Underneath my yellow skin

Letting the First Flame die out naturally

ain't no love like elder dragon love!
Luna and Teo, the yin-yang of Elder Dragon love.

First of all, health report. Feeling a bit shittier than yesterday, but still better over all. Got a bit of snow yesterday, which makes me happy. Got my instapot (yes, that’s what I’m calling it from now on because it amuses me) and bought the ingredients for vegan mashed potatoes and gravy. Will mess about with that later. By the way, let me reiterate how difficult it is to find recipes that are JUST dairy-free/gluten-free, but in this case, vegan is fine. That might be my hook if I start blogging/vlogging my cooking with my instapot endeavors. I’m only doing it because of my sensitivities–otherwise I’d be chowing down on cheese, bread, and pasta on the regular. I don’t want paleo, keto, vegan, vegetarian, whole30 or top 8 free recipes. It’s frustrating because I can find gluten-free recipes and dairy-free recipes, but only gf/df recipes are few and far between.

On to Monster Hunter: World. I’ve been trying to quit the game for weeks, and I’ve been playing it less and less as time goes on. I didn’t play at all yesterday, butt I can’t give it up completely. Why? Well, there’s still a ton to do for one (Tempered Kirin, I’m looking at you). Two, they keep adding new content. They just announced the USJ: Gold Star Treatment and the USJ: Blazing Azure Stars! (related) a week apart in which you get the Azure Star loot. It looks cool as hell, and, of course, I need to get the Palico armor set first and foremost.

I tackled Lunastra last week, and my god. She was the hardest of the Elder Dragons (save Kirin the first time I met him), and the hardest part was fighting the beating my laptop took from her particle effects. When I fought her solo, my laptop started acting up. It didn’t help that the fight takes place in the lava area, so there are so many environmental effects going on. She tagged me once because of lag, which is the only time the Fortify skill has kicked in since I started using it (which was right after killing Nergy, the last time I’ve been carted). With Fortify, after you cart, your attack goes up by 10% and your defense increases by 15%. These stack, so if you cart twice, you have +20% attack and +30% defense for your last life.

I actually lagged out of a multi fight with her and Teo once. It’s only the second time my computer has disconnected from a multi (other time was with Nergy), and I was made because it was going really well. Oh! I’ve also tweaked my Teo and Luna armor sets for multi so I have Wide-Range Level 5 (maxed out). That means any item I use on myself  works on all of my teammates 100% if they are in the same area. I would like to add Speed Eating to that, but I can’t give up some of my other skills. I was with someone once in a multi quest who had both these skills maxed out and he was a godsend. Also (and I think it was the same guy), shout-out to him as his name was Ornstein and he was dressed in gold. I like to think he was a Dark Souls aficionado, and it would have been cool if he was using the lance, but he was a Hunting Horn bro with a HR of 999! That’s the highest I’ve seen, and it’s probably maxed out.

my cat, shadow, makes the same face when mad!
Luna’s pissed, and she’s coming for you.

Anyway, Luna is pure fire. Everything she does is fire. Having Heat Guard Level 1 (the only level) isn’t enough–you have to drink cool drinks when she starts going nuts. The feww times I wasn’t able to quaff it while in the midst of a frantic battle, my health decreased at an alarming rate. During multi with her, I’ve used more Mega Potions than on any other monster. Usually, I only need to use the freebies in the supply box, but I used nine Mega Potions once. Granted, I’m healing the team as well as myself, but still. Oh, by the way, since I’m usually the last person to join a multi quest and very few people take the supplies from the supply box, that means I usually can stock up on First Aid Meds and EZ Rations to my heart content. I don’t feel guilty about it, either, because I’m using them to heal my team.

CapCom also announced that there will be an Arch-tempered Vaal Hazak event as well in mid-to-late December. You have to be HR 50, which means beating Tempered Kirin. This gives me two weeks to beat Tempered Kirin and to get comfortable fighting Tempered Elder Dragons. Yeah, I don’t think that is going to happen.

Back to Luna. My computer slowed down to something like 2-3 fps in the last minutes of the fight. I fiddled with the settings, but it didn’t help. I knew she was near death because of the flashing skull, but I finally decided I had to quit and start over when the ‘your battery is low’ message flashed on my screen. I had accidentally knocked out my power cord at some point, and when I plugged it back in, it ran fine. I finished the quest with maybe three minutes left, and I’ll chalk it up as a win, although it doesn’t really feel like one. I might do the quest again because it was so jankety, but I *did* kill her by myself.

Luna is by far the most aggressive Elder Dragon–even more so than Nergy. She won’t give you a second to rest, and if you’re fighting her and Teo, she is fierce in defending her man. Most of the Elder Dragons will ignore you if you don’t mess with them, but she’ll make a beeline to you if she spots you. She leaves blue flames all over the arena, and I found myself running more often than not while fighting her. The other thing about this fight is that Nergy is roaming around while I’m fighting her. Yes, he’s the other monster wandering around while I’m trying to KILL THE GIANT BLUE THING WHO IS RIPPING ME APART. On the one hand, I appreciated it when they had a turf war because they did massive damage on each other, and it gave me a breather. On the other hand, Nergy chased me across the map for five minutes after scrapping with Luna, which drove me fucking insane. Every time I tried to get away from him, he simply kept following me. I finally ditched him by doing a drop to a different zone and hightailing it out of there.

The Turf Wars are both amazing and intensely irritating. I like the unique animations that some of the turf wars produce (such as Jyura and Barroth), but after the zillionth time seeing them, it’s not as cool. In addition, I’m appreciative of the damage they do to each other, but waiting for them to finish can be annoying. Yes, I can dung pod the intruding monster, except when it’s an elder dragon, apparently, but it’s still a pain in the ass. Especially Bagel. After all my Luna shenanigans, I went on a simple HR Great Jagras hunt with my brand spanking new Empress Axe (Luna Switch Axe), and Bagel interrupted three times in two minutes (about how long it takes for me to kill Great Jaggy these days). Yes, I shouted, “Go away, Bagel! No one likes you!” as I dung-podded him, which is my catch phrase for him. In the beginning, I like the way it made the environment feel more organic, but I am so over it now. Seriously. I just want to kill the targeted monster. Anything that gets in my way is a hindrance.

I would say Luna is now my favorite Elder Dragon fight, tied with Nergy. It’s probably not a coincidence that they’re both the only Elder Dragons* who have made me cart once and they’re both incredibly aggressive. Plus, I like the looks of both of them. Nergy is still the cutest, but Luna is so fucking terrifying and majestic. I have to be on top of my game while fighting her, and that’s more than I can say for most monsters these days.

I’m tired, so I’m not going to get into my Dark Souls II exploits except to say I am now a strength caster, which is my favorite build of all. Rocking Straid’s Black Set with the Penal Handcuffs to buff my Pyromancies while wielding the Greatsword one-handed is the best.





*Except Kirin, who’s not really an Elder Dragon in my mind. Plus, the first time you meet him, you’re not really prepared to fight him. HR Kirin was by far easier than LR Kirin.


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