Posted by: seanmalstrom | July 10, 2017

Zelda Hardmode Emails

DLC 1 is a cheap reconfig. Differing stats. But the effective differences are already there.

It’s fine.

It’s fine?

I played all the way through normal Zelda BotW and beat it on normal mode. Great game!
I believe hard mode is the much better game. It just flows much better and is way more immersive. It has exposed all the flaws in my playing style and forced me to dig deep into the battle system and use cooking more to improve. To me it seems like they designed the game on hard mode and then got freaked out, thinking it was too hard for the player, then designed easy/normal mode.

Example: when I first played the original mode, it pissed me when my weapons broke all the time. Now I understand if you cook properly, you can extend the life of your best weapons because the amount of hits needed decreases substantially. Not an issue nearly as much. The other thing I did was sneak into hyrule castle right off great plateau and kill the Stalinox for the Hylian Shield. I have not lost a single good shield as a result. The Hylian shield has been a godsend.

My fast travel has become more efficient as well. I could go on and on but it is just a better game. The enemies are tougher but you have improved as a player and it noticeable in the way you move and defend.

In short, yes completely worth it.

I highly doubt the game was originally designed for hard mode especially with all the extra enemies on lifts.

You know what DLC SHOULD be? More enemy types. They can be harder new enemy types too.

Hard Mode really should be a Second Quest where all the shit is changed up including the Overworld. But no, we have Lazy Nintendo here. If today’s Nintendo did Zelda 1, the Second Quest would just be more enemies and have their stats beefed up. Lame.

Use sure about this Master Malstrom?

I left the cave at the beginning, stole the Apple from King Rhoam and a tree branch. Rare around the corner and there were three black moblins waiting for me with decent weaponry. I ran through the temple of time to activate the first tower and was shot at by moblins on flying rafts. I tried to run to the log cabin for a quick bout of peace to fix myself up… There was a Lynel in the field that saw me, ran me down and made me respawn in a path between a moblin fortress and the Lynel.

I eventually made it off of the plateu and headed to the Rito first. Either I got worse or to timing with Guardians changes after the first deflection now. Every enemy was not only bumped up one level, but there are usually more of them and the giant enemies have had their locations changed. I have weapons like the Great Frostblade, bows that can shoot three arrows at once, etc. It still ain’t easy. I have Perfect Guard and Perfect Dodge mastered, I’m still having trouble. The combination of removing all the goomba level enemies, pairing them up 2-5 at a time and allowing their health to regenerate while not improving drops has definitely made the game more challenging. This is probably what the game should have been the first time around. If it was, I would have had one hell of a time trying to learn how to play and more people would be complaining about difficulty.

I’m also taking my original approach of exploring slowly. Since I know what is in the world, I know which challenges I will tackle when I’m ready for them. Not only that, but I’ve been discovering a lot of things that I missed the first time around since I’m not focused on completing all of the towers and shrines. Ironically, I’ve run into a lot of new shrines and have found entire stables that I missed the first time around. Most of my map is still untouched, but I have 29 shrines and three fairies so far. I haven’t upgraded the slate yet and I don’t have a house yet. I don’t have a complete set of any armor either.

It’s fun again. I’m hoping that the Ballad of the Champions will essentially be Second Quest.

Ballad of the Champions will be Aonuma Zelda. Mark. My. Words. Aonuma so loves himself that he squeals, “Marvelous!” and goes, “Look at all my NPC stories and PUZZLES. Look at my PUZZLES. Aren’t they SO FINE!? Ooohhh!” Imagine if Sakamoto made the Metroid game we wanted (will never happen, but this is fantasy), he would immediately make DLC which would be Metroid: Other M storytelling. These Nintendo guys are so full of themselves and think their ‘creativity’ is so great, they want to ram it down your throat.

 

 

Master Malstrom,

Master is not just your title anymore, it is the new mode in BoW “Wow!” Okay… I got my chuckles out of the way.

My opinion was that the “Normal” mode was a bit too easy. There was a ton to explore, and after learning about Master mode being released I decided to beat the game. I finished Normal mode in about fifty five hours, and honestly, feel like I saw maybe ten to fifteen percent of the game. While emergent things that happened were certainly memorable, I cannot say that much of the content itself was memorable. I did twenty eight shrines, all the divine beasts, and picked up a plethora of armor, but there wasn’t much that I really felt like I needed. Heck, I never even found the guy to trade the seeds to in order to upgrade my item capacity. I even skipped figuring out cooking/elixirs for the most part, it just wasn’t vital to my quest.

Master mode on the other hand is a completely different beast. Right from the get go you are struggling to make any progress. This is due to three critical changes. First, your weapons degrade far more quickly, so every strike counts, and this requires you to sometimes source weapons from your combatants. Second, every monster is upgraded to the next highest monster type, the base enemies take a licking, and don’t really provide weapons suitable enough to fight them with. Third, monsters regenerate, which means you need to commit to your strategy, but also need to know when to cut your losses.

What this means to the game is, you’ll be experimenting a lot more, and you really need to use all of the game’s systems together more in order to give yourself any survival advantage possible, especially in the early game. I am by no means an expert, but I have found that you really need to better understand the mechanics of the game and weigh your pro/con options for every encounter.

At about hour three or four the game loosens up because you’ve got more access to the world and more options to upgrade Link. I think I more or less finished out the starter area on my first play through in Normal, but in Master mode there are still some areas I am wary about going to.

Much more of the game is memorable in this play through, and I don’t think it is just because it is so fresh in my memory. Armor wasn’t a big deal for me before, but this play through I absolutely sought out the plate mail and have finally gotten all the parts for the first upgrade. I am by no means indestructible, but this turns a lot of fights that required technical perfection into possible, with the right weapons and stat upgrades. I am not actively farming ingredients, but I will tell you I am always happy to see things that give a defense bonus or an attack bonus.

Right now I am about twelve hours in, which I think is a good point to assess the mode. To me, it feels like what the game ought to have been on launch, it feels like classic NES hard. It is not unfair, it just demands your attention to detail, putting things together for yourself, and becoming a better player. It is still the ‘play your own way’ format, which is great for players who want to create their own difficulty, as there is nothing stopping you from running off to defeat Ganon out of the gate.

I cannot play Hard Mode for three reasons.

One, I have no time. I work seven days a week now.

Two, the constant loading screens in Zelda BoW “Wow!” make me not want to play along with the terrible, terrible NPCs. Zelda BoW “Wow!” did many things right, but it failed hard on the NPCs. The NPCs are terribly designed.

Three, I have other games to play.

Normal mode on Zelda BoW “Wow!” was ‘this game is great’ to ‘ this game is still cool’ to ‘ this game is too easy’. I expect the same curve to exist in Hard Mode but at a further state ultimately creating the same exact problem all over again.

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