SpoonFULL

SasqWatch
Made some great progress in the past week or so, in DS2. Killed the Rotter, cleared the Drangleic Castle (actually I just realized I have to go back for a dual Pursuer fight? Not looking forward to that).

And just now I cleared most of Shrine of Amana and reached the Undead Crypt. That had to have been to have been one of the worst areas ever. I frikkin hate areas that use falling into chasms as a constant death threat, and this was the worst since it’s all covered by water. So you can barely makeout where you can step. All the while being on the lookout for ranged attackers and underwater sleeping enemies. The absolute worst, this area. I cheesed the f**k out of the enemies with my bow and I’m not even sorry.

The the most annoying death march to the boss fight, a huge frog that you can only beat, as a melee, with a certain strategy. Which I had to look for online. And the death march was again through a watery grave that you can’t just run past enemies since you constantly tend to fall off edges.
Sad tale of the three sisters and a grim place the Shrine of Amana. Use torches to skim over the water surface and identify which places you can move over and avoid death. Many secrets in this area.

You are making very good progress - you soon will finish the main game.
 

danutz_plusplus

SasqWatch
I think I may have to either stop my DS2 playthrough or just pause it. I’ve cleared the Defender and Watcher, just barely. After a few tries I accidentally managed to strike them both and be done with them. Was a bit of an annoying fight, but whatever.

Then I went through one of the Giant invasion memories, and was shocked how easily they could 1-2 shot me to death. So I really lost patience, since so far the game was really managable, with me under the impression I was overpowered. But they either started to scale the damage enemies do, or something, to where I’m getting pummeled to death against these last introduced enemies in the main game.

So I just bolted, in the last memory, to the Giant Lord and easily wooped him. And then rushed to the final main game boss fight. Nashandra or however she’s called. Rushed to her since I’m really getting tired of the game, and wanted to at least finish the main game before putting the game on hold, for the DLC content. I think I’m really getting burned out on fromsoft games, having put in 100+ hours into Elden Ring, then finished DS1 and now close to being done with DS2 (main game at least). All back to back.

Anyway, so where was I. Yeah, I jump into the final fight and Nashandra absolutely demolishes me. I get cursed instantly, can’t block for shit anymore, for some reason. And she tears through my whole healthbar in 2-3 swipes. Absolute beast. What the hell happened to the game balancing? As I said, aside from the giants in the memories, which destroyed me in damage, but which I could still block and strafe, no other enemy, be it boss or regular, gave me much of an issue. And now this last one seems to tear me a new one every damn time. :( I’ll see if I’m not missing somethint tomorrow, but regardless, I am so done with the game. I need a break. It’s been constant stress and swearing these last few months. :(
 

SpoonFULL

SasqWatch
That one too many Souls games to play consecutively - take a break.

If you want to defeat Nashandra, equip armour and/or rings with curse resistance. Also near the last bonefire near the doors leading to the pathway/bridge to Nashandra, there should be a NPC that you can summon to help you (or along the way to the boss - I can't remember).
 

Couchpotato

Grumpy Potato
Want a good experience without the hassle? Well here you go. Your welcome. :biggrin:
 

danutz_plusplus

SasqWatch
That one too many Souls games to play consecutively - take a break.

If you want to defeat Nashandra, equip armour and/or rings with curse resistance. Also near the last bonefire near the doors leading to the pathway/bridge to Nashandra, there should be a NPC that you can summon to help you (or along the way to the boss - I can't remember).
Yeah, I think I do need a break. But I'm thinking of maybe pushing a little more, to maybe be done with the DLCs of DS2 also.
But as you say, they're pretty big in themselves. And I hear they have some of the most difficult fights to come (I keep hearing about the Fume Knight fight, which I kind of dread).
I'll see if I can push it some more.

Because, after going back this morning, I managed to beat Nashandra. It wasn't difficult, but then again I did bring along two summons.
And half of the fight I was just destroying the cursed pillars she summons. And the other half I was wailing on her, while gulping down Divine Blessings to fully heal. I basically splurged and wasn't conservative in resource use at all. I think I used 5 Divine Blessings in the whole fight, which is a lot, I would imagine. But I was so done with the fight.

Now to consider if I should go into the DLCs. But I'm afraid that if I don't, I might not return since I'll likely forget a lot of the current context.
And just refreshing my fighting skills all over again would be a pain. I'll have to see.
 

SpoonFULL

SasqWatch
I suggest you call you a quit. The DLC areas are vertical wonders but were a shock to me in term of difficulty and made the whole base game a walk in the park.

Its not only the fume knight, its the three other bosses in the DLC areas which are very difficult to beat (even though they provided at least one or two summons to help and others that I don't want to spoil).

Not only this, the level design and the enemies leading to the bosses are cleverly designed to draw you in and kill you (and there are also secret stages that are beautiful and scary). These DLC areas (which added up is another DS game) are in my opinion masterpieces that I admire more but was not able to finish.
 

danutz_plusplus

SasqWatch
I suggest you call you a quit. The DLC areas are vertical wonders but were a shock to me in term of difficulty and made the whole base game a walk in the park.

Its not only the fume knight, its the three other bosses in the DLC areas which are very difficult to beat (even though they provided at least one or two summons to help and others that I don't want to spoil).

Not only this, the level design and the enemies leading to the bosses are cleverly designed to draw you in and kill you (and there are also secret stages that are beautiful and scary). These DLC areas (which added up is another DS game) are in my opinion masterpieces that I admire more but was not able to finish.
Yeah, I'm starting to lean towards just putting a break on the game and saving the save files for later. I maybe could push myself, but it would be a shame to not enjoy the levels properly, since I would likely lose patience and try to rush them.

I wanted to wrap up anything in the base-game, and found out from a guide that in order to beat Vendrick, it's really recommended to have at least 4 giant souls. Unfortunately, I consumed the giant soul from the giants underneath Black Gulch. So, right now my only other alternative is to try and kill the Ancient Dragon. Which seems like a serious pain in the ass for melee only characters. And then I'd have to continue with next annoying fight, Vendrick himself, who I doubt I can block from the damage I've seen him deal.

Maybe I'll just hang up my hat at this point, and come back to it after a proper break from these games. I'll have to see.

EDIT: yeah, I just tried the Ancient Dragon. I'm so slow and it's a real pain. So that's off the table. I then tried Vendrick, and shockingly I can take 2 of his hits with my stamina, but I do so little damage that the fight takes forever and it's sooner or later that I fuck up a block or a strafe around him, and he kills me in 2 hits. So, yeah, not wasting my time grinding him for 5 mins. I guess I'm done with DS2 for the time being.
 
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JDR13

SasqWatch
Original Sin Donor
Probably a good move on your part. It sounds like you're reaching the point of burnout. Take a break and cleanse your palate with something else. Maybe a more traditional RPG?
 

JDR13

SasqWatch
Original Sin Donor
Yeah, I think Witcher 3 is in order, most likely. Since I never finished Blood and Wine and the update is coming up soon.
TW3 will feel like a walk in the park after what you've been playing lately. :)

I've been thinking of TW3 too (I've never played either expansion), but I really want to play the entire trilogy again from the start. The only problem for me is finding that much free time.
 

SirJames

SasqWatch
Yeah, I remember that ancient dragon seemed near impossible, to start. Summoning people to help who don't know the fight is a trap. It's been too long to remember the strat but I vaguely remember trying get some distance to bait his breath weapon then running in? Maybe i've got it confused with another game. Either way, it IS one of those "easy when you know how" fights. It's also optional.

But, yeah, everyone seems to burn out on DS2. I played it though co-op with three different people and every one of them burned out before clearing all the DLC. :)
 

danutz_plusplus

SasqWatch
Yeah, I remember that ancient dragon seemed near impossible, to start. Summoning people to help who don't know the fight is a trap. It's been too long to remember the strat but I vaguely remember trying get some distance to bait his breath weapon then running in? Maybe i've got it confused with another game. Either way, it IS one of those "easy when you know how" fights. It's also optional.

But, yeah, everyone seems to burn out on DS2. I played it though co-op with three different people and every one of them burned out before clearing all the DLC. :)
Yeah, I think that's the general tactic for the ancient dragon. But being in Havel's armor (fully and shield) I can't really sprint that much. If I do I only have one swing by the time I reach his toes.

I tried to start the first DLC, the sunken crown or something, and man, they really ratchet up the difficulty. I again feel naked against the lowly enemies of the area. Can no longer easily break their poise.
I think I'm done with it for now. I'll probably start Witcher 3 next, after the update.
 

SpoonFULL

SasqWatch
But, yeah, everyone seems to burn out on DS2. I played it though co-op with three different people and every one of them burned out before clearing all the DLC. :)

Which in my humble opinion, think is a tragedy, because the contrast in quality, environments, level design, environmental interactions, enemy types and even stories in the 3 DLCs to the base DS2 game and even other DS game is like between day and night.

Anyway danutz++, leave DS2 for now and get your life back. :D
 

SirJames

SasqWatch
There's some really nice armor and weapons in the DLC areas. I think all the stuff I was wearing in the picture I posted earlier was DLC armor. (ed: oh, and Havels gloves!) I think he was probably also up to NG++++ or something.

You mentioned the giant memories and I think one of those I reset over and over with those bonfire items to farm huge XP from an easy boss fight until I was just getting 1 shot if I messed up? Might be something to consider if you want to get another 100 levels easily. :)
 

SirJames

SasqWatch
Which in my humble opinion, think is a tragedy, because the contrast in quality, environments, level design, environmental interactions, enemy types and even stories in the 3 DLCs to the base DS2 game and even other DS game is like between day and night.

Anyway danutz++, leave DS2 for now and get your life back. :D
Yeah, true.

I actually think the "B-team" without Miyazaki was plenty competent and, as you say, the DLC areas showed how quickly they were improving.

Instead of abandoning the Dark Souls series Fromsoftware should just put the B-team back to work on Dark Souls 2: 2. Could even call it 4!

It's funny how Miyazaki was all, like, "I'm sick of Dark Souls world and lore. I want to do something different!" but then Elden Ring was pretty much the same old tropes with some dying world which was so similar it could easily be called Dark Souls.
 

danutz_plusplus

SasqWatch
There's some really nice armor and weapons in the DLC areas. I think all the stuff I was wearing in the picture I posted earlier was DLC armor. (ed: oh, and Havels gloves!) I think he was probably also up to NG++++ or something.

You mentioned the giant memories and I think one of those I reset over and over with those bonfire items to farm huge XP from an easy boss fight until I was just getting 1 shot if I messed up? Might be something to consider if you want to get another 100 levels easily. :)
Somehow the giants absolutely demolish me. The big ones that have one big hammer constantly get me into a 2 hit stunlock. One hint to put me to the ground, and the they finish me off with a second strike while I'm still down. The only way I could reliably and safely kill them was with my bow. But I'm not sure I had the best weapon. I was using a generic +10 greatsword in one hand, and Havel's shield in the other. Anyway, giants were among the most painful enemies this late in the game. It's like the difficulty spiked to the moon.

I actually think the "B-team" without Miyazaki was plenty competent and, as you say, the DLC areas showed how quickly they were improving.

Indeed, DS2 is very competent. Though I did go in with lower expectations because of the general regard of it. But was pleasantly surprised to find a solid game.
 

danutz_plusplus

SasqWatch
I saw a streamer play DS2 with a dex build and a thrusting weapon, and even though he was a glass cannon most of the time, I was shocked how low level he was, but was able to put out so much burst damage that a lot of bosses where I basically took forever to kill, he would just run in, jab jab jab around 4-5 times, and then run out. Rinse and repeat for a couple of times. I don't really think this will lead anywhere, but I basically restarted DS2 with another character wanting to see how it feels, to go for dodging instead of just blocking, and dealing a lot of damage.

What surprised me the most, was how satisfying it was to clear everything when you know the mechanics, know the basic AI routines. I think I must have died at least 5 times by the time I cleared everything up to the Cardinal Tower bonfire the first time I played this area, and this time I haven't died once. Got +2 on my rapier, and got 2 points into ADP. It feels really nice to know where most things are, and what to expect. It's comforting.

Yeah, I really misjudged the Dark Souls series, before properly trying them out. I knew they were decent mechanically, but the setting somehow put me off. But it's a very solid series. And while the setting is nowhere near Bloodborne's or Sekiro's, the level design more than makes up for it.
 

danutz_plusplus

SasqWatch
Ok, I took my new dex focused character and managed to clear everything up to where you meet the first Pursuer, where he's dropped off by his eagle, before he's treated as full-blown boss. Didn't die once. And clearing the big turtle guys is actually a piece of cake as a fast-rolling character. The risk is there, if he hits me I'm probably toast, but I'm just too fast. Can easily run in, jab him twice, and roll away.

And then I decided to take on the Pursuer, up on that platform. I managed to fight him off, down to his half health; he did hit me once or twice. Unfortunately we got too close to the edge of the platform, and I rolled off accidentally and by the time I tried to get back up there he teleported away. I'm not really sure I would've managed to kill him had I not rolled off the platform, but it's a far cry how I handled him this time with this build, versus my first run. The first time I had to farm most of the Heide area, and get my stamina so far up that I could take his hits. Now, I'm basically under 2h at the first Pursuer, and can confidently say I maybe could've taken him in a couple of tries. I think I've also gained a lot of confidence and learned the ropes at least a bit.

Anyway, one thing is for sure, it's either that fighting as a glass cannon is far more thrilling than a meat-shield, or it's just the difference in play-style that has kind of sparked my interest to continue playing this build. I'm not sure how I'll deal with the rest of the encounters, but I would be curious to try.