The convoy has always been a key feature in Fire Emblem, although it was a lot more limited in the early games.
In, Gaiden, Genealogy, Thracia 776, PoR, and RD, the convoy could only be accessed outside of battle. Also, in FE1 (NES), there were special convoy shops in-map.
But in Mystery, the current trend of the convoy being accessed via the main lord began. Sacred Stones brought the mechanic back later. And then from Shadow Dragon onwards, every main series game has had the convoy be tied to the main lord.
Now, I get it. It’s supposed to be a quality of life feature. It’s convenient. But to me, it almost feels… TOO convenient.
Even in a fantasy world, it makes no sense that a unit is carrying all of the armys weapons by themselves. No explination is given to how this works. It just happens. Other mechanics, such as Divine Pulse are given a canon explination. So why not the convoy???
Personally, I think that the Elibe games (Especially FE6) did the convoy much better: Merlinus. Having a dedicated convoy unit feels more cohesive adds another layer of strategy to the game.
In FE6, you have to either give up a deployment slot for the convenience of the convoy, or you have no convoy, which I think is pretty fair. As excess items can still be SENT to the convoy if Merlinus is not present.
Meanwhile, FE7 did some changes to Merlinus, both good AND bad. For one, having him be a separate unique deployment slot and him automatically grow if he is unharmed is a lot better than how he worked in FE6. However… Being unable to send excess items when he’s not present is a big flaw.
I would love if FE brought a merlinus style convoy back to the series. Hell! You could even make it so that the unit is required in higher dificulties, but have the convoy Lord in Normal and Easy.
If they’re gonna keep the convoy Lord mechanic, they could at least make it so that it’s explained in some way. Like, maybe the Lord has a magic infinite capacity bag, like Hermione in Harry Potter 7, or Jack Horner in Puss in Boots 2.
The way I’m doing it in my hack, is that I have a convoy unit, like Merlinus. BUT, I also have a special Item called “Magic Mirror”, which gives convoy access to ANY unit that’s holding the item (In-story, the convoy unit has an identical copy, and the mirrors are 2 ends of a portal). That way, if you want to have the convoy on a combat unit, they still need to give up an inventory slot. Which, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t as bad as an entire deployment slot.
So… What do you guys think? Should FE keep convoy Lords? Bring back dedicated convoy units? Or something in between?
Feel free to comment your thoughts.