Underneath my yellow skin

Trying to wean off my Dark Souls addiction

I’ve been morbidly watching the weather because we’re in a cold snap to end all cold snaps. It’s currently -15, ‘feels like’ -24, which is twice as warm as it was yesterday! It was supposed to get much warmer today, but Mother Nature apparently changed her mind. How like a woman, amirite? Ew. That felt gross, even saying it in jest. Yesterday, it went as low as ‘feels like’ -53. I kept checking because I wanted it to hit -60. Again, it was just morbid curiosity because it really doesn’t matter after a point. ‘Feels like’ -53 isn’t much different than ‘feels like’ -30. I don’t know exactly where that difference is, but it’s nowhere near where we are right now.

I’ve also been fighting off something or the other while dealing with sinus issues. I’m half-convinced it’s allergies because I mostly feel it right after I wake up and before I go to bed, and I’m fair-to-middling during the day. This morning, however, I woke up with something a bit more than usual, and I know I’m fighting something off. Which is aggravating. As I stated before, I’d rather just be sick and get over it in a few days (even though it’s never a few days. The worst part of it is a few days, then it lingers for weeks after).

I’ve put Dark Souls III on the back burner for now (uninstalled it) am an now tromping through Lordran again (Dark Souls Remastered). I forgot my current character is on NG++, and man, is she powerful. I’m wielding the Black Knight Halberd +5, and I’m enjoying it greatly. It surprises me because I’m not a polearm kind of gal, but the BKH is a fast and powerful weapon, and it’s great for crowd control. I was up to going to Anor Londo, running against the dastardly duo (Silver Knight Archers) before meeting up with the other dastardly duo (Biggie & Small). I actually made it into the church in one go, which I did the last two times as well. The key is running past the goddamn spears with confidence, ignoring the guy on the left, and attacking the guy on the right. Being powerful enough to block the spears he shoots at me is nice, and I was able to slice him to ribbons before he could kill me.

May I just say that being a Havel monster is the best? Yes, I was wearing the entire set, and, yes, it mitigates a lot of damage, but it takes a long time to reach the point where you can wear the whole set. I’m at 40 Vit, 50 End, and 50 Strength, so I’m a beast. I’m at 19 in Attunement, which gives me 5 attunement slots. That’s insane because you need 30 levels to have 5 attunement slots in Dark Souls III. Then again, magicks are much more powerful in DSIII because of the mana bar rather than the limited amount of casts in the original. For example, I have the Hidden Body spell in DSR, and I have 3 casts between bonfires. THREE. In comparison, I’m constantly casting it in DSIII, and I never run out of mana. Yes, I know it’s FP (Focus Points), but it’s mana. I have my flasks as 10/5, and I have a healthy mana bar. Plus, I wear the ring that conserves FP, so I can pyro my way throughout the areas.

In DSR, I have to save Hidden Body for special situations. Hidden Body/Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring to be a ninja. Currently, I’m wearing the Witch Set because I’m messing with the Hidden Body/Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring combo, which means I can’t wear Havel’s ring, which means I can’t wear his armor. There are only two ring slots in DS, and one of them is permanently taken by the Ring of Favor and Protection. It boosts HP, stamina, and equip load, but it breaks if you take it off. Therefore, I really only have one ring slot to play around with, which is frustrating.

Anyway, it’s funny to me that I’m wearing a light set of armor while wielding a hefty weapon (have gone back to the Zwei +15 for a bit) as befitting my strengthcaster character.

Funny side note: The RKG boys, back when they were Prepare to Try, ran through Dark Souls Remastered with the goal to save Solaire, and Rory happily dumped many levels into Attunement, thinking it was Endurance. I couldn’t really blame him because in the rest of the games, it was HP then stamina one after the other, and this one, Attunement is between the two. Plus, every game changes the name of the stats and what each do. But, it’s funny in the clip above when Krupa asks in puzzlement, “Have we been putting points into Attunement instead of Endurance?” and Gav immediately saying he noticed it the last time, but hadn’t wanted to mention it. Rory is like, “Yep, yep, yep. Yep, we have, Daniel.”

Later, after beating another boss, Daniel jokes about putting everything into Attunement. They had five slots and only two or three spells. The thing that killed me, though, was that they were part of the Daughter of Chaos covenant (which is needed to save Solaire), so they had one of the most powerful pyros in the game and never equipped it.

Anyway, I love being OP in DS because I can mess around with weapons and builds that I normally wouldn’t. However, I am currently in the Duke’s Archives, which means I’m in the second half of the game, which means the markedly worse half of the game. I beat Biggie & Small with the help of Solaire in one go–by the way. Those big guards before that fight–they’re called the Royal Sentinels–I’ve always avoided in the past because as a squishy caster, they were hell to fight. I couldn’t do enough damage in a short enough time to beat them down before they crushed me to oblivion. In addition, they can heal themselves (at least one can), which is demoralizing after plink-plink-plinking away at their health for half an hour. That’s a slight exaggeration, but not by much With my BKH? I destroy them in five or six hits. I can’t knock them out of the healing posture, but I don’t even give a shit. Don’t fucking tell me that being a caster is OP in the original game–it really isn’t. It might be in PvP, but it certainly isn’t in PvE.

Solaire died early on into the Super Smough fight, and I didn’t even break a sweat. I remember how long I toiled against him the first time I fought him, and I was in tears much of the time. Maybe not literal tears (though that occurred as well), but metaphorical tears. I usually went for Super Smough because as difficult as he was to fight, he was nothing compared to Super Ornstein. Holy shit that guy. He’s not as bad now, but that first time–I couldn’t do a damn thing against him. Super Smough was a tad easier because he was slower, but he hit like a Mack truck. I couldn’t seem to avoid his attacks no matter what, and this time, he didn’t hit me once. Not in either phase of the fight.

I have to admit, after Biggie & Small, my interest in the game plummets. It’s widely accepted that the second half of the game isn’t as good in part because of how rushed the development was at that point. Everyone was hoping the remaster would fix some of the problems, but Bandai Namco was sure to emphasize that it was a remaster and not a remake. FromSoft wasn’t involved in it at all, either. In addition, Miyazaki got to realize his vision with Dark Souls III, and there are areas that are direct upgrades from the original game. Some with the same names, even!

I’ve cleared out the Duke’s Archives, but I do not want to go down to the Crystal Cave. I LOATHE the run to Seath the Scaleless, and the fact that there’s no bonfire at the end of the run makes it doubly irritating. One of my least favorite aspects of any Soulsborne game is the platforming, and the paths invisible to boot, and you’ll understand why I hate the Crystal Cave. I have long since held that games that aren’t specifically platforming games should not have platforming because it’s not easy to do. I am a complete FromSoft fangrrl, but it doesn’t mean I think the games are perfect.

I might just start another game with a specific goal in mind–being able to use the Greatsword of Artorias, either the regular one or the cursed version. It’s a sword that you need to have pretty even stats to use, which is the antithesis of how you should play Dark Souls. However, I just like the idea of using it. I think I was able to use it one of my characters, but I don’t remember. I need 5 or 6 more levels with my current character in order to use it, and I’m at something like 150,000 per level right now. So, yeah, it’s doable to grind it out to get the levels, but do I really want to do that? There is no respec in this game, unfortunately.

I think it’s time to move on. I’ve been playing quite a bit of casual games lately because they’re easier to play while I’m not feeling a hundred percent. I’ve dipped back into MHW because of the Appreciation Fest, but I’m not really feeling it. It’s strange how it had been all-consuming for several months, and now when I return, I feel like it’s a complete stranger. I need a new game, but I don’t really have the motivation to try something completely different. Now, I just want to take a nap.

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