So I mentioned previously how I have started playing Dark Souls 3. Well about a week ago I had the absolute pleasure of defeating the last boss. I was level 91 and had ground and crawled my way through more areas and boss fights than I could imagine.
Dragons and monstrous demons had fallen by my hand, and I had died more times than I thought possible to keep on going.
But I had kept on, I had dragged myself out of the ash, the bad choices, the 'friendly' AI who turned on me after they ran in front of my attacks, and yes, even that bastard Patches.
I returned to the Firelink Shrine as a hero when the most impossible message floated before me. Telling me that this was but my first journey, and did I want to give it another go on NewGame+? (NG+).
For days I thought long and hard about this. There were lots of reasons to stay where I was, there was a couple of optional bosses I had yet to down, covenants to grind, and levels to nab. OR I could do all of that, but this time go for a different ending! I could complete quest lines that I previously had failed due to bad choices or dick AI.
Ok let's go!
Currently I am level 113, and I have died maybe three times to a real challenge.
My Estus flax is maxed out at 15 charges, my bonfire is maxed at level 11, my weapons are at maximum +level, and I am very familiar with my armour set. I know my dodge speed and distance and I am only getting stronger with every level.
There is an expression in the Dark Souls community, that to beat the games you need to "Git Gud". While I am certainly better at the game than I was when I first picked up the controller, I do feel that a lot of the time it is not skill that has gotten me to this place, but a grim determination, and enjoyment of "the grind".
- You see, I quite enjoy a good ol' grind. Where everyone before talked about how much of a 'grind fest' certain MMO games are, I'm there in the thick of it. I once spent about two full weeks in WoW doing nothing but fishing. The 1st week grinding the sea turtle, followed by Dalaran Coin fishing the week after. It was infuriating, I was pulling my hair out, but it gave me what I loved, those little pushes of the endorphin button, and the exhausted relief when it was over.
So yea I ground my way through Dark Souls 3 and I got to the point where I am now, where my level is high enough compared to where you should be, that I can take the hits from the bosses, and I can hit them back.
Of course there is also knowledge. I've already played these bosses, I've learned when to block, and when to parry. I've learned that the best way to kill the HighLord is to smack his glowing bangles. And that the RottenGreatwood is best downed by slicing up his weird egg things. All of this I have already learned the hard way, so I don't need to make those mistakes again.
But again, is that skill? Is that talent? Did I Git Gud?
I'm still not sure. Yes I have memorised boss encounters, but would I be able to go into a brand new one and '1-shot' it? I honestly don't think I could.
So yeah... I guess I still need to Git Gud...
Until next time, stay safe, and be excellent to each other!
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley