Despite my rebellious nature, I tend to follow the rules more often than not. I am not going around being lawless willy and nilly. I mean, I guess you could say my whole life is against the rules to some people. I have not managed to hit one ‘normal’ milestone–and, yes, I’m proud of it Not in the ‘give it to the man’ sort of way, but that I managed to hold firm to my own values despite great pressure from my mom–e,r society. But mostly my mom.
In video games, there is a genre of games called open world games. You can probably guess from the name that the world is, indeed, open–although that can be interpreted differently in different games. Mostly, it means that you can go anywhere you want at any time instead of having to progress down a linear path. The problem with many of them is that in order to fill the world, they add repetitive quests that you just do over and over (such as collect fifteen feathers in each section. Or they make you get things for people, snidely known as fetch quests. Or even worse, you have to escort someone somewhere and they walk at half your speed. Looking at you, Skyrim. I didn’t realize just how annoying that was until I played The Witcher 3 in which the NPCs jog along at a brisk pace.
Side Note: I cannot wait to play Elden Ring which is basically an open world Dark Souls IV. I will admit trepidation about it being open world, though, because the many dungeons dotted around the world have been described as this game’s version of Chalice Dungeons. Which I hated. Absolutely hated. Someone in the RKG posted that in his opinion (because of course it was a him), you hadn’t really beaten Bloodborne if you didn’t do the Chalice Dungeons. Which, I mean….I hate gatekeeping in general. Saying someone isn’t a true such-and-such fan if they don’t do x, y, or z annoys the fuck out of me. In this case, the Chalice Dungeons are mostly for grinding. Yes, there is at least one unique boss in them (can’t remember if there are more), but it’s still mostly for grinding. I tried to do them, but I just found them confusing and boring. One thing I like about FromSoftt games is how different each area is. All. The. Chalice. Dungeons. Are. The. Same. I got hopelessly lost in them and I gave up after doing…I don’t even remember which dungeon. My favorite outfit is in the dungeons, but fortunately, early on. (Bone Ash Set.)
But anyway, why does it matter to you if other people play the game the way you do? I could say that I feel that the game hasn’t truly been played unless you do an arcane build (which, by the way, don’t do on your first playthrough. Don’t be me. Trust me on this), which is just as arbitrary and silly. The Chalice Dungeons are specifically set apart from the main game for a reason–and making up your own rules doesn’t change that.
That’s one of my biggest gripes about the FromSoft community, by the way, the toxic insistence that you can’t call yourself a true fan unless you x, y, or z. Usually beat all the bosses solo is at the head of that list. But, also throw in ‘magic is for pussies’ and ‘shields are for simps’. In Luke from Outside Xtra’s playthrough of….I want to say Bloodborne (pretty sure it was BB, but it might have been Dark Souls)–wait. No. It was when Andy of Outside Xbox played Dark Solus for Halloween. There was a section where he and Mike were jokingly saying SHAME after Andy did something considered beneath a true Souls fan. It quickly devolved into anything he did at all. Falling down a cliff? SHAME! Walking down a path? SHAME! It was hilarious, but it’s exactly how the community gets. At the end of the day, I say play however you want because someone is gonna get mad at you for it, anyway. Might as well enjoy yourself!
Fuck the gatekeepers is what I’m trying to say. Play the games as you want to play them. My only goal with the FromSoft games is to get as many people to play them as possible. I love them. Well, more specifically, I love the Souls games. I am happy to talk about them with anyone who wants to talk about them. Except for min-maxing. That’s not my jam at all. I don’t care about stats and whatnot, except for broad things like the soft cap (40 in the original game). And for not fat-rolling (under 70% equip load in the third game). I don’t mess with fastest DPS or shit like that. Let’s not even talk about power-stancing in DS II.
But if you want to talk level designs, enemies, bosses, casting, or anything like that, I’m your person! If you want to know how to get from Point A to Point B in any of the games, let’s chat! If you want tips, I can do that for you as well. You want lore? I got your lore right here. Again ,this is for the Souls games. I am not that well-versed in the other two games.
I just fought the first boss (bosses?) in the second DLC of the third game last night. I had been putting it off for a while because the second DLC is still hard as nails for me. Because I put so much into Intelligence and Faith (NG+, I have forty in each, I believe) and into Strength (also forty), I’m still a bit glass-cannony at this point. I had put off fighting this boss because quite frankly, the second DLC is above my pay grade. I remember the first time I went through it as a very fragile caster. I made it past this boss and went into a new area, only to be invaded by an asshole who was camping out in the new area a day after the release of the DLC. And, no, I’m not still bitter five-and-a-half years later, why do you ask?
Why was I human? Because I summoned for that boss. I was a broken person at that point and just couldn’t summon the will to beat the boss solo. I went back and did it later, but on that first playthrough, I just couldn’t. Now that I’ve beaten all the bosses solo, I have no qualms about summoning. So, last night, I went with the two NPC summons for the boss because nobody puts down their signs there. Second time, I managed to get one human summon, but they died rather early into the second phase of the boss. Third time, I summoned the two NPCs again and we kicked the boss’s ass. All three of them. Whew! I was expecting it to take longer than that, but I got back into the groove. The second phase still kicked my ass, but I had enough Estus to deal with it and bo,th my summons made it to late into the second phase.
Wow. That went off the rails more than usual, which is saying a lot.
What was I talking about? Oh, right.
Open world in the real world. What I mean by that is I tend to railroad myself into certain paths because they’re the right thing to do or in my wheelhouse. This is my chance to branch out! My brother is my opposite. If he gets an idea is his head, he does it. If it doesn’t work, he shrugs his shoulders and moves on. I, on the other hand, worry endlessly before doing anything, which means I give up before I should many times.
So. In braving a new world, I want to be open about it (get it?). In the brainstorming phase, I might as well throw in everything, including the kitchen sink. Streaming Souls games? Sure! Why not? Talk about weapons for twenty minutes? Hell to the yes! Demonstrate said weapons? Yes to that as well. While I know that the best way forward is to find a niche and fill it, what if I…didn’t? Find a niche, I mean?
I think one of my strengths is that I can talk about and am interested in a variety of topics. I mean, sure, there are a few that I like better than others such as Souls games and Taiji weapons, but that doesn’t mean I can’t talk about feminism or politics or food or whatnot. That’s one thing I like about blogging–I can write about whatever I want. I cant write about family dysfunctions one day and being a strengthcaster in Dark Souls III the next.
When I started thinking about doing video, my brother really pushed the idea of me doing a cooking show. One, cooking shows are so damn popular. Two, it would be funny to do one as a person who doesn’t cook. Three, it would also be interesting because I am gf/df and have been for a few years. I was tempted because as I said, cooking shows are so damn popular, but I wasn’t sure because not only do I not cook, I don’t like to cook. Especially as a single person. So doing it on a regular basis does not sound fun to me. Not even for a laugh. Even though it’s a good idea of having me try to make tasty gf/df food and asking for help when I fuck it up–which I certainly will. Which is a nice idea, but, again, I don’t want to cook on the regular.
If I’m going to do video, it has to be something I actually want to do. And while I’m not as bold as my brother, this is the perfect time to spread my wings and try something I wouldn’t have done before. Might as well give it a shot.