I played the hack up to chapter 6x. I think its a promising first release. Turning a squad of losers into killing machines in just a few chapters does stimulate my monkey brain. I also like some of the unique map gimmicks each chapter presented.
I’ve written a lot here, so I don’t blame you if you don’t to read all this.
My first impression is that going through the forest was a trap, as trading low% hits while moving across terrain with 4 move is very not ideal. Ended up just waiting out at the bridge area until everyone was dead and then taking out the boss, which felt more reliable.
I think while some units do have tier 0 weapons with high hit, Morgan should perhaps get a weapon with more accuracy as his low skill and weapon made his hit rates subpar.
I do want to mention that the bandit boss AI felt a bit unfair since his AI changes on enemy phase when I tried baiting him earlier and nothing happened, so I assumed he was stationary. I suggest giving him boss AI at the start and changing his AI in a turn event at the start of player phase.
I agree with the above posters that the tutorial tips felt too excessive. I would also like to add that I felt like they actively weakened the story as well being so intrusive.
I think the map is pretty solid conceptually. A minor note is that the area for where the inn causes a gameover was larger than expected, and it took two resets to actually figure out how big the area was. I suggest either making it just the inn or making it more explicit.
The trainees have it a bit tough, but its still manageable. I was playing on normal, but if I played on easy I felt like I would have wanted my jeigans here and in prologue, since difficulty becomes quite a bit easier after Silas joins and even more so after trainee promotion.
It was only when I was writing up this post that I realised I had missed Freya, and I’m not the only one that did so. It feels a tad counterintuitive to have Ryne need to walk all the way over when the map is basically finished before he makes it to the halfway mark, and its equally as possible that the player doesn’t visit the inn at all as a bunch of enemies charge the player on turn 1. I think she should just either join from the start or join at the end of chapter.
Another solid early chapter conceptually.
The fact that I was one unit down already made things a tad more difficult. A minor note is that the mace would have helped a lot in the early tough turns, but Irene didn’t have the rank to use it.
I think the forest tile right of the top bridge was quite the choke for the poor 4 move trainees, I think its better off not being there. Quinn and Morgan were both one rounded by bandits, which unfortunately for them, were most of the enemies. I ended up having them to go rescue the green units to bring them over to someone that can talk.
Silas, Lynx and Luin held out while Ryne pressed rally over and over again. Getting Fate kind of forced Ryne into being a permanent rallier because his rallies were simply more useful than anything he himself could do, which is the unfortunate case with rallies much of the time.
The boss doesn’t display the fact she was stationary, so being in her range was a bit spooky with prologue as a precedent. The later reinforcement waves were pretty tough to beat, but doable. I do think that the reinforcement wave appearing right next the boss is awkward since that’s about where I was trying to kill the boss and having another squad show up in my face was very unfortunate, so I had to delay killing the boss and fall back, which meant I now needed to fight the other reinforcement waves as well.
I don’t think Morgan having lockpicks disincentivised using Ash. For a start, a whole 2 move above your other units is huge even if its not for long, and having decent chip and damage makes him solid. More importantly, both ch3 and ch4x involved chests on either side of the map, and not having two units with thief vision would have made ch4 nightmarish to play given that a split is compulsory. I feel that having a single thief would be seriously detrimental to the flow of all of these maps.
I also found out he can steal from player units. I think I saw the same bug elsewhere to do with stealing from hostile green units, so I assume its related to that.
I think generally the layout of the map was quite nice, with plenty of places for the paths to converge. Having a second healer is very nice early on given so much incentive to split. I think there was bit of weirdness with ‘attack when adjacent’ AI being used instead of Boss AI which made centre units look more threatening than they actually were.
Following the general principle that on a survive map there would be some boss out in the fog, I went south where the boss dialogue was which appeared to be intended. I’m not sure if splitting north and south would make things much harder on the player, as on my first try I was a bit stuck on where to actually go. Unsure if some more direction may help.
What is notable is that while Green Klay acts great as anti-turtle, all my units being on the south for turn 8 meant that there would no way they could arrive on time to save him with their stubby 4 move legs. Had to get a few units ready for the next run.
I think the addition of a torch staff on the map before or on the cleric joining would have been nice to have as a side option, especially given enemies have more move than your units.
The ballista on this map felt quite essential to victory. If anyone promoted Lynx into a non-archer class, I felt like that would be playing this map on hard mode. Every trainee got to promotion on this map except Ryne who was spamming rallies.
Given promotions on the last chapter and monster stats being quite low, this chapter felt like good breather for last chapter. Again, a solid triple split map.
I think having 4 enemy units phase into existence as soon as someone enters the room feels deliberately unfair to the player, especially if this was their last or close to last action.
I think its a tad weird that the flier joins on the side while Amber is forced to mid, and I felt like it was essential for me to rescue her with someone else before she suicides into the enemies. The trainee flier class does not appear to have canto, which even if intentional, I imagine would feel like a bug to quite a few players.
The anti-turtle being signalled the turn before like ‘oh no what’s that’ would have been nice as they spawn extremely close. This combined poorly with the fact that I assumed defeating the boss would end the map, so I had to try and get Ryne to promotion. Unfortunately, this not being the case ended up badly for me. I suppose transparency here would conflict with story purpose, but its worth noting.
The nosferatu boss does not gain +3 from life and death, he gains +10. Which is rather unfortunate as this gives him the damage to one shot every single unit in my party, so I had to rush him before eclipse went down.
Ch4x (the shop one)
Having a chance to spend money is neat. However, I do want to note that that a vanillaish precedent is that brown houses contain only lore and only red houses contain real loot, so the fact that I got antitoxin from a red house and then boots and a new unit from brown house really threw me off. I think it is also possible players might just skip them entirely due to precedent.
It may be worth making them all red houses or add some message saying this precedent does not hold or something.
This map has 11 deploy slots and I have 6 units. I am unsure if I managed to somehow miss five whole units along the way, but this felt like a way too big map for my party.
I think its rather silly that immediately after spending 9k gold in a dedicated shopping map the next chapter immediately asks for 15k for not one but two new units, one of whom is very strong. Arena grinding being borderline compulsory (I can’t imagine the other maps on this split playing well down 2 units) doesn’t feel great. I suggest perhaps dropping the exact gold amount needed as part of the map or maybe even an unsellable item requirement instead of having to grind for it.
The talk conversation for the money does not go away after it is satisfied.
What ended up happening was just staying in a corner while raising 9k gold at the arena and then very slowly beating the rest of the map one step at a time.
Due to the precedent of brown houses from earlier, I knew to check these ones and was glad I did.
The ballista on this map feel really mean especially with several with 1-15 and killer with 1-10, though having your own ballista for a ballista-off is pretty fun. I think perhaps reducing the range for normal to 1-10 and maybe killer to 1-7 so Lynx can outrange and giving them Boss AI would be more fair, since 1-15 is basically the entire GBA screen.
The middle fort looks like it can be walked around towards the main fort, but the river tile prevents passage for some units. I think it could serve to be a tile wider.
I was a bit suspicious of the fact that after clearing the whole map, Miriel and Nidori were just hanging out in each corner doing nothing and they had no talk conversations, so I unabashedly took a builder dive. It looks like their death conditions are totally different, which is interesting since I assumed they would be a Samsan-Arran choice. I feel like some transparency would have helped.
Overall, a solid defend/escape map. I enjoyed the objective change midway.
The boss might have just a bit too much reach as she overlaps with around when player units first engage the advanced hoard on the choke to next to the stairs.
Ended up with Miriel as the new unit. I only knew since I looked in builder, but it looks like the talk between Bridgette and Nidori doesn’t work since it targets the wrong version of Nidori. I have no idea if this talk convo was intentionally removed, but might as well report it in the case it wasn’t.
Many cavaliers in this chapter couldn’t use their weapons. I think it occurred for earlier chapters as well, but I don’t recall where. With cavs being a main enemy here, it was very noticeable. Happened for thieves as well.
The crates have no moving animation so they blank out when attacked. I think some feedback about what actually happens when one is destroyed would be nice, since it just kinda dies.
Reinforcements for the top crate after the escape is triggered feel a bit harsh since there’s no escape point near where it is defended.
The explosion blew up the gameover screen.
Convoy appeared to have a max of 218, which feels like a bug since its such an odd number and convoy expansion is usually to 200.
The map concept here is quite creative.
I suspect I may have made this chapter much harder for myself by splitting, since there was nothing to gain from the lower split when it was much easier approaching the first temple from the right side.
Axes being effective against the treants is funny. I assume fire tomes are as well, but I didn’t have one to test it with.
Harper joining was scary since she immediately charged enemies. I had Quinn get there fast enough before she did much else, but I’m unsure if she has the potential to suicide into enemies.
The top temple did not appear to have a visit event unlike the others, which was odd.
I think having fog siege tomes felt distinctly unfair as they would be impossible to predict. Not the case for the eclipse tomes, they were basically worthless, but more so for the singular bolting that two shots and comes close to one shotting. I have seen other hacks get around this by purposefully lighting up the area around siege units in a fog chapter, may be worth investigating.
Haven’t seen use of eggs since vanilla fe8, I think the rate at which they hatched flowed nicely with the map. I also appreciate how many directions the player can move through towards the objective.
Colin spawns beneath the map which crashes the game if the cursor moves to the right while on him.
The chapter says seize, but it ends upon defeating the boss.
This broken wall appears to not be a broken wall.
There was a few units that couldn’t use their weapons.
Not sure what the deal with the pickpocket was. I felt like joining on this chapter would have made sense as there are a lot of doors and chests across the map, but no talk conversation.
I assumed I had to open the doors for the greens, but that didn’t appear to do anything.
Presumably due to convoy bug, none of the items I got from this chapter made it into the convoy which was kind of a bummer.
This section is going to be biased depending on how my units grew, but this was my view on the units.
Some of the few starting units feel very volatile and will get one rounded without particular speed/HP/def level ups, such as Morgan, Irene and Quinn. I feel like their base stat lines could stand to be marginally less extreme to avoid such.
I’ll go into a bit more detail on trainees since they have promotions to talk about.
Ryne was a rally bot, but with his skills and statline I imagine he’d be pretty good if he got some real exp. It looks like he might be a viable mage, but given Fate, went with the sword class. I thought lunge would help more than +10 avoid on player phase, but their growths and promos seemed about the same. Ryne’s charisma was particularly great in the early game where trainees had poor hit.
Irene was a solid unit when she could one round things, but otherwise she felt like a worse Morgan since they have a similar spread, yet Irene has none of the bulk. Going merc didn’t appear to help with her speed issues. Fighter with fiery blood would have got her more one rounds, but I opted for pirate because capture is an insane skill and she has con.
Morgan starts off weird as he fluctuates between taking no damage and then getting one rounded. With a few speed levels, he’s quite bulky and was basically unkillable past chapter 4x. Soldier seemed objectively better than chevalier as it gets rally defence and more speed, and keeps lance. Scout gave no stats and gave a clone of Morgan’s personal skill, which seems like its bugged. Another note is that resourceful only applies to skybreaker and slayer, and does not double effective weapon damage, which means the skill seems useless.
Quinn starts off easily the worst of the trainees, but her growths and str and spd turned her into an offensive powerhouse as she got past the initial hurdles. I think any of Pegasus knight, archer and mage would have been a solid choice with her statline, but I opted for the flier since I thought I’d need the utility. Perfectionist seems to have the wrong icon, looks like a fe5 icon?
Solid chip was great in the early game, and having two ballista maps really helped Lynx. He ended up being my one of my most levelled unit due to how reliably he could one round things at range. Given the ballista, I think it was only a choice between arbalist and archer, and bowrange+1 was more promising to me than crossbows, though 1-2 range armor pierce does seem pretty good.
Silas was the early game crutch. Seemed to be much better than Morgan early on as he had the same statline but better speed base. He seems to have one of the easiest promotion choices, cavalier has the best statline and 7 move. 4 move armor doesn’t seem worth considering and fighter is just odd since he loses both his existing weapon types. Has great bulk and like Morgan, basically can’t die past like chapter 5.
Luin was a solid unit against early brigands who are quite spooky, and could get to one rounding them with the str boost ring. Thief utility was worth considering, but I figured a canto+ mount would be more preferable since well, canto+.
Colin just had great offensive stats and could almost one round everything he came across with a few levels. Cavalier is worth considering, but there aren’t any other magic users besides a possible Erin promo and troubadour is a waste of his offensive stats, so mage it is. It is also worth noting that black magic can actually make Colin worse, as triggering any status effect that prevents a counter (not poison) ends the battle and prevents Colin from doubling.
Erin is a staffbot. Not much else to say really. Devout seems like an awful choice since it has a subpar statline while also taking away your only healer for now (and during the split). Cleric was worth considering due to light magic, but I opted for troub as it looked like a better stat spread in the long run and more healing range/utility. Was probably the hardest choice.
Bridgette starts off as worse Erin, but the player does need the extra healer and she does her job. Once she gets powerstaff however, combining with her supply she has great utility and mobility.
Ash became a pretty middling unit after all the trainees get promotions, but thief utility doesn’t become unnecessary and his damage output isn’t awful, plus some 1-2 chip is nice. Bargain seems like a ridiculously game changing skill to have as a level up skill.
Klay was decent unit, could one round a lot of things but fairly shaky accuracy and bulk.
Ambar is a bard so he’s good. Not sure why charm skill icon is all weird.
Skylar starts pretty shaky at level 5 when all the trainees have promoted but she’s definitely worth the investment, having great offensive stats and mobility. Probably the least out there promo tree being just a choice in weapon type, went with wyvern knight since she has great skill to use axes and stat spread seemed solid.
Theodric is a wall. Nothing much to say about him besides how hard he is to kill.
Candace’s stats look bad compared to her surrounding units, but she could double occasionally and do decent damage, and was a mount, so solid filler.
On the other side of the party split, Aalez joins with frankly absurd bases. Trample makes her base strength effectively 17 and in combination with good speed base/growth, good bulk and move, basically outshines all the other units. I’m scared she’s going to just leave the army part way like another famous example of a broken mount with absurd bases and growths.
Miriel comes with worse bases in every aspect and worse skills compared to Aalez who joined the chapter before, but enemy quality is very low so she is still quite powerful. Another note is that it seems like her stats were auto-levelled, so her bases fluctuate significantly based on rng. I recommend making her bases fixed.
Didn’t have much time to use Harper, but good offensive bases and being flier automatically makes her solid.
In short, hope my feedback can be of some help. It’s an interesting project and look forward to more in the future.