V Rising the Peglin for the Elden Ring

June is always a busy month for me. Working in IT, there are jobs that need to be finished, and new projects that need to be budgeted for. It’s a juggling act that feels more like a board game than some may think. Definitely has bad players just like some board games!

I was a little disappointed this week because I didn’t get my weekly catch up with Alpal. Things happen, and sessions get postponed all the time. Missing the day isn’t the problem, it was why I missed it.

My home internet has been down for 2 days and counting. 7 pm Friday night, boom no internet. I blame Kenobi and Stranger Things 4 starting at the same time! 😜

Maybe during the week Rabbit and I can play some physical games again to make up for it. See how we feel – it’s been a long week for both of us already!

Elden Ring

So I have just passed the 100-hour mark for Elden Ring. And I still have plenty more to go. I have beaten the Fire Giant, but I have been exploring the Lands Between for grinding and finding new toys. This has led to an interesting position when I am playing.

On one hand, I am exploring areas again that I completely forgot about. It’s not often you can walk around in Elden Ring and be completely overpowered. This has let me find a few ‘bosses’ that I am almost two hitting at the moment.

This has let me find a few new items and some spells and such that I can never use as I have put minimal points in magic use.

20220530 - Elden Ring - A cave formed around a fossilised dragon
A cave formed around a fossilised dragon? How bad could it be?

Elden Ring then lets me get lulled into a false sense of security. I started exploring the Mountaintop of the Giants and managed to walk into a new area. Initially, I thought that was cool. Something new to find!

Well, what I found was an area with one of the optional bosses. Without delving into spoilers, there are only a few ‘shardbearers’ in Elden Ring you need to fight. Everyone else you need to find first. I knew this in general, and I have fought one of these bosses already.

What I didn’t realise I was walking into was another of these bosses. The enemies in the area were tougher than what I had been fighting (took more than one hit), and then I found an elevator up. Cue the cutscene, followed by the infamous You Died screen.

20220530 - Elden Ring - It took me far too long to work out this clue
It took me far too long to work out this clue

Another trophy boss down and some new toys at least! This has been my Elden Ring experience for most of the last couple of weeks. I think I am getting right to the end of what I can find on my own though. Well, and still enjoy the game.

I ended up making a spreadsheet of the items needed for 4 trophies and marking off what I had found. I am surprisingly close on the majority of them. Why is this important? Because I am trying to work out if I should just finish Elden Ring, or if I want to do a trophy run.

20220530 - Elden Ring - Do I go for the platinum
Do I go for the super shiny trophy?

The decision isn’t made yet, but it is where I am leaning. It will be interesting to see which way I go. That’s for next week’s entry though!

Peglin

I have been writing about how Elden Ring has been a relaxing time. That still holds and is still a great escape, but a new diversion appeared to me this week. Watching a friend of mine Schmean, he started a stream with a game called Peglin. To say I was intrigued was an understatement.

Turn based roguelike adventures like Slay the Spire have been very popular recently. Peglin is another of these games, but instead of using cards to combat enemies, you play Pachinko!

If Pachinko doesn’t ring any bells, and you are old enough, you play Peggle to beat up the bad guys. If you don’t remember Peggle, ummm… Reverse pinball? 🥲

Years ago I played Peggle to zone out for a little bit. Levels were reasonably quick, and jumping in for one level was a bit sized gaming session. Couple that with a quest, and I was always going to give it a try.

20220530 - Peglin - Title Screen
It doesn’t look like much, but it plays great

Well, I say try. To be clear right now, Peglin is in early access. There are ‘only’ 3 levels made up of multiple paths, and I managed to clear the game after about 7-8 hours of play.

This might sound like an overpriced demo to some, but Peglin already has more to offer. Being a roguelike, the multiple paths and a big boss at the end are set, every area and level boss changes. That alone offers a lot of replayability. There is also a heap of artifacts (power ups) and events thrown in that can make or break a run!

20220530 - Peglin - Pachinko Combat
Hit pegs, damage goes up per peg, when ball drops attack launches

Your weapons are orbs that are launched into the Pachinko board. There are strengths for each orb, and maybe a special power. Each time you hit a brick that launch, the strength is added per brick and is what you hit the enemy with. That’s it. Peglin’s strength is in its simplicity. Yes, you are facing endless hordes on an adventure. But all you need to concentrate on is watching a ball bounce around!

I have managed to beat all three levels and unlock Cruciball mode. On a surface level, this gives you one extra starter ‘ball’, but lowers the strength of your stones (basic orbs). I am assuming when I beat Cruciball level 1 (where I am now), level 2 will add another difficulty modifier.

20220530 - Peglin - Lots of choices available to you
There are heaps of different orbs and power ups you can find

For the moment, I am most likely done with Peglin and swung back to Elden Ring. But I will be watching Steam for notifications of updates and new features. For example, multiple characters to choose from is coming soon. That could add a few new twists to the gameplay.

Even as it stands now though, Peglin is a fun little experience that I have been enjoying.

V Rising

Online multiplayer games are usually a no go for me. No time to dedicate on a regular basis for clan based stuff, and not enough time to compete usually with other players in PvP (player vs player). Sometimes a game makes it through these filters, but it’s pretty rare. Rare isn’t impossible though, and last week a new Early Access game called V Rising made it onto my play system.

I am not going to talk too much about V Rising right now, other to say if the developers did nothing else to the game it’s pretty awesome. If you regularly play video games, V Rising is a kind of Diabloesque take on Rust or Valheim. At its core, V Rising is a survival game. You need to explore the world, construct a base, collect resources and thrive.

You can choose to play Player vs Environment (PvE) or PvP, depending on the server you join. Or of course, make your own server and tailor the world to what you want. The small twist that got me interested in V Rising is the fact you are a vampire. You awaken after an extended sleep, and you are out to make your mark on the world.

20220530 - V Rising - Awaken to an unfamiliar world
You awaken and enter a graveyard. How fitting.

This adds a fun mechanic to the gameplay – sunlight. Sure, you need to keep feeding on blood, but having a ‘hunger’ mechanic in a survival game isn’t new. Being hurt for exploring outside during the day though added a twist. You don’t instantly die in the sunlight, but you need to find shade pretty quick!

There is also research in the game. Sure, you do things and you learn new tricks in combat and building to help you progress. But in V Rising, you are a vampire, meaning as you defeat mini-bosses during the game, you can drain their V Blood. The name can use work in my opinion, but a side benefit is you absorb their knowledge, unlocking new tech for you.

V Rising has a lot of little nods to vampire lore mixed in the gameplay. It’s not only the absorption of knowledge through blood. Things like your coffin has to be on natural ground. You can’t have your coffin on a brick floor!

20220530 - V Rising - If you stand in the shade you are ok
You can travel during the day if you stick to the shadows

I started playing V Rising on a private PvP server with a pretty chill group of players. We weren’t outright going after each other, but in the back of my head future combat worried me a little bit. The server was set up so that you couldn’t destroy someone’s base unless it was ‘in decay’, a mechanic that meant you hadn’t played for a while. While this was a good idea, it didn’t fit my play schedule. I could play for an hour, get enough blood for the Castle Heart to stave off decay for 24 hours, then repeat.

This had me rethinking if I should be playing V Rising on a PvP server. And then late in the week, a new update came out that meant you could play solo! Sure, this means you miss out on either coop play or pitting your skills against others. But for me, it also means I can not come back for a week and be no better or worse off!

And then Friday I lost the internet. NBN issues, bummer, things happen. Solo play still requires an internet connection, which I wasn’t aware of. This happened about an hour in to restarting the game solo. So I figured I would download the dedicated server files, and run everything off my system when I want to play.

20220530 - V Rising - start your base small then build to magnificent castles
Starting again from scratch is more relaxing than you think – I just don’t want to make a habit of it

Well, I am writing this on Sunday afternoon. I still don’t have internet back. So I will see what happens with V Rising, as this weekend was going to be a fun run before work sets in too much in June.

I will have to see how things progress, but in July no matter what I will come back to V Rising. By then, I will see if I can talk a couple more people to join a PvE server maybe and see how it goes? The feeling I have is V Rising will be more fun with other players, but the few hours I had were pretty fun mostly solo.

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  Let me know! 

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Until next time,

JohnHQLD