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The Split - Review

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Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

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× A place for boardgame traitors.

Elden Ring: Breath of the From Software

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01 Mar 2022 11:13 #331182 by Ah_Pook
Those ghost minotaur snipers can suck it :laugh: I do need to grind them until they give me they're sick horned helmet tho.

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01 Mar 2022 11:21 #331184 by Michael Barnes
UGH any kind of sniper can suck it. You’ll just be tooling around and all of a sudden you are getting blasted with magic. Then you run and the honorless scum shoots you in the back.

The dirty messages are out of control.

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01 Mar 2022 12:07 #331187 by Ah_Pook
The following user(s) said Thank You: Michael Barnes, Gary Sax, Frohike, sornars

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02 Mar 2022 00:38 - 02 Mar 2022 12:50 #331198 by Ah_Pook
i beat Godrick pretty easily. I think my +7 Greatsword helped quite a bit on that front :laugh: spending all that time down Siofra way sure pumped some numbers up. i could probably swing back through there and take out the evangelion extra that kept killing me at this point. i think theres still a ton of his Stormvale left to explore too.

i killed 30k souls worth of those fucking minotaurs and they still didnt drop their ridiculous hat for me.

Edit: dang I forgot that theres a consumable to boost drop rates. This afternoon we do a fashion minotaur genocide run... this time while eating pickles :laugh:
Last edit: 02 Mar 2022 12:50 by Ah_Pook.

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02 Mar 2022 16:49 - 02 Mar 2022 16:51 #331213 by Gary Sax
I got a new xbox controller in the mail so I got started today on PC. Gorgeous game. Remain to be convinced a little bit about the open world value add but I am literally one hour into the game.

Doing a boring warrior build at the moment. I think that's the direction I'm going. Maybe won't do sword and shield but definitely shield and something.
Last edit: 02 Mar 2022 16:51 by Gary Sax.

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02 Mar 2022 19:07 - 02 Mar 2022 19:29 #331221 by Gary Sax

Michael Barnes wrote: It’s still early but yes this is in best video game ever made teritory. No other video game has felt as much like classic D&D, that’s for sure.


Had another hour or two with it. I want to double down on this D+D part. I think this is an incredible comment that completely unlocked the appeal (or lack thereof) of Elden Ring. It's the purest realization of the original version of D+D. Even that initial dungeon with the imps, it's the most pure version of old school D+D ever adapted. It's so good. It's like they took the Chalice Dungeon concept but put it in the open world and therefore made it more flavorful, more old school dungeon raid D+D. Not a emotionally complex version of D+D, old school Gygax fuck you D+D at gencon. Similar to old D+D, though, you do have moments of just sort of massacring your way around a boring-ish open world in the initial map just like a real old school D+D session where you'd just be journeying and stumbling around killing bad encounters your uninspired dungeonmaster came up with. But then? Then you come across a cave that your dungeonmaster actually spent some time on. You know there isn't a HUGE reward in there, it's a chalice dungeon-alike in some ways that is nevertheless crafted, but you have to know what's in there. And that's it. There's going to be some fucking imps and some fire traps and a winding dungeon. There you are.

Using the halberd so far. Might go spear in this one, not sure.
Last edit: 02 Mar 2022 19:29 by Gary Sax.
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02 Mar 2022 22:09 #331222 by Michael Barnes
There was a part back in Demon’s Souls where you are fighting skeletons on stairs in a tower and I was like OK, they get 1e D&D. Even the mechanics, the leveling and all are like D&D. And the concept of having to take your souls/runes back is a direct analog to 1e D&D’s concept of gold=XP- sure you found massive loot, but can you haul it back? And then there’s having to actually use torches…

That dungeon you are talking about is so good- the double fire trap is brilliant. It is definitely an evolution of the Chalice dungeons…I’ve hit all of them in Limgrsve and they were all great…and they are optional side quests.

20 hours in and yeah, I think it’s definitely a top five of all time game. And I haven’t even gotten into Stormveil yet.
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02 Mar 2022 22:50 #331224 by Ah_Pook

Gary Sax wrote:

Michael Barnes wrote: It’s still early but yes this is in best video game ever made teritory. No other video game has felt as much like classic D&D, that’s for sure.


Had another hour or two with it. I want to double down on this D+D part. I think this is an incredible comment that completely unlocked the appeal (or lack thereof) of Elden Ring. It's the purest realization of the original version of D+D. Even that initial dungeon with the imps, it's the most pure version of old school D+D ever adapted. It's so good. It's like they took the Chalice Dungeon concept but put it in the open world and therefore made it more flavorful, more old school dungeon raid D+D. Not a emotionally complex version of D+D, old school Gygax fuck you D+D at gencon. Similar to old D+D, though, you do have moments of just sort of massacring your way around a boring-ish open world in the initial map just like a real old school D+D session where you'd just be journeying and stumbling around killing bad encounters your uninspired dungeonmaster came up with. But then? Then you come across a cave that your dungeonmaster actually spent some time on. You know there isn't a HUGE reward in there, it's a chalice dungeon-alike in some ways that is nevertheless crafted, but you have to know what's in there. And that's it. There's going to be some fucking imps and some fire traps and a winding dungeon. There you are.

Using the halberd so far. Might go spear in this one, not sure.


I just killed a guy that dropped me a +8 halberd and I'm like... I guess I'm a halberd guy now?

I really really like the ashes of war stuff in this where you can change a weapons stat scaling basically at will. Really opens up your options to basically using whatever you want.
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02 Mar 2022 23:05 #331225 by Gary Sax
I haven't gotten to that but it sounds great. Commiting your upgrade materials and not being able to really try any of the weirdo weapons you got during the whole course of the game was a big minus of previous soulsborne. It was like the illusion of variety.

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02 Mar 2022 23:12 #331226 by Ah_Pook
You're still limited by upgrade mats and having to meet stat requirements, but it will let you turn a STR scaling sword into an INT scaling sword for your mage or stuff like that. This sick halberd was DEX I think and I just said nah how about STR.
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02 Mar 2022 23:18 #331227 by hotseatgames
Decided to jump in. Got it on Xbox Series S, and so far... it is rad. I am already more successful in this than I ever was with the brief time I spent with Dark Souls 3. I do find it to be a bummer that the co-op summons are consumables, because I always want one. I got to that creepo dog boss with the flaming tail and it has wrecked me so many times, even with a co-op helper.

I've got a sword and shield, and am doing alright so far, I guess. Really sucks having your "runes" trapped in a boss room. I'm not getting those back, at least not for longer than a minute.
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03 Mar 2022 00:07 #331230 by BillyBobThwarton
I've been longing to get caught up in a new title, and reading this thread has me tempted to try this one out. However, I find the difficulty reputation a bit off putting. Can someone explain to me what it is about these titles that drives so many to describe them as difficult? Are the folks who say that comparing it to a mindless button masher? I suppose that I would be frustrated to drop $60 on something that I would potentially find annoying.

As far as where I am coming from playing games, the challenging ones I recall playing and enjoying on highest difficulty that I enjoyed include Arkham Asylum, Hades (stopped around heat level 14), No More Heroes, and the first Witcher. I've enjoyed playing RPG's where ammo /food is uncommon.

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03 Mar 2022 07:40 - 03 Mar 2022 07:59 #331234 by sornars

BillyBobThwarton wrote: I've been longing to get caught up in a new title, and reading this thread has me tempted to try this one out. However, I find the difficulty reputation a bit off putting. Can someone explain to me what it is about these titles that drives so many to describe them as difficult? Are the folks who say that comparing it to a mindless button masher? I suppose that I would be frustrated to drop $60 on something that I would potentially find annoying.

As far as where I am coming from playing games, the challenging ones I recall playing and enjoying on highest difficulty that I enjoyed include Arkham Asylum, Hades (stopped around heat level 14), No More Heroes, and the first Witcher. I've enjoyed playing RPG's where ammo /food is uncommon.


I haven't played Elden Ring yet but can speak about the difficulty of Souls games in general.

It's overrated; they're not that difficult but it depends on how you interpret the word. I'm willing to concede that they may be somewhat inaccessible but that's not the same as difficult and is clearly a design choice (e.g. no map, no pause, etc.). They don't really require perfect execution which is how I would interpret the word "difficult". They use frustration to intentionally elicit an emotional response which culminates in a really satisfying catharsis when you do beat whatever was holding you up. What they do require from you is perseverance, patience and memorisation and those are not usually demanded from players by AAA titles.

I think Arkham Asylum and Hades are good examples of difficulty that's comparable to the Souls series. Arkham Asylum is challenging because you need to be patient, track enemy movements and plan. Sure the first time you might die because a guy jumped out from a corner but the next time you respawn you'll know that they're there and you'll be ready for them. From that point forward you will be afraid of every corner you turn; the game has done a good job of teaching you a lesson.

Hades is difficult because you need to master the combat system and identify enemy patterns. The first time you face Theseus and Asterius you probably got messed up. The 50th time you faced them you were probably slightly stressed but knew you could do it. You follow this learning process for every enemy in Souls games. This is also required in Arkham Asylum as you also need to master the combat system but that game has a much simpler system.

There are also a lot of in game resources to make your life easier. If you don't plan to PvP (not sure if PvP is even a thing in Elden Ring) then you don't need to worry about an optimal build. That means you can switch to use a cool magic spell when you face an area full of physically resistant enemies that shrug off your club. You can overlevel and grind easier areas to pump up your health bar. You can summon spirits to come and help you out. You can usually just go to a different area instead of the one that's frustrating you and come back later (or maybe even skip it entirely!).

Also, there's no shame in looking things up in these games. Half of the fun is sharing secrets you've uncovered with other fans; I'm willing to bet that the vast majority players do not have a strong understanding of the plot/lore of the games until they hit up a wiki and Youtube. That's not because the games are a failure in narrative but because the narrative style invites debate and introspection and in my opinion, welcomes the online discussion. In Bloodborne there's still a debate about which ending is the best one to get. Sure one is harder to get than the others but is it really better?
Last edit: 03 Mar 2022 07:59 by sornars.
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03 Mar 2022 08:25 #331237 by hotseatgames

BillyBobThwarton wrote: Can someone explain to me what it is about these titles that drives so many to describe them as difficult?


Context for my answer: I have very little time in Dark Souls 3 (gave up), and about 2 hours in Elden Ring, which I already like a great deal more than Dark Souls 3. I also tend to have very little patience for video game bullshit.

I believe a lot of the difficulty is a side effect of the real problem with these games: they don't respect your time. Their design is openly antagonistic to the player. Phone ringing during a boss battle? Get fucked, you can't pause. Left 1000 runes on the ground of the boss chamber? Get fucked, your time spent gathering them is gone unless you retrieve them, and to do that you will have to kill the boss.

The game loop is walk somewhere, something obliterates you with little to no warning, and you repeat that until you finally figure out how to defeat it. Or give up. Now, in Elden Ring at least you have the ability to go somewhere else and find a new activity, at least for a while. I don't think the earlier games allowed that.

The boss fights are always crazy hard at first. You can summon a co-op helper, and honestly it seems like they INTEND you to do this, and thus made the encounters really hard. But then they hide all the co-op features behind consumables and weird nonsense like joining a game just for that boss fight. No drop in drop out to be found here. Want to play with your friends? The hoops required will surely not be worth it.

All of this is very negative, and frankly there is a lot to hate about these games. But this one seems at least a bit more accessible, and probably worth consideration. There is a lot to like, as it is gorgeous and the world itself just seems cool as hell. I just think their general design philosophy sucks, since adding Easy mode would allow so many more people to experience the cool stuff without smashing their controller against the wall. Seriously, do these people not have jobs or kids? Doors with doorbells attached? Give me a fucking pause button.
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03 Mar 2022 09:02 - 03 Mar 2022 09:14 #331238 by sornars

hotseatgames wrote: I believe a lot of the difficulty is a side effect of the real problem with these games: they don't respect your time.


Despite liking the series a lot I think this is an accurate criticism. The series uses your time as a currency to raise the stakes. This introduces a tension that otherwise would be absent in the game. Given my other commitments, video game time is limited for me as well - failing is punishing in the sense that I have to re-do everything up to that point again. This raises my emotional investment in the game and is the source of a lot of the stress you feel when exploring an unknown area. No horror game has ever made me more afraid than walking around an area I've never been before with way too many souls and no idea where the next bonfire/lamp is. The sense of relief you feel if you do make it through is also a direct result of this tension. To take that away would alter the experience the game intends to deliver but as you point out, that may not appeal to all gamers.

As for not pausing, I mentioned it before but I think it's intentional. Combat is intended to be stressful, pausing to change the camera angle or take a breath would let some of the tension ease out of the situation whereas keeping it real time forces you to remain invested (and stressed). It does suck if life interrupts but the worst case scenario is you have to go back and pick up your dropped souls again which only costs you... time.

Great article on the design philosophy of the creator: www.newyorker.com/culture/persons-of-int...-a-feature-not-a-bug

The question of how hard games should be is closely tied to the question of whom games are for. Some argue that they should be accessible: gently guided experiences that adapt to different skills, interests, and physical capabilities. Others say that they should operate on their own terms. In this model, difficulty is the creator’s prerogative; not every game has to be for everyone.

Miyazaki’s work is often invoked by the latter camp, as it suggests that challenge, not escapism or uplift, is the medium’s crucial quality. “It’s an interesting question,” Miyazaki told me. “We are always looking to improve, but, in our games specifically, hardship is what gives meaning to the experience. So it’s not something we’re willing to abandon at the moment. It’s our identity.”

Last edit: 03 Mar 2022 09:14 by sornars.
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