So I finally picked this game up and I'm wondering if the Giantbomb Demon's Souls community can give me some tips before I go headlong into it. Through the reading of other threads, I'm seeing that dodging is key and class really only affects the beginning of the game. So I'm more wondering, are there any tips for manipulating World Tendency/Character Tendency? What WT/CT should I strive for on my first playthrough? Once online play is available again, should I play online or will that just mess up my WT? Also, when online, will I constantly be invaded and annihilated on my first playthrough? Any tips for world/level progression? Should I have bypassed starting this thread and just consulted a guide or even just stumble and crawl my way through?
Some tips for a beginner?
If you wanna make the game as easy as possible, there's really only a few things you need to know:
Start the game as Royalty (yup, nothing else to say about this -- just do it).
Magic is your friend. It's a lot easier to make your way through the game as a pure mage than it is as a pure warrior. However, you probably wanna make a hybrid to add some versatility to your character and make the game more fun. Should you opt for a battle mage, don't sink any points into STR/DEX unless it's required for a weapon (I think I only put one or two points in each of those). You should be equipping light Crescent/Moon-type weapons which do damage based on your MAG stat (you can get a Crescent Falchion in the beginning of World 4 -- look it up in a guide). You do need END though as it effects your stamina. Oh, and don't forget you can lower the STR/DEX requirements of a weapon by two-handing it (triangle button).
Whenever you gain a corporeal form, suicide in the Nexus. By doing this you won't have to deal with any NPC Black Phantoms as the World Tendency won't shift to black should you die in one of the worlds, and PC Black Phantoms won't invade your game because there's no body to steal. You definitely want your World Tendencies to be as white as possible on your first playthrough if you're a completionist.
If you wanna start invading other people's games on your second playthrough, you're gonna have to kill the Maiden in Black in the final area of the game to get the evil ending (BTW, if you kill her earlier than that she will just revive. So... try it -- it's fun. But don't attack any other characters in the Nexus as they will turn hostile for the remainder of the game). By getting the good ending you'll get the Soulsucker ability instead (not very useful IMO) and will have to wait till your 3rd playthrough to start invading.
That's really all you need to know I'd say. Have fun.
I say don't worry too much about tendency and whatnots, just play the game the way you want to, much more enjoyable.
Also about being invaded a lot, it's possible, but people can only get into your world if they are within 10 levels +/- of your character, also you'll play the great majority of the campaign in the soul form I can assure you heh, I was never able to stay in alive form for to long, besides you deal more damage when in soul form so...
Magic is indeed good, almost overpowered. My character only had soul arrow/soul ray though and used melee and I got by just fine(NG+ maneaters suck though). I would say go with your preference. If you decide to go for a melee, play defensive, play to the counter attack. Have your shield up almost all the time and learn the enemies. Know when you can block, when you need to dodge, and when to counter attack. As you get stronger, you can start making the first strike, but relying heavily on counter attacking will make the game a lot easier.
Don't worry about dying too much. All that happens is your souls drop, sometimes dying is good because it allows you to get more consumables and souls. If you have a big stockpile, don't finish the level, go back to the nexus and level up, repair, and upgrade your equipment. Always carry plenty of arrows, you'll see why in world 4. This may seem tedious, but once you learn the levels they get a lot shorter.
The ring of Giant Strength is your best friend. I find a good dodge roll to be 100% essential for this game, that ring will let you equip heavier things but move better.
Take some time to look around and make sure you understand the game, but I wouldn't obsess too much about it. I just jumped right in and played and found it to be a lot of fun.
Boss's drop special souls that can get you special equipment or spells by giving them to NPCs, I suggest looking up what each soul will give you so you know if you want to get it or if you want to eat the soul for more souls. I used the Demon's Souls wikidot.
Don't worry about your class, just pick what suits you and you'll be able to build it how you want, as long as you play well you should do ok even if you don't build yourself "right".
As for people invading your world, I didn't really mind, especially if you play with other people it's not too hard to fight them off, though the lag can be terrible. Also, in order to invade people you just need to get the black(?) eye stone by defeating a black phantom, player or NPC, doesn't matter then you can invade other players with you're in soul form. Getting the bad ending gets you the Red Eye Stone which lets you request to duel other players. Are the servers even still online though?
Kneepads and a bottle of lube are a good place to start.
In all seriousness though, don't do too much research on it. Play as royalty, don't use the items that you get from bosses (they can be used to make unique weapons later), don't worry about invasions as I managed to beat the first 7 bosses without any, you might actually want to wait for online to be back up, and most importantly just have fun. My experience with the game was that it became much less enjoyable once I started researching things. You'll figure it out as you go, and if you think it's necessary then you can always start over to make a better character or get better weapons. Second playthroughs are also much faster, because so much of that game is just figuring out how the fighting mechanics work.
Keeping your CT and WT white should make the game pretty easy - don't kill innocent people and dont die in body form in the worlds.
I've tried both and being a melee guy is MUCH more fun than a guy who spams arrows or magic.
Playing online also generally makes the game easier as you can get a lot of tips from notes.
But tip number one is: Just play the game. Save the faq and wiki stuff for later playthroughs. If you have trouble, just grind a bit and you should be fine.
The soldier I found a very survivable and easy class to learn for melee and the royal is overpowered if you prefer magic, use dodging or keep your shield raised when not attacking, advance slowly, learn the shield spell, learn enemy patterns, farm souls at good areas (4-1 or 4-2 with the grim reapers is particularly good once you get a decent bow from memory), get some blue phantoms to help you if you're struggling with a boss fight, dc if a black phantom invades, certain armours are more appropriate for particular damage types, watch out for pitfalls, memorise enemy locations, discover some very good rings in the first stage (cling and another one) and they will make your life a lot easier, etc.
If you ever get stuck on a stage there's a very informative wiki but it might diminish the sense of accomplishment. Also, it's ok to be very frustrated at the start, the game will no doubt kick your ass. But it gets easier as you go along.
Hmmm alot of advice here some good some not so good.
I will cut to things other people won't tell you.
Decide on what your priority really is. If it is just beating the game get a dragon weapon and max it out (there is a dragon longsword in 2-2) all you need is minimum stats and other than a couple enemies in the game it will serve you well and be more than enough for the first game. If you plan to play online and experience pvp for the love of all that is holy stay away from magic. Any decent pvp'er online will know how to dodge, mitigate, or outright stop you from casting spells. To be successful in PVP you must master the melee part of the game, that includes learning how and when to dodge, holding up your shield if you have one at all times, learning to time your parries (yes they can be done in pvp), getting the second chance miracle and maybe the warding spell. Practice practice practice, expect to lose alot at first.
Secondly experiment with all play styles and weapons. You will like some more than others and understanding a type of weapon or how to use a spell leads to success way more often than just saying "this weapon hits harder so I will use it". You can always make custom weapons later on, don't just take what the game feeds you and assume it is as good as it gets. Don't rely on OP spells either. Sure firestorm f's up that dude but it won't help when dealing with a range guy or flamelurker.
Ignore tendency altogether unless you are going for a tendency based weapon. To lower your tendency is mindlessly easy, just suicide while in body for in the world you want to tendency to go down in. Then head back to the nexus, use an ephemeral eye stone to rez yourself, then rinse wash repeat 6-8 times. Making WT white is harder. You need to kill bosses, players that invade you (not possible right now), named black phantoms, and primeval demons. Named Black Phantoms only show up when a world has VERY dark tendency and Primeval Demons only show when it is pure black. So strangely enough without multiplayer the easiest way to get pure white WT is to gain access to the area where a worlds named BP and primeval show while leaving as many bosses alive as possible (you can look those up) then force pure black WT. Once this is done you kill the Primeval, then kill the BP, then exit to nexus and return to kill the remaining bosses. So long as you don't die in body form in there somewhere you will be locked at pure white.
Screw armor. Heavy armor is the tool of the Demon's Souls newb. You will be stunned how many enemies on the other hand won't see you if you have a thief's ring on and will just stand there looking dumb while you snipe them for example. In essence in spirit form the best ring combo is almost always thief's and cling. They are your bread and butter and both can be found in 1-1. Again avoid heavy armor, do not use crap rings to up your item weight limit. Is this harder starting out? Of course. Will it make you a vastly superior player 30 hours from now, oh yeah.
Character tendency.... Sadly with multiuplayer down there isn't much you can do here. If you feel like lowering it you can kill non essential npc's and you can also raise it by killing named BP's. Other than that it requires access to the servers.
EDIT: Oh yeah... Don't be afraid to start over. Beating DS took me 45 hours the first time. The second time it took 15. Now I can do it in less than 10 with ease. The more you play the better you get, once you know the levels beating them again isn't that hard.
You mentioned "dodging is key." For most of the game, circle straffing (while blocking) is the most important, followed by knowing when to run away from (or past ) an enemy.
Almost all Invaders are ***holes IMO. The posts above me pretty much highlight what you need to know. However, there's a Miracle that u can buy from Saint Urbain, which banishes Invaders when used. BUY IT.
Theif's Ring is the best ring. USE IT.
Last tip: There's a certain number of souls that just aren't worth raging over (when losing them), but telling you would kinda ruin the game a bit. It would be better for YOU to discover that number/ threshold.
Enjoy the GAME! ( /GRIND :D )
" Almost all Invaders are ***holes IMO. The posts above me pretty much highlight what you need to know. However, there's a Miracle that u can buy from Saint Urbain, which banishes Invaders when used. BUY IT."Dude that miracle requires you hit them with a slow, melee range, touch attack. Any pvper you catch with it you probably could have owned the old fashioned way anyhow.
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