Part 1: Update I - This Is Probably A Bad Idea... Eh, Whatever.Update I - This Is Probably A Bad Idea... Eh, Whatever.
Let's get to it.
This hack does not give us a choice in difficulty. It's got one, take it or leave it.
We rejoin Eirika and Seth, having run away from Renais, and there's a few things we can already tell have changed.
This has changed as well...
...as has this guy. But we'll go over that in a bit. For now, let's check this map.
The difficulty is not exactly high from the get-go. So this prologue map won't pose too much of a challenge. However, we can talk about a lot of stuff. First, let's go over one of our protagonists.
A few things to unpack here. First, our heroine herself.
Eirika - Lord:
STR: 5 (+1)
LCK: 6 (+1)
HP: 65% (-5%)
STR: 45% (+5%)
SKL: 50% (-10%)
SPD: 55% (-5%)
LCK: 55% (-5%)
DEF: 25% (-5%)
RES: 35% (+5%)
Changes noted in brackets are compared to vanilla Sacred Stones, based on what I read on Serenes Forest. So while a +1 in strength right off the bat is nice, Eirika did kind of get a bit of a nerf with her growths, which I didn't really think was necessary, but oh well. Next, the items she has.
Slim Sword: Rank E. Range 1. Weight 2. Might 3. Hit 100. Crit 15 (+10). 50 uses (+20).
Noble Rapier: Rank Prf (Eirika only). Range 1. Weight 5. Might 8 (+1). Hit 100 (+5). Crit 20 (+10). 50 uses (+10). Effective against cavalry and armor.
Vulnerary: Five uses (+2), heals 20 HP (+10).
Star Seal: New item. Adds +1 to all stats (well, STR/SKL/SPD/LCK/DEF/RES, anyway). Can be given to any unit.
I'm noticing this hack likes crit. That might be a problem down the line. Still, the stat booster is nice, and better vulneraries are also going to help quite a bit.
Finally, a note about weapon ranks. You cannot gain weapon ranks in Sacred War. Your weapon ranks are fixed with your class. Generally, the hack will try to balance it out - so if you promote a unit and have a choice between a class that has three weapon types vs. a class that has only one, the class with only one weapon will probably have S rank in it, whereas the one with three weapons will probably only have B in all of them. I like this idea. I feel like I usually like to go for more weapons over less weapons most of the time, so this might give me something to think about.
Now, let's look at our partner in crime.
Seth - Grand Knight (formerly Paladin):
LV: 10 (+9)
STR: 10 (-4)
SKL: 12 (-1)
SPD: 14 (+2)
LCK: 12 (-1)
DEF: 10 (-1)
RES: 12 (+4)
MOV: 9 (+1)
CON: 14 (+3)
HP: 200% (+110%)
STR: 100% (+50%)
SKL: 100% (+55%)
SPD: 100% (+55%)
LCK: 100% (+75%)
DEF: 100% (+60%)
RES: 100% (+70%)
STR: 27 (+2)
SPD: 28 (+4)
DEF: 26 (+1)
RES: 28 (+3)
Anyway, Seth got a big ol' rework. New class, new growths, new everything. You'll note that Seth now starts at level 10 promoted instead of level 1, which means he gets fuck all EXP at this point. In fact, kills right now give him 1 EXP. So if you thought Seth was an EXP hog before, well, this just makes it worse. His growths have been redone to give him guaranteed levels, so he will gain every regular stat on level up, and 2 HP as well. Also, peep that 9 MOV. Seth goes vroom. But this brings us to the next big change in Sacred War: Abilities.
Basically, every promoted class has an ability. Seth's is special in that it gets two. I like this quite a bit - it introduces more things to think about upon promotion and makes encounters with promoted enemies potentially more dangerous. However, there is something about these abilities that I kinda don't like but also kinda do? In essence, they might be a bit overdone, kinda? Here, look at Seth's abilities.
- Equipped weapon's Might x2 against Mages, Magic Beasts, Zombies, Skeletons and Dragon Zombies
- Terrain magic RES bonus x2
- +5 crit
- Reduce all types of incoming damage by 1
- Use of the "Rescue" command to rescue allies without the SKL or SPD penalty
- Modifies the AID stat to be CON - 1 instead of the usual formula
- Equipped weapon's Might x2 against Archers, Snipers and Skeleton/Legion Archers
That's a lot of stuff. Three or four different effects per ability. Thankfully, all these abilities are listed in the guide menu, so you can always look them up, but you probably will look them up quite a few times before you have most of them memorized. And these abilities can be game changers, so it's always good to keep them in mind. However, for Seth, we won't be using him unless necessary, so we won't be dealing with abilities for a while.
Next, let's check his weapons real quick.
Steel Sword: Rank D. Range 1. Weight 9 (-1). Might 7 (-1). Hit 85 (+10). Crit 0. 50 uses (+20).
Silver Lance: Rank C (formerly A). Range 1. Weight 10. Might 12 (-2). Hit 70 (-5). Crit 0. 50 uses (+30).
It seems this hack has a thing for high-use weapons, but some weapons got a bit of a nerf accordingly. Works for me.
We make our first moves. I'm not going to go into great detail how I'm playing this. I mean, I think you can gather that I'm leaving Seth behind and slowly marching Eirika ahead, taking advantage of cover to fight advancing enemies.
Like this fighter. Check that crit - almost a 1 in 5 chance of a crit. However, there is a caveat - crits only do double damage in Sacred War, not triple. So crits are more common, but also more potentially survivable.
Interesting addition we get to see on our next turn - a threat zone. If you push SELECT, you get a threat zone showing you where the enemy units as a whole could currently attack. Of course, this doesn't account for units that don't move, but oh well. Still handy.
Eirika slowly makes her way across the map, stabbing enemies and not getting touched. A note on my playstyle here: I will play these maps fairly slow unless there's a reason for me not to. As I've told you, this hack stops playing around at some point, and generally just being cautious and slow helps cut down on resets. And that's a good thing.
And with that, the boss moves. One thing you might notice is that O'Neill has been demoted from being allowed to have a name. Now he's just "Commander". Poor guy. He's not exactly good, either, being completely overmatched by Eirika in a forest.
Eirika gets her first level fighting with him, and it's a patented At Least She Got Speed Level.
A quick look at this guy shows that he actually is quite a bit beefier than his vanilla hard mode counterpart. +1 HP, +1 STR, +3 SKL, +2 SPD, +5 LCK, +1 DEF and +5 RES for some reason, plus +2 CON.
A look at his items shows off another interesting thing about Sacred War: A lot of enemies carry gold. Now, common guys just carry like 5 gold right now, practically worthless, but this guy here has 400 gold, that's maybe a weapon, so that's actually worth mentioning. Also, let's check out the axe real quick.
Iron Axe: Rank E. Range 1. Weight 8 (-2). Might 7 (-1). Hit 75. Crit 0. 50 uses (+5).
Notable that axes, or at least this one, are quite a bit lighter. Might make them more viable if more units can use them without being weighed down as heavily.
Alas, it doesn't help him here, as he gets shanked without further incident, leaving Eirika entirely untouched the entire map.
And that's it for the prologue, and for this update. I've decided to keep this one short. I'll make the next one Wednesday/Thursday and post it Thursday, then do weekly updates on each Thursday. Forcing myself onto a schedule should allow me to keep a more relaxed pace in making this LP, which is probably a good idea because I'm doing a VLP of Hearts of Iron 4 at the same time.
Anyway, see you next time!