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  3. The Energy Will Power: The Metagame of Record of Agarest War

User Info: MasterSquidward

MasterSquidward
2 months ago#1
Before it is possible to engage properly with the metagame of Record of Agarest War, it is first necessary to understand the basics of how the game's most centralizing mechanic works: the Energy Will Power. For the unfamiliar, Will Powers are passive abilities a character has, and each character generally has 4 different Will Powers they can learn. Energy is one such Will Power, and it is the most important Will Power in the game, allowing the game to be played at a dramatically more efficient pace than without it. Only 3 party members are capable of learning the Energy Will Power: Leonhardt, Luana, and Qua.

The in-game description for the Energy Will Power is as follows: Increases the AP gain of characters within the extended area. It is understandable how the Energy Will Power might be useful to the player; an increase in AP generation would allow for more attacks, which consume AP, to be made per turn. Logically, this allows for a higher damage output per turn to be made, leading to faster, more efficient clears of battles. While the description of the Energy Will Power might seem straightforward at first glance, the mechanics of the Will Power are much more complex than the game would suggest.

Before advancing, it is crucial to first specify that the Energy Will Power is separate from other forms of AP generation. In other words, the Energy Will Power has no influence on the other methods of AP gain. For reference, the other ways to gain AP in Record of Agarest War are:
  1. At the start of every Movement Phase, a unit will regain 100% of their base AP (AP will cap at 200% of a unit’s base AP).
  2. At the start of a unit's Attack Phase turn, a unit will gain AP dependent on how many other units that unit is linked with via Extended Areas (e.g. if two units are linked, each unit will gain 2 AP for itself on its respective turn; 3 linked units will garner 3 AP for the unit on its respective turn; 4 linked unit, 4 AP, and so on).
To articulate the point again, the Energy Will Power is separate from these forms of AP generation, and is instead an entirely different method to accumulate AP. The mechanics for how the Energy Will Power function as follows:
  1. At the start of its Attack Phase turn, the unit with the Energy Will Power will grant itself as well as all units in its Extended Area a certain amount of AP. The amount of AP gained by each of these units is dependent on how many units are within the user's Extended Area.
  2. In addition, each unit within the user's Extended Area will apply the AP boost from the Energy Will Power to itself as well as the units within its own Extended Area at the beginning of the unit's respective Attack Phase turn. Effectively, this allows the Energy Will Power to be applied multiple times per turn by different units even if only one of these units has the Energy Will Power learned, as long as the player's units are within the Extended Area of the unit with the Energy Will Power. Note that only units within the user's Extended Area can proc the Energy Will Power themselves; should a unit be in the Extended Area of a unit within the Extended Area of the user of the Energy Will Power, but not directly in the Extended Area of the user of the Energy Will Power itself, the unit will be unable to proc the Energy Will Power.
  3. AP gained at the start of a unit's Attack Phase turn from the Energy Will Power will stack additively with AP gained at the start of a unit's Attack Phase turn from being linked with other units via Extended Areas.
The amount gained for each unit from the Energy Will Power, as said earlier, is dependent on how many units are within the user's Extended Area. This is not to be conflated with how many units are linked to each other; the Energy Will Power only considers how many units are directly in the unit's Extended Area. The amount gained from the Energy Will Power is as follows:

0 units in Extended Area --> +0 AP for each unit
1 unit in Extended Area --> +3 AP for each unit
2 units in Extended Area --> +4 AP for each unit
3 units in Extended Area --> +6 AP for each unit
4 units in Extended Area --> +7 AP for each unit
5 units in Extended Area --> +9 AP for each unit

Understandably, this might seem a bit complicated. To provide an example, say the player has three units on the field: Leonhardt, Ellis, and Borgnine. Leonhardt has the Energy Will Power learned. Leonhardt is in Ellis' Extended Area. Ellis is within Leonhardt's Extended Area. Borgnine is in Ellis' Extended Area, but no unit is within Borgnine' Extended Area. This would be the resulting AP gain during Attack Phase:

Start of Leonhardt's turn: Leonhardt gains +3 AP from being linked via Extended Area with 2 other units. Both Leonhardt and Ellis gain +3 AP from Leonhardt's Energy Will Power and Leonhardt having 1 unit directly in his Extended Area.
Start of Ellis' turn: Ellis gains +3 AP from being linked via Extended Area with 2 other units. Because she is within Leonhardt's Extended Area, Ellis is able to proc Energy at the start of her turn as well: Ellis, Leonhardt, and Borgnine all gain +4 AP due to Leonhardt's Energy Will Power and there being 2 units directly within Ellis' Extended Area.
Start of Borgnine's turn: Borgnine gains +3 AP from being linked via Extended Area with 2 other units. Because Borgnine is not within Leonhardt's Extended Area, Borgnine is unable to apply the Energy Will Power himself.

With the mechanics of the Energy Will Power now adequately explained, it becomes evident just how dramatic the increase in efficiency to AP production is. To use Leonhardt as an example, say 5 units are within his Extended Area (this is both easy and practical to do during the first Movement Phase). On Leonhardt's turn during Attack Phase, Leonhardt would proc Energy to give himself and the other 5 units +9 AP each. Collectively, this gives the player an extra +54 AP to work with, which is clearly beneficial. In addition to Leonhardt, all 5 units within his Extended Area would be able to apply Energy themselves on their own respective turns for even more AP gain. The majority of units in Record of Agarest War, when placed in Leonhardt's Extended Area, have at least one tile of their Extended Area overlapping with the Extended Area of Leonhardt. Assuming that each of these 5 units have 1 tile of overlapping Extended Areas with Leonhardt so that they each unit applies Energy to both itself and an additional unit on its respective turn, this would result in +6 AP collectively (+3 AP for two units) per the start of a unit's turn during Attack Phase, for a total of +30 AP gained collectively over the duration of the Attack Phase in addition to the +54 AP gained from the start of Leonhardt's turn. Note that this AP gain can be increased further should the player utilize units with Extended Areas that have further overlap and synergy with the Extended Areas of the user of the Energy Will Power (e.g. in the above example, if each unit had 2 tiles of Extended Area overlapping with Leonhardt's Extended Area, this would result in a collective gain of +12 AP (+4 AP for three units) per start of a unit's turn during Attack Phase, for a total of +60 AP gained collectively over the duration of the Attack Phase in addition to the +54 AP gained from the start of Leonhardt's turn). The topic of Extended Area overlap and synergy will be discussed more specifically momentarily.

User Info: MasterSquidward

MasterSquidward
2 months ago#2
It is clear how advantageous proper usage of the Energy Will Power can be. To take a step from the potential towards the practical, it would now be imperative to consider optimal users of the Energy Will Power. As said prior, there are three Party Members that are able to learn the Energy Will Power: Leonhardt, Luana, and Qua. Of the three units, Leonhardt can be considered as the most optimal user of the Energy Will Power, and there are several reasons as to why this is. The first reason is that Leonhardt learns the Energy Will Power incredibly sooner than the other two candidates. Leonhard will learn Energy at lvl 16, which will be around mid-way through the First Generation. Once he is brought back to the party in the Second Generation via the first Forbidden Tome, the player will be able to use Leonhardt and utilize the Energy Will Power for the remainder of the game. To compare, Luana learns the Energy Will Power at around lvl 50, which will likely be either at the end of the Third Generation or near the start of the Fourth Generation, while Qua, who joins near the start of the Fourth Generation, will learn Energy at lvl 52. Because Leonhardt learns Energy so much earlier, he is by far the most viable candidate to use for this role. In addition to this availability gap, Leonhardt generally has a superior Extended Area compared to Luana and Qua for the purpose of utilizing the Energy Will Power. The majority of units will have superior overlap and synergy with Leonhardt's Extended Area than the Extended Areas of either Luana or Qua. It is worth noting now that the Energy Will Power does not stack with itself should there be several units with the Will Power learned.

Evidently, the Energy Will Power is an incredibly powerful, centralizing tool to have in the player's hands that can vastly improve the efficiency of which battles are fought. Equally evident is that Leonhardt is the most capable, most significant user of the Energy Will Power. Combining these two points leads to an important, crucial synthesis for the Record of Agarest War metagame: Leonhardt is a centralizing unit. For peak efficiency, it is absolutely required to use Leonhardt for the entire duration he is made playable, if only for the sake of reaping the massive benefits the Energy Will Power provides. To not use Leonhardt is to actively make the game harder, slower, and less efficient to play than otherwise. To make it apparent how centralizing Leonhardt as the optimal user of the Energy Will Power is, one of the factors that determines the viability of other units is how much overlap and synergy the units’ Extended Areas have with Leonhardt’s own Extended Area. It is now appropriate to engage with the topic of Extended Area overlap and synergy further.

As discussed prior, units within the Extended Area of the Energy Will Power user will be able to apply Energy themselves. With Leonhardt having been solidified as the optimal user of the Energy Will Power, the positioning of units during the Movement Phase of Turn 1 should be focused around placing allied units within the Extended Area of Leonhardt. In addition to applying the Energy Will Power themselves at the start of their turns to units within their own respective Extended Areas, these units would also gain AP at the start of Leonhardt’s turn during the Attack Phase. With that in mind, the player would also want to position their units so that each unit’s Extended Area can try to overlap with Leonhardt’s Extended Area. The reason for this should be fairly obvious: all units are suggested to be placed inside Leonhardt’s Extended Area to apply Energy. At the same time, to maximize the benefits of Energy, a unit would want to have as many allied units within their own respective Extended Area as possible. By combining these two elements, it is understandable that to optimize AP gain from the Energy Will Power, the player would want their units to be both in Leonhardt’s Extended Area and the Extended Areas of other allied units as well. For this optimization to occur, units would logically want to have Extended Areas that overlap with Leonhardt’s. Essentially, the player is suggested to prioritize the following on the first Movement Phase of a standard battle:
  1. Placing units within Leonhardt’s Extended Area
  2. Positioning units in such a way where their own Extended Areas overlap with Leonhardt’s Extended Area
To give an example, take the unit Winfield and his Extended Area, and compare it to that of Leonhardt’s. When Winfield is placed directly behind Leonhardt and is positioned to face the same was as either of Leonhardt’s sides, the only overlap that occurs between Winfield and Leonhardt’s Extended Areas is that the tile two spaces directly in front of Winfield; no other tiles in Winfield’s Extended Area will overlap with that of Leonhardt’s. Assuming that all other allied units are placed within Leonhardt’s Extended Area, at the start of her turn during Attack Phase, only Winfield and the unit located two spaces in front of him will gain +3 AP from the Energy Will Power, for a collective gain of +6 AP. Overall, it can be said that Winfield’s Extended Area’s lack of overlap and synergy with Leonhardt’s Extended Area results in a less-than-stellar collective AP gain from the Energy Will Power relative to other units. For visuals, refer to this link: https://imgur.com/a/W8vOgdi

To consider a more synergistic example, regard the unit Elaine and her Extended Area, and compare it to that of Leonhardt’s. When Elaine is placed directly behind Leonhardt and is positioned in either the same direction or the opposite direction, there will be three instances of overlap: the first being the tile in front of/behind Elaine (in other words, Leonhardt), and the second and third being the tiles three spaces from Elaine’s sides, which overlaps with Leonhardt’s own Extended Range. Assuming that all other allied units are placed within Leonhardt’s Extended Area, at the start of her turn during Attack Phase, Elaine, Leonhardt, and the two units that are three spaces away from Elaine’s sides will all gain +6 AP from the Energy Will Power, for a collective gain of +24 AP. Compared to the example with Winfield, and it is apparent just how much more AP can be accumulated from a unit having an Extended Area that overlaps and synergizes with Leonhardt’s; positioned in the same manner in the same situation, Elaine can quite literally net a collective gain tripled of what Winfield can net from the Energy Will Power. For visuals, refer to this link: https://imgur.com/a/fNyLgt8

In conclusion, a centralizing aspect of the Record of Agarest War metagame is the proper utilization of the Energy Willpower; before the game can start to be played optimally, an understanding of the mechanics of the Energy Will Power is necessary. The Energy Will Power is such a crucial, integral component to playing the game efficiently that it would be accurate to say that it dictates the pace of which the game is played at. The Energy Will Power makes Leonhardt such a centralizing unit to the point of where not using him is to play the game with an intentional handicap, as well as playing a hand in determining the level of viability of other units in the game.
(edited 2 months ago)

User Info: MasterSquidward

MasterSquidward
2 months ago#3
To end this analysis, the following is a list of the party members and the potential overlap synergy of their Extended Areas compared to that of Leonhardt’s. This list assumes that all allied units are within Leonhardt’s Extended Area, and takes into account the highest possible AP gain per start of the unit’s turn during the Attack Phase in this scenario.

0 Tiles of Overlapping Extended Areas (+0 AP per unit, collective gain of +0 AP)
  • N/A


1 Tile of Overlapping Extended Areas (+3 AP per unit, collective gain of +6 AP)
  • Ellis
  • Vira-Lorr
  • Winfield
  • Vashtor
  • Ganz
  • Hildegard
  • Murmina


2 Tiles of Overlapping Extended Areas (+4 AP per unit, collective gain of +12 AP)
  • Borgnine
  • Fyuria
  • Zerva
  • Ladius (Luana)
  • Ladius (Elaine)
  • Yayoi
  • Arbol
  • Sherufanir
  • Sharona
  • Lavinia
  • Faina
  • Plum
  • Alberti
  • Qua
  • Silvi
  • Fer
  • Reverie
  • Dyshana
  • Beatrice


3 Tiles of Overlapping Extended Areas (+6 AP per unit, collective gain of +24 AP)
  • Luana
  • Elaine
  • Valeria
  • Noah


4 Tiles of Overlapping Extended Areas (+7 AP per unit, collective gain of +35 AP)
  • Ladius (Fyuria)


5 Tiles of Overlapping Extended Areas (+9 AP per unit, collective gain of +54 AP)
  • Leonhardt


N/A: Not enough information recorded
  • Thoma
  • Duran
  • Rex

User Info: MasterSquidward

MasterSquidward
2 months ago#4
MasterSquidward posted...
1 Tile of Overlapping Extended Areas (+3 AP per unit, collective gain of +6 AP)
* Ellis
They are minor corrections to make, but Ellis should be in the 2 Tiles of Overlapping Extended Areas category instead. Additionally, Ryuryu is not on this list: she should also be in the 2 Tiles of Overlapping Extended Areas category.

User Info: MasterSquidward

MasterSquidward
1 month ago#5
With the information on the Extended Areas of the different variations of Thoma, Duran, and Rex now made concrete, it is possible to evaluate the potential overlap synergy between their respective Extended Areas compared to that of Leonardt's.

0 Tiles of Overlapping Extended Areas (+0 AP per unit, collective gain of +0 AP)
  • N/A


1 Tile of Overlapping Extended Areas (+3 AP per unit, collective gain of +6 AP)
  • Rex (Ryuryu)


2 Tiles of Overlapping Extended Areas (+4 AP per unit, collective gain of +12 AP)
  • Thoma (Valeria)
  • Thoma (Yayoi)
  • Thoma (Sherufanir)
  • Duran (Faina)
  • Rex (Silvi)


3 Tiles of Overlapping Extended Areas (+6 AP per unit, collective gain of +24 AP)
  • Duran (Lavinia)


4 Tiles of Overlapping Extended Areas (+7 AP per unit, collective gain of +35 AP)
  • Rex (Hilda)


5 Tiles of Overlapping Extended Areas (+9 AP per unit, collective gain of +54 AP)
  • Duran (Noah)
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