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Dark Souls II - Prepare to Die, Again


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On 12/08/2020 at 01:23, Hanzo the Razor said:

The Shrine of Amana can sook ma sporran! Also my four year old daughter described The Demon of Song as "A big skeleton with a frog suit on!"

 

Not sure if you're struggling, or if you beat it and are now triumphantly telling the level to suck it.

 

But I loved the Shrine of Amana. Favourite bit of the game.

 

Had been playing as a melee/Faith character, and the pure magic attacks took me totally by surprise. So I spent several hours prepping  myself to tackle it. Got a shield with high magic defence (Llewellyn I think?), reinforced it a few times, looked through my inventory which I'd never touched, found some high defence magic clothes, equipped them, put a magic def ring on, some magic def edibles, herbs to boost stamina recover, and kept myself light as possible since I was going to be running and rolling a lot.

 

Then I went at it stealthy. Taking down those magic shooting enemies one at a time. I felt like John Maclane in Die Hard, retaking Nakatomi plaza, one terrorist at a time!

 

When it was over I was a bit sad because there was nothing else like it, which forced me to change up my gear and strategies so much.

 

One major flaw with the Souls series (Demon's Dark I, Dark II, etc.):

 

You very quickly ended up railroaded into one type of play style due to how expensive it becomes to level up anything. Many times after putting a lot into Faith I questioned my choice, but by the time it's up 20, levelling up becomes so expensive you might as well stick with it, because it's not like you can ever, EVER raise your INT or anything else if it's less than 10.

 

I'd have been interested to see a Souls game where the cost of each stat changes depending on its current level. So 45 to 46 Faith is expensive, but 5 to 6 INT is cheap.

 

But after a few hours I was basically stuck down the path I'd started on, despite not thinking it through much.

 

Ahh well.

 

14 hours ago, APM said:

Took a break and went to check out the DLC. 

  Reveal hidden contents

Made my way through the Shulva one, or whatever its called. Had to keep looking those knights very slowly until I, completely by accident, see you could bring them to reality by destroying their coffins. That made it easier. Found a key but didn't use it as went on downwards. Killed some stomping things in the water then made my way downwards. Summoned a couple of helpers and managed to kill the annoying magic Queen. Then... Repeatedly got my arse kicked by the stupid dragon afterwards. Decided to give it a break. 

 

 

That's basically where I was at. I finished the main game and was rinsing DLC. I ended up beating the dragon myself.

 

Next I did Brume tower, but the boss at the bottom is more difficult than anything I've fought before.

 

So I paused on that to do the big ice palace, and some of the Covenant quests. The Dark Cov is damned tough. Blood Cov is cool though - did some PvP, messing with people's minds by changing into scenery.

 

I've got my strategy down well for the arena with the wooden tower in the middle. Turn into a vase or barrel or something and leave my cell. Wait for the enemy to run around looking for me. Most of them eventually go up to the wooden tower thing to look around. Still as a bit of scenery I sneak up behind them - most don't notice me since I'm not a red phantom. Then I do a massive critical attack behind them. Normally drops em by half.

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On 14/08/2020 at 10:29, Sketch said:

 

One major flaw with the Souls series (Demon's Dark I, Dark II, etc.):

 

You very quickly ended up railroaded into one type of play style due to how expensive it becomes to level up anything. Many times after putting a lot into Faith I questioned my choice, but by the time it's up 20, levelling up becomes so expensive you might as well stick with it, because it's not like you can ever, EVER raise your INT or anything else if it's less than 10.

 

I'd have been interested to see a Souls game where the cost of each stat changes depending on its current level. So 45 to 46 Faith is expensive, but 5 to 6 INT is cheap.

The problem with that approach is that every build quickly becomes the same. The system they use forces you to chose a path but in my experience it really adds to the game, you get to think about and plan all kinds of different builds. And there are a lot of possibilities, especially in DSII. And like Hawklord says you can actually respec now in case you don't feel like making multiple characters or you made a mistake.

 

And all this only really counts if you plan on doing a lot of PVP, if not you can simply keep levelling and you can end up with all stats leveled to a decent amount.

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On 14/08/2020 at 09:29, Sketch said:

 

Not sure if you're struggling, or if you beat it and are now triumphantly telling the level to suck it.

 

But I loved the Shrine of Amana. Favourite bit of the game.

 

The later. It's a lovely looking area but a bugger to get through. I just saw on Twitch that there's a door behind the Dragon Rider so I need to go back and have a gander.

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On 14/08/2020 at 18:11, Hawklord said:

You can re-spec your character in DS 2 & 3

 

Interesting; coming from Demon's and DSI, I wasn't aware of this (or I forgot). Though while it is tempting to respec my high Faith chara, stuff like my +10 electric mace can't be.

 

It's a shame they nerfed the viability of magic after Demon's.

 

I went pyro for DSI and it was useless. Starting area, basic single enemy required more than my entire supply of fireballs.

 

Even now, in DSII, with 48 Faith, the biggest lightning bolt blast spell available takes less 25% off most regular enemies. Four blasts versus two mace swipes? Gonna use the mace. i just can't seem to damage them enough. I was hoping I could do a single lightning blast and wipe them out. What gives?

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On 14/08/2020 at 09:29, Sketch said:

One major flaw with the Souls series (Demon's Dark I, Dark II, etc.):

 

You very quickly ended up railroaded into one type of play style due to how expensive it becomes to level up anything. Many times after putting a lot into Faith I questioned my choice, but by the time it's up 20, levelling up becomes so expensive you might as well stick with it, because it's not like you can ever, EVER raise your INT or anything else if it's less than 10.

 

I'd have been interested to see a Souls game where the cost of each stat changes depending on its current level. So 45 to 46 Faith is expensive, but 5 to 6 INT is cheap.

 

But after a few hours I was basically stuck down the path I'd started on, despite not thinking it through much.

Totally agree, I'd much prefer if they took a more open approach allowing you to use everything if you wanted, ditching the levelling completely.  Then it'd be viable to try out new tactics on enemies to find out their weaknesses etc.  They could make the enemies / encounters more 'puzzley' in that regard, and it would make exploring to find a weapon that is particularly good in a specific zone/battle more rewarding. 

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I decided to play this again, as it's the Souls game I remember the least - Dark Souls 1 is so familiar to me now that I can't really get the same fix from it.

 

I recall thinking that overall it wasn't as bad as it's rep.

 

I was wrong. It's fucking shite. I mean, not just as a Souls game, but as a game, full stop. 

 

The level design is bloated, with looong winding corridors to get you to new areas, and a real copy and paste feel to the rooms with furniture and so on that doesn't make sense (eg a  room with horse drawn carts in, but only two human sized doors in or out). The enemies are super annoying with sort of "revenge" attacks that feel like a punishment for landing a hit on them (like that weird zig-zag attack the Heide knights do), and the game compensates for a lack of ingenuity in their placement by throwing them at you in huge gank squads (the run to the Ruin Sentinels for example). 

 

Then there's the fact that i-frames are practically non-existent until you level ADP, which you pretty much have to do to render the game playable, and the awful decision to allow you to aim attacks manually when locked on. Why anyone would ever need to do that is beyond me, but it sure as hell happens a lot when you roll away from an attack, hit R1 to swing, and end up swinging away from the target on which you are locked.

 

I completed the whole game, DLC and all, a few years ago, and on this playthrough I've managed about 20 hours. But I think I'm just going to stop, because there is no enjoyment to be had whatsoever. It is much, much worse than I remember it being. The copy and paste Gargoyle fight at Belfry Luna was the final straw.

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31 minutes ago, Davros sock drawer said:

I decided to play this again, as it's the Souls game I remember the least - Dark Souls 1 is so familiar to me now that I can't really get the same fix from it.

I recall thinking that overall it wasn't as bad as it's rep.

I was wrong. It's fucking shite. I mean, not just as a Souls game, but as a game, full stop.

 

I haven't played DS1 in years (completed it, never thought much of it), but I really liked DS2.

 

I think main because - and again, my memory if fuzzy here - you could just jump from location to location in DS2, at the bonfires, which made it much more like Demon's Souls and the way you accessed levels in the Nexus.

 

Didn't DS1 exist as one linear slog, forcing you to go from one area to another, each time you wanted to go somewhere else? I have memories of some city section, and I had to endlessly travel through some sewer tunnel, which had some easy rat enemy, about ten million times just to get to the next area, because you could not warp between bonfires. At least, not at first? I think there was some spell or something about 75% through which allowed warping?

 

I absolutely despised all the backtracking. The forced bottlenecks. The limitation of the game saying: do this bit before anywhere else.

 

My best experience of Souls games is Demon's and 2 because it allowed me to hop around from place to place eking out a bit of progress, finding a new item or weapon that helped in some other area, etc. If I got bored of one place, fuck it, just play another. You don't have to spend time on tough bottlenecks. DS1 seemed to forced me against the same wall a thousand times before I somehow, through sheer stoic pain of will, forced myself through that bottleneck. It was a long string of boring bottlenecks, as I seem to recall. Like there was some boss, in a room, with two wolves. There was no other place to go. Just this boss. I think I spent 5 real world hours throwing myself at him again and again and again, and then grinding a bit, and throwing myself again, and then grinding, before eventually getting through and hating the process.

 

DS2, if I get stuck, I just go elsewhere. I warp all over the map.

 

Basically: please sell me on DS1 and how to enjoy it properly.

 

Might go back to it if you are able to.

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Looked it up...

 

Nope, fuck Dark Souls 1.

 

Checked the Wiki. You can only warp to a few select bonfires, and only after defeating Dragon Wanker Ornstein and Turd Molester Smough, two utter bastard hard bosses, to get the Lordvessel:

https://darksouls.fandom.com/wiki/Lordvessel

 

Quote

Given or dropped by Gwynevere, Princess of Sunlight after the player gains access to Anor Londo and defeats Dragon Slayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough.

 

Upon acquiring the Lordvessel, players can warp to select bonfires. Players must rest at a bonfire in order to use the warping ability. It is possible to warp from any bonfire, excluding the ones in the Painted World of Ariamis, The Duke's Archives, Prison Tower, and the Undead Burg. Extinguished bonfires can still be warped to.

 

I now have horrid flashbacks of playing this monstrosity.

 

I will never return to it. I want the freedom to just do as I please, flitting from one locale to another.

 

Demon's Souls < Dark Souls 2 < King's Field series < Dark Souls 1

 

Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne I've not yet played.

 

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18 minutes ago, Sketch said:

 

The limitation of the game saying: do this bit before anywhere else.

 

 

 

I haven't got time for a longer post atm, but this bit what you wrote here? Literally the opposite of what DS1 does.

 

One of its most celebrated features is how you can go in multiple directions at once and tackle the game in the manner of your choosing. It's absolutely famous for the way you can sequence break!

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I Agree with Davros sock drawer, Still never got round to doing the DLC for Souls II as it came out so late after the main game. Not a huge fan of the second game myself. The world design wasn't a patch on the previous games and there were far too many bosses that were just giant monsters with sword. Dark Souls III wasn't bad what I played, but it looked like From Software had run out of ideas in the third game. From what I understand the second game was out sourced a lot and it just feel inferior to the original in every way, first Dark Souls is a true masterpiece well worth every pence. Demon's Souls was great, but had flaws ironed out in Dark I felt.

 

Bloodborne I really enjoyed once I got past the starting hump and learn the gun parry system, still need to do the DLC for that mine.

 

I've started revisiting the earlier games in the series back when it was called King's Field, Demon's Souls was going to be (King's Field V), but name and elements got changed as Sony would own the IP. You can feel the Souls gameplay in them, Shadow Tower and Eternal Ring as well. Long as you don't mind the clunky FPS combat they all had. The combat and view change in Demon's Souls was hugely need. I've enjoyed the earlier games in the series I've managed to get my hands on.

 

Did chat about a few awhile back, in this rather old video series: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYU_L7X7Hjr-7I1JKt5hJ3KRV9e2pfRZ5

 

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On 30/07/2020 at 18:26, APM said:

I'm not sure I'm enjoying this very much. I'm up to the Iron Keep, or whatever its called, and it just feels like a rambling, scattershot... I don't want to say mess, but there feels very little cohesion. I look back at DS1 and I get the whole verticality of it with the heavenly locale at the top and hell at the bottom and the poor undead stuck in the middle. It felt well considered and conceived. This has none of that. Its like a series of locations slapped together to make a game. 

 

On 30/07/2020 at 21:26, Davros sock drawer said:


You’re not wrong at all, I completely agree, but - DS2 makes up for the lack of cohesion and intricacy with sheer generosity. It’s a huuuuge game, and it gets better as it goes on, unlike (IMO) DS1. 
 

Also, like all Fromsoft games it seems, the DLC is superb. 

 

20 hours ago, Davros sock drawer said:

I decided to play this again, as it's the Souls game I remember the least - Dark Souls 1 is so familiar to me now that I can't really get the same fix from it.

 

I recall thinking that overall it wasn't as bad as it's rep.

 

I was wrong. It's fucking shite. I mean, not just as a Souls game, but as a game, full stop. 

 

The level design is bloated, with looong winding corridors to get you to new areas, and a real copy and paste feel to the rooms with furniture and so on that doesn't make sense (eg a  room with horse drawn carts in, but only two human sized doors in or out). The enemies are super annoying with sort of "revenge" attacks that feel like a punishment for landing a hit on them (like that weird zig-zag attack the Heide knights do), and the game compensates for a lack of ingenuity in their placement by throwing them at you in huge gank squads (the run to the Ruin Sentinels for example). 

 

Then there's the fact that i-frames are practically non-existent until you level ADP, which you pretty much have to do to render the game playable, and the awful decision to allow you to aim attacks manually when locked on. Why anyone would ever need to do that is beyond me, but it sure as hell happens a lot when you roll away from an attack, hit R1 to swing, and end up swinging away from the target on which you are locked.

 

I completed the whole game, DLC and all, a few years ago, and on this playthrough I've managed about 20 hours. But I think I'm just going to stop, because there is no enjoyment to be had whatsoever. It is much, much worse than I remember it being. The copy and paste Gargoyle fight at Belfry Luna was the final straw.

 

Now you tell me this!

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5 minutes ago, Davros sock drawer said:

 

What can I say? My memory is that I really started enjoying it from about Huntsman's Copse onwards, but playing it now? It's super annoying.

 

How are you finding it to actually play?

I'm finding it OK. I still get caught out by the lock on-swing in the wrong direction and that is quite annoying, but I do get that it is trying to get you to play in a more measured way. 

 

I'm right near the end of the main game, having just opened up the Throne of Want, but I'm making my way through the second bit of DLC, the firey place where you need the smelters thing. Quite enjoying that. I stand by my comments above. it is a mess of a game in that it doesn't hang together very well and the loading corridors are not as well hid (although you do use a lot of elevators in DS1...), but I am enjoying it.

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21 hours ago, Sketch said:

 

I haven't played DS1 in years (completed it, never thought much of it), but I really liked DS2.

 

I think main because - and again, my memory if fuzzy here - you could just jump from location to location in DS2, at the bonfires, which made it much more like Demon's Souls and the way you accessed levels in the Nexus.

 

Didn't DS1 exist as one linear slog, forcing you to go from one area to another, each time you wanted to go somewhere else? I have memories of some city section, and I had to endlessly travel through some sewer tunnel, which had some easy rat enemy, about ten million times just to get to the next area, because you could not warp between bonfires. At least, not at first? I think there was some spell or something about 75% through which allowed warping?

 

I absolutely despised all the backtracking. The forced bottlenecks. The limitation of the game saying: do this bit before anywhere else.

 

My best experience of Souls games is Demon's and 2 because it allowed me to hop around from place to place eking out a bit of progress, finding a new item or weapon that helped in some other area, etc. If I got bored of one place, fuck it, just play another. You don't have to spend time on tough bottlenecks. DS1 seemed to forced me against the same wall a thousand times before I somehow, through sheer stoic pain of will, forced myself through that bottleneck. It was a long string of boring bottlenecks, as I seem to recall. Like there was some boss, in a room, with two wolves. There was no other place to go. Just this boss. I think I spent 5 real world hours throwing myself at him again and again and again, and then grinding a bit, and throwing myself again, and then grinding, before eventually getting through and hating the process.

 

DS2, if I get stuck, I just go elsewhere. I warp all over the map.

 

Basically: please sell me on DS1 and how to enjoy it properly.

 

Might go back to it if you are able to.


Whereas I felt kinda sad whenever bonfire warping unlocked in Dark Souls 1 :) 

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I think I'm done with the dlc. The bosses seem to be horribly balanced against you if you haven't built a character a certain way. I've got swords that lay waste to most things in a few swipes but do hardly any damage to the big dragon at the end of Shulva or the Smelter Demon in Brune. It's just not fun, nor is the run to him with all those fucking enemies and wizards able to half your speed on the way. It feels really cheap and not very well designed at all. Think I'm just gonna kill the final boss and be done with it. 

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I understand. I never did Blue Smelter because it seemed like bullshit. Have you done Sir Alonne and Fume Knight? They're the best bosses in in Brume Tower DLC. I can recommend finishing the Crown of the Ivory King DLC, that's probably the best one overall but it also has some bullshit. 

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30 minutes ago, Stanshall said:

I understand. I never did Blue Smelter because it seemed like bullshit. Have you done Sir Alonne and Fume Knight? They're the best bosses in in Brume Tower DLC. I can recommend finishing the Crown of the Ivory King DLC, that's probably the best one overall but it also has some bullshit. 

No. I'm not sure of where they are. Just given it another go. The run to him is perhaps the most crap example of making it hard by just putting shit in front of you constantly and magic users who can heal on unreachable ledges. It's not a challenge that is in any way enjoyable. It really is so clear that this one is not designed by the same guy as all the others. 

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I can't remember exactly butterflies I'd just like look them up. Blue Smelter is shite, no bones about it. Cut and paste crap and the ambush mobs are the worst aspect of DS2, defo. 

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9 minutes ago, Stanshall said:

I can't remember exactly butterflies I'd just like look them up. Blue Smelter is shite, no bones about it. Cut and paste crap and the ambush mobs are the worst aspect of DS2, defo. 

There was a way down across an iron bridge thing but I was getting cursed as soon as I walked down there. I'm not sure I've seen any other ways onwards... 

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Apologies for the chaotic auto correct. I hope there was some sense there.

 

I can't remember unfortunately, there's something about Smelter shards from memory and they neutralise the curse. Sorry, that not massively helpful. I'd check the Wiki because there's some great stuff in the Brume and Ivory DLCs. 

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I got fed up of the DLC and the artificial padding and difficulties they kept throwing at you which became no fun. Like I ran out of Smelter Irons before I could take them all out around the fume Knight. That kind of shit is just bad design. Inform the player that they may run out of them and give them the choice to use them and make the game more difficult if they want. Don't just allow them to fuck themselves with no clue what they're doing. That's just bad. So I fucked it off and went and killed the last three main bosses in the main game who were surprisingly easy. So that's that. Can't really say I enjoyed my time with it. But there you go. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

After yet another break I booted this up today, I'm finding it a little easier to do a chunk, take a break, do another chunk, otherwise the constant dieing(?) pisses me off. Did the First Sinner today, but the bonfire afterwards takes me back to Majula. I've gone through the Forest where the petrified statue is and reached a door blocked by a knight, the game says I have to show him a ring but I don't have that, I may have... Killed him... Will he come back? And where do I get the ring? I need some more Pharos Stones too....

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I'm listening to the Bonfireside Chat podcast at the moment and the episodes on this. It's like they're talking about a different game. I can barely remember any part of this already. It's as if I just wandered through it and it's just gone. I think it's because the structure of this doesn't ask you to repeat sections very much, you just keep progressing onwards. The first game and Bloodborne felt like connected spaces, real and tangible. This really is just a lot of areas stuck together with little cohesion.

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