The (Inevitable) Hate/Complain Thread

#151 Edited by hollitz (1625 posts) -

Finally popped the game in yesterday and I must say, it makes a HORRIBLE first impression.

The opening cutscene with the red-hooded ladies is apparently just a writing exercise wherein the guy penning the script tried to see how many ways he could say "YO YOU GONNA DIE AND LOSE PROGRESS!" It takes like three minutes for them to hammer that message home.

The NPCs are--likewise--yappy as hell and--likewise--don't really have anything to say.

And the game just feels bad. Having JUST replayed through Demon's Souls, the sluggishness with which the DS2 characters move is really apparent. (Finally got my adaptability up to 12 and that seems to have helped).

Don't like how fast weapons wear down.

After spending about 6 hours with it, I feel like I'm starting to come around on it. But this game was a chore to enjoy from the jump, whereas I fell in love with Demon's and DS1 right away.

#152 Posted by Tobako (75 posts) -

Got a new sword today(bastard sword) and while I was 5points below the required stat to equip it properly I could still swing it easily, I guess the staggering animations with heavier weapons are gone too? hope it's not the same way when I find a much bigger sword. Also got the halberd and while it was my main weapon when I first started DaS1 they ruined the move set in DaS2... still finding the game quite easy, died only once in the last giant boss and was expecting more punch from those turtle knights, R2 attack roll back and repeat... so far I think they changed the combat for the worse but at level 29 maybe it's too early to judge.

#153 Edited by Bane (453 posts) -

@strangestories: I think one of the issues with difficulty is the same tactic works on damn near every enemy, including bosses: circle around to the side and pummel their kidneys. Done. There are two enemies I've come across so far where that doesn't work: the Heide's Tower sentinels that two-hand greatswords, and the Royal Rat Authority. The sentinels track your movements too well to circle around reliably. All the Rat requires is to roll under his chin and strike the hind legs. The Last Giant, Dragonrider, Old Dragonslayer, Flexile Sentry, Scorpioness Najka... just circle around to the side and let loose, basically.

I don't know if this is a valid complaint, though. I mean, throughout most of DS all I did was block, let them strike the shield, R2 Zweihander them into the ground, repeat. I didn't think that was an issue in DS, but now it is in DS2? Should I expect the game to force me to change tactics, or is the game expecting me to vary my tactics just because it keeps things interesting? I don't know.

@seikenfreak:

  1. Yes, I came across the Rat covenant the last time I played. I was summoned as a gray phantom and had no idea what was going on. I found it to be nothing but a distracting pain in the ass, personally.
  2. That's good to know. I haven't reached that point yet apparently. I'm still not sure what we're expected to do until we reach that point though. I'm 30 hours in and I've been using basically the same gear the whole time because that's the gear I've upgraded with the shards I've had and nothing I've found is better in its un-upgraded form. It's just kind of boring I guess.
  3. Yeah, I played around with the command queueing a little bit more. It's definitely there, but I think the window has been made smaller compared to DS. The timing I brought over from DS just doesn't work in DS2. I'm all the time trying to queue things up before the window opens. It's just something that has to be gotten used to.
  4. Yep, I'm pretty sure part of it is my circumstance. Like I said earlier I had just finished up an 180 hour run of DS right before starting DS2. Everything DS was still fresh in my mind and my muscle memory. There hasn't been much in DS2 so far that has really required any new skills or ways of thinking.
#154 Edited by orborborb (20 posts) -

real improvements:

-the torch mechanic and dark areas of levels are great (but they made them meaningless at the last minute by brightening all the dark areas)

-the repair mechanic is now a meaningful and interesting challenge

-magic has more variety and balance (but no longer feels as thematically connected to the various areas and npc backstories)

-poison, tar, and curse pots are cool (except they made curse nearly meaningless)

-some neat pvp arenas integrated into the single player

-it does a better job encouraging inexperienced players to learn more advanced techniques

my complaints:

-an inconsistent framerate and frequent missed button presses are an infuriating new problem on both ps3 and 360

-animations no longer have that compelling a sense of weight and elasticity.

-the way the levels are shaped, where the enemies are, and what they look like do not blend together or make sense nearly as much as they did in previous Souls games.

-most of the bosses have the same sorts of arenas and the same sorts of behaviors, they do not truly belong to the levels in which you encounter them.

-warping between bonfires from the beginning, with THUMBNAILS no less, and being forced to warp every time you want to level means you are no longer constantly finding your own way back through previous areas or encouraged to formulate your OWN "quests" to achieve your own goals. This severely compromises the unity between the game's tone and structure and ultimately its emotional resonance.

-being able to reassign stats and change genders multiple times severely compromises the role-playing narrative and meaning of the game.

-the sound design is sometimes harsh and unrealistic

-npcs often seem to exist for your benefit, not for their own reasons, they talk too much, say things either too directly or else say nothing at all, and sometimes even try to be "appealing"

-item descriptions and character backstories are more practical and less evocative

-large leather shield, drangleic armor, and fire longsword are too obviously good as an early build

Elegance and maturity have been somewhat compromised at all levels of the game from the tiniest detail to the overall structure. For some reason they felt they had to make the game BIGGER and GRINDIER and so it all feels a lot more like other videogames and less like itself. Anyone who enjoyed Dark Souls should play it if they want more cool levels and combat scenarios, but it's unfortunately a step down from adult to teenaged just like its ESRB rating says.

#155 Edited by Tobako (75 posts) -

Just got to the shaded woods area and damn if it looks absolutely awful, I never noticed repeating textures that much so far but in this area it's all over the place, also lighting looks terrible in there, the place is so bland.. and I thought blightown and lost hizalith were bad.

Also I'm not really enjoying how areas feel disconnected, I'm becoming more aware of this now, it's like heide's tower then no mans wharf and lost bastille as a dead end, then the same starting with huntsman copse and ending with iron keep.

#156 Posted by Ezekiel (551 posts) -

I haven't played it yet. My main complaint is that it's a sequel. They just had to go the easy route.

#157 Edited by LackingSaint (1856 posts) -

The Drangleic Armour Set kind of bums me out. Not because it's bad, I was using it for pretty much the first third of the game, but that's precisely my point; it's such an effective set of Armour for any Medium-to-Heavy character that it just seems like the vast majority of phantoms I see or video play-throughs I watch, people all look exactly the same. Dark Souls definitely wasn't free of this problem what with Havel's Armour being such a staple for any Heavy character, but that Armour was hidden in a chest in an optional room halfway through the game and required some definite sacrifices to be made to be worn effectively. The Drangleic stuff is right there in the hallway leading to the first boss, and it's stat-wise just so much better than 99% of the other stuff you find until like halfway through the game.

TL;DR I wish they made more early-game Armour Sets that matched up to the Drangleic stuff, so it came down to a personal choice and individuality rather than most people wearing the same thing.

#158 Edited by MasterRain (320 posts) -

@lackingsaint said:

The Drangleic Armour Set kind of bums me out. Not because it's bad, I was using it for pretty much the first third of the game, but that's precisely my point; it's such an effective set of Armour for any Medium-to-Heavy character that it just seems like the vast majority of phantoms I see or video play-throughs I watch, people all look exactly the same. Dark Souls definitely wasn't free of this problem what with Havel's Armour being such a staple for any Heavy character, but that Armour was hidden in a chest in an optional room halfway through the game and required some definite sacrifices to be made to be worn effectively. The Drangleic stuff is right there in the hallway leading to the first boss, and it's stat-wise just so much better than 99% of the other stuff you find until like halfway through the game.

TL;DR I wish they made more early-game Armour Sets that matched up to the Drangleic stuff, so it came down to a personal choice and individuality rather than most people wearing the same thing.

Yeah its a problem in all souls games, equipment is not created equal, select pieces are obviously more equal than others. It'd be cool if there was a trade off, but some are just better in every respect. However armour makes very little difference in damage really, so you can just make your character look cool. Being able to fast roll and having good weapons are much more important.

Almost all the boss weapons are terrible, actually 90% of armour and weapons are useless, being bad in every stat compared to the other 10%.

#159 Posted by DrMechano (43 posts) -

Though the world isn't interlinked I have done various 'run through' plans in order to get certain items as early as possible which was kind of interesting and very similar in a Dark Souls 1 kind of way (who here remembers doing the Catacombs run to get the Great Scythe as early as possible? Or the nearly impossible run past the Hydra to get up the ladder to get the Enchanted Ember within the first 5 minutes of the game?). So far I've only done a Black Knight Halberd early as possible run.

I have noticed in my recent playthrough that I'm sort of just going whereever the hell I feel like early on, into areas that should probably be left until a lot later in the game, farming for items that I want (Gyrms' Greathammer and their shield+armour set for a Cosplay build) and generally just taking things easy. Compared this to my first playthrough which was a berserk mode kind of balls to the wall "must make progress!" 40 hours in 4 days (yes I had a week off work so my time consisted of getting up, eating, sitting down and playing dark souls 2 with snack breaks every so often and then passing out once I hit the 'you're too tired for this shit' brick wall).

Find that without the pressure to complete the game, definitely enjoying myself more.now that I can dick about.

#160 Edited by Fredchuckdave (6162 posts) -

@lackingsaint: The Drangleic armor is more of a stamina nerf trap than anything else; it's not very good in general.

@drmechano: Yep you can sneak around and get all kinds of shit in Dark Souls II in the same fashion as you would in Dark Souls; there's just a lot more ways to do it/maybe 3 times as many items to find in the game. In terms of exploration the game is excellent.

#161 Posted by ViciousAnchovy (799 posts) -

@hatking: Is there a specific archer you're referring to? Because I definitely feel this way about at least one.

#162 Edited by LackingSaint (1856 posts) -

@fredchuckdave said:

@lackingsaint: The Drangleic armor is more of a stamina nerf trap than anything else; it's not very good in general.

How do you mean? Like in terms of making the player Fat-Roll? I've always made sure to put stats in Equip Load so at the very least I can Normal-Roll, and honestly half the armour i've found either weighs around the same or more than the Drangleic set (with worse stats, mind you).

Another little question; is the Lost Sinner supposed to be this difficult? I beat Forest of Fallen Giants, Heide's Tower, No Man's Wharf and most of The Bastille when I found her zone, so it was fairly early-game, but since then i've beaten Grave of Saints, Shaded Woods, Belfry Luna, Huntsman's Copse, Harvest Valley, Earthen Peak, Doors of Pharros and Brightstone Cove Tseldora, and I STILL get my ass handed to me whenever I try to fight her. I'm using a sword-and-shield build with no magic and a DEX focus, with medium-roll, some heavy armour, and a 100% Phys-Block Shield. At this point, this lady feels like my Everest, the boss for me to strive for while I complete the rest of the game.

#163 Edited by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

Clubs are overpowered.
I'm doing a no death + no bonfire run atm and this is my main weapon : It's sold by Melentia cheap (800 souls),which have an infinite supply of them.
I always have like 4 or 5 on them, just to switch if my previous club break.

#164 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

Those stupid exploding zombies... Especially the crapload that camp in the water, just before te Lost Sinner...
They ruined my "no death, no bonfire" run. Now I think I won't play this game for quite some time.

#165 Posted by HistoryInRust (6407 posts) -

@fredchuckdave said:

@lackingsaint: The Drangleic armor is more of a stamina nerf trap than anything else; it's not very good in general.

How do you mean? Like in terms of making the player Fat-Roll? I've always made sure to put stats in Equip Load so at the very least I can Normal-Roll, and honestly half the armour i've found either weighs around the same or more than the Drangleic set (with worse stats, mind you).

Another little question; is the Lost Sinner supposed to be this difficult? I beat Forest of Fallen Giants, Heide's Tower, No Man's Wharf and most of The Bastille when I found her zone, so it was fairly early-game, but since then i've beaten Grave of Saints, Shaded Woods, Belfry Luna, Huntsman's Copse, Harvest Valley, Earthen Peak, Doors of Pharros and Brightstone Cove Tseldora, and I STILL get my ass handed to me whenever I try to fight her. I'm using a sword-and-shield build with no magic and a DEX focus, with medium-roll, some heavy armour, and a 100% Phys-Block Shield. At this point, this lady feels like my Everest, the boss for me to strive for while I complete the rest of the game.

Lot of folks are saying Lost Sinner is one of the hardest bosses in the game. You're not the only one.

#166 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

Despawning + rare drop = f*ckin' bullsh*t !

I'm wearing all the items increasing the drop rate, eating rusted coins like candies and I still farm my targets until extinction... twice... all for NOTHING ! Well, not nothing, I get some useless drops once in a while. I don't want some places to have a bonefire strength higher than skycrappers, this isn't fun. Why, just why From ?

#167 Edited by Zevvion (2382 posts) -

Man, it's a lot of fun re-reading this thread after having finished the game 4 times. When first replied to this thread I was still on my first go relatively early in the game and now I don't see any criticism that still holds up. I don't even agree with my own anymore.

@myrmicus said:

Despawning + rare drop = f*ckin' bullsh*t !

I'm wearing all the items increasing the drop rate, eating rusted coins like candies and I still farm my targets until extinction... twice... all for NOTHING ! Well, not nothing, I get some useless drops once in a while. I don't want some places to have a bonefire strength higher than skycrappers, this isn't fun. Why, just why From ?

Can I ask, what are you farming for? There is very few reason to do so besides a couple of weapons. If you're on 360, I might have what you want and can just give it to you.

#168 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

Red Lion Warrior Cape.
It's a different model of Lion Warrior Cape dropped only by the golden haired Lion Warrior in Shaded Woods. I expect it to have better stats, but that's not why I'm aiming for it. Yeah, I know, the look of my character isn't so important, but that's one of my weakness...

#169 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

Wasted all my bonefire ascetics to get this fucking Red Lion Warrior Cape, with all the gear that helps the drops.
Still didn't got it. This is ridiculous.

Another hate, but that's not really the game's fault : Players who get invaded are chickens who gang up on you every time. One evaded me in Dragon Aerie until I the clock sent me away.. even though I invaded him in Dragon Shrine.Another one tried to chop me while I was bowing to salute him.

#170 Posted by HistoryInRust (6407 posts) -

The Giant Memories in the last hour of the game comprise probably the worst experience I've ever had playing a Souls game.

#171 Posted by Zevvion (2382 posts) -

@myrmicus said:

Red Lion Warrior Cape.

It's a different model of Lion Warrior Cape dropped only by the golden haired Lion Warrior in Shaded Woods. I expect it to have better stats, but that's not why I'm aiming for it. Yeah, I know, the look of my character isn't so important, but that's one of my weakness...

You're wrong. How your character looks is the only thing that matters. I currently have Alva's armor on my newest character, which is the only time I've worn statistically good armor in 5 playthroughs, but I also like the look of it in combination with the Heide Helm.

I don't have the Red Lion Cape actually, so can't give it to you. Now I'm curious though. I'll go farm him a bit see if I can get it to drop.

#172 Edited by LackingSaint (1856 posts) -

Just finished the game, and it's bumming me out how disappointed I am with it on the whole. I played Dark Souls last year, and it was a really transformative experience for me; it ended up being by far my favourite experience of the year, and safely in my top five favourite games. It felt like Chess in a lot of ways; a series of dependable, solid systems that contribute to the feeling that it's all down to you. There was a mystery to the world and the characters, and it was really interesting seeing what was around the corner and how the zones connected.

Dark Souls 2 was pretty good, but it just never hit any of those highs. Many of the areas felt super forgettable to me (what is that, like four-and-a-half different "it's just a big run-down castle" environments? Lost Bastille, Sinner's Rise, Drangleic Castle, Aldia's Keep, most of Forest of Fallen Giants, and that's not including the Memories areas which were just ripped parts of FoFG but with a filter on), and the enemies seemed to be reused to a much greater degree than in the previous game; why do the generic-dudes-with-light-armour have to appear in Forest of Fallen Giants, Lost Bastille, The Gutter, Huntsman's Copse, Sinner's Rise AND Earthen Peak? Why did those exploding head guys need to constantly pop up in areas where they didn't fit at all?! Even the more striking areas seemed super sparse compared to Dark Souls areas-- contrast Heide's Tower of Flame to the sprawling Anor Londo. I think plenty of the bosses were just as interesting as the best of the Dark Souls bosses, like the super-tragic decrepid old Last of the Giants, or the horrifying man-made-out-of-human bodies The Rotten. I would nitpick that mechanics-wise, it was super annoying that many of the Bosses just limply stood around and then randomly pulled out one-hit-kill attacks (and it led to a lot of "What the fuck that wasn't my fault" moments), but i'm sure Dark Souls had a few of those too and I just forgot.

I think the biggest problem is just getting around isn't as comfortable for me anymore; I compared Dark Souls to Chess earlier, because there was this constant feeling that I was ultimately in control of my character at all times, hence why dying rarely felt like stupid bullshit by the game. But they've made mechanical changes that really went against that feeling for me; often i'd start trying to sprint away as my stamina regens, and I just don't. Sure, I should just learn to always leave enough stamina to be able to sprint at any moment, but that sensation of "Well I wanted to do this, and I was doing it, but it wouldn't work because of an arbitrary wait-time" felt super lame. I feel like parrying and backstabbing were also infinitely less reliable than in the previous game; in DS1, I could frequently pull off those moves, while in DS2 about 90% of the time it just doesn't work. Rolling was similarly a go-to move for me in DS1, but the new limitations to it (unless you invest heavily in ADP) lead to me just limply falling to the side and then getting my ass kicked. There's just a sort of sloppiness to the feeling of movement that made the experience fell inferior.

Overall, Dark Souls 2 is a damn good game, but the mechanical changes just felt like bad choices to me for the most part; I actually thought the non-respawning enemies was an excellent mechanical choice, and really added to the feeling of slow loss of humanity that the game seemed to want to convey, but that's a rare example of a great change I felt they made to the formula. As I say, that's not too say I think Dark Souls 2 is anything but a great game, but it's just an inferior experience in my opinion. It bums me out to come out of one absolutely phenomenal experience and go into a "pretty good" one. For clarification, I beat the game at 55 Hours at around SL150. I killed every boss except for Ancient Dragon because he seemed like a cool guy and King Vendrick 'cause fuck killing King Vendrick without all 5 Giant Souls.

TL;DR I shouldn't have picked a DEX build, since 99% of the weapons and armour I picked up were heavily geared towards STR builds.

#173 Posted by Zevvion (2382 posts) -

Dark Souls 2 was pretty good, but it just never hit any of those highs. Many of the areas felt super forgettable to me (what is that, like four-and-a-half different "it's just a big run-down castle" environments? Lost Bastille, Sinner's Rise, Drangleic Castle, Aldia's Keep, most of Forest of Fallen Giants, and that's not including the Memories areas which were just ripped parts of FoFG but with a filter on)

I'm not disagreeing with you, but there certainly is variety in the types of indoor environments that you mention. Lost Bastille is an asylum according to the lore (some speculate it is actually the Undead Asylum of the first game), Drangleic Castle certainly looks like a castle. Not an asylum. Aldia's Keep is a mansion where experiments are going on on creatures. It all looks very different, albeit all indoors. I feel like you could say the same thing about the first game if you look at it like that. The entire first half of the game is nothing but indoor casle-y environments.

and the enemies seemed to be reused to a much greater degree than in the previous game; why do the generic-dudes-with-light-armour have to appear in Forest of Fallen Giants, Lost Bastille, The Gutter, Huntsman's Copse, Sinner's Rise AND Earthen Peak? Why did those exploding head guys need to constantly pop up in areas where they didn't fit at all?!

Not sure what you mean. Those aren't the same enemies at all. Forest of Fallen Giants has the Hollow Infantry and Hollow Soldier and those only turn up in No Man's Warf as well. Lost Bastille has the Royal Swordsman, which also show up in Drangleic Castle because Vendrick had his soldiers guard the undead as well as his castle. It doesn't have the enemies from Forest of Fallen Giants. Huntsman's Copse has the assassin's and thieves, neither of the two previously mentioned enemies, and Earthen Peak has the Manekin's and Wardens. I think you might be misremembering. Also, the Undead Citizens that explode only pop up in Lost Bastille, Sinner's Rise and Dragon Aerie. They aren't everywhere and there are not that many of them to begin with.

Even the more striking areas seemed super sparse compared to Dark Souls areas-- contrast Heide's Tower of Flame to the sprawling Anor Londo.

Eh... I don't know about this. I really like how interconnected Dark Souls was, but as far as area's go in terms of how they look, I think I'd side with Dark Souls 2. Majula looks better than Firelink Shrine. The Gutter and Black Gulch look and perform better than Blighttown. Anor Londo did look really good, but so does Heide. I went back to Dark Souls a bit and to be honest, there were also a bunch of area's there that didn't look too great.

I think plenty of the bosses were just as interesting as the best of the Dark Souls bosses, like the super-tragic decrepid old Last of the Giants, or the horrifying man-made-out-of-human bodies The Rotten. I would nitpick that mechanics-wise, it was super annoying that many of the Bosses just limply stood around and then randomly pulled out one-hit-kill attacks (and it led to a lot of "What the fuck that wasn't my fault" moments), but i'm sure Dark Souls had a few of those too and I just forgot.

It was your fault. The animations in Dark Souls II have improved immensely. There were actual problems with it in DS. You just got used to them. If you get used to DSII's mechanics you would say the same thing. If you died, you did something wrong. It's really that simple. Whenever you die, you should always ask yourself: what did I do wrong? Not doing so, will indeed leave you frustrated.

I think the biggest problem is just getting around isn't as comfortable for me anymore; I compared Dark Souls to Chess earlier, because there was this constant feeling that I was ultimately in control of my character at all times, hence why dying rarely felt like stupid bullshit by the game. But they've made mechanical changes that really went against that feeling for me; often i'd start trying to sprint away as my stamina regens, and I just don't. Sure, I should just learn to always leave enough stamina to be able to sprint at any moment, but that sensation of "Well I wanted to do this, and I was doing it, but it wouldn't work because of an arbitrary wait-time" felt super lame.

I hate to break it to you, but this is exactly how it worked in Dark Souls. If you went into negative stamina, you can break the wait by rolling, otherwise you'd have to wait until the bar is fully recharged to be able to use stamina like sprinting. As you say, it is a basic mechanic of the game. You can break it by rolling at the cost of more stamina. The system is definitely there for a purpose.

I feel like parrying and backstabbing were also infinitely less reliable than in the previous game; in DS1, I could frequently pull off those moves, while in DS2 about 90% of the time it just doesn't work. Rolling was similarly a go-to move for me in DS1, but the new limitations to it (unless you invest heavily in ADP) lead to me just limply falling to the side and then getting my ass kicked. There's just a sort of sloppiness to the feeling of movement that made the experience fell inferior.

Many people agree with you here. The thing is: it's a deliberate choice to make the game more challenging. Rolling and parrying were incredibly overpowered in Dark Souls. They've purposefully decrease the amount of parrying-frames and invincibility frames because people were heavily exploiting it. Similarly, they also changed shield raising time. Many people wished Dark Souls 2 would be the exact same game. It is not. It is more challenging now in several ways. You can no longer parry everything in the world without taking risk. The amount of parrying-frames is reduced so much that if you don't get it exactly right, you don't get it. Whereas in Dark Souls it was just 'somewhere between here and here is fine', which let to players being able to parry everything without any effort, including the final boss. You only need 15ish points in ADP to have decent iframes. I dodge everything and I put mine at 20 usually. I hardly call that a heavy investment. As with the previous comment, you're just not getting the parry's because you're not doing it right. Not because the game doesn't 'work'.

I killed every boss except for Ancient Dragon because he seemed like a cool guy and King Vendrick 'cause fuck killing King Vendrick without all 5 Giant Souls.

You can do him with 3, preferably 4, just fine.

TL;DR I shouldn't have picked a DEX build, since 99% of the weapons and armour I picked up were heavily geared towards STR builds.

I get you are going for the figure of speech there, but there are a decent amount of DEX weapons. I have two characters that are DEX builds and they do nearly as much damage as the STR ones. A dual wielder actually does more. I'm dual wielding Katana's which is pretty great.

But yeah, DEX focuses a lot more on speed this time around. You shouldn't pick a DEX build if you want to just stand in the pocket and swing. Get in and get out or dual wield (or both) will work well. Unless you pick the curved greatswords. Those work well for it.

I realize I may sound somewhat dickish here, but it is what I think.

#174 Edited by LackingSaint (1856 posts) -

@zevvion: I appreciate the full response; I guess I should clarify that i'm bummed out, not simply because they changed things or because made things broken (which, aside from some really janky hitboxes at times, they really haven't), but more that the changes they did make resulted in a less impactful experience for me. Maybe it also contributed to it that I always enjoyed the friendly NPCs that showed up in Dark Souls, and only Pate and Lucatiel really grabbed me in DS2 (with the former leaving the story halfway into the game). Vengarl's cool too.

I tried to make my post sum up exactly what bothered me as I played. Many of my reasons are not really all that justified; I suppose i'm just trying to make sense of how I could have had such a fantastic experience with DS1, and walk out of DS2 so lukewarm on it. Maybe i'll come back to it in a month and love it.

#175 Posted by Humanity (10126 posts) -

@zevvion: I appreciate the full response; I guess I should clarify that i'm bummed out, not simply because they changed things or because made things broken (which, aside from some really janky hitboxes at times, they really haven't), but more that the changes they did make resulted in a less impactful experience for me. Maybe it also contributed to it that I always enjoyed the friendly NPCs that showed up in Dark Souls, and only Pate and Lucatiel really grabbed me in DS2 (with the former leaving the story halfway into the game). Vengarl's cool too.

I tried to make my post sum up exactly what bothered me as I played. Many of my reasons are not really all that justified; I suppose i'm just trying to make sense of how I could have had such a fantastic experience with DS1, and walk out of DS2 so lukewarm on it. Maybe i'll come back to it in a month and love it.

Well for comparison - Demons Souls was the transformative experience for me. I beat it a few times with different characters and invested a lot of time into acquiring all the boss weapons, fighting all optional bosses and so forth. It was this amazing experience from start to end and I felt fairly proud for completing it. Despite being really hyped up for Dark Souls (those trailers and musical choices were splendid) I ended up walking away from it very disappointed. I didn't like a lot of the changes to the core game mechanics and I thought the entire world was incredibly dull and forgettable. This kind of bummed me out because it at once put me at odds with both myself, as I was really looking forward to the game, and the legions of newcomers that now treated Dark Souls almost like a religion while relegating Demons Souls as some interesting experiment but nothing to write home about. Dark Souls 2 brought me back into the fold though. I thought the changes were 99% for the better and overall I enjoyed the experience a lot more than the previous game. I still don't think that aesthetically either of the Dark releases compare to the varied and unique level design of Demons.

So who knows - maybe it's just a matter of what you play first.

Online
#176 Posted by Zevvion (2382 posts) -

@humanity: Maybe. But I played Dark Souls first. I still like Dark Souls II best.

I guess... opinions.

#177 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -
@humanity said:

Stuff

THIS ! Although, I loved Dark Souls 1.

Now for some hate (some of my previous posts have been deleted, dunno why, with one thread on this very topic) : modders.
I created an explorer character, intending to make a full poison build. Anyway, within 10 minutes of play (the time it took me to run through the tutorial, grab the items there and going to see the Emerald Herald to get 2 more SL, making me SL12, with perhaps SM around 3000), I got invaded by a guy, fully dressed in Faraam armor set, using the Moonlight Sword, the magic sword spell (swipe from the wand, can't remember the name) on me. He was bad though, but I had no chance to win : even using my starting magic resin on my dagger, I couldn't do more than 1/20 of his total health with each hit (if not lower), while he two-shot me... and he even got the nerve to gloat over his win after that.

He tried to make me believe that he "just had good gear and lot of HP", but I told him I was no noob, by saying exactly where his gear is found and why he should not be able to invade me with all this stuff... and he ended admiting that it was a modded char he used for PvP.

PvP was fun...
It was.

#178 Posted by Humanity (10126 posts) -

@zevvion said:

@humanity: Maybe. But I played Dark Souls first. I still like Dark Souls II best.

I guess... opinions.

Well personally I think Dark Souls 2 is just a better game in many regards. Not all, but in many. All my gripes are kinda minor issues. My most petty complaint is that they cap your estus flask upgrades. If I'm playing NG++++++ I should be able to have an Estus flask with 50 uses on it. By that point most enemies are taking off half your lifebar with each hit so having more flasks doesn't seem THAT cheap. There are plenty of other more significant complaints like questionable hitboxes, poor movesets on ultra greatswords, i-frames, poise etc but I won't go into detail. As a whole, I enjoyed it more than Dark Souls. When I look back on Dark Souls there are plenty of levels that I think to myself "man FUCK that place" but there are no such areas in Dark Souls 2, for me. I don't really like the area directly before the Rotten, something Gulch, and I'm not a fan of Tseldora , but it's just a mild dislike.

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#179 Posted by Fredchuckdave (6162 posts) -

@humanity: I'm sure I'm in the minority here but even 12 Estus seems a little too high relative to what you start with.

#180 Posted by Humanity (10126 posts) -

@humanity: I'm sure I'm in the minority here but even 12 Estus seems a little too high relative to what you start with.

Considering you could go up to 20 charges in Dark Souls and chugging them was a lot quicker without any stagger, I don't think 12 is that outrageous - especially since you need to have pretty high adaptability to be even able to use Estus in combat.

Whether it's too much because you're too pro or whatever, it still seems silly that they would limit that.

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#181 Posted by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

Mytha's bent blade is a total joke.
I am currently doing a poison build and was aiming for a dual Mytha's bent blade infused with poison as part of my gear...Then I found out you can't infuse Mytha's bent blade ! So, you have a dagger, created from the soul of the endboss from the poison area, but it's a weak choice for poisonning ennemy... and I say that after having done some research on wikis :

- Mytha Bent Blade base damage is 40, base poison is 67 and it's only scaling is B for dexterity.
Upgraded to +5, it becomes 100 base dagaùe, 100 base poison, B scaling in dexterity.
And that's it. No infusion possible, so no way to make it do better damage, nor better poisoning tool.

Now, for the simple dagger, infused with poison (and not even upgraded) : 112 base poison ! Just... What the hell ?! The best part ? The starting dagger has the same critical output and even better durability than Mytha's bent blade.
Same thing for the parrying dagger, 112 base poison upon infusion and a better durability.
What was they thinking ?

So I'll drop my weak Mytha's bent blade and use parrying and simple dagger, infused with poison. With infused manslayer and infused blotted whip, this will be more than enough.

#182 Posted by Kaos999 (56 posts) -

Really hate the loot system in this one as i've spent half my playtime either farming for souls or farming for gear/items. Should change the name to farming souls instead. With over 400 hours and repeatedly having to mow down the same enemies over and over for 200 of those hours I hope they get off their asses and fix the loot system soon.

They could at least have drops after you've killed a certain enemy a number of times instead of blind luck.

Which brings me to my next gripe, what fucking good does it do to have an item (rusted coin) that's SUPPOSE to increase drop rates if it doesn't do squat 90% of the time? It's not like they are readily available at will nor are they abundant in quantity. They should mean something damnit!

Just ranting after 6 plus hours and still no shadow set, even with every available discovery item on/used.

#183 Edited by Pr1mus (3952 posts) -

I could probably write 5000 words on why i think it's a terrible game but honestly everything has already been said by one duder or another.

The thing that sticks out the most for me was the world itself. It's so bland, so lifeless in too many areas. The level design in most of the early areas is absolutely dreadful and it looks drab. The last minute removal of dynamic lightings shown in preview really killed the atmosphere. They removed lighting that killed the framerate and replaced it with nothing. You can tell that the tech running the game is better and yet this is a vastly inferior looking game compared to both Dark Souls and even Demon's Souls. Some areas do look very good but on the whole it is a very uneven looking game with some extremely generic level design in too many spots.

It just feels lazy. It's easy to tell that most of the leads on Demon's and Dark Souls weren't actively working on this one. This game screams B-team development. They looked at what made the previous one work and they think they know how to do it too. They tried their best i'm sure but failed. It also made me realize how the previous 2 games were straddling a very fine line between greatness and garbage.

#184 Edited by Karkarov (3291 posts) -

@fredchuckdave said:

@reisz: There definitely are quivers; pretty sure some weapons have scabbards as well.

I have had 0 framerate issues on PS3; the game has pop-in now instead of occasional framerate hiccups; I guess I'd prefer a slightly worse framerate over that given how one of the later areas works (though it might actually be intentionally designed to fuck you because of the pop-in).

Hey dude at least they DO in fact pop in. Unlike those fuckers in Anor Londo who can shoot you from off screen all day long.

#185 Posted by EggMith (6 posts) -

The opening cutscene with the red-hooded ladies is apparently just a writing exercise wherein the guy penning the script tried to see how many ways he could say "YO YOU GONNA DIE AND LOSE PROGRESS!" It takes like three minutes for them to hammer that message home.

It's kinda sad that they're focusing in that sort of experience/marketing instead of trying to make the game you know...just better.

#186 Posted by Zevvion (2382 posts) -

@pr1mus said:

I could probably write 5000 words on why i think it's a terrible game but honestly everything has already been said by one duder or another.

The thing that sticks out the most for me was the world itself. It's so bland, so lifeless in too many areas. The level design in most of the early areas is absolutely dreadful and it looks drab. The last minute removal of dynamic lightings shown in preview really killed the atmosphere. They removed lighting that killed the framerate and replaced it with nothing. You can tell that the tech running the game is better and yet this is a vastly inferior looking game compared to both Dark Souls and even Demon's Souls. Some areas do look very good but on the whole it is a very uneven looking game with some extremely generic level design in too many spots.

It just feels lazy. It's easy to tell that most of the leads on Demon's and Dark Souls weren't actively working on this one. This game screams B-team development. They looked at what made the previous one work and they think they know how to do it too. They tried their best i'm sure but failed. It also made me realize how the previous 2 games were straddling a very fine line between greatness and garbage.

I find it interesting that you only talk about the look of the game and conclude they failed to create a good sequel based on that.

I agree that the environments in Dark Souls II are not as good and well put together as Dark Souls, yet Dark Souls II is a much better playing game than either of the other two.

#187 Edited by Pr1mus (3952 posts) -

@zevvion: I also clearly said that everything else had been said by others in the very first sentence and talked only about the environments because i really don't feel like writing a novel to described in details everything i hate about this game.

The short version is that the combat is off, the bosses designs are lazy and predictable, tons of sound effects seem to come straight out of a free sound library that comes with some open source software, etc.

And yes the environments are the first thing you notice and the foundation of the whole game and failing at that after how memorable the world of Lordran was is a pretty clear sign of a failure.

You walk into some of the early areas of the game and tell yourself "damn, this is an ugly game". Then you reach an early boss that is a worst looking, weaker version of Ornstein (who happened to have one of the hardest and most memorable boss fight in the first game) and they turn that fight into this weakling and make a super boring fight out of it. Nice throwback to the first game you guys! Then you find out that likely the next 10 bosses you'll fight are basically the exact same fight. Lock on, circle around, hit once or twice after they're done attacking, repeat. There is never anything else during those fights to worry about, never any attacks to break the pattern, never any environment pitfalls to be aware of. Old Dragonslayer, Dragon Rider, The last Giant, The Lost Sinner, The Pursuer, The Flexile Sentry, The Ruin Sentinels... all the same fight. This is lazy.

In the first game, being low level and not knowing what to expect makes the first time you fight the gargoyles memorable. Because there's a cutscene to introduce one and then "oh fucking shit there's another". This time, here have two of them to start with with no cutscene and then we'll just throw 3 more at some point. This is not hard, this is not memorable, this is just tedious, boring and lazy. They have two throwbacks to the first game like that in two early areas and they blow it twice in a row. This is what a b-team does. They completely missed what made those fights memorable to begin with.

Like i said in my first post, i could go into much greater details but there's no point in putting this much time into repeating what has already been said for a game i truly hate and wasted 50$ on.

And before you go and dissect this post to tell me how wrong i am, don't bother. You clearly love the game, good for you. I wish i did too. I hate it. The end.

#188 Posted by Zevvion (2382 posts) -

@pr1mus: I'm not going to tell you you're wrong, I'm going to tell you I disagree. I'm also going to tell you that the memories you have of Dark Souls may not actually represent what the game truly is. Every boss in that game is defeated the same way as well. The bosses are extremely predictable there also. This is not new in Dark Souls II. Old Dragonslayer is pretty much Ornstein except this time he is alone. Have you fought Ornstein alone in Dark Souls? That's very easy as well. Easier than this one in fact, because he is slower. What made Smough and Ornstein hard is just that. The fact that they were both there. On their own, they were not hard.

But yeah, Ornstein and the Gargoyles are throw backs, like you said. That is the point of those fights. It's only 2 out of... I'm not sure... 20 bosses? It's not that big of a deal if you don't like throwbacks like that. I thought it was cool. I really liked the Ornstein fight as I really liked fighting him in the first game, but Smough was messing the awesome fight up. I get the chance here, and I like that. The Gargoyles I thought were fun, because they play with your expectations. I was going in expecting: 'Alright, these guys. So they'll probably change this up and have 3 this time'? And then a little later: 'Oh God, it's 5 of them!' That stuff is awesome to me.

Have you gone back to Dark Souls after playing Dark Souls II? I have. I was surprised how much better DSII plays. And you may realize that - and I agree the design or the world and maybe the visual design of the bosses are better in that game - the bosses are not that great. Some are poorly designed from a gameplay perspective even.

I'm just saying, I went back for a bit and was surprised I remembered the game different than how it actually was. But no, I'm not saying you are 'wrong'.

#189 Posted by Pr1mus (3952 posts) -

@zevvion: I did go back to Dark Souls both during and after Dark Souls 2 and still consider it a vastly superior game in every aspect. DS2 did not alter my perception of the first game, in fact it only reinforced how much i like it compared to this new one.

#190 Edited by Kaos999 (56 posts) -

@eggmith

Couldn't agree more, damn shame they hamstrung the game trying to appease a vocal segment of the fanbase instead of just making a much better game for the entire fanbase.

@primus

gotta tell ya, boss fights were the same in DS as well. They also reused a boss or two, having just replayed it you'd see that with the very first boss. As a matter of fact, almost every combat scenario involves you either baiting an attack, waiting till their done, and whack whack. Repeat. Or arrowing everything to death from a long long distance.

Which irks me that this is what people are using as challenging gameplay and downplaying similar games. Because every generic enemy can kill you in one or two hits? Oh well, still enjoy the combat, just wish they expanded that aspect more.

#191 Posted by Igniz12 (101 posts) -

@zevvion said:

@pr1mus: I'm not going to tell you you're wrong, I'm going to tell you I disagree. I'm also going to tell you that the memories you have of Dark Souls may not actually represent what the game truly is. Every boss in that game is defeated the same way as well. The bosses are extremely predictable there also. This is not new in Dark Souls II. Old Dragonslayer is pretty much Ornstein except this time he is alone. Have you fought Ornstein alone in Dark Souls? That's very easy as well. Easier than this one in fact, because he is slower. What made Smough and Ornstein hard is just that. The fact that they were both there. On their own, they were not hard.

But yeah, Ornstein and the Gargoyles are throw backs, like you said. That is the point of those fights. It's only 2 out of... I'm not sure... 20 bosses? It's not that big of a deal if you don't like throwbacks like that. I thought it was cool. I really liked the Ornstein fight as I really liked fighting him in the first game, but Smough was messing the awesome fight up. I get the chance here, and I like that. The Gargoyles I thought were fun, because they play with your expectations. I was going in expecting: 'Alright, these guys. So they'll probably change this up and have 3 this time'? And then a little later: 'Oh God, it's 5 of them!' That stuff is awesome to me.

Have you gone back to Dark Souls after playing Dark Souls II? I have. I was surprised how much better DSII plays. And you may realize that - and I agree the design or the world and maybe the visual design of the bosses are better in that game - the bosses are not that great. Some are poorly designed from a gameplay perspective even.

I'm just saying, I went back for a bit and was surprised I remembered the game different than how it actually was. But no, I'm not saying you are 'wrong'.

Please explain what you mean by "play better" cause to me there was surgical precision in DS1's combat that DS2 lacks. Enemy attacks and tells were there to be studied and dissected, this is what made PVE gank fights so good. You could study enemy attacks and then wait for the perfect moment to strike safe in the knowledge that the other guy was busy going through his attack routine to come behind you and double team you. None of that exists in DS2 principally due to:

1. Enemies having infinite stamina.

2. Enemy active attack frames are designed to come out as quickly as possible which results in alot of hit trading even though the player takes the first initiative.

3. Enemy are designed to go back to neutral frames almost immediately after anything; poise break, successful melee hit by player, guard break. Whiff your second attack even though the first one hit? Good luck, now it a 3 hit combo with no way to roll out cause they added huge recovery frames(in relation to enemies) to all your attacks.

4. Enemy attack tracking. Oh boy......

Add all that up and multiply enemy encounters by a factor of 3 and all the glaring issues with this game come out.

The worst part is there is nothing clever about enemy attack patterns. Its the same crap as in DS1 for the most part, sometimes even more telegraphed yet its somehow more frustrating cause they gave enemies so much combat buffs while they nerfed player actions to high hell. Having played DS1 as late as April with my Strength build warpick run, I can unequivocally tell you that DS2 comes nowhere close to playing as better as DS1. Its a sloppy mess of attack priorities, janky as hell animation, lol hitboxes and bizarre forced player handicaps. Its lucky that even after all that they at least managed to capture enough of what makes a souls game, a souls game that Im able to continue playing it......for the time being at least.

#192 Edited by Zevvion (2382 posts) -

@igniz12: By better playing I meant you have more control of your character. Rolling is now controllable, instead of a 4-direction thing. You can also still dissect enemy attacks, I'm not sure why you suggest that isn't possible anymore. You can also break their poise and perform criticals just fine. Maybe we are talking about two different things.

The agility mechanic is also an interesting change, just as the change they made to poise. Whereas you can just beat the entirety of DS by wearing heavy armor and drink estus whenever, that's no longer viable. You actually need a little bit of tactics now, which I can really appreciate. It is just a deeper combat system, that requires you to be a bit smarter about what you're doing.

That said, that is something I really like. That's why I said it plays better. If anyone think it doesn't, then I'm not saying they are wrong, just saying I disagree.

#193 Posted by Capum15 (5002 posts) -

1: I still hate invasions.

2: The misty wooded bit can go die in a fire.

Fine with everything else so far after getting used to it.

#194 Edited by Igniz12 (101 posts) -

@zevvion said:

@igniz12: By better playing I meant you have more control of your character. Rolling is now controllable, instead of a 4-direction thing. You can also still dissect enemy attacks, I'm not sure why you suggest that isn't possible anymore. You can also break their poise and perform criticals just fine. Maybe we are talking about two different things.

The agility mechanic is also an interesting change, just as the change they made to poise. Whereas you can just beat the entirety of DS by wearing heavy armor and drink estus whenever, that's no longer viable. You actually need a little bit of tactics now, which I can really appreciate. It is just a deeper combat system, that requires you to be a bit smarter about what you're doing.

That said, that is something I really like. That's why I said it plays better. If anyone think it doesn't, then I'm not saying they are wrong, just saying I disagree.

Never mind, I doubt you even understood any part of what I wrote. Its cool if you think the game plays better for you, I mean I like this game too(believe it or not) but I'd never say this game played better cause there is more to that than just multi-directional rolling.

Funny you mention agility, its contrived mechanics and like that that permeate the entire game instead of actually trying to come up with more refined and well thought out solutions to fix past issues.

#195 Posted by Zevvion (2382 posts) -

@igniz12: Of course there is more to it then multi-directional rolling. But the entire game character feels more accurate. He is striking where I want him to. He responds when I tell him to. Instead of Dark Souls' animation priority that really went a long way. Strike near this ledge? Sure, but you'll fall as this strike causes you to step forward. That stuff is a little lackluster. In DSII, I can strike and immediately roll back. The animation causes me to move forward, the roll causes me to move back. Instead of moving forward, waiting for the entire animation to finish, which ends me up falling off the ledge.

More control, faster movement; is all part of why I think it plays a lot better.

#196 Posted by Kazeking (2 posts) -

My only complain is that I didn't get the same feeling I had when playing through Dks1, I don't know what was the particular reason but a lot of things felt uninspired for me.

The game is awesome, but I wanted to feel the same excitement and tense moments that Dks1 gave me.

#197 Edited by HaniBall (323 posts) -

So I'll start with a positive. I have finally decided to go after darklurker. He is laughing at my attempts so far. Meleeing him is giving me a harder time probably than any other boss. Don't get me wrong, I am not beyond changing up tactics but my pyro cast times are not up to par. Maybe I should have done this in NG?

Anyways, the run up to him is again very fun. It's basically like taking the stairway in dragon shrine with no doorway and no room to run and heal. So while I like to think I don't cheese areas much, this is actually forcing me to face the music.

That said, here's my nitpick. It wasn't as obvious to me somehow in the rest of the game but down here it just super clear that the enemy attack animation has priority over everything short of their health falling below zero. So no matter how slow these guys swing or cast, if I don't time my jump attack and keep them stun locked it will turn into a brawl where whoever does more damage first wins. And beware if your stamina runs out! Don't get me wrong, it is usually me, but it just feels like bad design not to be able to cancel their heavy attack with my faster one.

So combine that with the tracking of their attacks and you have the real problem. The hit boxes? C'mon, you can survive one missed roll against rotten. But this is really keeping the fights from being skill based encounters and turns them into this

#198 Posted by RubberBabyBuggyBumpers (727 posts) -

I think my negative view on PvP is the same with a good chunk of the player base: it sucks! The mix of the lag and the amount of cheaters is some kind of bullshit. I have a +5 Black Knight Halberd. I backstabbed somebody with it. That should, right there, be either an instant kill or a blow that drains the majority of their health. It didn't do any fucking damage. If I didn't live in an apartment complex, and if my neighbors hadn't been home at the time, I would have gone berserk.

#199 Edited by SoldierG654342 (1822 posts) -

@zevvion said:

@igniz12: Of course there is more to it then multi-directional rolling. But the entire game character feels more accurate. He is striking where I want him to. He responds when I tell him to. Instead of Dark Souls' animation priority that really went a long way. Strike near this ledge? Sure, but you'll fall as this strike causes you to step forward. That stuff is a little lackluster. In DSII, I can strike and immediately roll back. The animation causes me to move forward, the roll causes me to move back. Instead of moving forward, waiting for the entire animation to finish, which ends me up falling off the ledge.

More control, faster movement; is all part of why I think it plays a lot better.

I just went back to playing Demon's Souls after Dark Souls II and I feel the exact opposite way you do about the way Dark Souls II controls. To me, Dark Souls II controls the way people always said Souls games controlled; unresponsive and inaccurate. It's especially noticeable with rolls. The delay between pressing roll and the roll coming out feels huge. Sprinting also takes much longer to start up than before. Attack animations also seem to move your character farther than in previous games, but as you pointed out that can be circumvented.

I really think that most of my problems with Dark Souls II can be traced back to Agility. It's a good idea in theory, as rolling int he previous 2 games was far too good in comparison to blocking, but so much of Souls combat is based around precise timing. Making your action speed scale with a stat ruins the precision. I never no when I need to roll because I just leveled my Attunment and by Agility changed. I just boosted Adaptability by 3 and now I don't know how long healing takes any more. I'm exaggerating a bit, but going back to Demon's Souls made me really appreciate the precision that comes from constants.

#200 Posted by dudeglove (8307 posts) -

I don't like how blunt/strike and lightning seems to be effective against the overwhelming number of enemies and bosses. Of the weapons I've experimented with, swords seem to be the biggest disappointment. The greatsword feels like I'm flailing around a giant heavy sponge, and the Zweihander isn't nearly as much fun as before. Maybe DkS1 was too liberal with its dead angling and hit boxes and I'm expecting too much. In all honesty, the much improved summoning on PC has trivialized the difficulty game as the absence of GFWL has trivialized the "will-I-won't-I get any help with this bit".

The real complaint I have, if you can call it that, is that DkS1 is an incredibly tough act to follow. I will continue to love the weird subculture it's created, however.

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