Dragon’s Dogma 2: My Struggles with Using Wakestones

The small red jewels allow you to resurrect yourself in the instant you’re slain, brought back to full health by the power of magic. They’re perfect for when you’re caught in a drake’s fiery breath moments before slaying it, and practically a necessity if you’re miles and miles from your last save or inn rest. I thought these items would be rare, but I regularly carry around a dozen in my bag at any one time. I’m swimming in more Wakestones than I know what to do with.

That’s the problem – I don’t know what to do with them. It’s just that my fights go one of two ways. In the former genre of battle, I don’t need a Wakestone for obvious reasons. A simple saurian does not slay the Arisen.

Even griffins are no match for my combat prowess. But in the latter situation, my Wakestone usage is poor at best. I was once soundly defeated by a drake before I’d even chipped away one of its health bars. I opted not to use my Wakestone, for obvious reasons.

I would just get slammed again. But in other situations, the times I *have *opted to use one of the semi-precious resources, I’ve messed it up. Every single time. That period when you’ve got half your opponent’s health bars down, but you have been smote yourself.

You use a Wakestone to try again, to give yourself another opportunity to fell this foul beast. But your Pawns are dying more quickly now, their maximum health shattered. You find yourself reviving more than attacking, even as a Fighter. It’s all going pear-shaped, and you’ve barely whittled away any more health than when you resurrected yourself.

Eventually, you die again. You don’t use another Wakestone, tempting though it is. Then there’s the final fight type: the tactical retreat. I’m happy to say that I use this as often as necessary.

There’s no shame in running away from a foe you can’t defeat. However, sometimes said foe catches you with one last attack as your back is turned and your boots are turning the earth into dust. This is the worst death. Forget what I said before, this is the coward’s death.

But you can make a run for it. Maybe you run into another band of monsters, maybe the existing swarm – and it’s always a swarm for this, never a gargantuan foe – springs faster than your legs can carry you. You’re stunlocked now, unable to move or even defend yourself. You’re so far from your last save, further from the last inn you rested at.

You die again, and the temptation to waste another Wakestone is huge, but the Goblin menace looms over your corpse. There’s no way you get out alive. You swallow your pride and reload. By ‘you’, I of course mean ‘me’.

This has happened to me more times than I care to admit. Especially the running away one. I’m getting better at working out whether a Wakestone will help me to kill a particularly tricky pair of ogres or not, but when I’m trying to escape? I’ll always believe my feet are faster than a wolf’s.

I’m just glad that Wakestones aren’t as rare as portable Portcrystals. I’ve wasted all but one of my Wakestones, reviving my Arisen’s broken body only for him to be slain again just minutes later. It’s time for me to just accept that a death is a death, and maybe save more often so I don’t lose as much progress when the inevitable occurs. My Wakestones are for NPCs only from here on out.

Unless a boss is on one HP.

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