Some call the Tower of Valni in Fire Emblem the beginning of the end for strategy in Fire Emblem, because “If you are given the opportunity to grind all the challenge out of the game, why wouldn’t you?”.
I disagree, though I wish the FE games with grinding didn’t make so many people say “Dude this unit is amazing I swear, you just need to grind for 8 hours per playthrough so she’s as good for you as she was for me”.
Don’t forget about the repeatable DLC maps for grinding gold and EXP and other rewards in the post-Awakening games. Then again, you could argue getting bonuses for other purchases outside of the game is its own form of DLC. Still, grinding maps tend to frame you as the hero. And maps with item rewards, too. You’re slaying monsters, you’re retaking what was stolen from you, you’re saving villains you thought were dead, you’re overcoming the odds. You’re no tomb-robber defiling the dead out of necessity and desperation, you’re unearthing powerful artifacts once thought lost to history. You’re doing something optional and good. You’d only avoid doing them for out-of-story reasons like the player’s desire to keep the game from becoming too easy. What if that wasn’t the case?
Has anyone ever thought to include an area like the Tower Of Valni in their Fire Emblem Hack/Fangame, and set up the story around the area so that choosing to grind in this location is morally wrong for the characters involved? Like slaughtering innocents in a village isolated from the rest of the world for power and wealth, or torturing souls trapped in some sort of haunted forest or haunted tower, or robbing tombs for power you didn’t earn and don’t deserve in the form of items that were never yours? It could tell the player “You should not grind here for power/resources” and make choosing not to do so something heroic for the player and player characters. Then there are the “Special Weapons” from 3 Houses. You can use them, and nothing bad happens. Nobody judges you for it. Using the wrong weapon on the wrong character doesn’t cost a character or create a mandatory Giant Monster boss fight. Don’t get me started on the rings with the trapped souls of innocent people, or imitations of those people. Want to do some gambling gacha with rings? Sure, why not make a game of it? It’s not like these rings contain people who deserve to be treated better than Pokemon.
this is called peer pressure
→ Allow the player a choice to do optional combats
→ Shame them for doing so
1: If its so non-characteristic of the protag army to do so, why would you offer this choice?
2: This would definitely work better on a less moral protagonist / different type of story (although in such a case, I would make such grinding spaces non-repeateable).
Just telling the player “nuh uh that’s lame” will pretty much affect the casual players (considering many others will say ‘optional grinding? If your game is well balanced, it shouldn’t be mandatory.’ and skip it)
Well I didn’t want the player to grind and there wasn’t a narratively fitting place to grind so I simply chose not to allow the player to grind
If I wanted to do something like this I wouldn’t directly insult the player, because 99% of the time they’d just go “well thanks for giving me the option and then insulting me for it” and probably drop the game.
What I’d do is add some sort of “cost”, like if you grind in this place other stuff happens in later chapters, maybe locking you out of recruiting a certain character, or making the chapters harder.
I would simply not be rude about it
If you want the player to not grind, don’t let them grind and then shame them for doing so. You’re in control of your own project so don’t be a dick about players doing something you yourself put into the game and (hopefully) tested yourself.
Grinding is not this boogeyman that ruins discussions or playthroughs, it’s a tool that players use at their own discretions to make the game more fun for them. If you want to curate an experience fine, but don’t allow players to play how they want and then wag your finger at them, it’s just rude behavior. No better than when someone is casually playing an FE game and some random person comes in and asks why glubbo isn’t using the bingus on kringo to cheese map fuck in 2.25 turns.
You’re in charge of how you sell your hack to others so bring in the audience you want and don’t actively make fun of the audience you don’t want.
This is a certified JasonGodwin7 classic right here.
To answer your question, no, that’d be silly. If I don’t want you to grind I’ll remove grinding. Theres really no point in thinking any deeper. If you have limitless grinding and someone says it makes the game too easy tell them to stop using it. If they can’t stop themselves from grinding every unit to 20/20 then thats their problem, not yours.
Yes, truly, playing single player games how you want… horrific…
I have not ever thought to make Optional Weapons and the Tower Of Valni/Outrealm Grinding Location morally reprehensible BUT I did go for a really nice walk a couple days ago, it was raining out and my hoodie soaked through but I didn’t mind because the vibes were really nice downtown, which was really cool
Can’t say that I have.
Is there a master plan for all these design/community threads?
Yeah why can’t the tower of valni have me kill innocent women and children instead
because they wouldn’t give too much exp mane
y’know what yeah i’ll seriously respond to a game-mechanic focused jasongodwin7 thread for once since i have thoughts on this sort of thing.
Actively shaming a player for utilizing a mechanic that the game designer themselves added to a game is lovingly troll-y at best and being an absolute bully of a game dev at worst. If the game isn’t made to actively troll the player (which I’m guessing isn’t the aim of this hypothetical project), then this is the sort of thing an amatuer dev would add to a game because they think it’s funny (speaking from experience here). Ultimately, I’d think a game dev would want a player to have fun with their creation, so this sort of thing should be discouraged.
well at least you can watch the myriad of responses from this guy’s posts, it’s super fun
Also lmao if you made a shitpost hack I guess it’d be funny, literally just have the tower of valni be filled with a buncha little kid sprites lmaoooooo
How many single-player games allow the player to make non-characteristic choices for the player characters?
What’s the point of self-insert protagonists if you can’t tell that protagonist to do what you would do in that situation?
Not many because that would be uncharacteristic of them, and having characters not act in line with their characterization because of the players actions is a little something I like to call poor writing
Self inserts aren’t opportunities for the player to do whatever they want with the protagonist’s personality. You’ll see that characters like Robin, Corrin, Byleth, and Alear all have their own personalities, their personalities are just made to be mappable by the player, something they can easily identify with.
Just because you can name your character doesn’t mean you ARE that character. Looking to other games no one would make these same complaints about Cloud or Terra from the final fantasy series but you still name them.
This is also just kind of a moot point since you never mentioned such a thing in your OP so you’re literally just making shit up.
guys the threads closing in 21 hours we gotta fucking speedrun the jasonthread!!!
The kind of game FE is isn’t really built for that.
RPG RPGs like fallout new vegas are more suitable for this kind of player interaction, this is one reason I find avatars mostly ineffective in FE despite my love of character creators, it’s just not possible to make a FE like that and have it be as impactful and good because FE is 1 a nintendo franchise 2 we’ve already seen the FE teams not do well with ambitious concepts and 3 it would require every army member to react to your decisions, possibly leaving you, and require many maps and such for all scinarios, which would be hell to make (see three houses’ much more limited scope and it’s outcomes) and would not work with perma death, at all (again see three houses but worse).
The closest thing I can think of is triangle strategy which isn’t as close as I’m thinking of here and what this concept would need to fully feel like it would fulfill player desire in the way this is worded.
TS was more a game with a bunch of small split routes that leads to one big one, more than a full player decision type deal as the mc still has a set personality and relationships, and only 3 characters react to the big decision at the end, no one else will abandon or mutiny or anything.
Such games of “choice” (mainly visual novels which is not the genre of Fire Emblem, despite how much lying we want to do) still gap such choices within what is characteristic of such a character, and even bar some of those choices behind specific stats (Evil/Good balance).
Additionally, go ahead, make that choice - is your army following you? Fire Emblem games that feature choice (f.e. Eligor Spear) make those choices characteristically congruent with the protagonists. There is no option to shove Eligor’s Spear up your ass because that doesn’t fit neither the characters nor the story.
Not just that, but many of these games aren’t avatar/self-insert characters, but actual characters with relations and characterization. They are not your vassal for committing choices. If that was what you wanted, you’d need an MMO-type of plot.
P.D.: Whoever put on a timer for free on this thread (if moderator) while refusing to halt or intervene, whether here or on private messaging is acting unfairly.