Souls-likes

SML

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Did original DS3 have perfect guard? I get the feeling I might need to start using that. Lots of Sekiro movesets in the game.
 

Lagduf

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There is definitely a subset of Souls players who seem to enjoy an absolutely punishing difficulty that only the most skilled of players can accomplish.

Remember when Elden run came out and all the goons were like “I’m not going to use summons or any of the other new tools given to the players.”

Those players are wankers.
 

SML

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Remember when Elden run came out and all the goons were like “I’m not going to use summons or any of the other new tools given to the players.”

Mimic Tear rules for the variety of strategic opportunities it offers. It feels good to equip yourself with how you want the mimic to behave, summon, and then swap out to your preferred tool set.

It was pointed out recently, I think by Vaati, that the Bewitching Branch (crafted with Miquella's Lily) can be used to charm spirit ash summons in PVP matches (but it's probably not intended because it only works when the host does it).

I am curious as to whether the DLC will incorporate ash charming as a mechanic players might need to look out for.
 

SML

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Update: LIfe was too short to play the Archthrones mod legit and the balance is better when you play at max level.

Yes, meaning 99 in all stats.

Some of the bosses were a little too easy, primarily in the War-torn village, but overall the balance still felt better.

There are a lot of people who seem to be saying it isn't that hard or the balance isn't so bad. These people are liars.

The devs seem to be listening to feedback and working on improving the balance. So here are my complaints anyway:

At the moment, enemies have too much hp and too much poise, and they drop too few souls. Imagine vanilla DS3 with all enemies replaced by the black knight at Farron Keep, except they each drop 120 souls at most. Even looking at the health bars of some of the "challenge run" type youtubers who have played the demo, I just don't believe that they got those levels through legitimate means. This is probably the biggest issue with the game, because it turns exploration, runbacks, and leveling into an awful chore.

Titanite shards can be bought in infinite supply at the Nexus. Why are they being sprinkled around as pickups and crystal lizard drops in difficult areas? Why are there barely any upgrade materials otherwise? (I never found any shriving stones to upgrade the two staffs I found, and I think I only picked up enough large titanite shards in the entire demo to bring *one* weapon to +4.)

Bosses have way too much health. Really, it feels like they put a lot of work into giving the bosses evolving movesets as the fight went on, and they want to force the player to appreciate how much work went into each and every phase. The Siege Golem is probably the easiest boss fight in the game (after the Carthus sandworm, which doesn't really count) and his move set expands at least twice over the course of it. The hardest phase, where you have to dodge multiple different types of projectiles at the same time, along with his melee attacks, should probably only kick in when he's at a quarter health, if at all.

Bosses need to be more susceptible to poison. If they're going to have Vendrick health bars and Sekiro movesets I should at least be allowed to play like a treacherous little bastard.

Praise: great aesthetics and some very conceptually cool fights. The Cathedral of the Deep looks gorgeous when Aldrich is around and the fight with Kremmel in Eleum Loyce is particularly brilliant.
Spoiler:
The fight takes place in a frozen version of the Old Chaos, the Ivory King's arena from DS2. As the fight goes on, Kremmel breaks the seals on the summoning gates, bringing in Loyce knights to assist him against you. Once you beat his first phase, he becomes overwhelmed by the profane flame, causing the Loyce knights to switch to your side.


The kindling system incorporates aspects of great runes and embering/reverse hollowing, and is arguably an improvement on both. Equipping different kindling will activate different bonuses while embered, which in turn would open the player up to the risk of invasion (PVP is not currently enabled in the demo.) Elden Ring's multiplayer would probably have benefited if activating great runes worked the same way.
 
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Average Joe

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There is definitely a subset of Souls players who seem to enjoy an absolutely punishing difficulty that only the most skilled of players can accomplish.

Remember when Elden run came out and all the goons were like “I’m not going to use summons or any of the other new tools given to the players.”

Those players are wankers.
I used all that shit on my first run haha

Haven't touched any of it this time around, but I know once those Godskin Duo show up again I will have no issue retracting my pride a bit and summoning something.
 

Lagduf

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I used all that shit on my first run haha

Haven't touched any of it this time around, but I know once those Godskin Duo show up again I will have no issue retracting my pride a bit and summoning something.

Just put the Godskin Duo to sleep.

Elden Ring rewards players who use the tools.

Hell one of the thrown items will (used to at least) stagger 1st phase Melania out of her flying attack.

I decided I’m going to start a new playthrough maybe two weeks before the DLC comes out with the plan to reacquaint myself with the game and then when the DLC drops maybe switch to the character I beat the game with to do the DLC.
 

Average Joe

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Just put the Godskin Duo to sleep.

Elden Ring rewards players who use the tools.

Hell one of the thrown items will (used to at least) stagger 1st phase Melania out of her flying attack.

I decided I’m going to start a new playthrough maybe two weeks before the DLC comes out with the plan to reacquaint myself with the game and then when the DLC drops maybe switch to the character I beat the game with to do the DLC.
I actually didn't even know about the sleep until you just said that.

I did my first run entirely guideless and my second I only used one to get started. This third run I was actually looking things up so that sleep trick will help for damn sure.
 

Lagduf

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I did the same for the first run - didn’t look anything up, though I played at the same time as a friend and we shared discoveries.

I can’t remember where I learned about the sleep thing (it was definitey after I beat the game.) But I think a lot of people slept* on perfumes and other potions/throwables.

*pun intended

I won’t look anything up for the dlc but my next run…I’m looking up everything lol.
 

Average Joe

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I've almost never used items in ER and it's not due to any reason other than I legit don't think about it.

The only thing I really used were throwing weapons to pull certain enemies and berries to heal Torrent during dragon fights.

Probably should make a conscious effort to think about them more since I'm already defaulting to my old style of ignoring their existence.
 

jro

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Did original DS3 have perfect guard? I get the feeling I might need to start using that. Lots of Sekiro movesets in the game.
Nuh uh. It's basically DS1 with better level design and Bloodborne mechanics.

re: DS2 SotFS - I do really want to pick my last playthrough of it back up but man, I killed everyone in every quest line and IIRC am not doing well at Thronewatcher and Defender on NG+ alone. Gonna have to GIT GUD I suppose.

Totally different game, but, man, as much as I hate to say this, Rise of the Ronin is not good. Came out way too quickly after Wo Long for it to be the main dev team and it shows. It's just mostly quite bad IMO.

Notes re: RotR:
-level design is utter trash. It's the worst elements of Assassin's Creed primarily with some Nioh/Sekiro/Wo Long mixed in.
-parrying criticals is still the main gameplay mechanic but the tells are now awful instead of intuitive like in WL. Seriously, they're just random.
-every single goddamn boss is the same. They have a charge crit, a grab crit, maybe another cheap projectile crit. Nowhere near the unique feel that made bosses in WL and Nioh so satisfying to play.
-builds are shit.
-gear is shit.
-bugs are all over the place.
-the open world would have been archaic 10 years ago. It's honestly embarrassing to run through this shit and be like man, 2024 game, okay.

I guess every dev gets one or so. I didn't like Armored Core 6 much but it wasn't actively bad. Rise of the Ronin though, is actively bad. I went back to my recently started Lies of P NG run on PS5 tonight instead of bothering with any more of Rise and, just, wow, the contrast in quality is very stark. Deleted Rise with no intention of ever playing through it.
 

Lagduf

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I still need to play Armored Core 6.

I am playing Dragons Dogma 2 at the moment. It is not a souls like, lol.
 
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SML

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re: DS2 SotFS - I do really want to pick my last playthrough of it back up but man, I killed everyone in every quest line and IIRC am not doing well at Thronewatcher and Defender on NG+ alone. Gonna have to GIT GUD I suppose.

Even Vengarl? Damn bro.

What about non-NPC phantoms? Bradley of the Old Guard should be there if you've met the requirements for Aldia to show up (exhausted Aldia's dialogue at bonfires and killed Vendrick). Bashful Ray should be in the ruin sentinel room if you've activated the torch golems. If you backtrack, you should also be able to bring Pilgrim Bellclaire from outside the Dragon Rider boss room.
 
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jro

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Even Vengarl? Damn bro.

What about non-NPC phantoms? Bradley of the Old Guard should be there if you've met the requirements for Aldia to show up (exhausted Aldia's dialogue at bonfires and killed Vendrick). Bashful Ray should be in the ruin sentinel room if you've activated the torch golems. If you backtrack, you should also be able to bring Pilgrim Bellclaire from outside the Dragon Rider boss room.

and then smart people remind me of how not to fuck up so much.

Yeah, I know I can get er done, more and so if I just stop whining so much.

Got very annoyed by RotR, then got smushed in my latest NG run on Lies, might as well try Scholar I suppose. Mebbe hand out some pardons this time.

Remember swords ain't worth killing people oohhhhmmm.

------- edit a bit more Engish-ish: you are MF-ing right sir. I may or may not have some newfound resolve. I think?

edit if only I could type at 2 am.

edit: I promise I'm not karou.
 
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SML

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SL50 run: Manus DOWN.

Aside from a couple of dark beads to soften him up, this was my first legit Manus kill with a melee character. On my first run I cheesed with arrows, and my second run mage murdered him with soul spears.

I had the silver pendant equipped but never used it. The silver knight shield was the MVP.

Kalameet's the last serious challenge on this run.
Manus.jpgManus Stats.jpg
 

Average Joe

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Pretty sure I did the arrow cheese thing too.

Whenever I play that again I'll have to do it legit.
 

Average Joe

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Anyway:

Doing the Ranni questline/ending and beat Radahn for the third time--not my favorite fight, but it is still great.

Easiest time I've had with him thus far, and honestly the game overall has been giving me very little trouble (did I get good?).

Been loving the Godslayer Greatsword I snagged. I was using the Uchigatana for a while, but Heavy Weapons are my jam in these games and I feel weird not using one.
 

Average Joe

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After following a guide for Ranni's ending, it turns I legit did all of it by chance on my first run and simply opted to touch Marika's body at the end of the game instead of a blue sigil.
 

SML

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kalameet.jpegGot the dragon later that day. He’s a little less aggressive than Manus but he hits harder and his attacks will break through more often, usually when he decides to jump forward as a follow-up to another set of attacks, or when he spins back around after the jump to spit fire.

Ended up swapping the Cloranthy ring for Havel’s and went full Tarkus to absorb a little more damage off the attacks that broke through.

Feels good. I guess I’ll install Simple Save Manager and make a backup before I go after Gwyn and see how far I can take this into ng+
 
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jro

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OK FUCK in the spirit of Korean translations on Netflix that just says damnit I am seriously gonna wanna fucking [damn] the Green Swamp Monster in his balls over and over and over again. DAMN DAMN BALLS! [damn]. That is a legit badly designed boss fight, dunno how Round8 did all their adjustments and never fixed one of that fucking guy's phases. It's a really good game with some major balance issues. Honestly probably wouldn't recommend it at this point.

And then Rise of the Ronin is still really not good. I mean, WTF, you have the best action game studio there is, you made Ninja Gaiden 1, 2, 3 (ehhhhh) Stranger of Paradise (okay fuck), Nioh, Wo Long, then this? Seriously, I love all of the aforementioned titles (not really SoP is terrible). Rise is fucking awful, somehow. Just, yeesh. Putting an open world in there with maps that lead to fucking nowhere might not have been the way to go.

Seriously, this might be the worst downgrade in quality I've seen from a good studio ever. So bad.

Odd idea................ let some other studio do the next Nioh game. It's better than what the devs can do for it. It's not Team Ninja.

edit: that seems pretty harsh. Let's compromise with maybe not TN it the lead but have that dude that designed the really tight combat in Lies with the shit levels come back and make a new game sounds like Bloodborne might be hiring.

Also, DO NOT fuck up Bloodborne.

Eh.

I am still not karou.
 
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jro

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It was short, 20 hours-ish, so I finished RotR. The basic gameplay was fun but the level design, boss design, and character building were just boring. Tried to be a Sekiro-like with little idea what made Sekiro decent. Still certainly not recommended.
 

Average Joe

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So, I just played this for a couple of hours and it is weirdly kind of solid. I won't form any real opinions since I'm still doing my DLC Elden Ring character so who knows when I'll play this for real, but the reviews are good and initial impression is strong.
 
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