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Author Topic: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!  (Read 7975 times)

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Offline HemingwayTopic starter

Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« on: March 26, 2014, 12:14:17 PM »
I figured since so many of us were discussing Dark Souls 2 in the "Have you played any good video games recently?" thread, it'd be better to just create a thread dedicated to the game. Here it is! Discuss away!

Offline Shjade

Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2014, 12:34:43 PM »
Probably a good idea.

From the other thread:

Quote
Havel's set + fist weapons?

Here's the thing about poise in Dark Souls 2: as best as anyone can tell, it only seems to apply when you're attacking. If you're standing still or just walking around and get whacked, you get staggered pretty much regardless of poise. It may or may not make your stagger shorter, that's yet to be determined, but there's no more "just walk through that sword like it's not there" like there was in Dark Souls. So if you put up your dukes in full Havel's thinking you'll just close the gap by eating whatever's thrown at you, prepare to get pancaked.

You could try attacking your way through that incoming attack, but since it will be hitting you outside your punching range by at least double that range, you might not close the gap anyway. And if your opponent also has reasonably high poise, your punches aren't any more likely to stagger them first if they're already mashing your skull in.


My current build's heavy strength and medium-ish armor, mostly Gyrm bits. I was happily dual wielding swords up until I tried out the large club and noticed it just flat out did more damage, mainly because there are so many heavy armor targets later in the game who shrug off sword slashes like you're scratching them with a safety razor but still get pancaked by a good club to the face. With a few exceptions (Covetous Demon, for instance, doesn't seem to care much about being slapped with a club), it seems like strike damage is just outright better than slash for a large segment of the game. Not sure about thrust, but seriously, screw thrust. I don't need ultra-linear attacks in a game where I'm usually fighting crowds.

Offline HemingwayTopic starter

Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2014, 01:10:11 PM »
Wasn't that the case in Dark Souls, too? I mean, the slash damage bit. Enemies tend to either be neutral to or take reduced damage from slashing, no?

I'm currently doing a Dex build, probably with a rapier of some sort. I tried it once before, and even the regular rapier did much higher damage than I'd thought it would, compared to larger weapons. The Last Giant was an absolute bitch to fight with a rapier, though. I kept missing around a third of my hits aimed at his legs.

The build I've gotten the farthest with is a Str/Fth build - the one with a +10 Lightning Mastodon Greatsword. I have reasonably high equip load - actually too high for the armor I'm currently wearing, Alva's set. I was using regular Knight set before that, so the equip load made more sense. I'm also using a Mastodon Greatshield ( I think it's Mastodon - it could be just the regular Greatshield, too - the heavier of the two. ). With that build I've got high stability from my shield, which also absorbs 100% physical resistance. I also have medium roll, so that's nice. I do wonder what I could've done differently, though. The armor certainly isn't optimal, as it's much lighter than it needs to be. I thought of working on getting Syan's set from the knights in Drangleic Castle, as it looks great. I have no idea how the stats on it are, though, compared to its weight.

It actually bothers me about the game that there aren't any amazing light armors, like the Lord's Blade armor from Artorias of the Abyss. I absolutely love that armor to bits, it looks so good - and rule of cool negates all other considerations in Dark Souls PvE. I mean, how often is armor going to save your bacon, anyway? If Poise only applies when attacking ( which I have also read elsewhere ), that almost entirely negates the need for high poise in PvE, as most of the time things get stunlocked once I start attacking them anyway. The only set that comes close to the sheer coolness of Lord's Blade for me in DS2 is Lucatiel's set. I'm definitely getting that for my Dex character.

In a similar vein, I'm a bit disappointed by weapons in the game.

I only break out the Gyrm greatshield for the Smelter Demon. It makes the fight absolutely trivial. ;D

Offline Shjade

Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2014, 02:18:25 PM »
Probably, but enemies also had much less health in Dark Souls, so it was still fairly manageable having a lower damage output weapon. More specifically, my most comfortable weapon in Dark Souls is the Uchigatana, but in DS2 katanas just feel...lackluster. That and the new way durability works made them something of a pain to use (also they just slash much slower in general).

Yeah, your problems using a rapier on the giant are exactly why I avoid thrust weapons. Those itty bitty narrow hitboxes make fighting such a pain on crowds and large targets with weird hit zones.

Armor can be the difference between dying in one hit or surviving that hit to dodge/block the follow up. The Vendrick fight, for instance - he'll outright kill you in one hit if you don't have decent armor and health. And by 'decent' I mean upwards of 800 armor and 1500 health. Dude hits freaking hard.

Poise's place in PvE is largely due to numbers. When you're fighting things 1v5, you need to be able to finish a slash through them with a heavier, slower weapon before getting staggered by one of them. If you go into that kind of fight with a slow weapon and 0 poise, you're going to die.

As for armor sets, the Throne Watcher's armor isn't bad for looks either if you like that sort of thing. The Gyrm armor gives me sort of a Nausicaa worm handler feel, which is neat, though I'd rather be sporting the Bone King robe with the gyrm pants for sort of a casual pancho look. I think I'm mainly disappointed by the helmets in this. I didn't like most of the helms in DS1 either, though - pretty much just got the painting guardian mask for everything that looked remotely good with it. Starting to play a little more Fashion Souls now that I've gone Greatshield, though, since armor matters a lot less when I'm just blocking all the things.

Offline HemingwayTopic starter

Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2014, 02:36:24 PM »
I haven't fought Vendrick yet. A bit like the Havel fight in Dark Souls? I mean, aside from the fact Havel was trivially easy if you were even moderately good at dodging. Or had nerves of steel and a Target Shield.

I've yet to run into any fights I couldn't manage. However, the character I've played the most was using a pretty heavily upgraded Knight set until recently - that thing has more than decent poise for its weight. I wanted to use the Fareem set for its looks, but then decided it wasn't really all that cool, and got Alva's set. I like its looks, but it's a bit light compared to what I could wear - which is why I considered Syan's set. I see now it has atrocious poise for its weight, though - it's twice as heavy as throne defender, but has less poise. Throne Defender seems to have pretty ace poise, actually. It's only about 20% heavier than Knight set, but with 25% more poise.

Anyway. I'm still really not that happy with the overall design of armor and weapons in the game. It's very similar-looking, most of it. The few armor sets I do like the looks of ( Falconer is pretty cool ), aren't really that good - and I generally go for a balance of looks vs. efficiency, except in cases of exceptionally cool armor ( lol, Lord's Blade ).

Offline MabFaerie

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Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2014, 09:21:49 PM »
Anyway. I'm still really not that happy with the overall design of armor and weapons in the game. It's very similar-looking, most of it. The few armor sets I do like the looks of ( Falconer is pretty cool ), aren't really that good - and I generally go for a balance of looks vs. efficiency, except in cases of exceptionally cool armor ( lol, Lord's Blade ).

I hear you on that one. The only sets I really like aren't very good for my build. (Here's looking at you Dragleic Mail and Old Knight Armor!) I'm going for a more dex-based character and all the decent armor is heavy and ultimately makes me fat-roll all over the place unless I throw a ton of points at Vitality.
(Whereas all the lighter armor either looks like crap or offers stupidly useless amounts of protection. =/)

I'm currently wearing the Black Leather Armor set just because it looks awesome. Besides, if I'm fast enough to dodge then I'm fast enough to not get hit, and when it comes down to it, being able to dodge has done me more good than any fancy armor has so far.

On that note, I really want the Singers Dress or the Saints Set, neither of which would be terribly useful for me because I'm neither a Caster nor a Cleric, but damn it they look fantastic. XD

 
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 09:22:54 PM by MabFaerie »

Offline Drake Valentine

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Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2014, 02:22:57 AM »
I have yet to find Havel set. Though looked it up. It looks heavy. I may wear it if it does not screw with my roll distance too much. As for PvP, if people charging in to spam punch they doing it wrong. My armor is not the greatest. Right now I am wearing that set you find hidden just before pursuer boss. Have not bother upgrading it. Any ways I normally roll and then attack if they leave opening. A few times went toe to toe with hits but I usually roll away to distance myself instead of constant spam punching. Only people I died to were spell users that camp a narrow corridor and spam magic. Though I got something for them, dual crossbows. Cannot wait to get hands on a repeating crossbow.

Also on cell so more input will come when I get on PC.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2014, 05:07:09 AM »
I want the swordsman set they showed in the pre-release trailers.

Although I have to agree with the rest.  Most of the armour design is pretty lacking.

Offline HemingwayTopic starter

Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2014, 08:53:14 AM »
I want the swordsman set they showed in the pre-release trailers.

You mean the Faraam set?

I have yet to find Havel set. Though looked it up. It looks heavy.

Yeah, that one's ... tricky to get your hands on, to say the least. I couldn't get past the giants you have to get past just to get the key.

It's also probably the heaviest set in the game. Or at least very close to it. It's going to take a serious stat and gear investment to avoid fat rolling with that one.

Offline Shjade

Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2014, 06:31:18 PM »
Havel's by far the heaviest, yeah. But also the highest protection in pretty much every slot, at least against physical. Elemental, not so much, though it's decent.

So at this point I've beaten the game twice, with my NG+ run being a no-bonfires run, so I have the illusory ring of the exalted, whee. After accomplishing that I decided to stop going for min/max damage tank build and just try having more fun, so now I'm hoofing it around in Agdayne's set with a Mundane Santier's Spear. And it actually kicks an incredible amount of ass if you manage the positioning (which is difficult, but rewarding). Defender's shield for a lightweight defense that's still very sturdy and Havel's gauntlets for just a smidge of poise.

I overestimated how much high defense armor matters later on, at least in NG+. I was over 1200 defense at one point and taking about a quarter of my health when I got hit by a certain enemy. After I changed to my current set which is about half that, I took...roughly the same amount of damage. So it probably would still make the difference between being one-shot or surviving with just a sliver of health left, but I dunno if it was worth it stacking armor that hard and ending up so heavy I was always riding the 69% line. It certainly was effective, but that might have been the greatshield/club combo more than the armor.

In any case, with my current setup it's feeling a bit more Dark Souls-y to me, with more emphasis on evasion and timing rather than just facetanking with a shield and clubbing everything in sight. Harder, but more fun. Now that I've accomplished pretty much everything I wanted to (even getting the Ring of Blades +2), I don't mind dying while screwing around figuring stuff out so much. ;p

Plus, the Santier's Spear just looks so cool in action. Especially when it's invisible. xD

Offline Drake Valentine

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Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2014, 08:33:42 PM »
Yeah, that one's ... tricky to get your hands on, to say the least. I couldn't get past the giants you have to get past just to get the key.

It's also probably the heaviest set in the game. Or at least very close to it. It's going to take a serious stat and gear investment to avoid fat rolling with that one.

Use range bro. I went in there dual crossbows and lit their asses up. Though usually you have to run all the way back through the tunnel and go around that corner. They will chase you but stop. Then chase and shoot them some more. Cheap, but hey it is only way I beat them without fearing dying.

I have yet to beat game. >.> I think I am lost at the moment on it. Unless there is another path I am missing somewhere in taking........As I already beat that ugly glob butcher looking boss and the Lost Sinner and was annoyed to find that the Rat Authority Boss is completely optional. I thought there was another path there, but no, it was my rat king saying 'Hi, thanks for for coming my servant.' I killed him after I max that guild, he cursed me, but not as much as I cursed that stupid Rat Authority boss. So I accumulated a smudge of sin, wheeeeeeee.



Offline Chris Brady

Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2014, 11:31:42 PM »
You mean the Faraam set?

Is that the one?  The black hooded coat looking thing they had the Swordsman wear in the trailers?

Offline Shjade

Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2014, 05:28:09 AM »
Is that the one?  The black hooded coat looking thing they had the Swordsman wear in the trailers?

If you want to link the trailer you're talking about, I can probably ID the set he's wearing for you.

I just searched for a trailer and in the one I saw the only "black hooded coat" on display was from the opening cinematic, which is the set you start the game wearing: the Imported set.

Offline HemingwayTopic starter

Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2014, 07:51:53 AM »
Use range bro. I went in there dual crossbows and lit their asses up. Though usually you have to run all the way back through the tunnel and go around that corner. They will chase you but stop. Then chase and shoot them some more. Cheap, but hey it is only way I beat them without fearing dying.

Yeah, I killed one of them that way.

Then I ran out of arrows.

Is that the one?  The black hooded coat looking thing they had the Swordsman wear in the trailers?

Black hooded coat worn by swordsman? You might mean this one: http://darksouls2.wiki.fextralife.com/file/view/blacktunicfull.png/480165426/blacktunicfull.png

If so, according to this wiki you either get it after trading Straid 4 boss souls, or by killing him and buying it from the hag merchant.

Faraam set is the cover armor, that was featured in some of the trailers: http://darksouls2.wiki.fextralife.com/file/view/faraamfull.png/480166686/faraamfull.png

Offline Drake Valentine

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Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2014, 08:10:01 AM »
Yeah, I killed one of them that way.

Then I ran out of arrows.


Max out arrows. I usually carry 999 arrows and 999 bolts. It is the principle of the matter really. Oh, and that ring that lets your weapon degrade slower is good too. Not sure what its name was, but that ring is a godsend at times. The one you find in one of those Pharaohs doors. Actually I think it is the first Pharaoh door in the start of the game. or was that the stamina ring? *Thinks*

Offline Shjade

Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2014, 01:20:33 PM »
Bracing Knuckle ring. You can find it in the Lost Bastille, buy the +1 in Drangleic Castle and get the +2 in the crypt.

Unrelated to builds: I didn't really like the song he came up with for the first one so much, but Miracle of Sound's track for Dark Souls 2 is pretty good.

« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 01:41:49 PM by Shjade »

Offline HemingwayTopic starter

Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2014, 01:47:30 PM »
Hmm. Speaking of music, am I the only one who's a little disappointed in the music in Dark Souls 2? I'm specifically talking about the music that plays in Majulah. The Firelink Shrine had such atmosphere because of the music, while Majulah is just a bit dull. I find that atmosphere of gloom and despair to be almost absent from Dark Souls 2.

Offline Shjade

Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2014, 01:59:04 PM »
Mm...I don't remember being particularly gripped by most of the music in either game. I can think of a couple of melodies from DS1, but more because I have 350+ hours into it than because they were so memorable.

Offline HemingwayTopic starter

Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2014, 02:01:51 PM »
Yeah, but nothing beats this.


Offline Shjade

Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2014, 02:39:26 PM »
Eh. Maybe I've just heard too much of it to like it that much. ;p They're pretty closely related, one emphasizing strings and presence and the other being more minimalist and chimey/piano-based.

In terms of atmosphere, though, I don't think either of them hold a candle to the Milfanito in Amana. Particularly if you recognize the callback.

Offline HemingwayTopic starter

Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2014, 02:57:29 PM »
Is that the song that plays while you're fighting for your life in Shrine of Amana? I liked that.

Still, my favorite is the Firelink Shrine. It just sounds so absolutely gloomy. In terms of pure atmosphere, I'd say it's even better than the Tristram theme from the first Diablo game, which was absolutely amazing. Well, still is.

Edit: Dammit! I'm making a thread dedicated to video game music!

Edit 2: Hmm. I just saw a phantom with some armor I thought was fairly cool. I didn't get a very good look, but it looked sort of like a fairly ordinary plate armor. It looked like the left and right pauldrons were different, and it appeared to have a cloak - looked white, but that might just be because it was a phantom wearing it. Any ideas? I can't for the life of me find it on the wiki I usually look at, but maybe that's not a complete list.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 03:27:06 PM by Hemingway »

Offline Shjade

Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2014, 04:34:46 PM »
Did it look like this?


Offline HemingwayTopic starter

Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2014, 05:00:03 PM »
Nah, it looked more like the Steel set, or Mad Warrior set. It wasn't either of them, though. I have no clue what it could've been. It had a cloak with some sort of symbol on it. A cross with a circle over, or something like that.

Anyway, I booted up Dark Souls. I can really feel the difference between the two games. Controls aren't as tight in Dark Souls. Movement feels a bit more floaty, and kicks are harder to pull off.

My main concern, however, is that I want a Dex/Int build. I'd like to use either Ricard's or Velka's rapier, and the Black set. I prefer the look of Velka's, but since it can't be enchanted with sorceries, I might stick with Ricard's for powergaming purposes. Here's my problem, though: I suck at ripostes. I have no idea how to pull them off with any sort of regularity. I fail even against basic hollow soldiers, who give away their attacks long before they swing. Any advice?

I mean, I know Dark Souls is playable without hiding behind the biggest shield in sight. I just don't know how. I've always used a greatshield, and that's not something I really want for this build.

Edit: After playing Dark Souls again, I'm really having trouble making up my mind.

Dark Souls is better in a lot of ways, but it does actually feel a bit dated. Controls aren't as tight, it isn't as pretty, and it feels a little deserted.

Dark Souls 2 gameplay is fantastic, but in a lot of ways it's a step back. It has duller boss fights, and it does nothing for my fashion sense.

I'm really torn about this.

Edit 2: Frankly, I don't get the durability system in Dark Souls 2. What sense does it make that my weapon is nearly worn down before I can even get to the area boss?
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 07:30:16 PM by Hemingway »

Offline Drake Valentine

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Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2014, 08:21:36 PM »
Ripostes? Practice parrying. The only way to riposte is when the enemy falls flat on their ass, then press R1 or whatever the XBOX trigger is that is the rigt first top button. Assuming your weapon is in your right hand.

Edit: I don't think bosses can be riposte. I have parried the Pursuer and all it did was stagger and stun him for so many seconds. I thought it was epic, but there was no way to Riposte him.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 08:23:10 PM by Drake Valentine »

Offline HemingwayTopic starter

Re: Dark Souls II - share your experiences, stories and builds!
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2014, 08:24:28 PM »
Hmm.

I managed to get my hands on another Soul Vessel for my first character, whose build I screwed up numerous times. I'm now using Ricard's Rapier. It has pretty lousy damage. I invested a bunch of points in Adaptability, though. It really seems to make a difference in how well I'm able to dodge. Maybe I'll live longer this way.

Still, compared to my other character ( who is around the same SL ), this one really isn't optimized in any meaningful sense. I've wasted tons of souls, and everything is pretty bad. My other character can chew through just about anything with his Mastodon Greatsword. I don't know why I make myself play in new ways, when what I have already works so well.