Total Words: 528,392
Estimated Reading: 1 days, 11 hours

Blog Posts59

  • 5w, 2d
    A Matter of Threes

    Witcher 3 - I didn't play the first two witcher games. I wasn't even planning on getting The Witcher 3 because I thought it was too late to get into the series. But my brother got it anyway so I gave it a go. So the first praise I'm gonna lob its way is that it made me wish that I had played the first two witcher games. Its world is probably its greatest strength; the lore is rich, the details are great, the history, the politics all so meticulously crafted. Combat's a little too...Assassin's Creed/Shadow of Mordor to me. Obviously I'm biased towards Dark Souls/Bloodborne combat, but it works well. I like the professional approach that the game lets you take to combat. You identify the beast you're hunting long before you meet it, you get an incentive to check the bestiary, you put on the right blade oil, drink the right potions, get the right spells ready, then you go.

    The characters...let's put it this way. At some point, I was sincerely hoping that things work out well for Sigismund Dijkstra, especially when he went on that rant against his mad king. I was actually rooting for a bald, fat crime lord who cusses at your character at every turn. Then, he ordered a hit on my friends so I had to take him out. And I actually felt bad. I had hoped that it didn't have to go down that way. That's just awesome, the way the game accomplishes that. Apparently this one's the end of Geralt's adventures. I hoping for a spin off as Lambert or Eskel. Not Ciri though. She's...annoyingly perfect.

    Dark Souls 3 - Yeah, so it's actually coming next year. Of course I'm hyped for it and I'm going to get it as soon as it comes out. But, after four entries for the Souls series, I'm now filled with apprehension as well as excitement for the next one. Why?

    Because I fucking loved the Final Fantasy series.

    Played 4 as my first and loved it. Then 6 afterwards 7. I only got my hands on 5 when it came out for the PS1, and I still loved it. I played the hell out of Tactics to the point that the CD simply broke from use. I enjoyed 8 and, no, I don't give a rat's ass what Spoony or anyone says about that game, I liked 9, and 10. Then...things went to shit. Now, 15's coming out, but I've lost all faith in the series to even consider that it might be good especially when previews show that your main character appears to be part of a boy band and you're in a world where even vicious beasts in the wilderness have fabulous hairdos.

    I don't want that to happen to the Souls series. I'm just too fond of what it's done so far. A series can only take so many installments before it squirts out a stinker. Regardless, here's a brief wish list for 3.

    1. Diverse and integrated covenants -one of Bloodborne's big missteps was how few and shallow its covenants were; there was only 3, they were all PvP oriented, the rewards were crap, and they didn't really go anywhere. It would be great to not only have a lot of interesting covenants, but to make it so that your choice in joining one affects how the world reacts to you and the ending.

    2. Lessons learned from previous games and copycats - no more super shiny armor that stays perfect as you slog through a poison swamp. It would be great to not only get the same bloodspattered mess after several fights as you did in Bloodborne, but to see your armor get more beat up or your robes become more tattered as durability goes down. I also liked that thing they did in Lords of the Fallen where your drop souls would steadily decrease if you take too long to retrieve them.

    3. Refillable Estus, but no other healing items - the addition of life gems and a ton of other healing items in addition to the estus flask severely crippled the survival aspect of Dark Souls 2. Some of the tension is dissipated if you can easily top off after each fight with a life gem. Bloodborne sort of fixed that by forcing you to rely on a limited number of blood vials and the combat health regain system. However, they made it so that vials don't replenish on their own and you have to farm them after a while. Having to farm potions does not add challenge or tension, it just adds tedium. Being limited in terms of healing forces the player to become more strategic in using healing and to truly master defensive maneuvers.

    4. Limit callbacks - I loved the fight with the False King, Gwyn's boss fight is one of my all-time favorites, Vendrick was shit, but Logarius and Gehrman more than made up for it. However, no more super-powered old men as late/end game bosses, Fromsoft. Let the trope rest for a while. Same goes for poison swamps that slow you down, bosses made up of dead bodies, or bridges that a dragon will burn. As a series progresses there has to be a careful balance between tradition and innovation. A few callbacks are always nice, but too much will bore the Souls veterans.

    9 comments · 166 views
  • 11w, 6d
    On the Next Chapters of Journeys

    Well, that took a while didn't it? Two main reasons why.

    1. Bloodborne

    2. You may have noticed that the chapter is labeled "Unified 2" instead of just Chapter 2. This has to do with how I plan to structure Journeys. Unified chapters indicate events where all or at least several of the Mane Six are involved. Obviously, there would be unified chapters at the start of the story. I wanted to have only 2 unified chapters before moving on, so I tried to settle as much within the feast without splitting the chapter up. It looks like I'll be progressing as planned so far.

    So the next chapter will not be Unified 3, it will be Applejack 1 and I will keep going until I complete her section. The pattern will be Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Twilight Sparkle.

    What of Legacy, you might ask. I will update Legacy before Applejack 1 as I have a few bits down. After that, updates for that one will be sporadic.

    8 comments · 174 views
  • 15w, 6d
    Writer State

    Around 5k words done for the next Journeys, I'm about halfway done I think. I just realize that I'm pretty bad at writing ponies being leisurely and happy. There has to be some kind of action going on, or a grim situation apparently.

    11 comments · 196 views
  • 17w, 2d
    Bloodborne First Run Complete

    And so I finish my first playthrough.

    Character: Noble Scion (High Skill and Bloodtinge/low health and endurance)

    Final level: 66

    Final weapons: Threaded Cane +9 (Yes, I did use the same weapon from start to finish) Repeater Pistol +9

    Thanks to a combination of inept exploring and overenthusiastic progression, I missed a ton of content. It was so bad that I even failed to get my weapons to maximum upgrades. I didn't do the Chalice Dungeons save the first one because I saw that they were optional and I just sort of put them in the back of my mind only to finish the game without going through them. I am all too happy to get in a more completionist playthrough. With some of my hype curbed though, I can at least get some writing done. I'm also now waiting for a "This is how you DON'T play Bloodborne" starring DSP on youtube.

    Some lows: I ran into the item storage bug, which served to frustrate me for nearly half my playthrough. Normally, the hunter can carry up to twenty potions and twenty bullets. Any excess found is transferred to the storage. Upon death or returning to the hub, potions and bullets are transferred from the storage to your inventory to keep you topped off with supplies. With the bug, I lost access to my stored potions and bullets which meant that every time I died, I had to stop trying to progress to farm supplies. I should consider myself lucky I didn't run into the Lunarium Key bug which would have prevented any progression. I'm hoping some fixes are made soon.

    Favorite bosses (so far): Shadows of Yarnham just for their simple and awesome entrance. Mergo's Wet Nurse for being a fusion of a Cthulhu crow and a ninja.

    Hated boss: Micolash, Host of the Nightmare

    Favorite Area: Yahar'gul, Hidden Village

    Hated Area: Nightmare of Mensis


    4 comments · 173 views
  • 17w, 6d
    Bloodborne

    Don't expect any updates any time soon. I just got my hands on this game.

    And this game...this fucking game...

    I've played all three Souls games. I've done Pure Black World Tendency, Company of Champions, SL1 runs and stuff. I thought it'd give me some advantage. Damn, I was wrong. This sadistic game is the step up I was looking for in the Souls series. I've faced three bosses so far, and I haven't found one that's remotely near "too easy", but that may yet be because some of the new mechanics need some getting used too. And you know what's even better? There's no fog wall around the boss area the first time you get there. You could just be exploring some area and then a cut scene will trigger for a boss fight. You turn around and, surprise, there's a fog wall blocking your escape.

    Aggression - Do you have that habit of rolling away to a safe distance to use some healing item when the boss shaves off half your life with one swing? Yeah, this game's gonna wean you off that habit. The potions are limited, don't heal much, don't replenish upon death, and get more and more expensive as you progress. You'll be relying on the new game mechanic where you restore some of the life you just lost if you hit the enemy back, but only at a limited time window. So if you get smacked hard, your thoughts will be to hit back and fast. There's no shield so you have to jump into the fray to get to the enemy's flanks and back. Even the parry involves attacking the enemy during its swing, not waiting for the attack to get to you.

    Design and Atmosphere - loving the gothic motif. The city streets are dark and horrific, but now I'm in a foreboding wood that seems to have grown out of the ruins of something. It's awesome to see your character get more and more splattered with blood as you kill more monsters. It's also nice that you get to see the face you designed and not worry about turning into a hideous, balding, green zombie whenever you're killed.

    So far, the most frustrating feature is the slightly long loading times combined with the very bland loading screen.

    11 comments · 334 views
Viewing 1 - 9 of 9 stories
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This story is a sequel to Upheaval: Reckoning

Equestria's fragments have reunited, and the power of sunlight shines once more within Celestia. With the remnants of the Old Kingdom destroyed, the Abyssal Throne sent away, the threat of Gravitas defeated, and Black Rose no more, Equestria now faces the encroaching darkness of Oceanus and his rebels.

But the stage is not yet fully set. Twilight Sparkle and her friends must gather what means they may before the battle is joined.

Cover art provided by Obsidian Rose

First Published
6th Mar 2015
Last Modified
24th Jun 2015
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After the siege of Bastion City and the theft of the power of sunlight, Spike takes on Prince Terrato's offer to train under the kirin, Seethe Scale. He must travel to the Western Barrier Land to gain the strength to help his friends.

Once there, however, Spike soon realizes that there is more for him to contend with in this harsh environment than developing his abilities.

First Published
8th Jan 2015
Last Modified
3rd Jun 2015
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 23
 442

A great many things occur all throughout Equestria as the reunification proceeds and the days count down to a great upheaval. Every grand picture holds many small details, easily forgotten or unnoticed. These are brief records of such things.

First Published
6th Dec 2014
Last Modified
6th Dec 2014
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 17
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Black Rose's elite agents serve her in various ways. To accomplish her tasks, their talents must be both great and diverse, requiring individuals from the far-flung corners of Equestria. To gather them is a difficult task in and of itself, a task that two siblings must deal with if Black Rose's plans could even have a chance to succeed.

First Published
4th Jul 2014
Last Modified
4th Jul 2014
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 25
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Throughout history, the wolven have been known as vicious and rapacious raiders, swooping in from their frozen homeland far to the north in small bands to seize what they please from unfortunate settlements and caravans across Equestria's borders. For this one occasion, however, wolven raiders have acquired something that may be more trouble than it's worth.

First Published
27th Jun 2014
Last Modified
27th Jun 2014
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 15
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Lexarius the steward, the alicorn sent by the Herd to aid those oppressed by the Everlasting Kingdom and their own tainted heritage, seeks to help those he considers his new kin. The first step, however, proves difficult as he must preside over a meeting that reveals old hatreds that may well destroy his path before he could even take it.

First Published
27th Apr 2014
Last Modified
27th Apr 2014
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 15
 840

Alicorns are no strangers to battle. Within the vastness of the Eternal Herd is a plane where violence reigns. A young Sanctus Dominus, still a long way away from his kingship, encounters a former monarch in the battlefield.

First Published
3rd Apr 2014
Last Modified
3rd Apr 2014
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Source

This story is a sequel to Upheaval: Breaking Point

Following the events of Breaking Point, Twilight Sparkle and her friends discover that Equestria's demise may not come from an enemy invasion, but from within. The Barrier Lands and the Heartland begin the slow and uneasy process of reuniting into a single Equestria, but this long-delayed joining is already in danger at its conception.

With Celestia's power in her grasp and her agents by her side, the wheels of Black Rose's plans for Equestria's future continue to turn. However, her brazen gamble has done more than just bring down a centuries-old barrier. Ancient powers begin to stir: the remnants of a dark period in Equestria's history, the immortal inhabitants of Celestia's homeworld, and a rising tide of darkness coming ever closer.

First Published
26th Feb 2012
Last Modified
31st Aug 2014
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 11,775
Source

Equestria is a land of magic and harmony, a peaceful realm ruled by immortal and benevolent monarchs. At what cost is this possible?

Following the discovery of a strange and powerful device, Twilight Sparkle is whisked away to the edges of a land she thought she knew so well. Here, surrounded by ponies whose very existences have been kept secret, she must contend with vicious enemies, hostile allies, and the truth.

Chapters 1-16 edited by KiltedKey

First Published
9th Feb 2012
Last Modified
14th Feb 2012