The Video Game Thread: What are you Playing?

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Isator Levi

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Oh, another thing Elden Ring put in that I think is pretty neat; a version of Dark Souls II's dual wielding, which was the most comprehensive in the series. I don't know if it has the stat requirements that Power Stances did, but at the very least I've seen how it provides the option to equip separate weapons of the same category to each hand and turns L1 into a series of double attack combos (compared to III, where only some weapons came as a dual set and they were the equivalent of double handing regular weapons).
 

urbwar

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So I bought Europa Universalis IV and most, if not all, the DLC this morning via Humble Bundle. For 25 bucks, I figured it was worth getting (iirc, someone here posted that if you have Crusader Kings II, you can continue your game). I also snagged the original four X-Com games for 5 bucks. Now to just have time to try and play them
 

The Butcher

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I'm excited cause Tiny Tina's Wonderlands comes out in an hour and 13 minutes. Unfortunately I also have to do a stream for work in an hour and 13 minutes.
Let me know what you think of it when you get around to playing it. I’d love to get it but I’m short on both money and time.
 

Brock Savage

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We're having a lot of fun on Elden Ring just hanging out on Discord without joining each other's games. We don't bother with multiplayer except to help one another bang out a boss.
 

Isator Levi

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We're having a lot of fun on Elden Ring just hanging out on Discord without joining each other's games. We don't bother with multiplayer except to help one another bang out a boss.
Sounds like a good way to do it.

They do seem like particularly good games to constantly update people on your progress about. My doing that for Bloodborne is why I own an Elgato; the Let's Play of Dark Souls III was a total failure even by the very low bar I set myself, but I still record loads of footage of stuff I play for the sake of more detailed accounts and personal enjoyment.
 

Brock Savage

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Memba' that Gygaxian miserycrawl Tomb of Horrors? Last night's Elden Ring dungeon, Fringefolk Hero's Grave, felt like that. It was a gauntlet of death and despair.
 

Brock Savage

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I am feeling stuck and would appreciate some advise on what to do next. I am concerned that playing a meathead warrior who relies on a lot of blocking is a newbie trap. I desperately need to up my Dodge Roll game.

Lordsworn's Greatsword +7 (War Cry) (Heavy)
Brass Shield (Barricade Shield)
Vagabond Knight Set
Green Turtle Talisman

I am currently allocating points into Vigor and Strength at a 2:3 ratio.

Vigor 24
Endurance 20 (medium load)
Strength 29

How deep did you get?
I got Erdtree's Favor and called it a night at 3am.
 
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Isator Levi

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I am feeling stuck and would appreciate some advise on what to do next. I am concerned that playing a meathead warrior who relies on a lot of blocking is a newbie trap. I desperately need to up my Dodge Roll game.
Dodging is definitely useful, but I honestly feel that with Guard Counters this game is more accommodating to people relying on their shields than ever before (although depending on the attacks that it's against, one needs to have an idea of how far into the enemy combo it's safe to respond, and enough stamina and shield power to last against it).

You've actually got more stats than I do in some areas, and a Talisman and Incantation that I've never heard of. The Brass Shield seems to be one of the best non-heavy ones in the game.

I'm gonna put a question behind spoiler stuff to get a sense of where you're at:

Are you having trouble fighting Margit?
 

Brock Savage

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You've actually got more stats than I do in some areas, and a Talisman and Incantation that I've never heard of. The Brass Shield seems to be one of the best non-heavy ones in the game.

The Green Turtle Talisman raises stamina recovery speed. It's great! You can get it in Summonwater Village in northeast Limgrave. There is an easy world boss who summons undead. Bring a Stonesword Key.

War Cry increases attack by like 5% for 20 seconds. You can find it in Warmaster's Shack in Stormhill.

I just killed Night's Cavalry at Weeping Peninsula and got Barricade Shield which increases guard boost by 36 on a shield for 6 seconds.

Are you having trouble fighting Margit?
I fought them 4 times. First time I almost downed them then the next 3 were disasters where I got them down to half at best. I need to fight them while fresh and not at the tail end of a day-long session.
 
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Isator Levi

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The Green Turtle Talisman raises stamina recovery speed
Makes sense they'd have something like that again. I could sure use one of them... ah well, I'll make do.
I fought them 4 times. First time I almost downed them then the next 3 were disasters where I got them down to half at best. I need to fight them while fresh and not at the tail end of a day-long session.
Probably. I presume you've had friends, so you can't use ashes the way I did, but if you find it's too much I think you'll find something very helpful if you follow the river north of where that lake with the dragon is.
 

Brock Savage

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Probably. I presume you've had friends, so you can't use ashes the way I did, but if you find it's too much I think you'll find something very helpful if you follow the river north of where that lake with the dragon is.
Fucking bastard disappeared before I could buy it. I left to grind the 5,000 runes and he was gone when I returned.
 

EmperorNorton

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Let me know what you think of it when you get around to playing it. I’d love to get it but I’m short on both money and time.
Well, I had the weekend off and was pet sitting for my parents so just sat on my laptop playing all weekend. Just got home so here is the opinion:

Very good. I'm mostly going to compare it to past Borderlands and what it does that I think were straight up improvements.

All the classes actually seem to have good points to them, I think a couple are more powerful than the others, but none of them felt like "why would I even take this". The ability to dual class to get your second tree is really fun cause it gives you way more build options (6 class skill trees, you pick any two, so you have 15 combinations). As you can always respect to change your second class, you don't have to have all 15 of them as separate characters, if you want to be able to experiment with all of them you just have to have a level 40 with each as a base class. They also added a "feat" to each class, which was a neat change, giving each of them a stronger identity at early levels (spellshot which I use for instance gives you a stack of the spellweaving status each time you reload or cast a spell, and increases your spell damage based on number of stacks).

Speaking of level 40, I thought I'd hate the lower max base game starting level, but actually I really thought it was a good choice. 40 is enough levels to feel like it matters. Speaking of leveling: There is no second playthrough that scales to your level. Instead the game always scales to your level. So you can never outlevel content. This means you can do a bunch of sidequests, or you can rush the main story and come back to them, and either way you never get that point where you are blasting through parts of the game and it is boring cause none of the equipment is your level and you are barely gaining experience because everything is way under you. Also, hitting level 40 during your one playthrough should be trivial. I saved a bunch of sidequests to do after the final boss and I was in the mid 30s when I finished. Had I kept doing sidequests/collectables before doing the last boss rather than saving them for after, I would have hit 40 pretty easily.

Additionally, adding a melee weapon slot seems like a much needed change to the series, and one of the changes I hope they bring back to the main game. Melee scaling always being based on just base level in BL always made some things wonky.

And for the most fun change to me: Grenades were replaced with spells. They are no longer based on an ammo, they are instead cooldown based (some have multiple charges as well). This change is wild. It is like having an extra action skill that is customizable. (or in the case of the spellshot, you can have your action skill be ambihextrous which lets you equip two spells instead of having an action skill, so two customizable action skills).

I have a combination of gear and skills where I'm constantly casting spells, shooting, meleeing, as they all kind of feed into each other in this really fun way.

As for the story: It is really fun. There are a lot of silly jokes and references. There aren't really the strong stakes though for obvious reasons (it is just a group of people playing a game around a table), but it is a very fun little jaunt.
 

Brock Savage

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Probably. I presume you've had friends, so you can't use ashes the way I did
At the time of writing I have better luck against bosses playing solo and summoning Ashes than fighting with friends. The main advantage of playing with friends has been shared information.
 

Isator Levi

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I can see that. I think if everybody knows what they're doing summons can be very useful, but losing the sense of who the boss is pointed at can certainly be a liability.

I used those imp ashes that can be chosen at the start to great effect (they've got magic at range and bleeding weapons close up, and their size can make them a bit tricky to hit). There is somewhere to buy them, but it would be a bit out of the way.
Fucking bastard disappeared before I could buy it. I left to grind the 5,000 runes and he was gone when I returned.
That's just typical of him, isn't it? I think it's possible he'll come back.

Just to ask, have you been breaking glowing skulls?
 

Voros

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I am feeling stuck and would appreciate some advise on what to do next. I am concerned that playing a meathead warrior who relies on a lot of blocking is a newbie trap. I desperately need to up my Dodge Roll game.

Lordsworn's Greatsword +7 (War Cry) (Heavy)
Brass Shield (Barricade Shield)
Vagabond Knight Set
Green Turtle Talisman

I am currently allocating points into Vigor and Strength at a 2:3 ratio.

Vigor 24
Endurance 20 (medium load)
Strength 29


I got Erdtree's Favor and called it a night at 3am.

Blocking is good early game and strategically later but you need to keep your Dodge Roll light, you're better rolling like a maniac rather than blocking, especially when dealing with mobs and bosses.

For mobs I prefer to use a highly upgraded bow and pick them off one at a time or lure them to me one at a time. I've just got the Serpent Bow and plan to upgrade that mother as poison (and bleed) is one of my fav things in PvE.

From your stats you're still pretty mid-level, there are areas and bosses that are still going to be way too powerful for you. The key is your damage output, if you're taking off slivers chances are you are in the wrong place at the wrong time: come back later.

I just got my ass kicked numerous times by Comander O'Neil in the Swamp of Aeonia, I've been walking through a lot of catacomb bosses with my Bloodfang+4 and Rockslide spell and Meteorite Staff (I go for a fighter/mage build first runs) so I got too cocky but realize I'm probably 10-15 levels too low still to take this guy one-on-one without any summons (no one is laying down signs, either because of the location, the boss or because I'm too low level to find anyone).

Edit to add: Ah, that boss, I'm a big believer in using summons if a boss is a roadblock. I summoned two rando players and we stomped him.

Laying down your summon symbol is also a great way to collect runes and rune arcs (which are an awesome buff later in the game) and get experience fighting a boss, plus it is fun!

Stamina: later on there is a great Talisman that boosts your stamina by a lot, not even sure where I picked it up, lol.

Spirit Ashes: There are two Skeleton buddies who I now love, great melee tanks and I've got them upgraded to +5. My favs right now.
 
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Isator Levi

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Yea, I just noticed that I have 84 Golden Rune (1) and need to start spending them. Why do you ask?
It's like you say, a person can do so casually and then only just notice that they've got tens of thousands of runes worth of them. I think it can be possible for people to overlook them when just going slightly out of one's way is really useful to always having a steady supply to call up when needed.

I just got my ass kicked numerous times by Comander O'Neil in the Swamp of Aeonia
I keep trying to tell him, there's no point setting up there, there aren't even any fish, and he's all "actual fish aren't the point".
 

Brock Savage

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Blocking is good early game and strategically later but you need to keep your Dodge Roll light, you're better rolling like a maniac rather than blocking, especially when dealing with mobs and bosses. The key is your damage output, if you're taking off slivers chances are you are in the wrong place at the wrong time: come back later.

Yeah like I said, I think blocking is a newbie trap. The post-block riposte is so powerful it's hard to give up but I think dodge roll mastery has a better payoff in the long run.

TLDR I went full strengthbro and got myself the Greatsword. The fucker weighs 23 lbs so I had to remove my helmet to stay at medium load. The sword hits like a fucking truck, staggering most enemies until they are dead. Right now I am a dodge roll apprentice which means I sometimes end up swapping blows like a peasant at a shin-kicking contest.
 

Isator Levi

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I wonder if it might be possible to build a character towards something like one of the things I developed in Dark Souls. I put together somebody with the Artorias Greatshield and Black Tarkus Armour such that even the Anor Londo bosses couldn't batter down their defence, and I'd have good chances of going two-handed with the zweihander and keeping offence up through enormous poise.

Mind, that was back when armour could be upgraded and shield upgrading improved their capabilities as actual shields, wasn't it?

Still, I think there are some greatshields and armour sets that, supplemented with the right stats and Talismans, could be reasonably sturdy. Possibly there are some attack barrages that would knock aside a shield no matter how good it was and how high the Stamina is if it's fully taken on the nose, but regardless of whether or not one blocks or dodges something like this and Dark Souls III has the important quality of "making the enemies faster can be offset a bit by knowing what attacks you can just step to the side of or away from".

Something that was very useful to use in Dark Souls III when I was doing that thing of going through the game cosplaying as each boss in the area leading up to and then fight with it. Like, only two of those guys use shields.
 

Brock Savage

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The colossal Greatsword was a huge upgrade for my Vagabond Knight. War Cry + charged attack one shots damn near everything and staggers the rest. I killed Margit the Fell and then went 'round the world killing bosses and clearing dungeons. My dude is camped outside Godrick's lair ready to kick his ass.

I've been walking through a lot of catacomb bosses with my Bloodfang+4 and Rockslide spell and Meteorite Staff (I go for a fighter/mage build first runs)
My first characters are always Fighters but if I make a second it will be a Sorcerer. Astrologer is pretty fun. Rock Sling + Meteorite Staff smashes mobs and bosses alike, I am very happy with it. I am having trouble incorporating a sword into my playstyle, though. Theoretically, having a Meteorite Staff in my left hand and and Lazuli Glintstone Sword in the right should totally kick ass but I am finding it too much to manage. I feel like there is too much workload on my left hand or something. On the other hand, sword in left hand defeats the purpose of getting this awesome sword because I can't use its Glintsone Pebble or special charged attack. Thoughts?
 

Voros

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The colossal Greatsword was a huge upgrade for my Vagabond Knight. War Cry + charged attack one shots damn near everything and staggers the rest. I killed Margit the Fell and then went 'round the world killing bosses and clearing dungeons. My dude is camped outside Godrick's lair ready to kick his ass.


My first characters are always Fighters but if I make a second it will be a Sorcerer. Astrologer is pretty fun. Rock Sling + Meteorite Staff smashes mobs and bosses alike, I am very happy with it. I am having trouble incorporating a sword into my playstyle, though. Theoretically, having a Meteorite Staff in my left hand and and Lazuli Glintstone Sword in the right should totally kick ass but I am finding it too much to manage. I feel like there is too much workload on my left hand or something. On the other hand, sword in left hand defeats the purpose of getting this awesome sword because I can't use its Glintsone Pebble or special charged attack. Thoughts?

Sounds good. I keep my sword and staff in my right to switch and keep my shield and bow in my left. I use a tailsman that significantly increases my carrying capacity so I can swiss knife it in most fights.

My plan, sticking to my DS first run build template, is to upgrade a great sword or heavy ass polearm and two hand it. I used to do this with the grass shield on my back to boost my stamina but not sure there are any shields with passive buffs like that in Elden Ring.

I find in Soulsborne games magic is good early on but later heavy and high physical damage and vigor are best for taking on the major bosses.

I'm glad they have also included the ability to respec fairly early in the game, earlier than in DSIII where I really fell in love with it: that way I don't have to start from scratch to play a faith build, dex or pure sorcerer. Or a strictly PvP build. Extends the life of the game a lot.
 
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Isator Levi

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I don't know why I've spent all of this time thinking that Elden Ring's volcano area would be relatively straightforward. I guess it was from some misplaced sense of "it's a volcano, how much can they even fit in there?"
 

Brock Savage

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I don't know why I've spent all of this time thinking that Elden Ring's volcano area would be relatively straightforward. I guess it was from some misplaced sense of "it's a volcano, how much can they even fit in there?"
I am over 100 hours in and haven't reached the volcano. There is so much excellent content to experience in Elden Ring! I am not in a huge rush to end the game. I fuck around and explore a lot. I clear every dungeon I can find. I help randos take down bosses to farm rune arcs.

I finally hit my stride by going full strengthbro with the Berserk-inspired Greatsword and Bloodhound's Step. It's mediocre to sucky at PvP but pretty damn good so far in PvE.
 

Isator Levi

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I'll say that with the benefit of being this far in, I can appreciate all of the stuff they manage to do with NPCs in a game that has this kind of scope but doesn't follow the usual conventions for things like main hub areas.

The way they can be kind of dotted all over the place... Demon's Souls is not my favourite of the From Soft games even aside from allowances of it being the most unpolished mode of the formula, but I think it leant itself in an interesting way to how you would find other characters and how they were attached to those locations. I think this one manages to capture that energy a lot.

Also I've got a thing to summon swarms of rats that come in waves. Who's pushing who around now?!
 

Dammit Viktor

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Forever and For Always: Jupiter Hell. I'm taking a break from pursuing my Endless Diamond (I do not like the respawns in N! or A!) to collect some of the Platinum and Gold badges I've passed up along the way.

I recently purchased Reverie Knights Tactics, which-- so far-- seems to be a very well-designed and technically competent clone of Final Fantasy Tactics. I'm... really not sure I'm going to finish it, though, because I'm only a couple of hours into it and... not even the solid gameplay in my absolute favorite genre of gameplay is enough to make up for how much I hate these precious fucking anime douchelord characters and don't want to spend another minute with them even to watch them die screaming.

I don't know what the audience is out there that so dearly loves these juvenile and disrespectful character tropes... and I do not wish to be known as the kind of person who was about to finish this thought.

I'm sure it goes on to be a great game, but it can join Owlboy on the heap of "great games" I'm never going to finish because of the fucking garbage writing.
 

UnplayedRanger

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I started Elden Ring. I’m not great at it, which is why I’ve avoided Soulsborne games in the past. However, there was so much hype and positive buzz about this one that I thought I’d give it a go. I’m liking it, but oh man is it kicking my butt.
 

Brock Savage

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I started Elden Ring. I’m not great at it, which is why I’ve avoided Soulsborne games in the past. However, there was so much hype and positive buzz about this one that I thought I’d give it a go. I’m liking it, but oh man is it kicking my butt.
Hey man I am glad you are liking it. The game is surprisingly deep but here are a some tips to help get you started:
  • Explore thoroughly and take your time. The game is really generous with gear if you explore. I have been able to brute force my way through tons of content with my subpar strengthbro build simply because I am really thorough when exploring and take my time, earning many runes and finding great gear along the way.
  • Losing runes sucks but you can mitigate those losses by starting dangerous ventures (boss fights, dungeons) with as close to zero runes as possible.
  • You don't have to kill everything you encounter and you can easily run from just about anything.
  • There is no quest tracking and a lot of discoveries don't show up on the map once found so use the map markers and take notes.
  • Shields are good but dodge rolling is better.
  • Keep your equip load at under 70% of maximum so you don't fatroll.
  • It's a good idea to start with a decent build from the beginning.
  • Use Weapon Arts and Ashes of War. They make a huge difference.
  • Good gear working in synergy > levels.
  • Weapon upgrades make a big difference, bigger than your primary stat.
  • Even full melee strengbro builds need a ranged attack once in a while. Bone darts are easy to make in early game and weigh nothing.
Edit: Vigor! I almost forgot, don't skimp on Vigor. Unlike most games, having a decent pool of hit points is vital. I recommend 20 minimum.
 
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Brock Savage

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Elden Ring is undeniably a masterpiece but I have been playing other games. I suppose it's akin to how a man can enjoy fine food on the regular and a beautiful wife at home but still desire a simple burger and Jane from accounting.

Solasta: Crown of the Magister is a port of the 5e SRD. The voice acting, dialogue, and models are terrible. It's set in an unremarkable generic fantasy setting. I have a feeling this wasn't made in America because everyone knows you should push TAB to highlight objects and not ALT! I wouldn't have bought the game unless it was discounted by at least 50%.

Despite all the faults I am enjoying Solasta because I have always thought the 5e SRD was a great foundation for party-based dungeon crawlers and this is proof of concept so to speak. I would love to see more games like this if they took some risks by expanding on the 5e SRD and exploring more interesting, unusual settings.

We have been playing Orcs Must Die 3. Again, this is another game I wouldn't buy it unless it was discounted 50% or more but we're enjoying it for what it is. This doesn't feel like a 2022 game that's worth $30; OMD 3 isn't much of an improvement over OMD 2 which was released in 2012.
 
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Stan

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Solasta: Crown of the Magister is a port of the 5e SRD. The voice acting, dialogue, and models are terrible. It's set in an unremarkable generic fantasy setting. I have a feeling this wasn't in American because everyone knows you should push TAB to highlight objects and not ALT! I wouldn't have bought the game unless it was discounted by at least 50%.

Despite all the faults I am enjoying Solasta because I have always thought the 5e SRD was a great foundation for party-based dungeon crawlers and this is proof of concept so to speak. I would love to see more games like this if they took some risks by expanding on the 5e SRD and exploring more interesting, unusual settings.

I've played through Solasta. I agree that's only worth it if deeply discounted. The port of the rules is solid though and some of the fights are interesting even if the few cut scenes are worthless and the overall plot is basic. It's been a while but I recall some people were doing decent mod adventures for it - that could be it's real value in the long run.
 
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