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DisobeyedCargo

What is generally the best time to promote?

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Should you promote at level 20, right at level 10, or wait untill ~level  15 or so? 

Edited by DisobeyedCargo

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Contextual imo.

While I'd tend to go as close to 20 as I can get away with outside of Gaiden/SoV (where I'd wouldn't go far above the minimum level, never mind 20), it's all dependant on what's up with your units and if the stat boosts are necessary at that time.

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It depends on the game for me. If it's a game that lets you level grind like awakening or sacred stones I wait until level 20, but with games like echoes or fe4 I promote as soon as possible because I don't see much of a reason not to. Most of the time I try to wait as long as possible, but sometimes I'll promote earlier if things are getting hard or I don't think that unit is likely to reach level 20 promoted by the end of the game anyway.

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Personally, I go case-by-case. I usually look at the average stats for my characters, and if they're above the average by a respectable margin, I'll just promote them then and there. When you promote also depends on how many promotion items you have, how contested they are, and how big of an impact said promotion you have. Frankly, I think you should promote when you think your unit either doesn't gain much from leveling in their base class, or if they need the extra move/stats.

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The only right answer is ASAP. There is no reason to ever grind out a unit up to 20 (unless there are specific requirements like Rankings in FE7).

Promoted classes bring a lot of important perks with them, be it just the +1 movement or an additional weapon type. You want to have access to that as early as possible because it immediately enhances your unit and make them jump in their usefulness. Heck you even get additional stats most of the time.

To name an example; Raven gets Axes with his promotion which for one gives him WTA against those Wyverns in Bern but more importantly he gains access to 1-2 range which greatly increases his usefulness in both player and enemy phase.
Before that he is sword locked ... which is terrible. Yes, his base stats are super great in HHM and whatever but it still doesn't change the fact that he still can't counter ranged units and fails to reliably KO tougher Lance units like Wyverns.
Promote him early and you won't have the problem; in fact because his bases are good you won't even notice the lost 2-3 stat points he gains from grinding all the way to 20.

Only Tellius comes into my mind where it might be necessary to level up to 20 because Master Seals are quite limited (IIRC 3?) and there is the path to promote by reaching Level 20. That means you use your limited seals to promote someone like Mist or Soren early (faster mount or staves respectively) while others like Oscar or Kieran just stick with their base classes until they reach their promotion.

Edited by The Priest

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There's three schools of thought to this:

1. At level 20, for the most mileage out of your growths
2. Whenever you need the stat boost/secondary weapons
3. ASAP

My answer is "do I need to do it now?".  Depending on the context, I may promote immediately, or I may hold off until level 17ish.  I'm more likely to early promote in a draft.

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Sometimes it depends on the game for example in FE4 you can't promote units until they reach level 20 to begin with. I see nothing wrong with promoting early (meaning level 10 or so) some games I've even done so however generally I prefer to be between levels 15-18. Generally it depends on the game and how slowly a unit is getting EXP in Fates for instance I might be inclined to promote early as units earn EXP REALLY SLOW anyway I might as well have the extra power if I'm going to get EXP at a similar rate to a promoted unit. 

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20, always.

In my mind, It's not like it's that hard to train anyone to 20, especially if you're making use of arenas. (on the gba, though most of the games have an exploitable factor.)

If you want the strongest units possible you need all forty plus possible levels. And why wouldn't you want the strongest? That's my philosophy

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I’d say that depends on the game. Some games, like Mystery of the Emblem, allow you to get away with promoting early (stats cap at 20, and experience is static), but others aren’t so accommodating of such (I would argue Fates as being such a game).

1 hour ago, The Priest said:

The only right answer is ASAP. There is no reason to ever grind out a unit up to 20 (unless there are specific requirements like Rankings in FE7).

Promoted classes bring a lot of important perks with them, be it just the +1 movement or an additional weapon type. You want to have access to that as early as possible because it immediately enhances your unit and make them jump in their usefulness. Heck you even get additional stats most of the time.

To name an example; Raven gets Axes with his promotion which for one gives him WTA against those Wyverns in Bern but more importantly he gains access to 1-2 range which greatly increases his usefulness in both player and enemy phase.
Before that he is sword locked ... which is terrible. Yes, his base stats are super great in HHM and whatever but it still doesn't change the fact that he still can't counter ranged units and fails to reliably KO tougher Lance units like Wyverns.
Promote him early and you won't have the problem; in fact because his bases are good you won't even notice the lost 2-3 stat points he gains from grinding all the way to 20.

Only Tellius comes into my mind where it might be necessary to level up to 20 because Master Seals are quite limited (IIRC 3?) and there is the path to promote by reaching Level 20. That means you use your limited seals to promote someone like Mist or Soren early (faster mount or staves respectively) while others like Oscar or Kieran just stick with their base classes until they reach their promotion.

You have a point, I shall admit, but I disagree on always promoting ASAP.

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Getting to level 20 is statistically the best way to go about promotions. It ensures that each character gets every chance they can to raise their stats along the way which means that someone promoted at level 20 is superior to someone promoted at 10 with the only exceptions being due to RNG. Of course, this mostly applies in games where growth rates are high and stats are of great importance. the Telius series and Fates for example. In the older games the stats are so low that promotion can afford to come early, and in Awakening, stats are literally endless as long as you are willing to class change and re-promote your units

Strategically though there are a lot of reasons to promote someone before they reach level 20. Either because their most important stats are so high they don't need the extra levels, or because of something they get at promotion being more important than a couple 40% chances of raising something by 1. 

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Out of habit, even if it is not out of what is best, I always do 20. Even in SoV, I tend to delay to 20 unless the unit is a Villager, Archer, Soldier, or in the Dread Fighter line. This is particularly true of the Pegasus who have only two tiers, but also the Mages and Knights, who gain next to nothing from promoting.

There is something of an item-hoard like issue here. I think I will need the extra stats, when in fact I may not, and want to get them for "emergencies". I really should have Gerik use his starting Hero Crest for instance, but he fights well enough and earns even on Hard experience easy enough that I will bear with sword lock and bring him to 20, even though his minimal bases as Hero are that strong and Axes are that useful. Knoll never even gets an early Summoner promo, even though I know he is near-worthless as a combat unit.

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It depends on various factors such as do you need the additional stat boost, do you have capped stats and do you need additional weapons. Also, can you afford to promote early when there are other units who may need the promotional item more. 

Edited by Icelerate

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It really depends on you as the player. I always wondered when to promote and in my case, if the promotion helps to grow the unit further, then I would do it right away.

Frankly, I don't see how those extra stats that you can get at full level is skipped for a fast promo because if the unit is almost close at capping it or if it is not going anyfurther, then you have to ask yourself if such a unit is worth using in the long run. 

Using a bad unit that requires proper training to actually do something that an already good unit can do is just a waste of time to the point that there is no reason to promote such units unless it's a biased reason. Example of this..compare dieck and ogier. Who is worth it in the long run?

 

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I always promote units at level 20 with the exceptions being SoV and Awakening.

It’s not difficult to get a unit up to level 20. Some classes don’t even give you additional weapon types and even when they do they come at such low rank that you’re better of using your base weapon types to begin with. Promoted units also gain less exp so you’ll be seeing level ups a lot less now and the promotion stat bonus don’t really make up for it.

The reason SoV is an exception is because units have such low growths to begin with not to mention the spike after reaching level 10 which makes leveling up take centuries and is just not worth it. Awakening allows you to grind indefinitely so all that really matters is getting whatever skills you want and then promote/reclass and repeat the process.

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I tend to promote at level 20 in the GBA games, despite knowing that it isn't really optimal. Exceptions are healers (and even then I usually wait until 15 or so) and unit that cap stats early (Myrmidons, for example).

In Tellius, I usually don't use the master seals to early-promote with very little exception. RD!Soren, if I use him, is probably the only unit that I consistently early-promote.

In the DS games, I actually do promote earlier, usually somewhere between 12 and 15. I believe that XP gain for promoted units isn't as low as it is in the GBA games, although I might imagine things.

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FE1-FE4: Instant Promote

FE5: 10-15

FE6-FE8: 13-17

FE9-FE10: 20

FE11-12: 13-17

FE13: Who gives a fuck

FE14: 15-20

FE15: Instant Promote

Is a good rule of thumb, although exceptions obviously exist.

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Level 20, not only that you get better stats, you also have more time to build up weapon ranks pre-promotion.

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I personally always try to wait until level 20, often with the exception of healers and other units that are difficult to level, although even those I try to get as far along as possible. If the game allows you to grind, though, then I have no exceptions. I haven't really tried the alternatives of promoting ASAP or when necessary, so I'm not sure that the way I've been doing it is necessarily optimal from a strategic perspective, but it's honestly more of a psychological thing for me at this point.

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On 6/13/2018 at 10:20 AM, ping said:

In the DS games, I actually do promote earlier, usually somewhere between 12 and 15. I believe that XP gain for promoted units isn't as low as it is in the GBA games, although I might imagine things.

Calculations, note I fear my results aren't accurate, so test them yourself to make sure.

Constants: level 10 unpromoted enemy, level 1 promoted player unit.

Blazing Sword:

Experience from doing damage = [31 + (enemy’s Level + enemy’s Class bonus A) – (Level + Class bonus A)] / Class power

[31 + (10 + 0) - (1 + 20)]/3 (the class power of almost all classes) = 6 EXP

 

Shadow Dragon:

Battle Experience (Preliminary)

Property Calculation
Level difference = (enemy’s Level + enemy’s Class bonus) – (Level + Class bonus)
Experience from doing no damage = 0
Experience from damaging enemy = 10 [if Level difference = 0, -1 or -2] = (31 + Level difference ) / 3 [if Level difference > 0] = (33 + Level difference ) / 3 [if Level difference < -2]

Level difference = (10 + 0) - (1 + 15) = -6

(33 + -6)/3 = 9 EXP

 

And this isn't considering kill EXP. Even so, you're looking at 1.5 times the EXP gain just for hitting a foe.

 

For a non-boss kill... (using the same two constants and the damage values from above)

Spoiler

Blazing:

Experience from defeating (base) = [(enemy’s Level x enemy’s Class power) + enemy’s Class bonus B] – { [(Level x Class power) + Class bonus B] / Mode coefficient }
Experience from defeating enemy = (Experience from doing damage + [Experience from defeating (base) + 20 + Boss bonus + Thief bonus, take as 0 if negative]) x Assassinate coefficient

[(10 x 3) + 0] - {[(1 x 3) + 60]/1 (assume this)} = -33

(6 + [-33 + 20 + 0 + 0 (assume non-boss and non-Thief)] (the result here is negative, so make this a 0)) x 1 (assume no Silencer proc) =  6 EXP

 

Shadow Dragon:

Experience from defeating enemy = 30 + Thief/Boss bonus [if Level difference = 0, -1 or -2] = 30 + (Level difference x 3.33) + Thief/Boss bonus [if Level difference > 0] = 37 + (Level difference x 3.33) + Thief/Boss bonus [if Level difference < -2] = (54 + Level difference) / 3 [if calculated experience from the above formulae < 15]

37 + (-6 x 3.33) + 0 = 17 EXP

Note that SD has a minimum kill EXP gain of 8.

 

So 6 vs. 17 if I have it right. That is nearly triple the EXP gain, quite significant. I don't have SD though anymore to check.

 

You'd probably want to also compare unpromoted close to the enemy's level EXP gain to see what the unpromoted competition is getting.

So let us use an unpromoted level 10 unit in the same circumstances. Sometimes a unit will be below, sometimes above the enemy's level, more often I would expect above, so this is a bit optimistic on unpromoted EXP gain using an enemy and an ally of the same level.

Spoiler

Blazing:

EXP from damaging enemy = [31 + (10 + 0) - (10 + 0)]/3 = 10

EXP from defeating (base) = [(10 x 3) + 0] - {[(10 x 3) + 0] /1} = 0

EXP from from defeating an enemy = (10 + [0 + 20 + 0 + 0]) x 1 =  30 EXP

 

SD

Level difference = (10 + 0) - (10 +0)

EXP from damaging enemy = 10

EXP from defeating an enemy = 30

So although the games use different formulae, an unpromoted unit killing another unpromoted unit gains exactly the same EXP in both games!

As a result, the unpromoted unit in SD gains comparatively less additional EXP compared to a prepromote than a GBA one does. Whilst Marcus is getting a big fat 6 from a kill and Rebecca 30, Jagen is gaining 17 and Gordin 30. Rebecca gets five times what Marcus is getting, Gordin less than double of Jagen.

 

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Oh wow, that's a lot of effort to check if my intuition was right. =) Thanks, man!

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Personally:

NES/SNES Era: Instantly or I may wait till like level 13,14 or 15 if the unit needs a few more levels.

GBA: Late teens to 20 with the exception of healers who tend to be promoted by level 15. Sacred Stones is a different case since grinding is available, so I sometimes wait till 20 for most units including healers sometimes.

GC/Wii: I use master seals/crowns on units who don't need levels because they maxed their important stats and on Mist so she gets her mount. Other then that, I just go to level 21.

DS: Healers promote asap while other units wait till around level 15.

Awakening: Does it matter?

Fates: Mid to late teens

SoV: ASAP

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Depends on the game. GBA era is generally as soon as possible. Path of Radiance you'd generally want to promote late.

Radiant Dawn has Ilyana that generally wants to use a seal early and any other unit that you'd want to be facing a lot of combat in 3-6 absolutely wants to be promoted by then. Anyone who's capped Speed appreciates an early crown, as do most units in general.

Awakening I'm not sure of... probably mid-teens for most units, unless you've already reclassed within tier 1 in which case as soon as possible.

Conquest has some scrubs that can have a solid midgame with an early promotion (Effie, Nyx, Beruka), otherwise most primary combat units would want to promote fairly late.

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In most games, I wait until level 20 to promote a unit. In Fates specifically, I would either wait until level 20 or promote them when their rating surpassed 100.

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Depends on the game, and it can vary widely even within one game. In Shadow Dragon for instance you generally want to use that first Master Seal on Caeda ASAP, but with the slow trickle of MS from then on a casual player who doesn't take shortcuts may end up with a few level 18-20 promotions. I used to swear by 20 myself and still like to milk units for the most levels, but I've been promoting many characters earlier these days.

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I guess it depends on the unit. 

For example Shanna in Fe6 really benefits from promoting her as soon as you can so you can patch up everything she has trouble doing.

But if you have a unit that is doing quite well and you have no immediate need for something they can only do when promoted, like staves on a sage, you could way a little longer to promote them.

So yeah.

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