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Paul le Fou

24/7 lofi hip hop man to study/relax to
So I'm getting toward the end of my third playthrough. I've cleared CFA except for the two bosses, and just teleported to M'sHT. The Bonk is still extremely powerful; my maxed Giant Crusher and Prelate's Crozier are at like 850 and 830 AR respectively, and jumping L1 attacks with both do around 1500 damage reliably. My maxed greatsword+grafted are a little lower, like 790 and 805, but still do well over 1000 on jumping attacks. I'm getting closer and closer to wearing full Bull-Goat armor, filling gaps mostly with Veteran's armor, sometimes Banished Knight (with the unaltered head and chest!) to make weight room. But even with dragonshield +2 and a resistance of around 48, some of those enemies are being real sumbitches with their damage.

I also maxed out my Great Stars hammer. It's only 600ish AR, significantly lower, and I doubt I'd switch to it for DPS. BUT. It has that amazing heal-on-hit effect, right? So I put the Prelate's Charge ash of war on it. That has you doing a bunch of small hits as you drive into the enemy. Each one of those heals. So now I have a weapon with awesome healing on it, if I'm really finding that my survivability is too low. It's semi-reliable too, though of course not as much as I'd like.

Let's see... I got the ash of war from Astel. It's pretty good, a big circular AoE around you that does 3 waves, and each wave hits pretty hard. But it also says "follow up with a strong attack" and it chains into a big swing between the 2nd and 3rd waves... except I find that roughly half the time it swings right through the enemy without hitting. Just, whoosh, a big old whiff like they have iframes or something. And they're not dodging or anything, half the time they're staggering from the earlier waves. Maybe it has to do with that stagger, but it's pretty inconsistent, and that makes it pretty frustrating.

Never quite sure what ash to use. Sometimes overwhelmed by an abundance of choice, and sometimes just not confident in many of the options available to me, I often find myself defaulting to Lion's Claw and/or Great Hunt. Hard to beat a big hard hit that could stagger a pyramid. Flame of the Redmanes is a good one too. Hoarfrost Stomp too, I suppose, but I haven't touched it in a while. My offhands are easy at least, because they're buffs: Golden Vow has been staying on my offhand crozier, and Grafted has that +5 to all stats effect too. Part of it also is that a lot of them are spell effects that I've used in my caster playthrough. Getting that Honed Bolt ash or whatnot would be a great useful addition to my kit, or hell, even glintstone pebble, something that adds ranged options besides my golem greatbow or jar cannon. But I've used those before in their true spell forms!

What I really wish was that lightning ram was as good as it was fun. Maybe I'll bring it out again, or just enforce an every-rest rotation to keep me on my toes.


elementary my dear baxter
A friend wanted to play with me the other day and they used their death star laser to kill a big lizard that was in my way and now I've got access to the Yellow Part of the Map. I've come to enjoy the part where I run around collecting map segments.

I also discovered the additional map to place underneath my regular map and was once again struck with the existential weight of the sheer ridiculous size of this game.
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Not being allowed to use a Grace and interact with Melina around Ranni (a restriction I don't know of happening anywhere else), I'm now convinced that they at least occupy the same... disembodiment for lack of a better word.


elementary my dear baxter
Not being allowed to use a Grace and interact with Melina around Ranni (a restriction I don't know of happening anywhere else), I'm now convinced that they at least occupy the same... disembodiment for lack of a better word.
Oooh, that's actually quite fascinating.


Sir Knightbot
Hm. I mean, when you think about it, technically Ranni also still exists after she burnt herself to ash. Neither of them have a body. :unsure:

Whether or not they're the same person, there's definitely some thematic duality with them. Melina, the kindling maiden, fated to give herself to the fire, committing a cardinal sin and unlocking the path to destined death, and Ranni, darkmoon sorceress, apprentice to the snow witch, eager to defy her Empyrean fate. Together they sing a song of ice and fire. :B
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To be clear I don't think they're the same person. But they made sure, mechanically, that you would never be able to see them both on-screen at once. There's all kinds of weird soul shenanigans that are possible in Elden Ring just looking at Sellen, how Ranni used Godwyn's soul to replace her own when shedding her body with the Rune of Death, and Marika's entire thing with Radagon. I don't think it would be much of a leap for only Melina to be burned if their souls are conjoined or something, assuming they aren't the same individual. Especially since the player can burn themselves and survive.
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elementary my dear baxter
So my playstyle has fluctuated a bit. I started off with the hero class I think it was, with the shield and the axe. And I eventually swapped it out for a broadsword and stuck with the starting gear mostly for aesthetics. But I did eventually change it up with an awesome tall helmet made of garbage and later a regular cloth hood and some fur boots. But after discovering how easy it was to just... get to the Radahn fight and pushing through it by sheer stubborn will and burning up like 7 rune arcs in the process, I went and bought all his armor and decided to go full ass fat-rolling tank monster. By gar it's been a while.

Now I'm wielding a dragon halberd that actually helped significantly in felling Radahn and a kickass greatshield from a draconic tree sentinel and feeling mighty fine about my choices. I haven't been this slow and tanky since my first go at DS1.

Also, call me crazy, but is Radahn's rune completely useless right now? Like the boost in resources it gives me don't seem to be much more than I get from Godrick's rune already plus the bonuses from having my stats bumped? And mind you I don't think this is a permanent criticism because Radahn's rune might become more useful after diminishing returns on stats kicks in?

Also I just realized I didn't bother to check if I knew how to spell Radahn's name correctly before writing this welp here goes anyway.
Yeah Radahn's Rune starts to shine a lot more later when you aren't getting much out of Godrick's anymore. It's 15% to HP/FP/Stamina each so when the stats are low, it's not much. But when they're high it completely overshadows level gains (except for FP, Mind levels keep up with it oddly well until like 55).

Paul le Fou

24/7 lofi hip hop man to study/relax to
Yeah, it's a while before the effects of Godrick's rune don't totally overshadow Radahn's. To be quite honest, I think that point is "never" or "literally the end of the game." If you're only doing pve, you can build yourself around having the rune active; even if you're reaching some max scaling cap like 80, you can just stop at 75 with the understanding that you'll always have +5. Then that's 5 more levels you can put into something else sooner than you otherwise would. (And those also have +5!) And it also gives you boosts to stats you might not otherwise level at all but could still get some use out of. Like if you aren't putting any points at all into dexterity, but with that +5 to dex you can equip a bow you wouldn't otherwise be able to. I played the entire game technically unable to equip the bow I used all the time! It really is ridiculously powerful.

The only issue is that you can't use a great rune in PvP (Technically you can use it if you're the one summoning for duels, but that's kinda poor sportsmanship. If you're being invaded go wild though), so if your build is for pvp you'd want to max those out, but, y'know, whatever.

At the very end of the game, or if you reeeeally need more HP more than anything else, Morgott's rune is good; that's the one I switch to for...well, basically just the final boss. Rykard's is neat for adventuring, but you'd need to switch before the boss fight because it's utterly useless in a single fight like that.

R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
Seems a little silly in retrospect that the demigods fought a war against one another for ownership of runes that give slight stat buffs or moderate healing.


A most radical pontiff
(He, Him)
I like to think our character has no idea what they are doing with them and any demigod who heard what we were using them for would be flabbergasted.


elementary my dear baxter
Ok holy shit dude.

I backed off from exploring the capital city any further to pick at some other threads and ended up going through that horrible house of hands to the witch lady I keep hearing about. She told me to go to where a star fell in Limgrave because I had defeated Radahn (also I was wearing his armor as she told me this it was metal af) and at first I didn't know where to go but then I decided to check that telescope thingy and sure enough if I hadn't noticed it already it basically would have pointed my eyes right at a bunch of floating goddamn rocks that I was easily able to follow to a hell ass big crater.

And then I went in the crater and everything became unexpectedly Bloodborne flavored in tone and I was loving it. But what really got me was how at first I was confused because in the City of Nokron it looked an awful lot like I wasn't able to check a map because there was already a map of Limgrave on the surface and a map of the underground area I had discovered earlier and they couldn't exist both in the same place could oh shit that's exactly what is going on I can use the same map to navigate these very different places wtf.

So that was wild. And then I fought myself. First try, though I did have the foresight to activate the bow lady ghost when I smelled a boss fight coming and she helped a lot.

Tomm Guycot

I finally beat the game. lv170 after 220 hours.


Most of my time was spent with Bloodhound Fang but by the end I was Godslayer Great Sword and Rivers of Blood as needed.

You all already know it's very very good. I know it is the best From game when you take everything into account, especially its freedom and accessibility. I don't know if I PERSONALLY like it more than Bloodborne or Sekiro yet. But I also don't regret any of the 220 hours.


How am I supposed to find whatever it is I'm supposed to find in the Snow Area?
Do I just wade through the blizzard that seems to spring up every time?
How am I supposed to find whatever it is I'm supposed to find in the Snow Area?
Do I just wade through the blizzard that seems to spring up every time?

Yeah, just keep going.

It's not like a lost woods situation or anything, and it doesn't restrict movement. Just stay on Torrent and ride through it, come back and explore later if you want to, but honestly there's nothing of note in the area. (Maybe there's something important for some specific build, but nothing I ever felt like I missed...) So just pick a direction and keep moving until you can see better again.
If I remember correctly, there are lights/glowing areas to guide you through.
I think this makes it sound more complicated than it is, but there's really no navigational puzzle at all. There's not like a secret route you have to follow or a lot of obstructions. The only trick is that there's no trick. Don't psyche yourself out and just keep going. The area with visual impairment is small, flat, and mostly empty. So it's the same as every other new area: Just head directly for the one point of interest on the pre-filled-in map to get a map fragment that will fill in your map with geographical details, then you can use your map to navigate.

This is one of first things the game explicitly tutorializes, and I kind of wonder if the reason people get confused in this area at all is that they've forgotten this system by the time they're reaching optional endgame content? Even before you find a map fragment, there is one point of interest on your map: That's where the map fragment is. Just head for that one point of interest. This basically works in every overworld area except Mt. Gelmir, where the map fragment can be kind of hidden, depending on how you entered the region.
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