Read wikis or go through blind on first playthrough?

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#1 Posted by bmehlers (163 posts) -

I recently bought and started playing through Dark Souls because of Vinny's feature. I am surprised how much fun and engaging this game is even though I'm not a very good gamer. I am enjoying exploring areas and the suspense of not knowing what's ahead, or if I should even be there at all. I have been playing through mostly blind, only occasionally seeing if I am underleveled for certain areas, and found I've wasted a lot of time in areas I shouldn't be in yet.

Do you feel that reading guides will take some of the magic away from the game? On the other hand, there are tons of details that I will miss if I don't read anything, plus the game does a poor job explaining things as it is. I'm sure it would be more rewarding if I beat it without help, if possible.

How did you play through the game? Thanks for the replies.

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#2 Posted by hippocrit (289 posts) -

Because everyone said this game is so difficult and obscure, I did a lot of wiki stuff. It ruined the magic of discovery for me, but it's still one of my favorite games. I'd say go solo until you're totally stuck and then look it up.

Once you're good at the combat any area is doable at any time. You can always restart and get far in just a couple hours if you really feel like you wasted time.

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#3 Edited by AlKusanagi (1352 posts) -

Play for a few hours to get a feel for it and bang your head against a couple of bosses, then start a new character and look up stuff if you get stuck.

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#4 Posted by Marokai (3550 posts) -

I read a bunch of the wikis before starting out, just to get a decent idea of what I wanted to be before I started playing. My Demon's Souls playthrough suffered a lot because I just didn't understand how to balance classes correctly and what half of the stats meant. I don't really consider that any kind of fun challenge.

I still had a hell of a time playing Dark Souls. Some may disagree with me, I'm sure, but I don't think I would've gained much enjoyment if I played that game not knowing what stats affected what, or what half of the terms the game uses actually meant.

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#5 Posted by SoldierG654342 (1898 posts) -

Only go to the wiki when you feel like quitting.

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#6 Posted by development (2967 posts) -

I think you should look up what each stat means, as they aren't ever totally explained in-game. And it's never fun to level up a stat and then find out you've wasted your points (no re-speccing in Dark Souls). For example: "Resistance." Is it useless? Look it up. (Hint: yes).

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#7 Posted by RockyRaccoon37 (495 posts) -

I think you should look up what each stat means, as they aren't ever totally explained in-game. And it's never fun to level up a stat and then find out you've wasted your points (no re-speccing in Dark Souls). For example: "Resistance." Is it useless? Look it up. (Hint: yes).

Yeah, stuff like this should be looked up, but in terms of a general walkthrough try to avoid it until you absolutely feel stuck.

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#8 Edited by Tennmuerti (9000 posts) -

Go blind (mostly). If you absolutely must look up small bits of info, at most.

Guides ruined Demons Souls for me, straight up.

Playing Dark Souls at launch when there was next to no info and having to learn shit for yourself was way more enjoyable. (but i also knew some base mechanics from Demons Souls).

So actually I guess I would recommend learning some basic mechanics at least. But don't use a step by step walk through.

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#9 Posted by Humanity (14828 posts) -

@bmehlers: Use the wiki as needed. Hardcore fans will tell you "NO NO GO IN BLIND!" but there are so many things you can miss and might not necessarily have the time to go back and play it three more times that it's best to get the most out of your first playthrough.

Of course if you're the sort of person that milks a game for all it's worth, re-playing it a dozen or so times in succession, then by all means go in blind.

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#10 Posted by Counterclockwork87 (1130 posts) -

If you go in completely blind I think you will have less fun because the game explains NOTHING to you. You may end up doing something that ruins your game. Look up what your stats do and what they mean and if you get stuck on a boss look up strategies how to beat them. If you get an item you don't understand look up what it does, the descriptions are often terrible and you could miss out on something you wish you knew. I wouldn't look up at walkthrough though, I say just go to areas where you can fight the bad guys without too much difficulty. If they're too hard to kill go another way. Doing this will keep the sense of discovery.

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#11 Posted by chiablo (1038 posts) -

If I could play Dark Souls for the first time again. I would go in completely blind.

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#12 Edited by Nicked (259 posts) -

I played through most of it with a wiki/watching videos and by summoning people for bosses. I did go into a few sections blind (Lower Undeadburg, The Depths/Early Blighttown, Sen's, Painted World, Izalith) and it was really tense and thrilling, but I wouldn't have gotten through the game without using a guide.

So yes the game does change when you use a guide. But it's still really great. I am now working on a STR build playthrough and an SL1 playthrough: The game holds up.

Ideally you should just use the wiki to understand mechanics and maybe to learn where to go, but a guide won't ruin the game. There isn't a right or wrong way to do it.

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#13 Edited by Clonedzero (4206 posts) -

Learn as little as you can before you go in. Granted some thing should be known like what stats do, how weapon scaling works, ect. But level layouts, item locations, enemy tactics ect. shouldn't be researched.

But don't let yourself get way too frustrated cus it's pretty easy to do that. So don't force yourself to do it without any help if its too much. No shame in looking something up.

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#14 Posted by Popogeejo (622 posts) -

Go in blind as you can but don't be afraid to consult a wiki for ideas and strategies.

Other than that, remember the following rules:

1) If you can see it you can kill it (but how is another question),

2) In theory you CAN see pretty much every trick the game is going to pull but don't feel bad when they catch you out,

3) Don't worry about how others say you should play the game. If what you do lets you advance then that's all that matters. There is no such thing as cheesing, being too cautious or being too bold in Dark Souls.

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#15 Edited by hippocrit (289 posts) -

Just watch out for the skeleton boot around the corner.

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#16 Edited by IBurningStar (2258 posts) -

This is everything you need to know. If you have any other questions or get stuck then I'd suggest returning to this thread and asking us. Avoid a wiki if possible because it can spoil some of experience. Eventually you most likely will look at a wiki, but put it off as long as possible. If you finish the game without ever looking at one then you will have your mind blown by how much stuff you missed. Trust me, there is a lot of stuff in this game that you will either miss out on or not know was possible.

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#17 Posted by Dietomaha (197 posts) -

Always go to the graveyard first.

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#18 Edited by jimmyfenix (3941 posts) -

Always go to the graveyard first.

I agree.

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#19 Posted by StrainedEyes (1363 posts) -

What I did was look at a guide to know what area would be best to tackle next, the best order to do things in, and then I didn't look at a guide while working through the area.

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#20 Posted by hippocrit (289 posts) -
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#21 Edited by IBurningStar (2258 posts) -

@manaseviglietta: My favorite too. You think it is super vague and doesn't make much sense...until you get there. Then you understand immediately.

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#22 Edited by kerse (2425 posts) -

I would go in mostly blind if I had to do it again. I seriously recommend find a guide to what the stats actually mean though, especially stuff like poise and stability, but other than that what @iburningstar posted is pretty much all you should need, and I agree, #20 is good advice lol.

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#23 Edited by EXTomar (5047 posts) -

Depends on how much time you want to waste and/or how much you hate yourself.

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#24 Posted by Azteck (7416 posts) -

If you know someone who's played it and knows what's up, I would ask them when you don't know where to go. That way you (hopefully) won't have too much ruined for you, it's how I did it and it's much better. Keeps you from simply getting frustrated too

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#25 Posted by NoRemnants (428 posts) -

I went in blind for the first 6ish hours and then started using a walkthrough/wiki because I want to be finished by the PS4 launch.

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#26 Edited by Apsup (47 posts) -

Multiple people on this thread, and I've seen it on other similar discussions in the internet say that Dark Souls doesn't explain what stats do and that's misinformation. There are things that Dark Souls doesn't bother to explain well, but stats and their effects are told. In the character status screen there is button prompt for back button (or select in PS3 version) and by pressing it the game gives quite sufficient explanation of the everything on that screen. It also works on equipment status screen, although the button prompt is missing from that.

On the topic of this thread I'd just like to say that use of wiki is the thing I regret most from my first playthrough of Dark Souls. The experience of going through the game blind, which minimal knowledge is something that's impossible to achieve again. Of course being endlessly stuck in a game without knowledge how to proceed is frustrating, but in those situation I'd suggest turning towards other people who have played the game, friends, internet forums, and such, instead of going to the wiki where you might accidentally receive more information than you even needed.

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#27 Posted by CornBREDX (7112 posts) -

It's fine to check a wiki if you're stuck, but only check for things to help you proceed, don't spoil anything else. It's probably fine to look at a wiki for weapon builds or spells if you're not finding your attacks very effective.

The game is exciting for the discovery as much as the game play. It's also not really as hard as you might think (although the DLC is surprisingly hard in comparison). For the most part it's completely fair and I was able to finish it when I first played it without any help from summons (although you can) and there really is enough information in game to understand what you need to.

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#28 Posted by Ravenlight (8057 posts) -

Actually, my advice is to play blind until you get stuck, then ask us friendly forum people.

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#29 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (6616 posts) -

I'd recommend playing as much as you can without looking anything up on your first playthrough. Only look online if your really stumped on something. I think looking up certain statistics, like how weapons scale, is completely fine on a first playthrough though, given that's not readily apparent from within the game.

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