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Does DLC add to Maddening enjoyment?

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Been playing Fire Emblem games for a while, back when Lunatic difficulty was regularly included. Am returning to Three Houses after a long break. I played through initially before the Maddening update and was turned off by how easy the game was (even on Hard Mode). I've been drawn back in by things I've heard about Maddening Mode - specifically how much more challenging it is. I was considering getting all the DLC waves, but from what I've heard they mostly make the game much easier. Is this accurate? My main attraction to coming back is the new challenge, would I be spending money to water that down? Or is that not a factor and does the DLC add a level of enjoyment in a different way?

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It sounds like overall you shouldn't bother with the paid DLC. The Cindered Shadows chapters on Hard/Classic are more difficult than the main game on Hard, but easier than the main game on Maddening. And if you clear those DLC chapters, then you can (but aren't forced to) recruit four new characters in the main game, that are very likely to make up for weaker characters in any of the houses.

All the other DLC upgrades are either quality of life (costumes, buying paired endings) or making the game easier (new ways to boost WEXP, more quests giving battalions, Renown and items, profitable aux battles, two new characters, one of whom makes a specific route even easier, and some stat boosters/equippables).

So yeah if difficulty is the only reason you're coming back, the DLC only makes the game easier - unless you're also a completionist or care a lot about supports, there's no reason for you to buy it.

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Dlc gives you new characters, items, classes, 1 new map(only playable in CS), aux battle, new prologues, new skins(if that counts), and monestery stuff like sauna.

It doesn't add anything that significantly changes your experience other than making maddening easier. Personally, I had more fun not using dlc additions(some are very broken. A gem that gives you DC, +3 mov boots). Also if you want to get the golden screen, I believe you cannot use them anyways(might just be you have to do NG and not NG+ idk).

Tbh, I didn't find CS that difficult so really I don't think buying dlc for you is necessary.

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tbf you can honestly ignore a lot of the items and what not if you want. Just because you get them doesn't mean you have to use them. So I think that the big question for you is the 4 optional charcters make it easier in your eyes? and if so does the fact you get to see more dialogue and stuff make up for it enough to be worth the price tag.

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The DLC does make the game easier.  Mainly the stat-boosting items and the skirmishes.  Sure, the skirmishes are difficult at first on account of the enemies being even more overleveled than before, but they give you a stupidly easy foothold to gain over the Maddening enemies, getting you to the point where you may well end up having some of your units actually doubling the enemies consistently instead of the enemies doubling your units consistently and you struggling just to keep from getting doubled.

So I'd say the DLC can negatively impact your enjoyment if you're looking for a fun challenge.  Maddening absolutely can be beaten without the DLC.  Probably the only elements that would actually enhance the playthrough are the new characters and classes the DLC added, because AFAIK they don't break the game completely.

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Thanks for the responses, think I'm going to skip the DLC - or maybe I'll circle back to it after completing Maddening on its own. It's a weird position to be in with the content, where what's on offer is antithetical to what I want. The Maddening draw is more challenge and DLC seems to be more stuff (which directly reduces that challenge). At least that was my impression of it, wanted make sure before I did or didn't make any purchases. Appreciate the input.

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As someone who also found Four Houses boring, I do not think that Maddening makes the game more interesting, but only slower, more tedious. It still does not make you think during battles.

I never use DLC stat-boosters, thus I cannot tell you how broken they are, but the one pleasant surprise (in the entire game) was Hapi’s voice acting. I find her really funny, and it gave me an excuse to try the game again.

If you found Hard boring, chances are that you will find Maddening even worse, for the maps are still uninteresting. But, who knows, you may find a DLC character interesting enough to justify another try. Perhaps.

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The DLC definitely can make your Playthrough easier. All potential DLC-benefits are optional though and only come through actually pursuing DLC-activities in the monastery. All DLC-items have unique names, all DLC-quests are marked in a unique blue color, the farming-DLC-fight is marked in a unique yellow color, DLC-characters are all optional to recruit, too.

Imho they make the game more fun though, as they give you more options to mess around with. For example I saved all my statboosters in my Verdant Wind playthrough until the last chapter when I gave them all to dancer Lysithea who was then able to mostly solo the last map.

Maddening is not impossibly hard, but requires you to actively think most of the time. For me one NG-Maddening was enough, now I still have fun with NG+-Maddening with DLC-benefits, which is still a lot more challenging than hard mode but also forgiving enough for me to casually enjoy it while also skipping boring grinding

 

The DLC-campaign is quite short(~10h), but most maps I found very enjoyable. Your units are all good, but the maps give you objectives that make it worthwhile to advance quickly. Difficulty-wise it's about in the middle in between NG-Maddening and NG-hard.

 

All in all, I would say, DLC doesn't add much to the maddening enjoyment based on difficulty and only a little in terms of customisability. The DLC is not mandatory whatsoever, however it CAN make the main campaign a little easier, if you actively seek out the DLC-features.

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