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

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I upgraded my Blacksteel Katana to +9 and took it to an area where I felt strongly that I needed to have a torch in my off hand at all times. It worked wonderfully with my 40 dexterity. Not all S ranks are equal, that's for sure. The problem is that one Blacksteel Katana weighs twice as much as two Ricard's Rapiers! 

 

I am now able to put any quality I want on weapons... but I'm too much of a wuss to do it. I really wish this option had come earlier, before I had already beat most of the bosses and developed a playstyle around dexterity scaling.

 

I thought I should talk a bit more about adaptability since I advocated it so strongly in this thread, but be warned, the following is some pretty dorky shit. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the stat right now, with fan studies calling its usefulness into question. I respec'd my character to reduce his adaptability from 20 to its original level (9) and put those points into vitality instead for higher equip load. At first I didn't see much of a difference but eventually I met a boss that required clutch dodging. I lost to this boss many times before going back to the old ladies and putting my adaptability back to 20. After that, it took two tries to defeat the boss. Now, I can't say for sure if I got more invincibility frames during rolls, if my rolls started sooner after I pressed the button, if I drank estus all that much faster, etc; what I can say for sure is that my movement speed was much faster. Previously I found it hard to get in position to roll under his right arm as he started to swing his weapon, my basic strategy for all humanoid enemies. On my last attempt I was orbiting him much faster than he could rotate, so much so that I was able to get right behind him a couple of times. So there you go, I am still a believer in adaptability, but only up to 20! Anyone who puts up to 38 is seriously drinking the Koolaid I mean it's totally just a placebo effect ;)

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I was going to wait for the PC Version, but cracked and picked it up on the 17th. I've played about 12 hours (my poor girlfriend and thesis) and downed 9 bosses.

 

I'm sure the changes have been discussed to death, but I find most of them quite good. I like the return of a person to level up with, I like access to fast travel, and I like that you get punished more for healing. I do think the return of consumable heals makes it too easy to heal through some bosses.

 

So far the main disappointment to me has been the zones. I am one of the people who thinks Dark didn't live up to Demon in terms of tone, and I'm kind of thinking Dark II doesn't live up to Dark I. You guys above are talking about the stories in the Forest of Giants and the Bastille, but I found both pretty surface level?

 

The giants and Draigleif people fought a war, and you find dead giants around. It's sad I guess.

 

The Bastille is a prison whose Lord went mad, imprisoning everyone to prevent the spread of the curse.

 

Maybe I'm missing something.

 

Also, I completely failed to note that Hiede's Tower of Flame is actually on fire. :(

 

That said, I love Majula.

 

I'm really interested to discuss what people think are the best bosses once it's not spoiler territory. I think the boss design is at least as good as Dark I and it definitely introduces more difficult fights earlier.

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I've got a bunch of souls to spend, I may have to give adaptability a try, particularly as I'm back to having two Soul Vessels. 

 

Two primal fires have been lit.  I also hit Rank 3 in the SunBros last night.  Sunlight Spear has a 55 Faith to cast :blink:.  For people interested in a long sword type weapon, the Sun Sword (covenant reward) may be an interesting option.  It gets B scaling in Str/Dex, that caps out at A scaling at +10.  It may become my PvP weapon for awhile, as it's just faster than my club, but my club is more damaging.

 

I'm a bit disappointed in my selection of Miracles so far.  I feel like I've seen a big variety of spells and hexes, but very little variety in miracles.  All of the hexes I've seen have been dominated by big Intel requirements (and typically minor Faith requirements).   I was hoping that Miracles would have received a bit more attention in this game, but it's not looking that way. 

 

Edited to add: Oh, and I don't know what to do about leveling up.  I'm sitting on over 300K souls right now, from the amount of co-oping I did to rank up in the SunBros (plus it was a lot of fun).  I'm level 76, and am pretty sure that I'm going to end up going back to some easier areas that I should have already done.  I want to level up to try some new stuff, but would hate to level out of co-op range.  I don't have any good idea on how many level 100+ people are running around right now. 

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I'm definitely doing miracles for my first run when the PC version comes out. I always intended to do a miracles playthrough of Dark 1 but never got around to it.

 

Is it true that From removed all the changes they made to magic for this game? I never knew what changes it was supposed to have, but it sounds like magic works exactly like Dark 1.

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Is it true that From removed all the changes they made to magic for this game? I never knew what changes it was supposed to have, but it sounds like magic works exactly like Dark 1.

 

So far, yeah, except for hexes being both Int and Faith based.  There were supposed to be some big changes involving both strong and weak attacks, maybe two handing, stuff like that.  But as near as I can tell, all of that was abandoned.  Maybe it just didn't end up working particularly well.

 

I did find a groovy shield that doubles as a chime, and you cast with L2.  But unfortunately the defensive stats on the shield just aren't good enough to justify using it, which is a shame.  That would have been neat.  And upgrading that shield doesn't appear to raise the defensive stats at all, just the spell power stats.

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D-D-D-D-Double Post!

 

Patch 1.02 is out for the NA PS3 version today.  Official notes only say that it fixes an issue with summon signs not working (which I have experienced a number of times).  But...it's a 120MB patch :blink:  Most people are assuming that there is other stuff in there that they didn't bother telling us about.  Scanning some forums, some people are reporting that summoning is improved, and loads of people are reporting that summoning is completely broken.  Soooooo...who knows.

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Oh, and I don't know what to do about leveling up. I'm sitting on over 300K souls right now...

300K is an unimaginable number to me right now. If I've got anything over 1000 I'm whipping back to the Levelup Lady. I'm approaching the flaming tower. I've killed the first knight enough that he has stopped respawning but the second is murdering me with his macey thing.

Are there any other DS noobs around? It was only this morning that I worked out that Inventory items need to be mapped to the d-pad through the Equipment menu. And I thought I was wearing 4 rings but turns out I didn't have them equipped! Schoolboy error. I feel like i'm getting to grips with it, but there are some very basic things (like blocking) that I've yet to think about.

I'm enjoying the process, but you guys sound like levitating supernatural beings. 300K souls?!?! Shit. Where's the My First SoulsTM thread?

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300K is an unimaginable number to me right now. If I've got anything over 1000 I'm whipping back to the Levelup Lady. I'm approaching the flaming tower. I've killed the first knight enough that he has stopped respawning but the second is murdering me with his macey thing.

Are there any other DS noobs around? It was only this morning that I worked out that Inventory items need to be mapped to the d-pad through the Equipment menu. And I thought I was wearing 4 rings but turns out I didn't have them equipped! Schoolboy error. I feel like i'm getting to grips with it, but there are some very basic things (like blocking) that I've yet to think about.

I'm enjoying the process, but you guys sound like levitating supernatural beings. 300K souls?!?! Shit. Where's the My First SoulsTM thread?

 

The Forest of the Giants is a more advisable starting location. (unless you've already been there) There is also a pretty neat weapon that'll do you good for most of the game (or at least, I've been using it solidly) that you can find there. I'd be interested to hear how you fair when you (if you) go back to DaS1. My main advise is to lock on all the time every time. It will serve you well as blocking is a mite easier as you're always facing the enemy you're guarding against.

 

Edit: If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask! I'm more than willing to help.

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I've been to the Forest and got a weapon

forget the name, almost definitely not Sword That Sizzles A Bit, but think I got it from the White Knight

which I reinforced at the Blacksmith's. I left the forest after finding

a firey tunnel of death at the bottom of the valley that I assume will kill me instantly should I venture within reach. I'm guessing I need some kit or technique that's currently beyond me and caution seems to be the name of the game.

The merchant there has another key for sale so I'll probably make that my next port of call.

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 I left the forest after finding

a firey tunnel of death at the bottom of the valley that I assume will kill me instantly should I venture within reach. I'm guessing I need some kit or technique that's currently beyond me and caution seems to be the name of the game.

Actually that was the bit I was thinking of. All you need to do is

Time it well, run and hang left

I have not killed a white knight yet. I thought it was some sort of NPC I couldn't interact with. In my blind playthrough, I've gone with the moniker that if it's not going to attack me first, I'm not going to attack him. I don't want to accidentally kill an NPC or something and lose my way into a covenant or cool backstory. I've already been to a couple of places where this could be true, like

the scorpion dude

. The only exception to this was

the Giant bug which spews weird white/pale blue gas that's underground in the horrible dark place before the even more horrible poison catacombs bit. It didn't attack me once as I slashed away at his HP, and his drop was measly.

Has anyone else killed it/left it alive? It must serve a purpose. I've probably fucked up.

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Yeah, that white knight is also confusing me. He must be an NPC though, because I've run into him twice now (he didn't talk the second time either).

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I'm enjoying the process, but you guys sound like levitating supernatural beings. 300K souls?!?! Shit. Where's the My First SoulsTM thread?

 

B)

 

Co-oping later bosses can rack up a ton of souls very quickly.  I wanted to hit Rank 3 in the SunBro covenant, which takes 30 Sunlight Medals, which takes co-oping bosses.   So I did a bunch of co-op of my last 3 bosses, which ranged from 5K to 12K souls per kill (or more if I escorted them from a bonfire).  If you decide to take people into a boss to help you, and you see golden summon signs, pick those (you won't start seeing them for a little while).  You get a Sunlight Medal for taking a SunBro with you to fight a boss, and if you want to rank up in the covenant, that will make it a lot faster if you already have some. 

 

It sounds like you didn't get to the first boss of the Forest of the Giants.  To get to that fire cave, you have to drop down some scaffolding.  From where you dropped, there was also a building with a bonfire in it, which it sounds like you found since you bought the blacksmith key.  Did you drop down the ladder in that room?  The enemies in there are still much easier (mostly) than the big knights in the Tower of Flame.  There are some other good items in there as well.  That Heide Knight Sword you got is pretty good for awhile, though it gets outclassed pretty quickly by some other weapons.  Oddly enough though, I'm using it for PvP right now against SL80+ people and doing well.  For some reason, you can infuse it with poison much better than any other weapon.  Poisoned weapons seem to be pretty popular in PvP right now. 

 

 

Edit: If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask! I'm more than willing to help.

 

Agreed!  There's plenty of stuff mechanically that is easy to misunderstand or just miss.  

 

 

 Has anyone else killed it/left it alive? It must serve a purpose. I've probably fucked up.

 

My rule of thumb right now is that if I can get a lock-on on something, it dies.  You can always lock-on to the white knights, so that's an enemy to me.  I usually avoid using my bow until I've confirmed something is an enemy.  I haven't got to the area you described yet, though it's probably next for me.  I spent a ton of the last two evenings in PvP and Co-op, think I'll continue the single player stuff next time I play.  I'll be headed through the room that the blue sworded knight was waiting to open.  Oh, and about that room

 

fuck that room. The first time I tried to go through there I got killed from the "Surprise!" 5 enemies that jumped out. I have a surprise for them next time I go. Soul Appease is awesome for those situations.

 

Oh, and really important NPCs (merchants and covenant leaders) leave a grave behind after you kill them.  You can summon their ghost for a cost and still have access to their goods and services.  So there's not more of that thing of accidently killing a merchant because it was dark and you were scared.  Or you accidently hit the attack button as you walk up to them (which I did in one playthrough with the Dragon Greataxe).

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I don't want to accidentally kill an NPC or something and lose my way into a covenant or cool backstory. I've already been to a couple of places where this could be true, like

the scorpion dude

.

I can confirm that's someone you can talk to. He even has a line of dialogue where he says most people try to attack him. :P

 

You can talk to him by equipping a certain ring from Majula.

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How far away am I from finding the Sunbros? I just finished up the big

spider in Tseldora

but just now opened up

Huntsman's Copse

Not sure why I didn't go there earlier. I guess the other path seemed more the right way to go.

 

I can't wait to get further into the game to figure out more lore stuff like (don't tell me)

What the hell is Ornstein doing here? I've heard theories that this is the real one and the Anor Londo one was an illusion with everything else. Najka - obviously, and explicitly related to Izalith, is she one of the unaccounted-for daughters, or just a citizen or something? Freja - is the Duke she's the Dear of Seath (as hinted at by the not-looking-like-Seath petrified dragon in the ceiling), or is it the guy you kill in the little Duke's Archives room that gives you the key? I've also found a Black Knight Halberd, the Sunbros are around, and I've heard of people running around in Havel's armor. I heard theories last week that it was simply built on top of Lordran, but none of the places I've been too so far corroborate that, even if they invoke similar areas. Can't wait to find out!

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You are on the right path.

You'll soon ***harvest*** jolly cooperation.

Is there something beyond the Shaded Ruins where the mopey scorpion guy is? There's a locked door down in the basalisk hole but every other path seems to be a dead end.

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I started another character last night, a sorcerer, to mess around with between basketball games.  Didn't want to go into a new area with my main character when I was going to be bouncing back and forth between several things.

 

I'm surprised at the things that I missed in the Forest of the Giants my first time around.   I missed a major shortcut.  There's a ridiculously easy way to deal with the Turtle Knight.  I completely forgot about a third door that was locked with the Soldier Key and have never explored it.  I actually saw the Pursuer the first time he showed up, and beat him!  If you beat him then, you get his soul and ring, and he's not in his room later.  You can just run right through.  On my original character, I head the sounds of wings and ran away, then could never figure out what was making the sound. 

 

You can blow up one of the walls to the bonfire room and get a shortcut to the alley that has Pate in it.  There are some explosive barrels next to the wall where the hollow bomb throwing solder is standing on the edge of a wall.

 

You can lure the Turtle Knight into the room with the ballista and one shot him.

 

I still haven't explored that door, but I did open it and see another Turtle Knight down in a cellar looking place.

 

It makes me wonder how many other things that I'm missing in the other areas I've gone through.  I've felt like I did a pretty good job of exploring, but obviously not completely. 

 

Oh, and playing a Sorcerer with a 3 Str, completely unable to wield any shield is interesting. 

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I am not a fan of shields. I find that the time to raise them is too long compared to DS1, which led to a lot of surprises and frustration when I first started. I also find them to be less stable and that I get into that "throw my hands up in the air in exhaustion" animation very often with large groups of enemies. Enemies in DS2 are all about stun locking you and the only way to get out is to roll. When the LB button on my controller stopped working I ran through DS1 with no shields and no ranged weapons, and it gave the game a new life. Now that I have power stances I am a very happy gamer.

 

On scorpion man:

I filled him with arrows from afar because he looked like a monster. Can you really blame me? The game is all about being prejudicial towards things that are hideous. Later on I returned to his spot and there was his grave and his ghost. I put on the ring of whispers and he thanked me for killing his "better half", and he gave me some sort of prize. So I guess we're good.

 

I reached the very tall black tower you can see from Majula and desperately needed a dexterity weapon that dealt strike damage. I searched up and down and came up empty, until I visited the very first merchant in the game and found my solution: the caestus. Since I put on a pair of these I've rarely taken them off. They were total garbage in DS1 but in this game they scale A in both strength and dexterity, the attacks are swift and cost tiny amounts of stamina, and most importantly they are damn satisfying to use. In a battle with your standard humanoid with a sword and shield it is very easy to constantly circle around them and dodge any attack, while constantly smacking them around with combos. In one room where these statues come to life I was literally decapitating these guys with my fists before they could stand up.

 

Remember when we all had tons of titanite chunks and were hurting for large shards? I have a ton of SLABS and no chunks! PVPing for chunks just doesn't work for me anymore, probably because I'm too high a level. If anyone is on Xbox I'd love to see if trading is viable in this game, since you can still summon people in areas where the boss is defeated. I'll trade one slab for six chunks, any one interested? Or, if you need large shards I can get those too. I am Edgeworth23 on Xbox live. Sorry in advance, my microphone doesn't really work.

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So you eventually see a fair number of slabs?  That might finally tempt  me to use one of the 2 I have.

 

I've been tempted to try the dual Caestus route, I've got the right stats and build for it, just hadn't gotten around to it.  I had one guy try to PvP me with them.  It didn't go well for hem.  I beat him to death with a stick of wood. 

 

I think I finally found my favorite weapon, and it turns out it has been in my inventory for over half the game.  The Malformed Skull, the twisted skull of some ancient drake or dragon.  No scaling, takes a 35 Str and has crap durability, so it breaks after 15 enemies or so.  But it has high base damage, its damage doubles from 0-10 and it only takes regular titanite to upgrade.  I ended up using some of those Simpleton Spices to lower the Intel requirement of Repair, and I've been keeping that ring on that makes things last longer.  I almost one shot a guy in a duel with it, hit him for 805 with a a 2HR2, so he had crap hitpoints.  It can one shot the Lions in the Shaded Ruins and the Katana guys in the Iron Keep.

 

I went through the Shaded woods last night, and am rather happy that Scorpion Man was spoiled for me on here.  Those foggy woods before the ruins though.  That was some good stuff!  Tense, frustrating, but amazing. 

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Oh, shit! I totally didn't mean to spoil! I'm sorry.

 

I beat the game, by the way. Didn't end up liking it as much as Dark Souls 1, unfortunately. 

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Take that you stupid horse hahahahhahahahahahaha

Why do I keep enlisting muppets :(

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Finished the game today! 29 hours, SL 120 or so, Wanderer's Garb and +10 Ricard's rapier. All bosses except for the 3 "most optional" ones.
 

Game was pretty easy having plenty of previous Souls experience. First playthrough of this felt a lot like my 3rd or 4th playthrough of DaS.

 

I tried to dual wield a lot, but never seemed to find a combination where the extra stamina cost and attack time wasn't dominating over the increased damage. It was my first pure dex build though, so I am happy that I didn't chicken out and just do the same thing I'd done before.

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Oh, shit! I totally didn't mean to spoil! I'm sorry.

 

I beat the game, by the way. Didn't end up liking it as much as Dark Souls 1, unfortunately. 

Could you elaborate why? I'm near the end myself and I have to say that the game doesn't reach the highs, or sink to the lows, of Dark Souls 1. It is a very consistent experience, perhaps too consistent. 

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Could you elaborate why? I'm near the end myself and I have to say that the game doesn't reach the highs, or sink to the lows, of Dark Souls 1. It is a very consistent experience, perhaps too consistent. 

 

I'm only halfway through (I think?), but the game has felt too streamlined from the beginning. None of the areas have been very memorable to me, whereas I could go into great detail about what I like/don't about the first game's areas.

 

So much of the Souls series is about getting very very familiar with an area and mastering it, it's an integral part of the feedback loop that makes up the series - high fidelity requiring mastery. These areas are just areas that you pass through to get to the next area to pass through.

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I'm only halfway through (I think?), but the game has felt too streamlined from the beginning. None of the areas have been very memorable to me, whereas I could go into great detail about what I like/don't about the first game's areas.

 

So much of the Souls series is about getting very very familiar with an area and mastering it, it's an integral part of the feedback loop that makes up the series - high fidelity requiring mastery. These areas are just areas that you pass through to get to the next area to pass through.

 

I'd tend to agree with this.  There have been some standout moments in DS2, but not as many.  I've just got my third Old soul and have gone through Drangleic Castle not realizing that it was intended to be done after you have the fourth Old soul.  Forest of the Giants is about the closest to requiring that area mastery.  Harvest Valley and Earthen Peak are great.  The foggy forest is good.  But most of the rest of the areas are just a bit too linear and not terribly memorable.  And I'm actually getting through most areas without dying much now, other than a botched jump or something like that.  I've beat several bosses in a row now without dying to one.  The one at the end of Drangleic Castle had been shown in so many previews and trailers that I was expecting a monstrous fight, but it ended up being pretty easy. 

 

I just finished Black Gulch, which is not a great area.  The only challenge is

 

slowly working your way forward breaking statues with a spear. It's time consuming, but not particularly challenging or interesting. And certainly not an area I ever want to revisit since the statues respawn after you die.  Plus the 2 most interesting parts of the area are both hidden and highly unlikely to be found without orange messages pointing the way. 

 

That said, I'm still having a blast with it.  It scratches a gaming itch that nothing else does.   And PvP is as much fun as ever, though the continued lack of invasions is disappointing.  I need to figure out how to nullify mages.  Magic in general is feeling on the OP side for PvP.  It's easy for one mage to have access to high level magic, dark and fire damage, plus a decent weapon.  And cast times on a dedicated mage are super fast.  So there's no solid defense when one person can throw all that at you.  As a melee character, it basically amounts to sprinting into them and hoping to land an early hit to stun them.  Facing another melee character is a lot more fun, where you can feel each other out and trade some blows. 

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I wonder how much of the lack of memorability in Dark Souls 2 is really just an artifact of increased skill because people have played 1. I finished 2 in 29 hours, which is half what it took me to finish 1, and 2 is larger by landmass and number of bosses. That means, just because I'm good at the game and know how to play, I spent at most half the time in each area. Not coincidentally, the areas that I feel were best in 2 are the ones where I struggled enough to spend more time in them. That's not even taking into account the fact that I've put hundreds of hours into Souls games and am pretty inundated with their tonal and artistic elements at this point.

 

When Dark came out, I and many other people felt that its world was much less memorable than Demon's. Is this just the same thing happening again?

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