Fire Emblem Genesis

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Chaos Theory Applied to Tiering

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1 Chaos Theory Applied to Tiering on Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:10 pm

As there seems to be a growing trend of using PE to work out reasonable character levels, support times, etc, I feel it’s worth bringing this idea of mine to public attention.

Maybe I should start with an example. You have some random character (say FE8 Kyle) responsible for countering 4 enemies on EP. He ends up leaving them all with 1-2 hp, gaining 43 exp in the process. Now suppose he got 1 str above his average, and stick him in the same situation. Suddenly all 4 enemies die, and he’s gained 1.5 levels. The consequences of this carry out in the long term, as now Kyle has an easier time killing enemies, which means gaining more exp than when he was just short of landing 1RKOes, so his development accelerates spectacularly.

In another scenario, you have someone who’s borderline on doubling (say FE9 Jill). She gains a level-up mid-chapter but fails to procure speed, and is thus doomed to fail doubling the rest of the chapter. Just like in the Kyle example, her development in the chapter suffers rather dramatically because of the long-term consequences of her unfortunate level-up. If you want a more concrete FE9 example, look at chapter 12. If the speedier units on the team are capable of doubling the ravens (particularly Marcia), their exp gain will skyrocket, their ORKOing ability will increase in C13, and their development curve will jump exponentially.

I guess my point is, something as little as a missed 78 display hit can have a huge effect on the trajectory a character’s performance takes over the game, which in turn impacts our impression of them. If debater A assumes Lowen is lv 13/0 in chapter 20 and another assumes he’s 15/0, the latter person’s Lowen might reach 20/3 literally twice as fast because he can double a common enemy, or get 4HKOed often instead of 3HKOed, or just managed to 1HKO mages reliably in a mage-heavy chapter, and the list goes on.

Tl;dr be careful when using PE as an argument in a tier setting. You have to account for chaotic factors that can make a character doing mediocre to suddenly become amazing, or vice versa.

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