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December 27th, 2012, 19:13
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
Itīs combat AND exploration (and both reinforce each other).
Yes, exploration that will lead to more combat and NPCs with nothing much to say. Which is why I don't enjoy exploration in the game. I'm missing stuff like books, puzzles, NPCs with meaty story content and so on. You know, stuff found in other RPGs.

AND great level design, rewarding exploration, unique atmosphere.
I wouldnīt call tight design focus and weaving various gameīs facets into coherent, organic experience a "one-trick pony".
I explained above why I don't think much of the exploration, so that's out. Atmosphere, sure. I've conceded that the world design is great - but the game is almost entirely about combat. That's the one-trick pony part. It also has a character development system (albeit a boring stat-based one - though I concede the stats mean more than in most games) and items to find that will enhance your ability in combat - so it's not strictly a one-trick pony.

But it makes sense that you'd like it, as you also seem fond of Mass Effect 2 and 3 - both of which are primarily filler combat and a tiny, tiny bit of worthwhile exploration. That said, they do both have lots of story content - which Dark Souls doesn't have. They also both have endless boss fights that you have to overcome.

Generally, you just really like fighting and fighting and fighting

Yes. Boss fights, as designed in Dark Souls, can also be overcome through skilled execution of combat abilities and as such constitute a natural, honest way of gating content - once you reach these "gates" thereīs nothing artificial standing in your way of overcoming them (like, say, a massive damage resistance providing invulnerability against level 1 characters). In essence theyīre no different to other obstacles in the game, combat or non-combat.
I'll have to take your word for this - as it's pretty opposite to what Demon's Souls did as I recall.

The difference between bosses and other obstacles is that you die when you make a single mistake (mostly) - and that's the gating aspect. You HAVE to overcome it or you won't progress. When you encounter normal enemies, you can fumble a bit and still survive.

Now, level scaled loot in Skyrim, thatīs the kind of gating that needs to go.
Level scaled loot is precisely NOT gating. But I don't like gating at all. I like free-roaming worlds with exploration, story, puzzles and stuff like that. I don't like barren worlds with a few words of mystery to represent the lore.

Personally Iīm only finding this grating when itīs present in a game where Iīd consider it a design contradiction, or inconsistency. Like, for example, in Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
That's fair enough. I, however, don't like boss fights in the traditional sense - and Demon's Souls focused on them. Apparently, in Dark Souls boss fights are much like all the other fights - except for the size of the bosses. At least, going from what you're telling me.

In Dark Souls itīs in line with its design focus. Itīs not a game with major stealth or speech skill systems as one of its cores.
Or much of a story, interesting and meaty NPCs, worthwhile exploration and so on. No, definitely not.

Btw, Iīve only seen it on youtube, but Iīm quite sure that the last boss in Demonīs Souls was designed to be truly pathetic and the last boss in Dark Souls happened to be a pushover in both of my playthroughs (though I donīt think this encounter was designed specifically as such, I probably just was very powerful )
I never got to the end of Demon's Souls. I completely lost interest along the way, as there was basically no meat on the game. I guess Dark Souls may be different. I've been meaning to play it more than the few hours I did with my PS3 version. I saw nothing that really set it apart from Demon's, but it seems I was wrong.

That said, it won't be based on your recommendation alone, as I've tried that with ME3 already. It has turned out even worse than I imagined after ~20 hours or so, and it's amazing that you like it so much. Again, it must come down to the love of samey filler combat.

Thatīs how boss fights (bar those two exceptions Iīve mentioned earlier) in Dark Souls work.
Ok, sounds good.

Tying this back to the "gating" point - boss fights are one of the forms in which the game gives you a feedback about how much you (or your character) learned throughout the game.
Again, I'll have to take your word for it. It's strange that it's said to be so similar to Demon's Souls when the boss fights are so different.

How typical .
It can't be much of a surprise that I don't progress far in games I don't like. At least I've played it for a few hours. The first boss you encounter was very much like a typical Demon's Souls boss in a lesser form - where you have to learn his timing and his movement pattern. That's what I'd consider a minor puzzle, though very easy. The difference between such a boss and regular enemies is that you don't die immediately from normal enemies. Maybe puzzle is the wrong word - but let's just say I don't really like games with too many of such fights. They don't feel like real combat - and they feel more like david against goliath. I don't like that.

Basically, they function as a more intense pressure as you struggle to figure out whatever you have to do - and then you adapt and overcome while being under pressure. But it doesn't actually take much of a brain or anything like that - it's just pressure from obscene amount of damage. It's very much like MMO fights or similar - and I find them so incredibly boring - because the nature of the challenge is not that you have to be clever, but that you have to avoid dying until you figure out what's typically very simple mechanics.

I like it when I execute my combat moves perfectly, and the enemy dies in a few hits. It's ok that I have to have perfect timing, but I don't like bosses that can take a LOT of hits. I just find the whole small being against large beast so boring and archaic.

Most RPGs have it, however, and I'm not saying Dark Souls is unique in that way. It just seems to be about that and little else.

The gameplay focus is on combat (which includes character building) and exploration and the content is built around that, with being challenging for players in mind.
Exploration that will lead to nothing but more barren levels and the occasional item not showing up in the actual world - yeah. But not exploration like Fallout or Skyrim, where you'll find unique books/lore/puzzles/interesting NPCs and stuff like that. That's what I like about exploration - not so much the levels themselves, unless they have a history about them.

Lore and a lot of story bits not being served on silver platter is consistent with the overall design philosophy behind the game and only reinforces the sense of the gameīs strong and consistent identity.
Yeah, I get it. Lore that doesn't actually exist but is there in your head. Fantastic design

Look, I get that you like small story bits and you like filling in the blanks using your imagination. I don't particularly like that, however.

Itīs a game with narrower design focus than, say, Skyrim, but what it focuses on is largely of great quality, whereas in the case of Skyrim the majority of its facets fall flat and the only consistent quality is quantity.
I don't agree with that at all, which I'm sure you're aware of - given this specific example. But it's true that Skyrim is like a sea and Dark Souls is like a little river. There's a ton of fantastic material in Skyrim - but every single dungeon is not going to be of the same quality - and some aren't all that interesting. But there are literally hundreds of interesting locations with completely unique little stories to them. Much, much more appealing in terms of exploration and lore than anything in Dark Souls - as far as I've seen. Demon's Souls, certainly, didn't have much in the way of exploration beyond the levels themselves. That's nice enough - but no different from the average MMO. I like to find unique stuff and meet unique people with unique stories to tell.

No, I really donīt.
Well, I suppose you wouldn't call it close to perfection if you did
Last edited by DArtagnan; December 27th, 2012 at 19:44.




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