Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: gatekeeping

Everything can be OP if you want it to be

It’s that time again when I go on a long, angry screed about how magic is not OP in FromSoft games. Or rather, it’s not the only thing that’s OP, depending on how you want to frame it. In the latest episode of Roundtable Hold (companion show to the Elden Ring Retry¬† by RKG), there was a question sent in asking if Rory was going to be allowed to use magic. Or something like that. There has been a long-standing toxic masculinity bullshit meme that magic is OP in From games.

I have ranted about this before, but I need to do it again. Even, sadly, Krupa buys into it to a certain extent, and it’s because you don’t “get in there” and get “up close and personal”. Except that’s not right, especially not in the actual Souls games.

Let me step back a second and explain. Apparently, in Demon’s Souls, magic was OP. I do not know because I have not played it, but there’s a ring that steadily (but slowly0 regens your MP. FP. Mana. Whatever it’s called. And the spells look siiiiiiiick as fuck. Anyway, I will grant that it seems like it might have been OP in that game. However.

In the first Dark Souls, I started as a Pyro. Pyromancies did not have stats in the first game, which made them great for the onebro run, apparently. And they were considered OP. I did not find them OP because you had limited casts. Once I ran out of casts, I had to use my plink-plonk axe, which did not do much damage because I did not level up my strength. Or rather, I leveled it up enough so I could use the Battle Axe, and that was it.

Also, the magicks in Elden Ring are incredible. I was skeptical that they would be better than they were in the previous games, but they are. So much better. So much more varied and diverse, and such a wide array. You have glintstone sorceries, night sorceries, gravity sorceries, and more. Then in incantations, there are buffs and cleansers, holy order incantations, lightnings, pyros, and so. much. more. Let’s not forget the dragon incantations, which need a bit of arcane.

In addition, the way Rory plays, he will not have access to the most powerful spells because he’s very much into spreading his levels around. In addition, he rarely remembers to level up at all. It’s fascinating, actually, how he’s foregone leveling up, keeps switching weapons, and hasn’t leveled up his weapons much or his spirit ashes at all. Also, he refuses to have more than three spells becasue that’s all he can handle. Sometimes, he forgets he has magic at all.

In other words, he’s very chaotic, which is both one of his best qualities as well as one of his worst. I feel bad for him because viewers constantly complain about the way he plays, no matter what. I know it’s part of being a content creator, especially someone who streams a popular niche series of games, but it has to be disheartening.

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All the gatekeepers of the world can fuck off

In the RKG Discord, someone was going off on gatekeeping. Not in video games, but elsewhere. His main point was that as long as someone wasn’t hurting someone else, let them like what they like. I agreed because I have been put down for my tastes all my life. I find it more amusing than hurtful, but it’s still annoying after a while.

To be clear, I don’t go around saying I think Star Wars is boring (I do) or that I found The Big Lebowski exceedingly distasteful (which I did), but I’m also not going to lie about it if I’m asked. I don’t like many of the popular pop culture, but I keep my mouth shut. Unless I’m specifically asked. Or, if I’m opining on my own Twitter feed/Facebook wall, etc. In other words, in my own home. I’ve had people take offense at that, and I take great pleasure in agreeing with them that my taste is terrible.

I mentioned boba tea, which was invented by my people–the Taiwanese people, that is. It was all the rage when I was in the Bay Area, and I tried it when I was out there. I don’t know if it’s still the case, but I was given a contaner of tea with big, thick, chewy tapioca ‘pearls’ at the bottom of the cup. There was a big straw in the cup, and you were supposed to suck up the pearls through the straw.

I could not suck hard enough to get that pearl through the straw. Wow. That sounds sexual, doesn’t it? I could not do it. No idea why I wasn’t given a spoon as well, but I faithfully tried again. When I managed to get one through the straw, I momentarily panicked that it was going to get stuck in my throat. Plus, it was soft and squishy. I do not like solid things in my liquids, at least not the ones I’m drinking (which excludes soup).

When I moved back to Minnesota and it became a thing here (roughly three years after it was a trend in San Francisco, I refused to get any. Even though people around me raved about it. Now, I would not be able to have it because it has milk in it, which is fine by me.

I get that people have their own preferences, but I don’t get why people care so much about what other people like or don’t like. I have a friend whose husband takes it very personally if she doesn’t like the same thing he does. He takes it as a rejection of him, which I understand, but I don’t agree with.

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Fuck the gatekeepers

On the RKG Discord, someone wrote the words that are guaranteed to enflame me (even as a Pyro!): DS 2 doesn’t have an easy mode. It was said presumably to me and another person discussing the fact that you cannot start as a Pyro in DS II. I can tell you my immediate impulse was to cuss out the guy because it’s so fucking tedious to have guys (and it’s usually guys) whining about easy mode in FromSoft games, but I bit my lip hard and just wrote that being a Pyro in the original Dark Souls was not easy mode.

I have written countless words about this, but it continues to linger as a mindset in the community. And it sucks. It’s so not welcoming and it’s gatekeeping at its worst.

He wrote back to say that using pyro melts all bosses except Seath (which is funny because he is susceptible to fire), especially if you use PW (Power Within, a pyro that increases your damage output as it steadily depletes your health).

I said that you could say the same about any playstyle you maximized, which most people don’t do on their first playthrough. I pointed out that a Zwei+15 did the same, which I can say with authority because I’ve done that playthrough, too. He said that was fair, and I left it at that.

I’m still ticked, though. It’s such a stupid knee-jerk thing to say, and it makes the community so much less welcoming. There is already the belief that you have to beat the bosses solo in order to be a ‘real’ Fromsoft fan or you’re cheating. Cheating whom, I can’t tell you as it doesn’t affect me in the least when someone else plays the game differently.

There is cheesing in the game, such as using poison arrows to kill Gwyndolin without him ever disappearing for one. It takes forever, but it does get the job done. I don’t have a problem with it, though, because who cares? During my plat run, I had fun cheesing various bosses because I got bored doing it the conventional way. I tried the bomb cheese for the Bed of Chaos, but was only able to get one orb that way. I used the arrow cheese on the other orb, and then got the Bed herself in the old-fashioned way.

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