Dark Souls 3

Whew, finally made it through to the Friede boss fight, although I’m going to try that tomorrow. I still haven’t been down to the lower area yet either. This is a surprisingly large area, although admittedly I’m pretty slow! Couldn’t defeat the pyromancer dark spirit, I should be able to take him with a faster weapon but not sure it’s worth it as I presume he just drops some pyro stuff. Lots of really awesome weapons to be found but they all need faith or int scaling, and at this stage that’s a lot of grinding to get from 9 to 15 in one or both of them. I still haven’t found a weapon that I like, other than the Astora Straight Sword (long reach, nice arc, nice stagger, nice stab and WA, but too slow for some things) and the Longsword (as above, but a lot faster and less reach). The lack of slabs has put me off experimenting a bit.

Well it’s going better than I expected. I beat stage 1 on my first attempt, then died… and then it took me half a dozen more attempts before I even made a dent on stage 1 again. That’s because I couldn’t figure out how to avoid her invisibility attack… but once I learned it, it became an easy 2-3 punishing hits back. Anyway, once I got back to stage 2 again I managed to beat it, and then got stage 3 down to half health before… I ran out of estus! And apparently it won’t let me pop another ember, so that combined with her getting really pissed off meant the end of my optimistic attempt!

I feel like it’s possible though. And hey, I’ve got another slab! What to spend it on…? By the way, I did this last run just two-handing the Wolf Knight GS. Longsword is no good, won’t reach. Astora isn’t bad, but too slow. I tried parrying… yeah, right. WKGS felt good though.

Several more attempts, took Gael with me this time (as all the human summon signs I saw disappeared). Got to stage 3 twice, both times got her to about halfway. Burned through 1/3 of my remaining embers. I’m going to wait for a human summons now, pretty confident it can be done with someone who doesn’t keep running into her powerful dark explosions (looking at you Gael!).

Taking a break from Friede I found the Ringed City DLC bonfire and went to have a look. Didn’t get very far because I found an old lady selling a Splitleaf Greatsword. I had to have it. And oh boy, I’m in love already. I feel like a badass with this thing; great reach, and so fast, and the WA combo is totally nuts. Wrecked stage 1 Friede with it, but then died because I was having so much fun that I forgot to drink any estus. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.

I have never used it but I think that is considered one of the best weapons in the game when leveled up.

Yea, the problem with Friede is getting into that third stage with enough Estus.

I can get to Stage 3 more reliably with Gael there (he distracts Father in Stage 2, and that makes is easy to just go for Friede, because I hate the camera issues when Father is sitting on your face trying to AOE you), but as he usually dies within 10 seconds of starting Stage 3 it’s essentially a solo fight from that point anyway (and presumably she has more health, so it’s a toss-up whether Gael is worth it!). I’m getting better, last time I reached it with 10 estus left (out of 15), but she hits very hard, and that long-range frostbite spell doesn’t help either.

It’s a fun challenge though, unlike the NK boss fight which is my nemesis.

I still have this installed, FYI, although I wonder if my reflexes are still up to par after 20 hours of DS1.

I may yet need to call upon the power of the Kolbeast, but just a little longer…

Reinstalled on my new PC and I plan on buckling down and doing my best to finish off the ringed city. My souls journey is near its end, and I’m feeling a little melancholy about it. And more than a little lost re: gaming.

Maybe i’ll give Nioh or Ashen a shot. I hear the new star wars game out in November is taking some cues from dark souls.

Playing different genres has helped (Rebel Galaxy Outlaw, Oxygen Not Included), but the hole left from dark souls is not easily filled.

To be honest, I’ve been dragging my feet playing Demon’s Souls only sporadically, just because I don’t want any of this to end.

Maybe I’ll get lucky and they’ll announce some Sekiro DLC soon. And there’s monster hunter iceborn to look forward to…

That Remnant game is looking very interesting. Dark Souls with guns, so they say. Impressions seem good, looks great in videos, but I’ll wait for some release reviews.

But yes, Ringed City! Ok, let’s do this…

Ugh, well yes this is quite unpleasant. Not necessarily because it’s hard, but because my frame rate is down in the mid 20s! It makes it even harder.

Not sure what’s going in with my PC, this is a three year old game and my laptop well exceeds the recommended specs for it, yet 25 fps is just not on (this is at 1080p as well). I was having trouble with RG Outlaw too, that was throttling, but this is definitely not that. It’s just this area.

Anyway, I think I might be done with that. It’s dispiriting. I guess I can try turning the graphics down even further, it’s hardly going to look any worse; grey ash textures everywhere.

However, I still want to take down Sister Friede and then do the final main boss. Up for cooperation tomorrow (my time, so in about 12 hours or so) if anyone is interested.

Did you also play Lords of the Fallen yet? And The Surge?

I only started The Surge, it’s kind of neat, a science fiction spin on the Souls formula.

Lords of the Fallen I quite enjoyed. It’s definitely much easier than the Souls games, but it had it’s own unique atmosphere and gameplay spin.

In my experience, the biggest performance killer with laptops is heat.

Lords of the Fallen is no Dark Souls, but if you play it based on it’s own merits it is enjoyable.

That changes when you get out of the Dreg Heaps. It gets quite flowery in spots.

So, Alvina in DS1, Shalquoir in DS2…why is there no kitty in DS3?

I picked it up over the preview weekend and requested a refund. It may turn out to be good, but my initial impression was poor. Looked bad, controlled bad, and I think they are trying to get people interested by name dropping souls (worked on me) but it’s nowhere close to being compared favorably to a souls game. Reminded me of Hellgate London.

I haven’t played either of these, no.

So I went back and changed tactics, which usually seems to work. And yes, indeed it did. So, back to my trusty Astora and a decent shield made it much easier. Killed the angel, got to the second bonfire, killed that angel, and another, and then got my ass kicked by a pyromancer wearing a skimpy outfit. Oh well.

Incidentally for some reason the game was sticking mostly to 60 fps today, which certainly makes it a lot easier.

I did find a boss fight too. Seems easy enough if you can take one of them on. Two at once, though… yes, that’s going to require a bit of a think. Siegward style.

My list of undefeated bosses is getting longer by the day.

You made me picture Voldo from Soul Calibur.

Wow, you killed two angels? I accidentally found one of their “anchors” and killed it, but man was I ever not going to go fucking around in that swamp while getting mangled by the lightspears to find another one.

That boss…yeah, I tried it once or twice before calling in not one but two sunbros. That was at my nadir with the game, like man fuck this it’s just getting absurd, I just wanna be done. It wasn’t until I got well through the city proper that I felt good about things again. People talk about DS2 being just “hard for the sake of being hard,” but I (as a non-DS2 completer) still think that the Ringed City is just sadistic and mostly not really “fun”.

This ain’t giving me the motivation I need to get back in the "ring"ed city.

I killed three angels. The first is obvious. The second I was determined to find it, and fortunately a message helped while I was trying to find a place to hide. The third, in the swamp, was easily the most frustrating. I could see it fairly early, mostly by getting lucky, but trying to get there without dying or being cursed was a challenge. The rest of the swamp looks like a nightmare though, although considerably less nightmarish without those bolts of lightning flying everywhere.

While I enjoyed (am enjoying) Ariandel, this is definitely far more unforgiving and unsettling, which I guess is the intention. Yesterday I lost motivation with it, today I got it back but we’ll see how far it goes. Still, I’m enjoying both of these DLCs a lot more than any of the DS2 DLC.