Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: the grind

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

I fought the Nergigante and the Nergigante….

get a room, guys.
Lovers’ spat.

I finally did it! Yes, I fought the Nergigante between last week’s post and this one, and how did I do? We’ll get to that in a minute. I also took on the Black Diablos, and I want to talk about her first. Diablos was my hardest fight in Low Rank. He was the first one to make me cart three times, which isn’t too bad considering that it’s at the very end of Low Rank. He’s tanky and cranky, and even though he’s considering a Flying Wyvern, his favorite move is to tunnel underground and pop up suddenly to crash into you and do massive amounts of damage. I actually had a harder time with LR Derblers than with HR Derblers, which really shouldn’t be the case. I knew Black Derblers was going to be even harder because she’s a female Diablos in heat (her description) which means she’s almost always pissed off.

I encountered her for the first time on another quest or expedition, and I followed her around a bit, but was having none of that. I’ve said that I admire people who can just jump into a fight. I was watching Pat of the Super Best Friends playing MHW, and he ran into the Deviljho in the wild. He just decided to fight the Angry Pickle and beat him. He was scoffing at how easy it was, but when he had the actual quest, it was harder. I just couldn’t believe he decided to go after the Deviljho without prepping–and won. Then again, he was playing on the PS4, and Deviljho didn’t come out until well after the original content was released. In other words, people had already beaten the game by the time they encountered the Deviljho.

Anyhoo, I was on another expedition and ran into the Black Derblers. She has no interest in me as she wanders around, probably because I’m just a speck to her. A gnat, really. I decided to attack her just to see what she was like. I did not plan on killing her, and *spoiler* I didn’t. She stunned me and then made me cart before I could get away. I don’t consider it a real cart because I wasn’t really trying to fight her, nor was I kitted out properly. I went back to HQ and got ready for the fight. I’m a rabid convert to saved load-outs now, and for Derbers, it includes a lot of Legiana armor and her Switch Axe. I update as I get further in the game, but I’m pretty sure I had the Legiana helm and vambraces. Actually, I probably had the Ingot Vambraces Beta on because it gives two levels of Health Boost, which is an extra 30 health total. Actually again, I might have been using the Axe Semper Tyrannis, which is made from Derblers parts. If that’s the case, then I had a different load-out because you need to shore up the -30% Affinity and use Free Element to ‘wake up’ the Ice element.  I think I used Leggy’s Switch Axe for this fight, though. Back to Health Boost. I really should get the third level because three levels is +50 (as opposed to +15, then +30). I know it might not sound like a lot, but my base health is 100, so right now, I have nearly a third more.

Ian was asking me the other day how I increased my health and stamina, and I rattled off a bunch of things I do. I realized I was ‘that gal’ now, and he even commented that I was really locked into the meta. I said it was because I watched a ton of Casey at IGN and because I knew what was important to me. Related note: I still don’t know the most optimal way to use the Switch Axe, but I get the job done. My point being, I get way into the weeds about certain things and not others. So. As to my build and buffs, from watching Woolie of the Super Best Friends play, I realized that I should buy the Powercharm and the Armorcharm from the Provisions Stockpile guy. They give an attack boost and a defense boost respectively. Then, you can combine a Powercharm with two Bageljuice talons and an Armorcharm with two Bageljuice talons to make the Powertalon and the Armortalon respectively. These give even bigger attack and defense buffs, and they stack with the Powercharm and the Armorcharm. So, at the cost of four slots in my item pouch, I can have +15 attack and +30 defense. Which, again, doesn’t sound like a lot, but due to the obscure logarithms that I don’t completely understand, they’re really good.

I usually have Diving Blessing Level Three which randomly reduces the damage I take by 50%, and it seems to go off a lot of the time. I try to have Defense Level Three as well because I’m all about the defense. As I’ve said before, I will sacrifice some offense for defense, but I’ve found a way to have both. I’ll get to that in a minute. I also use Mega Demondrug and Mega Armorskin before each fight because they give you a big boost in attack and defense respectively. Better yet, they last until the quest is over or you get carted. Fucking OP, man, especially since I can make them at the Elder Melder at a ridiculously low cost. I stack that with Demon Powder and Hardshell Powder. I try to make sure I have teammates around before I use all this if I’m doing multi so they get the benefits as well. I only have one Friendship Jewel, and I currently don’t feel like I can sacrifice more slots/skills to being a healer, but I could add a few more Wide Range skills if I wanted. Sometimes, I eat a Might Pill and an Adamant Pill as well, but I’ve not done that as much lately. Why? Because it seems like overkill, and I’m using up my resources at a rapid pace.

Continue Reading

Dark Souls III: A Souls Game, For Better AND Worse, Part Two

Ed. Note: This is part two of my current feelings about Dark Souls III. You can read the first post here. The first post was about things I don’t like about DS III or am neutral about. This post is going to be a love letter to Hidetaka Miyazaki (the creator of the series) and the game. Now, keep in mind that even if you love something, you can criticize it, so there might be some vinegar with the honey. But, it’s mostly going to be sweet, I promise you. A warning, there will be spoilers. 

set it all on fire
Irithyll of the Boreal Valley, me, and my Pyromancy Glove.

I know my previous post makes it seem like I hate Dark Souls III, but nothing could be further from the truth. All of my criticisms are precisely because I love the Souls series so much. I cannot call the games fun, per se, so if that’s the reason you play video games, you’ll want to pass these games by. I can say they are engrossing, engaging, and give me an enormous sense of satisfaction when I conquer an enemy/area/boss who I’ve previously considered unbeatable. In fact, my shining moment in my brief, but intense gaming history is when I finally beat Ornstein & Smough on the last attempt before I was going to give up the original game for good. My sense of accomplishment was ridiculous, and you couldn’t tell me shit for several minutes after*. In my next playthrough, I handled them fairly handily, and they weren’t that much harder on NG+. It really underscores the point that once you learn a boss’s pattern, that boss is no longer much of a threat. Plus, summoning helps, too. Also. Still, the first time I faced them, I felt as if I would never beat them. That is the brilliance of Souls games. They have very steep learning curves, but once you learn them, you never forget.

I know, I know. They’re just video games. Who cares? I do. I am a perfectionist, and if I’m not immediately good at something, I give up. I’m old and my reflexes are crap, so Dark Souls should have tested my patience to the point of breaking. In fact, it has on several occasions, but the other thing I am is stubborn, and I was NOT going to let this enemy, this area, this boss, this fucking game beat me. So, pardon me if I give myself a little pat on the back for hanging in there with these games. Part of the reason is I’m stubborn, yes, but the bigger part is because of the games. Let’s get on with what I like in Dark Souls III.

Continue Reading

Dark Souls III: A Souls Game, For Better AND Worse, Part One

Ed Note: I have written about the Souls series numerous times before, including two posts on my first impressions of Dark Souls III, which you can read on my old blog. Part one is here; part two is here. In addition, there will be spoilers as I discuss the game. It’s  unavoidable, so if you still haven’t played the game, intend to do so, and don’t want to know anything going in, you might want to skip this post. 

nothing good happens in Souls castles
I hope there’s nothing but chocolate and lollipops in that castle.

Hi, my name is Minna, and I play Dark Souls games. Not only do I play them, I’ve beaten the first two games twice each, and I’m making my way through the third and final game. I don’t consider myself good at the games*, but I’ve played them enough to consider myself a veteran of the series. Having played nearly fifty hours of Dark Souls III, I feel confident enough to say that if you love the Souls series and have been hungering for more, you’ll love this game, too. Conversely, if you hate the other Souls games or are frustrated/irritated by the combat system, you’ll want to pass this game as well. In other words, Dark Souls III is firmly a Souls game, for better, for neutral, and for worse. There are some tweaks and updated graphics, but the core game is Souls, through and through. Let’s start with what I don’t like about DS III, what I’m meh about, and I’ll finish up with what I like about the latest and probably last entry in the trilogy.**

The Bad

Janky physics. It’s a staple of the games, and Miyazaki probably considers them a feature and not a bug. There are few things more frustrating that running frantically around a room, finding a place that I think is safe to hide, only to be clipped through a wall/pillar/other inanimate object for half my health. In the last boss fight I encountered against the Old Demon King, he could breathe his flames through the piles of Capra Demon bodies (I think that’s what they were. I didn’t really focus on that because I was trying to kill the fucking boss) and take away more than half my health. Despite me having the Flash Sweat spell that boosts defense against fire. And wearing the Flame Stoneplate Ring, which also boosts fire defense. And wearing the armor that has the highest fire resist. To be fair, if I didn’t let the flames directly hit me, all that protection greatly decreased the amount of damage I took. However, if I got caught off-guard, all that protection was for naught. Frustrated as hell as I died to the Old Demon King more times than I should have.

Continue Reading