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Avatar image for a_cute_squirtle
#1 Posted by A_Cute_Squirtle (890 posts) -

So, I've just finished Bloodborne. Loved the experience. Only regret one thing: I summoned.

Yes, I used a mechanic that's built into the game and got a little help with the boss at Cainhurst. It was the only boss in the game that I could not down after a few tries. It was infuriating. My girlfriend eventually encouraged me to summon someone, so I did. It's still nagging at me, a day removed from beating the game. This leads me to a larger question surrounding people who play the Souls games: is Summoning the same thing as surrendering? Do you feel like a "lesser" player for not beating it on your own?

Nothing in the game dictates a feeling of shame or embarrassment about the mechanic. Hell, it even punishes you (by costing Insight) for doing so. This leads me to believe that I'm getting this feeling from reading the Souls community online, and how many sneering replies people receive after they've announced they had to summon for a boss. Has this affected you?

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#2 Posted by Sterling (4134 posts) -

No. I do like to beat bosses on my own. But I also enjoy helping others. And I from time to time summon people to help me just because. Anyone who has an issue with others who summon are just douche bag elitists. You shouldn't feel bad about summoning someone to help you. But its bothering you that much, run through NG+ and try to beat him on your own.

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#3 Posted by insane_shadowblade85 (1710 posts) -

Not to me. If I have to fight a boss on my own then I will, but I really like the Co op in the series so I try to summon and get summoned all the time.

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#4 Posted by Zeik (5184 posts) -

Kind of, only because I think the co-op is poorly balanced in these games and always gives you more of an advantage than it should, so winning just isn't as satisfying, especially if you end up with someone that basically just carries you through the fight.

I don't necessarily hold it against people who summon, people should play however they find fun (within reason), but I don't feel like you get the true experience if you're co-oping, as douchey as that may sound. Someday I hope they figure out how to balance the co-op properly so it stays a fun challenge.

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#5 Posted by RonGalaxy (4936 posts) -

I actually helped a few people last night with the boss in cainhurst. Makes me wonder if you were one of them!

To answer your question, no. The whole point of that system, to me, is one of give and take. If you summon for a boss, then after you beat it offer help to the next person who needs help. I only summoned once in my 2 play throughs, but I don't feel like its surrendering. They included that system for a reason.

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#6 Posted by freakin9 (1226 posts) -

If you're worried what a child thinks of you you have bigger problems than that. And yes only children, and grown up children care how you play a video game.

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#7 Posted by Original_Hank (264 posts) -

Co-op is fun, so no.

Online
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#8 Posted by A_Cute_Squirtle (890 posts) -

I actually helped a few people last night with the boss in cainhurst. Makes me wonder if you were one of them!

To answer your question, no. The whole point of that system, to me, is one of give and take. If you summon for a boss, then after you beat it offer help to the next person who needs help. I only summoned once in my 2 play throughs, but I don't feel like its surrendering. They included that system for a reason.

Hah, no. I beat Cainhurst a week or so ago. Good on you for helping though!

@freakin9 said:

If you're worried what a child thinks of you you have bigger problems than that. And yes only children, and grown up children care how you play a video game.

What an unnecessary tone to my question. There's a distinct sociological aspect to these games, so it's not ridiculous to be a little self-conscious about how you've experienced the game. I really enjoyed Dark Souls, so I wanted to have a proper, fantastic experience. You can even find elements within this thread of people saying how the co-op isn't necessarily a true example of how the game should be played (trivializes the AI, or isn't balanced properly, etc) so it's not a "problem." Just contrasting my feelings with other players.

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#9 Posted by Zevvion (5965 posts) -

Summoning isn't surrendering, but listening to your girlfriend clearly is. Don't ever do that again. Otherwise you might end up in a successful relationship.

On a more serious note, I don't summon in these games, but that's because I get the most fun out of figuring out how to beat a boss. If I were to skip that, that wouldn't make sense. That's avoiding the fun. If I were not having fun and getting frustrated as you said, then yeah, why not summon?

This might not be a great comparison, but you can solo the second Raid in Destiny. I've done it, but it's just tedious to me. I'm having less fun, so I much rather play with another person to speed things up and I have more fun with another person there.

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#10 Posted by freakin9 (1226 posts) -

@rongalaxy said:

I actually helped a few people last night with the boss in cainhurst. Makes me wonder if you were one of them!

To answer your question, no. The whole point of that system, to me, is one of give and take. If you summon for a boss, then after you beat it offer help to the next person who needs help. I only summoned once in my 2 play throughs, but I don't feel like its surrendering. They included that system for a reason.

Hah, no. I beat Cainhurst a week or so ago. Good on you for helping though!

@freakin9 said:

If you're worried what a child thinks of you you have bigger problems than that. And yes only children, and grown up children care how you play a video game.

What an unnecessary tone to my question. There's a distinct sociological aspect to these games, so it's not ridiculous to be a little self-conscious about how you've experienced the game. I really enjoyed Dark Souls, so I wanted to have a proper, fantastic experience. You can even find elements within this thread of people saying how the co-op isn't necessarily a true example of how the game should be played (trivializes the AI, or isn't balanced properly, etc) so it's not a "problem." Just contrasting my feelings with other players.

If you feel bad simply because you don't want to do the whole thing over again just to solo that boss yourself I get it. The game's hard saves can lead to regrets. It's really more about how you feel about your experience. Maybe you simply agree with the people that would decry you for co-oping.

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#11 Posted by Nux (2889 posts) -

No I don't think it is. The reason you play video games is to see everything a game has to offer. If there is a boss that you can't beat no many how many times you try there is no shame is summoning to help you move on and allow you to keep playing and exploring. Now, if you just went though summoning every time you you encounter a boss and don't at least try it by yourself at least once that is another thing.

There is nothing wrong in summoning if you legitimately need the help.

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#12 Edited by deactivated-582d227526464 (835 posts) -

I will beat my head against the wall before I ever summon. I like to save summoning as a special treat for after I've solo'd every boss at least once. I'm a crazy person. I don't even consider myself particularly good at these games, I just keep playing them until I know my enemy's movements intimately. It's such a fun process for me that I don't mind failing a lot. I learn a bit each time.

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#13 Posted by Junkboy (652 posts) -

This game it does cheap stuff all time time and I don't even view things like hitting monster through walls/gravestones/trees as "surrendering". This game is basically a Guerrero brother, it lies, cheats, and steals, so anything you can do to get one up (within game mechanics) is more than fine.

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#14 Posted by Humanity (18573 posts) -

I like to beat bosses on my own but then I miss out on the fun of co-op. Now playing in NG+ I can never find anyone to join my game. I sit before the boss rooms for 10+ minutes at a time and nothing. It's not that I need the help in NG+ but that I want to experience the co-op that I missed the first time around - and now I'm missing it again. I guess this is due to my level? Who knows. I've come to realize that NG+ literally offers nothing new and I'm just playing to upgrade my scythe and because I have nothing else to play at the moment. Also the fact that you lose the insight even when your bell doesn't actually summon anyone is a real shitty mechanic. Thankfully you get tons of insight and nothing to do with it.

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#15 Posted by paco (132 posts) -

Summoning and being summoned is pretty much how I spend my time in Souls games. The coop is just some straight-up fun, and there's a sense of solidarity helping other on bosses I had trouble with myself.

It all comes down to what you enjoy. Do you like beating bosses on your own? Then ignore the coop, all bosses can be soloed (granted, some are harder than others). But on the other hand, playing with other people is fun, and From realizes this, as all of the Souls games have it.

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#16 Posted by deactivated-5b531a34b946c (1251 posts) -

Nope. My time in Dark Souls 1 & 2 was spent summoning and being summoned for every single boss. I had way more fun tackling those bosses cooperatively than I ever did solo.

Any sense of dignity or honor went out the window a long time ago when I learned just exactly what these games had in store for the player. If the game is going to throw instant kills and traps at me all the time and summon players with insane equipment that I can't defend against to kill me, then I'm going to use every mechanic at my disposal to give myself better odds, and I'm going to help other players at every chance.

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#17 Edited by jacksukeru (6770 posts) -

I've played these games a lot. A lot a lot. And I am far from the point where I feel I need to prove anything to them. I know I can beat anything they throw at me, sooner or later, because the formula for its bosses, the "rules of the game", has remained relatively the same.

When playing Dark Souls 2 these days I usually go for whatever the path of least resistance is. Some bosses are simply quicker to take down without their health boost, or sometimes I see a few signs near a boss door and think "might as well get these guys some souls too". Other times they are enough of a pain on their own that having a second player distract them is genuinely appreciated. I also do a lot of co-op there just 'cause I think it's fun.

In Bloodborne, which I've yet to put in the time to finish, I got myself summoned in the forest and fought those 3 guys before I ran into them myself. It seemed like a fun idea to fight that group in a 1v1 1v1 1v1 situation so I did so myself. I tried to summon at Rom 'cause it seemed like a pain to clear out his adds but didn't find anyone and eventually just did it on my own. The rest I've done on my own, I think mostly 'cause I never felt like spending an Insight and waiting around for summons. When it comes to bosses, I want to see them, see what they do and then get them done. Doesn't matter how at that point.

I might get around to finding out what fighting those three guys on my own is like, I might not (BB doesn't feel as ripe for replaying). I have a feeling I already have a pretty good idea just from my general experience with these games though.

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#18 Edited by ViciousReiven (983 posts) -

Personally yes.

Mainly because I feel it unbalances the fights, anyone can just walk up and wail on a boss while the other draws aggro, taking away any challenge it would of had, the AI just isn't up for facing multiple people.

If it had better AI and the bosses stats scaled accordingly to the number of players then I'd feel okay about it.

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#19 Posted by citizencoffeecake (1534 posts) -

I've summoned a couple times in this game and for me it's a matter of time and frustration. I can do one of three things: summon someone and get on with a game I'm otherwise enjoying, be stubborn and get frustrated and turn it off, or go spend some time and grind out some levels. I still try every boss once or twice on my own but for me personally it's better to just summon and move on (I've done it with BSB, Shadow, and the One Reborn so far).

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#20 Posted by The_Ruiner (1766 posts) -

No. Co op is fun.

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#21 Edited by NeoCalypso (748 posts) -

I've always thought it was stupid how an extremely prevailing thought about the souls series was that the games were already kinda unfair so you shouldn't be afraid to take any advantage you can get...yet the moment you talk about summoning, a bunch of people would come out and admonish you for doing so like adding another person was all of a sudden unfair.

Fromsoft has been bug fixing advantage granting exploits and rebalancing weapons in the games for quite some time so obvious the fact that they continue putting coop in the game should make it clear that it's okay by them.

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#22 Posted by pkmango7 (556 posts) -

As others have said, just having another warm body there to distract the AI even for a moment gives you much more breathing room to attack, heal, make dinner, buff, etc. From a raw mechanics standpoint that just takes the fun away from me personally, but everyone has a tipping point of how many hits you need to win vs how fast and easily you can get dead. So I don't think that necessarily means surrender, and the boss at Cainhurst is some serious shit if you're not armed to the teeth!

I will say some the later Chalice bosses tested my resolve, I would've summoned constantly if I didn't have such a hard time finding people. And while I prefer to take on bosses solo, it's always fun to help others out, especially against a real tough motherfucker. It's also just fun to see different quirks and playstyles.

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#23 Posted by CornBREDX (7356 posts) -

Nah. There's no reason to torture yourself over it. I like to try as long as I can to beat a boss on my own (which I usually can), but if I can't there's nothing wrong with summoning help. That's why it's there. It's actually intended you get help on bosses in these games.

If people are being nasty about it, they're just being nasty. It isn't how the game is intended to be played. That only makes you not want to finish. There's no reason to stop playing fantastic games because you can't beat a boss without help- especially when it's intended to be played that way.

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#24 Posted by stryker1121 (2168 posts) -

I don't summon, not because i'm a leet uber hardcorez player but because it's satisfying to take down a difficult enemy myself, no matter how frustrated I get. It probably took me 50 tries to beat the goddamn smelter demon in Dark2 and not once did I think of summoning. I do love helping people beat bosses, though.

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#25 Edited by BoOzak (2515 posts) -

I summoned a lot in Dark Souls because there was a covenant related to it and I wanted to shoot giant bolts of lightning (or sunlight spears) out of my hands.

My friends gave me shit for it but I really enjoyed the co-op aspect of those games. I didnt summon in Demon's Souls or Bloodborne and those games felt more soulless (haha!) as a result. Which I know appeals to some people but I like the online aspect of these games.

I have left more notes though, which is kind of cool I guess.

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#26 Posted by EVO (4028 posts) -

I've finished every game in the series and I've yet to play co-op. It's cheesing it imo.

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#27 Posted by Ares42 (4258 posts) -

I wouldn't call it surrendering, but I don't really find it fun or interesting. I'll gladly take part in co-op by helping others out, but when I'm doing a playthrough myself I'm not really interested in face-stomping the bosses. Even though the bosses are probably my least favorite part of these games, all I would do by summoning is to rob myself of minutes/hours of entertaining gameplay.

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#28 Edited by BoOzak (2515 posts) -

@stryker1121: I tried summoning to beat the Smelter, it didnt help. Fools were dropping left and right. That boss I feel like you have to solo, the arena is just too small. It was a damn satisfying fight though. Probably my favourite in DS2.

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#29 Posted by stryker1121 (2168 posts) -

@boozak: He doesn't seem that tough at first, but yeah, the size of the arena and the reach of his strikes when he went into flame mode flummoxed me for a long time.

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#30 Posted by golguin (5469 posts) -

If you summon to beat a boss then you have surrendered to that boss and admitted that you couldn't beat it on your own at that moment in time. This is assuming you've already tried to beat the boss alone multiple times.

If you summon for bosses on first attempts then you clearly don't intend to play the game to be challenged so there is no meaning to the question in that situation. You'd simply want to progress and see what's out there.

I personally don't summon for bosses because I want to feel challenged. I want to beat them alone. I will co-op and go into other people's world to get souls for the boss kills after I kill the boss myself. I'll occasionally go into other worlds before I beat the boss to spend some time dodging and learning the boss moveset so that I don't have to deal with the load times in my own world.

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#31 Posted by 49th (3886 posts) -

I never summon the first time through because it makes it too easy and I want a challenge. I really like playing co-op though so I summon all the time on second playthroughs and often put my sign down for other people.

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#32 Posted by Fredchuckdave (10824 posts) -

@a_cute_squirtle: There's a whole bunch of people that summon with great enthusiasm for it. I personally don't ever on the first go around but it can be fun to see how group fights go or how other people fight whichever boss; as well as the comedy of seeing other people fail. It's a pretty big portion of the playerbase so I don't mind their existence, as long as they're not complaining about the difficulty of the game being too easy whilst summoning.

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#33 Posted by MeesterO (112 posts) -

Using the summon feature is not surrendering to the boss by any means. Now if you paid Fromsoft money for a skip fight coin, THAT would be surrendering. For the most part I always just saw the summoning allies the same as I see Online Monster Hunter. I mean yeah the online versions of monsters are scaled up for four people in mind, but a huge chunk of people I know that I play the game with can solo G-Rank monsters. It's there for a reason, and if you do use it, the feature is working as intended.

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#34 Posted by Nasar7 (3223 posts) -

Of course not. Summoning is about camraderie and paying it forward, not some ridiculous macho ego trip to prove how hardcore you are at video games. I've always found it weird how Brad, Vinny, Patrick, and Rorie always mention how they never summon or offer their assistance or engage with the online aspect at all. In my opinion, you haven't truly partaken in the spirit of the games if you eschew those things. Every story coming out is about I defeated, I overcame, but you know what? Some of my fondest memories of these games are the times I've helped others defeat a tough boss they were having a hard time with. You can almost feel the emotion and gratitude through the stupid gestures, and sometimes even a message of thanks.

A hunter is never alone.

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#35 Posted by Karkarov (3385 posts) -

Okay first off, there is no such thing as a "lesser player". Anyone who tries to pass some gamer cred BS on you for any reason is the one you need to look at like a chump. Unless they are winning money at a gaming tournament they got nothing to brag about. Meanwhile the game literally encourages you to summon and puts summon hints all over the place. When I was playing new game plus offline it is like the game was pissed at me cause I wasn't summoning. I literally started seeing "notes" that said, "Don't forget you can summon help" or something to that effect EVERYWHERE. It is part of the game and there is nothing wrong with making use of it at all.

This is coming from a guy who plays all souls games blind, offline, and solo his first run. That's how I do my first run and get the most out of it, but that doesn't mean everyone has to do it that way or that my way is "better". It is a video game, your priority should be having fun first, second, and third.

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#36 Edited by Mirado (2557 posts) -

Yes, for two reasons:

  1. The AI can't handle dealing with two people, dropping the difficulty way down. If the boss got a bit of a boost to make up for it's poor targeting focus, or if it knew who to hone in on, it'd be much more reasonable.
  2. Who you summon is a total crapshoot. Sometimes you get a guy who runs right in and dies immediately, other times you get a guy (like me) who's working toward something and as such is geared to brutalize the boss in two or three hits. In DS2 I was working towards a spell you can only get by being summoned, so I'd be so over-leveled and overgeared that I'd pop in, do a bow, toss four lightning bolts at the fucker, and bow out. That couldn't be fun for the guy who summoned me, but I gotta get those sunlight medals, man.

All these games have are the bosses. They are the creative center-points, the memorable experiences. While I can absolutely understand summoning for something that's frustrating you, and will never look down on someone that does so, that sense of triumph will outweigh the frustration when you finally do it. If it doesn't, the Souls games might not be for you.

As it stands, the summoning mechanic has far too high a risk of ruining your fun.

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#37 Posted by ripelivejam (13098 posts) -

Haven't you learned? It doesn't matter how you do it in a souls game, it's ALWAYS the wrong way ;)

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#38 Posted by MildMolasses (3200 posts) -

Summoning hasn't worked for me. I've tried it twice and no one has answered. However, in both of those instances, upon giving up on waiting for a response, I went in and immediately beat the boss I was trying to double team. It really does work!

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#39 Posted by Cloudleet (206 posts) -

I don't mind summoning.

To me, the real experience is in between the bosses, the journey up to them if you will. Once I get to the boss, I usually try 5-10 times to beat it, if I'm not successful, though I usually am, after learning the tells and pacing of the battle, I will summon in someone. I don't see it as defeat, I see it as an alternative way of beating the boss.

You are not defeated until you fling the controller out the window, pee on your console and furiously trying to figure out what to have for dinner.

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#40 Edited by LeStephan (1214 posts) -

I have always thought so too but I have been trying to beat rom for 5 hours(broken up in a few sessions ofcourse to keep me at least somewhat sane) and I am starting to maybe not give a shit about that anymore. I dont mind dying in souls games as there is mostly something to learn from it but I can already fucking dream all of Roms attacks ,it's just a matter of execution and I am just not able to pull it off. Didnt have any difficulty so far.....I mean, I have patience but goddamn, 5 hours is a lot of fucking time to waste on making no progress at all. My weapon has already broken at least 3 times just from fighting Rom over and over and over and over. (i've also by now read most tips on here about him so Im pretty sure I know what there is to know)

Summoning in the previous few souls games totally destroyed the boss design the few times I tried it and was not fun at all either, It bassically felt like a "skip boss button"

So yeah imho summoning is definitely giving up, but I guess you sometimes have to think for yourself if that might actually still be worth doing for the sake of your own enjoyment. I may be stubborn and havent summoned yet but I also did not have much fun for the past 5 hours (I was still learning the first half hour so that was stil fun but that doesn't change much) I also cant really manage to play anything else either because every other game just makes me wish I would be exploring bloodborne's world instead, goddamn it I'm stuck as fuck :P (sorry for the added ranting, I just need to get this off my chest haha)

EDIT: oh man I totally forgot I let myself get summoned for every boss in DSII to somewhat learn their patterns before attempting em solo in my own game so I wouldnt have to die too much haha, thats kinda different again though

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#41 Edited by DASH (87 posts) -

I beat the game without summoning. I don't think you should be ashamed that you did summon on a boss fight though. As an adult with time concerns and responsibilities, it really is your call if you want help on a part of the game that you are butting your head against without results. The fact that summoning exists is evidence that the developers wanted to give players the option if they are stuck and want to move on.

I'll say this though, obviously every boss is beatable solo. If you are having trouble with one, you could just push forward in another part of the game and come back later or grind a couple of levels, maybe upgrade and modify the blood gems in your weapon. Beating the boss on your own could have just been as simple as boosting a few stats.

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#42 Posted by mageemagoo (276 posts) -

No I'm not a manchild

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#43 Posted by emfromthesea (2262 posts) -

I get the impression that most bosses in the Souls series are designed to be done alone, given the way the A.I behaves (or fails to) when there's more than one player. So I like to try and defeat the bosses solo on my first playthrough. But after that I'll happily bring in people to play, just to change things up a little.

I don't think it's fair to shame others who do chose to summon in players on their first time. As much as I praise the difficulty present in the Souls series, it has it's fair share of nonsense that artificially raises the challenge. If some players want to use a mechanic that's present in the game to subvert some of the BS, then all power to them.

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#44 Posted by MannyMAR (662 posts) -

Summoning is part of the game. If you summon, the bosses have more HP than they usually would if you went at it solo. There's no shame in it. I think surrendering in these kind of games is just either straight up giving up, or cheating. Simple as that.

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#45 Posted by Dixavd (2888 posts) -

No. The Souls community is just full of childish jackasses.

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#46 Posted by Demoskinos (17457 posts) -

@a_cute_squirtle: Its a legitimate way to play the game. Anyone who is going to look down on you for that isn't worth your time.

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#47 Posted by Sweep (10561 posts) -

I've come to terms with the fact that I'm terrible at Bloodborne, and I know that without summoning I'd quickly get frustrated and give up on the game. Summoning means I can progress at a reasonable pace without the game getting stale and without me getting overly frustrated.

Having said that, I'll always attempt any new area or boss solo a few times before I resort to a summon. Being led about at breakneck speed kinda ruins the atmosphere, so summoning should never be the default way to experience the game.

I don't know why people are such purists about it though. That mechanic is in there for a reason.

Moderator
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#48 Edited by Monkeyman04 (2791 posts) -

I use to have that same train of thought while playing Dark Souls 1, but I had a change of heart while playing Dark Souls 2. I started placing my white stone shard more then I ever did in the first one ( which was never) helping people out when they needed it. Doing so I started not caring about summoning people to help me as well. It's part of the game and if one chooses to use that aspect of it, than I see no problem.

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#49 Edited by Giant_Gamer (745 posts) -

No, co-op is just like lowering down the difficulty but in a fun way. Surrendering in my book is when you exploit a game by using a bug or a cheat.

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#50 Posted by gatehouse (933 posts) -

Like many folks here, I like to beat the bosses on my own, but I am more than willing to summon folks to just stop me getting frustrated (only summoned so far for Vicar Amelia, but I've not finished the game yet).