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Is From Software Straight Up Killing Early Dark Souls Players?

Why? Because it's Dark Souls. Because they can.

The idea of From Software killing off its own players definitely sounds like From Software.

As if someone playing Dark Souls doesn't have enough crap to worry about, apparently developer From Software is messing with anyone who's managed to get their hands on an early copy by dropping in as "Black Phantoms" to nastily kill them as they journey on.

Japanese gaming blog Esuteru snapped a shot of one of the high-level player-controlled enemies floating around. It's difficult to confirm whether this is true, but because it sounds so much like something From Software would do, I find it impossible not to pass on the possibility.

The story goes that maxed out, level 145 "Black Phantoms" are roaming around. It takes dozens of hours to even achieve 30 or 40 levels for your own character, so it's not hard to do the math on why this is ridiculous. "Black Phantoms" are controlled by players, allowing them to wreck havoc in other player worlds.

The game launches in Japan this week, so the people roaming around are either game reviewers with early copies of the game or someone managed to convince a retailer to sell it ahead of the street date.

I keep trying to convince myself that Dark Souls is something I want to play, but every time Vinny talks about the game's madness, that idea disappers. Dark Souls (and by extension, Demon's Souls) has the same appeal to me as EVE Online: I want to hear stories about people playing these games, without the pressure of figuring out the total nightmare on my own.

Namco Bandai is currently waiting on word via From Software about this story. Stay tuned.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
184 Comments
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Posted by patrickklepek
The idea of From Software killing off its own players definitely sounds like From Software.

As if someone playing Dark Souls doesn't have enough crap to worry about, apparently developer From Software is messing with anyone who's managed to get their hands on an early copy by dropping in as "Black Phantoms" to nastily kill them as they journey on.

Japanese gaming blog Esuteru snapped a shot of one of the high-level player-controlled enemies floating around. It's difficult to confirm whether this is true, but because it sounds so much like something From Software would do, I find it impossible not to pass on the possibility.

The story goes that maxed out, level 145 "Black Phantoms" are roaming around. It takes dozens of hours to even achieve 30 or 40 levels for your own character, so it's not hard to do the math on why this is ridiculous. "Black Phantoms" are controlled by players, allowing them to wreck havoc in other player worlds.

The game launches in Japan this week, so the people roaming around are either game reviewers with early copies of the game or someone managed to convince a retailer to sell it ahead of the street date.

I keep trying to convince myself that Dark Souls is something I want to play, but every time Vinny talks about the game's madness, that idea disappers. Dark Souls (and by extension, Demon's Souls) has the same appeal to me as EVE Online: I want to hear stories about people playing these games, without the pressure of figuring out the total nightmare on my own.

Namco Bandai is currently waiting on word via From Software about this story. Stay tuned.

Staff
Posted by Krummey

Dude, what?

Posted by Aenoire

Brilliant.

Posted by Sevith

This is fantastic. Sooo fantastic.

Edited by FunkyS

:D This makes me happy

Posted by crevisjr

AMAZING!!!

Posted by LiK

LOL

Posted by GuyIncognito

@karaniku@gmail.com said:

Brilliant.

Posted by phanatic

What's the penalty for being killed? Is the created character permanently dead?

Posted by Delta_Ass

An Endurance Run of Dark Souls would definitely sell me on a paid membership.

Posted by Andyman067

Demon's Souls is awesome. It's one thing to dislike it, but it's another to simply never try it. Vinny at least gave Demon's Souls a run-through, which you should do before the servers shut down. It's like nothing else.

Posted by MentalDisruption

This is genius lol

Posted by ShadowMountain

Come on patrick give the game a go! Don't let the the peer pressue from the rest of the GB crew get to you!

Edited by MiniPato

@phanatic said:

What's the penalty for being killed? Is the created character permanently dead?

You lose your souls and have to corpse run to retrieve them. But if you die during the corpse run you lose them for good. Souls are basically currency and exp. You spend them at shops and spend them on skill points.

Posted by sixpin

I find this hilarious. I'm right there with you, Patrick. I want to play this game, but the horror stories put me off of it every time.

Posted by jamesisaacs

I think From Software should do this to players after the release date too.

Posted by Vorbis

Smells like justice.

Posted by phantomzxro

I think this is a smart move to stop early players and not punish everyone. I hear these "black phantoms" will has maxed out stats and be almost unbeatable if you jump in the game early. Again awesome idea!

Posted by JCTango

Haha, this is totally awesome.

Posted by metalsnakezero

I have to say that is a great why of F-ing people who got the game too early (That aren't reviewers). Also yeah give it a try Patrick, you wont know till you try it.

Posted by Tachikoma

This is why From are the best

Posted by benjaebe

I love everything about this.

Posted by Skrams

That's just great. So great.

Posted by SaltyPancakes

I would assume that most early players have pirated copies and ruining their experience is fine with me.

Posted by Azteck

Madness. I love it!

Posted by mbr2

YOU DIE IN THE GAME YOU DIE FOR REAL

Posted by MiniPato

Also Patrick, don't let Vinny's stories scare you off. You know how crazy obsessive he is when he plays games, he has to get everything. I thoroughly enjoyed Demon's Souls without all that hubbub of chasing down geckos to farm loot to make weapons and all that crap.

Posted by RobertOrri

A tremendously funny way to handle players getting the game early.

Besides, doesn't Dark Souls have an offline mode like Demon's Souls? Players don't have to put up with the abuse...

Posted by RecSpec

They should make random days where they let these BPs out and about after the release,

Posted by Nate

As if From Software needs to intervene to kill players. Doesn't that just happen as a part of the game already? Can't wait!!

Posted by Aetheldod

What an excellent idea XD , also I too also wish that they roll out when the game comes out , that would be interesting

Posted by patrickklepek

FYI, my own interpretation of the original story was off. Apparently they're dropping super high-level enemies into the game. I've updated the story. Still, amazing. Hope it's true.

Staff
Posted by Little_Socrates

Completely rad, but hopefully there's a proper "game reviewers playing" server so reviews aren't overly harsh.

Posted by Rolyatkcinmai

Heard Vinny talking about this early this morning. Great stuff.

Edited by Thor_Molecules

That is fucking brilliant. Such a great move.

Can't wait for this game to slap me and call me it's bitch.

Posted by Solh0und

That'll teach those pirates!

Edited by Kyle

@Little_Socrates said:

Completely rad, but hopefully there's a proper "game reviewers playing" server so reviews aren't overly harsh.

Yes, it's called Partner Net on Xbox. Don't know about PS3

Posted by BigChief

See, From Software understands DRM. Take note, Ubisoft.

Posted by Ventilaator

I love Demon's Souls and Vinny's talks of madness were scary to me as well, so ignore him Patrick.

Posted by pubbles

I'm going to buy the shit out of this game.

I wish I was one of the developers that got to jump in and murder dudes that broke street date / pirated. That would be a ton of fun.

Posted by Vinny

Patrick, you should totally play it! Seriously!

Staff
Posted by RobertOrri

@BigChief said:

See, From Software understands DRM. Take note, Ubisoft.

The more I think about this, the better it sounds.

If we're heading towards an always-on, everyone-connected-to-the-cloud kinda future, would it not be interesting if more games had the servers online early before launch and the devs would populate them with some ridicously hard enemies or obstacles. I am reminded of the WoW beta when big guardians would stand outside the forbidden zones that were still under construction, and if you approached they would cut you down.

This would hopefully deter pirates and also encourage people to talk about your game.

Posted by ElixirBronze

@Vinny: why dont you just shove the game up his face? you're in the same office.

Posted by xxNBxx

More games need to do this if this is true.

Posted by Thor_Molecules

@Vinny said:

Patrick, you should totally play it! Seriously!

Listen to this man, Patrick. This game will finally put hair on your chest.

Edited by Cornman89

I would never ever play Dark Souls, but this is rad.

Edited by Flappybat

What's wrong with people getting a game early?

It's not stolen or pirated, if you legitimately get a game early from a store it's no-ones business apart from whatever agreement a store and publisher might have, which isn't the consumers problem if the store breaks it. The consumer has no contract about the release date.

If we want to talk about how release dates should be respected by consumers for some reason, why are mine delayed three days after the USA? They get Steam unlocks whilst we are meant to wait 72 hours for no reason.

Edited by Timing

@Vinny said:

Patrick, you should totally play it! Seriously!

Thank you, Vinny! Enlighten the office! (Note: I have of course not yet played Dark Souls, but the wait is excruciating.)

Anyway, I don't get how level 99 in every stat now equates to overall level 145. In Demon's Souls the highest level was 712, with all the different stats at 99. Perhaps in Dark Souls the overall level just caps at 145 while you can still raise the other stats individually up to 99.

Posted by EXCellR8

I bought Demon's Souls for PS3 back in 2009 and I could barely get past the first couple of levels. Dark Souls is even harder you say? No thanks... game is hard enough as it is with just NPCs lol

Edited by MrKlorox

This seems like what games would be like in an alternate universe where Zelda 2 was considered the most influential in the series and it kept doing down that path.

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