I used the Halberd and Black Knight Halberd for my first playthrough. I needed two weapons because one weapon would often break before reaching the boss gate or next bonfire. The BKH also has the thrusting while behind a shield attack. I started to upgrade a claymore towards the end of the game because its heavy attack is a thrusting motion and its regular light attack has decent stunlock potential.
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WR is like 1:30 right now; fastest way to do it is use 3 ascetics on Old Iron King; Naked Macing is the record but hexes could potentially be faster just due to general OPness. No deaths (on NG) is harder than a 1:45 run. No deaths/no bonfires (on NG) is much harder than any of the speed runs going right now.
Speedrunner Distortion2 had a deathless speedrun that was WR for a few days. All these runs will eventually be optimized to the point where any death will make the runner reset just like in DS1. No bonfires is trivial compared to these runs because you can still level up and there is no time pressure.
@vinny_says: That's the 1.00 version so you can bypass the shrine of winter which negates around 30% of the run (and the hardest part); not quite as dumb as the lord soul skip in Dark Souls but along the same lines of stupidity. Just watching the first parts of it I could tell that Noobest wouldn't be proud of the run in a general context; if it can be improved by a lot that's not good enough for a speedrunner.
The 1.00 run is the most difficult category to run at the moment. You get into the castle way underleveled. Most of the bosses will 1 shot you and you do way less damage than the hex or dual maces run. I am looking forward to that classic fredchuckdave humbleness :)
Raise your INT and FTH to 8 and talk to Felkin in Huntsman's Copse. He will sell you a staff and chime that can carry you to the midgame. I would continue from there and retrieve the 2 Yore branches from Harvest Valley. You can get gear that increases your casting speed in the Shaded Woods (before the scorpion lady boss) but it requires 2 Yore branches to get there.
For my first character I upgraded what ever I liked. I upgraded a lot of armor.
With my second character I am doing a mage/hexer. So I am wearing light armors only. And I've only found one set, the hexer set. And it requires Twinkling. So I haven't upgraded it yet. I'm pretty far into the game on this character and I've yet to find any other mage specific armor sets or pieces.So I might start upgrading this one.
I used the Lion Mage set (darksouls2.wiki.fextralife.com/Lion+Mage+Set) for my magicman. Each piece increases casting speed.
I've had 5 Dark Souls 2 policemans go after me after I slaughtered Majula before starting NG+. 3 of them used pyromancy but the spells are so easy to avoid so I don't really see it as an issue in PVP. Flame Swathe is downright nasty when fighting bosses though. The most imbalanced PVP skill is the Great Resonant Soul hex because I've been 2 shotting all the policemans with it. I've been employing a scumbag tactic of casting Homing Crystal Soul Mass then rushing towards the opponent and then casting Great Resonant Soul as they try to avoid the Soul Mass projectiles. This works best if you force the conflict in chokepoints to limit their movement options.
You don't need a Giant Soul, you need the Giant's Kinship from defeating the Giant Lord boss. If that's what you meant, then... uhh... maybe you're shit out of luck.
The boss fight is supposed to trigger when I interact with the dead giant? Well, it just kicks me back to where I enter the memory.
It sounds like you didn't interact with all the Giant Tree things. One of them has a boss fight.
If you've got anything you want to do before you finish the game, such as completing the Pilgrims of the Dark levels, or killing Vendrick in the Crypt, then do so now.
That is not true. You are placed into free-roam/open-world after defeating the final boss. New game plus must be opted into by selecting the new menu entry from a bonfire.