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Do you want an avatar & S-rank supports? (Poll)

  

397 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you want an avatar?

    • Yes.
      203
    • No.
      194
  2. 2. Do you want S-rank supports?

    • Yes.
      261
    • No.
      136


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No avatar. Screw that.

I'm iffy on S Supports. If they don't lead to children, that's fine. If they do lead to children ehh..... I'd rather not have them in. But even then it may decrease the quality of the supports because you'd need to somehow make the C B A supports not really romantic while making S not seem like it's coming out of nowhere.

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No to Avatars, yes to S Supports with some restrictions. For the latter, I wouldn't mind if S Supports if they were implemented as Book Bro suggested, just an indication of a romantic relationship with no immediate marriage and no children involved. For that matter, I'd like to see S Supports that don't end well be a thing if they do come back as I mentioned. Plenty of A Support paired endings ended in melancholy or outright tragedy, and I'd like to see that come back if just for variety. And also an A+ Support for platonic paired endings would be fantastic too.

Avatars are a hard no from me. Aside from the fact that none of the Avatars are actually self-inserts in a meaningful sort of way, they've only been an active detriment to the storytelling of the games they're in.

10 hours ago, Dandy Druid said:

So while I'm not crazy about avatars in FE, I wouldn't mind it if they went all out with it and your avatar feels more like an established character rather than a blank self-insert. 

At that point, doesn't the Avatar cease to be...well, an Avatar? The whole point of Kris, Robin and Corrin is that, much like your average terrible harem anime protagonist, their personalities are bland enough for the audience to insert themselves into and amicable and inoffensive enough that it's not completely out of the realm of possibility that anyone could fall in love with them (of course, your mileage may vary on how well that works). Giving them a more complex or relatively deep characterization takes away the thing that makes them an Avatar. Honestly, I'm of the opposite opinion; they need to have zero expressed personality on their own, a la Bethesda's customizable protagonists or the mainline MegaTen protagonists, and allow players to chose their personality, even if it's just for fluff/flavor.

9 hours ago, SlipperySlippy said:

I think Intelligence System needs to take hints from series like Persona to properly incorporate an avatar-based character and not just make a 'generic hero'.

I see the sentiment that Persona is a good example of self-inserts done right quite a bit, but I don't agree. Granted, Persona does on the surface give you more agency as a player than the Avatars do, but there's almost always a clear right answer in almost any situation in the Persona games, and you're often punished, if lightly, for not going down that path. Not to mention that Persona at times has the same problems with player worship that Awakening and Fates had, and the Persona protagonists do have an intended personality, if muted and understated, expressed primarily through body language and actions taken in story scenes.

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I choose no to having an Avatar but I wouldn't mind if they were there. It can be a fun mechanic, and the only actual problem I have is when the other characters start singing praises about them like in Fates. If they do it more like Awakening then I'd be perfectly fine with it.

As for S-supports, I want them there just so that everybody can get more then just 1 A support. In Echoes taking it out worked only because it didn't matter who got an A support with who because there were already pre-established relationships in the game. I think only Forsyth, Saber, and Genny were the only other ones to marry that don't have some romantic subplot in the game. I don't like the kids mechanic though and am hoping they shelve the idea for the next game.

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1 hour ago, AzureSen said:

I see the sentiment that Persona is a good example of self-inserts done right quite a bit, but I don't agree.

I agree with you not agreeing. I find the player worshipping in the Persona games to be one of the series' weakest points, which also affects the "romance". A good example is Rise's confession in Persona 4, when she hugs Yu, and he just stands there unmoving and mute. What a guy. 

Great series, but not one I would look to for an avatar done right. I'd say Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords has a far better example of an avatar done right.

Quote

It can be a fun mechanic, and the only actual problem I have is when the other characters start singing praises about them like in Fates.

Like I wrote in my earlier message, while I believe avatars are far more susceptible to player worshipping, it's by no means exclusive to them. Ike in Radiant Dawn is effectively a detriment to the plot because of how the game treats him, and Alm is borderline perfect, with people loudly proclaiming their inferiority to him as a person - and the chicks love him, too.

Edited by Thane

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No to Avatar. I don't have strong feelings against them but I haven't liked Robin or Corrin so it would be nice to skip it on this one. 

Yes to S supports. It is cool to feel like the characters in your army actually develop bonds with each other and it is cool to be able to influence those. I could do without children  though. 

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No to Avatars as I don't think IS with their current storytelling model can really get them right. They're either going to be too irrelevant (Mark) or too overidealized/overcentralizing, and until they manage to get a better handle on their writing I'd rather they avoid the concept altogether.

As for S Supports, I'm mixed. On the one hand if it's done in the way that's been suggested (ex. limited to only a few characters) then I'm fine with it, but if it's like the way it was in Fates then no, especially if they tie in the Children once again.

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2 hours ago, AzureSen said:

I see the sentiment that Persona is a good example of self-inserts done right quite a bit, but I don't agree. Granted, Persona does on the surface give you more agency as a player than the Avatars do, but there's almost always a clear right answer in almost any situation in the Persona games, and you're often punished, if lightly, for not going down that path. Not to mention that Persona at times has the same problems with player worship that Awakening and Fates had, and the Persona protagonists do have an intended personality, if muted and understated, expressed primarily through body language and actions taken in story scenes.

I pretty much agree with everything you've said except the 'clear' choice. I've had the opposite experience where I found it frustrating for the story to contain a variety of dialogue options that ultimately meant nothing. I suppose it's to help distinguish or add flair, differentiating yourself from other players choices, but it generally changes nothing. I suppose you're referring to the social link conversations in particular? Of which, the right/wrong answer was definitely an issue as you highlighted. I used Persona as an example due to not many other memorable experiences of using Avatar characters. It's the one I see as having most 'evolved', but still not perfect. Player worship has been almost universal trait recently and don't see it leaving much to my dismay. 

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3 hours ago, AzureSen said:

At that point, doesn't the Avatar cease to be...well, an Avatar? The whole point of Kris, Robin and Corrin is that, much like your average terrible harem anime protagonist, their personalities are bland enough for the audience to insert themselves into and amicable and inoffensive enough that it's not completely out of the realm of possibility that anyone could fall in love with them (of course, your mileage may vary on how well that works). Giving them a more complex or relatively deep characterization takes away the thing that makes them an Avatar. Honestly, I'm of the opposite opinion; they need to have zero expressed personality on their own, a la Bethesda's customizable protagonists or the mainline MegaTen protagonists, and allow players to chose their personality, even if it's just for fluff/flavor.

I mentioned how there could be a personality test given when you're creating your avatar, so you can really make it a more accurate self-insert of yourself. But I guess that can be seen as less as an Avatar and more of a design-your-own-character moment. I see your point. I also like your idea about a Bethesda-type avatar/protagonist.

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I'm okay with avatars as long as they're good characters and have good customization because I always find making characters fun. As for good customization, I mean that I would want a decent selection for voices (Like Xenoblade Chronicles X), at least 3 builds (Like Awakening's), and a plethora of faces, hairs, etc. etc. because otherwise the customization can become rather lackluster. (@MaleCorrin. If only I didn't dislike the builds and almost every hairstyle.) But seriously if they're doing avatars again I wanna see them go all out with character customization for the Switch.

As for S-Supports, I'd rather just keep them maxed out at A and have canonical pairings already made, mostly because I don't care all that much about pairing people up.

5 hours ago, Thane said:

Great series, but not one I would look to for an avatar done right. I'd say Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords has a far better example of an avatar done right.

Yes yes yes I can attest to this. I may be bias but they really did do a great job at making your decisions feel like your own and I never felt like my avatar was worshiped all that much.

Edited by SuperIb

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No and maybe. Maybe as in, yes if it's limited to specific characters and situations, and only affects the ending. No if it means babies and everyone can fuck anyone. I'll say "no", just because the game has had A ranks in the past that affected endings, so S ranks feel redundant in that case.

Edited by Slumber

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I like player customizable units that are recognized during the narrative, so "yes" to the first question. It'd probably be better if they gave the avatar a minor role instead of such a major one like in the last two games. It might make it easier to write as well, honestly.

Also, "yes" to the second question. But I'd like it if they cut down on the marriage thing. It's perfectly plausible to have an S rank support where two characters merely decide to see each other romantically without them getting married - marriage can be saved for the epilogues or whatever. I don't particularly mind kids, though I'm not a fan of how they were shoehorned into Fates. I still think the Bond Unit system would have been a better as a sort of child mechanic where you could mix and max units for fun, but that's neither here nor there.

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22 hours ago, Thane said:

Like I wrote in my earlier message, while I believe avatars are far more susceptible to player worshipping, it's by no means exclusive to them. Ike in Radiant Dawn is effectively a detriment to the plot because of how the game treats him, and Alm is borderline perfect, with people loudly proclaiming their inferiority to him as a person - and the chicks love him, too.

You are right that player worship isn't exclusive to an Avatar character, but I always feel it is worse when an Avatar is involved. I didn't mind Alm as much as Corrin even though the levels of player worship are similar (although I feel like Corrin is still worse). I don't know how to describe this exactly but with Corrin they are meant to be us. So all the compliments and hand waving that Fates does feels worse then if Corrin had not been meant to be an Avatar. Nothing really would have changed of course, but since it isn't supposed to be directed towards me as a player it wouldn't come off as terrible (just bad). This is all however how I personally react to player worship, and it honestly doesn't bother me until it gets to the point that Fates did it.

I haven't played Radiant Dawn so I can't really say how I would feel about it.

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15 minutes ago, YingofDarkness said:

You are right that player worship isn't exclusive to an Avatar character, but I always feel it is worse when an Avatar is involved. I didn't mind Alm as much as Corrin even though the levels of player worship are similar (although I feel like Corrin is still worse). I don't know how to describe this exactly but with Corrin they are meant to be us. So all the compliments and hand waving that Fates does feels worse then if Corrin had not been meant to be an Avatar. Nothing really would have changed of course, but since it isn't supposed to be directed towards me as a player it wouldn't come off as terrible (just bad). This is all however how I personally react to player worship, and it honestly doesn't bother me until it gets to the point that Fates did it.

I haven't played Radiant Dawn so I can't really say how I would feel about it.

Keep in mind that when interacting with people in towns or during base monologues, they speak directly to the camera, and Alm's responses are only implied, just like in many RPG's and games like Zelda. Alm is an avatar in all but name, and while we can't customize and name him, he's nevertheless the conduit for the players to immerse themselves with in that world. It's sort of like how people who play the Metroid Prime games often say that, figuratively, they are Samus, because they see things through her visor.

Just like Corrin, Alm is also a hero of prophecy, and people loudly and openly proclaim his awesomeness and their inferiority to him. Not only that, but both of them go against the key themes of their own stories (Fates' family and choice being rendered useless by Corrin not being related to anyone and Revelation being the right choice vs. Echoes' theme of finding a middle ground between ideals and your station of birth not determining the quality of your character being rendered moot by Alm not needing to by influenced by Celica since he starts off flawless, and his blood being what saves the day in the end). 

Corrin is a far worse character than Alm is, but like Corrin, Alm doesn't even really fit into his own game. I feel like many of Intelligent Systems' problems lie not just in the avatar system - even though avatars are definitely harder to write well - but more in their overall mentality regarding their vision for the stories of their franchise. People like to criticize Awakening and Fates' avatars - and rightly so - but like previously mentioned, Radiant Dawn Ike, Kris and Alm all have a slew of issues of their own, and many similarities can be found between all of them, even though not all of them are avatars.

Edited by Thane

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No to Avatars. They've been for too great a conduit for player worship. I agree with Thane that main character worship can be a problem even without an avatar, but (a) even then, it feels a bit less embarrassing as it does when characters gush over someone who is literally supposed to represent the player, and (b) IntSys has batted a higher average with non-avatar mains IMO; not perfect by any means, but I'll take Micaiah or Chrom or Eirika over any of the avatars.

S-supports I voted yes but like many others I have some issues with how these are currently being done. In particular no no no no to everyone-can-marry-everyone scheme that Awakening and Fates did. This really cheapens the way romantic relationships work in real life. Not everyone is gonna be interested. Even making the assumption that the cast is devoid of homosexual, aseuxal, etc. characters (a rather obnoxios assumption to start with), not everyone wants to hook up with just anyone of the opposite sex. Also it makes all supports follow a predictable pattern rather than developing in a natural way that fits the characters.

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1 minute ago, Thane said:

Keep in mind that when interacting with people in towns or during base monologues, they speak directly to the camera, and Alm's responses are only implied, just like in many RPG's and games like Zelda. Alm is an avatar in all but name, and while we can't customize and name him, he's nevertheless the conduit for the players to immerse themselves with in that world. It's sort of like how people who play the Metroid Prime games often say that, figuratively, they are Samus, because they see things through her visor.

Yes, but I'm not one of those people which is why it doesn't bother me as much. To me Alm is his own character because we can't customize him and we can't choose who he marries like with the other Fire Emblem Avatars minus Mark. Again that is all based on my personal views on these characters.

5 minutes ago, Thane said:

Just like Corrin, Alm is also a hero of prophecy, and people loudly and openly proclaim his awesomeness and their inferiority to him. Not only that, but both of them go against the key themes of their own stories (Fates' family and choice being rendered useless by Corrin not being related to anyone and Revelation being the right choice vs. Alm not needing to unite his ideals with Celica, and his blood being what saves the day in the end).

That having been said I know that there are problems with him being made to basically be an Avatar without the customization. I like him, but they really should have made him more like FE:A's DLC version of him for the sake of the theme of the game and its female protagonist.

12 minutes ago, Thane said:

Corrin is a far worse character than Alm is, but like Corrin, Alm doesn't even really fit into his own game. I feel like many of Intelligent Systems' problems lie not just in the avatar system - even though avatars are definitely harder to write well - but more in their overall mentality regarding their vision for the stories of their franchise. People like to criticize Awakening and Fates' avatars - and rightly so - but like previously mentioned, Radiant Dawn Ike, Kris and Alm all have a slew of issues of their own, and many similarities can be found between all of them, even though not all of them are avatars.

You are right in saying that it isn't just an Avatar issue, and you also pointed out a worrying trend that IS hopefully bucks for the Switch game. Every recent FE game, except for FE11, has had this type of character whether they are the main lord or not. I feel like there is some internal conflict going on in IS in regards to this. All of these character's roles in the story where done the way they were because of player pandering to an extent. It seems like the theme of the stories is decided upon and then it changes during development so they can have these characters put in.

Keep in mind I haven't played the Tellius games, but I'm assuming because you aren't mentioning PoR Ike he wasn't player worshiped to the extent that he was in RD (if at all). I do know Ike is an extremely popular character and I've heard people say negative things about his role in RD because he overshadows Micaiah (the other protagonist) in what is supposed to be her story. The reason for that role was probably to pander to the players of PoR who liked him there.

Kris and Robin have the same problem with player pandering even though they aren't meant to be the main characters. As the tacticians they are meant to be the player's window into the main lords stories. I feel like that even though that was their original role the stories changed during development to further pander to the players by giving them a more prominent role in the story to the point where Kris ends up taking over some of Marth's roles and being credited with some of his original accomplishments, and Robin ended up being the tritagonist.

Then you have Alm. Again I really like Alm as a character, but you are right in saying that he does render the theme of his game mute. From the beginning Alm is one of the strongest soldiers, whose biggest flaw is being a little too reckless when he finds out strangers are in danger. People start calling him a king for no reason other than him being the leader of the army, and he easily forgives people he knows little about except that they have been nothing but insulting jerks his whole journey for no reason. He is the picture of perfection and empathy...so why is Celica there again?

Corrin it the most extreme version of this player pandering. The story sometimes has to bend itself over backwards and make bs excuses just so that Corrin (which is meant to be you) can do no wrong and can marry anyone they choose. The worst offense is what happens at the end on Conquests story with the real Takumi in my opinion. You literally have to possessed to hate Corrin.

They seem to keep getting worse with it though...

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1 hour ago, YingofDarkness said:

Yes, but I'm not one of those people which is why it doesn't bother me as much. To me Alm is his own character because we can't customize him and we can't choose who he marries like with the other Fire Emblem Avatars minus Mark. Again that is all based on my personal views on these characters.

That's fair. Since I always separate myself entirely from avatars, I felt like Alm was just on the same level, given what I just said. However, this is entirely subjective, of course.

1 hour ago, YingofDarkness said:

That having been said I know that there are problems with him being made to basically be an Avatar without the customization. I like him, but they really should have made him more like FE:A's DLC version of him for the sake of the theme of the game and its female protagonist.

Right. Not to further derail the thread or sound like a broken record, but a major problem with Echoes is tha Alm is flawless in a game that requires him not to be. He essentially renders Celica and her part of the story useless in terms of the story, unless you count her helping him get to the final destination, and both themes end up making no sense in context. That's one of the major reasons why I'm so surprised to see people praise Echoes' story - not presentation, but the story - and ignore the similarities between Alm and Corrin. The reason why I bring this up is simply because I don't think removing the avatar automatically improves the writing quality of either the story or the protagonist. 

1 hour ago, YingofDarkness said:

Kris and Robin have the same problem with player pandering even though they aren't meant to be the main characters.

They are though. They don't show up halfway through or anything, but join immediately and have an important role throughout their respective games. You can object to how this was handled, and I cannot stand what I've read about Kris and how Marth's previously established achievements were suddenly credited to someone else, but they are most certainly main characters.

1 hour ago, YingofDarkness said:

They seem to keep getting worse with it though...

I wouldn't say that, personally. However, I think a problem is that the support characters inevitably end up being more interesting than the protagonists because they're always more diverse and different, whereas many Fire Emblem lords are practically interchangeable in certain regards and more often than not completely inoffensive personality-wise, just like the avatars, with the occasional exception like Micaiah. Reading Eirika and Ephraim's dialogue whenever they're not talking to Lyon could substitute a sleeping pill.

Intelligent Systems seem to rely far too much on tradition, in my opinion, and it can be seen with the protagonists, villains and the way their stories are structured. For the protagonists to be really appealing, I think they need to do some introspection more than anything else, or perhaps even some kind of proof reader from outside of the company, someone who hasn't stared themself blind on the story during development.

Edited by Thane

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On 7/8/2017 at 6:21 PM, Dandy Druid said:

I mentioned how there could be a personality test given when you're creating your avatar, so you can really make it a more accurate self-insert of yourself. 

New Mystery did have a personality test sort of thing, but all it did was determine your stats and change a handful of bits of dialogue.

On 7/8/2017 at 4:59 PM, SlipperySlippy said:

I pretty much agree with everything you've said except the 'clear' choice. I've had the opposite experience where I found it frustrating for the story to contain a variety of dialogue options that ultimately meant nothing. I suppose it's to help distinguish or add flair, differentiating yourself from other players choices, but it generally changes nothing. I suppose you're referring to the social link conversations in particular? Of which, the right/wrong answer was definitely an issue as you highlighted. I used Persona as an example due to not many other memorable experiences of using Avatar characters. It's the one I see as having most 'evolved', but still not perfect. Player worship has been almost universal trait recently and don't see it leaving much to my dismay. 

A mix of both, but mostly dealing with Social Links yes. "Punishment" is a harsh way to word it outside of S. Links, but there is a lot of railroading in the games, to make sure you reach certain plot points and do certain events that the game wants you to. You're right that there's a lot of not meaningful choices, but I don't mind those as fluff to characterize the protagonists; it's when you get into the parts where there is the illusion of choice but the game blatantly denies you when you pick the "wrong" choice that I have a problem with.

(The primary one I always think of because it nearly messed up an all S. Links MAX'd run I did, even though it's not particularly plot relevant, is a choice in P4 as to whether or not to help Yosuke out for a week at Junes; even if you refuse the game forces you to waste a week for a pittance of yen and S. Link points with three characters, two of whom you've probably already MAX'd and one of whom doesn't rank up via points anyway.)

On 7/8/2017 at 8:40 PM, Slumber said:

I'll say "no", just because the game has had A ranks in the past that affected endings, so S ranks feel redundant in that case.

Doesn't the current unlimited support system work against having paired endings at A Supports?

On 7/8/2017 at 3:21 PM, Thane said:

Great series, but not one I would look to for an avatar done right. I'd say Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords has a far better example of an avatar done right.

I don't agree. I actually feel like KotOR II had the opposite problem; the game goes out of its way to set things up so the player's actions constantly backfire or they get chewed out no matter what you choose, courtesy of a certain terrible author insert villain/walking exposition dump.

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3 minutes ago, AzureSen said:

I don't agree. I actually feel like KotOR II had the opposite problem; the game goes out of its way to set things up so the player's actions constantly backfire or they get chewed out no matter what you choose, courtesy of a certain terrible author insert villain/walking exposition dump.

In a game about choices where you travel with people with different outlooks and backstories, I would certainly hope people oppose you no matter what. What KotOR II also did right was how it handled how the Exile reflects over the Mandalorian Wars. Why they joined, why they traveled, what they think of the state of the galaxy now, and so on.

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Voted no on both. While i wouldn't complain if they did bring them back, I like seeing pre-made lords. S-supports I am technically neutral on, I don't like the "ship anyone with everyone" approach they did with Awakening and Fates. 

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I would like both. It can be a bit cheesy for a self-inserted character and their personality is usually lacking, but if they reworked the bland personality maybe it could be better. And I am a sucker for character creation. I would like to see them not as the main character though and maybe more of a side character.

I like the S-supports but after playing Echoes, I realize that neither the avatar or the marriage is necessary for a good game. But if they can do both, why not have more content (if it turns out well). 

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I don't mind an avatar, so I voted yes. However, the avatar needs to change and if having an avatar means having another Corrin I'd rather not have one, even though I love customizing my avatar. I did vote against S-supports though, simply because the game doesn't need it. I would like have the GBA style supports back. FE15 did it right. The avatar can have love interests but the amount of support conversation needs to be limited, 

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The only way I will ever truly like S-rank supports is if the variety is expanded. 

One thing that really drew me in when I played Sacred Stones (my first FE) was the variety in relationships between character endings. Aside from romance, you had Kyle and Forde's knightly bond, Ross and Garcia's father-son relationship (that didn't need a 2nd Gen to work), Amelia and Duessel's master and protogee type of relationship. Heck, there were even non-romantic male/female support endings like Forde/Eirika, Cormag/Tana, and Saleh/Myrrh.

However, since S-ranks came in, it's been completely skewed towards romance, and I think that's a disservice to many characters, as it throws other potential relationship endings out the window. I like romance as much as the next guy, but the variety in human relationships drew me in on the support system to begin with and I want to see that come back.

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No to avatar and yes to S-Support. While I did enjoy having an avatar I prefer having all of there characters already there in the game. I liked the way Awakening did it better because Chrom was still the main character. But in Fates the avatar was the main character, I didn't like that as much. Idk, I just don't want avatars anymore. I do want S-Rank though, they should keep that always.

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Yes to both, but for different reasons. I like the idea of the Avatar character who can interact with the people. But I would like to have more control over how the Avatar talks to people. I want to control aspects of their personality a la Mass Effect or Dragon Age rather than just their physical traits.

S-supports are a definite yes, but I wouldn't mind...less of them. I like the idea of a person having only 3 or so people they can s-support with, rather than anyone at all. It feels more realistic to me. I'd also like an A+ version for a couple of people and the gender they aren't attracted to, so that we can have a few people just being lifelong best friends rather than romantic. Platonic love is love too!

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