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Elden Ring - chortlesome japes


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7.5 hours in now and up to level 25. I haven't followed the critical path since about hour 3 - after unlocking the maiden and horse I was off.

 

From what I've played so far, this is very much Skyrim with Dark Souls' mechanics and constant sense of tension, but set in a much more interesting, more lonely and more memorable world than Skyrim. The environmental storytelling, as ever, is excellent, and I've been enjoying trying to figure things out as I go. Case in point: I came to an area called the 

Spoiler

Mine of Gael, which is on the outskirts of the red battlefield/desert area towards the north east of the map. This place was infested with soldiers, but from the helm that one of them dropped, they're soldiers that were in a battle against Godfrey's forces in Limgrave, and appear to have won. Anyway, in the mine you can see these soldiers standing over these demi-human stone men who are constantly mining for precious materials. There's no dialogue, audio logs, diary entries or anything else, but just from the positioning of the soldiers, the suggestion is that this army have enslaved these stonemen, forcing them to endlessly dig. I fought my way through the mine, grabbing as many precious stones as I could, only to come up against a 

Spoiler

Magma Wyrm at the end, which repeatedly one-shotted me, so I thought it best to drop a marker and come back later :D.

 

 

Consistently, I'm finding it entirely compelling. The scale of the world is pretty staggering, almost overwhelmingly so - I can see myself losing the next month of my life to this game. I've played for about four hours today and have lost track of the cool things I've found or the fucking weird enemies I've encountered. I've also gone to some areas which I'm very obviously not ready for yet and have done a few suicide runs for items before hightailing it out of there, which has been hugely thrilling. There's always something else to explore if you're having trouble, and while it's true that in previous Souls games there have often been two or three different paths to choose from, here there are literally dozens of different ways you can go at any one time,

 

And it's been said already, but PLAY WITH A NOTEPAD/NOTES APP HANDY. The game has no quest log and nothing really in the way of objective markers - you need to write your own quest log and use the map markers to make a note of where NPCs, tough enemies and treasure are. You'll also need to write down where NPCs say they're going to go, because the game won't track them for you, and it's very possible to miss an NPC side-quest if you don't listen carefully to what they say and exhaust their dialogue by pressing Y/triangle in front of them until they start to repeat themselves. Keeping your own notes is great. I've got a Google Keep note on my phone which is already over 500 words long :lol:

 

Also, anyone else encountered a particularly potty NPC, yet?

Spoiler

Alexander, the Iron Fist? He's this game's Siegmeyer. I've come across him twice so far. Once to whack him in the arse to get him out of his hole, then again later when he was standing in front of a locked door. If he's anything like the Catarina Knights in DS then things aren't going to end well for him. Prepare to cry!

 

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This game is glorious

 

And Iggy Pop's Adventure started this afternoon!  -  just generally been exploring and setting traps off :o   Oh and stuck with the Gargoyle thingy's in the catacombs

 

 

iggywiggy.jpg

 

To me its like Souls mixed with the Witcher, with a big chunk of Lord Of The Rings : Shadow Of War  chucked in. ( Orc battles are ace )

Utterly captivating.  But  very tough! Some might find it strange if you have not played a From game before. It doesn't hold your hand :)

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I feel I may have hobbled myself somewhat by starting with the samurai. I've found a couple of weapons here and there but due to my strict samurai code, I can't use any other weapon than my trusty katana and bow. I'm wandering around right now doing the sheathe/unsheathe sword move on everything - must be because i only just finished Ghost of Tsushima! Of course in this there's bugger all chance of the enemies running off in terror - quite the opposite in fact. 🤣

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Is everyone playing the main game line or are they heading off exploring? I’m really not understanding all these comments about amazing discoveries or challenging battles. I’m literally killing everything in a single hit with a base character and base start game Halberd. I’m just encountering the same group of dogs, knights and Or s everywhere and I’ve travelled right across the map. Unlocked two fragments of it so far. There have been one or two bigger enemies but they don’t attack and you can just walk on by.
 

Anyway, frustratingly, just before switching it off and after all those hrs of wandering, I came across a lift that led to a big ornate cavern. Very Dark Souls. Finally, here we go! Cue gangs of enemies that all one hit kill me and I can barely scratch. For fuck’s sake. Exit on lift.

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The Zweihander has the DS3 moveset and not the DS1 moveset. There will never be a weapon as great. I assume I'll eventually hit a greatsword.

 

Just wandering over the map. Found a few bosses that are a mite too tough at the minute and plan to come back to. One was called

 

Spoiler

Deathbird

 

And had super ominous music so straight noped out.

From early game locking weapon upgrades by making them super soarse annoys me because it stops experimenting.

 

Also not seen a summon sign, despite crafting and using the item.

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Spent the last 2 hours drunkenly exploring

 

Spoiler

Found Limgrave Tunnels and what looked like a boss behind some doors so I noped out (for now)

 

When folk say they are following "the critical path" I happened to notice that on the map at the first Grace, the critical path points both north and south. As I'd already explored north in the network test, I went south.

 

Found a half blind maiden of sorts who wants me to deliver a letter to her father in Castle Morne. Yeah fuck it, might as well.

 

On the way there I found 2 merchants selling some interesting items and then came across this guy

Spoiler

FMe7yXFWUAUSqNp.thumb.jpg.c93b661d950924d429327ef37312e79a.jpg

 

He stood on me lol

Nearby I found a chest on top of a tower with a "handy" weapon that I can't use yet. Another similar tower had one of the teleporter chests that have been mentioned but this one took me

 

Spoiler

way, way north on the map, beyond Stormveil Castle to Leyndell, Royal Capital where I was trapped with huge enemy. Teleported back south and

 

then, guarding the castle was this fucker

Spoiler

FMe7wI-XIAM6O8A.thumb.jpg.12e872ff34056a453d96e9f65a8df0c3.jpg

 

I confess that I ran right past him lol. 

 

After this I got destroyed by a dog. A single fucking dog lol. Decided I was too drunk to play any more

 

In short, I fucking love this game but I'm almost paralysed by choice at the moment. Didn't do much fighting and only some minor levelling. 2 hours of riding around on Torrent and I've barely uncovered an area the size of the network test. I'm going to be playing this game for a long, long time :D 

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Actually I can't see how anyone could complain about the graphics in this. Got a good bit more exploring done tonight and saw a few sights that just left me gaping slack-jawed at the screen taking in the sumptuousness of it all. On PS4. Including a lift shaft journey that I think someone mentioned earlier in the thread, that was probably the most awe-inspiring lift journey I've taken in any video game, let alone a From game. Finished off my session by arriving at a place called 

Spoiler

Something involving a lake... Can't remember the exact name ... Along the side of Stormhold Castle

And again I think it was one of the most beautiful vistas I've seen in any game. I'm not sure how much of what I was looking at is actual game world and how much is just scenery. Obviously the souls games have been pretty cunning in the past with the way they make you think you are looking at game world,. It it's actually just filler graphics and there's lots of areas you can never actually reach. But, from what I've seen of this game so far, I've got a feeling it might be different this time!

 

I would say this game is as much of an improvement graphics-wise over Bloodborne /DS3 as those games were over DS1 and DS2. Everything looks a lot more detailed and alive to me. 

 

 

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There's a very easy miniboss early on who is wrecking my shit 😂

 

Spoiler

Fuck you Mad Pumpkin Head!

 

Edit - got him, and very much worth doing. He's really easy I just kept fucking up.

 

Magic is very powerful so far and I have a sweet rapier now for when it's time to get stabby.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Hawklord said:

Spent the last 2 hours drunkenly exploring

 

  Hide contents

Found Limgrave Tunnels and what looked like a boss behind some doors so I noped out (for now)

 

When folk say they are following "the critical path" I happened to notice that on the map at the first Grace, the critical path points both north and south. As I'd already explored north in the network test, I went south.

 

Found a half blind maiden of sorts who wants me to deliver a letter to her father in a Castle Morne. Yeah fuck it, might as well.

 

On the way there I found 2 merchants selling some interesting items and then came across this guy

  Reveal hidden contents

FMe7yXFWUAUSqNp.thumb.jpg.c93b661d950924d429327ef37312e79a.jpg

 

He stood on me lol

Nearby I found a chest on top of a tower with a "handy" weapon that I can't use yet. Another similar tower had one of the teleporter chests that have been mentioned but this one took me

 

  Reveal hidden contents

way, way north on the map, beyond Stormveil Castle to Leyndell, Royal Capital where I was trapped with huge enemy. Teleported back south and

 

then, guarding the castle was this fucker

  Reveal hidden contents

FMe7wI-XIAM6O8A.thumb.jpg.12e872ff34056a453d96e9f65a8df0c3.jpg

 

I confess that I ran right past him lol. 

 

After this I got destroyed by a dog. A single fucking dog lol. Decided I was too drunk to play any more

 

In short, I fucking love this game but I'm almost paralysed by choice at the moment. Didn't do much fighting and only some minor levelling. 2 hours of riding around on Torrent and I've barely uncovered an area the size of the network test. I'm going to be playing this game for a long, long time :D 

Where is the 

Spoiler

Maiden who seems to think I am a postman? I delivered her letter to her stupid dad but can't find her again, am assuming I will get some kind of reward from her when I do. 

 

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1 minute ago, Anne Summers said:

Where is the 

  Hide contents

Maiden who seems to think I am a postman? I delivered her letter to her stupid dad but can't find her again, am assuming I will get some kind of reward from her when I do. 

 

Spoiler

I followed the path south east from the start and she was around where I've circled here at the start of the Weeping Peninsula. There a Site of Grace right beside where she was sitting. In usual Souls fashion, I've no idea if she'll still be there after the delivery.

 

1730446487_Screenshot2022-02-26013848.PNG.jpg.35f3656d6ee6eeca4f48009b8214a59d.jpg

 

 

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Completely ignored the critical path for a bit. About level 22. Gone east as far as current map shows - think I'll head south soon.

 

Found about 10 dungeons/bosses. "Finding" seems to just mean stumbling across them in (somewhat) obvious places

 

I'm not convinced by BOTW comparisons. As someone said above feels more Skyrim with identikit dungeons (so far)


Utterly having a great time though

 

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Died twice in a row leaving the safe area in two hits from the first enemy I encountered. Did no damage, lasted less than ten seconds. There doesn’t appear to be a sprint button and the controls are super unintuitive. I have no idea what’s going on. I don’t know where I am or where I’m going or what the objective is or how to avoid being instantly killed. 
 

Need to watch some videos for advice or I’ll end up uninstalling :lol:

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1 minute ago, Floshenbarnical said:

Died twice in a row leaving the safe area in two hits from the first enemy I encountered. Did no damage, lasted less than ten seconds. There doesn’t appear to be a sprint button and the controls are super unintuitive. I have no idea what’s going on. I don’t know where I am or where I’m going or what the objective is or how to avoid being instantly killed. 
 

Need to watch some videos for advice or I’ll end up uninstalling :lol:

Did you do the tutorial?

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Restarted as a vagabond and having a much easier time of it. I put it down to actual armour, big greatsword and most of all, being summoned. I've got about 10 of the items you get for killing a boss in somebody else's game, and levelled up to beyond 20.

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I got enough of the stonesword key thinks to unlock the door in the tutorial area

 

Spoiler

I'm so glad they've put those statues next to boss rooms where you can respawn. Doing that run down from the grace every time would be fucking abysmal! As for the boss: 

Spoiler

Ulcerated Treespirit (or something, I've already forgotten). Easily the most challenging boss I've fought so far. But I did it! And the reward?

Spoiler

A summon I don't have enough FP to use! :lol: Time to level focus.

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, therearerules said:

Did you do the tutorial?


i wasn’t aware there was an option. The intro cutscene ended, I went outside, there was a big spider and I died in two hits before I could really figure out which buttons did what. Then I went outside again having respawned and this golden giant on a huge horse immediately cut me in half.  So I called it quits for the night.

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51 minutes ago, Floshenbarnical said:


i wasn’t aware there was an option. The intro cutscene ended, I went outside, there was a big spider and I died in two hits before I could really figure out which buttons did what. [LOOK FOR TUTORIAL HERE] Then I went outside again having respawned and this golden giant on a huge horse immediately cut me in half.  So I called it quits for the night.


Hint above 

 

Actual answer 

Spoiler

Jump in the hole 

 

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57 minutes ago, therearerules said:

Restarted as a vagabond and having a much easier time of it. I put it down to actual armour, big greatsword and most of all, being summoned. I've got about 10 of the items you get for killing a boss in somebody else's game, and levelled up to beyond 20.


The what now! I just got runes 

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2 hours ago, Anne Summers said:

Actually I can't see how anyone could complain about the graphics in this. Got a good bit more exploring done tonight and saw a few sights that just left me gaping slack-jawed at the screen taking in the sumptuousness of it all. On PS4. Including a lift shaft journey that I think someone mentioned earlier in the thread, that was probably the most awe-inspiring lift journey I've taken in any video game, let alone a From game. Finished off my session by arriving at a place called 

  Reveal hidden contents

Something involving a lake... Can't remember the exact name ... Along the side of Stormhold Castle

And again I think it was one of the most beautiful vistas I've seen in any game. I'm not sure how much of what I was looking at is actual game world and how much is just scenery. Obviously the souls games have been pretty cunning in the past with the way they make you think you are looking at game world,. It it's actually just filler graphics and there's lots of areas you can never actually reach. But, from what I've seen of this game so far, I've got a feeling it might be different this time!

 

I would say this game is as much of an improvement graphics-wise over Bloodborne /DS3 as those games were over DS1 and DS2. Everything looks a lot more detailed and alive to me. 

 

 

 

My comments on the graphics were based on the starting area and subsquent tutorial bit. Your character doesn't look great compared to other AAA games and the environments whilst decent aren't a step beyond DS3/Sekiro. However once getting out into the world I've competely changed my opinon. I just reached the bit you mentioned in spoilers and its breathtaking, reminds me a lot of the Horizon games in its beauty and scale. But even up to this point, the first zone's open world environment is lovely, especially once the weather effects and day/night cycle start kicking in. The use of atmosphere in weather effects and lighting is excellent and the visual design just gets better as it goes on. And I'm only 6 hours in!

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So, late night progress report after getting the mount:

 

Spoiler

Ran around the right hand cliffs next to the giant gate, stealthing past some horse riders (cool to see normal enemies on horses!). Found a spot where lightning was striking, where I collected a bunch of lightning plants and narrowly avoided getting zapped (I wonder if you can get zapped?). But couldn't find a way around the gate out there, so dropped down some cliff ledges back to the gate, and died from the fall. Oops.

 

Going through the gate on ma horsey the expected ambush happened so I charged ahead swinging wildly. Came back around at the top of the funnel to finish off some of the pursuing soldiers. Its cool that you can fight on the horse, and even pick up items. The horse is really responsive too and feels good. I did consider going back to fight the giant but figured as the game practically begs you to charge through the ambush it would probably be better to press on.

 

Now the weather changes to stormy to match the location's name, very cool weather effects to see in a From game, I like how it affects all the trees etc as well. I dismounted to explore on foot, heading up the road. Dispatched the ninja wolves (the broadsword square stance is great for this with its long lunging attack). Further up the road I found the shack with the girl going on about the spider. I accidentally attacked her but thank god she had a force field. Go ahead and try, you get more dialogue out of her. Not looking forward to facing her buddies in the presumably infested castle. 

 

I ported back to Santas grotto in the church, and was surprised to see a purple witch appear, who gave me my ashes summon bell at last. Also the moon was out in force and I could hear moans and wails all around. Some kind of special full moon event like Zelda, I am guessing. It sounded like zombies were right next to me but I explored around and couldn't find any. When I ported back to the shack it wasn't happening, so not sure what's going on, but I'm looking forward to finding out eventually.

 

Continuing up the road I diced some soldiers and discovered different trigger buttons attack left and right, which is ace. Then I reached the final stretch where I got to use my summons at last. The jellyfish wasn't much use and as we were valiantly slaying the first guards a massive fire arrow exploded me and I died. The culprit turned out to be a big ballista up the road, so I mounted up and charged it, slaying the guys manning it and then worked my way back downhill killing the guards and sneaky ambushers in the bushes. Back up to the top, I went through the tunnel to encounter Mr staff (Merrick?). My noble summons did a good job distracting him whilst I figured out his moves and continued to two-handed wield my broadsword. After a few tries I got him to the second phase, and after a few more tries I decided to try elsewhere for a break. I definitely think I could beat him at my current low level (I've levelled up 5 times I think), I still don't have any better armour or weapons, but that's fine. But it would be pretty rough.

 

So I decided to go back down ambush road and follow the original path to the broken bridge. Dropping down I found the cliffside route along the side of the ccastle. This was really fun, all foggy and dotted with caves and wolves. People have put plenty of messages from the useful to the silly on the lonely path which was entertaining and I added some too. Finally reaching the top, the weather cleared and I looked out on the amazing vista reveal of the kingdoms. Beautiful and awe inspiring! I found an entrance into the castle on the left, but it only led to a ghost with a nasty eye for the Maiden, and upstairs a throne and a locked door, which I saw other player's ghosts coming out of, facing towards me. I'm guessing from checking the map that players may be led this way in reverse by getting past the boss or doing more of the castle. I feel like I found another optional big bypass.

 

Decided to call it there, and now I've reached the other side of the castle, I will have to think about whether to head back and try the boss again. For honours sake I feel like I should beat him now as it seems do-able, but maybe I should level up a bit first or at least start upgrading my gear. Had great fun with the game tonight and I have a day off tomorrow to sink into it, whoop!

 

PS - I can't seem to view people's ghosts when activating bloodstains. Do you need a special item or something in this game to see them? 

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So what class is everyone playing? I started with a Vagabond and the tried the mage for about 1h or so.

 

Ranged and spells seem very strong, at least until you meet someone with a shield. Then you'll have to face them with your toothpick and a leather shield that doesn't block(?).

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I spent a good few mins trying to attack a tree…I thought it was a mob. It was doing a really weird characterful bouncing motion.

Had a horrible first experience with the mount…was fighting guards in the camp near where I acquired it and one of them pulled out a massive horn ( I know right! ) summoning the whole camp….so I did the right thing, mounted up to escape. Made it a little bit away when the mount vanished and I was stuck in space unable to move on the invisible mount allowing the guards to butcher me.

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1 hour ago, koefoed said:

So what class is everyone playing? I started with a Vagabond and the tried the mage for about 1h or so.

 

Ranged and spells seem very strong, at least until you meet someone with a shield. Then you'll have to face them with your toothpick and a leather shield that doesn't block(?).

I started vagabond and samurai. After hour or so with each settled on vagabond mainly for the shield. Part reason I like samurai was they look so damn cool, but would probably end up ditching that armour soon enough anyhow. Seems the class is easily changeable down the line anyway, so not such a big deal.

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