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Hi, So, now that I've taken the time to think of the origin of the problem rather than the problem itself, which is units having trouble with ennemies in early game in a FE game with PU and attack stance available, I'll explain myself. You have access to a limited number of units, and in CQ OG you can't grind. You units at the moment they join have LOWER stats than several of the ennemies although they outnumber your troops. You may have 50% growth rate or even 70%, it ain't gonna save you if you have to play against seal speed ennemies who nearly double you before they even activate seal speed (looking at Effie with burning eyes), or against ennemies who can take 6 def away from your units. I know what you'll say: "But if you know how to play the damn game, you know can kill them without being sealed, thresholds" nanani nanana. I don't think having to rely on insane level ups for Corrin in the first 6-7 chapters of the game is a good way to balance a game, neither is the fact that all your units need several hundreds of gold worth of TEMPORARY stat boosters just to not die in 1 attack stance +1 normal attack at the beginning of the game. Look at Radiant Dawn part 3: the GMs all have a role they can play well enough from the get go. Gatrie is a General, Effie is a knight. Gatrie can take several hits of very powerful ennemies at base, Effie can take 2 hits and die at base. Gatrie's speed is busted to the point he can double some ennemies, while Effie's 55% spd growth allows to get to an average of...yeah, 12.7 speed at level 20, which is lower than Keaton's level 15 base speed and he's not particularly fast. Fast knight you said? Actually Effie can get doubled quite a lot and even take damage from the ennemies who double her, unlike Gilliam who can gain 1 point of speed and sit there for the whole game and not care at all since it's all he needs to break the speed threshold to not get doubled by any axeman in the early game while his def slowly grows into the amazing steel wall it becomes. Effie's speed lets her get doubled, Effie's def lets her get hurt (and not by paper balls, but rather by trucks of overstatted ennemies overloaded with skills giving them the edge on your already shitty units with non OP skills yet and who barely ever double anything aside from Niles who can't hurt anything but mages and pegasi, barely better than Kaze who can only hurt mages). And add to that the fact the ennemies also use attack or guard stance to inflate their damage or prevent you from ORKOing them, and that's what I call shitty game balance. The level design would be fine if stat debuffs didn't exist at all and ennemy damage could be calculated easier (if you could know beforehand who would attack stance with who, in which order they would attack so you know how to prevent them from doing so, for example), but with these "OMG so flashy I want to play as a full ninja with poison, debuffs and OP stuff" ways to push naruto and ninjago fans into finally buying the game (just for them to get deceived because they'll manage to game over in chapter 1 in phoenix mode at any rate since they come from the most casual appealing part of kikooland) to make more cash and not to actually give the player a satisfying experience. Look, most Faceless have 11-12 def from chapter 7 onwards in HARD, 24+ HP, 9-ish speed and nearly as much res as def, so you can't even burst them with a magic unit (reclassed Corrin/Felicia). Your own tanks have less HP than any ennemy on the map except Arthur who badly wants a bronze weapon to have actual accuracy and 0% crit chance against him. But Arthur, although he's a tanky juggernaut, lacks the defence to really do this job, and he lacks the speed to be a killer (sadly since he's probably the highest damage unit at base and his accuracy means that he wouldn't be OP if he was able to double). On top of shitty retainers' base stats compared with ennemies, look at your units' levels, except Mozu, everyone is already past level 5 (Effie Silas 6, Arthur 7), which means...that they won't have many levels to actually benefit from high growth rates since exp gains are garbage as soon as you get 2-3 levels ahead. Which means they'll get like 2 points of each stat or something like that before stagnating for 2 chapters. And become shit again. Now you have Camilla who joins just at the same time as her vastly inferior retainers (who I'd really have loved to be available in chapter 7 or 8 instead of 3rd turn of chapter 10 so they could actually be levelled up at that point, especially Beruka who starts with Arthur's speed but 2 levels higher, with lower growth and also 3 chapters later, in a chapter with ninja spamming and archers and defend the 4 escape points against 7 move fast pegasi she's 1 or 2 damage short of OHKOing anytime even with support, although they come by 3 at some point so you can't put 2 units to kill each one of them while being rushed by 24 damage onis on 2 sides, by ninja+spear fighters from another side and by Oboro and Hinata ll at the same time). Camilla has stats your best units would get by level 18-20 or even after promotion. But she's already promoted. If you use her, she steals exp from your growth units who need it to be even relevant at all. If you don't let her get kills, she will become irrelevant once she can finally gain decent exp per kill. Unlike Seth, she's vulnerable to 25% of the ennemy units in the game since they love spamming bow wielders to put their arrows far in your butt. And they move in groups so she can't even kill the 1 archer in the formation and call it a day, because there's still 1 or even 2 of them around. Xander has OP sword, but I'd prefer him having a lance in order to not be laughed at by ninjas who will enjoy debuffing the hell out of him and spamming poison strike so any shitty leftover ennemy can pick up Xander's life. Duessel is so much better at the same job it's not even funny (and actually Duessel takes more frontal damage than Xander since his defence isn't as high compared with ennemy damage and his level is also too high to gain substancial exp even from bosses, while Seth had all the chapter 1-8 to benefit from increased exp per kill to overlevelled units and that's the only reason he is so OP, because of the coded bonus exp to promoted units in early game, there's even a patch to disable it on FEBuilderGBA, but unlike Xander, Duessel doesn't face stat reductions, entrap, hex rods, freeze although sleep is even more annoying but still it's curable unlike freeze and hex, and Duessel doesn't suffer from poison strike shenanigans playing Awakening counter shenanigans but better without needing to die to apply their braindead tactics). Actually, since his stats are totaly those of a GK, I'd love him to be a GK and have a PERSONAL AXE, just like his dad (because 3 of his classes use an axe and he was birthed by an axe wielding overstatted king and his sister also wields an axe, even the little healer sister can wield a goddamn axe, why does Xander use a damn sword of all things in the game where swords really are at a disadvantage even with OP stats, range and 1-2 normal weapons can't double anymore?)! It would at least make sense from a story perspective (LOL story having sense in Fates). So yeah, you start with some garbage units, with shitty stats, you have to face ennemies with higher stats than your units although they already outnumber you, and your only way to make up for it is to use attack stance against single ennemies to hope to kill them before you get killed (with very unequal accuracy) or dual guard and hope it doesn't get you killed. You also have to waste a ton of gold into temporary stat boosters just to not be cannon fodder for 8 chapters instead of having directly the base stats allowing your units to do their job. Add to all that the fact that you have to buy nearly every single healing item you need or want since they give you nearly none from the beginning of the game, that weapons above iron are about as useful as your fingers instead of toilet paper after you took a shit, and instead of these shitty weapons they give you for free because they know most won't even use them more than 3x in a playthrough due to how gimmicky they are (instead of letting durability, availability and price balance them), you'll have to buy or find tons of iron weapons you'll have to forge in order to have actual weapons and not even more stat debuffs on your already mediocre units (especially non royals). And shurikens give 2 speed for free while daggers have +5 accuracy, nice joke IS, next time try to think and playtest before selling the final product. I've seen many people on these boards explain thresholds, strategies to kill this or that. I think I shouldn't need to follow an LTC guide just to enjoy the game in hard if there are only 2 non lunatic difficulties since normal should be called easy and phoenix mode is complete disrespect of the series. Or they could let you play phoenix on any difficulty if that's what we want to just take revenge on these * annoying ennemies on the hardest difficulty. It's a single player game, not an online MMO or MOBA where you have to ensure the player isn't OP from the get go facing handicapped ennemies (which is actually common in PVP MMO or MOBA since they release OP heroes or classes to sell skins and cosmetics or payable classes etc., thanks microtransactions for ruining gaming experience in general). I don't want my game to be a puzzle game in hard, I don't care if it is in lunatic since it's a mode for experts. Hard is for people who want non poop-made ennemies and actual ennemy density, not for masochists who like to play puzzle in a tactical RPG (and an RPG should always let you do things in the way you want, not trying to force you into doing specific things to cheese it, that is for LTC/speedrunning, not for casual play). That's it, what are your thoughts?
Recently I was involved in a discussion about the (un)usefulness of a prepromoted unit. I argued that I prefer growths over bases. In most cases prepromoted units have: + decent bases + good weapon level - lower bases than a rised level 1 unit of the same class - worse growths However in FE9 prepromoted units have average or below average base stats, but great weapon level combined with good up to amazing growths. Their growthrates will equalize their low bases later on. Except on higher difficulties I try to avoid using prepromotes as much as I can. The only exceptions are some units in FE9, Percival in 6 and Seth in two chapters in 8. I go for bases in the early game, but for growths in the long run. PS: I'm not a LTC player.