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Into the depths: the unanswered questions of Dark Souls 2

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Insights from 17 minutes in From Software's new universe

Sometimes, knowledge is power. Other times, not knowing can be more powerful still. Magnificent though it is, the original Dark Souls is guilty of flaws that might have doomed a project that isn't as seductively, compellingly swaddled in enigma. I'm looking at you, silly weakpoint-based Bed of Chaos, and you, horrible Blighttown frame-rate, and you, godforsaken backstab-dependent PvP.... read more

Into the depths: the unanswered questions of Dark Souls 2

Postby msbhvn » 15 May 2013, 15:57

I've yet to sample the "delights" of the Bed of Chaos in Dark Souls, I'm just about to go and kill the Four Kings after the disappointingly easy Gravelord Nito and Seath the Scaleless.

Can we at least have a couple of areas in DS2 where you don't fall to your death 75 times before finishing them? After the Catacombs, Tomb of the Giants and the Crystal Cave I'm a bit sick of narrow/invisible ledges.
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Re: Into the depths: the unanswered questions of Dark Souls

Postby OXM ETboy » 15 May 2013, 16:00

I've yet to sample the "delights" of the Bed of Chaos in Dark Souls...

...Can we at least have a couple of areas in DS2 where you don't fall to your death 75 times before finishing them?


Just you wait.
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Re: Into the depths: the unanswered questions of Dark Souls

Postby RHPSAUCE » 15 May 2013, 17:27

The multiplayer is full of hackers now so it's very hard to enjoy it. I was hoping to hear about how they plan on preventing hackers from ruining everyone's time
Also I need to get some info on new or returning covenants, will I get to be a Sun Bro again? Will new covenants have more focus on helping offline as well as adding new online features? Of course I'm assuming that covenants will return and they may not but if they are I think it's time we get a bit more info on the direction they want to go with covenants and the online in general.
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Re: Into the depths: the unanswered questions of Dark Souls

Postby msbhvn » 15 May 2013, 17:43

I'm grateful to the Chaos Servant covenant for the kick-ass Great Chaos Fireball Pyromancy. The leader of that covenant doesn't seem bothered that I killed her sister and am walking around with a sword made from her soul. :?

Just got pushed off a bridge in the Valley of Drakes. At least they're being consistent. *sigh*
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Re: Into the depths: the unanswered questions of Dark Souls

Postby OXM ETboy » 15 May 2013, 17:47

Try luring those drake buggers over to your side with a bow, msbhvn (assuming you're approaching from the Darkroot Basin end). I think it works for most of them. They stagger pretty easily when you shoot them in the face, iirc.
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Re: Into the depths: the unanswered questions of Dark Souls

Postby msbhvn » 15 May 2013, 17:52

Thanks, Ed. Will do. I'd hate to have to go back to the Depths to grind humanity again (I need at least 10 to make my Quelaag's Furysword hit harder) if I lose the 14 I was carrying. Burning all six of the slimes near the bonfire with Great Chaos Fireball is why I like it so much. :mrgreen:
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Re: Into the depths: the unanswered questions of Dark Souls

Postby fracturedrich » 15 May 2013, 20:44

Also I need to get some info on new or returning covenants, will I get to be a Sun Bro again? [quote][/quote]
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Re: Into the depths: the unanswered questions of Dark Souls

Postby TemplarKnight » 15 May 2013, 21:05

I think the author means Age of Fire rather than Age of Man. The later age supposedly occurs when choosing the Dark Lord ending.

Dark Souls was a great game. My favourite RPG currently. Nay, favourite game but the primitive exploitable enemy AI really needs improvements which it seems DkS2 has introduced. Having enemies just standing around in the same spot prepares you for them. Having them randomly wandering means returns to areas can lead to unexpected encounters.

It seems there are still set enemies just waiting for you but I'm hoping others actually roam about even hunting you (as some bosses are meant to do adding a level of unpredictability about it). The monster breaking down the wall to get you also suggests we might not be able to perform the bow trick anymore (not that I bothered with this after my first playthrough with those undead dragons). Another instance of poor enemy AI is that enemies still stop chasing you after a while. Typical for an RPG but DkS is meant to be punishing. Have them stop until they get you and you or they are dead or until you get away or hide from them. Many enemies could be exploited in DkS as they would only chase you a certain distance before walking backwards leaving themselves open for attack.

As for PvP, get rid of the backstab and then I'll play multiplayer. Until then, DkS is a single player experience for me. We all know DkS2 will be filled with OP equipment non-levelled players griefing new players/characters anyway after a few months.

Surprisingly, Dragon's Dogma on hard-mode from scratch is harder than Dark Souls especially the new content on Bitterblack Isle. You have to plan attacks, discover the resistances and weaknesses of enemies and really focus on your own resistances and party formation. Things like buffing and managing inventory carefully become a must as there are enemies that can one hit kill you (or kill you with a few hits) even past LV 100. I'm around LV 130 now in the Dark Arisen content (and nearing the end) and there are still enemies that can kill me within a few hits if I'm not careful. Something like an ogre or giant Cyclops chewing at your head on hard mode can mean instant death (which is more realistic than how it is on normal mode) which means you've got to summon your pawns to free you or get out of their grasp as fast as you can. That or down all the resistance buffing items you have in your possession. Enemies in DD are much more aggressive and ruthless than enemies in DkS. There I was once on a high platform hitting away at the great cannons I had summoned and the gore Cyclops I was fighting threw a explosive barrel up at me. Other enemies like the elder ogres will actually jump to reach you on high platforms which means trying to cast a spell/enchantment mid battle as a Mystic Knight can leave you open to attacks. (And I'm not saying DD is better. It has many flaws making it a rather flawed gem)

The point is, is that DkS wasn't that hard. I completed it once only dying 11 times in total (two deaths were caused by falling). Enemies really need to be more relentless, aggressive and tougher. Add some randomness and unpredictably too because if the difficulty remains the same (which is to say, challenging than most other RPG's out there) but things like fast travel are introduced on the on-set then I see games like Dragon's Dogma overtaking the Souls series in terms of old school elements. But it pleases me that From Software is apparently aiming for even more of a "survival horror" feel to the game (at least for the first part) along with those dark areas which require a torch. Trying to build up tension or even trying to scare the player is always a good thing for keeping the player immersed and at the edge of their seat.

I personally hope Namco doesn't do the whole "you're going die millions of times!!!" marketing stuff again. I do remember one of the DkS devs saying that DkS is just meant to be feel like a traditional RPG (which it does) which can be punishing and rewarding. If they really are going to market DkS2 this way then they really need to make it more difficult than the first because I'm sure DkS veterans will know what to do from the start in the game and if fast travel is available instantly and we can never find ourselves trapped in a place like the Tomb of Giants (trying to escape from it) then where will the old school feel have gone? I mean they even patched DkS so that when cursed, you can buy an item to uncurse yourself from the undead female merchant or that guy in the Undead Parish under the Belltower. Before it was just Ingward and an early curse meant you would have to fight through the haunted ruins of New Londo.

Sorry for the long post. DkS was great but could have been greater. So I'm simply hoping the flaws have been addressed for the sequel. I just have so much to say about DkS.
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Re: Into the depths: the unanswered questions of Dark Souls

Postby fracturedrich » 15 May 2013, 22:25

Templar you talk a lot but it makes perfect sense,i'me on my third play of dd and iv'e yet to sample the isle after reading this i might reboot and go through on hard.
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Re: Into the depths: the unanswered questions of Dark Souls

Postby Baryonyx » 15 May 2013, 22:37

I am torn between wanting to know everything about this game and also wanting it to be a surprise. Though in Dark Souls, forewarned is most certainly forearmed!
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Re: Into the depths: the unanswered questions of Dark Souls

Postby RedBelmont » 16 May 2013, 00:51

msbhvn wrote:Thanks, Ed. Will do. I'd hate to have to go back to the Depths to grind humanity again (I need at least 10 to make my Quelaag's Furysword hit harder) if I lose the 14 I was carrying. Burning all six of the slimes near the bonfire with Great Chaos Fireball is why I like it so much. :mrgreen:


Best way I found to farm humanity is to offer your services in co-op boss fights, that way you get 1 humanity every time you defeat a boss and a big chunk of souls. Head to the bonfire after the Silver Knight archers in Anor Londo and pop your sign down, it's a high traffic area no matter your level and most of the time people head straight to Ornstein and Smough. If you've got the DLC then right outside the Artorias fight is good as well as you'll get people fighting him and the dragon down in the ravine.
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Re: Into the depths: the unanswered questions of Dark Souls

Postby OXM ETboy » 16 May 2013, 10:24

Great post, TemplarKnight. I do indeed mean Age of Fire, not Age of Man.
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Re: Into the depths: the unanswered questions of Dark Souls

Postby Johnbhoy69 » 16 May 2013, 12:51

TemplarKnight wrote:...the primitive exploitable enemy AI really needs improvements which it seems DkS2 has introduced. ...Having them randomly wandering means returns to areas can lead to unexpected encounters.

I'm hoping others actually roam about even hunting you (as some bosses are meant to do adding a level of unpredictability about it)

Surprisingly, Dragon's Dogma on hard-mode from scratch is harder than Dark Souls especially the new content on Bitterblack Isle.


Been saying nearly the exact same thing thing about Dark Souls 2 on here myself. The enemies aren't the smartest and to randomize their attack pattens and locations would add so much more to the experience. Maybe the stronger non boss enemies should be able to roam freely adding that sense of constant fear and trepidation.

I'm currently playing Dragons Dogma on normal and really enjoying it though it's very easy, I'm only level 67 or something and Ive finished the main game and now I am quite far in Bitter Black Isle.
Glad to hear that hard mode offers more a challenge, I maybe should of started there to begin with.

Anyone know if I can take my normal game character into hard mode or do I need to start over?
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Re: Into the depths: the unanswered questions of Dark Souls

Postby TemplarKnight » 16 May 2013, 16:03

If you start on hard mode you will loose all progress in the game. You'll have your old character still with all their stats and equipment (it's kinda like starting in NG+) but you'll have to start from the beginning of the game. Maybe use a USB stick, save your current character and then create a new one specifically for hard mode would be more ideal. I guess it depends on how far you are currently into the game.
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Re: Into the depths: the unanswered questions of Dark Souls

Postby Jozai » 26 May 2013, 15:48

Put a level cap = So there would be more multiplayer game-play. Maybe 150?
Reset stats at New Game+ = That way people have something to look forward to in beating the game too.
Very Rare drops = something worth grinding and beating the game over and over again to get rare drop from bosses.
Class Bonuses = Choosing a class should have more value then starting equipment and stats. For example Priest heals with every strike using a mace.
Rename "Thief" = Eww maybe assassin or rogue.
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