@smokeyd123: You can make it through the Gulch without killing anyone. It's a super tiny area and even if you don't find the second bonfire it's like a 20 second run to the boss if you dodge the worms.
@slyspider: I beat it without summoning. It's definitely possible, although crowd control is much more of a concern.
@jkz: That was the hardest boss in the entire game for me. Light armor and then roll forward and to the right. Works like a dream.
Honestly, NG+ is a massive pain in the ass. The way that some bosses change make the game practically unplayable for my build. Sucks, because apparently the endgame changes slightly but I'm worried that I may never see it.
I had trouble initially, left and came back like 5 hours later with a better shield and more stamina and got it on my first try. As long as you can tank and deal out damage relatively quickly, it's not too bad of a fight.
At the point you're at, there's likely 3-5 other areas that you have access to. Head to any one of them and come back later.
@bnutz2k: I've played more or less purely solo, but I have heard that some heal miracles have a radius around the caster that will share the effect. And yes, using Estus when summoned is a change, although I believe that the flasks work like gems when not in your world in terms of heal speed.
I have no idea how to build a cleric, but I will say that levels are so fast and furious early on that I wouldn't hesitate to try something out. Also, by the end of the game I had 4 or 5 respec items that you can use in the starting area to get your levels all refunded, so if you really screw something up (which seems difficult), it's not permanent.
It's likely not as important for a cleric, but don't ignore Adaptability! The agility stat determines a lot of things about recovering from animations and whatnot, and is essential when rolling, using shields, or whiffing attacks (and I assume getting into and out of casts too). Attunement now increases casting speed, so don't forget that either.
Also, Endurance is never wasted, especially if you're going to use big weapons. Vigor is always good, but the way I play I'd rather block damage through stamina than absorb it in health (although if you're a healer, that may change).
I will say that Pyromancies use up stamina like no one's business, and while miracles may be different, you may want to check because I'm pretty sure Pyromancies didn't do that in DS1.
I paid $60 for it and honestly bought an Xbox One more or less just for it (at full price before the bundle). As others have said (and most people seem to be ignoring) the game is incredibly fun. Obviously that's a subjective claim, but if at any point in the past you like a CoD style game, this is like that but completely rejuvenated and fresh. You can do incredible things that you'd expect from scripted sequences in your average shooter campaign, except you're doing them multiple times every game and you feel like a badass every single time. Maybe it'll get old eventually, but I put like 8-9 hours into the beta and at least 6-7 into the retail game, and I have no interest in stopping any time soon.
People are so obsessed with value as if it's some objective metric. You know Ghosts had a decent length single player, a full co-op mode and a multiplayer as deep and varied as any modern CoD game, yet that game is almost universally panned as being mediocre and potentially the beginning of the end for that franchise. Titanfall has a fraction of the content yet every single match I've played has been a blast, win or lose, with friends or alone. Is the campaign weak? Yeah, it's a piece of shit. But if they completely excised it from the package it would still be a $60 purchase for me.
The point of games is to have fun, not to squeeze every ounce of content possible out of your purchase regardless of quality. Titanfall works because they included all the crazy, cool stuff and ignored everything else. If you don't like competitive multiplayer shooters, you will not enjoy Titanfall and it's not worth your money. If you either like shooters now or have in the past but have become disenfranchised lately, and you have access to $60 (even if it's a big purchase), then I would say absolutely get it.
And to all the people bitching about the DLC: Jesus Christ, what year do you think this is? The game has more maps than your average shooter these days, and they are all great from what I've played. Nothing was excised, nothing is missing from the package. And if two months down the line you don't think $25 is fair for a season pass, don't get it. The Halo and Gears ones were $30 if I recall, and CoD has been $50 for a while now. The idea of complaining about potentially getting content added to an already great game at a decent price is completely bonkers. It's 2014, it happens, and as someone who likes a lot of shooters, it's a great thing that adds value, not a negative.
@minipato: I just got past that part. People were 100% accurate when they said that the late parts of the game completely eclipse the early game visually. I just livestreamed it for a couple hours, you should be able to see the archive on http://www.twitch.tv/waffles13/b/510023001. The audio levels are sort of out of whack, but you can get a sense for a couple of late level visuals (especially around 45-50 minutes). Note: This is very late game stuff, and there are a couple spoilers in those videos, but if you skip around you can see the visuals.
@igniz12: It feels like a sequel to Dark Souls. Some parts are tedious and boring looking, others are exciting and visually interesting. Some bosses are so-so, a couple have been super intense and great fights. The highs so far have been on par with many of those in DS1, but without the lows of Blighttown (yet, at least).
No dual purpose equipment that I've seen, but other than Pyromancies I'm more or less exclusively using an axe and greatshield.
Has anyone found a Rusted Iron Ring equivalent yet? I'm slowly slogging through an area and it seems like I'm very much supposed to have a "good footing" item at this point.