Twelve microblogging bits from ActivityPub. Lords of the Fallen, Nightingale, Nioh.

Microblogging Journal through 2/26/2024

1,120 words.

Microblogging Journal through 2/26/2024

Dispatches from

Monday 02/19

  • 09:42 # Right after I said I wasn’t hating Lords of the Fallen, I encountered two bosses in a row that I hated: Gentle Gavarus (of all the Dark Souls tropes to copy-and-paste into a boss fight, they picked dogs) and the Congregator of Flesh. Anyway, my dodging dual-wielding Stalker build is starting to fall apart already, and after experimenting with some other starting classes, apparently the easy way to play is to get a big shield and a big sword and start blocking/parrying again, just like Lies of P.

  • 10:48 # Does it count as engagement if you hover over a YouTube thumbnail to read the subtitles silently for a while to see if the video is ever going to impart any useful information or entertainment? Because if it does I’ll stop doing it.

Tuesday 02/20

  • 11:11 # After the two bosses I hated in Lords of the Fallen, there were two bosses I didn’t entirely hate: The Hushed Saint and the Mendacious Visage. At first I thought The Hushed Saint was the wrong boss for my level because I kept getting one- or two-shot even though I’ve put almost all my points into health so far. Turns out it’s the right boss and that’s just how the game is and I probably wasted all those points in health. Anyway, I’m back to not hating Lords of the Fallen. I think it’s review score has been somewhat unfairly maligned for reasons I don’t fully understand. The gaming community as a whole is, as usual, capricious and untrustworthy. I’ve gotten some really cool screenshots from the game, if nothing else.

Wednesday 02/21

  • 09:08 # I have a weird urge to start making YouTube video thumbnails that are like the kind that often show up in recommendations, but wrong somehow. Like the portrait of the person is facing the wrong way, or they have a completely normal expression, or they’re tilted at a weird angle, or the face is too big, or the text that exclaims “you won’t believe this!” is too small, or the exclamation is some inexplicable random word non-sequitor like “fruit yonder tree!?” Stuff like that. Just take all the conventional advice for making the thumbnails and do it wrong intentionally. But then that would be the same amount of work, if not more work, than making regular thumbnails. And it would probably look AI generated and get banned.

Thursday 02/22

  • 23:38 # There’s a stretch in Calrath that seems to be the place in Lords of the Fallen where they wanted to be even more annoying than Blighttown. There’s one in every Souls-like. I guess it’s a point of pride with Souls-like game developers to make an area that will be memorable as the worst experience players have ever been through.

Friday 02/23

  • 12:20 # Thinking about returning Nightingale. I’m still in the 2 hour window. The graphics and UI are a bit janky. But it’s not bad. When you crank up the difficulty, the survival mechanics keep me engaged minute-to-minute, in the way that an ARK does. It’s just that I don’t see myself playing it very much, and I don’t see any interesting emergent stories coming out of it. Especially if there’s an emphasis on cooperative play.

Saturday 02/24

  • 09:26 # Okay I’ve decided to keep Nightingale. But it’s probably going to go into the same bucket as Enshrouded and Valheim, and most of the time-tested survival games like ARK and The Forest and 7DTD to be honest. A game that I think it might be fun to play once in a while but I never actually get around to clicking the launch button to actually play it.

  • 09:33 # For the Lords of the Fallen progress report, I can report that I’ve gotten past the Spurned Progeny, but the waking nightmare that is Calrath continues. It’s an extremely annoying area to traverse because they’ve chose to implement game difficulty by just throwing more enemies at you in groups, instead of making newer, more difficult single enemies. The combat mechanics of Souls-like games are optimal for 1-on-1 combat, not 1-on-5 combat (or 1-on-10 combat in Umbral). It turns into a constant mad scramble of chaos and it’s very un-Souls-like. Also I’m a bit annoyed that I’ve gotten this far and there’s no other dual-wielding weapons for me other than the short swords I got very early on.

  • 10:28 # Has anyone in the history of the Internet ever used a checksum to verify that your downloaded file isn’t corrupted? I always wonder who is out there making those checksums and publishing them on websites, and who that’s for, and what kind of lives those people live.

  • 19:25 # Continuing to replay Nioh up to the point where I rage-quit a couple of years ago, because I lost all my videos in a hard drive crash. I wanted to have video evidence of why I quit this game so hard. So I got to the boss at the end of Deep in the Shadows, and it’s immediately obvious why the bosses in this game are so well-designed to make people quit. I’m amazed I ever got past this boss. The speed at which the boss attacks, and the sluggishness and non-responsiveness of the controls to respond, is maddening. The first of many ridiculous bosses in Nioh. I’m sure I won’t be finishing this game. If I do, I’m only going to do it by over-leveling for each boss by somewhere around 50-100 levels.

Sunday 02/25

  • 08:44 # Yesterday I successfully got through Hino-enma in the Nioh replay, the maddening bat lady at the bottom of the caves. 31 deaths. Two things that made the difference were finally remembering to put on two paralysis charms, and remembering that she’s wide open to attack when she sprints toward you. Also I’ve learned my lesson and I’m way way way over-leveling for this replay and farming for extra levels all over the place heh. Was level 24 for the supposedly level 12 mission.

  • 20:19 # Random thought: I really don’t understand why the 1-9 hotbar system became the gold standard for survival-type games because it’s pretty awful. The amount of game time spent dragging-and-dropping little icons around is rather absurd. The absolute worst is when you craft an item and then you have to drag it from your inventory to a hotbar slot before you can trigger it to place it somewhere in the environment. Note: I am of the opinion that the dragging-and- dropping UI paradigm was one of the worst things ever invented in the computer industry, or at least the most overused by lazy UI developers, particularly in the gaming space.

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