Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: platinum

Living a post-Elden Ring life

It’s been a few days since I got the plat, and I’m still playing Elden Ring on the daily. But much less time every day than before, which is allowing me more time to think about it.

First, a note. I am really tired in a way I haven’t been since…that night. Or rather, that’s what I immediately thought of. It’s not the same kind of tired (it’s not a body exhaustion as it had been that night–it’s more I struggle to keep my eyes open even though I had plenty of sleep last night). I’m much more aware of being tired since that night, but it’s hardly been an issue. I have my phone on the coffee table right by me.

Anyway, it’s much more enjoyable in Elden Ring now that I’m done with the plat. That fifteen hours of the third playthrough was exhilarating because I had a laser-like focus on my goal for once. My first playthrough was magical because I just did what I wanted, when I wanted, for as long as I wanted. I didn’t even get to Stormveil Castle (the first legacy dungeon) for ten hours. There is so much to do in Limgrave, that you can just wonder around forever. Plus, it’s not intuitive how to actually get into the castle, so there’s that as well.

I still am not exactly sure how you got to the Roundtable in the first place, but the wikis seem to think it has to do with Margit? I had a good laugh at watching several videos state confidently how to get to the Roundtable Hold when I knew they were wrong. The first playthrough I didn’t get to the Roundtable Hold until I faced Margit for the first time. And, as I mentioned, I did not even reach Stormveil Castle until ten hours in, that was a problem.

Why? Because I started as the Confessor, which is faith-based. It starts with two defensive incantations–one that muffles your footsteps a little and one a small heal. The latter was useful, the former–not so much. I did not have any offensive spell for the first ten hours of the game–which made it agony. I did buy a bow from one of the Nomadic Merchants, but that’s not my preferred distance attack.

The faith teacher was in the Roundtable Hold. Once I got there, I was able to buy a few Pyro incantations that made life much easier. But, another issue was that if you did not start as an Astrologer or Prisoner, you could not buy a staff/wand for casting spells very easily. I even Googled it and could not find where to buy one. I had to go fight a certain enemy to get a staff, and she wasn’t easy to get to. later, I did find out from my wanderings that there is one Nomadic Merchant at least who sells the Astrologer’s Staff, but I did not know that at the time. Plus, you still have to go into a certain area that is not the beginning area to find him.

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Platting Elden Ring and beyond

With the Elden Ring plat in my back pocket, I still have more to say. Here is part one, and here is part two. This is part three, and it’s probably the last post I’ll do on the plat itself. Obviously, I’m going to keep talking about the game, but there is only so much to say about the platinum.

I will say that I feel a sense of letdown that I always feel after meeting a big goal. I think that’s human nature, though. This is different than a life goal for several reasons, not least because the only reason it took this long was a save-scumming snafu. So, in my heart, I already had it when I finished my first playthrough. I started a second just to have fun playing a different character, and then I raced for the finish in NG+.

By the time I reached the end of my second playthrough, I was ready for the plat to be done. I had some things I wanted to do before going into NG+ for the first time, but suddenly, I needed to get through NG+ and get the damn plat already. It’s funny, but it’s indicative of my personality in general. I can put up with a lot of shit, but then, when it nears the end of the situation, I cannot wait for it to be over.

Not that this was a bad situation, obviously, but a similar experience. I knew I had to play through the game two more times in order to get the plat. This after a 225+ hour first playthrough. I patiently explored a second time with a different character (because I’m saving my first character in NG for the inevitable DLC), and got my second ending in just under another hundred hours.

I spent half an hour doing things to prep for NG+, but not even halfway through, I said fuck it and went into NG+. I wanted that plat, and I wanted it now. I cannot emphasize hard enough how over the plat run I was. I don’t know why it kicked into gear when I hadn’t thought about it at all during the second playthrough (except to make sure the ending I chose for that playthrough was set up properly), but I suddenly could not get to the plat soon enough.

By the way. this is probably only humorous for me, but I didn’t get the vanilla ending until the third time through the main story. Normally, I play through the game and get whatever ending would be the typical ending. However, this time, with the plat in mind and the fact that Ranni’s questline took me roughly forty hours, I grabbed her ending first in case the save-scumming failed (which it did) so I wouldn’t have to go through her questline again if I didn’t feel like it. Her questline is easily the lengthiest.

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Elden Ring plat for realz, part II

Part two of my musing over the Elden Ring plat. Here’s part one. I ended that one by talking about how I’m not a min-maxer and I mostly just go by feel. I know there are people who live for that and I thank them for their diligence because I can check out the stats on the wikis in a pinch. But for me, I’d rather just play and maybe do suboptimal damage, but not caring because it’s fun. With that said, let’s continue my recitation of the plat run.

There was a boss I had discounted as an actual boss in the march towards the finish. It’s Gideon Ofnir, who was a piece of cake in both NG playthroughs. I got him on the first try the first time and the second try the second time (and it only took two because he has a blast effect that can insta-kill me). I had no reason to think it’d be much different on try three, but it was. In part because I could not summon my Mimic Tear for whatever reason the first time I tried. So I went solo a few more times and got slaughtered. He has all the magicks at his fingertips (though, fun fact, he can only use specific boss magicks if you tell him about them back at the Roundtable Hold), and he can spam them over and over and over again. He has no FP restrictions nor any stamina bar,  apparently. And you can’t summon for him. At least I don’t think you can.

I was getting nervous. Until I tried out Wolf’s Assault on him after summoning my Mimic Tear. I just spammed Wolf’s Assault over and over again, and he could not do a damn thing. This was on the fifth or so try, and I got him easy-peasy. One of those times, I feel like he summoned a big version of himself, but I’m not sure that actually happened or it’s just my brain.

Godfrey/Horah Loux/big lion was up next. I didn’t have a problem with him in my first playthrough and got him in two with my Mimic Tear. I had more of a problem with him in my second playthrough, but still got him in three or four with summons. NG+ was harder. His stamp that goes across the whole arena got me almost every time. It was irritating as fuck, but it still only took five or so times with summons.

Then, it was time for the final boss. Radagon of the Golden Order and the Elden Beast. I was nervous because the first time I fought them, I did the cheese on the Radagon part of the fight before knuckling down and beating the Elden Beast with the Mimic Tear by my side. Then, I got a summon on my second playthrough who did the work. I actually summoned two people, but one died during the Radagon portion of the fight.

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Elden Ring: so close to the plat

I finished my second playthrough of Elden Ring yesterday. FromSoft, of course. I will get to that in a second and talk about getting the ‘bad’ ending, but first, I want to muse about some other things. first, I suck at these games. I have not hidden that–hell, no. In fact, I’m quite open about the fact that I suck at these games. As I have said before, I’m not shy about highlighting my deficits. Ian insists that I’m good at these games, but he is wrong. Or rather, he is only half-right.

If you want to talk about the gen pop, I am better than average at these games. Duh. Because I have played them for the past ten years, I have gotten a handle on the basics, which means I know how to get through a game.

When an open world Dark Souls was announced (the sum-up of Elden Ring before it was released), I was concerned. I don’t like open world games in general because they’re too much for me. Too much what? I hear you ask. Too much everything. Too much open, too much world. Too many questlines and too many collectibles. I’m a completionist with OCD tendencies, so it ends up being uncomfortable for me. While I logically know that I don’t *have* to do everything, I feel bad if I don’t.

Anyway. If you want to talk about FromSoft fans, I’m on the mediocre-to-poor side. I just watched a video by someone who had many negatives to say about Elden Ring (and he has many videos on the past From games as he loves them), and he trotted out that the past games were difficult, but fair. He was evaluating the bosses of Elden Ring, thus the comparison. I snorted out loud because there are plenty of bosses in the past that I thought were highly unfair. He mentioned Midir as one of the hardest bosses in the past, whereas I would say he’s not hard, per se, but just disgustingly tedious.

Also, he’s coming from a very narrow point of view. This is one of the problems with listening to FromSoft fans. We all only have our own viewpoint, of course, but they can’t even try to expand their mind a bit and see that maybe what they find ‘difficult but fair’ can be not fair at all for other people.

I have banged on forever about how frustrating I find the games and how even more frustrating I find other fans saying how the games aren’t that hard, anyway. I feel like every boss I’ve beaten is earned with blood, sweat, and tears, and I’m not always sure it’s worth it. For example, I will never play Sekiro again. I brute-forced my way through it and felt a transcendental high in beating the final boss, but any time I go back to it, I just remember how much I hate the actual combat. Which is a lot. My niece’s husband, when I told him I brute-forced my way through the game, “I didn’t think it was possible to do that.” Me: “Oh, it’s possible, but it’s not any fun at all.”

I felt similarly in Bloodborne, though I would play it again if it were on the PC. In the video I mentioned, he talked about the triumph we feel beating bosses such as Kos and how it would have been diminished if there had been a spirit summons system back then.

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Not-plat Dark Souls run DONE!

*Bonus Post*

moonlight greatsword is mine!
Gotcha, asshole!

In my last post, I wrote about my not-plat Dark Souls run, but I forgot to mention Seath. He of the Moonlight Greatsword tail that I needed for the not-plat. I fucking hate the Crystal Cave. Earlier in NG, I went to grab the Titanite Blue Slab that is nestled there. I have never gotten it before, so I fell off that particular invisible path several times. Fortunately, I have several characters pretty far in this game so I was able to do the upgraded weapons with more than one character. That meant that I could use the Titanite Blue Slab I already had on one character (there are two in the game) for one upgrade and the one I nabbed in the Crystal Cave on a different character for the other.

Anyway, tackling Seath’s tail was a bitch. Getting there was more stressful because….I don’t know why exactly. I couldn’t remember exactly where the invisible path was, and I fell more than once. It took me five or six times just to get to Seath, and one of those fucking clams came into the arena with me. I died and was fuming as I made the trek again. One the second time I made it into the arena, I tried the strat of letting him kill his own crystal (I did it myself the first time) so he would be stunned as I ran around to his backside. I did not have Power Within activated, and I breathed Great Combustion on his tail…but missed once. I think I hit him once, but it wasn’t enough. So, I had to do it the hard way of running around him, baiting out the laser attack, and getting one or two swipes (Furysword) or GC on his tail–making sure I aimed at the tip. The thing is, though, he lashes his tail around, which meant I missed more than I hit.

I had to keep an eye on his health, obviously, as I did not want to have to do him on NG++. Not only did I not want to have to do him on NG++, I did not want to have to get to that part of the game as I only had to reach Anor Londo and Cuddles (Giant Blacksmith) to transform two boss weapons. I had Seath’s health down half just by attacking the tail, and I was getting nervous. I was wearing pretty strong curse-resist armor and had a high magic-resist shield, and I wasn’t taking much damage at all. I wonder if he’s like the Four Kings in that he does more damage the further you are away from him. Just as I decided I would probably have to let him kill me and try again, his tail came off! A few agonizing seconds before Moonlight Greatsword flashed on the screen, and then his tail…just…stayed…there. For the rest of the fight. As you can see in the pic above. Which was kinda gross, tbh, but at least I didn’t have to harvest it for the MGS as I would have in Monster Hunter World.

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My Dark Souls not-plat run is almost done

staring into the abyss.
Got you, motherfucker!

I stand before the abyss, ready to take the plunge. No, wait. I’ve already done the Abyss as in the Four Kings on NG+ with my strength/faith gal, and it was fucking bullshit, I’ll tell ya. I don’t normally have trouble with the Four Kings because I just Pyro them in the face. New Londo (the area leading up to it) ain’t fun, but it’s not the worst, either. I normally can get through it on one or two tries. As for the Four Kings themselves, it’s usually a one and done in NG. I’ve even done it on NG+ before and not had an issue, but that’s with a character who had vit, end, and strength for DAYS. On this character, I was short all three (though I did bump up Endurance and finally have 40), and the ghosts were owning me. It took me four or five tries to get to the Four Kings, and then they wrecked me in one. I looked up tips (I ain’t too proud to beg), and then I followed the advice of using Power Within and Haveling it up. Mask of the Child for Stamina and the Crest Shield, then, and this is the important part, Great Combustion those assholes in the face.

I love me some Great Combustion, but I tend to view it as a last resort. It really is powerful as fuck, and I’ve been using it as a first option generously. I have two of them which is 16 uses in total. I also have two of the weaker ones, Combustion, and one Black Flame (the dark version) as well. But wait! We are not at that point in my narrative because there was so much other stuff I went through to get there. I stuck with my faith gal because in order to get one of the covenants, you needed to feed Gwyn’s soul to the Altar of Sunlight as a Sunbro AFTER offering ten Sunlight Medals. And, if you break the covenant as I did in the end of NG in order to save Solaire, then  you have to offer five more medals in order to get back into the covenant. Anyway, I did that, got the last miracle, and was able to check that achievement off my list.

Here’s a funny thing about me. I’m a completionist, even when I’m running through a game for the hundredth time. I still want to get every item and go to every  area even if I can skip it. I usually do Blighttown the normal way even when I have the Master Key just because. Also, Blighttown ain’t as bad as everyone says, especially on the PC. Anyway, on this NG+ non-plat run, I said fuck it. I was just going to go as fast as possible, making sure I did everything I needed to do along the way. I even went into Blighttown the back way and skipped the whole platforming mess. I made it to Biggie & Small in three or four hours, which is unheard of for me. I freaked out before fighting them, however, as I needed Ornstein’s soul. I never fight Super Ornstein because why would I? I had his soul on another character because a summon went for Smough first and I really had no choice. That character was in NG++, however, and didn’t have either Priscilla’s tail or Seath’s tail. I don’t care about tail cuts and have never done either. I also don’t kill Priscilla ever since the first time. Not because it traumatized me and made me think I was stuck in the Painted World of Ariamis forever (though it certainly did that), but because she’s cute and fluffy, and she’s not hurting anyone.

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I’m all about that Souls, that Souls, no Bloodborne!

let's never talk about this again.
Come give me a kiss!

I started playing Dark Souls Remastered again last week just because. I do this. I switch from game to game*, usually after finishing a playthrough, but sometimes during. In DS, I’m running my usual strengthcaster character–Pyro/Zwei. It’s the funnest character build for me, and I marvel at how I’m just tromping merrily through the game. Been re-watching Krupa (of RKG) stream his run for the platinum, and….while I’m not doing a platinum run, I’m not NOT doing a platinum run, either. I already have 24 of the 41 achievement (and can’t believe I don’t have the vanilla ending achievement, which is the easiest one to remedy). This platinum is super-fiddly and tedious, involving a lot of grinding and at least two-and-a-half playthroughs without assistance from other people gifting you items, and it’s doesn’t seem like any fun after a certain point. Krupa has done three streams of 6 hours, 7 hours, and 8 hours respectively–and he’s not done yet. There last stream will probably be three or four hours. He was already at Gwyn when he started the first stream, and then the fiddling started. He also had summons to help him, and our community was built on Souls (though it has expanded quite a bit) so the summons really knew their shit. Since Krupa used a password, he could summon anyone of any level. So many pyro pals. So much blamming goodness. There are several people who have platted the game themselves, and many more who have played it countless times even without platting.

The next stream is ten days away. I’m seriously tempted to buy it on the PS4 and see if I can get my character to where Krupes is. He’s in NG++ at the beginning, and he has to play halfway through the game to get everything he needs. I would love to be summoned for Ornstein & Smough, for example. Not Sif, though. I hate fighting Sif. I always close my eyes while doing it  and just trusting my Pyros will take care of it. That’s another reason I’m thinking about buying it on PS4. I have a bunch of Pyro pals who play on the PS4, and they want to run together. It would be hilarious to have a Pyro-only run, though, I’m not sure I could stick to that.

My current wheelhouse is mostly Pyro with Hidden Body/Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring as my stealth option. One of my fellow Pyros mentioned how amazing Chaos  Storm was and demonstrated it when he was summoned during Krupa’s plat run. I hadn’t been using it because it seems to take so long to cast, but it’s fucking incredible–especially with a mob. In fact, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Painted World using  Chaos Storm, Great Chaos Fireball, and Slumbering/Hidden Body on the Phalanx. One Chaos Storm cast kills most if not all of the Phalanx, and one or two GCF finishes the job if it doesn’t kill them all. Wearing the Mimic head and/or the Covetous Silver Serpent Ring increases the number of souls you can get. Wearing the Mimic head OR the Covetous Gold Serpent Ring + 10 soft humanities maxes out your luck (item find).

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