Looking for DkS2 "Game Mechanics Tips"

#1 Edited by Nocall (353 posts) -

Please, do not post "game world spoilers" in this thread.

I have avoided all information about Dark Souls 2 in preparation of it's PC release. I'm hoping to have a couple of helpful posters give me a few tips on aspects of the game mechanics that a new player should know in order to not gimp or paint himself into a corner.

In my head, this is separate from spoilers, but I could see how this may be confusing. Let me show you the kind of tips I'm looking for using Dark Souls 1.

Good tips:

  1. Resistance is a useless stat, don't invest in it.
  2. The requirements for leveling up a stat increase each level
  3. It's typically better to raise your gear's level before your character's level
  4. You can raise your shield and still attack if you have a spear or thrusting sword, but your stamina does not recharge while your shield is raised

Tips (spoilers to me) that I wouldn't want (these are DkS1 spoilers, so if you haven't played then don't read) that are less about the game mechanics, and more about exploring and playing the game itself:

  1. Watch out for the bridge by the castle, a drake will appear and set it on fire
  2. If you shoot the drake's tail a bunch, you'll get a really good sword
  3. Go up the hill when you start, the graveyard and underground part have enemies that are way too strong for you at the beginning

So that's the difference. As I said before, I have avoided ALL information about Dark Souls 2, so please do your best not to spoil anything other than the game's obtuse mechanics. If you're having a hard time telling the two categories of tips above apart, then please refrain from posting :)

Thanks!!

#2 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5353 posts) -

Adaptability (the new resistance) isn't useless in Dark Souls II; though your mileage may vary.

#3 Posted by afabs515 (1018 posts) -

Putting points into any stat has diminishing returns after 20 points.

#4 Posted by Jazz_Bcaz (255 posts) -

Backstab.

#5 Posted by Robiin (294 posts) -

There's a new dual-wielding stance when you hold down the "two-hand-button" with two appropriate/compatible weapons and enough stats to use it. This allows for new types of dual-wielding attacks.

#6 Edited by LawGamer (152 posts) -

The threshold for "fat rolling" is 70% of your equip load. Fat rolling has significantly fewer i-frames. Below 70% equip, you roll at the same speed, but will roll farther below certain breakpoints:

  • ~70%+ Fat Roll
  • ~50%+ Medium Distance
  • ~25%+ Long Distance
  • ~0% Longest Distance

Your equip load also affects your stamina recovery time - the heavier you are, the slower your stamina comes back. For example, around 50% equip load, you recover empty-full stamina in about 3 seconds. At 85% equip load, you recover empty-full stamina in about 4 seconds.

#7 Edited by HistoryInRust (6289 posts) -

@afabs515 said:

Putting points into any stat has diminishing returns after 20 points.

That's definitely the soft cap for stats, but it's not the whole story.. From 20 points to +/-50 points invested in any stat, you're going to get diminished returns, but not diminishing. Truly continual diminishing returns begin after the 50-point mark. Which is just an insane point investment into any single stat anyway.

Depending on your style of play, @nocall, you're going to want at least one of your stats to be invested in beyond 20 points. If you're melee-based, that probably means STR or DEX (or both?) and VIG.

Online
#8 Edited by Turambar (6713 posts) -

You can aim crossbows manually like regular bows when you 2-hand it. You can aim spells manually by using the binoculars and positioning the target in the middle of the screen while casting a spell.

#9 Posted by ThunderSlash (1644 posts) -

Hidden doors are now mostly activated if you press the interact button when near them, and not when you hit them. There are still some that only activate when you hit them though.

#10 Posted by announakis (114 posts) -

@afabs515 said:

Putting points into any stat has diminishing returns after 20 points.

That's definitely the soft cap for stats, but it's not the whole story.. From 20 points to +/-50 points invested in any stat, you're going to get diminished returns, but not diminishing. Truly continual diminishing returns begin after the 50-point mark. Which is just an insane point investment into any single stat anyway.

Depending on your style of play, @nocall, you're going to want at least one of your stats to be invested in beyond 20 points. If you're melee-based, that probably means STR or DEX (or both?) and VIG.

true in both cases.

corollary: early on the game makes it very clear that any elemental infusion is considerably better than pure physical scaling even if you put no points into int or faith (elemental damages scale on those) and this remains true for most weapons that do not scale A or S on a physical attribute. Double C/C scaling used to be good in DS (40/40 with a claymore or a longsword, we all know what it is worth right) but not anymore ==> plan stat investment and weapon upgrade accordingly.

other tip: agility's sweet spot for iframes is between 95 and 99 really. Below less iframes, above more but not significantly more. Agility scales on Adaptability and to a lesser extend attunement. 20 adaptability gets you to 95 agility without attunment

#11 Posted by JackSukeru (5908 posts) -

Looking for illusory walls by hitting the environment with your weapon is a waste of time and also a waste of weapon durability.

Speaking of.. weapon and item durability is now a lot lower but will refill at bonfires automatically so long as the items do not break completely. You also do not need to rest at a bonfire to make it your checkpoint, lighting it is enough.

Poison is now green instead of purple.

#12 Posted by development (2219 posts) -

You turn into a helicopter at level 20.

There's an electric scooter behind the lighthouse.

Press Y or Triangle 4 times repeatedly to run on all-fours.

#13 Edited by ViciousBearMauling (993 posts) -

Poise is the new Resistance in DkS2

#14 Posted by StrainedEyes (1323 posts) -

Poise is the new Resistance in DkS2

I don't know about that. Towards the end of the game I threw on the poise boosting ring and big hits were just bouncing off of me, it was great.

#15 Edited by colorbrandon (160 posts) -

Things I wish I had known:

  • This game is very similar to Demon's Souls.
  • You can be invaded regardless of your hollowed state or not.
  • Weapon durability resets at each bonfire rest. When it breaks, you will need to repair at a blacksmith. Certain weapons will break much more quickly than others.
  • Hidden walls work differently in this game. You need to "interact (x on PS3, A on xbox)" with them instead of hitting them, or rolling through them. Some hidden walls work the same as DkS1
  • Your Estus Flask begins with 1 charge and is upgradable to 12 charges and +5 strength, there is no kindling
  • You will have the opportunity to reallocate your skill points a finite number of times per playthrough.
  • Critical hit modifiers for weapons are now hidden. Daggers and rapiers have large riposte/backstab damage. Medium weapons have mediocre critical damage.
  • To "powerstance" dual wielded weapons, hold the "two handed" button (triangle or Y), till you see a change in stance. You need 150% of each requirement to dual-wield. EX: 10 Str, 10 Dex weapons need 15 Str and 15 Dex to use powerstance mode. Only similarly sized weapons can be used for powerstance.
  • Kick has now been replaced with a bash animation, which will stagger an opponent if their shield is raised, giving the opportunity for a critical hit animation.
  • Consumable healing items are plentiful, don't be afraid to use them
  • I-Frames in rolls are determined by Agility, which is determined by Adaptability and Attunement. Basically, you need to level your rolls now.
  • A two handed swing with a longsword (and many other small weapons) will break poise on a human character, every time. Poise is now almost non-existent.

#16 Edited by Myrmicus (215 posts) -

- Parrying is now a lot "slower". The action of parrying isn't slow per se, but the ennemy won't be open for the critical cinematographic attack until he fell on the ground. Before that, you're only granted a "simple" critical. This means you can't use parry to become invulnerable as easily as in Dark Souls 1.

- Backstab isn't instant. Your character will now give a punch to the ennemy's back, before initiating the backstab. This punch animation CAN be evaded. Most NPCs don't, except the quicker ones, who can move away before the punch connect. You're not quite invulnerable during the backstab animation. During the first second of the animation, you will still take damage when hit, even if it won't be the full damages.

- Poison worth the trouble now. It works wonderfully in PvP. Most ennemies in the game are more resistant to poison than Player Characters, but they can still be poisoned. Poison do roughly 1000 damages over a period of time and, more importantly, some bosses are susceptible to poison.

- There are now 4 "magic types" : Sorcery, the good old intelligence spells, cast with wands. Miracles, the good old faith spells, cast with chimes. Pyromancy has recieved some improvement. There is still no faith or intelligence requirements, but it seems they scale with both. Finally, the new category are hexes, which need both faith and intelligence and can be cast with wand or chime (depending on the hexe spell). Hexes replace the Black Magic from Dark Souls Prepare to Die edition.

- Elemental weapons now scales : Magic damage scale with intelligence. Electric damage scale with faith. Fire and Dark damage scale with BOTH intelligence and Faith (the lesser of the two, in fact). Bleeding and poisoning rate scale with dexterity. Mundane scale with your lowest stat.

- Smithing as been tweaked : Now, weapons can be reinforced to a +10 level maximum. The Infusion system is now entirely different path. You can infuse a weapon with an element, if you possess the required items, should it be +0 or +10. You can change a weapon infusion by re-infusing them. Almost any weapons can be infused, even those who already have elemental damages, or poison/bleed build up. Elemental Infused weapons can be buffed with spells, but cannot be buffed with resins (item buff).Infusing a weapon lower the scaling it already have (unless you're infusing a weapon with an element il already have, which improve the scaling for this particular element, but lower the other scalings).

- Durability is now much weaker overall, but as said above, will reset upon resting at a bonfire or dying. Armor and rings durabilities are lowered by the damages you taque. Weapon durability is lowered by the number of time you hit something... anything. You can break a weapon by hitting walls, but the durability drops much more faster if you hit an opponent (or his corpse). This means that huge weapons, like great hammers, lose durability uppon hitting the ground, making them breaking much most faster than other weapons, even with high durability. Apart frot resting or dying, the spell 'repair" or the reparation powder give durability back, but if an item is broken, it will need a blacksmith.

Side note : the new "scrificial rings" exists, and breaks when you die, keeping you human and with your souls... BUT you can repair it.

- NPC seems to be much more tolerents to damage you inflict them, meaning there is few chance that a NPC will turn hostile if you hit him once... or twice by accident. On this topic, there is a "Maiden in Black" style character now and she IS NOT IMMORTAL. If you kill her, you won't be able to level up for the entire playthrough.

- Summoning white (or golden) phantoms will make the boss fight harder : Their damage resistance and damage dealt increase for each helper you have.

- Monster spawning is now finite. This means that if you kill an ennemy too many times, he will disapear from the playthrough. You can reset an area, by using a certain item at the bonefire... but it also makes the area harder, as if a NG+1 from your current playthrough. The area isn't entirely reseted though : Ennemies kill count will reset, items found will reset, wooden chest opened will reset, boss will reset. Iron chest WON'T reset. Things you've done to the area, like opening a shortcut, won't reset.

- There are NPC black phantoms who invade you only if you are offline.

#17 Posted by Nocall (353 posts) -

This is all incredibly useful, thanks everyone.

Are there any builds that should be avoided? For example, in DkS1 an archer build wasn't really viable, while a pure mage was good for PvE but not PvP. From what I read above, it sounds like "quality builds" (high focus on STR/DEX and a weapon that scales with both) aren't as viable, and that "heavy tank" builds (high poise and defense) don't work as well, either. Are there any playstyles I should just flat out avoid, or know that I'm gonna have a rough time with?

#18 Edited by gerrid (314 posts) -

@nocall: pretty much any build is viable, and since you can respec you can't level yourself down a blind alley anyway. It's actually completely possible to totally change from a pure sword and shield character to a pure magic caster, just to take down one boss, and then go back, with no ill-effects. You can't do it infinitely, but the option is always there should you need it.

But definitely in terms of effectiveness, Dex scaling is not as strong as strength scaling in terms of raw damage output. A weapon with C/C scaling will get a bigger damage boost from 10 points in strength than 10 points in dex.

And archery is now completely viable, since you can make bows that will do a lot of damage (a LOT), and you can use poison arrows too. A bow is a pretty sound investment for any character.

#19 Edited by Karkarov (3056 posts) -

@announakis said:
@historyinrust said:

@afabs515 said:

Putting points into any stat has diminishing returns after 20 points.

That's definitely the soft cap for stats, but it's not the whole story.. From 20 points to +/-50 points invested in any stat, you're going to get diminished returns, but not diminishing. Truly continual diminishing returns begin after the 50-point mark. Which is just an insane point investment into any single stat anyway.

Depending on your style of play, @nocall, you're going to want at least one of your stats to be invested in beyond 20 points. If you're melee-based, that probably means STR or DEX (or both?) and VIG.

true in both cases.

corollary: early on the game makes it very clear that any elemental infusion is considerably better than pure physical scaling even if you put no points into int or faith (elemental damages scale on those) and this remains true for most weapons that do not scale A or S on a physical attribute. Double C/C scaling used to be good in DS (40/40 with a claymore or a longsword, we all know what it is worth right) but not anymore ==> plan stat investment and weapon upgrade accordingly.

other tip: agility's sweet spot for iframes is between 95 and 99 really. Below less iframes, above more but not significantly more. Agility scales on Adaptability and to a lesser extend attunement. 20 adaptability gets you to 95 agility without attunment

Have to disagree. C/C scaling is still great if you have good stats for those two C's. S scaling seems hard to find and when I did find it was barely better than A scaling (I am talking like 5 points more damage than the A, not even noticeable). It is all a question of your stats. Also remember the best bang for your buck is 1-20 on stats, 20-30 isn't terrible, 30-40 is.... okay...., 40-50 is barely anything per level (you might get 1 point of damage per strength on a A scaling strength weapon), 50+ only like every other level will even effect you.

So will a guy with 50 strength and 20 dex do more damage with a A/E weapon than a C/C, yes, unless there is a noticeable base damage difference. Will a guy with 30 strength and 20 dex do more with the A/E than C/C? No, probably not, unless again a huge base damage difference is there. That is the catch 22 though, because most of the top "base" damage weapons will be A/E scaling, and the base damage difference (including the scaling bonus base damage gives) will normally still slightly edge the C/C weapons which tend to be middle of the road base damage from that weapon group. Example Claymore VS Mastodon Sword. That being said though the "top of the line" base damage weapons also have a tendency to have much more restrictive stat requirements and weight, so that is worth considering.

All that out of the way.... Don't take any stat past 50 (at least not until NG+). Even if you were a strength build character and your weapon only has dex E scaling you will get more damage out of leveling dex if it is in the 20 range than you will strength at 50+. Not even kidding. Additionally avoid single stat scaling weapons.... even if they are S scaling. Why? For the reasons I just stated, stats definitely stop paying out much in the 40 range. It will lose out to a C/C or A/E weapon unless it has INSANE base damage advantage. The difference between low scaling and high scaling is also no longer that massive. D/B don't really even seem to exist anymore, or if you find a weapon with them they will change to C/A through upgrading.

Stat wise specifics, Announakis is right.... 20 attunement is a sure fire win if you are going to melee. The only people who should not have at least that much are casters and or range only characters. Also as others said... get a bow. This is the first Souls game where they are legitimately good in combat, not just for cheesing things.

Oh one other thing: Armor is not the be all end all. You can upgrade your armor as high as you want, wear the heaviest nastiest stuff around, and you will still feel it when you get hit. So don't kill your equip weight thinking running around in the heaviest crap around will make you take like half damage.... it won't.

#20 Edited by HistoryInRust (6289 posts) -

@karkarov said:
Oh one other thing: Armor is not the be all end all. You can upgrade your armor as high as you want, wear the heaviest nastiest stuff around, and you will still feel it when you get hit. So don't kill your equip weight thinking running around in the heaviest crap around will make you take like half damage.... it won't.

So true.

By the middle of the game I'd totally shifted my playstyle away from a tank-build to an agile fast-rolling build. Dodging trumps tanking.

Online
#21 Posted by mosespippy (4103 posts) -

If you use a halberd two handed the R2 attack is a 720 degree spin. The backstep R1 / running R1 attack is a 1080 degree spin that takes less stamina than the R2 attack. Try out all the attacks for your weapon of choice and see how they drain stamina.

Bows are very viable, and are especially useful in PvP to give you some options. Different bows take up different amounts of stamina per shot so take that into account. I can get four shots out of a stamina bar with my bow. The most common bow I've seen in PvP would only allow me to take two shots.

Bleed is kind of useless.

If your stamina drains fully then you can't sprint until it refills fully.

#22 Edited by Karkarov (3056 posts) -

@mosespippy said:

Bleed is kind of useless.

Quoted for super truth. All Bleed does is cause your enemy to have a stamina regen penalty and some slight armor reduction. Considering how little armor helps in this game with how fast stamina regen is even when bled it is basically useless.
EDIT: If it does cause damage as lower posts says then the damage it caused would be minimal in my opinion. I tested it a bit and never noticed it taking off "chunks" of hp.

#23 Edited by Myrmicus (215 posts) -

I tested a curved twinblade, bleed infused, with the Brotherhood of Blood crest and it kills everything really quickly...

I mean, really, really quickly. Each time you cause bleed, the opponent loses a percentage of his health. But it seems that bleed is useless if not used with quck weapons (such as twinblades).

EDIT : Spoiler tag added.
It was too specific on what "bleed build" is efficient.

#24 Edited by mosespippy (4103 posts) -

@myrmicus: I'm under the impression that it's a fixed amount of damage, not a percentage. In Dark Souls it was 30% or 50% depending on the weapon, which is crazy good. In Dark Souls 2 it seems more like roughly 200 or 250 damage, which would be less than 10% on my build.

#25 Edited by Karkarov (3056 posts) -

@myrmicus said:

Each time you cause bleed, the opponent loses a percentage of his health. But it seems that bleed is useless if not used with quck weapons (such as twinblades).

OP doesn't want anything even resembling a spoiler, he wants discussion of mechanics only. So please edit out the part where you start talking about what specific items to use to be effective, it probably crosses his spoiler line.

#26 Posted by Myrmicus (215 posts) -
#27 Edited by Nocall (353 posts) -
#28 Posted by Nocall (353 posts) -

Hey I thought of one more thing: has weapon upgrading changed? (and if so, how?)

Thanks!

#29 Edited by Karkarov (3056 posts) -

@nocall said:

Hey I thought of one more thing: has weapon upgrading changed? (and if so, how?)

Thanks!

Yes. This is basically how it works....

Titanite Shards level "most" weapons/armor to +3, 1 shard for +1, 2 for +2, and 3 for +3. Large Titanite Shards take weapons to +6, again same rate 1 for +4, 2 +5, etc. Titanite Chunks go to +9 with again 1 for +7 blah blah. Lastly you need 1 Titanite Slab to +10 a item.

Some weapons and armor need Twinkling Titanite to level. These are a little different because they only go to +5 not +10 and you need an equal number of Twinkling for the level. Meaning you need 5 Twinkling Titanite to take a item from +4 to +5.

Petrified Dragon Bones work exactly like Twinkling Titanite except that they are used to level up weapons and armor made using Boss Souls. Edit: and weapons from Dragon Knights..... sheesh so many details!

Oh almost forgot! The last upgrade item is Fire Seeds. They are used to upgrade Pyromancy Flames.

Now the "enchanting" system is completely separate. What I mean is this.... you get special shards that give weapons elemental or status effect powers. For example a Firedrake Stone makes a weapon have "fire" damage and turns it into a Fire Weapon. So if you upgraded say a Claymore with a Firedrake Stone it would become a "Fire Claymore". Enchanting however is no longer tied to "level". What I mean is you could take a weapon all the way to +10 then turn it into a enchanted weapon if you wanted and it would still be a +10 whatever. If you did it at +3 the same applies. The "+" of the weapon is now it's own totally separate thing and is leveled on it's own, where as the enchants are one shot things you do to the item. That said there are also enchanting items that remove enchantments from weapons. So say you decide you don't want it to be a Fire Claymore anymore and you just want a normal Claymore again that can be done. You can also simply swap, like you can turn a Fire weapon into a Poison weapon using the right enchanting stone.

The big catch 22 with enchanting is 1: you have to meet certain in game criteria before you can do it. It is not available really early in game unlike normal upgrading. Normal upgrading is also gated but much much faster and easier to unlock, you will figure it out without a problem I bet. 2: When you enchant a weapon it can have drastic effects on it's scaling. Depending on your build sometimes enchanting a weapon is actually a big nerf, but on other builds it is basically must have. It all depends on the kind of character you want to play.

Last thing.... Almost all weapons can be enchanted, not just ones that need Titanite to level. Some weapons have natural elemental effects like the Katana named Manslayer has natural poison damage but still scales well with Dex. Weapons that have natural "elements" can be enchanted but the physical damage side and scaling of the weapon will be severely weakened by the enchantment. They will also still keep the original elemental power regardless of how you enchant them. So you could enchant Manslayer to be a Lightning Manslayer and it would have lightning AND poison damage, though the poison would be noticeably weaker. You could also make it a Poison Manslayer and while the physical side gets weaker the Poison would be much stronger. Also there are no "physical" enchants. If you want it to be a straight Str/Dex scaling weapon you simply don't enchant it at all.

#30 Posted by Zevvion (1840 posts) -

@karkarov: @nocall Slight correction, what you refer to as enchantments are actually called infusions. Enchantment is one type of infusion, lightning is another, fire another, bleed another etc. Good explanation though.

I'd like to add that bleeding isn't useless. It just needs to be used with very fast hitting weapons. Dual wielding claws seems to work really well. It will only inflict a minor immediate damage decrease, but it will also decrease armor, stamina regen and max stamina for roughly 5-6 seconds. This can be very useful/annoying, depending on which side you are.

Also, the ring of the Brotherhood of Blood increases the bleed effect further and there are some items and gear that increase it even further. You could inflict bleeding relatively easily that way.

I'm surprised no one mentioned covenants. Covenants have changed. You no longer suffer any penalty from leaving a covenant. If you are in the Heirs of the Sun covenant and gave 29 offerings, then left it and joined it again later, your next offering would still be number 30. So there is more room for experimenting and I highly recommend that you do, because each 'master' as they will be referred to in messages, sells different types of items and equipment and can teach gestures but will only do so if you are in their covenant. It's also just a good way to find out what you think of a covenant. I thought I would hate the Bell Keepers, but I've grown to think they are one of the more fun covenants in the game.

Just a heads up though: the Blue Sentinels covenant seems broken and buried beneath matchmaking requirements, so if it doesn't work for you, don't waste your time on it.

Oh also, since you mentioned Resistance in Dark Souls, there doesn't seem to be a stat in Dark Souls 2 that is useless. However, there is still a lot of discussion about Adaptability. The game barely explains what it is. It will decrease the time it takes to use items like Estus Flasks and Poison Moss. You will find this to be very, very useful because, as you will most likely feel like you don't have enough time to heal. After you level Adaptability you do. Already worth it for that alone. However, it also seems to increase iframes on rolls. This has not been confirmed yet though. But you will find dodging to be harder than in the first game, yet, blocking isn't as viable as in the first game either due to relatively low number of shields with 100% damage protection and increased number of attacks that break through shields. I found dodging a lot easier when I leveled ADP and it is my preferred way of negating damage. I would advise ADP at around 20. You will notice a significant difference there.

Stamina seems to be much less useful than before. I had around 14 Stamina on all my characters and was never in that much of a need for more. I did have a ring equipped that increased it though. But I have 20 stamina on another character and don't really notice the difference. After 20, it increases stamina by 1 with each level. From 119 to 120 for example. It doesn't seem worth it at all. I would advise you to not level stamina above 12-16ish as you might be used to doing. Just keep it there and see what you think. Odds are if you are like me and played a lot of Dark Souls you want to increase it much higher then that, yet see very little difference.

#31 Posted by Nocall (353 posts) -

@zevvion @karkarov This is all super helpful, thanks for writing that up! Now I just have to figure out a way to wait three more days without losing my mind.

#32 Posted by Myrmicus (215 posts) -

Adaptability IS good, mainly for dodging.
I have thtree characters, one with 10 Adaptability (dex/hexe build, require lots of stats everywere) and two with 25 and 30 adaptability. I have harder time dodging attacks from the ennemies with my 10 ADP char, than the others. Adaptability doesn't change the roll animation, but it increase the invicibility frames during a roll.

#33 Posted by Zevvion (1840 posts) -

Oh, also, some others already said this but I'll just repeat to make sure you understand: poise is useless now.

There is a certain amount of poise damage each weapon does like before, ranging from 10 to 60 poise damage. To illustrate, small weapons like knives, daggers and claws to 10 poise damage, standard weapons like longswords and spears do 20 poise damage and near-heavy weapons like axes do 30 poise damage. Then there are the true heavy weapons like greatswords, ultragreatswords, large club, great club, hammers, great hammers and whatnot that do 35-60 poise damage.

Now, poise damage doesn't translate into poise defense 1:1. The game does not tell you how they calculate it, so you have to look up a FAQ for details. But what it comes down to, is that a standard attack from a weapon with 10 poise, actually requires 36 poise to withstand. A heavy attack from a weapon with 10 poise damage, requires 44 poise to withstand. A 2 handed normal attack from a weapon with 10 poise damage, requires 95 poise to withstand.

To compare typical heavy armor gives 30-60 poise. This means that a guy with the weakest weapon in the game, when 2 handing, will stunlock you anyway.

Now, if we take a regular weapon, like a longsword, that has a poise breakingpoint of 61 for a standard 1 handed attack. Meaning with typical heavy armor, you still get stunlocked by the weakest possible attack from a less than average weapon. Note that the heaviest armor in the game gives 120 poise, 2 handing the longsword will break that easily, with poise damage to spare.

In fact, any weapon with 20 poise damage or more (which is pretty much everything except daggers, knives, claws and a couple of unique weapons) when 2 handing will break any poise amount possible.

So yeah, don't waste your time on poise. The ring that increases poise is hardly a good choice. You just won't notice any change whatsoever. The mount of times I ran into someone in PvP that used his weapon one handed, is... like... 0. At least as far as weapons with 20 poise damage are concerned.

#34 Edited by Myrmicus (215 posts) -

@zevvion said:

Oh, also, some others already said this but I'll just repeat to make sure you understand: poise is useless now.

There is a certain amount of poise damage each weapon does like before, ranging from 10 to 60 poise damage. To illustrate, small weapons like knives, daggers and claws to 10 poise damage, standard weapons like longswords and spears do 20 poise damage and near-heavy weapons like axes do 30 poise damage. Then there are the true heavy weapons like greatswords, ultragreatswords, large club, great club, hammers, great hammers and whatnot that do 35-60 poise damage.

Now, poise damage doesn't translate into poise defense 1:1. The game does not tell you how they calculate it, so you have to look up a FAQ for details. But what it comes down to, is that a standard attack from a weapon with 10 poise, actually requires 36 poise to withstand. A heavy attack from a weapon with 10 poise damage, requires 44 poise to withstand. A 2 handed normal attack from a weapon with 10 poise damage, requires 95 poise to withstand.

To compare typical heavy armor gives 30-60 poise. This means that a guy with the weakest weapon in the game, when 2 handing, will stunlock you anyway.

Now, if we take a regular weapon, like a longsword, that has a poise breakingpoint of 61 for a standard 1 handed attack. Meaning with typical heavy armor, you still get stunlocked by the weakest possible attack from a less than average weapon. Note that the heaviest armor in the game gives 120 poise, 2 handing the longsword will break that easily, with poise damage to spare.

In fact, any weapon with 20 poise damage or more (which is pretty much everything except daggers, knives, claws and a couple of unique weapons) when 2 handing will break any poise amount possible.

So yeah, don't waste your time on poise. The ring that increases poise is hardly a good choice. You just won't notice any change whatsoever. The mount of times I ran into someone in PvP that used his weapon one handed, is... like... 0. At least as far as weapons with 20 poise damage are concerned.

That's not quite true. In PvE poise is far from useless, as I can witand number of hits from ennemies without any stager, while wearing my heavy armor. It's also true in PvP, but it is LESS usefull. For exemple, rapiers staggers higly armored ennemies on the second or third hit (depending on their poise), which can be really dangerous if said ennemy have a heavy weapon or can stagger me in return. Although, resorting on poise in PvP isn't a good idea, because most PvP build resort around a "3 swings of death" combo so you don't want to be hit anyway. But it saved my life now and then (when my opponent get stunlocked by my really hard hitting weapon).

So yeah, poise is far less usefull than from Dark Souls 1, but not "useless" as often said.

#35 Posted by Zevvion (1840 posts) -

@myrmicus: Well, in terms of leveling endurance and adaptability for a slight increase in poise; that is useless. Equipping the Ring of Giants even if that doesn't get you over 60-90 poise; that is useless. Equipping heavy armor for the purpose of poise even though it doesn't get you over 60-90; that is useless. If you are doing PvP, most people 2-hand their weapons; then it's useless. Of course it isn't completely useless, but it more or less is in most situations.

What armor are you wearing by the way? The numbers I posted are correct, so unless people are one handing or two handing daggers/knives/claws/rapiers, you cannot attain high enough poise to withstand.

#36 Posted by mcwingstar (76 posts) -

Thanks for all this info guys, it's really helped me think through some build thoughts. (Read: over-thinking that comes with an 8 hour wait)

One question: As a person who played pretty much one-attack-stat melee in the previous games (STR or DEX and Vit + End), and intends to go pure melee in this game, is it worthwhile diversifying? Should I be side-loading stats in to Intelligence/Faith to maximize utility of infused weapons? Should I focus more on a capital-q Quality build to balance my stat scaling on standard weapons?
Alternatively, should I not worry and just rebuild in one of these directions if the going gets tough?

#37 Posted by HistoryInRust (6289 posts) -

Alternatively, should I not worry and just rebuild in one of these directions if the going gets tough?

Mostly this.

It's a good idea to have a sense of how you'll play before you start, or near the beginning of the game if you can. But you can't really screw yourself over via stats. Dark Souls is so much more about mastering the mechanics than overleveling for the environment's hazards.

I think, typically, it's worth having a focus for your character. You don't want your stats spread too thin. But always feel free to experiment with different setups. You never know what fun mechanics you might stumble on that'll spice up your playthrough.

There is a way to respec your stats, by the way. So if you feel like you've gone down the wrong path, stat-wise, you can repurpose your stats and salvage your character.

Online
#38 Posted by mosespippy (4103 posts) -

@mcwingstar: I've found that most of the weapons that you'll want to use require both Str and Dex, and will have scaling for both, so I went with a Quality build. Levels are cheap so it was nothing to have 40/40 by the late game. I had some faith and int solely because the Black Knight stuff scales with fire as well as str and dex, and because magic is OP in PvP and that was a good way to raise my elemental defense.

#39 Posted by BBAlpert (1428 posts) -

@mcwingstar said:

Alternatively, should I not worry and just rebuild in one of these directions if the going gets tough?

Mostly this.

It's a good idea to have a sense of how you'll play before you start, or near the beginning of the game if you can. But you can't really screw yourself over via stats. Dark Souls is so much more about mastering the mechanics than overleveling for the environment's hazards.

I think, typically, it's worth having a focus for your character. You don't want your stats spread too thin. But always feel free to experiment with different setups. You never know what fun mechanics you might stumble on that'll spice up your playthrough.

There is a way to respec your stats, by the way. So if you feel like you've gone down the wrong path, stat-wise, you can repurpose your stats and salvage your character.

Are the repecs limited, or can you always go back?

#40 Posted by hakunin (386 posts) -

@bbalpert: You have to use an item, so it's limited.

#41 Posted by BBAlpert (1428 posts) -

@hakunin said:

@bbalpert: You have to use an item, so it's limited.

Alright, that's what I figured. I was just unsure because every time I see someone ask for advice about stat placement, people generally seem to respond with "don't worry, you can respec if you screw up" without ever saying what "screwing up" might be.

#42 Edited by HistoryInRust (6289 posts) -

@bbalpert: That's because "screwing up" is so intimately tied to your personalized style of play. No one can tell you how you've gone awry. You're the only judge on that front.

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#43 Posted by BBAlpert (1428 posts) -

@bbalpert: That's because "screwing up" is so intimately tied to your personalized style of play. No one can tell you how you've gone awry. You're the only judge on that front.

Good point.

#44 Posted by Clonedzero (4198 posts) -

As a general tip, it's usually better to avoid taking damage than try for that risky extra hit.

Try not to deplete your stamina bar, thats when you'll get hit / killed. Clearly there are circumstances where you should maximize damage output, but generally speaking the cautious approach is MUCH better.

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