Dark Souls 2: SotFS (or therefore, "Baa-baa Black Sheep" and other musings thread)

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Ah, Bloodborne. Have fun in those Chalice Dungeons, especially the deeper ones, because you're going to have to go there in order to face one of the trophy bosses. Ugh...

He has not tried Demon's Souls, nor have I. However, I did buy it for the first time two weeks ago. We're going to wait until we're finished with Dark Souls, and then we're going to all go into Demon's Souls blind.

So as a quick note, you are almost to the end game. Soon you will get an item called the Ashen Mist Heart. Once you get it, go back to Vendrick and you will be able to interact with something in his room, which is a good way to give lore and introduces the DLC. From there head to the teleporting fountains you have seen throughout the game, you should have the keys to open the doors. The DLC are uniformly great.

If you don't have the DLC keys (I am pretty sure you do, but in case), one is behind the forbidden key door in the Majula hole, one is in the area with the giant salamanders in Forest of Giants, and one was in a chest on the main path in Drangleic castle, no way you missed it.

Comic Sans:
So as a quick note, you are almost to the end game. Soon you will get an item called the Ashen Mist Heart. Once you get it, go back to Vendrick and you will be able to interact with something in his room, which is a good way to give lore and introduces the DLC. From there head to the teleporting fountains you have seen throughout the game, you should have the keys to open the doors. The DLC are uniformly great.

If you don't have the DLC keys (I am pretty sure you do, but in case), one is behind the forbidden key door in the Majula hole, one is in the area with the giant salamanders in Forest of Giants, and one was in a chest on the main path in Drangleic castle, no way you missed it.

Whoa...for serious? Just last page someone (Sniper I think) said I was barely half way...unless the dlc conglomerate is that massive?

Anyways, I'm now 3 bonfires deep into a frigidly cold stronghold with a bunch of ice beasts. The level so far is par for the course difficulty-wise, unless you count the invisible "pet" I ran into earlier. I'm guessing the eye of something item I got in the flaming tower will reveal that one, or possibly more.

I also beat the Dragon Guardian (only two tries and no summon...try harder, dragon?) and the Emarald said some deep stuff, so I figured I'd save this for last.

I think I've finally met my match with that massive tiger (which is fitting I suppose, seeing as it's World Cat Day. Even with an online summon the best I could do was dying a hair too early, watching my phantom partner deliver the coup de grace as the light faded out. Now with only the game's standard phantoms the closest I've gotten was down to about 20% of his (her?) health bar left. It's just too quick with the pounces, swipes and whatnot for me to keep stamina rolling, running etc. and also too smart for playing my "Just lemme drink some juice!" plea. I ran out of resins and fire/poison bolts so retreated.

On to the Sunken dlc, which is more interesting design-wise with the switches, but the poison... blegh. I made it to the Dragon's Sanctum, but was overwhelmed by it in conjunction with two different mobs in some small room. If I wasn't tired I might've persisted longer, but seeing as I haven't yet gotten the "key" for the Iron King door yet, I'll do some more scavenging in the mainland.

hanselthecaretaker:

Comic Sans:
So as a quick note, you are almost to the end game. Soon you will get an item called the Ashen Mist Heart. Once you get it, go back to Vendrick and you will be able to interact with something in his room, which is a good way to give lore and introduces the DLC. From there head to the teleporting fountains you have seen throughout the game, you should have the keys to open the doors. The DLC are uniformly great.

If you don't have the DLC keys (I am pretty sure you do, but in case), one is behind the forbidden key door in the Majula hole, one is in the area with the giant salamanders in Forest of Giants, and one was in a chest on the main path in Drangleic castle, no way you missed it.

Whoa...for serious? Just last page someone (Sniper I think) said I was barely half way...unless the dlc conglomerate is that massive?

Anyways, I'm now 3 bonfires deep into a frigidly cold stronghold with a bunch of ice beasts. The level so far is par for the course difficulty-wise, unless you count the invisible "pet" I ran into earlier. I'm guessing the eye of something item I got in the flaming tower will reveal that one, or possibly more.

I also beat the Dragon Guardian (only two tries and no summon...try harder, dragon?) and the Emarald said some deep stuff, so I figured I'd save this for last.

Yeah, the dragon guardian is kind of a joke. First try, no summon. Figured I'd have to try a couple times. And that's the last boss you have to fight for quite a while.

Quasi Spoiler alert, but since you are getting near the end, you can technically go down to the throne of want at any point now. The final boss won't trigger until you have something from one of the memories. If you go down there now, you'll fight a boss. If you wait until later, after you have the object, you might have to fight up to 3 bosses in a row with no break in between(depending on if the 3rd boss has been triggered to show up by fulfilling an extra condition).

Fun fact for the Ivory King DLC(and indeed, all of them): There are side areas that are much harder and apparently meant for co-op. The one for the Ivory King dlc(at the bottom of the valley, you have to ride a coffin down the hill to get there) ends with two invisible Tigers, after a long trek through a blizzard.

Apparently those side areas are purely for the challenge because I've heard you don't get anything particularly special for finishing them. Other then bragging rights, of course.

Do those extra bosses have anything to do with the giants or is that something completely separate? I don't think I have the Ashen Mist Heart yet either but I'll have to double check. Guessing it has something to do with the sparkling tree by the Unbeknownst bonfire but so far "Alas, nothing happened".

I figured I'd at least try getting Benhart's questions done, but I'll probably replenish my effigy stock for the dlc and Dark Chasm areas.

What do you mean by "have anything to do with the Giants" exactly? Are you referring to the stone golems that are in the Throne of Want room? Because if you are, they have nothing to do with the boss fights. The extra boss fight in the game is kind of hard to trigger if you didn't do some things right, but no need to worry. You get nothing from the extra boss--not even a Soul. It only unlocks the second ending, which you can get in your second playthrough if you want.

Alva, the King's Pet is a beast, but I think you should be able to take her. Just only go for one hit at a time and then roll away.
Now fighting TWO of them at the same? Yeah...I've never done that, and I've never come across any other player that has--at least, not fast enough that I'm still in the fight.

The Key to the Old Iron King's DLC area is probably the hardest of the three to get, as it requires some running around. I won't spoil it completely, but needless to say, you need to get a key from the Iron King's sinking castle, and then you need to find the door that that key opens, in an area you haven't been back to for a long time, I bet. Hint: both areas involve fire, although the first area you may have turned the fire off by now.

Sniper Team 4:
What do you mean by "have anything to do with the Giants" exactly? Are you referring to the stone golems that are in the Throne of Want room? Because if you are, they have nothing to do with the boss fights. The extra boss fight in the game is kind of hard to trigger if you didn't do some things right, but no need to worry. You get nothing from the extra boss--not even a Soul. It only unlocks the second ending, which you can get in your second playthrough if you want.

Alva, the King's Pet is a beast, but I think you should be able to take her. Just only go for one hit at a time and then roll away.
Now fighting TWO of them at the same? Yeah...I've never done that, and I've never come across any other player that has--at least, not fast enough that I'm still in the fight.

The Key to the Old Iron King's DLC area is probably the hardest of the three to get, as it requires some running around. I won't spoil it completely, but needless to say, you need to get a key from the Iron King's sinking castle, and then you need to find the door that that key opens, in an area you haven't been back to for a long time, I bet. Hint: both areas involve fire, although the first area you may have turned the fire off by now.

Yeah the three or four giants that leave special souls and I think have something to do with fighting the big guy dragging his sword in circles (Vendrick?)

Sounds like I should double back to Iron Keep since I never inspected what else shutting off that fire might have revealed...

hanselthecaretaker:

Sniper Team 4:
What do you mean by "have anything to do with the Giants" exactly? Are you referring to the stone golems that are in the Throne of Want room? Because if you are, they have nothing to do with the boss fights. The extra boss fight in the game is kind of hard to trigger if you didn't do some things right, but no need to worry. You get nothing from the extra boss--not even a Soul. It only unlocks the second ending, which you can get in your second playthrough if you want.

Alva, the King's Pet is a beast, but I think you should be able to take her. Just only go for one hit at a time and then roll away.
Now fighting TWO of them at the same? Yeah...I've never done that, and I've never come across any other player that has--at least, not fast enough that I'm still in the fight.

The Key to the Old Iron King's DLC area is probably the hardest of the three to get, as it requires some running around. I won't spoil it completely, but needless to say, you need to get a key from the Iron King's sinking castle, and then you need to find the door that that key opens, in an area you haven't been back to for a long time, I bet. Hint: both areas involve fire, although the first area you may have turned the fire off by now.

Yeah the three or four giants that leave special souls and I think have something to do with fighting the big guy dragging his sword in circles (Vendrick?)

Sounds like I should double back to Iron Keep since I never inspected what else shutting off that fire might have revealed...

Since you're there, The giant souls only matter if/when you fight Vendrick. Basically, his defense is inversely based off how many giant souls you have currently in your inventory. Without any giant souls, his defenses are 32x what they would be if you have all 5. Essentially, you'll do scratch damage and the fight will take a very, very long time. And Vendrick can easily two shot you from halfway across the room.

Trick is, you need to beat a harder boss to get all 5, but you can beat him well enough with 4.

Those golden shrouded knights around Dragon Shrine are fierce as hell. I also checked out Iron Keep again but not sure how the hell I'll get those chests that require 30yd dashes brought molten rock. I got the first one that you have to island hop to, but the ones further in must need something special. One is near a water pool from the Pharros contraption, but the other underneath the raised platforms where you have to jump a few molten streams with an archer at the end might be tough.

I also only need one more Benhart summon to complete his quest. Hoping if I do so early he'll still be available for the last couple fights.

Those lava chests in Iron Keep can suck and die. Only one of them has anything worth getting--and sadly, that's the one that is the hardest. It contains a pyro spell (Firestorm, or something like it), and in order to get it, you have to do some clever footwork.

1) Get the cat fall ring and equip it. Also, equip your best fire resist gear. If you have the Pharros' Mask that you can get in the Iron King DLC, that thing constantly coats you in water so it helps a lot.

2) Climb up into the rafters. Remember how you can pull that lever and it sinks the platform down into the lava? Do that, and then use the new ladder that you can now access and go up.

3) Now there are a few pots filled with water up there. What you do is roll through them so you're coated in water. Immediately drop down from the edge onto the lava platform. You'll take damage from the fall, but the cat ring will help. Drink a flask real quick, and then move it to the chest. If you have any regen spells, you may wish to cast them before you drop.

The other chest by the pool of water just has a shield, but if you really want to get it, you roll around in that pool of water until you're soaked, and then book it, dropping off the ledge to save some time.

May I assume that you found the key in the Iron Key? It's on the body that was being burned in the very first room. Now see if you can figure out what that key unlocks, and then you'll be able to get the DLC key.

Sniper Team 4:
Those lava chests in Iron Keep can suck and die. Only one of them has anything worth getting--and sadly, that's the one that is the hardest. It contains a pyro spell (Firestorm, or something like it), and in order to get it, you have to do some clever footwork.

1) Get the cat fall ring and equip it. Also, equip your best fire resist gear. If you have the Pharros' Mask that you can get in the Iron King DLC, that thing constantly coats you in water so it helps a lot.

2) Climb up into the rafters. Remember how you can pull that lever and it sinks the platform down into the lava? Do that, and then use the new ladder that you can now access and go up.

3) Now there are a few pots filled with water up there. What you do is roll through them so you're coated in water. Immediately drop down from the edge onto the lava platform. You'll take damage from the fall, but the cat ring will help. Drink a flask real quick, and then move it to the chest. If you have any regen spells, you may wish to cast them before you drop.

The other chest by the pool of water just has a shield, but if you really want to get it, you roll around in that pool of water until you're soaked, and then book it, dropping off the ledge to save some time.

May I assume that you found the key in the Iron Key? It's on the body that was being burned in the very first room. Now see if you can figure out what that key unlocks, and then you'll be able to get the DLC key.

I must have the key because I took whatever what was on there where the flames were originally going on and off. But I haven't found what it unlocks yet. Really miss the Charred Ring from DS1 that pretty much mitigated lava damage.

Besides finding that last lock and getting Benhart's questline wrapped up, I want to beat the DLC's before venturing too much further towards the end. I haven't accessed the memories yet, but they can't be too far off.

*edit* finally got the Ashen Mist Heart (and decided against disturbing such a friendly, charitable dragon...at least for the foreseeable future), and entered the first memory involving a pretty interesting scene of firey war and an Old Giant, who succumbed to my aptly leveled Drangleic sword rather easily. Nice amount of souls yielded too.

I also noticed in my inventory I do indeed have the Iron Key to wherever that great door is. I'll probably stumble upon it again but don't recall exactly where as of now. Finding it will be up next, and then to finish Benhart's quest preferably in someplace memorable.

Got Benhart's questline done with an ascetic in Memory of Jeigh. In a way I kinda pitied him, treasuring his sword so much while seemingly unaware it was a fake. Yes, I'll gladly accept your gift Benhart, and thank you.

What's odd about Benhart is where he ends up. Why is he resting inside of a memory? Is he real, or is he a phantom? There's something going on with him it seems, but we're never given enough information to really figure him out.
But whatever it is, glad to hear you got him done. With the death of The Giant Lord, you are now set to go beat the final boss. Keep in mind that after you do this, you can still roam around in your current game. You are not launched immediately into New Game Plus.

Of course, you still have the DLCs to go through, as well as the Chasm of Dark. All those areas I would suggest doing now--as well as beating Vendrick--before trying in NG+, because all those areas can stomp you flat pretty easily.

Oh yeah, and did you ever find both of the Rat areas?

If you need help finding the key for the Iron King DLC, here's where to find it.

Sniper Team 4:
What's odd about Benhart is where he ends up. Why is he resting inside of a memory? Is he real, or is he a phantom? There's something going on with him it seems, but we're never given enough information to really figure him out.
But whatever it is, glad to hear you got him done. With the death of The Giant Lord, you are now set to go beat the final boss. Keep in mind that after you do this, you can still roam around in your current game. You are not launched immediately into New Game Plus.

Of course, you still have the DLCs to go through, as well as the Chasm of Dark. All those areas I would suggest doing now--as well as beating Vendrick--before trying in NG+, because all those areas can stomp you flat pretty easily.

Oh yeah, and did you ever find both of the Rat areas?

Yeah he was a cool dude. One of the better NPCs across the first three games (including Demon's) imo. I'll get into the DLC and Chasm next and check out the other memory areas, particularly the big hanging petrified dragon. I haven't run into the other rat pack yet either.

Comic Sans:
If you need help finding the key for the Iron King DLC, here's where to find it.

Now that I think of it there seemed to be something shimmering down there but never thought that pit was accessible. Will have to take a closer look. I would've probably been running in circles in Iron Keep yet lol.

Mucho thanks goes out to all who have chimed in with helpful hints on my latest Souls outing! I have to say this game has been probably at least twice as enjoyable up to this late point as I thought it'd be. Like Dalisclock said there are a good amount of new ideas at play here, and most of them have been more beneficial than detrimental in terms of design and overall fun had.

Sniper Team 4:
Of course, you still have the DLCs to go through, as well as the Chasm of Dark. All those areas I would suggest doing now--as well as beating Vendrick--before trying in NG+, because all those areas can stomp you flat pretty easily.

Yep, now the real challenge begins. You just think you've gotten gud, but son, you're about to find out what gittin gud really means. The DS2 DLC bosses are some of the toughest in the series. One in particular, I consider to be THE most difficult boss in the trilogy.

don't give up , skeleton!

Kerg3927:

Sniper Team 4:
Of course, you still have the DLCs to go through, as well as the Chasm of Dark. All those areas I would suggest doing now--as well as beating Vendrick--before trying in NG+, because all those areas can stomp you flat pretty easily.

Yep, now the real challenge begins. You just think you've gotten gud, but son, you're about to find out what gittin gud really means. The DS2 DLC bosses are some of the toughest in the series. One in particular, I consider to be THE most difficult boss in the trilogy.

don't give up , skeleton!

Haha yeah, I also get a kick out of the "Try rolling, boulder!"

Found some time to get that key after a busy weekend, and decided to make a full fledged one man assault on the Iron King first, after briefly testing the frozen/poisonous waters of Ivory and Sunken respectively. After getting the elevators going on that towering inferno, I think I'd rate the general enemy difficulty of this one in the middle of the two so far, with Sunken first (damn poison spitters!) and Ivory a somewhat distant third, at least up to the first boss.

But all in all after having a good idea of each DLC, I definitely like Iron King the most so far in terms of challenge type, map design and visual styling. The chain walking is pretty cool too. I'm kinda hoping that "THE" most difficult boss is in this one to get it out of the way early, but I suppose it could also depend on build type as well.

hanselthecaretaker:

Kerg3927:

Sniper Team 4:
Of course, you still have the DLCs to go through, as well as the Chasm of Dark. All those areas I would suggest doing now--as well as beating Vendrick--before trying in NG+, because all those areas can stomp you flat pretty easily.

Yep, now the real challenge begins. You just think you've gotten gud, but son, you're about to find out what gittin gud really means. The DS2 DLC bosses are some of the toughest in the series. One in particular, I consider to be THE most difficult boss in the trilogy.

don't give up , skeleton!

Haha yeah, I also get a kick out of the "Try rolling, boulder!"

Found some time to get that key after a busy weekend, and decided to make a full fledged one man assault on the Iron King first, after briefly testing the frozen/poisonous waters of Ivory and Sunken respectively. After getting the elevators going on that towering inferno, I think I'd rate the general enemy difficulty of this one in the middle of the two so far, with Sunken first (damn poison spitters!) and Ivory a somewhat distant third, at least up to the first boss.

But all in all after having a good idea of each DLC, I definitely like Iron King the most so far in terms of challenge type, map design and visual styling. The chain walking is pretty cool too. I'm kinda hoping that "THE" most difficult boss is in this one to get it out of the way early, but I suppose it could also depend on build type as well.

I'm not sure if it's the most difficult one, but the Fume Knight is considered up there in difficulty(Presumably 93% of attempts end in PC death, if the number I saw it true). I had to summon a human to beat him because the AI phantoms couldn't take off enough damage to make a difference. The (optional) boss after him is also difficult, but honestly, it's a lot more painful to get to him then to actually fight him, because the level leading up to him is so linear and trap ridden.

I really liked the Iron King DLC the most out of all of them. Starting at the top of a tower and working down was a cool idea and they did a lot with it.

Just a warning: You know those iron stakes you found early on? Keep those handy, because you want at least 4 of those when you reach the boss. If you don't have 4, go look for some more or that fight becomes a lot harder.

^Ahh I hope there are more of those wedges later on because I've been using them for all those flaming idol things; I think 4 so far. Par for the course sadism for the Souls series though!

hanselthecaretaker:
^Ahh I hope there are more of those wedges later on because I've been using them for all those flaming idol things; I think 4 so far. Par for the course sadism for the Souls series though!

Luckily, they're not behind the boss but you do need to scout for them. Luckily the boss is at the very bottom of the tower and you'll know when you get there.

Also worth noting is that even with the extra wedges you can find while exploring, you will be one short of being able to take down every flaming idol. The last wedge cannot be accessed until you have beaten the main boss battle and then defeated one of the two optional bosses. So be careful with the wedges. You need 4 to take down the ones that make the boss way harder. Once you have destroyed all the idols you get the completed Soul of Nadalia which you can trade in to Ornifex for stuff. Most of the stuff from Ornifex is really good and since you can get duplicate souls to trade in to her via Bonfire Ascetics there's no reason not to get whatever looks fun from her.

Also, beating a Great Soul boss with an Ascetic or on NG+ provides their soul plus an additional special one. Souls that might sound familiar. Worth checking out. The one from Freja provides quite the classic weapon.

So I ran into this guy for my first boss experience in the realm of the Iron King

Well, that's about what I expected from this bastard. He buffs like no other and not only does residual damage, but completely flips the script between physical and magic-based. I've gotten within 2-3 hits fighting him solo, and saving Effigies make it a bit tougher since I'm completely hollow. The Binding ring helps making it feel at least possible though. Also using Cloranthy, Second Dragon, and Spell Quartz.

Comic Sans:
Also worth noting is that even with the extra wedges you can find while exploring, you will be one short of being able to take down every flaming idol. The last wedge cannot be accessed until you have beaten the main boss battle and then defeated one of the two optional bosses. So be careful with the wedges. You need 4 to take down the ones that make the boss way harder. Once you have destroyed all the idols you get the completed Soul of Nadalia which you can trade in to Ornifex for stuff. Most of the stuff from Ornifex is really good and since you can get duplicate souls to trade in to her via Bonfire Ascetics there's no reason not to get whatever looks fun from her.

Also, beating a Great Soul boss with an Ascetic or on NG+ provides their soul plus an additional special one. Souls that might sound familiar. Worth checking out. The one from Freja provides quite the classic weapon.

I've noticed Smelter Demon is weak to Dark but I ran out of resins. These special Great Souls may lead me to something that could prove most useful though. I read that the Crypt Blacksword can work wonders on ol' blue, and I have the Soul needed to make it thanks to my ascetical victory over The Rotten. While I'm at it I'll stock up on some more resins for good measure.

Yeah Smelter is rough. Not only is the actual run to get there incredibly obnoxious, but he is really tough. What always got me was the incredible delay on a lot of his swings. Took a few tries to get used to that. Every DLC has an encounter along these lines. A gauntlet that leads to a boss fight of recycled enemies. They are designed around co-op. I am sure you noticed the strange statues at the entrances of DLCs? If one places a summon sign there they can be called at the matching statues at the start of the gauntlets even if they don't have the DLC. They are not mandatory to complete, but they are a challenge if you are looking for more. Smelter actually leads to a really useful item for dealing with fire enemies, one that makes fighting the Ancient Dragon much easier if you choose too. Though fair warning, the one at Eleum Loyce might make you wanna tear your hair out.

There's another optional boss in Brume Tower but it is not available until you beat the main boss of the DLC. I highly recommend it. The gauntlet isn't as bad as the one to Smelter and the boss is good.

Comic Sans:
Yeah Smelter is rough. Not only is the actual run to get there incredibly obnoxious, but he is really tough. What always got me was the incredible delay on a lot of his swings. Took a few tries to get used to that. Every DLC has an encounter along these lines. A gauntlet that leads to a boss fight of recycled enemies. They are designed around co-op. I am sure you noticed the strange statues at the entrances of DLCs? If one places a summon sign there they can be called at the matching statues at the start of the gauntlets even if they don't have the DLC. They are not mandatory to complete, but they are a challenge if you are looking for more. Smelter actually leads to a really useful item for dealing with fire enemies, one that makes fighting the Ancient Dragon much easier if you choose too. Though fair warning, the one at Eleum Loyce might make you wanna tear your hair out.

There's another optional boss in Brume Tower but it is not available until you beat the main boss of the DLC. I highly recommend it. The gauntlet isn't as bad as the one to Smelter and the boss is good.

Most of that gauntlet is now dead lol. Only a couple pesky arrow snipers, miracle chic and the brute with the hammer remain. I've had the luxury to run and roll right to the fight the last few tries. Sometimes the slomo spell hits me but I think she's close to her expiration date as well. I'm definitely going to stock up on resin and get that new sword made before any more though.

The key to this fight seems to be good rolling while also being able to match attempts on the offensive, as he hits too hard to block more than one string even with a highly poised shield and lowering between hits. Once he magic buffs the Rebel shield helps in a pinch but is an even greater stamina drain. I think I'm going to ditch some weight to try staying under 50% and go in with that new Crypt Blacksword. If it can't be resin coated I'll just Dark infuse it and that should be the end of Smelter blue.

Wrong. You're both wrong. The key to The Smelter Demon is simple:

Poison.

Don't have the poison pyro spell? Get some poison arrows. Don't have the skill to use a bow? Get some poison throwing knives. Gavlaan is king. Poison that sucker and then just focus on staying away from him. It doesn't last for the full fight, but then all you need to do is hit him with it again. So much easier--especially if you have any other phantom there to distract him while you inflict it.

I think Brume Tower is the best in terms of connecting to the main game, but Ivory King is my favorite because of the massive call backs to the original game--especially once you get to the final boss in that area. It should look very familiar where you end up.
Sunken King is good it it's own right, but it feels rather added on, not really connecting to anything. Of course, it does clear up some massive lore stuff and implies a kind of civil war that took place in Drangliec long ago, but still...

Sniper Team 4:
Wrong. You're both wrong. The key to The Smelter Demon is simple:

Poison.

Don't have the poison pyro spell? Get some poison arrows. Don't have the skill to use a bow? Get some poison throwing knives. Gavlaan is king. Poison that sucker and then just focus on staying away from him. It doesn't last for the full fight, but then all you need to do is hit him with it again. So much easier--especially if you have any other phantom there to distract him while you inflict it.

I think Brume Tower is the best in terms of connecting to the main game, but Ivory King is my favorite because of the massive call backs to the original game--especially once you get to the final boss in that area. It should look very familiar where you end up.
Sunken King is good it it's own right, but it feels rather added on, not really connecting to anything. Of course, it does clear up some massive lore stuff and implies a kind of civil war that took place in Drangliec long ago, but still...

I'll have to try that again because it didn't seem to work well for me; at least not like against the brutes with the smelter hammers. Two rounds were enough to start a counter and watch the life bar tick away on them, but against Smelter Demon I didn't even see a bar after three. I could see it swarming around him but it didn't do anything. I think I read somewhere that SotFS changed his defense against poison. Apparently it still works but is easier if you have summons to distract.

Interesting about Ivory King. I must say each piece of DLC feels very distinct and well-realized.

Well this thread inspired me to pick up DS2 again, and now I'm 35 hours in. My feelings are...mixed. It's good overall, but it just doesn't feel as solid as the first or third games in how it's designed (on a sidenote, I forgot how linear the areas were).

The DLC is definitely good, though I wouldn't say "best in the series". The Fume Knight is definitely hardest boss I've fought in a Souls game (sorry Manus) and Sinh was fucking awesome. There is a place in hell reserved for that Velstadt-summoning bitch Elana, though. And I attempted the Iron Passage precisely once before deciding no reward would be worth that hell. As we speak, I'm currently blasting through Crown of the Ivory King to get the third crown and the...reward for getting all three crowns.

I actually made my way through the main game fairly quickly, despite everyone's claims of how huge it is. I skipped some optional bosses; the Gank Squad, Blue Smelter Demon and Ancient Dragon all got a pass, and I don't intend on fighting Lud and Zullen. But that shouldn't matter that much, that's 4 out 41 boss fights skipped. I would've beaten the game in under 30 hours, were it not for the DLC.

I definitely like the game more than I used to, but I still see it as the weakest of the trilogy. The "puzzle" elements still annoy me, I still think the main game boss fights kinda suck and the controls are still too clunky for my liking.

Rangaman:
Well this thread inspired me to pick up DS2 again, and now I'm 35 hours in. My feelings are...mixed. It's good overall, but it just doesn't feel as solid as the first or third games in how it's designed (on a sidenote, I forgot how linear the areas were).

The DLC is definitely good, though I wouldn't say "best in the series". The Fume Knight is definitely hardest boss I've fought in a Souls game (sorry Manus) and Sinh was fucking awesome. There is a place in hell reserved for that Velstadt-summoning bitch Elana, though. And I attempted the Iron Passage precisely once before deciding no reward would be worth that hell. As we speak, I'm currently blasting through Crown of the Ivory King to get the third crown and the...reward for getting all three crowns.

I actually made my way through the main game fairly quickly, despite everyone's claims of how huge it is. I skipped some optional bosses; the Gank Squad, Blue Smelter Demon and Ancient Dragon all got a pass, and I don't intend on fighting Lud and Zullen. But that shouldn't matter that much, that's 4 out 41 boss fights skipped. I would've beaten the game in under 30 hours, were it not for the DLC.

I definitely like the game more than I used to, but I still see it as the weakest of the trilogy. The "puzzle" elements still annoy me, I still think the main game boss fights kinda suck and the controls are still too clunky for my liking.

Sounds like a nice marathon run you had there. I went the slow burn route, doing everything I can and also going in pretty blind, at least next to how I played Demon's and DS1. Interesting you say it felt the most linear when there have been so many comments about DS3 being the most linear and "short".

By "puzzle" do you mean the lock stones and statues?

I'm really looking forward to 3 but not until I finish at least a playthrough of Bloodborne, and of course my current run in DS2. Just beat Smelter Blue last night actually (a mix of poison and dark resins plus Pursuer's Ultra Greatsword were the winning ticket), and finally found an area beforehand that I suprisingly had overlooked containing the Gold Serpent ring. I also used that platform to get the chest below on the lava pathway. Flame Quartz ring plus Flash Sweat plus rolling through the water jugs made damage almost negligible. I could've walked to it and still had plenty to spare actually.

hanselthecaretaker:
Sounds like a nice marathon run you had there. I went the slow burn route, doing everything I can and also going in pretty blind, at least next to how I played Demon's and DS1. Interesting you say it felt the most linear when there have been so many comments about DS3 being the most linear and "short".

I didn't really intend to go on a marathon run, I did what I felt like doing and skipped the rest. Or to put it another way: I'd rather eat dogshit out of skunk's carcass than spend more time in the Black Gulch.

DS3's linearity is much more obvious. DS2 might give you four pathways right from the word go (well, two pathways technically), but the design of the areas is very much a straightforward path from entrance to exit. If I had to liken the design of the Souls games to other non-Souls games, it would probably go as follows:

Dark Souls - Castlevania: SotN (seamless, labyrinthine world)
Dark Souls II - Cave Story (somewhat open-ended, but mostly linear design w/ a central hub)
Dark Souls III - Super Metroid (linear progression through smaller, segmented labyrinths)

Much like Cave Story, Dark Souls II looks enough like a Metroidvania, but doesn't really have the same design as one. I'm not saying it's bad (though I would've preferred a Metroidvania) but it is pretty linear.

TL;DR, both are linear but in DS3 it's much more noticeable.

And yeah, DS3 is pretty short. You'll probably end up with 3 of the 4 sacred MacGuffins by the 15-16 hour mark, even if you do take the slow and steady path. Personally, however, I prefer a short fun game to a big rushed one.

By "puzzle" do you mean the lock stones and statues?

Yes, and torches as well. They were a minor annoyance at first, being locked out of Titanite and Estus Shards because I didn't have enough of a rare and expensive item was quite irritating. And then...

That shit pissed me off. It still pisses me off.

I'm really looking forward to 3 but not until I finish at least a playthrough of Bloodborne, and of course my current run in DS2. Just beat Smelter Blue last night actually (a mix of poison and dark resins plus Pursuer's Ultra Greatsword were the winning ticket), and finally found an area beforehand that I suprisingly had overlooked containing the Gold Serpent ring. I also used that platform to get the chest below on the lava pathway. Flame Quartz ring plus Flash Sweat plus rolling through the water jugs made damage almost negligible. I could've walked to it and still had plenty to spare actually.

Good luck with Bloodborne. I haven't had the chance to finish it yet, but what I played was pretty damn tough. What with the beasts all over the shop.

Have you fought the Royal Rat Vanguard and Royal Rat Authority yet? You're character should be well high enough to stomp those bosses flat now.
But the DLC bosses care probably still going to be a challenge--especially Brume Tower's because SIT DOWN SON!--so stay sharp. The Ivory King's has a trick to it that will make it much easier if you take the time to do it.

Rangaman:

hanselthecaretaker:
Sounds like a nice marathon run you had there. I went the slow burn route, doing everything I can and also going in pretty blind, at least next to how I played Demon's and DS1. Interesting you say it felt the most linear when there have been so many comments about DS3 being the most linear and "short".

I didn't really intend to go on a marathon run, I did what I felt like doing and skipped the rest. Or to put it another way: I'd rather eat dogshit out of skunk's carcass than spend more time in the Black Gulch.

DS3's linearity is much more obvious. DS2 might give you four pathways right from the word go (well, two pathways technically), but the design of the areas is very much a straightforward path from entrance to exit. If I had to liken the design of the Souls games to other non-Souls games, it would probably go as follows:

Dark Souls - Castlevania: SotN (seamless, labyrinthine world)
Dark Souls II - Cave Story (somewhat open-ended, but mostly linear design w/ a central hub)
Dark Souls III - Super Metroid (linear progression through smaller, segmented labyrinths)

Much like Cave Story, Dark Souls II looks enough like a Metroidvania, but doesn't really have the same design as one. I'm not saying it's bad (though I would've preferred a Metroidvania) but it is pretty linear.

TL;DR, both are linear but in DS3 it's much more noticeable.

And yeah, DS3 is pretty short. You'll probably end up with 3 of the 4 sacred MacGuffins by the 15-16 hour mark, even if you do take the slow and steady path. Personally, however, I prefer a short fun game to a big rushed one.

By "puzzle" do you mean the lock stones and statues?

Yes, and torches as well. They were a minor annoyance at first, being locked out of Titanite and Estus Shards because I didn't have enough of a rare and expensive item was quite irritating. And then...

That shit pissed me off. It still pisses me off.

I'm really looking forward to 3 but not until I finish at least a playthrough of Bloodborne, and of course my current run in DS2. Just beat Smelter Blue last night actually (a mix of poison and dark resins plus Pursuer's Ultra Greatsword were the winning ticket), and finally found an area beforehand that I suprisingly had overlooked containing the Gold Serpent ring. I also used that platform to get the chest below on the lava pathway. Flame Quartz ring plus Flash Sweat plus rolling through the water jugs made damage almost negligible. I could've walked to it and still had plenty to spare actually.

Good luck with Bloodborne. I haven't had the chance to finish it yet, but what I played was pretty damn tough. What with the beasts all over the shop.

It sounds like I'd dig DS3 as I prefer tightly designed games that still allow some vertical/lateral breadth. I won't even mind the callbacks as I'm a sucker for witnessing what great lengths of time might do to familiar places. It's interesting to see different, more creative interpretations.

I still don't get the windmill thing though. What exactly is accomplished by lighting it on fire besides the obvious? Being a Souls game there has to be something more to it so I'll probably check it out sometime.

Sniper Team 4:
Have you fought the Royal Rat Vanguard and Royal Rat Authority yet? You're character should be well high enough to stomp those bosses flat now.
But the DLC bosses care probably still going to be a challenge--especially Brume Tower's because SIT DOWN SON!--so stay sharp. The Ivory King's has a trick to it that will make it much easier if you take the time to do it.

Well, the very first DLC boss I defeated was part of Iron King's realm, so I might just continue on with it to get it out of the way. I really like it so far though, even if the path to Smelter was highly unpleasant.

I haven't gotten the Rat Authority yet either, if that's the other one besides where you can join the covenant afterwards. I may end up looking for that before going back to any DLC.

hanselthecaretaker:

Rangaman:

hanselthecaretaker:
Sounds like a nice marathon run you had there. I went the slow burn route, doing everything I can and also going in pretty blind, at least next to how I played Demon's and DS1. Interesting you say it felt the most linear when there have been so many comments about DS3 being the most linear and "short".

I didn't really intend to go on a marathon run, I did what I felt like doing and skipped the rest. Or to put it another way: I'd rather eat dogshit out of skunk's carcass than spend more time in the Black Gulch.

DS3's linearity is much more obvious. DS2 might give you four pathways right from the word go (well, two pathways technically), but the design of the areas is very much a straightforward path from entrance to exit. If I had to liken the design of the Souls games to other non-Souls games, it would probably go as follows:

Dark Souls - Castlevania: SotN (seamless, labyrinthine world)
Dark Souls II - Cave Story (somewhat open-ended, but mostly linear design w/ a central hub)
Dark Souls III - Super Metroid (linear progression through smaller, segmented labyrinths)

Much like Cave Story, Dark Souls II looks enough like a Metroidvania, but doesn't really have the same design as one. I'm not saying it's bad (though I would've preferred a Metroidvania) but it is pretty linear.

TL;DR, both are linear but in DS3 it's much more noticeable.

And yeah, DS3 is pretty short. You'll probably end up with 3 of the 4 sacred MacGuffins by the 15-16 hour mark, even if you do take the slow and steady path. Personally, however, I prefer a short fun game to a big rushed one.

By "puzzle" do you mean the lock stones and statues?

Yes, and torches as well. They were a minor annoyance at first, being locked out of Titanite and Estus Shards because I didn't have enough of a rare and expensive item was quite irritating. And then...

That shit pissed me off. It still pisses me off.

I'm really looking forward to 3 but not until I finish at least a playthrough of Bloodborne, and of course my current run in DS2. Just beat Smelter Blue last night actually (a mix of poison and dark resins plus Pursuer's Ultra Greatsword were the winning ticket), and finally found an area beforehand that I suprisingly had overlooked containing the Gold Serpent ring. I also used that platform to get the chest below on the lava pathway. Flame Quartz ring plus Flash Sweat plus rolling through the water jugs made damage almost negligible. I could've walked to it and still had plenty to spare actually.

Good luck with Bloodborne. I haven't had the chance to finish it yet, but what I played was pretty damn tough. What with the beasts all over the shop.

It sounds like I'd dig DS3 as I prefer tightly designed games that still allow some vertical/lateral breadth. I won't even mind the callbacks as I'm a sucker for witnessing what great lengths of time might do to familiar places. It's interesting to see different, more creative interpretations.

I still don't get the windmill thing though. What exactly is accomplished by lighting it on fire besides the obvious? Being a Souls game there has to be something more to it so I'll probably check it out sometime.

Sniper Team 4:
Have you fought the Royal Rat Vanguard and Royal Rat Authority yet? You're character should be well high enough to stomp those bosses flat now.
But the DLC bosses care probably still going to be a challenge--especially Brume Tower's because SIT DOWN SON!--so stay sharp. The Ivory King's has a trick to it that will make it much easier if you take the time to do it.

Well, the very first DLC boss I defeated was part of Iron King's realm, so I might just continue on with it to get it out of the way. I really like it so far though, even if the path to Smelter was highly unpleasant.

I haven't gotten the Rat Authority yet either, if that's the other one besides where you can join the covenant afterwards. I may end up looking for that before going back to any DLC.

The windmill drains the poison pool in the Earth Peak boss room. Not that you have any reason to believe the two are connected or that the windmill can be burned(the burnable part looks metallic).

The Rat Authority is basically a reskinned SIF(from DS1) while the Vanguard is literally a big group of rats in a small room, one of which is actually the boss(and he looks almost exactly like the other 20 rats trying to swarm you). Niether are required or get you anything terribly interesting.

^ I might as well check it out. Giant rats are fun to fight. As long as he isn't carrying a giant sword in his mouth.

I've been playing it recently (last of my "All the Souls-borne" binge) and actually... I think that I like it more than 3?
It's certainly more rough than 3, but 3 mostly felt like a rehash of things that I had previously seen in the series, while DS2 is a lot more open to trying new stuff. I also kinda like the wheel-and-spokes setup, because at any given time, I usually have 5 different areas that I could try tacking next (and the game encourages it via difficulty spikes and the fragrant branch lock gates)
Not as good as DS1's interconnected world (and even that has complete breaks with the main area / Anor Londo / Painted World / DLC area) and it's really late in the game that you get the resources to upgrade the items that you want (for some reason, I have 6 titanite slabs and *zero* shards, and I'm a spell caster using just a couple of different staves and melee weapons, and not the whole slew that a melee-focused character would want to use)

Before I started 2 (since I was a bit iffy on it, given its reputation), I tried several other games, and even the worst of the Souls series is a great deal better than most of the other games out there.

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