Fire Emblem Catch All

Still on my first play through with black eagles. I decided my second would be blue lions. This has lead to me stealing students exclusively from the golden deer. Enjoy your house without a healer and if I have my way without a mage.

Finally finished. Great stuff. Definitely doing NG+.

Wow that final mission was brutal.

More thoughts after sleep.

Don’t sleep on the Golden Deer play through. I put in another hour or two And weirdness keeps happening

92 hours was my final save. I really spent way too much time exploring and recruiting and doing support conversations. And a lot of time in menus trying to figure out what classes to build. Hopefully next run will be much quicker.

Chose Edelgard for my Byleth marriage, although it gave me 4 options. The credits are great, giving an epilogue for each character. For me 2 other couples got married:

Spoiler:

Sylvain and Dorothea. He's lucky I didn't marry her first, I could have.

Ferdinand and Bernadetta. They had a sweet A support, where it turns out they were arranged to marry as kids but he called it off, but now that he knows her it would've been ok. Happy for them.

Just finished my GD run. I’ll have more thoughts later, but suffice it to say that this one was radically different than the BL run.

I think I’m going to do a combined run for the Black Eagles, And just say strategically.

Started GD NG+ run last night on Hard/Classic. Man I can't wait to kill Lorenz.

All the NG+ options were more than I realized. Professor level, skills, support ranks, character designs, so much stuff.

I got through Ch 1 intro stuff, and trained my Byleth up to professor rank A. That should kickstart things for exploration and battle the first few months.

Stele wrote:

I got through Ch 1 intro stuff, and trained my Byleth up to professor rank A. That should kickstart things for exploration and battle the first few months.

It’s the quality of life improvement that I appreciated the most during my NG+ playthrough, because you can finally do whatever you want from the start without those arbitrary constraints.

I have just finished my second playthrough (this time with the Golden Deer) and I am actually more happy with the outcome this time around compared to what happens with the Black Eagles. Byleth and Petra hit it off and got married... totally understandable... Apart from Edelgard, she is definitely the most badass woman in the game, so... good for them.

My save file says 83 hours in total, so it seems like I rushed through it compared to others, although I played all paralogues that were offered to me. Then again, this game wasn’t much of a challenge. Even on hard, I could rush through most of the battles. Sadly, there is no difficulty above hard and I am afraid I’d be totally bored by repeating the first twelve missions again, that’s why I might not play the Blue Lions for quite some time... also Dragon Quest XIS is in plain sight...

So, about 35 hours in, I accidentally discovered that if you hit R you can see the map, fast travel to rooms, and see where every character is located? Was this explained at some point that I missed? The amount of time I lost trying to figure out where the recipient of a lost item happened to be standing was a lot...woof.

Also, I just hit a big story moment, post-dance, before the split. Interesting! It is surprising how little of the villains I have seen so far into the game...mostly missions have been me killing a collection of baddies with extremely occasional glimpses of shadowy figures making vague pronouncements. I have now seen a few different named bad guys who are starting to talk more, I'll be interested to see how much more plot-heavy the game becomes.

mrlogical wrote:

So, about 35 hours in, I accidentally discovered that if you hit R you can see the map, fast travel to rooms, and see where every character is located? Was this explained at some point that I missed? The amount of time I lost trying to figure out where the recipient of a lost item happened to be standing was a lot...woof.

Ch 2, when the marketplace opens up at the school. One of the tutorial popups then tells you. Just got to it last night in NG+. Was very annoyed I couldn't use it in Ch 1 because yeah, so useful all game.

New Game+ retains your battalions, but not the rest of your inventory, right?

Yes, your battalions stay, but your inventory (including your cash) goes away.

Cool, thanks.

Also, as Stele predicted, playing through as Black Eagles knowing some spoilers from later on in the game has been delightful. I just wrapped up chapter 8 I think? Month 11. Anyway, spoilers for that, but also huge spoilers for something I believe you learn a few months later.

Spoiler:

Pretty much every interaction with Edelgard (both as herself and as the Flame Emperor) is ultimately coming down to one of the following things:
- Her trying to justify her choice to get involved with some truly terrible people.
- Her massively regretting that choice despite those justifications.
- Her searching for some way to convince Byleth to not hold her accountable for the f*cked up sh*t that’s effectively been done in her name.

Of course, it’s still not clear how much involvement she’s had in each of the incidents, or just how far these other entities have strayed from what her intended methods and objectives would be for the incidents she has been involved with. But, the Remire incident (which she seems less involved with than earlier incidents) definitely leaves her very shaken, and seems like it might prove to be an inciting incident for her to break ties with who I assume are generally the full on villains of the game, and seek to have Byleth replace them as the instrument for achieving her goals.

Anyway, it’s all setting up for what could be a far more nuanced examination of a wide variety of sociological and political questions than I generally expect from a JRPG, which is already quite impressive, and it will be even more so if they deliver of the promise of what’s being set up in the back half of the game. And even if they don’t, I expect it will still be a lot of fun.

Still pretty sure I’m sticking with Edelgard this run either way, too. Her karmic tally is definitely getting pretty dark at this point, but even if there isn’t some amount of redemption for that before the point where the choice happens, I still feel like I’ve really got to see what happens on her path. Also, even if she continues to pick the worst possible ways of achieving her goals, it’s pretty hard to argue against her core desire to stop torturing and murdering children (literally in her family’s case, and psychologically and metaphorically in the case of so many other characters in the game) in the pursuit of f*cked up occult symbols of power and dominance.

Edit: Oh, also, the Death Knight has some very interesting things to say when you have Edelgard and Hubert attack him throughout his various appearances.

Right so a chapter or two before you finish the game you can buy all the battalions, then sell them in NG+, if you want to carry over some gold.

I was sitting on 70k when I finished first game.

Love reading your thoughts Zero. Keep it coming.

Yo. Edelgard is best girl.

...I'd never want to get in her way, and I have a feeling she will burn down the whole church and student body if someone gets in her way due to still vague "ambitions", but... yeah. I'm glad I'm not on the wrong side of her blade. She's useful as a heavy tank with a 6-foot tower shield.

(I just got to the part of the story where sh*t goes down fast.)

(I just got to the part of the story where sh*t goes down fast.)

That could be so many parts.

From the rest of your comments, though, I'm guessing you either near where I am (chapter 8), or a bit before?

Why cant I enter myself as the class dancer?

Stealthpizza wrote:

Why cant I enter myself as the class dancer?

Because you have two left feet. It is canon.

Byleth certainly had the most Charm. But teachers can't dance.

So I'm a couple of chapters into my first playthrough with Black Eagles, Hard/Classic. I don't expect to get to recruit a ton of students in my first playthrough (since it looks like NG+ is where I steal everyone), but how much wiggle room will I have to recruit the other students? Should I expect to be able to get 3-4 if I give it reasonable focus, like increasing my stats high enough to recruit them while taking them to meals and other events when I'm not keeping my own class motivated?

Man, the platespinning has already started.

Sundown wrote:

So I'm a couple of chapters into my first playthrough with Black Eagles, Hard/Classic. I don't expect to get to recruit a ton of students in my first playthrough (since it looks like NG+ is where I steal everyone), but how much wiggle room will I have to recruit the other students? Should I expect to be able to get 3-4 if I give it reasonable focus, like increasing my stats high enough to recruit them while taking them to meals and other events when I'm not keeping my own class motivated?

Man, the platespinning has already started.

Yeah, you'll get some.

I got all students but Lorenz and Ashe on my first run as Black Eagles. I messed up with Ashe, but Lorenz I ignored on purpose. Also ignored several staff because of my planned route. So it's very doable.

Getting them to B support is the way to go. Don't worry about your Byleth stats

Edit: 4 of them joined in the last month or two before the story split. So it may come down to the wire but it's very realistic to get recruits.

I feel like I messed up and recruited too much. I have a much bigger roster than I'll ever realistically need.

DSGamer wrote:

I feel like I messed up and recruited too much. I have a much bigger roster than I'll ever realistically need.

I did too. Everyone not 20 gets bumped there after the split. Then you can kind of compare stats and see who you want to roll with.

DSGamer wrote:

I feel like I messed up and recruited too much. I have a much bigger roster than I'll ever realistically need.

Yeah, I was headed that way, so I just started declining invites. Unless you're playing on classic mode and are planning to lose some people along the way, I think 4 is the maximum number of students I'd want to recruit. Maybe fewer if you're planning on using some of the other Church recruits.

I ended up with 3 students, and it has worked out well for me. I also use Shamir. Hanneman, Manuela, and Alois just warm my bench or serve as emergency adjutants.

Sundown wrote:

So I'm a couple of chapters into my first playthrough with Black Eagles, Hard/Classic. I don't expect to get to recruit a ton of students in my first playthrough (since it looks like NG+ is where I steal everyone), but how much wiggle room will I have to recruit the other students? Should I expect to be able to get 3-4 if I give it reasonable focus, like increasing my stats high enough to recruit them while taking them to meals and other events when I'm not keeping my own class motivated?

Stele wrote:

I got all students but Lorenz and Ashe on my first run as Black Eagles. I messed up with Ashe, but Lorenz I ignored on purpose. Also ignored several staff because of my planned route. So it's very doable.

Getting them to B support is the way to go. Don't worry about your Byleth stats

Edit: 4 of them joined in the last month or two before the story split. So it may come down to the wire but it's very realistic to get recruits.

I can confirm Stele's experience -- I'm a few months away, but I'm on track to do something similar (recruit nearly all students on my first playthrough as Black Eagles).

If you play normally, you should be able to recruit at least a small handful. If you want more than that though, you DO need to be focusing on min/maxing your professor level growth, and you DO need to focus on methodically building support with the people you want to recruit, since, as Stele says, that's by far the most efficient way to recruit (meeting the requested stat and skill levels is silly in comparison, at least on your first playthrough).

Note: I think Stele and I both are talking about playthroughs on normal, but on hard you'll only be missing a single tool we have available (grinding support via inviting a recruitment target to provide mission assistance, and then grinding support via free battles). However, I’ve barely even used the free battles at all, so you shouldn't really have your difficulty level matter at all. Definitely do invite recruitment targets to provide mission support though! It’s a great way to build support, especially once you can just set them as adjutants to Byleth and then just forget they’re there.

The most important tips, if you’re interested:

(Edit: To be clear, these are tips specifically for obsessively maximizing recruitment potential early on a first playthrough, although many are also generally useful as well.)

1. Other than the tutorial, only ever explore or battle on your free days. Rest and seminars are a waste of resources — even when you only have a couple activity points, you can still get better skill gain and/or motivation recovery via exploration.

2. Exploration is also going to almost always be a better use of your time than battle unless you have paralogues or other quests to do in battle, particularly if there’s a special food, fishing, or choir event.

3. Scan an amiibo if you can, especially a Fire Emblem one, and then visit the gazebo every time you explore. The extra food, tea, and other resources are well worth it, even if you have to find a way to borrow one from a friend or whatever.

4. Always be gardening every time you explore, and as soon as possible, always be growing flowers, and always cultivate with the best method possible. You might find you need more food for cooking, but if you’ve scanned an amiibo that really shouldn’t be a problem, so you can focus on flowers. Not only does gardening give you professor exp, but growing flowers is the most economical way to get tons of gifts for boosting motivation with your existing students and building support with potential recruits.

5. Once you have the extra shops unlocked, buy out the stock of at least the cheaper gifts every month. Like growing flowers, having a healthy flow of cheap but effective gifts is key to optimizing your recruiting potential.

6. Run tournaments each month, and try to be sure you’ve got at least one student building hard on each weapon skill so you’ll be ready to win each time. Not only do you get good items and gold, but this is also a decent way to earn professor exp and build student motivation.

7. Choir can be an okay use of activity points if you want to boost faith skills, and you’ll definitely want to do some faculty training (but keep it focused on what you really need for Byleth in combat, since we’re using support rather than random skills for recruitment), but dining with students is far and away your best use of activity points most of the time. It grants LARGE chunks of professor exp, and is one of the best ways to build both motivation and support outside combat, as long as you’ve got the ingredients to make sure every time you dine people are eating a favorite meal. Also, while its not relevant to recruitment, also try to pair students who have supports with each other, since there’s a lot of interesting back story in the student to student support conversations.

8. Fish. Especially if you’re within a few hundred points of the next professor level, fishing can probably get you there, especially once you open the stores that sell bait. Definitely do buy bait whenever you can, and try to save it for special fishing days (gold and mystery fish are an excellent opportunity to improve you cashflow), but squeezing in a professor level up is usually going to be worth being inefficient with bait since increasing activity points ALWAYS is a huge gain on all fronts.

9. Student to student support conversations can be viewed from the menu on demand, but for Byleth to student supports you might be led to believe you need to pass time on the calendar and wait for an interrupt. However, as long as it’s a bright blue support icon in the interface, you can just wander around the monastery a bit and eventually a spot will show up on your map; go there and you’ll trigger the conversation. (If the blue icon is greyed out, that means there’s a time gate, so you’ll just have to progress the story a bit — Edelgard and Leonie, for example, have time gates on support conversations.) Trigger those support conversations as early and often as you can. If you’re waiting for a C conversation, then you aren’t building towards the B support level, and if you’re waiting on the B conversation, you’re missing RNG chances for the calendar interrupt to happen where they offer to join you.

zeroKFE wrote:

9. Student to student support conversations can be viewed from the menu on demand, but for Byleth to student supports you might be led to believe you need to pass time on the calendar and wait for an interrupt. However, as long as it’s a bright blue support icon in the interface, you can just wander around the monastery a bit and eventually a spot will show up on your map; go there and you’ll trigger the conversation. (If the blue icon is greyed out, that means there’s a time gate, so you’ll just have to progress the story a bit — Edelgard and Leonie, for example, have time gates on support conversations.) Trigger those support conversations as early and often as you can. If you’re waiting for a C conversation, then you aren’t building towards the B support level, and if you’re waiting on the B conversation, you’re missing RNG chances for the calendar interrupt to happen where they offer to join you.

I would like to add that, before I quit out of exploration, I always go into the barracks or up to the second floor and back down in order to see if support conversations have appeared. Sometimes you'll do something and the new rank conversation will be available, but it doesn't show on the map until that area has reloaded.

I would like to add that, before I quit out of exploration, I always go into the barracks or up to the second floor and back down in order to see if support conversations have appeared. Sometimes you'll do something and the new rank conversation will be available, but it doesn't show on the map until that area has reloaded.

Yeah, it actually seems to be triggered by doing a zone load of any sort, but going to the second floor barracks or the faculty area is a great shortcut. You can check your support menu to see if you've got anything pending though, even if they aren't on the map yet.

Good tips!

zeroKFE wrote:

8. Fish. Especially if you’re within a few hundred points of the next professor level, fishing can probably get you there, especially once you open the stores that sell bait. Definitely do buy bait whenever you can, and try to save it for special fishing days (gold and mystery fish are an excellent opportunity to improve you cashflow), but squeezing in a professor level up is usually going to be worth being inefficient with bait since increasing activity points ALWAYS is a huge gain on all fronts.

I found the "Fistfuls of Fish" days to be the absolute best for making money. 2-4 Golden fish in a single catch adds up to more cash than the bonus bite chance you get on the Golden days. Save 5* bait for Mystery fish days, and use everything else on Fistful days.

Double bonus, you get XP for every fish you catch, so Fistful days are also where you can really crank up your professor level. I believe there are only a very limited amount of Fistful days, so buy all the bait and be on the lookout.

Completely agree with 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 on Zero's list. Gardening with flowers was big for me, and the alt shops I would buy all gifts that cost less than 1000 every month.

As pointed out for 8, fistful of fish is best for both Prof XP and money.

For 9, you can just press R, and then travel to the same room you're already in and it will load new support conversations. Check the map for the ... between two rooms and head there to trigger.

Not sure about 1 and 2. Later in the game I rarely explored more than once a month.