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#1 Posted by ElixirBronze (424 posts) -

So this is probably for those who've finished the game, but if you haven't of course you're welcome to post as well if you don't mind getting strategies explained to you.

I'm interested in hearing what areas gave you the most trouble, and how you managed to resolve it in the end. I'm not as interested in hearing that you were stuck on a boss for a few minutes and decided to summon someone to help as much as how you solved general headaches throughout the world by yourself. Basically, get things that gave you headaches - or things that made you feel proud about yourself - off your chest. Hey, boast a little bit if that's your thing.

Explaining your class and stuff would be awesome too.

For me, playing a pure int sorcerer, the area that BY FAR gave me the most trouble - more trouble than any boss - was Shrine of Amana. Being a caster it may sound like it should have been a cakewalk for me, and I agree, it should have been. If it weren't for the silly ass targeting system. Seriously, those casters can target and shoot you from MILES away, meanwhile you have to get right up in their face in order to get a lock on.

So what I had to do was use the binoculars and carefully position myself behind walls to shoot them. That wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't for the fact that sveral enemies capable of killing you in two hits were coming at you at the same time, while also having limited movement speed thanks to the fucking knee deep water everywhere. Killing those three at the end guaring the fog door... man, I felt like I just needed to tell people about it.

#2 Posted by Darkstalker (882 posts) -

Iron keep is the only place where I died enough for most of the enemies to disappear .

Every place else has been pretty steady.

#3 Posted by Sarumarine (2219 posts) -

I suppose there's only two areas I really remember giving me grief throughout the first playthrough I did. The lead up to the Lost Sinner in Sinner's Rise was pretty rough because I was a magic caster, and magic doesn't do any damage to the big mutant guys. Then once you get past them, you have the exploding belly flop dudes (easily the most annoying enemy in the entire game) who aren't slowed down by waist high water. Died plenty of times down there but found the boss relatively easy by comparison.

The other area would be the basement of Drangelic Castle because of opening all the doors down there leads to Ruin Sentries by the half-dozen. Even leading them out one-by-one, they took forever to kill and they were just as annoying as their boss fight in Lost Bastille. I wanted those items because I didn't know what they were, and it was just so aggravating and taxing. Ruin Sentires suck, and I was really disheartened to see them come back.

I suppose Shrine of Amana will get a lot of play here, but I didn't have any trouble with that area. As soon as I saw there were long range magic casters with homing spells, I got a short bow and plenty of poison arrows. That place was no problem once you pick them off at range. You can shoot arrows way before they ever see you, so it's just a matter of poisoning the casters and being patient. The boss of that area isn't too bad either. So, no tears lost there.

I almost want to mention Iron Keep, but really the only annoying part of Iron Keep is the Smelter Demon. The rest of that place was a funhouse since I had long range magic for the archer snipers, and stepping on plates and hitting switches to drop dudes into molten lava was lots of fun. Yeah, the only downside of Iron Keep is the Smelter Demon, because the Old Iron King was one of the biggest chumps I've ever seen in the Souls games.

#4 Posted by SoldierG654342 (1763 posts) -

Fuck Armana. I've gone through it melee and casting and it's just bullshit. The degree of homing those soul arrows have is outrageous. The Undead Crypt is also especially bad for the pit with all the Pyromancer Wraiths and the bells.

From a design standpoint, pretty much everything once you get to Drangleic Castle is antithetical to how Souls games have been designed. Normally, you encounter enemies by themselves for teh first time so you can learn what they are, in an environment that is at the very least neutral to the both of you. In the Undead Crypt, you run into 3 of those Sorceresses immediately, without every seeing them before, in a room with 4 zombies and oil pots that they can ignite. It's fucked.

#5 Posted by mosespippy (4112 posts) -

As a pure melee with no shield Shrine of Amana was also my biggest problem. Like you said, slower waling speed paired with magic users messed me up. I had to very slowly take them out one at a time to get from the second to third bonfires. I died so much my health was down to half so I popped a humanity. I figured I might as well summon some bros while I was human to explore the next section and we happened to run that area and the boss.

I walked through Huntsman's Copse all the way to Iron Keep. I had already beaten Lost Sinner and the Duke's Spider Lady Friend and had to look up where to go next. Being a pure melee character I had no reason to ever talk to the miracle merchant so she was still off in the Tower of Flame. I did every boss in that chain of areas in one life until the bonfire after Smelter Demon.

#6 Edited by Dragon4234 (133 posts) -

As a power stance character FUCK Shrine of Amana, it was getting to the point where I was content by killing only one of those mages before dying because at least I knew they would disappear eventually. Probably the easiest levels for me where the extra Dark Dungeons. I was hyped as hell to fight Havel again until I backstabbed him and pushed him of a cliff.

#7 Posted by Fredddi43 (326 posts) -

As a mainly melee focused player with some points in INT and FTH so I can use soul arrow and lightning bolt, Shrine of Amana was a Nightmare. I had to manually try and lightning bolt those bloody casters which could hit you from way too far away, because I couldn't get close enough for the target system to work. Iron Keep on the other hand, was a cake walk. I even beat the boss on my 2nd try. Hardest boss so far was the Dukes Dear Freja, but I haven't beaten the final boss yet because I wanna take out the Ancient Dragon and Vendrick.

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#8 Posted by kaos_cracker (579 posts) -

Shrine of Amana. Fuck mages.

#9 Posted by mosespippy (4112 posts) -

@fredddi43: You can fight Vendrick and the Ancient Dragon after defeating the final boss. That's what I did. When you beat the game there is just an option at the Majula bonfire to restart the cycle.

#10 Posted by Demoskinos (14757 posts) -

Getting past all the bloody Drakes in Dragon Aerie was a right pain in the ass. That places layout is sort of confusing as well.

#11 Posted by SunBroZak (1080 posts) -

While I had a lot of trouble with the Smelter Demon, I didn't really find the enemies of Iron Keep to be very difficult. Really, the only area I struggled with was the run up to the Undead Purgatory. I found the Torturers and the Artifical Undead to be very difficult, for whatever reason.

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#12 Posted by Zeik (2359 posts) -

I've still got a few areas left to visit, but nothing else in the game has given me as much trouble as the Pursuer. My confidence hit rock bottom after dying to (what seemed like) the second boss in the game. Eventually I learned his patterns well enough though, and that second fight against him in Iron Keep was easy-peasy.

The level I'm surprised to hear people have had so much trouble with is Iron Keep. I pretty much blew through that place without much resistance and I beat the Smelter Demon on the second try. (Only died the first time from a dumb mistake.) I almost beat the main boss on the first try too, if not for me walking off the ledge into the lava near the end. >_>

I hear a lot of bad things about this Shrine of Amana, so I'm curious how things will go for me when I got there.

#13 Posted by Marokai (2893 posts) -

The Shrine of Amana. Surprising, I know. Having reduced mobility would be one thing, having mages that shoot at you from far across the area would be one thing, having mages with homing arrows would be one thing.. combining all of those things makes for a very unpleasant experience and I felt no satisfaction after getting through that area. There was nothing challenging about it, it was just unfairly difficult.

#14 Posted by Zevvion (1858 posts) -

Funny enough, I was having the hardest time in the early stages of the game in the forest. I also had trouble with the Sentinel's bosses. I didn't have great gear my first time around (absolutely slaughtered them the second time through) and I did that area before I did No Man's Warf and the stuff leading up to is (still don't know the area names off the top of my head).

I was surprised to hear so many people had trouble with Iron Keep and Shrine of Amana. The Smelter Demon gave me some trouble causing me to die a bunch, but I knew the second I fought him I needed to figure out his patterns. Once I did, I took no damage from his strikes and defeated him easy. Second time through I defeated him first try. The greater demon, I defeated first try on my first run even. He is extremely predictable and telegraphs his moves way more than any other enemy I feel like.

As for Shrine of Amana, I have no idea how people play that part that it gives them so much trouble. Maybe they are trying to block? I don't know. I just roll and never get hit. I do acknowledge the last part there being a bit tricky, but if you just kill the one on the left, then move back and use any form of ranged attack on the other, you can deal with the two guards in peace. I don't understand the 'it's terrible for melee builds' argument. I did it using melee for 99%. You don't need to have anything put into ranged weapons to still be able to use a ranged weapon. Sounds more like stubbornness to me. And even then: my second time through I did it without using any ranged attack even. Yeah, it's a bit tricky. But it's really not as hard as people call it out to be.

#15 Edited by camwil (38 posts) -

Yep, also Shrine of Amana. Pretty sure I died in that area more times than in the rest of the game combined. At least I got a ton of twinkling titanite out of it. Actually now that I think about it, I think it was more the tediousness of trudging through that water that eventually got to me.

#16 Posted by HH (609 posts) -

the areas that gave me the most trouble first time through were two sections in the forest of fallen giants, the firepit with the lizards and the soldier's rest bonfire, and i kept going back for more because i was sure each led to the new area i was trying to find.

in ng+ the gang of phantom torturers guarding the bridge to undead purgatory made a mockery of my loadout yesterday and i couldn't figure out a reliable strategy for them, ended up having to wait until half of them stopped spawning.

#17 Posted by RawknRo11a (562 posts) -

As several others have said Shrine of Amana is a PAIN IN THE ASS if your a pure melee (and bad at dodging). That and the Smelter Demon were the only areas I really had any trouble.

#18 Edited by HH (609 posts) -

tip for amana btw - casting magic shield or great magic shield blocks all spell damage. use lingering dragoncrest ring to extend time.

#19 Edited by TheLastGunslinger (230 posts) -

Definitely Shrine of Amana. My character was primary melee focused but even with some basic spells targeting the mages was impossible until you got pretty close. I had to go out of my way to find a high magic resistance shield and then upgrade it in order to get close enough without losing a ton of HP.

#20 Edited by ElixirBronze (424 posts) -

I feel like I missed out on the Smelter Demon. I accidently passed by him my first time through and so I went back and killed him after having finished the game, and he went down on the first try.

#21 Posted by The_Squarecrow (1 posts) -

The smelter demon, as of now. I've been trying him so many times that the mobs in the area before the fight have disappeared. As a melee fighter, I can dodge most of his attacks, but eventually, I get hit by one of his flaming attacks and it's over. Anyone got a tip?

#22 Posted by BambamCZ (137 posts) -

I have to say I didn't have any significant problems on the first playthrough. Though on NG+ some of the phantoms turn certain areas really tricky. I didn't expect two sickle weilding undead to spawn in front of and behind me not far from the boss fog in Huntsman Copse. Died there two times, each time stupidly rolling off the cliff. And the red phantom knight captains in Iron Keep hit like a freaking truck.

I thought Shrine of Amana was ok, but I have invested heavily into spell cating (magic\miracle\hexes) so I could pick them off from distance not aggroing them. I can imagine that melee only characters would rage horribly through the entire zone, even the boss I guess is more difficult in melee while it was easy for me; throwing lightning and hexes at it I killed it before it's got any chance to even touch me.

#23 Edited by freakin9 (1113 posts) -

The trick to Shrine of Amana is to summon the npc just before the second bonfire, it's inside some sort of house. I think that part, just outside where you summon him, is the only hard part, everything up till then can be easily picked off if you are patient.

I didn't find any area tough as a magic user, most of my deaths early on were purely due to the game being new to me. Ancient Dragon is my brick wall. Only because his fire breath can hit you twice. Goddamn. And summoning is useless.

#24 Edited by StrainedEyes (1323 posts) -

Shrine of Amana, definitely. I don't have any range. It's the only area where I summoned for help to run the normal sections. It sucked and I just wanted to get to the end ASAP.

#25 Posted by Turambar (6733 posts) -

Shrine of Amana because fuck homing soul arrows.

Dragonshrine ironically gave me little trouble. It's amazing what an 80+ stability shield can do for your tanking ability.

#26 Posted by Zeik (2359 posts) -

@bambamcz said:

I have to say I didn't have any significant problems on the first playthrough. Though on NG+ some of the phantoms turn certain areas really tricky. I didn't expect two sickle weilding undead to spawn in front of and behind me not far from the boss fog in Huntsman Copse. Died there two times, each time stupidly rolling off the cliff. And the red phantom knight captains in Iron Keep hit like a freaking truck.

I thought Shrine of Amana was ok, but I have invested heavily into spell cating (magic\miracle\hexes) so I could pick them off from distance not aggroing them. I can imagine that melee only characters would rage horribly through the entire zone, even the boss I guess is more difficult in melee while it was easy for me; throwing lightning and hexes at it I killed it before it's got any chance to even touch me.

I was wondering what happened to the sickle phantoms. They were in the beta and I was a little surprised to see them gone in the final version. Interesting to hear they are in NG+. Any chance that row of monsters on the pedestals leading to the Chariot are also BPs?

#27 Edited by pyrodactyl (1973 posts) -

Chariot dude and the smelter demon. Killed every other boss in a few tries (I did not try the ancient dragon more than once, that run up is just SO SHITTY for a boss that one shots with every attack with the most useless reward ever).

#28 Posted by Demoskinos (14757 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: Ancient Dragon? Well that depends. That giant soul he gives you can come in very useful if you want to fight and defeat Vendrick. The more Giant Souls you have on you the lesser his defenses are.

#29 Edited by ThunderSlash (1680 posts) -

I had surprising amount of trouble when I Bonfire Ascetic'd No Man's Wharf at SL120. Playing as a heavy build, Flexile Sentry and his 2 ninja buddies could've easily taken me out within a minute of entering that boss room. I was trying to do the Lucatiel sidequest too, so I wore the ring that aggros them towards you. Those ninjas ate up all my stamina like it was nothing. I redid that boss so many times that it came to a point where the path from the bonfire to the boss had zero enemies in the way. I eventually had a good run in which I managed to kill the ninjas quickly and prevent Lucatiel from dying. Capra Demon 2.0.

#30 Posted by Icicle7x3 (1178 posts) -

Shrine of motherfucking Amana

#32 Edited by pyrodactyl (1973 posts) -

@demoskinos said:

@pyrodactyl: Ancient Dragon? Well that depends. That giant soul he gives you can come in very useful if you want to fight and defeat Vendrick. The more Giant Souls you have on you the lesser his defenses are.

I beat vendrick with 2 giant souls and it was way easier than that stupid enemy gauntlet and a boss that one shots you with every attack and massive AOE. The ancient dragon is just dumb. Come on From Soft, if you put a boss twice as hard as every other boss in your game with the worst run up by far, give a decent reward, a vanity item, ANYTHING.

#33 Posted by Sterling (2155 posts) -

I never had all the problems everyone else did apparently with Armana. I found it quite easy as a melee character. I also had a shield that blocked 75% of magic damage though.

The only thing that gave me trouble was dragon shire run up to the dragon and the dragon himself. Mostly the dragon. The run up was just annoying when you keep dying to him.

#34 Edited by ViciousAnchovy (735 posts) -

@freakin9: Your complaint is that the Ancient Dragon can hit you twice with its fire breath? Does that mean you can actually survive a hit? If so, did you just have to stack all the fire def you could, like Flash Sweat, Small Orange Bur, Flame Quartz Ring +2 and armor with high fire def? Or did you just happen to dump a whole buch of point into Vigor despite being a magic user?

#35 Posted by Vinny_Says (5700 posts) -

What the fuck were they thinking with the shrine of amana? Maybe it was just my build but having one homing arrow hit you only to stagger you enough so that 3 more can kill you instantly was total bullshit. Also it's all linear which is also pretty lame. And then the boss is super lame. Overall that whole area was stupid.

Iron Keep was actually easy, I don't know why everyone complains about it. The enemies are slow and can all be back-stabbed (besides the big hammer dudes, which are slow). Also the boss was a total joke when you can simply hide behind a wall and avoid all of his slow attacks.

Thems my answers OP, I'm not surprised everyone else hates Shrine of amana.

#36 Edited by mosespippy (4112 posts) -

@zevvion: My understanding is that the underwater enemies, lets call them lickers because they look like the RE2 enemies, have a much larger agro range when the milfs aren't singing. I don't know what makes the milfs sing or not but it's possible you didn't have to deal with the lickers nearly as often as most of us. I also got invaded 3 times by lighting users, which in a water level fucked me up solid.

@demoskinos said:

@pyrodactyl: Ancient Dragon? Well that depends. That giant soul he gives you can come in very useful if you want to fight and defeat Vendrick. The more Giant Souls you have on you the lesser his defenses are.

I beat vendrick with 2 giant souls and it was way easier than that stupid enemy gauntlet and a boss that one shots you with every attack and massive AOE. The ancient dragon is just dumb. Come on From Soft, if you put a boss twice as hard as every other boss in your game with the worst run up by far, give a decent reward, a vanity item, ANYTHING.

The dudes dressed as dragons on the run up to that fight have some of the best mid weight armour in the game. At a base level it has the most physical defense per weight of any set. I've completely farmed them out. The boss may be worthless but the enemies on that run aren't. They're good for leveling too.

#37 Edited by Rudeboy217 (1766 posts) -

As a STR build I wrecked everything in Armana with a Dragonrider Bow +5. The Ancient Dragon on the other hand angered me to no end, that is until I learned his patterns and forced myself to beat him solo and naked.

#38 Edited by nosferat2 (34 posts) -

I'm only about halfway through the game, so as yet I haven't reached Iron Keep, Amana, and many of these areas that have been mentioned. I had a hell of a time at the very beginning of the game, in the Forest of Fallen Giants. My weapon was garbage, and I was still pretty rusty. After that, most of the other areas have been manageable. I had a tough time getting through No-Man's Wharf, I'd say that was the one that gave me the biggest problem so far. Just beat Covetous Demon, and am gonna finish with Earthen Peak and whatever lies beyond it.

#39 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

Shrine of amana was rough, eventually i gave in and cheesed it with poison arrows.

Uh iron keep was mildly tough, mostly just the smelter demon though (was pissed when i found out he was optional.

Dragon shrine was a bit rough, but doable. Still tough. Drangleic castle... damn those ruined sentinals man.screw those guys

#40 Posted by nosferat2 (34 posts) -

ALSO! That area, after the Gargoyles, with those 75 dogs and Vorgel the Sinner. Ugh, that was the most rage-inducing thing I've done in the game so far. That part can go bite the hairiest part of my ass

#41 Edited by Karkarov (3068 posts) -

I would say the second half of Teseldora, the one with all the mages, and Shrine of Amana second and third sections. I played primarily a melee character, in fact I had never even used a bow save maybe twice.... until I got to those damn mages in Tseldora with their high positions laid out in such a way you could never get in melee with more than one and they would just bomb the hell out of you with range attacks while you fought the scorps and basilisk below. By the time I got to Amana I had long since got a real bow upgraded and was ready for them when the magic missile spam started.

A distant second would be the Undead Crypt. That one room with the idiots who would just charge the bell and ring it was annoying as hell.

#42 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5353 posts) -

Forest of Fallen Giants I guess? I mean I didn't die that much there but it's ridiculously hard relative to the Undead Burg/1-1 so it took a while to get through. I had a bow so Shrine of Amana wasn't that big of a deal, got through the Gutter in 1 life, didn't really have any trouble with Iron Keep (aside from Smelter), died once in the Undead Crypt. Dragon Shrine is absurdly difficult if you do it with melee and don't run past everything, but I didn't do that the first time. Dark Chasm of Old is also extremely difficult with melee.

@nosferat2: That's an interesting spot, haven't died there yet but always a pretty tight run.

#43 Edited by Karkarov (3068 posts) -

Forest of Fallen Giants I guess? I mean I didn't die that much there but it's ridiculously hard relative to the Undead Burg/1-1 so it took a while to get through. I had a bow so Shrine of Amana wasn't that big of a deal, got through the Gutter in 1 life, didn't really have any trouble with Iron Keep (aside from Smelter), died once in the Undead Crypt. Dragon Shrine is absurdly difficult if you do it with melee and don't run past everything, but I didn't do that the first time. Dark Chasm of Old is also extremely difficult with melee.

@nosferat2: That's an interesting spot, haven't died there yet but always a pretty tight run.

Dragon Shrine isn't that bad for melee, you just to have snipe as needed to keep all the fights one on ones and lure enemies one at a time when possible. The annoying part is that one caster... but once you learn his positioning you can actually rush him and kill him and the big guys won't be able to keep up with you or stop you from doing it.

#44 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5353 posts) -

@karkarov: Sniping isn't melee. I still say Dragon Shrine NG+7 without a shield is the hardest thing in the series, period.

#45 Posted by seveword (145 posts) -

Let's see...I died my fair share of times in the Shrine of Amana (I still am while farming for twinkling titanite, because I'm trying to rush it), but it wasn't particularly egregious. Honestly, the Forest of Fallen Giants took a while, if only because all the changes to movement and blocking from the first game were forcing me to retrain my Dark Souls skills. Black Gulch sucked, I don't know if I died a terribly large number of times, but the almost guaranteed poison, multiple times at that, made me utter my fair share of four-letter words.

I did die a lot in the dragon-filled area, because those goddamn lunging explodey mummy guys kept knocking me off ledges until I memorized their locations. The dragons (or drakes?) themselves weren't hard, but having random holes in the battle area led to a few fall-induced deaths.

Actually, yeah, I think I know what my mortal nemesis is in the Dark Souls games, through and through, without a doubt: gravity. Never mind bottomless cliffs, fall damage is such a hard thing to quantify in these games, because there is little uniformity and you never quite know if the terrain you're on will drop off and slide you down, or if it's horizontal enough to traverse. Any platforming sections in Dark Souls II will inevitably result in death, because it's such a crapshoot knowing how your character is gonna fly through the air.

#46 Edited by Karkarov (3068 posts) -

@karkarov: Sniping isn't melee. I still say Dragon Shrine NG+7 without a shield is the hardest thing in the series, period.

Well I can't help it if someone wants to commit suicide by never using any range attacks the whole game. Just like some encounters are definitely easier in melee, some encounters are most definitely easier from range. I am sure I could beat two Dragon Knights at once in melee. I am also sure out of 10 fights against them I would lose at least 3-4 times. One on one though? Maybe 1-10 is a loss, or none at all. If I have to deal with Aurourus's or however you spell it's armor being invisible... so be it.

#47 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5353 posts) -

@karkarov: I wasn't saying it was a good idea necessarily, just another way to challenge yourself without intentionally gimping yourself; it's also why Dragon Shrine is fun to Gold Phantom right up until the Ancient Dragon one shots the host, over and over and over. Only melee is not particularly difficult in Dark Souls 1 for comparison (or Demon's Souls).

#48 Edited by Kaos999 (56 posts) -

Playing as a pure bowman with zero armor on and I'd have to say shaded woods and the invisible ghosts. Trying to farm them for their armor has been a pain.

#49 Posted by leebmx (2238 posts) -

I cannot beat the 3 bosses (The Ruin Sentinels) in The Lost Bastille. I have tried them so many times and keep failing. I dread to think what the rest of the game will be like if I am having trouble here. I have killed two of them and had the last boss down to a small amount of health but whenever this happens it just seems to sprint across the room and dive on me, an attack unlike any others in the fight (or maybe this is my imagination) I have used up all my effigys as well so can't get any help.

Other bosses haven't been so bad (so far) have just killed 7 others, last one being the 1st big boss in the Gulch. These fuckers are an absolute nightmare though.

#50 Posted by benspyda (2033 posts) -

I struggled with my str build in the shrine of amana and had no trouble with it in my dex run, using the blackbow and just sniping those fuckers. Different areas are harder/easier depending on your build. Although Smelter Demon is tough regardless of build I'm assuming.