Starting a challenge run with a Thief

#1 Posted by Sign (291 posts) -

Logging into Steam each day and seeing the pre-order screen for Dark souls, as well as watching the Let's Play by GeoP on Something Awful has re-surface the itch to play this game. I have already gone through it and platinumed it so now I am looking for a challenge to test my skills.

I am still trying to suss out the ground rules I am going to work with. My initial thought was to go with

  • No leveling (remain at SL5 which is the start for Thief)
  • Only allowed to change armour to Shadow gear (though I might just say starting gear only)
  • Must use starting weapon (upgrades allowed)
  • No restriction on rings (including DWGR just because I have not got that ring yet and I want to play around with it)
  • No upgrading weapon to fire or lightning type (undecided on allowing temp coatings like gold pine resin)
  • No magic/pyromancy

Anyone done something similar with a thief? I know there are a lot of SL1 runs with a Pyromancer but I am tired of using Pyro all the time and want to see how I can manage with just my melee ability. I am really looking forward to improving my parry/riposte skills. Anyone have any input on further restrictions or changes to the rules? Anyone else doing something similar?

#2 Posted by MannyMAR (450 posts) -

Reminds me of EpicNameBro's Dark Souls Challenge he did on youtube. Good Luck to you sir on this endeavor. I personally want to see someone attempt a Deprived to do this kind of challenge, that would be some kind of amazing to witness.

#3 Posted by Sign (291 posts) -

@MannyMAR: I did look at the ENB challenge, his is a little extreme for me at the moment. Restriction on consumables etc. I was looking around for some thief challenge videos to watch at work and I thought I came across someone doing a Deprived ENB challenge run. I will try to find it again.

#4 Posted by SuperMeatToy (35 posts) -

@Sign: GoForItwoo!!

I started a challenge run with a knight a few weeks ago according to ENB rules similar to yours, and it is incredibly fun to beat the bosses knowing you have handicapped yourself almost as much as possible. Though i got as far as Biggie Smalls, i am still trying to beat them about 2 weeks later...but seriously its more than worth a try and i suspect you will have great fun as a thief. As a side note, i did allow pine resins and other items, but only allowed starting weapons and armour. Good Luck!!!

#5 Posted by mosespippy (4165 posts) -

I say that if you are a thief class you should be able to wear the Hollow Thief set. I don't know why you would since it's worse than the starting thief set.

I kind of want to bang my head against a wall in a different way. I want to be a cleric and figure out how to get the Elite Cleric Set or what the pendant is used for. I'm pretty sure they are related in some way. Right now I don't have the time though. I'll revisit it when the DLC comes out, or just before.

#6 Posted by Sign (291 posts) -

Well, I started the run last night. Decided to stick with the rules I originally laid out (staying with starting armour, not going to deal with Shadow gear since I don't want to waste time farming Twinkling Titanite). Got past the gargoyles but got smashed by Lautrec when I got a little cocky and called it a night. Overall it has been fun so far, I can see it is going to get real rough when enemies start hitting harder. The parry animation for the Target Shield is a little off, I still haven't gotten the feel for it quite yet which has led to getting smacked a lot more than I would like. I also need to adjust to the shield not absorbing 100% physical and get used to dodge rolling a lot more. Hard to break the habit of absorbing the hit with the shield and then moving.

Before I head to the second bell I think I am going to play around in Darkroot a bit, get some souls to upgrade my knife a little more and try to get the DWG ring. Took out the 2 black knights in the Burg but had some trouble with Havel. I was parrying and backstabbing him but as soon as he gets one shot in I am basically dead. Going to pay him a little visit once I put some souls into my knife. With the Master Key I am tempted to take the shortcut to Blighttown and skip the Depths all together but I also feel like in the spirit of a challenge I should aim to complete all the content, will have to see how I feel after Darkroot.

@SuperMeatToy: I am not looking forward to S&O, I hate that fight on a normal character, not really looking forward to it with my bandit knife.

#7 Edited by Rhombus_Of_Terror (2100 posts) -

@Sign: You can actually riposte half way through the animation of the parry with the target shield. There's a distinct two part stage to the animation as you may have noticed. It results in some real quick counters when you land it.

Try practicing it on weak enemies.

As with Havel, I always roll when his Dragon Bone is at the top of the swing, going before results in the swing tracking you somewhat which can be annoying. This allows for easy backstabs.

#8 Posted by xXxLYNCHxXx (162 posts) -

Good luck to you, sir. I loved this game but I tapped out on the Four Kings in NG+. I have neither the skill or time ( mostly skill ) to do any of these crazier game within a game style runs. I would be interested in reading of your trials and tribulations playing this go.

#9 Posted by SuperMeatToy (35 posts) -

@Sign: Glad to hear you've beat the gargoyles without any trouble (tell me if i'm wrong). When i got to them with my knight i still thought i would try going through with an un-upgraded weapon...and i'm sure you can guess how that went.

I'm also interested to know whether or not you are allowing healing during boss fights, which makes a huge difference as you can imagine. Oh and which rings do you think you will use? I recommend the red tearstone if you don't already have it, especially with your agile thief.

Other than that, i wish you good luck and will be interested in hearing how you are getting on. By the way, you need to fuck up Lautrec, he deserves it.

#10 Posted by Sign (291 posts) -

@SuperMeatToy: Yeah I got passed the Gargoyles. My restrictions are quite a bit looser than ENB's challenges. If I do well in my run I might try an ENB challenge. That said, I am allowing upgrades to my weapon and armor but I cannot go down the fire or lightning branch. I also am sticking with the starting Thief armor and weapons. Also, yes I am allowing healing during boss fights, obviously I do my best to avoid using them and if I get better at dodge rolling I might try restricting healing on later fights. Currently I am using the Wolf Ring for a Poise boost, and the DWGR because I haven't used it before and I wanted to try flipping instead of rolling. I think I am going to stick with them for the full time except maybe a poisonbite ring for Blightown, Orange Charred ring for Izalith, and Covenant of Artorias for Abyss. I am also allowing the use of buffs to weapons (Gold Pine Resin etc).

I haven't done much since my last run, I tried playing a little after work and was clearly in no condition to play so I didn't get much done. I took a stroll through Darkroot and killed the moonlight butterfly, skipping most of the trees and Stone Giants in the area. Took several attempts to get the Moonlight Butterfly mostly due to chip damage from her piercing attack (the 2 shot thin beams) and waiting for her to finally land so I could actually hit her. After that I went for the Wolf Ring, and then ground out the 3k souls I needed to pick up the Crest of Artorias from Andre and then sprint to join the Forest Covenant. Once I had done that I kicked Shiva's bodyguard off the cliff and then re-loaded to get the Dark Woodgrain Ring.

Playtime in the forest over, I headed down to Lower Burg and cleared out the area before Capra Demon. Took one attempt at him but got pinned down and stun locked by the dogs then decided to call it a night. Was having a tonne of trouble with parrying this last session, not sure if I am going to keep going for parries or if I am going to change to rolls and backstabs.

#11 Edited by envane (1163 posts) -

havent used the dwgr before ? wtf is the world coming to lol

I've been playing around with parrying dagger offhand and a rapier main hand , fun playstyle , except when you get to unflinching enemies that just crush you with no chance to parry or backstab

the problem with me is alot of my favourite items and weapons / overpowered or not , are obtainable only LATE game etc , i would love to play a challenge game with only the demons catalyst for both melee and spellcasting , but that damn thing is so late in the game its useless (after i 1shot a guy with it in pvp tho completely to my surprise , i fell in love with it )

im tempted to play a fist weapon only build too.. just dont see it being fun without the dragon fist weapon .. which would take ALOT of effort to obtain early

#12 Posted by SuperMeatToy (35 posts) -

@Sign: As a chivalrous knight i couldn't allow myself to use the DWGR as it wouldn't be proper. However, i think you will get a lot further than me because of my lack of healing, and i'm pleased that you're making good progress. I assume that since you're taking on Capra Dog you want to take on Gaping Mofo too? (I bet Capra's not too easy with a target shield but once the dogs are dead the fight is no problem). As for the playstyle, a healthy combination of flips, backstabs and ripostes will net you the most style and fun points, so don't get too hung up on parries if they aren't going well at the moment.

As a side note, i spent like 2 hours trying to beat fatty and co. last night and got painfully close to taking one of them out. Its pretty incredible the permutations of attacks they can throw at you at once, but worse than that is that sometimes all they will do is walk slowly towards you, daring you to attack and then slappin you about when you do. Its the worst, but probably designed that way and i love it for that.

#13 Posted by Sign (291 posts) -

@envane: re: DWGR. What can I say, I normal roll with Havel's Ring and Ring of Favor and Protection so I never had a need for the DWGR. A punchy-fist run does sound interesting. I suppose you could try to have someone that has the Dragon fist weapon drop it for in you in a co-op or something so you could start with it earlier.

@SuperMeatToy: Yeah I decided not to use the Master Key and skip to Lower Blight town, I feel like I need to take on all the different bosses. Now, once GD is dead I will probably double back and jump to Lower Blight town because fuck that upper part. I think my next attempt at Capra will have me diving for the pillars along the right hand side to hopefully break up the dogs and Capra so that I can make a dash for the stairs. With so little room to maneuver and taking chip damage through the Target Shield I really need to get those dogs finished ASAP. I think a couple well placed Firebombs should do the trick. Sounds like you have as much fun with Fatboy Slim as I do, normally I like to take out Slim first because his charged up version is such a pain to deal with.

#14 Posted by SuperMeatToy (35 posts) -

@Sign: It might be an idea to try a pine resin on your knife so that it takes fewer hits to kill the dogs, as i suspect that in the close quarters of the boss room firebombs may be a bit slow. Also the dogs have a nasty habit of charging you at the worst times, and with no poise it would just be a pain.

#15 Posted by gogosox82 (424 posts) -

Have you tried using the dagger to parry and using something like rapier or estoc to riposte? I've been playing around with this and it seems like you get a bigger window to riposte (meaning i can hit r2 much later in the swinging animation and still get the parry). Obviously you'll still have to use a shield for bosses since you can't parry them(except for gwyn) but using the dagger to parry normal enemies might be more effective than using a shield.

#16 Posted by Chet_Rippo (235 posts) -

@Sign: Are you allowing yourself to use firebombs? I've been doing a less restricted run but that's how I beat the capra demon. Ran up the stairs and killed the dogs, then kept my distance and chucked firebombs until he died.

#17 Posted by dragonfrost (12 posts) -

what version of the game do you have? it looks like your looking for a challage. you know if you have the xbox version you can build a good level 18 and below character and just come play with me. ill be heading to ng+6 today with my level 18 guy

#18 Edited by CptBedlam (4450 posts) -

I did something like that with the Wanderer:

- no gear change / weapon change whatsoever

- no leveling

- no pyromancy / sorcery / miracles

- no bows / crossbows

- items and rings are allowed

- weapon and gear upgrades allowed

#20 Posted by mosespippy (4165 posts) -

@idoublespy: The game is beatable in an hour and nine minutes. Anyone with the Master Key can ring the bells in under two hours.

#21 Posted by Sign (291 posts) -

@SuperMeatToy: Unfortunately I didn't have any Gold Pine Resin on hand when I took on the Capra Demon. Had to make due with Charred Pine Resin

@gogosox82: I haven't considered the Parrying Dagger, in fact I always seem to forget about it. I might pick it up and play around with it a bit, see how it feels.

@Vadis: I am allowing myself the use of fire bombs, they become much less useful as I progress so I don't think it is much issue to use them early on.

@dragonfrost: I am on the PS3 version and when the PC version comes out (and if it isn't an unplayable wreck) I will probably pick it up on there.

I had some free time on Thursday finally so I decided to jump back into the fray. Unfortunately it had been so long since I last played I awoke at the Firelink Shrine bonfire with no memory of what I was actually doing in-game at the time. After about 5 minutes of back flipping around the bonfire area I finally remembered I was at the Capra Demon. In hind-sight I probably could have just opened my laptop and checked my last couple posts in this thread.

In the spirit of honesty I will say that the Capra Demon took me way more attempts than I would have liked. Probably in the neighbourhood of 10 attempts, and all caused by the dogs. If I am fighting 2 v 1 I am fine, it is easy enough to keep tabs on both enemies and stay safe, but once you add a third it becomes chaos. Each fight basically went the same way, I would enter the arena, dodge the first attack by CD and the first dog but the other would clip me, and I would get pinned between the 2 dogs and part of the level; either the stairs on the left or the pillars on the right. Once my stamina had been eaten up by the dogs a quick swipe from Capra and back to the bonfire I go. The biggest issue was getting pinned so that I could roll/dodge. Due to not being able to upgrade stamina and the fairly weak stability/poise once I was pinned it was all over. On the successful run I managed to bait the dogs to the right and then made a dodge left and finally succeeded in bolting up the stairs. Applied some Charred Pine Resin for a fire boost and sat on the ledge waiting for the dogs to take them out. Capra got a good leaping hit on me from the stairs which startled me, I don't think I have ever been hit from him while in the corner, it took me down to about 5% health. After a quick pot and dealing with the dogs I was able to hop down and take CD 1 on 1. At that point the fight is fine, no different then any of the other Goat Demons in the game, you just have to mind your surroundings due to the tight space.

After I finally dealt with CD I marched headlong into the depths, and got promptly smashed by the first ambush of undead hollow. I think my hubris got the best of me, I completely forgot how many were on the upper level and forgot about the guy tucked back to the right of the stairs. A quick run back and I fought my way through the depths, rescued Laurentian because he is my favourite NPC, took on the Butchers' and then delved deeper into the Depths to hit the bonfire. After that, it was a quick run to take care of the Channeler and then take on the giant rat miniboss. This miniboss is always a pain in the ass for me, I always end up near a wall and the camera freaks out and then I get killed. This is exactly what happened during our first meeting, for our second encounter I took the drop from the Buthcher area, pelted him with a handful of firebombs and attempted a plunge attack that missed (it always misses, can you plunge attack that damn rat?). I slid down the left side of the slope to avoid the lower area with the Basilisks and basically made a beeline for Gaping Dragon. The Gaping Dragon is not a hard fight, it is simply a battle of attrition. My tactic for the entire fight after chopping his tail was to keep my distance, to bait him into slamming his "mouth" on the ground, run up and 2H the Bandit Knife to attack his head, I could usually get about 3 R1 swings in on the head before he started to go into the charge animation and I had to roll/flip away. Once he charge I would run up to her rear leg and get about 7 more shots on him (total damage per "round was about 520 dmg which is so pitiful). After he coiled back up I would run back to either bait another slam or him to jump into the air. It took a few attempts, the first time he jumped into the air and actually followed me a bit and landed right on top of me, instant kill. Second death he stunned me when he landed and did about 50% damage but then he moved his leg which clipped me and finished me off. Third attempt I had him down to a tiny chunk of health and he kept chasing me around the arena and wouldn't go into any kind of attack animation, I got spun around with the camera, lost my bearings and he slammed me. Fourth attempt was smooth and the killing fight.

After GD I ran back to the bonfire and decided I should grind out some L. Titanite Shards from the slimes outside the door before leaving the depths for good. I muted the volume, grabbed my iPod, put on the Bombcast and then the Penny Arcade D&D podcasts and ground out some shards to take my gear to +8 I believe (I need Chunks now) and my Knife and Shield to +10. Again in the interest of honesty I have a slight confession to make and might condemn me in the eyes of some. Farming those slimes takes forever as is, there was no danger to me of death it was only tedious. In the interest of saving myself some time since I don't have much free time to play atm I went to Laurentian grabbed the Pyro mit and combustion and used the souls from GD to upgrade the mit as far as I could. I used Combustion to farm the slimes after I had used 10 humanity. It still took me a few hours. At first I didn't want to because of the no pyro rule but the way I see it, I was going to farm them anyway, this just made it slightly more bearable and the moment I was done I put the glove in the bottomless box.

Farming completed, I ran back to Firelink and headed down to the back entrance of Blighttown, my only goal was to get in and out as fast as possible. I grabbed the key to New Londo and rushed down the structure. The only things I killed were the 2 firebreathing bugs at the bottom on the way to the bonfire. I unhollowed to kill Miranda for sport and then sprinted over to Quelaag's Lair. The Quelaag fight is one of the easier in the game. It is very easy to roll under her swings and circle-strafe to avoid the lava. If things get a little too lava-filled back away to another section and let her come to you. The only issue I had with this fight was when she slumps over and does the charge burst. As far as I know there is no tell that the attack is coming if you cannot see her front and see her slump over, by the time I realized it was coming and started to back away I would get hit and usually killed. I think it took me 3 tries to take her down.

Second bell rung, there was nothing to do other than head to the Fortress. Normally Sen's Fortress takes me a long time to get through because I am obsessive about collecting all shinies. This time I decided to just rush it and it other than a couple falls on the second set of swinging blades (the one with the Serpent Magus at the other end firing lightning directly at you) it was a piece of cake. I rushed to the top, grabbed the bonfire, the key to the shortcut, and unlocked the cage. The Giant at the top that throws the flaming boulders was a bit of a pain, took me a few attempts to take him down. Once again, the camera is oftentimes a greater threat on large enemies then the enemies themselves. I would get tangled up in his legs with the camera whipping around in all directions and then eat a punch or a stomp. Taking on the Iron Golem was fairly straight forward, like the giants, just roll through his legs or under his attacks. The camera once again conspired to kill me and caused me to get grabbed and slammed a couple times for an insta-death. Nothing remarkable about this fight though.

Finally to wrap up my play session I decided to at least try to get to the second bonfire in Anor Londo. Much like Sen's Fortress it was basically a straight run, and it is surprising how close it is when you aren't dicking around in the Painted World or with all the Painting Guardians on the lower floor. Once I spun the connecting path outside I sprinted past the gargoyle and up the stairs, flipped past the giant knight guardians and attempted to run past the Bat Wing Demons. I took a few lightning spears to the back but pretty easily made it up the ramp to the Dragon Greatbow Black Knights and then died, and died, and died, and died. I must have made that run about 10-15 times and each time it was like smashing into a wall. At this point I was pretty tired and just bullheaded about getting to that next bonfire. Unfortunately the Bandit Knife does piddly damage on a regular attack so I couldn't fight him like normal, I had to move fast because I didn't want an arrow in the back from the other Knight, I routinely missed my Parries (which I think is my only recourse here), kicking did nothing, and trying to simply slip past him only ended in more death. It also doesn't help that his fucking sword can clip through the corner geometry and hit me before I approach him (and I am not sure but I think that same geometry may have been messing with my parries).

So that is where I have left off, I just realized this post got really long, I am at work and have been typing it in sections between calls, sorry about that. If you have read this far you must be really bored.

TL;DR I progressed past Capra Demon onto the Depths, Killed Gaping Dragon, farmed to upgrade weapon/armour, killed Quelaag, cruised through Sens's Fortress, Fuck the Dragon Greatbow Black Knights.

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