Why Three Houses Actually Sucks


fwiw, this is how approximately every other JRPG with a freeform job system (dragon quest, bravely default, etc) works. it may not feel particularly like fire emblem, in which it’s generally the right idea to reclass immediately, but it’s certainly not a new idea in the general space


That’s true. It’s odd to think in this sense since it is advertised as an upgraded class, while in FF, Bravely Default, etc it’s more like every job/class is within the same tier (even though some can occasionally feel like strict upgrades). The game even notifies you the moment you can tier up and gives you a free seal to do so.

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You can always promote instantly but freely reclass into whatever class it is that you want to master. It’s what I do on maps where I might not need the extra stats or movement.


I haven’t played it yet. I’m more into hacking at the moment, but maybe later. I didn’t really like some of the stuff I saw, that’s why.


A stupidly large amount of playtime ends up spent on exploring the monastery, it’s just a gigantic time-waster with things like fetch quests and lost items and shit. Would be useful for growing supports between battles, but not only can you only directly grow supports with Byleth but all of Byleth’s supports are incredibly slow so that when you put in a shitton of effort in they unlock on par with the rest of your units, which completely defeats the point of the system? Why give this as a thing you can do and then make a thing that you have to do? The most efficient way of grinding supports (at least on Normal with infinite grinding) is with adjutants and battling on free days, which is no different than something like Awakening or Fates or even Echoes where you can just do the infinitely respawning generic enemy fight over and over. That all being said, you can skip to an arbitrary date from as early as the second month of the game and actions in between are automated, so if you want you can just skip to the mission day every month.

spoilers for the early game month that you are forced to Explore that isn't the first month

Even during Flayn kidnapped month you’re only forced to Exploration the first day of the month and you can immediately end exploration before doing anything and when you get to the mission day at the end of the month you still do the events there anyhow

thanks Koei Tecmo

There are 8 classes that are restricted like this (both Dark Seal classes, both Pegasus classes, 3 Fist classes, Hero) of a total 36 (37 if the unit has a second Unique class). The only ones of these that really give anything worthwhile are Pegasus Knight and the Fist classes, the former being not only flier movement one tier earlier than any other class but also Triangle Attack upon mastery which can tear through bosses, and the latter essentially meaning girls don’t get any skills to help them punch things (generally this makes sense since all the female units in the game sans Catherine, who has +exp in Brawling as-is and is the actual best character for the Hero class despite never being able to obtain it, are physically small, but still, it should at least be an option). Dark Seal classes give access to dark magic, but only when you’re in that class and only one spell. Unless the unit in question learns dark magic (which they would pick up regardless of if they are this class or not), they’re not taking that Miasma to a different class. Hero doesn’t really give anything worthwhile, nor are there any female characters that specialize in the weapon types it requires/boosts, so there’s not really much being missed out on there besides Catherine being denied her destiny.

In general, without grinding and without switching classes you’ll get 1 mastery skill of each tier of class throughout the game if you get the master class one at all. I see this more as a way of giving you options to start with, but rewarding you for sticking to a chosen class path throughout the game. If you want to grind, it also gives you an incentive to shop around for different mastery skills to create stupidly broken units.

The speed at which weapon ranks for weapon types classes in higher tiers specialize in go up is determined by the tier of class and the specific class; each tier you go up the class will give +1 more to that weapon rank each time you earn points towards it. Certain classes can’t use certain weapon types (magic can’t use fists I want my punch monks reee, non-magic can’t use magic (which is singlehandedly responsible for making Holy Knight and Dark Knight the best magic classes in the game for giving both a mount and magic access), mounted units can’t use fists which makes sense because you’re on the back of a horse how are you going to punch someone; they can use fists when dismounted. There’s logic behind all of these design decisions except maybe the magic on non-magic ones being a blanket rule and not just a “nerf mounts, don’t let them use magic” rule.

This is because it uses the Gaiden/Echoes system of class base stat benchmarks that it will increase your stats to if they are not already there, but will not decrease any stats that are not there yet. This system is very helpful on units that have a lot of bad level ups, or you can exploit it and have your mage pass the Armor Knight exam to gain like 10 Def.

There’s 8-10 maps that are used for 16-20 paralogues and are all of your grinding maps. The amount of laziness there is astounding.

As I mentioned before, mounts can use gauntlets they just need to dismount. Since dismounting is a free action, move into combat range, dismount, equip gauntlet, profit.

I really like the monastery but I agree almost entirely with pik about it, save anything I’ve said here prior. I don’t think that’s the angle the criticism is coming from since I don’t agree with that and I do agree with pikmin.

Just because other games had the same problem doesn’t lessen the fact it’s still a problem here?

To be fair you can only feasibly do this on a non-NG+ playthrough at the very end of the game

Remember that on hard mode there’s a very limited amount of grinding

“Easily”, there’s still material costs and at no point can you repair weapons and can’t just purchase a brand-new version of the same weapon for double-ish the cost (assuming it isn’t forged, but also repair costs for a forged weapon are the same as forging a new one?); the opposite happens before the forge is unlocked, but that scenario never occurs.

It fucks with gameplay-story integration when you go to the same place when you’re supposed to be in the north of the kingdom and right outside the monastery


Thank goodness I’m not the only one. I don’t hate Three Houses but NOBODY was talking about the problems until now.


I definitely agree on the monastery, there’s so much to do there that you end up spending half of the game doing stuff there. If the monastery was cut in half, it would be much less of a waste of time.

Yeah, the movement is very SoV-like. It seems that IS still hasn’t realized just how broken move is. Honestly, I would be fine with the larger maps if classes started with 5/7 move at beginner and went +1 per tier, capping at 8/10. It’s the terrible move that makes the maps feel large.

The gender locked classes are stupid. Seriously, there are female warriors, which have only been in Fates so far, but no female heroes, despite there being so since FE4. Gremory is female only, leaving male mages with only dark knight, and war master is male only, leaving female warriors with either great knight or wyvern lord, both of which require excessive tutoring in other ranks.

The classes themselves are pretty dumb, especially the master tier. Swords only have mortal savant to go to, no mounted class option except falcoknight (which is female only). Bows have bow knight, that’s it, while axes have great knight, wyvern lord, and war master.

Every class has to train in some extra rank all the way up to A for a chance at master tier. You pretty much have to play the game planning out exactly which character must become what class, which shouldn’t be necessary.

I did like Three Houses overall, not my favorite FE game, but certainly better than GBA, at least. The class issues still did bother me, though. I think that with better move, less/no gender locked classes, and more classes overall, maybe a class restriction list like Shadow Dragon, Three Houses would have had more incentive to use different classes.

I do like the Gaiden style reason and faith magic, to me, light magic is just kinda redundant and bad. Dark magic is really similar to anima magic, they should have been more different, been different ranks entirely, or merged together.

I feel that using any weapon outside of the class’s main weapon is useless, but for a different reason. Each class has a faire skill that gives +5 attack power when using weapons. I was excited at first to have paladins with axes, but disappointed to learn that they get +5 attack on lances, just making them better. The weapon triangle does exist as skills, but I find it to be inconsequential, really.

Enemy design is another gripe of mine. All enemies wield normal weapons, no ranged, no effectives, no killer or brave either. It becomes really boring to face the same enemies with the same weapons over and over again. The enemy tiers are also all over the place. One paralogue has a pegasus knight boss (1st tier), a paladin boss (2nd tier), and a holy knight boss(3rd tier), for example. All in the same map. There is just a huge lack of consistency with promotions, there’s a paladin boss in chapter 3 but a thief boss in chapter 13. The enemy design is a huge gripe of mine and it really irritates me.

Overall, there are a lot of things in Three Houses that do bother me, but I like the game as a whole and I find it fun to play and mess around with.


A point I haven’t seen explicitly brought up, but would like to bring up myself, is that the game… is very very easy, even on hard classic.

I’d say I’m an average player, and I have yet to use a divine pulse or lose a unit over halfway through the game on hard/classic. This partially feeds into the customization/micromanagement argument, as these features give you ways to create such powerhouses with minimal effort or thought that enemies cannot keep up.

Besides the rare effective damage or awful matchup, enemies consistently don’t pose a threat to my army, to the point where I have several units do their best FE7 Marcus on enemy phase impression every map. The few more threatening enemies are pretty easily trivialized through gambits and combat arts, of which the enemy doesn’t have access to or rarely uses smartly.

I know that Lunatic/Infernal are said to be on the way, but given the map design, I’m not confident this will be anything more than stat and skill inflation. Enemies could do to have buffed stats here and there, but will still likely lack the customizable tools available to the player. As far as skills, some Awakening and Fates design choices make me shudder at what abilities IS would casually slap onto enemies in these modes.

Granted, I haven’t finished the game, but that’s partly because I’ve lost quite a bit of interest due to things stated above. Actual story-progressing maps seem like an afterthought in this game to the real theater of optimization and dialogue, which is a shame. Hopefully Lunatic mode proves me wrong and IS makes some changes that require more careful play, but I’m not optimistic at the moment.


i think part of the problem with the class system is simply that it feels like the games lying to you because most of the master class options are more sidegrades then upgrades, not helped by the ‘use any weapon ya like’ approach meaning say a promotion to wyvern lord from rider doesnt hold that same sense of improvement and moving forward due to a lack of stat gains and no jingle of ‘you can now use a new weapon type!’ mechanically speaking anyways.
personally id try and fix that by merging the advance and master tier together and move a few classes around. wyvern rider gets bumped down to intermediate, war master is either removed or gets a new function, and level requirements are less outrageous to obtain ‘mixed classes’ (say instead of an A armour and B in horses for great knight you simply need a B in both of them or maybe a B in armour a C in horses) to encourage experimentation. that an rebalanced class statistics to make a distinct enough difference between fortress knight and great knight to incentive’s chosing one over the other.

I do like the monestary though, but the frank truth of the matter is that if you simply ignore it you can probably comfortably beat the game in half the time and even if you do bother with it, its mostly just a formality in the war phase and even in the school phase if you arent interested in recruiting other students aside from some story and lots of flavour text.
i honestly really love the idea of the monastery, i just feel that something like it would be better served if instead of the months set up three houses had it was instead placed in a traditional fe structure and served as an interactive preparations screen/home base of sorts that changed every time you beat a story map to reflect current progression, maybe add a few quick select features for those who really dont want to bother with it.

im a bit of a weirdo with map design and i honestly dont mind most of these maps aesthetically, even though they are repeated ad nauseum especially if you do auxiliary battles, but it does feel like they simply needed more to actually do on them then tramp in a straight line and KILL EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM mechanically speaking and well a lot of fire emblem maps can be accused of this to some extent its especially aggregeous here.

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Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Lunatic has actually already been datamined.

Lunatic Spoilers

The difficulty seems to be wholly artificial. Enemies have stat inflation and seem to have more skills - I couldn’t tell you if it was thoughtful (a la Conquest) or just random skills (a la Awakening lunatic / lunatic plus). Some archers had poison strike so make of it what you will. The worst offender, however, is that reinforcements are now ambush spawns. I mean, it is more difficult, just like how in FE10, being unable to see enemy ranges is more difficult.


Not playing lunatic unless it is designed by Scraiza

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Gotta love fake difficulty. I can’t wait to play fog of war maps with ambush spawns with poison strike. Really makes the game harder, and harder is always more fun, right?

Lunatic probably wouldn’t be as bad as it sounds with the turnwheel, it’ll help ease some of the frustration, but it’s still poor design. They might remove some turnwheel uses, though, that’s what I’m afraid of.


The only beef I had has to do with the monster/material system. You are heavily encouraged to go out on weekend missions to hunt monsters to get 1. relics like parthas and mercurius and 2. the materials to forge the highest tiers of weapon (ie dragon claws, hauteclare, etc). However, by being repeatable missions, they use the most basic of repeatable maps to short cut on production costs, which amplifies the grind-y nature of the missions, and breaking all four sides to get material drops is only mentioned in passing in what is likely the 20th tutorial box you’ve read so far.

Having said that, the character writing is strong for a good chunk of the cast, the upgrade in hardware did a lot of good for the visuals, and splitting paths + new game plus go a long way into making this a game worth sinking my teeth into as a long term fan of the series


Something I like to keep in mind when I think about how easy 3H is is that I think that we, as the hacking community, generally look at Fire Emblem as needing to cater to our playstyle (generally more heavily strategy based, quick-paced, etc) and something more difficult. I feel that this community, in general, has high expectations for Fire Emblem truly being heavily strategy-based and being difficult, but most casual players that just play FE for fun (which I’d like to note, there are way more of those than there are of us) are probably looking for something more at the pace of 3H’s Hard mode or even Normal mode. Sure, there are some lazy decisions about reusing maps and whatnot, and there are some pretty uniform flaws that most people agree on, but I think condemning it as “easy” and “unbalanced” isn’t a fair criticism because the hacking community’s perspective on FE gameplay is probably quite different from any casual player just looking to play the next game in the series, or even that’s getting introduced to the series.

Point is, yes the game has it’s flaws, but I think it’s important to look at some decisions as intentional to appeal to newcomers or casual players, since they make up the majority of the groups buying the game. Nintendo knows we have our community where we can hack things to suit “our” playstyle. As with any game, it’s important to keep in mind there are multiple ways it can be played, and what matters at the end of the day is if the player had fun. I had fun playing 3H, even though it was easy and repetitive, so therefore, I think it’s a good game despite it’s flaws.


I’d say it’s entirely legitimate for older fans of the series to complain about the game being casualized to appeal to a wider audience. It might make financial sense for IS to do so but that doesn’t mean people have to like it (and there are ways to find a happy medium, too.)

It’s also possible to argue that balance matters a lot towards a game that’s supposed to be easy for new players to pick up and run with. Would you want new/casual players having to worry a lot about class/character choices, because some choices are significantly better than others? Probably not.

That’s not really a meaningful statement when you’re talking about a game’s design choices. ‘but I had fun’ matters in regards to ‘did I get my money’s worth out of this game’, it doesn’t matter in regards to ‘is this game’s class system flawed?’


“Why Three Houses Actually Sucks”

The click bait is strong with this one.


The real reason 3H sucks is because they went back to gender limitations for classes.


Going to agree with this reply. It reminds me of the situation with Smash Bros, personally. Making the game worse for experienced players doesn’t actually improve the casual experience. The purpose of having difficulty selection is explicitly to cater to a more experienced audience, which it fails at.


More than like half of the quests are optional. This sounds terrible and all but then you realize you are forced to do it like 5 times. Monastery is like the only consistent and easy way to increase motivation to high points. If you know the characters lost items can take at most 1 minute and 30 seconds. All this stuff is just beneficial to you and doesn’t take a lot of time if you manage it well. I don’t really see a lot of the “issues” with the monastery when half of it is just optional.


Cheh. Maybe if Three Houses had the creator of FE7 Chaos Mode working for them, they could make a properly difficult game. Sadly, they lack the influence to obtain his infinite wisdom and perfect guidance! Sad!


I’d also add it’s good to be critical of things you like because that will help them get better if the devs actually listen. Especially given IS’s inclination to experiment (which is one of their strengths, especially in a gaming landscape where many series lean into sameness to maintain appeal), it is even more important to blast out what is done poorly so that they either remove it or make tweaks in future entries.

Imagine if the community didn’t rag on fates for having the deep realms, poor story, and shoehorned child units. We probably would’ve gotten something similar had we not critiqued it for those reasons. And based on general feedback, it’s clear they leaned more into customization of your units because a lot of people were into that.