Beginner question about Master Seals and Second Seals

#1 Posted by wumbo3000 (941 posts) -

I unfortunately have a terrible problem in which I am obsessed with min/maxing absolutely everything in games, but after doing a little research into Master/Second Seals, I was completely befuddled at how complicated it is in trying to min/max your stats. Getting all the skills seems like a confusing process as well. Is it that much more helpful (or necessary) to learn how to properly use Seals to finish the game? And if it is, is there an easy way to understand how to use the Seals?

I'm playing on Normal and Casual, so I'm going to assume that all of this Seals nonsense really isn't necessary, but I just want to make sure. I remember being unable to finish the first Fire Emblem on the GBA because one of the chapters was just too goddamn hard (there was a pirate ship involved if I recall correctly), and I don't want this to happen with Awakening. My obsessiveness with maxing stats is also what's making me hesitate. And just as an FYI, I'm on Chapter 6 or 7, and just hit level 10 with my main character.

Thanks!

#2 Edited by PerryVandell (2103 posts) -

It's not necessary to max out all your characters' stats if you're playing on Normal/Casual (not even on Hard, really). Most of the characters fit well with their assigned class roles, but second seals just give you added options. For example, you might want an extra myrmidon rather than a thief, or something like that.

However, not all the characters are cut out for the other classes available to them, so I'd check the Fire Emblem wiki (http://fireemblem.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_characters_in_Fire_Emblem:_Awakening) if you're interested in straying from a character's usual promotion path.

Personally, I never used second seals except for Panne and maybe one other character. Most classes have their uses, and I never felt the need to double down on second seals except to bring a promoted level 20 character back down to 1 (they keep their stats, but you can continue to level them that way.)

Basically, I leveled my characters to level 20, promoted them, leveled them back up to 20, and used a second seal on them to "re-promote" them back into their class at level one. I'm not saying that's the "right" way, but that's how I did it, and my characters were more than capable of talking on the final boss. Hope that helps!

Edit: If you do check out the character Wiki, be mindful of spoilers. Skip the "profile" sections. The "overall" and "re-classing" sections have the spoiler-free information you're looking for.

#3 Edited by Chaser324 (6335 posts) -

If you're playing on Normal/Casual, you don't really need to worry about doing any crazy min/maxing. In fact, I'd almost recommend starting over on Hard just to give yourself a better challenge.

In general, when a character hits level ~15-20, use a Master Seal to move them to an advanced class. When you hit around 15-20 in an advanced class use a Second Seal to move them to another class.

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#4 Posted by PandaBear (1310 posts) -

I unfortunately have a terrible problem in which I am obsessed with min/maxing absolutely everything in games, but after doing a little research into Master/Second Seals, I was completely befuddled at how complicated it is in trying to min/max your stats. Getting all the skills seems like a confusing process as well. Is it that much more helpful (or necessary) to learn how to properly use Seals to finish the game? And if it is, is there an easy way to understand how to use the Seals?

I'm playing on Normal and Casual, so I'm going to assume that all of this Seals nonsense really isn't necessary, but I just want to make sure. I remember being unable to finish the first Fire Emblem on the GBA because one of the chapters was just too goddamn hard (there was a pirate ship involved if I recall correctly), and I don't want this to happen with Awakening. My obsessiveness with maxing stats is also what's making me hesitate. And just as an FYI, I'm on Chapter 6 or 7, and just hit level 10 with my main character.

Thanks!

The game is easy enough without perma-death. Forget the seals, you'll be steam-rolling in no time on casual.

#5 Posted by wumbo3000 (941 posts) -

Alright awesome. Thanks for the help guys. Looks like I'll be leveling to 20 and then using my Master Seals.

If you're playing on Normal/Casual, you don't really need to worry about doing any crazy min/maxing. In fact, I'd almost recommend starting over on Hard just to give yourself a better challenge.

In general, when a character hits level ~15-20, use a Master Seal to move them to an advanced class. When you hit around 15-20 in an advanced class use a Second Seal to move them to another class.

That seems easy enough to understand. But there's no way I'm doing this on hard. I've already died with a couple of characters on Normal, so I'm glad I'm playing on Casual. I'm awful at strategy games, but I've been getting way more interested with the genre with games like this and XCOM.

#6 Edited by BisonHero (6225 posts) -

@wumbo3000: If you've ever played a tactics game before, I do recommend switching to Hard (by which I mean "restarting", sadly). Lunatic is just cheap and not even remotely fair for the first few chapters, and even after that, you basically have to grind your ass off. But Hard is quite reasonable.

Anyway, Second Seals exist if you just want to break the game completely in half and make sure each character has 5 pretty effing powerful skills. Generally, you can just level each character to 20, then use a Master Seal to promote them, then level to at least 15 in their promoted class (promoted classes gain skills at 5 and 15, so you want to stick with it until at least 15). Once they're 15+ in their promoted class, it's up to you.

  • You could level them to 20, then use a Second Seal, but choose their current class over again, which keeps their current stats, but changes their level back to 1, meaning they're no longer at max XP, meaning you're free to get them to level 20 again, raising more stats in the process.
  • Alternately, you can use the Second Seal to switch them to a different promoted class. As you level this new class, they will gain skills they didn't have access to as their older class. While you could switch EVERY character through EVERY possibly class they have so that by the end they have like 25 skills at their disposal, you shouldn't, because that would take FOREVER, and you can only equip 5 skills at a time on each character. With each character, use a Second Seal on them to see what other classes they can become; look up those classes on the Internet, and find out what skills you want, and choose 5 you'd like to have. Frankly, even getting a character from base class -> promoted class -> alternate promoted class will probably end up taking up a significant portion of the game, so if you want to have 5 skills from 5 different classes, that will take a long-ass time, so don't.

Anyway, you'll probably want to use Second Seals at some point, if only because you'll hit an XP cap otherwise. Note that, normally, your character's levels are: 1-20 for a base class, and for a promoted class, it essentially treats those levels as if they are levels 21-40, for the purposes of scaling XP. However, once you've used a Second Seal on a character, from then on, even if you use a Second Seal to bust them all the way back to a level 1 base class, there is a hidden level the game is remembering behind the scenes that it is adding onto the character's current level, as a way to acknowledge that he isn't really a level 1 base class because his stats are way high for that. Basically, the designers are actively discouraging you from running one character through like 6 different class changes because it really inflates the hidden level a lot as time goes on, making it take ages to gain levels. For a longer explanation of this crazy system, you can go here:

http://www.giantbomb.com/fire-emblem-awakening/3030-36394/forums/fe-awakening-class-changing-discussion-thread-1423894/

#7 Posted by PandaBear (1310 posts) -

Alright awesome. Thanks for the help guys. Looks like I'll be leveling to 20 and then using my Master Seals.

@chaser324 said:

If you're playing on Normal/Casual, you don't really need to worry about doing any crazy min/maxing. In fact, I'd almost recommend starting over on Hard just to give yourself a better challenge.

In general, when a character hits level ~15-20, use a Master Seal to move them to an advanced class. When you hit around 15-20 in an advanced class use a Second Seal to move them to another class.

That seems easy enough to understand. But there's no way I'm doing this on hard. I've already died with a couple of characters on Normal, so I'm glad I'm playing on Casual. I'm awful at strategy games, but I've been getting way more interested with the genre with games like this and XCOM.

Trust me on this. I'm not trying to sound like a master of this game ... I got my ass handed to me early on and lost a lot of characters. But you will hit a point where, even with valuable members long gone, you will be unstoppable. You'll have a core four (or three) that handle the majority of the work. Hard (or Normal) with perma-death ON is the way to play. The threat of death actually makes you play better.

#8 Edited by wumbo3000 (941 posts) -

@wumbo3000 said:

Alright awesome. Thanks for the help guys. Looks like I'll be leveling to 20 and then using my Master Seals.

@chaser324 said:

If you're playing on Normal/Casual, you don't really need to worry about doing any crazy min/maxing. In fact, I'd almost recommend starting over on Hard just to give yourself a better challenge.

In general, when a character hits level ~15-20, use a Master Seal to move them to an advanced class. When you hit around 15-20 in an advanced class use a Second Seal to move them to another class.

That seems easy enough to understand. But there's no way I'm doing this on hard. I've already died with a couple of characters on Normal, so I'm glad I'm playing on Casual. I'm awful at strategy games, but I've been getting way more interested with the genre with games like this and XCOM.

Trust me on this. I'm not trying to sound like a master of this game ... I got my ass handed to me early on and lost a lot of characters. But you will hit a point where, even with valuable members long gone, you will be unstoppable. You'll have a core four (or three) that handle the majority of the work. Hard (or Normal) with perma-death ON is the way to play. The threat of death actually makes you play better.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not charging in gung ho wanting to lose every character each fight. I plan and strategize in a way in which I'm trying to keep everybody alive, even if there are no consequences. I guess it's my little way of trying to honor the Fire Emblem name? But certain instances make me glad I chose Casual. For example, there was this one fight in which there was only one enemy left. But I didn't realize the last enemy was an archer and I forgot to move my pegasus knight farther away, and the archer ended up killing me. And because I'm the kind of player that doesn't want to lose anybody, I would've had to start all the way from the beginning of that battle, which would've sucked. It's not like "changing my strategy" would've prevented that from happening; it was just a brain fart.

I guess it's just more of a philosophical difference. I just don't like the idea of permanently losing anybody.

#9 Edited by PandaBear (1310 posts) -

@pandabear said:

@wumbo3000 said:

Alright awesome. Thanks for the help guys. Looks like I'll be leveling to 20 and then using my Master Seals.

@chaser324 said:

If you're playing on Normal/Casual, you don't really need to worry about doing any crazy min/maxing. In fact, I'd almost recommend starting over on Hard just to give yourself a better challenge.

In general, when a character hits level ~15-20, use a Master Seal to move them to an advanced class. When you hit around 15-20 in an advanced class use a Second Seal to move them to another class.

That seems easy enough to understand. But there's no way I'm doing this on hard. I've already died with a couple of characters on Normal, so I'm glad I'm playing on Casual. I'm awful at strategy games, but I've been getting way more interested with the genre with games like this and XCOM.

Trust me on this. I'm not trying to sound like a master of this game ... I got my ass handed to me early on and lost a lot of characters. But you will hit a point where, even with valuable members long gone, you will be unstoppable. You'll have a core four (or three) that handle the majority of the work. Hard (or Normal) with perma-death ON is the way to play. The threat of death actually makes you play better.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not charging in gung ho wanting to lose every character each fight. I plan and strategize in a way in which I'm trying to keep everybody alive, even if there are no consequences. I guess it's my little way of trying to honor the Fire Emblem name? But certain instances make me glad I chose Casual. For example, there was this one fight in which there was only one enemy left. But I didn't realize the last enemy was an archer and I forgot to move my pegasus knight farther away, and the archer ended up killing me. And because I'm the kind of player that doesn't want to lose anybody, I would've had to start all the way from the beginning of that battle, which would've sucked. It's not like "changing my strategy" would've prevented that from happening; it was just a brain fart.

I guess it's just more of a philosophical difference. I just don't like the idea of permanently losing anybody.

It's not that I don't see what you mean. I'm exactly the same way with games ... if there's a moral choice I save the game and see what both options are. But after the second or third reload I learn that brain fart or not there are consequences to my actions. I lost guys I actually gave a shit about and forced myself to keep going. In the end I felt like every battle had purpose and one fucking archer could ruin the balance of my team ... now over time that disappeared as I leveled up more and more, but even now one small mistake can undo all my work.

I think you'll hit the point of no return soon and the final half of that game will be an absolute cake walk. If you're still having fun, hey who am I to judge? But let go of your basic gamer instincts and try the game the way it was originally designed. I think you'll love it.

#10 Posted by wumbo3000 (941 posts) -

@wumbo3000 said:

@pandabear said:

@wumbo3000 said:

Alright awesome. Thanks for the help guys. Looks like I'll be leveling to 20 and then using my Master Seals.

@chaser324 said:

If you're playing on Normal/Casual, you don't really need to worry about doing any crazy min/maxing. In fact, I'd almost recommend starting over on Hard just to give yourself a better challenge.

In general, when a character hits level ~15-20, use a Master Seal to move them to an advanced class. When you hit around 15-20 in an advanced class use a Second Seal to move them to another class.

That seems easy enough to understand. But there's no way I'm doing this on hard. I've already died with a couple of characters on Normal, so I'm glad I'm playing on Casual. I'm awful at strategy games, but I've been getting way more interested with the genre with games like this and XCOM.

Trust me on this. I'm not trying to sound like a master of this game ... I got my ass handed to me early on and lost a lot of characters. But you will hit a point where, even with valuable members long gone, you will be unstoppable. You'll have a core four (or three) that handle the majority of the work. Hard (or Normal) with perma-death ON is the way to play. The threat of death actually makes you play better.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not charging in gung ho wanting to lose every character each fight. I plan and strategize in a way in which I'm trying to keep everybody alive, even if there are no consequences. I guess it's my little way of trying to honor the Fire Emblem name? But certain instances make me glad I chose Casual. For example, there was this one fight in which there was only one enemy left. But I didn't realize the last enemy was an archer and I forgot to move my pegasus knight farther away, and the archer ended up killing me. And because I'm the kind of player that doesn't want to lose anybody, I would've had to start all the way from the beginning of that battle, which would've sucked. It's not like "changing my strategy" would've prevented that from happening; it was just a brain fart.

I guess it's just more of a philosophical difference. I just don't like the idea of permanently losing anybody.

It's not that I don't see what you mean. I'm exactly the same way with games ... if there's a moral choice I save the game and see what both options are. But after the second or third reload I learn that brain fart or not there are consequences to my actions. I lost guys I actually gave a shit about and forced myself to keep going. In the end I felt like every battle had purpose and one fucking archer could ruin the balance of my team ... now over time that disappeared as I leveled up more and more, but even now one small mistake can undo all my work.

I think you'll hit the point of no return soon and the final half of that game will be an absolute cake walk. If you're still having fun, hey who am I to judge? But let go of your basic gamer instincts and try the game the way it was originally designed. I think you'll love it.

I guess it's one of those things if I find the game too easy/boring, then I have no one to blame but myself. But so far, I'm having a blast with this game, and I don't think upping the challenge would've made the game "more fun" for me. I'm typically a person who almost always plays on normal or easy difficulty anyways.

I have no doubt that the game is by far more rewarding and satisfying with a harder difficulty. I'm just not ready to let go of my "basic gamer instincts" as you so eloquently put it. Maybe for the next Fire Emblem! :P

#11 Posted by Video_Game_King (36071 posts) -

In fact, I'd almost recommend starting over on Hard just to give yourself a better challenge.

I'd recommend this, too, but only because I'm an asshole. (I'd have recommended Lunatic+ Classic if that was available from the start.)

#12 Posted by shinboy630 (1133 posts) -

If you're playing on Normal/Casual, you don't really need to worry about doing any crazy min/maxing. In fact, I'd almost recommend starting over on Hard just to give yourself a better challenge.

In general, when a character hits level ~15-20, use a Master Seal to move them to an advanced class. When you hit around 15-20 in an advanced class use a Second Seal to move them to another class.

Keep in mind that there are some exceptions to this, with Donnel being the most obvious. Switch his class (I suggest Mercenary) as soon as he hits level 10, as villager is kind of really bad, and he snowballs with his stats really quickly anyway.

Also, I would at least recommend starting over with Classic instead of Casual. Permadeath adds real weight and makes you really think about your decisions. Also, I am of the school of thought (as this was my first FE game), that if I was going to play Fire Emblem, I was going to play Fire Emblem, if you get my point.

#13 Posted by konig_kei (597 posts) -

I'd say if you're going to restart it then keep perma death off, i started with hard difficulty and perma death on but just kept restarting because i didn't want to lose characters, i wanted them to interact and shit. I ended up restarting on hard with perma death off and love it. If you recruited no name soldiers like X-COM I'd have no problem with perma death cause who gives a shit? They're just stats, but here, they got stories to tell.

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