Tag: Sumia

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.