Fire Emblem Genesis

screw playing, i want to argue about it on the internet


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The great compromise: "this guy gets played the whole game!"

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This concept has always annoyed me, because, well, it's stupid. There is absolutely nobody in their right mind who is going to deal with Jeigan's unusable stats mid-lategame. Don't even give me this bishop shit either, because I have access to a bunch of other magic users that can actually fight, or just plain loads of other bishops in general.

On the flip side you can't just say that not contributing ANYTHING in later chapters is a good thing [dondon, the ultimate anti-negative utility is sure to agree with this, as he always says that a unit's worst period is still a positive, so not being fielded at all surely<<<sucking, so sucking earlygame like Walt>not being fielded later like Jeigan] This is one of the many reasons why I think "omg no negative utility TOP TIER!!!!1111oneone" is far overblown. That and the great Merlinus issue, but that's another show.

My idea is this. A utility unit's good period is obviously to be considered, but that is all to be considered. Saying they have no future is not much better than having a shitty future, but their contributions are kept in mind and they are tiered based on only the time they are actually used. And obviously you have to take longevity into account, Jeorge is rather obsolete after one and a half chapters so even though he DOES gun down Wyverns for one chapter that's kinda where his use ends so he isn't going to instant top the list or anything.

I personally think this is the best way to solve this controversial issue, but I want opinions on this anyway.

I would have posted this in the FE6 board, but honestly it kind of applies everywhere so I posted it in General.

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This is a better place to post it anyway, since as you said it's a basically universal issue with many different FE's. I agree with your basic argument, but I think I'd arrive at it from a different starting point.

Most tier lists seem to be efficiency tier lists, ranking characters based on how they help that goal. In my opinion, a character like Jeigan stops helping you complete the game after a certain pont, and therefore should be assumed not to be used, otherwise he's slowing you down relative to someone else. I always operate under the assumption that the phantom tier player is not retarded, and doesn't do things that impede the goals of the tier list. Continuing to use Jeigan past his useful end of life is going to obscure the real gains that he offers your playthrough in earlygame.

FE10 Tormod is the same way. He's a beast and a half in Part 1, but when he reappears in Part 4 he's so underlevelled and behind your other units that using him is a chore. It's undeniable that training him in he rejoining chapter will slow down completion, or that taking an under-levelled Tormod into Endgame will make it harder to finish the game, because deployment slots actually matter and he's taking one up.

It comes down to what you want the tier list to measure. I think that "unit X is always deployed in all availible chapters" is incompatible with "efficiency tier list". Realistically, what the tier player would do in both of these situations is replace Jeigan or Tormod with a superior unit, and then we'd rank them based on how they helped earlygame (obviously they get no credit for what the replacement does).

This introduces the Lyre Problem, which is when a unit is so bad that they never actually have useful early, mid, or endgame utility, and merely trying to use them seriously at all is auto-Garbage tier. Then you're left looking at things like "how useful is it that Lyre can shove someone", etc. Fortunately I think there aren't many of these people in most games.

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The problem with not fielding a unit after their good period is over is that it turns into a 100% efficiency tier list rather than reflecting on the unit's usefulness. Basically, even mid tiers will end up not doing anything as they get outclassed by others, and on a 100% efficiency list/run they won't be used either.

I like Mekkah's idea from the FE8 list on serenesforest.

WRT +/- utility: performance over the whole game is weighed, as otherwise we are reflecting a 100% efficiency playthrough, and not the actual value of a unit throughout the game. However, a time where you are bad weighs less against a unit if your good part is before your bad part.

So for Jeigan, Marcus, FE10 Sothe, etc., they are assumed to be used the whole time, but their period of suck receives a lesser penalty than normal, since they don't HAVE to do anything about it. For units that remain bad the whole game, like Fiona or Est or something, they have no choice.

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Horsedick.MPEG wrote:The problem with not fielding a unit after their good period is over is that it turns into a 100% efficiency tier list rather than reflecting on the unit's usefulness. Basically, even mid tiers will end up not doing anything as they get outclassed by others, and on a 100% efficiency list/run they won't be used either.

I like Mekkah's idea from the FE8 list on serenesforest.

WRT +/- utility: performance over the whole game is weighed, as otherwise we are reflecting a 100% efficiency playthrough, and not the actual value of a unit throughout the game. However, a time where you are bad weighs less against a unit if your good part is before your bad part.

So for Jeigan, Marcus, FE10 Sothe, etc., they are assumed to be used the whole time, but their period of suck receives a lesser penalty than normal, since they don't HAVE to do anything about it. For units that remain bad the whole game, like Fiona or Est or something, they have no choice.



And yet at the same time it isn't reflecting what they can do for us in the game if you penalize them for being bad for the last x chapters when they were oh so good for the first y chapters.

Unit a is good for 15 chapters and bad for 5. Game is 20 chapters. Unit b shows up in chapter 6 and is good for 15 chapters. Assuming by "good" I mean the ways in which they compare to both the rest of their team and the enemies is approximately equal for their good chapters. Approximately can of course mean that one unit does slightly better in those comparisons. By your method, it is quite literally impossible for A to be > B. Even if A does slightly better in the comparisons when both are good. Or if A's chapters 1 to 5 are longer or harder than unit B's 16 to 20. What about how "bad" unit b was in chapters 1 to 5? If you penalize unit A for 5 chapters in which no reasonable person is going to field him, then that is effectively the same as penalizing B for sucking in chapters 1 to 5. Because when smart people play neither are fielded during that time. One is by choice, the other is by design, but in the end neither has any business being on the field.

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I'm pretty sure this is about the H5 tier list, thus the Jeigan example.

I say in response: Jeigan is still Upper Mid, and is never going to fall lower than that. Most people argued characters above Jeigan themselves, feeling that they have more positive contributions, regardless of whether one believes negative utility exists or not.

Also, I mostly look at a character's negative period simply for the sake of not ignoring flaws, because let's face it, Wendell's awesome doesn't last the entire game as much as we would like it to.

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The problem with not fielding a unit after their good period is over is that it turns into a 100% efficiency tier list rather than reflecting on the unit's usefulness. Basically, even mid tiers will end up not doing anything as they get outclassed by others, and on a 100% efficiency list/run they won't be used either.

On paper this does make sense, but in practice it just doesn't.

Say we're around the point in FE6 where the team starts promoting, say 14x-15. I have a fully trained, non-RNG screwed Dick, Rutger, Alan, Lance, Echidna, Gonzales, and Percival just joined. This whole time I've been using OJ seriously with the intent to give him kills. Obviously he's notably worse than everybody else existing on the team by now, but I DID make the decision to use him this long, and it isn't like his performance against enemies sucks, so I might as well keep using him.

Marcus is a whole different story. By C16 Marcus will be unable to do anything productive at all unless you count rescuing or some shit as productive [Effing YUNO is better than him come on] and he'll get wiped off the map way too easy. I understand the double standard of "outclassed units are never played so mid tiers shouldn't be listerd at all", but there are different levels of outclassed.

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Both sides have pretty logical conclusions. Though, I would go with the one where the unit is fielded all the time. After all, a tier list reflects which units contribute to an efficient play through more than others do, and ranks them relatively. However, with the manner in which you suggest to tier them, the tier list is becoming some sort of 'noob walk through' where the player can see which units are the best to use at a certain point, which isn't exactly what a tier list is for.

The way I see it, "reflecting which units contribute to an efficient play through" means looking at what benefits and losses a unit carries with it. If it sucks, too bad for it. However, we did measure how well it performed during all the chapters it existed. There are better units, fine. However, if we would only field those units, there would be no point in tiering this sucky unit anyway, for there's a 0% chance he'll get fielded anyway... That's not the most logical approach, obviously. However, what approach do you suggest? Taking Narga's example...

Unit x is good in chapters 6 through 20, and bad in chapters 1 through 5.
Unit y is good in chapters 6 through 20, and has no bad period.

Assuming 'good' and 'good' are exactly the same, unit y is probably better than unit x. Of course that all depends on what our definition of negative utility is by now, which still isn't clear to me - I believe everyone still defines it as something different, which makes this more complicated an issue than I want it to be. So let's take two possibilities.

1: x build up negative utility for being bad for a certain period
2: x exists before y exists, and there builds up positive utility, though it's just very low

In the first case, y would turn out to be superior, because if x would be contributing those first five chapters, which he should if we're ranking him (...) his total value at the end of the game would be lower than y's. In the second case, x would turn out to be superior because he started building positive utility before y even existed, and they were equal during the entire period they were both there.

So I say "no" to ranking units only based on their good periods.

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The problem with fielding FE6Marcus for the entire game is that the tier list assumes efficient play, and fielding Marcus for all chapters goes directly against that. It's more efficient to field him early and then drop him around the midgame, hands down. So as long as this is one of the assumptions of the tier list, I don't see how you can argue anything else.

Likewise the argument of "but then mid tier and below units never used!" stems also from this assumption of efficiency. Indeed, the assumption of efficient play leads to the logical conclusion that most units below High or possibly Upper Mid have very small or entirely negligible chances to be seriously played. Once again, this is a fact that will exist so long as the tier list assumes efficiency.

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Most if not all current tier lists are efficiency tier lists. However, does that mean that

1: we always assume we play through the most efficiently, or
2: we assume we play as efficiently as possible with the units being played during that certain play through?

There is a huge difference between those two. But the latter makes the most logical sense to me.

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There's a difference between fielding some Mid tier unit and fielding Marcus in the later stages of the game, and that's that Marcus is pure 100% dumbshit useless past chapter 10. Has nothing to do with how badly he's being outclassed by everyone else, he just sucks, the end. Mr. Mid tier can actually semi-compare to the team if trained and leveled (or really, just doing something besides sucking completely is way better than anything Marcus does), using Marcus lategame has about as much of a point as sticking a melted candy bar in your pants and throwing those pants into the washer/dryer.

I'm not saying the time a utility unit sucks should be IGNORED, I'm saying it needs to be perceived as them not contributing as long as other units, because it's a much, much, MUCH more realistic scenario.

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I'm not saying the time a utility unit sucks should be IGNORED, I'm saying it needs to be perceived as them not contributing as long as other units, because it's a much, much, MUCH more realistic scenario.

That's more along the lines of net vs gross, which I think is a somewhat different topic.

Most if not all current tier lists are efficiency tier lists. However, does that mean that

1: we always assume we play through the most efficiently, or
2: we assume we play as efficiently as possible with the units being played during that certain play through?

There is a huge difference between those two. But the latter makes the most logical sense to me.

The latter is certainly more practical, as it's the conditions under which low mid and below units must be tiered, since in a max efficiency run those units have very little or nothing to contribute.

However, 98% of the time, you're only comparing two units. For example, OJ vs Lilina, or Bartre vs Rebecca, or w/e, which translates to "OJ + team" vs "Lilina + team," and etc. The assumption of efficient play leads to the conclusion that in those cases, "team" (i.e. the other units on the team besides the ones you're comparing) will generally be high/top tiers, with maybe one or two upper mid tiers. Whether or not this is correct is the more important question, since people sometimes try to go against this conclusion. For example, IOS recently arguing that Ogma doesn't have a monopoly on high-level swords due to the existence of Navarre and Athena.

Also take note that some units will be used for a certain period no matter what units you've "chosen" to be your "main team" on any given playthrough. Chad and Marcus in FE6 for example. Not using them during the early chapters is stupid at best, regardless of who else is on the team. From what I can see, this should by default elevate them above any units who aren't on the best or near-best "main team."

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If negative economic profit is taken into consideration, then choosing to not play a character when his economic profit drops below 0 is perfectly valid. When tiering a character, you are supposed to attempt to maximize his usefulness. You just have to not give that character credit for not occupying a unit slot, but I don't believe anyone here does that.

If normal profit is taken into consideration, then there is no reason not to play a character during his whole existence.

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If normal profit is taken into consideration, then there is no reason not to play a character during his whole existence.

I don't see how just doing normal profit instead of economic leads to this conclusion. Under the net system, Bartre being fielded creates perhaps 2 points of negative utility, while Raven being fielded creates 2 points of positive utility. Under the gross system, it changes to something like Bartre creating 2 points of positive utility vs Raven creating 6 points. In both cases the player will choose the superior option, Raven, every time. In both cases there is no reason to use Bartre and as a result he is rarely or never used.

Obviously I could be completely misunderstanding things, but that's how it seems to me. A team of top tiers still creates a greater normal profit than a team of low tiers.

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CAT5 wrote:Obviously I could be completely misunderstanding things, but that's how it seems to me. A team of top tiers still creates a greater normal profit than a team of low tiers.
Yes, this difference in normal utility is economic utility. But in a real life economic situation, a firm will operate as long as normal utility is positive; likewise in FE a unit will be used as long as normal utility is positive, even if economic utility is not.

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This leads to the conclusion that all units will be used, as all units create a normal profit. But this is impossible because, well, the game doesn't let you do that. Despite the fact that all units create a normal profit if deployed, the game forces you to choose a certain number of units and keep the others off the field.

Presumably in a real life economic situation, if a company has 30 factories and is forced to close down 20 of them, it will choose to keep the 10 most productive. This is much more indicative of the situation in most FE games (iirc you can always use everyone in FE4, so that's the exception). How do you handle this issue with normal profit?

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You're asking the question of which units will be used, whereas I'm asking the question of which units will not be dropped assuming that they are used. I'm going under the assumption that a unit is assumed to be used when considering his position on the tier list, so your question is irrelevant in the first place because it deals with economic profit instead of normal profit.

Once you begin to say "I'm using only the 10 best," that's already taking economic profit into account. Obviously only the best should be used, but when tiering a character, the character needs to be used in the first place, so our initial question is thrown out the window.

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It's not about Jeigan not being in the top 10 anymore.

It's about Jeigan sucking so bad after a certain point that he can't function as anything.

At all.

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You're asking the question of which units will be used, whereas I'm asking the question of which units will not be dropped assuming that they are used. I'm going under the assumption that a unit is assumed to be used when considering his position on the tier list, so your question is irrelevant in the first place because it deals with economic profit instead of normal profit.

Once you begin to say "I'm using only the 10 best," that's already taking economic profit into account. Obviously only the best should be used, but when tiering a character, the character needs to be used in the first place, so our initial question is thrown out the window.

Indeed. Why is a gross system of utility required in order to tier those lower end units, though?

Using bad units is a bad idea and won't be done in general, period.

Thus, actually using those bad units requires you to temporarily suspend the assumption of efficient play for them, which is different from using the gross system (i.e. measuring their normal profit). A gross system is not required in order to suspend efficient play for a particular unit. The exact same condition can be applied under the net system.

Assume that Bartre contributes 2 points of negative utility when used under the net system, and Rebecca contributes 3 points of negative utility if used. Changing from net to gross, their contributions flip over to something like 3 points of positive utility for Bartre vs 2 points of positive utility for Rebecca.

In both cases the gap in their contributions should be roughly the same. I see no particular reason that a gross system is required to tier them. Simply throwing them down under a net system and seeing who is less negative should yield the same results as tiering them under a gross system, and both cases require that you make an exception to the assumption of efficient play in order to allow their long-term use.

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