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Default Dark Souls II - Revealed at VGAs

December 12th, 2012, 00:26
Have you guys found Havals set? Even better than the stone armor.
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December 12th, 2012, 01:53
Originally Posted by SirJames View Post
Have you guys found Havals set? Even better than the stone armor.
Just when one thinks that they have the ultimate armour/weapon in this game, there is something even better - this game never fails to impress. I will keep my eyes open for the Haval set.
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December 12th, 2012, 06:18
Originally Posted by vurt View Post
yeah i know that a lot of bosses can be taken out by "exploits" or by pure player skill (and a lot of time).. but the game is more than bosses, it's really nice to be able to take out the "trash mobs" quickly.. i watched a youtube video of a level 1 and wow, every enemy took a great deal of time for him even though he was a very skilled player. He just didnt do much damage with his weak weapon and low level.

What you're describing is not the average, first time player who thinks this game is really difficult, you're talking about people who's probably spent hundreds of hours on the game already, perfecting their skills and reading up on everything etc. Because i doubt they started out by doing a naked run, using a weak weapon and not leveling up at all in their first play through

I understand this and I am not advocating speed-runs on level 1. I was simply discussing about the necessity of leveling up to defeat the enemies..which I do NOT think is really true.

Even for an average player, who starts the game afresh, DS gives pretty big hints about the "exploits". Jump attack is one them..which is useful on the first boss as well as on the Capra Demon. Capra demon, especially, needs ONLY fast reflexes, if you need to get past his initial hyper aggressive lashing and then can be defeated with jump attack again. Most of the "trash mobs" and many bosses can be defeated with a pattern as follows: block their attack with a shield or by sidestepping and then strike immediately and then again defend yourself with a shield. Rinse and repeat. A player who is very precise with timing and controls can defeat even the toughest of enemies, such as Havel and Black Knight, with parry and riposte and/or backstabbing (which does massive damage even with a weak weapon). You can either run-past or kite those tall statues-like enemies in the forest and in Anor Londo. I think what matters most is the player concentration and study of enemy patterns than your stats or gear. Also, note that once you reach lvl 30, further advances give diminishing returns.

About your "leveling up -> stats increase -> wield weapons that do more damage -> kill enemies faster" argument…I agree to some extent. However, my main point is that leveling up does not necessarily decrease the difficulty of the game, it simply means you will be able to survive just a little longer. For prolonged survival, player skills matter much much more than your character skills. Also, some quick weapons with lower stats requirements (such as Spear) when augmented with Lightning (which only requires Souls as currency) are much better than say, a two handed heavy weapons (with higher stat requirements), that do more damage but are likely to kill you faster due to their long attack and recovery animation sequences.
Last edited by Aditya; December 13th, 2012 at 06:59.
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December 12th, 2012, 23:12
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
Even for an average player, who starts the game afresh, DS gives pretty big hints about the "exploits". Jump attack is one them..which is useful on the first boss as well as on the Capra Demon.
You make it sound like your cheating the game. Quotation marks or not. It's just about taking advantage of terrain and use your repertoire.

Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
About your "leveling up -> stats increase -> wield weapons that do more damage -> kill enemies faster" argument…I agree to some extent. However, my main point is that leveling up does not necessarily decrease the difficulty of the game, it simply means you will be able to survive just a little longer. For survival, player skills matter much much more than your character skills. Also, some quick weapons with lower stats requirements (such as Spear) when augmented with Lightning (which only requires Souls as currency) are much better than say, a two handed heavy weapons (with higher stat requirements), that do more damage but are likely to kill you faster due to their long attack and recovery animation sequences.
I agree you get far with skill. My first character was a bandit. Played him to the Taurus Demon, and the I started a deprived for fun. Died like hell all through Undead Burg, but persevered and got the hang of it. I later tried a new guy and basically breezed through Undead Burg. I knew how to play (to some degree), so I wasn't as dependent on gear. But, I also have to agree with Vurt, when you play the game the first time, you need your stuff.

But for talking so much about skill, you really draw a weird conclusion at the end of that paragraph. A heavy weapon doesn't kill you faster. Again, it's all about skill and style of play. For reference, my favourite weapon is the Zweihander, using the slow attack. So, from my experience, I would rather say the opposite. Get the timing right, and you plough through everything like a dozer.

Edit: Oh, sorry, I see it was Vurt who said that about exploits first!
Last edited by Steinawarjar; December 12th, 2012 at 23:25.
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December 13th, 2012, 00:40
I bet a lot of RPG's could be completed without leveling up and with the use of low level weapons only. I'm pretty sure it would be doable in for example Oblivion. That doesnt mean it's preferable or the most fun way to play it. For me leveling up was extremely important not only because it makes the game easier but because it's rewarding and fun too.

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December 13th, 2012, 07:34
Originally Posted by Steinawarjar View Post
But, I also have to agree with Vurt, when you play the game the first time, you need your stuff.
Hmm, perhaps it could be my experience with Demon's Souls then. Right from the beginning of Dark Souls, I knew that MY skills will matter more than other "stuff" (i.e. level and gear). But if for someone Dark Souls is the entry point in the Souls series, I can understand why they would be inclined to think that leveling up == becoming stronger. Its definitely NOT the case most of the times in Dark Souls.

Originally Posted by Steinawarjar View Post
But for talking so much about skill, you really draw a weird conclusion at the end of that paragraph. A heavy weapon doesn't kill you faster. Again, it's all about skill and style of play. For reference, my favourite weapon is the Zweihander, using the slow attack. So, from my experience, I would rather say the opposite. Get the timing right, and you plough through everything like a dozer.
What I meant is, choose you weapons that will not hinder your skill as a player, i.e. those that affect your mobility and expose yourself defenseless for a longer duration. I have tried various heavy two-handed weapons (and even heavy armors) and they felt really clunky and slow.

Originally Posted by vurt View Post
I bet a lot of RPG's could be completed without leveling up and with the use of low level weapons only. I'm pretty sure it would be doable in for example Oblivion. That doesnt mean it's preferable or the most fun way to play it. For me leveling up was extremely important not only because it makes the game easier but because it's rewarding and fun too.
In Oblivion? Sure..since the game is level-scaled, you can beat EVERYTHING even at lvl 1.
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December 13th, 2012, 07:38
Yeah, Oblivion is pretty much the worst possible example someone could give in that situation.
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December 13th, 2012, 12:45
My point was that you can explore the whole game at level 1 in Oblivion too. It's more fun and rewarding to level up in Dark Souls because it isnt level scaled, so you actually feel more powerful as you level up, it serves a purpose and it's rewarding.

Without leveling and loot (can't use a lot of the weapons without leveling) DS wouldnt be nearly as fun imo. Though i agree it's always nice when RPG's doesnt force you to be level x to enter a new map or fight a particular boss.

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Last edited by vurt; December 13th, 2012 at 14:18.
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December 13th, 2012, 17:56
Originally Posted by vurt View Post
It's also a bit of a misconception that the game is hard. It's as hard as you want it to be since there are endless opportunities for just grinding and leveling up, which in turn will make the game easier, obviously.
Personally I don´t see much misconception here, really.
From what I remember, the game has been usually touted as hard but fair and that´s what I´d say it is.
If you become "good at it" one way or the other, it becomes easier/easy and the game provides good variety of options for it, but that´s the "fair" part.
The "hard" part is that becoming "good at it" requires relatively more investment and/or finesse than pretty much all action RPGs at least since, uh, Gothic 2: NotR (when considering PC releases only), at least in my book.
Some of the major factors that make the game more uncompromisingly difficult than usual would be lack of difficulty settings, a quite distinct lack of hand holding (concerning not only story progression, but also gear progression and exploration) or some "anti-cheese" measures (like not being able to save mid-combat á la Risen).
It also quite doesn´t fuck around when it comes to the early main quest progression - Capra demon in particular is not exactly newcomer-friendly I´d say .

Originally Posted by SirJames View Post
Have you guys found Havals set? Even better than the stone armor.
Yeah, the poise on this is really nice, I´ve spent most of the latter half wearing the set.
Speaking of Havel, his ring may be even more game changing, at least for some playstyles/builds .

Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
Hmm, perhaps it could be my experience with Demon's Souls then. Right from the beginning of Dark Souls, I knew that MY skills will matter more than other "stuff" (i.e. level and gear). But if for someone Dark Souls is the entry point in the Souls series, I can understand why they would be inclined to think that leveling up == becoming stronger. Its definitely NOT the case most of the times in Dark Souls.
Leveling up (gear and character) definitely IS the case of becoming stronger in Dark Souls and it also opens up more options of how to play the game.
It´s certainly not effective enough to replace the action aspect entirely, but it brings more tools at player´s disposal and allows for bigger margin of error which is invaluable from the first playthrough perspective.
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December 14th, 2012, 10:42
^ So you are basically saying what I have said already:

Originally Posted by Aditya
But if for someone Dark Souls is the entry point in the Souls series, I can understand why they would be inclined to think that leveling up == becoming stronger. Its definitely NOT the case most of the times in Dark Souls.
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
Leveling up (gear and character) definitely IS the case of becoming stronger in Dark Souls and it also opens up more options of how to play the game. It´s certainly not effective enough to replace the action aspect entirely, but it brings more tools at player´s disposal and allows for bigger margin of error which is invaluable from the first playthrough perspective.
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December 14th, 2012, 13:37
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
Hmm, perhaps it could be my experience with Demon's Souls then. Right from the beginning of Dark Souls, I knew that MY skills will matter more than other "stuff" (i.e. level and gear). But if for someone Dark Souls is the entry point in the Souls series, I can understand why they would be inclined to think that leveling up == becoming stronger. Its definitely NOT the case most of the times in Dark Souls.
I get what you're saying. For my part part, I think one of the main things that make Dark Souls hard in the beginning (if you're new to the series) is that you're fighting the controls as mush as the enemies. Learning to move properly, position yourself and generally be patient enough to avoid taking stupid risks. I imagine having played Demon's Souls before, you would already have gotten the hang of that part.

Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
What I meant is, choose you weapons that will not hinder your skill as a player, i.e. those that affect your mobility and expose yourself defenseless for a longer duration. I have tried various heavy two-handed weapons (and even heavy armors) and they felt really clunky and slow.
I think I get what you mean. I bit of what I wrote in the paragraph above, I gather. Before I understood the whole concept of equipment load I just packed on the heaviest armour I could find, and I walked like a snail, so rolling away from enemies, and circling around them, was often a real pain. Now I make sure my eqip load is below half. I've used the Silver Knight armour alot.

I can't agree with you regarding heavy weapons though. I'd say it's just a matter of what you're used to, and you adapt your combat style to fit the weapons you use. Perhaps thats why it felt clunky for you? Switching to dexterity based weapons on my second character, surely took some time getting used to for me.

But that's the great thing about Dark Souls (and Demons Souls I assume. Would really like to play that game. That whole thing about how the world gets more difficult when you die is just wicked!), you can build you character to accommodate so many play styles.
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December 14th, 2012, 20:42
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
^ So you are basically saying what I have said already:
I´m not and I´ve no idea why you´d think so .
Not being effective enough to replace entirely doesn´t mean not being effective enough to help significantly.
Last edited by DeepO; December 14th, 2012 at 21:05.
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December 15th, 2012, 10:59
No it doesn't help 'significantly' either. Dark Souls is not a conventional RPG (or even a conventional ARPG) where leveling your character gives you skills points to unlock some high-tier abilities (to what you refer as "more options to play the game"). Leveling, at most, will help you dispatch the trash mobs quickly. Most of the challenging foes in the game CANNOT be won merely on the basis of your level and/or gear.

Feel free to counter this with some examples.
Last edited by Aditya; December 15th, 2012 at 11:41.
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December 15th, 2012, 12:50
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
No it doesn't help 'significantly' either. Dark Souls is not a conventional RPG (or even a conventional ARPG) where leveling your character gives you skills points to unlock some high-tier abilities (to what you refer as "more options to play the game"). Leveling, at most, will help you dispatch the trash mobs quickly. Most of the challenging foes in the game CANNOT be won merely on the basis of your level and/or gear.

Feel free to counter this with some examples.
Since my fingers are not fast as they used to be, I needed to level up and increase my strength and stamina to be able to wield the knight sword (cool long sword) and equip the stone armour to defeat the two gargoyales near the bell tower. I just stood almost still to smash these two beasts with my weapons and armour, which I couldn't do without leveling up. Again, this is an essential option to allow players like myself to progress through the game at the expense (or not!) of grinding - but I am very happy with grinding with Dark Souls.
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December 15th, 2012, 16:26
The game is just incredible much easier when you can get hit one, sometimes two times by a boss instead of dying instantly.

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December 16th, 2012, 17:58
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
No it doesn't help 'significantly' either. Dark Souls is not a conventional RPG (or even a conventional ARPG) where leveling your character gives you skills points to unlock some high-tier abilities (to what you refer as "more options to play the game").
Leveling your character and gear gives you better survivability and allows for faster dispatching of enemies - that´s rather conventional.
What isn´t quite conventional is that leveling stats/gear does not lead to, say, 10x more power on paper. However, Dark Souls´ combat mechanics are set up in such a way that even, say, 1.7x increase makes big difference.

When it comes to character stats, I´d say that, in general, only vitality and endurance are worth investing into significantly as they notably help in the survivability aspect, but even some other stats may be worth bigger investments for certain character types (intelligence for sorcerers, strength or dexterity for weapons that scale well with these).
When it comes to gear, more damage per hit (be it weapons or spells) is self-explanatory advantage.
The only pretty much useless stat is resistance.

As for the more options thing, raising attunement adds better arsenal for more spellcast-y types, raising dex, str, fai and int opens more weapon/spell possibilities and endurance allows for more gear without hampering mobility as well as for more "action" possibilities (like being able to land more consecutive strikes with heavier weapons, more blocking and so on).

Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
Leveling, at most, will help you dispatch the trash mobs quickly.
This comes in pretty handy, especially for first timers who explore without knowing where everything is.

Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
Most of the challenging foes in the game CANNOT be won merely on the basis of your level and/or gear.
But they can be defeated a lot more easily. Figuring out a sound approach how to tackle these is easier when being hit once doesn´t equal death and executing that approach is easier when you have some leeway for mistakes.
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
Feel free to counter this with some examples.
As in, when stats allow for player skill to go out of the window?
Since I never implied that "level and/or gear" can replace the action aspect entirely it´s a bit pointless, but for what it´s worth, I went against 4 kings with a level 75 character, without any foreknowledge, and defeated them on a first try by nothing else than mindless hacking . Shortly after, the final boss went down in 10 seconds to the same approach.
But that´s really besides the point, which was that leveling, while not absolutely necessary for finishing the game, really helps.
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December 17th, 2012, 05:03
I love the theory of Dark Souls but damned if I can actually play it for long. I enjoy the combat with the average mobs but I've always hated bosses and my ordinary action gaming skills get stuck on them, which sucks all the joy out of the exploration. Even so, I'd prefer they leave the formula alone and stay true to their roots even if I probably won't play it.

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December 17th, 2012, 16:13
Originally Posted by SpoonFULL View Post
Since my fingers are not fast as they used to be, I needed to level up and increase my strength and stamina to be able to wield the knight sword (cool long sword) and equip the stone armour to defeat the two gargoyales near the bell tower. I just stood almost still to smash these two beasts with my weapons and armour, which I couldn't do without leveling up. Again, this is an essential option to allow players like myself to progress through the game at the expense (or not!) of grinding - but I am very happy with grinding with Dark Souls.
With my Heater shield and Gold Pine Resin applied weapon, they died so quickly, it was laughable. And mind you, I barely leveled up (I had lost most of my Souls by then). I just kept circling them, keeping my distance and striking the tail (their weak point). I wonder though, how did you beat Ornstein and Smough…even with high level/armor/weapon/spell, this duo is not beatable unless you move A LOT.

Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
What isn´t quite conventional is that leveling stats/gear does not lead to, say, 10x more power on paper. However, Dark Souls´ combat mechanics are set up in such a way that even, say, 1.7x increase makes big difference.
Much more than 1.7x difference comes from your own skills as a player as you play along! Be it getting the hang of the controls, being cautiously confident and just taking it slow..this will take you to the end, even at relatively low levels. In fact some area of DS are designed in such a way that you do not have any other option but to hone your skills as a player if you need to proceed AT ALL. Sen's Fortress, Lost Izalith?

Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
but even some other stats may be worth bigger investments for certain character types (intelligence for sorcerers, strength or dexterity for weapons that scale well with these).
Even for spell casters, gauging distance from foes and timing is of utmost important throughout. In case of 4 kings, you can die while casting a high level Chaos Fireball if you mistake on timings, but can survive on low level even by spamming Combustion with a certain ring that increases its damage output. This approach requires less attenuation slots, but still avails more charges for casting.

Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
As for the more options thing, raising attunement adds better arsenal for more spellcast-y types, raising dex, str, fai and int opens more weapon/spell possibilities and endurance allows for more gear without hampering mobility as well as for more "action" possibilities (like being able to land more consecutive strikes with heavier weapons, more blocking and so on).
If you know enemy weakness and are good at evasive maneuvers, they can be defeated even at low levels (Taurus demon, Capra demon, Gaping dragon..all the early bosses). And you don't need to start a New Game+ to understand this. Even for the first time players, those who study enemy patterns (should be easy after 10-15 deaths!), this sounds pretty doable. Leveling will help you take on weaker enemies faster, which is anything BUT fun when doing the 100th time. I prefer to just run past them, after a point.

Anyways, I guess you agreed that 'action-y' part (i.e. player skills) cannot be overlooked no matter your level and I agree that leveling helps to certain extent. I'm not sure if we need to further debate on this..
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