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    Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin

    Game » consists of 6 releases. Released Apr 01, 2015

    A remastered release of Dark Souls II, featuring a graphical upgrade, increased online player limit, remixed locations for items and enemies, and includes all of the previously released DLC.

    Scholar of the First Sin (Non-Scholarly First Impression)

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    betterley

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    #1  Edited By betterley

    To be honest, when I first played Bloodborne I thought I'd never go back to Dark Souls again, it seemed so much better than the Souls games.
    After beating it and going through a few bosses on NG+, the "newness" wore off and I felt kind of underwhelmed.
    The faster pace and regenerating health bar cause the the combat to devolve into an action game. Simply mashing the dodge and attack button over and over again.

    Well, I got the the itch for that "Souls" combat again, and I've never played Dark Souls 2, so I figured I'd give this game a try.
    So far I'm having a great time.
    The slower pace of the combat is a lot more tactical-- each time I dodge and attack it actually seems important, especially the effect it has on your stamina.
    That's without even mentioning the lack of a regenerating health bar, which requires you to be more careful when you do attack.

    Now, I've never played Demon Souls, and I've never completed DS 1. (I made it to Anor Londo-- Smough and Ornstein to be exact.)

    Considering the Souls games I have played, DS2:SotFS may be my favorite.
    I know it seems to get a lot of flak from the series veterans, but I'm really enjoying it.
    Is the game really my favorite in the series? Probably to early to tell, but I love the feel of Scholar of the First Sin.

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    Justin258

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    Dark Souls II remains the only Souls game I have finished. I started it up and found myself absorbed in it, it was all I wanted to play for a solid month and it's one of the only 40+ hour games I've ever finished without taking a break. That doesn't mean it it's one of my favorite games of all time or whatever, but I did like it a whole hell of a lot.

    I have Dark Souls 1 and I dabble in it from time to time, but I don't like it as much. I enjoy it when I play it but, unlike DSII, I don't find myself thinking about it when away from the game. It's not the first game my mouse goes to whenever I sit down to play a game like DSII was.

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    Shindig

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    #3  Edited By Shindig

    I feel like the first one you finish tends to become your favourite.

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    CreepingDeath0

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    @shindig said:

    I feel like the first one you finish tends to become your favourite.

    I finished Dark Souls 1 first, but much prefer 2. The issue everyone seems to have with 2 is that its world building isnt as good as 1, and while I do agree with that I find 2 is the superior game in pretty much every other aspect.

    Bloodborne was cool, but I dont think I'll revisit it.

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    Shindig

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    My issue with II is that it seems to put you against multiple enemies from the very start. There's not much of a ramp. Its like a continuation of Dark Souls.

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    amafi

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    I need to sit down and play through SotFS one of these days. Seen a bit of video from the start of the game and it seems like they've made a lot of pretty interesting changes.

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    Ry_Ry

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    #7  Edited By Ry_Ry

    I just wish I could carry my ps3 progress of the original release to PS4.

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    ivdamke

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    I actually think you're kind've mistaken with the "veteran" comment. A lot of the core fanbase much prefer DaS2 because it has far more flexibility in it's RPG systems. The sheer number of builds you can make is simply astounding and it makes for a great online PVP experience that none of the other Souls games come close to replicating.

    Where Dark Souls 2 faulters is its level design because it tends to try and hit the same beats as Dark Souls 1, which it does however in a much more linear less interesting fashion.

    With the DLC in SotFS I honestly think Dark Souls 2 is the best game of the series (including Demons and Bloodborne.) The DLC areas are really something special and they hearken back to the less linear more interconnected design of DaS1.

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    Fredchuckdave

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    Best game in the series, I played them in order around their respective releases.

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    betterley

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    Wow, I guess I am mistaken.

    I thought Dark Souls 2 was like the "red headed step child" of the Souls series, so I didn't expect a whole lot out of it.

    But as I've already said: I love it so far.

    I cant really comment on the level design yet, but I do like the setting its in more than DS1.

    I also like the addition of Vigor as a stat.

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    Grepian

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    #11  Edited By Grepian
    @betterley said:

    Wow, I guess I am mistaken.

    I thought Dark Souls 2 was like the "red headed step child" of the Souls series, so I didn't expect a whole lot out of it.

    But as I've already said: I love it so far.

    I cant really comment on the level design yet, but I do like the setting its in more than DS1.

    I also like the addition of Vigor as a stat.

    I, personally, consider Dark Souls II the 'worst' of the Souls series. It's still a good game, I just put every other of theirs above it. I mostly have issues with how the world connects, such as Majula to Heide's Tower, and the amount of enemies thrown at you at one time instead of fleshing out unique enemy move sets.

    I'm also confused what you mean by the addition of vigor as a stat. Vigor increases health, every other game has the same stat just named as Vitality.

    Edit: Or did you mean to put Vitality that Dark Souls 2 uses which is the weight max you can equip as its own stat.

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    betterley

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    @grepian:

    Yeah, that's what I meant.

    I like how they split them.

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    deactivated-582d227526464

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    Dark souls 2 is great, the flak it catches is still somewhat warranted but it is nowhere near the disaster some people would have you believe. It was my first Souls game, and although I still love it, I like aspects of the other games a lot more now. Dark Souls 2 still reels me in with the amount of stuff to do and builds to tinker with, but the NPCs and bosses just don't do it for me the same way DeS, Dsk1, and Bloodborne do. That said, I still really like Fume Knight, he's one of my all time favorite Souls bosses. But Dark Souls 2 really shines in its character progression and customization (powerstancing and hexes were great additions).

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    ivdamke

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    @betterley said:

    Wow, I guess I am mistaken.

    I thought Dark Souls 2 was like the "red headed step child" of the Souls series, so I didn't expect a whole lot out of it.

    It was for awhile, but I primarily chalk that up to the graphical downgrade and the level design being more linear. Once the core fanbase delved into the new stats and large array of weapons and armor most of which had special ancillary effects that you could build your character around it became evident that DaS2 was more complex than its predcessors. Funnily enough I'd say it's easier for newer players to get into as well.

    When you get to the DLC areas you're in for a treat some of the things they do with the environments in that is much like a Zelda dungeon.

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    MostlySquares

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    I hated it at first, because I was just hopelessly stuck my first 3 or 4 tries. Then I went back to it fully fresh and really forced myself to make a really viable character. I grinded as much as I possibly could and read wiki for optimal early gear etc. That helped a lot.

    The multiplayer in 2 is far superior to 1 IMO. This time I'm kinda digging it. Last time it was kind of just "hey, you're gonna get destroyed. jump off a cliff, get it over with." This time I'm actually laying waste every now and again, and the PvP kinda fits in way more than it did in DS. The Bell Keeper Covenant was a lot of fun. Both invading and getting invaded was fun. I advise people to read about where it is (not sure if that area is optional or not. I had a hard time finding it for some reason.), then kill everything there 12 times so that they do not respawn, that way you can mess around in there with some PvP without getting annihilated by the mobs in there.

    Not close to done yet, been playing my character for 40 hours easy because it's my first time through. This game feels really long, and it's been exciting throughout.

    No Man's Wharf broke me initially. Broke me real hard.. But in the end I kinda like DS2 SotFS more than I did DS1. I liked the interconnectiveness and shortcuts more in DS1 because they felt like they mattered more seeing as there was no teleport from the start. That's about the only thing DS1 has over DS2.

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    Nilazz

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    I mainly play console games and I think all of us who has played any game these few years that has been developed by From Software can agree on one thing, the frame is BAD. So playing Dark Souls II in 60 frames per second is a blessing, it feels so good.

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    benspyda

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    Once you get the hang of Bloodborne's combat you quickly realize it's a lot easier and more repetitive than the Souls games. Eventually I ended up really enjoying Bloodborne, after initially being put off by the fast pace, but it's still just an action game with the difficulty of a Souls game. I prefer the slower tactical combat of the Souls games myself. Also the Chalice Dungeons in Bloodborne are real hot garbage. They just spam a million enemies into big square rooms and say, have fun!

    Dark Souls I & II are by far the best ones to me and I beat Demon's Souls before Dark Souls, so that your first Souls is your best Souls thing isn't true. Demon's Souls has a lot of problems and Valley of Defilement is still the worst area in any Souls game.

    I have yet to try Scholar, but I played DksII so many times, I think I'm just too over it.

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    betterley

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    #18  Edited By betterley
    @baronsamedi said:

    @betterley said:

    Wow, I guess I am mistaken.

    I thought Dark Souls 2 was like the "red headed step child" of the Souls series, so I didn't expect a whole lot out of it.

    It was for awhile, but I primarily chalk that up to the graphical downgrade and the level design being more linear. Once the core fanbase delved into the new stats and large array of weapons and armor most of which had special ancillary effects that you could build your character around it became evident that DaS2 was more complex than its predcessors. Funnily enough I'd say it's easier for newer players to get into as well.

    When you get to the DLC areas you're in for a treat some of the things they do with the environments in that is much like a Zelda dungeon.

    You had me at Zelda... Now I can't wait to get to those areas.

    I do agree that it seems easier for new players. The game is a little less ambiguous; it guides you along better.

    @nilazz said:

    I mainly play console games and I think all of us who has played any game these few years that has been developed by From Software can agree on one thing, the frame is BAD. So playing Dark Souls II in 60 frames per second is a blessing, it feels so good.

    Tru Dat! I'm not usually a frame-rate junkie, but it really does make a difference.

    @benspyda said:

    Once you get the hang of Bloodborne's combat you quickly realize it's a lot easier and more repetitive than the Souls games. Eventually I ended up really enjoying Bloodborne, after initially being put off by the fast pace, but it's still just an action game with the difficulty of a Souls game. I prefer the slower tactical combat of the Souls games myself. Also the Chalice Dungeons in Bloodborne are real hot garbage. They just spam a million enemies into big square rooms and say, have fun!

    Dark Souls I & II are by far the best ones to me and I beat Demon's Souls before Dark Souls, so that your first Souls is your best Souls thing isn't true. Demon's Souls has a lot of problems and Valley of Defilement is still the worst area in any Souls game.

    I have yet to try Scholar, but I played DksII so many times, I think I'm just too over it.

    I agree with your Bloodborne assessment 100%.

    After playing DS2 more, I can say that I enjoy the atmosphere a lot more than the other Souls games.
    It doesn't seem as oppressive.

    Maybe I don't like Miyazaki's design as much as the "B" Team?
    I kinda feel bad for saying that.

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    notnert427

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    DSII: SotFS is my first Souls game, and I'm having a blast with it. Design-wise, I'm really enjoying the variety. After spending some time with Bloodborne, I found myself missing the different environments. Bloodborne is a great-looking game, but the style and color palette is a bit too same-y. In SotFS, I've liked all the areas I've been to so far, for one reason or another. I will say that while the 60 FPS is nice, DSII:SotFS is a bit of a wake-up call as to how much better current-gen graphics are, though. Some of the textures are awful and repetitive. The Shaded Woods has some obviously tiled areas that just look plain bad. Then again, this is to be somewhat expected from a last-gen game. It's a shame, though, because right when I find myself really appreciating the art style, I notice some crappy texture that kind of kills it. Shit, I sound like a PC gamer right now. Moving on.

    My one other complaint is the bosses. I'm admittedly way overleveled (with some of this being offset by my lacking skill), but I'm finding the boss fights a bit too easy and a bit too frequent. I feel like boss battles should be memorable, and many of these just haven't been. In fairness, the Ruin Sentinels fight was good, as was the Old Dragonslayer, Dragonrider, The Pursuer (the first few times, at least), the Executioner's Chariot, and the Belfry Gargoyles (still not sure why they stuck the best boss fight in an entirely optional area). However, the Flexile Sentry, Covetous Demon, Mytha, The Lost Sinner, and Scorpioness Najka were all lame. I'll admit my own culpability in this, as my character is far beefier than he reasonably should be thanks to some ridiculous grinding on my part, but some of these fights were just poorly structured. If a boss isn't even getting hits on me (someone who isn't good at this), it doesn't matter what my character's stats are.

    My stats are pretty fantastic, though. I'm just about at 30 on everything. I also finally fully upgraded a weapon and I'm really excited about it. My Bandit Axe +10 is brutal (it's at ~400 after scaling). I wonder if I'll be able to let it go and try something new now that it's maxed, or if I won't be willing to give up the damage. We'll see. I really do appreciate all the available build options. I should probably venture out and try new things pretty soon. I might go dual-wield, since I'm barely using a shield already. I'll definitely explore that this week. I was also happy to get some sweet new armor (thanks, Alonne Knights), and I like the look of the Syan set I just picked up as well. So, there's fun to be had in DSII not only in tinkering with weaponry, but in dolly dress-up.

    TL; DR version. DSII: SotFS is a great game. The only complaints I have with it are basically spoiled whining about a last-gen game having last-gen graphics and a few forgettable boss battles, which my playstyle is at least partially to blame for. I could talk about SotFS all day. I can't wait to get home and play more of it tonight.

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    notnert427

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    Update: After talking it up so much earlier, I think I just broke the game. Well, sort of. Thus far, every enemy I've faced, I've wiped out from existence, because they stop respawning after you kill them twelve times. I'm now in the Doors of Pharros. There is a Mastodon here who refuses to go extinct. I've killed him (and his rat buddy) for hours. Target remains. Repeat, target remains. On the plus side, this means as much soul farming as I want. However, my dream of permadeathing the entirety of DSII: SotFS appears dead. Maybe it's just a temporary glitch, or maybe the game gave up all hope on me.

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    betterley

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    To my knowledge, not every enemy stops re-spawning.

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    notnert427

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    To my knowledge, not every enemy stops re-spawning.

    Literally every enemy until this point has reached permadeath status, so it seems weird to have a random few that won't this far in. The ones I'm referring to are a Mastodon right past the first Doors of Pharros bonfire with a toxic rat, and one more Mastodon by them in an area I opened up with a Pharros' Lockstone (Santier's Spear area). All of them keep respawning, and I must have killed them fifty times apiece last night. At first, I wondered if this was a Doors of Pharros level feature or simply an area-specific glitch, but the chest-guarding troll up the stairs on the left permadeathed, so now I'm just confused. It's not a Mastodon/Toxic rat enemy feature, either, as the first Mastodon permadeathed. I'm a bit baffled.

    I'd love some to hear some confirmation on this if someone knows for sure, or if someone with SotFS and some free time wants to test it out and try killing one or all of the aforementioned enemies thirteen times to see if it's just my game, I'd be really curious to know. Until then, I guess I'm farming Pharros' Lockstones and Mastodon gear for a while.

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    Savage

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    @notnert427: It might be because Doors of Pharros is a special level used in the Rat King covenant. Covenant members can force other players who enter this level to be summoned into their world where they then try to kill the other player before the player can reach the end of the trap-filled level. If enemies stopped spawning as usual here, the covenant member's world would become depopulated after enough summoned players came in and killed the enemies. At that point, unless the covenant member uses a bonfire ascetic, their further covenant participation here would be partially gimped.

    In the original DS2 release, my memory is that the enemies did permanently stop spawning in Doors of Pharros, but it seems that was changed either in a patch or for the SotFS release.

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    notnert427

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    @savage said:

    @notnert427: It might be because Doors of Pharros is a special level used in the Rat King covenant. Covenant members can force other players who enter this level to be summoned into their world where they then try to kill the other player before the player can reach the end of the trap-filled level. If enemies stopped spawning as usual here, the covenant member's world would become depopulated after enough summoned players came in and killed the enemies. At that point, unless the covenant member uses a bonfire ascetic, their further covenant participation here would be partially gimped.

    In the original DS2 release, my memory is that the enemies did permanently stop spawning in Doors of Pharros, but it seems that was changed either in a patch or for the SotFS release.

    You may be on to something here. Design-wise, though, if the Rat King Covenant summons players to the Covenant player's world, why should permadeathing enemies in my world be prevented? FWIW, it should also be noted that I'm playing offline, and I killed the scripted invader in this area on the first try. I think this area itself might indeed be the issue here, though, because I could see the game having patched out some permadeath for the reasons you mentioned to ensure Rat King Covenant players have their allies. It also seems entirely possible that they may have simply chosen to apply the patch to everything (offline/online modes for both the player/Covenant worlds) rather than taking the time/effort to make it conditionally apply as it probably should. That's a pretty reasonable explanation as to what's going on, and it's one I'll buy.

    Thanks for the response; this has been nagging at me a bit and now I feel like it sort of makes sense. Much obliged, duder.

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