Underneath my yellow skin

Elden Ring part deux: Electric Boogaloo

I started a new Elden Ring playthrough as the Prisoner. Because of course I did. I’m leaving the first playthrough as is (and I’m still finding new things every day!), but I wanted a fresh new start. The Prisoner is the classic Strength/Intelligence hybrid (with very little Faith, unfortunately), and I’m already stronger a few hours in than I was as the Confessor. And I have a staff because I start with one. The one sorcery I have is the Magic Glintblade that spins in the air before shooting off a dagger at the enemy. It’s strong for the beginning of the game as is the estoc. You start with high stats in Strength, Dex, and Int as the Prisoner, which is right where I want to be. Well, I’d like more Faith, but I can make do with what I have. I am in Caelid, which is a later-game area, and it’s mostly me running around hovering up items while avoiding dangerous enemies. The good dex-int weapon is there. In fact, I am at the boss that drops it. I can get it down halfway, but not further than that. I was going to leave it until later until I remembered it dropped Moonveil, which is a katana scaling with Intelligence and has a wicked Skill on it. I can’t wield it yet, but I’m not far off. It got nerfed, but it’s still considered one of the best Int. weapons in the game.

Side Note: The Dark Moon Greatsword is a massive disappointment. It’s the Moonlight Greatsword, which is in every From game except Sekiro. And it’s very underwhelming, unfortunately. I’ve felt that about it in every game, though, so it could just be me. If I want to get it for this character, I have to do Ranni’s quest again. I mean, I probably will because you get tons of good loot including the Mimic Tear, but still. Not sure I want to do the whole thing again. But I want a good Strength/Int weapon. And I keep thinking that Dar Moon Greatsword should be it.

In reading a Reddit thread on the subject, he said that the Lordsworn’s Greatsword with Magic infusion (er, not infusion, but the equivalent of in this game) was his Str./Int. weapon of choice. Which floored me because that’s what I’m using on my first character. It’s the first greatsword you get (in the first soldier’s camp, right outside Stormveil), and, quite honestly, it’s fantastic. I used it throughout the whole playthrough, maxed out, with Hoarfrost Stomp as the main Ash of War. I’m using it on my second character, but only +1 and some boring Ash of War. Looking at an ideal Str./Int. build, they recommend 60 Vigor. 60! That’s twice what I had at the end game of my first playthrough. I am not at 15 Vigor nearly equal to my Vigor for my first character for the first 100 hours of the game. Seriously. I skimped HARD on Vigor. Still am. It’s not like me at all, but I really wanted lots of Mind (mana), Intelligence, and Faith. And I needed a certain amount of Arcane as well. And, of course. I needed a base amount of Endurance. Ahhhhhhhh! There is no throwaway stat this time around, unfortunately.

Side Note: When I first found out that the way to get attunement slots in this game was by accruing Memory Stones rather than leveling up Attunement. I was skeptical because I started with two slots and had to get a physical item that would add to those slots? What? How dare they!! But you know what? I quickly appreciated not having yet another stat to level up. I didn’t have to waste my precious levels on attunement slots, which was a relief. Instead, I got a Memory Stone from killing a boss. Or I bought one from the Twin Maiden Husks (don’t ask). Or I got one from one of the puzzle rises. At the end of the day, I had 10 spell slots when I finished my first playthrough. I rarely had more than 6 slots in other games, more often, four with a ring that gives one extra slot. So, yeah, I’m an enthusiastic convert to Memory Stones.

Right now, I’m running around Caelid, which is easily the most disgusting area of the game. And the most difficult for where it is. The fact that I can get there four or five hours into the game blows my mind.¬† Last time, I dipped in and dipped out quickly. This time, I’m wandering and exploring, grabbing all the loot I can as I go. And, the NPC near the Smoldering Church, ah, Anastasia Tarnished Eater. She has a huge cleaver and does the typical butcher cleaver moveset. I LOVE that the butchers in all the games are women. I don’t know why it tickles me so much, but it does. I did not love Anastasia in my first playthrough. It took me maybe 8 – 10 tries to beat her. This time, it took me once. I think it’s more because I had a powerful sorcery to demolish her than anything else, but it was such a good¬† feeling.

One thing that is fascinating me is when does Melina show up to invite you to the Roundtable Hold. Every reviewer had a different opinion as to when it happened, but I still can’t get a handle on it. In my first playthrough, it was after 10 hours and my first try at Margit. This time, it was much earlier. Fextralife says it’s by reaching the Smoldering Church. OK. I’ll take their word for it. At any rate, I appreciated being able to get there sooner rather than later–even though there’s not much I can do yet.

This second playthrough has been a breeze so far. In fighting Agheel, I wanted to–ok. One of my goals in this playthrough is to do all the NPC side quests. In that, I have met D (hey, boo, hey!) in the open world, which makes me happy. I knew it could happen, but I totally missed it the first time. Anyway, there’s Yura (hey, boo, hey!), Bloody Finger Hunter Yura, to give him his due), and you can get him as a summon to fight Agheel with you. I did all the steps necessary to make him summonable, including dying to Agheel and then going back to Yura to talk to him. The next step is to fight Agheel again, allowing him to kill you so you spawn an the Stake of Marika where his summon sign will be available. Cool, cool. I can do that. Except, I killed Agheel on my second try. I didn’t mean to, but when I got close, there was no way I couldn’t kill him, right???? It took me a dozen serious tries to kill him the first time around, much later in the game, so I wasn’t expecting that. Fortunately, as I mentioned, Elden Ring is much more forgiving about questlines than previous games, so I’ll be able to continue his quest. I did not summon him to help me kill Agheel in the first playthrough, either.

I’m ending this now, but there will be more later, obviously. I’ll be talking about this game until the end of time.






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