Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: Monster Hunter World

The reason why I play games awards

There are many different ways to play games. Some people hop from game to game as if they were at a buffet and starving. “I’ll try a little of this and a little of that, and, ooooooh! Give me some of that!” They play the game until they either get sick of it or they finish it, then they put it away and never think of it again. I’m pretty sure games journalist especially have to operate in this manner. Knowing a games journalist, it becomes increasingly difficult for him to game just for fun when he has to do it for his job on a daily basis.

I have a vastly different style when it comes to gaming. I’ve said this about my mindset towards pop culture in general, and it holds especially true when it comes to video games–I don’t cast my net very wide because I’m very certain about what I don’t like. When it comes to video games, I don’t like multis, RTS, FPS (though that’s more because of nausea, not the actual gameplay), bullet hells, platformers, 4X, and anything that calls itself “_____core” without a hint of irony. I hate JRPG, dating sims, survival, and most horror. I really want to like adventure games because they are more story driven, but I just…don’t. I hate all the ridiculous contrivances of the genre, such as combining a stick, a piece of lint, and a teddy bear to make a key*.

What do I like when it comes to gaming? That’s harder to define because I don’t tend to like genres in general, and it’s difficult to know what game is going to click with me.  The first game I played for realsies was Pitfall when I was a kid. Then, Ms. Pac-Man as a teen. Then, while dating a guy who liked arcades, I got hooked on Time Crisis II and barked at him to get me more quarters as I finished it in one go. That was in my late twenties, and I didn’t touch a ‘hardcore’ game again for roughly fifteen years.

Once I did, however, I started playing a weird range of games. The first was Torchlight at the suggestion of Ian, and I immediately fell in love with the game. I loved that the protagonist was a woman who looked Asian if you squinted, and I loved all the dungeon crawling. I still have a soft spot in my heart for it, and I’m one of the very few who thinks it’s a better game than the sequel. Diablo III was next, and I played the fuck out of it. I reached Paragon with my Demon Hunter, and I’ve dipped my toe back in that particular river from time to time as they add to it. Borderlands (the original and II) was next, and I glutted myself on it. Playing them back to back with all the DLCs is not recommended, and I was thoroughly sick of it by the time I tried Pre-sequel, which I did not finish. I only played a few hours before I realized I thought it was crap (and not just because I had put hundreds of hours into I and II and was sick of the formula).

Some of the other games I’ve really enjoyed: Path of Exile (beta. I fell off it once I realized I’d have to start over), Cook, Serve, Delicious (and sequel), The Sexy Brutale, Nuclear Throne, Binding of Isaac: RebirthNight in the WoodsDead Cells, and, of course, the Soulsborne games.

What do they all have in common? Hell if I know. I will say that once I played Dark Souls, it’s been nearly impossible to return to hack-and-slash games. I don’t have to have combat in a game, but if it’s there, it has to be meaningful, apparently. There’s a bit in one of the Prepare to Try videos (the secrets video, I think) in which Rory says, “Imagine if Dark Souls was the first game you played. It would blow your tiny mind. You wouldn’t be able to play any other game.” He was joking, but I feel as if it’s true. There are so many games that when I’m playing them, I’m like, “I could be playing Dark Souls right now.” That’s pretty much my metric for a game–would I rather be playing Dark Souls?


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It’s time to say goodbye (provisionally) to MHW

easy-peasy with four people.
Ain’t no party like a gank party, hey, ho!

I’m still hacking up a lung, which is really unpleasant. I’ve been wanting to fight Tempered Kirin, but my energy is too low to take on that challenge. One of the best and worst things about Monster Hunter: World is that doing each new quest solo takes a lot of energy. They aren’t necessarily hard (though some of them are), but they are grueling. Capcom has added Arch-Tempered Kulve Taroth, Nergy, and Kirin (I think the first and third are temporary), which just makes me heave a sigh.

I’m going to make a confession that I’ve alluded to before, but I’ll state it plainly now. I find the Tempered Monsters to be boring. They just have way more health than their HR counterparts, and they’re more aggressive. That’s it. Doing them solo is tedious, and doing them with a talented crew is too easy. Granted, I haven’t hit the Tempered Elder Dragons yet, so that might change. The thing is, I’m not looking forward to it at all. I’ve been putting off Tempered Kirin because I’m sick, yes, but also because I’m not enthusiastic about it. I know I can do it multi and be done with it, but that defeats the point, I think. Or not? The most fun I have with the game is multi, so maybe I should adjust the way I’m thinking about the game. I have nothing left to prove as I’ve beaten all the monsters solo.

I was thinking about hardness in the Dark Souls games last night. I beat the Fume Knight with the help of a really stellar player summons (shout-out to Zoi and all the people still playing DS II after all this time) and the two NPC summons*. I had looked him up beforehand to refresh myself as to his weaknesses, and I noticed that his HP was 14,258. Gwyn, the final boss of DS had 4,250. Yes, Fume Knight had over 10,000 more HP than Gwyn. Sister Friede has 18,877 (total for her three phases). To be fair, the boss with the highest HP in Dark Souls was also in the DLC, Manus, and he had 6,665. Still. Giving a boss way more health is not my favorite way of making a game hard, but at least in Souls games, it’s not simply giving bosses more health.

I suppose you can think of Tempered Monsters as NG+ and Arch-Tempered Elder Dragons as NG++++++++, but the problem with that is that it’s only the monsters that get buffed. I mean, yeah, I know the whole game is centered around slewing monsters (it’s right there in the title), but at least during the storyline, as it were, you find different areas, different environmental life, new NPCs, and new armor. You unlock different upgrades to your weapons, and new upgrading systems. Once you hit Tempered Monsters, everything is pretty much unlocked as far as new stuff.

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Walking away from the First Flame

I heard The Pina Colada Song on my way home from Cubs today, and it put me in the mood…to play more Dark Souls! It’s my Dark Souls fight song, and I’ve heard it twice in the past week. That must mean something, right? I recently learned that there is a second ending to Dark Souls II. Rather, to Scholar of the First Sin, which is the remake/update of DS II because DS fans were so upset with the vanilla sequel. It’s pretty cool that there are still things I don’t know about the games even though I’ve played the hell out of them, much like when I found a mini-area I had never seen before in DS II, but I doubt there’s anything big I’ve missed. Then again, I missed the second ending, so who knows what else I’ve missed? I think it’s because DS II is the least-talked-about game in the series. I haven’t played the vanilla version of this game, so I can’t comment on that. I have let it be known that I think SotFS is a really good game, but it’s not a great DS game. Anyway, the biggest difference is

*SPOILERS*

There is a character, Aldia, who is the brother of King Vendrick. He’s in the vanilla game, and you have to go to his keep for reasons. However, you never get to see him, and he’s more of an urban legend than anything else. FromSoft decided to change it up for SotFS. I mean, hell, even the name is in reference to Aldia, so it’s the first hint that he’s going to feature more prominently in the remake.

In the second half of the game, he shows up at bonfires to talk to you. He gets increasingly smaller every time he appears (which is three), and he’s not human. I can’t describe what he is, exactly, but he loves the sound of his own voice. Then, you have to do things in a certain order (and I will admit I knew this before going into the end game) in order to have a certain thing happen. Does that sound deliberately vague? Well, it is.

In the vanilla game, there is an area called the Throne of Want. You walk forever to get there, and it’s the boss arena for two different bosses. First, Throne Watcher and Throne Defender (a duo), and then the final boss, Nashandra–the queen. You can also kill King Vendrick at some point, but it’s optional (and a HUGE pain in the ass). In order to have Nashandra show up, though, you need something called the Giant’s Kinship, which you can only get from defeating the Giant Lord in a memory. You cannot access the memories without the Ashen Mist Heart, which you need from the Ancient Dragon in the Dragon Shrine–which you can only access after beating the Guardian Dragon in Aldia’s Keep. Yes, I am spoiling the whole end game, but it is under a spoiler tag, and the game is four years old, so I think I can get away with it.


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Letting the First Flame die out naturally

ain't no love like elder dragon love!
Luna and Teo, the yin-yang of Elder Dragon love.

First of all, health report. Feeling a bit shittier than yesterday, but still better over all. Got a bit of snow yesterday, which makes me happy. Got my instapot (yes, that’s what I’m calling it from now on because it amuses me) and bought the ingredients for vegan mashed potatoes and gravy. Will mess about with that later. By the way, let me reiterate how difficult it is to find recipes that are JUST dairy-free/gluten-free, but in this case, vegan is fine. That might be my hook if I start blogging/vlogging my cooking with my instapot endeavors. I’m only doing it because of my sensitivities–otherwise I’d be chowing down on cheese, bread, and pasta on the regular. I don’t want paleo, keto, vegan, vegetarian, whole30 or top 8 free recipes. It’s frustrating because I can find gluten-free recipes and dairy-free recipes, but only gf/df recipes are few and far between.

On to Monster Hunter: World. I’ve been trying to quit the game for weeks, and I’ve been playing it less and less as time goes on. I didn’t play at all yesterday, butt I can’t give it up completely. Why? Well, there’s still a ton to do for one (Tempered Kirin, I’m looking at you). Two, they keep adding new content. They just announced the USJ: Gold Star Treatment and the USJ: Blazing Azure Stars! (related) a week apart in which you get the Azure Star loot. It looks cool as hell, and, of course, I need to get the Palico armor set first and foremost.

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Winding down Monster Hunter: World, oh, and yeah, Thanksgiving

femdante is way sexier than mascdante.
FemDante in all her glory! And the Dante Devil Sword–which is actually a Charge Blade.

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.

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Monster Hunter: World, Dark Souls II, and asundry

twice as much fun.
Tandem Bageljuice gliding!

I said last week I was nearing the end of Monster Hunter: World. There was plenty more to do as there is always a ton to do in MHW, but I felt as if I were running out of gas. I’m still playing, albeit more casually (in terms of time put into it). I took on the twin Tempered Bageljuices solo without even breaking a sweat. This is not a humblebrag–just the facts, man. I went in properly buffed. I have an armor/weapon loadout for each monster, which you can do when you have a-mill-and-a-half monies. I update the set whenever I fight the next souped-up version of the monster, and I try to make sure I have Divine Blessing Level 3, Health Boost Level 2 (prefer Level 3, of course), and Defense Boost Level 3 (or higher. I will forgo this for the other two, though). I’m very much defense-based, and I don’t mind if it takes me a bit longer to kill a monster than it would if I were more attack-based. I also had Fire Resistance Level 3 for this fight because the consensus is that Bageljuice does fire damage.

I buffed myself to the max for this fight. I drank my Mega Armorskin and Mega Demondrug, which are fucking amazing. I can’t stop raving about them. They buff your defense and attack respectively by a lot, and they last the entire quest or until you get carted. I got the Grimalkyne in the area, which are the trappers because the quest happens in the Wildspire Waste. Then, I boosted us by throwing a Hardshell Powder and an Attack Powder in the air like I just don’t care. I ate for defense, and then I went to tackle the two Tempered Bazelgeese.

One of the best things about this fight is watching the two Bageljuices go at each other, which they did four or five times during this fight. Not only is it epic to watch; they do significant damage to each other. I’m in the minority (of ‘the community’) in that I think Bageljuice is adorable. I love his podded face and body, and I just want him as a pet. Then again, I think the Nazgul, Dementors, and Ultralisks are adorable as well.

I thought time would be my biggest issue in this fight, but I didn’t even need half the time. My strat was to let the two of them fight each other for as long as possible before they both targeted me. Then, I’d Dung Pod one of them and attack the other. I had the Vitality Mantle and the Health Booster as my tools. The best part is that you can use a mantle and a booster at the same time. So, I’d plunk down the Health Booster, throw on my Vitality Mantle, and go to town on the one Bageljuice until the other one came around. The Health Booster lasts 60 seconds and has a 150-second cooldown. The Vitality Mantle lasts 120 seconds or until you get hit out of its protectiveness, and it has a 360-second cooldown. They are a great tandem, especially when playing solo. That Health Booster has saved my ass more times than I care to admit. Another way I use it is to wait until the monster flees, then plunk it down so me and my Felyne friends can fully heal.

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Monster Hunter: World limping to the end

uppercut!
Best place to be with Xeno.

After several days off from playing Monster Hunter: World, I jumped back in, partly to play the Kulve Taroth Siege. I’ll get to that in a minute. I also wanted to do the weekly Limited Bounties because doing them all nets a Gold Wyverian Print when it’s all said and done. Basically, it gives you one free gem (at the Elder Melder) a week, which ain’t bad. The problem is, the Limited Bounties are like, “Hunt ______ Fanged Wyverns”, which can get tedious. I do them multi if I can, but that’s not always possible. This week, it was Hunt 3 Fanged Wyverns, 4 Radobaans, and 5 8-star Quests (Elder Dragons. Just call them Elder Dragons). I mostly did Nergy for the last one because I need another Nergy Gem, and Teo once because I need his as well, but I got no gems from those five hunts. Only two tail cuts on Nergy and didn’t get the tail cut on the Teo.

I tried the Charge Blade on one hunt, and I’ve lost my skills on that. It’s a shame because it’s a great weapon, but it’s one that needs constant usage. I forget the combos if I haven’t used it in a while, and, yes, I didn’t really need the combos for the Tempered Palolumu, but I felt like a newb when I couldn’t charge my shield or my sword. The problem is that I love my Switch Axe and am so comfortable with it. I’ve taken down almost every monster with my SA, and it feels like an extension of my hand.

Side Note: I’ve mentioned before my love of axes. It started when I played as a Pyromancer in Dark Souls (that seems like ages ago) and started with the Hand Axe, then I used the Battle Axe throughout most of that game. It’s pooh-poohed as a babby weapon, but I finished the game with it. As a result, I love axes. The first time I played tank in a Dark Souls game (DS III, second playthrough), I mained the Great Axe for most of the game. I really dug the Black Knight Greataxe during my tank run in DS Remastered.

I like axes, is what I’m saying. The Switch Axe felt the most comfortable from waaaaay back in the beginning when I tried all fourteen weapons, and it’s continued to be my favorite weapon. I know it’s not as flashy as other weapons or as fast, but it’s a solid weapon. Plus, you have the heavy-handed axe on the one hand, and the fast, slashing sword on the other. I think it’s hilarious that you can walk faster with the axe out than you can with the sword, but I usually sheathe before walking/running.

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Monster Hunter: World curtains closed–then opened again

hey, boo, hey!
Me backing up The Seeker, my MHW boo.

One final boss. One last Elder Dragon to take on before closing the books. This was it. This was what I had been training for all my life.

::cue Rocky training montage::

Of course, by training, I mean mostly grinding out the other Elder Dragons and getting my gems, yo! I’m all about the gems. Still haven’t gotten a Teo gem, but to be fair, I haven’t fought him many more times this last week.

I mentioned last week that the grind can get tedious. I don’t mind fighting a monster four or five times, but twenty times to get one gem….I’m getting ahead of myself.

The last boss. The lead up to it is pretty epic, and it includes a lengthy cameo from my Monster Hunter: World boo, The Seeker. He’s a wyverian, which is this game’s version of elves. Not really. They have the elf ears, but it’s that they have dragon blood or some such. Or rather, wyvern blood. Anyhoo, The Seeker is a hottie and could get it all day errrry day. I’m just saying.

Let me backtrack a bit. The whole story of MHW is ridonkulous and doesn’t really matter, of course. The basic gist is (and again, remember this is not canon) there is a bunch of bioenergy burbling around everywhere, and everyone is mystified as to why or what is causing it. It’s Elder Dragons, bitches!!! They’re running wild and running crazy and…something, something, something. Then, once you beat Nergy, The Admiral (who is apparently The Handler’s grandfather?) booms at you about something or the other, he tells you that his old friend (The Seeker) is waiting for you because something, something, something.

So, I take off with shadow, The Handler, and The Admiral to meet The Seeker. We cross the River Styx in a properly  solemn and stirring manner, and it’s a nice setup. I’m not usually one for long cutscenes, but this one felt right given everything I’d gone through. I EARNED this. Plus, shadow looked so adorable in his Vaal Hazak armor (Vaal Set), waving frantically goodbye to The Handler. We go towards something, the ‘bioenergy’ that was fucking everything up, and this brilliant blue light emerges from a crystal-like area. As The Seeker, The Admiral, shadow, and I watch, something emerged slowly from it as if…yeah, that’s right. We get to watch a baby Elder Dragon being born. As it is being born, something falls on The Seeker (oh, no! Not my vidya game boo!), nearly crushing him. I make The Admiral take care of him (how, since I don’t talk, but apparently my intense stares conveyed my seriousness) while I take on the baby Elder Dragon on my own. Well, with shadow by my side, of course! I can’t do anything without my trusty Palico. I was a little nervous because I didn’t have another Felyne to help me, but there was nothing I could do about that.

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Monster Hunter: World and the beginning of the end

i'm all glowy and shit.
Daora Entom in action as I fly high!

This week in Monster Hunter: World had me cleaning up house. It’s funny because it mimics how I work in the real world. I ‘grind’ before doing the real work (mostly by thinking hard about things) so it seems as if I make my decisions suddenly and rashly, but in reality, I’ve given it a lot of thought. It’s like swimming–most of the work is done below the surface.

When I last posted, I had just tackled Teostra and had two more Elder Dragons in this cluster plus Kirin (also an Elder Dragon) and the final storyline quest (final is not really applicable in this game, but it’s the quest that makes the credits roll). Before this, I’d been tackling one main monster a week, roughly, so I thought it’d be the same. I’d manage to do one more Elder Dragon, then farm the hell out of it so I could make all the armor and weapons out of it that I wanted. Plus charms that need the parts. I still needed the Teostra Gem, but I didn’t feel like fighting him any more, so I took a short break.

Next up was Kushala Daora. I love this Elder Dragon. She (and I call her she. Dunno if it’s cannon or not, though I found an angry post about how it’s an IT! Not a he or she!!!! Like, who the fuck cares? Why does it chap your hide so much that Kusha is called a she and not Nergy being called a he, for example? Nerds are the worst about this shit. For real. But I digress) is elegant and very Asian-looking (specifically Chinese, but probably meant to be Japanese), and if you don’t attack her, she ignores you. Once you attack her, however, it’s on! She’s called Kushala Daora,  Dragon of Steel, and she has control over the wind. Her most vicious attacks are wind-based (though they all inflict physical damage, which is odd), and she is covered in steel. That means you don’t do much damage until you break her skin, and her tornadoes are insane. The only thing I knew about her before going in was that she did a lot of wind moves, so I made sure I had Windproof Level 5 (max) before taking her on.

As usual, I rolled in all buffed out and with My Nergal Gash. I will take High Elderseal over high elemental damage any day of the weak. As I said earlier, it’s believed that High Elderseal means the Elder Dragons do their ultimates less often. There is no official word on it, but it seems to be true from what I’ve seen of videos with people who weren’t using Elderseal.

Kusha was fairly easy with the liberal use of Flash Pods. That is still probably the singular best tip I learned from Casey–bring Flash Pods and the materials to craft more whenever fighting a flying monster. Kushala is made almost trivial with Flash Pods as long as you don’t do it during her tornado phase. I wasn’t even close to carting once, and I did it in under twenty minutes. Of course, I did her multi several times, and I had to laugh because her gems dropped so easily. I have three, I believe, whereas I still don’t have one from Teo, and it took me twenty tries to get one from Nergy. I had a hard time getting two of Kusha’s tails, so that’s what I concentrated on when I did multi. I managed to slice it off three out of five times (I think I had Partbreaker), and I felt like a badass. I finally got the second one on the last time I cut off her tail. I needed them to make her Insect Glaive, Daora’s Entom. I’m mostly maining the Switch Axe, but her IG is so badass! It’s a squid, and it lights up when you use it.

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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.

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