Souls Thread: Dark Souls, Demon Souls, Bloodborne -

Jaimas

Give 'Em the Crab Jab
True & Honest Fan
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Maybe if the devs could actually stop cheating and come up with a sane matchmaking system like every other multiplayer game in existence...
The best matchmaking system of all in concept was Bloodborne's. SL matchmaking with escape conditions and level design in such a way that it's designed in theory to allow balanced fights. What ruins Bloodborne's matchmaking is that the Bell Maidens don't work properly until NG+, several don't respawn, the interstitial lag ranges from nonexistant to chronic teleportitis, and Gems completely fuck over anything resembling internal balance.

Arguably the best multiplayer design conceptually, turned into one of the worst in actual practice.
 
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Your Weird Fetish

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The best matchmaking system of all in concept was Bloodborne's. SL matchmaking with escape conditions and level design in such a way that it's designed in theory to allow balanced fights. What ruins Bloodborne's matchmaking is that the Bell Maidens don't work properly until NG+, several don't respawn, the interstitial lag ranges from nonexistant to chronic teleportitis, and Gems completely fuck over anything resembling internal balance.

Arguably the best multiplayer design conceptually, turned into one of the worst in actual practice.
What is it with them and cool multiplayer concepts that only work in NG+? RIP Gravelord Covenant.
 

Jaimas

Give 'Em the Crab Jab
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
What is it with them and cool multiplayer concepts that only work in NG+? RIP Gravelord Covenant.
An equally relevant question is why the fuck they can never fix things that I myself could with twenty minutes and an editing tool.

....Including that very mechanic.
 

Burned Man

Trans-Legion burnedgender Mormankin
kiwifarms.net
I've never been a fan of pvp. I've probably only invaded a couple of times in the series if I'm honest so my pvp experiences has always been as the invadee. Nowadays if I'm playing Dark Souls its with friends and any invaders are at a disadvantage since its generally 2 or 3 to 1. However we can now give invaders the benefit of the doubt and give them a chance at honorable 1v1 combat. Our numbers serve as a deterrent to all mater of scum and cowardly tactics lest you face retribution by the gank squad.
 
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Your Weird Fetish

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I've never been a fan of pvp. I've probably only invaded a couple of times in the series if I'm honest so my pvp experiences has always been as the invadee. Nowadays if I'm playing Dark Souls its with friends and any invaders are at a disadvantage since its generally 2 or 3 to 1. However we can now give invaders the benefit of the doubt and give them a chance at honorable 1v1 combat. Our numbers serve as a deterrent to all mater of scum and cowardly tactics lest you face retribution by the gank squad.
There's no honorable 1v1 combat as an invader in DS3 because they have a health debuff by the nature of the system.

I like invading. I like being invaded. I like ambushes and hunts and clever tricks. I don't like ganks either way. They need a system that discourages that and encourages the other.
 

Burned Man

Trans-Legion burnedgender Mormankin
kiwifarms.net
There's no honorable 1v1 combat as an invader in DS3 because they have a health debuff by the nature of the system.

I like invading. I like being invaded. I like ambushes and hunts and clever tricks. I don't like ganks either way. They need a system that discourages that and encourages the other.
Ah don't worry between our horrendous connections and my sub par pvp skills it all balances out.

The only way I could see that working is if you changed how the game works with either summons being only available by the boss fight or making it so that people have to consent to invasions specifically and not just online mode. That way people that want to be invaded would be the only ones being invaded. Maybe instead of an invader killing you causing death it just puts you back at the bonfire without resetting the world? That way its not like an invader is some big deal that will cause you to lose progress and the penalty for engaging them doesn't matter and encourages you give it a try. I imagine most people just want to make it past an area and make it to the boss with as much estus as possible. The last thing they want is some guy with a broken pvp build coming to nuke them or running off and hiding some place in reach of a mini boss or hostile npc. Naturally they are going to want to stack the deck against such a person if only out of spite.

I don't think there is an easy solution to the problem because it it based entirely around how the player base feels and acts. I guess too many people have been burned by invasions to give them the benefit of a doubt anymore.

One thing I do miss is the no healing rule of honor that was around back in the day. It made fights quicker and more decisive rather long drawn out affairs based on much soup you had or humanity to burn.
 

Jaimas

Give 'Em the Crab Jab
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
The problem with Souls PVP is that it's basically always been shit depending on how it goes down. Let's use Dks1's as an example, and break down why it doesn't work:

Before we get into the specific covenants that don't work, let's cover the basic mechanics that likewise do not work. In Dark Souls 1, you can only be invaded if human, and only when a boss hasn't been defeated. This means that how much of a window the player has to invade is heavily based on how long the level itself is. It also means that certain areas, by definition, are more likely to have invasions than others (Most common being Anor Londo, Duke's Archives, and Oolacile) since they're longer. What this means is that not only are invasions more likely to be in worse areas, but that they will, more often than not, be during situations where the player being invaded is already being disadvantaged due to positioning and/or level design. I've been on both sides of a Blighttown invasion enough to know that it fucking sucks for the recipient and is a one-sided morass of fucking nonsense. No one uses either of the PVP specific arenas and even when big online events were scheduled on GameFAQs or Reddit no one could connect. It was dumb.

Now the individual covenants have their own issues.

For the Darkmoons, the Blue Orb does not work, and it doesn't because not enough players actually sin to a degree big enough for it to notice and those that do are often camping specific hotspots to invade over and over or are invading in a way that grants no dishonor (Forest Protectors). Even when you invade in a way that causes Sin, it doesn't unless you get indicted, and it takes numerous indictments to mandate blue invasions. The only irredeemable sins are indictments and killing her royal Bustiness, which few players do. The ring works, but offers such a short invasion window that it's kind of ridiculous, and you have so few ring slots in DS1 that devoting one to this makes it kind of dumb.

The Gravelords get triple fucked. They have one of the coolest invasion mechanics in the entire game, as well as some amazing and fun gear to get with it, but the window for joining them and upgrading is embarassingly small, their mechanics don't even function until NG+, and depending on where the player sets up, it can effectively lead to you being uninvadable or causing permanent gravelord status to players.

This brings us to the Covenants which do work. The dragonbros are always the most honorable of all duelists because they know that if they aren't they won't get summoned again, so many times some of the best fights in Dark Souls can be had this way. The red invasions and Dickwraiths have the issues mentioned at the top, plus being the place all the shitheads hang out for PVP.

Finally you have the Forest Covenant, which consists of shitheads blockading an area where you have to go (it's mandatory) in the middle of a PVP hotspot. The covenant works, and is reliable enough that trolling it is a full-time job for some.

Dark Souls has three co-op covenants but only one is remotely useful (the Sunbros).

What this generally means is that Dark Souls PVP is a disjointed mess, made a little better by the stuff that works, and to its credit, Dark Souls 1 has some fantastic shit no other Souls game has and more of them desperately need.

One of the most obvious is alternate accolation methods for every covenant. Every single one has alternate ways to get the items in them that don't involve PVP, for players who either can't or won't engage in it - Ears from the Harpies in the Painted World, Eyes from Basilisks, Humanity from several enemies, Sunlight Medals from Chaos Bugs, Scales from stormdrakes, etc.

Another is that invading phantoms in Dark Souls can use switches and doors. In addition to allowing what KidKitty used to do (invade people, open shortcuts, drop a humanity for the other player, Praise the Sun, and blackcrystal out), it also allowed delightful idiocy like these:



The other Souls games need that level of silly.
 

c-no

Duck
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Went back to Dark Souls 2 since yesterday and seeing it now, I really do have some serious gripes. Much as adaptability is needed to quicken animations, it makes me feel like they should of done away with it in the first place and just let your iframes go back to when you roll and the timing of it. Covenant of Champions does help retain enemy respawns but they should of just kept respawning enemies regardless, just make the Covenant be one that gives you a challenge without incentive beyond being a masochist. Also the Executioner's Chariot can go fuck itself since that stupid horse keeps using a bullshit charge attack that manages to kill me and leaving behind 30k souls, and lifegem's can also die in a fire since I really hate having to get a few thousand souls just to get enough of them. It is nice the Heide knights are respawning, makes it much easier to get their armor set.

TL;DR I'm starting to get some gripes with this game, all while I'm likely becoming a second-hand copy of DSP.
 

TiltdownDove

kiwifarms.net
Went back to Dark Souls 2 since yesterday and seeing it now, I really do have some serious gripes. Much as adaptability is needed to quicken animations, it makes me feel like they should of done away with it in the first place and just let your iframes go back to when you roll and the timing of it. Covenant of Champions does help retain enemy respawns but they should of just kept respawning enemies regardless, just make the Covenant be one that gives you a challenge without incentive beyond being a masochist. Also the Executioner's Chariot can go fuck itself since that stupid horse keeps using a bullshit charge attack that manages to kill me and leaving behind 30k souls, and lifegem's can also die in a fire since I really hate having to get a few thousand souls just to get enough of them. It is nice the Heide knights are respawning, makes it much easier to get their armor set.

TL;DR I'm starting to get some gripes with this game, all while I'm likely becoming a second-hand copy of DSP.

DS2 is by far my favorite

I've grown to really appreciate the design in the game, it had a lot of ideas and at the time it seems like the execution was botched in contrast to DS1 and later DS3; but I think five years on the mechanics are actually really well thought out. So as to not flood the thread with a super long post, I put up spoiler tags to explain my thoughts on each major topic of DS2 as someone with over 1,000 hours and all achievements between the original and SotFS releases.

Adaptability for example seems really dumb at first because it seems like a mandatory lv 26 skill on every character, but it's actually a really good way to balance out the early game. Since you can only roll about five times in DS2 at 20 endurance, and you need about 26 adaptability on most starting classes to get 100 agility; it means prior to at least SL46, you need to rely on shields and blocking. They then contrast this by making shields ridiculously strong in DS2, and not giving any class a 100% block shield, and making the earliest 100% block shield you can get be the Drangleic shield.

This then falls inline with the first levels being a mix of enemies with unblockable attacks you should roll against, and enemies with large ground-oriented attacks that are difficult to roll against, but easy to block. The Ironclad Turtles and the 2H Old Knights are a good example as the Ironclads teach players the basics of which directions to roll as well. Roll left/right when the mace is above his head, roll backwards when the mace is at his side; and the Old Knights intentionally have difficult to dodge attacks, but don't break your guard when you block them.

Along with the theme of shields being so strong, parrying kicks the shit out of a lot of the bosses, especially the early ones: Pursuer, Dragon Rider, Ruin Sentinels, Gargoyles, Lost Sinner, Skeleton Lords, Mytha, Veldstad, and the Throne Gaurdians. Parrying the Pursuer is also meant to be the intended way to fight him. They even put a buckler on the way to the Cardinal Tower bonfire.

While a lot of people hated on Lifegems for making the game "EZ", they actually are kind of a good thing in my opinion. Bonfires are rather scarce in Dark Souls 2, with most places only have two bonfires over the course of a 10-30 minute long level. They act as a means for you to heal outside of the estus so the levels can focus on being challenging with enemy mechanics and placements rather than holding back for the purpose of not making everything an endurance run.

A huge plus to DS2 though is how open the game is. You can pretty much go to any of the four first Lord bosses, or even skip them altogether. To beat Dark Souls 2 and it's DLC you actually don't need to kill the majority of the bosses, only Giant, Dragon Rider, Skeleton Lords, Cov Demon, Mytha, Iron King, Fume Knight, Rotten (x3), Elana, Sihn, Ava, Ivory King, Duo Riders, Looking Glass, Song, Veldstad, Guardian Dragon, Giant King, Throne Guardians, and Nashandra. Which is 20/41 possible fights. It's also possible to build a +10 weapon without killing any bosses.

In no way am I trying to say the game is perfect, but I think it gets a lot of unfair criticism. Such as it being "needlessly difficult" or that it's "not hard, just unfair" or "I hate how the levels don't stack on top of each other like Dark Souls 1" and "All the enemies are dudes in armor."

Of all the Dark Souls games, it is by far the most difficult. You can see this with how few submissions there are for no-hit speed runs of DS2, especially in the "all bosses" category. New Game+ also makes an already difficult game even harder with stronger enemies and even more enemies, and additional boss mechanics. They can seem unfair at times, but this game was building off Dark Souls 1, it needed to be something more.

The story of DS1 was about Fire and The Truth behind it, or basically The Fall of the Gods (The Inciting Incident), Dark Souls 3 was about the usurpation of the flame and The Rise of Man (The Climax). Dark Souls 2 was about The Curse in theme (The Mid Point), and with the Curse being something that hollows men, it makes sense to tackle the subject in a kingdom made up of... men.

This also puts whoever the lead designer is in a difficult spot. You don't want to rehash everything from DS1 in the same way; how do you make different environments and have all the enemies be human? You could either do one giant kingdom but then all your enemies would look the same. So the answer was to have several separate kingdoms in the game. You have Drangleic, but you also have the Iron Keep, Tseldora, Sunken City, Elum Loyce, and Heide's Tower; all with very distinct geographies and armor designs. So instead of putting all these kingdoms so close together, you instead have these "transition" zones that are kind of meant to represent traveling huge distances.


Some major problems I do have with the game though, is some of the bosses are a bit on the weak side like the Cov demon or the Congregation. Every boss has a cheese to it, which in a way can be seen as a good thing, but it also means there's no "gitgud" wall you have to overcome like Dancer is in Dark Souls 3. If you want to do Dancer early, you have to jump through a lot of hoops, such as getting the Dark Hand, or just be really good and patient. In DS2 you just kinda do gimmicks like parry>ballista the pursuer, stun-lock the sentinels, Jester Thomas Mytha, or my favorite, the Dragon Rider instadeath. Dark Souls 3 also has this issue with the Explosive Barrels in the Legion boss room, Storm Ruler, and the 360 noscope head-drop on the Dragon.

Magic is retardedly strong. If you are ever having trouble in Dark Souls 2, just go Knight, get a Rapier, 16 str, 12 dex, +10 Rapier, Drangleic shield, 50 Vig, 20 Endurance, 20 Adap, 20 Attune, 53 int, get Staff of Wisdom from the Tseldora Camp Mimic; run through pharos for the magic stone, infuse staff, get ground-level bonfire in Tseldora on the way to Freja, kill Freja about 3 times with bon asc, use pale drake souls to get Crystal Soul Spear, level to 63 int, get Soul Geyser from Aldia's keep, Hexer's hood, and Lion Mage set.

With the method listed above, you can not only 1 shot most bosses, but most invaders prior to NG+. You'll have the 2nd strongest 1h, best shield that can parry, perfect rolling, and the best spells. It's probably the only "optimal" PvE build to exist in a Dark Souls game, but it's so well rounded it's hard not to gravitate towards using it.

Champion's Cov is cool and all but it's more of a grind than anything. Most of the Covs in DS2 are just garbage outside the red phantom pvp cov, and the Sunbros. Everyone smart disconnects themselves if they're going through pharos, and there's no real point to the bell keepers or rats as they don't provide you with useful items. The Pilgrim of Dark items can all be bought, and you can just murder the handitard to take his dragon chime. Both the Blue covs are a joke as well, and don't function as intended.

PvP outside invasions and arenas is all but dead. No one really sits on the bridge anymore, and Soul Memory kind of destroyed that. I really really wish they'd just straight up remove it via a patch of somekind.
 
Last edited:

c-no

Duck
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
DS2 is by far my favorite

I've grown to really appreciate the design in the game, it had a lot of ideas and at the time it seems like the execution was botched in contrast to DS1 and later DS3; but I think five years on the mechanics are actually really well thought out. So as to not flood the thread with a super long post, I put up spoiler tags to explain my thoughts on each major topic of DS2 as someone with over 1,000 hours and all achievements between the original and SotFS releases.

Adaptability for example seems really dumb at first because it seems like a mandatory lv 26 skill on every character, but it's actually a really good way to balance out the early game. Since you can only roll about five times in DS2 at 20 endurance, and you need about 26 adaptability on most starting classes to get 100 agility; it means prior to at least SL46, you need to rely on shields and blocking. They then contrast this by making shields ridiculously strong in DS2, and not giving any class a 100% block shield, and making the earliest 100% block shield you can get be the Drangleic shield.

This then falls inline with the first levels being a mix of enemies with unblockable attacks you should roll against, and enemies with large ground-oriented attacks that are difficult to roll against, but easy to block. The Ironclad Turtles and the 2H Old Knights are a good example as the Ironclads teach players the basics of which directions to roll as well. Roll left/right when the mace is above his head, roll backwards when the mace is at his side; and the Old Knights intentionally have difficult to dodge attacks, but don't break your guard when you block them.

Along with the theme of shields being so strong, parrying kicks the shit out of a lot of the bosses, especially the early ones: Pursuer, Dragon Rider, Ruin Sentinels, Gargoyles, Lost Sinner, Skeleton Lords, Mytha, Veldstad, and the Throne Gaurdians. Parrying the Pursuer is also meant to be the intended way to fight him. They even put a buckler on the way to the Cardinal Tower bonfire.

While a lot of people hated on Lifegems for making the game "EZ", they actually are kind of a good thing in my opinion. Bonfires are rather scarce in Dark Souls 2, with most places only have two bonfires over the course of a 10-30 minute long level. They act as a means for you to heal outside of the estus so the levels can focus on being challenging with enemy mechanics and placements rather than holding back for the purpose of not making everything an endurance run.

A huge plus to DS2 though is how open the game is. You can pretty much go to any of the four first Lord bosses, or even skip them altogether. To beat Dark Souls 2 and it's DLC you actually don't need to kill the majority of the bosses, only Giant, Dragon Rider, Skeleton Lords, Cov Demon, Mytha, Iron King, Fume Knight, Rotten (x3), Elana, Sihn, Ava, Ivory King, Duo Riders, Looking Glass, Song, Veldstad, Guardian Dragon, Giant King, Throne Guardians, and Nashandra. Which is 20/41 possible fights. It's also possible to build a +10 weapon without killing any bosses.

In no way am I trying to say the game is perfect, but I think it gets a lot of unfair criticism. Such as it being "needlessly difficult" or that it's "not hard, just unfair" or "I hate how the levels don't stack on top of each other like Dark Souls 1" and "All the enemies are dudes in armor."

Of all the Dark Souls games, it is by far the most difficult. You can see this with how few submissions there are for no-hit speed runs of DS2, especially in the "all bosses" category. New Game+ also makes an already difficult game even harder with stronger enemies and even more enemies, and additional boss mechanics. They can seem unfair at times, but this game was building off Dark Souls 1, it needed to be something more.

The story of DS1 was about Fire and The Truth behind it, or basically The Fall of the Gods (The Inciting Incident), Dark Souls 3 was about the usurpation of the flame and The Rise of Man (The Climax). Dark Souls 2 was about The Curse in theme (The Mid Point), and with the Curse being something that hollows men, it makes sense to tackle the subject in a kingdom made up of... men.

This also puts whoever the lead designer is in a difficult spot. You don't want to rehash everything from DS1 in the same way; how do you make different environments and have all the enemies be human? You could either do one giant kingdom but then all your enemies would look the same. So the answer was to have several separate kingdoms in the game. You have Drangleic, but you also have the Iron Keep, Tseldora, Sunken City, Elum Loyce, and Heide's Tower; all with very distinct geographies and armor designs. So instead of putting all these kingdoms so close together, you instead have these "transition" zones that are kind of meant to represent traveling huge distances.


Some major problems I do have with the game though, is some of the bosses are a bit on the weak side like the Cov demon or the Congregation. Every boss has a cheese to it, which in a way can be seen as a good thing, but it also means there's no "gitgud" wall you have to overcome like Dancer is in Dark Souls 3. If you want to do Dancer early, you have to jump through a lot of hoops, such as getting the Dark Hand, or just be really good and patient. In DS2 you just kinda do gimmicks like parry>ballista the pursuer, stun-lock the sentinels, Jester Thomas Mytha, or my favorite, the Dragon Rider instadeath. Dark Souls 3 also has this issue with the Explosive Barrels in the Legion boss room, Storm Ruler, and the 360 noscope head-drop on the Dragon.

Magic is retardedly strong. If you are ever having trouble in Dark Souls 2, just go Knight, get a Rapier, 16 str, 12 dex, +10 Rapier, Drangleic shield, 50 Vig, 20 Endurance, 20 Adap, 20 Attune, 53 int, get Staff of Wisdom from the Tseldora Camp Mimic; run through pharos for the magic stone, infuse staff, get ground-level bonfire in Tseldora on the way to Freja, kill Freja about 3 times with bon asc, use pale drake souls to get Crystal Soul Spear, level to 63 int, get Soul Geyser from Aldia's keep, Hexer's hood, and Lion Mage set.

With the method listed above, you can not only 1 shot most bosses, but most invaders prior to NG+. You'll have the 2nd strongest 1h, best shield that can parry, perfect rolling, and the best spells. It's probably the only "optimal" PvE build to exist in a Dark Souls game, but it's so well rounded it's hard not to gravitate towards using it.

Champion's Cov is cool and all but it's more of a grind than anything. Most of the Covs in DS2 are just garbage outside the red phantom pvp cov, and the Sunbros. Everyone smart disconnects themselves if they're going through pharos, and there's no real point to the bell keepers or rats as they don't provide you with useful items. The Pilgrim of Dark items can all be bought, and you can just murder the handitard to take his dragon chime. Both the Blue covs are a joke as well, and don't function as intended.

PvP outside invasions and arenas is all but dead. No one really sits on the bridge anymore, and Soul Memory kind of destroyed that. I really really wish they'd just straight up remove it via a patch of somekind.
In regards to lifegems, I should of been more clear in how you get them. I didn't truly hate them since they were more or less an attempt at using the healing mechanic Demon's Souls had with moon grasses. I just simply disliked how much the merchant sold them compared to most enemies I fought so far in dropping souls. Since it was a good while, I forgot some enemies such as the guys with catchpoles and whips in Huntsman's Copse dropping a rather good amount of souls to kinda make up for it. Still, I just wish there weren't some BS like Heide Knights going full aggro after you kill the Dragonrider since that means Heide's Tower of Flame becomes a death trap if you aren't careful.

I never bother with a magic build after Dark Souls 1 since I become more focused on melee and dodging with sometimes using a shield, though that's more for the benefits of certain shields like Shield of Want or Grass Crest Shield. Still, I thought magic was nerfed bad by the patches unless it was actually lightning miracles that took the nerf. And funnily enough, I never really did care much for lore since I remember a From Software interview stating that the story follows the game rather than the other way around. Covenants are truly useless with what you said, only reason not to kill the Darkdiver is if you wanted that achievement.

The only whiny, spergy sounding complaints I may as well have is just simply seeing the guard break animation being dumb compared to other games. Whereas the first and third use a kick, the second uses some weird backhand. I simply find it funny that what kinda looks like a pimp slap is able to break a guard.
 

TiltdownDove

kiwifarms.net
In regards to lifegems, I should of been more clear in how you get them. I didn't truly hate them since they were more or less an attempt at using the healing mechanic Demon's Souls had with moon grasses. I just simply disliked how much the merchant sold them compared to most enemies I fought so far in dropping souls. Since it was a good while, I forgot some enemies such as the guys with catchpoles and whips in Huntsman's Copse dropping a rather good amount of souls to kinda make up for it. Still, I just wish there weren't some BS like Heide Knights going full aggro after you kill the Dragonrider since that means Heide's Tower of Flame becomes a death trap if you aren't careful.

I never bother with a magic build after Dark Souls 1 since I become more focused on melee and dodging with sometimes using a shield, though that's more for the benefits of certain shields like Shield of Want or Grass Crest Shield. Still, I thought magic was nerfed bad by the patches unless it was actually lightning miracles that took the nerf. And funnily enough, I never really did care much for lore since I remember a From Software interview stating that the story follows the game rather than the other way around. Covenants are truly useless with what you said, only reason not to kill the Darkdiver is if you wanted that achievement.

The only whiny, spergy sounding complaints I may as well have is just simply seeing the guard break animation being dumb compared to other games. Whereas the first and third use a kick, the second uses some weird backhand. I simply find it funny that what kinda looks like a pimp slap is able to break a guard.
Yeah it's different. The intention of the backhand is that it doesn't do anything to the opponent unless they're blocking; unlike the kick which can interrupt attacks, move enemies, and guard break.

They didn't nerf magic's damage, only the int cost, which is like 63, as far as I know. If they did nerf the magic damage; it wasn't very effective because you can still soul geyser the throne guardians on NG+7 to cheese them.

Let me know if you have any trouble at any part of the game and what your build/Level is, and I'm pretty confident within 3 hours I could match it almost exactly and help strategize you out of any difficult spots. Some levels, especially in the DLC, are almost unplayable with certain builds, and require you to just take off all your clothes a run like a bathsalt addict.
 

c-no

Duck
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Yeah it's different. The intention of the backhand is that it doesn't do anything to the opponent unless they're blocking; unlike the kick which can interrupt attacks, move enemies, and guard break.

They didn't nerf magic's damage, only the int cost, which is like 63, as far as I know. If they did nerf the magic damage; it wasn't very effective because you can still soul geyser the throne guardians on NG+7 to cheese them.

Let me know if you have any trouble at any part of the game and what your build/Level is, and I'm pretty confident within 3 hours I could match it almost exactly and help strategize you out of any difficult spots. Some levels, especially in the DLC, are almost unplayable with certain builds, and require you to just take off all your clothes a run like a bathsalt addict.
Fume knight. I remember dying to that bastard many times until I got lucky. Around the level 70 range, still a few stats away from wielding the Drangleic sword though I'm more to just using a fire longsword until I can buy a claymore since I remember beating the game with that before the DLC's were a thing.
 
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CivilianOfTheFandomWars

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I haven't gotten around to Demon's Souls yet, but I've beaten the rest many times. I love the series, mainly because of the combat. It's just viscerally fun, with loads of variety.
I actually got banned from doing a death for death thing in Bloodbourne and Dark Souls 2 at my friends house. It became "death for death, except for Civilian. He has a timer, because he knows where everything is." That was fun.
To rank them, I'd go:
1. Bloodbourne. Hands down my favorite from the series. I love the aesthetic, the starting being Gothic and then turning into Lovecraft. The weapons and combat are just great, I love the fast pace and how pretty much every weapon is unique. It's just a blast.
2. A tie between Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2. Dark Souls is more focused, and I can practically write the guide for at it at this point, but 2 is like the arcade game version. 2 is massive, and it's weapon selection is unmatched in size, though many of them are samey. But powerstance is something I genuinely wish was in other Souls games, it's a fun mechanic. I can always dick around in Dark Souls 1 and 2.
3. Dark Souls 3. It's a great game, and a great way to end the Souls series, but it's just a little too linear and small for my taste. I felt like it was missing something. That is, until the DLCs. Ashes of Areindel was pretty fun, and had a legendary boss at the end. And Ringed City was the ending I wanted for the game. Brought some badass weapons to play with, and has my favorite boss of the entire series. Slave Knight Gael brought the feelings of fighting Artorias, Sif, and Orphan of Kos all at once. But still, I find myself coming back to the other games more.
4. Sekiro. I really liked this game, but it's mostly less memorable than the others to me. I love the boss fights, almost each one of them is very memorible and fun to do, but the typical gameplay a lot less so. The larger focus on a story is something I like, but I also found myself just wanting to skip it and go duel some motherfuckers. Overall, a really good game, just not my favorite.
 
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TiltdownDove

kiwifarms.net
Fume knight. I remember dying to that bastard many times until I got lucky. Around the level 70 range, still a few stats away from wielding the Drangleic sword though I'm more to just using a fire longsword until I can buy a claymore since I remember beating the game with that before the DLC's were a thing.
I'd recommend if you want to use a greatsword class weapon, to get 45 strength and 15 Dex and power-stance Dual Greatswords (Ultra greatsword class). You can buy two from Vengarl's head in the Shaded Woods; the same guy that sells the claymore. If you buy Pine Resin from Vengarl, you can use dark-weapon on the left sword and pine risen the right; this trick works with any powerstance setup.

Twinkletit-weapons tend to be on the weaker side compared to normal titanite weapons
 

c-no

Duck
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I'd recommend if you want to use a greatsword class weapon, to get 45 strength and 15 Dex and power-stance Dual Greatswords (Ultra greatsword class). You can buy two from Vengarl's head in the Shaded Woods; the same guy that sells the claymore. If you buy Pine Resin from Vengarl, you can use dark-weapon on the left sword and pine risen the right; this trick works with any powerstance setup.

Twinkletit-weapons tend to be on the weaker side compared to normal titanite weapons
I remember Vengarl being the claymore merchant though at some point once I reach the Shrine of Amana, I'd likely go for the red rust twinblade. I remember making good use of it years ago when I first played the game on console.
 
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