Fire Emblem Genesis

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Tier List FAQ

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1 Tier List FAQ on Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:11 pm

Feel free to add in new content or reword paragraphs for the sake of clarity.

Q: What is a tier list?

A: It is a ranking system where characters are listed from best to worst based on how they contribute towards specific criteria. For example, we could make a tier list where characters are ranked based on the length of their name, with longer names netting you a higher ranking. Such a list might look as follows:

Cristopher
Benjamin
Allan
Roger
Denny
Brad
Chad
Eric
Bob

Since FE tier lists are usually quite large, it is common to make “tier separations” for aesthetic purposes. So our previous example could look like this:

Top tier

Cristopher
Benjamin

High tier

Allan
Roger
Denny

Low tier

Brad
Chad
Eric

Bottom tier

Bob

Usually, the criteria for a tier list will be one of the following:

a) Characters are compared based on how they contribute towards an efficient playthrough. By efficiency I am mainly referring to turn count and resource expenditure. Normally you’d expect a high tier unit to require fairly basic weapons and items while giving great returns in terms of their combat usefulness. Conversely, a lower ranked unit would probably require a lot of resources while giving less satisfactory combat returns.

B) Characters are compared based on how they contribute towards ranked runs. Note that only FE4-7 have an in-game ranking system. If we use FE7’s as an example, a unit is considered good if they make meaningful contributions to any of the tactics, survival, funds, experience or combat ranks. These set of criteria have largely been abandoned due to ranks that contradict each other (eg/ tactics and exp rank), as well as various other reasons I will not elaborate about here.

In addition, there are numerous assumptions that are universal to most FE tier lists.

-You only account for the contributions a character provides when they are playable. If a character starts off as say, an enemy before being recruited, then the actions that character takes as an enemy will not be held against his/her ranking.

-If a characters performs a function that is literally “necessary” to completing the game, said function is usually disregarded. The prime example of this would be lord characters who are forced to seize a throne to complete a map. If we actually accredited lords for said necessary contribution, they’d auto-top tier their respective list, which isn’t very interesting for comparison purposes.

-No RNG or glitch abuse of any kind. This should be pretty self-explanatory.

-The better a character is, the more likely they are to be in play in a given playthrough. This is mainly important when discussing supports.

Q: What are average stats/averages?

A: They are the statistics a character would have if they were just as likely to be RNG blessed as RNG screwed. We use average stats as the primary means of comparing 2 units statistically. Averages can be found on fea.fewiki.net, feplanet and of course here on serenes.

Q: Explain some of the common terminology used in FE tier lists and debates.

A:

-PEMN: Personal experience means nothing. This is a popular rebuttal to people who use their own personal experience alone to justify a character’s placement. The logic behind the acronym is that you cannot infer whether a character is good or bad in a game based so heavily on random chance because you could’ve simply ended up with a heavily RNG blessed or screwed character.

-DA / Doubling: Double attacking.

-AS: Attack speed.

-Avo: Avoid.

-Cev/ddg: Crit evade/dodge.

-RNG: Random number generator. If you didn’t already know, many aspects of the game such as level-ups and hit rates are based on random chance. If a character has say, a 50% strength growth and the RNG produces a value of 46, then that character will get a strength-up. If the random number produced is 78, then no strength-up will occur.

-RNs: Random numbers.

-RNG Screwed: When a character has stats below those of his or her simple average at any given level.

-RNG Blessed: When a character has stats above those of his or her simple average at any given level.

Sandbagging: Purposely misusing or sabotaging a character in a comparison with another. For example, denying a character an inexpensive buyable weapon would be obvious sandbagging since every character has an inherent claim to weapons.

Favoritism/Babying: Providing a unit with excessive preferential treatment. For instance, letting your worst unit solo a chapter would be blatant favoritism since it is not only inefficient but deprives your entire army of combat exp they could’ve used for statistic improvement.

Inflated level: Assuming a unit is at a higher level at any point in the game than the unit should reasonably be. Deciding what a resonable level is depends on the assumed team size as well as a few other factors, so it’s a tricky subject. Usually you’ll see debaters say things like “assuming a 10 man team, 1.4 levels per chapter sounds pretty reasonable”. It usually helps to substantiate these claims using exp formulas which can be found in the site’s calculation section for a specific game.

Feeding kills: Having one or possibly even several units weaken an enemy to low hp for another unit to finish off. The unit who’s dealing the finishing blow is the one metaphorically being spoonfed. This is considered a form of favoritism.

-NPC: Non-playable character. A character that cannot be controlled.

-Crit: Critical hit percentage.

-Critting: Landing a critical hit.

Mt: Weapon might.

Effective Mt: Tricky to explain so I’ll just jump to an example. If a hammer has 13 Mt, it has 26-39 effective Mt against armors/generals, depending on the game.

Atk: Attack power.

Wt: Weapon weight.

Weighed down: Refers to attack speed loss incurred by equipping a specific weapon.

-#HKO: Number hit KO. If I say Jeremy is 3HKOed by a steel axe!warrior, I mean Jeremy will die if a warrior using a steel axe hits him 3 consecutive times.

-#RKO: Number round KO. Similar idea to #HKO, except this time it refers to the number of rounds of combat a unit can face before dying.

If you do not see the distinction between #HKO and #RKO, consider the following example: Sam is 6HKOed by iron sword!myrmidons. However, these myrmidons can double her, so she’s 3RKOed.

-Real/true hit and display hit: Read here.

-Proc%: Procurage percentage. This refers to the chances of a character activating any number of skills at least once in a round of combat.

Let’s say Brennan has a 7% chance of critting a red dragon, and that he doubles said dragon. His odds of not critting the dragon at all are 0.93 x 0.93 x 100 = 86.49%. Thus his proc% is the complement of that, which is 13.51%.

Availability: The amount of chapters of playtime a specific unit has.

Durability: A unit’s ability to withstand enemy attacks. Thus, when looking at a unit’s durability, we examine the effectiveness of their hp, def, res and avo in regards to how well it allows them to survive enemy encounters.

Concrete durability: A unit’s ability to withstand enemy hits. Essentially, concrete durability is the same thing as regular durability except that we ignore avo.

Tank: Refers to a unit with impressive durability. As the analogy suggests, a tank is a sturdy unit that is difficult to take down.

Canto: The ability to re-move after certain actions.

WTA/WTD: Weapon triangle advantage / disadvantage.

WTN: Weapon triangle neutrality (eg/ fire tomes vs swords).

PC: Playable character.

Positive/negative utility: A commonly used term when assessing a unit’s worth to some hypothetical team in play. A unit offers positive utility if their contribution is good enough that they are worth fielding. Conversely, a unit offers negative utility if you were better off not using that unit to begin with. How we weigh positive/negative utility is a rather controversial issue in tier debates.

Resources: A term used to summarize (usually limited) things that can be consumed by player characters to improve their performance. For example a unit slot so they can be used in a chapter, or an amount of combat or bonus EXP, certain weapons, etc.

CEXP: Combat experience. The experience you gain from engaging in combat with enemies in a given chapter.

BEXP: Bonus experience.

SEXP: Staff experience.

Atk/kill exp: Attack/kill experience.

Q: I found some terminology I can’t follow that this guide doesn’t cover either.

A: Try checking here. Otherwise, just ask someone on the forum and they’ll likely help you out.

Q: Are there any FE debating guides out there to help me out?

A: Yes.

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2 Re: Tier List FAQ on Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:12 pm

I don't agree with the idea of tier separations being purely aesthetic. Obviously it will vary by the list, but I've always considered tier separations to be a useful way to group units by relative utility, aka the breaks between tiers should also indicate significant jumps in usefulness. In other words, I'd expect units in Middle tier to be unequivocally better than anyone in Lower Middle, and the reverse for Upper Middle.

Otherwise, there is no sense in even labelling the groups at all, since you could just crack them into random groups of 7 people purely to make it look pretty and easier to read, which is what "aesthetic" implies. Grouping by common utility makes for un-even sized groups, but that's by design.

Who agrees with this? If so, how would you word it in the FAQ?

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3 Re: Tier List FAQ on Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:59 pm

Tier breaks have a dual purpose. First, they are there for aesthetics, as no one wants to look at list that is 30+ names long. Second, they mark large gaps in usefulness. This makes it easier to tell the perceived usefulness of a character at the time.



Something like that.

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4 Re: Tier List FAQ on Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:07 pm

Vykan12 wrote:Who agrees with this? If so, how would you word it in the FAQ?
I agree with the obviously-intelligent remarks in your unattributed quote. The wording in the FAQ could say something like: "Tier separations tend to group units by approximate relative utility. The breaks between tiers generally indicate significant jumps in usefulness: in other words, the members of one group should be unequivocally better or worse than the units in tiers that exist above or below."

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5 Re: Tier List FAQ on Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:44 pm

Interceptor wrote:
Vykan12 wrote:Who agrees with this? If so, how would you word it in the FAQ?
I agree with the obviously-intelligent remarks in your unattributed quote.

Laughing Basketball Laughing

I laughed really hard. It might be hard to tell, but the first and last there are supposed to be laughing, and I figured dribbling a basketball could substitute for whacking something during the laughter.

I mean, I agree with the remarks and agree it is obviously intelligent, I'm just laughing because the way you phrased a self-pat on the back is funny.


But the wording in your post if fine.

Given the context, though:


Cristopher
Benjamin
Allan
Roger
Denny
Brad
Chad
Eric
Bob

Since FE tier lists are usually quite large, it is common to make “tier separations” for aesthetic purposes. So our previous example could look like this:

Top tier

Cristopher
Benjamin

High tier

Allan
Roger
Denny

Low tier

Brad
Chad
Eric

Bottom tier

Bob

I think it should fit as best as possible into the phrasing he uses (since he is the main author) and the position where he has the line. So something along the lines of:


Since FE tier lists are usually quite large, there will frequently be significant jumps in usefulness between some of the units. At these spots on the list, it is common to make “tier separations” to emphasize the difference between certain characters' usefulness.

So our previous example could look like this:

between the compact list and the list with separations.

Only with whatever modifications to phrasing needed to make it more Vykan-like.

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