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Dark Souls - Prepare To Die... You Died.


The Sarge
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Right, so I started this again (this is the fourth time I've purchased it). Every other time I ended up getting angry with it and giving up, so I figured I'd vary my playstyle a bit. Previously I've tried Sorcerer, Knight and Pyromancer, not feeling like I really got on with any of them. This time I went for the wanderer.
Initially I was really enjoying the increased mobility, however after working my way through the undead burg and defeating the Taurus Demon I started to feel like I'd made some major mistakes building my character. Whilst I initially enjoyed the additional speed and mobility, once I'd gotten used to the combat a bit more I started to feel like I was horribly weak and maybe I didn't need to be.
So I restarted with a bandit, and I'm now up to level 37. I've done the undead burg and parish, gone through the garden and fought the butterfly but I'm now feeling a little bit lost. The valley of the Drakes seems way beyond me, and in the basin there seems to just be the Hydra (not sure where to start with that but I guess I'm not rolling around it trying to hit it's arse) and some guy with a massive tooth at the bottom of some stairs who can take off all my stamina when I clock one attack.
So where can I go that will be a reasonable challenge but not a nightmare. I don't want to fight every normal enemy in an area like a boss if I can avoid it. I can get to the new londo ruins and the catacombs, is one of them a decent bet?
Also, does anyone have a decent guide to upgrading weapons which doesn't assume you already know everything? All the ones I can find seem to assume that I know what raw and divine weapons are and why I might want them. Where does it even say what type of weapon you have? The guides divide them into normal, unique, dragon and a million other things but I don't know what my weapons are.

The dude with the giant tooth (Havel the Rock?) gave me a lot of problems on my first play, probably 10 deaths or so later I realised not to roll around him at all, but always backstep to dodge, because his blows track you as you move around him. But you don't actually have to kill him - he's easy enough to run past every time you have to go that way. Although you might miss some good equipment he drops if you kill him - nothing vital to finishing the game though.

Your weapons are all normal if you haven't done anything to them - or if they haven't been upgraded before you find them (i.e the lightning spear you find in Sens, I think, and the crystal swords dropped by the guards in the Dukes Archives. If they aren't - then their upgrade is appended to the item name, i.e "raw halberd".

There is nothing particularly that identifies if a weapon is unique, I don't think, other than it will have a non-standard name - i.e something other than "upgrade type" + "weapon type" such as "lightning claymore", "fire scythe" etc.

Unique weapons have a name that doesn't follow this formula such as Drake Sword, Lifehunt Scythe (neither "drake" nor "Lifehunt" being upgrade types). Dragon is another example - "Dragon" isn't an upgrade, so the weapons are called things like "Dragon's Tooth" and "Dragon Slayer Longbow". Dragon weapons are all upgraded with Dragon Scales.

It is very confusing and I'm still learning new stuff about the mechanics after a couple of months of fairly solid play.

The Hydra is actually quite easy once you know how to do it (I had to ask for help on here) but it takes quite a long time and is a tedious fight, if you do it safely.

I think it's possible to finish the whole game without going into the valley of the drakes - it's a handy shortcut back to Firelink Shrine, though, from a different area that you do have to visit. But not worth deliberately setting out for.

I didn't know you get increased manouverability as a wanderer. In fact I thought all of the classes were the same, apart from equipment and slight differences to the stats. I've only made two characters so far though, a warrior and a pyromancer.

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The wanderer starts out with high dex and a very light equipment set so he's under 25% carry weight and moves fast. Unlike a thief or naked dude though the armour you get is actually pretty decent and you get a shield which works ok. It's like of like a soft version of the thief build.

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The classes in Dark Souls are purely for setting starting gear and stats. Any starting build can become anything you want, or can switch from one style to another without much effort.

Another reason to not get too worried about it is that stats are, imo, secondary to gear in this game. You'll get quicker and bigger bonuses by upgrading gear vs stats. Level up to wield the weapons you like the feel of, but only enough to meet the equip requirements. Souls are better spent on levelling your weapons as far as you can at the time. Eg. It costs fewer souls to upgrade a weapon to +5 than it does to level your str/Dex enough to see equivalent damage increase.

Having said that, always remember to spend some souls to level up stamina / Endurance. So vital if you're mainly melee.

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How do I know when to fight the dragon on the bridge? It just breathes fire, will I need to get it to come down or do I need to do something somewhere else or get a certain item? I found a place where I could see the back of it's head, should I shoot it from there with arrows?

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I would say you can safely ignore the bridge dragon on your first playthrough. You can take him out with a bow, lots of arrows and even more patience. You can also melee him (tempt him down by making him breath fire, then wait out of sight at the top of the stairs (against the wall closest him). Just.. well, be prepared to die if you want to go toe-to-toe with him.

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Christ, Sen's Fortress is a boring ache in my testicles. I thought the game was supposed to get more fun as it went on? After spending hours learning the combat mechanics and improving my stats and gear, shitty artificial diffilculty implemented through environmental obstacles with incredibly poor visibility can fuck off. It's next to impossible to judge the swinging blades without repeatedly stopping to turn the camera sideways and adding an enemy doesn't make it more of a challenge, it just necessitates me firing 20 arrows at it before every single attempt to cross the walkways.


In general I've found the last few areas to be shit. New Londo Ruins, Blighttown and now Sen's fortress have all been visually uninteresting (New Londo and Blighttown mainly because it's so dark), filled with repetitive fights against weak enemies that are only hard because you're fighting them somewhere shit.


Is there better stuff coming? I want to be exploring places that might actually be interesting to look around and discover, fighting tough enemies who test my skills instead of fighting the same enemies whilst poinsoned or on a narrow ledge. I want to be rewarded for getting through an area with a different one, not another thing the fucking same (going all the way through the catacombs to find another dark cave was not exciting).


Is Anor Londo and the stuff after it more exciting visually? Is there a variety of interesting enemies to fight who have different tactics that need learning? Because if it's another 30 hours of boring caves and castles as the unfair bullshit piles up against easy enemies I think I might give up :(

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I was enjoying it! After Undead Parish and fighting the gargoyles I was loving it, especially the Darkroot Garden/Basin, wandering into the valley of the drakes for the first time and getting eaten. I'm pretty excited about the demon ruins and the great hollow but I know I need to get through Sen's.

Basically, I have two questions:

Is there more of this vaguely platformy stuff where I'm avoiding environmental hazards even though the camera and control are terrible for that? Is the introduction of swinging blades, traps and rolling balls in the fortress a precursor to those things featuring regularly throughout the rest of the game or are they just for this area?

Other than the catacombs, the tomb of the giants, blighttown, the depths and new londo ruins, are there any more areas that are basically "dark place underground"?

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It's next to impossible to judge the swinging blades without repeatedly stopping to turn the camera sideways and adding an enemy doesn't make it more of a challenge, it just necessitates me firing 20 arrows at it before every single attempt to cross the walkways.

Just run past them.

runam9ro0.gif

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Is there more of this vaguely platformy stuff where I'm avoiding environmental hazards even though the camera and control are terrible for that? Is the introduction of swinging blades, traps and rolling balls in the fortress a precursor to those things featuring regularly throughout the rest of the game or are they just for this area?

They only feature in Sen's.

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Christ guys, I'm not that shit. It's the last one which is really thin with barely any gap between the blades and the lizard guy off to the left throwing lightning. He's not on the walkway so I can't melee or knock him down, I just have to kill him with arrows before I try that one, then if I get knocked off it's high enough to kill me and I have to walk all the way up there again.

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Like shadows? That's a smart idea, I was standing close to them and turning the camera sideways.

Just running does not work on the last one (maybe if I had below 25% equip load?) and I'm loathe to keep trying after four deaths and the additional time to get back to that same stupid fucking bridge.

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After you get past there and outside again (castle rooftop area) just remember to look over the edges of the walls in the area near where you emerge (go left and up one or two short set of steps first) - or you can easily miss the next bonfire, and then be really, really annoyed when you finally find out where it is.

Not that I did this myself or anything. Oh no.

Sen's fortress seems to get a lot of hate but it didn't give me that many problems compared to some of the bosses.

I've completed the game 5 times now with 2 different characters, one level 200 ish and one at level 120 ish. Still haven't killed Artorias solo, or killed Khalameet at all.

And I suck at PvP.

Is cheating that rampant on Xbox Live? I frequently seem to come across players who I can't even scratch - they will sit there taking multiple hits from my stupidly overpowered weapons, and it doesn't even register on their health bar. As far as I know there's no legitimate way to create this effect- I know HP maxes out eventually, this one guy literally stood there and let combo hit 10-20 times , doing 1,000+ damage each time - and his health bar didn't seem to get any shorter.

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No there is like a cut on the floor where the blade hits/drifts over

Edit in the gif above you can see blood on the floor to hint where it goes for that blade.

:facepalm:

Right! When I get home I'm fucking doing this. Just like blighttown, one fucking run with no deaths.

Broker, fuck this shit off and go and play something good.

Like Demon's Souls?

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Christ, O&S are bastards. Had to summon two other guys to make it through :)

Ha, nice one. I've done them solo, at Soul Level 1! Hehe ;)

But it seems that despite your complaints the game has done what it does to everyone else... Makes you its bitch. You can't help but keep going back...

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In fairness, it gave me exactly what I wanted after Sen's. Anor Londo was beautiful, different and filled with exciting enemies. Just grabbed the very large ember and took a shot at the four kings. Are they especially weak to anything? I killed three but then when I was fighting the last one another one spawned when I wasn't expecting it to.

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