Dark Souls II Catch-All

Taharka wrote:

and Dark Souls 3 had the best story and "purpose" to the game, more great environments, plus some of the best standard enemies, and I really appreciate the return of a mana bar.

Great points, just curious on what you mean. Not trying to start a debate, genuinely interested in your opinion.

Which part of that?
If you're referring to "the best story and purpose" (which I think you are), I mean that I actually get what's going on in DS3, and why I'm doing it. Why am I going after these named people, like Yhorm and the Watchers? Because they are the Lords of Cinder who previously linked the fire, and they are required to be in their thrones in order to rekindle the first bonfire, and therefore restart the age of fire. Again. Got it, a-hunting we will go.
Compared to DS2: Why am I going to Lordran? I think it's to find a cure for the curse. And why do I need to gather all these 'great souls' to do that? No idea. It turns out I need to gather them to open the door that will eventually lead to the King. Why the souls open the door, I don't know. And why do I need to see the king? No idea. It turns out that I need to actually get past him and grab his ring in order to open more doors. There's just generally less structure to the whole thing, it feels more 'video game-y'.
DS1 also had a good "purpose". Get out of the asylum, grabbed by a bird, dropped off in Drangleic, and a depressed dude tells me I have to go ring two bells of awakening. Rung them, then a door opens. Get through the door, now I'm in a castle. Not sure why, but further on we go. Then a giant lady on a settees gives me a vessel and tells me to go see a giant serpent. Ok, onward. I follow the thread of logic, but not as well as DS3.
Some might view that as a negative, though. Since that means that DS3 is more 'straightforward' and loses the mystery that people fell in love with with DS1.

RE: Environments. I actually get how the different areas are connected in DS3 (which to me means I can mentally plot a walking path through the world) AND the connections make sense. None of that nonsense like in DS2 where you're killing your way through a valley, then go up to Earthen Peak, then take an elevator up to a lake of lava. DS1 also had good environments and the connections between them generally made sense. Comparing DS1's environments to DS3, I just think that DS3s are more diverse and interesting. DS1 plays around more with verticality, and you get the sense that Drangleic was all built on top of previous structures (which it very well may have been... lore-wise, I mean). Personally, I prefer DS3 which feels like an actual world that was once lived in.

RE: Standard Enemies. Personal preference, really. I generally like the standard enemy design and variety in DS3 best, and their location in the world makes sense. DS2 fixed a bit of that with SotfS, but having to patch in continuity is going to get you dinged.

RE: Mana Bar. Again, personal preference. I disliked DS1 and 2's way of limiting your magic by the number of spells you literally carried. DS3's FP bar gives you more variety and versatility, IMO.

Hope that explains my thoughts some! Of course, a lot of this... well, all of this is really personal preference. Probably especially when I say that DS2 had the best weapon mechanics.

You may be right about weapon mechanics, because DS2 has had the most balanced, best PVP scene in any of the games.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

You may be right about weapon mechanics, because DS2 has had the most balanced, best PVP scene in any of the games.

I couldn't speak to that. I avoid PvP like the plague, and only tolerate the Red Phantom invasions.

Taharka wrote:
Fedaykin98 wrote:

You may be right about weapon mechanics, because DS2 has had the most balanced, best PVP scene in any of the games.

I couldn't speak to that. I avoid PvP like the plague, and only tolerate the Red Phantom invasions.

Fight Clubs are awesome, emergent multiplayer gaming. I love stuff like that. Also loved raiding enemy faction leaders in WoW. Community making its own fun rocks my socks.

Pretty spot-on Taharka. I mostly agree with your points/views.

Thanks for your lengthy write up Taharka, I agree with you on many points. I agree that on story points without deep diving into item descriptions and external lore videos DS3 guides you plot wise more than the other two.

After listening to Bonfire Side Chat and watching Prepare to Cry by VaatiVidja it is easy to see any of the 5 souls series games can get really deep with the caveat of reading and wondering why everything is everywhere.

That being said, your points are all incredibly valid, just wanted to say these two resources opened my eyes to how great story telling can be and most people can miss it entirely. I like that the developers put it in there without a care that it could be missed. Same with the fair and "difficult" game play. Souls was a gamble that paid off as it showed if you respect the intelligence of your audience you could be rewarded...Granted also with invasions by "Your Mom's Dil*o" or just ganking people for kicks.

What's funny is, on days where I've been bored at work, I've done deep dives into the Souls and Bloodborne lore. I love the story that they've come up with, and though the consistent execution across three games is a little shakey, I do enjoy it.

Kept working on DS2 last night. Got through the Gutter (took forever to find all the sconses in the area to trigger the black phantom invasion with the black witch set), and eventually killed the Rotten. Probably could have killed him first try, but on the first go round, Lucatiel decided to fight while standing in fire and died, and second go round, she bugged out and didn't enter the boss arena. As that was the third boss fight I needed to use her for and have her survive in order to proceed with her story, I pulled an Obi-Wan Kenobi and let the Rotten kill me for attempt three.

But I got through that and Brightstone Cove Telsadora (Duke's Dear Freja still creeps me out, even when I know she's coming), and all the way through the Castle (interestingly, I was able to access the castle before killing Duke's Dear Freja, but when I talked to Emerald Herald on the entry way, she guilted me into going back and getting the last Great Soul(tm). Good thing, too, because I forgot the Primal Bonfire after the last Great Soul(tm) is where you first meet Aldia. So now I'm sitting at the first bonfire in Shrine of Amana, getting ready for my two runs at Demon of Song.

We've talked before about Boss Soul Weapons and whether or not they're useful. For the build I seem to end up doing, I've only ever found two Boss Weapons really useful (as in, they get consistent use) across three games. Quelaag's Furysword from DS1, and the Spotted Whip from DS2. I like the Spotted Whip so much, I use a Bonfire Ascetic to fight him twice, so I can dual wield the whips. After getting that, and access to unlimited poisoned arrows, the game is basically over, baring one or two bosses that are immune to poison.

Taharka wrote:

We've talked before about Boss Soul Weapons and whether or not they're useful. For the build I seem to end up doing, I've only ever found two Boss Weapons really useful (as in, they get consistent use) across three games. Quelaag's Furysword from DS1, and the Spotted Whip from DS2. I like the Spotted Whip so much, I use a Bonfire Ascetic to fight him twice, so I can dual wield the whips. After getting that, and access to unlimited poisoned arrows, the game is basically over, baring one or two bosses that are immune to poison.

Dual wielding the spotted whip or spotted whip with mythra's dagger is hilarious in PvP

Had a day to play uninterrupted and without anything else demanding my time, since it's 18 degrees and windy up here. So I took the opportunity to see how far I could get in DS2 before Nier drops, and I drop DS2.

Turns out, very far.

I actually beat the base game, going for the "dark" ending. Died a bunch of stupid ways to Ailda (mostly falling off the arena), but got him with the help of three sun bros.

Now I'm diving into the DLCs. I had beaten them all on PS3, but I don't remember much about them. Turns out, my strategy of "poison everything" doesn't really work in the Sunken City DLC, where everything is immune to poison! Got through to Elana, The Squalid Queen and ground to a halt. I remember now I had a lot of trouble with her on the PS3 too, and now is apparently no different. If my memory of the other bosses serves, she's the hardest boss in the game (for my build, at least). I may go and level up some more, or strengthen my gear before tackling her again.

But given that I've beaten the base game, I thought I'd report my stats on that. Level 139. Collected 2,763,349 souls, and it took me 43:03 to complete all that.

I'll see how far I can get in the DLC before Nier, but all in all, I'm quite glad I "Returned to Lordran". There's a lot they did wrong in DS2, but a lot to like as well.

This Sunday, February 25 is Return to Drangleic 2018!

This is an annual event, the aim of which is to repopulate the servers for these games so that they can be experienced again in all their multiplayer glory.

https://www.reddit.com/r/DarkSouls2/...

Feb 25... hmmmmm

Dakuna wrote:

Feb 25... hmmmmm

Ok.. I can play on PC, XBOX, or PS3 - which one do I pick? I think it would be hella fun to do a SL1 run with a buddy.

You up for the Fed?

A sl1 run in ds2 sounds miserable, hats off to you! I don't know if I will have time but I should download and give this a whirl.

Edit: I imagine many will be on PC but I only have on PC so I'll be there.

Hobear wrote:

A sl1 run in ds2 sounds miserable, hats off to you! I don't know if I will have time but I should download and give this a whirl.

Edit: I imagine many will be on PC but I only have on PC so I'll be there.

SL1 DS2 has a very tedious start in comparison to the start of DS1. Getting the bits you need is fiddly and quite hard.

Once you're properly equipped the rest of the run is quite fun

DanB wrote:
Hobear wrote:

A sl1 run in ds2 sounds miserable, hats off to you! I don't know if I will have time but I should download and give this a whirl.

Edit: I imagine many will be on PC but I only have on PC so I'll be there.

SL1 DS2 has a very tedious start in comparison to the start DS1. Getting the bits you need us fiddly and quite hard.

Once you're properly equipped the rest of the run is quite fun

Dammit now you're just tickling my Souls soft spot.

Dakuna wrote:
Dakuna wrote:

Feb 25... hmmmmm

Ok.. I can play on PC, XBOX, or PS3 - which one do I pick? I think it would be hella fun to do a SL1 run with a buddy.

You up for the Fed?

I might take this opportunity to finally play the DLC, but there's no way I'd ever SL1 DS2. As good as it is, it doesn't compel me like DS1 does.

I have done some Return to Drangleic in previous years and once again enjoyed the PVP and such. DS2 was the best PVP in the series for fight clubs and such, in my experience. Mechanics were pretty balanced, builds were diverse.

I'm on Xbox One with the Scholar of Sin Edition. I assume it only hooks up with other Xbox One players.

I thought this might be timed with the release of the switch version, but I guess not.
Hard to say if I even want to tackle this. I like DS2 well enough, but as others have said, it takes a while to get kitted out. For my normal playstyle, I'm finally kitted out after grinding in Earthen Peak.
Maybe I'll go back and try a different build.

FWIW my SL1 run of DS2 really turned around my opinion of DS2. I'd previously thought it was a poor cousin to DS1. But finishing the SL1 run really helped me appreciate/enjoy all the good things that DS2 does right. I now vacillate between thinking it is the best one or at least tied with DS1

I'm hoping my coming SL1 DS3 run will have a similar effect for DS3 for me.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

I might take this opportunity to finally play the DLC, but there's no way I'd ever SL1 DS2. As good as it is, it doesn't compel me like DS1 does.

The DLC is some of the best parts of the game. They really make some great challenging areas I had a blast with.

DanB wrote:

FWIW my SL1 run of DS2 really turned around my opinion of DS2. I'd previously thought it was a poor cousin to DS1. But finishing the SL1 run really helped me appreciate/enjoy all the good things that DS2 does right. I now vacillate between thinking it is the best one or at least tied with DS1

I understand. I have a love/hate relationship with DS2. It's definitely the black sheep of the series, but it does have some really great stuff going on, as well. It just doesn't feel like a sequel to Dark Souls. It's at best a standalone Souls game, or possibly an excellent Souls-like.

I do really like the game, and I imagine I always will. To me, Dark Souls 3 felt like an actual sequel to DS1.

Just starting to get into Souls 3 now after owning it for ages so I don't have a whole lot if opinions on it yet, but I really love dark souls 2 especially scholars of the first sin edition.

I know lore wise it's a bit messy and nothing has the cohesion of dark souls 1's world. I just find it a much more creative and interesting world to explore then people give it credit for not to mention sheer build variety for characters are pretty great. I'm glad to hear you all think 3 feels like a better sequel to 1 because I loved 2 alot and if 3 is better I can't wait to dig in.

Fedaykin98 wrote:
DanB wrote:

FWIW my SL1 run of DS2 really turned around my opinion of DS2. I'd previously thought it was a poor cousin to DS1. But finishing the SL1 run really helped me appreciate/enjoy all the good things that DS2 does right. I now vacillate between thinking it is the best one or at least tied with DS1

I understand. I have a love/hate relationship with DS2. It's definitely the black sheep of the series, but it does have some really great stuff going on, as well. It just doesn't feel like a sequel to Dark Souls. It's at best a standalone Souls game, or possibly an excellent Souls-like.

I do really like the game, and I imagine I always will. To me, Dark Souls 3 felt like an actual sequel to DS1.

hmm.. I can't disagree more. DS2 wasn't DS1, and that made me sad, but DS3 feels like a the bastard child of DS2 & Bloodborne. It's the only Souls game I can't even get half way through.

EDIT: And I love some parts of DS2, don't get me wrong, it just will never compare to DS1 for me, so I sound like I hated it, which I really didn't.

And.. return to Drangleic? Dangit.. my bad. I don't know if I'm up for returning to Drangleic. I only have that on PC, for one thing, I think.

On a whim I started playing this the other night. God help me.

I have died so much already. I am scared to think what the first boss will be like. Probably doesn't help that my character is deprived.

Ds2 had a hard beginning. You'll do fine once you get going. Good luck!

Good to hear.

That said, I'm thinking of restarting. I just noticed that a bunch of these low level monsters actually seem to be permanently despawning, which surprised me. Should be good when I'm running through areas I've already conquered, but I haven't been carefully hording my souls for leveling with all the dying I've been doing. I'm afraid I'll be underpowered for some of the areas I'm entering. Hell, I think I just now reached the level most classes start at and I've lit like 6 bonfires.

I'm doing sword and shield- just like I did in DS1. None of this wussy fire magic stuff for me.

Wouldn't worry about that at all. While yeah, you can theoretically run out of mobs and thus Souls, it is not going to happen. And even then, there is a way to reset the spawns later.

Yeah, they stay gone after 15 deaths, but you can force an area to do a kind of NG+ (at the nearby bonfire). I remember clearing out the area that was crumbling into the sea, with the white and the giant knights.

Dark Souls 2 does kind of start hard. And yeah, it's the weirdo of the whole series/genre. I still love it, in spite of what a weirdo outlier it is.