Early game tips for a new caster?

#1 Posted by BaconAndWaffles (70 posts) -

I have beaten both Dark Souls games, and I can probably count on one hand the number of spells I have fired combined. I have always been a sword (or halberd in DS1) and board guy, with medium armor to still be light on my feet. And to make matters worse, I am a hoarder. I finish most games with tons of left over item that I never used (what if I run out?). So you can imagine, trying to play a caster with a limited number of spellcasts is very difficult for me...

I find myself wanting to pump up STR/DEX to be able to use something other that this puny dagger, but seems like it defeats the purpose of having spells. Do you guys/gals have any good recommendations on how to get through the first 5-10 hours? How much melee do you actually do as a caster?

#2 Posted by Baillie (4245 posts) -

I used the blacksmith hammer from the chest that mcduff is sitting on. Got that fully upgraded with raw and did a ton of damage.

#3 Edited by SoldierG654342 (1790 posts) -

@baconandwaffles: The Fire Longsword in the Forest of Fallen Giants and Magic Mace in Huntsman's Copse will carry you through the game. Just level your STR and DEX high enough to wield them and you are set.

#4 Posted by development (2439 posts) -

This has always been where my trouble lies in the earlier parts of these games when trying to be a spellcaster. In DS2 all your spells do jack shit for the early parts of the game. Before I even realize I'm doing it I'm attacking everything with melee weapons again and I'm wondering what I'm even doing trying to be a spellcaster.

But I think I found the answer: Resonant Souls. Get your ass to Felkin as soon as possible and your worries will be over. Both Resonant Soul spells kick. ass. Even against many Dark enemies. The soul loss isn't a big deal. Pick up the Covetous Silver +1 ring from Melentia right away to ensure you have a good amount of souls.

That being said, I certainly haven't put many hours into this game as a spellcaster, so others could probably help out more.

#5 Posted by audioBusting (1623 posts) -

Don't forget to look for the binoculars! They're hidden in Majula. They're basically a sniper scope for spellcasters.

#6 Posted by Nhoj_Sllew (179 posts) -

pump attunment, wean yourself off using melee weapons

don't be afraid to dip into hexes and miracles (adding faith for hexes is a good idea, lets you use lightning as a nice bonus)

lean to dodge gud

my first playthrough was magic only and was super fun

#7 Posted by BaconAndWaffles (70 posts) -

Alright folks, I am making progress. I beat the two bosses in Heide tower with a buttload of various soul arrows. I did put enough points into STR to carry a mace (my training wheels), but I am getting better. It feels so weird trying to stay away from a boss. I am glad that for my first DS2 playthrough that leaned more toward dodging than using my sheild, so I am not feeling so exposed in my lightweight armor.

Thanks for the advice so far!

#8 Edited by Capum15 (4930 posts) -

@baconandwaffles: The only thing I could offer advice to is to dodge like hell but you seem to be doing that. I went dual Caesti with Miracles / Pyromancy as backup (also no chest armor or helmet) and haven't equipped a shield at all in DS2. Sadly, I can't really help with Sorcery / Hexes as the only one I use is the one that explodes in the air and rains down tiny soul arrows, purely because it looks cool.

Have you gotten the Binoculars like @audiobusting said? Those are amazing, and I always have them equipped. Sniping with Lightning Spears never gets old.

#9 Posted by BaconAndWaffles (70 posts) -

@audiobusting @capum15 Yes, I most definitely have the binoculars. Haven't had much use for them yet, but I can see where they would be helpful (I'm looking at you Iron Keep).

#10 Edited by ttocs (767 posts) -

Get the fire longsword early since that will scale with what you're doing.

I actually am going INT/STR so I used a bonfire ascetic on Duke's Dear Freja to get the Moonlight Greatsword which scales with Int. I also got the Blue Flame sword which acts as both a sword and a catalyst/wand to cast spells (you cast spells with R2.) The Blue Flame will drop from an NPC invader on your way to the NG+ version (or using bonfire ascetic on the bonfire before the boss) of DdF.

#11 Edited by Karkarov (3184 posts) -

@ttocs said:

Get the fire longsword early since that will scale with what you're doing.

I actually am going INT/STR so I used a bonfire ascetic on Duke's Dear Freja to get the Moonlight Greatsword which scales with Int. I also got the Blue Flame sword which acts as both a sword and a catalyst/wand to cast spells (you cast spells with R2.) The Blue Flame will drop from an NPC invader on your way to the NG+ version (or using bonfire ascetic on the bonfire before the boss) of DdF.

That's some great advise, blue flame is must have for a caster. Also look at making some enchanted weapons since they scale really well with int, at least until you can get something better.

#12 Edited by Capum15 (4930 posts) -

@audiobusting @capum15 Yes, I most definitely have the binoculars. Haven't had much use for them yet, but I can see where they would be helpful (I'm looking at you Iron Keep).

Hah, yeah, Iron Keep was my most used binoculars area since the mobs would die in one or two shots of lightning spear when I was grinding some souls. Also those archers are jerks.

#13 Posted by dudeglove (8020 posts) -

Sounds like spices will be your friend. If you don't know what spices do, they lower the required stats for a selected spell, so it is in fact possible to start spamming resonant souls very early on.

#14 Edited by Christoffer (1868 posts) -

I'm near the end of DS2 with a caster, first playthrough and first caster in any DS game. I'm minmaxing Int and Atn for damage and speed (some Vgr cause I got oneshotted by a lot of enemies). I had an easy time up until late game, i think I rushed some areas too much making me and my stuff underleveled. So my tip is, keep your shit up to par and you're fine, easier than melee.

Haven't done any hexes though. that's for my next character

Edit: Oh, I forgot. Since your attacks are finite, you have to think of areas between bonfires and bosses more economically. I'm usually in explore or in rush mode, nothing in between.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.