Dark Souls (PC) co-op - how does it work?

Hey!

I'll keep it short. I'm thinking about buying Dark Souls for PC for me and a friend. However, only if we'll be able to co-op the whole thing. Is it possible?

I've read that you have to "summon" another player to your world, I'm assuming you can choose if you want to play with a friend or not. Can I summon my friend at any time (after the required item) and play with him the whole session? Or are there any limitations with the co-op feature?

I know the PC version isn't released yet, but I'm assuming it'll have the same co-op bit as the console version.

Apparently they'll introduce some new matchmaking for co-op and PvP, but it sounds to me that it is only used for quick-matchmaking.

So, can I play through the whole game with a friend (after the required item)?

If they don't change it from the console version, it works like this.

When you enter your game, you're placed in a random lobby of sorts (this happens every time you start your game).

Anyone in this lobby can invade or be summoned to another player's game, but you don't get to choose.

Co-op only works in areas where you haven't defeated the boss of that area and your allies disappear as soon as you defeat the boss.

In theory, you could co-op with a friend.

You'd both have to be in the same lobby and one of you would have to put your summon sign down in a specific area so you know who's it is, but it should be entirely possible if not tedious reloading the game to get into the same lobby.

You'd also have to be within 10 levels of each other.

EDIT:

Just found this on the wiki.

Hint: If you want to play with a friend both should be in one of the 3 Cooperative Covenants (Princess's Guard, Way of White, Warrior of Sunlight). Then you can place your Summon Sign with your (White Sign Soapstone). If your friend doesn't see the sign, you just have to place it again. After a few times it will eventually show up in your friends world. It seems that the server is not important but the sign will only show up in a couple of worlds. So you have to place it some more times until it shows up in the designated world. To note is, that the sign will almost instantly appear in the other world you don't have to wait long until it becomes visible to other players. This was tested a couple of times and it never took longer than 5 minutes to find each other.

Here is pretty much how it works on the consoles, and I imagine it will be similar for the PC. First, both players require the summoning item "Orange Soapstone". One player sill use the stone to create a summon sign. That summon sign become available for appropriate players to activate and summon. (To keep it simple, the person who drops the sign and gets summoned is the guest. The person who performs the summoning is the host.) It is important to note here that the guest does not have any say in who summons them. Once the sign is down, any host can activate it. As a host you can see the name of who you are summoning.

Once a guest is summoned, you play in the same world together untill one of a few things happens. If the guest dies, the guest is disconected from the world and returns to their home world while the host is unaffected. If the host dies, the host respawns as normal and the guest is disconected and returned to their home world. If the area boss is defeated, the host continues his progress while the guest is returned to their world (While the guest gains souls for defeating the boss, they do not get "credit" for having the boss killed in their home world. They will still have to kill the boss in their home world to progress)

Another important note, you can create a summon sign (almost) anywhere however, you can only summon (host) in an area where you have not defeated the area boss. So what that means for two players starting out fresh, is that to progress you will need to leapfrog where you fight a boss in person a's world, then swap roles to fight the boss in person b's world.

To make the summoning process a bit easier requires hiding summon signs a bit. This is mainly to avoid a third party from summoning your friend while you are trying to.

Last thing to be aware of is level restrictions on summoning. I will probably be corrected on this, but I believe you can only summon a player who is withing 10+10% levels of your own. i.e. if you are level 50, you can summon people within 10+(10%of50)=15 levels of you (35-65). However if you are progressing with a friend from the start, that should not be a big issue.

Thanks for your answers! It sounds a bit too much to do only to play with a friend. So basically this co-op is for getting help with certain bosses or areas, not to actually have fun together with friends.

Sounds like there are quite a few hoops to jump through to play together. Hide the sign, summon, do it again every time one of you die and after every boss fight.

What if I summon my friend in the beginning of an area, we manage to complete it (including the boss). When my friend automatically disconnects, where do he start? Where I first summoned him? At the boss? Will we have to go through the whole area again or only the boss part on his "playthrough"?

TLDR most of this thread, however from what I understand of players talking about the 360 version, is that there are multiple servers and no way of choosing which to play in.

I could be wrong however, but if I am I would image there been that many servers currently running, you could just find a quiet corner put down a soap stone message and restart the game until you are both placed in the same server.

Will the PC version share servers with 360 players? if so it'll soon get more difficult to find each other using that method.

If you want definitive answers go check the wiki and ask them in the chatbox as players use it to talk to other PVP players ingame.

nu1mlock:
What if I summon my friend in the beginning of an area, we manage to complete it (including the boss). When my friend automatically disconnects, where do he start? Where I first summoned him? At the boss? Will we have to go through the whole area again or only the boss part on his "playthrough"?

If the guest dies, they return to their last bonfire in their world. If the host dies/boss is killed, the guest returns to where they were standing when they got summoned. Basically no progress made by the guest is saved to their home world. They also do not gain items from the host world either. The guest will get souls and humanity (if the boss is defeated)

Another thing I forgot to mention earlier, the host must be "alive" while the guest can be in any state. If you are not familiar with that system, there are two states; alive and undead. (I believe the game uses different terms but the effect is the same) Essentially your normal state is undead at the start. You can use humanity to bring yourself to the living state at bonfires. While alive you can summon other players to your world or be summoned, and can also be invaded by hostile players. If while alive you die for any reason, you revert to the undead state. While undead you can place summon signs, but not summon others. At the start humanity is not too plentiful but further in the game it can be pretty easy to get.

It sounds to me that I won't be getting two copies of the game after all. Too bad, it looks so good. Weird how they made their co-op feature.

Thanks for all the answers though! I'm glad I asked first or I would have wasted money on nothing...

nu1mlock:
It sounds to me that I won't be getting two copies of the game after all. Too bad, it looks so good. Weird how they made their co-op feature.

Thanks for all the answers though! I'm glad I asked first or I would have wasted money on nothing...

Personally, I'd still recomend it as a game. The co-op was not really designed for playing with friends that way. In a way it's more casual multiplayer. I prefer to think of it as a largely single player game that has multiplayer as a neat addition. Coop multiplayer comes into play more when you need help with a boss, go into an unfamiliar area, want to farm exp, or just for the fun of it. The game isn't really balanced around having a partner for everything either. Almost every fight can become "you distract them, I'll backstab em" aside from bosses.

My general play style is when I go into a new area, I drop my summon sign. Chances are I'll get summoned and then I get a chance to see a lot of the area without taking a large risk myself (if you die as a guest you do not leave a bloodstain or lose souls) I also get to see how another person plays and possibly learn about some items or tactics I didn't know of. Another common place to see summon signs is right in front of boss areas. People drop signs there so they can farm souls off the boss, or just like the fight and want to help out other people.

It's not made to be co-op really, it's made to be a single player experience with multiplayer elements integrated into your single player world, which is done very well. It would take away from it a lot if you could just co-op all the way through it.

Still, a hearty recommendation to get this game anyway, it does so many things right and so many things differently that there aren't many other games like it.

 

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