Got a question about Dark Souls, I might know the answer.
Here are some basic things
New/altered combat mechanics
-Players can now perform a running jump by pressing the X button while sprinting and do a strong leaping attack by pressing forward+R2
-Forward+R1 push is replaced by a kick for some weapons
-Both players and enemies can attack and be attacked while climbing ladders; players can be knocked off of ladders by repeat attacks
-More degrees of weight encumbrance for rolling; there’s now a roll below fast speed but above “limply thrown brick” speed
-Rolls have less invulnerability
-Player can be hit while recovering from being knocked down
-Heavy armor allows its wearer to not flinch when hit by weaker attacks
-Headshots with arrows/bolts do critical damage
-Crossbows can be reloaded while moving
-Multiple helpings of Est can be drunk at once by repeatedly pressing square, adding to the animation instead of restarting it
-Resting at a bonfire refills your Est flasks and causes you to spawn there if you die
-Enemies respawn every time you rest at a bonfire
-Bonfires can be enhanced at the cost of humanity; doing so gives you double the normal amount of Est flasks when you rest at that bonfire
-When another online player enhances the last bonfire you visited, you are given an extra Est flask
-Bonfires become inactive if the player is invaded
-Will not use dedicated servers; uses a new From Software designed peer-to-peer network system
Passive online elements
-Player outline phantoms return; they become more detailed the closer they are to a bonfire
-The Select button is now dedicated to the Emote menu
-Emotes now change based on your character’s decided role (E.G.: evil knight, holy templar)
-Leaving messages is now done through a hotbar item, like with soul signs
-Message system has been made more intuitive with a mad-libs style tiered selection system
Active online elements<
-Player count increased to host + 3 other players; can be any combination of enemy or ally, with multiple invasions now possible
-Blue Phantoms return, this time white or gold in color; same summoning system as Demon’s Souls
-Black Phantoms return, using the same invading system as Demon’s Souls
-Black Phantoms now spawn in safer zones away from the host’s spawn, usually among strong enemies
-Black Phantoms can no longer hurt enemies
-Neither allied phantoms nor invaders can heal using Est jars while in another world; they must rely on magic spells if they heal at all
-The spell Great Heal can heal nearby allies, making it ideal for co-op play
-New soul sign, Gravelord: using it causes 3 random player’s worlds to become “infected” and Black Phantom versions of regular enemies to appear, making the stages harder
-If the players can find the sign left by the Gravelord user, they can use it to invade his/her world; killing the Gravelord user removes the infection from all of the worlds
-New, green-colored soul sign: laying it down and using the spell Great Heal in the nearby vicinity causes all players near the soul sign in their worlds to be healed
-Humanity is measured via the flame next to the health and stamina bars
-Is tied into the game’s story
-Dying while you have humanity results in the message “You Died” and a loss of humanity
-Dying when you have no humanity results in the message “You Hollowed”
-Being in a hollowed state gives your character a zombie-like appearance
-Killing invaders gives the player +1 humanity
-Killing the host gives invaders +1 humanity
-Recovering your bloodstain gives you back the souls you had, any humanity you lost upon death, and a full heal
-Enemies are no longer easily evaded and will pursue the player over long distances if they attempt to run
-Ranged attacking enemies will switch to close-range weapons if the player gets too near
-Most humanoid enemies will heal using an Est flask if given the opportunity
-Some regular enemies can backstab and parry and riposte the player
-Some enemies have the ability to grapple the player, ala the Mindflayers from Demon’s Souls
-Catalysts/Talisman’s return and are used in the same way, but now have different appearances
-Magic now uses a charge system: each spell has a limited number of uses, varied based on the strength of the magic
-Certain world events, when triggered in one game, will echo through to all players in the nearby area in their games; for example, when one player rings the church bell to finish the demo, all other players hear it as well
-Oath system determines the role you play in the game and whether you want to help or compete against other players
-System is based around in-game religious beliefs
-Player humanity level is likely related in some way to which oaths you can take
Here are some interesting things from IGN today
Bonfire Strengthening (Kindling)
If someone strengthens a bonfire, this will be transmitted to people "nearby" (in network terms) who are using the same bonfire, giving them an extra Estus Flask. Strengthening a bonfire costs valuable Humanity, but you can use it to help out strangers and gain a sense of solidarity with your fellow strugglers.
VagrantsThings like discarded items and lost Humanity transform into different forms and wander through other people's game worlds. If people leave them alone without picking them up, they keep moving, eventually transforming into very valuable items. This is another way for players to help each other, with the sense that everyone is helping to bring these items into existence.
When someone rings a bell, the sound reverberates to players nearby in the network. Hearing someone else's victory is intended to stimulate other player's own drive to succeed. NOTE: There are two known 'Bells' in the world of Dark Souls that must be rung at some point in a players quest to learn how to break the curse of the undead.
Bonfire PhantomsNear bonfires (and only near them), the phantoms of other players are more distinct and visible than elsewhere in the game or anywhere in Demon's Souls. Seeing other people resting at the same bonfire helps players realize that these people are probably facing the same challenges.
Miracle ResonanceSome miracles have a "Resonance" property. If multiple players nearby in the network use these miracles, the effect for everyone is amplified.
Covenant "Way of White"This covenant is for helping out other players online. Players who are in this covenant will automatically be drawn closer to each other on the network. This makes the abovementioned Miracle Resonance easier to perform, as well as helps block people from antagonistic covenants from coming closer on the network.
The setup for the various covenants affects multiplayer situations in many different ways, especially the parameters of versus play, expanding the scope well beyond Demon's Souls. The game is designed to introduce multiplayer events as an extension of each character's role-playing in these covenants.