Hawkwing

Just Finished My First Ironman. Some Thoughts and Observations

Recommended Posts

Yesterday, I finished my first ironman run of Awakening. It was also a "no grinding" run (although I will admit that I didn't always follow that rule, even though two of the encounters were due to an enemy blocking a shop in the early game, when there aren't a whole lot of alternatives yet). I've decided to share some of my overall thoughts on both the Ironman and the game as a whole. I've separated my thoughts with spoilers, as they ended up longer than I thought it would be.

Deaths

Spoiler
  • Donnel failed to dodge an enemy cavalier on chapter 8. Annoyingly, gaining a single point of defense after a level-up would have (barely) saved his life. That, and Kellam didn't dual guard, although he did avenge Donnels death by critting his murderer.
  • On Chapter 11 (Gangrels chapter), I moved Maribelle in to save a wounded Fredrick from certain death... before realizing that she was in the range of two enemy units. She didn't bother to dodge, and Fredrick didn't dual guard.
  • A reclassed Frederick (I made him a wyvern rider) died near the very end of the same chapter. He missed an 80% chance to hit, and he didn't bother dodging.
  • Olivia took a tomahawk to the face on Tiki's paralogue, and decided that the war life wasn't for her.
  • Libra...damn it...Libra died only three chapters away from the finale. A berserker had a 52% chance to hit and a 14% chance to crit, and the bastard did triple damage against the unit, and character, that had grown on me the most. Not gonna lie, losing him really made the end game bittersweet and numb to go through. He was avenged by his son, Yarne, who got a bullion out of the encounter as I had reclassed him into a barbarian.
  • Stahl died on the level right before Grima. Shot in the face with a Thoron, it was a mediocre end to an RNG screwed unit that I usually use.

Pairings

Spoiler
  • Chrom X Sully in the forced event. For some reason reason, Sully is considered one of the worst females to pair Chrom up with, but I heavily disagree. I find Sully to be among the most reliable (and sometimes best) units in the game, and she often has the stats of a front-line fighter, which gives Lucina great starting stats. That, and I find Sumia to be too weak strength and defense wise for my liking, Maribelle died, Robin was a male this run, and I rarely, if ever, use Olivia.
  • Vaike X Lissa. A common pairing I use. Him having high HP but low defense makes him good staff exp for Lissa. That, and they support very quickly.
  • Kellam X Cordelia, as the stat boosts when paired up solve both their problems (Kellam gives Cordelia defense and strength, and Cordelia gives Kellam a much needed speed boost), and Cordelia’s high movement means she can carry Kellam to the front lines easily, and if the situation calls for it, switch to Kellam to tank the enemy forces.
  • Stahl X Cherche. On the level Cherche appeared, Stahl was eventually injured, so I paired them up to prevent his potential death. They stuck by each other the entire run, mostly because Stahl was RNG screwed a bit (still competent, but a far cry from how he usually performs for me) and worked better as a support unit for a character that pretty much broke the game in half for me.
  • Panne X Libra. This pairing mostly came about as I wanted to keep Panne alive when she was a thief, and Libra was fit for the job. They had surprisingly good synergy gameplay-wise, and made for a good team, even when I reclassed Panne into a wyvern rider.
  • Ricken X Miriel. Another pairing I use quite often. Admittedly, I grinded to reach their S-support, but that was actually to test and see if the “3 support points max between characters each map” thing was true (it is). That, and I wanted Laurent.
  • Laruent X Lucina. Perhaps the only child pairing I can reliably get (to the point where I “ship” them as a gameplay in-joke). No joke, they married right before the fight with Grima. I suppose Laurent killing Aversa point blank with a Superior Jolt made Lucina realize that he was the man for her.

And Robin made a vow of celibacy.

For the record, I only grinded four times total, and here's why:

Spoiler
  1. The first was during the early game, where a risen was at the only shop available that sold a weapon I needed.
  2. The second time was a similar situation. This time, though, I was also a little ticked that I had accidentally brought Kellam instead of Stahl to support Cherche during the Mila Tree chapter, and thus wasted an opportunity to gain support points. Especially since Kellam didn't dual guard or attack at all, thus not gaining any experience, making bringing him a waste. Thus, I used the opportunity to gain back those lost support points. I also tried to get Panne and Lon’qu to level 10. Lon’qu didn’t, Panne did, and so I reclassed her into a thief.
  3. Panne and Gaius were so close to level 10 after reclassing (Panne was still a thief, Gaius was a fighter), it almost hurt, so I did a single grinding chapter. After they reached their goals, I reclassed Panne into a wyvern rider and promoted Gaius into a hero.
  4. After (re)reading how supports mechanically work on Serenes Forest, I noticed that, according to the website, Miriel and Ricken only needed to fight together once to reach their S-support. So, I grinded to see if this was true. It was.

Main Thoughts on the Gameplay, Story, etc.

Spoiler
  • Awakenings biggest strength is how much it allows the player to play as they wish. Want to solo the game with a single character? You can do that. Want to use nothing but axes? Feel free to try it. Want to combine challenges? There’s nothing stopping you. About the only things this game misses in this area is a New Game +, a randomizer, and the option to officially set these up instead of being self-imposed challenges.
  • I believe that Awakening is one of the best games in the series for using whomever you want as well. Not thee best (A reason I love Echoes so much is the fact that since every unit is deployed, everyone has a chance to pull their weight. I’ve heard Tharcia is also pretty good with unit viability, but I haven’t played that game, so I can’t say for sure) but it’s most certainly up there.
  • I noticed that durability was the most important aspect I looked for in a character. Defense become one of the stats I looked for the most in a unit, as well as speed and strength/magic (to avoid doubling and to actually hurt the enemy, respectfully). In a normal classic run, I accepted a character for what it was, and if someone died, I restarted the map to pick a better person for a job and/or alter my tactics. For ironmaning, though, I was not offered this luxury, and thus cared a lot more about a units survivability than I usually did.
  • Similarly, I almost always used stat boosters immediately in a normal playthrough, but since I didn't want any of them to go to waste on a character that might die, I was a lot more hesitant to decide whether to give one to the person that needed it or to the person who I use more frequently.
  • I almost forgot how much I hate reinforcements in this game. Seriously, at times this is the sole reason I don’t jump at replaying this game. Whose bright idea was it to rarely/never give a warning when they'll arrive? And don't get me started on the reinforcements that move on the same turn they spawn…(seriously, it's the only reason I haven't played Hard difficulty on classic).
  • That being said, a morbid part of me wants to ironman this game on Hard difficulty, just to see how many units die due to reinforcements, how many die due to the enemy getting lucky, and how many are actually my fault.
  • I love/hate the support system of this game. On the one hand, It’s much faster than the “stand next to a unit for X amount of turns” system (which I’m also not a fan of, considering I prioritize completing the level as efficiently as I can, which means I don’t like wasting turns or forcing units to be together if they could be put to better use elsewhere, but that’s an argument for another day). On the other hand, it often gets annoying for the slower pairings, as you gain little from putting two characters through thick and thin, when they could have only fought or interacted three times at most and made the same amount of progress. It also means that units that weren’t built/ready for the front-line have a slower/harder time gaining support points.
  • This is a bit of a complaint I have about the series as a whole, but there really needs to be a way to predict a units dodge chance from the preparations screen, instead of having to find out the hard way, or having to go to Serenes Forest and doing several mathematical problems.
  • Similarly, a way to see growth rates would be nice, but I find this complaint more relevant for other games in the series. I found Awakening to be good at making every unit viable so no experience goes to waste, even though it did have a bad influence on the developers for balancing Lunatic mode.
  • Getting non-front line fighters to level 15 can be a massive pain. Even some of my best promoted units had a hard time reaching that mile-mark. It’s honestly a reason I find galeforce to be overrated.
  • I made a point to unlock every chest I could this time around. A reason I made Panne a thief before making her a wyvern rider was to have a spare unit with locktouch (and to give her +1 movement). You get some pretty good items from them, but there are times when they really slow down the pace of a level.
  • Although I understand why every level has at least one Archer and/or magic user with wind spells after a certain point, as it prevents the player from blitzing the map with Pegasus and wyvern riders, I think they went overboard at points. While in makes sense at some points (chapter 13 (where Henry appears) comes to mind, as a flyer could easily cheese the level otherwise), other times, there are way too many on maps where a flyer won’t really break much. I remember that in my earlier playthroughs of the game, I was so intimidated by the number and range of archers and wind wielding magic-users that I outright benched all the flyers. Although I most certainly got better at using those classes every time I replay the game, even in this playthrough there were points where I only brought flyers along to provide pair-up bonuses to someone.
  • I am curious why this game doesn't have reaver weapons. There are enough classes that only wield one weapon to make them worthwhile, and it would put an interesting spin on some maps where you have to deal with, say, a berserker that’s good against swords, or a swordmaster that strong against lances.
  • I personally found the early game the most challenging yet most fun part of the game:
    • Everyone is viable, yet you have to be careful as few characters are overpowered yet, so the chance of someone dying will be largely due to bad tactics.
    • You have limited funds, so you have to think about what weapons to buy and when to do so.
    • The enemy bullcrap is at a minimum, especially when compared to the later parts of the game.
  • Kudos to it being a genuinely difficult level, and for it being an excellent “wake up call” that the game is no longer screwing around, but I hate how Chapter 12 basically makes half of your army worthless and forces the other half to be your A-Team.
  • Although I will praise the Valm arc for being legitimately challenging and having some decent-to-good maps, I will admit that I'm not the biggest fan of the jump in enemy stats. It seemed like more and more units fell back and couldn't catch up to the rise in difficulty, meaning that by the end, I was basically bringing in a universal team of nearly game breaking units just because it seemed like one or two (un)lucky hits from the enemy wouldn't kill them. That being said, I do like the challenge this part of the game offers, as even a single wrong move could still cost you your best unit, and there were some enemies strong enough where even tanks get dented, so this part of the game is far from brain-dead.
  • I found the endgame to be the most boring part of the game, honestly. The maps aren't interesting, the levels overstay their welcome, and the generic plot at this point doesn't help. On the bright side, this is also the point of the game where several of your units are overpowered, and you no longer have to hoard your better weapons, so you can see your favorite characters wreck everything with legendary weapons you almost forgot existed.
  • Despite skipping the cutscenes this time around, I do want to give my two cents on the plot:
Spoiler

It’s an overall okay story that I believe is worth going through at least twice, and then you’re better off skipping it the rest of the time. I do enjoy that the explanation for how the time travel works is done clearly and quickly, and avoids adding confusion to a plot device that is usually convoluted other stories. I also greatly enjoy how the game points out which cliches it could have fallen into, but didn’t, and how it does so without being obnoxious or pretentious.

That being said, it is an overall generic and predictable plot that has been done loads better in the other games, and of the course the villains only manage to be memorable because they’re so unmemorable. And although not totally devoid of it, it does lack much of the moral grayness and darker elements that very noticeably makes Fire Emblem one of Nintendo's darkest franchises. I believe the plot has been over-criticized, but I’d also raise an eyebrow if someone called it great.

  • I always found the handling of the supports in this game to be a double-edged sword. It ranges between characters, obviously, but whenever someone is introduced, they tend to give a very “tropey” vibe that seems to establish a single element as the core of their character. However, as you continue to use a character, and start reading their supports, they start losing much of their “generic-ness” and start to become more two and even three dimensional characters. As for how this is a double edged sword, well, and example would help:
Spoiler

Using Kellam as a very good example, his first appearance is him piping up once in a early conversation, and only a keen-eyed player would notice he was even in the room when the scene starts. When you recruit him, he states that he was apparently with you on the trip there, and despite wearing a heavy piece and conspicuous looking of armor, no one noticed him. His “gimmick” is obvious; he’s a hard-to-spot, nondescript soldier that everyone forgets exist.

Read through his supports, however, and you’ll find that people do know that Kellam exists, it’s just that he’s quiet and accidentally very stealthy, so they occasionally have a difficult time finding him. You’ll also discover that the joke about him being hard to spot is usually played once, if at all, and then they move on to the meat of the conversation. As it turns out, Kellam is surprisingly clever, apparently has a lot of time to himself to just think, and has a stubborn side. His armor is the wrong size, but he doesn’t mind because it was a gift from his village for becoming a shepherd, and he was selfish as a child, but tried to grow out of it. Suddenly, Kellam is a more well rounded character that has more to him than “Nobody can see him”.

However, Kellam is also a knight, a class infamous for being difficult and niche to use in the Fire Emblem series. If a person chooses not to use him, or tries to but he just plain doesn’t fit their playstyle, then the only impression they’ll have of him is that he’s hard to spot by his allies and they often forget about him. And even people who do use Kellam may not find him easy to use with every female character, so there are certain parts of his character and backstory that the player may never discover unless they are informed about them by a friend and/or search them up online. Thus the handling of the supports in Awakening are a double-edged sword.

  • I am impressed by the quality of the overall supports, especially considering their quantity, but although the good heavily outweighs the bad, there are a number of conversations that are just plain crap, and several more that are mediocre. At the very least, I do like that a majority of the conversations do give good reason for as to why these two characters are conversing with each other, and I find many of the pairings to work just fine as friendships.
  • I also find S-Supports to be some of the best and some of the worst conversations in the entire game. It doesn’t help that it ranges from person to person as to whether the “romance” was believable or not.
  • Overall, I consider Awakening to be a fun but flawed game. It has several strengths that always draw me back into replaying this game, but it's flaws are great enough that it takes some time between each playthrough.

Characters

Spoiler

Considering that this was an Ironman run, I decided not to put all my eggs in one basket. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised by how competent several units I had rarely used before were.

  • Donnel is honestly not that hard to train. Sure, you have to feed him kills, but that's not all that hard to do. Pair him up with Kellam, and he’s given the strength and defense he needs to survive. Even on a no-grinding run, he was able to get several kills and levels in, with only bad planning and luck on my side leading to his death. This is much easier to do on normal than on hard, for sure, but training him is not at all relegated to optional grinding encounters.
  • I never understood the complaints about Chrom being an average unit. I always take advantage of the fact that he’s forcibly deployed in every level, and it shows. If it weren’t for the fact that Lucina isn’t optional, he would have been a level 20 promote. Needless to say, once he learned aether, I basically just threw him at the enemy opposition, held the L-button, and watched the fireworks fly and the living corpses commit suicide. The RNG wasn’t as kind to him this time around as he was in other playthroughs of mine (I have had a strength and skill capped Chrom before. Take a moment to think about what that means), he was more than competent.
  • Kellam, surprisingly enough, became one of my top performers. He started out with high defense, and by the end of the game, only a defense focused Robin could rival him with who could take a powerful hit. He was also a good example of the upsides of pair-up. The defense and strength bonus he gave his partner was nothing to laugh at, as he seriously made units go from go from weak and frail to competent and durable. He was also a great partner to Cordelia: His strength and defense bonuses helped her tremendously, while her high movement meant that Kellam could be transported to the front lines much earlier than he could have done on his own. And whenever a situation was too risky for Cordelia, she could always switch over to Kellam, who made great use of her speed boosts while tanking the enemy. He usually performs well for me in general, but he did an outstanding job for this playthrough. He promoted at level 20, by the way.
  • Vaike, to my surprise, had actually gained a high amount of skill in his level ups. This was kind-of shocking to me, honestly, as my biggest complaint about most axe users in this series is their lack of skill and seeming inability to actually hit the enemy. Not to mention that his high strength and speed meant that his survival was based on delivering a high amount of damage to the enemy while dodging the counterattack, making him worthwhile to use for once. Sadly, though, my second biggest problem with him, his low-to-mediocre defense,  was still there, which meant that he was eventually benched when the enemy strength got too high for comfort. Still, this is the best he’s performed for me in every playthrough I’ve done.
  • Cherche probably surprised me the most. Granted, I kinda forgot about her in previous playthroughs, but considering that Panne as a Wyvern rider (not lord. RIDER) was able to snap several of the later levels in half in my previous playthrough of the game, I aimed to use Cherche this time around. It helped that she had nearly all the stats I was looking for when she joined, so I used her quite frequently. Not only was I far from disappointed about how she turned out, I was actually worried that she could solo the game right then and there at several points (although the reminder of her pitiful resistance and the presence of archers and wind magic quickly put an end to that train of thought). She won about every battle she entered, and was most certainly among my top performers this playthrough. Cherche promoted at level 20, by the way.
    • Side Note: I had previously complained several times elsewhere that Gerome sucked. No longer do I hold that opinion, as I know realise that mistake was not using Cherche. It’s a shame that most of the child characters appear when the game is half over, as he looked like he would be fun to train and use, but alas, despite being used quite often, he never reached his full potential.
  • I’m quite frankly surprised at how balanced Libra was, despite being a master of none! He performs his duty of being a back-up healer astonishingly well, especially since I lost Maribelle early on. I wish War Clerics could use magic in some form besides healing and bolt axes, as his magic stat put my actual magic users to shame, but he more than delivered at completing his duty of being a healer who would have to be in the thick of things. He was durable for physical attacks, and his resistance was the highest to second highest of all my units, only beat by Robin, but only after a certain point. Libra’s performance actually made me more interested in learning about his character, and the few supports I got for him this time around didn’t disappoint. His death was also the most frustrating and sad to deal with, considering it was only a few chapters away from completing the game,  and it was a case of enemy bullcrap. Not gonna lie, it actually kinda made numb to completing the final chapters because he had grown on me so much.
  • I’d honestly say that Gaius and Panne are two cases that show just how great reclassing can be when handled well.
    • For Gaius, you can either reclass him into a myrmidon, a class which legitimately has no downsides for him, or you could make him a fighter, sacrificing some speed to gain a much needed boost in strength, and then promote him into a well-rounded Hero that ensures his sword rank doesn’t go to waste. I’ve actually had a playthrough where he became the MVP after following this path, and he performed admirably here.
    • As for Panne, making her a thief gives her both locktouch, which is useful when you need a spare thief, and Movement +1, which is invaluable to everyone, but it specifically helps her to become a movement queen if you decide to make her a griffon rider for Deliverer, which I did. Speaking of which, she’s surprisingly strong and fast as a Wyvern rider, and she caps at least one stat before hitting level 15 every time I’ve made her one.

Random Thoughts and Observations

Spoiler
  • I forgot how short the female cast was! It’s hard to tell due to the portraits often showing characters at similar heights, but anytime characters of the opposite gender interacted, I was surprised at just how tiny some of the females where (and conversely, how tall the male cast was. I fully agree with the little tidbit that Kellam is the tallest when seated now)!
  • I really wish there was a way to customize your units armor. It was annoying being flashed all the time by Pegasus riders and (reclassed) female wyvern riders, and I never asked to have Cherche’s butt shoved in the camera as a wyvern lord.
  • Speaking of which, the unit viewer is such a missed opportunity. It's quite obvious that it’s an afterthought in the final game. Where’s the option to see units in their promoted classes? Or reclassed? Why can’t we change the units weapon? It’d be nice to see what those legendary weapons look like, after all. Or what Robins animations with a sword look like. Why can’t manaketes or taguels transform? Wouldn’t it be nice to see their models in action? Where’s the option to see mounted units without their mount, such as they are in cutscenes and the barracks? I could go on, but you get the idea. At least it works for listening to the soundtrack.
  • I am still curious if the dress for female griffon riders has a frilly skirt, or if it's the same as the normal wyvern rider dress, just with extra armour accessories. I’ve only seen Panne once as a griffon rider in the barracks, so I’m curious what the outfit actually looks like unmounted.
  • While the armor for great knights is actually alright, the helmet is undeniably odd, and perhaps even bad. However, the risen version of the great knights… What was the thought process behind that?
  • I have a soft spot for the armor designs for this game. On the one hand they look ridiculous, unrealistic, and impractical, but they truly do look impenetrable, or at least like they’d have high defense.
  • I forged a few weapons on this run, and gave a few special names. Take a guess as to who had each weapon:
    • A throwing axe named “Healer Help”
    • A bronze axe called “The Candyman”
    • A bronze sword named “Lugaru”
    • Two “Training Bows”
    • One “Training Lance"
    • A bronze axe called “Courage”
  • This was the most common thing I said throughout the whole playthrough.
  • I didn’t know Griffon riders did a flip if their second attack kills the enemy.
  • I also didn’t know that War Clerics had a Sonic the Hedgehog spinning roll as one of their attacks.
  • You know, a Taguel warren was very much a missed opportunity for a unique, underground level that could have done wonders for the worldbuilding and lore.
  • Speaking of which, Taguel Risen (or is it Risen Taguel?) need to be a thing.
  • I didn’t know that Grima does a backflip to dodge.
  • I also didn't know Grima could shoot expiration at himself without getting hurt (i.e Chrom dashed to the other side of the battle screen, flipping which side the attack comes from) It was weird seeing Grima cast expiration, towards his neck.

This took much longer than I thought it would to write, by the way.

I also would have given my final turn count and how many battles/kills everyone got, but my phone sucks and the pictures/videos took up too much space, so I had to delete them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

very nice, it sounds like you had a lot of fun this game!

The reason people rag on Chrom/Sully is not because it's a bad pairing in the way you're using it - Chrom/Sully is an amazing option if you're only playing through the maingame and going up to Grima, since Sully's a great combat unit and passes stellar stats to Lucina (and Kjelle gets Chrom's Aether to tear through enemies). The problem is that in the postgame when you're doing challenge maps or just plain seeing how broken you can get, Lucina and Kjelle don't inherit Galeforce access from a pegasus mother, severely limiting what they can do. (Aside from lacking Galeforce, their stats and class access set is pretty solid, offering Swordfaire, Bowfaire, Luna, Astra, Aether; plus Sniper, Paladin, Bow Knight, and Assassin as finishers, and 1 Str/0 Mag/4 Skl/4 Spe.)

Aside from that, I think it's custom to summon Spotpass teams if you need to buy items at a blocked shop in a no-grind run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

Donnel is honestly not that hard to train. Sure, you have to feed him kills, but that's not all that hard to do. Pair him up with Kellam, and he’s given the strength and defense he needs to survive. Even on a no-grinding run, he was able to get several kills and levels in, with only bad planning and luck on my side leading to his death. This is much easier to do on normal than on hard, for sure, but training him is not at all relegated to optional grinding encounters.

This might be true... on normal mode. Not so much on anything higher. And even then, I'd have to jump through an insane amount of mental hoops to justify using Donnel over, well, anyone else because his jointime is (BLEEP!) - the chapter that you can first get him before has you strapped for unit slots, and you have wyverns after that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, soly said:

very nice, it sounds like you had a lot of fun this game!

I did! This playthrough helped me remember why I still enjoy Awakening for all its flaws, and I'm even more surprised that the game is better at handling Permadeath than I originally thought it did. It'll be a while before I do an ironman run of another Fire Emblem game (mostly because I have to find another emulator that works, and then  get comfortable enough with the game to know who does what), I don't think I'll be as reluctant as I was before to do another one.

13 hours ago, soly said:

The reason people rag on Chrom/Sully is not because it's a bad pairing in the way you're using it - Chrom/Sully is an amazing option if you're only playing through the maingame and going up to Grima, since Sully's a great combat unit and passes stellar stats to Lucina (and Kjelle gets Chrom's Aether to tear through enemies). The problem is that in the postgame when you're doing challenge maps or just plain seeing how broken you can get, Lucina and Kjelle don't inherit Galeforce access from a pegasus mother, severely limiting what they can do. (Aside from lacking Galeforce, their stats and class access set is pretty solid, offering Swordfaire, Bowfaire, Luna, Astra, Aether; plus Sniper, Paladin, Bow Knight, and Assassin as finishers, and 1 Str/0 Mag/4 Skl/4 Spe.)

Ah, that makes sense. I don't do any of the challenge maps and I never bought any of the DLC, so I suppose that's why I see them as a good pairing. That, and I find Galeforce overrated (not the skill itself, just the process for getting it).

13 hours ago, soly said:

Aside from that, I think it's custom to summon Spotpass teams if you need to buy items at a blocked shop in a no-grind run.

I didn't know that such a thing existed, until somebody on discord mentioned how spotpass worked... when I was on the Penultimate chapter. Needless to say, there was much internal screaming.

7 hours ago, Jotari said:

Damn. Libra was only three weeks away from retirement.

And Stahl died right before Grima.

Not going to lie, I really did grow fond of Libra this run. He was competent, I learned more about his character, and it almost seemed as if he was determined to prove that being a "master of none" didn't need to be a bad thing. The last levels really were numb to go through because of his death.

6 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

This might be true... on normal mode. Not so much on anything higher. And even then, I'd have to jump through an insane amount of mental hoops to justify using Donnel over, well, anyone else because his jointime is (BLEEP!) - the chapter that you can first get him before has you strapped for unit slots, and you have wyverns after that.

On a normal run, he's most certainly not that hard to train. You have to be careful, for sure, and you also have to force him into every level, but it's doable.

I can see doing the same tactic on hard, but he has a greater chance of dying and/or you may need to grind a bit to get him up to speed at points. I don't find his join-time to be bad, as there are much worse times to appear with his stats, and for the wyverns, you can just have him fight in the less intense sections of the map. I do see him not fitting every playstyle, though, so I can understand the complaints.

On lunatic, though... well, everyone has trouble there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hawkwing said:

On a normal run, he's most certainly not that hard to train. You have to be careful, for sure, and you also have to force him into every level, but it's doable.

I can see doing the same tactic on hard, but he has a greater chance of dying and/or you may need to grind a bit to get him up to speed at points. I don't find his join-time to be bad, as there are much worse times to appear with his stats, and for the wyverns, you can just have him fight in the less intense sections of the map. I do see him not fitting every playstyle, though, so I can understand the complaints.

On lunatic, though... well, everyone has trouble there.

The problem, as I see it, is that the first chapter after his recruitment only gives me six unit slots to work with - how in the seven hells can I justify devoting one of those to Donnel??? And as if his jointime wasn't enough of an issue, I also have to jump through even more hoops to justify giving him a valuable second seal... Which I only get two of during early game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

The problem, as I see it, is that the first chapter after his recruitment only gives me six unit slots to work with - how in the seven hells can I justify devoting one of those to Donnel??? And as if his jointime wasn't enough of an issue, I also have to jump through even more hoops to justify giving him a valuable second seal... Which I only get two of during early game.

The fact that absolutely none of his class change options have lances also doesn't make him very attractive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

On a normal run, he's most certainly not that hard to train. You have to be careful, for sure, and you also have to force him into every level, but it's doable.

Just a heads up, Shadow Mir is quite set in their ways, arguments never go anywhere with them.

 

2 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

That, and I find Galeforce overrated (not the skill itself, just the process for getting it).

That's my one issue with the Awakening skill system. On paper, I like it, being able to mix and match skills from different classes and whatnot. The big issue is that, if you're looking to get say two -breakers on a unit, they'll have leveled so much from that they'll break the game barring highest difficulty things without needing those skills. I also wish Acrobat wasn't so hard to get as a petty complaint, it seems like a novel skill on paper, but putting it behind 15 Trickster was a bad move.

 

2 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

Not going to lie, I really did grow fond of Libra this run. He was competent, I learned more about his character, and it almost seemed as if he was determined to prove that being a "master of none" didn't need to be a bad thing. The last levels really were numb to go through because of his death.

He's always been a good staffbot for me. His one real weakness is poor Spd, but fix that, I consider him very useful. Anna is another staffbot, but I don't see a problem with having two. Libra has the extra letter in starting staff rank over her as well, which is significant for a time.

Also, I haven't see many Awakening supports, but I do remember him and Gaius being much the same in basic structure as Moulder and Colm in Sacred Stones, a priest and a thief. With the priest trying to get the thief to begin walking down the good path.

 

On 8/3/2018 at 8:30 PM, Hawkwing said:

I never understood the complaints about Chrom being an average unit. I always take advantage of the fact that he’s forcibly deployed in every level, and it shows. If it weren’t for the fact that Lucina isn’t optional, he would have been a level 20 promote. Needless to say, once he learned aether, I basically just threw him at the enemy opposition, held the L-button, and watched the fireworks fly and the living corpses commit suicide. The RNG wasn’t as kind to him this time around as he was in other playthroughs of mine (I have had a strength and skill capped Chrom before. Take a moment to think about what that means), he was more than competent.

Agreed, I never understood why Chrom was considered at all bad. Sure no Galeforce, or 2nd Gen stat caps, but beyond that is he as good as anyone else. And joining so early means the snowball that turns him, like anyone else, into an incarnation of destruction can start right away. The Falchion is very useful at the beginning too, since it makes ORKOing Wyvern Riders possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

That's my one issue with the Awakening skill system. On paper, I like it, being able to mix and match skills from different classes and whatnot. The big issue is that, if you're looking to get say two -breakers on a unit, they'll have leveled so much from that they'll break the game barring highest difficulty things without needing those skills. I also wish Acrobat wasn't so hard to get as a petty complaint, it seems like a novel skill on paper, but putting it behind 15 Trickster was a bad move.

I agree - I like Acrobat and all, but that's just disappointing. Especially since Lucky Seven just isn't that good... sure, it helps for the first seven turns of a fight, but just how often do you finish a map in seven turns or less???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Shadow Mir said:

The problem, as I see it, is that the first chapter after his recruitment only gives me six unit slots to work with - how in the seven hells can I justify devoting one of those to Donnel??? And as if his jointime wasn't enough of an issue, I also have to jump through even more hoops to justify giving him a valuable second seal... Which I only get two of during early game.

...There are other chapters after that one, you know? And you can buy second seals off merchants if you get lucky (and there might be a few in the paralogues, but I don't remember).

45 minutes ago, Jotari said:

The fact that absolutely none of his class change options have lances also doesn't make him very attractive.

Donnel as a knight (as cavalier would break an already broken game) is such a missed opportunity, if only for seeing him in massive suit of armor with a pot hat.

That being said, his high luck makes armsthrift actually useful instead of being a mere convenience, and you can always forge bronze weapons. And the Leif sword ensures you'll get some money from each encounter if you decide to give it to him.

I do also like how both classes fittingly allow him to promote into a hero.

29 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Just a heads up, Shadow Mir is quite set in their ways, arguments never go anywhere with them.

I've noticed.

29 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

That's my one issue with the Awakening skill system. On paper, I like it, being able to mix and match skills from different classes and whatnot. The big issue is that, if you're looking to get say two -breakers on a unit, they'll have leveled so much from that they'll break the game barring highest difficulty things without needing those skills. I also wish Acrobat wasn't so hard to get as a petty complaint, it seems like a novel skill on paper, but putting it behind 15 Trickster was a bad move.

It doesn't help that some classes and characters just plain aren't built for front line combat. For example, I made Lissa a war cleric both to give her some added survivability, and for Renewal. I had planned to reclass both Libra and Lissa into sages to take advantage of their high magic stats as soon as they hit level 15. Despite bringing the two along for nearly the whole game, Lissa barely got past level 10 by the end of it,  and Libra was noticeably struggling to gain anything from encounters experience-wise.

Now that I think about it, Chrom, Robin, Sully, Kellam, and Cherche where the only promoted characters to get to level 15 AT ALL on this playthrough.

29 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

He's always been a good staffbot for me. His one real weakness is poor Spd, but fix that, I consider him very useful. Anna is another staffbot, but I don't see a problem with having two. Libra has the extra letter in starting staff rank over her as well, which is significant for a time.

Also, I haven't see many Awakening supports, but I do remember him and Gaius being much the same in basic structure as Moulder and Colm in Sacred Stones, a priest and a thief. With the priest trying to get the thief to begin walking down the good path.

I think I only used rescue once this entire playthrough. That's mostly because I don't base any strategies around it, despite having all my healers carry a rescue staff until I needed Mend staffs to heal up

6 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

I agree - I like Acrobat and all, but that's just disappointing. Especially since Lucky Seven just isn't that good... sure, it helps for the first seven turns of a fight, but just how often do you finish a map in seven turns or less???

I wish my phone actually had space for it, but I tried to record a video of everyone's ending as well as the turn count. If I remember correctly, the only chapters that took over ten turns to complete were the ones that had chests where you had to go a little out of your way to get to them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/3/2018 at 8:30 PM, Hawkwing said:

Deaths

  • Libra...damn it...Libra died only three chapters away from the finale. A berserker had a 52% chance to hit and a 14% chance to crit, and the bastard did triple damage against the unit, and character, that had grown on me the most.

Careful now, don't want to lose your voice again.

Spoiler

That wasn't meant to be rude just to be clear it sounds like you had a fun and relatively successful run it's a bit of a shame that there isn't much footage of it but oh well life goes on.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

...There are other chapters after that one, you know? And you can buy second seals off merchants if you get lucky (and there might be a few in the paralogues, but I don't remember).

Because it's not like dragging deadweight around early on, when the game is at its hardest, is going to have profound negative effects on my team (largely in the form of making it harder to succeed), is it? Also, I don't see merchants as a legitimate argument just because they could, you know... just not show up. And let's not forget that Donnel's stuck with lances in an axe-heavy segment of the game - I shouldn't have to explain what that means... Simply put, Donnel requires me to go too far out of my way for a payoff that doesn't really scream "worth it"...

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

Donnel as a knight (as cavalier would break an already broken game) is such a missed opportunity, if only for seeing him in massive suit of armor with a pot hat.

That being said, his high luck makes armsthrift actually useful instead of being a mere convenience, and you can always forge bronze weapons. And the Leif sword ensures you'll get some money from each encounter if you decide to give it to him.

I do also like how both classes fittingly allow him to promote into a hero.

I don't really have anything to say about that one...

Armsthrift doesn't really become reliable until you get a luck stat around the 30s. Also, getting it means diving right into Mercenary, and with it, the accompanying sword-lock. On top of that, forges can benefit anyone.

On 8/3/2018 at 7:30 PM, Hawkwing said:

For Gaius, you can either reclass him into a myrmidon, a class which legitimately has no downsides for him, or you could make him a fighter, sacrificing some speed to gain a much needed boost in strength, and then promote him into a well-rounded Hero that ensures his sword rank doesn’t go to waste. I’ve actually had a playthrough where he became the MVP after following this path, and he performed admirably here.

IMHO, I never really liked Gaius - he just isn't that evasive for a unit that should be dodgy, and the game throws an assload of sword units at you early, most all of whom outclass him.

Edited by Shadow Mir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

Armsthrift doesn't really become reliable until you get a luck stat around the 30s. Also, getting it means diving right into Mercenary, and with it, the accompanying sword-lock. On top of that, forges can benefit anyone.

Considering Donnel has an almost guaranteed luck, he'll hit that mark pretty quickly. And mercenary is far from a bad class, and being sword locked isn't the largest issue considering he'll probably reach D level in lances by the time he reclasses, so it's not a huge loss. That, and arms books exist (although I do understand the argument about using those on someone else).

Though yeah, forges help everyone. And everyone plays Fire Emblem differently.

8 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

IMHO, I never really liked Gaius - he just isn't that evasive for a unit that should be dodgy, and the game throws an assload of sword units at you early, most all of whom outclass him.

I admit, most of the time I only brought him along in levels with chests, and there I had him act as a pair up partner to the avatar. I also took advantage of Owain's chapter being a bit of a breather level to train up some of my units that had fallen behind.

14 hours ago, AnonymousSpeed said:

Careful now, don't want to lose your voice again.

Well, the time I lost my voice, I was saying the F-bomb every other word. Granted, I was scared that I was lost, and would be late to a college class, but that was God's way of telling me that being loose with my mouth is not the way I should have responded.

I had plans of maybe lets playing the game, but decided that two were already up about the 3DS games, and I didn't want to appear to be jumping on a trend. That, and I don't really have any real recording equipment at the moment, and I don't think I could have made the lets play very interesting, honestly (besides showing people my playstyle, which apparently involves making knights good and Donnel worthwhile).

That being said, and while it may take a while before it actually happens, I wouldn't mind recording an ironman playthrough of the game on hard difficulty, if only to see how many units die due to a-hole reinforcements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

Considering Donnel has an almost guaranteed luck, he'll hit that mark pretty quickly. And mercenary is far from a bad class, and being sword locked isn't the largest issue considering he'll probably reach D level in lances by the time he reclasses, so it's not a huge loss. That, and arms books exist (although I do understand the argument about using those on someone else).

Though yeah, forges help everyone. And everyone plays Fire Emblem differently.

Then he has to deal with being a worse option than... oh, just about every other sword unit you get up to that point. And once again, this is assuming Donnel gets undue preference for one of the two second seals that you get early on. Also, I don't see Armsthrift as much of a point in his favour since this isn't Radiant Dawn or some other FE where you're actually strapped for cash - this game rains bullions down upon you once you get into midgame.

Anyway, I take it that the lack of response to my first point means you acknowledge it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

Anyway, I take it that the lack of response to my first point means you acknowledge it?

Far from it. I just type slow (and Serenes Forest has an annoying habit of occasionally logging me out if I take to long), so I wanted to get what I had an immediate answer on my mind for. I can answer it now:

11 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

Because it's not like dragging deadweight around early on, when the game is at its hardest, is going to have profound negative effects on my team (largely in the form of making it harder to succeed), is it? Also, I don't see merchants as a legitimate argument just because they could, you know... just not show up. And let's not forget that Donnel's stuck with lances in an axe-heavy segment of the game - I shouldn't have to explain what that means... Simply put, Donnel requires me to go too far out of my way for a payoff that doesn't really scream "worth it"...

Honestly, though, I found the early game to be the most fun and least difficult part of the game. Although the by "least difficult." I really mean "the part of the game where I can use everyone and anyone and make it through with solid strategy and they won't die due to the sheer strength of the enemy" is referring to the fact that enemy stats have a large jump at Chapter 12, which ends up increases the chances of some units dying (or at least, getting seriously hurt) if they don't bother to dodge, and forcing my already competent units to be stuck in their roles.

That, and I paired Donnel up with Kellam, so he either stole aided Kellams kills whenever the knight was in front, or Kellam gave Donnel a significant boost in strength and defense when the trainee was on the front lines.

Also, I'm not at all calling merchants a legitimate argument. Just one that's possible, and one that the player can take advantage of if they so wish.

7 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

Then he has to deal with being a worse option than... oh, just about every other sword unit you get up to that point. And once again, this is assuming Donnel gets undue preference for one of the two second seals that you get early on. Also, I don't see Armsthrift as much of a point in his favour since this isn't Radiant Dawn or some other FE where you're actually strapped for cash - this game rains bullions down upon you once you get into midgame.

As I said, it was a no-grinding run, as well as an Ironman. I'd like to have some spare units in case someone dies, and it takes a little while before you get enough cash to spend a little less conservatively.

Since this isn't really going anywhere, and the practicality of trainee units in general is dependent on ones playstyle, lets just agree to disagree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

Honestly, though, I found the early game to be the most fun and least difficult part of the game. Although the by "least difficult." I really mean "the part of the game where I can use everyone and anyone and make it through with solid strategy and they won't die due to the sheer strength of the enemy" is referring to the fact that enemy stats have a large jump at Chapter 12, which ends up increases the chances of some units dying (or at least, getting seriously hurt) if they don't bother to dodge, and forcing my already competent units to be stuck in their roles.

That, and I paired Donnel up with Kellam, so he either stole aided Kellams kills whenever the knight was in front, or Kellam gave Donnel a significant boost in strength and defense when the trainee was on the front lines.

Also, I'm not at all calling merchants a legitimate argument. Just one that's possible, and one that the player can take advantage of if they so wish.

Personally, I subscribe to the school of thought that the earlygame tends to be the hardest part of most FE games since your unit selection is limited, and your units haven't had much chance to grow. Which is where Donnel suffers - he's bad during the part of the game that's hard, and good during the part of the game that's easy.

Well, Kellam is worth fielding on his own merits... but if I have to have him pair up with Donnel so he can survive a hit, that means my options are limited... It also means that Kellam isn't helping someone else who might need the defense more.

Fair enough. I don't mind taking a look at merchants when they show up - I just can't expect them to be a legit argument.

3 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

As I said, it was a no-grinding run, as well as an Ironman. I'd like to have some spare units in case someone dies, and it takes a little while before you get enough cash to spend a little less conservatively.

Since this isn't really going anywhere, and the practicality of trainee units in general is dependent on ones playstyle, lets just agree to disagree.

Well, I honestly wouldn't consider Donnel worth using in either. And yet you tried to use him in a run that was both...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

Personally, I subscribe to the school of thought that the earlygame tends to be the hardest part of most FE games since your unit selection is limited, and your units haven't had much chance to grow. Which is where Donnel suffers - he's bad during the part of the game that's hard, and good during the part of the game that's easy.

To each their own. I honestly haven't gotten far enough in the series to agree or disagree with you on that. With that said, I do personally like it when games (and things in real life) tell me "here's what you have. Here's what you got to do. How do you solve this problem?" As resources are limited in the early game, it scratches that itch.

18 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

Well, Kellam is worth fielding on his own merits... but if I have to have him pair up with Donnel so he can survive a hit, that means my options are limited... It also means that Kellam isn't helping someone else who might need the defense more.

For the record, I did also field him with Stahl.

18 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

Well, I honestly wouldn't consider Donnel worth using in either. And yet you tried to use him in a run that was both...

Something I forgot to mention earlier was that this run was the first time I had actually tried the tactic of "bring Donnel to every level." I was trying to see if he could survive on his own in a no-grinding run, and if it would be enough to bring him up to speed. I'm actually surprises at how well the tactic worked, as he got a larger share of the action than I thought he would. That being said, he did die (annoyingly, a +1 defense from a previous level up would have (barely) saved his life), and I accepted his death an moved on with the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread inspired me to do another Ironman run of my own. About to start Chapter 8. :) Starting on Chapter 6 I instituted the "1 Chapter Rule". Basically, when a new unit joins they must be deployed in the following chapter. Some random observations:

I actually have a competent Sumia. Seriously, 10 Strength and 12 Defense at level 9 is insane! Only Kellam and Frederick have higher Defense and Sully is the only other person tied with her. No boosts or anything.

Stahl sucks on this run. Normally he's a cornerstone of my defense, but he just hasn't been hitting his growths. Sully has surprisingly been hitting her Strength and Defense growths so far, and is nearly as fast as Sumia.

Another surprise is Ricken. More Magic than Miriel and as much Defense as most of my frontline means I smell a Dark Knight promotion in his future. His Speed sucks, but no one else on my team will need Speedwings, so they're all his if he doesn't fizzle out.

Donnel is Donnel, but I'll probably continue to use him as long as I can. Screw optimization, I just like him.

Vaike is easily my MVP. He has the strength to eliminate most serious threats and the health to survive a few hits without worry. I may switch him to Barbarian

Panne and Gauis haven't hit any level ups yet, so I'll probably give them another Chapter to see if they impress me. I'll probably just switch Lon'qu over to a Thief instead since he's another who is surprising me with his Strength growth this run.

I'm not really planning a second gen here. While I'm not shying away from Pair Up, I'm not abusing it either. My supports are all over the place right now and I only have a few viable pairings in the works. I'm going with a female Avatar and both she and Sumia are currently at C rank with Chrom, so we'll see what kids I end up with.

 

This is a Hard Mode run.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's pretty standard for Ricken. He's the guy who hits harder once and then that's it because his base Spd is pretty bad. Miriel is the speedy mage, so she's expected to make up for her lower Mag by doubling stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's surprising me is the Defense. He's got 13 at Level 11 which is just nuts. It's much easier to employ a tactical nuke when they can survive a rpund or two of combat. And Celica's Gale is relatively cheap if I need him to double.

I dropped Donnel, but only because I want to use my shapeshifters instead. Gauis died in Chapter 8 due to an untimely Dual Strike and poor positioning.

I'm about to tackle Gangrel. My team is Cavalier Chrom, Robin, Ricken, Gregor, Nowi, Panne, Libra, Sumia,  Vaike, Wyvern Sully, Libra, Lon'qu, Virion and Anna. Lissa took an early promotion to War Monk but her axe rank isn't high enough for this map. Plus Nowi is the only member of my team who hasn't crested Level 10 yet.

I'm resisting the urge to reclass Panne because I always do. Besides, I want to test out her default class against the sheer number of mounted units coming up later. Vaike and Sumia are Level 15, so I'll likely promote them soon. I've cured myself of the habit of insisting on 20/20 units long ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

13 does sound relatively blessed, yeah. Ultimately, I think they'd both still have about the same durability if Miriel was up to level because getting doubled takes a lot of concrete defenses to make up for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I may still train Miriel as well since I lost Virion and Olivia to reinforcements on Chapter 11. At least it saves me the trouble of deploying Olivia in the next chapter. I'm not a big fan of dancers outside of the GBA games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 04/08/2018 at 3:09 PM, Jotari said:

Damn. Libra was only three weeks away from retirement.

https://comb.io/isMFmt

Some of those losses though... ouch...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cherche was recruited with no issues. I had to take her to Carrion Isle, which wasn't a lot of fun. I lost Panne there since she decided to not dodge anything. Nowi is still struggling along, though I'm wondering if it's even worth it since she needs a Dragonstone+ to remain viable.

I continued Cherche's training on the ship fighting the Valmese, along with Henry and Lucina. Her training ends here though, because she just can't keep up with Sully and Sumia. Sumia still clocks in with one of the highest Defense scores on my team and a passable Strength score. Sully is stronger and physically tankier with only slightly less speed. 

I'm about to tackle the Valmese on the beach. Lon'qu officially hits the bench since Say'ri comes in at a lower level with equal Strength and Defense and higher scores in everyting else. I think my endgame team has pretty much been decided at this point barring any surprises if I manage to make any more kids.

Right now I have Great Knight!Chrom, Dark Knight!Robin (via Dark Mage), Cavalier!Lucina, Dark Knight!Ricken (21 Defense! 20 Speed!), Falcon Knight!Sumia (18 Defense!), Warrior!Vaike, Wyvern Lord!Sully, Warrior Cleric!Lissa, Warrior Monk!Libra, Trickster!Anna, Sorceror!Henry, Hero!Gregor and Manakete!Nowi.

Sumia ended up being Lucina's mother. Future pairings include Ricken&Sully, Vaike&Lissa and Gregor&Robin. Henry's only potential spouse is Nowi and I have none active for Libra or Anna.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nowi sounds under-leveled. Manakete EXP speed means you do have a chance to catch her up, but you'd need to do it before enemies get full promotion. However, given that Sully and Sumia are currently carrying your team, you're probably better off benching her over taking pains to pull a growth unit out of the hole.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.