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Elden Ring - chortlesome japes


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33 minutes ago, Flanders said:

It’s too fucking nice to you, to be blunt. The summons, no horrible runs from save point to boss, virtually limitless warping all over the shop. 
 

It hit home for me last night when I fought my first Godskin, for which you’re not allowed to summon ashes, and realised that this was the first enemy in the entire game that I hated and called a cunt repeatedly and I loved it.

 

Stop using Summons.

That's absolutely on you.

My NG+ run, I took both summons and flask of wondrous physick out of my down d-pad quick select and promptly completely forgot about them. There's more dynamic difficulty options in this game like these buffs and aids and it's all the better for it.  

 

I think you can even sell the summons ash? Get them sold! 

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The use of ashes can definitely be seen as a player-instigated difficulty select - and that's fine. One player's boring cakewalk is another's rebalanced challenge, after all. And it's not like there aren't other ways to tailor your experience further - keep the ashes but wear some worse equipment, or chug some health flasks before going through a fog door. ;) Or just don't use the ashes. 

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I disagree that not using the ashes is the answer. That's on the game to balance, not the player, and its unfair to suggest that this is in the player's hands. The penalty for using ashes should be higher, or the reward for not using them should be greater. The playing field is too level right now and there should be a distinction between whether you used ashes or not. How about kill a boss, don't use ashes and you get their weapon drop already fully levelled. Something like that.

 

The game is definitely too lenient in many ways which does affect its longevity. Yes I know we're all putting in a couple hundred of hours the first time, but this isn't a Dark Souls or Bloodborne that will keep pulling you back and pushing that into the thousands of hours. It just doesn't have the bite or masochistic pull of From's best. I miss the feeling of perfecting that loop of Burg>Blightown>Sen's etc and being obsessively intimate with the world. Elden Ring doesn't connect in the same way.

 

It's incredible and an amazing game but please let their next game be more linear and challenging.

 

 

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Interesting you disagree @Uncle Nasty, the spirit summons to me seem like the most obvious player controlled difficulty slider they've added to date!

 

Its an infinite summon, that is massively tanky compared to a resource-using player summon, that does an excellent job of pulling aggro. 

 

When I feel the urge to return to the game, I am defo going summonless for a more interesting challenge. 

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19 minutes ago, Uncle Nasty said:

I disagree that not using the ashes is the answer. That's on the game to balance, not the player, and its unfair to suggest that this is in the player's hands. The penalty for using ashes should be higher, or the reward for not using them should be greater. The playing field is too level right now and there should be a distinction between whether you used ashes or not. How about kill a boss, don't use ashes and you get their weapon drop already fully levelled. Something like that.


This is exactly my outlook, I simply don’t go in for altering the game’s difficulty by ignoring its mechanics - and there is no doubt the summons are a core mechanic, they’re one of the main rewards you get for completing dungeons and beating bosses. 
 

The beauty of From games for me is that they push you by default, without any need to set your own parameters. I didn’t need to ignore any of Sekiro’s mechanics for its boss fights to be epic, or take all my armour off in Demon’s Souls to make the Valley of Defilement a masterclass of agony. 

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23 minutes ago, robdood said:

Interesting you disagree @Uncle Nasty, the spirit summons to me seem like the most obvious player controlled difficulty slider they've added to date!

 

Its an infinite summon, that is massively tanky compared to a resource-using player summon, that does an excellent job of pulling aggro. 

 

When I feel the urge to return to the game, I am defo going summonless for a more interesting challenge. 

 

Thing is though, as @Flanderssaid, ashes are a core mechanic and new ashes are a major reward for defeating bosses or completing dungeons. Having the player make the decision to use them or not undermines the reward/satisfaction for clearing catacombs or killing certain bosses. The entire game's foundations start to get weaker. The game should be balanced enough that the player is still challenged and rewarded whether they use ashes or not. Imagine a different ending and rare/exotic drop for completing all bosses with no ashes used.

 

Definitely on the same page as @Flanderswith this one.

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These games have always had player summons that you could choose to use or ignore. You might even find other players who will do the whole fight for you. That's a core mechanic, but also easy to just not do.

 

ER is more flexible as an RPG than any of the previous games. There are so many different ways of approaching boss battles that aren't ash summons. You might want to save all your FP for magic attacks and skills. The rewards for completing bosses aren't just ashes either, they're weapons and spells - all options you may or may not want to use.

 

Maybe it's fair to say ashes are too powerful, and should cost more - draining FP over time, perhaps. But I'd rather just have all these different possibilities and find the approach that works best for me. I didn't use ashes on all boss battles because sometimes I was enjoying the challenge without, but there are far too many to be getting stuck for ages on every one.

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Oh don't get me wrong, I think ultimately the ashes made the game way too 'nice'. But that is also clearly their purpose. They are there to make sure everyone moves through the enormous, difficult game at a consistent pace without too much frustration. 

 

 

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I think the problem I have with Ash Summons and NPC summons in this game is that some bosses definitely seem designed with them in mind, particularly group bosses. Since Godrick I stopped using ashes for 99% of bosses but still took NPC summons in where I thought I needed them. But some of those fights I dread to think how long they would have taken me solo.

 

I definitely agree that I feel like I've missed out on a fun part of the game by not using ashes in bosses though. I have meticulously combed the world and have accumulated over 20-30 ashes, half of which I've never even tried. I relish open world areas where I can summon them and put them to use! 

 

As for bosses where I have used NPC summons, in some cases it was because I was underlevelled where I needed their help, but others where without them the fights would be a total nightmare. Here's the bosses I used NPC summons for so far:

Spoiler
  • Godrick - Nepheli, dies in 2nd phase but helps with first.
  • Magma Wyrm in cave leading up to Altus Plateau - The crab guy + the fatty guy with the big hammer. Would have never done it without them
  • Radhan - everyone!
  • Morgott - Melina, didn't really need her but wanted to for the story
  • Godskin Nobles - The Recusant knight guy who was a big help in drawing aggro. Again I doubt I could have done this without some kind of summon.
  • Note that I was going to take D in for my fight against the dual gargoyles, but by the time I'd returned to do them, I'd finished D's questline so he didn't appear :(

 

Pretty much any of the dual/triple boss fights would have been way easier with ashes!

 

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If this game didn't have summons I'd have bounced off ages ago. I'm not interested in a punishing difficulty with no tools to progress other than keep practicing. I don't have the time for that any more!

 

Tonight I did Melenia! Yay! Probably the most attempts on a boss since Rom the wanker spider in Bloodborne. I think this boss is BS quite frankly and I never want to see her again. 

I did resort to summoning a human and letting them take the agro, but a wins a win and I'll take that. 

 

I also beat the Beast Man, though this one was pretty much on my own. Took a few attempts and it came down to the wire on my successful run. The horse sentinel thing patrolling outside the fog door won't get a good performance review, letting me run by like that and then kill the boss. 

 

Just the Dragonlord to go, which I got one hit away from killing just now, and then I'll go back to the story. So close now...

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I've hit a bit of a brick wall now with being solo, 4 bosses are currently impeding my progress and I don't think there's anywhere left to go. Its the usual story - not enough DPS so very long fights that I can't live for long enough. Even after nearly maxing out a bunch of different weapons. Might need to start using weapon arts to get a leg up, or maybe break into my rune supplies and level up (I'm about level 135 now).

 

Stats wise I already have over 40 Dex and nearly 40 Faith, and my main weapons are all focused on one or both of those stats, so I don't feel like I should be that underpowered. I suppose I could re-spec and take 20 Faith and put it into Dex instead or vice versa to get more DPS, what do you think?

 

Here's the bosses I'm stuck on

Spoiler

- Beast Priest/Maliketh: I can survive to phase 2 then die, I usually have no flasks left. I do have the anti-Maliketh blade deflector but haven't had a chance to try it yet

- Moghwyn: I can get to phase 2 but only get to about half his HP on that phase. I am now using the Mogh bindings to help speed up phase 1. 

- Dragon Fortisax (or whatever he's called). Probably the most do-able boss on the list, I do crap damage but can survive for a long time. Usually get caught out by big AOE attacks that one-shot me.

- Malenia: One to return to at the end, methinks! 

 

There is one place I have left to explore, the fabled

Spoiler

plateau in the east of Liurnia. Is it possible for me to get there now or do I need to wait?

 

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16 minutes ago, rgraves said:

 

So, basically, you want the game to be worse for some players because you can't self control?

 

I find this attitude mental - if it's helps some people, if it makes the game better for them, if it means they get to see and play more of it, how on earth can that be bad? It's all 100% entirely optional - if you want to, you could never summon, never use any armour, never use a single weapon, take on every naked etc etc. You can make it has hard as you want, so why on earth insist on removing the option to make it easier for players that want that as well?

 

The "playing field is too level" is absolute bullshit. It's *awesome* seeing how many players in this have hit certain achievements, it's awesome seeing how this game is helping people along and getting them deeper into the game than they probably ever would have otherwise.

 

2 minutes ago, Blunted said:

It's the new version of "you shouldn't jolly co-op for bosses in Dark Souls". 

 

Try using some willpower if you think ashes are ruining the game for you.

 

Absolutely all of this!

I think this is also the first From game where you can sell your equipment? It makes it even easier than ever to not use these things and just turn them into runes and get them in the bin. 

The game is a sandbox by design. It's not the designer's job to design a game that corresponded exactly to what one person has decided it should be in their mind and opinion .

 

on an aside, I continue to loathe the use of the term "flaw" when it comes to game design.

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I think my point is a bit misunderstood - the more friendly aspects of Elden Ring definitely contribute to why it’s one of the greatest games of all time. It’s amazing that they’ve managed to come up with ways to make Dark Souls easier without massively compromising the core of the game.

 

I’m just saying it has (so far anyway) come at the cost of those super highs of the other From games. I’m rubbish at games and the thrill of Souls was being forced into a challenge, not creating the challenge myself through self-imposing arbitrary rules (which you can do in any game really).

 

And of course you can summon in Souls, but summoning items are rare and there’s always the risk there won’t be anyone available. I remember the fear of wasting a humanity on a summon for a boss and then instantly fucking up the minute I traversed the mist…

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I do tend to agree about the positioning of graces FWIW, there were very few "oh fuck where is the next one" moments and I do feel like that was slightly detrimental to the experience.

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The ashes are also something else exciting to find and level up. I loved them. I think the boss designs almost require them, with multiple projectiles and almost Bloodborne levels of agility (without having that agility yourself). If you can beat them without hats off, but I certainly appreciated them. 

 

Plus this is the first From game where I cared less about the combat than ever before (even though it was brilliant). The level design truly trumps everything else. It was always brilliant, but in this game it is GOAT. Both in, and out of the open world. The art director and level design director must have been sat side by side and shared lunch, as it is weaved perfectly. 

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The jelly fish one that you get first is also the ultimate aggro-distraction too. 
You get the combat dynamic of having another player there to help engage with the other boss, but it doesn't really do anything. 

It totally is a sandbox and you can do some cool shit with the summons. Like the shield guys who can act as a big tanky mob. It's great, and if you hate them, bin them! 

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I’d like it if you were forced to mix up your summons. Maybe different ashes work in different areas. 
 

I’d kind of be up for that with weapons as well. Breath of the Wild definitely had a very strong concept with the weapons breaking and forcing you to use anything you find but it went a bit too over the top with how brittle they were.
 

An Elden Ring dungeon where you get dropped in and told ‘you only use this weapon, master it to beat the level’ would be cool. 

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Spoiler

Elden Beast

left to go and I'm getting absolutely nowhere with it as a Magic user. Don't want to respec as I've spent 210 hours blundering through without using Rune Arcs, Great Runes, any armour apart from my bandit starting outfit, Ashes of War properly and so on. Yes, I know I should look into those things now but I'm nothing if not stubborn. I'm Level 152 with stats as follows: Vigor 57, Mind 22, Endurance 22, Strength 18, Dexterity 21, Intelligence 62, Faith 17, Arcane 14. 

 

I'm guessing that I've been a bit stupid with my spec...Feel free to mock my ignorance.

 

Edit: And of course, 30 minutes later it's down.  Praise the Sun!

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3 hours ago, SuperCapes said:

The level design truly trumps everything else. It was always brilliant, but in this game it is GOAT. Both in, and out of the open world. The art director and level design director must have been sat side by side and shared lunch, as it is weaved perfectly. 

 

Oof, dunno if I agree about the level design. I craved for something as intricately woven as Blightown or as deliberately perverse as Sen's. Even something as precarious as the Great Hollow. Elden Ring certainly had its moments, but I still think Dark Souls is unmatched for its breathtakingly sadistic level design and structure.

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I got started on my second character today. As planned, it's dexterity-based, and I want to get more ranged combat in. I've got the basic bow, I've got the hookclaws and rapier as my current/alt close-range weapon, and I'm also restocking on throwing knives a lot. I'm already seeing the damage from repeated arrows or knives, and it's ace, but I'm going to miss the satisfaction of greatswords. :D  I'm up to the Academy but RWoR was a problem, so I retreated for now...

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Thought this might be an appropriate weekend to get the platinum so I just need to get the default ending on NG++ and I'm done. 

 

I was very surprised how goddamn easy NG+ was, Demon's Souls remake kicked my arse second time through. 

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I hit a bit of a wall a few weeks ago that led to me playing some other stuff, but I went back today and decided to explore some other areas. Naturally I've now discovered about three substantial new locations, finally got my hands on the Mimic ashes you've all been going on about (70 hours in!), and I'm back to loving this again.

 

I also had a bit of a facepalm moment when I realised the other half of the Dectus medallion wasn't where I thought it was. Not only that, it was at a location I'd already discovered tens of hours ago.

 

I then had a second facepalm moment when I finally activated the grand lift itself, then stepped off to find it just took me somewhere else I'd already been. Nice to see there are so many options for progression at least.

 

Oh, and now I'm somewhere completely horrible and putting my scarlet rot remedies to good use. :D

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On 02/06/2022 at 23:32, Qazimod said:

I got started on my second character today. As planned, it's dexterity-based, and I want to get more ranged combat in. I've got the basic bow, I've got the hookclaws and rapier as my current/alt close-range weapon, and I'm also restocking on throwing knives a lot. I'm already seeing the damage from repeated arrows or knives, and it's ace, but I'm going to miss the satisfaction of greatswords. :D  I'm up to the Academy but RWoR was a problem, so I retreated for now...

 

Did RWoR - and also went and did SR. SR was tricky up until I remembered my own advice (don't even bother going in while his meteors are out, make the most of the allies, etc..) Getting ranged hits on bosses is hard when they're so mobile though. I also took a big detour for bell-bearings so that I could +6 some nice dexterity weapons (the rapier I started out with, the bow I'm using and a flail that's good for bleed) - then having dealt with SR I went after RWoR, who was much more straightforward after the upgrades.

 

It's not much easier or harder than my strength boi's adventure so far, but the weapons already seem more interesting than the "big sword" types I was using before.

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Gah, don't you hate it when you know you should be able to do a boss but you keep getting caught out by cheap shots and poorly timed rolls. 

 

I my case it's Dragonlord whatshisface. I just want to smash him so I can move through to the next area. All his moves are so telegraphed but I still get wiped out when he goes a little mad in phase 2. 

 

PS - I'm only posting this to channel the Law of Forums, when you post that something is difficult and then complete it on your next try. 

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