Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: grinding

Dark Souls III plat is like giving birth

*Bonus Post*

hellraiser up in this bitch!
Delicious bow cheese!

Completing the Dark Souls plat made me feel relieved, but still wearied. I didn’t feel that much joy or accomplishment, and it was definitely muted. Yesterday (Thursday), I buckled down to plow through the rest of the plat requirements for DS III. I didn’t want to do it; I seriously thought about taking a break. But, I know myself. I know that if I stepped away, I would just obsess about it more until I did it. So. Four bosses. Four rings. I took a deep breath and took the plunge. I went after Oceiros with the help of Hawkwood, and it was no thing; he never is. Champion Gundyr, on the other hand….First of all, I’d like to note that I was playing offline because I did not want to deal with invasions–human or NPC. I can’t get a human summon for the life of me, but I have been invaded. There’s an NPC invasion in this area as well, and I simply did not want to deal with her.

I biffed it in my first attempt on Champion Gundyr, even with the Sword Master by my side.  I was too hesitant and allowed Champion Gundyr to dictate the fight, and he pushed my shit in over and over again. I was already irritated, and, let’s face it, that did not help. Fighting a boss while in a heightened emotion in a FromSoft game means certain death. This time, I resolved to be more deliberately forceful, and I got all up in Champion Gundyr’s face–By the way, Champion Gundyr is so goddamn aggressive, but I managed to get him solo with not too much difficulty the first time I met him. Being a caster is helpful with certain bosses, including this one. That’s what I did this time around, and it wasn’t hard at all once I settled the fuck down.

I stealthed my way through the Black Knights though I normally kill them because I just didn’t care about anything that didn’t help my run progress. I made it to the Dark Firelink Shrine and beelined it for Lothric’s throne. Behind it was the Life Ring +3, one of the four rings I needed. I briefly chatted with the Shrine Handmaid then warped myself back to ‘my’ Firelink Shrine. I set myself up for the next part of my run–which was Lothric Castle. It’s pretty big, and it can take some time to explore the whole castle. There are dragons with black slooge that breathe fire as you try to get into the castle, so you have to go the back way, and there’s oodles of other shit you can do as well. I ignored the other stuff and went straight to the level to open the front gate. I died to the scrubs in the castle twice because I was rushing and not doing the area as I normally would. Plus, I was getting more and more worried about the last thing I had to do, but I’ll get to that later.

Continue Reading

Not-plat Dark Souls run DONE!

*Bonus Post*

moonlight greatsword is mine!
Gotcha, asshole!

In my last post, I wrote about my not-plat Dark Souls run, but I forgot to mention Seath. He of the Moonlight Greatsword tail that I needed for the not-plat. I fucking hate the Crystal Cave. Earlier in NG, I went to grab the Titanite Blue Slab that is nestled there. I have never gotten it before, so I fell off that particular invisible path several times. Fortunately, I have several characters pretty far in this game so I was able to do the upgraded weapons with more than one character. That meant that I could use the Titanite Blue Slab I already had on one character (there are two in the game) for one upgrade and the one I nabbed in the Crystal Cave on a different character for the other.

Anyway, tackling Seath’s tail was a bitch. Getting there was more stressful because….I don’t know why exactly. I couldn’t remember exactly where the invisible path was, and I fell more than once. It took me five or six times just to get to Seath, and one of those fucking clams came into the arena with me. I died and was fuming as I made the trek again. One the second time I made it into the arena, I tried the strat of letting him kill his own crystal (I did it myself the first time) so he would be stunned as I ran around to his backside. I did not have Power Within activated, and I breathed Great Combustion on his tail…but missed once. I think I hit him once, but it wasn’t enough. So, I had to do it the hard way of running around him, baiting out the laser attack, and getting one or two swipes (Furysword) or GC on his tail–making sure I aimed at the tip. The thing is, though, he lashes his tail around, which meant I missed more than I hit.

I had to keep an eye on his health, obviously, as I did not want to have to do him on NG++. Not only did I not want to have to do him on NG++, I did not want to have to get to that part of the game as I only had to reach Anor Londo and Cuddles (Giant Blacksmith) to transform two boss weapons. I had Seath’s health down half just by attacking the tail, and I was getting nervous. I was wearing pretty strong curse-resist armor and had a high magic-resist shield, and I wasn’t taking much damage at all. I wonder if he’s like the Four Kings in that he does more damage the further you are away from him. Just as I decided I would probably have to let him kill me and try again, his tail came off! A few agonizing seconds before Moonlight Greatsword flashed on the screen, and then his tail…just…stayed…there. For the rest of the fight. As you can see in the pic above. Which was kinda gross, tbh, but at least I didn’t have to harvest it for the MGS as I would have in Monster Hunter World.

Continue Reading

My Dark Souls not-plat run is almost done

staring into the abyss.
Got you, motherfucker!

I stand before the abyss, ready to take the plunge. No, wait. I’ve already done the Abyss as in the Four Kings on NG+ with my strength/faith gal, and it was fucking bullshit, I’ll tell ya. I don’t normally have trouble with the Four Kings because I just Pyro them in the face. New Londo (the area leading up to it) ain’t fun, but it’s not the worst, either. I normally can get through it on one or two tries. As for the Four Kings themselves, it’s usually a one and done in NG. I’ve even done it on NG+ before and not had an issue, but that’s with a character who had vit, end, and strength for DAYS. On this character, I was short all three (though I did bump up Endurance and finally have 40), and the ghosts were owning me. It took me four or five tries to get to the Four Kings, and then they wrecked me in one. I looked up tips (I ain’t too proud to beg), and then I followed the advice of using Power Within and Haveling it up. Mask of the Child for Stamina and the Crest Shield, then, and this is the important part, Great Combustion those assholes in the face.

I love me some Great Combustion, but I tend to view it as a last resort. It really is powerful as fuck, and I’ve been using it as a first option generously. I have two of them which is 16 uses in total. I also have two of the weaker ones, Combustion, and one Black Flame (the dark version) as well. But wait! We are not at that point in my narrative because there was so much other stuff I went through to get there. I stuck with my faith gal because in order to get one of the covenants, you needed to feed Gwyn’s soul to the Altar of Sunlight as a Sunbro AFTER offering ten Sunlight Medals. And, if you break the covenant as I did in the end of NG in order to save Solaire, then  you have to offer five more medals in order to get back into the covenant. Anyway, I did that, got the last miracle, and was able to check that achievement off my list.

Here’s a funny thing about me. I’m a completionist, even when I’m running through a game for the hundredth time. I still want to get every item and go to every  area even if I can skip it. I usually do Blighttown the normal way even when I have the Master Key just because. Also, Blighttown ain’t as bad as everyone says, especially on the PC. Anyway, on this NG+ non-plat run, I said fuck it. I was just going to go as fast as possible, making sure I did everything I needed to do along the way. I even went into Blighttown the back way and skipped the whole platforming mess. I made it to Biggie & Small in three or four hours, which is unheard of for me. I freaked out before fighting them, however, as I needed Ornstein’s soul. I never fight Super Ornstein because why would I? I had his soul on another character because a summon went for Smough first and I really had no choice. That character was in NG++, however, and didn’t have either Priscilla’s tail or Seath’s tail. I don’t care about tail cuts and have never done either. I also don’t kill Priscilla ever since the first time. Not because it traumatized me and made me think I was stuck in the Painted World of Ariamis forever (though it certainly did that), but because she’s cute and fluffy, and she’s not hurting anyone.

Continue Reading

Monster Hunter: World and end game content!

teostra is all about the fire.
Hello, Teostra. You look all fiery and festive.

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.

Continue Reading

Traipsing my way through Monster Hunter: World High Rank

thanks, cat friends!
Grimalkynes help trap Bagel!

Still sick. Still dragging my ass around when I can bother to get off the couch. The weather turned cool today, which is a relief. Yesterday was hot, steamy, and gross, and, boy, am I glad I don’t live in the South. I’ve been playing a shit-ton of MHW since I last wrote about it, but I still haven’t taken on the Nergigante. Yes, I know I said I’d hoped I’d have tackled him by now, but I’m still enough under the weather that I didn’t feel I could commit to a fifty-minute Nergigante fight.

I took on Uragon, and he actually made me cart once. I was caught off-guard by one of his falling pods, and then I was stun-locked into oblivion. I find one of the important things about a hunt is to armor up correctly, and I hadn’t had enough fire resistance to withstand the one-two punch. The next time I took on Uragon (by myself), I was better kitted out, and it was easy-peasy. You may ask yourself why I took him on again by myself when I’ve been enjoying the world of multi once I kill a monster solo. It’s because of the opaque multi system, which while I understand mostly how to use it, there are still a few things that make me shake my head. For example, I like to play the story missions by myself. So, there’s no reason I need to play online for that. But, you’re not allowed to play offline in this game so I had to figure out that I wanted to start an online session just to play by myself. In addition, I wanted to make it private so not just anyone could jump into my game.

Fine. Dandy, even. Not a problem once I learned that. Except, when I tackled A Fiery Convergence (an optional quest in which I tackled Lavasioth and Uragon in order to get the Fireproof Mantle), I automatically selected one player, then departed for the quest. Once I got to the Elder’s Recess, I went to fire off my SOS Flare, but it was grayed out. I thought, “Hm. Maybe I need to eat first.” So, I did that and still the SOS Flare was grayed out. I realized at some point that it was probably because I set my session to one player, and I had to decide if I wanted to try it myself or abandon the quest and start again. I think I used a Lucky Voucher (which doubles rewards) for this quest or else I just decided to try it on my own. I could always abandon it later if it went poorly. Spoiler, it did not go poorly. I took care of both within half an hour and never was in any real danger. It was satisfying, I’ll be honest with you.

Next up was Azure Rathalos. I was nervous about him, I won’t lie. I took out a few regular Rathalos in multi so I could upgrade my Rathalos Axe II into the Rathbringer (love the name!) Axe I. I buffed myself out max for the Azure Rathalos fight, including Mega Armorskin), girded my loins, and waded into the Ancient Forest. To my surprise, I took him out fairly easily. Not as easy as, say, HR Diablos, but he still wasn’t as hard as I expected him to be. Immediately afterwards, I took on The Red and Blue Crew (optional quest to take down a regular Rathalos and an Azure Rathalos in the same quest) in multi because one, I wanted to clear the quest, and, two, because I’m still feeling punk, and I didn’t feel up to taking on the duo by myself, even though I had just downed Azure Rathalos.

Continue Reading