Black Dragon is MY Viewer, i decide which feature i want to add and which to remove, i share this Viewer to show the world that user base size is not important, i do rate quality by effort, thought and love put into the project, not some rough estimated numbers. I consider feature requests only if i you can name proper valid reasons i can agree on. It is my (unpaid) time i'm putting into this project, i'm not here to cater to every Joe's desires.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dark Souls - Prepare to Die

I´ve wanted to record a video of the game but the parts i recorded seem way too easy because i´ve finished them a few times already, so i recorded my second and third try on Sif the great grey wolf. Im sorry for that crap quality :/

Just look at how much life point i got, in new Game you start with 3-4 bars, i´ve got 13+ and this pretty early boss eats away my health like nothing. Even normal enemys that are absolutely worthless fighting can do that, especially on New Game+ where everything becomes 1.5-2x as strong and healthy. The only reason i can also eat his HP away that fast is because im using a pretty good high end single handed sword. My Endurance is maxed (basically its over the max and can still be increased by 2 rings that increase Health, Resistance, Carry weight and Endurance and im only wearing one of them.

 Im really happy this game doesnt allow invaders to invade you during a boss fight... THAT would be unfair. Imagine, you, 2 friends and 2 NPCs against 2 invaders and a Boss. Epic fight you will 120% lose, atlast if those invaders are intelligent and use their lag to their advantage. Yup lag, some of them lag SO hard that they attack you from 10m distance and you get hit (WTF) even if YOU are the host (invaded one), they even backstab and finish you this way, you see them backstabbing you infront of you but for them you turned your back to them so they can grab you.... its somehow a shame that PvP chokes on this because it makes fights absolutely imbalanced and unfair.

 This game really shows no mercy and to finish that game, YOU shouldnt aswell, find out your enemy´s weakness and defeat them with that knowledge otherwise you will end up dead again like a few thousand times before. Oh and rwar, does my dragon look sexy? xD

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dark Souls - Death is what you deserve.

I´ve been quiet for some time now for a reason , not because i was secretly trying to conquer the world or something like that.. no , i was just busy playing Dark Souls which finally released for PC a week ago.
This Post is off-topic and doesnt have much to do with my Viewer , it just explains why i was quiet.

So, what exactly is Dark Souls? Dark Souls is the sequel to Demon Souls which was a console only RPG that made alot of people throw their controllers at the next wall. It was a dark , a bit of fantasy like RPG that kicked your ass really hard compared to other game difficulties. Dark Souls is even darker, harder in difficulty and longer in hours you will lose into this game, best of all it comes with the not yet released DLC for Dark Souls, all packaged up and named as Dark Souls - Prepare to Die Edition which is only available for PC atm. I got that game for my Xbox 360 aswell but... well Xbox 360 = XLive = Crap. Coop is one of the best things you can do in this game, it makes alot of passages alot easier, sadly Coop was only possible via Xbox Live which costs...monthly... so PC = Internet = Free = Awesome. But what exactly is Dark Souls all about?

You are dead. Nearly...mostly...uhm... well not at all maybe? Undead to be exact. You´re the chosen undead, a hollowed human trying to figure out the destiny of the undead. To achieve this you will start a long journey through thousands of other undead, monsters, wildlife and finally bosses.

What exactly makes this game so hard? This game doesnt forgive nearly any mistake you do, time one swing, jump, roll, block, parry or other action wrong and it could mean your death. Your enemies are hard, fast and can take alot of damage before they finally die and you will often fight against more than just one of them, making a sometimes hard fight even harder or nearly impossible but while this game maintains a huge difficult which also increases more and more the further you progress, it will always remain fair. Its either your wrong timed action, your missing situational awareness, your missing intelligence, missing luck or skill or a wrong tactic and/or equipment that can cost you thousand undead lifes... but hey, you will always be revived at the next bonfire which act as resupply, checkpoint, teleportation device (quick travel) and or upgrade spot but you will lose all your collected souls (money) and your humanity which will be dropped at your death place (or somewhere near if unreachable) and can be recollected. It will be lost forever should you die again trying to collect your stuff. On this way its hard but will never be unfair, it gives you another chance to get back your stuff, if you can manage to get it before dying again...well thats up to you.

The constantly increasing difficult is a very fascinating aspect of this game, even more that the game always shows you that you arnt god, you arnt uber. You are weak, mortal (in terms of you can die) and nearly everything in the world of Dark Souls can kill you if you dont watch out for them. Bosses are really cool examples of how this system works. When facing your first boss you sit there with half of your life points gone, a broken sword in your hands, no shield and no real armor to block its attacks. Impossible to defeat as it seems, you could defeat it even with that broken sword but it would take ages....but as all such "crazy" actions it would be rewarded. But what you do at first is run away (which is not possible in later Boss fights anymore) and find your first shield and weapon to fight with. Back with this new equipment the previously nearly impossible Boss becomes defeatable. You will encounter alot of bosses , each of them becoming more powerfull, you will become more powerfull aswell but you will always still remain far below them and Bosses will always remain challenging, even tho you can quickly dispatch alot of enemies. This is a great aspect of this game which i dont see alot in other games.

Now that i´ve finished the game i can say i´ve finished one of the hardest games to date, New Game+ starts now, Enemies become twice as powerfull and healthy but they also reward more than double the soul amount. Thinking that i can go out and kill everything with my bare fists now that im level 97 is a wrong thought. I can kill alot of enemies around me in one hit BUT they also can kill me very quickly due to their increased damage this makes it again very challenging and risky to just run in and try to punch everything in sight.

The Coop aspect of this game is a bit...complex but fits into the whole theme of this game. At a certain point you will find a white stone which you can use to place down a summon sign that will be visible to other players around, they can interact with this sign and summon you as phantom into their world making you able to interact with them and help them defeating the area boss and progressing further. As summoned Phantom you cannot lose anything, you can die however, which will disconnect and throw you out of that game yielding you no additional reward. Succeeding in defeating the area boss will yield you half of the souls the summoner gets and another humanity. You can only summon other people in human form.

You...or others can also invade other peoples world, invading is announced and yields both the invader and the invaded souls and humanity if the other one dies, much like a forced PvP duel but you can only be invaded if you are in human form.

You can get back your human form by collecting humanity and using it at one of the bonfires to sacrifice it in order to be in human form again. Beeing in this form gives you resistance bonuses and makes you able to summon friendly NPCs you might have rescued or other players that want to help other people progressing further.

There are also covenants you can enter to get special weapons , armor , skills and functions like constant and unannounced invading, dragon transformation and breath, chaos spells, special abilities and divine spells.

I´ve probably seen the YOU DIED screen aloooot on all kind of places due to normal enemies, bosses, environment, falls, traps, deep endless holes and finisher moves... but when you finish a boss or a dungeon and see the YOU ARE VICTORIOUS screen you are very happy and proud of yourself, managing an enemy that you thought is impossible to defeat.

If you can get your hands on it somehow, by a friend or something like this, TRY IT. You definetly should! You´ll bit your teeth out ;)

Our journey starts here...
"Old legends tell..."

We will be grabbed by a huge black crow... where might it drop us?
"that there will be a chosen undead..."
...Lordran, a cursed City of the undead, either you end up as hollowed or you will find out whats your destiny
Lordran has some nice sorroundings all of them look unreachable, but actually alot of them are reachable, the strange but great usage of Level of Detail makes this possible.
Anor Londo, one of the most powerfull cities, sadly its shrouded in darkness due to my actions in this city, alot of things you do has a consequence, killing the firekeeper like i did here made the sun vanish and envelop the whole city in darkness and destruction.
You will visit alot of dangerous places on your journey like this giant lava cave, getting in contact with lava is a quick way to die.
You will also visit the endless Abyss which is a dark place with absolutely nothing in it except the bonfire if you defeated the boss and the boss itself that awaits you here.
In the DLC you will fight Artorias, a Legend who has sadly gone hollow...
Boss fights like these are often easier or possible at all when you got friends (left) and NPCs (right) to help you distracting them.
The DLC Mausoleum of Oolacile looks great and shows that even not too advanced graphics can look great, it just depends on the designer, same goes for Second Life, if creators would actually put more and GOOD effort into their products, stuff would look good and wouldnt be performance bombs...sadly most creators either dont listen or ignore performance completely as they either have a way too poor PC to notice the difference or just use too low graphic settings in order to notice how bad their stuff looks.
In Dark Souls you will find alot of such dead leftovers of other people and heroes that tried the same as you, they will often yield valuable souls or equipment.
Finally... the end, i´ve taken the good ending, becoming the new Lord of Lordran.

Now that im done i can slowly start working on 1.5 again after which i will probably do a break again... to continue this game....once more