#1 Posted by DrMechano (43 posts) -

Ok One last spoiler warning...seriously this WILL contain spoilers for the whole DLC, if you haven't played it, don't want to know whats in it or about the bosses, go ahead and turn your ass right around!

Ok completed the DLC today, done pretty much everything in it that I could find short of trying to farm for possible armour/weapon drops (I know I'm missing at least 1 weapon).

Difficulty rating: Bloody Tough.

Damn the DLC has some tough areas and enemies in it BUT once you figure out how they work and how to actually access the bonfires it does become a bit easier. The two non-optional boss fights are interesting and the final boss is a fight worthy of Kalameet, not amazingly hard but I would recommend bringing a friend for the first non-optional boss.

The optional boss however...bring friends, you WILL need them! If you go in solo you're essentially fighting a 3 man PvP gank squad with more health than regular players.

I was struggling with the enemies on New Game with a level 179 character at first due to probably a bit of overconfidence having through I had 'outlevelled' the DLC sufficiently to breeze through it. Yeah...don't be fooled, these guys WILL kick your ass if you're not careful about it.

Items: Fun and useful (most of them).

The weapons, oooh boy I've found a new love in the Puzzling Stone sword for PvP. Imagine if you will Ivy's weapon from Soul Calibur...yeah it's a Sword/Whip combo with an S rating in Dex. R1s are your standard shortsword attacks, R2s turn the sword into a whip, onehanded R2 is a standard whip attack followed by an extending poke attack, the twohanded R2 is a spinning attack which hits 360 around you and can be comboed into itself again fairly easily.

The Greathammer you can get...yeah don't bother, has horrible tracking and a kind of weird moveset and it poisons you, just use the Large or Greatclub...only thing it is useful for is being a bit closer to fully Cosplaying as the Turtle Knights.

The Drakeblood Greatsword is a Dex scaling Greatsword, nice to see that the prolifieration of weapons is now extending the other way (Str got a quite a few variations on normally dex focused weapons like the Red Rust Scimitar, Stone Twinblade etc.)

The Wrathful Axe (crafted from the first bosses soul at Ornifex) is basically a good scaling quality build halberd version of Sacred Chime hammer. The special attack (L2 triggers it) isn't that great but hey if you prefer the reach of a Halberd to the shortish range of the Chime Hammer, go for it.

The Spear crafted from Simh the Slumbering Dragon's soul at Ornifex is essentially a dex focused Lance instead of the strength focused Grand Lance, hits like a truck mind you.

I'm missing the Repeating crossbow that fires a Dark Bolt with the L2 but I have seen it in PvP.

Spells: *shrugs*

Not really focused on Spells this playthrough but Second Chance makes a return from Demon's Souls as the Spell Denial only if only gives you like 10 hp so don't expect any OP'd things to go on with it. Tranquil Walk of Peace makes its return as well. Dark Greatsword spell is basically a Dark version of the Moonlight Greatsword projectile attack.

Overall opinion: THIS is what Dark Souls 2 should have been like IMO, the level is heavily interwoven, shortcuts in a manner similar to Oolicile township, fun puzzles, difficult yet fair enemies and bosses (except the optional boss, that can go fuck itself...ech...), interesting items.

You're looking at about 4-5 hours worth of playtime depending on how careful and how much you want to explore, for a full exploration I'd say add another hour and a bit onto that playtime.

#2 Edited by ESREVER (2691 posts) -

Ohgawddddd, just finished the first ep of the DLC. Unrelated to the actual DLC, my cleric build got nerfed harddddd. It was really difficult to continue on that build through the DLC, but I managed (RIP nearly all my consumables)

So, the things I really liked. The Sunken City is a really cool area and the level design/puzzle elements were awesome. Wish there was more of that in the game. New enemies were neat and frustrating at times, wouldn't be doing their job if they weren't. The ghosts that become "tangible" when you destroy their armor were really cool. Fuck Jester Thomas. The blood dragon knights you encounter were really good too. An actual battle those encounters were.

Now onto the things that I hated. The first two bosses. Ohhgeeez, how I hated these fights. First I took on the squid lady whatever her name was. She was so good at everything! I mean I guess it was a fun fight looking back at it because I had to play really smart. But man, she'd bait my attacks, teleport, and try to hit me with a bunch of hexes. She would wombo combo you too. She'd cast the exploding fireball that summons near you, then shoot hex spells to try to "zone" you (for lack of a better term) back into the fireballs. Oh, and then she summons fucking Velstadt! (or 3 skeles, or the 3 piggies from the start of the game) But most the time I got Velstadt... BACK TO BACK.

The optional fight, the trio of grave robbers. Fuck these guys. Fuck the people who decided they should be a boss encounter. Fuck their ability to dodge and recover instantly. Just fuck everything about that fight. I could see how that fight would be a lot more manageable with a team. But I like to play DS2 solo, so thats how I do. This was the most infuriating thing ever. Why can the can Havel armor run so gaddamn fast. Everything about the fight was horrible. I had to exploit the enemy AI by making them chase me somewhere where they had to backtrack and I could just jump down so I could keep them away as long as possible while I dealt with the ranged dude. Then I would just try to spam my special attack on the axe I got from the first boss fight. I ended up burning through so many consumables because my spell's cast amount were heavily nerfed. I finished Havel off by getting him on the ledge just a lil above me and spamming Heavy Thunderstorm (don't remember the exact name) and prayed to RNGeesus that one of the bolts would hit him. The reward for that was not even worth it. I got a Flower Skirt...

The Final boss fight against Sinh was awesome. Finally, a unique boss that looked pretty rad and was a proper fight. He ended up being the easiest for me. Just two handed my craftman's hammer (thats still my best one handed hammer, I wish there were more) covered it in lightning and went to town.

So yea, that was my experience. Cool new area and enemies. Bad two boss fights. Awesome finale fight. Loot is... average. (chainwhip sword sounded cool, but wasn't that effective for me) Please unnerf miracles :(

#3 Posted by DrMechano (43 posts) -

You see what I would have done with the Grave Robbers fight is I would have not given them boss level health, I'd have done them as a mirror of the Lautrec + friends fight in Dark Souls 1, they have player level health and the key to the boss fight would be about bursting down targets as hard as possible but you can't summon help into the bossfight to balance it out (lets face it you can probably kill a player in 4-5 hits of a buffed weapon most of the time).

The way the fight is designed now is frankly fucking ridiculous, you HAVE to summon at least 2 other people (which in turn buff their health) to turn it into a fair fight otherwise you're screwed (especially if you're a caster of any kind), you probably could do it but..its not a fun fight by any means.

Oh and it doesn't help that one of the NPC summons is beyond useless, his hardest hitting attack does bugger all damage.

#4 Edited by Random45 (1212 posts) -

@drmechano said:

You see what I would have done with the Grave Robbers fight is I would have not given them boss level health, I'd have done them as a mirror of the Lautrec + friends fight in Dark Souls 1, they have player level health and the key to the boss fight would be about bursting down targets as hard as possible but you can't summon help into the bossfight to balance it out (lets face it you can probably kill a player in 4-5 hits of a buffed weapon most of the time).

The way the fight is designed now is frankly fucking ridiculous, you HAVE to summon at least 2 other people (which in turn buff their health) to turn it into a fair fight otherwise you're screwed (especially if you're a caster of any kind), you probably could do it but..its not a fun fight by any means.

Oh and it doesn't help that one of the NPC summons is beyond useless, his hardest hitting attack does bugger all damage.

You CAN solo it, I think it's only possible as a caster honestly. Maybe on a first run through it's possible outside of it, but on NG++ the solo fight is just running, running, running, and when their pathing screws up when you run in the pits below, you turn around and cast a few spells and pray to whatever that they don't dodge the fucking attacks. Basically it's an endurance boss fight, I went on for 10 minutes plus, and actually managed to kill one of them, and I got greedy and fired off two spells at the archer guy in an attempt to kill him, and Havel got behind me and 1-hit me. I was so fucking pissed, FUCK this boss. What a horribly lazily designed boss fight. I finally summoned two PLAYERS to help me (the NPCs are BEYOND useless), and we managed to beat them with only one casualty.

I'm amazed that they designed such a good final boss, and then gave us this garbage boss fight as an optional one. Ugh, I freaking HATE IT.

#5 Posted by DrMechano (43 posts) -

I will point out ONE of the NPCs is more useful than you'd think. The one carrying the Shotel and parrying Dagger who wears the explorers set. Firstly if he goes against Havel imposter guy, he will use the Shotel's R2 attack to penetrate through his shield and he will, very rarely, parry one of them using the Dagger. Secondly he actually buffs his weapon with Gold Pine Resin just before going into the fight. He also has a metric butt-ton of health.

The Caster NPC is AWFUL, his attacks do barely any damage, Soul Spear was hitting for like 200 damage, methinks Fromsoft gave him unupgraded equipment and his healthpool is postively tiny...

#6 Posted by groin (847 posts) -

The DLC difficulty scales with your soul memory so you cannot overlevel it. No other areas in the game work this way. The gank squad boss is poor design but you can beat them solo as a melee character. I did it while 2 handing a Murakumo. You just need to lame it out and not get greedy with your attacks. I honestly think that Dark Lurker is a more challenging boss with a melee character.

#7 Edited by AndrewB (7617 posts) -

My review of the DLC so far -

Invaded after the first bonfire.

Invader meets me on the horizon. They bow, I prostrate.

Invader is a speedy dex build and takes a few slashes at the air in front of me.

When he/she is out of stamina, I slam down with my oft-unused greatshield.

Invader rolls out of the way, dropping off the cliff behind them to their death.

Best invasion ever. 5 stars.

Okay, I'll have some more useful commentary when I've made it further than the area immediately after the first bonfire, but that was a bloody nice introduction to new content :D

Oh, also, not sure mention of the name Kalameet is a good or a bad thing. Having found most of the Dark Souls 2 bosses a joke even soloed compared to the first game, and Kalameet being either the biggest or second biggest thorn in my side (the only other boss to hold that crown could be the Ornstein/Smough fight, but at least I could summon Solaire for that), I think I'd relish an opponent worthy of breaking a controller out of frustration. Manus took me four tries, and I beat Gwynn on round two only because I got way confident that Solaire had aggro. Kalameet handed me my ass over a dozen times even after I thought I had the patterns down.

I'll say one other thing, though - there are some breathtaking vistas right off the bat and that's quite something for a game that is on and off fantastic looking and hideously antiquated all at once, even/especially apparent on PC.

#8 Edited by DrMechano (43 posts) -

Simh inherets the ridiculously varied moveset of Kalameet he has:

The Situp cone of death attack like kalameet but replace double damage curse with poison inducing fire breath that also deals damage (all his breath attacks had damage + poison buildup instead of Kalameets actually magic damage fire breath)..

He inherets these moves from Kalameet:

Headslam (that is completely unblockable so dodge roll!)

The swooping strike attack.

The Footslams.

The Frontal fire breath.

He also inherets the tail spin animation of Kalameet...only this time it gets a third extra spin.

And here is where the similarities end.

You'll think he's going for a swooping attack and instead breath fire while flying in a straight line, the animations are exactly the same right up until the point he starts breathing fire.

Want to use the old 'fight by his side so that you can easily avoid his footslams' strat you could on Kalameet...yeah he'll turn his head around and breath that poisonous fire down the side you're on.

He'll hover in the air and breath a fireball, not only does this deal AoE damage (and knocks you on your ass if you get caught in it) when it explodes, it leaves behind a toxic mist cloud for a good minute or so, making that area of the arena basically unusable.

Unlike Kalameet he will 'combo' his aerial moves together in various different orders.

Oh and his AI is fairly smart, he'll keep switching targets throughout the fight, forcing everyone to have to heal if you've got Phantoms in there and he isn't shy about targetting the obvious spellcaster hiding at the back at a moments notice. I've had it where I've been his main target, he took off and I expected the fireball to be aimed at me but instead he fires it at the guy throwing souls spears and proceeds to then combo that into the straight line fire breath followed by the swooping dive attack at the guy. Once he landed I had his attention again, almost as if to be like "fuck you spellcaster, not letting you get away with that shit".

Oh and even moreso than Kalameet, Simh is HIGHLY mobile, as mentioned he'll switch targets with multiple phantoms and barely spends time on the ground, often landing briefly before taking off again. Even solo he'll usually only land for a short period of time before flying into the air again.

I'm going to be honest here and say that due to his fairly large healthpool and his constant tactics changes, the fight is MORE fun with summons than solo due to the fact it really does feel like a proper fight, having to sprint to catch up with him when he lands etc.

#9 Edited by ike7779 (317 posts) -

DLC is okay.

#10 Posted by Sarkahn (48 posts) -

This DLC was great. I was glad to see that I actually got some cool equipment I really wanted to experiment with, which definitely didn't happen with Oolacile from DS1. Would definitely recommend it to anyone who is craving more quality Dark Souls.

It's pretty hard in spots but not too ridiculous aside from the optional boss. Even that is not too bad with Jolly Co-operation....good luck if you're the type of person who refuses to summon.

#11 Posted by GTCknight (695 posts) -

As someone who plays as a two-hander strength build and stopped playing right as he started NG+ just how royally fucked am I?

#12 Edited by ESREVER (2691 posts) -

@gtcknight: You're fine. It was the magics, miracles, and hexes that got royally nerfed.

#13 Posted by GTCknight (695 posts) -

@esrever: Thanks you. I might go back and start playing DS2 again now. I was really worried that they might have scaled everything up so high that it would be impossible for a strength build to survive.

Now I just need to kill the NG++ version of the Rotten since I used that item (I forgot what its called) on him at the end of NG run.

#14 Edited by Myrmicus (223 posts) -

I'm still stuck at the first boss fight. She is damn hard... Espacially since my first and main character is a hexe-dex build. The whole area was damn tough. When I encountered her, I was like :

"What do you mean, Dark Attacks barely do a thing ? But I don't even HAVE a non dark weapon upgraded D= "

"WHAT DO YOU MEAN SHE SUMMONS ANOTHER BOSS ?!"

"Oh, I'm dead... What a surpriiiiiise."

EDIT : Finally, had to summon help against the Dark Squid Girl. Beat her. Sinh is very reminiscent of Kalameet, both in shape and moveset. But he is différent and as said, more fun to beat in group. He is very higly resistant to Dark, highly resistant to fire and lightning and moderatly resistant to magic. But he is alone and thus, not so difficult. There is tricks : if he fligh high, he will throw you a fireball, or dive at you, or breath fire while diving at you... At this point, the best way to avoid this, if you're not too far (or too close) is to run straight to him... his attack will miss.

Other than that be really cautious if you approach him from side or behind, especially if you are in group : if you meet his tail, you will take huge damage. That goes for his spin attack of course, but also if he simply turn around (not attacking). And never stay right under him, because his landing will hurt your.

#15 Posted by Twinsun (477 posts) -

@myrmicus: God, I know what you mean, I'm in the same position, and still haven't beaten her on NG+

@gtcknight: Bonfire Ascetic :)