Quote Originally Posted by loveboof View Post
Ok, well firstly if you're going to refer to me as an 'apologist' like I'm some kind of Holocaust denier, then I'm going to refer to everyone who is complaining as 'whiners'...
I should have taken more time to proofread my post. It comes off a lot harsher than I intended, both in criticizing defenders of the final battle and the game itself.

When I say the game is not about the things you do between battles, I don't mean to say that those things don't affect anything. Clearly my decisions there affected my ability in the end to finish the game. What I mean is that I thought (mistakenly) that there would be a reason to care as much about what happened to my caravan, for example, as I did about my units. There is not. The only thing you ever need to actually care about is racking up kills with the right units so you can promote them, and getting into enough battles so you'll have the renown to do so. And making the right decisions along the way to pick up useful items. (I tried to investigate all the god stones, but apparently I wasn't making the right arbitrary choices to get the +3 break items.)

So when my caravan was starving, and I made the decision to not spend renown on anything except supplies, that was objectively an incorrect decision. The supplies just get flushed down the toilet, whether by your caravan consuming them or an event taking them away. I consider that mistake unavoidable, because on my first playthrough of the game there is no way to know. The game never comes out and says "Hey, you know those people following you? They don't matter. You're better off letting them starve to death." Instead, the game leads the player to believe that you're supposed to try to keep them alive, and it's not until the game is over that you realize they don't pay that off in any way.

The right decision, in every case, is whichever decision (seemingly randomly) earns you the most renown and items and kills, so you can put together a party that can take down Bellower. Literally nothing else matters in any way whatsoever. So if you think that the game will reward you for role-playing, or for generally taking actions that follow from the story, you're wrong.

Because the consequences of your decisions are never spelled out for you, and those consequences can in some cases be virtually unforeseeable (I took Onef into my party, and the result was that both he and Egil died). From a storytelling perspective, I like that a lot. In real life, things don't always work out as planned. In the game, however, this basically just makes for a frustrating first playthrough, because it's impossible to make good decisions when you have no way of knowing what the consequences or rewards will be.

Also, as I said before, I don't think the game does anything at all to guide or correct a player's decision-making process along the way. Say you come to an event that gives you an option to help someone or not help them. You decide Rook will be decent, so you help them. Oops, I lost 30 supplies. I guess the game punishes you for being too nice. Okay, next time I won't help people. Now we're at another spot. This time I'm going to be more of a jerk. Oops, lost 30 more supplies. Okay, next time I'll just avoid people. Now we're at another event. This time I'll try to avoid it. Oops, lost 30 more supplies. There is no way to make a good decision in almost any event, because you're not given the ability to investigate your options. Every decision is made blind, and all consequences are basically arbitrary.

Than, after you lose units along the way and your caravan starves, the game leads you to believe that you can still win, because you're still moving. You're never confronted with the fact that your party might be incapable of surviving the final battle until you reach the final battle (especially with respect to Alette, who the story encourages you not to use - until the final battle, when it forces you to use her). You just move from easy battle to easy battle and then suddenly you're past the point where you're able to actually improve your party, and then you lose. Again and again and again for hours.

Again, almost every mistake made is effectively unavoidable if you're playing honestly.