Why do I suck so very hard at PVP?

#1 Posted by grahammcgrew (14 posts) -

I've done all the required stuff, just pausing before the final battle. Trying only now to get into PvP. Perhaps you've defeated me: I hit you maybe once and didn't hurt you too bad, you 2-3 shotted me. I die to Havel armored greataxe swingers who seem to move strangely fast, and lithe guys wielding quick poison/bleed blades -- even lowly mages. Fairly high level, around 100. Started out as a Sorcerer, have most of the spells, ended up doing more Pyromancy, have most of the miracles as well. Usually do melee in PvP, have some decent armor and weapons. Stats somewhat spread around, neither vitality nor endurance maxed out, no attributes maxed out in fact. Is there some fundamental difference in strategy between PvE and PvP that I'm not getting? Or do I just suck? Any suggestions appreciated.

#2 Posted by Ghost249 (250 posts) -

@grahammcgrew: from what I read in the past (don't take me too seriously your view may differ) but if you are to pvp you should focus on certain areas rather then have it spread out and have weapons and gear that you are comfortable with that go with your stats. That and pvp recommended lvl is like 40-60 I think. I'm not to hot in PVP but that's because I rarely bother with it, just enjoying the game even if a player decides to invade me, if I die I die so better luck next time.

#3 Posted by biospank (657 posts) -
@grahammcgrew: dude, you should not try and pvp before 60 or 80. if you are in the level where I am you will almost not even die maybe because I have health stats at 99 but still. I have a good weapon and gear.
#4 Posted by McShank (1630 posts) -

Your stats should not be evened out, you should have 2-3 higher then the rest as it will be either be to up your life, melee dmg or spell dmg. The guy above me says he has his life at 99 which means unless he maxed out endurance asap his other stats will be crap, or his level is sl200+ which means pvp will suck. You can pvp at any level and get any spell / miracle which means you can bounce around using different ones to throw others off during fights. Rolling is your best friend and so is having a shield for those pvp'ers that are making dodging really hard. The fights and how you should fight them will usually be a case by case basis as not every strategy will work for everyone since playstyles range greatly. The best way I can give you info to help in Pvp is to study.. Look though wiki's / forums. Read up on peoples play styles / stories of pvp. Read about the spells, weapons and how they are used and their affects so you can figure out if you can counter them. It is not something you can jump in and be awesome at.

#5 Posted by Chippy180 (161 posts) -

As others have said evenly spread characters aren't optimised for PVP. I have a dex build which can hold it's own in duels, not that I intended to do PVP in the first place.

#6 Posted by jakob187 (21755 posts) -

Suck less. That's the best way to win in Dark Souls PvP.

In all seriousness, the stat spread is a bad idea. Moreover, make sure you research the weapons and other things that would be good for PvP. Stuff like Lifehunt Scythe might seem good, but having a Chaos Uchi or Washing Pole is actually drastically better because of the speed you can swing at for bleed damage.

As for the whole "they have Havel's and move fast", it's because they've worked on their Endurance stat. In turn, that plus Havel's Ring and Dark Wood Grain Ring make you incredibly fast and agile, even in Havel's.

#7 Posted by benspyda (2050 posts) -

Just won my first Dark Souls PVP battle yesterday, it was pretty satisfying as most of the time I get so close to killing them but they get the final hit on me. I think it just depends on whether or not they are specked out for cheap kills or are a high level which most who do PVP are.

#8 Posted by weegieanawrench (1943 posts) -

I'm pretty horrible at PVP too. I've been invaded around 5 times, and each time I've lost. I suspect it's because I'm being invaded by dudes with high soul levels. I get killed in 2-3 hits, but like with everything else in the game, if I die, no biggie.

#9 Edited by AndyD74 (169 posts) -

I came here to make a thread about sucking at pvp and lo and behold there was one here. I don't understand the whole backstab move. I can be facing an enemy with my shield up, and they just walk behind me and stab me in the back as if I were an NPC character. I don't get it. Next, I can roll away from them, and mid roll I stop and get stabbed in the back. Finally, I can take a swing while they are in front of me, next thing I know they are behind me and my swing stops mid stroke, and you guessed it, I get stabbed in the back. It is so aggravating.

I've had probably around 100 pvp matches, and this is how most of them go....

#10 Posted by Panpipe (477 posts) -

PvP in Dark Souls is a strange beast. I've avoided it as much as I can.

From what I've read/seen, often PVPers keep their level quite low but focus on a couple of stats with gear that enhances/relies on those stats. These are designed "builds" and you'll almost definitely lose if you go in to a fight with a character that you've just been playing PvE with.

Personally I'm not interested in making characters just for PvP.

#11 Posted by AndyD74 (169 posts) -

But, do those builds/stats help if you can't stop the backstab? I mean, I get backstabbed EVERY pvp match and there seems to be nothing I can do to stop it. I have won some matches, but the majority rely on me getting backstabbed into oblivion.

#12 Edited by Ghost249 (250 posts) -

@AndyD74: if you get backstabbed for things like that, it maybe due to the invaders connection with you, not fully sure but that could be the case for them.

Edit: Lag is very possible

#13 Posted by Gazel_Ministry (125 posts) -

I'm by no means an expert at PvP (win roughly 60% of the time) but here are a few tips I can offer to help you get better:

1. Dark Wood Grain Ring - Get it. If you don't, then don't bother PvP. It's a severe disadvantage not to have it equipped. Some can survive without it. I'm not one of them. Doesn't hurt to get Havel's ring either. They compliment each other perfectly.

2. Pick a build. Like big weapons, go with a Strength build. Like curved swords, go with a high Dex/Faith build. Magic weapons = high Intellect. Your build will depend a lot on the weapons you choose and how they scale to each stat. The last thing you want to do is waste time leveling up on one build and then try switching to another midway. Never works in PvP. You want to be able to dedicate the rest of your leveling to getting your Vitality and Endurance up to or very close to 40.

3. Upgrade your weapons/armor. Most of the low level PvP is a kind of rock, paper, scissors match. They usually come with lightning or fire. Lightning dominates the lower level PvP matches for the most part. Most new PvP players usually lose due to their equipment being lousy. A +10 Claymore is alright. A +5 Lightning Claymore, that's more like it. A +15 Claymore with Darkmoon Blade, amazing! And don't forget to upgrade your armor, unless you like being 1 hit. Doesn't hurt to have your Humanity maxed to 99 for PvP as it will increase your defense as well.

4. Learn how to backstab it you haven't already. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpZeX-RCat8. Everyone backstabs in PvP. Get used to it. And everyone gets lagstabbed at one time or another. That's the moment when you're right in front of the guy and the next moment you see him slamming his sword into your back. Unavoidable. People with the best connections still complain about lagstab. All I can say about backstab is the best defense is a good offense. If your opponent keeps trying to backstab, do the same. They will either get the hint or die...or kill you. Backstabs are lethal.

5. Magic is a great weapon, but don't expect to beat a good PvP player with magic alone. I don't know how many players I've gone up against who depend solely on magic and come into a match doing nothing but casting Soul Arrows and Fireballs. Unless I'm cornered, there is no way I'm going to be hit. A quick roll to the right or the left and their magic is worthless. Some magic/miracles are fantastic in PvP (Wrath of the Gods in particular) but again don't depend solely on magic to win a match.

6. If you're level 8-50, go to the forest. Plenty of PvP there. If you're level 80 and want to take a stab at the Kiln, go right ahead. Most of your really good players fight between soul lvls 120 and 130. I wouldn't recommend you rushing to 120 however. Most of the people at that level don't fall for chained backstabs or Tranquil Walk of Peace. Most...

And finally. Here are some good streams to get some tips.

Soulinvader - He eats,sleeps (literally) and breathes Dark Souls. Plays on the 360 and streams almost daily. Very good at answering any questions you may have.

D_Invader - -This guy just puts on a clinic on how to dominate in PvP. Plays on the PS3. Usually just plays music on the stream but watching it has definitely helped me improve. He just recently started talking on a mic.

#14 Posted by golguin (4040 posts) -

@AndyD74 said:

I came here to make a thread about sucking at pvp and lo and behold there was one here. I don't understand the whole backstab move. I can be facing an enemy with my shield up, and they just walk behind me and stab me in the back as if I were an NPC character. I don't get it. Next, I can roll away from them, and mid roll I stop and get stabbed in the back. Finally, I can take a swing while they are in front of me, next thing I know they are behind me and my swing stops mid stroke, and you guessed it, I get stabbed in the back. It is so aggravating.

I've had probably around 100 pvp matches, and this is how most of them go....

I think by now I've fought in 200-300 matches with the majority being 1v1 and about 15% being a combination of 1v2 and 1v3. To learn about the mechanics of the various types of backstabs (there are several types for different situations) you should watch this tutorial as any description of how to do them and and how to counter them wouldn't really make sense. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpZeX-RCat8

My "build" was not made to PvP so it's not optimized for my level and style of play, but it got me through NG++ to get all the achievements and my SL of 111 is low enough to see some really good PvP action in the Kiln. I don't know what to call my build, but it's centered on using my Lightning Uchi +5 as my primary weapon with max Pyromancy as my support magic. My primary stats are 50 Vit and 40 End, which means that I'm very fast and I can take a good beating with 1500 HP. Using Havel's Ring and the Dark Grain Ring allows me to equip most of Havel's set, except that I use the Black Knight Armor and Gargoyle's Helm. This gives me a very high poise, which is needed to prevent stun locks from heavy two handed weapons.

When I get into a PvP match I know from the very start if I can simply rush my opponent and kill him outright with my Uchi on account of my endurance (5-7 strikes depending on grass shield and green herb) and the bleed from my blade. If I can't do that then I'm forced to take potshots and whittle down their HP, poise, and/or bleed until they die. If they are using a weapon that I know will kill me in 3 strikes then I wait for an opening to backstab them to death. Spell Projectiles, Wrath of the Gods, and Pyromancy are of no concern to me since I know how to dodge them. Weapon spells or item weapon buffs like Sunlight Blade or Gold Pine Resin are extremely dangerous to me.

I tell you this because people in my SL range of 111 have maxed out equipment and stat builds set to their distinct style of play. You will die all the time unless you know the ins and outs of equipment pieces (general poise and resistance stats), spell dodge timings, and weapon animations when used single and two handed. I spent the first 50 or so matches at the Kiln with a SL of 60 and I would usually get destroyed. It wasn't until I learned how to dodge (NOT BLOCK WITH A SHIELD) the popular weapons and take advantage of the openings created from every swing that I stopped losing and started to win the majority of the time.

You have to become extremely familiar with the advantages and limitations of whatever weapon you use and how you will fight off another weapon that takes advantage of your limitation.

#15 Posted by OtherworldOdd (21 posts) -

I'll give you a few tips that I've learned:

1. Stats-wise. Pick three stats and stick to those. They should probably be Vitality, Endurance, and something else. Probably STR. If you're doing a caster, then just get STR and DEX up to a minimum level to wield whatever weapon you want then focus on INT or Faith. If you're doing light armor, don't focus on endurance as much. NEVER put ANYTHING into Resistance.

2. Almost never go above 40 in any stat. The big exceptions to this are VIT and if you need 50 to cast a spell or use a weapon. Overall, I never see anyone go above 50.

3. Try to make a build for 120. This is a big PVP level area and will fetch you a bunch of PvP. This is what I do and I'm invaded consistently and can get invades consistently. I also don't suffer from co-op troubles.

4. Dark Grain RIng is amazing. Seriously, it's amazing.

5. Ring of Favor and Protection is also pretty cool. Until you put it on and can't take it off or it'll break. Lol. Make sure you're ready to commit. It is really good though.

6. Weapons are fairly balanced in this game. Find something you're comfortable with, then apply this: If you can use Sorcery or Faith: Upgrade it to +15 and carry around Sunlight Blade/Blade of Darkmoon spell/Crystal Magic Weapon spell. If you can't, don't fret. Just get a lightning weapon. I've used all sorts of weapons, and I prefer Lightning above all else. I'm one of those who can't cast faith or int spells besides basic ones like Heal.

7. If you're invading, find a way to heal yourself. Sorry to say it, but people don't play fair. If they do, then have an honorable duel. If not, you can heal while they're estus chugging. Getting your faith up to a minimum level for heal is a good way to do this. You can also heal with humanity or divine blessings if you have it to spare.

8. I forgot what they're called. I think it's green blossoms. They help a lot. Or use Grass Crest Shield. Even if you're two-handing your weapon and have it on your back, it gives you the bonus.

9. Dark souls PvP is a finicky and laggy beast. You'll get backstabbed from the front. Don't worry about it. It's just lag.

That's about it for now. If any of you have any questions, don't be afraid to PM me. I'll help you out the best I can.

#16 Posted by grahammcgrew (14 posts) -

Thanks for all the responses . . . I was in the middle of moving to another state and haven't been on the computer for a while . . . I have taken some of the advice, been levelling up endurance . . . I also have been staying away from the kiln, PvPing other places, and seem to encounter more honorable duels, fewer technical backstab tournaments . . . I still get defeated a lot, but have had some satisfying battles, including some of those defeats . . . Probably the most pitiful episode was getting stuck between two roots in Lost Izalith, unable to walk, back hop, anything . . . two magic bolts killed me from above . . . I never even saw my opponent . . . Then there was the guy who threw a fireball at me while I was bowing to him . . . But overall, good times . . .

#18 Posted by Seppli (10250 posts) -

Thrust attacks is where it's at in PvP - melee-wise.

#19 Posted by Fredchuckdave (6094 posts) -

Ghost bump, the horror! Dark Souls PvP is all about having the cheapest build possible and then facerolling.

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