Horizon Zero Dawn Catch-All

Comparison of the E3 trailer and one of my more recent Thunderjaw hunts. I think the game is actually better than the trailer!

So, I'm playing on normal and got down to the final boss, but hadn't prepared by buying enough health potions not knowing what was coming exactly plus I popped health potions pretty quickly in the lead up. I ended up restarting the final section so I could do more prep which was a bummer. After I beat the final boss, I checked the actual quest level out of curiosity which was 36. After beating that boss, I was at 34. I don't feel so bad now for having a bit of trouble with it. It was kinda fun once I kinda figured out some tricks to make the whole battle manageable.

At any rate, finished! Will probably be in my top five-ish for the year, and I did get Frozen Wilds, so I'm looking forward to checking that out since I love snow.

I'll recommend hunting some machines for fun to get your level and skills up. Not skills in the skill tree. Your player skills. It makes a big difference.

The Cut is a really tough place.

Finished the DLC last night except for a few side missions that are essentially, go kill something. I'm sure over the holiday weekend I will clean up the last few quests and have a few more awesome fights. Overall, loved the extra content and the new graphical tweaks were great. Loved seeing more about the Banuk and the main quest line was a great way to really let us get more information about the world in general. I am happy to put this one on the shelf and consider it wrapped up, but look forward to the next chapter that is on the horizon.

Mounted Ravager Hunt

This video showcases several things.

1. The properties and power of a Ropecaster. This one specifically is the Carja Ropecaster, which is easy to acquire relatively early in the game. No unusual skills were used in the video and if you don't have Call Mount, you can just acquire one the usual way. Mods were purple, but even a blue modded one is workable. Even without tying down the Ravager, the vid clearly shows that they restrict the machine's movement and basically shuts down the lunging attack. Once the machine is tied down, it is essentially a sitting duck. Using the tie down for a melee Critical Hit is usually the least thing you can do with it. I usually use it to Freeze the machine, and/or remove armor and then either prepare a lethal three-shot or do multiple elemental criticals.

2. This video also demonstrates that you don't need that much aimskill to master the mounted combat, and it looks damned awesome. Basically, once you're moving towards the machine and you've lined up the weapon, you don't move the cursor with the right stick at all. You just wait for it to pass over the machine and then release the weapon - like a rhythm mechanic. If you miss, just move it directly opposite your movement drift until it passes the machine, reengage the weapon to activate the slowmo, and then do it again.

3. Finally, this video shows an easy area of the map to learn to aim on a mount because there are no terrain features that might hamper your mounted movement, so you're more or less free to move around. Ravagers and Sawtooths are great for hunting on a mount because they have no attacks that can outpace you. Once you're moving away from them at a gallop, they can only shoot you. Sawtooths can't even do that, and it's dead easy to just Tearblast a Ravager until the Cannon falls off. Once there are terrain features to think about, you have to more actively think about where your mount is going and at what speed - basically you have to imagine the terrain behind the camera and it can be difficult to do that.

4. The main reason this combat method is so powerful is that it is basically strafing on easy mode. You don't have to move your leftcursor to strafe. The mount will do that on its own. And you don't need to learn to move your right cursor to compensate for the movement. Just position the reticle more or less in the right area and it'll drift right onto the machine under unlimited slowmo.

I just realised today you can rear a mount to attack someone.


I finally got some corruption arrows, I'm amazed how powerful of a tool that is, it was a blast watching two behemoths destroy each other only for me to go pew pew twice for the final kill.

Just started the DLC. Even at level 50, that first Daemonic Scorcher was like taking on a Thunderjaw at level 1.

Bonus_Eruptus wrote:

Just started the DLC. Even at level 50, that first Daemonic Scorcher was like taking on a Thunderjaw at level 1.

Seriously. He's a formidable opponent.

That, or I just completely lost all my hunting skills to Wolfenstein II in the span of 3 weeks.

Bonus_Eruptus wrote:

That, or I just completely lost all my hunting skills to Wolfenstein II in the span of 3 weeks.

It's taken me a few days to get back into the swing of things. I've found myself going more at the direct melee approach lately because either I've run out of resources, or because these machines close distances real quick.

I liked how I got scolded by a character for going into the frozen wilds before I finished the main story.

The Daemonic Scorcher is a real doozy. Especially the first one. It's sufficiently different from other machines that it can be a real challenge the first few times. The fact that it crowds and rushes you is extremely disconcerting and it can preclude tactical and strategic adaptation once it starts doing so.

You can completely avoid it however, by continuing along the iced creek. On the back wall, past its patrol route, there are climbing points that get you back onto the path. You'll be forced to fight daemonic scorchers eventually, but they've given you the option to ghost past the introductory one.

Of course, anyone who does will be missing a very clear Statement Of Intent.

The second one of them was much easier, after I tore its mine launcher off and held the trigger down in its face.

Ok, I am really loving this game but the writing/voice acting is really clashing with the lore.

All the characters speak/think/act like they are at a backyard barbecue in Redmond, Washington accompanied by their standard issue orange dog and 2.5 kids. They exhibit cultural values and speech patterns indistinguishable from 2017 coastal, upper-middle class US values - despite some paper-thin world building to distinguish the tribes. The fact that they seemed to use the same casting methodology as a GAP commercial is troubling too but a topic for another post perhaps.

I get it, this is in all likelihood a reflection of the demographics and values of the writers/directors (I know they are Dutch but there is not a huge gap between baseline cultural standards in Redmond and Amsterdam) but come on guys, at least try and imagine how people would behave differently centuries after an apocalypse.

Even if there isn't much linguistic drift between tribes in post-apocalyptic Colorado, the education deficiencies and a harsh subsistence environment would make communication much more basic and to the point. People would also have fight or flight behaviors pushed to the forefront of their worldview and most interactions with strangers would be anxious and brutal. With the possible exception of Carja nobles in Meridian and some of the various clergy, aint no one have time to wax poetical in the wastelands and folks who bare their souls to every random person that wanders by wouldn't last long to make the same mistake twice.

Nearly every other aspect of the game is amazing so I hope Guerrilla Games looks to the Witcher, Far Cry Primal, Game of Thrones and the Last of Us for examples of how to portray context-convincing societies for HZD2.

Expansion strategy guide, free for a limited time


Im having an absolute blast with the new expansion, I've been having to rely on my Slings much more, been having pretty good luck tear blasting the launcher of Scorcher, followed by rope caster to limit its mobilty, then couple ice bombs until freeze status hits, then bunch of blast bombs to its face.
My only concern is I'm getting slightly over leveled for main quest.

I'm enjoying the new weapons (fire/ice/lightning throwers). Made the last challenge at the new hunting grounds a cakewalk when they were improved by Vargas. Think I've completed all the side quests, and just have a couple main DLC quests remaining.

I hope this isn't the last DLC, but it was definitely worth it.

I hadn't played this game since March 16th according yo my save files. I got it back from a friend ( PS4 ) so played it some more over the last week. It took me a couple hours to get back into the swing of things, but once I did, the joy of playing Horizon came flooding back.

I finished it yesterday having completed everything on the map except the quest to get the armor. I was missing a power cell thing and didn't feel like looking for it. I found all the others by happenstance, not by actively pursuing this quest.

Horizon was great, definitely in my top 3 games this year. Since I've been out of touch on it, I didn't know there was DLC. I'll wait a year or so and grab whatever is available.

The last 3-5 hours of the game were great - the story, the action, everything.

I rarely complete games, but completing this one was a no-brainer.


Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck Fireclaws.

I'm literally going to have to go farm Chillwater just so I can have materials to fight these assholes. 3 down, 3 to go, and I'm broke, having sold off everything just to fight the first three, while these 3-story-tall flaming gorilla-bears slap me around the forest with barely any chance to dodge. Curving fireballs that'll hit from a mile away, if they don't just cause fire to erupt from under my feet.

Only thing that seems to help is electricity to the batteries above its ass (the phonies didn't let up), but good luck getting it to stop its stunlock combos long enough to hit that with arrows, as other means of tazing its butthole didn't have any effect.

EDIT: Thankfully the 3rd-to-last was with a Ravager, and was weak to it's torn-off cannon. The last two in one fight, I had a guy with me to distract them while I Skyrim'd up a steep hill where they couldn't hit me, and peppered them with fully-charged triple precision arrows in the face until they died. Wrapped everything up right at midnight. Sad to hear this will be the only expansion for the game, but at least there's NG+.

How I took out the Fireclaws


The Fireclaw has a claw attack routine with three swipes. It doesn't reorient so once it starts, it's locked. You can dodge between its legs during this animation and have enough time to swing the camera around, aim, and shoot a single shock arrow. Alternatively, focus on tearblasting and blast slings. It has three damage-vulnerable critical areas protected by armor. Strip the armor then blast with damage liberally. Once all areas are destroyed, it will become permanently on fire and die on its own.


A small machine has been through this area recently. You can tell because of the tracks in the snow. It must be recent because the falling snow hasn't filled in the tracks yet. Yes, snow fills in the tracks in real time.


I'm wearing the Sparkworker outfit with extra shock protection because it is much better at absorbing the self-damage from the Stormslinger than even the Shieldweaver outfit. If you intend to fire a bunch of overcharged shots from the weapon, there's no better outfit.

Even on very easy, it felt like I couldn't tearblast any of the claws or daemonic anything, and definitely couldn't override them, even after the vault.

I hunted a few bears to confirm what I said. Yep, you can tearblast the armor off. This only makes the vulnerable areas easier to shoot off. They still require a ton of damage to break. I'm honestly not sure if that's better than just freezing the thing and blasting it to bits with bombs. Daemonic or Corrupted anything can't be corrupted or overriden. But normal ones can be.


For my part, I rank the new weapons in this order of usefulness:

Improved Icerail: The cannon is powerful, long range damage and its ammo requirements are very light in both modes. One shot will kill most Small machines and Longlegs, and its damage is amplified by the freeze element, which is great.

Improved Stormslinger: It's very interesting to use and can be used to tool around with. Against smaller machines in medium range combat, it is easier to use than the Icerail. However, it can be finicky to use if you want to maximize the damage output, and it uses ammo while it's revving up. Its ammo uses Echo Shells which aren't as easy to farm as Chillwater or Blaze.

Improved Forgefire: The fireball doesn't have an aiming arc so it's very hard to aim at longer ranges. I'm not sure why they did away with the guide because it's not like its damage is amazing. Useful at short range, the fireball's ammo requirement of Metalburn isn't farmable at all with any degree of reliability or ease.

Damn I've fallen in love with this game! Bought it after the $20 sale and I am hooked.

I'm obsessed with hunting all the animals to level up my gear. I also can't stop picking up everything in the world.

I had no clue there were so many different ways to approach encounters. I've barely used traps or the tripcaster much yet. As is the case with me and open world games, I've been sniping and stealth killing everything as much as possible.

One complaint is that you can't have more than 4 weapons slotted. That's a bummer.

Hot take: I'm tired of the same rappel animation. Aloy reaaaaaaaaly trusts her rope skills eh?

PaladinTom wrote:

Hot take: I'm tired of the same rappel animation. Aloy reaaaaaaaaly trusts her rope skills eh? ;-)

The best part of that animation is that you can rappel through the ground.


It's an old video though. I wonder if it's been fixed...

PaladinTom wrote:

One complaint is that you can't have more than 4 weapons slotted. That's a bummer.

Hot take: I'm tired of the same rappel animation. Aloy reaaaaaaaaly trusts her rope skills eh? ;-)

Yep, the 4 weapon limit is one of the more annoying things about the game. Only manages to accomplish that you simply dont use all the different weapons the game offers. And it cant be because the game want to force hard choices (which might be fine), considering you can change freely as lang as you can be bothered to do it.

The rappel animation annoyed me much more than it should. A bit too moronic suicidal no matter how awesome Aloy might consider herself to be.

Shadout wrote:

The rappel animation annoyed me much more than it should. A bit too moronic suicidal no matter how awesome Aloy might consider herself to be.

Yup. Throwing yourself off of a familiar hunting perch is one thing. But jumping off an ancient tower or into an a pitch black hole of doom without hooking yourself up first? Sure, why not?!

Haven't tried off anything with sufficient height, but I barely even rappel anymore with the Shield Weaver armor, as from all the heights I have tried, it absorbs the damage of the fall, and I've got places to be, and bears to shoot in the ass.