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Diego
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And Gaping Dragon is down.

 

Man, those Depths are gut-churningly tense. Don't think I explored half of it - once I had lucked out on finding the route to the boss, I stuck to it until I beat the little darling. Got to admit, I made a few mistakes - I took Solaire in with me for the very first time. Probably should have gone the Bell Gargoyle route and taken a few deaths in the arena to get my eye in, but no, I took him in first time. Without taking out the magic bolt guy on the balcony. And with over 11,000 souls under my belt.

 

Yeah. It didn't go well. Solaire got vanquished pretty quickly, and shortly afterwards, so did I. But knowing those 11,000 souls were there gave me a steely determination to get those suckers back.

 

So I went back. And back. And back. And back. Took me five tries altogether, but in the end I came out of there with 49,000 souls. Ooh mama. Another three strength level-ups and I'll be able to handle the Black Knight Greatsword one-handed. (Assuming I understand the stats correctly, that is, which I possibly don't.) Oh and oh and oh - I vanquished Kirk Spiky Knight. This has been a good session.

 

But man - those Depths. And they're not the worst, from what I gather. Nowhere near.

 

*Checks next destination on AB's list of recommended areas*

 

Oh. Great.

 

Think I'll be taking the back route to that place.

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So, after a looooong break I decided to play DkS again. I got cursed on my second descent (I love Descent...) in that certain place... So I thought I might go to the New Londo Ruins anyways. Is it just me or do the ghosts have really weird hitboxes?

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I decided to play DkS again.

This is playthrough #2, right? ;)

 

My only experience of New Londo Ruins so far has been doing the suicide run to get the Very Useful Item. Didn't hang around long enough to get a handle on the ghosts' hitboxes I'm afraid.

 

Me, I'm still in Blighttown. I may have committed an unforgiveable act in that, after 1-2 hours trudging wearily around the swamp, I annoyed-quit (the experience was too tiresome to count as rage) and reverted to an earlier savegame (thanks DSfix). Got tooled up with various arrows/bolts and the rusted iron ring and went back in and had a much better in the swamp. Haven't fought the boss yet (or even got the Another Very Useful Item Like The One In NLR), but I'll get there.

 

My main beef now is with those wooden platforms - is it just me, or is it impossible to slow walk on them? My feet keep getting trapped in those wretched slats and I've fallen to death at least half-a-dozen times trying to get free. Up till now I've felt DkS has rewarded me for taking things carefully and slowly, but either it's now changed the rules or it's just got crummy game engine mechanics. Or am I just whining? [/whine]

 

At least that main gate route is optional. I had a fantasy of taking out all the enemies on those platforms with range attacks, but now - no.

 

Quelaag! Your arachnoid behind will soon be mine oh that just sounds so wrong

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No, it's not just you. Those scaffoldings just have messed up collision detection... as I said earlier, Blighttown was really the first area I've been to that actually made me feel frustrated.

 

Also, arachnoid? Don't tell me there'll be spiders...

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Yeah, Bt was the first time it felt like the game design sucked rather than my playing abilities. I'm fine with the swamp part - it took a while but I got there - and it is good for teaching you that getting poisoned isn't the end of the world. But those platforms....anyway.

Don't tell me there'll be spiders...

Er...have you rung the second bell yet? :ph34r:

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No. I went from the swamp area right to New Londo and skipped that one area

(well, actually I went from the swamp to that hidden place, got cursed and thought I might as well go to New Londo since I can fight those ghosts).

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Ah.

 

Well, the good news is, there aren't spiders.

 

Just one. One very very big one.

 

This may not help, but for me she's been the easiest boss fight so far - I got her second time in, with no help at all. (Sorry if it sounds like I'm boasting, but believe me, I was more surprised than anyone.)

 

But - yeah. It's a spider boss. And you have to beat her to ring the bell and open Sen's Fortress. Which is where I'm now dying nineteen-to-the-dozen.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Currently poddling around in Anor Londo. Really enjoying picking totally unnecessary fights with the sentinels (or cheesing them with wooden bolts), and just had a fanTAStic session with Ormsberg and Smew. Laurel and Hardy. You know the guys. Only my third round with em, and this time I concentrated on dodging and hiding behind pillars instead of piling in and getting whomped within 20 seconds like the previous two times.

 

This time - I lasted 3-4 minutes. Got through all my estus. And on both of them I inflicted absolutely no damage whatsoever. IT WAS FUN. I suspect Occult Club may not be the weapon of choice, though. But then again I could probably rain down the Carpet Bombs of Sif on their heads and I'd still miss.

 

This is a great game.

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You're now ahead of me again :)

I never really recovered from Blighttown it seems...

I killed the spider and rang the second bell last time, also got my curse lifted in the New Londo Ruins. Haven't really made my way into Sen's Fortress, mainly because I got distracted by other games.

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You're now ahead of me again :) ...mainly because I got distracted by other games.

I'm playing only DS at the moment, mostly cuz I really like it, but also, I think that I'm still developing Xbox controller muscle memory, and if I go off and play a 'normal' game, I think all the KBM muscle memory will come flooding back and the Xbox muscle memory will dissipate and vanish like a bagful of souls in Sen's Fortress. Yes, I really do think this might happen. Someone, please, help.

 

Anyways, plan is to keep having a go at the Chuckle Brothers while trying to (i) last more than three minutes, and (ii) land at least one hit on at least one of them, then give up and try clearing out Darkroot Garden & Basin. Or do something else.

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Ormsberg and Smew

 

You always want to kill Ornstein first because when one dies the other gets their health back along with the powers of the dead one. If Smough (fat dude) dies first, Ornstein (cool dude) grows huge but remains as fast and doubles his damage, whereas if Ornstein dies first Smough just stays the same but deals lightning damage and has a new AoE butt-slam. Generally you want to let Ornstein come at you, since he's fastest, and deal as much damage to him as you can before Smough appears, then run over to the other side and repeat it, always running away once the two of them are together. If you can't kite them well enough, you can always summon Solaire from the landing on the stairs in the main hall outside, on the opposite side to where you come in. He'll usually aggro one or both or them, leaving you to hack away at Ornstein's back.

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You always want to kill Ornstein first

Ah, cool. I knew there was one it was better to kill first but could never remember which.

 

I'm now calling them Zippy and Porkchop. I will aim to kill Zippy first according to the following plan: -

010 Check whether I'm still alive

020 If YES, go to 040

030 If NO, DIE

040 Land hit on Zippy

LOOP

I've missed out the subroutines about running away and squealing like a four-year-old girl at regular intervals cuz they pretty much take care of themselves.

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I prefer taking Snorlax out first.

At the moment I'm at the stage where I'd prefer not to die within five seconds of landing a hit on Zippy-Snorlax-Oh-please-just-leave-me-alone-for-TWO-NANO-SECONDS-gordon-bennett, but haven't developed the skills to feel like I have much of a choice yet. :P

 

In other news, I'm think of getting Trine/Trine 2 in the Steam sale to play as a break from Dark Souls. It looks a bit like DS, only nicer and kinder and gentler.

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I'd never compare DS to Trine... Trine is more akin to Lost Vikings I'd say. It's a puzzle platformer basically. Not really my type of games so I can't say whether it's any good.

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Trine is essentially Limbo in sparkly nipple tassels of -5 melancholy.

And sold. Really got into Limbo a while back until the atmosphere of grinding hopeless horror overwhelmed the enjoyment of the gameplay. (I had a similar experience with Dishonored, and tbh it may yet happen with DS.) You should go into games marketing, AB. Heck, maybe you already are. :P

 

Back in AL - did a Solaire summons for Zippy & Porkchop and got Zippy down in about a minute. Alas, Solaire got vanquished fairly soon after, and then I stupidly misjudged a hammer blow while having my HP only just over half-full and followed him into (temporary) oblivion. For the first time I went in in tank mode, i.e. full armour and Black Knight Greatsword, so I was right on the 50% limit but could still medium roll. Up till then I'd gone in on 25% fast-roll set-up (claymore +10, minimal armour), but rarely got very far in inflicting any damage. May try a few more solo runs in tank mode and see whether I get any further.

 

Felt slightly guilty for a bit as I thought I had contributed to Solaire's demise by not drinking estus, but I've just read on the wiki that npc health isn't boosted by that, only friendly player summons. So, y'know, stuff him (until I need him again anyway).

 

Still - Ormstein killed and Smough down to 30% health. That's progress.

Did we really need three Hex Sorcerers in a single room to start off with?

Never been there but I can confidently state, yes, whatever was in there was exactly what was needed.

 

Understand this - Dark Souls knows what we need better than we know ourselves. Dark Souls takes our hand, cuts our hand off, turns it into a giant poisoned spiky ball-hand and uses it to smash us to a pulp, then kicks our broken body into the depths of a gaping abyss and hurls the giant poisoned spiky ball-hand onto what remains of our pulverised corpse. And it does it because it loves us and only wants to make us stronger.

 

We love you Dark Souls.

 

Stockholm Syndrome? No, never heard of it. No idea what you're talking about. La la la la laa la, la la la la laa la.

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You should go into games marketing, AB.

 

I get that a lot. I'm always inadvertently coercing people into getting games by comparing them to other good ones. It's not bait and switch though, since I don't recommend dross. Mind you, if I did get into games marketing I'd probably end up being forced into talking like an 80s surfer dude by the out of touch companies presenting at E3 (

)

 

 

Still - Ormstein killed and Smough down to 30% health.

 

4d2804229b.gif

 

Also I'm fairly sure that the Undead Crypt referred to is the one in DkS2 which becomes a nightmare later on, until you figure out for whom exactly the bell tolls. I'm not that mixed about DkS2 compared to most. While I've happily marathoned it through a few times through sleepless nights, it's definitely not quite as there as DkS1 was, and yet it is in some ways and isn't in others. I'd say it's just as good, only very different and lacking in terms of what you see (level design, lore, enemy design) but improved in terms of gameplay and far longer to boot. The argument that it's any easier is only coming from people who've played DkS1 to death first and 2 being very similar. If you knew what you were doing in 1, 2 is a cakewalk for the first half and immediately becomes more difficult, far more so on NG+ compared to DkS1. I've a character in 1 on NG+7 that is having a far, far easier time of it than the one I have in 2 on NG+2 (maybe due to a bunch of new enemies and items being added in NG+ in 2, whereas 1 just changed health and damage values). There's also far more variety for tons of different playthrough styles and plenty of optional stuff, and this is all without DLC that's sure to come since there's already a Season Pass for it on Steam. I think if anybody enjoys 1 it's a given to just get 2 and ignore the people saying it's too easy and not as bleak, because frankly it isn't too easy after it gets going and if I want bleak I'll put Silent Hill 2 back into my PS2 for the X hundredth time.

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OK - giving up on O&S to go and level up so I can get some soul arrow action going. After a dozen goes with Solaire, it fell into a pattern of:

1. Zippy goes down.

2. Solaire follows fairly soon after.

3. I circle Super Smurf around a pillar chipping away at his health until

4. I misjudge his distance and/or he gets me with his Electric Butt Stomp.

Tried a few different ranged attacks, but couldn't get any to work - not even dragonslayer arrows seemed to penetrate (unless I was using the bow wrong). Even went to get some dung pies cuz the wiki said they could work, but I just ended up poisoning myself more than anyone else. Soooo....gonna have a break and do some farming in Darkroot. Haven't put anything into Intelligence yet, so I just need one more level to be able to start wielding magic if I'm understanding the system correctly, which I'm probably not but hey, them's the breaks.

 

After I finish this, I'll buy DS2 which by then will cost £0.79 on Steam and keep me going till mid-century.

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You're understanding the system just fine, but it's not recommended to go into a different class' levels if you're already fairly far along with another. Levels end up expensive enough as is. If I were you, I'd put levels into what you're already going with (STR or DEX, I forget) until you hit the hard cap at level 40-50, where levels essentially stop being worth it. It seems to me like you're pretty close to beating them, and they're generally thought to be the hardest boss in the game, except for maybe one of the DLC bosses. I'd just suggest to keep at it, or farm if you really feel you need to but only to improve your equipment or raise the same levels you have been doing, because leveling INT will leave you with really weak sorcery damage and massively increased leveling costs.

 

My gameplay is hardly gospel (quite the opposite) but see if you can pick anything up from how I beat 'em, bearing in mind I had both low damage and low defense (substituting the pyromancies for your Ornstein strategy). http://youtu.be/nCWHx83WioU?t=49m6s

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Yeah, you're right. Did one level up of INT and realised it'd take ages to get very far with it. But I can now cast soul arrows!!! Which may come in useful. For something. Ooh, look, a squirrel.

 

Good video - I'm just not very good at being nimble, and I still suck at combat without target lock being on, both of which contribute to me getting killed about 95% of the time Super Smough does his EBS. But yeah, I'll carry on building up strength and equipment and hope I'll eventually be able to bludgeon SS into submission. Mind you, I could easily spend ages just exploring Darkroot. I finally managed to do a complete circuit around the edge of the forest behind the Crest of Artorias (which I probably won't bother doing again - I don't mind fighting the humans but all those ents are a chore). That place is huge - I found the bridge overlooking the Hydra and the ladder which I guess leads down to it but chickened out for the night. Maybe tomorrow...

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