Driving by Ash Lake

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#51 Posted by Fredchuckdave (6158 posts) -

If you've played enough Dark Souls it doesn't take long to realize how boring and uncreative the playerbase is; the game is still awesome though and summoning white phantoms/helping hosts that are idiots never gets old.

#52 Posted by Humanity (10115 posts) -

@humanity: then Jeff Green should have found ALL the secrets by now!

He's found the biggest secret of all, that his wife is in fact not the lord of the rings.

#53 Posted by development (2640 posts) -

I found Ash Lake and Gwyndolin on like my 3rd playthrough. It was so awesome discovering even more content that wasn't just a short side path leading to a collectible (like Uncharted 2 or something), but 2 whole new covenants and a whole boss. It was one of the many "aha" moments, where I realized this game actually cared about pacing and rewarding the player with massive optional content.

#54 Posted by Bollard (5867 posts) -

Man, you know what else people don't have? A chat full of people pushing to go to the stupidly hidden secrets. You wanna talk about non-reviewers playthoughs? How many people who didn't use a FAQ do you think actually found that? I bet many more people missed Ash Lake than saw it.

I missed it.

#55 Posted by pyrodactyl (2358 posts) -

To be fair I skipped Ash lake too on my first playthrough because I wasn't looking at a FAQ for anything but help with the upgrade tree and that kind of stuff.

And let us be perfectly clear, the way you get to Ash lake is TERRIBLE. Hitting an fake wall in an out of the way part of poisonous swamp, OK. Going around the chest you find behind that wall and HITTING A SECOND FAKE WALL?!? Without ANY CLUE in the ENTIRE GAME you might want to do something like that? Hiding 2 full areas behind this bullshit is just terrible game design. There is no way you can find ash lake without looking at a FAQ or with some ungodly amount of luck.

#56 Edited by MikeLemmer (615 posts) -

First, I agree: it's so obscenely well-hidden I wonder how people found it in the first place. An acknowledged misstep in a cool idea.

Second, I wouldn't insist that everyone playing Dark Souls visit Ash Lake. I didn't care that Vinny bypassed it, for instance. However, I think Patrick would have a lot to say about what could drive a game to hide 2 zones that well, and how that ties into the design themes of Dark Souls as a whole. It isn't integral to the game, but it's the exclamation point of the statement that exploration is important in Dark Souls. I'd compare it to how The Witcher 2 branches off into 2 different plotlines leading to different locales based on a mid-game decision; it isn't integral, but it emphasizes the game's theme of player choice. I wanted to hear what he had to say about it & was disappointed when he decided to bypass it.

(I also want Jeff Green to visit it, but that's just because I want the Black Dragon to go Path of the Dragon.)

#57 Edited by StrainedEyes (1333 posts) -

@mikelemmer said:

Second, I wouldn't insist that everyone playing Dark Souls visit Ash Lake. I didn't care that Vinny bypassed it, for instance.

I'm pretty sure he went there before they started Load Our Last Souls. I could have swore the dragon bonfire was in his list of warp points, I might be wrong, though.

Edit: Just checked and yes, he has Stone Dragon in his warp list at the start of LOLS.

#58 Posted by MikeLemmer (615 posts) -

@mikelemmer said:

Second, I wouldn't insist that everyone playing Dark Souls visit Ash Lake. I didn't care that Vinny bypassed it, for instance.

I'm pretty sure he went there before they started Load Our Last Souls. I could have swore the dragon bonfire was in his list of warp points, I might be wrong, though.

Edit: Just checked and yes, he has Stone Dragon in his warp list at the start of LOLS.

Okay, now I want a bit where Vinny just chews Patrick out for not visiting Ash Lake. "You're playing the game wrong! I'm not talking to you until you visit it!"

#59 Posted by Evilsbane (4744 posts) -

I found because of a user placed message and the wall behind the chest looked weird, once I got the end of Ash Lake I thought the area was Truly beautiful but kind of pointless once I figured out how to kill the Hydra, there just isn't a lot there, just a vista that should have been an entire area.

#60 Posted by natetodamax (19220 posts) -

I went to Ash Lake on my first playthrough and actually really enjoyed it, despite it being really simple and kind of empty. There was an inherent beauty to the place that I just didn't find anywhere else in the game. It was the only place in Dark Souls where I felt safe and at peace, and considering that nowhere else in the game gives me that kind of feeling, it was pretty great. Every other area is shrouded in death and misery, yet Ash Lake exists as the one place where the beauty of the environment isn't covered in despair. The music was a really nice touch as well.

#61 Edited by Dark (404 posts) -

Man, you know what else people don't have? A chat full of people pushing to go to the stupidly hidden secrets. You wanna talk about non-reviewers playthoughs? How many people who didn't use a FAQ do you think actually found that? I bet many more people missed Ash Lake than saw it.

I actually missed it for one very good reason, fuck that swamp so much. I noticed the big cave in the wall that looked like where to go and b-lined for it.

Besides, there really is only a hydra, some sand, and a dragon there. I think you get a better view of the world pillars from the Tomb of the Giants.

#62 Posted by Hunter5024 (5969 posts) -

The whole debate about having to find stuff from a walkthrough is really kind of strange in Dark Souls. Cause they basically have an (unreliable) walkthrough built into the game with all of the little hints on the ground. That's how I found Ash Lake. It was a pretty cool place but I don't think someones missing much if they don't visit it.

#63 Edited by dudeglove (8299 posts) -

Dark Souls doesn't have to apologize to you. I hope, like, an entire third of Dark Souls 2 is completely locked out unless you to do something extremely obscure, like plant a seed then wait several years in real life in order for the thing to grow into a series of platforms. Or maybe it'll require thousands of players to plant seeds to speed up the process.

#64 Edited by GERALTITUDE (3508 posts) -

I'm on the fence about this illusory walls thing. Working on a game, thinking about secrets, I can see how it would be tempting. But yes, lots of players will miss it. Some will be frustrated by it. However, if the structure of the game was such that you could pop in at any time to find any of the secrets, that might be all right. You could hear about an illusory wall you missed and make a run for it. Not so easy in Dark Souls. But, then again, part of me likes these rarer than usual experiences. Why not reward people like this? Even if it is as the expense of others.

Very interesting design problem.

Online
#65 Edited by Bulby33 (617 posts) -

I didn't think Ash Lake was that great, personally. He's not missing much.

#66 Posted by Belegorm (677 posts) -

I don't think it's that big of a deal, felt kind of big and empty to me.

#67 Posted by Tackchevy (266 posts) -

Come on guys. I left a bunch of notes all over that place: hidden door ahead

It would've been hard to find, but for the community features. I mean, didn't you get bored farming titanite off those slugs and just start beating the shit out of all the walls around there to cope with the depression?

What did you think the big secret was? A fucking plank shield?

#68 Posted by bybeach (5000 posts) -

I was one of the advocates for Ash Lake. Having said that, I thought Pat made it clear what he was doing and why. In fact I do not take umbrage at the OP's love of Ash Lake, but rather he seems to use it to criticize Pat. I've gotten real leery of the 'You are doing it wrong' vibe that goes with some fans of DS, and my old pre-DS play-through prejudices about the game's attraction rises again. Good thing I really enjoyed DS.

Hey, maybe he will see it in the future. Personally I worked out a farming scheme there that was amusing for a little while. And it was kind of a acid-drenched surreal like place.

.

#69 Posted by James_Hayward (489 posts) -

The biggest plus to that area for me was finding the Cloranthy ring. I don't think that going there could be said to be vital to the core of a Dark Souls play through experience though.

#70 Posted by Marokai (3150 posts) -

I hate when people just grossly mischaracterize what someone says on these forums. It is easily one of the most infuriating things about this place. OP says why he thinks he's a bummer that Patrick missed what is a beautiful area of an important and popular game, everyone immediately rants about how the Dark Souls fanbase is awful and he's somehow hating on Patrick. What's worse is when people chime in actively hoping that the staff will keep doing things to disappoint people, just because they like seeing people upset. What kind of reasonable person acts like that?

#71 Posted by MikeLemmer (615 posts) -

@marokai: Much appreciated. I'd be surprised at how some people responded to this (and a bit alarmed my most-commented blog post is something I whipped up in 30 minutes and barely edited), but Internet.

Personally, I wanted Patrick to see it so I could read his article about what would drive the game's creators to do this.

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