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

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Yeah, I just wonder if they attached weapon hit boxes to FPS would it be possible to do other shenanigan. Like, for instance, having FPS so low that a weapon has completely passed through you between frames and never registers a hit at all.

 

I suffered with just leaving it locked at 30 FPS to avoid the durability bug the first time through. I'd love to get a smooth 60 without penalties.

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Well, reading Bjorn's posts inspired me to finish the DLC with the second of my characters. I'm sad to report that at my level, which is just over three and a half million souls, the Crown of the Sunken King couldn't be more dead in vanilla Dark Souls 2. I've literally just been sitting outside the fog gate for the infamous trio's boss fight for over two hours. I figured that I'd throw down a sign, help someone else beat it while reminding myself of the chamber's layout, and then summon my own help once I'm human. Nope, nada. There were more people active in the first Dark Souls on PC two years after release than there have been today in Dark Souls 2. This'll probably drive me to buy Scholar of the First Sin someday, more than any actual features.

 

 

EDIT: Quit after thirty more minutes. Before I did, I threw on a ring of sacrifice (or whatever it's called) and tried to solo it. I died after a few minutes, but it seems doable, just very boring and prone to error. Kite the three around the chamber until you get the archer alone, hit her once or twice, then repeat. Once she's dead, do the same with the guy in Alva's armor, since he's slightly faster than the guy in Havel's armor, and then it's just one-on-one with the Havel guy. It's not impossible, but it would take at least fifteen minutes without much of a mistake, which is not something I relish at all. I remember a few boss fights in the main game also being like this and it bums me out to think that they'll be functionally unbeatable when the server populations move on to the next Souls game.

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That sucks!  To be fair, as far as game population goes, Bloodborne and SotFS were just released within the last month or so, this would be a time when the population would be expected to be low. 

 

 

I remember a few boss fights in the main game also being like this and it bums me out to think that they'll be functionally unbeatable when the server populations move on to the next Souls game.

 

 

With that specific fight, did you happen to try poison in it?  The vast majority of NPC types are susceptible to poison, and between knives and arrows with a short bow, you could stack poison on them pretty quickly while you kite so you're doing steady damage while waiting for an opening. 

 

In general though, I don't think any of the fights are particularly impossible solo, usually just require a specific approach or patience.  Though in SotFS they have added a ton more summons, so there are NPCs available now for fights where they weren't before (like Masterless Glencour for the gargoyles).  I don't know if they added NPCs for that fight. 

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I've decided I want to try a poison build for SotFS. I've always run straight up physical damage, but I think a DoT set up could be really interesting.

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My Ali character is a puncher and poisoner with the Black Scorpion Stinger (float like a butterfly, sting like a bee), and he's probably my favorite character of all the ones I've made.  Not everything can be poisoned, so you have to have some other options, but it's great for things that can be. 

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I have started playing through this with one of my kids. It's prettier but the first six hours or so seem largely the same.

That said I hadn't played in awhile and this game is still pretty great in my book. I have rolled a magic user for the first time and it's different for sure. Mostly I miss my overhand chop weapons in narrow hallways and struggle to balance how often to use spells on low and mid tier enemies vice weapons.

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I semi-retract the horde of mobs thing. Some asshat decided that the Shrine of Amana needed even more casters. Tried sprinting through it because I didn't need any of the items and drops.. Got slaughtered twice and decided that was a bad idea.

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I beat all of the Crown of the Sunken King DLC! Man, it's tough. Turns out, there's plenty of multiplayer still, but only for the one necessary boss fight, with the Nashandra clone. Everyone just hates the other two, and I can't blame them. The trio is just a pain to fight, since they're basically black phantoms with backstab and estus, and I only really beat them because, as an unforeseen miracle, both of the heavy hitters aggro'd on my NPC summons. I killed the archer, backstabbed the lightly armored guy, and then barely killed the heavily armored guy, literally getting him down to three health and then getting caught in a combo because I thought he was dead.

 

The other guy, Sinh the Slumbering Dragon, is someone that no one wants to fight because he's basically Kalameet from the first Dark Souls' DLC, only his model destroys weapon durability and two of his attacks break guard now. I could die happy never having to fight that fight again.

 

I semi-retract the horde of mobs thing. Some asshat decided that the Shrine of Amana needed even more casters. Tried sprinting through it because I didn't need any of the items and drops.. Got slaughtered twice and decided that was a bad idea.

 

Wow, fuck that. Shrine of Amana is already one of two areas that stands in the way of a Dark Souls 2 replay (the other being certain stretches of Earthen Peak, for some reason).

 

 

EDIT: And fuck me, Crown of the Old Iron King is so much harder than the Sunken King. Sometimes it's in a good way, like the precarious platforming and navigation of a massive hollow tower, and sometimes it's in a bad way, like the stupid Ashen Idols gimmick that basically encourages a suicide run to disable them. It probably didn't help that I switched from my greatsword-wielding tank character to my dodge-happy wizard, but I'm going to blame the game instead.

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 I need to go back to the DLC.  I was feeling like I was barely able to handle the Sunken King with my Peasant build at the level I was (if the regular enemies there weren't so easy to backstab, I probably wouldn't have been able to handle it).  While the Pickaxe hits like a truck, it isn't the most versatile weapon in the world, so I decided to progress through some more areas.  The only boss I had fought was...Elena?  I think that was her name.  She kicked my ass three times and I decided to come back later.  I also couldn't get summoned into anyone else's world to practice without having to repeat the run over and over, which is generally what I do when I lose to a boss multiple times. 

 

I've also made a couple of other builds, because I want to mix things up without respeccing my themed builds.  I was going to try and do an all bow run, but after 4 or 5 areas decided that I would be happy with just killing all the bosses bow only.  Clearing out an area with a bow isn't that hard, and mostly just time consuming.  Some of the bosses are definitely a far different challenge though.  I wanted a straight sword I hadn't used before to go with the build though, and the Puzzle Sword looked like a decent contender.  HOLY SHIT IS THAT A NEAT WEAPON!  It almost feels a bit broken, I can't think of another weapon in its weight class that has the moveset variety it does, and it hits just as hard as anything else that's comparable to it, and harder than a lot of other medium weapons.  I'm having problems justifying using the bow as much now, because I just want to keep playing with this sword. 

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I wanted a straight sword I hadn't used before to go with the build though, and the Puzzle Sword looked like a decent contender.  HOLY SHIT IS THAT A NEAT WEAPON!  It almost feels a bit broken, I can't think of another weapon in its weight class that has the moveset variety it does, and it hits just as hard as anything else that's comparable to it, and harder than a lot of other medium weapons.  I'm having problems justifying using the bow as much now, because I just want to keep playing with this sword. 

 

I think that the Puzzling Stone Sword (is that the right name?) has bugged scaling (it says S in dex, but really it's D) that keeps most power-gamers away.

 

Also, yeah. Elena's the Nashandra clone. The only difference is that she occasionally summons mobs, including a half-HP Velstadt clone, which makes her a bit hard to handle without summons. Killing her opens the way to the dragon fight, which I aced as a magic-based character but which was a brutal slog as a melee-based one. Did you find the hidden bonfire, halfway down the ruined temple to Elena? That makes boss runs a bit less tedious with her.

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Yeah, it was Velstadt that was the problem.  The swing speed of the Pickaxe is slow enough that it was a bear to get a clean hit in on one of them without the other catching me with an attack during recovery.  On the third fight, I got her down to just two more hits and bit it because I got aggressive to try and finish her off.  That's when I rage quit and haven't been back there.  Plus I might as well be naked given the protection of the Peasant gear.  I may ultimately go back after them using one of my other weapons.  My goal was to solo every boss with the Pickaxe, but I do carry a Hand Axe, Blacksmith's Hammer and Bone Scythe as weapons to clear the mobs on the way to the boss.  The Bone Scythe looks ridiculous on him, but it's the only Str based Scythe, and I don't have the points to spare for Dex for one of the more fitting scythes. I also might be willing to make an exception and summon for some of these fights with multiple enemies.  I got though the Sentinels, barely, and the Gargoyles were a cakewalk.  But these multi-enemy boss fights in the DLC seem way meaner than the ones in the main game.  

 

I found that bonfire after having made the full run twice, and only because I looked it up.  I felt like I had to have missed a bonfire, since DS2 is usually generous with bonfires before bosses. 

 

Oh, and they must have fixed the Puzzling Sword in the Scholar edition?  I'm getting ~150 damage from scaling (without ring bonuses), and that feels about right for an S scaling weapon.  It puts it about a hundred total damage behind something like the club or mace, which seems fair given how much better of a moveset it has. 

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But these multi-enemy boss fights in the DLC seem way meaner than the ones in the main game.

 

Yeah, as you can tell from my posts, I'm not particularly good at the Souls games, mostly because I'm too cautious to lower my shield when I should and I'm too attracted to the aesthetic of knights in full armor with weapons bigger than them, but it rarely takes me more than a half-dozen tries for me to ace a boss. With that in mind, all the DLC bosses I've fought have been harder than just about everything except the Gargoyles with my tank build and the Ancient Dragon with... well, anyone. Sinh's equipment degradation, toxicity, and occasional instant KOs mean that he's hard to hit at all without someone else running around getting aggro from him, and the black phantom trio and Elena are both hard to manage in terms of multiple enemies that can't really be ditched or kited.

 

Honestly, it looks like "multiple enemies" is more the theme of the Sunken King DLC than the rest. The Old Iron King DLC looks like it's about unpredictable move sets and inconsistent tells, the Ivory King DLC looks like it's about mid-battle gimmicks and buffs. I understand that I'm close to fighting Sir Alonne in the Old Iron King DLC, I'll report back how it was if anyone's interested.

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Well, reading Bjorn's posts inspired me to finish the DLC with the second of my characters. I'm sad to report that at my level, which is just over three and a half million souls, the Crown of the Sunken King couldn't be more dead in vanilla Dark Souls 2.

 

That's maybe specific to the DLC then? I've played through all of Dark Souls 2 three weeks ago and it was still quite busy.

 

I semi-retract the horde of mobs thing. Some asshat decided that the Shrine of Amana needed even more casters.

 

Oh dear. No fond memories of that place.

 

Figuring I might go back to this soon, any advice for enjoyable non-standard builds? I've always run straight physical damage so far, and a bit of sorcery or pyromancy maybe. Time for a miracle caster perhaps.

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If you want to play a caster, have the binoculars equipped to an off-hand slot and you can use them to first-person aim spells.

 

I always meant to do a staff hexer, that always seemed like a fun build. (The soul costs for chime hexes, the other hand, seems pretty offputting.) Sorcery is pretty dull for a pve playthrough, but monstrous fun in pvp. (The most interesting sorceries offer psychological tricks and ways to game positioning in a pvp fight, but for pve, you're mostly just tossing out boring magic missiles.) Pyromancy became way more awesome with the addition of the Old Iron King pyromancies, definitely lots of fun now. (A pure pyromancer can be hard to manage though, due to relatively limited charges.) Miracles are very potent, but the best miracles are buffs, so it's probably the most difficult to do a pure caster with. (Seriously though, miracles are awesome.)

 

Keep in mind: Sorcery scales with intelligence, miracles scale with faith, pyromancy scales with the sum of both, and hexes scale with whichever stat is lower. (That second last detail makes it actually pretty easy to mix pyromancy with anything else.)

 

Playing a caster also completely changes what you look for in a melee weapon, and you will still have a melee weapon. Look for weapons with stats that don't just completely collapse in on themselves when infused with your caster element. The game doesn't follow clear rules with how infusion affects weapons, so just cycle through the possibilities before committing to things. As a general guideline though, base damage will be more valuable than scaling when you're looking to infuse. (And you will want to go with infused weapons as a caster, not just for the scaling elemental damage, but because spell enchanting gives a recursive benefit when applied to infused weapons of the same element. You can get monstrously powerful attacks out of that.)

 

I think that the Puzzling Stone Sword (is that the right name?) has bugged scaling (it says S in dex, but really it's D) that keeps most power-gamers away.

 

I used the puzzling stone sword a bunch in a dex-focused DLC-focused playthrough that i did in the normal game and while there was some oddity with how it reported its dex scaling versus the actual effect, it was still offering extremely good scaling. It's almost certainly one of the best dex weapons in that game, whether for bosses, pvp, or normal pve. (Be careful using the whip attacks in PVP, you will absolutely get parried if somebody is fishing for it. Instead, the two-handed r1 thrust has incredibly good tracking and range, and with the stone ring, it's easy to stun-lock anybody short of a havel's user. You also want to use that two-handed r1 thrust against bosses.)

 

Honestly, it looks like "multiple enemies" is more the theme of the Sunken King DLC than the rest. The Old Iron King DLC looks like it's about unpredictable move sets and inconsistent tells, the Ivory King DLC looks like it's about mid-battle gimmicks and buffs. I understand that I'm close to fighting Sir Alonne in the Old Iron King DLC, I'll report back how it was if anyone's interested.

 

The Old Iron King area was probably my favorite of the DLC's when i played them in the normal game, and i'd argue it had among the best boss fights in the entire game.

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Figuring I might go back to this soon, any advice for enjoyable non-standard builds? I've always run straight physical damage so far, and a bit of sorcery or pyromancy maybe. Time for a miracle caster perhaps.

 

Run a themed build!  I get such a bigger kick and challenge out of limiting myself to a particular theme.  You could do Thor, blacksmith hammer and lighting (and other miracles).   I don't actually care for either hexes or sorceries.  Like Sno said, it's just boring.  But my favorite caster I've ever run was inspired by Hastur/King in Yellow from Lovecraftian mythos.  Limited to only yellow equipment, fire, poison and lighting (I found something that kind of justified that mix).  So a poisoner build with pyro/lighting could be something fun to mix it up for you.  Definitely different from straight physical damage.

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The Old Iron King area was probably my favorite of the DLC's when i played them in the normal game, and i'd argue it had among the best boss fights in the entire game.

 

Holy shit, you're right. I take back my lukewarm feelings about the Old Iron King DLC. Once you get the Scorched Scepter in place and the place starts moving like a clockwork toy, it becomes a beautiful maze of challenging set pieces. The Fume Knight is also a good mid-tier boss, if only I could have done it co-op so I didn't have to play it so safe with his attacks. I'm forcing myself to leave Sir Alonne and the Smelter Demon for tomorrow or the day after.

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The Alonne fight definitely wants to be DS2's Artorias fight, and it's not quite there, but it's still a great boss. (He does have probably the best boss theme in the game though.)

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I actually beat a guy in the Rat Covenant last night!  Which I'm not sure I've ever done before, since Ratbros are usually unloading on you from a distance while their minions rush you.  Lured him into that little side cave off the main room and he panicked once he was trapped in tight quarters with me.  I also dropped an invader into lava in the Iron Keep in the big room with all the collapsible platforms, which is also something I had never managed to do to an invader before!  I added the Warped Sword to my archer build, and damn I forgot how much I like it.  I had played around with it briefly at some point, but never run it as a main weapon. 

 

 

I'm wondering if they toned down some of the boss fights in Scholar.  I just demolished the RRA and Velstadt last night with my archer, which are two boss fights I've historically found challenging.  I was probably over-leveled for the RRA, since I skipped its natural progression, but I was about the right level for Velstadt. 

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I never really bothered trying to fight the rat covenant people in a straight up fight, it's so much easier to just go run the gauntlet as intended, and i've definitely gotten through a reasonable amount of times doing that. (Except for when somebody has gone the full distance to complete their instance of the gauntlet, then you're kind of fucked either way.)

 

Also, yeah, the warped sword is a terrific dex weapon. Some great unique moves, good in powerstances, and it also holds up pretty well when infused, same as the barbed club.

 

What are your feelings on the re-release, overall? Is it worth it?

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Huh, I've never tried an archer build. The idea of buying arrows with XP put me off. Also I always play a "warrior" or "rogue" archetype if I have an option. Souls don't let you play stealthy so warrior it always is.

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Getting through Shrine of Amana with an archer is bit dull, but very easy, whereas pure melee is a nightmare. I've done it before, a couple of times, but I don't think it's worth the frustration. Other than that, I'm generally with Griddle that archery doesn't particularly float my boat (same with magic). 

 

I'm helping a friend get through Dark Souls at the moment, and he seems to be warming up to it by slow-degrees. He's interested in DS2, so I look forward to playing it again and hopefully co-oping with him.

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Archery has actually been quite a bit of fun, but I (mostly) don't hang back and kill things from afar, I start firing at medium range while continuing to close and then dodge and weave just like always, I'm just firing the bow during openings rather than swinging a melee weapon. I have been falling back more and more on my swords though for mobs, to save arrows, speed things up and have some more diversity in the playthrough.  I totally cheesed Amana though.  Fuck 'em, lightning arrows for everyone.  That's what you get for standing in water.

 

I also delved into the Old Iron King DLC last night, and again, the opening portion of it is one of the strongest designed areas of the game.  Exploring these new areas actually make me nervous, which is a feeling I didn't think DS2 could bring out in me anymore.

 

 

What are your feelings on the re-release, overall? Is it worth it?

 

I didn't own the DLC, so for me it was worth it just for that.  Otherwise, I generally like all of the changes.  The new enemy placement for many areas feels better (and some previously barely used enemies get some use).  The lighting in a lot of areas is much improved (forcing torch usage in dark places).  Lighting sconces actually serves a purpose in some places (surprising things happen if you light all sconces in at lease a few areas)!  A few new item placements open up some builds much, much earlier in the game than previously available.  More and better NPC invasions (including one who can invade you in any area).

 

Each individual change is minor, and honestly feels like they could have been patched into the vanilla version, but they overall make for a better game.  Whether it's worth it or not I think comes down to whether you want to play more DS2 or not, mostly. 

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Moved from DS1 thread.

 

I'm on PC. I'm now at 330k though. It goes up quick!

 

Yeah, because of the number of characters I've made, I can rush 200K-300K really fast now, usually dropping Last Giant, Pursuer, Dragonrider, Scorpion lady, RRV, the Black Gulch giants and the Rotten all in a little over an hour, which sets me up for at least some of the gear I want to then slow down a bit. I keep thinking about trying proper speedruns, but the reality is that I rarely make it through all that without dying at least once (usually to a botched parry on the Pursuer or just totally cocking up a dodge on the Rotten), so I doubt I can git gud enough to make an entire run without dying.

I did make a new character last night though who I'll probably try and keep low SM for having fun in the bell tower. Beat LG, Purs, Rotten and the giants and am at ~80K.  I'll probably cap her at either 120K or 140K.  Which, if you didn't know, there's a ring you can buy from Straid that freezes your Soul Memory (in that, you no longer collect any souls at all, which makes restocking things like arrows and consumables a pain).  Useful if you ever want to have a dedicated PvP character for specific areas (like the bell towers) or you just don't want to cross over to the really high level tiers in late game/ng+. 

 

 

Soul Memory remains the thing that I absolutely hate the most about DS2.  I despise that I have to think so carefully about where and how I'm spending souls if I want to manage my tiers for PvP, that I can't just buy a few thousand arrows, or every ring and spell, if I want to. 

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Yeah what troubles me about it is it sort of penalises my play style. I tend to run through a given area a few times before actually finishing it. Both because I die and because I'm trying to explore the place and collect everything. Often I will do an area first as a phantom rather than myself, so that I can have a no-risk explore about the place while helping someone else.

 

Frankly the fact that I'm de-incentivised to put down a white sign by this system bothers me in general, because it's one of my favourite parts of the game. When you heroically defend someone from an invader or take down a difficult enemy with them, it feels great. A friend of mine played Dark Souls 1 on PS3 and helped a guy beat Ornstein and Smough. The person sent him a PSN friend request (not easy) and a text message through it (not easy), just to thank him for his help and say he'd been stuck on that boss for days because of limited play time.

 

That's awesome! I want to do that more, not less!

 

Currently I'm either trying to pick my way through Huntsman's Copse or I'm told there's a belfry area I can also get to right now, but apparently it's a bit of a PvP clusterfuck?

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You can honestly do a fair amount of co-op fine, bosses drop 1/4 of their regular souls and until you get to Iron Keep, regular enemies don't drop enough to really skyrocket you.  The Iron Keep enemies do though, it's not hard to pick up several hundred thousand souls there if you're co-oping.  It seems that most people hit the mid-point of the game and have between 1 and 2 million souls.  When I've made it to Drangleic Castle and have sub-1 million, there are virtually no summons/invasions.  For co-op, it's hard to have too many souls (possible, but hard).  I think the problems really start when you hit around ~5 million, because at that range you can start picking up people in the 15-20 million range, which can be a huge difference in actual level and power. 

 

The Bell Towers have historically been my favorite places in the game.  Have you fought the Ruin Sentinels in the Bastille yet?  If so, you do have access to the first tower.  They are a clusterfuck, but a terrifically fun clusterfuck if you enjoy PvP and can take a zen attitude about some bullshit deaths.  Bellbros defend the towers, and auto-invade "trespassers" (anyone inside a bell tower).  Trespassers can summon in help from signs within the tower.   Cracked Red/Blue Eye Orbs can also be used to invade, really ratcheting up the chaos.  They also tend to be the homes of people who aren't terribly good a PvP, because the Bell Covenant rewards are fucking nice and people want them.  So these people are depending on being able to gank players who just want to progress through the area and kill the boss to easily farm upgrade materials from the covenant.  I enjoy stopping them, so I tend to just hang out as a trespasser with a sign down, waiting to get invaded or summoned.  I usually try and see just how long of a streak I can keep going before dying.  If you need titanite chunks, slabs, twinkling titanite, or dragon bone, it's well worth your time to join the Bellbros for awhile.  The odds heavily favor Bellbros winning the fight, which is why I enjoy stopping them. 

 

In SotFS, they did up the total number of concurrent players, which means you can now be invaded by up to 3 Bellbros at a time, which is awful.  But I only had that happen the first time I visited the tower.  Since then I've found them to be much more like the old times. 

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