Physically, I’m nearly 100% better. My sleep is all over the map, which is one sign that I’m not as sick. When I’m sick, I sleep a lot (seven to ten hours). When I’m not sick, I get roughly six. My natural biorhythms seem to dictate I sleep in the wee hours of the morning to late morning, but when I’m sick, I rarely make it past midnight. Once, I fell asleep around eight and woke up at four in the morning. My past pattern of sleep was go to bed around five or six in the morning and to get up at noon or one. Now, I go to bed around between one and three.
Anyway, Monster Hunter:World. I’ve been grinding away in the end game, and while I’m deliriously happy there aren’t any loot boxes, I have to admit repeatedly killing a monster over and over to get that rare part has gotten tedious. In the last post, I mentioned it took me twenty times to get the Nergy gem I needed to make the helm. Well, I’ll need another for the final upgrade to my Nergy Switch Axe, which means another twenty times fighting him, give or take a few. I have to remember to use my Lucky Voucher which will give me more rewards which will boost my chance slightly of getting a gem. I have to beat the final boss before getting the necessary materials to make it, so I can wait. Also, the end-game gear is ridiculously expensive to craft. The final Nergy upgrade is over 50K zenny (the monetary unit), which is a hefty chunk of change. I’ve gotten up to over 900,000 zenny (want to get over a million just for giggles), but then I made upgraded some armor and plummeted to exactly 700,000 zenny, which makes me nervous. I did one of the Event Quests, called Triple Threat Throwdown, that gets you a ton of zenny in one go if everyone is wearing the Bandit Mantle, and now I’m back up to 790,000 zenny.
PSA: If you’re doing the Triple Threat Throwdown, bring your goddamn Bandit Mantle. Maybe some people don’t have it yet, but it’s disheartening when I’m the only one wearing it. The Bandit Mantle causes gold shinies to fall off large monsters as you smack them, and they turn out to be shells that are only for trade-in. If all four people are wearing the Bandit Mantle, you can make beaucoup zenny in ten roughly ten minutes. Even when it’s just me, I can score 10,000 zenny or so.
I go back and forth on the grind. I understand and appreciate that the developers didn’t want to go the loot crate route, and I further understand that they didn’t want to make the rewards too easy to get. However, there is a point where the enthusiasm for the fight turns into heavy sighs of obligation. I will say that being able to meld important consumables at the Elder Melder (and gems. Although, rarely the gem I want. To be fair, though, I was able to buy an Odogaron gem to get the final upgrade to my Odo Charge Blade, Odium (which I have yet to do, but at least I have the materials for it!). I would tweak the formula so that the gem drops for the higher-tier monsters was slightly more often. I don’t know how to make it fair, though, and it’s not my biggest complaint about the game.
I mentioned before that taking on each of the monsters is a Big Deal (for the first time. Except for the Great Jagras, poor guy), and I have to be in a certain mood to tackle it. I’ve been feeling much better physically in the past few days (as I mentioned above), so I decided to tackle another Elder Dragon–Teostra. He’s the fire/blast dragon who likes to lurk in the lava areas, so I needed to wear a piece of armor with Heat Guard. It was mentioned in one of the videos I watched, and it’s a godsend. There’s a consumable called Cool Drink that lets you deal with the heat for five minutes, but I’d rather not have to keep an eye on that on top of worrying about everything else. So, if I wear one piece of armor that has Heat Guard (it only goes to Level 1), I don’t have to worry about it until going into Teostra’s lair. I think I remember hearing that you need both Heat Guard and a Cool Drink to deal with that shit.
One thing I do now that I’m near the end of the game (main story, not game in general) is tinker with my load-outs almost endlessly. The first time I fought Teostra, I didn’t realize that he did blast damage as well as fire damage, so I would explode a lot. For further fights against Teo, I added some anti-blast decorations. Or rather, anti-blight decorations. Resistor Jewel +1. It reduces damage from all elemental blight by 30%. It can go up to Level 3, and with that comes 100% protection from all elemental blight. Since Teo does both fire and blast damage, it’s very handy. I also tried to keep my Health Boost +2 Vambraces, plus one Vitality Jewel +1. I think I wore my Blessing Charm III, which gives 50% damage reduction randomly. Divine Blessing Level 3 is godlike. How godlike? So much so I’ll give up my Defense Charm III in order to have it, and I’m all about the defense.
I’m rocking my Nergy Switch Axe, called the Nergal Gash, which is the second-to-last upgrade. The Tyrannos Switch Axe (Deviljho) is objectively better and with High Elderseal as well, but it has -25% affinity, which means I’d have to make up for that as well. That means Weakness Exploit Level Two, plus, to really make the best use of the Tyrannos, I’d need Handicraft as well to elevate the sharpness to white (highest level, and adds damage points to crits–I think). The Nergal Gash is just easier if you I don’t want to create a build around a weapon.
By the time I fought Teo, I had my pre-hunt ritual down to a science. I made sure shadow had on the right outfit, had the right weapon, and the right Palico gadget equipped. Then, I go hunt down the Grimalkyne/Gajalaka in the area to recruit one of them before returning to camp. Then, I eat a meal. Why do I do it in this order? Because the meal lasts like ten-fifteen minutes, and I don’t want to waste a few precious minutes while recruiting my pal. Oh! Also before I eat the meal, I quaff a Mega Demondrug and a Mega Armorskin. Again, I do it before I eat so I don’t waste any of the meal boost. After I eat the meal, I toss a Demon Powder and an Hardshell Powder in the air for more boosts. If I’m feeling particularly cautious, I also eat a Might Seed and an Adamant Seed. Oh, and I make sure to have a Fortitude Jewel 1 equipped as well. That means if I get carted, I get a 10% attack boost and 15% defense boost. This stacks, so if I die twice, I have an extra 20% attack bonus and an extra 30% defense bonus for the last life. I haven’t had to rely on it yet as I haven’t been carted twice *knock on wood* on a quest in quite some time, but it’s nice to know it’s there.
I throw on my Vitality Mantle right before I go into a fight, and then I go ham in the first minute while it’s still active. I think I’ve explained before, but the Vitality Mantle is like a health shield, and it takes a certain amount of damage before you do. With an Elder Dragon, it’s like two or three hits, but it’s still better than none.
I took a deep breath and waded into the fight. I hadn’t seen anyone fight him before taking him on, but I knew he was the fire guy who’s ultimate was an exploding fire thing. It’s brutal. He rises in the air and hovers for a second or two, and then he explodes fire all over the area. With my Elderseal weapon, he only did it twice when I fought him solo. I had the mantle on the first time, and rolled far enough away that he just knocked the mantle off me–but no actual damage. The second time, I think I was able to recognize his tell and flee before he could hit me.
He wasn’t too bad, honestly. He was easier than Nergy, and I didn’t faint once. It took me thirty-five minutes to finish the quest, but that includes getting the Gajalaka. It’s still a grueling fight, and he flies all over the damn map. The exploding lava and his blast bursts are annoying, but with all my buffs, I’m able to survive. I kept close to Teo throughout much of the fight, and that worked fairly well. The Elder Dragons (except Kirin) are very much like Dark Souls boss fights, and smacking that ass is the way to go.
As with Nergy, once I killed him solo, I did him many times in multi. Once again, there were people who were not prepared. I’m astounded by the people who don’t keep their eyes on their health, and while I don’t mind doing it for them, I can’t always be there to lend a helping hand. In addition, sometimes, there’s an insta-kill, and I can’t do anything about that. I’ve seen a few Switch Axe bros, and there was one hunt where three was three of us and an Insect Glaive user, I believe. That made me happy, even if it’s not the most optimal. I still greatly appreciate the Hunting Horn users, but I don’t see too many of them.
I really appreciate the people who bring Health Boosters into the fight. You plant one on the ground, and anyone can stand in the green mist for about a minute to recover health. I might have to start doing that, but it would mean giving up my Vitality Mantle. It’s more useful for the team, and the recharge time (150 seconds) is less than half that of the mantle (360 seconds). If all teammates brought it, you could effectively have a Health Booster going at all times.
I also really appreciate that I’m not crap in multi. I would hate to think I was a burden on my team, but I’m holding my own. I will say I appreciated one time I was stunned, and my Longsword bro smacked me out of it. It’s happened to me a few times, but more often than not, I’ve had to desperately hope that the monster won’t reach me before I become unstunned. Because I’m so buffed out, it doesn’t kill me if I get hit again, but it does take me dangerously low in health. Usually, one of my teammates will plant a Health Booster, and I can heal up if Teo isn’t blocking the Health Booster (which he often is. It makes sense because of course my teammates are going to want to fight him as near to the Health Booster as possible).
One of the best suggestions I got from Casey (IGN guru) is to take flashpods with me and the materials to craft them as well. I shoot them at the monster with my sling shot, and it takes any flying monster out of the sky. With Teo, it kept him from escaping as often as he normally does. During one fight, I flashed him four or five times, and he never managed to make it to his lair. It’s kinda sad because he falls straight to the ground. I feel a tinge of pity for him in that moment, but not enough to stop attacking him, of course.
I need a Teo gem, which means, yeah, many more times fighting him. There’s also an Optional Quest given to me by the armory to fight him in the Wild Spire Waste, which I should do. These quests are how I get the Mantles and Boosters and such, and I don’t know which mantle I get from this quest. I’d prefer to join someone else’s quest (and I get credit for my own as long as I do join in the first ten minutes) than start my own, and I’m not exactly sure why. I think it’s partly because I can see who else is in the quest. Also, I don’t want to waste a meal if I start my own quest and no one shows up. I am not taking on Teo alone again (though I can), and I don’t want to waste five minutes wandering around waiting for someone to join my quests.
Usually if I send up a flare, I get three buddies in less than a minute. Same with when I join someone else’s quest. However, I’ve had times when it’s me and shadow and one other person and their Palico. The quest usually is tedious if that’s the situation. The worst, however, is when you only have two other people because you lose your Palicos, and you don’t gain that fourth person. The monsters either have single-player health or multi-player health, so if you’re going to have a party, it’s best to have all four.
I did Teo several times, but I still haven’t gotten the gem. I took a break and did Deviljho so I could get his damn gem. Oh! A few days ago, I was clearing up my Optional Quests, and one is to fight a Derblers and a Black Derblers at the same time. I joined a quest, and there was a hunting horn bro who was really good. The other two players, however, were not so good. Between the two of them, they got carted three times in like five minutes.
I was frustrated, and I looked to see if someone else had posted the quest. Why, yes, someone had. It was the same Hunting Horn bro (Hunter Rank 70), and it wasn’t until I joined that I realized that it was a quest for only two people. Shit. That meant him and me, and our two Palicoes. Shit. I didn’t like that, but I wasn’t going to back out, either. We took on the Black Derblers first, and, goddamn, does she hit hard. I had all my buffs, and, of course, HH bro buffed us out even further, but she still got me perilously close to being carted more than once. Then, Derblers showed up like a lovelorn suitor, and, goddamn it, it became annoying. Still. Them fighting meant they did damage to each other, which is helpful. After we took care of Black Derblers, we attacked the regular one with vengeance. The whole quest was hard, but HH bro made it so much easier. The two of us got it done, and I was pleased to have that quest done and over with.
Back to the Angry Pickle. I needed his gem to upgrade the Tyrannos to its ultimate form, which is Terror Tyrannos. I used the Tyrannos on the hunt, which I thought was amusing. As you can see from the last picture, Bagel decided to play with Deviljho on one of the hunts, and wisely, we just let them have at each other. I have to say, the Angry Pickle still gives me trouble. He hits like a Mack truck, and his hitboxes are all over the goddamn map. I find him harder than the Elder Dragons, and that really shouldn’t be the case. Anyway, after five or six fights, I was despairing of ever getting a gem. The Elder Melder didn’t meld Deviljho Gems, which meant I had to get it the old-fashioned way. By breaking his face/tail/belly and hoping I got lucky.
I finally got one, and I could make the Terror Tyrannos! It’s an amazing weapon, and I really think I should make a build around it. I just saw a video of a guy using it (and the Affinity Booster) to take down the HR Kirin in under three minutes. It was fucking amazing. Granted, he had already finished the game (he had a booster and a mantle, plus augmentations), but it was still pretty goddamn impressive.
I still have Kirin on my to-do list, but I’ll probably tackle one of the other Elder Dragons first. I don’t think I’m ready for HR Kirin.