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#1 Posted by Spek (22 posts) -

In almost all games that give me the chance, I play as a tank. I find it easier. Get the biggest stick, wear the heaviest armor, load up on healing and move forward. It's how I got through Dark Souls and how I got through Dark Souls 2. Skill isn't something I've really tried to develop. I tend to brute force my way through.

That's becoming less satisfying, though, and I'm interested in going through some of my games and playing as the spell caster. One thing I noticed in Dark Souls 2 whenever I summoned players in who cast spells is that they royally wrecked shit. I mean, no contest. They just tore through whatever was in their way. I've checked out some builds and even experimented a little bit with some early stages in DS2, but it's not clicking yet.

Any advice on a duder who wants to change his style?

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#2 Edited by stryker1121 (2123 posts) -

I played DS2 as a tanky cleric. Heavy armor and giant club, while also dumping points into Faith for select miracles like great lightning spear, which does huge damage and mixed up the combat nicely. Though I was not a traditional spellcaster if that's what you're looking for.

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#3 Edited by Loafsmooch (545 posts) -

I really enjoyed being a mage in DS2, the way rolling and agility works in this one compared to DS1 I felt like a total ninja mage badass. There's so much weapon variety too, even for builds which don't max out STR/AGI.

On to the advice. If you wanna take babysteps towards magic I would suggest you just start putting points into faith and attunement, you might not even have to put anything into attunement if you choose to use that ring instead. Get some great lightning spears and some type of heal. You'll still be playing the same way but you will also have very powerful ranged attacks and some extra heals. Don't forget to upgrade your chime/catalyst, it makes a huge difference. You might also wanna look up which chime would serve you the best, it really depends on how much faith you're shooting for and if you only use miracles or other types of spells too.

I would definitely recommend starting a new char and build him purely as a mage though. The playstyle is very different and refreshing if you're getting a bit bored with being strong n tanky. Sure, rolling takes a while to get used to but once you get it, it becomes really fun and rewarding. Most of my playthrough on my mage I used a rapier in my offhand and the magic stick in my mainhand. It was super effective in both PVP and PVE.

It doesn't really require much more skill either, sorceries become really strong which makes most bosses a cakewalk, as long as you don't try to facetank them. If you're gonna learn to roll instead of block, get your AGI up to atleast 100, makes a big difference.

Oh, and binoculars are called spell scopes for a good reason. Learn to use them.

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#4 Edited by Fredchuckdave (10743 posts) -

Miracles/Hexes are basically how sorcery was in Dark Souls, i.e. super OP, pyromancy is good, and sorcery is the worst of the bunch but still fine. There's a lot more rolling to be had in this game so that further shifts the balance away from tanky melee characters.

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#5 Edited by militantfreudian (580 posts) -

If you don't plan on starting a new character, you can reallocate your points -- that's what I did. I played the majority of the game as a strictly melee character (greatsword and shield), then I respec'd my character, increased my Faith and started using Great Lightning Spear, in addition to Pyromancies. Keep in mind that you can use the Spices to lower the requirements of top-teir spells. Investing in either Faith or Intelligence also allows you to benefit from infusing your weapons with elemental damage, and buffing it with spells. I thought this made the gameplay more interesting.

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#6 Edited by Spek (22 posts) -

@loafsmooch: Thanks! I'm leaning towards starting over. I'm just on the home stretch of finishing up my achievement run of Dark Souls and want to start clean with Dark Souls 2, even though I've beaten it with a tank build. Really looking forward to giving this a try. Similar to Patrick, I was really into DS2 but cooled on it when I played the original again and found the interconnected design to just be amazing. Love that game. Looking forward to diving into DS2 with a new outlook/player goal.

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#7 Edited by dudeglove (12966 posts) -

@spek: With the addition of spices, you can incense any spell you want down to your current stats, and if you're willing to sacrifice a ring slot for a northern ritual band, you don't even need to put any points into attunement either if you want to keep your tank ways and just load up on a couple of buffs.

A lot of magic is useful, but only in certain situations. Standard fail-safe spells (if we're talking PvE) that always come in handy seem to be lightning spear (good range, excellent damage), dark orb (short range, decent damage, comes in bulk, and can stagger quite a few foes), and any of the firestorms from pyromancy. I suggest those, because the first two can be aimed using the binoculars (which is kind of cheap), while firestorms in close quarters are very useful in clearing out certain areas, and generally just making a mess.

Due to its piercing nature, the soul spear sorcery can completely tear through certain bosses, but it comes with very few casts (but then you can easily abuse certain healing items to restore casts, so it's no problem at all).

The biggest thing to note with spell casting over melee is your cast speed (which can be seen in the stats screen unlike in DS1), which varies depending on what chime/staff you use, as well as certain rings and equipment.

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#8 Posted by HaniBall (371 posts) -

Take a low level chime/staff and +10 it. Then spice down some miracles and hexes. (great) Lighning Spears and (great) Resonant soul are what you see all those spell spammers using. Also the buffs, although they got nerfed in the sense that their duration depends on your magic stats now.