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Journeying into the heart of darkness (or playing Dark Souls for the first time)


DS2 by far had the best PvP mechanics and scene in the whole series though. I realize that most will not care about that, but it kept me playing for a couple hundred hours and made me want to attempt multiple different builds.

I had the opposite experience with DS3 where I finished the game, gave PvP a try, realized what a mess it was after a few matches and haven’t returned to the game since :frowning:. Also disliked how fast everything in DS3 was (Bloodborne enemies vs. a more traditional (slow) Souls-MC ­­­­­— no thanks) and how well longsword R1 spam worked. I did love the world of DS3 and might have to play trough it again in the future though. Haven’t touched the DLCs either.


I did a STR/DEX build (and later really pushed my SL way too high) but I found that a good mix of that (maybe stress one over the other depending on what weapons you like most.) worked well. Just remember you can only Level up at the starting area.


Bearer… Seek… Seek… Lest…

Yeah, it’s all coming back to me now :stuck_out_tongue:.


What’s your problem with the PVP in DS3?
I’ve been playing red soul stone duels for hours now and then and have had a lot of fun doing so.


From the top of my head:

  • Heavily gimped invasions, although this mattered less to me since I too prefer organized duels. This was a problem as a host too though. I played trough the whole game while being in an invadable state (Ember I believe it was in DS3) and didn’t get invaded once. Perhaps due to there being no invaders because of all the penalties or because the matchmaking had me at a low priority since I played solo.
    Following are some of the issues I remember with invading. Pitiful rewards. I guess it was a percentage of the souls the host would require to level up or something? Souls being dropped to the place you died at in the host’s world. Matchmaking preferring worlds with phantoms so it would usually end up as 1v2 or even 1v3 with the host being able to pretty much infinitely summon more help since summoning actually worked reliably this time around. Also made more annoying by the following point. I can’t remember if the phantoms were able to use Estus too though, or if it was disabled during an invasion. Or maybe the uses were just halved.
  • Estus was a bitch to punish. Even if you get a backstab thanks to the opponent chugging, it probably only negated the healing they just received. Again, this matters less (I would hope) in organized dueling.
  • Rolls for days. The few duels I played devolved into a clownfest of people rolling around and then spamming R1 until their stamina was depleted. And the R1 spam was prevalent due to…
  • Poise was absolutely broken, which meant that fast weapons were the only viable thing to use. Even if From kept repeating their mantra about “hyper armor during heavy weapon attacks” or whatever.
  • The most extreme build I saw was probably someone using a greatsword. Don’t think I ever saw a single spell hit its target either. Seemed like the meta was already firmly set and super stale shortly after release.
  • PvP covenants simply didn’t work. Was super hyped to be a Watchdog of Farron, since I spent probably over a hundred hours being a Forest Hunter in DS1 and loved every second of it (even if it would usually end up putting me against a much higher SL opponent). Wore the covenant ring for a few hours, didn’t get a single summon. I think I even checked on the internet if I was doing something wrong, but still, no dice. Same problem with Blue Sentinels, another covenant which I was excited about, being a former Blade of the Darkmoon (DS1) and a Blue Sentinel (DS2) too. I think I actually got one or two summons out of that one though, but only after hours of waiting.

I played DS3 before the DLCs were released though, and I believe they added an arena of sorts after that along with a new “territory-protection-based” covenant. Don’t know if any of my points are still valid to the current state of the game/scene.


I don’t know much at all about the invasion side of things. I’ve tried the Watchdogs of farron for a bit to see what’d happen but never got anything, got summoned as a defender for Aldrich faithful 3 or 4 times but mostly people who were running around the area for funsies to kill invaders.

I did get invaded by a farron fellow though, once. I think most people are really just not playing while embered up, I rarely am. There should have been some better incentives to be embered if they wanted people to use it I think. Any time I am embered though I do get invaded and I’ve killed all but one of them.

As for duel meta it’s alive and shifting over the time I’ve been playing, when I started I came up against almost only ultra greatswords. People were using the fume, Lorian and moonlight greatsword. But I also ran into a mage every once in a while and I’ve lost to almost all of them, partly I’m sure due to inexperience but they were clearly good at what they were doing and took great advantage of my mistakes.

Recently I’ve seen, what I’m told is, an old DS1 strategy of using light parrying weapons like daggers, cesti and bucklers and once you’re parried they switch to a UGS or great axe for the riposte attack. Which I think is kind of BS because that kills you outright in most cases.

But I’ve seen people using spears/polearms, rapiers, dual swords, straight swords (of course), axes, spells and all sorts of weird combinations to greater or lesser effect. It’s been a lot of fun.

Edit: I think the main issue with Farron is that it’s so far away from a boss fight no one is going to enter the place embered and you have to fight an outrider knight to get in. The farron area does have 2 bosses IN it but they also open the path to new areas so few people are going to turn back right away. I did turn back after killing the crystal mage and got invaded instantly, not that he got anything out of it.


so invasion in ds3 is based on your level to prevent people being gimped.

I got invaded so damn much and covenants work perfectly. the rewards for invasion are also great, there’s giant swords and many spells.

that is all thank you, just dispelling any conventions.


OK…quick update, because well, I’ve had a rough time lately and had very little forum or game time.

Played for around 5 hours, into the Forest of Fallen Giants (it had a lit brazier by it so I went there first…not sure of the significance of lighting stuff though, as there seem to be lots of things sitting around to ignite). HOWEVER, and this is a big however, in DeS and DS, I was very much a throw myself at things until it worked kind of player. Ran a spellsword in DeS, with the magic falchion on the Shrine of Storms making things work as a good mix of magic and swordplay almost immediately. Then in Dark Souls, which I’ve obviously just finished, I was essentially just a strength build with a +15 mace. BUT…starting out as a sorcerer with magic and a dagger I tended to try to avoid using magic…big mistake. The range on the dagger feels terrible, and when I started just pumping my endurance up, like I had in the first game I got little return. Couldn’t use any equipment and I was totally unused to not having a shield to block. To top it off the finite enemy respawn, just ganked my playstyle up completely…I was trying to avoid using magic because it felt cheap but managed to feel incredibly weak as a result. So I reset and started over.

This time I’ve leveled up strength and dexterity to enable me to use some equipment and I’ve used magic as appropriate. I quit last night just before the Pursuer (?) battle (after the first boss fight with the big giant) and whilst it’s a battle of attrition with me chipping away at him, that feels much more like a normal experience now I’m not solely restricted to a dagger. Just can’t wait until I can enchant weapons or get a proper Int boosted weapon.


People complain about the combat in DS2, but in my opinion it has some of the funnest and most interesting weapons in the series. Powerstancing is also a fantastic addition to the gameplay as well.


Ok nvm, the reptile thing isn’t that bad, I guess I was just too afraid of something huge which I can’t see (behind me) running my way while making terrible noises…also the one shot biting…anyway, beat that thing, couldn’t be happier that I can finally continue DS3 (best DS hands down).


Congratulations, you’re coming up on either one of the best or the worst boss in the game. Depending on which direction you go next.


Did they change the respawn thing back in DS3? Or are there a finite amount of encounters (or I suppose Souls) again like in DS2?


I don’t know, I’ve never seen any normal enemies stop spawning and while I’ve been through a few boss runs a large number of times I couldn’t safely say it never happens. But from what I can tell there does not seem to be a limit to number of souls you could grind up.


They changed it back to unlimited respawns in 3. Which is both good and bad, IMO. It made getting to some of the really hard areas in DS2 possible for me if I just slowly fought my way through everything until there were none left, but at the same time it made farming items a pain and some people liked having to fight through everything.


anyway, after DS2 DS3 feels SO MUCH BETTER my god, DS2’s combat is fucking sluggish and cheesy compared to this. (Still gotta beat darklurker in DS2 tho, fml)


To me it’S 10000% positive, I hated having to level up the bonfires to get enemies back to spawning. Yes, it sometimes made things easier (well, once for me, right in the beginning lol), but it also screwed you wt limited souls, limited items BOREDOME running through empty areas and it didn’t fit lorewise either. DS3 over everything :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

After watching that video where some hacker screwed wt ppl’s savegames I started playing offline only :confused:


You’re missing out on a good bit of fun and excitement then. Backup your save files before or after you play instead and join in on the fun.


Whilst I remember, was playing co-op last night with a guy from Germany on No Man’s Wharf, and we got to a trapped chest. Having been standing statue still as he chatted to an NPC, I started running forward and rolling away like a mad person when he approached the chest…which he then opened and got killed by. I’m unsure whether I should be feeling guilty or annoyed I didn’t reverse my Hollowing…

What exactly do you guys regard as good Co-Op etiquette?


Did you mean Pontiff as the good or the worst boss?


Wouldn’t wanna spoil you, now would I?