Underneath my yellow skin

Wo Long and diminishing returns

I beat that lightning boss in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty (Team Ninja). I don’t take much joy in it because, well, I’ll get to that in a minute. I will say that I was bitching to Ian about the boss because–and this is actually an issue I have with all Team Ninja games–the deflect is just not consistent across the enemies. I mean, to be fair, the deflect/parry box is different for different enemies in From games as well, but at least it’s consistent within an enemy group. I can’t do it well, but that’s clearly on me.

In the last post, I wrote about some of my issues with Team Ninja games. I’m going to continue in that vein for this post because that’s how I roll. I need to talk about my current obsession to move past it.

Back to the deflect. In Nioh 2, there was something it was the burst counter. There would be a red flash, and you had to hit RT+B (I think?) at the right time. It was a different time for each enemy. In this game, it’s just B. But it’s the same thing where you had to do it at the right time after the red flash. The issue in Wo Long is that they hooooooooooooooold that flashing red to an unreasonable point. In Sekiro, the red kanji flashed and then you hit the deflect. It was very precise. I was trash at it, but the windows were consistent. In Nioh 2 and now in Wo Long, they aren’t. In this game, it’s partly because the windows are more generous. I get the deflect much more often than I did in Nioh 2. However, with this boss, I hardly got it at all. he flashed red and then held it, held it, held it, and then BAM. I got the deflect once or twice but for the most part,I just tried to hit him when I could and let my buddy take most of the damage. I buffed us with our spells (to have us take less damage was one spell and us getting healt back with each hit on the enemy as another) and then just backed the fuck way off not to get hit.

By the way, I used two common Souls tactics in this boss fight, but I’ll get there in a minute. Let me talk about bitching at Ian about this boss. He was ahead of me in the game in part because he was reviewing it for his work. Plus, he’s always gotten on better with the Niohs than I have. Anyway, he was crushing it and streaming it. So, I’ve seen big chunks of this game I have yet to played. Because of this, I went to him when I ran into obstacle. I figured he would be a good guide for the game. Plus, he really dug it.

He gave me a few bits of advice. One, upgrade my weapon. You could only do that with the blacksmith, but fortunately, she was at the beginning of this level. And, because I had almost everything opened up, I could get back there in less than a minute. The problem was that I was rocking a 3-star hammer (4-star is the highest), and I had that fear you always have in games of this kind–that I would find something better.

I’d had this hammer since the begnning. I am not a hammer person in these kinds of games–that’s not actually true. In Dark Souls III, in NG+ and beyond, I do use Bordt’s ice hammer. It’s great! (Vordt, an early game boss.) Plus the Demon’s Hammer, I think it’s called. Fire and ice, yo! But in general, hammers are really slow. Because my reactions are slow, they’re not good for me. Then again, they hit REALLY HARD. And this one is the Great Wooden Hammer, I think. I found it early and have been maining it since.

I’ve tried all the other weapons I’ve found, but the only other one that even comes close is the Polearm Podao, which is a kind of glaive. That’s my second weapon. And it’s also slow and hits hard. I have tried all the swords and do not like it. I might have to try the dual sabers just for the LULZ, but I like what I like.

I leveled up my hammer again. Plus the podao. And another hammer by accident because it was the same as my main and I mixed them up. Inventory management is hot trash in this game, btw, but I already ranted about that. Ian also told me to upgrade my armor, but I didn’t do that because I rarely stick with one set of armor. This is part of the ‘too much loot’ issue. I get new stuff constantly, and it’s gotten to the point that I don’t even look at it if it’s not a 3-star. It’s just too much. I do not min-max, and I don’t care if something is 1% better at the chill status than another otherwise-identical piece of armor. I still haven’t upgraded any armor because I switch to keep it as light as possible. I did change to armor and talismans that had better defense against status effects because this boss did lightnting. But he also did tornadoes and other things as such.

In addition,  changed my spells so that I had a fire one that I never managed to get off, my ‘give me better defense’ spell, and then two spells that buffs me and my allies. One is a spell that gives us back health every time we get a hit on the enemy. The other increases our defenses (taking less damage) while in its protective circle.

Of course, I also found that last marking flag as well. That was in the most unobvious, obscure, unintuitive place ever, by the way. Even with the video walkthrough, I had a hard time finding it.  When I did, I was just mad. I didn’t even feel good that I had gotten it–I was just like, “Come the fuck on.” There is always one that is hidden in a way that is meant to be a gotcha.

Back to the boss. I went in with everything optimized. And the way I dealt with him was treating him as if he was a Souls boss. I got behind him whenever possible. That’s what you always do with a big, animal-like boss. You get behind him and smack that ass. Circle-strafe to your right to position yourself behind that booty. Then go ham. Rinse, lather, repeat. The added bonus is that you can avoid most of his tornado attacks.

The problem is that there in an NPC in the fight with you. You can dismiss him, but he’s useful as a meat shield. As I said, in the last boss fight, I had two NPCs fighting with me and following the cheese video I watched, I let them do most of the work and just buffed them as need be.

Look. The bosses, at least so far, are nothing to write home to Mom about. The first was a humanoid who glitched out when he became a demon. Two of them have been kaiju versions of farm animals (to paraphrase Ian in his review) and the others are just demonized humans. Oh, and the monkey boss came back as the boss of a sub-mission–which consisted of…the boss. That was the whole sub-mission. Go in with Hong Jing, kill the monkey boss, and peace out. Um, ok? Uh. What?

Here’s the thing about this game. This is going to sound utterly dismissive, but it’s really and truly not. It’s a popcorn summer game. It’s not a deep thinking kind of game. You’re not playing for the story (though you will enjoy it if you know the Three Kingdoms story), or if you are, then you’re not going to get it. There are character descriptions, yes, but you just meet all the characters from the Three Kingdoms with no explanations. I’m someone who loves From games. That means that I’m used to lore and story not being obvious. In this case, though, I just…can’t be bothered. Because all you’re doing is going through a level and then killing a boss. I mean, I know that’s what you do in From games, but this is much more stripped down. Ok, to be fair, there’s a demon realm and a Black Tao Cultist who is very evil. VERY evil. He is corrupting the characters in the game and making them bosses. I mean, that’s not the explicit reason, but that’s the end reason.

I’ve made it to the Hidden Village with Hong Jing, a character who shows up now and again, says something cryptic, and then disappears. Now, however, I am going with her through this level and….ah…um….well we’re trying to find her brother. His house is locked. I have an idea what happened to him, but I’ll keep that to myself. She does neat lightning tricks, but she’s not much use as an NPC.

None of them are, by the way. They’re good at meat shields, but that’s about it. You have the opportunity to rez them Which, honestly, is more often trouble than it’s worth because you can’t rez them when the enemy is on top of them–which, you know, is when they usually get knocked out. Then, if I can manage to get to them while the enemy is, I don’t know, about to eat me and get my ally up, then I take the hit.

So, yes, I ave let an NPC die on purpose because Ican’t get to them in time. I’ve lost way too much health because I’m concerned in getting them up.

I’ll have more later, most lilkely. For now, this will have to do.

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