Elden Ring, 35 hours in, and the channel

First, the I’m-maybe-a-third-of-the-way-through review: Elden Ring is phenomenal, a towering achievement that has all sorts of interesting things to say about its predecessors from FromSoft and the notion of “open world” gaming to boot; this is one of the best games I’ve ever played on any console, and if my opinion ends up changing on that front it will be because ultimately there ended up being too much of it and it got overwhelming.

What’s killing me is I’ve got the next two games for the channel on deck already, and they’re both also huge, and I recorded episode forty-seven tonight for Elden Ring and … yeah, I’m maybe a third of the way through. Maybe. This is going to dominate my channel for two months, easy, unless I increase the number of episodes per day that I’m airing, and even then I could see it going two months. Three episodes a day for 60 days is 180 episodes. That’s not unimaginable. And I’m regularly crushing my typical 30-minute limit because breaking every half hour just doesn’t make sense the way the game is structured– there are no missions, like there usually are in an open-world game, so there’s not a situation where you can go do something and it takes 20 minutes and it’s discrete. There’s always a tower in the distance or a cave to explore or a new boss that’s killed me five times in this episode and I’m pretty damn sure I can kill the motherfucker with one more try, and it leads to longer episodes. The cool factor is off the charts. I’ve already used the word overwhelming once; it’s absolutely the right word.

What’s a real pain in the ass is feeling like I’ve got to record it all. I started the channel last June, so we’re at about 9 months now, give or take, and I’ve been rock-solid about not missing episodes that entire time; at least two a day, with occasional but rare 8:00 episodes as well. I’ve got 115 subscribers; I was led to believe by the Internet that subscriber counts would start rising more drastically once I hit 100, and so far that hasn’t happened, and … I may be getting tired of waiting. I mean, the chance that this was going to lead to any kind of money was slim to begin with (it is worth pointing out that that 115 followers puts me in the top 5% of YouTubers globally) and the channel definitely has some fans, but having to spend an hour a night or more locked in my office playing video games and occasionally dealing with tech or editing hiccups which takes even longer is kinda getting old. I think I remember what the boy looks like; he comes in occasionally to ask for money.

I dunno. This could just be the tired talking, but I’m starting to feel like the work/fun balance in this whole thing is starting to tilt too much toward work, and I might need to reevaluate some things. I’ll finish this series out, so it’ll be a minute, but I need to think.

(I uploaded four episodes while I was writing this, by the way.)

On dopamine

I wrapped up my Let’s Play of Blasphemous today, which is going to run 30 episodes, and since Episodes 10 and 11 just dropped today I’ve got a minute before I have to start the next thing. If you haven’t paid any attention to my videos, the thing you need to know about the game for the purpose of understanding this post is that it’s loaded with collectibles and secret rooms and all sorts of things that my lizard brain covets because I am that type of player. When I beat the game I had a completion percentage in the high nineties but was still missing several clearly unimportant but still not in my damn inventory items, and I spent a good chunk of this afternoon finishing off finding the last handful of things and finding every single spot on the map.

This was, mind you, a lot of stuff, and required not one, not two, but four different “here is where all this stuff is” websites and/or YouTube tutorials to find everything. Most of this, for the record, was not filmed, but was done for my own edification and because I am insane. After all of it my completion percentage was an agonizing 99.81%. Not acceptable! I must have 100%.

So I found another video that purported to show the hardest-to-find spots on the map; mostly out-of-the-way places that don’t scan “HEY LOOK HERE FOR A SECRET” on the map or on the screen and require you to whack a wall or a corner of a wall that you might not have any good reason to go near so that you can open up a single, small room.

After finding two new rooms, the 100% achievement popped for me. Thank God, I thought, thoroughly tired of this by now. I can stop playing and move on to something else for a while.

And then I quit out of the game, then went back to reload my save, because that’s where the most detailed completion percentage is shown for you.

And it was 99.95%. Despite me having gotten the trophy for 100%ing the game.

I have no idea why this might have happened.

And now– only now, after all that– do I feel like perhaps I might have wasted some of my time today.

WOO! update

All I do with my life is play Bloodborne now so I hope I don’t owe you money. ┬áThere’s no time to do other things. ┬áThat’s okay, I needed to lose weight anyway and eating is a distraction.

Can’t have that.

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You think you know crazy?

THIS is crazy:

I got three minutes and two seconds in, to the third use of the word “back,” before realizing what the hell I was doing and deciding to inflict it on you guys.

(Also, it may take… oh, twenty-five seconds or so for you to figure out what’s going on.)