You need to have the right equipment.
The right equipment is more important than leveling or souls. Making sure you’ve optimised the gear you’re carrying; that’s always been the difference between life and death for me. That and technique. The right strategy.
My glasses arrived early. The text from OPSM came as I sat in the passenger seat of the car I usually drive, en route to an ophthalmologist appointment, where I would learn if the course of eyedrops I had been prescribed with was doing the job. If you remember, playing Dark Souls II long into the night, and getting little sleep as a result, had brutalized my immune system to the point where I contracted a nasty eye virus.
The process of fighting that virus had been grueling one. I wore contacts exclusively, to the point where I owned no glasses. My eyes hadn't had a decent rest in three years. This had helped the virus spread to both my eyes and the first ophthalmologist I spoke to had informed me that if I continued to wear contact lenses with this virus, I would probably have gone blind.
But now, after a short course of steroids in the form of eye-drops, a second ophthalmologist was in the process of giving me some good news for once. The virus was completely gone. It had spread to my cornea, but the prescription had worked and now the virus was out of my system. Relief. That Dark Souls feeling. Victory Achieved.
I opened the door and the light poured in. If you’ve even had an eye examination at an Ophthalmologist you’ll know the feeling. The eyedrops they use -- to help gain a more comprehensive at your eyes -- cause pupils to dilate massively. On this bright Autumn afternoon the light was so overwhelming. I literally couldn't open my now healthy eyes. I was blind, but happy.
Later, at OPSM, I put on my glasses. +5 reinforced, large titanite shards, the works. Not some weapon I had stumbled across, something I had earned. Finally I had the right equipment.
Last night I beat the first of the four main bosses in Dark Souls II, The Lost Sinner. It was a little easier than I expected. I had struggled endlessly against a previous boss – the Ruin Sentinels – with an underpowered sword, an average shield and some lackluster armour, but I had done some exploration in the interim. I walked through a forest to another battleground, where I fought and killed The Pursuer.
I found a ledge. And what’s this? An area I can drop down to? I swung the in-game camera. Another item? I clamber down further.
A full set of armour. A full set of armour far more powerful than the shabby robes I was currently wearing. And a sword. A powerful sword. A great alternative to the upgraded blade I was currently rolling with.
When it came time to fight my first major boss I was confident.
The fight took place in darkness. My opponent was blind, before we fought an insect crawled out of the hole where her eyeball once was. She was chained to his sword. She howled at the moon she could no longer see and swung wildly. I exploited her weaknesses and circled. I was patient. My vision was crystal clear. My armour could withstand her assaults, my sword was sharp.
Once upon a time I was also blind, much like the poor bastard I was in the process of stabbing to death. But now -- finally -- I could see. I just needed the right equipment.
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