Dark souls 3. Every one of my first successful playthroughs of a Dark Souls game has been done with fast weapons and pyromancy. I don’t know why I have always been drawn to this combination, but it’s worked with all 3 games, and I had fun doing it. However, with this being my second complete run through Dark Souls 3, I wanted to try something a little different. I started this run with the intentions of it being a strength/faith build. I quickly realized, however, that early faith investment was handicapping my character, so I respecced as soon as I could and invested primarily in strength. I saw much more success. I still intend to invest a little in faith just so I can try miracles out a bit (I did have some fun with the Force miracle, after all, and I have since obtained several other offensive miracles), but for now, most of my levels have been in strength and vigor.
And to be honest, I’m still having a blast. I’m enjoying this run far more than my first, and I particularly enjoy the different play style that comes with greatswords. Being able to consistently stagger enemies and not get staggered in return is fun. I went with the bastard sword, which I understand isn’t the best greatsword, but I have no complaints thus far. The shorter reach hasn’t proved much of a detriment, since I tend to get up close and personal with this build anyway. The only boss so far that has given me much trouble is Pontiff Sulyvahn. I was finally able to figure out the parry timing, but the clone kept making my life miserable in his second phase. I finally just threw all caution to the wind and starting swinging madly even when the clone was active, and though my first attempt at this failed miserably, my second was successful. I am now heading to Aldrich—or at least I will be as soon as I again have access to this computer. I left it at my parents’ house when I moved, and I now can only access it on the rare occasions that I am at their house for an extended period of time.
Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. The other computer I have access to isn’t a gaming computer, so playing newer games in it is a no go. However, I found that older games work fine, so I was able to scratch an itch I’ve had for a while. I loved VtM: B the first time I played it, and I’m enjoying it just as much this time. My first playthrough was as a Tremere, which was great fun, but also fairly easy when it came to combat. This time I opted for a Toreador, and I’m going for a persuasive vampire with decent melee skills when it comes to a fight.
Oddly, for a clan that appears to be more about talking things out and persuading or seducing people, two of the Toreador’s Disciplines are incredibly well-suited to melee combat—three if you count Bloodbuff, which all clans get. When facing off against some of the early Kindred enemies that gave me problems on my first run, using Bloodbuff, Celerity, and Presence made the fights incredibly easy. In fact, in one case, I faced a boss enemy that was part of a side quest. I expected it to be a difficult fight, but the boss never even touched me. I activated those three Disciplines, and my first attack knocked the boss down. I kept up the heat, and every time it got back up, I immediately knocked it down again. I was pleasantly surprised.
I’m also enjoying being able to get through some situations by talking. My high persuasion feat has made some situations waaaay easier than my first time around (the beach house in particular). Plus, being able to get some additional dialogue out of people is pretty cool.