Magic is innately more powerful than any of the individual weapon types with 1-2 range. Increasing the number of enemies with magic is more drastic than fights against only physical enemies (something the game is already balanced for). Imagine that early-game scenario with most (if not all) physical enemies; for every enemy that gets converted to a mage, you could compare the added stress to defense by reverting the unit and adding another exactly like it (since mages will prioritize inflicting damage without suffering a counter-attack, they will get more attack opportunities, so 2:1 should roughly approximate the disparity). Now play the same scenario with added enemies; if the party’s respective defensive stat were too low for the enemy’s damage output, you’d consider boosting defense, right? Or reducing the enemy count but let’s assume you want a high EXP model, or something that necessitates more enemies than standard FE is balanced with.
More magic enemies means higher, more varied damage output, which is your solution to making Resistance more valuable. But really, the game just increases a unit’s punishment for having a poor Res stat with more magical enemies to content with. Making units with low Res stats worse-off probably isn’t going to make the stat, as a whole, more valuable.
Well, so the short answer would be, because I say so, look, I have the videos to show it, just look on my YouTube channel.
The long answer would be, Pure Water and Barrier only diminish the value of res if any character who uses them no longer cares about taking damage. If you’ve designed your game such that even your least resistant character only takes ~8 HP damage from a magic-using enemy, then yes, these items diminish the value of res. If your least resistant character takes ~20 HP damage from a magic-using enemy, then that’s much different than if a more resistant character takes ~12 HP from a magic-using enemy. The former character takes 13+ HP damage per hit and the latter character takes 5+ HP damage per hit. This is a large difference and it results in the characters being able to do different things.
This video is the first that comes to mind of one that demonstrates what I mean (mute if you don’t want to hear me talking):
Turn 1 PP: Saul uses Barrier on Perceval (13 +7 res).
Turn 1 EP: Windam attempts to berserk Perceval (54 hit; would’ve been 96 hit without Pure Water)
Turn 2 EP: Milady (6 res) gets hit by a Purge and a Bolting and is brought down to 4 HP.
Perceval gets hit by a Bolting and a Divine but also dodges a ton of stuff over the course of the chapter, so his HP definitely could’ve been much lower than the 32 HP that he ended with.
If we were to switch Milady and Perceval’s roles in this situation, obviously it wouldn’t work. +7 res Milady faces 96 hit vs. Berserk, which is a huge difference compared to Perceval’s 54 hit. Milady would also have a much greater chance of dying, because keep in mind that Perceval took 19 HP damage after dodging a mage, a sage, and a knight (while carrying Roy, no less). So it seems clear that despite the usage of Barrier, Perceval’s res advantage over Milady was significant.
A res difference is still a res difference, regardless of Pure Water or Barrier availability. Unless your magical enemies are so bad that a Pure Water boost on anyone invalidates them, then a unit with a res advantage will be able to do more things in more circumstances with a greater chance of success. The only thing that you accomplish by removing Pure Water and Barrier is to increase the value of the guy who has 20 res, but no one worth using will usually have 20 res, so this seems like an odd thing to buff.
But that makes those with higher res more valuable. Which increases the value of res. Which was my original point.
Defense is so powerful because it’s used so often. There are many more physical enemies than magic based enemies. It’s kind of like supply and demand: The demand for def is higher, making def more valuable. The demand for res is not as high, making it less valuable.
But the original reason I even posted in this topic was to bring up ways of increasing the value of res. If removing the res boosting items increases the value of the stat, then that’s one possible solution. The stat advantage point is kind of moot. That’s a unit to unit comparison, not a stat to stat comparison (I’m explicitly comparing def to res).
Also, random side note: Text based debates are the pits. I keep generating thoughts, then overthinking those thoughts to the point where I forgot what I was originally thinking about. Then I have to figure what my first point was. This response took me forever to come up with…
I’ll stick with verbal debates instead.
You slightly increase the value of the stat in exchange for discarding the strategic depth afforded by Pure Water and Barrier use. That seems like a negative exchange to me.
What are you talking about? The only way in which we know that a particular stat is “important” is by looking at how often it makes a difference for one unit to have more of it than another unit. We know that def is a more important stat than res because it more often makes a difference for one unit to have more of it than another unit. If you compare 2 units that have different luk stats and the difference between them is barely noticeable, that means that luk is not an “important” stat.
Removing Pure Water and Barrier isn’t going to make res more of an important stat (aside from the edge case where the one guy with 20 res is happy) because the differences between two units’ unboosted res stats always matter as long as they are taking damage. What will make res more of an important stat is creating more situations in which res is challenged. FE6 did this a lot with its giant status staves and meaty long range magic; it turns out that people don’t like that very much because it’s hard.
On the other hand, adding more magic units increases the value of RES-heavy units, while removing the biased pure water/etc makes every point of RES that much more useful. Why does RES get an EZ +7 stat boost? Why not DEF or SPD or some other stat? Heck, SKL/LUK seem to be the stats that could use such a significant boost to me.
Maybe Pure Water is bullshit and should never have existed in the first place when better class balancing for player and enemy is what we really needed?
Why not? It works. Various other installments in and outside of the series have attempted ways to boost stats; FE7 had rings that were kind of too good for a turn and TRS had the Power, Defense, and Magic staves; the first gave +10 atk for an entire chapter (so good), the second cut received damage in half for an entire chapter (probably good, I never got it), and the third is like the M Up staff in FE5 because TRS used res = 0.5*mag.
FE4 also has rings that boosted stats; did those rings invalidate the importance of those stats? FE12 has shards and tonics and RP that boosted stats; did those items invalidate the importance of those stats? (The answer is no.)
Yes, but in the GBA games, the only major stat booster aside from +2 permanent items is the pure water/barrier staff. Why is this the case? Because RES-heavy units are rare. In fact, aside from staff/magic users, nobody is really RES heavy. There’s some units that may get in the upper teens towards 20/20 if they’re blessed, but all the good RES units are magical. The pure water is an artificial way of protecting yourself from berserk/sleep/etc staves and other magic users. It’s there because the physical units are terrible against the (incredibly rare) magic users.
But then again, putting more enemy magic users in even the early chapters, including a playable mage or two, means the player has to fight them more often, making RES more useful. All the pure water does is make RES boost faster in standard GBA FE7/8 (haven’t played 6) which makes the few magic enemies you face completely trivial. Just trade that pure water around and you’ve got an army immune to status staves, or at least mostly immune.
So removing it seems to be the sound choice. I mean, I say this because I actually did this and it worked well in my own game. I may still have had a pure water or two, but adding in lots of enemy magic users and playable magic users in the early chapters made whatever pure waters that might still exist pretty unnecessary. I think I removed all but one or two of them though, but I can’t remember. All I know is I never had to use them.
It doesn’t work that way. Even Pent isn’t immune to Cog of Destiny druids on HHM with a full Pure Water boost. He faces like 42 hit.
Yes, one never has to use a Pure Water in just about any circumstance; I don’t have to use Pure Waters in FE6. That doesn’t mean that FE6 would be better if Pure Waters were gone. Your claim that you “did this and it worked well” is a comparison against a hypothetical scenario that doesn’t exist and was never tested, so it’s not like any of us know for sure that not having Pure Waters > having Pure Waters. Whereas in the case of FE6, it’s pretty easy to compare the quality of the game with Pure Water to the quality of the game without Pure Water; just don’t use Pure Water and see how much dumber the game is.
And for what it’s worth, I think that FE7 HHM Genesis and Cog of Destiny would be unbearable without ways to temporarily increase res.
I went back and revised a few parts of my proposal after hearing everyone’s responses.
My basic takeaway (especially after seeing Yeti’s Ultimax proposal, which is as close to perfect as anyone’s gonna get) is that things need to be split up more than IS does in order to properly balance the stats. Especially when introducing an Atk stat split, because you’re creating something inherently useless to swaths of classes.
Since splitting apart all the formulas didn’t go over well, I’ve decided to scrap separating PHit and MHit.
While it is more balanced in this regard, I still don’t like the polarizing nature of the FE-style Str/Mag split. Basically, that problem is solved by dissecting things between more stats (while still adhering to the “rule of two”). For example, the Yetiman got his standard deviation about as close to 0 as possible by splitting up Atk/Def calculations between two stats each, and a variety of other things. Yet within the confines of Fire Emblem, this is about as best as I’ve been able to do.
EDIT: Some final tweaks after Yeti updated the component values.
Yeah, I thought about that after I posted it up. One of those “nice on paper” things. Anyways, I’ve revised the proposal around shifting that back to Spirit (which is a renamed Res with added functionality; Luck’s function’s have been distributed to Skl/Int/Spi stats).
I still think they’re terrible though. They’re more broken than dance effects because dancing only lasts for one turn, while a pure water gives you 7 turns of bonuses. If it was a +4 or +3 bonus, they’d be much more balanced. +7 is literally 1/4th of the maximum amount a character can gain.