I have a few things to add now that the thread has developed
I don’t really see getting promo items earlier or later as restricting freedom in a negative way.
Game balance is all about restricting the player’s freedom to make the game challenging while not restricting freedom too much as to keep the game fun and the players options open.
The game isn’t telling you not to use a unit with a later promo item. What it’s saying is that this unit requires a cost, use of all units requires many different costs and this can be one of them.
Let’s look at Wade and Lot each unit has advantages and disadvantages, Wade is stronger but lot is faster, Wade has more specialised growth but Lot’s are more averaged, Wade is slightly better at rescue, etc. Point is no matter who you use there is a cost if you don’t use the other.
Split promo items have a similar effect as they provide trade offs at a class level as oppose to a character level.
Master seals are also all present in the games with separated promo items while they come later it’s usually about halfway through the game you get one, at the point you’d likely want one, and you can get more later if you have a very abnormal team.
Also at least as far as FE 7 and 8 you get like every promo item in such a steady stream you’re likely not left needing for them unless you’re using all units of one promo item.
[FE7 has 4 Knight crest uses before the first without Lyn mode, [3 with Lyn mode if you used the Lyn mode crest on Sain or Kent] and I doubt most people will use 3 cavs with Marcus, the next is 5 chapters later [Without Gaidens] and a cav or Oswin are likely viable in the chapters between, the first earth seal is two chapters after the second Knight’s crest]
And in that case you likely aren’t playing a casual run so it doesn’t really effect casual players, and in that case you are likely somewhat good at the game and likely can do with having a few unprompted units when you shouldn’t.
master seals can have different variety of gameplay not just fliers it really depends on every player on how he/she handles the game. Also if the player likes a certain type of character and wanted to be viable till the end.
I have a soft spot for the auto-promotion of PoR, since it add something else to thinks about when the player have to chose between promoting early and waiting until level 20. The main downside of it, is that it’s really hard to balance, since some players could farm to promote characters early. Also, if there isn’t enough challenge, it can lead to people just never using promotions items and always holding until the autopromote.
So it’s not a surprise that it was never used again, both in hack or maingames
I’m fine with all the opions except the GBA class-restricted style. I prefer to have options, and FE is ultimately a characters game, I don’t want to be locked out of using characters I like because I ran out of their specific promotion items. Class diversity should be encouraged by actually balancing each class to a point where they’re all worth using rather than artificially preventing the player from just using 5 wyvern lords or whatever.
Truly balanced classes will never be a thing. FEU had a phase like that of nerfing cavaliers into the ground and then we had a bunch of games with plain unfun cavalry units.
Discussions about efficiency are more objective that just personal taste. I like generals a lot, a slow, moving tank is an idea that really appeals to me. But, in fire emblem games where enemy strength is low, most mounted classes can tank hits just fine, making the General’s large defense stat meaningless. If ten defense gets the job done, why sacrifice speed and movement for sixteen defense?
The greater point is that Master Seals will exacerbate IS’ poor balancing decisions. For a player that wants their decisions to necessitate strategic thinking, it’s disappointing to have the promotion choices be very obvious decisions. Split promo items help mitigate this issue by making the choice more about units than classes.
Of course, if you value player choice more than balance, it’s understandable to prefer master seals. I personally prefer master seals, even though I understand their negative effect on balance. In discussions like this, it’s fine if people have different conclusions based on how they value different aspects of the game.
Classes don’t have to be perfectly balanced, just actually worth fielding and do something unique enough to be interesting. I don’t think it requires absolute perfect balance to make a class not perform like GBA archers, for a more extreme example.
Food for thought; let’s try looking at this through the lens of class availability.
No Fire Emblem game has ever given the player every single class right out of the gate. Some games afford more freedom than others, but in every game, there are always going to be some classes that, for one reason or another, the player simply will not have access to for the first however many chapters of the game.
Personally, I don’t see class-based promotion items as all too different from this. Getting a character who comes in a certain class is one way to get that class on your team; promoting a character into that class is another.
As well, there are other factors that can lead to different characters not all being able to promote at the same time. A character can literally join with the promotion item they’d use in their inventory, but if they came in at a lower level, they’d still need to wait a bit to promote while the player got them up to level 10+. Maybe enemy types around when a character joins present difficulties bringing them up to promotion level; say, a Knight who joins right before a bunch of chapters populated with axe-wielding enemies. Characters also obviously can’t be promoted until they join, and in almost every Fire Emblem game (by which I mean basically just “not Three Houses”), far more characters have different availability from one another than the same.
I guess my question then is, what makes class-based promotion items somehow different and less acceptable compared to the myriad other factors that go into when a given unit will be able to promote? I know I personally do not find them to be anomalously-bothersome within that sphere of gameplay factors, but clearly they’re where a lot of people draw a line along that axis, so I’m a bit curious as to what the perceived difference is there.
Too limiting is the short and long of it. And getting and item for a unit/class you don’t plan to use while the one you are using has to wait sucks. Also if the game doesn’t give you enough for all of a certain class type you want to use (or too late). No thanks.
It goes way too much into the “Limit the player” direction.
I also feel similar towards lord promotions - Especially those who have wait for way too long to promote (Hi Roy). Either Master Seal or make the promotion event early enough (and give the player an item to choose when to promote instead of insta promoting).
Some limits are good. Too many limits are not fun
That’s fair! I’ve personally never really felt that way about class-based promotion items, but I suppose I can understand how they’d cross that line for some people.
The fact that my personal team-building preferences also lean in the same direction class-based promotion items incentivize (diversifying my class types) is also probably a factor in it not bothering me as much.
Fe4 uses the castle to Promote a unit and they must be Level 20 to do so. it’s very Long and sometimes hard to Promote all units depending how much you use them. But using Paragon ring can level you up quicker but Very expensive to give to units.
While Fe9/Fe10 you can Auto Promote when you’re unit reachs Level 21 instead of using a Seal.
Usually pros and cons when not having a Master Seal to use.
I don’t have any strong opinion on most promotion methods, but I’ll say that the class-based item one is a shallow and boring implementation of promotions.
You either have so many of them floating around that your hack may as well use master seals, or they’re so scarce that a blind player might get parts of their roster they’ve grown fond of locked out of T2 entirely.
And no, there’s no middle ground to be found between these two options because any attempt at handing out ‘just enough’ of them will crash and burn horribly when a player either miss one too many side objective or get too many units killed / benched and we’re back to these extremes.
Though if you’re going to go with that option regardless, please put less total promotions items than there are units to promote, and make some of them hard enough to get that they’re definitely going to be missed by a lot of players.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that’s terrible game design, but it’s the only path that makes class-based item promotion at least interesting and justify its own existence over the other systems. In a malicious and player-hostile way, but at least you’re not master seals with extra steps.
After giving fates some thought as it definitely doesn’t have the issue of “always promote fliers and cavs first”, I realized that the best units in the game (camilla, xander, the servants, could include leo) are already promoted. So while it breaks the mold there, it’s not for a great reason as the master seals aren’t actually very important.
… How does this make sense? Like, you had somewhat of a point with the powerful prepromotes (even though they all still benefit largely from popping into other classes for skills and such) but this completely missed the mark.
Promotion is promotion. No seals except for the master seal promotes units.
Almost every unit in specifically Conquest has some unique utility to offer even at high levels of play on lunatic (Flora being a strange, strange exception) so saying that the games better units are already promoted doesn’t actually say all that much, especially since by Xander and even Leo a lot of your units could already be promoted.
Personally, I like having multiple per-class promotion items, like in vanilla GBA. But I also like having master seals as a rarer, more expensive option.
I did a similar survey a while ago, and most people who voted seem to think the same.
Usually your best unit in another FE game will be a unit you trained and promoted, in fates that isn’t going to be the case. Promoting the early fates units likely won’t give you something better than the units that start promoted, so promotion isn’t as important a mechanic as usual.
I generally like seperate promo items, with master seals being more rare alternative, to be the best one out of the options provided.
I do however usually prefer promotions to not reset your level, and work as a kind of “Rank up” rather than a necessity to keep the character growing. Promos should feel stronger than the unpromotes class, but not make the unpromoted class completely unusable.
I also kinda like the idea of event based promos a lot. Berwick made very good use of that system and had it for (i think?) every character. You had to fufill certain requirements, often go down several side missions and generally would learn more about the character and/or see their character develop somehow, which makes their promotion not only fit gameplay wise, but also story wise.