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Dark Souls II
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somi
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September 24, 2014 - 3:09 am
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Another key point is that they've eliminated the cash flow curve: in most RPGs, you're dirt poor at first, slowly get wealthier, and then cross some invisible threshold where suddenly you have millions in the bank.

somi

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Synonamess Botch
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September 24, 2014 - 11:35 am
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Somi that's one of the brilliant things about the Souls games in my opinion.  Combining "gold" and "experience" into one resource: souls, makes for such a different experience.  I always enjoyed the earlier parts of RPGs more because those were the times when you struggled not only against enemies but against your own poverty.

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Steerpike
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September 24, 2015 - 8:18 pm
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Got Scholar of the First Sin on "sale" for PS4 and need some build advice for Hexing, please.

Should I start with Sorcerer? You need some faith to do hexes, right, and sorcerer's is really low. In fact by the numbers it looked wiser to start as a cleric and add intelligence, since clerics begin as stronger fighters, come equipped with the Archdrake robe, and have reasonably high intelligence on account of their priesting.

I've never done a heavy-magic build before. Help!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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xtal
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September 25, 2015 - 2:50 am
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My Hex build was the one I used most and it really worked well.

If you want to take my advice and go with a very agile, modest Dexterity character then start with the lowest strength possible; I used a Sorcerer. Here's what I recommend you build toward. Keep in mind my character is level 245 so... you might never get there. But this is a guideline.

  • VGR 50
  • END 39
  • VIT 20
  • ATN 60
  • STR 5
  • DEX 12
  • ADP 32
  • INT 40
  • FTH 40

The basis of my build was simply a Rapier in my right hand and a staff/catalyst in the left. You can use a shield early on, but I ditched it quickly. First priority should be to get your dexterity to 12 if you so choose to use the Rapier. It's a very underrated weapon. Next, as always, is to get your endurance to a level that makes you comfortable. 20 is a good place to start. Next focus on raising intelligence, since you're probably starting out using sorcery since you're a sorcerer. Stop at 20 and then begin increasing your faith to 20. Once they're both 20 go through the passage from Majula to Huntsman's Copse. Speak with the man in the chair at the end of the cave. If your intelligence and faith are 20 he'll give you his gear; his staff (Sunset Staff) is the best weapon in the game for a hexer. I still use it. His clothes are very good for this character build as well.

At that point I'd spend an equal amount of time increasing your endurance and attunement; I went for the super high attunement because I wanted the maximum amount of spell slots because I'm crazy. If you're going to high levels it's worth it. If not you can leave it somewhere in the high 30s or low 40s probably. Check the thresholds on one of the wikis; 60 gives you the second most spell slots; 75 gives you the max; prior to 60 it's a fair bit lower I think.

You also want to get faith and intelligence up to 30. After that you'll get diminishing returns. I went to 40 because I really wanted to squeeze every bit of damage I could, and I wanted to use some higher level spells.

In addition to the Sunset Staff you'll want a Chime for some high level hexes. The Chime of Want is the best one in the game but you can only get it with the final boss' soul so that's a NG+ item pretty much. I believe the best Chime for hexes is the Priest's Chime or the Cleric's Sacred Chime. I forget which is better.

Rings I recommend:

Ring of Blades. This gives a nice damage bump if you do end up going with a rapier.

Old Leo Ring. Ditto ^. Only useful for thrust weapons, and even then it's murky, but it can be the difference between a killing blow and dying.

Stone Ring. This one is murky too but since the rapier won't stagger many things the Stone Ring might help with that.

Clear Bluestone Ring. This is the most essential ring for any caster. You get it from the sorcerer guy hanging out in the pirate village. It decreases spell cast time.

Southern Ritual Band. This ring is useful when you still have low attunement as it gives an extra slot.

Chloranthy Ring +2. I find that the cloranthy ring is useless in Dks2 unless you get the +2 version; unfortunately I think it's only in NG+.

First/Second/Dragon Ring. This is basically a nerfed version of Lautrec's ring from Dark Souls that almost everyone wore.

Abyss Seal. This one isn't essential, but later on when you're able to join the Abyss covenant if you keep the ring on the damage of hexes is increased. You lose HP with every cast though, so it depends on your play style.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Steerpike
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September 25, 2015 - 8:33 pm
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Sweet. Thanks X-tizzle! 

I've shamelessly taken advantage of new monster placement in Scholar to grind a cyclops into 20 points of Int. Also discovered that helping people kill the Pursuer (the first one in Cardinal Tower, not the boss iteration is worth 20,000 souls each time, so I'm bringing whole new meanings to power leveling. 

With Int at 21 I'm moving on to Faith/Dex per your advice. Still just a plain dagger in my off hand but it's  working well so far. I might go with the rapier, might go with a spear if I can wrangle the stats. 

Upgrading the sorcerer's staff doesn't improve its spell power, right? Just makes it a better club?

What about armor? Archdrake robes always seemed nice but I don't know where to get a set. Right now I'm in the rags I started with and they smell like lake. 

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Steerpike
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September 28, 2015 - 9:55 am
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Got bundled up with a Rapier +4 and a holy charm for casting Heal. Several co-op runs in a row netted like a zillion souls (everyone seems to know about the Pursuer's 20K first appearance) so I'm pretty high level and everything seems to be going according to plan. I have always struggled with the big armored knights in Heide's Tower, and now in Scholar they have backup in the form of those white-armored Drangleic Knights and a big snoozing dragon up by where the Old Dragonslayer lurks. You'd think dragons would avoid that area, but this one seems unimpressed by his neighbor's dragon-slaying credentials.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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xtal
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October 6, 2015 - 11:38 am
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Hah, sounds like you're doing fine. The key with a quick weapon like the rapier is to be lightly armored so you can dodge and strike fast. And plain old watching the tells of enemies; the Heide knights are pretty easy to read, and you can almost always hit them with a spell after they've swung at you and missed. Oh, and if you've met the Huntsman's Copse cave fellow yet buy the spell Dark Weapon from him. That enchant goes perfectly for a hexer and it gives a great damage boost.

Do the enemies still disappear after a certain amount of kills or have they removed that feature? I think it worked with the outward branching design of the game. I wouldn't want it in the first game.

And did you finish the game the first time around? If not I recommend you go for it. The last quarter of the game is the best part of it in this guy's opinion.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Steerpike
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October 7, 2015 - 9:40 am
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The respawning stops are still in there, though there are more Bonfire Ascetics to be found if you want to replenish them. I agree it wouldn't have worked in the first, or even in Bloodborne, but in DkS2 the traversals would have become really tedious. Especially because the individual monsters in DkS2 are tougher, in my opinion.

The Heide Knights trouble me because I always, always fail to account for that fourth attack and walk right into it. That and misjudging the range of their weapons (and the fact that they're highly resistant to my Soul Arrows) all makes it a big challenge. There are many obvious changes in Scholar, one small one -- the second knight no longer holds any Sublime Bone Dust. I don't know where it's got to.

No, I never did finish during the first run of this. I'd like to finish this time. It's really just a matter of taking it cautiously and reining in my natural carelessness.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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xtal
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October 22, 2015 - 5:17 pm
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After my endless hours I never once used a Bonfire Ascetic. I have at least sixty of them sitting in my bottomless box; I didn't like the idea of permanently increasing the difficulty of a single area to respawn items and enemies. As a game mechanic it's fine and it's how a lot of people made their builds, I just didn't do it myself. The game is already hard enough, especially in NG++ which I got to.

I really have to hope that Dark Souls 3 has more areas with the undead knight style enemies (think Burg, Parish); I also like giant enemies sprinkled in (Anor Londo, Heide's tower); but the combat becomes less fun to be when you start fighting monstrosities (think Blighttown lowest level or Lost Izalith). Though I grant that they handled such enemies best in Bloodborne probably, in both design and combat. We'll see.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Steerpike
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October 23, 2015 - 10:21 am
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Dark Souls 1 and 2 have a flavor difference in the bog-standard enemies you face. DkS2 has fewer instances of unique horrors (that spiky tentacle thing in Blighttown is a good DkS1 example of what I mean), which is okay, but I also feel like it relied too much on large heavy hitters. Maybe it's just because my hexer is still at the beginning of Heide's Tower waiting for me to get back to her and I hate those big knights, but "big knights" seemed more of a norm in 2.

Also, for those who haven't played Scholar of the First Sin: on the subject of Heide's Tower...

You know how there's Heide's Tower, and it's full of those big knights?

Well, in Scholar they added a dragon because why not. A big dragon, like, brontosaurus-sized easy. Oddly enough, it seems to live right outside the door where the Old Dragonslayer lives. Kind of a weird place for a dragon to move in, you know?

EDIT: looking back I see I already mentioned the dragon. Clearly it's a subject warranting much displeasure.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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xtal
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October 23, 2015 - 11:39 am
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That is an odd choice of residence for a dragon. Maybe him and old [redacted] cut a deal?

You're right, re: giants. It was special in Dark Souls and made Anor Londo feel that much more epic.

I'm trying to think of areas after Heide's tower where similar giant knights appear and nothing comes to mind. Though there are other giant type enemies, like the big fat trolls. Oh wait, there are those uber giants in the poison statue area after Blighttown Redux. Fuck that place.

I don't get the point of the new enemy placements in Scholar of the First Sin. If it's your first time with the game it means nothing to you, and if you're back for more .. well it's probably just arbitrarily more difficult.

Honestly, I don't know why anyone would leave Majula.

"Great sunset (or sunrise?) view from this peaceful cliffside. Wanna go get killed by poison dart slinging statues?"

"Yes, obviously."

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Steerpike
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October 24, 2015 - 4:20 am
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Everyone seems to share the same opinion on Black Gulch. In the end though, the Gutter is a worse place in my estimation. At least Black Gulch has the decency to be pretty brief -- though I think there's some hidden stuff that expands it somewhat -- whereas the Gutter never really allows you to fully grok how big or small it is. A series of platforms hanging in the darkness.

Black Gulch was also kind of stupid, whereas the Gutter, though awful, was scary and tense level design. A series of platforms just hanging there in their own little pools of light, with that endless-seeming darkness all around and -- more terrifyingly -- below. No idea how big it was, how far down it went, what was coming next...

...As for enemies of similar scale to the Heide's tower knights, I have a personal aversion to the Lost Bastille and those moon-sickle guys were similarly troublesome to me. Maybe a little smaller. That place sucks, man, it's on my top ten list of Worst Bastilles.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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xtal
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December 8, 2015 - 4:55 pm
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I forgot about the giant Lost Bastille folk. I don't know how I forgot.

How is Dark Souls 2 going, Steerpike? Still going?

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Steerpike
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December 8, 2015 - 5:10 pm
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Funnily enough, after a long time off I just spent several hours this weekend playing Dark Souls 2. Completed Heide's Tower and then remembered I'd forgotten to visit the Lost Bastille, which is where I am now. Also taking advantage of your advice I got the path opened and went to see that fellow in the chair -- What's-His-Name the Outcast -- and got some sweet Hexer stuff I really needed. Hexing Robes and a Hexing Stick and a Hexing Sword and, um, some Hexes with which to Hex people.

The Bastille is frustrating to me because in typically Steerpikian fashion, I've leveled past the point where I can readily obtain help and of all the bosses, the Ruin Sentinels are the ones I've never, ever been able to defeat alone. So I'm a little stuck there, but I'll get back to it eventually.

Aside: for those who haven't played Scholar of the First Sin, the Pursuer is a complete dick and I'd like to stab his stupid Pursuing face off.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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xtal
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December 8, 2015 - 8:32 pm
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The Ruin Sentinels seemed impossible the first time I faced them. I needed help badly. Then on NG+ and NG+2 I beat them solo. So here's the thing, there are not one but two NPC phantoms you can summon. One is in the hallway leading up to the boss, but there's also another summon sign in one of the jail cells off to the side. That evens the fight. The other key is to stay on the ledge as long as you can, where typically only one of the Sentinels will jump up. Once the first one is gone the fight gets immeasurably simpler.

I assume you've bought a few hexes already; I highly recommend you use Resonant Soul or Great Resonant Soul on bosses like the Ruin Sentinels. You need a chime to cast RS/GRS but they are crazy overpowered. You'll only get something like 3-6 casts depending on your Attunement but each one does huge damage. The thing you have to be sure of is to have a good stockpile of souls in soft form; each cast of GRS uses 500 souls but it's totally worth it. You should naturally acquire enough on your way to the boss. I recommend Dark Weapon and Dark Orb once your casts of GRS run out. You can buy GRS from Felkin the Outcast (cave guy).

Give this strategy a try.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Steerpike
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December 11, 2015 - 11:58 am
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I will try that, thanks xtal. So far I've been impressed with hexes overall -- I do have the Resonant Soul hex but I don't think I've actually used it yet. The shade NPC over in the barrel room should make things easier for me overall, even if it's just as a second spare target for the Sentinels to focus on. Typically I'll misjudge the spinning hammer attack and be right on the edge of its range, which either blasts me right off the balcony or kills me outright. The drawback to hexing is the need to spend heavily on certain stats to the point of ignoring others altogether, so I have very little damage reduction. I think my character might be able to manage the weight of an iPod before collapsing, but not much more.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Synonamess Botch
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March 13, 2016 - 6:01 pm
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I'm giving this game another chance.  I haven't touched it in a long time so I have no idea what has changed.  And since I never delved into the wikis, I wouldn't know it if I saw it.  The mechanics feel a bit different from what I remember, which is to say they don't feel like complete sh*t.  I'm going with one of my RPing favorites: Cleric.  I got the feeling that DS2 wasn't as satisfying for melee-only players, which is what I tried the first time.

I guess I'm starting to get enthusiastic for DS3, so I want to get back into Souls, even it its with a game I hated and quickly discarded.  Call me cautiously optimistic for now.  I see lots of online activity already (I've only just entered Majula).

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Steerpike
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March 14, 2016 - 12:56 pm
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Good luck Botch! If you haven't got it, I recommend adding the Scholar of the First Sin stuff because it adds a great deal of balance and general improvement that makes the game feel a little less rushed (to their credit, they had far less time than they needed to make DkS2 and still managed reasonably well).

If I can find the time, I'll play alongside you and we'll see if we can blunder through together. Are you on PC or PS3?

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Synonamess Botch
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I'm on PS3 and I'm currently loathe to spend any more money on the game.  I don't even have the Bloodborne DLC (yet).  But I'll keep it in mind.  I'm always interested in jolly co-op.
I got invaded yesterday.  I had gone back to my SL88, Falchion-wielding Bandit, who I had left in Iron Keep just steps (or rather a dodgy leap) away from what I recently realized was the Dull Ember.  Even though I lost, I was surprised that I didn't get immediately annihilated, which is what I expected to happen given my understanding of the state of PvP in this game.
What's everyone's platform of choice for DS3 going to be?  I'll be on PS4, and if I enjoy the game I might consider double-dipping on PC.  There will be no X180 in my future.

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Steerpike
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With DS3 I think I'll go with PC and use Steam Link, though I'm sad how often my PS4 sits idle. I prefer the PS controller (versus the 360 one I use for Steam games) with Dark Souls, but the higher resomolutions and such, plus Durante's endless tinkering, should help offset that. 

Much as I wish I could wait for some intel on the communities and cheating, DkS3 is a Day One purchase for me so I probably won't have that opportunity.

I got Scholar of the First Sin on PS4 and the framerate is actually so smooth it takes a while to get the hang of moving around. It's nice to see the community is still there on PS3, so maybe I'll dig out my copy. Jolly co-op is probably the only chance I have of getting further than where I stopped, which was... let me think... shortly after the Iron Keep. I did the Gutter and Black Gulch and if I recall correctly, I drifted off around the eightieth time the Executioner's Chariot executed me. Stupid chariot.

Though I did discover that the horse is really the brains of that operation, so if I can deal with him the Executioner and his Chariot should be a pretty easy problem to solve. Like yours, my main build is a non-magical Knight and it's taking its toll.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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