Dragons Dogma - 2nd day - Darn Bandits!
With my prescribed PWN in tow, I went outside the gates into the open world. I found that the graphics were nice and I was entranced with the swaying plants, grass and trees (it is not hard to sway me, hah). The beach area was nice and believable. Capcom did a great job at making things look broken, or well used.. KUDOS!!!
Oh, yea don’t go in the water….. you will find out.. hahaha.. nice touch.. but annoying.
Another hint.. stock up on lantern oils, or empty flask.. you don’t need a ton of them but they are nice to have when the time comes you will see!
Being a Strider takes some getting used to.
With the bow and some daggers as your only way to kill things, you will want to become accustomed to using them interchangeably.
RABBITS – Nature’s ‘D’ students of the game, are easy prey.. practice on them and you will be able to hit a fly off a horse’s ass, hahah or at least feel like you could. I got really good at tagging the bunnies while they were on the run.. just remember to LEAD YOUR TARGET and you will be fine.
Night time came around and I found that my first big enemies were GOBLINS. My PWN had informed me over and over that they hate fire!!.
Combat was interesting. Here are some noticeable points:
- Damage collision and collision detection are not the greatest things in the world. This is not a game breaker, but you will find that you swing at the bad guys and could have sworn you hit them, but alas it was only your imagination.
- Enemy detection skills seem out of this world. I have been wondering about this a bit…. At night it is essentially dark. The game makes you realize the importance of investing in oil for your lantern and with the lighting effects. It looks pretty amazing at night. However, the night time means that bigger and badder things are up and about. But my theory is that maybe, just maybe.. Capcom was smart enough to program the enemies to notice your light. I would like to try and give them some credit because so far, the enemies that I currently face have been seeing me before I see them and that sucks. But I will continue to check on this theory….
- Choose your battles well.. fighting rabbits and goblins are easy. Just be careful not shoot bystanders, or city guards.. That will be a big NO NO. I came close to hurting a city guard but thank goodness a bandit was there to take the heat for me.
- If your enemies’ health bar is not going down, then RUN! There is nothing wrong with doing a tactical retreat.. you just have to hope they aren’t as fast and persistent as you, hehe
- Targeting – CAN I GET SOME? I mean, really?
Your foes can detect you if you don’t see them first so line of sight is important. Goblins are goofy little things that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They also like to spout silly things that will catch you off guard (think of the minions from the OVERLORD game series).
I dispatched my foes, and was feeling pretty good. My prescribed PWN was a big help. He was a healer who could ‘buff’ me with fire enchantments and he was a great help for fighting Goblins.
Time passed, and I was reluctant to complete the main quest I was on… but I was getting bored. You can only kill so many goblins and rabbits so I headed on over to a Fort which was our next destination.
At the Fort, I was enlightened to find a Rift Stone
This is another part of your training in DD.
I was taught how to use it and was allowed to create my very own companion PAWN. (Gideon Oni, that’s my boy!)
My personal PWN was a short, blind, skinny red headed can of whoop ass.
I set his Vocation to Strider (**Be careful of same job parties.. I don’t recommend it to those who do not have much experience in D&D, or party-up type games.. you will find that a group of 4 archers, or 4 mages might be fun.. but the fun is over when you all start dropping like flies because of piss poor party balance and this game will test you) -
So now I have my very own PWN whom I found out can be used in other people’s games if they choose him as a PWN from their Rift Stone. I am like ALRIGHT!!!
So I check out the PWN merchandise. I have 2000 Rift Pts..(pre-order perk) and I start looking for people to fill the 2 additional spots I just acquired. That means I can have ME, My Road-dawg PWN, and 2 others… The prescribed PWN given at the beginning of the quest was kicked out.. He was cool, but he had to go! (Otta’ Here!)
So I will be completely honest.. I wasted about 1500 Rift pts and chose 2 PWNs from the list. The best choice was a level 25 Sorcerer named Ellie.. she was a keeper for a bit.
Now mind you, I was a level 9 or 10 ( was grinding on Rabbits, goblins and quest) and I now had a level 25 magic user in my party.. AWESOME.
The second party member I picked up was Warrior. So I have a party of 2 archers, 1 tank, and a Blk Mage (Final Fantasy XI Reference) – No healer.. hahaha I am a BEAST.. a sadly unbalanced one, but a BEAST all the same.
I learned how to deal with the lack of healing, but that cost me money.
The good thing is that since I was out there exploring and looting, I was bringing back everything that wasn’t nailed down and selling it. I was rich (level 15 with almost 100k, not bad) so I was able to stock everyone with up to 40 herbs, 3 – 4 anti-poison herbs, anti-slience med for the black mage, and some status arrows for me (Poison and Sleep arrows).
The plan worked out pretty well for a while. We would fight and I would yell for them to HELP, and they would heal themselves with herbs. But here is where the game impresses me.
When it was just me and the prescribed PWN, I KINDA noticed that health didn’t regenerate over time after a battle. Even the PWN would never be at full health unless I went and spent the night at an INN. Mind you, he was a healer and would never heal himself to full.. I am like what is up with that?
Well, with a party of 4, it is super noticeable this time, and the more people mean the more of a BADASS I feel. So I decide to test the limits of this OPEN WORLD ideal. Haha.. jokes on me.
It is real, and here’s what else is real:
- The farther you explore, the better the chance of the ass kicking. (Believe it)
- A wolf is a member of a PACK and they are tighter than peas and carrots.
- Booby Traps.. they hurt.
- Bandits don’t play fair. – seriously, these guys are like lemmings. They come from everywhere and in great numbers, and at low level, they are worse than half the monsters you encounter.
- Just because there is a cave there doesn’t mean that you have to explore it.
- Listen to the sounds at night.. they are a serious warning sign.. (Wolves howl, saurians bellow, etc…)
- There is no F@#king Fast Travel. WTF?!? I feel like I am back at the early days of Everquest zoning from Qeynos all the way to Feydark with no Teleport L (ol’ skooler’s know exactly what I am talking about). So the farther you explore, the longer it takes to get back home to a warm bed.
I need to explain a little something here about me. I have Gamer OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) – and that compels me to do dumb things in video games.
Example: Let’s see what happens if you jump off this cliff… I want to test for invisible walls
Example 2: I heard something huge over there.. I got 30 hp left, and 2pts away from being over encumbered, and down to my last 3 heals/potions…..let’s go see what it is.. maybe I might get lucky!
SAD I know. So when you introduce a game where there is basically no holds barred open game exploration, I adapt the I MIGHT GET LUCKY syndrome. This is when I discovered that there are things out there that little ol’ me should not be messing with. Thanks Capcom for letting that level 50 monster roam around to turn level 10 me into a snack.. you ROCK!.. But that is what I get for not being smart.
I would like to point out that this is not a new concept, but most of the major games out there are still on some kind of leveling coefficient where the game adapts with you. Oblivion did it, but it was not the best idea now that I think back then, and Skyrim said that they don’t do it, but I still felt tethered. Dragon’s Dogma kicked all of that out of me when I started to venture out too far into the world.
On this 2nd day of venturing I found a mine and just HAD to explore it. There was a locked gate and that turned me back. Made a left and saw a very inconspicuous hill /canyon.. part of the way up, dealt with a lovely wolf pack, and saw that a huge boulder was coming my way. I barely dodged and made it to the top to find my very first encounter with Human Bandits.
My arrows did nothing. Like a baby slapping a grown man with a feather! I am glad that I save constantly and decided to keep trying to get up that hill. After 3 tries I was triumphant. Collected some coins, a little loot, a treasure chest and proceeded to explore some more.
In the back of my mind, I am telling myself that I should head back, rest, sell my crap, and then come back refreshed and possibly in the day time…but Maybe I might get lucky! (kept going… sigh)
A short distance down the way there was another group of bandits. I attacked one and about 7 came and started to flank us. After 3 more loaded games, I was triumphant. (See a pattern here).
There was a fork in the road. I met with 3 more bandits and some wolves. They all seemed to join forces against me this time. I got lucky and beat them all and noticed that daylight was finally here. I turned my lantern off and went to the right.
In the distance I saw a cool looking Fort / castle, and dozens of bandits.. DAMNIT! I turned the other way and went to a place called the Witchwood.
I wasn’t in there long, there were some spiders I needed to kill for a quest and I fought a ghost.
Sorry, let me rephrase that…my spell casting PWN’s fought the damn thing as Melee and physical weapons don’t do squat.. Literally 10 minutes later the Ghost was defeated and I was on my way back out of the Witchwood.
Now for the journey home; I was dreading this trip because I was afraid of re-pops. This is where the game throws a curve. There are re-pops but only after so much time has passed, you sleep at an inn, or you were so far away from that location.
I fought more wolves, but the groups of bandits I battled with were still vanquished, so I ran my tail back home.
Back at home I slept at the inn and for the first time, I got a notification that my PWN had returned from assisting another Arisen in a different realm. I was provided a gift and some Rift Points. OMFG.. I’m a PWN pimp!!!!
My PWN made a little money back then, he is now at a level and skill set that he is worth a couple hundred Rift Points now.. but all I am missing is the Feather cap and the leopard skin coat. (PIMP!)
This was the basic routine for a few hours. I grinded the bandits and got a few levels and decided that I would play in the PWN Fort some more. I discovered that I could spend Discipline Points and acquire new skills and abilities for me and my PWN. Feeling more like a bad ass than ever, I grinded some more and came back to the PWN Fort to spend some more Discipline Points. I performed 2 quest that I found there. The first was a training quest. It helps you identify if your party is balanced or not, and tries to educate you a little. My group was awesome. I just had no healing (and the Uber Gamer’s know I was living on borrowed time, hahaha)
I accepted the second quest which thrust you into a FVM and mid boss.. (Go Team Hydra!)..
My group rocked.. I didn’t think we would win so fast and easy.
This ended day 2.
I will post Day 3 Shortly..