So Iíve been thinking about numbers lately, partly because I want to pick up my game again in the future with a few extra modifications, and partly because numbers are awesome. With that in mind, I was looking at character creation rules and ways of catering to different play styles through base numbers; i.e., I want the option of having characters that suck early, but are great later, characters that are good the whole way, and others that start strong, but offer less late game (but still arenít useless!). Where did this lead me? Well, I have seen a number of forum emblem games that used all sorts of methods to allow this, but all of them struck me as a pretty bad trade off one way or another, or were a tacked on rule just because people wanted it. That being said, if you have one of these in your game, donít take offence, it was inspiration on your ideas that got me to do this! Anyway, the tradeoff is always between growths and base numbers, assuming some kind of equality at 5% to 1, but if you look at it from a late game perspective, itís more like 1.9 to 1, or two-to-one, if you like rounding. So if you weaken your early game, you can double everything you lose, which is reasonable within limitations. Turn that around, and everything you take early on costs you a point later, meaning you end up, as expected, behind the people that went for the strong late game.
So thatís how I got to this chart. This was the first iteration for me, defining each trade equally and ending every transaction with the same goal. After crunching some numbers and simply looking at what I wrote, I realized just how insanely bad the balance was if I was to offer all nine of these options. Who would ever want to play the hyper-Nino when you could play the 60-2.45 option? Both end with the same number of stats, so there is no reason to gimp your character in the early game when the promise of late game power is gone. This was a problem, of course, because the game doesnít and shouldnít work this way.
Letís look at a system where 50 is the base and 300% growths are normal, hp is 1:1 and there is no need for Con or both Mag and Str.
The difference between any one pair is 5.4, and the difference between the extremes is double that, 10.8. In this closed set of numbers, bounding at 6/30% in either direction keeps the numbers rather balanced, but it does not really allow for a sort of Jeigan character, or Est/whatever, but at the same time, increasing at the same rate would cause the higher base character to fall away entirely, while the higher growths would become very powerful late game.
What does all this mean? Well, for one, I need to do more research into base numbers and growths for fire emblem games, but also that I need to look at what the tradeoff means. Is a two-to-one trade fair both ways? Iím not sure. Iíve made literally dozens of characters just to analyze different growths and bases just for fun, and usually, the point where the average character beats out the high base character is before promotion, and the high growths character beats them just after promotion, and then high growths beats normal around half way to 20/20. I think that is rather fair, but I feel that the high base character falls off a little too far.
Up next: Alternate systems for wider ranges of base stats and growths, then new numbers for weapons, class caps, promotion gains?
tl;dr: I should never have free time at work.