Is it worth it to finish my playthrough of Normal mode? The game's quite easy and doesn't have a few quirks of Hard and up like instamoving reinforcements. Plus I didn't resist and grinded a little... too much. I gave the Ch.8 Master Seal to my Avatar already, and the power of my units offsets my bad moves.
Also, the optimization. Is it absolutely necessary? For extra hard DLC maps I suppose it would be, and one save file with optimal setups would be good. But the problem is, for what else? No one in my area plays the game, so I can't do StreetPass with anyone. It would be nice to be able to battle via Wifi, it would give an incentive to perfecting the characters.
That's about it, really. You can find guides on how to get Galeforce on as many children as possible. The children will be better than their parents no matter what, so spend the next 100 hours grinding on the Golden Pack DLC maps. When you're done that, take on the Apotheosis DLC (hard as Lunatic+). Should be easy with an army of Galeforce children and one Spotpass rallybot.
For your first run, play Normal/Casual. And get the female avatar. Hard is just hard for the first couple chapters then it gets really easy. When you get to postgame, train some Spotpass/Streetpass/DLC characters (like giving all the women Galeforce and Lethality, which makes them unstoppable) and update them in your Avatar Logbook. Then when you go to Lunatic, you can recruit these characters directly from your logbook after a few chapters and breeze through the game. I strongly recommend buying the Golden Pack, because you're going to need the Golden Gaffe and EXPonential Growth maps for grinding.
Among the parents, Olivia is the best character other than the Avatar. I trained her some and she's an Assassin with Astra, Swordfaire, Pass, Lethality and Galeforce. She's totally unstoppable. I'm using her in my final team for the Apotheosis DLC. I gave her the boots so she has extra move points.
I love FE:A to death but I'm not used to the permadeath mechanic... In other RPGs I've seen there's none of that. Do you think I'm a wuss for considering playing Casual mode? I agree with you, people go on and on about the "true" FE experience being Classic mode, but I haven't seen anyone who plays Classic and doesn't reset when one of their characters die.
I'm considering even playing Normal because I'm going blind into this and I don't know how skills, etc. work. I'd like to "know" the game before attempting a dedicated campaign in the harder modes.