Total noob with weapons: Advice...?

#1 Edited by SpawnMan (748 posts) -

Hi guys. I'm now nearly level 60 and I am still completely in the dark regarding Dark Soul's weapons. I joined the cat covenant and have gotten some of my first experiences with PvP and of course, waaay over-leveled dudes with their crazy-powerful weapons. So now, I think it's time to banish my ignorance and ask for some advice on what the heck to do with weapons (and probably armour too) in Dark Souls.

First off, I'm currently just using the Drake Sword which I upgraded with the scale from Deeproot Basin's Hydra. I'm also sporting Havel's ring and the Evil Eye, which allows me to wear stone guardian armour (except for the shield and gloves so far). I haven't got really any other weapons I use except for magic staffs and talismans - although I did upgrade a scimitar about 3 times before I got the Drake Sword. Now the Drake Sword does pretty much everything I want it to - kills most hollows in one slice, takes down most other things in a few extra, and takes good chunks outta bosses. I'm just scared after seeing other player's weapons that I'm missing out. Someone even mentioned that the Drake Sword doesn't "level" with you? No idea what this means, but doesn't it improve if you upgrade it with scales?

So a few questions:

1) What is this about scaling/leveling weapons?

2) Upgrading weapons - obviously it improves the weapon, but what about ascension? I got a stone from some butterfly guy and I gave it to the blacksmith but he has done nothing with it!

3) Unique weapons made from boss souls? What's up with them? I have one from the butterfly guy, and one from Sif. Do they upgrade existing weapons or make new ones? Can the new ones be upgraded again?

4) I noticed in the achievements it said "Best weapon through EG: Lightning reinforcement" - what does this mean? Can I get any achievements with the Drake sword?

5) Can all weapons have stuff put on them like pine resin?

6) Does it really matter about what weapon you use? If I keep upgrading the drake sword could I just keep using it over and over?

7) What are the best weapons? I like the slashing style of the Drake Sword (not spears or thrusting or large weapons) so are there any good ones using that?

Also a few questions about armour:

1) Pretty much ditto regarding most questions about armour - upgrading, best ones, unique ones etc...?

2) I'm using stone guardian armour at the moment - it's pretty heavy and forces me to use Havel's ring, and it can't seem to be upgraded. Is there a better option?

And finally, some questions about rings:

1) Like I said, I'm using Havel's Ring (+50 carry cap) and the Evil Eye (Absorb health from fallen enemies) - I take the Evil eye off for bosses and put on the Wolf Ring (+50 poise). I'm pretty much tied to using Havel's Ring until I find lighter/better armour than Stone Guardian. However, is there a better option for a ring combo? I want to use that wood grain one which makes you flip like mad. Damn I wish there were more ring slots. :..(

Well if you read through all that lol and actually still wanna give me some advice, I'd be very very grateful! : )

#2 Edited by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

1. The scaling deals with what stats you have. Lets say a weapon as a "A" rank for Strength. Meaning that weapon will do more damage with higher strangth.  
2. Ascension is a path you pick. Picking a magic path removes above scaling but adds magic damage. 
3, You need a fully leveled normal weapon before you can do that.  
4. That means ascend a weapon to lighting then level it to 10 
5. I do think so. 
6. Drake sword will soon become useless. Its nice at the start but find another weapon that suits your style. 
7. There is no best weapon. Its your play style.  
1. Kinda. Find what suits your play style 
2. What is your play style. Alot of your questions are " What is the best" There is no "BEST" it depends on your play style. Do you wanna dodge a lot or tank? 
Check that out. It has a lot of useful info.  
Again there is no BEST of anything. It depends on how you wanna play and what items are good for your play style. I took the starting sword for knight though the entire game. 

#3 Edited by CptBedlam (4451 posts) -

A few additional comments to what Laughing Man already said:

1. Scaling will improve when you level up weapons (varies for each weapon, "standard reinforcement +15" has the best scaling results, elemental reinforcments remove scaling completely and add elemental damage instead; "raw reinforcement" increases basic weapon damage but has poor scaling - only useful when your stats are pretty low)

2. You have to bring magic embers to the right blacksmiths in order to do certain ascensions... the first Blacksmith near Sen's will take the Large and Very Large Ember, for example. This allows you to do standard reinforcement+10 and +15.

5. Not on weapons that already have elemental damage.

7. Depends on how you like to play. For my first playthrough, I used mostly the Zweihander (standard reinforcement +15). It's slow but powerful. Now I'm playing a sorcerer and I made myself an Enchanted Halberd +5 (because it has S scaling on intelligence).

#4 Edited by benspyda (2034 posts) -

I like using a dexterity build so through my first playthrough I stuck with the Queelags Furysword because it does fire damage and scales with dex and humanity. I was also able to win some pvp fights using it too. Depends if you want to use slow powerful attacks (str) or fast attacks (dex). I see a lot of people using Iato's for pvp for its bleed effect.

Also my ring combo has been havels ring and wood grain ring plus havels armor but it takes a fair bit of endurance.

#5 Edited by PrixDante (30 posts) -

Those sites should be your bible for everything dark souls. Drake sword is good starting and that's it. Do not upgrade it, you'll soon find better weapons ie lightning spear and others. Not all weapons can be used with pine resin. Some boss weapons can't and upgraded weapons in the magic/enchanted, divine/occult, fire/chaos, and well..lightning categories. Experiment with all the weapons the game has to offer. I personally use the claymore/gargoyle halberd. If you like quick slashing weapons, try out the katanas uchigatana/washing pole/laito The undead berg merchant drops the uchigatana if you kill him, but research

#6 Edited by ViciousAnchovy (747 posts) -

You should definitely look at the wiki like others have said, but my advice for pvp is always be backstabbing and avoiding the backstabbing of others. I use a claymore, which is actually kinda fast for a slow weapon, but if I get too eager to do a lot of damage in a combo, my opponents usually flank me and backstab me. I haven't used a straight sword in pvp, but I did use one against monsters for a while, and I'd say you still want to not get overzealous with combos in pvp. Basically, be cautious like you're supposed to be in every part of the game.

Edit: Since you seem to like straight swords, and since I'm not sure where you are in the game at level 60, you can get Astora's Straight Sword from in front of the zombie dragon in the Valley of the Drakes. His breath doesn't do much direct damage, just mostly poisons you, so it's easy to grab. The sword deal physical and magic damage and is upgraded by twinkling titanite. At plus 3, it should be comparable with the basic Drake Sword. It has C strength scaling, and B intelligence and faith scaling. You mentioned using staves, so you might want to supplement your fighting style with magic. A lot of people in PVP use a sorcery called Homing Soul Mass, which is good for keeping opponents at distance and, I assume helpful in breaking their guard if the spell hits and you follow up with your sword.

I love heavy armor, but if you're going to use slashing weapons and possibly magic, I suggest using lighter armor and focusing on a shield with higher stability, which means you lose less stamina when blocking. It's easier to block attacks after a combo when using a lighter weapon like a straight sword. I suggest looking up the Elite Knight Armor and the Eagle Shield. The former is medium armor like the basic knight armor, but tougher, and the latter is the lightest heavy shield in the game. It has 70 stability, which is pretty great if you're not using a strength build. Also, raise your endurance a lot.

#7 Posted by SpawnMan (748 posts) -

Thanks guys for the info. I had checked out the Wikis before, but they were a little bit confusing for me with all the stats and sh*t. As for elemental reinforcement - so it removes scaling, but is this okay if it gives you elemental damage? Or is it too big a trade-off?

#8 Edited by slantedwindows (272 posts) -

in simple english:

there are four stats STR / DEX / INT / FTH (in that specific order). stats are ranked from E to S, with S being the highest.

if you have a sword that is C / C / - / - it means STR and DEX equally impact the damage of the weapon with a C-level (decent) bonus, with no bonuses for INT and FTH

for example, black bow of pharis +15 is E / S / - / -. with 45 DEX, i get ~250 damage BOOST in addition to base damage from DEX alone.

adding elemental or magic damage typically sacrifices physical damage (STR and DEX) and adds corresponding damage based on the stat.

enchanted bow of pharis gives it E / D / S / - damage. Meaning it gets significant boost from INT, but the DEX damage becomes dampened.

adjust your weapons according to your stats, because E / D / S / - doesn't matter much if your DEX is high, but your INT is low.

#9 Posted by SpawnMan (748 posts) -

@slantedwindows: Ah, so S is good? I thought it was bad. So it goes S best, then A, B, C, D and then E? So if a weapon is C/A/E/S say (probably doesn't exist, but oh well...), then if I have a high STR it will boost my damage a fair bit, if I have a high DEX then I'll have a really big damage increase, if I have a high INT then I'll have a really small damage boost, and if I have a high FTH then I'll have a really really big damage boost? Correct?

Thanks guys - I'm really starting to get my head around this now. Probably the most complicated weapon upgrading system I've EVER seen though lmao! ; )

#10 Posted by AndyD74 (169 posts) -

^Yes, your example is correct.

#11 Posted by SammydesinasNL (840 posts) -

Don't use the Drake Sword. It doesn't have any stat scaling. At this point you may be better off using an upgraded scimitar/longsword as they'll do far more damage. You will be able to use resins on these (not all weapons allow it).

#12 Posted by slantedwindows (272 posts) -

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