The proper use of guides/wikis in playing this game seems to be a recurring topic in threads here. Did you/are you/do you use one? If yes, for the whole game, or just when you're feeling stuck?
I have a few thoughts:
- I wanted to play without any guide. But since I have a job and a family, I don't have a whole lot of time to play video games. I didn't want to waste the time I had, so I have used a guide on occasion to help me stay on track. Most notably I used a guide throughout most of the Depths and Blighttown, then regretted it and mostly stopped.
- The Master Key is not a good starting gift. But if you're not using a guide, I think you'd pick the Master Key every time. It's just that it's the only one that looks like it will be useful throughout the game. I picked it for my first character (no guide), but when I restarted after an hour I picked black firebombs (with guide).
- On the other hand, without a guide you'd probably miss the Drake Sword. I got it, but found it didn't suit my play style very well, so I didn't use it much.
- Not using a guide led me to missing the most important bits of lore in the game. Basically what happened was this: I had wanted to know if it was possible to jump into Frampt's hole, and since I wasn't using a guide at this point, the only way to know was by testing it. But thanks to Lautrec, the Firelink bonfire wasn't available as a convenient restore point if I died, so I kept putting it off. Then while getting the Lordvessel, I also killed Lautrec. I went back to Firelink Shrine, restored the Firekeeper, and went to talk to Frampt. He was asleep. So I decided to jump on down there. The result? I fell down to Firelink Altar, placed the Lordvessel, then warped back up. Frampt renounced me and left, and Kaathe never showed up at all. The only two characters that offer any purpose to your quest were both out of my game permanently. And more pragmatically, no one was there to tell me to get the four Lord Souls and give them to the Lordvessel.
There are plusses and minuses to it, in my opinion. The biggest plus is saving time on things that the game doesn't tell you. The biggest minus is losing the sense that you're discovering the world on your own, which was a big part of the appeal for me throughout Undead Burg/Parish.