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Dark Souls II - Prepare to Die, Again


Uzi
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So I've really gotten back into this again, so much so that I've essentially put everything else aside to continue. Doing well as my Cleric so far although it helps I remember the majority of the paths etc. Currently lit 2 of the 4 primal bonfires and am pushing through Brightstone Cove. Do have a couple of questions for this lovely thread however :)

- Any tips on how to keep Lucatiel alive during The Rotten fight? I am trying to get her equipment but I she seems to die before I kill the boss. I am using the redeye ring so he should focus more on me but he doesn't really seem to. Even throwing everything I can at him I haven't got him below 25% ish health yet.

- I am still using the starting mace as I have read it is quite good. It is currently +5 and I am wondering whether to go and find a boltstone so I can add lightning dmg to it or whether to keep upgrading with titanite chunks/slabs.

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Mike S don't tell me you're using the fire sword against smelter...

Haha, I did try for a few attempts before realising that if a +10 fire sword is only inflicting 90-100 damage per hit then it would likely not be the best tool for the job. I tried so many weapon/armour combos, suffering immense rage at not being able to beat him, before arriving at the winning outfit:

post-3486-0-02063000-1442218033_thumb.jp

I tried a +7 Halberd but that is not a weapon I am comfortable with, mostly because the stagger if I miss leads to death with enemies like this one, then the giant wooden hammer but it is just a bit too slow for my agility based character, then the demons great hammer that the nest gave me but that is too heavy for me to use properly. I tried lightning and poison buffs and gave serious consideration to calling in an NPC.

I then dropped the Alonne Captains armour I'd be wearing for its fire defence (I also have the fire quartz +2 ring) and went with the bra and skirt (from the sorceress' in Earthen Peak) which showed little noticeable weakness in fire defence and with the bonus that I was faster and had more stamina. Other than running out of options, I can't remember why I chose the craftsman's hammer, I'd quite enjoyed it for a brief spell earlier in the game, but it is an amazing weapon against Smelter. It is both fast and hard hitting and will be trhe weapon I next upgrade and I think I'll infuse it with lightning too when I can.

I spent many, many hours on this boss yesterday and countless attempts which was infuriating as I knew what I needed to do to beat him and his moves are pretty well telegraphed, with plenty of time to roll through them, but he always caught me once he had flame buffed his sword and t was almost always with the leap and vertical sword move, followed by the blast.

So, a massive challenge for me, despite it being easily doable. The secret, as always, is patience as I ALWAYS tried to get an extra hit in despite knowing I needed to back off after one (maybe two) hits so, for all my raging and fury against the firey bastard, the deaths were in the finest Dark Souls tradition all due to my own greed and haste. In hindsight, he's a great boss, in practice he as a fucking nightmare...

I don't think he even dropped much of value afterwards..

Between attempts at Smelter I made numerous efforts to reach the Old Iron King via the tedious route from the Belfry Sol bonfire. It was only after three successful attempts reaching the boss, and a fair few failed ones, that I noticed the ladder up to the much closer bonfire. I was pretty pissed off at missing that as it was such a slog to the boss each time, not hard, just protracted. I also had to disable online after being invaded by two human invaders whilst crossing Belfry Sol, both of whom were heavily overpowered in relation to me. I can usually cope with solo invaders but its pretty shitty, and very cheap, when two attack at the same time (one was red, the other grey - what is the difference there?) I was super pissed off as the one time the two invaded was the one time I had 20,000+ souls at the Old Iron King fight. If I ever see them again I will kill them very firmly indeed. Human invaders get on my tits as I am just trying to play the solo game which can give enough grief on its own..

Old Iron King was pretty easy, easy to roll through his very telegraphed arm strikes, and a good demonstration of the big wooden hammers hitting power (500 ish per strike).

I also went back to the Forest of Fallen Giants as I had not looked into the fiery pit below where the merchant sat. I collected a load of things in there, and the cave below, including (I think) a key. I cannot find a list of keys collected/held in my inventory though so have no idea of its name nor, therefore, of where I may use it. The fire breathing, rolling, charging lizards down there are as tough as normal enemies get so far but luckily I could snipe the two in the upper pit without harm but the two downstairs put up a fight for sure..

Then it was back to the Shaded Woods to find the scorpion man I'd seen but avoided last week. I found him, he wouldn't talk, so I killed him, then the headless body of my favourite NPC - the stone head. I've since been into Dragleic Castle which had a most dramatic approach and some quite pleasing hallways inside. One thing, whilst trying to find a secret door on the left side of the castle (there is a set of stairs down to a walled off corridor) I was hitting the walls (and pressing A) and made a hollow appear out of nowhere. That was odd but I gained a smooth, silky stone out of the manifestation..

I found my way to Brume Tower but, after getting a way down, and being mobbed by half a dozen pale great knights, decided it was a bit much for my current level. I can't remember how I found my way there now, did I get there from the OId Iron King? The +7 Scythe I found may prove to be handy down there though..

So, for the most part I had a massively frustrating day but am now moving happily onwards again..

Holy Shit, Shulva Sanctum City is Hardcore Dark Souls! By far the best thing in either Souls Game so far. Just a massive, relentless, winding, twisting labyrinth of Traps and poison and DEATH. Made it to a fog door with no Estus, and no other healing items save for some interminably slow Dragon Charms, and died to an Invading Jester. No sniff of a second bonfire in over a hour.

Feels very much like From's A game this. Mike, you'll love it.

I look forward to this!

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Sounds like you had quite the session!

Smelter didn't give me too much trouble after a night's rest, but initially I was thinking it might be a stumbling block. As to what you get for killing him, his soul is one of the very few I exchanged for a weapon. It has low durability, but hits very, very hard if you have the Strength stats. Also...maybe pop back to where you fought him at some point.

I killed the Scorpion dude as well. You need the Ring of Whispers to be able to talk to him (sold by the cat in Majula).

The keys thing puzzled me a bit, but you just need to scroll the bar across - the materials and keys categories are off screen to the right when you go into the inventory menu.

And yes, that key is for one of the DLC areas. I can't remember which, but Brume Tower is a DLC area, so logically it would seem you've found that one. It's another great area, but you should come back later as you've got loads of the main game still to do.

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Thanks for the info. I shall check out my keys pronto..

I'm now having a lot of bother with a room full of pikemen (easy on their won) and then Ruin Sentinels which are just mobbing me. I am sure they are hitting harder than in Lost Bastille too as two hits and I am dead even though I am a lot higher levelled than when I beat them as bosses. Even one is a challenge.

I think that room says a lot about the DS2 approach though - it just tends to be more of everything - and it's one I find a lot less satisfying than DaS which didn't seem to rely on mobbing the player that often.

Mostly though, I am just happy to have Smelter behind me.

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I can't say that's ever how I've felt about the game's enemies. You can always bait one or two, same as Dark Souls. That room is a challenge, but the only way you'll be getting mobbed is if you're charging in. The statues don't even activate unless you go up to them, and the Ruin Sentinels come out one by one as each door is opened...

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The statues are very easily aggro'd though which means that it is very difficulty to provoke one without another waking up, whilst also trying to deal with the pikemen so whilst it's all doeable I still find it a bit uninspired.

I tend to prefer tension to bombast so whilst this game is still much better than all of the other games out there, for me, it's a lot less enjoyable than DaS.

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The statues are very easily aggro'd though which means that it is very difficulty to provoke one without another waking up, whilst also trying to deal with the pikemen so whilst it's all doeable I still find it a bit uninspired.

I tend to prefer tension to bombast so whilst this game is still much better than all of the other games out there, for me, it's a lot less enjoyable than DaS.

Boo! I really don't agree with you on this. I thought that was a brilliant room, that requires a thoughtful, slow approach. And generally I think it's a better game than the first. But only you can measure your own enjoyment.

Also - the Pikemen are the statues...

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Yes, I do go through killing them one by one but that will aggro one Sentinel, which then usually aggro's one of the others which I just can't be bothered with dealing with so I'm leaving the last two chambers unexplored.

Sorry, I meant the Sentinels are very easily provoked but, no, I'm really not enjoying this game any more so think I'll rest on it and, if it still feels this bad tomorrow then I'll probably be leaving it. It's too big a game really for me to want to slog through any more given that, looking back, I've disliked more areas than I've liked. The disconnect between all the levels is a bit detaching in comparison with Bloodorne and DaS and thus far less engaging which makes it feel much more like a more conventional videogame than the adventure that the prequel was.

I thought Two Dragonriders was another cheap boss...

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:(

That's a shame. I think you might be overreacting a bit, but it's your time. I'd say the best bits are still to come, so it'd be a shame not to see those.

It's easiest to deal with each sentinel in the actual rooms from which they come. That way you don't end up accidentally aggroing the others. In that small space it's very easy to duck behind them, as their moves are incredibly slow and telegraphed.

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I've moved on from that room but I've still not really had any of the sense of wonder that DaS instilled, and I must be a decent way into the game now, so that's probably the principle factor in my losing the motivation to carry. I've not reached a roadblock in terms of difficulty, just one in my patience really plus I've realised that I am only pushing on because I feel I should and not because I am particularly interested in what is coming next...

Fighting the sentinels in their own rooms is a good idea although I did try that once and the one from the chamber across the hall ended up squeezing in there too which made it a little too constricted for comfort..

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Yeah, but you still said it's better than anything else out there - so seems weird that you'd stop playing entirely.

This is your third Souls game in a row, so it might just be a bit of Souls fatigue. I do agree that there is a certain je ne sais quois missing from this compared to DaS1, but overall I think it's more consistent, and whereas the final maybe third of DaS1 felt a bit of a slog to me, this feels like it's just hitting its stride. Also the fact that it's a series of "levels" doesn't feel that odd to me, because that's how Demon's Souls is structured, which you haven't played.

I reckon you should just take a break. :)

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I have definitely overdosed on the series, that's true and I'm certain that I would have been happier playing this with a year or two's gap from the first. I do think it's better than anything else I am playing at the moment, or have played recently, but maybe I need to attempt to gain some entertainment from Mad Max (which I think will be a struggle) or sink sometime in to MGS V (which I think will be very agreeable).

As well as my general boredom/fatigue with the locations I still haven't seen, or noticed at least, a gameplay mechanic that offers any significant improvement over the original, and many that seem pointless or reductive (endless bonfires, the decreasing health bar, the lifegems, weapons repairing at bonfires, etc - change for changes sake really. Being able to equip four rings is good though as that is very handy.

It may just be that DaS set too high a bar therefore I may need to shelve this in order not to tarnish my expectations for DS3!

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Well, personally I love the Pharros Lockstones and Fragrant Branches, and generally speaking I think that the individual areas have been some of the best to explore in and of themselves. It's just that they don't interconnect in the same was as DaS1, so it feels more linear, even if somewhere like Huntsman's Copse or Lost Bastille actually has more to it than many of the individual areas in DaS1. I haven't personally disliked a single area in this so far. Even Black Gulch, which I didn't like at first, had a lot more to find than I first realised. But the best moments and areas have been after Drangleic Castle.

I also think the gradual accumulation of Estus is better in this. You really feel elated when you find a shard.

But I agree that some of the other changes aren't so good. The infinite lifegems are one, and the bonfires are too close together considering that you can warp between them. That said, the DLC already seems far more like DaS1 in that respect.

I also think some of the combat changes are for the worse. The amount of times I've swung away from a target I'd locked onto! I don't know why they changed that. And the changes to backstabs and parries mean I hardly ever bother to try them anymore. Apparently they made these harder to do because they were open to abuse in PVP.

But then there's the improved visuals and framerate. It's a big leap up from DaS1 on PS3 - again, something you won't have experienced. I think it's a much better looking game, and after 100 hours with it I much prefer Majula to Firelink Shrine.

Biggest complaint, and this is maybe what might overall place this behind DaS1 for me, even though I'm enjoying it more overall at this point in the game, is the bosses. Not one of them has been a patch on the bosses in DaS1.

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I think the bosses have mostly been a lot better looking then those of the original but too many have used movesets repeated from the first game and that is pretty disappointing. And, of course, some are making comeback s from DaS which I am sure is justified in the lore but I'd still rather see fresh. They also swing wildly in terms of challenge from no challenge at all to pretty stiff (fucking Smelter) but I'll give them the benefit as I suppose the game can be approached from different routes and with so many character builds that one players no challenge could well be another's rage quit.

I can't remember how many estus I ended up with in the original but don't think it was the nine I have now. I assume that is to help counter balance the depleting health bar, along with all the effigies, which to me suggests a broken/pointless mechanic. I've also not bothered parrying in this, other than early on when I thought it would be a necessary skill, and don't feel any weaker for not doing so. I did enjoy risking a parry in combat...

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I think I had 20 Estus at the end of DaS1, but only of course at bonfires I had kindled. I'm maxed out now at 12 in this.

My issue with the bosses in this is that they've nearly all been walkovers. I don't think that's purely down to Souls experience, as I struggled with many, many bosses in DaS1, having already played Demon's Souls and Bloodborne. Even Smelter Demon was a case of knowing what I needed to do, but being too tired/sloppy to execute it. I was never in any real doubt that I'd beat him. Some of them have looked impressive, or at least interesting, but they've nearly all been easy.

Hoping that the DLC bosses redress that balance. Certainly I couldn't even scratch the one I've met so far...

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Was it that many estus in DaS? I am mistaken then as I though it was far less...

I had the same problem with Smelter, I knew what I needed to do but was rushing too much to get it right. It was all the more frustrating as I never learned and always looked to blame my weapon load out, gear, etc for hindering me!

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I think my lowest ebb for doing that was Kalameet in DaS1. I must have tried every combination of weapon, spell, shield, ring, and armour - but all I really had to do was learn the bastard's moves.

That said, I have used a greater variety of weapons in this. I've got a Lightning Dragon's Tooth at +4 which absolutely flattens people.

On an another note, anyone seen this website:

http://www.fashion-souls.com/

It has a randomizer...

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I tried to play Mad Max and became so bored so quickly that I suspect I'll be back into this tomorrow. I would try MGS V but feel that requires as much effortn as I am putting into this in order to play properly and I cannot manage both right now.

I hope I am just having a low day with regards to my DS2 tolerance and that I can get back on the wagon after a wee rest but all my complaints and issues still stand so this, unless it becomes incredibly amazing in the remainder of the game, will be the lesser game to DaS for me..

Smelter was my Kalameet for sure..

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I can't say that's ever how I've felt about the game's enemies. You can always bait one or two, same as Dark Souls. That room is a challenge, but the only way you'll be getting mobbed is if you're charging in. The statues don't even activate unless you go up to them, and the Ruin Sentinels come out one by one as each door is opened...

Dark Souls 2 ties enemies together to avoid you aggroing one at a time. Mostly it's two - though even two can beba challenge but its occasionally three. "Gank squad" I believe is the term.

There seem to be less harder or smarter enemies, replaced with multiple, so I'm with Mike here.

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Dark Souls 2 ties enemies together to avoid you aggroing one at a time. Mostly it's two - though even two can beba challenge but its occasionally three. "Gank squad" I believe is the term.

There seem to be less harder or smarter enemies, replaced with multiple, so I'm with Mike here.

Yeah, and I think that is part of why it's a lesser game for me, it just feels pretty cheap to use quantity over quality..

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I tried to play Mad Max and became so bored so quickly that I suspect I'll be back into this tomorrow. I would try MGS V but feel that requires as much effortn as I am putting into this in order to play properly and I cannot manage both right now.

I feel the same to be honest with regards to MGS V. Played a few missions and am enjoying it but I think to get the most out of it I need to not be preoccupied with other stuff. Made it to Aeria's Keep but got killed a few times on the Guardian Dragon. I don't remember it being hard but to be fair at that point I was onto my 7th/8th hour straight and was running straight past mobs to get to the fog gate.

Gave the Pilgrims of Dark area in Drangleic Castle a few goes as well as Darklurker was the bane of my existence on 360 and the ultimate reason I quit but I didn't even get that far. Will give it another good go 2moro but I think until I level up my stats a bit so I get more than 3 great lightning spear at a time it's a bit over my skill at the moment, I'm just hopeless at not getting hit by the fucker with the 2 hander...

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I could do with a bit of a prod in the right direction to carry on the main plotline - just seen the ancient dragon and now it seems I can warp into some strange memory places - is that what I ought to be doing? Those have kind of side-questy feels to them - or maybe not hmm.

It seems like I've traveled to the end of each of the hub spokes leading away from Majula - and feels like I've got lots of sidequesty bits I can do (have opened the entrances into a couple of the DLC areas) - but not sure where the "main" path lies, if there is one at this point!

Bit confused about what the blank spot on my bonfire warp screen between The Brightstone Cove Tseldora and The Gutter is, maybe that's a clue?

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