Friday, June 30, 2017

Breath of the Wild EX Log, Entry 1

Breath of the Wild got its first DLC Pack called "The Master Trials" and with that I'm fully back to the game. This will continue my Adventure Log series, just with focusing on the new features from the DLC, since I was mostly done with the base game.

The main attraction will be playing through the game in Master Mode again, but at first I will try the other additions in Normal Mode and I also want to fully complete my Normal Mode save file. I still need to collect 190 Koroks, where I want to use the new Korok Mask to find them all.

Hero's Path

The first thing I checked out was the new "Hero's Path Mode", which almost fills my entire map:

Thing is that I've played over 400 hours now and except for some Koroks I've found everything already, so this isn't really that interesting or helpful. I will certainly check out some of the gaps, but because this doesn't cover all of my game time, it shows gaps in places, where I've already been. For example there's this peak to the northwest of Hateno, which I've clearly have been avoiding, but the map shows that I've already found a Korok on top.

Enter EX

Because the Korok Mask is probably the most useful addition in the DLC, I aimed to get it right away. However, I wanted to try finding some of the new armor pieces without reading the new Rumor Mills or Misko's journal. And at least for the Korok Mask this worked quite well.

It didn't go as well with any of the other items. I thought that the Tingle costume might be located on the Tingle Islands, but this wasn't the case. And it probably would have taken forever to find the Travel Medallion...

Anyway, you can't place it inside Hyrule Castle, so there goes my shortcut to the top again... I will probably place it near the Deplian Badlands to access the Lynels there more quickly or on top of Hebra Peak for some snowboarding fun.

Ruins Chaser

Instead of wasting a lot of time trying to find the new items on my own, I decided to simply read Misko's journal and follow the leads. And those were rather single-minded, because all eight new armor pieces were hidden in the ruins in and around Hyrule Field and Hyrule Castle Town. So, I donned the new Korok Mask and my Ancient Armor to hunt for the new pieces...

And this wasn't all that difficult. If you're using the Sheikah Sensor+ to target treasure chests, you instantly know that you had the right answer. The only riddle that gave me some trouble for some reason was the "battleground where brave souls tested their skill". But it struck me, as soon as I saw the place in the distance, while wandering around Hyrule Field.

Anyway, I found all new armor pieces today:

But I have to say that I don't like, what Nintendo did here. Like with the Nintendo Switch Shirt, you can't enhance or re-obtain any of the DLC armor pieces. And the abilities are a joke, too.

Majora's Mask is essentially broken, because it combines all other enemy deceiving effects in one single item. It makes all of Kilton's masks completely obsolete, while at the same time it's much easier to get. It's one of the first items that you can find right after leaving the Great Plateau. Come on, Nintendo!

All the other new armor pieces are completely useless on the other hand, simply because you can't enhance them. In case of the Phantom Armor this would have been overpowered, because it combines the best armor values with Attack Boost of the Barbarian Armor, but they could have just given it some other bonus like Critical Hits.

Also, the Tingle costume could have had some gliding stamina boost and maybe a set bonus, where Rupees count double, instead of the silly Night Speed boost. I'm not sure about Midna's Helmet, but anything would have been better than just giving it "Guardian Resist", while there are already two head pieces in the game with the same effect and better stats...

With the new costumes the DLC really looks half-assed. This gives me the same feeling as when they first added paid DLC characters to Hyrule Warriors, which looked good, but were completely useless, because they didn't have any missions. Bad DLC can taint a good game.

The Trial of the Sword - Beginning Trials

Well, I also got a taste of the new trial dungeon, where I've beaten the Beginning Trials on my first try. Hardly, I might add, because the Hinox at the end almost killed me. I usually don't enjoy playing these types of challenges for the first time, where I'm heading into the unknown and where each mistake might throw you back to the beginning. I feel quite stressed, when playing these dungeon types, and it always feels like it's taking forever.

With that I'm quite happy that they have split it up in three individual trials, where I can make a good pause between each one and where I have some visible progress with the Master Sword getting 10 additional points of damage.

I think that they went somewhat overboard with the difficulty in some of the rooms, though, especially if you consider Master Mode. You don't get any armor in the beginning and only weak weapons, while they still let you fight two Black Lizalfos. And those would be two regenerating Silver Lizalfos in Master Mode.

Overall I was looking forward to Master Mode, but on the overworld you always have the option to avoid enemies as a strategy. In the Trial of the Sword you have to beat them all, where things might get ridiculous in Master Mode, which lowers my anticipation quite a bit...

It's also interesting to note, how they deactivated the Champion abilities (or the Master Sword itself) in this trial. It shows that this system of regenerating abilities doesn't work in such an environment, because some players probably would wait on each floor, until everything was regained. It works in the base game, because you often can move on from difficult fights and do something else, while you let your powers regenerate in the meantime. But in this room-based environment it would probably result in unnecessary stalling.

Current Progress:
  • EX Side Quests: 6/7
  • Koroks: 721/900
  • Map Rate: 85.19%

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