Author Topic: Dark Souls group therapy session  (Read 24697 times)

Offline Lambonius

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Dark Souls group therapy session
« on: October 08, 2011, 02:42:08 PM »
Anyone out there playing this game?

I've been really busy with work lately, so I've only logged a handful of hours with it, and I am still definitely learning the mechanics, but now beginning to make slow and steady progress.

For anyone not in the know, this game is mind-numbingly, gut-wrenchingly, ass-bleedingly hard, but bloody beautiful--visually, tonally, and in terms of the sense of achievement you get from finally figuring out an attack pattern or defensive strategy that allows you to progress beyond the most recent obstacle standing in your way.

Since the idea of cooperative camaraderie is part of the experience (and since there is no ability to voice chat or set up play sessions with friends), I thought it might be nice to be able to talk, vent, or brag about our experiences in a thread here.

Anyway, it's pretty sweet.  Having not played Demon Souls, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I will say that it reminds me of the complexity and difficulty of a Rogue-like game, but with modern production values.  Really seriously awesome.  And I love the lonely, bleak tone and the ambiguous story that forces you to sort of come to your own conclusions as you explore.  If I had to compare it to something, I'd say it's kind of like Rogue meets Shadows of the Colossus (but with better graphics.)

Oh also, let us know your character build, too.  Love me some nerdy RPG talk.

I started out as a Wanderer and am slowly but surely working on a character build focused around a sword & shield/bow combo.  High dexterity, endurance, and to a lesser extent, strength, have been the focus of my leveling so far.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 02:47:16 PM by Lambonius »

Offline Cez

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Re: Dark Souls group therapy session
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2011, 05:29:29 PM »
me, me!!! I got it two days ago but I haven't started it yet.

Oh, but... you probably have it for the Xbox, no? I got it for the PS3.

Anyhow, I'm very much looking forward to playing it. Demon's Soul is probably the best game I've played in the past 5 years. The fact that is as freaking hard as the games from the past were is probably what makes it so incredibly good.

Can't wait to see what this one is like!


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Offline wilco64256

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Re: Dark Souls group therapy session
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2011, 06:29:37 PM »
I will say that my one single very minor annoyance with Demon's Souls was that swamp level.  That was really the only area in the game where I felt like I was being punished by the actual mechanics of the game rather than needing to learn how to approach the level itself.  It was just too freaking dark mainly.  I guess most of it I didn't even really mind a whole lot, mainly just the huge open beginning areas where you couldn't hardly see a thing.  That was the part of the game I always dreaded on subsequent playthroughs, it just bugged the crap out of me for some reason.

Haven't played Dark Souls yet, but I am VERY much looking forward to it.
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Offline Fierce Deity

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Re: Dark Souls group therapy session
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2011, 08:11:07 PM »
I started out as a Wanderer and am slowly but surely working on a character build focused around a sword & shield/bow combo.  High dexterity, endurance, and to a lesser extent, strength, have been the focus of my leveling so far.

I haven't gotten Dark Souls yet, but having played Demon's Souls, the Wanderer is a very balanced class, and the sword & shield/bow combo is the exact same setup that I had for my Wanderer. If they haven't changed the classes from the first game, I'd say you have one of the better character builds in the game.
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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Dark Souls group therapy session
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2011, 03:52:05 PM »
Call me fickle--I switched to the Warrior class.  ;)  Didn't want to totally tank it, but the added armor made the early goings a bit easier.  Took me a bit to figure out farming and leveling...now I'm getting the hang of this b****!  Also, it's definitely worth it to spend the humanity points and kindle each bonfire.  The 5 extra health potions it gives you are invaluable.  Second boss is still raping me though...

Up to level 15 now.

(Posted on: October 09, 2011, 01:57:15 AM)


Be warned...just when you think you've mastered killing the zombie soldiers with shields/swords/spears, out come the fully armored knights...and just when you've gotten down a strategy for killing those buggers, the giant mace-wielding f****** come out with their unblockable attacks.  But...like any good spanking, there is pleasure to be had along with the pain.  Oh yes...

Crucial combat tip--stamina recharges at a near non-existent crawl when your shield is up.  Roll back now and again in combat and drop your shield for a quick stamina recharge.  Things will go MUCH better for you.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2011, 09:17:45 PM by wilco64256 »

Offline Cez

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Re: Dark Souls group therapy session
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2011, 11:47:19 PM »
I'll see if I can put some time into this game tonight. I was trying to get through Assassins Creed 2 before starting this, but I still have long ways to go there, and I can take a break from it.


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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Dark Souls group therapy session
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2011, 06:55:01 AM »
Yeah, it's a pretty addictive game.  I don't think it quite deserves the 9.0 & 9.5 scores I keep seeing it getting from "professional" reviews, but it's still damn good.

There are a number of unfortunate technical issues and some irritating design quirks that really shouldn't have made it into one of today's video games.  Some will say that design issues like the lack of a pause option are a crucial part of the difficulty or necessary for the multiplayer component to work seamlessly, but I think that's a complete cop out.

I can understand having to access inventory and use items in real time, but there should always be a general pause feature, regardless.  Things come up, and people need to be able to get up and leave the TV now and again.

Also, NPCs don't move their mouths, heads, or bodies when they talk to you--they all look really oddly static as a result.

Another annoying design flaw is the fact that it takes multiple button presses to clear pop-up messages (which block a large portion of the screen) and close the inventory/options menus.  It's very easy to continue playing, go into a fight, and find yourself suddenly unable to attack or block because you haven't fully closed out of the inventory menu.  Really obnoxious.

There's no way to compare shop items with currently equipped items to see stat increases and such.

There are a number of messy visual quirks also--namely the ragdoll bodies that stick to your feet or randomly bounce around after death.  I've read (but haven't yet experienced it) that there are some major slow-down issues in a few areas as well.

All in all, it's a beautiful, lonely, atmospheric game, with an awesome challenge level, but definitely not a 9.5.  It's got too many noticeable flaws.  If I was reviewing it, I probably wouldn't give it higher than an 8 or 8.5.

Offline wilco64256

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Re: Dark Souls group therapy session
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2011, 01:57:30 PM »
I'd actually agree that a pause wouldn't make sense in this game.  Since the multiplayer is a live component of the game it wouldn't make sense to be able to pause the second someone else comes into your game and just leave it paused until they get annoyed and leave.

The ragdoll bodies were present in Demon's Souls as well and I actually died in that game several times specifically as a result of trying to kick them off cliffs and stuff - I thought for sure they'd get those resolved by now, but the physics are definitely impressive other than that annoyance.

I watched just the intro video for Dark Souls and felt like I died several times just doing that, so I'm pretty sure the full game will be an absolute death-fest.  I've heard there are plenty of times where you'll just be wandering about and suddenly be trying to run for your life wondering, "Am I really supposed to be able to kill THAT??"  I loved that about the first game.
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Offline Cez

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Re: Dark Souls group therapy session
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2011, 05:38:20 PM »
I agree and disagree about the pause feature. Yes, on one hand, it would be nice to have it so that you can go to the bathroom or answer the phone. On the other hand, it just adds to the freaking tension of the game. I remember playing the original game and my phone ringing, ahhhhhh stop calling me, I'm killing this huge beast!! or needing to go pee, I'd hold it until I knew I was safe!

Plus, in a boss fight, when I'm having problems with a boss in a different game, I pause the game to catch a breather, to think, to come up with a strategy, or even to look for hints online. Here, forget about, you can't, and that just makes the game even 10 times more difficult, but at the same time it's part of what makes the game so addictive to the point where you LITERALLY cannot put the controller down :)

I wish they had fixed the comparison of inventory. That's something I did want in the first game that annoyed me.

And yes, the game has its annoyances, and it's nowhere as pretty as other games from this generation --at least Demons' Soul wasn't. But I didn't care. I didn't care about story, I didn't want to talk to people, I just wanted to get into the game and survive. It was actually this game that made me rethink my full approach on game story. I didn't care about a big story at all, and whatever was there just annoyed me because I wanted to go back to play, which is huge for me to say.

I can understand you being an artist and getting annoyed by bad animation./lipsync, etc. I also understand that those probably should be considered in a critics score. Me personally, I don't care for those things as long as the gameplay experience is as solid as the first one.

f*ck it. I'm playing this tonight!


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Offline wilco64256

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Re: Dark Souls group therapy session
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2011, 07:50:27 PM »
So which way has everybody headed first?  Up or down?  I know that guy at the beginning says you can go either way but can you really?  I didn't really even try to go down, I just started heading uphill.  Took me four deaths before I took care of that asylum demon (the plunge strike is pretty much required to survive that thing).  And I've only gone uphill to where the first bonfire is in the little village area but I've probably died at least 30 times.

Protip - if you're wandering through the village and there's an armored knight twice your size with his back to you at the end of a dark hallway, it probably is too good to be true.  And he will chase you all the way back down the mountain until he kills you.  Sheesh.  There's my 2 hours of insanely difficult gameplay for the day, back to work!
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Offline tessspoon

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Re: Dark Souls group therapy session
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2011, 08:39:50 PM »
So which way has everybody headed first?  Up or down?  I know that guy at the beginning says you can go either way but can you really?

I have no idea what you're talking about since I have no desire to play the game, but I asked my boyfriend who's been really into it. (I'm procrastinating on finishing my homework :P). He said "Can't go down, not really, not at first."

Offline Lambonius

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Re: Dark Souls group therapy session
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2011, 09:31:16 PM »
I headed up.  If you head up and to the left you can loot the graveyard for some decent equipment.  However, you have to contend with some powerful skeleton enemies that will probably wipe the floor with you if you aren't at least level 10.  And even then, you need to block/roll/stamina recharge frequently to whittle down their HP.  Unfortunately, they give you exactly ZERO souls for killing them, so if you can, it's best to run right by them and grab the goodies.

Oh, and don't even try taking on those armored knights til around level 17 or so...and definitely don't take them on without a metal shield.  You'll need lots of room to maneuver, too, so best to lure them into an open space.

Offline Cez

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Re: Dark Souls group therapy session
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2011, 12:14:55 AM »
Starting with a Male Cleric - Healing, baby!

I'm going to choose the Pendant as my gift. I've done some reading and hear it affects the game ending. I was going to do the Master Key, but I read that it makes the game a bit easier, and I want to suffer!

So, Pendant it is!

Here we go, let's get raped!

----

Neverming, I'm choosing the Witches Ring!
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 12:35:48 AM by Cez »


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Offline drunkenmonkey

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Re: Dark Souls group therapy session
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2011, 04:00:31 AM »
Master Key is good, but it's only for normal locks, the proper key is never too far away, but it saves you going back and checking what key is for what door. Last night, I took out the hydra, killed all three rat bears or whatever they were in darkroot basin. Then exploring onwards, a giant toadstool took me out with one hit. Went back and got my souls, decided not to push my luck. In the valley of the drakes I got pretty far up the scaffolding and some fire dogs relentlessly pummeled me, going back for my souls and humanity today. I really need to find a fireplace up there somewhere. Rats are a good source of humanity shards, there's three rats in the sewers under the bridge with the dragon. Take out the Drake(dragon) tail for the Drake's sword, only takes 50 hits with wooden arrows from under the bridge, position correctly to hit three arrows in a row.

Offline Cez

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Re: Dark Souls group therapy session
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2011, 06:09:49 AM »
#%*)(&*($&(&(EUIOWEWEO PIECE OF $)(#&*(#$&#@$ TAURUS DEMON!!!!

I was THIS CLOSE. THIS CLOSE. Then the b****** attacked me three times in a row without letting me stand up. ARRRGHHHH

I'll go back to it some other time. #$*(@*(&*(&($


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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Dark Souls group therapy session
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2011, 09:06:11 AM »
#%*)(&*($&(&(EUIOWEWEO PIECE OF $)(#&*(#$&#@$ TAURUS DEMON!!!!

I was THIS CLOSE. THIS CLOSE. Then the b****** attacked me three times in a row without letting me stand up. ARRRGHHHH

I'll go back to it some other time. #$*(@*(&*(&($

Lol...he had me stumped, too, until I realized you can
Spoiler (mouse over to reveal):

I'm currently getting my ass handed to me by the second major boss, the Bell tower gargoyles.  Figured out that you can
Spoiler (mouse over to reveal):

Missed the Drake Sword since I've been trying to play sans walkthroughs.  I'll have to go back for that.

PS:  Should we institute a spoiler tag policy for this thread?  Boss tips, secret locations, etc--use spoilers tags, please.  Thanks, guys.  :)
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 09:15:14 AM by Lambonius »

Offline drunkenmonkey

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Re: Dark Souls group therapy session
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2011, 09:51:45 AM »
It's good to explore both directions and not follow one direction because you never know what you will find to help you in your quest. All that will stop you is: can your character survive going too far in. Don't even think about exploring the swamp until you have the ragged clothes for maximum poison protection. Also have some moss on hand from those pygmy guys that don't appear again after you kill them. Need more moss, kill some giant trees in Darkroot.

Also if you are running around with lots of humanity, go and kindle some fires to increase estus flask regeneration at those points. A fire bearer soul is in blighttown guarded by seven fire dogs, if you don't have an upgraded estus flask yet.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 10:10:20 AM by drunkenmonkey »

Offline Cez

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Re: Dark Souls group therapy session
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2011, 03:06:17 PM »
For the Taurus Demon...

Spoiler (mouse over to reveal):


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Offline drunkenmonkey

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Re: Dark Souls group therapy session
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2011, 03:23:23 PM »
I made it all the way up to the top of Blighttown, busted heads along the way. Then I see some big gates and I'm like Oh Crap! Big Boss fight. So I go over and it says doesn't open from this side.  :(

I'm thinking of taking on the Spider Boss but haven't found anything yet to boost my fire protection, even with the tattered clothes I still lose half my energy when the fire comes. There's one more path still open to explore, but I'm done for the day. :-\
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 03:28:29 PM by drunkenmonkey »

Offline wilco64256

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Re: Dark Souls group therapy session
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2011, 04:07:05 PM »
I went back down from the town to try going "down" then decided all the darkness and mist was scaring the crap out of me so I went back up again.  Still just kinda wandering around and grinding in town, I'm up to like Level 17 I think and I haven't wandered too much yet.  Mainly I'm just practicing getting better at being comfortable with the controls, especially parry/riposte timing as that was a HUGE help in the first game if you could get that down.

I've got a bunch of stuff to do with TSL today and then I'll probably play some more Dark Souls for a while tonight, see if I feel brave enough to get the crap kicked out of me by a new boss or something.
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