Switch Axe? This is supposed to be an axe?

So I finally got around to trying out the Switch Axe.
Why? Because Ceadeus finally gave me enough Crooked Horns to make one of his weapons, and there doesn’t appear to be a bowgun, longsword or hammer option for them, sadly. At least the Ceadeus long sword doesn’t need Crooked Horns, though I’m still not sure where to get Wyvern Stones, in its place.
Which leaves me trying to choose between the great sword, the sword and shield, and the switch axe. Effectively, I’m trying to choose between the sword and shield and the switch axe, as great swords are detestably-slow and I hate them.
Alternatively, I could make the Selene Cap, but I’m not liking the look of the recoil penalty on the armour, even though I like the look of the armour itself; in return I’d be able to reload faster, I think. It’s not a good exchange for me, anyway.

My first impression of switch axes was that, as the title says, they’re… not very axe-like. Okay, so it does look like an elongated axe, but the first two hits of the powerful combo act like a lance, and the third is the longsword’s overhead swing.
My second impression was that the sword form is essentially a great sword and hence horrible to run around with; rolling is twice the speed of trying to run with that sword.
That said, it’s not irredeemable, and I’m realistic about how frequently I’d use the Ceadeus weapon if I made a sword and shield, instead. I managed to do with the switch axe what I’ve been failing to do with a hammer for a while; break Qurupeco’s beak.
Not that I’ve been trying to do that, but it is good for reaching higher targets, and is good on the raw power front.

I tested the single switch axe I already had on Qurupeco, which may have been a mistake, as the Bone Axe doesn’t really have enough sharpness to it to get through most of Qurupeco’s body; it’s yellow sharpness at best, and has issues with Qurupeco’s… feathers, I guess. And its feet. The only thing it would reliably go through was its head. If this game were incredibly realistic, I’d take anything that goes through any head over something that can connect anywhere else – …for, well, enemies where you can get at their heads, anyway – but decapitation isn’t implemented and all deaths are the death of a thousand papercuts, so…

I’ll make Ceadeus’ switch axe anyway, as I see potential in the weapon, and if I want to hit stuff with water damage I either use a bowgun or the Barbarian Blade, so the Sea Striker is obsolete from the get-go.
It’ll be useful for causing overwhelming damage on smaller stuff, anyway.

Also, why on Earth do I keep forgetting to snag Ceadeus’ data? I just realised I failed to get that done, again, today…

I beat Ceadeus, and all I got was a scale, some fur, and a few gems

Admittedly I only repelled it, though.
So, Monster Hunter. I haven’t played it for a while; got annoyed at Diablos, I think.

I picked it up again on monday, fought a few things for practice, successfully cut off a tail – Royal Ludroth’s, which is still an achievement for me, considering it requires melee-work, what with my utter uselessness with Slicing ammo – and today I somehow beat Uragaan and Ceadeus.
…huh. So many new urgent quests…

Anyway, Uragaan and Ceadeus.
First, Uragaan. This huge-chinned thing reminds me of Dodongo, especially when it runs straight over me. That thing turns faster than it ought to be able to. Well, it’s a relative of Barroth, so I was expecting it to be occasionally-fast, but… ow. Getting run over takes off two-thirds of my health in Rathian kit. I need to go strike the earth at the Volcano and hope for GOOD Armour Spheres.
Uragaan was my second proper use for Pellet shot, as it’s very large – twenty metres long – and the chin alone is large enough to take more than the one hit from it. I’d also brought Water shot, and run out of it with a rapid-fire gun long before Uragaan showed any signs of wearing out.
Somehow I took it out with Exhaust shot. I think I’d run out of everything else by that point. I forgot what horrible range the stuff has, too; it just arcs downwards, depressingly, into the ground when you don’t aim it, or aren’t too close to the enemy.
Not really looking forward to fighting it again, but I’d rather fight it than Gobul. The armour set might be nice.

Now, Ceadeus. This one reminds me of the Wind Fish. I’m not sure what it is with me and Zelda, today. I initially attempted to take it on with a bowgun with a Thundacrus part and, uh, failed at the end of the second area. I guess I didn’t do enough damage.
I started over toting Jaggi kit, a talisman for Oxygen Up, and one of my long swords – Wyvern Blade “Fire”, as for some reason water-bound monsters seem to be susceptible to that element. Not at all sure why.
It tried to eat me a few times, but I successfully got to the last area before running out of health/Ceadeus’ patience. It is a great relief to be able to start over from that point afterwards, though. From there it was a matter of doing another mission and firing less underwater ballista ammo at it than I thought I’d need. I even got its horn off! …and only got scales from it. Ech. It seems everything Ceadeus wants crooked horns and/or deepdragon gems or whatever those things were called.
I really want to see the armour, though, and the weapons. Ceadeus is the first giant elder dragon I’ve managed to get to, let alone beat.
So, yeah, I beat a horned sea slug. Yay.

Also, when did I get enough Lagiacrus materials to make any piece of its kit? I haven’t fought it since last I stopped playing, and if I’d known I had the stuff I would have made it.
On that note, Lagiacrus is currently rampaging around the island. I think I’ll take it on next, for a break. I was originally preparing to take on the ‘trap Lagiacrus’ quest, or was trying to get enough Thunderbugs to make traps to be ready for the quest, but then I got distracted by Ceadeus. As long as Lagiacrus is running around the island and I need rare trade goods, though…

I beat Barioth…? I beat Barioth!

…I can’t believe I just beat Barioth with a Sword ‘n Shield.

So, yeah. Whilst waiting for something to tick over in Mabinogi – annoying quests only possible on one day out of the week. Rather needless roadblocks, honestly – I decided that I’d play some Monster Hunter, and got around up upgrading a weapon into a state I’ve been waiting for for a while.
Hypnos Knife. I absolutely love sleep-inducing weapons, as much as I love dealing paralysis out. I don’t actually use the smaller melee weapons much; I find they lack punch, and in a game where I’m decidedly pathetic at dodging at short range, I need to take things out quickly or else they take me out.

With a fair bit of time left over after testing the sword against a few minor things (Great Jaggi, Qurupeco), I decided to take on Barioth, for a laugh. If I did badly, all I’d need to do is abandon to get back all the gear already-used in the fight, right?
Somehow I won. Part of it was probably the mobility using a lighter weapon allows – attacks are quicker, so you’ve more openings in your own attacks to dodge out of the way if you’re suddenly standing in a bad place. Whilst attack tends to be lower than that of heavier weapons, you get longer combos; this is particularly effective when the weapon has an element or status attached to it. Like this Knife. The reason I love sleep-inflicting weapons and ammo over other statuses is that they give me an opportunity to set down barrel bombs for massive damage, and I ended up with two opportunities in the fight against Barioth, not counting when it went to sleep of its own accord.
And Barioth is apparently one of the lower-HP bosses offline. Meaning, less opportunities to hit and possibly sleep the creature.

Anyway, in ‘celebration’ of this feat, I’m about to do Baol Infiltration in Mabinogi. Joy.
…well, can’t be harder than Barioth, can it?

Current Status and Latest Project

…okay, I haven’t posted in a while. I got back into Mabinogi – they updated with all content up to G11 or thereabouts, so we’re pretty close to the American version now, if not right at the same point. I don’t know – I don’t actually keep up to date on a version I won’t be able to play (without messing around with proxies/lag/annoying Nexon).

Since Barioth pretty comprehensively kicked my butt and kept on kicking it, I slowly stopped playing Monster Hunter Tri up north, and then university finished – I graduated, yay – and the Wii got lost in all the stuff carted back here for a while. The Wii is now set up, but I still haven’t been playing due to having my eyes set on Rathalos gear. Most of which requires someone to chop off a tail or three. As I fail immensely every time I try to break tails, my only recourse is learning to use a melee weapon, or getting one or two of my friends to help me/do it for me, and… one of them is also addicted to Mabinogi. Tail isn’t getting chopped off soon, anyway.
That said, at least online works properly down here, and at least the router doesn’t want to die every time someone jogs the wall it’s mounted on.
Also worked out I need to unlock the Rathalos mission online, which means opening the next set of missions by capturing an online Barroth. At least. Yaaay.

So, projects. I put together an entry for the global Mabinogi design competition. I’m hoping my thing at least manages not to be summarily discarded. Technically that took up half of September, but realistically most of the work happened in the last few days, when I gave up trying to design clothing and drew a weapon instead.
Well. ‘Weapon’. Healing wands probably aren’t supposed to be actual weapons.

So, now that that’s done, I’m currently trying to implement Spellcast in mySQL and PHP.
…the lengths I go to for a less-buggy implementation of that game. Thus far I’ve gotten a new notebook since I completely filled out my last project notebook during university, and I’ve started trying to plan out the database side. I need to dig up my old notebook as it contains all the notes from the last time I tried something like this, including all the stuff on the game’s rules.
Part of me wants to go grandiose, ‘lets have player logins and statistics and flashy stuff’, but it’s a small bit and most of me just wants a working game to start with.

So how badly do a hunter’s skills deteriorate over time?

Not too badly, it seems! I haven’t forgotten how to take out a Rathian, anyway. Even if I did get stepped on a few too many times, and fainted once when it landed on me. Certainly could have been worse, but wasn’t.

Unfortunately, the next thing I need to do is still take on Barioth. Perhaps I should have just gone back to Freedom 2? At any rate, taking stock of where I left off, there are a couple of things I can do to prepare for that; first would be finding a decent set of gear against ice. I appear to have bits and pieces of a Baggi set lying around, but it isn’t complete, and I honestly don’t like the idea of wearing armour that helps, of all things, Pellet shot, so if I can find a better alternative, I’ll use that instead. Second is a better weapon; a couple of Rathling Gun pieces, the Barrel and Stock, are available, and the stock in particular is attractive due to its weight, but the Barrel has a shield on it, and reduced deviation. However, each piece requires something I can’t easily get on my own; Rathalos Tails or Plates. I can’t slice to save my life, and Plates are… ugh. I don’t know if they’re obtainable offline, and even if they are, hunting Rathalos goes quicker with other people around.

Not that I can remember if I have Rathalos missions unlocked online, and not that I can actually get online right now; the cable I have is just slightly too short to reach the house router, and we don’t have wireless.

 

Well, anyway. I’m hunting again, and I have short-term and less-short-term goals. Maybe I’ll be able to beat Tigrex’s older brother this time. I even learned a few things today; I… honestly didn’t know/remember Rathian could roar whilst flying.

No, that isn’t what killed me. I caught Rathian roaring after it flew into Area 3. I hate fighting the Deserted Island’s Area 3. Stupid Melynxes.

Rathian Plate! I am a HAPPY hunter!

Third time lucky, I guess. Infinitely more fun than having Barioth sit on me from a standing start across the map.

After a little fun and games with the router – which died shortly after connecting for the first time, joy – my friends and I started hunting Rathian. I still needed that plate, and someone else needed a Flame Sac for a weapon he wanted for taking on Lagiacrus.
It took a few hunts to get him his Flame Sac, where I was lucky enough to get a Plate from the tail on the first try, but Rathian is definitely no longer as terrifying as she was when we first attempted it on a whim. I even managed to stop her from eating one of my teammates; success, I think.
Then someone had to duck out, so we went after Gobul. I brought the wrong gun due to messing around with sets trying to work out where on earth I’d stuck the stun-negating set, and couldn’t use the thunder ammo I’d carted in. It took an age, Gobul’s charge is still insanely-painful, we each died once, and it kept swimming away from our traps, but we eventually got it with the last trap from the supply box. Yay. We even got its tail and lantern broken, and I managed to get a whisker in the loot.
‘nd now I have a headache out of the blue. I probably need to get more sleep.

…no, I did not forget to give this one a title. IT DOES NOT DESERVE ONE. (…my bad.)

Barioth. Oh, god, Barioth. It’s like the bastard spawn of Tigrex and Kushala Daora.

It’s Tigrex, but it can fly. It can also spit icy tornadoes at you. These aren’t the problem. The problem is that it for some reason has the ability to pounce any distance up to the entire length of the map in less than half a second. Really. Mostly it did that blasted move to me, but the one time it happened to Cha-Cha instead of me, so I could get a clear look at it, it was only on screen for a few frames.
I honestly would rather have had a Plesioth. Plesioth was much larger and had much more health than other enemies at the point you encountered it, but I beat it in the end, without too many tries. The battle just goes on and on, though, so I’m loathe to ever go back to it, even if I dodge and attack perfectly. For Kushala Daora it took several tries just to survive repelling it. Tigrex I never beat. It’s where I’m stuck in MHFU. I have the feeling that, should I beat Barioth, I’ll be able to go back to MHFU and will find Tigrex to be a walk in the park.
I think I’ll stick to online play for a bit. My alternatives offline are capturing Lagiacrus – don’t feel like it – and taking on Diablos, Monoblos’ older brother – again, don’t feel like it.

It only took 73 hours and someone helping me for Slicing shot to… do something

Yep. Today I managed to chop off a Rathian’s tail with slicing shot. Admittedly my friend with a greatsword did most of the work.

So I finally got sick of being unable to easily enter other peoples’ cities, and people being unable to enter mine, and I decided to do something about it. Which meant meddling with the router, which tips over and dies if you so much as sneeze in the next room over from it, let alone attempt the ancient and arcane art of port-passing. My router is sickly. If you change any of the settings it just tends to… die. Randomly. Almost out of the blue, except when you change stuff you know it’s going to happen sooner or later.
Naturally this happened in the middle of hunting Rathian. It just wheezed, keeled over and booted me from the Internet. I thought at first my friend had disconnected, as I routinely get ‘network instability’ errors anyway, but when I’d reconnected he was still in the mission. I spent a few minutes researching how to make health flutes, as it’s the only support flute that had to that point evaded me, then went and hunted a Qurupeco until he got back.
It seems my choice is between something that can get me into other people’s cities, and something more reliable. It doesn’t seem to be possible to fix the normal widget I use so that it lets me play online with other people, which is… kind of the point.
Anyway, Rathian. We got its tail off each time, but I lost the spike that resulted the first time due to network instability- …and it just happened again. In the middle of writing this post. At least status saves after a mission, so I haven’t lost the marrow and other loot.
I want a new router. One that likes games. One that isn’t as lazy as I am.
Aside from that, I managed to get ahold of the Jaggi Mask earlier today; made with premium condition Jaggi heads – three of them, for some reason – it gives Fate +10, or Good Luck, which sometimes increases the reward items you get post-mission. With a bit of slot-juggling and weapon-swapping, I managed to fit it on to my Hunter armour, with all the skills I’m used to – Divine Whim, Autodetect, Map. BBQ has taken a hit, but if I want to roast stuff I can just pick up the old hat and make a quick incursion into Moga.
Here’s hoping the router is more stable tomorrow.

Rathalos was a bit of a crybaby

I think I got four Wyvern Tears off of him.

So, today’s happenings. Obviously I beat Rathalos, but before that I found myself in the odd position of needing to gather common materials; something needed both Lagiacrus bits and other parts, and rather than needing to gather Lagiacrus livers or whatever it was, I needed… Sharqskin.
You know, those fish from the ‘get red coral stones’ mission. The ones that die from three hits of my current hammer; think ocean-going Jaggia and you’re not too far off. The amount of times I needed to do that mission in order to get the one skin I needed – I had none stored – was not funny. Sharqs just don’t like giving out their skin, no matter how many you harpoon. I now have a sizeable stock of immunizers, and even managed to find a couple of Jumbo Pearls after extincting the Sharqs and getting on with the proper mission, which I wanted for Gaiasp. Which, incidentally, is a very beautiful-looking mallet, and even better when you upgrade it with more slots or affinity. The small attack boost is… small, though. Too much so to be worth it, I think.
Still, eventually I had this thing made and the next set of missions unlocked, including… Rathalos, a meaner, tougher wyvern that cries like a sissy when confronted by a gunner wearing armour made out of its mate.
The Rathian armour set is almost perfect for taking on Rathalos; extra health, earplugs and fire resistance. Though not having the chestpiece I had to get enough points for Earplugs with jewels. The only thing it really misses is Negate Poison, but I added that anyway from the remaining open sockets and a talisman I’d picked up a few days back.
Rathalos fights pretty closely to Rathian, though it happens to be much more flight- and roar-happy; having earplugs on any monster that loves to roar gives you that many more windows for attacking it, and extra time to get out of its way if it’s enraged. As for flying, Rathalos has a couple of new attacks Rathian doesn’t have, such as bombarding you with fire from the air, diving and charging at you, a quick dodge to the side like Lagiacrus has in water, and is happier to use its claws – which, of course, are poisonous, so Rathalos is happier to poison you, too… if you don’t bring Negate Poison along. Rathalos lacks Rathian’s backflip and triple-fireball attacks, so though it’s larger, is overall less of a threat on the ground than Rathian, with fewer attacks that’ll catch you off-guard.
It’s also the first instance I’ve seen of a monster who can spin in more than one direction; most I’ve seen in any game tend to stick to just going clockwise, or anti-clockwise, but Rathalos here span one way and then immediately the other. Too bad I wasn’t anywhere near in range for it, but a nice try.
Fighting something like Rathalos in the volcano was rather nice. I was expecting it to keep mainly to the central volcanic areas, so I was surprised that most of the fight took place in the grassy areas near the camp. This did let me duck in to recover in safety or pick up supplies and Thunder shot that I couldn’t take initially for some reason or another, and it was nice being able to fight in an area where I couldn’t suffer double health-drain by getting poisoned and thrown onto the too-hot areas nearer the lava.
I loved how they had Rathalos’ old theme redone for the encounter cinematic. It actually sounded good. What I guess is probably the volcano fight theme was great, too; I’m pretty sick of the Great Jaggi theme with its percussion and mobile-phone-ringtone elements.

Of Great Baggi, Rathians and Miscellaneous Stuff

So I did a bit of work earlier today, and as a result almost have a full Rathian set. I just need ooooone more thing; a Rathian Plate for the chest piece. However, as a gunner, this is a pretty tricky issue for me, as all we get are slicing shot, and as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never gotten it to work.

So, naturally, I call upon my friends. Well, friend. One wasn’t online today. However, the one I could find recently has been wanting to try out longswords, so we ended up hunting Great Baggi for hides. And hunting it. We even captured it, and still didn’t have enough hides for his sword. With one remaining, we did Bloodstones and I got two hides from Baggi I just randomly skinned, whilst he didn’t get anything.
So we went and killed it a… third time, maybe? He finally got the hide he needed. That took up a lot of time and in the end we never went after Rathian, as we just called it a day for teamwork at that point. I ended up poisoning a lot of Bnab- those bugs. They’re Vespoids with a new, more-difficult-to-spell name. Ended up killing a lot of those for parts, as they’re easier to kill than Barroth.
The sword he wanted was the first longsword available, I think. I had all the Baggi hides I needed for it well before these missions, but it also wants Gobul parts, which are… ugh. Gobul.
GobulGobulGobul. If only it were really a turkey. I suspect I’d have an easier time of it.
On the miscellaneous side, Tropeco’s barrel honks every time you fire. Thundacrus just sort of hisses, whilst other barrels sound more gun- or crossbow-like. It’s the little touches like that that I enjoy.

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