Underneath my yellow skin

Having fun in Elden Ring

I hadn’t played Elden Ring (FromSoft) in some time for reasons. Just wasn’t feeling it, mostly. I watched a few videos on the best and most rare armors in the game and decided to give it a go. That means farming, which is not fun. One of them was fairly easy to get, but another, I had trouble getting the head piece. It’s an armor that has both an altered and unaltered helm and chest piece. Different sources gave conflicting info as to how to get the pieces. These enemies (Banished Knights) are in a few areas, and there’s one at the entrance to–oh, spoilers for the whole game, I guess–the Cathedral of Dragon Communion in Caelid. They are a bastard hard enemy, and I normally just avoid them. I wanted their armor, though, so this time, I backstabbed them and then slashed them once, and they were dead. I did that over and over again and got most pieces to armor set. The chest armor (unaltered) is supposedly one you can only get from the Banished Knight in Sol Castle, which is really late in the game and twice as hard as the regular version of the enemy because it can disappear and teleport.

The way to do him is to get above and spell him rapidly so he can’t teleport. I didn’t manage to do it the first few times, and he killed me handily. I was told in a video this would take hours, but to persevere. I was thinking I might have to give up because there was no fucking way I was going to farm this asshole for hours. I got the chest piece the first time I killed him, though, so that was a boon. I went back to farming the other guy for the rest of the armor, and I look fly now with the altered helm and the unaltered chest piece.

It took me an hour or so to get the whole set, and I can see how people would get into farming for hours. It’s soothing in a way, and farming one guy over and over again isn’t a big deal. There was another armor set that you could get by having the enemy break a tent in a late-game area, and I found out something neat about the area as well. It’s a platforming section that for some reason didn’t faze me. Talking about it in the RKG Discord, many people took hours to get down it. I got it in ten minutes or so, which is nothing for me!

Anyway, I did the thing you can do down that platforming area, and now, I can just jump down without platforming if I want. I won’t die because I did the thing! That’s a neat little addition that they didn’t have to do, but they did it. I got the Nomadic Merchant’s armor set from this area, and it’s a relief to know that I didn’t have to kill one of the Nomadic Merchants to get it. I believe I did this with my second character already, but I wanted to get it for my first because she is my definitive character.

She is sitting in NG because I am waiting for DLC. I want her to be the one to experience it, even though I prefer the weapon of my second character. I can always respec my first character if I want. But I adore my first character and how quirky she is. My first playthrough is always unoptimized because I play it as organically as possible. I do what I  want to do when I want to do it without thinking about the end goal. Except that I got all the endings lined up because I was planning on doing the plat in one run, but that did not turn out for me.

Now I have most of the rare armors and I look badass as the Banished Knight. It’s heavy armor, which means using the heavy armor talisman, but I got swag, yo! I was hyped to get the whole set, and I’m going to look for more later today. Yes, I have the plat, so why not get all the armors and weapons, too?

Later last night, Ian and I co-oped. First time I’ve done that. I’ve summoned people before, but have not run around the world with a friend. I have to say that the game was janky as we ran around together. There was lag between us, which was…not great. We both have beefy machines that run the game smooth as butter. It should have been fine with us together, too.

We had a minor blip trying to get me in his world, but that was because we were at different Sites of Grace. Once I was at the right one, it was no problem. We got invaded by someone, then by the same person again when we were in the same spot. We both came to the conclusion that it was an NPC because it was the same person, and it just felt like an NPC. I hadn’t remembered an NPC there, but that could be my memory issues or that I never ran into him. I’ve seen most of the stuff that Elden Ring has to offer, but I’m sure I’ve missed a thing or two.

We were running around Caelid, trying to get to Millicent. I didn’t think we would be able to get to her yet because he hadn’t done a string of things that needed to be done. I just wasn’t sure if it had to be done before seeking out Millicent. It seems that it probably does. There was also an area that was fogged off. Ian asked me about it, and I explained it meant that it was a different area and I couldn’t go in with him. It’s the same with caves and catacombs. You have to find the Site of Grace inside in order to summon a friend.

Watching my Eurogamer co-oping and complaining about co-op, my impulse was, “It’s meant to be a solo experience. Quit your griping.” After playing with Ian, I have to retract that. Yes, it’s supposed to be a solo experience, but it’s fun as hell to run around with a friend. Having areas gated off is deflating as is not having Torrent. Ian posits that it’s for smoothness reasons, and he’s probably right. But it would be so much better if we could ride our Torrents together.

It’s hard because I did not want to dictate where we went, but he wasn’t sure where to go. Also, my health bar was tiny. TINY. It’s tiny in general, anyway, and they chop it when you’re summoned. As well as flasks. But you still get flasks back for killing a group of enemies, which is nice. We slew a bunch of big, angry doggos, who are obscenely over-tuned for the area.

It was much fun to run around with him. I would do it again, but I do wish From would make co-op smoother. Give us Torrent. Let us go into other areas. I don’t mind the summoning part, so they can keep that in. It’s probably not going to happen, however, so I’m resigned to go through the rigmarole when I want to co-op. That probably won’t be too often, anyway.

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