My thoughts on Growth Rates as a whole

Growth Rates are a huge point of contention for me in Fire Emblem. On one hand, the amount of variance and possibility that exists in how growths will play out can create unique and interesting units that can possibly be strong in a weaker point, or weak in a stronger point. However, there is always the possibility that growth turnouts can result in no stats gained. To an extreme, it creates the possibility for units that do not improve whatsoever. This itself, is a huge design issue that must be resolved.
How to do it?

The easiest answer: Increase Growth Rate values as a whole

  • While easy and simple for an answer to the problem, it pushes back the core problem to a less likely to happen point, which can be beneficial, but increasing the Growth Rates and doing nothing else create other issues (literally all of RD Greil Mercenaries)

The PoR Fixed Mode answer: Level Ups decided by Growth Points rather than Growth Rates

  • This addresses the RNG factor of Growth Rates directly, and rather efficiently so. (Even if PoR’s example was rather complex and convoluted) However it misses one of the key points for Growth Rates. Unit Varience. In a system like this, most units in the game will almost never stray from their average stats, which reduces playability, and again: Misses on the fun factor of Growth Rates.

My answer: Combine the Fixed Mode system and the Growth Rates into one system.

  • How this would work is that the Fixed Mode system would largely determine how a unit will turn out, making sure they get slightly below their average stats. After the game calculates the Growth Points, they game will now calculate Growth Rates with the RNG. Growth Rates will be lower as a result, where originally 75% growths are changed to things like 20-30%, with Growth Scales of 45-25%.
    Character A has a Growth Scale in Spd of 35. He Levels Up.
    He gains 45 Growth Points of Spd, and if his Growth Points go over 100, subtract 100 and gain a point of Spd, with a 15% chance to gain another point of Spd.
    Extreme, yes. Effective? Most certainly. This ensures that the unit will never be screwed out completely on speed, but also means that they have chances to gain more speed than they normally would.

While I think this Growth System can seriously be a good way to balance out Fire Emblem in general, there are some other suggestions that other people want to put in, I know it. So GO AHEAD PEOPLE, put em’ in, I’d like to see your ideas!

EDIT: Better Example

I think growth rates are fine as they are, as long as you give the players some stat upper items to make up for the bad luck they may experience. As always, it’s a matter of balancing the game as a whole, rather than a single mechanic as if it was an abstract concept.

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While this is true, I am naturally someone who doesn’t really like random elements in strategy games, anyway, this again, was just my thoughts. Thanks for the response anyhow.

what are you doing playing FE


Isn’t there that patch that makes growths fixed by adding the growth% each level and the stat goes up when it ticks over?

Growth rates are part of the FE experience, and trying to neuter them hurts that experience, I feel.
Trying to “balance” everyone eliminates the story swapping possibilities. “Man, this one run Character X totally stomped the competition. Character Y was balls though.”

Your curve with slight variance means everyone ends up largely the same as always with little wiggle room.

Totally random is the GBAFE’s method. Even if in GBAFE, a mechanism lets you get 1 point HP at least instead of leveling up with nothing.

In fe9, you can choose to use totally stable growth instead of random growth. In fe10, you are given 3 points to distribute yourself. In IF, you can choose a half-stable growth which proves both a different status each round and no need to boring S&L which I think is the biggest problem. Maybe that is the best way.

In other FE, you can adjust the growth via some items and even weapons like fe10. Btw I think the worst growth system is FE2’s. To be exact, the program which generates RNG is not scientific.

Nintendo is continually improving this system.


Nintendo also regards resetting repeatly to get an ideal growth as a part of strategy.

I’ll be honest, I prefer it if character stats have high variance. Looking for perfect “balance” takes away from that experience for me.

Over the course of an entire game, I usually don’t have much of an issue with random variance of stat gains. However, I usually don’t have the time to sink to repeatedly play an FE game over and over and over again, so when I do play through one, I usually have the group of units I want to use set in my mind, and random variance can royally screw with that plan.

Also, the randomness of growth rates during early portions of the game can be very frustrating and can further sabotage plans and progress - consider FE9 earlygame if you’re not roflstomping the game with Titania: if, say, Oscar gets shit-all for Strength and Speed early on, he goes from a unit generally perceived as great to one that’s, at that moment, mediocre if not a liability.

And, of course, as a player, don’t you instinctively want to see the units that you’re fielding reach their potential? I know that I always get a “bleh” feeling when a unit begins to drop off and noticeably lags behind the rest of the group as the game reaches its finale.

While it has other flaws, I almost like Valkyria Chronicles’ way of levelling up classes instead of individuals so that you can rotate units without an immediate drop in effectiveness. Of course, for FE, this really wouldn’t make sense, since you have characters like your Jagen, Est, etc. that for story reasons have very different levels of experience in combat, but you get less deviation and (hopefully) the option to use the characters that you might want to use but could have to push to the side because of how the RNG rolled.

This is why I don’t see Growth Rates as very good design decisions.
They can create very good units, yes, and it is exciting to see some units completely dominate the competition if they get good rolls, but there is always that small (very small, but my point still stands) that someone could get jacked rolls on every or most level ups.

Also, if people feel like the random stat variance is that important, the values could be tuned so that the random values have more priority than that of other values.
Character in vanilla FE has a 75% Mgc growth.
With Fixed/Random system, Growth Scale of about 25 or 35, with a random chance of 45% to gain a total point in Mgc.
My system at base values doesn’t allow for as much variance as vanilla FE, but creates for a more stable experience with a bit of luck thrown in. However the values can be easily tuned for a more varied experience, but without the possibility of completely screwing over units early game.

I don’t want a stable experience. Most vanilla FE games are clearable without growths (period, as in your stats do not increase on levelup) without significant amounts of luck; if I wanted to play a game in which there was little to no chance of getting screwed I would play with 0% growths.


Are you really getting screwed if you don’t need the stats to begin with? It’s more like free candy.


oh shush, you

At this point it comes down to preference, honestly.
I’d argue that a non-stable experience where the player gets unfairly screwed over due to something they cannot control is not a very good design choice. And yes, I am aware that most FE games can be cleared with 0% growths, but usually those require hardcore, veteran players to be able to complete, and is not a very good argument for random growths.

I have beaten FE7 and 8 with 0% growths, and it is not easy. It requires tile-perfect positioning, and very good luck of the draw.

And if you read correctly at the end of the post, the values can be tuned to different styles of play. Want a more varied experience? Crank up the RNG values. Want a more stable? Up goes the Growth Scales. In between? Yeah you get it.

I don’t mean to come off condescending, so I am sorry if I am giving that off. :neutral_face:

I have beaten FE7 and 8 with 0% growths, and it is not easy. It requires tile-perfect positioning, and very good luck of the draw.

i think you’re overstating it by a lot. or maybe you should just get good

I think saying that players are “getting unfairly screwed over” is misrepresenting it. If it was some sort of “there is exactly a 50-50 chance that you will die every turn and there is no way you can change this”, I’d agree that it’s stupid. On the other hand, I find it hard to believe that missing speed twice really makes the game that much more difficult for a casual player. Even Lunatic Awakening (read: stat inflation city) is reasonably fair about it (L+ is an entirely different story and I think that’s terrible design for a multitude of reasons).

I dunno. As an ex-LTC/draft player, my biggest problem with the Fixed Mode system (or even your modification of it) is that suddenly the game becomes a lot more about micromanagement of potentially invisible values. I need to ensure that unit X gets 5 levels to hit a speed benchmark. I have to keep track of how many points unit Y has in strength. Yes, by turning up the variance it takes away from that a bit, but I still need to make sure that each unit has enough points to overflow and “trigger” the stat chance (if i’m reading it right?). At least for me, adapting your strategy on the fly is the fun part, where i don’t need to keep track of so many moving parts.