“Poking My Nose In”

Last night… something happened. Something grand, and glorious… but all too fleeting.

The hour was late, and a long session with Lost Ark was coming to a close. One by one, friends were drifting away to sleep, until eventually, it was just one other and I. We didn’t speak of what was to happen at first. It didn’t need to be said. Despite the miles between us and the utter lack of visual contact, the words were unnecessary. In the silence, the raising of a brow in question could be sensed. The nod of acceptance understood.

Then like animals, we were going at it. The fever pitch no longer able to be contained.

We were playing Elden Ring.

Entering the wider world of Elden Ring for the first time.

I mentioned yesterday that I might “poke my nose in” and apparently poking my nose in looks like a solid 3 and a bit hour play session. It kept me up long enough that had it been early summer, I would’ve met the rising of the sun before my head hit the pillow.

Too early to tell yet whether this was a mistake or not. I think by and large my opinions from yesterday’s post remain unchanged, that I should wait for some patching and continue my Lost Ark journey time in the meantime.

All that aside, how did I find Elden Ring?

Technical

Well- for a start, I did see the stuttering issues for myself that have been fairly widely discussed already. From have acknowledged the issues and are working to resolve them but currently at least, the PC version of the game is sitting at a ‘Mixed’ rating with 62% positive on Steam. Quite the contrast from the slew of 9/10 and 10/10 critic reviews coming out even when do acknowledge the PC stuttering.

To be fair, the technical performance issues didn’t get in my way at all. They’re in set places and brief in nature. I know not everyone is having that experience though and I can imagine any instance where this occurs in any fight of significance to have dire consequences and to be utterly frustrating.

Play Experience

I rolled out of the gate as the Astrologer starting class, with an intent to play through a sorcery build. I was second-guessing myself on this decision before I even left the character creation though, thinking I should perhaps go back and do a more traditional melee build. … Possibly one with a strong shield, too.

But I recognised those thoughts for what they were! Cowardice! Melee is my safe-space in a Souls-like. It’s what I’m comfortable with and entering a brand new, very large world for the first time, that comfort would’ve been nice. I essentially never play Sorcery and when I do, I don’t finish the game with it.

I figured this time, things might be different.

My Astrologian (Sorcerer) making his way through the tutorial, aka, ‘The Cave of Knowledge’.

Already, just with the two starting spells to my name, I can see signs of Elden Rings willingness to improve how Sorcery feels to play — particularly early on. Unclear to me yet how the difficulty relative to melee will ultimately feel. Right now it’s an interesting mix of easier and more difficult.

Yep, I can kill things from range… For a while.

But sooner or later, the FP (mana) runs out, and out comes the short sword. A weapon with which my puny mage-arms doesn’t wield to great effect. Initially, I couldn’t even finish the basic soldier enemies with a backstab attack. By the end of my play session, I made sure to change that. I’d found a good amount of smithing shards — albeit some of them by accident and while in a state of terror. A trapped chest had transported me into a hellscape of enemies I had no business even looking at yet. Worse, I wasn’t allowed to quick travel out until making it to the surface.

Fortunately, the surface wasn’t too far away once I calmed down and started heading in the correct direction. *cough*

That undesired excursion afar aside, I kept myself within the confines of the Limgrave area. I went into several of the mini-dungeons here and beat a few of the lower tier of bosses you find in these places. By far the creepiest being a cat-like ‘watchdog’. That whole place had me squealing to be honest.

In short, it was good times.

Can I successfully put this cat back into the bag and save it for another day now?

… Uncertain.

It’s entirely possible that it’ll become the game to play after the day of Lost Ark is done, time allowing. (Yay weekend!)

Naithin

Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.

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