I think I've started from a save at least five times, and actually went back to the beginning at one point because I didn't have Midia, who you need to recruit whats-his-name, who would be useful since I don't have anybody promoted to the Hero class yet - except he can't do damage worth a damn when it counts - that being the ballista I really wanted to destroy just then. YOU SUCK AS A HERO
Anyway, I think I like the game better now. This embodies my argument for pessimism - if you don't expect anything, you can only be pleasantly surprised!
Whatever, it got a lot more fun when I hit Archaneia. I don't know why.
It's interesting to see how much support conversations add to the experience now. Since my first FE game was Radiant Dawn, which has pretty sparse supports and relies mostly on base scenes to convey story and character, I was pleasantly surprised to play Sacred Stones and Path of Radiance and find so much character-centric conversation that was funny and maybe enlightening about the characters you were using, but otherwise unrelated to the story. Going back to zero with Shadow Dragon is really hard. The game still gives you recruitment conversations (in which Caeda is a flirt and Midia is sickeningly sweet with her lover), and I don't know how those compare to the originals, but they do offer some insight into the personalities involved.
Apparently FE11 does use support relationships between characters to boost stats, but they're involuntary, they don't involve characters shouting at each other across a battlefield, and therefore it's just not as much fun. (It is interesting they can be one-sided, though. They can do more with that.)
It's just... sparse. Really sparse. I shouldn't rib people for being disappointed in Radiant Dawn because of the non-existent support conversations, now, should I?
I wonder what they can do to add to the support system. I think one-sided supports and benefits might be interesting, and I can't think of any in previous games that purposely give boosts to one character and not another based on something other than affinity, but I could be wrong - I admit I never pay attention to that kind of thing, and it's a wonder I survive these games at all with how little I care about stats and numbers.
I could really use some motivation for Rafiel and Nailah right now. Or hell, Oscar. Hmm. I'd like to do something not related to the pairings I've focused on, but that's incredibly difficult when I love them so much.
I need at least one Shadow Dragon icon.