What do y’all think of poison weapons, and the poison status effect in general?
I mean they’ve only really been threatening in Thracia, but only because the effect didn’t wear-off. I’m personally in favor of them, if not merely for the flavor of poison-coated weapons. But really, I can’t think of a clear niche that they fill, meanwhile effective weapons, killers, and reavers all have a defined purpose and are good at fulfilling said purpose. Outside of being annoying to deal with, do you think poison has a use in FE?
Yeah outside of being annoying to the player, currently they don’t really have an interesting design purpose in the mainline games, that the player could use.
In FEH, poison is guaranteed chip damage even if you’re fighting essentially a wall. So it may tip the odds for you to chip something down enough so you can kill it. Whereas in mainline games almost all fights are designed around just killing units in 1 to 2 combat rounds for the player against enemies, with only bosses taking longer usually, which means poison is kinda moot as they are currently implemented.
As a design I think you either need to increase everyone’s durability/tankiness (or lower attack damage) a bit for poison weapons to be considered. Or add a secondary effect, like a minor stat debuff for being poisoned. Then I could see it being used to tip fights if set up properly or used by stronger units to farm kills for weaker ones.
The vanilla poison weapons in the GBA system mostly serve to be bad weapons for enemies to use because of how weak the poison status is, and as a result, end up being more like “free staff experience”, but you have a hundred options to fix this -
-You can make it last longer, even indefinitely
-You can change the damage amount
–I’ve seen “always 3”, “20% max HP”, and “equal to turns remaining” w/ stacking from multiple hits
-You can make it have additional effects
–I’ve seen “str/skl/spd -20%” as one particularly painful one
But also, it’s dishonorable. It’s good flavorfully.
If the games had different unit designs it could be interesting - suppose a unit with huge defense but a low HP pool; but with how units are given stats in the vanilla games, there’s not going to be much purpose in them.
Make poison do more damage and deal potentially lethal damage. Also make poison weapons actually usable.
Right now, poison weapons suffer from simply being worse than Iron weapons in every way possible, which makes them so horrendously bad that not only is applying poison difficult, they are so weak that they might as well not count, and rely exclusively on poison to deal damage. A simple fix is to make poison weapons have stats comparable to that of Iron or Steel weapons, ensuring that being hit by a poison weapon actually counts against you.
Increasing poison damage is also necessary, as 1-3 damage is very unlikely to ever pose a threat, except in Thracia lategame where poison enemies are combined with Hel (drops you to 1 HP). Jacking this up to like 8-15 HP or something like that is enough to make it a threat. Especially when the poison attack also does considerable damage, it’s very easy for your HP to drop low enough that dying to poison damage is a real and present danger and limits how many enemies a unit can bait out safely when poison is involved.
I like how engage does it, lowering the def stat based on a certain percentage seems cool, as it means the status will scale with your units and remain relevant. you could have it reduce either or spd, def and atk logically a certain percentage to make it a significant status for both enemies and allies, just have to plan out what to do so bosses don’t get affected by it
Using this patch, poison can be quite a threat if you increase the amount of poison damage each stage.
I try to do Damage=10+RAND(10) damage in the later stages. (i.e. 20 damage max).
NAME.en=Change minimum poison damage for each chapter
INFO.en=Poison becomes air like yamcha in the latter half.This patch modifies this.\r\nSet the minimum damage for each chapter or unit.\r\nThe list will be matched from the top, so please set the most strict condition above.\r\nIf none of the lists match, the default poison damage is applied.\r\nDamage = Minimum damage + RAND (Maximum random damage).
I also make an item called PoisonLNC+.
It is a lance that has 0 power, but has a 100% hit rate and can attack 1-2 ranges.
If this attack hits, you will result in a bad status of poison.
Just mix in enemies with this weapon and they can be quite nasty.
I have set the maximum HP of my player unit to 80.
The poison lasts for 5 turns, so 20 * 5 = 100, and even at 80 HP, if you keep drawing the worst value, you will always die.
If the minimum value is drawn, it is 10 * 5 = 50, which helps, though.
Either way, the player will have to perform some kind of treatment.
Of course, setting this damage at the beginning of the game would make it impossible to clear, so I use this patch to change the poison damage for each chapter.
We start with 2 + RAND(3) and increase the damage as the chapter progresses.
These lethal poisons must be dealt with, but can be postponed if you have the strength to deal with them.
The priority would be as follows.
bad status priority that the player must deal with.
Berserk >> Sleep == Petrification > Silence >= Poison
Poison in my various SRPG Studio projects is similar to Thracia Poison except for it being unable to kill you on its own.
As for Venin weapons themselves, I usually make them available to the player in small quantities and give them more WEXP than Blades/Greatlances/Labryes so that they have at least some sort of redeeming quality.
Things like GBA poison rarely works, it’s just annoying and is rarely dangerous enough to kill any unit. The only point where I think it’s neat is in 19XX of FE7 where getting poisoned saves you from worse status effects like sleep, which is the inspiration for the only time poison is featured in my hack.
Better poison effects are Fates poison strike and Engage dagger effects, these are consistent and are actually dangerous instead of being so weak you have to try to get killed by it.
Poison weapons actually (at times) work for their intended purpose in Dream of Five of all hacks. That purpose being damage over time, or DoT.
Since you don’t at first have Restore or Antitoxins, getting hit by a Poison weapon means you’re now taking additional damage for several turns. Sure, you could just use Vulneraries, but you might not want to burn your turns when the enemy density is high. Maps can also take quite a few turns to beat, which means it’s not too rare for the poison to actually last the whole 5 turns.
Combine this with the damage your poisoned unit has possibly taken, and you’re now in the realm of HP management. That extra damage from being poisoned can - and will if you’re not paying attention - decrease the unit’s HP to a kill threshold. That is, they can now get killed by an enemy/enemies they would be able to take on with more/at full HP.
Of course, the randomness of Poison damage, among other variables, means this scenario may not come into play as often as intended, or in the way it was intended. However, I believe this is the purpose of Poison weapons, even if you made the case their purpose is poorly implemented in vanilla GBA FE.
As mentioned by other users here, Poison has some useful interactions with other status conditions like Sleep (or even Stone in FE8’s case), but I would not call that the purpose of Poison weapons.
I think it’s strange that poison can work with 0 damage. If it tinks off your armor, how are you getting poisoned? But I suppose if it were buffed poison could be a good anti-tank weapon to prevent juggernauting.
For Pokemblem I also do this: poison status reduces def/res to 75%. Debuffs are pretty powerful here (especially the weaker AoE versions) as leer / screech are potentially useful moves for the entire game, but they reduce def/res by a fixed amount.
In the end it makes poison a bit more useful in the lategame, but it still has its usages throughout.
In vanilla FE, its to create an additional variable on player phase and to require strategic selection of curing the poison or recovering the health… if it did more then a slight tick of damage. Early in a run, it could be fatal when losing 2 or 3 extra points of health in a turn represents 10% or higher amounts of lost health. It was also a bit of a ticking clock in SNES FE if you didn’t come prepared.
If the damage scaled, or had additional de-buffs, like the shurikens and daggers from Fates, then they would function more as a way to debilitate/nerf either high threat enemies, or require re-thinking Juggernaut strategies
I am a fan of DoT in general in games. In FE10, I’d try to steal venin weapons whenever possible. Even so, in vanilla? Yeah, it’s lackluster. Fortunately, as romhackers we’re not limited to vanilla. There were already some examples mentioned in this thread to make it more interesting, such as including debuffs, increasing duration/damage, etc.
The main thing holding poison back in FE is how easy it is to kill enemies, so the additional low damage wouldn’t really be meaningful on the player’s hands. In other words, if you make a situation in which the additional damage is meaningful, even vanilla poison can be appreciated.
In Sengoku Oda, I make poison weapons obtainable. They have the same hit as irons and 1 more damage than slims (and this reminds me I need to reduce their weight and price), but there’s this specific chapter which I got more than one piece of feedback commenting how vanilla poison was especially useful. In that chapter the player is pressed for time initially since the enemy controls more forts than them, so the first thing they need to do is reverse this. They’d want to waste as little time as possible killing unnecessary enemies, especially since there are so many of them to break through on the way to conquering forts, so poisoning many of them on EP and leaving them for dead/NPCs to kill is at least a valid strategy. There are also several minibosses on the chapter, some of them especially tanky and/or powerful, making engaging them multiple times dangerous, so poison is used to reduce the number of engagements necessary to get rid of them. Both of those factors, together with the fact that the forts are in high demand make it more likely that a poisoned enemy will be unable to heal themselves and die to the poison, or just make it so the poison offsets the fort healing.
Then, once the player controls the majority of forts, they can choose to just defend them instead of conquering the remaining ones (as uncommon as it’s been in practice) and use poison to stave off enemies.
Maybe I’m misinterpreting this, but for whatever it’s worth, damage from Poison can very much kill a unit in the GBAFE games I’m pretty sure. The damage per turn is still low, though.
That aside, I agree with @2WB’s sentiment that Poison weapons are used effectively for flavor in many places. Poison weapon-users tend to be or fight under enemies who fight dirty, and I think using poison-coated weaponry is a good way to help convey that idea, though it shouldn’t be leaned on as the only thing.
From a gameplay standpoint, I think Poison in Fire Emblem does more or less what it does in most RPGs; small damage-over-time that adds up to put the poisoned unit in serious danger quicker than they otherwise would be. Fire Emblem is also like most RPGs in that it undershoots how much damage Poison would need to do to be as worth keeping an eye on as it probably should be. I absolutely think Poison as a status ailment can work in Fire Emblem, but how it works could definitely do with some adjustment.
Poison weapons typically lack a coherent gameplay design.
How do you use a Beast Killer Lance? That’s obvious. But a weak sword that deals barely 2 poison damage per turn?
Would be better if a unit like Thief or Assassin or Ninja had different poisoned weapon attacks as Combat Arts that weaken the target with Throwing Knife/Arrow attacks.
Imagine sending in your weak Ninja to Smoke Bomb a guy before sending a Melee unit in to damage a guy who can now only miss. Epic! Basically a status staff without the potential for busted Warp shenanigans.
Considering hacked versions with poison is normally a counter only when u have miracle but for a normal vanilla fe i think its a bit lackluster and has even worst stats than iron lance giving poison lance like 5 crt and same stats as a iron lance might work and rework poison system to never ending unless any sort of heal staff is a good choice. Like it make sence if u think about it, if poison is used in war it was meant to kill not poke. In irl does poison heal itself NO so i think making it unlimited turn unless healed by staff like heal mend and elixir will work in its favor