I guess I could dust off one of my old NG+ characters, and try with them.
I just would have loved to play through the entire game with a fresh character, while remaining human the whole time and sampling all of the covenants. I think I still might, and just accept bullshit invasions as part of the experience. It's not like I care about dying and losing progress anymore.
It's weird though. A couple of invaders dropped some extremely good items for me, before trying to murder me with their OP build. I assume they're playing out some power fantasy where they're this benevolent killer with god-like control over my fate. I'm more like "Whatever gets you off buddy. Can we get this over with?"
With Demon's and Dark Souls, I used to completely panic about invasions and play offline (or hollow/phantom form). As I became a seasoned player, I know I would have found the online fun, but never really engaged with it. Old habits die hard.
With dark souls 2, I'm changing my ways. The online has been great. Really great. I actually wish invasions weren't so rare, so I do a lot of duels.
Even so, I prefer the first Dark Souls. So I decided to go back on PC, and finally put some time into the PvP / Co-op.
What a colossal disappointment. There isn't a single non-twinker to be found. I'm level 5 in undead burg, with starting equipment, and every single summon is equipped with optimal end-game gear. I don't want overpowered partners.
Same with PvP. Out of the 6 times I've been invaded, I couldn't do more than 10 HP of damage to any of them. I could easily outmaneuver them and get my hits in, but the damage output is so low that it's futile. So I eventually suicide (Crestfallen warrior would be proud).
So either everyone is doing a SL1 run, which I highly doubt. Or cheat engine has ruined the experience. Either way, what a bummer. I guess I missed my chance to enjoy it years ago.
I've been cranking the contrast on both my graphics card and monitor to make the brights brighter and the darks darker. It makes the game look a lot less washed out. Not only does it make things moodier, it also serves to make the game more exciting since I'm sometimes surprised by what's lurking in dark areas. It makes the torch a useful tool at times, and I find myself going out of my way to light those sconces.
It's never as dark as the Tomb of the Giants. Nothing is ever pitch black, nor do I want THAT. I just like it to look closer to the contrast level of the early DS2 footage.
With every dark souls game, I hear a lot of complaints when players who enjoy a tanky, defensive build come across enemies that can out-tank them, and hit harder with better range. That's when the game is telling you to add some variety to your gameplay. We're intended to try different tactics. The game punishes players who place limits on their build. Such as the players who refuse to use any kind of range (not even consumables).
In my case, I hit some trouble with my pure INT build trying to take on those Lion dudes with high resistances in the shaded wood. I ended up using holy waters and a dagger for backstabs. Not what I built my character to do, but it worked.
I could forgive a lot of the repetitive game design, respawns, fleeing bosses, time limits, etc., if only they made rank progression move quicker. Especially at the start, there are so many tedious 15-30 minute missions with small rewards, especially when you fail. Feels like it takes 5 to 10 hours for it to get interesting,
The game is just needlessly padded with grinding, which only serves to hilight how much fun I'm not having.
Compare to Diablo, where they keep progression moving at such a fast pace, that you rarely notice that the gameplay is thin and repetitive. But I still love it because of its sense of progression.
Clones of clones have turned mobile app stores into an utter trash heap. Every day for the past couple of months I've checked the new releases, because I'm weirdly fascinated. Every day there are cheaply made clones of established games that have a simple enough mechanic that anyone can take their half-assed shot.
Like when you see the millionth "look into a cartoon mouth" dentist game for kids, or the billionth bloody endless runner.
Clones are one thing, but the clones of clones of clones embody the thing I hate about the internet. Which is the "me too" meme culture, where all people do is repeat things that were repeated already, and it becomes meaningless.
It quickly becomes a snake-eating-its-own-tail situation. Like when one flappy bird clone used a floating Miley Cyrus head, it became a big seller. Then suddenly you had dozens of flappy Mileys, then flappy Beibers, flappy Drakes, flappy Gagas, and so forth. What is the symbolism of so many games of celeb heads floating over pipes? It's like something an alien would come up with.