Can someone explain Dark Souls?

#151 Posted by tyler1285 (177 posts) -

I really wish that the internet had never hyped this game up as being so difficult in the first place. It just makes people want to hate it for being unfair when it isn't.

#152 Posted by Hungry (165 posts) -

@Levio: I really want to know what version of Dark Souls you are playing, because the block -> retaliate strategy actually works for a vast majority of non-boss encounters in the game. If you can't handle that, I am sorry. This even works with a really slow weapon that is meant to be two-handed but can still be used in one-hand.

#153 Posted by BulimicBalzac (93 posts) -

As a man... Neigh a person who beat both of the souls games I can tell you this: You are being a huge baby. These games are not some insurmountable task.

The news of a more user friendly souls game tears at my insides like a razor in Halloween candy. Hell when Patrick bitched about the game on the podcast in the distant past It instantly turned me off on him. He never gave the game a chance, this game is not a muscle bound rapist. It is a breathe of fresh air from the stagnant supply of lack luster games.

#154 Posted by Hungry (165 posts) -

@BulimicBalzac:

Yeah, and it isn't even as hard as a lot of people make it out to be. It just punishes you for fucking around and not being careful. Some of the fights can be really demanding (O&S and some of the DLC content). But really playing cautiously and using your brain means you can overcome most bosses with maybe 3 deaths at max.

Either that, or apparently me and all of my friends are gaming gods.

#155 Posted by Levio (1784 posts) -

@Hungry said:

@Levio: I really want to know what version of Dark Souls you are playing, because the block -> retaliate strategy actually works for a vast majority of non-boss encounters in the game. If you can't handle that, I am sorry. This even works with a really slow weapon that is meant to be two-handed but can still be used in one-hand.

I was playing Demons Souls actually. The rogue-type class I believe, and I'd been switching between the original weapon and a rapier found in the first castle. I never even got around to trying the shield based tactics since I was still trying out the dozen or so weapon based attacks available to me between the swords and items, and I preferred dodging anyway. I gradually trial-and-error hacked my way through to the "slime" boss, at which point I realized I had insufficient "fire-bombs" to kill him, could find no other weakness, had no way of leaving the boss room, and had no way of buying bombs after death since all my currency was left in the boss room.

I accepted that there were probably other strategies available in the game, but I had neither the inclination to continue to trial-and-error my way into finding them, nor did I want to become dependent upon a guide of any sort to progress. Hence why I come into this thread explaining why the death rules for this game were entirely detrimental to my experience and are why new players are likely to quit the game before completing even the first dungeon.

#156 Edited by Hungry (165 posts) -

@Levio: Okay, well Demons Souls and Dark Souls are two different games. Also, you find an item that lets you enchant your weapon with fire damage temporarily to let you kill Phalanx (the slime boss) pretty easy. Even if you can't do fire damage, it just takes some time. Phalanx is so easy you shouldn't really be dying to him. While I think Demons Souls does a worse job of being completely, 100% fair, I wouldn't call it a trial-and-error game either. Dark Souls has maybe 2.5 moments (with one being pretty avoidable, and one I honestly don't know if there is a way to avoid it) that are unfair. Demons Souls has a couple more, but a vast majority of the game is completely fair.

The bottom line is, in neither game do you require trial-and-error or a guide to complete them. D'Souls just asks much more of you than most games do these days, and it won't take a half-assed attempt for a valid answer. Also, I would say Dark Souls vastly improves on Demons Souls in many, many ways. In the gameplay, story, atmosphere, all of it. That is the benefit of being a sequel.

I am glad we could clear all of this up.

#157 Posted by Levio (1784 posts) -

@Hungry: I should have known to go find a fire enchant for my weapon! DUH! And I shouldn't have died because "he is easy and I really shouldn't be dying to him". Thanks for clearing that up.

#158 Posted by Ares42 (2677 posts) -

@Levio said:

and I preferred dodging anyway.

This is the source of all your frustrations with the game. You might think you prefer dodging, but it's basically making the game 10x harder for you than it needs to be. This argument doesn't work as well for Demon's Souls (and I've used this argument before), but in Dark Souls the first item you get is a shield. There's a reason for that. Even with the absolutely worst shield in the game you'll be doing much better with your standard block-retal strategy than purely relying on dodging right from the get-go.

Online
#159 Edited by Hungry (165 posts) -

@Levio: Look, I understand you're frustrated, but the item you need to fight Phalanx is in the main path to fight him. All you have to do is explore just a little (literally, just turn a corner and it is there) and you get the item. Also, what is the problem with that? If the first boss has to work harder than you do to win why is that unacceptable? It sounds more like you don't want to improve your play and you'd rather kick your feet and call it unfair.

#160 Posted by golguin (3932 posts) -

@Ares42 said:

@Levio said:

and I preferred dodging anyway.

This is the source of all your frustrations with the game. You might think you prefer dodging, but it's basically making the game 10x harder for you than it needs to be. This argument doesn't work as well for Demon's Souls (and I've used this argument before), but in Dark Souls the first item you get is a shield. There's a reason for that. Even with the absolutely worst shield in the game you'll be doing much better with your standard block-retal strategy than purely relying on dodging right from the get-go.

It looks the game mix up was cleared up, but it looks like you completely sidestepped proper shield use and tried to dodge without learning the fundamentals that shield use would have taught you. It's my understanding that the combat mechanics for both games are very similar and I believe the stamina meter works the same way in both games. I'll just mark the main points you need to know about your shield and its proper use.

1. Your stamina is drained when an enemy hits you with your shield up (enemy makes contact with your shield).

2. Keeping your shield up after blocking an attack will slowly refill your stamina bar. Putting your shield down will fill it up faster. Learning to only put your shield up right before an enemy attack is key in preserving your stamina since you use up stamina to attack. You don't want to be left without stamina.

3. A good number of enemy attacks bounce off your shield. They have a large enough cooldown before their next attack that you can swing your weapon and damage them without worrying about them attacking or raising their own shield.

4. You and your opponent are now back to a neutral position where you can both attack and/or defend. Repeat the cycle until your enemy dies.

**BONUS**

Some weapons allow you to attack while keeping your shield up. That weapon type would be a good choice for you until you get nail proper stamina management with a shield.

#161 Posted by Octaslash (529 posts) -

My head not big enough to enjoy Dark Souls.

#162 Posted by syzygyeolith (92 posts) -

I've only spent about 3 hours in it, and I need to vent. I hate this game.

I was given a copy from a friend who insisted I'd like it, since I like 'punishingly difficult games' apparently. So why did I 'rage quit' in the catacombs, and decide the game doesn't deserve my time?

First of all, I disagree that the game wants you to 'figure stuff out'. I couldn't figure out why I couldn't start my whole misadventure with my blandly ugly character until I looked it up online. Apparently there was a 'name' box I needed to fill in.. however on the character creation screen it's barely even noticeable. Okey.. so the back end UI is sort of.. '1993'.. I continued on with my 'Knight'. Why did I pick Knight? Who knows! The game showed me a bunch of meaningless stats and something about not being knocked down (very not true, as you all know), so that sounded good. I did notice that there was an explanation of the stats once you're in the game.. but that just described the stats in a vaguely incomprehensible way, leaving me wonder why they bothered at all.

So I played on, deciding if I ignore the stuff I had no idea about, maybe it would all just go away.. and for a while, despite the slow and clumsy combat, I thought that maybe I could find a groove eventually. Right up until I fought the pit fiend thing. I must have died a dozen times, wrestling with the controls, trying to dodge the massive sweeps of his mace, getting hit no matter how far away I thought I was. I died a couple times because my character got caught on some broken pottery on the floor (that should have been the red flag), but eventually I beat it by strafing around behind him, hitting it in the arse. It basically felt like a tedious exploit. I didn't think I had learnt a damn thing (other than steel boulders will roll down flights of stairs without any warning. Cool!).

But no.. I tried to brute force fun out of the game in the next area, fighting skeletons over and over and over. Why do they take so long to kill? Why do I need to wait for their 'rebuilding' animation to complete before another blow will skuttle them apart again? If I can't block the attacks from the giant skeleton, and the 'dodging' is awkward at best, how am I supposed to have fun learning to kill such an early enemy. In the end I said 'to hell with it' and just ran as far as I could, died, and turned it off.

Now, if you liked it.. great. Whatever it takes to keep you people off the streets. I've read this thread in it's entirety and I can only conclude that people defending are suffering from some sort of stockholm syndrome. To anyone else who hated the game as much as I did (but really wanted to like it), I gotta recommend checking out Severance: Blade of Darkness, from 2001. It's another difficult 3rd person melee game, where even a lowly goblin can pose a very real danger to a clumsy high level character. It's also similar in that it has a focus on animation priority, but the movement is much nimbler, and if you get the right attack in the right opening, you can dispatch a foe quickly.

I'm done my rant. Feel free to smugly say I'm not a 'cerebral gamer' at your leisure now.

#163 Edited by bearshamanbro (284 posts) -

@syzygyeolith: Totally understand. You did go the wrong way though if you were fighting the skeletons, those are for much later in the game. Seen many people make that mistake and I feel FROM made a bad design decision with how they drop you in that first area. The correct way is up the side of the cliff and into the old city. Basically if you run into a extremely difficult area you're usually in the wrong place. I think it's totally fair to expect the player to figure that out, but it has to be more clear that the player has multiple choices. The skeleton area shouldn't have been so accesible with the correct path semi-obscured. Later in the game that would have been OK, but not right at the start.

#164 Edited by Azteck (7449 posts) -

@syzygyeolith: If you had that much issue with it, maybe you should consider not going that way since it clearly is way out of your ability (not because of skill because as a low-level character they are simply impossible if you don't know what you're doing). Or how about looking things up. This game has been established since a long time back as a game that does not hold your hand. The internet however has a million different guides and explanations on what things mean and how things work. Look it up before you start blindly stomping about because it's a tricky game.

#165 Posted by mosespippy (4189 posts) -

@syzygyeolith: Why do the skeletons take so long to kill? Because you aren't supposed to fight them until much later. Its an open world game. If an area is too difficult then go somewhere else. Why is the dodge awkward? I'm guessing it's because your equipment weight is too high for your endurance stat, causing you to do the fat roll rather than the mid roll, fast roll or backflip. Maybe try a different character class? The Bandit can 2 hand it's starting weapon to one shot all the enemies up to the first merchant and has lighter equipment, thus a faster dodge. The pyromancer is also a good starting character since most enemies are weak to fire and pyro spells have no stat requirements. Just don't brute force things. This is a game of finesse and calculated decisions. Trying to force things will send you running into traps.

#166 Posted by Deusx (1905 posts) -

Dark Souls is not about skill. It's about exploration and knowledge. The game is the closest to perfection that I've found in any video game yet. It's deliberate in it's decisions, and it isn't for everyone. If you have the will to go through it's rough journey, you're worthy of it's hidden wonders.

#167 Edited by gogosox82 (424 posts) -

I've only spent about 3 hours in it, and I need to vent. I hate this game.

I was given a copy from a friend who insisted I'd like it, since I like 'punishingly difficult games' apparently. So why did I 'rage quit' in the catacombs, and decide the game doesn't deserve my time?

First of all, I disagree that the game wants you to 'figure stuff out'. I couldn't figure out why I couldn't start my whole misadventure with my blandly ugly character until I looked it up online. Apparently there was a 'name' box I needed to fill in.. however on the character creation screen it's barely even noticeable. Okey.. so the back end UI is sort of.. '1993'.. I continued on with my 'Knight'. Why did I pick Knight? Who knows! The game showed me a bunch of meaningless stats and something about not being knocked down (very not true, as you all know), so that sounded good. I did notice that there was an explanation of the stats once you're in the game.. but that just described the stats in a vaguely incomprehensible way, leaving me wonder why they bothered at all.

So I played on, deciding if I ignore the stuff I had no idea about, maybe it would all just go away.. and for a while, despite the slow and clumsy combat, I thought that maybe I could find a groove eventually. Right up until I fought the pit fiend thing. I must have died a dozen times, wrestling with the controls, trying to dodge the massive sweeps of his mace, getting hit no matter how far away I thought I was. I died a couple times because my character got caught on some broken pottery on the floor (that should have been the red flag), but eventually I beat it by strafing around behind him, hitting it in the arse. It basically felt like a tedious exploit. I didn't think I had learnt a damn thing (other than steel boulders will roll down flights of stairs without any warning. Cool!).

But no.. I tried to brute force fun out of the game in the next area, fighting skeletons over and over and over. Why do they take so long to kill? Why do I need to wait for their 'rebuilding' animation to complete before another blow will skuttle them apart again? If I can't block the attacks from the giant skeleton, and the 'dodging' is awkward at best, how am I supposed to have fun learning to kill such an early enemy. In the end I said 'to hell with it' and just ran as far as I could, died, and turned it off.

Now, if you liked it.. great. Whatever it takes to keep you people off the streets. I've read this thread in it's entirety and I can only conclude that people defending are suffering from some sort of stockholm syndrome. To anyone else who hated the game as much as I did (but really wanted to like it), I gotta recommend checking out Severance: Blade of Darkness, from 2001. It's another difficult 3rd person melee game, where even a lowly goblin can pose a very real danger to a clumsy high level character. It's also similar in that it has a focus on animation priority, but the movement is much nimbler, and if you get the right attack in the right opening, you can dispatch a foe quickly.

I'm done my rant. Feel free to smugly say I'm not a 'cerebral gamer' at your leisure now.

Well you shouldn't be in the catacombs this early. You should go to the catacombs after anor londo. Second, you were rolling slowly probably b/c you have low stamina which means you equip burden will only allow you to move at a certain speed. Either take off some the armor so that you can roll faster or put on lighter armor so that you can roll, move, and attack faster. Wearing heavy armor comes at a cost to stamina which you need to block, attack, roll etc so taking some of the armor off until you have more stamina will allow you to move, attack, block better. You probably couldn't block the skeleton attacks ( im assuming your talking about the giant ones with the murakumo) is because you haven't upgraded your shield yet. Your shield probably didn't have the stability to handle the force of the attack and with your low stamina you took some damage. So upgrading the shield so that it has better stability to take hits better so you won't take damage from enemies with powerful swords. But again, don't go to this area until much later ( lvl 50-60 i'd say). Now i know you said that you played for the first few hours, but honestly you've only played like 15 minutes of the actual content. That's really not enough to say you hate it, is it? Give it until the depths and if it doesn't click by that time then it probably isn't for you. Also the game isn't hard, its actually quite easy once you get used to the mechanics.

#168 Posted by mosespippy (4189 posts) -

@gogosox82: The catacombs aren't that difficult. I'd say you can do them at around 30 and definitely before Anor Londo. Just don't go to Tomb of Giants after getting the Rite of Kindling. I've got a lvl 24 thief right now and am at the first bonfire in the catacombs. I haven't even completed the depths or blight town yet.

#169 Edited by gogosox82 (424 posts) -

@beaudacious: we could say the same thing about you. Your just saying the mechanics are bad without giving a reason why its bad. If you read through this thread people have answered most of your issues. Like weapons speed being attributed to weapon type has already been answered. If your swinging a greatsword like the zwei, it weighs 16 lbs. so its going to take a while for the animation to complete b/c it weighs 16 LBS. And some questions are honestly kind of silly like why is there a lock on system. Seriously, what action game doesn't have a lock on system of some sort whether its soft or hard, they all basically have a lock on system. That's just a silly question honestly and one you probably already know the answer to. Some of the questions can just be explained by clipping in the environment (which happens in a lot of games) and limitations of the consoles ( ie shitty framerate in blighttown, new londo, lost izilith etc). I think honestly the balls in your court. Its really up to you to figure out whether your going to give the game an honest shot or not. If your not then just stop playing it. Life's too short to play a game you don't enjoy.

#170 Posted by HellknightLeon (467 posts) -

I like Coke better than Pepsi... Oh DArkSouls... got yeah. Man this is a lot of talking about the question... I would say watch the quicklook more.

#171 Edited by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@syzygyeolith:

I really hope you give Dark Souls another go. It may seem like you didn't learn anything, but in reality you learned a ton of stuff without even realizing it.

You killed the monster with the giant mace and giant butt by keeping out of its attack arc. This strategy is good to employ with pretty much every enemy encounter, but doubly so with monsters that are significantly bigger than you.

You figured out that sometimes the areas you're fighting in aren't optimal (getting stuck on pots) and that you should try to keep an eye on the environment during combat and in general (the boulder).

Skeletons suck and take a hella long time to kill compared to the rest of the approximately you-sized enemies in the starting area. The graveyard is really tough and you should come back to it when you're stronger.

If you made it as far as the Catacombs, I'd say you must be a "cerebral gamer" to have made it that far on your first character. The problem lies in not realizing you learned anything at all.

Dark Souls was an amazing revelatory experience for me when it clicked so realize that I'm not trying to call you wrong for not having fun with one of my favorite games. I really just want everyone who tries Dark Souls to have the same amazing "oh shit, I understand now" moment that I did.

Even if you don't revisit Dark Souls, thanks for taking the time to post about your experience. I love reading tales from people who dove in head-first.

#172 Edited by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

One block I have noticed new players seem to experience is the idea that they have to stop and fight every enemy that comes near them. I had the most fun playing Dark Souls by using the bonfires as exploration checkpoints, eg, run straight past everything that doesn't directly block my path, explore the area until I die or find the next bonfire, then repeat. Once I have a good idea of the level layout and the location of the fog doors, I work through more carefully from there. This strategy is more valid in Dark than it is in Demon's as weapon upgrades are more important than soul level (usually). Demon's can be a bit tougher to make progress due to the central hub format. Some of the levels are quite long with limited physical path checkpointing to speed your progress back to the boss if you die.

I recommend watching some of the more criteria specific speedruns of this game to get an idea about general boss strategy. People speedrun this game with bow only. Shield only too (you use pinwheel shield as your weapon in this run category).

#173 Posted by haffy (673 posts) -

Personally I love the game. I can understand how people don't like it though. But I think that's just because if you play it in the wrong mind set it's a pretty frustrating game, even if you kind of know what you're doing.

Also like Deusx said the game is about exploration and knowledge. The game won't scream at you if you're making mistakes, and hints won't come up. It just let's you keep making the same mistakes until you learn a good approach. Having no map, only a vague direction on where you have to go and multiple ways of doing it just enforces that play style.

It's actually the only game I've completed more than twice. I've some how ended up playing 250 hours on the PC even though I had the Xbox version as well, and done multiple challenge charcters, like bow only and no leveling up. The replay-ability in that game is pretty amazing in my opinion.

#174 Edited by gogosox82 (424 posts) -

@mosespippy: I know it isn't. I usually go down there first and kill pinwheel to get the rite of kindling after getting to Lordran. I'm talking about as first time player its usually better to go parish, depths, blighttown, sens, then anor londo. By the time you get done with anor londo, you'll be around lvl 55-60 the first time through, then the catacombs are pretty easy or at least manageable( my first time through there i kept on getting lost lol). If you've played the game for a while then you'd know that the run can easily be done at lvl 1. But he was having trouble typing in his name so i thought i'd give him the path least resistance so he could at least enjoy the game instead of proclaiming it crap and anyone who likes it some sort of sadist.

#175 Posted by gogosox82 (424 posts) -
#176 Edited by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

@gogosox82:

Shield only Dark Souls run

Part 2

Keep in mind that video is an eight hour archive of a live stream, so you'll probably have to skip ahead to find the actual start of the run. LobosJr streams pretty often with all sorts of wacky criteria. He has also done dagger-only and is working on broken sword-hilt only. LobosJr Twitch channel.

edit- he gets started at about 12 minutes into the archive.

#177 Posted by syzygyeolith (92 posts) -

Thanks for the replies. I genuinely didn't know this was an 'open world game', and I couldn't find anywhere else to go, so I figured that fighting trash mobs for 15 minutes is just how this game rolls. I did manage to kill the first giant skeleton I saw, but when walking a little forward it just spawned another one with 3 little ones as friends, thats when I turned it off.

If I decide I feel less grumpy with it I'll try to find the place that isn't the graveyard later, and rectify my first impression.

#178 Posted by syzygyeolith (92 posts) -

Alright.

So I've sunk about another 10 hours into the game since my rant, and I can see the appeal of the game now. I did play it for about 4 of those hours wearing all the armour that I started with, having no idea that I was able to actually roll faster than I was by unequiping my feet and hand armour. I also did the first 'bridge boss' without knowing that I could climb the ladder before engaging him to take out the two skeleton archers - I very nearly gave up on the game again trying to fight that boss while the archers were sniping me.

My mate who lent me the game came over and pointed out about a dozen things I either wasn't doing right, or didn't understand (like the three speeds of roll). Now that I kinda understand all this stuff I'm enjoying it a lot more, but I maintain this is far too opaque for a game that didn't come with a manual. I've since decided (under his advice) that I should consult the wiki whenever I feel the need.

Also, I'm divided on what to think about the phantom mechanic. I've found that it can make what could be an extremely difficult encounter (especially if you haven't fought the boss before) completely trivial. I was asking myself if I was robbing myself of the part of the game that makes people love it so much by summoning in these powerful other players.. but I've been doing it anyway when I see the chance to enlist help.

Lastly, having gotten used to it now (and being strong enough to equip my armour without doing the slow roll) I take back saying that the combat is 'clunky', however it's very annoying when an animation plays out which moves your character off the edge of a cliff. Or as the OP said, when an enemy attack clips though the geography.

I'm in Blightown now, am hating the toxin darts, and will update if my opinion changes again.

#179 Posted by Humanity (9306 posts) -

I've heard it's a video game.

#180 Posted by golguin (3932 posts) -

Alright.

So I've sunk about another 10 hours into the game since my rant, and I can see the appeal of the game now. I did play it for about 4 of those hours wearing all the armour that I started with, having no idea that I was able to actually roll faster than I was by unequiping my feet and hand armour. I also did the first 'bridge boss' without knowing that I could climb the ladder before engaging him to take out the two skeleton archers - I very nearly gave up on the game again trying to fight that boss while the archers were sniping me.

My mate who lent me the game came over and pointed out about a dozen things I either wasn't doing right, or didn't understand (like the three speeds of roll). Now that I kinda understand all this stuff I'm enjoying it a lot more, but I maintain this is far too opaque for a game that didn't come with a manual. I've since decided (under his advice) that I should consult the wiki whenever I feel the need.

Also, I'm divided on what to think about the phantom mechanic. I've found that it can make what could be an extremely difficult encounter (especially if you haven't fought the boss before) completely trivial. I was asking myself if I was robbing myself of the part of the game that makes people love it so much by summoning in these powerful other players.. but I've been doing it anyway when I see the chance to enlist help.

Lastly, having gotten used to it now (and being strong enough to equip my armour without doing the slow roll) I take back saying that the combat is 'clunky', however it's very annoying when an animation plays out which moves your character off the edge of a cliff. Or as the OP said, when an enemy attack clips though the geography.

I'm in Blightown now, am hating the toxin darts, and will update if my opinion changes again.

The thing about summoning phantoms is that it's become a more powerful strategy compared to how the game was on release. During the first days of the game people put down their white summon signs because they needed humanity in order to become human and get the ability to summon help themselves. Everyone was learning together and you grouped up to learn level layouts and boss techniques without risking your own humanity.

Summons today are extremely powerful for two reasons.

1) The person you have summoned is probably a veteran player.
2) The person you summoned probably has end game gear and weapons.

There are a lot of mechanics that aren't obvious to new players (like the different rolling speeds) so things can get pretty tough without consulting a friend who knows about the game or checking out a wiki. Knowing how to allocate your stat points could be pretty difficulty without knowing ahead of time what kind of build you want and what weapon you're going to want to use. The weapons themselves are very diverse, but you wouldn't know it if you simply use your starting weapon and assume the swing speeds and attack animations are the same all around (they are not).

I suggest asking for help when you feel you're stuck.

#181 Edited by Humanity (9306 posts) -

@golguin: It must be so strange getting into Dark Souls just now. The experience of playing the game at this point in time compared to when it just launched is like night and day.

#182 Edited by haffy (673 posts) -

@syzygyeolith: Usually in the game if you're finding something that just seems unfair and bull shit, you've either missed something or you're fighting bed of chaos.

Don't feel bad about summoning people to help you the first time in a boss. It'll be easier, but it might make you want to play the game again to try it out.

#183 Posted by golguin (3932 posts) -

@humanity said:

@golguin: It must be so strange getting into Dark Souls just now. The experience of playing the game at this point in time compared to when it just launched is like night and day.

The DLC was fantastic in that it recaptured that feeling. I spent so much time in the forest killing the new forest guardians with their huge hammers because it was such a wide area and I didn't know where to go. The bosses were all more aggressive than anything in the original game and some had combos that could one shot you at level 50.

#184 Edited by mdnthrvst (267 posts) -

For what it's worth, I was right there at the very beginning, frantically figuring shit out in the early days alongside the rest of the Internet (I was on /v/), and I totally went into the Catacombs WAAAY before I was supposed to (but not before ringing the Church bell - I wasn't that stupid), and beat all of the Catacombs without a Holy weapon, which is the definition of suffering.

Having the Rite of Kindling sure made the rest of the game easier, though I'd definitely recommend you ring the second Bell before doing the Catacombs.

Also, to the untalented newcomers who expect the game to coddle them and be something that it isn't, hear this - bosses didn't previously drop humanity and homeward bones on their death. The range that enemies would continue to follow you used to be far longer. There used to be an unbeatable combination of two miracles and a ring that made a PVP opponent nigh-unstoppable - TWoP/WoG/Fog. The game is far easier post-1.05 than it was at launch, MUCH MORE SO because of the completion of the Wikis. I beat Dark Souls after 100 hours of pure determination, and if you just aren't very good at video games, don't try to project and rationalize it as the game's fault. (Though to be fair, about 20 of those hours were spent serial killing in the name of the Almighty Trap.)

Dark Souls is not a game that was designed for everyone who played it to beat it. That's something of a fundamental taboo in modern games, structured around taking your sixty dollars and giving you a slick six-to-twelve hour roller coaster ride that anyone who can use a controller can finish. That Dark Souls categorically rejected this, and instead offered something deep, compelling, maddening and even sublime, is why it has never been forgotten.

Thanks, Giant Bomb, for putting these scrubs in their place - you don't exactly have a reputation for being very good at the harder stuff, so it's refreshing to see that disproven.

#185 Edited by haffy (673 posts) -

@sisyphean: The lore is actually pretty good. I didn't want to figure it out myself either so I just watched these videos.

#186 Posted by gogosox82 (424 posts) -

@syzygyeolith: I'm glad your having more fun with it. Once you understand how the game works, it really isn't all that hard. For a tip, once you kill all the toxic blowdart guys they never respawn so it makes sense to take them all out and they usually drop moss which will cure your poison. Also don't worry about being poisoned in the swamp. Its inevitable and the poison won't kill you and there's a bonfire at the base of blighttown that will cure all your toxic/poison debuffs.

#187 Posted by Souldepriver (3 posts) -

@beaudacious: I would love for you to explain exactly how you "Glitch to accomplish your goal". Sounds very intriguing. Also since when do people blame "gameplay" for not being able to get through a game? Are you uneducated? or just new to games? both?

#188 Edited by Souldepriver (3 posts) -

@fireprince

: Question Yourself.

You say, Question Everything, when in fact that is exactly what you are not doing. You are simply taking the easier route, which is complaining to yourself, and others about the differences in this fantastic game that is DARK SOULS.

If you would have spoken to each NPC you encountered then you would have a part of the story already. Read each and every description on the items that you find, and it would not hurt to grind a bit to find some Rare items as well. There are also other areas you can explore right now, even if you haven't passed the Undead Parish. Next time start with the Master Key, for virtually limitless route possibilities. Although I do understand you will not realize this until you are pretty far into the game, but how can you say Question Everything? In reality you are just getting frustrated about the differences in this game as opposed to the ones you have played in the past.

Forget everything you know about "Video Games", this is DARK SOULS.

DARK SOULS has a great story, but if you people won't be seen playing games that don't have "Top of the line graphics" and a practically "Movie-Like Presentation" of it's Storyline then DARK SOULS is NOT for you. If you don't like reading, try playing Batman... Like BoDayShus here.

-IMO the combat/gameplay in DARK SOULS is flawless, and some people say the game can be slightly unresponsive at times, but I disagree with this. I have found that any time I make a mistake in DARK SOULS, I can ALWAYS correct it the next time through. Gameplay mechanical error? I think NOT. There may be some input combinations that just do not work at the same speeds as others, due to the actions you take... but once you LEARN these actions and the time it takes to complete the animations involved (and stop spamming your damn buttons), you will be able to walk through the game practically untouched. If you are capable, that is.

I still can't believe ANYONE would compare DARK SOULS to Batman, but he is clearly inexperienced. Or maybe he is just young? Hard to say really, but I haven't played Batman games since the 90's... So what do I know.

You cannot blame the mechanics in a game for your failure in the game, that is just plain ignorant.

#189 Posted by azzaxxin (1 posts) -

Dark Soul is a RPG. Do you know whats that guys? You don't need a given story, you are supposed to create one for your character, to give it a role. You may be a Thief who stoled something in some wicked palace and was cursed into the land of the deads and now is trying to escape,or a powerful knight who died defending his kingdom and now tries to go back to life to take his revenge, or whatever you mind can create. Thats what modern games have made to our imagination.. damage!

#190 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

Someone please post the Dark Souls NOPE gif.

#191 Posted by Winternet (8019 posts) -

It's a video game.

#192 Posted by joesaiditstrue (2 posts) -

To the OP: use a 360 controller, mouse and keyboard will be the true definition of masochism.

the gameplay is a dream with a gamepad, one of tightest-feeling games I've played, control-wise

this should honestly be the standard for all action RPGs

#193 Posted by JayDee (439 posts) -

the gameplay is the best part of those games. the rest is rough for me but just fighting guys is really fun.

#194 Posted by HurricaneIvan29 (582 posts) -

Dark Souls... if you want it to be fun, play it with a friend around. Laughs to be had I tell you!

Best part so far was encountering the bulldog thing at the castle towards the beginning lol

"whoa... go get that thing.."

"ARE YOU KIDDING ME! LOOK AT IT! HE'S LOOKING RIGHT AT ME! WITH FIVE BODYGUARDS... HE KNOWS I'M HERE! HE COULD KILL ME ANY SECOND HE WANTS! JUST STARING ME DOWN! The hell with that!"

*slowly creep closer* *see skeleton around corner ready to ambush me*

"As if his body guards weren't enough! There's gotta be a guy waiting here to ambush me too!!!"

*creep to get vantage at ambush hollow to hit with arrow... spontaneously starts walking towards me* "okay okay, that works too... come closer, right over here, away from your big as pet" *staring him down as I back up* *he charges at me* "OH FUCK!" *turn and run away*

hahahahahahah I plan to keep Dark Souls in stock as the game I pop in when my friends and I are just looking to have some fun and laughs and we can still progress in it. It's easy to jump right into as well no matter where you're at in the game cause the overall mechanics are so simple.

#195 Edited by zeusbark (6 posts) -

@beaudacious: This game isn't for everyone, the game is design to F*** you up! Ghosts that you can't hit, disguised enemies, evil lava, creatures that curse you and reduce half your health PERMANENTLY (until you get uncursed), bosses that can kill you with one hit, ambushes... The difficulty isn't cheap, if you die it's because you messed up. The way you build your character, what items you equip and upgrade, and the way you aproach enemies is key to succeding. This is not a button mashing game where you are supper agille and can bash your way through. Batman is an action beet em up game, Dark Souls is an action medieval fantasy survival horror RPG game =P This game is probably not for you, if you give it a chance it might grow up on you, or you'll end up hating it even more.

If you like hard games with super slick controls you might enjoy Devil May Cry 1 and 3 (Don't go near the new shit)

#196 Edited by Shortbreadtom (783 posts) -

Your biggest problem is that you can't see the merits of slow, methodical, animation-priority-based combat. This game is not for you, and that's fine. But comparing it to Batman and then saying you dislike it because it's not as fast paced or twitch based is the wrong way of looking at the game. You don't compare something like Gran Turismo or Forza to Ridge Racer or Burnout, and then say it's not as fun because it's not as quick and drifty. They are just different styles.

Your point about how nowadays the combat should be more complex than it used to be is just nonsense. Complexity comes in more than one form, and I find the insanely balanced fighting and higher level of difficulty just as impressive as the intricacies of Batman or the moves of a spectacle fighter.

#197 Posted by bonker (1 posts) -

Why is it that some people find it so difficult to admit that this game, though awesome, is a low-quality game?

#198 Posted by medacris (660 posts) -

I've talked about this with other people, and the response I got from several of them is that they wished the difficulty of the game wasn't the advertising/fan focus, and the story was instead. Advertising makes it seem like a "wander around and kill as many creatures as you can before you die" kind of game, devoid of any kind of backstory at all.

Related: I've heard people speculating about a hypothetical Dark Souls and Monster Hunter crossover, which I think would mesh well.

#199 Posted by mosespippy (4189 posts) -

@bonker said:

Why is it that some people find it so difficult to admit that this game, though awesome, is a low-quality game?

How so? I can see maybe the PC version being criticized for the quality of the port but the design and mechanics are sound.

#200 Posted by Zeik (2460 posts) -

@bonker said:

Why is it that some people find it so difficult to admit that this game, though awesome, is a low-quality game?

It's definitely not a "low-quality" game, by any definition I would use that term. There are certainly parts of the game that I wouldn't consider "high-quality", but taken as a whole the game is well above average.

@medacris said:

I've talked about this with other people, and the response I got from several of them is that they wished the difficulty of the game wasn't the advertising/fan focus, and the story was instead. Advertising makes it seem like a "wander around and kill as many creatures as you can before you die" kind of game, devoid of any kind of backstory at all.

I don't think focusing their advertising on the story would serve their marketing very well at all. While there are certainly people who like that aspect of the game it's definitely not the type of story presentation that most look for in a game, and I don't believe even the majority Souls fans place that aspect of the game above the gameplay. That being said, their marketing certainly isn't the best. I think they do focus too much on the punishing aspect of the game and not much else, which not only is a disservice to everything else in the game, but also is clearly misleading people into thinking it's a game only for masochists.

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