Underneath my yellow skin

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.

whoa, oh, oh, i'm on fire.
I’m staying the hell away from this!

I captured both Bagelgeese in this quest, and it took me roughly 24 minutes to complete the quest. I’m guessing each Bagel has less health than the HR counterpart, but are just way more aggressive. After letting them fight, I’d go in for a few swipes, then back away. The only time I came close to carting was when I allowed myself to get caught between the two of them. I have to say, I don’t find the regular Bagel that hard, either. As long as you’re properly kitted out, he’s doable. I actually find his counterpart, The Angry Pickle, much more difficult, and I am not looking forward to Tempered Deviljho.

I’ve also tackled Tempered Odogaron, and he’s easy-peasy as well. I have to allow myself a modicum of pride in that he was so hard the first time I fought him. I carted twice, and it took me almost the full time to kill him. Now, he’s manageable and I haven’t carted against him since. Even better, the quest gives me 30,000 Zenny. If I use a voucher, I get 60,000 Zenny for ten minutes of fighting. I don’t need the monies right now, but if I want to buy more end game stuff, it all costs a pretty penny.

Remember in my last post when I said if Capcom added new content I’d come back? Well, the Kulve Taroth siege is on for another week, and I really want to finish my Palico’s armor from this boss. Also, they’ve added the Dante (from Devil May Cry) quest, Code: Red for which you can get Dante’s armor and a sweet Dante Charge Blade that doesn’t look like a Charge Blade called Dante’s Devil Sword. This quest is going to be a pain it the ass. It’s fighting four red monsters at the same time. Odo, Anjy, Rathalos, and Teostra. I have a hunch I’ll be doing this multi. You have to do it several times because you need a Red Orb for each piece of armor, and you get them as rewards for completing the quest. I also know that one of the pieces needs a Teo Gem. Which, if you’re counting at home, I have yet to get one of, let alone two.

This starts tomorrow and lasts two weeks. Then, next week, Lunastra is coming! I mentioned her in last week’s post as one of the things that would pull me back to the game. Well, Capcom listened, and they’re rolling her out next week. She’s the female equivalent of Teostra and has similar moves, but I’m sure she has her own special abilities as well. I’m pretty hyped about Lunastra, even though in reality, she probably won’t be so different from Teostra.

I hate the method for getting Tempered Monsters investigations. I mentioned it before, but you have to track Tempered Monsters to get enough research points to trigger investigations. You can’t trigger a specific investigation, however, and you just have to rely on the luck of the draw. It’s the same for tracking in general, but it’s not as onerous because you have quests for all those monsters. Not so for Tempered Monsters. In addition, there are different tiers. Tier 1 includes Pukei-Pukei, Anjanath, Tobi-Kadachi, Barroth, Jyuratodus, Rathian, Palolumu, and Radobaan. I’ve fought and beaten all of these solo (except Radobaan. I did him in the Stuck in a Rut Quest, and I did it multi). I’ll do a Tempered Radobaan solo at some point if I can be bothered.

Tier 2: Rathalos, Azure Rathalos, Diablos, Black Diablos, Pink Rathian, Legiana, Odogaron, and Lavasioth. I’ve only fought and beaten Odo (twice!), and I’ve unlocked Rathalos, Azure Rathalos, Diablos, and Lavasioth.

Tier 3: Elder Dragons. (Kirin, Nergigante, Vaal Hazak, Kushala Daora, and Teostra.) To unlock this one,  I have to take on the Tempered Kirin, and I’m dreading it. Kirin is one of the hardest monsters in this game by far, especially the first time I met him. I’m going to do a whole bunch of other things until I feel confident to take on Tempered Kirin.

go away, bagel. nobody likes you!
Tempered Odo and the ever-present Bageljuice.

One of the best ways to get Tempered Investigations is to go on one with the Ghillie Mantle and just follow around the Tempered Monster gathering tracks. That’s annoying. You can also do it in an expedition, but it’s a crapshoot whether you will get enough tracks or not. I really think I’d be less grumpy about doing the Tempered Monsters if tracking them weren’t such a pain in the ass. I will have to say, however, that fighting the Tempered Monsters themselves isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I haven’t really had much difficulty with any of them. Then again, I haven’t done Black Diablos, Azure Rathalos, or Pink Rathian yet, so we’ll see what happens when I hit that level.

Switching gears dramatically, I re-installed and started playing Dark Souls II again last night. Why? Because I’m re-watching Pat and Woolie play it and because the Prepare to Try lads are going to be doing it for their next full season. It took a hot minute to adjust back to Souls controls, but after ten minutes or so, I was back in the press B to roll groove.

I started as a Cleric because I want a strength/pyromancy build, but Sorcerer is so fragile in the beginning. In addition, I’m more into Hexes than into Sorceries, so it’s better to have my Faith up than my Int. Also, Pyromancies don’t take stats, so it doesn’t matter which I pump. I just need Attunement slots and to make sure both Int and Faith are high enough so I can talk to all the trainers.

Pat has a hard-on for the Mace, but it’s not really my thing. I’m currently using it because I don’t have many options, but I’m thinking about buying the Battle Axe. I really like the Greatsword/Pyromancy build, and that’s probably what I’m aiming for this time as well. I’ve had one true death (to the first appearance of The Pursuer) and a few bullshit deaths to overconfidence. Also, probably rust. It’s been a minute since I’ve played a Souls game, and while it’s like riding a bike, it can take a little time to get back on it again. I have to laugh because I quickly settle back into the same groove, which is me grinding to make sure I can level up several times in the beginning. The Short Bow is very handy for several things, and you need 12 Dex to use it.

Dark Souls is comfort gaming for me by this point. I can do it without my total concentration, though I need more of it now than I would if I’d been playing it constantly. DS II has one mechanic I hate more than anything–when you lose your humanity, you start losing total health every time you die. The ring that allows you to cap that at 75% is behind some major bullshit, but I need to get it on sooner rather than later.

It seems as if I’ll be playing MHW for a few more weeks to come–at least until I get all the swag I want from Dante’s quest and Lunastra. I don’t love her armor, but I can make a Switch Axe from her bits and pieces. I want her Switch Axe–I lust after it. I can forgive many flaws in MHW because there is so much content and Capcom is giving us more for free. (Yes, it’s the same content that was in the console version. It’s still a lot of free shit.)

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