Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: grind

Spinning my Charge Blade in Monster Hunter: World

give me your majestic horns, derblers!
DIABLOS (HR) MY NEMESIS WE MEET AGAIN

I’m still recovering from the sickness, and it’s been slow-going. It’s frustrating because I know that I have to take it easy in order to get better, but I’m impatient for it to just be done already. I did jump in my recovery last night to about 50%, which is up from roughly 10%. I can tell I’m getting better because I’m sleeping less, and for now, I’ll take that trade. I wish it weren’t so, but it is–I know I’m getting better when I’m sleeping significantly less.

One of the downsides to being sick is that I haven’t been able to make as much progress in Monster Hunter: World as I would have liked. I’ve mentioned in the past I’ve reached the point with Souls games, especially DS III, where I’m comfort gaming if I’m playing them. I don’t have to put much thought into it, especially since I summon for bosses*. MHW, on the other hand, still takes all my concentration when I’m fighting something new.

In my moments of feeling better, I fought my nemesis, HR Diablos, and took him down handily. Before I did, I took down a Low Rank Diablos for parts, and it was a piece of cake. I had to laugh to myself because I had been dreading Derblers, and it was easy-peasy. I had more difficulty with HR Anjanath, and that’s saying something. Again, I’ve done a lot of grinding, and I’ve built a defensive juggernaut. I usually have a Defense III charm, Diving Blessing Level 3, and I always have the Armorcharm and Armortalon in my item pouch. I use Armorskin before each fight, so, yeah, I’m buffed the fuck out defense-wise when I go into a fight. (I also have the Powercharm in my pouch and use Demondrug before each fight).

I also took on (and down) The Angry Pickle, who has been, by far, the hardest fight I’ve had so far. I’m still pissed that I had him down to flashing skull the first time when time ran out because of the stupid Handler story bullshit that takes up the first fifteen minutes. I got him the second time with one bogus faint (lag faint) in about thirty-eight minutes. It’s a slog, and it made me feel that maybe my offense isn’t where I need it to be at this point.

I’m still maining the Switch Axe at this point, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because it’s powerful, especially in Sword mode and surprisingly agile in Axe mode for such a big weapon. Bad because it means I always have to get up close and personal with a monster, which isn’t always ideal. I really want to pick up a ranged weapon, but I want one that gives me the option of melee as well. Which means the Gunlance. Which is one of the most technical weapons in the game. I already main three technical weapons–do I want or need to add a fourth? OK, so I just read that the Gunlance is still an up-close weapon, so do I want to tackle one of the ranged weapons? Also, Gunlance is a heavy weapon, not a technical one, so there’s that. The other two technical weapons are Hunting Horn (hahahahahah no) and the Bow. Which is amazing in the right hands, but just not mine. Most of the speed records are with ranged weapons, which is another reason I want to pick one up.

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Monster Hunter: World grinding harder and faster

rathalos is having none of my shit.
Oh, shit. Rathalos is pissed!

Before jumping into Monster Hunter: World, I have to vent my spleen about casual games, which I’ve played for years. Before I was a ‘hardcore gamer’, I played Hidden Object, Match-3, Solitaire, and Time Management games. Big Fish Games is the Steam of casual games, and I have a membership there, which means I get one ‘free’ game a month. I should stop my membership, but I do enjoy a casual game now and again when I want to give my mind a break. The thing is, though, once I started playing hardcore games*, I noticed things about casual games that would not fly in the hardcore world. One, unskippable opening cut-scenes. Look. Devs. We need to talk. Cut-scenes need to be skippable, especially before I’m allowed to fiddle with options. The first thing I do when I play a casual game is go into the options and turn off all the sound. Why? Because I can’t stand the background music that usually plays, and the voice acting is usually atrocious. Besides, when I play a casual game, I usually have a video/stream in the background, so I want to concentrate on the latter. It’s different when I play a hardcore game because I want to be immersed in that case.

Two, the code is atrocious. There are so many more bugs in a casual game than a hardcore one, and I don’t know why. Theoretically, it should be easier to make a casual game than a hardcore one, but then again, the people doing the development probably don’t have as much knowledge. That’s just a wild guess on my part, but it makes sense. I’m playing a solitaire game that’s a murder mystery at the same time. I played the first in the series and noted a few major problems. But, because there aren’t many murder mystery solitaire games, I gave the second a shot. Well, it has the same damn problems. One, it randomly crashes. Or, should I say, not so randomly. It’s when I try to use a power up. After I click on the power up and use it, the game either freezes or I can click, but I can’t pick up any cards. Sometimes it simply freezes on its own. The other bug is that sometimes the gold cards you need to collect can’t be clicked. And, finally, at the end of a round after I’ve cleared every card, it won’t exit into the ‘you won’ splash screen.

This doesn’t happen every round, but it happens enough for me to be frustrated with the game. They are the same goddamn problems I had with the last game, and you’d think they’d fix them between games. Here’s another issue I have with casual games in general–they keep putting out the same shit. There’s one solitaire company that puts out the same game once a month or so with just a palette swap, a change in themes, and nothing else. They’ve wised up a bit and write game descriptions for a much more exciting game than they provide, but they don’t change the games at all. I’ve bought a few, and they’re good enough to pass the time, but they’re nothing to write home about.

It seems as if casual games are stuck in a rut. Devs put out the same game over and over again with a slight story change. Everything is paranormal, and there’s usually a family member who’s gone missing. I will say the Hidden Object games usually work fine, and they look good, but there’s no heart to them. I haven’t found one in a long time that had a good story or that really captured my attention. I know that’s not why I’m playing them, but I would like more than mind-numbing boredom when I play.

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Monster Hunter: World griiiiiiiiiind

here's my (guild) card.
Does this pose look cool?

There is a weird tension inside of me when I play Monster Hunter: World these days. I still get caught up in the hunt-kill-loot loop, but I’m becoming resentful that there is so much content. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but I get that way when I start feeling overwhelmed. It’s not an uncommon phenomenon, and it’s marring my enjoyment of the game. Whenever I think of playing, I think of all the quests I have yet to do and all the things I need to craft, and, and, and, my brain starts to rebel.

Let me be clear: much of this is my own fault. You can zip through the main missions and hit the credits in 30 – 50 hours, or so I’m told. I spent nearly a hundred hours in Low Rank, and I could have easily spent a hundred more. I only got into High Rank because I forced myself to make progress, which is how these things work in general for me. I remember playing The Witcher 3 and having to make the conscious decision to not finish everything in the game. It’s difficult for someone with OCD traits like me to not go after everything in the game. It’s why I ended up hating Skyrim–I tried to do all the covenant quests (or whatever they’re called in that game) and I lost all interest in the game by the¬†50th hour.

The frustrating thing is that I know this about myself, and I still feel almost unable to stop myself. In MHW, I made myself cross the threshold into High Rank, and then so much shit unlocked. So. Much. Shit. Also, things came at me at a rapid clip, and in another ten hours or so, I had unlocked the last area of the game (and the last third of the game). I have a ton of quests still in High Rank, and I’m not ready to go to the last third of the game yet because I know what’s coming. Fucking Elder Dragons. I don’t like killing dragons because I’m Taiwanese* and because I know these are super-hard. But, all the best weapons and armor comes from the Elder Dragons, so…..Oh! Also, I’ve played solo the entire game, and I know that’s going to add unnecessary stress to the fights.

I’m not playing solo only because of my ego–I don’t like multi, and I especially don’t like multi with randos. I know the MH community is supposed to be more helpful than most, but I still don’t trust that I’m not going to get an asshole in my group. In addition, I don’t want to be the albatross around my team’s neck, and even though I’ve soloed the game and have only failed two missions by being carted three times (Diablos once and Kirin once, but one of the carts on Kirin was because of a glitch/lag), I still feel like I’m crap at it.

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Bloodborne: The Pits of Despair

I’m in the last quarter of Bloodborne¬†(not including the DLC), and to be frank, I hate it right now. I’m battling two optional bosses, and they’re both roundly kicking my ass. They both seem fleetingly doable until they stomp me into the ground, and I leave the fight emotionally battered. Daughter of Ebrietas and Martyr Logarius. They are my personal nightmare for several reasons, which I’ll get into later.

I get this way near the end of almost every Souls game. I remember how much I hated the second half of the first game, and how once I beat it, I almost quit the series for good. I felt the same way during the DLC for DS II, which I still hate. In DS III, it was the DLC as well, specifically The Ringed City. I actually cried in frustration at times, and I still have very complicated feelings about it. It was much easier as a tank (at least until soloing the last boss on NG+), which is another thing that is the problem now. I started with an arcane build because it’s the closest thing to magic this game has. The spells in this game are called Hunter Tools, and I’ve used them to good effect. Except. They’re mostly trash against bosses, especially bosses who are high in arcane themselves, which both the optional bosses I’m currently facing are. So, they’re no use to me with my problems right now, which is frustrating. I have 40 points in arcane, and I’m at level…82? 83? Something like that. It means I don’t have much wiggle room with the rest of my stats. That means I didn’t pump levels into strength for my Hunter Axe, and my health and endurance are lower than I’d like them to be.

Another problem is that I still am not great at parrying. I’m better than in Souls games because the parry window is more generous, but I’m still not consistent with it. One of the best ways to beat Martyr Logarius is to parry/backstab him, neither of which I do that often. I probably should practice until I get consistent, but it’s a reflex thing. I could try using my Augur of Ebrietas on him because it stuns enemies which allows me to follow with a visceral or a backstab, but it also pushes someone away from me, so the timing is difficult. I’m old, people. I went through all the Souls games not parrying, which was one of my concerns for this game.


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