nSo. I’m romping through the second playthrough of Elden Ring in about a third the amount of time it took me the first playthrough. I’m around 35+ hours and in the Volcano Manor. I did not get there until roughly 100+ hours in my first playthrough. I think it’s actually more than that because–and, again, spoilers galore–I did not receive the invitations to invade other people’s worlds until after I was in the Mountaintop of Giants. Wait. I don’t think that’s right, but it later in the game, I think.
At any rate, I now have the Crepus Vial (talisman)/Hidden Form (spell) combo. The former is a reward for accomplishing the second Volcano Manor invite whereas the latter is the reward for figuring out how to get into a certain rise (tower). The Mirage Rise in this case. I did not like these puzzle towers, by the way, but that is neither here nor there.
I gotta say that my number one tip for n00bs is to bump up that Vigor. If you’re a FromSoft vet, yeah, you can glass cannon it. But if you’re a newcomer or, iike me, have spatial/twitch issues that make it difficult for you to be no-hit during a boss/mob fight, you really want to make sure that red bar stretches across the top of the screen.
I still remember all the boss fights on my first playthrough that were so frustrating because I was one-shot time and time again. I will never be good enough to do a no-hit boss fight. And it’s not fun for me to fight a boss, knowing that a certain move will instantly end the fight. I know it’s partly my fault keeping my Vigor so low, but I maintain that making it so a boss can one-shot you is just deflating. OK, OK, my Vigor was extremely low. 18 for the first 100+ hours. I ended with it being 30 when it’s recommended you have 60 by the end game.
I’ve mentioned this before, but when I got the Mimic Tear Spirit Summon, which uses health rather than mana to be summoned, I couldn’t use it because I was level 18 and you needed to be 21 to have enough health to summon it (and you’d only have 20 leftover at that). 18 is 598 HP, by the way. 30 is 994 HP and 60 is 1900 HP. I said this before, but the last boss has a HP of nearly 35,600 HP. That’s multitudes more than Gwyn’s paltry 4,250 HP. He was the final boss of the first Dark Souls! To make an even more astounding, Margit, the Fell Omen, the first big boss in Elden Ring, has 4,175 HP.