I am writing this on Thanksgiving, which is a weird day to me. First is the fiction Americans are told as children as to how the Pilgrims came to America, were welcomed with open arms by the natives, and they celebrated together by eating turkey and maize and whatnot. It’s a flagrant whitewashing, and it took me way too long to learn the truth. Christopher Columbus was an asshole who got lost, brought death, slavery, and pestilence to Native Americans, and there was no happy turkey dinner. It’s true the Native Americans at the time helped out the foreigners, which I’m sure thy regretted by the time Columbus was through with them.
In addition to that, I hate holidays in general because they bring out the worst in people. Or rather, they put so much pressure on people to have a certain kind of day, it’s stressful. Thanksgiving and Christmas in particular fetishize families to the point where if you don’t have a good relationship with your family, are estranged from them, or simply prefer not to spend time with them if you had your druthers, you are made to feel like a freak, an unfeeling asshole, or a wide range of other negative things. I feel alienated on a regular basis, and no more so from Thanksgiving to Christmas,
How am I spending my Thanksgiving? Much like any other day. Writing, watching YouTube vids, reading, playing MHW (Lunastra dropped today, which I’ll get to in a bit), snuggling with Shadow, and overthinking things. I don’t think it’s sad, and I don’t have any desire to celebrate–especially as I can’t eat most of the staples of Thanksgiving dinner, anyway.
Jumping dramatically to another subject–Monster Hunter: World. Still working on the Tempered Monsters, and it’s still bullshit that you have to track them to get the investigations. Have yet to get a Radobaan quest, so I still haven’t fought him solo. I did the Kulve Taroth quest two more times so I could get the Golden Shell to complete the Palico armor set. It’s ridiculously gilded and pompous, but I love it. My favorite Palico armor set is from Xeno’jiiva, the ‘final’ boss (storyline boss). It’s ethereal and makes Shadow look like he’s late for the wedding. I really wish I could have done the Kulve Taroth Siege properly, but there was never anyone doing it when I went to dive in. Probably because it’s better with a coordinated team of four, which I don’t have.
I did the Code: Red quest multi as I predicted, and I had a blast! It’s a special arena quest in which you fight one monster after the other. First Anjy, then Odo, then Rathalos, and finally, Teo. I went with pure power rather than any element, and I was the team healer per yooz. It’s amusing to me that I’m a Switch Axe user (Swag Axe in the parlance of ‘the community’) and a healer because they’re not that compatible. I don’t care, though, because I’m a healer first and foremost.
Anyway, with a good team of four or even three (had to do it with only two other people once), we can get the deed done in roughly twenty minutes or less. I know each monster has less health than their solo counterparts, but it’s still a thrill to take ’em down. It’s the best when the team works as one, such as the time one of my teammates set a trap for Teo, set down two Mega Barrel Bombs, and the rest of us set down our Mega Barrel Bombs as well. That did HUGE damage to Teo, and he was easy peasy to kill. I did the quest six or seven times, and I even got a Teo gem from one of the fights! I have unlocked the ability for the Elder Melder to make Teo gems now, so I never have to fight Teo again if I don’t want to.
Dante’s Charge Blade is fucking amazing, too. I’m not talking skill-wise because I don’t know how it stacks against other Charge Blades. However, it looks so cool as it’s a sword and energy shield that works as a Charge Blade. I recently did a Paolumu quest in which I used my Odium Charge Blade, and I still got it! I love the Charge Blade, but I feel like I don’t really have the will to learn it optimally or even as competent as I can wield the Switch Axe.
I’m hyped for Lunastra. I watched the trailer again (for consoles, but same thing), and seeing her next to Teo squaring up against Nergy. Here. Watch it yourself.
I love Elder Dragons fighting each other, and it would be so cool to see Teo and Luna fight, say Nergy and Kusha. Although, thematically, it makes sense that it’s Nergy who has a Turf War with other Elder Dragons because he (Nergy) is the Eater of Elders.
I don’t know how you’re supposed to find Luna, but I’m guessing it involves tracking somehow. Probably traipsing through Elder Recess and collecting tracks. I assume you can do it through an expedition (free roaming with no target), but it would be kind of cool if you had to do it during a Teo fight. I don’t know what the blue sparks she’s emanating are. I’m pretty sure they didn’t add a new blight as I would have heard about that if they had. Teo does fire and blight damage, and I wonder if it’s the same, but just a different color. I mean, I know she does fire damage, obviously, but are the blue sparks blight? I suppose I’ll find out when I fight her. I’m going to try to find her myself, but I have a hunch I’m going to have to Google it. I’m excited for a new Elder Dragon, but I feel as if my time with MHW is coming to an end. I know I’ve said that before, but I’m playing it less and less every day.
They’ve just announced Arch-Tempered Xeno’jiiva, which, ugh. I mean, I haven’t even done Tempered Kirin yet (not sure I will. I should, but not sure I’m up for it), which is how you unlock the Tempered Elder Dragons. I appreciate that Capcom wants this to be your only game and that it has so much content, but I don’t think fighting the same monsters but buffed to the max sounds like much fun. I know you’re supposed to fight the Tempered Elder Dragons with a group, and if I choose to do them, that’s probably what I’ll do. I don’t know. We’ll see.
Oh dear. I just saw that the Winter Star Festival is coming to both PC and consoles November 30th. First time an event has been synchronized between PC and consoles. Snow theme for the Gathering Hub! New armor! New Poogie clothes! Goddamn it. Capcom really does not want to let me quit this game, do they? I have to check this out, of course, because I love winter and snow and GIMME NEW ARMOR!!!
As for Dark Souls II, I’m having a blast tromping through Drangleic and assorted areas within once again. The boys aren’t going to have their videos up until January, so I have enough time to finish it plus the DLCs* by then. I’ve been alternating between this and DS III, and I’ve forgotten how punishing the beginning of the games can be, especially in DS III. I tend to remember how overpowered I am by the end of the game (except the first time I play any of the games, of course) when I can stand up to any enemy without flinching.
In the beginning, my health bar and stamina bar are so tiny! I can swing maybe twice without getting winded, and I can take at most three hits (completely unblocked). My spells are piddly, and it’s a slog. In addition, having to find Estus Shards in order to get more sips from my Estus Flask is no bueno. However, I’m into the second quarter of the game, so I’m sturdier than I was before. The problem is that I want to be a strength caster, which means I have to level up most of my stats (except Dex, ‘coz fuck Dex). Pyromancy doesn’t have stats in this game, but there are a few hexes I want that do. By the way, I’m still salty that you can’t start as a Pyromancer in this game. I’m over it, and I have my pyromancies now, but still. In addition, I hate the Fire Seed bullshit. Having a separate item to enhance your Pyromancy Glove, one that costs 8500 souls a pop to boot (if you don’t want to wait until you find them sprinkled throughout the lands), is frustrating as hell. I don’t mind the Pyromancy Glove following the upgrade path for normal weapons as it does in DS III, but I really preferred simply leveling up the PG the way they did it in the original game. You didn’t need any material to level it up–just souls.
Anyhow, I’m heartened to see that people are still playing Scholar of the First Sin so many years later. I’ve had it pretty easy summoning humans for boss fights, which is more than I can say for DS III. I know it’s partly because the bosses I’m summoning for in DS II are the popular ones, and the ones I tried to summon for in DS III aren’t popular, but still. I’ve been crushing the game, honestly. It’s back to being comfort food for me. By the way, I’m not sure how I feel about The Pursuer and the Forlorn showing up in several places in the game. Actually, I don’t mind The Pursuer because if you leave the area, he goes away. With the Forlorn, however, they’re actual invaders, so you can’t get rid of them except by dying. It’s funny, though. The first time I fought a Forlorn, he wrecked me. Now, I have no problem with them.
I’m up to Harvest Valley/Earthen Peak, which is one (I lumped them together) of my least favorite areas in the game. I still have to do the Executioners Chariot, which can be a pain in the ass, but is usually OK. It’s the run up to the boss that is pure trash. One thing I appreciate in DS II is that it’s fairly easy to level up. By the end of a complete playthrough, I can easily have 150 levels.
I need a new game. I have my eye on Death’s Gambit, a Souls-like, which is sitting in my Steam Library. I’ll let you know when I eventually get to it.
*As always, fuck the optional/run-the-gauntlet sections of the DLCs.