Introduction Welcome to the postgame of Fire Emblem Mafia II. I started writing this around 2 days after the game officially ended, and I don't expect it to be ready for another few months or so. But that's okay, postgame don't always have to be ready right after the game ends even if my last few games did manage that. But those games weren't so freaking huge, and I had to cut down on my postgame writing plans and change this introduction paragraph just because of that. A longer postgame would mean I'm really only writing this for the avid reader Lightwolf, and even he might only have found this sentence because he's using Ctrl-F. Don't worry though, I'm still going to talk about a lot of stuff. Let's start off at the beginning... First off, for anyone who got inspired by this game and plans on making his own TCG-style game, big or not: I would recommend against it, at least for now. For several reasons: - It is really, really hard on the host. I knew what I was getting into, and I'm pretty sure zorbees knew as well. We both had a load of free time, we were both willing to sit through hour-long updates multiple times, and in my case, I had experience hosting this kind of game. - Hosting more games of the same formula shaves off appeal from both games. Who remembers how exciting it was to have outside communication? Or to be a villager facing not one but two mafia teams? Or when there were no longer any generic villagers? Or to have aliases to hide behind? Or to have items in a game? Once upon a time, none of these were true. Now, they are nothing special. It's because these ideas have been used again and again, to the point where we almost assume these are part of the game. In addition, the familiarity with this style of play will make the game repetitive. Right now, most experienced people know exactly how to play out a 2v1 game: the mafias collab to neutralize the village, the wolf tries to keep the factions equal, the village tries to unite behind a centralized village leader (or leader group) as fast as possible and either tries to keep both mafia teams around equal or focuses on one to eliminate their Night kill (PS hint to future village leaders, go for either one of these approaches. One is arguably better than the other, when you've chosen one approach, stick with it. Don't end up like the dude village. TIA) Right now, the "TCG-style" still has a bit of freshness to it, but I'm pretty sure it'll be gone next time you host a game like this. Invent something new. So why did I do it? I hosted TCG to test this format for a bigger game, and TCG was a huge success, while it was still not fully fleshed out. This is a huge chance from 2v1. In addition, the idea of custom alliances in particular was very appealing to me. In this format, you can work with every single person in the game (barring your direct enemies, and you would have to backstab some of your groupmates if you worked with more than one). But this game design didn't start out like this. One of the reason it took me this long is because it has been overhauled time and time again, never quite reaching my satisfaction. Let's start at the beginning... Exhibit A Exhibit B I tried to take suggestions the best I could, but of course preferences change over time. At first, my co-host was porygon3 and the game was going to be some sort of sequel to Mafia Mafia. It would focus less on flavor and more on inventive roles, money, and balance. You would have seen the return of the Mafia Mafia factions, where some people would have their own agenda even though they are technically alligned with one of the factions. Custom Win Conditions, kind of, but think Mafia Mafia moreso than Fire Emblem I. The factions would've been a little like MGS Mafia (or Tactial Game, whatever you wanna call it), where some people are set up to mole another faction, and some factions have soft alliances with each other. Then it turned out porygon3 kinda stopped caring about mafia and moving into uni or college or something, so I was without a cohost for a bit. Our first talks were about other games: the Survivor Mafia he was making and later ended up hosting and canceling (guess we had that in common...god, I hate canceled games). Then I had him recruited into the TOYS. On September 7 2010, the idea of hosting a big together emerged. This was before Pokémon TCG Mafia was hosted, mind you, but I was already working on that one back then. When I hosted that, we continued talking about the complex game...then on October 21, the idea of Fire Emblem Mafia II somehow popped up. [21:04:28] <Mekkah> right now the sheet is just some roles i cooked up [21:04:34] <Mekkah> but i like this item trade system a lot [21:04:41] <Mekkah> so we can morph it to another trading game like this [21:04:53] <Mekkah> it also gives me an excuse to theme it after fire emblem ~___~ [21:04:57] <Mekkah> but i might not do that [21:04:58] <zorbees> lol [21:05:04] <zorbees> i would support that [21:05:04] <Mekkah> sure makes everything easier to design though [21:05:14] <Mekkah> fe mafia 1 was fun but poorly designed [21:05:16] <zorbees> i like fe but i'm not a hardcorer [21:05:22] <Mekkah> ok that is a good thing to hear So from there we wiped the slate clean and started working on Fire Emblem Mafia. It was pretty much always going to be TCG style from here if my memory serves. Here's an early enemy chain zorbees made, one of the things that affirmed me that zorbees was a good choice for co-hosting this kind of game. At this point, the game was going to be as balanced as possible when it came to the weapon triangle. He made it so that you never have to kill anyone with the same weapon as you, the same group as you, or anyone with WTD or WTA over you (with the exception of Anima 3, who had to kill Lance 5 and 6). And your enemies would never be of the same group as each other, either. This is different from the chain we ended up using in one crucial aspect: it doesn't have mutual enemies. The guy you have to kill has to kill someone else. Later, I decided it would be better to go back to mutual enemies like in TCG, the main reason being that I never liked it how you can lose if your mortal enemy's targets just so happen to die. You can argue that "you should have found and killed your target faster" if that happens, but imagine losing to someone randkilling your enemy's targets. We have enough randing problems as it is, let's not make it worse. Plus, the mutual system is more simple. And simplicity is exactly what I wanted, believe it or not. That sounds very odd, since the game was more complex than any game possibly done before...the best way to explain it is that I thought the game was difficult enough to understand as it was, and therefore, whenever I would have to make a decision between making the game more complex (which often goes hand in hand with more difficult to understand, but also deeper in strategy) or more simple (which might have the opposite effect), I should be choosing the latter. This worked well for me in TCG Mafia. So from here the game was a lot of brainstorming up characters and roles, adding and removing things, kind of like an artist throws paint at a canvas then randomly starts erasing. I resigned myself to the fact that no matter what I did, this game would have some imbalanced parts that I would overlook or have no reasonable way to fix without giving everyone the exact same role and stats. So instead of giving myself a headache by doing the impossible, I decided to have some fun instead. This is why I put this disclaimer in the sign-up thread: Look extra closely at the last sentence, because I'm going to refer back to it quite a few times. The people who won or got close to winning were not necessarily those with good roles, but those who found the perfect balance between sticking their neck out to get allies and trades, and keeping their alias hidden to avoid being piggybacked on early. Back to the whole brainstorming bit, either we would be like "this character is cool, let's put him in the game" or "here's a funny role idea, let's think of a character to suit it". I tried the best I could to exclude characters that are boring, non-memorable, etc. Saying this is my top50 favourite characters in Fire Emblem would be wrong (needs a lot more Mordecai in there), but you won't find any laughably boring/standard characters such as Noah or Sothe in here. It's a shame this kind of format didn't really allow me to get loose with posting restrictions... So first came characters with some roles. Then I randomized them over groups and switched things around so that weapons would be somewhat evenly presented in groups (swords and magic being by far the most common, of course). From there I took a while to assign two rows of enemies to characters. Oh yeah, on those enemies. TCG only gave you one arch nemesis, but I thought adding a second one for everyone would reduce the amount of "waiting wins" in the game. With no mortal enemies, you could just wait for some hard-working guy from your group to eradicate all the others, pray every Night he doesn't get you offed, and when he wins you do as well. Having one enemy helps this problem, but chances are that enemy is caught by his own group as well. So I decided to add an extra enemy to reduce this chance even further. This has the pleasant side effect of allowing you to find someone who has an enemy in common with you, and ganging up on them together. I even (kind of) made it part of Ike and Mist's roles to do this. This process of giving enemies went pretty slowly, and then zorbees proceeded to magic out a beautiful chain from my beginnings, keeping every intended match-up intact. Where do you view this chain? Well, I suppose this is as good time as any to link you to the various resources you can use to understand this game better. The Forum, with all private forums open for public All Role PMs, found in the host forum Master Sheet, where we kept track of everything Backup Sheet, where I kept some info I wouldn't need often, so I don't clog the Master Sheet with it Night 1, a sheet that shows how the game was at the very start FE10 Music Playlist, for update songs (did anyone click these? who cares, they were fun to listen to again) It might look like a chaotic mess to you, but I found it orderly enough to work with. Note that generally the comprehensive Master Sheet was all we needed, only using the Role PMs topic when Role PMs had to be put in the update (deaths/wins). Oh, and if any of them conflict with another source or reality, don't fret. Things were changed around sometimes (up to right before I sent aliases their PMs etc), sometimes I forgot to update something on the sheet...but from what I can tell, little to no mistakes happened, with only around 3 having any effect on the game as far as I can tell, and all of these being extremely very super minor. So yeah, you can find the enemy chain zorbees made on the Backup Sheet, tab Enemies. And the old chain is there as well. Anyway, the colours indicate groups, and you're next to whoever you need dead. Simple, huh? This made our lives a lot easier. After enemy match-ups came stats and items, the former being a pain in the ass. The final distribution ended up by making some vague estimates of how many hits I wanted to take people to kill each other, with the variables being Power and Weapon Might versus HP, with promotion impacting both sides of the deal. 15, 18 and 20 were bench marks to hit, allowing people to 2HKO 30, 35 and 40 HP people respectively. For unpromoted characters, the base benchmark for HP was around 30, Pow somewhere between 5 and 10, and Spd was pretty much distributed according to how fast they are in-game (roughly). Characters that were supposed to be a little more frail got a -5 HP reduction (Serra, Ninian, trainees), characters that had to be more buff got a +5 increase (Ike, Hector). It was easier to finalize stats after distributing all the items, so we did that first. To follow what I'm gonna talk about now, it's prolly best to look at the Weapons/Items tab! At first, people were going to start with ranks between C and S, with Holy Weapons already being in the game. There was always going to be some Triforce-like component in the game (that ended up being Orb shards). I ended up scrapping the S-level completely (other than for those who managed to gather orb shards), a decision I do not regret in the least. Aside from the basic Iron/Steel/Silver weaponry, there were some personal weapons (mostly Swords), effective weapons (Armorslayers, Laguzslayers), some extra effects on tomes (Wind being SE on fliers, a mini weapon triangle), but I ended up scrapping most of those for simplicity's sake, plus the fact that they would fuck over specific characters too much and decrease the predictability of the game even further. I did keep the Reaver weapons, and instead went creative on some staves. I kept stat boosters out of the game other than the 2 Arms Scrolls and the Member Card, since most people would just use them on themselves and be done with them. So then items were distributed to people. C-level weapons were given to people who could use them immediately, to give them a headstart. Higher end weapons and promotion items were used to set up trades between people (every bolded item in the Characters tab is either a C-level weapon that person can use, or a set-up trade with someone). Some items were deliberately kept "far away" from the people they were intended for (the Lockpick from the thieves, Wolf Beil from Hector), so that they would have to be a little more creative if they wanted to get them early on. The remaining spots were filled semi-randomly with the leftover weapons and promo items, leaving the more universal things for last. I will go more into detail here on individual character reviews. Stats were distributed according to the benchmarks before and how they would meet them ("___ can 2HKO 35 HP with Steel after promo"), which I felt was the best we could do for varied distribution of stats. Again, I resigned myself to the game being unpredictable. Just make the game, and let it play out. My plan for Gold distribution: give everyone 100G, then make it seem as if it's possible to start with less or more than that. Easy for us, and complicated for them for the first few Nights. Then came the long task of writing all the role PMs, as well as getting the forums ready. Both of these were done pretty much entirely by me. When that was done, I felt confident letting the floodgates open and posting sign-ups, and used the remaining time for designing a player list, action priorities, randomizing things, and not looking back. It might seem like a haphazard way of designing a game. But in reality, I set the bar fairly low on this one. All I really, ever wanted, was a finished Fire Emblem Mafia, hosted by myself. Anything after that was a glorious extra. And I've had plenty of glorious extra myself, but how about you guys? Now, normally this is where I would have put the exhaustive individual player/role reviews that you've gotten so used to over the course of the years we've been playing mafia. Hip was the first to do it for Mafia Mafia, then Zelda Mafia did it, then after that a few games skipped it until it rose back to the surface. I would have done it, if it weren't for several factors preventing me from getting it done within a reasonable timeframe. First off, it would be more work than for any other postgame, because there are roughly 50 stories to tell compared to the roughly four or so for a normal 2v1 game with wolf. Since most factions act as if they are one player (a rather scizophrenic one if there's disagreements among them), most actions taken are decided on by the group as a whole, or the smart individuals among them. But here, we have roughly 50 people trying to win, on their own or in small groups. In addition, I no longer have access to the sea of free time I used to have, or I would still have done it. So instead, I am going to go through some of this game's highlights, major points of discussion/controversy/whatever. They should be enough to respark your memory and open the floodgates for more points of view. its (in this section) i defend the roles that weren't very good or downright bad Let's get the sour out of the way so we can get to the sweet: the roles that were "doomed from the start". First are the Laguz, which suffered greatly from this game's faster-than-expected pace. Tibarn (RaRe), Naesala (StevenSnype), and most of all Dheginsea (porygon3) were unable to attack other than on specific Nights. Tibarn and Naesala had other roles to use while Dheginsea didn't, and they probably had the better gauge overall (2 untrans, 3 trans vs 4 untrans, 4 trans)...Dheginsea was slower but he had around 5 more Atk. In my defense, Naesala had fairly easy access to a Laguz Stone through his role, and there were a Laguz Stone as well as a Laguz Ring (permanent transformation) in the game. I think they probably would've been more effective if they kept hidden some more (they don't need weapons so it could've worked), but each of them was ganged up on and killed. Can't exactly blame people for being active and trying to find trades and stuff though. Then there's roles like Kishuna, Bramimond, and Merlinus that seemed incapable of doing (significant amounts of) damage. My reason for including these roles were because I wanted to experiment with them. TCG didn't have them. Kishuna suffered from the fact that his original role was really good, and I might have gone overboard nerfing him. I don't know if a "broken" version would have been any better at actually winning, considering he would still have been unable to damage anything. It's worth noting that Kishuna actually came dangerously close to winning had he been able to Fuck Tiger, though he was probably too much in people's crosshairs for that. Oh by the way, I kind of intended the Spectre Card on Forde to be traded for Kishuna's Axereaver so that he could at least do like 5 damage. Bramimond...well, I would completely concede this being a terrible role if the player behind it actually tried to use what he had. Instead, dak went in with a defeatist attitude, and gave his alias to Lightwolf (who made a fake offer to heal him). Don't get me wrong, this role was really hard to get anything done with...but there were options. First off, he could easily copy Tibarn/Naesala. They both have spare Night roles to use on him, and don't require weapons. Then there's Danved and Oliver who both target a whole bunch of people, so having Bramimond be one of them was a good option. Wallace and I guess Amelia could have exchanged protects with him. Then there's a gazillion of Night roles that could've been used to fuel his transformation without sacrificing much efficiency for either player: Pent and Garcia's teaching, Forde's drawing, Marcia's watching, Karel's stat gauge, etc. Yes, it required Bramimond to find a weapon...but I imagined he would only have one such partner, so he'd really only have to find a weapon once. What I will admit is that his tools for bargaining kinda sucked (a shard and a personal item/weapon), and if I were to do it again I'd probably give him Xane's Silver Card at the very least to give him easy access to, well, anything. But really, the way dak played would have caused even a great role such as Ike to lose. I realize he would not have played like that if he had gotten a better role, but this vicious cycle has got to start somewhere. Like Kishuna, Merlinus had some kind of method to do damage that was very minor - he could run people over with his wagon after promotion to do 5. The fact that he promoted as early as Day 1 "helped" in this regard...gotta say I really managed to underestimate how much money people were willing to spend: ipl's 200G bid alone was enough to promote him two times over. Then there's poor Rolf, whose EXP gain was just way too slow to ever become as powerful as he could have been if the game lasted a lot longer. But at least he could attack, and promote with a Master Seal, and create hilariously named NPCs. His polar opposite, Marcus, was of course absolutely ridiculous, especially with the Silver Sword for Silver Bow trade with Louise. There's also the Trainees Amelia and Ross, who promoted into the first "normal" tier after Night 3. I really liked their first promotion mechanic, and I'm glad the faster time scale didn't really affect them too much...Agape was being overly suicidal (wtf were you doing) and Amelia (the person) got tricked by Lightwolf and killed by IPL (who could kill anything ever anyway). The only thing I would perhaps change is make their stats a little better. I don't consider these "doomed from the start" but I felt they had to be addressed. The pairing factor This game had several roles that were supposed to work together, each of them paired in a different way. I wanted to see which ones would stick together, and how tightly. There was Danved, which was two users with the same role PM including win condition. These two (Gmax and shade) had no reason to betray each other ever. I was pretty pleased with their use of their two users, both trolling billymills (do you enjoy playing flute?) and actually doing serious interrogations, where they would both claim different groups to get a feel of what someone is. I also didn't put their Smogon names in their role PM, so they had to PM themselves to find out who their partner was. Then there's Ike and Mist, versus Black Knight and Sephiran. This was a pretty elaborate combination, with both of these pairs having some ties together. Ike's personal weapon (Ragnell) was needed for his promotion, and it was in Mist's hands. Mist needed to support Ike to promote. Both Ike and Mist needed the Black Knight dead. To promote, Ike had to hit the Black Knight with the Ragnell...if the Black Knight died before Ike could hit him with Ragnell, he would be able to promote just by obtaining Ragnell, but he would be inferior to what he otherwise would have been. His normal promotion gets him Aether (heals him whenever he attacks, like in the games), while his weaker promotion does not get him Aether. The Black Knight and Sephiran were less connected: they did not share an enemy, however Sephiran had the Alondite which he could trade for the Black Knight's Restore Staff. Which was a pretty useless staff by the way...all it did was ward off Kishuna for magic users, even though its description said it cured status. I think that's the only time I blatantly lied in any role PMs. Ike and Mist had an even deeper combination. I imagined Mist could be used on Ike to change his priority to whatever is convenient - a little slower if he's at full health, so Aether would heal him back to full. Or really fast if he was not at full health so he could heal before he got hit. In addition to Mist's healing I imagined that'd be pretty powerful. Of course, that's all extremely theoretical and I knew it probably wouldn't happen. But if it did, they would probably win easily, and deserve it. Obviously, it just wouldn't happen that way. In fact, the Black Knight got ganged up on Night 1 and Day 1, being the second death in the game. In addition, Lightwolf advertised the Ragnell as a Prf sword, and Eo (who wasn't much of an FE player) didn't know what that meant, so when asked if he needed a Prf sword told Lightwolf no. So Lightwolf spent half the game searching for Ike among other players, and Eo just rocked things with like, a Steel or Silver Sword if I recall correctly. At some point they did meet up though, allowing Eo to rock things even more, and Lightwolf to become a centerpiece in the Gmax group, doing things like giving Gmax his guaranteed win and making imperfectluck/Aura_Guardian (Zihark) double everything ever for absurd amounts of damage. I'm glad some part of the combo came through, at least. Aside from these, there was the pair of Louise/Pent, who had pretty mediocre roles by themselves but a straight up bond through their instant support and knowledge of each other's aliases. I paired up Yeti and crabnebula because I just found the idea of them being married incredibely funny, especially because of both people's past (Yeti being trolled or trolling or whatever it was in that splinter, and crabnebula just being a pain in the ass to negotiate with). Somehow, minus times minus was plus and they worked together 100% from what I could tell, but like a lot of people they were found out and murdered by those who needed them dead (Gmax needed Yeti dead, and billymills needed CN dead...). But the "canon" pairings were nowhere as powerful as... The alliance factor Several people formed alliances, defined in here as "a group consisting of three or more people working together". Most of them didn't really do anything except make information more publically available, such as #talking (mostly #feto people: SevenDeadlySins, Paperblade, Rody, maybe more I forgot). Then there was imperfectluck's "alliance", which encompassed an enormous amount of people, who mostly just ended up helping imperfectluck (Zihark) win. ipl even managed to add Blue_Tornado (Denning) to this alliance, one of his mortal enemies. But the most successful alliance was easily #agoodalliance. As usual Gmax manages to get the trust of about 500 people at once, and gets to cherrypick the best players and roles for his squad. I'm not completely sure on the order anymore, I think his first partners were LonelyNess and Fishin, then askaninjask, then Bass and LightWolf. He was also close with billymills. askaninjask ended up being in about 500 other alliances at once which got him killed and hated by everyone alike, which he probably did not deserve. It's a long story of information leaks and blackmails, and I'm sure there's no one better to tell it than aska or maybe Crux. Near the end imperfectluck was added to this team as well as UncleSam, the former of which ended up having some kind of fight with LonelyNess which caused ipl to, of course, turn around and try to get #agoodalliance and everyone associated with it killed. This was around the Night that Gmax was pretty much set up to win along with billymills, which ipl could not prevent. LonelyNess tried to mafiawhiteknight Fishy (who he pretty much shamelessy collabbed with) which ipl thought would be fun to mess up. imperfectluck's own alliance was mostly a lot of people believing he wanted to help them. I think his only real close partner was UncleSam (Ninian), who he had a rigged trade with (Fila's Might). Zihark's role allowed him to do extra damage equal to the Mt of his weapon if he could "double" them gameplay wise (a Speed advantage of 4 or more), and Ninian allowed him to attack two people or do more damage with Fila's Might. People (LN) dubbed this the most broken role in the game, but to be honest it wouldn't have been even close to powerful if ipl hadn't conned several people into giving him orb shards so that he could make the legendary Broken Bamboo Sword (his own idea), allowing him to do roughly 40 damage to someone. All of #agoodalliance (except for aska) ended up winning, including UncleSam and imperfectluck. This is one thing I'm very satisfied with. You can argue they got extremely broken roles until you're blue in the face, but I do think that they also played the best. Volke It would not have been Fire Emblem Mafia without Volke. At first, he was going to be extremely complicated with lots of different ways to earn Gold. In the end, we dumbed it down to being hired to attack or vote, and only the former was used in the game. I forgot who I was initially going to make Volke, but zorbees recommended Dale and so it happened. Volke was hurt by undisputed screwing up a contract (instead of sending in "Hiring Volke to hit [alias], he sent "Hiring Volke to hit Soren", lol) and the game lasting shorter than expected. He did get a contract pretty much every other Night though, and at the end only needed 1 more Gold to win, which he got from Lightwolf. An extremely narrow but deserved win that I really enjoyed watching. Sure, no one needed him dead so he wasn't really in danger, but nonetheless it didn't look like an easy win to me. Random short bits that deserve a mention - Eo's use of his "zarbon" role to force people to post surveys inquiring information. Still want to know if this got any legit information. Or what the results were, period. I know I filled in "you" and "zorbees" as my enemies. - Spiffy guessing imperfectluck was Zihark because he was a sword user looking for Laguz - [00:41:56] <&Fishin> <Nachos> i'm aware of 3 different factions in this game [00:41:56] <&Fishin> <Nachos> ours, and the baharian bruisers - [01:46:48] <&shade> [00:47:14] <Fishin> alright [01:46:48] <&shade> [00:47:17] <Fishin> 1 [01:46:48] <&shade> [00:47:18] <Fishin> 2 [01:46:48] <&shade> [00:47:20] <Fishin> 3 [01:46:48] <&shade> [00:47:22] <shade> curry courtesans [01:46:48] <&shade> [00:47:22] <Fishin> lycian lions - Someone apparently got a message to Volke even though they shouldn't have. Still not sure what happened there but whoever did spread the rumor that in order to hire Volke, you had to go to one of the hosts and tell them "I am looking for a fireman" or something. Might have been Yeti? Really hilarious. - The Ashera lynch was really funny. The most hilarious part was Fatecrashers' parting gift, negating billymills' vote without anyone knowing. This caused whoever was before him in the chain to not get voted for, in this case Fishy...which could have been her undoing since she was cutting it so close in her duel with Raikage at the end. Also, Agape went apeshit and broke the chain, which caused Lightwolf to stealth switch his vote off him. Agape wtf were you doing anyway? - Fishin asked me like Night 1 if he could kick someone off the boat (this wasn't mentioned in his role PM). I liked the idea so I allowed him to do it once in the game. He ended up kicking off Mowgli (Amelia) who enjoyed cruising for 5 dmg per Night. - Like in dude, LonelyNess was very sure of his theories even though they were wrong. Like when jumpluff mixed up the promotion item she needed, and because of that LonelyNess concluded he had found his enemy. [16:32:40] <LonelyNess> you can say "damn LN was boss he found one of his mortal enemies n0" [16:32:42] <LonelyNess> in the post game I hope you're proud of yourself, LN! - He also found the guy that had the Rapier but decided that must be Oliver, his mortal enemy, when it was really Izuka who did have the Rapier. Closing Words There is obviously a lot more to say, but I think it's better if the people who played in the story get to tell it. Please relive your experiences in this thread as much as you like. This could very well be one of the, if not the last (big) games I've ever hosted, at least for a long time (how's that for a vague promise), and I think it was a worthy closer.