So, I began playing Dark Souls yesterday after the UPS man finally decided to show up. I started out as a Wanderer and made my way to the first merchant and near-by fire. From there, I quit out and rolled a Pyromancer earlier today. So far, I'm liking the Pyromancer a bit more thanks to the inclusion of Fireball. I've been grinding souls at this location and so far have managed to get the full chain-mail set, a spear, short bow, and the repair box. Although I'm still very much new to the brutal world of Dark Souls, I thought I might offer some tips for fellow newcomers who might like a little info if they're thinking about getting the game and haven't played it yet.
1. Get a good shield. At the first merchant, you can purchase a Heater Shield. It blocks 100% of incoming physical damage. Alternatively, you can farm the spear soldiers in the Undead Burg which drop a shield that does the same. Keep your shield up at all times, especially if you're entering an unfamiliar area. It WILL save your life.
2. Get the Short Bow. Use it to pull enemies one at a time if you're able. On their own, it's much easier to survive if you're not surrounded by baddies. Aim for the head.
3. Live by the Spear. I realize that not everyone wants to play as a shield and spear character but doing so, especially early on, will greatly increase your survivability thanks to being able to attack while keeping your shield up.
4. Put points into Endurance. It determines how much equip weight you can carry without it effecting your movement and roll speed as well as increasing your stamina. Your stamina is what you'll be using to attack, block, and roll away. In other words, it is one of the most vital stats for ANY type of character build you're going to play.
5. This might sound obvious, but don't attack the merchants or NPCs. If you kill them they don't come back and you could miss out of buying important supplies, hearing story details, or learning something to make your journey easier.
6. Get the Repairbox from the Undead Merchant located just a little bit into the Undead Burg. It will let you repair your weapons and armor for a minor amount of souls anytime you rest at a fire. If your weapon breaks, it's gone for good so take care of your gear.
Also, since I now have my PS3, I have no friends. If you'd like to send me a friend invite, I'd be more than happy to play with you fine people anytime. You can see my PSN ID below.