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Fire Emblem: Three Houses, out now

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Think of the red lines as preferred target as opposed to their actual target.

In other news. Lunatic mode has been datamined. Here are the known changes.

Spoiler

Buffed enemies (chapter 1 boss is now level 9 instead of level 3), all archers know poison strike, all thieves know pass and bosses (including the death knight) move off their forts. Also a higher difficulty has been found (infernal mode) but is not functional yet.

 

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Changes sound good so far. What is "pass" for thieves?

 

The unlocked boss movement is probably the best change. It always seems stupid to me that they just sit there whilst you wipe out their minions 2 squares away, and then sit there whilst you surround them. Even at my late stage in the game I've always managed to take down the humanoid bosses in one or two attacks, making them very underwhelming. In fact some of the major story bosses I could just shoot with one arrow, or send in Byleth with a special attack and take them out in 1 hit, that kind of kills the dramatic tension a lot.

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The problem is that a lot of maps end as soon as you kill the boss, which can be annoying if you're still trying to grab treasure or mop up other enemies. So I'd rather they stay put for that reason. They are definitely underpowered though. In older FE games they were generally much tougher, and you often had to really band together to beat them, or abuse the mounted units' rescue command (which I miss from this) to attack then get out of range again.

11 minutes ago, Alan Stock said:

Changes sound good so far. What is "pass" for thieves?

It allows them to run through enemy units so you can't block their paths.

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Got to what I guess is the 'middle' point in the story on Friday.

 

Spoiler

I loved the older versions of all the students, especially as I'd played it for so long by that point that I'd genuinely got to know them all a little bit, so seeing them grown up a bit was quite heartwarming.

 

A couple of minor niggles:

The battle where it's just you and the house leader against tons of bandits, then all your ex-students re-join you middle battle was really good fun, but slightly spoiled by the fact that none of the students I'd recruited from the other houses joined the battle.  I have about 8 more students from other houses, and at first I thought they hadn't made it into the future, as they didn't join the battle, but then they all magically appeared later in the monastery.  I get that it might be a bit of a hassle to get them in the cut-scenes, but there seems no reason why every extra student I'd recruited couldn't have joined that battle, making me ridiculously overpowered.  Having them not appearing reminds you again of the clunky nature of the game system, rather than making me think of them all as real characters and friends.

 

Also, the monastery has hardly changed!  There was one room with a smashed ceiling and loads of rubble on the floor, which was brilliant, but other than that just a couple of bits of wooden scaffolding.  It really jarred with the cutscenes telling me the monastery had been attacked and abandoned, but once the game starts it's looking and functioning pretty much identically to how it was before the 5 year gap.

 

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This game went from hot to not fairly quickly for me.

 

A few things contribute, but these are my main thoughts:

 

1) You get OP too quickly

2) Being OP means the lessons and stuff are basically pointless

3) I was just wishing the monestary stuff away

4) Inter character relationships sometimes done well but jarringly badly written pieces mean you end a mission best friends with someone and then next cutscene they are openly hostile to you again

 

Didn't make it past part 1.

 

 

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On 19/08/2019 at 09:43, Ste Pickford said:

Got to what I guess is the 'middle' point in the story on Friday.

 

  Hide contents

I loved the older versions of all the students, especially as I'd played it for so long by that point that I'd genuinely got to know them all a little bit, so seeing them grown up a bit was quite heartwarming.

 

A couple of minor niggles:

The battle where it's just you and the house leader against tons of bandits, then all your ex-students re-join you middle battle was really good fun, but slightly spoiled by the fact that none of the students I'd recruited from the other houses joined the battle.  I have about 8 more students from other houses, and at first I thought they hadn't made it into the future, as they didn't join the battle, but then they all magically appeared later in the monastery.  I get that it might be a bit of a hassle to get them in the cut-scenes, but there seems no reason why every extra student I'd recruited couldn't have joined that battle, making me ridiculously overpowered.  Having them not appearing reminds you again of the clunky nature of the game system, rather than making me think of them all as real characters and friends.

 

Also, the monastery has hardly changed!  There was one room with a smashed ceiling and loads of rubble on the floor, which was brilliant, but other than that just a couple of bits of wooden scaffolding.  It really jarred with the cutscenes telling me the monastery had been attacked and abandoned, but once the game starts it's looking and functioning pretty much identically to how it was before the 5 year gap.

 

 

There are a few other subtle differences, but yeah, I agree with every word of this otherwise. (I'd only recruited a couple, though.)

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2 hours ago, Kevvy Metal said:

I'm playing the Blue Lions and just scrapped by a fight with no one left. 

Literally I have Dimitri and Mercedes left alive. 

 

Have I boned it all?

 

Depends how good your Dimitri and Mercedes are. But yeah, I'd reload. (And use Divine Pulse next time.)

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15 minutes ago, Rudderless said:

 

Depends how good your Dimitri and Mercedes are. But yeah, I'd reload. (And use Divine Pulse next time.)

 

Yeah I likely will just restart. It's really excellent so It'll likely be really enjoyable playing through the start again. 

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You’re only screwed if you’re playing on hardcore, otherwise it doesn’t really matter. The experience points may not have been distributed evenly, but that’s about the only downside. 

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Did this have a limited print run, so to speak? It's been out of stock on Amazon for about two weeks now. I've got a £10 credit voucher burning a hole in my pocket.

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25 minutes ago, Jamie John said:

Did this have a limited print run, so to speak? It's been out of stock on Amazon for about two weeks now. I've got a £10 credit voucher burning a hole in my pocket.

£39.95 at Base

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I'm 30 hours in now playing on Normal / Casual and I do like the game a lot but I cannot get over how familiar it feels to Trails of Cold Steel. There are a lot of the same story beats and both games even have one exchange student and so far I think I enjoyed CS more. Due to how small the text is when playing handheld I've played the game docked and apart from some pop in it's been very solid so far performance wise. 

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On 20/08/2019 at 13:23, Horribleman said:

This game went from hot to not fairly quickly for me.

 

A few things contribute, but these are my main thoughts:

 

1) You get OP too quickly

2) Being OP means the lessons and stuff are basically pointless

3) I was just wishing the monestary stuff away

4) Inter character relationships sometimes done well but jarringly badly written pieces mean you end a mission best friends with someone and then next cutscene they are openly hostile to you again

 

Didn't make it past part 1.

 

 

 

At 65 hours in, I mostly agree with this. I am completely over the monastery stuff by this point and the combat is just brain-dead easy and dull. I was relieved to reach part 2 after 40-odd hours or so as the whole thing needed a good shake up, only to find part 2 is almost identical to part 1 in every way except the plot. 65 hours in and my monastery options are still eat, sing, fish, grow plants.

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Playing on hard so I don't feel like the combat has gotten brain-dead but I am over the monastery stuff. At first it felt like it could be quite dynamic as the game progress but it's actually very static and fairly dull. I think I'm going to try to get to the time-skip, take a break while I play Control/Astral Chain/Zelda and then come back to it hopefully refreshed as I do like it and want to see what happens to some of the characters.

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Playing on Hard second time around I've found the battles finally get properly challenging in part 2. You have to take care with your unit choice, equipment and tactics, and I usually need multiple rewinds. It's great.

 

But at the same time, the monastery feels like a real waste of time now. I feel I need to do it to maximise the main character's skills, build motivation and improve a few support levels, but it doesn't seem worth the time it takes to do it and there's nothing more substantial (like recruiting in part 1) to hold it together.

 

I've stopped playing for now because it's just too time consuming for such slow progress. 

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The DLC will fix most complaints. Lunatic difficulty, new quests and extra battle maps are all coming. It’s inevitable that new areas of the monastery will open up too. They’ve held stuff back that should have been included from the start to shift season passes.

 

I’m coming up to part 2 on my second playthrough on hard. Golden Deer this time. I enjoy hanging out with the new class but Raphael’s brute force and Lysithia’s long range magic are something I should have saved for lunatic difficulty. The game would be a lot more challenging if I left those two at home but it is satisfying to watch them go on a rampage.

 

The paralogues are the hardest part of the game and the most interesting missions.

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After binging this for weeks I also got fatigued with it in Part 2 and I decided I needed a break and have been playing other new games instead. I'm playing on Hard, and the difficulty in Part 2 has been pretty good. On Normal it would probably be a cakewalk as by this point your squad are really lethal assuming you've been doing your monastery stuff and item management. Essentially its more a case of just make sure your squishies don't get ambushed by fliers and if you play sensibly you overwhelm your foes.

 

Apparently Black Eagle house has the hardest missions overall (which I'm playing), followed by Blue Lions and the easiest being Golden Deer.

 

Woe betide anyone who is playing on Normal, trapped in difficulty purgatory. I feel for those poor souls who realise about 20 hours in that Normal is just way too easy for them.

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To be honest, as I someone who generally finds these strategy type games boring and frustrating (Wargroove was a nightmare for me, one mistake late on and you've wasted an hour or more), I like how easy the combat is here. The fun of it for me is routing them as quickly as possible and with the most crits and support boosts and the like. I'm playing it for the whole package, bit of story and characters, bit of min-max grinding, bit of combat and it works well in that way. There's always something different to focus on for fifteen minutes, nicely balanced. I get that running round the monastery having conversations gets a bit old but I'm happy enough ticking off the quests and focusing on the characters I like/shagging Manuela. 

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Finally finished it - the last mission for the Black Eagle House play through on hard is really hard. It took me 31 turns and literally my last surviving character got the final blow, with enough health left that any counter attack would have killed them. 

 

The ending is a bit rubbish but I did get a little emotional reading about what everyone went on to do next. 

 

I'll double check but I think it took me 71 hours to finish. 

 

I'm curious to see the how differently the story can go and I will restart it on NG+, but I'm not sure I'll commit to actually finishing it again. I have a feeling I'll burn out before then. I might post the story summary you get at the end if I remember (and it's not too much hassle to post screenshots from the Switch) in case anyone is interested in how the story goes in this play through. 

 

The Season Pass is 22% off at Shopto (£17.50ish) and I'm tempted... although looking at it, there doesn't look to be any actual content available yet and the next couple of updates only have tentative end of October and end of December release dates, so there's not much point. 

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The patch notes say that you now get loads more 'renown' for starting a New Game + game.  What's the point of that?  As far as I can tell, renown is only used to upgrade the statues in the monastery, and I thought the upgrades to the statues carried on from a completed game to the next?  I'm about 80% of the way through, and have all but the last two upgrades on each statue, so they'll be close to being complete by the time I get to New Game +.


Is there another use for Renown?

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I have now beaten 3 of the 4 paths on hard mode.
I’m going to do the last on maddening mode on a new save so I can get the special reward.

The level of commitment you need to put in to get the full story is crazy. I don’t think the game was designed to be beaten in such a short time. It’ll probably be at least 3 years before the next main fire emblem game if they insist on making them this big now. 

Hopefully they will remake Genealogy of the Holy War, that game was ridiculously ambitious.

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First run through done with the Black Eagles. So much unfinished business.

 

Spoiler

I took the storyline where you follow Edelgard rather than the church. Will be interested to see what the other houses are like on NG+, it feels like there'll be a completely different side to the story if you remain with the church.

 

The S-rank relationship wound up being pretty disappointing. Beginning to think I should have picked Sothis just to see what happened. 

 

Another echoing of the difficulty being very low. I didn't spend a lot of time manually boosting stats or grinding but towards the end of the game Caspar had a 94% crit rate against regular enemies and was attacking twice with basically any weapon I threw at him.

 

Since a few other people did it, Black Eagles ranked in how useful they were over the course of the game:

 

Spoiler

S: Caspar, Dorothea, Edelgard, Byleth

A: Bernadetta, Petra, Linhardt

B: Ferdinand, Hanneman, Manuela, Shamir

C: Hubert, Alois

 

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I’ve been playing maddening mode on a fresh new game with no help from the DLC or online bonuses.

 

It’s very challenging. Chapter 5 was absolutely crazy difficult. It took me 5 hours to finish.

I love it.

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