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Elden Ring - chortlesome japes


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6 minutes ago, Majora said:

 

I think the way they've designed the map is complete genius and I would like to see other open world games take notes.

 

How often do you look at the map in an open world game and know straight away the size and the boundaries and when you can expect to hit the edge of the map or when you're close to uncovering it all? Even BOTW makes it obvious where all the boundaries are.

 

In Elden Ring you have literally no clue. You start off thinking Limgrave is it but it seems so big anyway that you don't really mind. And then the way it keeps expanding and expanding and zooming out until Limgrave is but a miniscule portion and you still have no idea whether your next journey will cause you to hit the edge or cause yet another unfathomable shift in your perception.

 

It's such a simple and obvious idea in hindsight yet I can't recall seeing it done like this before. Probably because a lot of open world games guide you via icons on the map which you can't do if the full map isn't accessible from the start to show you where to go.

 

It is also exquisitely designed from an art point of view. Gorgeous piece it is! 

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22 minutes ago, Klatrymadon said:
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There's a dungeon in Caelid that mainly involves platforming - climbing up and into it, and then negotiating tricky jumps and drops all around the inside of it. It's really outstanding stuff.

 


 

Spoiler

The one in the tower? I’ve climbed up the outside and got down the inside to the bottom and beaten the boss there, do you know if there’s any way to get to the top of the tower though?

 

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28 minutes ago, Majora said:

 

I think the way they've designed the map is complete genius and I would like to see other open world games take notes.

 

How often do you look at the map in an open world game and know straight away the size and the boundaries and when you can expect to hit the edge of the map or when you're close to uncovering it all? Even BOTW makes it obvious where all the boundaries are.

 

In Elden Ring you have literally no clue. You start off thinking Limgrave is it but it seems so big anyway that you don't really mind. And then the way it keeps expanding and expanding and zooming out until Limgrave is but a miniscule portion and you still have no idea whether your next journey will cause you to hit the edge or cause yet another unfathomable shift in your perception.

 

It's such a simple and obvious idea in hindsight yet I can't recall seeing it done like this before. Probably because a lot of open world games guide you via icons on the map which you can't do if the full map isn't accessible from the start to show you where to go.


For me with open world games I open the map, see how big it is and full of random icons for random shit it is and get immediately put off. So yes, love the way they’ve done it here, for sure. 

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Help! Completely stuck with main boss number two, and wondering where some good alternative areas to have a go at might be. Feel like some additional gear/levelling might help

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4 minutes ago, spanx said:

Help! Completely stuck with main boss number two, and wondering where some good alternative areas to have a go at might be. Feel like some additional gear/levelling might help

You can run through any area on Torrent as long as you're nimble and spam Y. You'll find some decent stuff.

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1 hour ago, Broker said:


 

  Reveal hidden contents

The one in the tower? I’ve climbed up the outside and got down the inside to the bottom and beaten the boss there, do you know if there’s any way to get to the top of the tower though?

 

 

Sorry, haven't figured that out yet! I was exhausted by the guy *outside* the boss room and was happy to get it over with and leave. Might go back for another dig around, though!

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42 minutes ago, Doctor Shark said:

It’s a shame no one has followed in my footsteps and modelled their character after 80s and 90s British TV comedians. I was hoping to see Russ Abbott and Les Dennis, but I guess they’ll be future play throughs for me. 

 

Well, anyone can still join in...

 

Spoiler

Just check the mirror whilst picking up a hug.

 

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3 minutes ago, Broker said:

32F181DB-6338-4570-AC66-4600BD71BDE7.thumb.jpeg.4ab638d4b04e623a48fdc12a2daf1ee2.jpeg

LOL. Was so annoying to find her.

 

For anyone playing a caster I said it before, get the sword "moonveil". Won't say where and how but you can google if it you are interested and have 18 points in DEX. The weapon art (usable on a shield with "no art" attached) it absolutely fucking nut. Barely uses any FP is lightning fast and does an insane amount of damage and stagger. Mai lawd. 

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Spoiler

There's a supposedly sleeping dragon that you can kill for big runes in Caelid, but I couldn't if I wanted to - it screams for all its children to attack whenever I get close!

 

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You can get up to its side where the others don't get aggro'd. I found it myself and finished it off with a simple

Spoiler

forked hatchet that the imps drop. It took a few minutes but bleeding is the key.

 

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55 minutes ago, Davros sock drawer said:

Fuck. This!

 

(Altus area spoiler) 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 


 

 

It's a good place for gathering runes if you don't need silly amounts just yet - although I spend as much time trying to retrieve the ones from my last death there... :( 

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So continuing my north of Stormveil adventures:

Spoiler
Spoiler

After reaching the sunken Academy gate town and battling frog armies, I got a bit lost again, it all looks the same around there. I ended up in an open part of the lake and promplty got ambushed by a giant lobster jumping out from the water. In the chaos that ensued, I alerted another lobster and took a few deaths fighting lobsters in the area. I did get wise to their sneaky ways, you can see their backs poking out of the water if you take it slow. I managed to slay the one by a little shrine, and the shrine had a teleporter. This ported me to a lush highlands type area even further north than my map marker, on a hill with pine trees. I could see floating baloon enemies over the lake. It looked amazing, but I ported back, not wanting to spoil too much ahead of time. Roaming around near the gate town, I followed the sunken road further out of town, getting a closer look at the ballons with my telescope, it looks like there are blade-armed warriors or something hanging off them. Nope! The road seemed to lead into some craggy area, so I decided not to press further.

 

I ported back to the Academy sealed gate, wondering how to get the Glintstone Key. At some point in faffing around at the Roundtable, I got around to going through all the items in my inventory I'd picked up recently, including the Manor invitation. It was then I noticed the note I had completely forgotten about - the 'meeting place' note I'd found on the corpse at the gate when I first arrived, but never looked at. Sure enough, it was a map. At the gate town I'd found a map column which had revealed the Academy and its immediate surroundings, and so I referenced my map against the note. From this, I thought I could identify an island it was probably located at, so I dropped a map marker on it. I warped to the Prawn Shack to head Northwest towards the marker, through the lake.

 

This area was fairly sparse but I soon came upon an island with a ruined church on it, and who should be waiting there but Varre, the chap with the porcelain mask (or is it his face) from the very start of the game who starts you on your quest. I had dialogue options to either say there's something 'off' about the Fingers, or say it's fine. Unsure of Varre's affiliations, I said it was fine for now, and ventured into the church, which was infected with some kind of bloody rot and growths. Out of the blood rose an assassin-type creature and it took me a bunch of tries to defeat him, still desperately rescuing my dropped 28k runes each time. I mitigated his bleed effects with consumables and eventually took him down (currently I was using the Grand Epee +2, a large rapier). Good fight. But no reward was forthcoming.

 

I decided to take the plunge with Varre and choose the default dialogue option - the Fingers are suss. Thankfully, he was on board, and gave me an invader's finger, encouraging me to use it. Thinking I might get more out of him if I did, I did my first invasion, and was summoned to another part of the lake where 2 players in heavy armour and giant weapons awaited, clearly a wee gank squad preying on invaders. Typical. One of them with a huge scythe charged me, and as I lunged with my Epee thrust, he landed on me with a jumping attack and one-shot me. That was short-lived! On returning to the chuch, Varre didn't have anything to add. I will probably skip invasions until the end-game.

 

Further north I passed through an area full of the huge plants. It was night-time and the visuals of multiple plants exploding with the blue projectiles as I rode past was astonishgly beautiful. Beyond this was another flooded town full of froggies, they aren't too bad except the big club wielding ones who can kill you in one combo. I was now very close to my map marker, a grace site sat on the other side of the town and beyond that was the craggy island from my note, the sky full of hovering orbs, which on close inspection turned out to be flying dung beetles. As I approached the island, I saw the shape of something big lying in wait. Must be boss time! Before approaching, it was time to spend this now 32K runes I'd been sheparding. I levelled up once and spent the rest on arrows, bolts and a few imp keys - as I'd got most of the runes from co-op I didn't want to buy much progression with it, and as you can farm for arrows and bolts it seemed a fair compromise.

 

Getting all sneaky, I approached the island to find a big dragon sleeping. Behind him I spied some items, and by climbing up the rocks behond the dragon I was able to drop down undetected and nick 'em, which of course made him wake up. A body with a metal face mask held the Glintstone Key, and I quickly mounted up and began battling the dragon. This was my first proper dragon fight in this game, I'd noped out from the fire dragon in Limgrave. What an amazing spectacle this fight is! Riding around the lake as he coats the area in flame, landing from time to time, this epic music playing. Its totally awesome and the visuals are superb, the blue lighting of the area, the glowing dung beetles in the sky, the flowers all in the water at the island. This is proper Shadow of the Colussus type epic battles. I've fought dragons in multiple other Souls games and they have always been clunky, contained or frustrating. This fight is how it should be done. When he lands, the ground shakes, one time he even landed on one of the islands, climbing over it dynamically, really cool. I did try spirit summons a few times, most of them are ineffectual, except the Godrick foot soldiers, who actually managed to keep him groundbound for ages, however it made the fight too convetional for my tastes so I stopped using summons altogether.

 

Even though all of the dragon attacks insta-kill me (with the exception of a rare melee attack which only hurts Torrent), I was able to survive long amounts of time by being patient and chipping away. Over a number of attempts I burned through all the arrows and bolts I'd bought, but hitting him with melee weapons was difficult and frustrating timing whilst riding, and I was doing measly amounts of damage. After about an hour of attempts (bearing in mind each attempt can take 5-10 minutes) I was only getting him down to maybe 1/2 or 1/3rd health. I was getting quite good at avoiding his attacks though, but decided to come back once I'd powered up my weapons a bit, or at least got some better weapons suited for horseback combat. My straight swords/rapiers are really not conductive to this sort of combat, they're too slow and the timing's hard. 

 

Of course at this point I could have gone with the Glintstone Key and entered the Academy, but I felt like I could beat this dragon and didn't want to skip bosses where I thought I had a chance. So I went off to do some other stuff.

 

Spoilers for Limgrave NPC questline:

Spoiler

First off I returned to the spot I'd found the beastlike guy who got turned into a bush, near the sky telescope in Limgrave. I had forgotten to check back with him since I found him in my early Limgrave explorations. He wasn't there. However, he had been talking about taking things from a lair of his fellows, so I checked some likely caves. Sure enough, at the entrance to the seaside cave, the one full of demi-humans, there he was, curled up and ready to give up. I'd already beaten the bosses of this cave so I got the opportunity to give him the sewing needle. This cheered him up and gave him the will to go on. I have no idea if or when he'll show up next, he wasn't in the Roundtable so god knows where he's off to. 

 

After that, I decided if I could take on the blue dragon and do pretty well, surely now I could attempt the fire dragon in the Limgrave lake. This turned out to be a good idea. Its another great battle on horseback, where the moveset is largely the same - but I did almost double damage with my melee attacks compared to the blue dragon. Because I knew the tactics from that fight, after a fun battle I managed to slay him first time. Whoop! 

 

Now I could safely get to the cave behind him, which turned out to be the mines everyone's been banging on about it. However this wasn't my first mine, I did one in Weeping Peninsula already. So I knew to literally torch the miners. I did get caught out by the exploding ones though! I was expecting this dungeon boss to be a bit of a walkover like the Peninsula mine, and it turned out to be a giant. Ah, these guys are quite easy now, I thought - only to get killed in one combo of his massive club! It seemed this giant wasn't to be trifled with, and took me a few goes - he's one of those annoying enemies where you have to point the camera up to see what he's doing to time your dodges. Got there in the end though, mercilessly stabbing his 'ankies'.

 

Next I wanted to give some of the Evergaols a try. I had found 3 so far, 2 in Limgrave and one on the Weeping Peninsula.

 

Weeping Peninusla Evergaol boss spoilers:

Spoiler

This was a great boss, albeit very hard. It's a tall thin swordsman/woman called the Ancient Hero of Zamor. It's very reminiscent of the Dancer in Dark Souls 3 with its wonderful and graceful movements, its hair flowing as it spins. The Hero could kill me with its combos, or one-shot me with some attacks. Now, I went into this fight with my Grand Epee +2, which didn't do great damage, and is slow to attack. The Hero has a very reactive gameplay design. It stalks around you, staying just out of melee range, and if you get too close it does super-fast attacks or pushes you back instantly with a blast. Its possible to dodge-roll past these close attacks but you can run out of stamina trying to get to safety, and with my medium rolls I was left vulnerable to instadeath in any windows between. Now another evil thing about this boss is that when you start a melee attack, it will often instantly retaliate with a super-fast attack of its own - which 90 percent of the time will hit you before you even connect your hit, and either kill you or severely damage you. R2 attacks are even more risky. I was able to use my rapier thrust attack but as I liked the boss challenge so much, I found that attack hurt the boss too much and removed a lot of the challenge, so I didn't use it.

 

So essentially the Hero in the first phase, at least with the weapon I was using, was a tense duelling battle where you pace around each other just out of range, prodding and poking for openings, and being ready to roll to safety at an instant because of its super-fast attacks. I'll put up the video later, but essentially Phase 1 is a lot of knowledge of the Hero's behaviour, risking attacks. I could have played it safer by waiting until it does its ice breath attack each time to get guaranteed free damage, but where's the fun in that? I also kept on masochistically limiting my healing, trying to get more perfect performance. In the end I gave up on this and started being more generous to myself with healing, as it was taking too long once I realised how hard Phase 2 was.

 

Phase 2 is where things get real nasty. The Hero pulls an ice blade from the ground and becomes super aggressive, with much longer combos and some very long-range attacks where it will charge for miles. A lot of these attacks are one-shot kill or very close to it, and although in Phase 1 you get time to heal up in relative safety, Phase 2 healing is like waving a red rag to a bull and he'll usually punish you for it unless you're really far away or pick a safety window to do so. It has to be said the animations and attacks in this phase are even cooler to watch. I love that this is an optional mini-boss encounter which is as involved and good-looking as some main bosses in earlier games.

 

I have no idea how many attempts The Hero took me to beat but it certainly took me over an hour, maybe even 2. I was in the zone and knew if I stopped I would be starting from scratch. In the end I persevered with my self-imposed difficulty and it was really satisfying to pull off. It was far from a perfect victory (I think I was down to my last heals), but I did feel like I had learned the encounter quite well. Its a great, if very punishingly designed boss. I do hope there's some way to replay them somehow.

 

Following this victory I finally decided it was time for an upgrade with some of the runes I'd acquired from the dragon, dungeon and Evergaol. I first stopped off at the dragon temple to see if I could buy anything with my dragon heart. I could afford all of the available incantations, and I have the Faith for most of them, but I still need some more Arcane points to start using them. On the to-do list. Instead, I went to the blacksmith in Roundtable and finally upgraded some weapons, bumping my Epee to +3, my lord straightsword to +8, my katana to +4 or +5 and a scattering of other upgrades to other weapons, as well as trying out some of the magical war ashes to attach to some of my weapons. Maybe one of these would be more effective against the blue dragon. 

 

Next I tried out the southern Limgrave Evergoal - spoilers for this boss:

Spoiler

This 'hound' boss (basically a knight who moves around on all fours) is very agressive, a far cry from the previous one. Although I am decent at dodging his big swinging blade attacks, the constant pressure is exhausting and it just takes one mistake to end it all. I did have a bunch of attempts using my weaker weapons (my +8 sword was a bit too good). 

 

 

In the end I was tired of fighting bosses and decided to call it a day though. Only minor progress but a lot of new discoveries, some secondary victories and a new major boss on the to-do list. Next time, I will be trying to take him down once more! 

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25 minutes ago, Number 28 said:

You can get up to its side where the others don't get aggro'd. I found it myself and finished it off with a simple

  Hide contents

forked hatchet that the imps drop. It took a few minutes but bleeding is the key.

 

 

Spoiler

Ah, I tried hiding behind its left wing but was quickly found by one of the babies. When I went around to the right side of the tail it worked, even though they still seemed to be looking for me. Cheers!

 

 

 

Finally bought some [3] smithing stones, the only kind I haven't found in the wild, and got past the +8 I'd been stuck at and instantly up to +15. Was this tier a hump for anyone else?

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33 minutes ago, Klatrymadon said:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Ah, I tried hiding behind its left wing but was quickly found by one of the babies. When I went around to the right side of the tail it worked, even though they still seemed to be looking for me. Cheers!

 

 

 

Finally bought some [3] smithing stones, the only kind I haven't found in the wild, and got past the +8 I'd been stuck at and instantly up to +15. Was this tier a hump for anyone else?

Yeah, massively. Been scoring the map looking for caves I’ve missed to see if I can spot any.. no joy!

 

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If you bring 'bell bearings' to the merchant ladies at Roundtable you should be able to start buying them.

 

Weirdly, I hardly have any [1]s either. The Limgrave mines aren't so plentiful, it seems. I've got loads of special/rare smithing stuff and none of the basics! 😛

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I’ve only found the first ball bearing so far, have found two bosses inside caves that are kicking my arse though. Should I perhaps focus on killing one of these guys?

 

Spoiler

1) Magma Wrym Makkar? Was in a cave up the river from the lake in Lumiria.

 

2) Fallen Star beast in Selia Crystal Tunnel?


Both are destroying me at the moment though. Number 2 in particular seems to be one of those fights with a big aggressive boss and a relatively small arena with no escapes. Which is not my strong point.

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Spoiler

For Magma Wyrm Makar I just summoned my jellyfish as a decoy and played the traditional Souls game of "hide in its arse" - it rarely tried to do anything with its tail, so as long as I avoided the magma spills it was pretty easy to deal with. I kept doing jump attacks with my morning star and earned several viscerals as a result. It was one of the few bosses I didn't feel under-levelled for, as each hit did decent damage (I was around level 37 and my weapon around +8 at that point).

 

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