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September 13th, 2013, 10:32
OXM posted a preview of Dark Souls II were Namco talks about the games new online covenant, and invasion system.

Since Dark Souls came on the scene, there's been a glut of games that try their hands at asynchronous, embedded sharing and match-making strategies, the idea being that you won't have to push back from the world and its supporting fictions in order to play with others. Does From Software feel obliged to trump its earlier work, in order to stay ahead of the imitators?

"It's not something where we feel we have to," Miyazoe explained to us at Gamescom. "We feel there's a core element of the network online play that is unique to Dark Souls, and that the fans enjoy. The dev team really strives to avoid direct involvement with other players - I think there's a loose connection you have with other people.

"It's the sharing of emotions, the sharing of the loneliness with other people, so that you get that faint sense of comfort when you feel that another player's facing the same difficulties in the game, but without being able to have direct contact," he went on.

"Death is a big part of Dark Souls, but it's also the loneliness when you're facing the difficulties, you're that close to giving up, but you want to take that extra step, and having this loose connection with other players is one of the things that helps you to stride on."

Miyazoe was mum as to the specifics, as you'd expect/hope, but he was able to confirm a few returning features - player invasions and summoning, blood stains that display a ghost player's final few seconds of life, and the celebrated Covenants, divine or demonic allegiances that partly determine how you'll operate online. It's not clear whether any of the original's Covenants will return.
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September 13th, 2013, 10:32
I am not sure the online element added much for that many. My experience was having the ground littered with spam messages and getting whacked every once in a while by an invading player.

Dark souls was the most beautiful and atmospheric game I played on the 360 and had the neatest combat mechanics. Everyone seems to push the difficulty as the big draw, but what was so great about being put in what amounts to timeout for 3-5 minutes after losing to a boss? It was hard and the game was going to bore you if you lost, so yeah it was frustrating, but not in a good way. It was more like, I am done being put in timeout, let me look up the trick so the game doesn't treat me like it's my second grade teacher.
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September 13th, 2013, 19:09
Burress, I had even less patience. I guess I could beat myself up for ten hours to get across a small part of a map. But doing the same things over and over is what takes up most of those ten hours.

Also, seemed more of a crazy-difficult precise-action game with RPG elements. Meh.
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September 13th, 2013, 20:11
I don't know, the sense of achievement I got from DS is unlike anything I've played for a long time. I enjoyed it immensely.
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September 14th, 2013, 00:03
Dark Souls is only hard if you make a terrible character build. There's no respec option so you are forced to live with your build which may not agree with the character you envision. I don't think many people learnt of the weapon statistics and its scaling with character statistics either unless they looked at a guide so this is another factor to consider in the "difficulty" of DkS.

I probably died 40 times in my first playthrough. In my third, I died no more than 11 and four of them were because I fell to my death. Once you learn the mechanics, the combat encounters (where enemies are placed) and enemy attack sequences the game isn't even truly challenging anymore although thankfully you can give yourself your own challenges such as going into high-level regions early (Catacombs) or playing again on the new game pluses.

What DkS2 really needs though is some more randomization. It'll make things harder not knowing where the enemy is as you return to a prior area.

Dark Souls is what old RPG's were like. It's not insanely difficult. I found Dark Arisen (expansion for Dragon's Dogma) on hard difficulty at the minimal level required for Dark Arisen, harder. I had previously completed DD three times prior. This was my forth playthrough as a new character starting from level 1 on hard mode, I have died over 100 times. In Dark Souls, on my third play-through, I died 11 times.

Eat your heart out Dark Souls.

Prepare to Die? More like, Prepare to Laugh.

I really do love Dark Souls but From Software (whose developers have said numerous times that they just want to make a challenging game like its King's Field series) should really have spoken their publisher out of their marketing idea about "suffering a million deaths" because not only is that misleading but a lie too and it puts some people off of what is otherwise a solid old-school masterpiece.

Two general gripes I have though are:

- Enemy exploitation and dumb enemy AI. DkS2 (at least of what we've seen so far) looks as though it has better AI and has consider the enemy exploits (for example, in the demo, the creature attacked in the cell via an arrow breaks out and we've observed destructible environments elsewhere which may mean no more arrow spamming exploits like most people did with the Undead dragon…)

- Multiplayer. It's not balanced and the lag, dependence on back stabbing (which can kill instantly) and lag stabs break it. The co-op is better but makes the game too easy and mainly consists of speed-runners looking to receive humanity now. I think multiplayer would work better in a mode (activated by going to an arena like the one in Oolacille) where you team up with people to take bosses down but I guess Deep Down will satisfy that wish of mine.

I play DkS for its SP though and not for MP which I disconnect from.
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