Dark Souls Impressions - The FINAL Update

 
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All right, I think I just about cleared the swamp (as much as I'm willing to explore at the moment, at least), and I've took a bite of the initial fort area as well. I'm currently searching for a boss, or something big for me to kill, but goddamn...

Turkey requested that I post quick updates just to let you know where I am, and for an area of this size, I think I'm gonna have to--So, here's my thoughts on Blighttown so far. I'll talk about what I've done and what I've found as well.



Uh, this place sucks. Between the trailing frame rate, the annoying-as-fuck enemies (especially those goddamn bloodflies and wooden poison dart shooters), the sheer number of enemies that attack you at once, the poisonous, walk-speed hindering swamp, the claustrophobic forts that are difficult to navigate, all the shit that gets in the way of the camera during combat, and all the spots where you can slip-slide off the edge to your death--this is easily my least favorite area by far.

As much as I'm hating this place, though, it makes me feel a LOT better to know that it's everyone else's least favorite area, as well. I'm glad I can finally say something negative about the game and have everybody agree with it for once. It's also not all bad--the scenery and atmosphere, as always, is awesome. I like how "Blighttown" is just, like, the rotting underbelly of a castle wall, or something. I think that's what it is, anyway--it's hard to tell from my perspective. But yeah, my impressions of this place are pretty overwhelmingly negative at the moment.

The first major section is made up of a complicated system of wooden forts, filled to the brim with smashable pots. Ladders and items bestrewn all over the place, and the bonfire was relatively easy to find. The second section is a muggy, bug-infested swamp filled with enough toxic creatures to create a backwater Internet forum. I found a lot of stuff here, but man, did it ever suck to get it all. I've pretty much had it with this place. Occasionally, you'll come across a dimly-lit mine that serves to connect two areas, but they tend to be guarded with big club-wielding monsters.

When you first enter Blighttown, the first enemy you see is one of these club-wielding monsters in a mine. The fight takes place on a narrow catwalk, so when he comes out swinging, you don't have a great many options. If you roll, you could easily roll right off the edge, if you're not careful. If you block, the blowback could easily be enough to push you off the edge, too. The obvious strategy here was to climb the ladder and plunge into his skull a couple times. His movements are slow enough to where he's very vulnerable to backstabs, as well. Not a bad enemy, unless you're fighting two at once.

They drop pieces of shit upon death. Lovely.

The second enemy type you meet is a great deal more unpleasant. I'm just going to call them trolls, even though both these enemies could pass as "trolls" in different ways. They're these gangling, purple demons who wield weapons of all types--I even saw one wielding a Winged Spear, I think. These guys are kind of crazy and erratic, and I think they're the main reason why the frame rate in this area is so bad. They can take quite a beating, and they're SUPER dangerous in numbers. I can handle two or three at the most. Apart from having their standard attacks, they also have a unique attack where they hold out their arms, roar, and leap towards you. If they grab you, they'll start mauling you, and you're guaranteed to lose at least 50%.

If you're lucky, you can provoke them to do this move right off the edge of a catwalk for an easy kill. Bizarrely, one of these guys can be found stuffed inside of a pot, but rescuing him just provokes him to attack you. Ungrateful prick.

Finally, there's a couple fire-breathing canids near the bonfire, as well. They're tiny--smallest enemies I've seen in the game so far, but they're quite the nuisance, and I have nothing that can handle them reliably.

The most noteworthy thing I found in the fort area, though, was this enormous squid-like thing. It was latching on to some ramp, blocking the narrow passage where I was headed. When I got near it, it just whipped me with its tentacles--so I Firebombed it to death to discover that it was guarding a Pyromancy spell called Power Within. This is my first ever spell, but I haven't deigned to attune it yet. I'm not even sure how it works, or what exactly it does. I also found a regular spell called Remedy, which seems useful--restores status and everything--but I'm not nearly intelligent enough to use it yet.



The swamp has been the real dick-kicker of this whole trip. I'll talk about it later.
Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 11:05:36 AM by Verbatim


 
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All right, now let's talk about the swamp. The swamp is terrible for a whole slew of other reasons.

The theme of this area is poison. Almost all the enemies here have an attack that can poison you--and honestly, I kinda like how poison works in this game, compared to other RPGs. In most RPGs, getting poisoned is completely random. In this game, it's based on the number of times you allow yourself to get hit. When you get hit by a poisonous strike, a small meter starts filling up--and once the meter is full, you're poisoned for a good while until the meter comes back down again (which is usually much too long to wait). So, in most cases, not getting poisoned is a simple matter of not taking too many hits. That's fine.

Here's the rub: In the swamp, simply navigating through the muck also builds up your poison meter. You can't go out for too long without getting yourself poisoned. The only way to cure yourself is to use a Purple Moss Clump--which, during my repeated excursions through Darkroot Garden, I was fortunate enough to have gathered a sizable stockpile of them. What's troubling, though, is that there appears to be some areas where it is genuinely impossible to avoid getting yourself poisoned, because there's no other path to cross. That's kinda dumb, if you ask me.

Enemy-wise, god--WHAT THE FUCK EVEN IS THAT THING.

Actually, it's one of the easier enemies to deal with in this area. I mean, they're big, and they can swarm up on you if you're not careful, but they're AI is super dumb and they die pretty easily. Their most dangerous attack is to breathe flames at you (which, graphics-wise, look a lot shittier compared to the dogs' flames, funnil enough). Otherwise, they're not really a problem.

Then there's the mosquitoes, or the bloodflies, as I like to call them. I must commend the developers on this one: They succeeded in creating an enemy that is just as annoying as its real-life counterpart. They come at you from a distance, so you don't see them coming, and they don't stop coming. They either spray from their bloodsac at you, or repeatedly bash into your shield, so that all your stamina drains. They're pretty terrible, especially in numbers.

Finally--and perhaps worst of all--are the wooden dart shooters. Fuck these things.

These peckerwoods shoot darts at you from a safe distance. These darts almost instantly fill up your poison meter. No big deal, though--if you get poisoned, just use a clump. No big deal, right? Wrong. Like Pokémon, this game has a stronger form of poison: Toxic. It drains your health twice at fast as regular poison does, making it exponentially more dangerous--and best of all, you cannot cure it with regular Purple Moss Clumps. You have to have a special variety of moss clump--the considerably rarer Blooming Purple Moss Clump--to cure it. I only had about 7 in my possession--but it doesn't matter. Even if you cure it, they can just re-toxic you almost immediately after anyway. I'm sorry, but that seems so unnecessary to me.

Oh, yeah, there's also these big tube worms deep in the swamp, I guess. I only saw two of them, and I killed them before they could do anything to me, so I don't really know anything else about them.



There was a room filled with those wooden cunts--but it was here that I discovered something wonderful: They don't respawn when you kill them. Okay, that's a good balance--otherwise, they'd be way overpowered. So that's great.

Down below were a group of firebreathing dogs--like, ten of them. They were guarding an item lying behind some iron bars. I wasn't really willing to take their shit, so I just sniped them all with arrows. My friend, who was watching me at the time, jeered at this strategy, considering it cowardly--I don't give a fuck.

They were guarding a Fire Keeper Soul, and, yeah--I'm not gonna fucking squander it this time.



I was beginning to grow tired of this dumbass swamp, so I began searching for ways out. I somewhat regretted finding the bonfire here, because I didn't feel like I explored the fort area enough before I dropped down here.

I found a wooden merry-go-round-type contraption, with rising platforms leading up to a fort area. Maybe this was my ticket back. Making my way up, I found a slew of goodies--like some crimson robes, with a spiffy new catalyst. Then some more Wanderer garb, which was kinda surreal, because I'm a Wanderer. Instead of a Scimitar, though, it came with a Falchion. That's the name of the sword Marth uses in Fire Emblem (I only know that because I play Smash). Like the Scimitar, though, it has relatively low durability, so I wasn't all that keen on using it.

Most importantly, I found a key to a place called New Londo Ruins, which I'll talk more about later.


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Jacob Potila was actually a Jacob Flotilla of lies.- WarTurkey
I'm so thankful that the water is poison and not toxic.You can outlast poison with estus.

Also, I think Blighttown does a good job of making you feel like you're really at the bottom of the world, in the toilet. You're rolling around in the world's shit. You just want to get out to see the sunlight and breathe the fresh air again.


Also with the master key, you could have completely skipped the depths and most of blighttown but that's lame.


 
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Oh, before I forget: As I emerged from the swamp bonfire after kindling it with some humanity, I got invaded for the first time. By an NPC, of course. Now, to reiterate my stance on invasions--I don't mind being invaded by NPCs at all. I don't consider that a bad mechanic. There has to be some way to counterbalance the whole summoning thing, and NPC invasions are perfect for that. It's when real people invade you that I have a problem with.

Anyway, the NPC I was invaded by was called Maneater Mildred. She was a deprived female psycho bitch with a big machete, but she was easy enough to dispatch. Very easy, actually. I got, like, 10K souls just for killing her. So that was cool.

Reminder that you're an inhuman piece of shit if you invade other players.
Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 03:51:36 PM by Verbatim


 
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You either die a hero or live long enough to become Mythic..
They have invasions to counterbalance the summoning signs. Plus it is fun as HELL to duel people.


 
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They have invasions to counterbalance the summoning signs.
I'm aware. I literally said that in the post. That doesn't justify human invasions, though. The counterbalance should be NPC invasions and NPC invasions alone. Player vs. player should be a matter of consent, always.
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Plus it is fun as HELL to duel people.
I'm sure it is. But unless you have my consent, I don't want to fucking duel you.

It's not fun when you're trying to recover, say, 100K souls, but you get invaded and lose them all because you were invaded in the wrong place at the wrong time. In other words, you lost your souls--your hours spent--just because some random fuckhead interrupted your game. That's the exact opposite of fun, actually.
Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 04:09:50 PM by Verbatim


 
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You either die a hero or live long enough to become Mythic..
Welcome to Dark Souls


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Jacob Potila was actually a Jacob Flotilla of lies.- WarTurkey
Welcome to Dark Souls

'hurdur its dark soles git gud skrub play the game'


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Jacob Potila was actually a Jacob Flotilla of lies.- WarTurkey
I don't like invasions either. Yeah I did it occasionally but that was because I needed the rewards. That's why I prefer the soapstone sign invasions, at least that's consenting.


 
 
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Just to respond to some parts of your post:

Yeah, Blighttown is one of the universally hated areas. Not because it's poorly designed but just because it, well, sucks to play through. It's an acquired taste though, and once you've actually beaten it a few times you learn to appreciate it for what it is.

As the Power Within description reads, it's a pyromancy spell which boosts your damage output but drains your health in return. It's basically a slightly stronger poison that increases your damage and can't be cured until the spell runs out.

It's entirely possible to get through the swamp without being poisoned. Remember how all shields and armor has unique defense properties? Check out your stats and properties of your equipment. Some armor will be a lot better at resisting poison than other, so equip the right set before diving in. Also, purple moss clears the poison bar even before it fills up so you can use it to prevent the poison from actually damaging you.

7 Blooming Moss is insanely good. Most players don't have any by the time they reach the area and have to get lucky and get it as a drop or find 1 or 2 of it in the swamp.

The cragspiders flames intentionally look that way. They're not fire but a new element called Chaos you'll learn more about later.

And NPC invasions unfortunately are rather easy in DS1. Doesn't really compare to a human opponent, so it kinda fails there.


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Jacob Potila was actually a Jacob Flotilla of lies.- WarTurkey
How accurately does this portray your experience?

YouTube


 
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After I picked up the key to New Londo Ruins (which required me to climb up a ton of ladders), I went inside another mine shaft where a few more of those club-wielders were dwelling. Even fighting two at once, it's very easy to just circle around them and backstab them to death. At this point in my play session, my friend came over and watched me play for a bit. He was only familiar with the game because his college buddies played 3 a lot, and he described my strategy as "circle-strafing," so I guess it's a popular maneuver. Not a lot of enemies seem to be able to counter this strategy very well.



All right, let's back up for a second, because I forgot to mention something in the last update.

Remember that Large Ember I picked up? Maybe not. I found it in the Depths, in the butcher area. At some point after slaying the Gaping Dragon, I turned the ember in to the blacksmith in the old church. With it, I was given the option to ascend my Winged Spear+5 in a number of ways.

I could either go the Winged Spear+6 route, where I could upgrade the spear five more times, or I could upgrade it to a "Raw" Winged Spear. Raw weapons appear to do a lot more damage, but... What's the catch? There's gotta be some sort of drawback, right?

As of now, I haven't really made a decision yet, because I don't want to make a stupid mistake I'll regret later.

So yeah, let me know about that, please.



Exiting the cave, I ended up back in a place I wasn't sure I wanted to see yet: The Valley of Drakes. Now, I already made it here once before--there's an elevator in Darkroot Basin that leads me down here, too, and I couldn't do a whole lot except die.

In this spot, though, I was standing on a narrow cliff far beneath a wide fissure. A bridge led me to a tower with a locked door--this was the tower that led to New Londo Ruins. I held off on entering it for now. As much as I'd love to leave Blighttown, I wasn't quite done exploring it yet. There's still a lot to do.

Still, I was feeling a little masochistic. Across the way was a much longer bridge, leading to another narrow cliff off the side of the crevasse. Crossing this, I beheld what appeared to be a large black dragon--either sleeping or dead. Its body hung precariously off the side of the cliff, and it was very still--so, naturally, I assumed it was dead. Between its clutches, I saw a small gathering of items--the corpses that held them were presumably the dragon's final victims. I wanted them.

Then again, I thought to myself, "This is Dark Souls. There's no way they would just put a dragon here if it wasn't going to come back to life, or wake up, or something." Nevertheless, I tried my luck in attempting to sequester the items.

I sauntered over to the first corpse., and to my utter lack of surprise, the dragon woke up and immediately starting attacking. Quick as a wink, I snatched the remaining items before he could stop me, and Homeward Boned myself away. It was a pretty cool little moment--I wish I was recording at the time.

My spoils were a Dragon Crest Shield, which is a standard shield with high fire resistance--but it's not quite as good as my Black Knight's Shield, and not as utilitarian as my Grass Crest Shield+5. The third thing was a Soul of a Proud Knight. Nothing special. The second thing was the most interesting: an Astora's Straight Sword. The name "Astora" caught my eye in particular, because, if you remember way back in update #1, you know that I chose the Astora Noble face for my avatar. So, in a humorous sort of way, this is the sword of my people. The blade is imbued with magic power, which sounds awesome. I've yet to test it out yet, so I hope it comes in handy.



It was time for me to return to the forts. Trouble is, I completely forgot where the forts were--forcing me to navigate the swamps once again. I'll discuss what happened later.
Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 09:57:39 PM by Verbatim


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Remember that Large Ember I picked up? Maybe not. I found it in the Depths, in the butcher area. At some point after slaying the Gaping Dragon, I turned the ember in to the blacksmith in the old church. With it, I was given the option to ascend my Winged Spear+5 in a number of ways.

I could either go the Winged Spear+6 route, where I could upgrade the spear five more times, or I could upgrade it to a "Raw" Winged Spear. Raw weapons appear to do a lot more damage, but... What's the catch? There's gotta be some sort of drawback, right?


Raw weapons have a higher base damage but lose some of their scaling. IIRC A fully upgraded winged spear has a B scaling in dexterity but a raw one has a C. Raw is good if you're only using the bear minimum stats to wield a weapon, except for in niche cases it's usually better to use a different infusion(or none at all).  If you're leveling dex and want to keep using your spear, don't Raw infuse. If you're leveling other stats raw infuse might be the way to go.

The ups and downsizes of Raw are a lot more obvious on certain weapons. For example there's a katana with an A scaling in strength but Raw drops it down to a C
Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 11:05:08 PM by Tyger


 
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That's actually very interesting. Thanks.



I'd have updated the OP with my current stuff by now, but my elgato is having issues again. Annoying.

Fixed the problem. OP updated with (nearly) current stats and stuff.
Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 02:52:02 AM by Verbatim


 
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Some armor will be a lot better at resisting poison than other, so equip the right set before diving in.
but they're ugly though :(

just kidding, i found some sick pyromancy robes out in the swamp that look pretty dope

wish it came with a catalyst, though--i attuned Power Within, but it's useless without a catalyst

i don't wanna go all the way back to firelink, either

mehhh
Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 02:55:17 AM by Verbatim


 
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You either die a hero or live long enough to become Mythic..
Firelink is worth checking back on, trust me


 
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ugh

i KNEW i should've killed that motherfucker


 
 
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Tyger already explained it well, but understanding scaling is pretty important for Dark Souls. To simplify it a little, Verb, it kind of works like this.

Generally speaking, the damage output of a purely physical weapon (so nothing infused with lightning or fire, for example) depends on two things. One, its permanent base damage. Two, its scaling damage.

Say your winged spear does 100 base damage. This means that your normal strike will do 100 base damage (it won't actually do that much due to enemy resistance and armor, but you get the idea) to whatever you hit. This doesn't change and will always remain the same.

In addition, your spear might have a B scaling in strength. The scaling scale is E-D-C-B-A-S (S being the best). This means that on top of the 100 base damage, you'll do additional damage based on your strength and the scaling rank (a B in this case). Say you have 20 strength, this B will add another 150 scaling damage to your weapon (for a 200 total). Increase your strength to 40 and that scaling bonus will have increased to 250 damage (for a 350 total).

That's why it's important to kind of think a little ahead. If you want to go full dexterity or strength, it pays off going with a weapon that'll give you the biggest scaling boost in the end.

Now, the scaling of a weapon is affected by what weapon it is (duh), its level (it's not uncommon for a weapon with a B scaling at +1 to turn into an A scaling at +5) and the kind of infusion it has. And that's why you should always read through the menus and compare stats in the menu.

Raw, for example, will give you higher base damage in exchange for lower scaling. Hypothetically speaking, your winged spear would go from a B in strength to a D, but raise its base damage from 100 to 200.

So what does that mean for our example? Your base damage is now 200, twice what it was before. But your scaling damage fell from 100 damage to 50 at strength level 20 and from 250 to 100 at strength level 40, for a total of 250 damage at 20 strength and 300 at 40 strength.

All in all, this would be a decent trade at early levels (because you don't yet have high enough strength to get the biggest possible scaling boost) but ultimately do 50 damage less at 40 strength. For weapons with good scaling, going raw is usually a pretty bad idea late game. But some weapons with already very low or even no scaling to begin with, the base damage increase can ultimately be better than the loss of scaling.

And in case you're wondering, this is only barely scratching the surface. We haven't touched upon all the different infusions, soft humanity bonuses, soft caps, actual scaling bonus differences between the letters, split elemental damage, thrust/slash/blunt, the base increase from leveling up even without scaling and so forth. Deep combat is pretty damn deep, but this should at least help you to understand it better.


 
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guys, this game suddenly turned amazing

a bit of a turning point has just occurred--i have one or two more Blighttown mini-updates, and then i have something huge

well, not huge, but something just happened in my game that really resonated with me for some reason

i'm very excited to talk about it


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looks like verb found the sex scene


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A salt Rifle
Amazing chest ahead


 
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uhhhh, yeah. speaking of that.

hey, remember that time when you told me that this game doesn't have any sexualized content whatsoever, and how all the women dress modestly, and how they're all portrayed in a respectful, non-sexual manner?

kinda nsfw
YouTube

can you tell me what that is
Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 03:53:26 PM by Verbatim


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A salt Rifle
Spoiler
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Also I'm looking forward to when he gets to Anor Londo.

You think he'll ever fond gwyndolin or even get into the painted world?
Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 04:14:48 PM by Feste Feste Feiern


 
 
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You best like my post Verb, that took me like 10 minutes to write just for you.

And yeah, some women are a bit, eh, voluptuous. It is a Japanese game after all.
Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 05:46:48 PM by Flee


 
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You best like my post Verb, that took me like 10 minutes to write just for you.

And yeah, some women are a bit, eh, voluptuous. It is a Japanese game after all.
It's not really the voluptuousness that matters to me as much as how the game handles it (ie. like a horndog). The camera zooms in to her navel, and pans up very slowly, so that the assumed 12-year-old prepubescent male gamer can lustfully gaze upon and enjoy her every polygon. It's just so fucking uncomfortable and unnecessary. I really thought this game was above that.

i don't mind that much, but i was told beforehand that this game was above that type of shit, so it's a tad disappointing to see

but whatever, i don't wanna harp on it too much--especially since i haven't even talked about reaching her yet

Anyways, yeah, thanks a lot for helping me shed some light on the weapon system. It all seems so complex and interesting. This sort of thing allows for a lot of forward thinking and planning, like you said, which is one of my favorite things about RPGs: planning and micromanaging. So, it looks like I won't be using any raw weapons any time soon. It seems like they'd only be good for sorcerers who don't invest a lot of strength or dexterity.
Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 09:56:40 PM by Verbatim


 
 
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So, it looks like I won't be using any raw weapons any time soon. It seems like they'd only be good for sorcerers who don't invest a lot of strength or dexterity.
Yeah, that's one of their possible uses. However, you're a long way from having discovered all possible weapon infusions. Later on, you'll encounter weapons doing, among others, magic damage (which scales with intelligence) or lightning damage (which scales with faith). When using one of those weapons, they'll get scaling bonuses not with strength or dexterity, but with intelligence or faith instead. Most strong sorcerer builds using melee just get the basic dex/str in order to be able to wield their weapon of choice and then have it scale with their intelligence or faith for good damage.
Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 06:47:41 PM by Flee


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Jacob Potila was actually a Jacob Flotilla of lies.- WarTurkey
I really can't wait until Verb gets to this part.

(Don't click Verb)
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His eyebrows sparkling, his white beard hangs down to his chest. The thatched mats, spread outside his chise, spread softly, his splendid attos. He polishes, cross-legged, his makiri, with his eyes completely absorbed.

He is Ainu.

The god of Ainu Mosir, Ae-Oine Kamuy, descendant of Okiku-Rumi, He perishes, a living corpse. The summers day, the white sunlight, unabrushed, ends simply through his breath alone.
uhhhh, yeah. speaking of that.

hey, remember that time when you told me that this game doesn't have any sexualized content whatsoever, and how all the women dress modestly, and how they're all portrayed in a respectful, non-sexual manner?

kinda nsfw
YouTube

can you tell me what that is
I remember giving the half-spider and some batty old crows in an optional area as the caveats to the game back when I first pitched it too you. It's been a while though, so sorry if I actually left that part out.


 
Pippen
| Legendary Invincible!
 
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You either die a hero or live long enough to become Mythic..
There is about....

3 things are quote on quote "sexualized" about 2 of the 3 are meant to make you REALLY confused(such as Quelaag and an enemy up ahead) and the other has a good god damn reason that makes all the men sad.


 
Verbatim
| Komm, süßer Tod
 
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All right, I think this one's gonna wrap up the Blighttown updates. This is everything from the last mini-update up until Pip encourages me to visit Firelink, which will be its own separate update (it's the thing I'm excited to talk about).



For a period of time spent jumping between the fort and swamp areas of Blighttown, I ended up looting a lot of items--but I still don't feel like I've anywhere near collected all of them. It's just a big, huge place with a lot of ground to cover--and without a map, it makes it difficult to gauge whether or not I've been to a particular section of the swamp or not.

Prism stones sure helped, though. I have a whole bunch of them, and they're basically just trail markers. You drop them on the ground and they start glowing, so you can keep track of where you've been. Also, they can be dropped from great heights, and depending on the sound they make when they land, you can gauge whether it's safe to drop down or not. You'll hear a distinctive bang if it isn't. This has actually come in very useful, and I get the feeling that nobody uses these things. Like the Binoculars, which I also use all the time.

While trudging through the Great Swamp, I decided that getting poisoned wasn't really the end of the world. I was starting to run out of moss, and I didn't want to use any more unless it was absolutely necessary. I can handle a small amount of residual damage over a short period of time--it's only when I'm in a tense combat situation does it ever matter, like if I'm fighting those fat club-wielding fucks. Actually, they don't wield clubs in the swamp--they toss giant boulders at you. Unless you have dry ground to stand on, this can be troublesome, because it's harder to dodge the boulders in time, since you simply can't run full-speed in the muck.

I became more well-acquainted with the tubeworms, as well. They're the easiest enemies in Blighttown, by far. They're slow, have wimpy attacks that involve lunging and spitting, and they die by one or two hits. There was a whole bunch of them in one section of the swamp, and they guarded a whole bunch of interesting items. I'll go over all of the items I found at the end of this.

There was one more spot I visited that was just a short walk from the bonfire. In this direction, guarded by more boulder-tossing fuckheads, was a conspicuous mountain of... stuff. Only later would I find out what the stuff was. Protruding from the mountain was a bunch of logs and tree trunks, jutting out like spikes--likely only there for the sake of fortification, or... I dunno. It looked intimidating, nonetheless. Just beneath the tip of the mountain was a narrow entrance, and after waltzing in, it instantly became apparent to me just what I got myself into: A spider's nest. This is a big mountain of webbing.

The game identified this area as Quelaag's Domain. Inside was the most viscerally horrific thing I've seen yet: Two Undead who lay sprawled on the floor with their hands clasped together. Parasitically conjoined to their backs were two large eggsacs. The apparent weight of them was keeping them floored and near-immobile. They way their hands were together made it look like they were praying--for death, perhaps? Either way, I couldn't help but mercy kill them. When I did, though, the eggs burst open all at once, revealing at least six vermicular parasitic larvae, crawling straight towards me. Just one word came to mi--FIREBOMBS

You know, people keep telling me that Firebombs aren't as useful as I'm making therm out to be--but I just keep finding uses for them. They larvae group together, and the flame kills them all at once because of its little blast radius. I honestly can't think of a more efficient (and satisfying) solution than that. If all else fails, throw Firebombs. Remember that.

The one short path onwards led me straight to a fog gate.

I'm thinking to myself, "Okay, it's way too early into the area. There's no way that this gate leads to a boss."

And then the gate led to a boss.



So, after the game gets done with its stupid little over-indulgent "haha, let's look at da boobiez xD" routine, I teleported straight out of that bitch. I had been playing for hours, and I wasn't mentally prepared to face a boss at that moment. The important thing is that I know a boss is there, so I can be prepared the next time I engage her.

Instead, I chose to regroup at the bonfire, and look over all the treasures I found while exploring:

Spoiler
Fire Keeper Soul

I mentioned picking this up already, but it's by far the most significant item in my inventory at this point in time. I was having a serious mental debate on whether I should return to Firelink or not, just to reap the benefits. On one hand, I'm already on a Fire Keeper Soul deficit, because I consumed one. On the other, it's a long way's back. I'm gonna need a second impetus.

Key to New Londo Ruins

Again, I've already talked about this, but I planned (keyword: planned) to head straight to New Londo as soon as I took care of Quelaag. Once that's taken care of, I can head straight there from the Valley of Drakes. It's good to know exactly where I'm heading next.

Pyromancy stuff

Lots of pyromancy stuff, actually. I picked up some tattered robes that look pretty cool (still not as cool as my Wanderer clothes, though), and they have a higher resilience to poison than my other stuff. I also picked up a couple pyromancy spells: Power Within and Poison Mist--the former, which boosts your attack power in exchange for gradual loss of HP, sounds right up my alley. I love extreme do-or-die strategies like that. Best of all, pyromancy spells don't seem to have any requirement parameters--instead, they have other costs. The only piece missing from this puzzle is a catalyst; I can't cast these spells if I don't have something to cast them with.

New Weapons

Most of these ended up in the Bottomless Box, but I thought I'd note them here anyway.

- Falchion, with accompanying Wanderer garb. Pretty chintzy sword, but at least it looks kinda cool.
- Astora's Straight Sword. Stolen from a dragon in the Valley of Drakes. Seems to be imbued with magic.
- Server. I'm not terribly fond of the name, but it's a greatsword. Too heavy for me to use right now, even if I wanted to.
- Iaito, my first katana. Had to make a leap of faith in the fort area to get it, but eh. 2weeb4me.
- Butcher Knife. Got this thing from that crazy invader bitch after I briefly went human. Not really for me.
- Large Club. One of those barbarians didn't drop a piece of dung for once.
- Great Club. If I can't carry the Large Club, I'm not gonna be able to carry this.
- Tin Banishment Catalyst. Now, this thing is interesting. Even though it's just a wand, it does a lot of physical damage, too.
- Plank Shield. Just a joke item, I guess. I was pretty pissed when I found it, because they placed it in such a dramatic location.
- Eagle Shield, my first greatshield. According to my friend, it synergizes well with my spear, but it can't parry. Meh.

Green Titanite Shards

Found a whole bunch of these, for some reason. They don't seem all that special, but I just found it interesting how I ended up with 12 of the suckers by the time I finished exploring. The tubeworms tended to drop them pretty often, but I found them natively on corpses, as well.

Dragon Scale

Found this up the ramp where the swamp's bonfire is. I don't believe I have any "dragon" weapons (maybe my Dragon Crest Shield?...), but if I happen to find any, I suppose this is a pretty decent find.

Well, I needed at least two reasons to return to Firelink Shrine before I actually went there, and I got them.

After picking up so many pyromancy items, I actually considered dabbling in the art. I'm not sure if I'll end up committing to it, but I figure it's worth trying out either way. First thing's first, though: I need a pyromancy catalyst, and I know precisely where to find one. I rescued Laurentius of the Great Swamp from the Depths, so he should be safe and sound in Firelink Shrine--he should be able to teach me the ways of pyromancy.

Not to mention, heading there will also give me an opportunity to use my Fire Keeper Soul.
Last Edit: May 31, 2016, 02:08:10 PM by Verbatim