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Dark Souls 3


Bojangle
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If you listen to his dialogue, says he was transported there by a shadowy limb

Maybe the hand of certain beings that can grab and transport you across different planes in BB ;) ?

That was Manus' hand (same thing which pulls the PC through).
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So, reading all the info on this for the first time, I'm disappointed that you can warp to any previously lit bonfire from the start. Since this has been in DS2, BB and now this it's seems like this is the way they've decided it's going to be and that DS1 is actually the anomoly but I think it robs the series of something.

The best example I can think of is BlightTown, specifically the bonfire at the bottom. At that stage you can't warp, so after fighting your way down to the bottom through the horrible preceding area and then lighting the bonfire, shit gets real. You're stuck down there and you're going to have to fight your way out. You can't just use the bonfire to warp back to Firelink Shrine, full of people and merchants and soothing music. You're deep in a poisonous, dark, claustrophobic hellhole full of bastard re spawning mosquitos. You're going to earn your escape dammit.

I get that people could potentially get themselves in an unwinnable situation if they were careless - no moss, broken weapons etc. but knowing you can always escape when you see a bonfire just robs it of something for me.

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Yeah, I really loved the start of Dark Souls 1, and I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking it loses a little something once you can warp. Hence why most of my new characters stop around the same point of the game each time!

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So, reading all the info on this for the first time, I'm disappointed that you can warp to any previously lit bonfire from the start. Since this has been in DS2, BB and now this it's seems like this is the way they've decided it's going to be and that DS1 is actually the anomoly but I think it robs the series of something.

The best example I can think of is BlightTown, specifically the bonfire at the bottom. At that stage you can't warp, so after fighting your way down to the bottom through the horrible preceding area and then lighting the bonfire, shit gets real. You're stuck down there and you're going to have to fight your way out. You can't just use the bonfire to warp back to Firelink Shrine, full of people and merchants and soothing music. You're deep in a poisonous, dark, claustrophobic hellhole full of bastard re spawning mosquitos. You're going to earn your escape dammit.

I get that people could potentially get themselves in an unwinnable situation if they were careless - no moss, broken weapons etc. but knowing you can always escape when you see a bonfire just robs it of something for me.

I agree with that in some respect, but can you imagine if they'd maintained that throughout the entire game? For one thing, you HAVE to be able to warp from Anor Londo - the alternative being that you just teleport back to the top of Sens Fortress, and screw going back and forth through there multiple times.

I did love how much the world got burned into my mind up to the point of acquiring the Lord Vessel, but it was a godsend once I had it. I'd certainly be happy if DS3 took the same approach. Perhaps warping from the off will work better than in DS2 which had very little of the signature interconnected level design we all love.

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I think Bloodborne got the perfect balance with the bonfire warping - keep the bonfires few and keep warping in, but make it so that the level design forces you to learn the level anyway because really you aren't searching for bonfires, you are looking for shortcuts back to bonfires you have already found.

DS2 had too many bonfires and levels that were too linear with very few shortcuts, so there were whole chunks of areas you never had to revisit once you had found the next bonfire.

If DS3 retains BB's approach, then I think that worked very well.

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I agree entirely with majora and fozz, but if they're set against bringing back the DS1 system I'd be happy with a compromise where warping was possible from the start but not as necessary as it is in DS2. They key issue for me was the combination of warp being available and levelling up only being possible at the far fire - it really pulled me out of the game world to keep warping back every time I wanted to level up. If they brought back levelling and repairing at bonfires I'd be able to play without much warping and others would have the option if they wanted it.

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So, reading all the info on this for the first time, I'm disappointed that you can warp to any previously lit bonfire from the start. Since this has been in DS2, BB and now this it's seems like this is the way they've decided it's going to be and that DS1 is actually the anomoly but I think it robs the series of something.

The best example I can think of is BlightTown, specifically the bonfire at the bottom. At that stage you can't warp, so after fighting your way down to the bottom through the horrible preceding area and then lighting the bonfire, shit gets real. You're stuck down there and you're going to have to fight your way out. You can't just use the bonfire to warp back to Firelink Shrine, full of people and merchants and soothing music. You're deep in a poisonous, dark, claustrophobic hellhole full of bastard re spawning mosquitos. You're going to earn your escape dammit.

I get that people could potentially get themselves in an unwinnable situation if they were careless - no moss, broken weapons etc. but knowing you can always escape when you see a bonfire just robs it of something for me.

You can't escape though really can you? You still have to warp back to that bonfire to carry on with that area. This just means you can try somewhere else if you like doesn't it?

Also, Blight Town was shit and I didn't feel like I earned anything to get out of there. I got no sense of achievement from surviving that god awful frame rate.

Personally I don't like the non-warpable bonfires as much as you guys seem to. It's fine, and I get that it makes you intimate with an area, but it actually puts me off going too far out of my way to explore without knowing if there will be a new bonfire. A couple of times I've kicked myself for forgetting that I actually started aaaaaaallll the way over at (bonfire x) and didn't plan some stop offs along the way. It's a bit irritating, frankly.

Plus, how intimate with the levels can you get? It's not like I don't know every cm of Bloodborne's world like the back of my hand. I think that out of the three approaches I've seen so far (Demon's Souls - Hub World, worlds don't connect, Dark Souls - Bonfires, open World, and Bloodborne - Warpable Lamps but interconnected areas), Bloodborne gets it about right.

I think Bloodborne got the perfect balance with the bonfire warping - keep the bonfires few and keep warping in, but make it so that the level design forces you to learn the level anyway because really you aren't searching for bonfires, you are looking for shortcuts back to bonfires you have already found.

DS2 had too many bonfires and levels that were too linear with very few shortcuts, so there were whole chunks of areas you never had to revisit once you had found the next bonfire.

If DS3 retains BB's approach, then I think that worked very well.

Or more succinctly, this.

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And I agree entirely with the excellence of early Dark Souls. Ignoring the fact that Blight Town itself is a technical mess, the whole sequence of going through the depths, deeper and deeper, then down those ladders into Blight Town, deeper, down ledges and more ladders, deeper, all the while getting further and further from the safety of Firelink, feeling like you're past the point of no return, not having a clue what you're going to find and respite seemingly nowhere to be found, followed by the elation of finding that route back, now for pure terror and relief that hasn't been matched in any other Souls game.

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That was Manus' hand (same thing which pulls the PC through).

Yes, but remember Dark Souls is clearly set in some sort of mythical ancient past type of setting ("Age of Fire" and all that), particularly when put alongside Bloodborne. So in other words if they were set in the same world, then from the perspective of someone living during BB-times, Manus would seem like a cthonic elder deity from an earlier, prehistoric time.

Just imagine how awesome it would be if we're going through an expanded set of Chalice Dungeons in the DLC and eventually after delving miles below the surface emerge in an area with a strange similarity to Lost Izalith, or something...

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And I agree entirely with the excellence of early Dark Souls. Ignoring the fact that Blight Town itself is a technical mess, the whole sequence of going through the depths, deeper and deeper, then down those ladders into Blight Town, deeper, down ledges and more ladders, deeper, all the while getting further and further from the safety of Firelink, feeling like you're past the point of no return, not having a clue what you're going to find and respite seemingly nowhere to be found, followed by the elation of finding that route back, now for pure terror that hasn't been matched in any other Souls game.

This.

The sheer tension of pushing deeper into the unknown, further and further from safety and comfort of a bonfire is a huge part of what makes DS such a rare and formidable experience. I thought Blight Town balanced it perfectly (no frame rate issues on PC though so that may have made it more palatable). It was an immense relief to find that deep bonfire and then the shortcut to the surface...

I've not played any other game where the risk and consequences of exploring the unknown carries such weight.

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Totally agree. Both this and Valley of Defilement part 2 in Demon's Souls represent a major qualitative dip in both games for me. Couldn't stand either level.

For that reason though, I did obviously find it a great relief to reach the bonfire/shortcut accordingly. So I guess it works as a build up of tension and then release. But I didn't get any sense of plunging ever deeper into a terrifying situation, more a sense of "when will this dark, boring series of identical areas constructed out of pallets ever end?". I don't think an improved frame rate would have made it any more interesting, but I guess it would have made it a bit easier to tackle.

The Catacombs for me have been far more like what Timmo describes above, and one of my favourite areas so far.

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I think Bloodborne got the perfect balance with the bonfire warping - keep the bonfires few and keep warping in, but make it so that the level design forces you to learn the level anyway because really you aren't searching for bonfires, you are looking for shortcuts back to bonfires you have already found.

DS2 had too many bonfires and levels that were too linear with very few shortcuts, so there were whole chunks of areas you never had to revisit once you had found the next bonfire.

If DS3 retains BB's approach, then I think that worked very well.

I found the level design in Bloodborne maybe just a little bit predictable compared to Souls. For example, pretty near the start of most new sections, not far from the first lamp, you'd find some sort of portcullis structure or non-operational elevator, and you'd be damned sure that it was going to be the point where you'd arrive back, after finding a shortcut later.

I guess this is a by-product of the design elements you are talking about here - i.e BB is just one huge interconnected world, which obviously fans wanted, and the central hub is disconnected from the rest of the world. You technically never have to go back there (until the end I guess) - which is a great bit of design in itself, but it does mean that the world has to be coherent without the hub present, leading to the proliferation of shortcut elevators right next to lamp posts.

It didn't detract much but it did slightly jar the suspension of disbelief.

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There's no real thematic equivalent in Bloodborne is there? I suppose Nightmare Frontier comes closest, with the poison swamp/river. Even has a similar kick down shortcut to Valley of Defilement. So much better though.

There is something similar in one of the Chalice Dungeons

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Yeah I felt that too, it was a bit too obvious with the 'THIS IS A SHORTCUT FOR LATER' thing. They felt a bit more organic in Demon's / Dark 1.

Hmmmm, dunno about that in Demon's. Again, perhaps it's due to the order I played them in, but the plank in Demon's was fairly obvious, and every locked gate I passed in that game was a case of "I'll be back through there from the other side later".

Dark Souls I agree though, very much a case of "A-ha! I'm back here, yay!", but I don't think it necessarily betters Bloodborne in that respect which still has the biggest OMFG example

ending up at Iosefka's Clinic after going all the way through CY, the CW, FW, through the poison cave, up the ladder in the pit of bones, and emerging right where you started the game, enabling you to find the Cainhurst Summons and open up a whole new area

.

Just the best.

I found the level design in Bloodborne maybe just a little bit predictable compared to Souls. For example, pretty near the start of most new sections, not far from the first lamp, you'd find some sort of portcullis structure or non-operational elevator, and you'd be damned sure that it was going to be the point where you'd arrive back, after finding a shortcut later.

I guess this is a by-product of the design elements you are talking about here - i.e BB is just one huge interconnected world, which obviously fans wanted, and the central hub is disconnected from the rest of the world. You technically never have to go back there (until the end I guess) - which is a great bit of design in itself, but it does mean that the world has to be coherent without the hub present, leading to the proliferation of shortcut elevators right next to lamp posts.

It didn't detract much but it did slightly jar the suspension of disbelief.

Again, this may be the order in which you play them, but I never once got that feeling from Bloodborne. I didn't really know about the whole shortcut-based design aesthetic, but I guess that once you do you're always on the look out for it.

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I thought The Gutter was great. Horrible but great. It was mainly the torch lighting mechanic that made it interesting though, wasn't a lot more of the game supposed to involve that originally? It's one of the very few parts of DS2 I can really bring to mind whereas I realised when I was helping a mate through Dark Souls from afar that I could run through pretty much the entire game in my head just from one playthrough. In a surprising amount of detail as well.

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i actually think the worst area in any souls game ever, for sheer brutality, bleakness and general all round horror is tomb of the giants. who's with me.

Yep couldn't stand it. Only area in one of these games I just sprinted through and never explored properly. I think I was one of the few who was relieved that they ditched the torch mechanic in DS2 because I didn't relish having to navigate more pitch dark areas. Not fun.

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I think Davros is right, I played BB first and had the 'oh sh!t I'm here' moments but playing through DS there were times towards the end I was literally looking for the shortcut back.

It actually worried me a little bit. In that you do get used to this design.

I'm on DeS now and although the first area was cool, all I was thinking was 'where's the shortcut, where's the shortcut...' I still think it's great when you unlock it but it's not the elation you get when experiencing it for the first time.

I did actually wonder if DaS2s level design was deliberately NOT like this. If the area is just open and you're always moving forward, you can't think like this. You're just always praying that a bonfire is around the next corner as things get more bleak. When it works like this, you are like 'yes! Thank fcuk for that!'

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I think it's a slight case of over-familiarity, but also just the way individual areas are designed. The first shortcut back to Undead Burg is masterful as well, because you get turned around going up the tower, which disorientates you (or at least it did me). I didn't realise I was directly above that bonfire where you kick the ladder down, and it was a real "D'oh!" moment. That said, it may be that some people see that ladder and think "I'll be able to get down that later" if you're very tuned in to the way the design works.

With the BB shortcut I described though, it was always obvious to me that that gate would open eventually, but not like that. Also it was long enough ago that I'd plain forgotten about it.

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