Watch PSO2 Nonsense because Sol requested it from Belghast on www.twitch.tv
Last night when I got home I fired up the stream and played a little Phantasy Star Online 2. Over the weekend Sol made a comment over my Stream discord that I really should be streaming as I played… I assume so she could see what the game was about. The core problem with that is I am guessing based on some of the things I have seen is that the early game is very much not entirely like the late game. One of the reasons why I loved PSO back in the Dreamcast days is that it was essentially “Space Diablo”. Essentially you had a randomly assembled corridor dungeon crawler set on a series interesting tilesets that involved killing everything and getting loot drops as your reward. This core design loop seems to be in place in PSO2, and while I absolutely knew what I was getting myself into… I am not sure if most other gamers would view the title the same way I do.
There are certain aspects of the game that feel very dated from the relatively chunky terrain to the fact that everything is essentially a tightly closed in circuit. Sure you can do more with your terrain than you used to be able to do… like jump… I don’t think you could jump in the first PSO. This is actually used in many cases to hide secrets in the verticality of the level design… but as is also seen in a sequence in my VOD from last night it adds to frustration because the jumping mechanics are also relatively low fidelity. There is a point where I am trying to jump between the individual islands of rock in a chain surrounded by lava, and I am constantly failing to hit the terrain at exactly the right spot allowing me to hop up onto the surface. While the game is only five years old at this point… but in some ways it feels older.
One thing of note… it took me a bit to realize that my microphone was muted so for the first little bit of the VOD I am completely silent. I was talking up a storm, describing the various things I was encountering… all wondering why the folks watching were not responding. Then I noticed the blinking red light on my Yeti telling me that I had muted it at some point. I think I have this revelation about ten minutes into the video where I correct it and apologize. I am not really sure how often I will be playing PSO2 but I am nonetheless glad I went through the process of installing it. It is a fun game and the core mechanical loop of killing sci-fi monsters for fun and profit is one that I enjoy greatly. Just not all that sure how fun it is to watch me doing this thing.
The tail end of my evening was spent in Monster Hunter World hanging out with my friend Grace and working on getting her the last few tickets needed for The Proving quest. I had originally hoped to grab Thalen as well and help him out, but he was nowhere to be seen last night. Generally speaking I am assuming he had pressing family matters, which I hear is a thing when you are a parent. I mean I sometimes have pressing family matters too with my cats, but they are on I feel a completely different plateau of general needs. Usually what I am dealing with is Kenzie prancing around in front of me trying to make sure I see the rubber band that she just dropped on my desk… that she wants me to fling out into the hall so she can chase it. If you ever hear the sound of a rubber band zinging through the air while I am streaming… then I am doing precisely that.
The whole Anjanath farm thing had a side benefit in that I had really wanted to create Flammensucher the crazy flame axe that passes for a sword and shield. During our final run of the night I managed to get the last of my fangs allowing me to craft it… and I have to say while I love it… I am having a little bit of buyers remorse. The problem is not the negative affinity, because it deals more than enough fire damage to make up for that. The core problem so far is that it has completely horrible durability and I got down to orange sharpness while killing ten Gajau for an investigation. I am used to being able to fight the boss through two changes of venue before dropping out of blue sharpness… so this is a significant change for me to get used to. The positive however is that the fire damage is still potent regardless of the base sharpness.
At some point I need to get back on the wagon and work towards downing the final boss of the game. I’ve been sitting on that step since this weekend and have yet to really give it an attempt. I think that is in part because I have a screenshot directory full of things that look like the above… with me failing various elder dragon fights. Granted I tend to fail upwards and learn from my mistakes, but it also takes a lot out of me. This combined with the fact that I have zero burning desire to “finish the game” means I tend to languish around in the doldrums leading up to final boss fights most of the time. My friends like Void/GrnMushroom have a deep burning desire to defeat games that propels them forward into throwing themselves against fights until they eventually batter them down. Me… I just like to wander around and constantly find myself actively avoiding finishing things… even in a situation like this where I know it is just the beginning of a whole new playstyle.
I do however want to uncap my level… at least until 49 where I have to fight another roadblock… and start farming elder dragons for bits and pieces to make interesting sets and weapons. I really need to start throwing myself at Nergigante until he is no big deal and something I can down regularly. The weird thing is… I would far rather throw myself into the nonsense that is SOS Roulette most of the time than actually solo something in this game. I am not sure what it is about soloing that feels bad to me, even though my palico does an amazing job of tanking the bosses and keeping me alive with a constant string of vigor wasps. It just somehow feels better when I am running around at minimum with another player, and at best with a full party of varied weapons.
Sure it gets frustrating when folks are fainting and there is nothing you can do about it… it even causes me to curse very loudly sometimes… but the fights are interesting because I am having to deal with all sorts of random elements. This weekend when I was attempting Teostra I was starting to feel like I needed to stop calling myself a positivity gamer given how much I was cursing. However Sita hung out with me and we Duo’d the fight… but even that took a few attempts. Basically Monster Hunter World feels best when it is a game played with other players be they friends or completely random strangers. As a result I doubt I will stop the madness of SOS Roulette any time soon.