#MoonCrushMonday — Or, Waypoint Community Bloodborne Book Club


#1

#MoonCrushMonday

Waypoint Community Bloodborne Book Club


Unopened_Summons


When hunters sleep, they dream of a house on a hill, overlooking a graveyard. They walk cobbled steps toward an imposing oaken door. A workshop behind it, with tools to prepare for the hunt. It is a refuge and a prison both, the latter revealed by the bars enclosing you within the grounds. Yet, those with proper insight will wonder if that refuge, that prison, is a gateway into the dreams of those that have walked this path before.

Hunters are, by preference and necessity, solitary. An occupation closer to butchery than fencing, cooperation is fleeting. Communication is tense, abrupt, and cryptic. But you, lucky to be graced with the capacity to read, have built upon those vagaries with a trove of knowledge written by those fortunate enough to wield a pen to good use.

That is what you have found here, good hunter. When you return to the waking world, go armed with the knowledge of your forebears. The night is young.


Small_Resonant_Bell_0


Welcome, Waypointeers! This is a moderator initiative to stir some discussion of 2018’s hot new game, Bloodborne. Developed by From Software and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PS4 in 2015, it tells the story of Yharnam, a city consumed by a savage hunt, a social addiction to blood, and an uncompromising pursuit of knowledge.

After Natalie Watson showed us her first experience with Bloodborne on Waypoint’s eight-hour January stream, we thought it would be interesting to come back to this game. It has (appropriately) attracted a cult following, but the third-year anniversary is a great chance for us to study the text and see if a few more people would like to give it a go.

As our preamble hints, we’re looking to encourage people to explore their inner role player. Whether you’re looking at this game for the first time or know it like the back of your hand, we’d love people to step into the boots of their Hunter. We have some ground rules for this in our FAQs, but we want people to be creative with their characters.

We envision this thread as a cross between a book club and a support group. We won’t have set schedules, so you can play as fast or slow as you want. That said, if you’re ever just so stuck on a boss, you’ll be able to seek help (whether advice or co-op) here. Simultaneously, if you have a thought about the deep lore, we want to build the space for that too.

As we go, we’ll be updating the OP with a list of journal entries from our Hunters and building up our advice section as we go.

We hope that you’ll join us in our journey back down into the depths of Yharnam. May you find peace in the waking world.


RuneWorkshopTool


Advice

For players new or returning, we’ve created two different areas to help folks out. One is the Advice Allotment, which contains basic tips for players just starting out. We don’t want to overwhelm you with a barrage of statistics and end-game tips, so check this first. The other is the Guidance Greenhouse, which is more specific and, potentially, spoilery. If you want to know about multiple endings or character quests, this is the place to go.

If you have anything to go in either, please post it in the thread, spoiler tagging if necessary (if you think it might go in the Greenhouse, tags are probably safe to assume).

Advice Allotment
  • The key to Bloodborne is to play aggressively. You’re often better off getting close to an enemy to get a quick kill rather than passively waiting for the right opportunity. This doesn’t mean playing recklessly, but part of the game is knowing when to push your advantage. (robowitch)
    • The rally mechanic is key to this. For a short period after you take damage, you can re-absorb your health by attacking the enemy back. This is part of conserving your losses and minimising use of blood vials. (robowitch)
  • Guns are your dominant off-hand weapon and are used as part of parrying. If you time a gun attack correctly (usually as an enemy is attacking you), a sound effect will play and allow you to execute a Visceral Attack, which does a ton of damage. (robowitch)
  • You are meant to die a lot in the beginning of the game, rumor has it that it was intentional. Once you get the hang of combat, different enemy types, and channeling blood echos (souls) to level up, you’ll be cruising in no time. I must have died close to 50 times before I figured this out. (joel)
  • Character Creation: If you’re experienced with Souls’ games, then you’ll understand the basics of character creation and what to prioritize. If you’re brand new to the franchise, most of the basic templates are a good starting place, and more detailed information can be found in the Polygon / Kotaku articles below.
  • Sound early advice is to focus on a damage stat (strength = big boy weapons and skill = smaller / faster weapons IE dexterity in Souls), endurance, and vitality early on. You can’t go wrong increasing vitality and endurance, as well as the damage stat that best fits the weapon your picked at the start.
Guidance Greenhouse
  • First thing’s first – here’s some handy tip guides from Polygon and Kotaku.

Frenzied_Coldblood_8


The Archive


SawHunterBadge


Thread FAQs

Q: Why "#MoonCrushMonday"?

A: On January 1 2018, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration published a tweet about the huge moon on New Year’s Day. This crossed our timelines and made us think about Bloodborne, which is probably the most pro-moon game out there. It was clearly a sign!

Q: What's the spoiler policy?

It is true that this game is 3 years old at this point, and is popular and widely-discussed both generally in video game circles, and also down to every last bit of minutiae among fans (see recent stories and videos about cut content being found in the game’s data making the rounds). Lots of things could reasonably be considered general knowledge at this point. However, we want this thread to be a place that people who haven’t seen or read any of that, or forgotten it, can get some help and talk about the game while still discovering it for themselves. Please use spoiler protection for major reveals, specific boss strategies, and the like. Things that are strictly mechanical like what the soft cap is for a stat is fine. How best to fight Rom or what Rom’s role in the story is should be protected for those who don’t want to know yet.

If there’s sufficient interest in a thread for people who already have eyes on the inside to talk about things completely in the clear, one will be opened. But we’d like to keep this main thread friendly for people who don’t know much yet.

Q: I want to give some advice to someone!

A: We’re glad to hear it! As we go, we’ll be incorporating people’s advice into the original post (with credits) to keep it up to date and stop people from repeating themselves.

With that said, don’t use advice-giving as a platform to put yourself above someone else or a way into an argument. We’ve all been the person who didn’t know something before; it’s never pleasant to be talked down to for it. If you disagree with someone else’s advice, make that point cordially.

Q: Okay, so I want to do this kind of character for my letters...

A: As we mentioned up top, we do have some ground rules for this thread. We want to encourage people to be creative, but:

  • Our normal rules still apply. ‘In-character’ bigotry likely will fall afoul of our Rules.
  • Please ensure you include relevant warnings (whether about spoilers or triggering subjects) at the start of your post.

If you have any other questions about this, just let us know.


HuntersMark


#2

Stealing my thunder eh?! I see how it is! :stuck_out_tongue:


#3

I helped write the OP and I’m very excited this is happening! It’s something robo and I started idly talking about because of some jokes on twitter a few weeks ago. Then as we were kicking around how serious we were about making a thread like this, the 8 hour stream happened and Natalie was getting into the game, Joel started playing, and a bunch of other people in and around our community seemed to really be in the mood for a trip to Yharnam. And now here we are.

For myself, I’d very comfortably say that Bloodborne is one of my favorite games ever, like top 5. It’s been the one of this set of games that I’ve connected with in a way I never have the others. But I’ve never actually finished playing it? I’ve seen literally every last thing in the game multiple times over this time between streams, LPs, speedrunning, etc. I’ve read The Paleblood Hunt (a fan-made thing that compiles all the lore into a coherent narrative) multiple times. I’m beyond spoiled, and it was one of the first games I bought when I got my PS4 a while after the game was released.

But I ran into a funny thing: The uninterrupted attention it asked of me was something I wasn’t able to give the game very often at the time, so I’d play it in tiny fits and starts. The end result is that while I know the game extremely well relatively speaking, I’ve only actually played up to the earliest point at which you can visit Caarl myself.

So for me in addition to being a chance to holler about The Moon with people, and to hopefully help some new people get into the game, it’ll be a chance to go back again and see if I can finally put theory into practice as it were and actually get all the way through everything. The way streaming forces me to focus on just the game I’m streaming for a few hours at a time means I’m very definitely going to be streaming my playthrough to keep from being a distracted #gamer. I don’t have an exact schedule in mind yet but it’ll likely be 2-3 times a week. There will be much, much better LPs than mine to watch, but I’m looking forward to it regardless. We’ll see how much I can remember and how much I struggle with actually doing the fights while trying to get all the clothing items and show off all the nooks and crannies of the story stuff.


#4

I’ve talked about this many, many, many times over on the Waypoint discord but like what Prey is to Danielle Riendeau, Bloodborne is to me. It is the game built exactly for me.

I’m a huge gothic horror nerd, Bloodborne has me covered on that. I love cosmic horror, Bloodborne has me covered on that. I love games that tell their stories through worldbuilding and environmental design, Bloodborne has me covered on that. I love combat systems that reward exploiting an enemies weakness with tempered aggression, Bloodborne has me covered on that. I love game worlds that feel labyrinthine, that wrap around themselves in clever ways that make you think “Oh, I’m back here! Neat!”, Bloodborne has me covered on that.

I love Bloodborne wholly (well except for Upper Cathedral ward, brainsuckers - fittingly - suck), and I will be happy to help cleanse these foul streets with the rest of y’all.


#5

Some quick tips on stats and builds!

Summary

Most stats will cap out at certain points making them less useful. For most stats this is in the 40 to 50 range but Vitality soft caps at 30 and you don’t need more than 20 all told but feel free to up as you feel you need to just know that 30 is about as high as you’ll want to take it

For builds the best way to plan out a character is to figure out what weapons you like and what they scale off of and plan on taking the stat or stats it scales off of the most to max. Which means 50 for weapons focused on one stat and 40 for ones that scale off of multiple stats. Also worth noting that for your first time out you’ll want to focus on either Strength or Skill as your primary stat. Arcane and Bloodtinge can both be used as a primary stat but not early on and it’s best done when you know what you’re doing. Now obviously if you haven’t played the game before you’ll have no idea what weapons you’ll like but the basic divide between Skill and Strength is fast versus slow weapons. Both are good but Skill does call for a bit more, er, Skill but not so much so that I would steer you away from playing a skill build first time through

The way I would advise building your character out is get you primary attack stat to 20, and it’s worth noting that taking both Skill and Strength to 20 is fine for any build it won’t hold you back and almost all weapons will benefit from both stats up to that point anyways. Then once that is done take Vitality and Stamina to 20 where you can leave them. Stamina especially doesn’t provide a huge benefit so 20 is a good stopping point. Bloodtinge and Arcane are not stats you’ll need or want to really invest in butt after you get your main stats to 20 you can up them as you need to equip gear. Once you’ve done that just max out your attack stat while boosting your Vitality as you feel you need it! Unless you really have your heart set on an Arcane or Bloodtinge build but that’s something where you’ll need to look up some guides to get there anyways so that’s beyond the scope of this

Okay so it’s more quick-ish


#6

Suggestion: A password for bells? So people who want to summon someone from Waypoint, and nowhere else, they can ring a bell, and find another Waypointer in a way that no other game seems to allow for?

(Something that really makes me wish this was a Waypoint 101 title.)

Totally optional of course, and I have no idea if enough people will be playing for this to be super functional, but a thought.


#7

Fellow hunters,

I have heard rumors of an ancient tome that may put some of your blood echoes to good use. Perhaps we could glean some of the secrets of Yharnam’s past with this illuminated manuscript.

The sky and the cosmos are one,

Thaddeus


#8

Hmmm. It may be worth my while to dust off my trick weapons and stroll the rude streets again.


#9

I don’t have much to add, beyond: If you’re starting for the first time, and having trouble in Central Yarnham, run to one of the bosses accessible from the first Area, Cleric Beast is easier, you’ll gain One Insight which will allow you to level up

I’m somewhere in the middle third of this (my 2nd) play through right now, just killed Rom and then went to the Nightmare Frontier and killed the Amygdala. I used Ludwig’s Holy Blade the majority of my first run, went Threaded Cane this time, then got a Skill Scaling Rune and now I’m back on Ludwig’s, at least for now.


#10

For me the biggest tips for the punishing lead-up to the first boss are:

  • Past the two big beast enemies there is a house to the right, through there you can unlock a shortcut from your lantern to the boss.

  • You don’t need to beat the boss in order to level up. Seeing the boss will give you insight that allows you to level up in the hunter’s dream.

  • Beast enemies hate fire. Save up a couple of Molotov cocktails if they are giving you trouble.

  • The game gets easier for a while after this

Also, for people playing a Skill build:

My favourite trick weapon in the entire game the Blades of Mercy is missable. If you want them you need to get into Eileen the Crow’s questline before defeating Rom. I didn’t even know this weapon existed during my first playthrough but it is imho the most fun weapon in the game


#11

Wow! This looks really neat, and Bloodborne is probably my favorite video game full stop so I have a lot to say.
I’ll second what VulpesAbsurda said about Arcane and Bloodtinge builds; they’re mostly stats you’ll want to level on a NG+ playthrough, rather than NG (new game), and certainly aren’t stats that you should focus on if you’re new to Bloodborne. Instead, I would advise that you pick one of either Strength or Skill to be your primary stat and focus on leveling that. Your goal should be to level your main offensive stat (be it Strength or Skill) to around 30, while the secondary stat can stop at around 20. You should shoot for Vitality and Stamina to be around 30 each, and level whichever one feels more necessary at a given time. That’s really basic build advice, but without knowing the specifics of whatever build you’re using, it’s all I can offer. My most specific advice is for Skill players to search out the Saw Spear in the first area of Yharnam, which is probably the best early game Skill weapon (and still my favorite through the late game and all the way into NG+5.
On Blood Echoes (the equivalent of Souls in the game), I’ll say this: don’t sweat losing them all that much. You will die, and lose large numbers of Echoes probably many times throughout any given playthrough, and that’s fine. You’re not playing the game wrong, that’s something that happens to everybody all the time. I’ve beaten this game like seven (or more) times and I still die in avoidable and silly ways. Don’t worry about it.
Don’t be afraid to run through some areas that you find too difficult or resource-draining to slog through right now. On my first playthrough, I ran through all of Forbidden Woods, as well as the Frenzy area in the Nightmare of Mensis, barely fighting any enemies there. Sometimes the game is encouraging you to recognize that you’re outmatched by an encounter, and to return later.
Finally (for now), the easiest way to play through the game is definitely with a Strength build. So, if you’re looking to make this the most accessible experience with the game possible, pick up Ludwig’s Holy Blade when accessible and keep leveling Strength. Strength weapons will allow you to stagger even some of the largest bosses quite easily and, in general, just makes the game a bit easier. However, if you want a moderately more challenging experience, Skill builds are my personal favorite because they place an emphasis on weaving in and out of attack range, and thus each boss or enemy encounter has a very specific texture and strategy too it that I feel gets flattened a little by using Strength weapons.
Good luck, and good hunting!


#12

Lots of good tips here already. One more, about pebbles: Use them to pull enemies. They easily let you pull one at a time and helps tons again big groups of enemies or if there are pairs of tough enemies.

Also, thanks to the OP and everyone else who put this together. It’s a terrific idea. I just started what must be my 5th or 6th play-through, and am very jealous of anyone about to see the game for the first time!


#13

This is perfect! I started a new play through motivqted by the fact that I never really got far in the dlc, and I love having the memories come back to me. There’s something beautiful about returning to this game after a while and getting into the rhythm. I’m still able to take cleric beast down in like one or two runs like I could when I played a bunch, Gascoigne is still a butt head, but I’m able to just move through these areas solely from memory.
I’ll definitely be checking by the forums to see where everyone is at. This is super exciting!


#14

Dear Hunters,

I confess I would have remained in this supposed dream if not for you. I have spent weeks here in hiding, looking out at the pillars in the distance, trying to make sense out of this living doll, and the maddeningly unhelpful old man in his wheelchair.

But today was different. Today I saw a volume I had not already read, a tome full of encouraging scribbles from other hunters. I felt relief. If there are other people out there, others like me with no memory of how or why we came here, then maybe there is a way out of that foul place called Yharnam.

I have so many questions. Why is everyone here obsessed with blood? Pale blood. Corrupted blood. Blood healing. Blood ministration. It sickens me, having to remember that old man taking that vital humor from my body and replacing it with…

I have slain two beasts of note. One a wolf-like creature as big as a house, the other some sort of madman, half-beast himself. I have mapped Yharnam as far as the Cathedral, and stepped tentatively into Old Yharnam beyond. I spent a harrowing day with some other poor soul, summoned to me when I rang a bell, running through ruined buildings dodging gunfire. But they left as mysteriously as they had arrived, and that is when I closed myself off in the dream. However I will return to that place soon to map it more exactly, now that I know there is someone else out there reading this.

I have spied water beyond the city. Perhaps a bay, or some large lake, proof enough that there is more to this place than this cursed, labyrinthine city.

Also I appreciate the advice with regards to the training of skills, and which tools to use to fight the beasts. I myself favour the cane-sword. So much in Yharnam is crude that it heartens me to wield something with a touch of class.

I look forward to seeing your observations appearing here in the future.

Sincerely,
Sohkrates


#15

If you have the DLC, you can pop into that area and take a few minutes to run past a bunch of enemies and snag some cool free weapons. Here’s a video if you’re interested.


#16

I love this idea! I’m about halfway through my first playthrough doing a STR/ARC build with the Holy Moonlight Greatsword, and it’s a lot of fun so far. I’d love to help out some hunters with any tricky spots, or even do some PvP if you’re feeling spicy.

If I could offer advice, I would say to save the Chalice Dungeons until you need to grind for vials or echos. I didn’t really dig them a whole lot, they were very repetitive, although they had some cool bosses throughout. But I wouldn’t stress about them much beyond some grinding or if you’re going for the platinum.


#17

One more tip for beginners: don’t worry about saving all the Molotovs you get at the start. Use them whenever you feel you need to. They’re more or less a one-hit kill for most enemies at the start of the game, which makes them extremely useful for handling some of the mobs you encounter early on.

Also, on the subject of Chalice Dungeons, if you want to check them out, I’d say you’re best bet is to do them as you progress through the game. The rewards for a lot of the early dungeons are geared toward low-level characters, so if you tackle them as you move through the game naturally, you’ll actually get something out of them. There’s not a whole lot to them, though – they don’t start getting interesting until way later. They get extremely monotonous when you play through multiple dungeons back to back, so space them out.


#18

I can’t believe how much this is completely on my bullshit. I am super interested in writing some hunter journals!! This is a great idea and I can’t wait to hear more.


#19

I’m very interested in this!

It’s been 3 years since my last trip to Yharnam, and I never quite finished it. But since then I’ve delved a lot further into the Cosmic Horror genre (example: learning the term “cosmic horror” was a thing.)

The combination of watching Natalie play and this thread inspired me to dig my copy of Bloodborne out of my storage locker, mini adventure in itself.

My initial idea for a new character is to try and model a character after Sam Neill. For one reason or another, he’s gotten seriously entangled into the cosmic horror genre as an actor. And I just watched two seasons of Peaky Blinders, easily the highlight of that show for me was his performance. I could see Sam Neill being drawn into the dream vortex that is Bloodborne, somehow.

Edit: it appears my ps4 is demanding blood for re entry, in the form of 8.5 GB of update data, trickling through the hardened arteries of psn and my isp.


#20

Hey, y’all, glad to see folks are getting into it already! I’ve started adding people’s entries to the OP as they make them, so @Sohkrates is now up there. As folks start coming in, the other mods and I will collate them into a handy-dandy archive in the first post for easy skimming. If people want to title their posts, feel free to do so and I’ll keep them in the first post.