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Dark Souls 2 (Dark Souls successor (Demon's Souls successor))

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I've had one win in three invasions so far, two of which happened at the same time as per my above story.

 

 

 

I was starting to feel the game start to catch up with me shortly after i made that post, to be fair. It definitely gets harder.

 

Expanding stat scaling out to most of the gear is a pretty big system change, one i quite like, and it definitely makes armor better than it was in Dark Souls. Contrast that with recovery on most actions being slowed down a ton from Dark Souls, and i guess it's easy to see how the game could either be really easy or really difficult based on pre-existing playstyles. (Somewhat related, did the internet really ever come to a consensus on whether or not the adaptibility stat is worth investing in?)

I've also been having a ton of problems with titanite supply, namely that i just can't find any. I wasn't really finding any weapons early on that emulated the ones i liked from the last game, so i ended up using my titanite on a bunch of random things without realizing that you apparently don't run into any enemies that drop it, nor do you find shops with an unlimited supply, until much further in the game. So now i'm kind of stuck using sub optimal gear just because it's the gear i had happened to have upgraded. It's entirely possible i brought that completely on myself, but titanite feels more rare than it was in the last game.

 

I definitely agree about the titanite supply. The Fire Longsword is about the only thing I have decently upgraded. Beyond that, I have a bunch of +1 or 2 items that I really wish I hadn't wasted titanite on.

 

Also, I had a two on one invasion too just a minute ago, which I somehow survived. Then, immediately after, I got invaded while summoned into someone else's world. Is that even supposed to be possible? Or is Belfry Luna just PVP central?

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I definitely agree about the titanite supply. The Fire Longsword is about the only thing I have decently upgraded. Beyond that, I have a bunch of +1 or 2 items that I really wish I hadn't wasted titanite on.

 

Also, I had a two on one invasion too just a minute ago, which I somehow survived. Then, immediately after, I got invaded while summoned into someone else's world. Is that even supposed to be possible? Or is Belfry Luna just PVP central?

 

The Belfry Luna is a PVP area/covenant, akin to the Rat Covenant, the Bell Covenant works the other way round (you invade a host's world instead of someone being sucked into your world). There is a creepy doll that you can talk to to enter the covenant. He should be right at the entrance to the Belfry Luna.

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I just got invaded for the first time. The guy didn't even bother to bow or anything and just tried to backstab me as I bowed. Anyway, I still won, so whatever. It happened just before the

 

Gargoyle fight, which just seems like the laziest boss fight design so far. "You liked fighting two gargoyles last time, how about a bunch of them!"

 

That's a dedicated PvP area:

 

Players defend the Bell Tower. Their goal is to stop you from ringing the bell and opening the door to the Gargoyles, your job is to get past them. Expect no honor from anyone there, players on both sides will do whatever it takes to win.  Part of that is as a defender, you get a Titanite Chunk for killing a trespasser, so people really want to win.  As a trespasser, you can summon help if any is available. Up to two Bell Tower guardians can be summoned in, plus red invaders can show up as well. It is definitely weighted towards the defenders, but I find both sides a lot of fun.

 

 

I've also been having a ton of problems with titanite supply, namely that i just can't find any.

 

Titanite is rare, until suddenly it's not and you're swimming in it (late in the game).  Where are you at?  Would help to know that to either give you some tips on enemies that do drop it, or give you an idea on how long you've got until you can get a decent supply.  There's an area where you find a fair amount that's not too far in, but if you decided to explore another path, you could easily not reach there for awhile. 

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Yeah, the two bell towers in Dark Souls 2 are analogous to the so-called "PVP forest" in the Darkroot Garden of Dark Souls, which was protected by the Forest Hunter covenant. The invasion rate seems way higher though, holy shit.
 

 

Titanite is rare, until suddenly it's not and you're swimming in it (late in the game).  Where are you at?  Would help to know that to either give you some tips on enemies that do drop it, or give you an idea on how long you've got until you can get a decent supply.  There's an area where you find a fair amount that's not too far in, but if you decided to explore another path, you could easily not reach there for awhile. 


I'm through Huntsman's Copse and Lost Bastille, and i have access to the tunnels beneath Majula.

How do i uncurse people turned to stone? Is that something i should already be able to do?

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Branches of Yore (or something to that affect). You get one from a chest after beating the Lost Sinner.

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Yeah, the two bell towers in Dark Souls 2 are analogous to the so-called "PVP forest" in the Darkroot Garden of Dark Souls, which was protected by the Forest Hunter covenant. The invasion rate seems way higher though, holy shit.

 

 

I'm through Huntsman's Copse and Lost Bastille, and i have access to the tunnels beneath Majula.

How do i uncurse people turned to stone? Is that something i should already be able to do?

 

The area past the boss of the Huntsman's Copse has a titanite merchant pretty much as soon as you get into the area.

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The area past the boss of the Huntsman's Copse has a titanite merchant pretty much as soon as you get into the area.

 

And that area is pretty rich in Titanite in general, would make a good place for you to head next.  It also has a couple of Branches of Yore in it, so you'll kill two birds with one stone.

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Alright, i guess i need to go beat that boss, then.

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I've got adaptability at 20 and I feel much more comfortable rolling now. I don't know if it actually helps or if I've just gotten better at it. Supposedly it speeds up estus / lifegem animations as well.

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It seems like the early game can vary in difficulty a lot depending on starting class, where you choose to go (not having the Ring of Binding in Lost Bastille makes it pretty rough) and your choice of gear. For me it started off being tougher than Dark Souls, for a while after that it got easier as I was clearing out areas I should've been in earlier, but now that I think I'm in the midgame it feels harder than Dark Souls again. It doesn't seem like you can overlevel as much (post Anor Londo you become overpowered IMO), because the dimishing returns on health and stamina come earlier. I guess I haven't hit roadblocks as big as the standout ones in Dark Souls, but the original game was actually the one where I beat most of the bosses in one or two tries. This game has a more consistent level of challenge I think. I don't know if the champion's covenant actually makes a noticeable difference, but so far I'm finding it just challenging enough.

 

I overlooked the vitality stat for a long time, so I went shirtless to keep my equip load down. Now I've discovered that armor actually gives a decent amount of damage mitigation (it scales too!) and I don't know why I ignored poise for so long.

I just looked up the Ring of Binding and realized I destroyed that chest and got rubble out of it. Before I knew that destroying chests did that. Silly me!

 

Personally, I felt like the beginning of this game was really difficult. Maybe I was just finding my Dark Souls feet again, or I was an underpowered sorcerer, but I definitely died a lot at first. Now I've gotten in a much better grove, and even killed a few bosses first try. 

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I joined the Blue Sentinels, and wow is that fun. I've never been one to invade people's games in Dark Souls, but I love the feeling of getting called on to protect a newer player. The fact that I get humanity and souls each time it happens only makes it all the better.

 

Also, I'm pretty glad to be leaving No Man's Wharf. That place creeped me out. Then again, this is Dark Souls, so I'm sure whatever's next won't be any better.

 

I joined them and haven't once been summoned in to help someone out, and also haven't had any luck using Cracked Blue Orbs to invade the guilty. Maybe I'm just the completely wrong level for the majority of players since I had a couple days off and played a ton during that time.

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I just looked up the Ring of Binding and realized I destroyed that chest and got rubble out of it. Before I knew that destroying chests did that. Silly me!

 

Personally, I felt like the beginning of this game was really difficult. Maybe I was just finding my Dark Souls feet again, or I was an underpowered sorcerer, but I definitely died a lot at first. Now I've gotten in a much better grove, and even killed a few bosses first try. 

 

I actually found starting as a sorcerer to be much more challenging than melee.  I made a new character yesterday and started another no bonfire/no death run.  Starting it is feeling easier than starting as a sorcerer.   But I know mages get crazy powerful starting around mid-game, based on what I saw out of PvP and co-op on the PS3. 

 

 

I joined them and haven't once been summoned in to help someone out, and also haven't had any luck using Cracked Blue Orbs to invade the guilty. Maybe I'm just the completely wrong level for the majority of players since I had a couple days off and played a ton during that time.

 

There also just may not be that many sinners yet.  The limited number of red eye orbs means that it's going to take people awhile to rack up sin. 

 

On adaptability, I have no idea if it's useful or not.  I've played around with it ranging from 3 to 20.  I think it helps?  I'm going to try taking it up to the high 20s (the soft cap for it) on my current character to play around some more.  I find the biggest difference to rolling to keep your equip burden under 50 percent.  I've basically given up on heavy armor unless I know I'm going against something specific that I will get hit no matter what. 

 

Edited to add:

 

FUCK YES!  From either enabled, or confirmed, that VAC support is being used for DS2:

 

post-33601-0-61144000-1398704025_thumb.jpg

 

I know that VAC has some problems, but cheating just ruins PvP in the Souls games, so anything to cut down on that is a good thing. 

 

Double Edit!

 

Apparently I should finish scanning the forums before posting.  They also released the patch this morning that is supposed to fix the crash at startup, so hopefully I can launch it without having to use a workaround on my TV.  And have 5.1 sound again. 

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I just looked up the Ring of Binding and realized I destroyed that chest and got rubble out of it. Before I knew that destroying chests did that. Silly me!

 

Personally, I felt like the beginning of this game was really difficult. Maybe I was just finding my Dark Souls feet again, or I was an underpowered sorcerer, but I definitely died a lot at first. Now I've gotten in a much better grove, and even killed a few bosses first try. 

You can get that ring by

Burning a bonfire aesthetic in that area, since it respawns the chest, but it has other effects as well

 

 

On adaptability, I have no idea if it's useful or not.  I've played around with it ranging from 3 to 20.  I think it helps?  I'm going to try taking it up to the high 20s (the soft cap for it) on my current character to play around some more.  I find the biggest difference to rolling to keep your equip burden under 50 percent.  I've basically given up on heavy armor unless I know I'm going against something specific that I will get hit no matter what.

I know that over 70% makes you fatroll, what happens at 50%?

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I know that over 70% makes you fatroll, what happens at 50%?

 

The "hard" breakpoints on burden are now 70, 100 and 120 percent (past 120 is when you basically can't move).  These are the points with obvious, big changes to your movement.  But along the entire range, your stamina regen, roll distance, distance you travel sprinting off a ledge and (maybe?) jump distance degrade on a linear scale.  Stamina regen time doubles going from 0 percent to 100 percent burden.  Roll distance is visibly different every 10 points or so. 

 

So there is nothing specifically at 50 percent, but I've found it's where I'm most comfortable at.  I can wear armor with some bonuses; carry a weapon, shield and bow; but have the stamina regen and roll that I want.   Read your equipment descriptions!  Lots of gear now have bonuses other than just armor.  One of the first you will encounter is the merchant hat that the hag sells.  It raises the item drop rate.  It's well worth reading the description of every item you find, and looking at all the store items.  Any bonus effect is always listed at the bottom of the description if you're just quickly looking.

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I've been skating the line pretty close to 70%, but I'm thinking about reducing my load and buying some more max equipment load to try and get down to around 40%. I notice myself just barely failing to roll away a lot more than I used to.

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You can get that ring by

Burning a bonfire aesthetic in that area, since it respawns the chest, but it has other effects as well

Ah, thanks! 

 

One thing that has bugged me about both Dark Souls games is when the path ahead is unclear. Like you pick up a key and have no idea what door it goes to. Or, a DK2 example:

 

The entrance to the Huntsmans Copse being the switch right off of Mejula. I had passed that point so long ago I had completely forgotten it, and I never go through that passageway any more because I just use bonfires if I'm traveling to a new major area. I suppose if I thought about it I would have realized I didn't have a boss soul from the Heide Tower area, but I think I just assumed it was just a pass through to the Lost Sinner. Now I'm realizing that guy at the monument was talking about it, but I just assumed he was talking about the gate levers. Oh well. I think I'm just made because I feel like I should have figured it out, but I doubt I would have. I'm dumb.

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I'll try going down to 50% then, but I haven't found as many armor sets in this game. Maybe I said this earlier, but I wish secondary weapon slots didn't count towards your equip load. I'm never going to use all three slots because of that and when my weapon breaks I have to fiddle with the inventory instead of being able to use the actual weapon switching feature. I mean, my weapon weighs like 15 units, that's so much, I can't afford to add that to my load when I'm not getting any benefit from it.

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I actually like equip load contribution from your secondary and tertiary slots.  I feel like it fits into the Dark Souls design ethos of everything having a tradeoff.  Being able to swap which melee weapon I'm using to account for tight quarters mid-fight has definitely been an asset.  But I'm also not trying to use an ultra-greatsword, or anything.  I can see how it is also annoying, though.

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I was co-oping to farm some experience in the Iron Keep tonight, and unfortunately set up some poor sap for an instant KO.  Minor spoiler for enemy type and location.

 

We were on the bridge that has two Turtle Knights guarding it. I didn't realize the host was summoning another phantom. I aggroed one of the turtles to bring him to us. The new phantom was just finishing up his standing up animation when the Turtle swung and Babe Ruth'd him right off the ledge and into the lava. Shortest co-op session ever for that dude.

Once we murdered the turtle, the host and I each praised the sun in honor of our fallen comrade.

 

I reached Drangleic Castle on my new no death/bonfire run.  Skipped huge chunks of the game by wearing a bunch of soul boosting gear (full Tseldora set and Covetous Silver Ring +1).  I felt kinda bad murdering the nice armorer guy in Majula for the Tseldora set, but that saved me a ton of work having his outfit.  I usually never murder NPCs.  But I managed to break 1 million soul memory, and only got two Lord souls.  My biggest fear on this is dying to an invader, since I'm playing online to co-op for souls, to repair my gear and restore Estus.  So far I've been invaded twice, once in my world and once while co-oping.  Managed to get through it both times, but hair raising as hell. 

 

I have been backing up my save though.  If I get invaded by a hacker, or bite it to a botched jump due to a slightly dodgy left stick, I'm not going to let that ruin the run. 

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I think the pacing of the game might be one of the problems I'm having with it. It's almost a bit samey, which is weird to say because there is a good amount of variety in the areas you go to. There are so many areas though and you're always making progress, you don't get to know every area as well and they don't leave as strong of an impression as in the previous game. I also think the amount of bonfires adds to that, they're slightly too frequent and the impact of reaching one is lessened. There's an area with some nods to Sen's Fortress, and it has three bonfires all of which are placed in plain view, compared to Sen's one hidden bonfire. Not every area is like that but the ones that are feel like you're just passing through. Secondary and tertiary bonfires feel like a design crutch to me, it's what they put in if they couldn't work in a shortcut or the area wasn't interesting enough to repeat.

 

Another thing I miss are the random tough enemies, like Havel, the Black Knights etc. That's also a pacing thing I think.

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 I did what I Wanted to do the other day but came back this morning to mop up. Finished now. I think. It's unusual for a game with such linear progression to leave you wondering if you're done or not.

 

For example, I could happily move on to NG+ leaving Vendrick shambling lonely in his little courtyard. Anyway, I did for him, then I went back to the assassin/merchant guy behind the fog wall and killed some people for him. Actually, I said I killed them and proved it with random trinkets. Bought a wizARRRarrarrrarrrrrr-arrrrrarrrd hat off him. Then I went to collect the Dragon Memory which I didn't realise I'd missed.

So aside from cleaning up a few purchases and killing the dragon (I don't want to), I think I'm finished. Only a couple of things spring to mind:

- those brick walls over the first bridge at Iron Keep are still bricked up - are they opened as Convenant rewards or something? Likewise, I'm uncertain how I walk through the lava to collect the items I can see.

- the knight with the blue sword hasn't cropped up to repay his debt to me. The last time I saw him was just past the Pursuer arena in the Forest, next to the memory tree.

- the second two silent knights (hehe) are still alive and well. The first one's Heide Sword served me very well, but I have no particular desire to kill the others unless there's some awesome plot point or area that opens up.

- the third merchant hasn't appeared yet, though I did find her in the Shaded Ruins. I couldn't finish her dialogue tree because some git fell down the hole after me and killed me. She's not there anymore, but she's not in the candle room in the Cove where I assume she should be. Any ideas?

 

Anything else I shouldn't miss?

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I think the pacing of the game might be one of the problems I'm having with it. It's almost a bit samey, which is weird to say because there is a good amount of variety in the areas you go to. There are so many areas though and you're always making progress, you don't get to know every area as well and they don't leave as strong of an impression as in the previous game. I also think the amount of bonfires adds to that, they're slightly too frequent and the impact of reaching one is lessened. There's an area with some nods to Sen's Fortress, and it has three bonfires all of which are placed in plain view, compared to Sen's one hidden bonfire. Not every area is like that but the ones that are feel like you're just passing through. Secondary and tertiary bonfires feel like a design crutch to me, it's what they put in if they couldn't work in a shortcut or the area wasn't interesting enough to repeat.

 

Another thing I miss are the random tough enemies, like Havel, the Black Knights etc. That's also a pacing thing I think.

The individual areas are fine, some of them are really very good and maybe actually better than many locations from the first game, but they feel like a lot of disjointed regions strapped together by underground tunnels. I have no idea where they exist in relation to eachother, they may as well be in completely different worlds. Majula is also much more nakedly a hub than Firelink ever was, with the paths that spoke out from it rarely overlapping with eachother in interesting ways. It feels like you basically have three or four mostly linear paths spreading outward from Majula as their center, where the environment in the first Dark Souls was this intensely intricate web of shortcuts and connective tissue tying all of those locations together into a whole. Dark Souls definitely gave you a phenomenal sense of place as you came to understand all the ways its world folded back on itself, or saw how it tried to set up situations to kind of frame vistas for the player to clearly illustrate where everything is in relation to everything else, presenting Lordran as this singular entity.

The absence of that kind of incredibly elaborate and careful environment design, more than anything else, is the thing that i find disappointing about Dark Souls 2.

I also think that opening the teleportation up from the start contributes to the disjointed feeling of the world in Dark Souls 2, but the way they've built their world wouldn't allow for the kind of kind of exploration and back-tracking that the first game was entirely designed around.

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The individual areas are fine, some of them are really very good and maybe actually better than many locations from the first game, but they feel like a lot of disjointed regions strapped together by underground tunnels. Majula is also much more nakedly a hub than Firelink ever was, with the paths that spoke out from it rarely overlapping with eachother in interesting ways. It feels like you basically have three or four distinct paths spreading out from Majula as their center, where the environment in the first Dark Souls was this intensely intricate web of shortcuts and connective tissue tying all of those locations together into a whole. Dark Souls definitely gave you a phenomenal sense of place as you came to understand all the ways its world folded back on itself, or saw how it tried to set up situations to kind of frame these vistas that clearly illustrated where everything is relation to everything else, presenting Lordran as this singular entity.

The absence of that kind of incredibly elaborate and careful environment design, more than anything else, is the thing that i find disappointing about Dark Souls 2.

 

One thing I've been noticing is how the bonfire warp screen has been essentially telling me where to go next. I've unlocked different areas out of order, but when I look at the warp screen, I can think "oh, I haven't killed a boss in this area yet, I should probably explore there before starting this other area. That isn't to say that is entirely bad, but it does make it feel like there's more of a "right way" to progress through the world, as opposed to Dark Souls' more twisted-interconnected feel.

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Anyone still have a copy of this game?

 

I'm trading my entire steam inventory for it :D (dota2/csgo/steam items including gifts)

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