a curveball and unexpectedly interjects more story into the second story map.

Laegjarn and Laevatein reveal that they apparently saved Helbindi’s life after his defeat by your hands when entering Múspell.

However, they also reveal that he’s caught between a rock and a hard place. If he goes back to Surtr and reveals he lost, he’ll be killed. As will his sister. So the flame sisters offer him the chance to join them and win his family’s safety by finally defeating the Order.

So that’s just what he does starting in the next map:

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Which, by the way, proved to me how silly Maribelle’s staff was after she buffed my Tiki and made it easier for her to defeat Helbindi. Just saying.

As the Order continues on, they go to a path that’s supposedly little known by Surtr’s forces called Burnt-Bone Gorge.

With a name as metal as that I can’t imagine how they wouldn’t know about it, but that’s plot convenience for ya.

Especially since, as it turns out, they do actually know about the path and are waiting in ambush.

Defeat the final map and the Order is able to break through and escape once again, leading them to question exactly how they got stuck in this situation in the first place.

Feh Plot Meme

The discussion on there being a traitor with the generic back-and-forth of “there can’t be a traitor” and “there must be a traitor” goes on for a long time because none of the members of the Order are willing to believe their old friend is evil. Again.

So I could go on and show everything… But I won’t. Because it’s kind of ridiculous when you consider all the evidence.

All of the evidence being that Múspell having a gOD DAMN SHAPESHIFTER ON THEIR TEAM.

Yeah that’s right. Why is anyone on the Order questioning whether there’s a mole like this is some Cold War drama.

Obviously someone somewhere is just Loki fucking around with everyone. Everyone’s seen her do it before so it shouldn’t be a surprise.

The way I see it there are four possibilities.

  1. The littlest Nifl princess is Loki, as fan theories have guessed for a while.
  2. Zacharias is Loki, because he told them exactly where to go to get ambushed.
  3. Mr. Big Bad Ice Prince is Loki, sent out to be a distraction.
  4. Or hey, maybe all of them are Loki. Maybe every character is Loki, because that’s the kind of plot convenience you can abuse when you introDUCE A SHAPESHIFTER INTO YOUR GAME GUYS COME ON!

I don’t know why this point annoys me so much. If anything it’s arguably good writing to make people guess who’s actually the real faker.

I just wish they didn’t have that intrigue while also having the main heroes be ignorant morons about it, introducing an entire extra layer of bullshit that’s not needed.

But rant aside, that’s where the story cuts off. Come back next time to see the end of the Rite of Flame, presumably.

Have a good night.


Speaking of have a good night, that’s about all I’ve got to say in regards to this banner and its accompanying story!

As usual I suppose I should end off asking you, the audience, some questions I’ll never have answered.

What do you think of the mole controversy? What wrong arguments do you have against the idea of Loki being responsible for everything in some way, shape or form?

How about the Olivia controversy? Are you tired of repeat units showing up like this outside of seasonal banners? Because I am.

Despite that, who are you hoping to summon on this banner? And who do you want to see added in the future?

All of these questions and more: Ignored. On the next episode.

Of Dragonball Z.

*Cue outro music*



Alright so I know I cued outro music already, but I have to keep you here a little bit longer folks.

See, as I was putting finishing touches on this post, I also happened to complete the main story missions and earn all of the extra orbs.

Using those orbs I attempted to summon again, the first summon following that fivesome I posted earlier.

As it turns out, those pegasi and Chrom actually WERE a good omen, because my first attempt scored me this:

My girl Sumia is here already, apparently.

Which I guess means… I basically don’t have to summon anymore on this banner if I don’t want.

Which, by extension, means I get to save up some orbs. Shout out to the ever-growing stockpile.

Time for an Upgrade

As it turns out, I use a lot of pictures.

Not exactly something I ever expected to say considering I bank so heavily on my love of the written word over visuals, but apparently my blind insistence on using lots of images to liven up my Fire Emblem posts has apparently caught up with me. As I mentioned earlier this week, I’m essentially out of media space just over 300 posts in:

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 3.46.44 PM

I don’t know if this is a good or a bad post-to-space-usage ratio necessarily, but it’s the reality I’m living with.

In fact, you’ve probably noticed a slight scaling down of image use around here since… Say… My Old Fort MacArthur post from this year, as I’ve been trying to keep my space viable for as long as possible.

That is, outside of the Fire Emblem posts. Which, like I mentioned, are probably the biggest space fillers I’ve got in terms of images. With a Feh Channel video planned to drop tonight and new units coming out tomorrow, I’ll probably be doing a slightly more extended post for the morning on the latest stuff for the game.

But I’m also going to see if I can get away with doing that using a smaller number of pictures. Trim the fat, as it were.

Ironic, isn’t it? I started to use more pictures to make the words more interesting for a larger audience, but now I’m stuck back using more words due to lack of space for the images.

I suppose we’ll see how it works out. At some point I’ll find a proper balance I’m sure.

I’m going to keep searching for that balance even once I get this upgrade out-of-the-way, too. I think it’ll do me some good to shake things up where I can and make a more concise product, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to just indignantly work my way forward with no images forever.

If anything, after about two-to-three years of using this blog here, I think it’s probably worth going ahead and starting to invest some money into it. Even if it’s with the most basic upgrade package.

Hopefully you’ll all stick around as I try to mess with things more. Given my intent to keep doing this daily post thing, I’m sure having the extra space will open up plenty more opportunities to do cool things.

Lucky Number 300

Like yesterday, I didn’t exactly do a lot today that I would qualify as blog post worthy. However I don’t have as easy a crutch to lean on as the play I went to with my family last night.

So yeah I could spend the next couple hundred words or so talking about the almost 9,000 word transcript I did for a Boom conversation with Merry Ovnick of Southern California Quarterly. But I’m not sure a second-hand account of the discussions on regional architecture in California and Los Angeles specifically would be super interesting for anyone but me.

That probably doesn’t sound fair. It’s not an inherently boring interview or anything. In fact, it went over some interesting points, particularly about the effects of history and culture on architecture and vice versa.

I just don’t think I can do it any justice without coming across about as blandly as possible. So I’m just going to leave that to the experts and encourage you all to go read the piece as soon as it’s officially published.

With that mindset in place, I figured this was going to be a short “don’t have much to talk about” kind of post.

But then I started to set it up. When I did I realized this is actually a milestone of sorts.

My blog post yesterday was the 299’s I’ve published here. That means you’re currently reading lucky number 300 — as my headline so aptly remarks.

So yeah. Happy tri-centennial… Erm… I’m not sure what the right term would be… Post-iversary… Thing.

I guess it’s not even so much an anniversary since it isn’t time-specific as much as it is content-specific. I’ll try to come up with something better if I do one of these for the next milestone. Probably 500, or whatever it may be.

While I wish I had something more substantial to say, I suppose it’ll have to do for me to just reflect on my summer project now that we’re at about the halfway point.

I’ve honestly been surprised to see that posting something every single day, rather than putting out a post every other week or so, actually has a substantial effect on how many eyes the words get to. At least twice this summer I’ve broken my record on blog post views and likes (though both are just barely into the double digits so I can’t proclaim it’s that much) and I’ve more than tripled my following.

Even if that’s, again, a less than substantive nine or so followers up to the low thirties, it’s still pretty awesome. I’m sure it sounds cliché when I say it, but I really do appreciate all of you out there that think I’m worth taking a look at for what mostly amounts to random bouts of rambling.

That also extends beyond my direct WordPress followers into the realm of social media. Though that also comes in spurts, I like to know whenever people take a look at the stuff I’m putting out here.

Even if it’s just that Takumi that always retweets my Fire Emblem Heroes posts. I’m 99 percent sure that’s a bot account in terms of retweeting my stuff, but I’m also 99 percent sure he’s the only one who actually takes any sort of interest in those.

So shout out to you Twitter Takumi.

Just based on what I’ve seen come out of this so far, I think I’m probably going to continue writing a blog post a day even after the summer ends. That might be tougher once school starts, but if nothing else I’ll probably just be able to talk about what I learned in class on a given day or something along those lines. So who knows, I’m sure it’ll work out in one way or another.

That’s honestly all I’ve got to say on the matter, but I’m well over 500 words writing about nothing at this point, so I think that should be more than enough. Especially if I want to get something out before midnight.

Again, thanks for all the support, and here’s to many more posts from here on out! Perhaps if I actually keep up this daily business, soon it’ll be child’s play when I hit a number like 300.

That’s the dream anyway.

Sketchy Summer, had me a Blast

Sketchy Summer, had me a Blast

Out of all the bizarre banner names we’ve gotten throughout the history of Fire Emblem Heroes, ‘Sketchy Summer’ is probably the funniest to me. Even more than the strange ‘Farfetched Heroes’ banner we got a while back with Lute and Mia.

Mostly because it brings Alyson to mind. Dad and I always like to joke with her that musicians are sketchy individuals whenever she brings us stories from the RUHS band room.

Speaking of, shout out to Intelligent Systems for giving me the opportunity to bring up Aly in a video game-themed post. Because as I’m sure you all know…

She lives it when I do that.

But hey that’s enough personal stuff. We’ve got a brand new set of summer heroes gracing the beaches of… Fire Emblem worlds. All of them? I guess.

Whatever, let’s show them off!


img_0360

LindeSummer Rays

Skill Set:

  • Starfish (Might = 12 / Range = 2)
    • If unit’s Health ≤ 75 percent and unit initiates combat, unit can make a follow-up attack before for can counterattack. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and resistance -7 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions.
  • Ardent Sacrifice (Range = 1)
    • Restores 10 Health to target ally. Unit loses 10 Health but cannot go below one.
  • Brazen Attack/Resistance (A Skill)
    • At start of combat, if unit’s Health ≤ 80 percent, grants Attack and Resistance +7 during combat.
  • Cancel Affinity (B Skill)
    • Neutralizes weapon-triangle advantage granted by unit’s skills. If unit has weapon-triangle disadvantage, reverses weapon-triangle advantage granted by foe’s skills.

Analysis:

Starting off this new banner is probably the most bizarrely constructed unit here. Linde, the rather well-loved character from the original Fire Emblem who wielded the original Aura magic…

Is now a dagger-holding cavalier.

I’m still having some trouble wrapping my head around the idea that Linde of all characters is our first cavalier dagger user, but I suppose I can’t complain about her necessarily. She’s actually really well constructed for her role based on her inherent skills.

Ardent Sacrifice isn’t necessarily the most useful assist skill, but if she has a lower health stat it will help bring her into a range where she can activate both her weapon’s immediate follow-up skill and the attack boost from her A skill. While Cancel Affinity seems a bit randomly thrown in for a colorless unit, the rest makes for a very solid core.

She’d actually be a very useful summon if she weren’t stuck with a much less adequate unit in the colorless pool on this banner. But we’ll get to that.


TikiBeachside Scion

Skill Set:

  • Summer’s Breath (Might = 16 / Range = 1)
    • Effective against dragon foes. Grants Defense +3. If foe initiates combat, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per attack during combat (only highest value applied, does not stack). If foe’s Range = two, calculates damage using the lower of foe’s Defense or Resistance.
  • Moonbow (Cooldown = 2)
    • Treats foe’s Defense or Resistance as if reduced by 30 percent during combat.
  • Attack/Defense Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Defense +5 during combat.
  • Hit and Run (B Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, unit moves one space away after combat.
  • Dragon Valor (C Skill)
    • While unit lives, all dragonstone allies on team gain 2x SP (only highest value applied, does not stack).

Analysis:

Summer Young Tiki is an absolutely wild unit. Full stop.

I’m not even sure I have to elaborate too much about why, just look at her weapon. It has four different and useful effects all together inherently. Granted the ranged defensive stat shift only works if you replace her A skill with Distant Counter, much like with Myrrh, but it does balance beautifully with her Moonbow Special Attack.

Hit and Run is also great on a flying unit, as I’ve found through my Cordelia, and the Valor skill has vague utility for training. It’s just not something I’m very keen to keep.

I won’t even wait for the end of this unit analysis to say that Tiki is the best unit here and the one I’m super invested in summoning. Regular young Tiki was my first five-star summon ever and I’m very excited to get this one too.

Soon I will be able to combine her with Myrrh and female Grima to create an Earth-blessed flying dragon loli army.

Prepare yourself, Fire Emblem world.


TakumiPrince at Play

Skill Set:

  • Fishie Bow (Might = 12 / Range = 2)
    • Effective against flying foes. If unit’s Health ≤ 75 percent and unit initiates combat, unit can make a follow-up attack before foe can counterattack.
  • Glimmer (Cooldown = 2)
    • Boosts damage dealt by 50 percent.
  • Fury (A Skill)
    • Grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +3. After combat, deals six damage to unit.
  • Odd Resistance Wave (C Skill)
    • At start of odd-numbered turns, grants Resistance +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

Analysis:

As I alluded to earlier, Takumi seems like the most underwhelming unit on this new summer banner. It’s not by any fault of its own, he actually has a pretty solid base skill set, it’s just so generically ‘good’ that it doesn’t really stand out like the others.

Basically, he hits hard using his Fury/Glimmer combo, strikes twice when beat up like Linde and boosts his team’s resistance every other turn.

It would probably be better if Takumi had some more interplay between his bow’s skill and the other passive skills he carries, and while that can be rectified via skill inheritance, who knows if it’s worth investing that much into him as of yet.

Oh, and did I mention he’s out third Kinshi Knight unit. Apparently every Hoshidan noble is going to get one at this rate, and it’s sort of lost its luster.

Until we get Kinshi healer Sakura of course. I’ll pay plenty of money to bring her into my army.


CamillaTropical Beauty

Skill Set:

  • Juicy Wave (Might = 12 / Range = 2)
    • If unit’s Health ≤ 75 percent and unit initiates combat, unit can make a follow-up attack before foe can counterattack.
  • Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts Attack by 30 percent.
  • Death Blow (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack +6  during combat.
  • Flier Formation (B Skill)
    • Unit can move to a space adjacent to a flying ally within two spaces.
  • Hone Fliers (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, grants Attack and Speed +6 to adjacent flying allies for one turn.

Analysis:

Alright folks, joke’s over. We finally did it. We got a summer Camilla. I hope you’re all happy.

All things being equal, Camilla makes for a decent Flier Emblem team member between her Hone Fliers and Flier Formation skills. In fact, she feels very similar to Elincia due to her inherent Death Blow as well.

Unfortunately, her ranged weapon is far less useful than Elincia’s is. It has the same effect as Takumi and Linde’s do, except with no extra bonuses attached. Again it’s decent, just somewhat lackluster without the synergy that Linde ruined everyone else with.

Honestly the best part about summer Camilla is the fact that there are now four Camilla in the game. Now we can have a full team of Camilla, all giving each other flying bonuses and all carrying a range of colorful weapons.

I know my friend Mitchell is up for building that, so I’m looking forward to seeing it.


I already said this during the Tiki section of this little look at our new characters, but she undoubtedly stands out as the unit I want to summon most. Linde is a close second, if for no other reason than the bizarre nature of her existence.

Plus she could help me make a cool secondary Horse Emblem team. But that’s a different story.

Two other subjects regarding this banner as a whole primarily come to mind.

First, I think it’s a little disappointing that a new game was once again stuck sharing the spotlight with a game that has already been featured in the summer banners. Just like Sacred Stones had to share the love with Awakening units, the original Fire Emblem units have to share a space with Fates units here.

I don’t care quite as much about this game as I did with Sacred Stones, so I’m not as angry as before. But still, it’s not a great practice IS.

Let games other than the newest titles have some love once in a while.

The second thing is some sort of red unit fatigue I’m feeling. On the one hand, I’m staring at the large array of red units in my army wondering how I’m supposed to use them all when there are so many good ones. Though on the other hand, I’m now desperate to summon both Tana and Tiki on these summer banners before they pass.

Hopefully I’ll get one of the two of them before everything disappears.

Since the new summer banner just started, however, I’m trying my luck on that today. So how have I done so far?

well… That requires a bit of story time. See I started the night with about 80 orbs. My first summon circle was a full set of five units that got me basically nothing.

However, that session put me over unit storage capacity, so I had to exchange a few units into Hero Feathers. With those feathers, I finally hit the threshold where I could finish this merging project:

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Ain’t she the best?

Now I have two +10 merged units, and I’m well on my way to getting a couple more.

After that first batch I kept trying and managed to pull a five-star unit on a red stone almost right away at 3.25 percent chance!

However. It wasn’t Tiki.

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It was Gray.

Now I’m not necessarily mad about getting him, as he’s one of the few Echoes units I’ve been missing. Though I really wish I could’ve gotten Tiki on that easy 3.25 percent investment.

With Gray resetting me so quick I decided to try to shift my attention toward Tana again. After all she’s gone in two weeks while Tiki is here for a whole month.

Somehow I also managed to get a red five-star unit within my first few summons there that wasn’t Tana.

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It was Celica. Evil Celica at that.

Apparently I’m just an Echoes guy today, ladies and germs.

Somewhat baffled by my ability to pull two five-stars that I didn’t want within about 40-50 orbs, I decided to just cool off from there. I went into doing the story missions so I could stock up on some orbs once again before going back into the fray.

That being said, I guess that means it’s story time. But this time about the actual in-game story and not my personal story about dealings prior to the story.

I’m sure you know what I mean, I’ll quit rambling on.


 

 

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I think it’s worth taking a moment up top here today to acknowledge that the summer-themed maps have always had my favorite aesthetic to them. In my original summer banner posts from last year I remember complimenting small things like how pretty the water is, and that still hasn’t changed.

It’s pretty high praise considering things like the Halloween and Christmas banners have also had fantastic map artwork accompanying them.

Something extra special about the summer maps in this Paralogue specifically is the fact that even the generic enemies get in on the fun. Some of them are wearing accessories and they all use weapons that previous summer units like Adult Tiki wielded.

It’s a super nice touch and I appreciate it.

With that said I’m sure you’re wondering what kind of amazing story accompanies this kind of great artwork.

Well… It’s about on-par with what we’ve gotten the last three times.

Though this one does start with what is arguably the most relatable line I’ve ever read in a video game.

Useless Failure Meme

Me too Anna. Me too.

As it turns out the sound recording of waves crashing at the beach is not selling like the Order expected, so they once again need a brand new way to try to make some money to stay afloat.

 

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I’m getting a very strong ‘famous last words’ vibe from that sentiment.

Ah who am I kidding, all of this is just an excuse to get our heroes in the same room as heroes in swimsuits, right? So let’s see what they’re up to.

Camilla and Linde are hanging out together by the pier, discussing the merits of wearing such skimpy outfits compared to their usual skimpy outfits.

 

They attempt to set Linde up as a character who constantly bemoans her current choice in an outfit, claiming that it’ll hurt her ability to fight more than it’ll help her.

But like… The joke isn’t all that funny. So I won’t stick on it too long.

Instead let’s look at Takumi and Tiki being best friends because it’s literally god damn adorable.

 

Just being all best friends, hanging out at the water together. It’s wholesome and great and I love it.

But what I love best is this.

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Normally I’d be upset that we’re using this naming convention for someone other than Marth… But I can’t be upset. It’s too sweet.

Before my heart just explodes out of my chest, the game thankfully moves us into the final stage. The dialogue build-up is about what you’d expect.

 

 

Except god dammit Tiki and Takumi are still being way too adorable and it just. It hurts okay?

This is the kind of thing that I didn’t know I needed? And now I’ll ever think about is how sweet Takumi is with Tiki because they both deserve nice things and.

I’m going to be a minute here.

Okay here I am, sorry about that.

When you win Linde makes another remark about her dress before moving you back to the Order of Heroes’ base. From there the group begins to compare drawings.

 

 

 

Obviously it doesn’t go very well.

But then Anna apparently reveals that you, the player, were also drawing pictures of the swimsuit heroes.

Though if the FBI happens to be reading this, I swear it’s not true. I was not drawing the little girl that’s a dragon in her bathing suit.

No matter how much these two try to convince you I was with compliments about my abilities.

 

Highly appreciated, but definitely not the time.


Alright well, I suppose that brings an end to my coverage of the Fire Emblem Heroes summer schtick for 2018. Once again it has been a pretty wild ride, and I’m definitely feeling the same sentiment right now as I was a year ago.

Boy it’s late while I’m writing this. Also why don’t I go to the beach more often?

That’s a mystery I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to truly answer.

Now before I go to bed for real this time, I wanted to update you all on one more thing. See, after finishing this post earlier, I’ve decided to rewrite the ending. Because I was laying in bed finishing the Paralogue missions for more orbs and decided to try my hand at the banners once again.

This time I managed to get a real bite.

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Helllooooooo Tiki. Welcome aboard the hype train!

I’m seriously glad I managed to get the unit I really wanted out of this banner so soon. Because of that I can go back to focusing exclusively on getting Tiki for a while before coming back to maybe get Linde later.

With that happy news to leave off on, I suppose it’s only right for me to ask. What do you think of this new banner? How has your summoning luck been lately?

I’m sure not great because apparently I’m a God who steals every bit of luck right now… But I’m sure I’ll get my karmic retribution for that eventually.

Tutorials Abound in Version 2.7.0

Tutorials Abound in Version 2.7.0

Another update has made its way to Fire Emblem Heroes. This one is relatively small and more focused on assisting players who are new to the game, but veteran players are able to reap some rewards too.

Thus I’m going to talk about this one all the same! Just don’t expect it to be a particularly long update. I’m still hot, tired and waiting in anticipation for the new summer units to drop.

Speaking of, get ready for that update tomorrow too. Should be fun!


Tactics Drills & Learning with Sharena

The major addition for Version 2.7.0 is Tactics Drills. In a sense these are advanced tutorials for players that go far deeper into the game’s mechanics than the cursory tutorial missions at the start of the story mode when you start the game up for the first time.

As you can see, they come in three tiers of difficulty. Each serves a slightly different purpose, but all offer the same bonuses for new and old players alike. Every five maps give players 300 Hero Feathers when they’re passed, and the sixth map will offer an orb for completion.

The small amounts don’t really build up to a lot in the end, but rewards are rewards and I can’t complain. Especially since supposedly there will be more added into the different tiers as time goes on.

So what do the tiers offer?

The “basics” tab offers challenges that showcase… Well… The basics of the game. There’s really no better way to put it.

These basics range from how different unit types move across the field to showcasing the benefits of certain strategies like baiting out enemies or teaching players how different weapons work.

They’re all pretty simple honestly, and the rewards are more worthwhile than the instruction in my personal attempts.

The “Skill Studies” tab… Again, just about does what the name implies.

Each map showcases a different skill archetype that exists in the game. Hone skills that improve stats, more attack-focused skills like Wraith, so on and so forth. If you don’t understand how certain strategies work, this will likely help you out. There are even a few toward the end that I haven’t been able to beat yet, as I find they’re a little more difficult.

The “Grandmaster” tab moves furthest away from being purely tutorial-based. Rather than teaching basic skills knowledge, Grandmaster challenges are simply that. Challenges.

The game throws you into a map with a pre-determined unit set and just has you go at it. I haven’t personally attempted these maps yet, though considering you need to have access to Book II of the story in order to even open these maps up, they’re clearly more difficult than the average challenge.

I only wish this meant they had better rewards too. But no, it’s still rather basic all things considered.

What’s interesting about all of these missions are that they’re purely for instruction and require no baseline units. The only real requirement to anything is the level cap for accessing Grandmaster tactics.

Every unit is provided based on the challenge. That means not only is everyone more open to the rewards, but newer players can see which units have great skills to utilize should they be lucky enough to summon them.

It’s a respectable idea all-and-all. I appreciate it.

You may have also noticed a fourth tab allowing people to “Learn with Sharena.” If any of you were wondering what that was:

It’s essentially a website with more in-depth tutorials on anything and everything in the game. Pretty much the same stuff you’ll get out of the Tactics Drills but spelled out in further detail.

They also include silly back-and-forth conversations between Sharena and Anna.

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Again, I think it’s a respectable addition to help improve the game’s accessibility for new players.

I’m just not personally very driven to go look at them without the allure of extra rewards. Sorry Intelligent Systems.


Weapon Refinery Update

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Ah yes, another four units have come up to the wringer. Has Intelligent Systems done their job in making these characters more useful than they were before?

For the most part… Not so much. From what I understand, anyway.

Katarina (known as the first scarf bae in my friend circle) essentially gained a refine to her tome that adds a Speed and Resistance Ploy skill on top of its owl effect. However, as Jonathan (owner of the bae) pointed out, her weapon’s might sticks at 14 rather than building up to 16 as we usually see. So… Yeah, that’s a thing.

Eldigan wasn’t given a straight upgrade so much as he was given an alternate path to success. His Mystletainn was already able to refine itself and have a built-in Fury skill, giving him a big boost across all stats at the cost of some health. The fact that he was able to have double the Fury was actually a great meme for a while there.

Now he can take on his son’s previously exclusive variant known as the Dark Mystletainn, which inherent accelerates Special Attack cooldown by one, then accelerates cooldown by two each time that attack triggers during combat. Honestly both are viable options, so it’s up to personal preference.

Titania probably got the worst of the upgrades in this batch. Her brand new Draconic Poleax keeps a Triangle Adept skill in-tact from her Emerald Axe, but has a much more beefy 16 might. When players refine the weapon, it apparently grants +6 resistance to units within two spaces.

I don’t use Titania, but honestly this upgrade doesn’t make me any more willing to do so. Sorry girl, better luck next time.

Conversely, Nephenee‘s upgrade from the Slaying Lance to the Dauntless Lance is a vast improvement and I couldn’t be happier. She has been a mainstay on my Water Blessing team for a long time, so I’m glad to have even more reasons to use her.

On top of cranking her might from 14 to 16 (leaving the base lance as powerful as her old one with a refinement), she also gains an inherent advantage against armored units. Zelgius and Black Knight be damned.

However, add onto that an additional refinement to the Dauntless Lance that gives her +4 Speed and Defense when she’s attacked and Nephenee becomes quite the monster in her own right.

It’s a little silly to say that she moved from being my chief lance infantry unit to being my chief lance infantry unit with even more regard. But hey, that’s what should be expected when you improve upon greatness.


Quest Progression

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I don’t exactly have a lot to say about this new feature in particular. In fact, I don’t fully understand why this standalone update was important enough to distinguish alongside new unit skills and the new game mode.

But someone decided it was important, so I’ll give it the time it demands.

Apparently when players complete quests, there will be a separate screen dedicated to showing off all of a player’s finished quests rather than having everything separated onto different pages.

I’m not sure who thought this was a significant problem that needed to be addressed, but I hope they’re happy with it. It seems a little superfluous when there was already an option to simply accept all of one’s finished quests… But oh well.


Additional Updates

As usual, there are a number of smaller things listed at the bottom of the 2.7.0 update page. They usually aren’t big enough to give a lot of time to, but I like to spread the word all the same:

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Things like new maps scrolling to the top are cool quality of life updates that always come with new versions of the game. They just don’t offer too much to talk about.

However, there are a few especially nice things in the ‘other improvements’ section this time around. Being able to set any music one wants underneath battles is something straight out of classic Fire Emblem games and is a greatly appreciated option in a title that features songs from every game in the series. Event text recaps are also a great addition for someone like me, who seriously enjoys little things like plot in silly games like this.

The most useful overall is the ability to restart ‘difficult’ maps without having to exit and reenter the battle over-and-over again. As someone who tries things like Grand Hero Battles repeatedly to earn all the orbs I can, I can assure you all that this is highly beneficial — even if you haven’t personally gotten to a point where it’s useful just yet.


Like I mentioned up top, none of the updates specifically included in Version 2.7.0 are groundbreaking. The tutorial missions that make up Tactics Drills are nice, though mostly for the rewards given how long I’ve been involved in the game. Nephenee getting stronger is also a plus, and I’m really glad I can restart missions that don’t require stamina at a faster pace.

If nothing else, even smaller moves forward like this show there’s always room for improvement in a constantly developing game like Fire Emblem Heroes.

That said, what sort of updates might you want to see come to the game in the future? Let me know in the comments down below!

In the meantime, I’ll see you all tomorrow when Sketchy Summer units arrive.

A Warm, Lazy Night

After spending most of the afternoon melting into a puddle of goo on the couch, struggling to come up with something to write about in the heat-laden haze post-Gladeo meeting, I think I’ve finally just decided to give up for the night.

I really have nothing to talk about right now, and my brain is too mushy from the 100+ degree temperatures here in California today to feel my obligatory post is worth stressing over tonight.

So how about this. I’ll just use this post as a ‘things to come’ set-up of sorts.

People like that right?

With my work meeting this morning came the confirmation that both of the Career Spotlights and the Career Profile I’ve been working on are going through the editing process, so they should be published online any day now. As they come around I’ll be sure to talk about them in more detail.

However, if it’s anytime in the near, near future (though that’s somewhat doubtful from where they are in the process), I might hold off talking about them for a day or two. I have a pretty succinct idea for what my posts will hold for a period of time.

Tomorrow I’m going to go to Old Fort MacArthur Days with Aly and a few of my friends. I’ll probably throw out a post with a slideshow of cool things we see like I did last year – but this time I’ll know how to include videos, too.

Sunday I’m going to see Ant Man and the Wasp with my family. I’ll do one of my mini reviews on that after I see it.

There’s also an update to Fire Emblem Heroes coming on the eighth, but I haven’t quite decided whether I want to post two things on a day or whether I should hold off the mobile game update for Monday to take up some extra space. Supposedly there might be another new banner on the 10th as well, but I don’t have personal confirmation for that.

Though speaking of extra space filler, I also have a couple posts in my drafts folder. One is a slightly more extended discussion on Funko Pops I’ve been cooking up, as I have a personal issue with something regarding their business practices.

There might also be a couple Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links deck profiles I can throw together on some decks I’ve been having fun with lately. Especially one featuring Shining Flare Wingman, who I discussed my love for a bit ago.

Beyond that I’m also interested in doing a couple of ‘nostalgic’ sort of posts examining things I haven’t looked at in a long time.

Also also, I’ve begun to put some work into my Honors Project proposal, and especially with the help of my friends I’ll likely have something to chat about in regards to that once I have more succinct views about what my novel-in-progress will include.

Otherwise… Yeah. That’s about all I have to discuss in terms of forward-thinking blog post ideas.

Right now I’m just kind of sitting here in the lukewarm heat of the nightfall, wallowing in a food coma following a nice meal with my parents at one of my favorite restaurants and catching up on some T.V. shows.

Oh, speaking of, I suppose I also might expect a post talking about Luke Cage season 2 at some point in the near future. Because if we finish that show anytime soon I’m definitely willing to talk about it.

Otherwise let me know if there’s anything you might be interested in seeing around here! I’m pretty open to ideas if there are any going around you might want to see me discuss.