Hangout: Bloodborne

By Shamus Posted Monday Mar 30, 2015

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 49 comments

Link (YouTube)

Here is the capture of the stream from last weekend. This is a local recording that Josh made, so it should be in HD and not in Mush-O-Vision like Twitch likes to serve. Also, it won’t be deleted in a couple of days, which is something else Twitch likes to do.

I really like doing these. It’s nice to be able to interact with the audience while the thing is going on. If Twitch wasn’t outrageously stupid, they would allow you to keep some streams. Also, they ought to archive the chat so you can watch the stream along with the comments as they appeared. I try to read off the comments as I respond to them, but it’s not the same as you being able to see them for yourselves.

Thanks to everyone who joined in. Be sure to bug JoshSince he’s not on Twitter, doesn’t have a blog, doesn’t use Facebook, and his email isn’t public, I have no idea how you can do this. if you want us to do it again.

Considering the central gameplay, the loading screens in Bloodborne are absolutely unforgivable.



[1] Since he’s not on Twitter, doesn’t have a blog, doesn’t use Facebook, and his email isn’t public, I have no idea how you can do this.

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49 thoughts on “Hangout: Bloodborne

  1. Jarenth says:

    If Josh is so supposedly unreachable, why does his nonsense wake me up almost every single day?

    Seriously, I need to know. My sleep schedule is bad enough as it is.

    1. Gruhunchously says:

      Perhaps you two need to see a relationship counselor?

    2. It’s like the old sitcom, Perfect Strangers, except Balki is played by a Northern European, Larry is a disgruntled American, and instead of making fun of the Second World Soviet-ish countries, Balki waves his country’s happier and healthier civilization in front of the drunkard grump in Las Vegas.

      …over the internet.

      1. Josh says:

        You joke, but you have just perfectly described our entire relationship.

        1. Then Shamus must compose you two a theme song. With lyrics.

        2. Jarenth says:

          Give or take our respective Crazytowne sleeping schedules.

    3. Hitch says:

      So if we want to bug Josh, but have no way to reach him, we should just bug you and you’ll pass it along?

      1. Jarenth says:

        I mean, at the very least that will get him bugged.

  2. Yerushalmi says:

    I watched a couple of minutes, but found myself unable to comment because when I tried to create an account on Twitch some guy told me not to trust them.

  3. SpiritBearr says:

    Wait was it really 40 minutes? I showed up an hour late and figured Josh just died a lot.

  4. Canthros says:

    “Blunderbuss” is also a much funnier word than pistol. Right up there with pantaloons.

  5. WILL says:

    Josh is good enough at video games I’d watch a stream of him solo anyway.

    I’ll defend the game’s design at pretty much any level, but when a game can’t back it up with the necessary technical aspects like those minute long loading screens, there’s just no forgiveness.

    1. Tizzy says:

      Any chance those long load times have to do with the complexity of the environments? I mean, once the level is loaded, it looks like it allows you to roam around quite a bit in very different-looking areas without any loading at all.

      1. James says:

        Slow read from the HDD in the ps4, or maby its not been fully optimized, the levels do look large and complex in comparison to alot of games from yesteryear

  6. SougoXIII says:

    Shamus, regarding the the chat, I think you have the ability to display the chat as part of your layout for the stream so the video archive can also have the chat showing up on it too so that’s one way you could ‘save’ the comment.

    Regarding Bloodborne, I actually gave it a go despite absolutely hating Dark/Demon Souls before. The loading screen/death penalty is still infuriating as ever but the fast pace combat/setting/aesthetic is just enough to push me over the initial hump of the game. The saving grace of this game is really the combat since everything in Dark/Demon Souls is so slow and methodical that it’s trying my patience that much more every time I die.

    1. Yeah, I’ve seem some twitch streams that had the chat showing in the video feed. I don’t know how, though. Maybe a 3rd-party plugin?

      1. Corpital says:

        Just opening your chat and giving it a screen region with your broadcasting software really is enough. No plugin needed.

    2. crossbrainedfool says:

      This is a great example of how hard/easy depends on the player much of the time.

      Dark Souls wants you to be cautious – evade and counterattack, repeat.

      Bloodborne uses a ton of systematic tools to encourage aggression.

      More cautious players will find Dark Souls to be easier, because it caters to their playstyle. Bloodborne will more likely overwhelm or unsettle them, because the game outright punishes overcautious play.

      Aggressive players will find Bloodborne much easier, because it’s set up to allow them to go ham (although not without some effort). Dark Souls will be much more frustrating, because of it’s slower pace and encouragement to wait for the right moment.

  7. Tobias says:

    For Dark Souls, the first thing that somehow impressed me was that you could make an actually fat character. From the videos I have seen, Bloodborne seems to have gone back to the default range of body types you see in every other game.

    I am actually surprised by how much I care. It sort of symbolizes DS’s unique style.

  8. Josh says:

    So I’m a bit mad now, because I figured out how to beat Father Gascoigne’s wolf form really easily pretty much immediately after the stream, and it’s super simple: Dodging to the side is super good in this game. Also side dodges now have their own special follow up-attack animation in the same way that forward rolls and backsteps did in Dark Souls. I beat him in one try on my main character. And then I found a tophat. It was a good day.

    1. Starker says:

      How very debonaire. The least you could do is look civilised while you cut down plague victims in wheelchairs in a shower of blood.

      Compared to the Souls games, this one looks to be more about learning through trial and error. Especially in Dark Souls you could play super defensively and just observe enemy attacks, allowing you to beat even bosses on the first try in a blind run.

    2. Phantos says:

      I didn’t know he’s the first boss of the game. I saw that trailer where he wrecks three players at once and thought I’d have to train and level-grind a lot. I fought the Cleric Beast first and had a rough time thinking they’d all be like that.

      And then I beat Gascoine so quickly I barely got to hear his awesome theme music. I had no idea because the game gives you two bosses to choose from, and one is a LOT more difficult than the other. It wasn’t like in Dark Souls 1 and Demon’s Souls where this is a very obvious First Boss encounter before anything else.

      This is the double-edged sword of making a game deliberately esoteric. There is a hierarchy of difficulty when it comes to the enemies, but heck if the game’s gonna tell you which one you should fight now or 40 hours later. Although it is cool when a game lets you try the harder stuff first if you want.

      1. Viktor says:

        I like when games give you the ability to choose which level challenge to take on. If I want to ignore Pizwheak, Gnomeland, and the King of Mudcrabs in order to take on the Eldest Dragon first, I should be allowed to attempt that. I shouldn’t succeed without powergaming and savescumming, but I should have the chance to try. The key to something like that is, though, that the game needs to tell you both where you should go and give you options to retreat if you overestimate yourself. It’s no good for a player to figure out they’re overmatched when the only retreat involves backtracking for 5 minutes while being chased by a fast unkillable troll. Players need information to make decisions, but give them that and players should be allowed to make bad ones.

      2. Darren says:

        The difficulty of the fights is very subjective. Besides being optional, the Cleric Beast can be fought alongside a summonable NPC: Father Gasciogne! Well, if you take it out first. If you summon the good Father G, he makes the fight significantly easier.

        As for Gasciogne, he fights very differently from the Cleric Beast: he’s faster, has three different phases, has a very fast ranged attack, can stun you, and is fought in a graveyard where headstones and tombs block the way. Even with the music box, he can be a much tougher foe for players.

    3. AJax says:

      Wanted to say this on Stream but didn’t realize it early but… Sorry for telling you to parry the Cleric Beast! I got really mixed up when I saw my friends try to take him on, he went to his stun state not because he was parried but he was shot enough times in the head. The pistol would’ve made it easier to do this rather than the Blunderbuss because it takes less bullets to do so I think.

      So… Very sorry Josh!

    4. Robyrt says:

      In general, Bloodborne has a lot more special follow-up attacks than Dark Souls. Every weapon has, in each form:
      A jumping attack (forward+R2)
      Two backstep attacks (O, R1/R2)
      Two running attacks (hold O, R1/R2)
      Two rolling/quickstepping attacks (direction+O, R1/R2)
      A charged heavy attack (hold R2, whip excluded)
      A heavy combo (L2, L2, L2, two-handed weapons only)
      The other thing you may not realize is that smaller weapons generally have better transform attacks (L1). The Saw Spear and Saw Cleaver can probably get higher DPS by doing R1, L1, R1, L1 than a charged R2 attack, while Kirkhammer users should basically press L1 only out of combat.

  9. Phantos says:

    Sorry I wasn’t there for the Bloodborne hangout. I was too busy playing… erm, Bloodborne.

    On my tv, the loading screen isn’t even centred. Even though the game is. I remember previous entries would pass the time with item descriptions and lore. Now the load times are longer and there’s not even an animated swirl in the corner.

    It’s like… how do you screw up a loading screen? Especially in a game that brings you back to the loading screen as much as this one does. It’s not like this is a game that half-assed the visuals, either. But all that effort into making the gothic architecture look just so, and yet this is the visual aspect they stumble on?

    The game has worse problems than that, but it always baffles me when people can conquer the greatest challenges and then fail miserably at something remedial.

    1. Thomas says:

      It’s still less baffling to me than the Dragon Age Inquisition loading screens, where they have the wonderful system of showing you codex entries whilst you wait-

      -and then cut to black for 10 seconds before you can finish reading them.

  10. Decius says:

    I’ve seen streams that also streamed the chat window, at low opacity so that it doesn’t cover too much of the game.

  11. Heregoesnothing says:

    “It’s Baldur’s Gate 2, but written by Obsidian.”

    SOLD! To the man authoring this very comment.

    1. Galad says:

      was this about Pillars of Eternity? I really want to get that game, but I’ve also told myself I’ll be starting (again) Witcher 2, since I preordered Witcher 3, and then I really should play Planescape =X

      1. Thomas says:

        Then let me sell Pillars of Eternity to you like this:

        It’s Baldur’s Gate III if Baldur’s Gate III were a Planescape: Torment sequel.

        On the forums we’ve just been picking over all the similarities to Planescape. It’s so close I could tell which companions were written by Chris Avellone just because they were the ones who felt most at home in Planescape

        1. StashAugustine says:

          I do recommend waiting for a patch or two, but yeah its pretty great. It might work for a hangout, too, since the RTWP gameplay means you can interact with the audience easier.

  12. Ranneko says:

    Unfortunately unless you have something like 500 viewers or are a twitch partner, twitch does not let viewers pick anything other than source. Basically I think Twitch doesn’t want to waste time and effort transcoding down (from their perspective) low value streams and so it just acts as a dumb relay until those thresholds are met.

    So maybe the solution here is for Josh to turn down the bit rate and res of the outgoing stream, unless he is happy with only having people with nice net connections watch. And happy to hear Shamus complain about the terrible viewing experience while on the stream.

    This is why I record lets plays at 1080p, but stream games at 720p.

  13. krellen says:

    I like how I was still able to sabotage the stream even after I left to go be a GM. You’re welcome, Shamus.

    1. Shamus says:

      Well played, Krellen.

  14. Jonn says:

    For people who have issues with Twitch not streaming – viewer side not host – a couple of ways to reduce the inherent buggy and crappyness, as long as your connection can theoretically handle the bandwith.

    For those who don’t mind command lines, check out (may not be the best part to link but, you can figure it out easily enough).

    If you wan’t something that ‘just works’ and are ok with a functional program dragged down by rather troll-ish language, check out or for actual information,

    Used both, found livestreamer second and have used it since. Also lets you save to disk if you want to watch later, or other fancier things.

    Do keep in mind the affect on streamers when you don’t watch their ads – consider a sub to them if you enjoy their content and want them to continue :)

    People of the future, note the date if these links don’t work.

    1. Peter H. Coffin says:

      It’s not your fault but the idea that I have to do something to fix Twitch’s abject br0k3nness is kind of annoying, especially when it’s a choice of two different kinds of janky and weird.

      And, as usual, when I think about it hard enough I realize it’s yet another case of a company simply never bothering to test their stuff under less than ideal conditions, or using less than top-of-the-line hardware to do so, because that would require planning and foresight, and fixing the shortcomings discovered would might make someone miss a bonus deadline or something.

      1. Jonn says:

        Not aimed at anyone specific here, but odds are your opinion of twitch is based on your geolocation considering how badly they treat large parts of Australia.
        At one point I had a US proxy set up, no buffering and an extra second of latency makes no difference. Without that, on a very stable 2MB/sec though? Stutter, buffer, play a couple seconds then throw it away to buffer moar.

        Better today, but still buffers without something to multi thread it (or whatever the correct term is).

  15. el_b says:

    maybe it’s Just that this game doesn’t like streaming. Within a minute of two best friends starting their run, They lost the video and had to fix it.

    this game is so hard it kills your hardware too.

    1. Josh says:

      I’m using a capture card to stream rather than the PS4 streaming feature, so that seems unlikely.

  16. Cybron says:

    Dang that looks like fun. I’ve been completely uninterested in the new generation of consoles until now, so it was easy to ignore them, but now I’m debating the merits of a $400 Bloodborne machine.

  17. Tizzy says:

    I now see that graphics cards are every bit as crazypants as they were 10 years ago when I left the PC master race.

    I was curious as to how expensive that card was that Shamus found too rich for his taste. All I could remember was that it had R9 in the name, but I thought I’d just check anyway. How many could there be? Well, the answer is 126, if AMD’s website is to be believed.

    How can people even choose something under these conditions?

    1. ulrichomega says:

      Because “R9” is a very wide category of cards. It would be like (warning: car metaphor) going to a dealer and asking for a “Ford SUV.” Ford makes a few SUV’s, the dealer is going to give you a bunch of options or ask you to narrow it down a bit.
      AMD lists 5 in the R9 series on their website. However, three of these have two different configurations/binning quality within them, for a total of 8 cards in the R9 series. That’s kind of reasonable, especially considering the difference between the “X” and “Non-X” cards is pretty much that the “X” version is slightly better.

      Now, there’re still WAY too many graphics cards out there. The problem is mostly that there are a dozen different manufacturers, and every one does their own thing. To go back to the Car Metaphor, it would be like going to the same Ford dealership and asking for a Ford Explorer and the dealer replies “Okay, do you want the one from China, Germany, America, Canada, Mexico, or Japan?” They’re all the same car, but they were just made in different places (for the most part, and ignoring slight differences that each manufacturer makes).

      For the most part you’re fine if you just pick a price point and look at benchmarks for the cards around that price point, and then choose a manufacturer.

      1. Florian the Mediocre says:

        Out of curiosity, what CPU Cooler and Power Supply are you using?

      2. ulrichomega says:

        I just picked up one of these. It’s a really nice card, runs pretty quiet, and pumps out 4k in just about everything I’ve thrown at it, but it sucks down a LOT of power.

  18. Benjamin Hilton says:

    Shamus I totally appreciated the Muppet Christmas Carol reference near the end there.

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