Tag: Intelligent Systems

Arrival of the Brave 2: Electric Boogaloo

Arrival of the Brave 2: Electric Boogaloo

When Fire Emblem Heroes first came out, the biggest draw to the game was the fact that characters from every game in the series would be available in one place.

To prove their commitment to that ideal, Intelligent Systems posed a contest. Everyone who enjoyed Fire Emblem could vote on their favorite heroes from any title, and the top four would become special units once the game dropped.

This Choose Your Legends event culminated in the release of Brave Lyn, Ike, Lucina and Roy.

Then after that, popular but not high-tier units from the Choose Your Legends vote came in the form of farfetched heroes some time later.

Eventually, Intelligent System announced around the game’s one-year anniversary that we would be getting a brand new Choose Your Legends vote, with the heroes who won previously being disqualified.

Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, Neimi has not been chosen to join the game.

Hopefully one day Intelligent Systems will come to their senses.

In the meantime, the winners of that second Choose Your Legends vote have finally come to the forefront. Veronica, Ephraim, Celica and Hector have joined a higher class of units and are available to summon as of today following their skill announcements during a Feh Channel livestream yesterday.

So, let’s take a look at the heroes we demanded, shall we?


VeronicaBrave Princess

Skill Set:

  • Hliðskjálf (Might = 14 / Range = 2)
    • Foe cannot counterattack. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance -4 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions, and grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4 to unit and allies within two spaces for one turn.
  • Recover (Range = 1)
    • Restores Health = 50 percent of Attack +10 (minimum of 15 Health).
  • Windfire Balm (Cooldown = 1)
    • When healing an ally with a staff, grants Attack and Speed +6 to all allies for one turn.
  • Wrathful Staff (B Skill)
    • Calculates damage from staffs like other weapons.
  • Close Guard (C Skill)
    • Allies within two spaces gain: “If foe uses sword, lance, axe or dragonstone, grants Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.”

Analysis:

Good luck pronouncing the name of Veronica’s weapon. God knows I’ll never be able to.

Thanks to the power of the people, we finally have access to the Princess of Emblian Empire as an ally rather than a foe. Even if she stipulates that she’s not the Veronica we personally know.

The fact that she’s a cleric cavalier who dresses like her older brother Bruno is more than indicative of that, and she has a super solid base kit to facilitate her abilities. She not only has the classic dazzling/wrathful staff combination popularized by Genny, she also offers a host of buffs.

Healing your ally? Buff their attacking stats.

Attacking an enemy? Buff all nearby ally stats while nerfing all nearby opponents.

Standing nearby Veronica at all? Buff their close-range defenses during combat.

It’s an interesting little niche to fill, and while I don’t imagine she’ll be as game changing as Brave Lyn, Veronica will undoubtedly be the best staff-weilding cavalier added into the game.


EphraimSacred Twin Lord

Skill Set:

  • Garm (Might = 16 / Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack +3. If a bonus granted by a skill like Rally or Hone and/or extra movement is granted by a skill like Armor March or Armored Boots is active, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
  • Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts Attack by 30 percent.
  • Close Defense (A Skill)
    • If foe initiates combat and uses sword, lance, axe or dragonstone, grants Defense and Resistance +6 during combat.
  • Special Fighter (B Skill)
    • At start of combat, if unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 to unit and inflicts Special Attack cooldown charge -1 on foe per attack (only highest value applied, does not stack).
  • Armor March (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to an armored ally, unit and adjacent armored allies can move one extra space (that turn only, does not stack).

Analysis:

It’s my boi. He’s here. Ready to kick ass and chew bubblegum, but he’s all out of gum.

The OG Ephraim was a lance infantry unit, and his Legendary Hero counterpart was a cavalier. Now we have an axe-wielding armored knight — a nice bit of diversity, even if he never actually uses that kind of set-up in Sacred Stones.

Beyond being a cool reference to the sacred weapon of Grado, Ephraims axe gives him an immediate +19 attack and guarantees a follow-up attack if he’s next to an ally with adjacent-benefiting skills. An interesting contrast to his stand-offish Legendary Hero variant.

Ephraim also takes hits well, only to make his own further attack-boosting Special Attack more active and lessen the effectiveness of his opponent’s Special Attacks in the process.

Honestly the only thing he’s missing to be a truly phenomenal unit is Distant Counter. Without it, he doesn’t completely overshadow the likes of Hector — in any of his three axe armor forms.

Even so, he’ll probably replace my Valentines Hector. Because I love Ephraim.

Who knows, maybe one day I’ll even be able to sacrifice a Hector to make him the best he can be.


CelicaWarrior Priestess

Skill Set:

  • Royal Sword (Might = 16 / Range = 2)
    • Grants Speed +3. If unit is within two spaces of an ally, grants unit Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack (only highest value applied, does not stack).
  • Galeforce (Cooldown = 5)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants unit another action after combat (once per turn).
  • Death Blow 4 (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack +8 during combat.
  • Double Lion (B Skill)
    • If unit’s Health = 100 percent at start of combat and unit initiates combat, unit attacks twice, but deals one damage to self after combat (does not stack).
  • Attack Tactic (C Skill)
    • At start of 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 ≤ two.

Analysis:

Celica is the definition of a glass cannon, but she’s somewhat restricted by what clearly seems to be an attempt by Intelligent Systems to not make her too broken to handle.

She essentially follows the design of Elincia, but as an infantry unit. Utilizing the extra special large buff of her power crept Death Blow, she runs into battle and gets to double her attack output with Double Lion — obviously taught to her by Alm back in Valentia. Then she gets to move again using the power of Galeforce, more likely to trigger when an ally is nearby thanks to her blade.

It’s all copacetic when you discount Attack Tactic, which seems to be more of a reference to her leadership role in-game if anything. Likely the only thing players may want to replace.

Unfortunately, the niche she fills is undermined by the fact that Double Lion negates itself by costing one health. We’ve seen the same thing used with characters like Summer Tana, but in this case it’s more severe because she can’t use a skill like Renewal.

So Celica will probably be a phenomenal glass cannon in terms of killing two units right at the beginning of a match. But with longer, multi-stage fights she might fall more behind than her brave allies.

At least it’s super cool that her design is based on the character’s original appearance from FE Gaiden.


HectorBrave Warrior

Skill Set:

  • Maltet (Might = 16 / Range = 1)
    • Accelerates Special Attack trigger (cooldown count -1). If unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent and foe initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
  • Ignis (Cooldown = 4)
    • Boosts damage dealt by 80 percent of unit’s Defense.
  • Ostian Counter (A Skill)
    • Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range. If foe initiates combat, grants Attack and Defense +4 during combat.
  • Bold Fighter (B Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack, and unit makes guaranteed follow-up attack (does not stack).
  • Even Resistance Wave (C Skill)
    • At start of even-numbered turns, grants Resistance +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

Analysis:

Hector Emblem is finally complete.

If you’re interested in using three axe and one lance armor units and risking instant death from my friend Jonathan’s +10 armorslayer Hana.

Much like his last three variants, Brave Hector is clearly meant to top the meta with just ridiculous damage output and skills.

He has a distant counter lance and can use guaranteed follow-up attacks from both his own and his foe’s attacks. From there, he has multiple opportunities to quicken that Special Attack and bust out a brutal 80 percent damage buff.

Again, his C Skill seems somewhat out-of-place unless he’s meant to take down mages as much as physical attackers. But if you want to run him that way, more power to you.

There’s not much else to say about old Hector here. He’s probably going to be obscenely powerful, and easily replace the top-tier lance armor units like Effie. She unfortunately needs to inherit Distant Counter to be a true beast.

Sorry Effie, I love you… But you’ve been outclassed.


Like the Choose Your Legends banner from last year, players once again have the ability to immediately summon one of the four new brave heroes for free.

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In the previous batch, Brave Lyn was almost ubiquitously the best option in the bunch. Everyone wanted a free version of her.

In the new brave banner, at least using my own friend group as a barometer, the decision seems more split.

Personally I decided to use my free summon on Ephraim:

Because I love Sacred Stones. Like a lot.

However, I also see the merits of wanting to summon Veronica or Hector… Celica to a lesser extent.

I already managed to summon Performing Arts Elincia and Micaiah from the most recent special banner, so I’m more than eager to throw a lot more of my orbs at the Brave heroes.

Yet, it appears I may not have to. While I started with 140+ orbs, the game didn’t waste any time by giving me this for my free summon post-guaranteed unit:

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Yeah, who would have thought?

Perhaps if this keeps up I won’t have to spend too many orb on this banner. In fact, for now I think I’ll try to keep my bingeing above 100 like I was on the Performing Arts banner. Just to see if anything else comes out in the near future.

So, I suppose that just leaves some story to talk about. For as little as there is here.


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Our newest paralogue begins with the conceit, once again, that all of the terrible things happening in the main story are totally separate from what’s happening here.

While it has been a long time since Brave Heroes were summoned into the world of Askr, it seems as though the Order of Heroes is better prepared for their arrival.

Alfonse, in this case, becomes the surrogate for Intelligent Systems from what I can tell.

IS: “Wait, are you serious? They voted for the main villain? Well… Guess we might as well make the Order as confused as we are.”

That’s about all the set-up we get for these encounters. In fact, it’s the only set of lines we get from the Order of Heroes. The rest is character-driven by the new Brave Heroes.

I’ll give the developers credit, they’re good at pairing characters together in such a way that the interactions are compelling to see.

For instance, we start with Celica and Veronica:

They bond over their shared loss of significant relations. Celica being separated from Alm and Veronica being separated from her brother, Bruno.

In fact, Veronica gets a super interesting development overall thanks to this paralogue. But I’ll get into that later.

For now, the characters move on uneventfully when you win the first match. So it’s on to Ephraim and Hector.

Because I don’t know Hector very well, I wouldn’t have drawn the connection initially. But both Lords are thrust into power by outside tragedies despite being mostly self-reliant warriors who love to go it alone.

So naturally they decide to train with each other after bonding for all of three seconds.

Except never mind, you show up first and interrupt the sparring match. Only for you to essentially blow them both away, that way they retreat.

Once all the brave heroes regroup, they give you that stock “time to fight” dialog.

Once the fight ends, Veronica sticks back to talk to your group about her strange presence.

Veronica has a few moments throughout the main story where it’s obvious that she’s lonesome and likes summoning heroes to keep her company.

But through the surrogate of alternate dimension Veronica, now we have a much better clue as to the origin of her neuroses.

She feels abandoned by her brother, who left to try to find a cure for the curse of their bloodline.

Having summoned Veronica, I also have a little more insight into her character. One of her voice line mentions having learned how to ride a horse thanks to her brother and Xander, the Nohrian prince who acts as her chief guardian.

Xander is quite literally a stand-in for her brother. Which is something he likely knows, and may be a strong reason why he stays with her despite the contract being broken between them.

That’s pretty powerful, honestly. Makes me like Veronica that much more.

Good on you Intelligent Systems, I appreciate you making me care more.


With that, we come to the end of another Fire Emblem Heroes adventure.

As always Intelligent System makes these posts some of my favorite to craft, because there’s always something new and unexpected that makes me care for the stupid gotcha game style they’re pushing.

That said, I know nobody but me cares about these posts. So if you managed to make it this far, go ahead and say ‘We the Bravely Default’ in the comments. Because even though I’ve never played the game before, it seems like something that would fit. Plus it would let me know that we are, in fact, the Bravely Default.

While you’re down in those comments there, let me know who’s your favorite new Brave Hero! Also, let me know how you feel about the character development we’re watching unfold with Princess Veronica.

Until next time, stay real y’all.

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.

Legendary Lucina Lights the Way

Legendary Lucina Lights the Way

There’s nothing quite as good at getting me back in the easy writing mood as a Fire Emblem Heroes update. Particularly when there are new units involved.

Not sure how excited I am to similarly embark on the journey of writing about the fuller version update that’s coming in a couple of days. But hopefully this will be a nice palate cleanser to get me into the swing of things again.

That’s especially the case with a smaller introduction, like Legendary Heroes. Only one character to run down. One new map. A bunch of subsidiaries to discuss.

Nothing too crazy. So let’s just jump into it, shall we?

My daily writing will once again awaken thanks to good old Legendary Lucina here.


LucinaGlorious Archer

Skill Set:

  • Thögn (Might = 14 / Range = 2)
    • Effective against flying foes. Grants Speed +3. If unit initiates combat and a foe uses sword, lance, axe or dragonstone, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.
  • Future Vision (Range = 1)
    • Unit and target ally swap spaces. Grants another action to unit (only once per turn).
  • Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
  • Wings of Mercy (B Skill)
    • If an ally’s Health ≤ 50 percent, unit can move to a space adjacent to that ally.
  • Distant Guard (C Skill)
    • Allies within two spaces gain: “If foe uses a bow, dagger, magic or staff, grants Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.”

Overall, Lucina is built to be a forward, attack-focused unit.

Her weapon makes her faster and boosts all of her stats when she’s attacking a unit that uses physical weapons. Theoretically units that can’t attack back, even if distant counter weapons are a frequent thing.

Add onto that the Swift Sparrow boost and Lucina can gain a whopping eight Attack and 11 Speed when attacking an enemy unit. Which is pretty crazy, all things considered. Especially considering she’s our second non-colorless archer and hits ever-present red units even harder.

There’s also a pretty sweet combination going on between Wings of Mercy and Future Vision — her exclusive Movement Assist skill.

Have a unit dying up on the front lines? Let Lucina teleport over to them, swap them into a safer position and then gain an extra move through the instantaneous Galeforce to kill whoever’s a problem. It’s actually a pretty sweet concept.

Her C Skill is the only one that doesn’t shine quite as brightly as the rest, in my opinion. It specifically requires her to be put on a team of full ranged units, but even then only grants them +4 to the defensive stats. Not exactly super stellar, but could be good if building her surrounding squad specifically.

While I can’t say anything to her stats, Lucina is a pretty great unit based on her skills alone. She fills an interesting attack-oriented niche that not many other archers could properly take on, and Wind Blessing teams are stronger because of it.

But of course Lucina isn’t the only hero on this Legendary Banner. Players can also go for:

The red pool is full of units I don’t have, including that slippery samurai that managed to drain my orbs a few months back. So I’m pretty interested in that whole swatch of heroes.

The same can mostly be said for blue, which has the rather powerful-sounding Legendary Lucina and original Azura, a unit I’ve never been able to summon before. Ishtar is probably the only exception to my interest there, since I already summoned her using the banner she arrived on. She’s powerful, but not a unit I use enough to necessarily want multiple copies.

Green, again, is relatively full of units I don’t have. Though I’m not sure they’re units I want outside of filling my Hero Catalog. Christmas Lissa is the only one I have, and while I loved her around Christmas time she was unfortunately outclassed by my Valentine Hector. Lyn and Lilina are absent from my ranks, but neither are units I can necessarily see myself using a lot.

So I’d be up to summoning them, but I’m not actively looking for them.

Colorless is really the only quarter of this banner that I’m avoiding completely. Female Grima and Brave Lyn are both played out in the Legendary Banner scene, and I also already have a Kinshi Hinoka. It’s the only place where I have everything I could think to ask for.

As a whole, the Legendary Banner for Lucina is full of units I don’t have, and as a result it’s much more enticing than many of them have been in the past. Since summoning Sumia so quickly on the recent Awakening banner I’ve been saving my orbs, and started off today with about 180.

Ready to spend my heart out, I threw out plenty of orbs while playing Minecraft with my crew at 1 a.m. this morning.

Turns out that was a pretty viable strategy:

Two brand new, useful units. The Lady of the Lake and the Lady of the Wind, together at last.

Honestly I can’t find any reason to complain.

Gunnthrá was my only Wind Blessing Legendary Hero up until now, so it’s nice to have some diversity in that pool. Plus it’s never bad to have another dancing unit, and as soon as they add a fourth Azura into the game I’ll be able to create an Azura Emblem team.

It took me about 80 orbs to sniff out these two, so I’m not sure how many more orbs I’ll spend right now. Maybe as I collect some more orbs I’ll throw out a couple at Lucina, but I’m somewhat inclined to let my luck stand where it is and save up for later.

Luckily there’s a perfect opportunity to score some more orbs with the Legendary Battle map.


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Another day, another nine orbs.

While maps that call in reinforcements are always annoying, I’m not expecting this one to give me too much trouble. After all, I managed to score everything I could off of the Ryoma and Hector maps when they made their way through the wringer.

Lucia’s way less aggressive than both of them were.

See? She just wants to do a training demonstration. That’s all.

No big deal at all.


Alright so I know that last portion about the battle map was a little short. I just don’t have too much to say about it. It’s a long, tough fight with some rewards at the end.

I wanted to share about it for the sake of record keeping, but staying up so late last night playing games kept me from doing this post for the early morning like I usually do. So I’m also rushing myself just a bit to get it out there at all.

That said, I can’t really think of a better way to wrap this up than to simply wrap it.

So what do you think of this new Legendary Lucina? Is she as powerful as she sounds? Will you be spending your orbs for her?

Let me know, and let me know who else you want to see take on the coveted mantle of Legendary Hero in the future.

In the meantime, I’m going to go prepare for a business meeting I’ve got in the near future.

 

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.

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!


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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.

Pushing through those Mental Roadblocks

Pushing through those Mental Roadblocks

Have you ever had those mornings where something seems like a mental roadblock, almost totally preventing you from getting started on work?

I’m asking as a rhetorical question, of course. I’d be surprised to hear that hasn’t happened to everyone at least once.

Be it from a serious problem, anything ranging from a bout of depression to the echoed memories of an argument the night before, or from something less serious, like the anticipation of an upcoming event or simply laziness, everyone has had those moments where they put off work they need to do.

In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with the idea of possibly putting off plans to sit down and concentrate on something so long as that break isn’t an immediate problem.

After all it’s different to say “well maybe I’ll lay here a bit more and work later” when whatever needs to be done has no immediate deadline than when it’s due in the next hour. In the latter case it’s imperative that one finds a way to push through that apathy.

Now obviously I’m not just bringing this up as a casual conversation topic. Anyone who has been following my daily chats on various topics this summer should know they almost always tie back to an immediate consideration for me.

My sick has been a somewhat convenient excuse for me the last few days. It’s hard to bunker down and work when you sleep half the day away and cough away the other half into some phlegm-covered mess.

But even with that said, I managed to get through my transcript for the Magic interview I did while sick. So that can’t be the topic at hand here, right?

Yes, that’s right. You’re quite observant when I write your thoughts for you, aren’t you reader?

While I would consider sickness a more serious, justified reason to push off work at least a little, what I faced this morning was… Much less so. To say the least.

No, today I have to blame Fire Emblem. Because of course I do.

The game clearly was not an all-day kind of debilitating mental roadblock, as I’ve gotten the energy to at least write this post (though that in itself could be considered more procrastination, I just won’t get into that here). However, the fact that it stopped me from concentrating on anything else for even a few hours is something I wanted to unpack as one of the ridiculous ways my brain works.

Hector was the source of my ultimate dismay this morning. Specifically, his Legendary Hero special battle map.

You remember this sucker from a few days ago, right? The map that I said didn’t seem as hard as the Ryoma banner map from about a month ago?

Well… I was wrong.

For me, this map on Infernal difficulty was far harder than the Ryoma one. I was able to come up with my own way to defeat Ryoma rather easily, giving me the satisfaction of having conquered a hard challenge on my own.

I wasn’t able to come up with a solution to the Hector map. Each time you defeat one of the units surrounding him, a new one spawned that added a whole other dimension of pain that I wasn’t prepared for.

Luckily I was able to eventually find a solution (thanks to Pheonixmaster1, a YouTuber who does some pretty solid FEH content), though that required a good amount of set-up and resource allocation to match. I also didn’t think to look something up until at least a half hour+ sitting in bed frustratedly tapping at my phone screen.

Now I’m sure you must be asking yourself why I cared so much about beating this one stupid map that I wasn’t able to concentrate on anything else until I got through it.

Well, from a surface level I’m just willing to blame my brain for being weird and obsessive in all the wrong ways sometimes. But I also managed to rationalize it in a very specific way.

See, the special map for this banner goes away in two days alongside the banner itself. Because the banner is full of limited time units, it’s arguable that once they’re gone it’s the last time we’re ever going to see them.

That kind of nagging feeling was what drove me to spend far too many orbs on summoning after my lucky triple pull. However, doing so got me caught in a ‘worst case scenario’ loop.

The more I summoned, the higher my change at getting a rare unit got. But I wasn’t getting a rare unit, so the chance kept building. The higher it built, the less willing I was to let all the previous investment go to waste. Which meant I wound up needing more orbs to pour into the banner, and felt constrained by the two-day time frame.

It’s probably the worst part of free-to-start games like this, but it’s a reality I’ve gotten used to over the last year-and-a-half.

The Infernal Hector banner offered four orbs, so in my head those four orbs were a necessary object to help me break out of the feedback loop. So I threw myself against it over and over until I won.

Luckily, those four orbs were just what I needed to finally summon a rare unit, which brought my summoning chance back to its base and removed all stress from wasting that chance.

I’ll admit, getting another Myrrh instead of Hector is a double edged sword. I love the girl so I’m happy to have another one to merge.

But now I have four. And I probably would have preferred the special legendary unit in the long-run.

But hey, beggars can’t be choosers. After all, Myrrh here has helped me escape my summoning hell so I can go back to focusing on my work.

If you’ve found yourself stuck in a similar kind of mentally debilitating feedback loop that you’ve had to solve before you could move on in your life, especially one you would consider bizarre in hindsight, let me know in the comments below! I’d love some validation that I’m not the only freak on this blue marble of ours.

However, don’t expect me to see if you do anytime soon. Because now I’m going to go bunker myself down and get into this profile since I feel kind of bad about pushing it off for even a few hours to worry about video games.

Hector’s Here in Heroes (again)

Hector’s Here in Heroes (again)

I see your game, Intelligent Systems. First you drop the new summer units banner. Then you release an intriguing Death Blow skill-focused banner. Then you re-release last year’s two summer banners at the same time.

Just a few days later, you drop this on us. A brand new Legendary Hero banner. Following the Legendary Ryoma banner that came about a month ago alongside the 2018 June Brides banner.

If I were to go with my sneaking suspicion, I might just have to say you’re…

Giving us plenty of opportunities to summon really good units!

*Cough and stealing our money cough cough*

Oh gosh, I’m sorry. I must have a bad cold that’s coming through text. I’ll try to keep it under control so that doesn’t get in the way of how grateful I am to IS for giving us all these wonderful opportunities.

Speaking of a wonderful opportunity, I think it’s about time to stop pussyfooting around and get to talking about Legendary Hector.


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HectorMarquess of Ostia

Skill Set:

  • Thunder Armads (Might = 16 / Range = 1)
    • Grants Defense +3. If the number of allies within two spaces (excluding this unit) > the number of foes within two spaces (excluding the unit’s target), for cannot make a follow-up attack.
  • Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts Attack by 30 percent.
  • Distant Counter (A Skill)
    • Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range.
  • Vengeful Fighter (B Skill)
    • If unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent and foe initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack. Grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per attack (does not stack).
  • Ostia’s Pulse (C Skill)
    • At the start of turn one, grants Special Attack cooldown -1 to all allies. Granted only if number of those allies’ movement types on current team is ≤ two.

Alright so elephant in the room. Hector is… Kind of broken?

Like we’ve had two variants of Hector thus far. The basic Hector that came in the first wave of heroes and the Valentine’s Day Hector from earlier this year.

Both have been powerful enough to essentially define the armor-based team meta. If not the meta for the entire game.

Legendary Hector seems like he’s going to do the exact same thing. Not only does he have a similar control-oriented set of skills that give him follow-up attacks while preventing enemy follow-up attacks from all distances, but from what my friend Jonathan told me he has incredibly high attack and defense stats.

I’ve heard lots of people complaining about Hector fatigue considering this is the third broken axe-wielding set of the same caliber, but honestly other than the inherent issues with quick power creep I don’t really have a problem with him in that regard.

Then again I don’t have too much of a connection to the character having not played the Blazing Blade game, so… Yeah.

My only real trepidation is not wanting to spend too many orbs on this banner considering I got so ruined on the Ryoma banner — and considering I still want to summon Summer Tana at some point.

Oh, also I do suppose I have a problem with the fact that we already had a Legendary Hero from Blazing Blade with Lyn, as I was under the impression we’d be getting one from each game.

But that’s more of a personal gripe.

As is the fact that we should’ve probably gotten Legendary Eliwood instead since he’s been kind of mistreated…

But that’s a way different story. Because again, that’s not my game to have a stake in anyway.

So Hector looks great, but I don’t necessarily want to spend a lot of time trying to summon him. To make a long story short.

But the Legendary Hero isn’t the only reason why these banners are interesting to look at.

Also on this Legendary Banner are:

The units on this banner are a mixed bag in terms of who I own already, but for the most part there’s a solid line-up in every color.

Except maybe colorless. I love female Grima as much as the next guy, but she isn’t the best Legendary ‘hero.’ Then both Roy and Elise are passable in my opinion, even if I don’t have the Valentine’s Roy yet.

Green is really solid between this new Legendary Hero, Brave Ike and Myrrh. Though I already have two of the three so it’s risky territory for my own summoning pleasure.

Red ironically has a better summoning pool than the last Legendary Banner for me, and not just because there’s no Ryoma (he hurt me bad, guys). While I already have two copies of Legendary Ike, Christmas Tharja is top of my desire sensor next to the new Hector himself, and Leif is a unit I don’t have yet either.

Meanwhile the blue stones sit in a sort of middle ground, with Ephraim being a unit I own, Lyn being a unit I’m not very interested in and Morgan being a unit I’m VERY interested in. The best daughter in the series has alluded me for far too long so far.

Even if I’m personally wishy-washy about a lot of the units here simply because I have a bunch of them, that doesn’t mean the pool as a whole isn’t solid. Besides perhaps Elise, Roy or Lyn I wouldn’t be upset getting anyone on the list.

So knowing I’m not going to put a lot into the banner, just what did I summon?

Well, in 30 orbs or so, I managed to pull…

img_0135

I- Oh.

Wow are we serious?

Okay then.

I think the game wanted to apologize for Ryoma, which I’m pretty grateful for.

Unfortunately… Leif is the only ‘new’ guy there. The other two… Well…

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Triple the Dragons

 

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Triple the Mercs

Yeah. Kind of already have a bunch of the other two just sitting around with nowhere to go just yet.

I’ll probably merge the Myrrhs together since I love her as a unit and keep my Ikes separate so I can tribute him off for skills. But I suppose only time will tell.

Since that lucky batch of three five-star units, I haven’t seen much of anything come back to me. I do still want Legendary Hector and Winter Tharja, so I might throw some more orbs at the banner later… But for now I’m not so sure. Depends on how many more I can gather.

I suppose one thing that’ll help me gather those orbs is the new Legendary Hero Special Map:

While this one doesn’t necessarily feel as hard as the Ryoma map did last time around, I haven’t tried the hardest difficulty level yet. Hector’s high wall to overcome might just prove to be the most challenging part of it, but I’ll have to see for myself.

At the very least, I did beat every level of the Ryoma map eventually. So this one should be the same story.

Between that and the Grand Conquest going on right now, hopefully I’ll be able to gather enough orbs to get at every unit I want while saving for the future.


Alright, that’s about all I have to say about Legendary Hector guys.

He’s powerful, I got some lucky summons and IS is looking to take all of our money. Business as usual.

At this point I suppose we should all just look forward to a Legendary Eliwood sometime soon to round off the Blazing Blade trio. Unless of course it’s decided that we don’t want to give him any more love, which is always a possibility.

But what do you guys think? Is Hector worth your money? Who would you like to see become a Legendary Hero in the future?

Let me know in the comments down below!