Dark Souls Catch-All

I have yet to experience troubles with my firelink shrine, and I hesitate to solve the problem pre-emptively because I so dearly enjoy all the content; more content will be very welcome. Alas, the involved personage continues to behave and so I have had nothing to resolve!

@Dakuna, if you continue to converse with the miscreant, you'll discover that the miscreant has been misbehaving. When absent, it is implied that the miscreants' actions have been putting flies in all the ointments.

My apologies for using miscreant so much. I just don't like gender neutral pronouns.

S0LIDARITY wrote:
I recommend that you revisit the Undead Asylum. You'll get one item that helps a lot. I don't recommend holding humanity and a lot of souls in there though. There's some surprises that make it hard to recover your goods.

Glad I am now aware of this. I'm at Blighttown and it looks like there are quite a few things I should do including the above before tackling it.

Are you summoning for Kalameet outside the Artorias fight? That's where people drop their signs, and you can summon for either fight there.

Regarding Firelink and miscreants: I let the story play out in my first playthrough. Second and third characters have nipped it in the bud at the earliest possible opportunity.

Spoiler:
Plus you can get the Ring of Favor before you even ring the first bell! That thing is overpowered!

I rang the first bell last night. I'm already level 28 with the drake sword and my starter thief set is all +3. I'm worried that I'm probably over leveling but I can't help it. I fall into grinding very easily.

S0LIDARITY wrote:
I recommend that you revisit the Undead Asylum. You'll get one item that helps a lot. I don't recommend holding humanity and a lot of souls in there though. There's some surprises that make it hard to recover your goods.

Oh I already tried revisiting once and found a big huge surprise of the Stray variety right after a surprising event. And then died. This time, priority 1 will be finding the bonfire there.

I've actually done some reading and watched a video on how to deal with that surprise. I also read about restarting the firelink bonfire, since I was perplexed as to why it was out. I gotta figure who is who again, though and where that individual wandered off to. Someone can spoiler tag the answer for me if you feel like assisting the lazy. Otherwise I'll hit up either of the two wikis - I can't decide which I like better.

Finished Dark Souls.

Wow, one of the best games I’ve ever played. So much has already been said about the game but here are my long and rambly thoughts:

- I want to draw comparisons to other games, like how the sense of isolation, minimalism and foreboding atmosphere reminds me of ICO, or how the world structure and dark medieval art reminds me of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, or how the sense of adventure reminds of The Legend of Zelda series. I want to draw those comparisons but I don’t think it’s fair to Dark Souls because just like those other games, Dark Souls has an ineffable quality that makes it unique; Dark Souls is like Dark Souls.

- I love the uncompromising design in this game. It really feels like From Software had a vision, knew what they wanted to make and were not willing to compromise anything to achieve that goal. We as players are almost conditioned these days to just be along for the ride as the invisible hand of the developer coddles and nudges us from area to area to see what they created. Dark Souls rejects that notion which leads to an uncomfortable and frustrating experience at times but also gives you an immense sense of player agency. You, the player, are always in control and it’s wonderful.

You begin to understand that it’s all up to you, that you need to learn from your mistakes, get better, figure things out and try again. And when you overcome what feels like an insurmountable hurdle the sense of accomplishment is euphoric. Failure and success resides on the player and once you come to grips with this notion, it just sort of clicks and everything falls into place.

- While there is an experience and leveling system in Dark Souls, it’s great how gaining experience as a person is more important. When you arrive at a new area, it’s daunting and scary but you trudge forward, encounter new enemies and die repeatedly. But traversing the same environment over and over again creates a solid map in your mind. You start to memorize enemy placement and how to approach them. The timing of the weapon you use gets better. Soon, what was once the place of a thousands deaths isn’t so bad primarily because you as a person have gained experience and that feels incredible.

- The seamless transitions and connected areas really added to the immersion. You don’t just walk around, you soak in the environments, begin to see how they are connected, marvel in the level design when shortcuts are revealed and take in the haunting beauty of the art direction.

- The game didn’t just grab me, it invaded my mind. When I wasn’t playing, I was thinking about the game. I would be planning my next course of action, how to approach a situation, where to go next, why the enemies were the way they were, the history of a certain area and even why an item was placed where it was. Everything about the game feels thoughtful and this made me as a player think on everything.

- I really appreciated how much the game respected me as a player. I mean, the game doesn’t even tell you where to go next, it’s either just intimated at or you are expected to figure it out. I can’t say how refreshing it was not to have a quest marker, glowing trail, sidekick or UI popup assuming I was an idiot.

- I loved reading and writing messages on the ground as they gave you a sense of community. Whenever I saw a message after a boss fight that said “I did it!” I wanted to reach through my monitor and give them a fist bump and nod.

- The combat is fantastic. The animations, sense of impact, clangs of metal hitting metal, the crunch of a huge mace smashing the concrete inches from you, variety of weapons and feeling of weight is really satisfying. The enemy variety and boss fights in conjunction with the core combat and difficulty made every encounter engaging, unique and a chess match. So damn good.

- The animation in particular is exceptionally well done in this game. Just slow walking exudes the sense of determination you feel while playing.

- The atmosphere in some of the dungeons was palpable. The wail of a creature in the distance, the quiet ambiance and the environments really added up to something special. After ringing the bell in Blighttown and leaving I wanted to take a deep breath and soak in the sunlight at Firelink Shrine as I really felt like I escaped a dark, murky swamp devoid of hope.

- I adored the subtle and inviting minimalist approach to the fiction and attempt at having internal logic. If you pay attention, there are clues and details scattered around in item descriptions, NPC dialogue, the environment, the enemies and the bosses. But you can also ignore all of it as nothing is ever forced upon you. It goes to the strength of the medium as being interactive, allows for your imagination to run wild as you piece together the clues and makes the world feel real as things make sense.

The care that went into the game in this area is just incredible. For example, the 2 elevators in Smough and Ornstein’s room are different sizes, one for each one. How many games go to that level of detail and how many games do it without grabbing your head and making you look at it?

- Instead of trying to please everyone, hedge their bets and dilute the game for an imaginary audience to capture, From Software went in the complete opposite direction of modern game development and not only did they succeed in what they set out to do, they created a masterpiece. While it's not for everyone, I love them for doing that and I love this game.

Criticisms
- The systems are obtuse and not presented well. For example, items are really important in the game but I didn’t understand gear and their relation to stats until I saw a helpful image on /r/DarkSouls. I’m not sure how they could convey this better but it should be.

- The upgrade system is a bit too powerful. By the end of the game my armor was mitigating a ton of damage and my +15 Man-Serpent Sword was hitting like a truck.

- Lost Izaleth didn’t seem up to par with the rest of the game. The level design, enemy design and boss fight all felt just kind of meh.

Random Thoughts
- I think I’ve watched the Dark Souls 2 trailer 20 times already. I can’t wait, although I'm a little nervous that they changed directors.
- I’ve been listening to the credits music over and over again. So beautiful.
- I bought so many games during the Steam sale but all I can think about is starting a new character, approaching the game differently and delving into the lore.
- I didn’t summon, do any co-op and was only invaded twice since I was usually hollow. Now I want to see all the cool multiplayer stuff.
- I feel ashamed that I was on the fence because of GFWL. Thanks again to Dyni for gifting me this game. I need to throw money at From Software somehow now.
- Praise the sun!

IMAGE(http://i3.minus.com/ibtSt36bO6Jwh0.jpg)

Lex Cayman wrote:
I also wish I had gone back to the Asylum before Blighttown. I've reconciled that mistake, and I have to say what I found has been very useful in a number of places anyway.

Firelink did not go out for me. I was aware of the dangers and... solved the problem preemptively.

Did that the first time. But the rewards for letting it play out are even better. Since then I have always let it happen and then taken care of things.

I have been watching the Dark Souls 2 trailer as well. I can't speak to the game at all, but From has nailed their tone to the wall. I don't watch that trailer as much as I feel it.

mrtomaytohead wrote:
Someone can spoiler tag the answer for me if you feel like assisting the lazy.

Spoiler:
Keep your black eye orb with you. I believe you got it from the firekeeper's cell. When you get past the 2nd bonfire in Anor Londo you'll eventually get a pop-up on the screen that reads something like 'your black eye orb is vibrating.' When you're in the room where you first get that notice, you can use the orb from the items menu to invade and avenge the firekeeper. I recommend using the item from the top of the stairs that lead to the fog door. That will put you out of aggro range for the enemies and give you a chance to survey the scene. You'll also be able to repeat the invasion if you fail the first time so don't worry about that.

Stele wrote:
Lex Cayman wrote:
I also wish I had gone back to the Asylum before Blighttown. I've reconciled that mistake, and I have to say what I found has been very useful in a number of places anyway.

Firelink did not go out for me. I was aware of the dangers and... solved the problem preemptively.

Did that the first time. But the rewards for letting it play out are even better. Since then I have always let it happen and then taken care of things. ;)


Have you guys read these? http://tap-repeatedly.com/category/f...

This is why I solved the problem. After reading all of these, I felt obligated to prevent the problem.

This game is deep inside me.

The game didn’t just grab me, it invaded my mind. When I wasn’t playing, I was thinking about the game. I would be planning my next course of action, how to approach a situation, where to go next, why the enemies were the way they were, the history of a certain area and even why an item was placed where it was. Everything about the game feels thoughtful and this made me as a player think on everything.

Going by the way this thread continues to explode as each new person picks up the game, you're not alone.

S0LIDARITY wrote:
mrtomaytohead wrote:
Someone can spoiler tag the answer for me if you feel like assisting the lazy.

Spoiler:
Keep your black eye orb with you. I believe you got it from the firekeeper's cell. When you get past the 2nd bonfire in Anor Londo you'll eventually get a pop-up on the screen that reads something like 'your black eye orb is vibrating.' When you're in the room where you first get that notice, you can use the orb from the items menu to invade and avenge the firekeeper. I recommend using the item from the top of the stairs that lead to the fog door. That will put you out of aggro range for the enemies and give you a chance to survey the scene. You'll also be able to repeat the invasion if you fail the first time so don't worry about that.

Slight correction and addendum:

Spoiler:
It's the room before the S&O boss fight. And no matter where you use the blue eye orb in the room, it puts you on the stairs leading down from the fog door.

And the reward armor for killing him will be in the room after S&O, up the elevator, near the end of the balcony.

I'm still using chainmail on my warrior. Is there some rad light-medium armor I should go for? I've completed The Depths. I haven't been upgrading it because I've been waiting for something good.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
I'm still using chainmail on my warrior. Is there some rad light-medium armor I should go for? I've completed The Depths. I haven't been upgrading it because I've been waiting for something good.
Play with the 'armor optimizer' feature here. The button is a tab on the left and it's name pops up with a mouse-over.

S0LIDARITY wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:
I'm still using chainmail on my warrior. Is there some rad light-medium armor I should go for? I've completed The Depths. I haven't been upgrading it because I've been waiting for something good.
Play with the 'armor optimizer' feature here. The button is a tab on the left and it's name pops up with a mouse-over.

That'll work! Thanks!

BNice wrote:
The care that went into the game in this area is just incredible. For example, the 2 elevators in Smough and Ornstein’s room are different sizes, one for each one. How many games go to that level of detail and how many games do it without grabbing your head and making you look at it?

Holy crap, yet another thing I had never noticed.

Very happy you enjoyed the game so much Now you can do your best to convince others to give it a try, like I do at every opportunity around here.

I should probably stop posting about Dark Souls so much in other threads, but it seems relevant to the topic more often than not. I'm sure I've gotten plenty of eye-rolls by now "Oh geez, would you please stop talking about Dark Souls in every thread, you asshole". No. F U, random reader. Play the damn game.

Dyni wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:
S0LIDARITY wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:
I'm still using chainmail on my warrior. Is there some rad light-medium armor I should go for? I've completed The Depths. I haven't been upgrading it because I've been waiting for something good.
Play with the 'armor optimizer' feature here. The button is a tab on the left and it's name pops up with a mouse-over.

That'll work! Thanks!


Yes, there is! I usually don't bother upgrading my armor because you'll get the Gold-Hemmed set right after Blight Town. It's light armor with great stats and very high poison resist. You can't upgrade that armor, and it remains useful for the entire game, or at least until you can make it to Anor Londo to buy the Giant's set, which boasts the highest physical damage reduction in the game when fully upgraded.

Awesome, that sounds like a perfect goal. My goal for the weekend is to take care of some loose ends here and there, make it through Blight Town, and then get that armor. I'll keep that armor calculator handy for future use.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
S0LIDARITY wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:
I'm still using chainmail on my warrior. Is there some rad light-medium armor I should go for? I've completed The Depths. I haven't been upgrading it because I've been waiting for something good.
Play with the 'armor optimizer' feature here. The button is a tab on the left and it's name pops up with a mouse-over.

That'll work! Thanks!


Yes, there is! I usually don't bother upgrading my armor because you'll get the Gold-Hemmed set right after Blight Town. It's light armor with great stats and very high poison resist. You can't upgrade that armor, and it remains useful for the entire game, or at least until you can make it to Anor Londo to buy the Giant's set, which boasts the highest physical damage reduction in the game when fully upgraded.

Edit: I always start my games now with the Master Key, so here is a helpful tip for anyone starting a 2nd playthrough that wants an easy strong start:

Spoiler:

Suicide runs from Firelink. Spend all your souls first:
1) Run to New Londo Ruins, past the ghosts at the start of the area, and grab the Firekeeper's Soul in the Water. Suicide in water or to ghosts. Turn in for quick +1 Estus.
2) Take the elevator to the Valley of Drakes. Make your way to the Undead Dragon and grab Astora's Straight Sword and the Dragon Crest Shield. Enjoy free badass sword and shield.
3) Go back to Valley of Drakes and Enter Blighttown from the back entrance. Make your way down a bit for the Crimson Armor Set.

The Crimson Armor Set is amazing for the beginning of the game and can easily carry you through to Blight Town.

Damnit, found a youtube video that shows everything I just said. Follow this if you want the good stuff:

Stuck on Manus before I take down the final boss. He hits like a freight train and I haven't been able to find a summon to help me.

Soloed Kalameet and burned through tons of Estus doing so. Still a well fought battle with lots of hiding near his legs!

BNice wrote:
Finished Dark Souls.

Criticisms

- The upgrade system is a bit too powerful. By the end of the game my armor was mitigating a ton of damage and my +15 Man-Serpent Sword was hitting like a truck.

IMAGE(http://i3.minus.com/ibtSt36bO6Jwh0.jpg)

Congratulations! Welcome to the club! Quite the sense of satisfaction, isn't it?

As for the criticism I pinpointed up in the quote, you shouldn't jump to that conclusion until you have tried NG+. All those seemingly overpowered equipment pieces? While you could still die with them in the regular game, the field is quite level in NG+. You may not see it in the first few bossfights, but trust me on this, you will see the difference sooner rather than later.

Goal for the weekend is now end Manus and the final boss.

After that I'm going to force myself to put the game down and not leap into a NG or NG+ as I've sunk about 55 hours into it in two weeks.

Ladies and gentlemen, i've been going through and adding some friend requests for the PS3 version of Dark Souls for some coop, but getting a lot of full messages, would a few of you mind adding me to your PSN for some assistance and co-op? PSN is winterfist. Thanks fellers!

Dyni's new game tips are good - I did some of those same things when I started my Cleric.

Time to reach O&S on first character: ~34 hours. Time on second character: just under 12 hours. Knowing what you're doing in this game makes a big difference. Reckon I could do it even quicker on a third character with less mucking about. This would be an interesting game to speed run.

Am currently using both havel's ring and ring of favour and protection and armored like a tank. Only problem is the optimal combination for current equip mode looks ridiculous since it's a cobbled together mess of Havel's, Elite Knight and Black Knight. Somewhat tempted to dial the armour back a bit since it seems to be impeding stamina regen more than I'd like. Could be psychosomatic due to dislike of current look though.

There are some crazy speed runs out there.

I really hope Dark Souls 2 has some sort of collectors edition that comes with a statue or something cool.

The metal case and hardcover art book for this one weren't nice enough for you?

Or the art book and CD with Demon's Souls?

I've been more than satisfied with this series, and Dark Souls was one of the small handful of games I bothered to pre-order.

After preordering the new Bioshock, i just expect more i quess.

Sen's Fortress is brutalizing me. I've mostly figured it out. Given another hour, I'm pretty sure I could finish it, but not tonight. I think what's getting to me is the traps. It makes it feel sooooo trial and error, and that's saying alot for Dark Souls. This might be the first place where it truly felt unfair at points.

I think I'm also feeling out of my element with my weapon. My long sword +9 is just not cutting it against these snake-men. I had to start using a Black Knight sword. It staggers on the first hit, but I don't WANT to use the Black Knight sword.

Thankfully, it seems to be compressed, and actually pretty short once you know where everything is.

Not feeling very victorious right now.