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

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DkS II is mostly fine with kb/m if you want to try that, at least if you use AutoHotKey.

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The Shrine of Amana has easily been the most beautiful and interesting level in the game for me, which is ironic because it's also been the angriest I've been at Dark Souls 2. There's nothing like discovering that I have absolutely no defense against those Amana Priestesses when I am effectively the same build as them. It's been the first time that I've only been able to progress to the boss once I've farmed out all the enemies on the path to the boss.

 

During this, I began nosing around online for some better armor than Straid's black robes, but mostly found people talking about Fashion Souls, which is awesome.

 

Can you just get a wired 360 controller? They have them at all the Best Buys where I live.

 

I agree, Dark Souls 2 is worth it for the additional cost of a X360 controller.

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During this, I began nosing around online for some better armor than Straid's black robes, but mostly found people talking about Fashion Souls, which is awesome.

 

Fashion Souls seems to have stuck much harder on DS2 than DS1.  Biggest reason is likely poise.  Since you no longer have the clear, discrete poise breaks like DS1, armor isn't serving the same defensive purpose of preventing animation interruption.  Plus, outside of a few heavy sets or mage armor builds, min/maxing armor doesn't really feel as valuable.  So the result has been that I saw so many more builds and fashion combinations in DS2 than DS1. 

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Fashion Souls seems to have stuck much harder on DS2 than DS1.  Biggest reason is likely poise.  Since you no longer have the clear, discrete poise breaks like DS1, armor isn't serving the same defensive purpose of preventing animation interruption.  Plus, outside of a few heavy sets or mage armor builds, min/maxing armor doesn't really feel as valuable.  So the result has been that I saw so many more builds and fashion combinations in DS2 than DS1. 

 

Yeah, the "optimal" combination of Lion Mage, Straid, and Hexers is unspeakably ugly, plus there's no real point optimizing for casting speed since the Blue Tearstone +2 is theorized to max it out. It's an interesting design choice, because I do remember in the first Dark Souls liking the look of the Eastern set but finding its weight/defense ratio too bad to wear. That hasn't happened yet in Dark Souls 2, even though I just put my first point in Vitality at SL 140.

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The only concession to fashion souls I was willing to make on my lightning and pyro builds was to sometimes use one of the hats that adds extra casts, but even then that was just for certain fights.  The Blue Tearstone does seem to take care of casting speed, or at least enough that I didn't obligated to use any of the cast speed stuff. 

 

This thread is making me itch to buy the expansion. 

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The update has ruined my fashion souls, those extra LS and GLS casts are now critical and so I have stopped using my Throne Defender gear in favor of Vangarl's set with the extra casts hood

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Can you just get a wired 360 controller? They have them at all the Best Buys where I live.

 

It's dumb, but I kinda just refuse to do that. I should be able to use whatever controller I want, and frankly I really dislike the 360 controller thanks to the weird asymmetrical dual analogue sticks. I'm going to wait and pray that they release a Souls Trilogy on the PS4 around the time of Bloodborne (a man can dream). If they don't I'll bow to pressure and get a 360 controller.

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So I was going to post my thoughts on Dark Souls 2, having beat NG on Wednesday, but then there was a sale on GMG for the DLC season pass, so I'm playing that instead and discovering that my build, which breezed through the post-King's Ring bosses like nothing, is getting taken apart by large amounts of ranged enemies with high poise and magic resist.

 

I also lost my first six-digit lump of souls somewhere in the Dragon Sanctum, which I was stupidly saving up to 181,000 in order to buy off the sin I got from all the optional bosses. I literally had to go have a sit-down afterward. Jester Thomas, honorary fourth boss of the Sunken King.

 

 

EDIT: Apparently, if you charge him and attack before he can cast Iron Flesh, he becomes just a normal invader and not a 300,000 HP god. FYI.

 

Also, I just remembered reading a comment earlier in this thread about how Rings of Sacrifice (or whatever they're called in Dark Souls 2) can be repaired and reused when they break, so I'm feeling incredibly stupid right now, because I've easily lost 200,000 souls on this DLC so far and I'm only halfway.

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I watched you a bit yesterday! But then I realized I was spoiling the game for myself so I had to stop. D: D: D:

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I managed finally, with the help of a rather obscure piece of software, to play about 7 hours over the long weekend. I've got to say, it feels like Dark Souls. The changes aren't always welcome, but some are great. I've managed to down a few bosses and I'm stuck looking for one in the lost Bastille, but hey that's the experience I want.

As this is my first real online experience in a souls game I thought I'd give my thoughts.

1) the signs and blood stains everywhere help an incredible amount. Knowing that an ambush is coming, or seeing someone die as they get hit from behind when entering a door has saved my ass countless times. The number of people who roll off ledges also cracks me up.
2) getting invaded is fun. It's only happened twice, the first guy was a cheater - he was permanently fast and even when I managed to get a backstab he didn't take any damage. I was worried that it was just going to be assholes like that. However the second guy came in, waited for me to finish killing an enemy. We bowed and I slaughtered the scum for entering my world.
I hope cheaters will be punished (there didn't seem to be a way to report, but I blocked him via steam and hoped that it'll stop him from invading me again). But I really doubt they will.
3) coop is a different game. Had a blast cooping with forum member furyboy. Downed a boss together, and it helped me understand the game a lot. I also offered up my services to random people to help get my life back, which is really cool. It's especially fun if one is a caster while the other charges head on.
The cool thing is, you can learn a boss by helping a person out, then go and kill that boss solo in your world. Feels far more doable if you've already killed them once. Not to say that coop takes away the tension. It really doesn't, there's a feeling of doing your best to help another player.

There's been a number of funny things that have happened, I really wish I had recorded them to make a couple of gifs. I don't think my PC can handle recording software and a game at the same time any more which is a shame.

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I'm actually starting to see why people have complained about this game so much. It's...too easy, and the bosses seem to rely on a bunch of shitty adds to complicate them, rather than anything else. 

 

I dunno, I've one shot most of the bosses and I feel like I should be having more of a rough time. I don't know whether it's a fault of the game, or whether I'm just used to the mechanics now and don't find the bosses surprising.

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It's a bit of both.

 

Although personally I disagree with the criticism of the fights that have multiple enemies being inherently unfair or artificially difficult. Some of my favorite encounters in the Dark Souls series have been those kinds of fights, e.g. O&S which is probably still the best of its kind. The core lock-on mechanic is designed to maximize your efficiency of movement in 1 on 1 duels, so anytime you have multiple enemies it requires you to demonstrate a new level of mastery of the game's systems. Although some of the 1 on 1 fights in the series are amazing, many feel more like video game boss fights where there are readily identifiable patterns to solving the fight whereas the complications provided by additional enemies can make them more dynamic. This isn't to say that all the fights with multiple enemies are perfect, just that I think it's a valid design tool that can lead to excellent encounters.

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I'm actually starting to see why people have complained about this game so much. It's...too easy, and the bosses seem to rely on a bunch of shitty adds to complicate them, rather than anything else. 

 

I dunno, I've one shot most of the bosses and I feel like I should be having more of a rough time. I don't know whether it's a fault of the game, or whether I'm just used to the mechanics now and don't find the bosses surprising.

What build are you doing?

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Although personally I disagree with the criticism of the fights that have multiple enemies being inherently unfair or artificially difficult. Some of my favorite encounters in the Dark Souls series have been those kinds of fights, e.g. O&S which is probably still the best of its kind. 

 

Just to be clear, there's a huge difference to fighting what amounts to be 2 bosses like O&S - which is my favourite fight in all the Souls games - and one large boss, surrounded by small trash mobs such as Freja. The Ruin Sentinels are the closest thing I've come to O&S, although significantly easier because they both have the same attacks, and that's a good, interesting fight which benefits from 2 bosses, but there have been at least 3 fights so far which have just been artificially complicated thanks to little adds:

Freja, Skeleton Council and Wandering Magus & Congregation are the ones I've seen. They just feel like the difficulty is entirely in avoiding the crappy guys, and dealing with the very simple boss. Compare that to Gargoyles in DS1, which not only added another boss, but added another attack that both could do - the fire breath. You had to watch both, avoid lock on, and plan your attacks. When I fought Freja, the tactics were simply run around and hit her whilst the spiders follow you like a Benny Hill movie. It just made the fight artificially long. (Note: I hate the spiders, for some reason they are unblockable with the shield I use so I didn't bother trying to kill them since I would have just gotten wrecked).

 

 

What build are you doing?

I don't really know. I aimed to do a Str build, so I have quite a lot put in there, but loads of weapons require at least 18 DEX, so I have that. Plus I've been putting points in Adaptability because someone said to (although I've not noticed anything). I also have focussed a lot on equip load since I'm rocking heavy armour and a shield (equip load is the worst stat ever, it should be included in something like in DS1). Basically most of my points are in HP and Stamina since they're by far the most useful stats in my opinion. 

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It was me that said to put points into Adaptability. I stuck with 20 on my first build, which was a build much like yours, and I really did notice a difference when I was trying to dodge attacks. I don't know precisely how it works (Bjorn will be along in a moment to explain it all in excruciating detail :P) but I think I gained more i-frames, and it felt more like rolling in DaS.

 

Freja was my biggest disappointment, I think. I was expecting something really cool, and for the game to throw a curveball at us, but nope: big spider boss. Wandering magus & congregation is really easy with a hard hitting melee build, and not really deserving to be called a boss.

 

I'm at home today, if you want to co-op with me some more. Although, I've just realised, you'll once again be out of level range! Waaah!

 

Edit: And there is no boss in DaS2 which was as momentous and also fun and also challenging as O&S.

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I am at 15 Adaptability, and the rolling feels fine. I'm pretty happy to leave it there now that my level requires so many souls to progress.

 

Unfortunately I've progressed a lot - and more the the point I've got to work today.

 

When I entered the chapel and saw Ornstein, I was so excited, but without Smough, he was disappointingly easy.

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I am at 15 Adaptability, and the rolling feels fine. I'm pretty happy to leave it there now that my level requires so many souls to progress.

 

Unfortunately I've progressed a lot - and more the the point I've got to work today.

 

When I entered the chapel and saw Ornstein, I was so excited, but without Smough, he was disappointingly easy.

 

All I can say is that, if you've fought Duke's Dear Freja before fighting that boss, you've progressed really far down a path to the neglect of other easier routes. Not that there's a right way, but all the way through to Brightstone Cove Tseldora is something.

 

Personally, I didn't have any trouble either with my mage build or my strength build with any mob boss except Royal Rat Vanguard. The NPC summon took care of the spiders in Freja and the Skeleton Council just needs to be taken slowly to keep all the trash from spawning at once. Prowling Magus and Congregation was hardly even a boss fight, but I've been over SL100 both times I've gotten there so maybe it's just me. Sure, none of the boss fights really inspire me this time around, but I think it's just because I'm used to the Dark Souls formula and can easily spot repeats in boss design now.

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Yeah, the spiders in the Freja fight are a tad annoying. But I'd say the bigger problem with that fight is that you can easily bait her laser attack and then do a run around and hit her strategy. Like Gormongous I don't even really consider the Prowling Magus and Congregration a real boss fight. The Skeleton Lords I actually like even though they're kind of easy, it's an elegant design where you can easily get overwhelmed if you try to rush through the fight by killing the big dudes. 

 

Dark Souls 2 does have a lot more boss fights with multiple enemies than Dark Souls 1 did and many of them are certainly spotty, but there are a few good ones in my opinion. Also I may have been responding to criticism you didn't raise. For example the first DLC has a boss that can repeatedly summon fairly challenging adds that I found to be quite fun, but some claim that this is a purely artificial challenge because your focus is split. However I think it's an interesting fight because the boss's other abilities work well in combination with adds that can distract you and you really have to keep track of everything that's happening to win. 

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Personally, I didn't have any trouble either with my mage build or my strength build with any mob boss except Royal Rat Vanguard. 

 

I forgot about that one! I actually liked that boss, despite it being a complete joke to kill (I walked in there with the perfect weapon to deal with them). I had remembered everyone talking about a rat boss when DS2 first came out, and I assumed it'd be like a huge anthropomorphic rat with a sword or something. Went in to that room, started smooshing rats with a giant club, and then noticed that one was a boss. I thought it was a cool idea to hide the boss in with the rest, so I don't really count that one in my complaints - it wasn't made artificially hard with the rat adds, it was all about the rat adds.

I'm not having trouble with these add bosses, I think the only one I didn't one shot was Freja, and that was because I didn't notice her weakness on the first attempt (the laser). I think that's what's irritating me the most, is that they're artificially hard, but not in a way that's meaningful. You spend most of the game dealing with groups of enemies, so you're trained to deal with them in bosses, making them trivial, since the adds are where the difficulty comes from. 

 

Also, because I'm a loser, I refuse to summon anything. I dealt with DS1 without summons, I can do it here too!

 

 Also I may have been responding to criticism you didn't raise. 

 

I think you did, but that's fine, it made my point clear that it's only certain bosses I'm finding disappointing, not them all - there have been some really good bosses and I'm thoroughly enjoying the game. I'm not one of the "Dark Souls 2 is crap" crowd, I'm definitely in the "it's an amazing game but..." camp. I've just noticed that when I beat a DS2 boss, I'm no where near as elated as when I beat a boss in DS1. It's unfair for me to say it's the game's fault, it's likely just I know how to play now thanks to the number of "git gud" bosses in DS1.

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(Bjorn will be along in a moment to explain it all in excruciating detail :P)

 

:adama:

 

I did kinda go on a major deep dive on the mechanics on this when I was playing it.  I really need to get into the expansions.  I haven't paid much attention to the details of the patches, so I don't know if they changed anything.  But the important thing a few months ago wasn't Adaptability so much as Agility.  Adaptability and Attunement both raise Agility, but Adaptability raises it a lot more.  The important breakpoints are 100 and 105 Agility, there's no value to raising it higher than that, but both of those points result much better rolls.

 

@Griddlelol, I appreciate your criticisms, and even agree with you on some of them.  Have you been doing an PvP?  What sealed the deal for me on loving DS2 was how much better all the online play works.  Having a bit of fun in co-op, dueling in various locations, finding a fight club, all that is so much better.  The variety of builds that can excel in PvP is also pretty incredible.  From seems to be patching and balancing more frequently as well to try and stomp out crazy overpowered things that get discovered.

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