Thought of the Day: Gaming, 20 Dec 12

I'm playing Dark Souls:

This game is...hard. It's got a steep learning curve, and you die a lot. It doesn't help that right next to the starting area is a graveyard full of skeletons that are extremely tough. They take about ten hits to kill (and I'm playing a knight), while they can kill you in half that, plus you fight two at a time! Then I come to find out you weren't supposed to go to this graveyard. You were supposed to go to a less obvious area that's the actual starting dungeon. There enemies die in a couple hits, and do far less damage. I wasn't supposed to go to that damn graveyard until many levels higher. Nice.

That lack of direction itself in an issue I have with this game. It is not at all obvious where you're supposed to go or what you're supposed to do. The first NPC in the game makes some reference to a couple bells I need to ring. He doesn't say why I need to ring these bells, and he gives only the vaguest directions. Modern RPGs have a little overabundance of directional help (e.g., a compass that tells you exactly where to go) which removes some aspects of exploration. This game has the opposite problem. Not only is there no compass of any kind, there is no:

  • Automap
  • Actually, no map of any kind
  • No conversation log
  • No quest log

Imagine playing most any RPG you've ever played...with no quest log. I feel like I'm eight years old, playing The Bard's Tale, or some other old school game where you needed a pad of paper to actually play the game. Dark Souls is what you call a Wikia game. :)

Death has two penalties: One, if you don't make it back to your corpse, you lose all your money. So, die twice in a row, lose all your duckets. Secondly, in this game, you collect "humanity," which is dropped somewhat rarely. You can use this to turn from undead back to a human. This gives you various bonuses, notably higher drop rates. The catch is that when you die, you revert to an undead form. Usually, getting back to your corpse and collecting your money isn't too hard. However, the humanity mechanic ads a significant level of tension to the game.

Like when...

I was human, and stumbled on a boss battle on the roof of an abbey, against two gargoyles.

And... I beat them on my first try!! I'm so happy right now. Sometimes, life is good. There are some tense fights in this game, and it's definitely a grinding game. I certainly succeeded in finding a grind to replace Too Human. Go Palantas.

1 Comments
1 Comments
Posted by Palantas

I'm playing Dark Souls:

This game is...hard. It's got a steep learning curve, and you die a lot. It doesn't help that right next to the starting area is a graveyard full of skeletons that are extremely tough. They take about ten hits to kill (and I'm playing a knight), while they can kill you in half that, plus you fight two at a time! Then I come to find out you weren't supposed to go to this graveyard. You were supposed to go to a less obvious area that's the actual starting dungeon. There enemies die in a couple hits, and do far less damage. I wasn't supposed to go to that damn graveyard until many levels higher. Nice.

That lack of direction itself in an issue I have with this game. It is not at all obvious where you're supposed to go or what you're supposed to do. The first NPC in the game makes some reference to a couple bells I need to ring. He doesn't say why I need to ring these bells, and he gives only the vaguest directions. Modern RPGs have a little overabundance of directional help (e.g., a compass that tells you exactly where to go) which removes some aspects of exploration. This game has the opposite problem. Not only is there no compass of any kind, there is no:

  • Automap
  • Actually, no map of any kind
  • No conversation log
  • No quest log

Imagine playing most any RPG you've ever played...with no quest log. I feel like I'm eight years old, playing The Bard's Tale, or some other old school game where you needed a pad of paper to actually play the game. Dark Souls is what you call a Wikia game. :)

Death has two penalties: One, if you don't make it back to your corpse, you lose all your money. So, die twice in a row, lose all your duckets. Secondly, in this game, you collect "humanity," which is dropped somewhat rarely. You can use this to turn from undead back to a human. This gives you various bonuses, notably higher drop rates. The catch is that when you die, you revert to an undead form. Usually, getting back to your corpse and collecting your money isn't too hard. However, the humanity mechanic ads a significant level of tension to the game.

Like when...

I was human, and stumbled on a boss battle on the roof of an abbey, against two gargoyles.

And... I beat them on my first try!! I'm so happy right now. Sometimes, life is good. There are some tense fights in this game, and it's definitely a grinding game. I certainly succeeded in finding a grind to replace Too Human. Go Palantas.