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Dark Souls III
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Synonamess Botch
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April 22, 2016 - 1:11 pm
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I have now, I think, completely explored the Settlement and can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It took me quite a while, which I'm perfectly OK with. It is so packed with cool touches.  From continues to amaze with not just level design but general art design.

I guess the area boss is optional?  OK don't spoil that.  All I know is that I can access the next area and still have not defeated the boss.  I've done some coop recon runs, and every time the host died.  It's not too hard to figure out what needs to be done, but doing it is another matter.  I'll probably try it solo first but the task looks daunting.

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Steerpike
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April 22, 2016 - 10:21 pm
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Interesting point Botch, it didn't occur to me that the Greatwood might be optional, but you're right -- you can access the Road of Sacrifices without fighting it. In fact, most of the Undead Settlement could be skipped, right? You'd need to get across that bridge and through the tower, fight the Frosty Guy, and you're done.

The High Wall of Lothric was labyrinthine. I liked the aesthetics but not so much the level; I felt a little out of my league with those kite-shield knights and transformers. The Settlement seemed small at first, until I really started exploring, and all of a sudden it was anything but small. A nice variance in design, scene to scene.

Road of Sacrifices is pretty tough so far, but mostly because it requires a different approach than the Settlement or the High Wall.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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xtal
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April 23, 2016 - 12:44 pm
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The shortage of regular titanite shards is a bummer. There's really not much of a chance for early game experimenting with weapons once you have one upgraded. There should be way more titanite, or better yet you should be able to buy it from a vendor. I'm sure it'll pop up on one of them eventually, but it's too late. I'm onto looking for large shards now (I've found one in the entire game so far, and got another from the crow). Also, the 2, 4, 6 requirement to upgrade is insane. I don't like that so far.

I did a lot of co-op and exploring of beyond the Road of Sacrifices, Farron's Keep a couple days ago. It's an amazing zone. The Cathedral of the Deep is a bit more bland, but it has kept me on my toes. I've currently died a few times in a part of that level which is very reminiscent of a certain legendary part of Anor Londo. Not, like, really close to being the same kind of thing. Just reminiscent.

I've put Farron's Keep on hold for the moment (this is the Blighttown 2.0 that I mentioned) and am exploring the Cathedral, honestly for no better reason than that, I know FromSoftware, and I have a feeling that if there's a Rusted Iron Ring in this game it's probably somewhere in the level that isn't the swamp level where you actually need it because torment is fun!

I think not including Iudex Gundyr that this game starts out with the weakest trio of bosses in a Souls game yet. Vordt, Greatwood and the Road of Sacrifices boss:

the Crystal Sage.

But I'm pretty sure I've found the first this-one-is-gonna-be-memorable boss in Farron's Keep:

The Abyss Watchers.

It's a super hectic fight; I was there as a phantom, soloing it would be a good challenge I think.

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

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Synonamess Botch
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April 23, 2016 - 10:16 pm
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I successfully soloed Greatwood.  Although typically the type of boss you'd like help with, I knew that having the boss handle crowd control was a viable option.  Plus you don't really have to rush this fight.  You can take your time and get out of the way when necessary.

I've explored the Road of Sacrifices only a little.  I like those Gryphon enemies.  Man this game really wants to be Bloodborne it seems.  The key of course is to be more aggressive than they are.  Speaking of Bloodborne, all this fast-paced combat gave me a desire to play some.  I'm in the Forbidden Woods and got past the windmill area which had me blocked for a good while.  Now I have another obstacle - The Shadow of Yarnham.  Oh man this one is going to be tough.

Xtal mentioned something about another boss in High Wall so I tried getting summoned for it.  Pretty difficult, as is that blue knight hanging around.  I agree that some of the enemies in High Wall are a bit much.

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Steerpike
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April 24, 2016 - 6:03 am
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I'm not actually very good at the Souls games -- something both of you know firsthand, having joined me in the past for DkS1 Jolly Co-Op -- so when you say you soloed the Greatwood like it ain't no thang, man, you earn mad 'spects from me. Scouting via co-op is one of my favorite activities in the Souls games, since you can help other people and see what's around the next bend, so it's no surprise I'd faced that boss in phantom form probably a dozen times before going against it myself. The lesson I learned from those experiences was... um... that the Greatwood was not a solo-able fight. Of course I still believe that about the Ruin Sentinels from Dark Souls 2, but the absolute chaos of the battle struck me as even more a multiple-person affair. Even more than the Ruin Sentinels. It speaks to your prowess that you were able to keep all the necessary plates spinning, my friend. I didn't just summon help, I summoned three phantoms, on the not-implausible grounds that of the fifteen or so times I'd gone against the Greatwood in co-op, we'd managed to beat the thing once. Too many players charge headlong in for the glory, forgetting what Souls co-op is supposed to be about. You're there to die for the person who summoned you, which in the case of the Greatwood battle means you're there to manage the damned crowds while your Ember Host flings himself against that monstrosity's root ball. Recognizing that gave me good reason to invest heavily in Endurance ranks. You can never have too much Stamina, as demonstrated by the need to sprint back and forth constantly to stop those damned things falling out the windows.

I didn't play any today, so I'm falling behind. Still at the beginning of the Road of Sacrifices. I have a dozen games left to judge for IndieCade and I really do want to get back to writing for this site at some point, but by god, when the Dark calls, the Dark calls, y'know?

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Synonamess Botch
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April 24, 2016 - 5:27 pm
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That's kind of you Steerpike, but honestly I'm really not that great of a Souls player.  At least not in the sense of manual dexterity or the like.  But I did recognize some things about the mob in that boss fight - they're not very aggressive (even the tougher red-eyed, hook-wielding ones), they're pretty slow, and they have the convenient habit of getting right under the various limbs of Greatwood who is more than happy to one-shot them.  But perhaps most importantly, when the ground breaks, they are gone.  And getting the boss to that point doesn't take long (that's actually the key to that battle I think).  So I'll accept being described as deliberate and cautious but that's about it.

I did die a couple times before succeeding.  And like you I had very little success in helping others win.  Anyway for those reasons and maybe some others I was able to get my head around the fight and figured coop help would only get in the way in this particular case.  Don't know how better to describe it.

I never solo the Ruin Sentinels because not only are there three of them, but they're all annoyingly aggressive with ridiculous range.  Huge difference.

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xtal
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April 26, 2016 - 11:37 am
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I finished off a couple nights ago what could be called the first sort of puzzle boss of the game, the Deacons of the Deep. The only comparable Souls boss fight to this one would be the Congregation from Dks2, except this is a much tougher, more intense fight. Nonetheless, I managed to solo it on the first try, unkindled to boot. I like to do that sometimes to test that I actually still can, since normally I just enjoy boss fights more when doing co-op, even if it's just NPC phantoms. Actually, I prefer and look for NPC phantoms since we know using them can have story implications and such.

Let me tell you folks though, the boss of Farron Keep is one of the best boss fights in the entire series I think. The Abyss Watchers, which I mentioned in my last post. I don't want to spoil too much, because it's a cool discovery your first time, but I'll just say: Think Artorias from the Dks1 DLC, and add an interesting twist with some epic music on top of that.

The next area, which I should have of course expected to pop up at some point: the Catacombs. Yes, catacombs are back with all their skeleton goodness. I've made no progress there yet, but did get a sneak peek at the boss when I was summoned. All I can say is, um...Holy shit.

Also, word of warning, shortly after I gave Irina of Carim (blind miracles lady) a braille tome that seemed to be forbidden, she started ranting about the darkness touching her, and the next time I came back she was just gone. So when you give her some dark tome, be sure to purchase all the miracles you want for the foreseeable future, because she still hasn't returned and I don't know if she will. I kind of assume, since this game is sort of trying to be Dks1 in a way, that I'll find her in the catacombs. We'll see.

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

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Synonamess Botch
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April 26, 2016 - 11:15 pm
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I'm exploring the area after the second Road of Sacrifice bonfire.  I haven't taken on any giant enemy crabs though.  Just exploring the ruins.  I guess I'll have to wade through the bog eventually.

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Steerpike
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April 28, 2016 - 1:29 pm
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Oh my god, dude, those crabs suck. They are the they are the worst of all crabs -- indeed, of all crab-kind, meaning genus crustacea. They're even worse than... you know... those crabs.

Seriously, I'm not even kidding.

Worst. Crabs. Ever.

I fucking hate those crabs.

The Crucifixion Woods are challenging but I ended up liking them pretty well. It's a PVP covenant zone and the invasions get a little out of control since there are NPC invaders too; also those guys with the sticks hit really hard and there are three far-tougher-than-the-average-bear foes on the far side from where you start.

The boss is meh, but it opens up onto some cool areas, and the world starts branching out a little.

So far I really like Dark Souls 3 -- far better than 2, if not as much as 1. The issues I have with it are design decisions like the lack of open-world-ness and the difficulty acquiring Titanite in the early game, and the teleport-wherever + nexus hub that makes the world seem disconnected.

I'm in Santa's Village the Boreal Valley right now, having just defeated [REDACTED BUT OH MY GOD IT WAS HUGE]. Do I stay in the North Pole? Do head over to the... the other place you can access from Crucifixion Woods? I'm tormented by indecision. 

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Synonamess Botch
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April 29, 2016 - 12:20 am
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I thought you were laying the hyperbole on a bit thick with the crabs.  But no.  They certainly came up with a clever way to prevent cheesing them.
You're not kidding about the invaders either.  Sheesh, I was taking on two at a time.  I never found any covenant here though.  I accidentally stumbled upon the boss and lost.  Not a particularly inventive one.  I summoned help the second time and put it (them?) down.

I don't think you can understate the impact of bonfire teleporting.  Sure it's convenient, but at the cost of something special I believe.  I'm reminded of the first time I made it back out of the Catacombs, seeing that sunlight at the end of the tunnel.  That's one of my most memorable moments in gaming.  I felt an overwhelming sense of relief and accomplishment.  Imagine if I could have just zapped my way out.

Edit: I got 1-shot by that black knight.  I'll have to come back for him later...

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xtal
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April 30, 2016 - 1:04 pm
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I soloed (unkindled) another boss two nights ago: High Lord Wolnir. It's one of those interesting boss battles that can turn incredibly challenging if it goes on for too long, as I experienced as a summoned phantom a few times. But alone in my own world, I defeated him in what must have been under 90 seconds, and with relative ease.

I'm now also at this Irithyll of the Boreal Valley place. I'm not really a fan of the weird naming of some things. What ever happened to Anor Londo, or Lost Izalith? There's an area and a boss both with the same naming convention. I don't get it.

Anyway, there's some evil lizard-dog-thing that ripped me to shreds three times and I decided to stop for the night at that point!

Steerpike, since you seem to be past me I can ask questions; did you face the phantom in the Catacombs of Carthus? I already forget his name... Tol..something? Torig? Killer..hunter..man..tor..? I can't remember. He looked like Iron Tarkus. And he kicked my ass five times before I put him down.

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Synonamess Botch
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April 30, 2016 - 2:26 pm
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Am I the only one who likes the fact that armor is no longer upgradeable (at least for now anyway) and doesn't have the scaling they gave it in DS2?  Seems like they took a page from Bloodborne and/or Demon's Souls on this one.  It just adds further complication and it's really all about the Fashion Souls anyway, right?

Xtal I'm having to skip your posts because I want to avoid spoilers as you and Steerpike are both are ahead of me.  I'm exploring the Cathedral of the Deep right now.  Those infinitely spawning (at least I think they are) Ghouls are new, and super gross.  I received a very helpful online message about how to deal with the bleed worms.

Edit: Cathedral of the Deep should be renamed "I have a One-Trick Pony and his name is Ambush".  I am glad I befriended that dude in the Undead Settlement.

Edit2: Just thought of something Xtal.  If something happens to Irina, might Eygon come looking for you?  He implies as much.

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Steerpike
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May 2, 2016 - 3:52 pm
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Botch, the Covenant that does the invasions in Crucifixion Woods can be found a little further on. Technically, I think, it's an optional area -- not exactly a secret one, but one that's easy to skip without meaning to since you find it and some other important paths at more or less the same time. Look for tall ladders. If nothing else it'll net you an optional mini-boss, three or four crystal lizards, and some good loot.

I'm really struggling in the Cathedral of the Deep, which is embarrassing because there's no reason I should be. Without giving away too much, there's a part where you're on the roof of the place; it has a lot in common with some sections of Anor Londo and I just can't get very far. It's driving me crazy. The leech monsters in the canal area are a pain too -- wave your torch at them. Bloodred Moss will make the leeches go away, but it's not that easy to come by.

Every time I put down a summon sign in the Cathedral, I'm summoned in by someone who's really far ahead of me, so they've already opened some key doors. My objective has been to get summoned and see how to open these doors,  so it's not that useful, but I have had a chance to explore the Cathedral interior a little. This is a big area.

Xtal! The Catacombs!

I... may have somehow avoided this invasion, but I'm not sure how. I don't spend a lot of time in ignited form (just because I die a lot) so it's possible I waltzed right past. In fact I probably left a good percentage of the Catacombs unexplored -- and unlooted -- because the upper levels were harder for me than the lower ones.

High Lord Wolnir was a tough one for me, because I kept falling victim to his area-effect cloud attack while in Phantom form for other players. I beat him handily enough when I took him on in my own world -- he's more bark than bite -- but my guess is the community will be divided on how hard he is, depending on how readily people respond to that nearly insta-kill effect. It's easy to dodge but sometimes you miss the tell until it's too late because you're looking in the wrong direction.

As to your question about how the geography works, that's a good one. I suspect parts of the world are just parts of Lordran we never visited in Dark Souls. Other parts, like

Smouldering Lake

are presumably

both Izalith and the Demon Ruins rolled into one.

But there's a disconnect to the world, for sure. Where does the High Wall of Lothric go in the Lordran canon? What was it walling against?

Though time is distorted in Lordran, it's clear Dark Souls 3 takes place long after DkS1, possibly enough time for the geography to have changed significantly. It seems a bit of a cop-out, though. With so many places, it'd be sweet to explore them transformed by the passage of time. Anor Londo, for example, as a crumbled lost city with no standing structures; a Blighttown that's been drained and tidied up and is now a semi-normal community (perhaps at the foot of a certain High Wall). Darkroot has always had drainage problems, so make it a lake or a bog. Et cetera.

I can live without that consistency but it'd be nice to have had it, to maintain a thread through all the games.

One small benefit of campfire warping: once I find a new fire in the Cathedral, I'll never have to attempt this horrible run again.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Synonamess Botch
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May 2, 2016 - 10:38 pm
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You're struggling in the Cathedral because it's freakin' hard!  I'm in the area around Farron Keep and it's a cakewalk by comparison (2 fires extinguished so far).  I did the one thing that seemed to make the rafters useful then pissed off.  Those Cathedral Knights are no joke.  I think them and, say, the Lothric Knights are the game's way of making you use weapon arts, and being more than a little Bloodborne-style aggressive.  They have ridiculous poise and stamina so going up against them in the DS1 way is an exercise in frustration.

Yes, I found the covenant, literally 10 minutes ago.  And just now made the connection that it was referring to the Crucifixion Woods and not the Farron swampy woods.  All I can say is wow, what a view from that crumbled bridge.  Reaching that point did not disappoint.  The crystal lizards in this game are not as infuriatingly impossible as the ones in DS2, but they're close.  Fromsoft, stop using crystal lizards as an ambush lure, okay?  It's one thing to put a shiny on the ground to make me forget caution for a moment.  It's quite another to use something that will disappear if I don't kill it quickly enough.

ENB has an interesting take on the question of locations - perhaps it's not time that is distorted in Lothric, but the lands themselves.  The lore does say that all the lands of the Lords of Cinder have been sort of smashed together around Lothric.  I know ENB can get a little ridiculous in the speculative lore department, but that does seem at least plausible.  I simply find it cool that almost at any time you can tell where you are in relation to other places by just looking up, or climbing to a high point and looking around.

I had a little PSN exchange with Xtal in which I kinda spoiled an NPC encounter.  If you don't care about spoilers, here's how it goes:

In the Cathedral of the Deep, if you can make it past the giant closest to the boss room (evade or kill) and go up the stairs, you can skirt the enemies and find a lift.  That lift will emerge near one of the big doors which opens upon the graveyard.  Continuing on around is one of the wall/bridges.  Standing there is what looks like Siegward, but with an odd-sounding voice.  If you attempt to walk across the bridge, a cut scene will play in which the Onion bro is revealed to be good old Patches.  He lowers the bridge before you can cross, which aggros the giants.  If you can survive and eventually find the shortcut which leads to the rafters, and the spot where you can drop down to the other side of that bridge (and eventually find Rosaria) you can confront Patches and the usual comedy plays itself out.  After this, there is a well near the altar bonfire down which you'll find Siegward, sans armor.  Buy the armor from Patches, and drop it down to him.  I don't remember getting a reward for this but I presume it advances whatever his plotline is.  I kind of stumbled upon all this, although I did get an online hint about the well.

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xtal
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May 3, 2016 - 9:06 am
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Light spoilers continuing on from what Botch posted above:

I've been using wikis quite sparingly, but I couldn't live with missing our old friend Patches, so I looked up if there was a way to salvage having missed him in that area (and I'm positive I didn't see him on my first trip - maybe it was the direction I came from). Indeed there was (going up the elevator in the tower behind Firelink), and now good old Patches is a vendor. I appreciate the added touch of his higher prices, which of course have been a staple even since Demon's Souls.

I suspect Wolnir is one of those bosses that's programmed to be harder with phantoms. He was so easy by myself, but when I helped others he would often drop that death fog immediately.

One thing Dks2 sorely lacked for the most part and Dks3 succeeds at is, like you mention, Steerpike, is being able to find the High Wall from almost anywhere and orient yourself within the world. It probably goes as far or farther than Dks1 did, but that's likely more based on the world here being spread out but still very "connected" visually at least. Still, the bonfire warping does diminish something we all seem to agree. But really, Dark Souls 1 was a no-hitter; we shouldn't very well expect a perfect game to follow.

Something I liked about Dks2 that I feel like I was in the minority about was the lore. It became obvious not too long into your game that you were probably traipsing around the landmass formerly known as Lordran (now with Dks3 I don't know, since it's so on the nose here). I liked all the NPCs losing their memories and generally forgetting why they came to Drangleic. It was sort of an f-you in a way, hopelessness and chaos yada yada, and it let the Dks1 lore stand on its own, maybe having you question it without really addressing any of it. Where in Dks3 I feel like they're ret-conning some Dks2 things; even if Dks2 is looked back on as the odd step child I generally don't like pretending things didn't exist just because they're lesser. Dks2 is a pretty brilliant game, it just looks stupid when you compare it to the first one. Anyway.. ramble ramble!

Oh, is it just me or are the Drang knights..Drangleic knights? They look similar-ish.

Catacombs tip: illusory walls are back in full force in this area. Keep your eyes peeled for them.

I'm getting to some areas in and around there that do pretty much confirm we are stomping around in the old Demon Ruins and Izalith, and in fact I've just found a certain, spider-y corpse which bestowed unto me a pyromancy tome.

Speaking of pyromancy, are either of you using any? Or any magic/miracles for that matter? I said it before but they do seem relegated a lot here. I still have only Great Magic Weapon, Spook and a third slot I'm using for Hidden Body and Cast Light. Spook is so useful though - I even used it to fall down an elevator shaft in the Cathedral and unlock the elevator. It felt like cheating, but they let me do it. You can fall quite far with Spook. Try it if you haven't! It's just Hush from the first two games, but for some reason it seems much more useful now.

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Synonamess Botch
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May 4, 2016 - 10:17 am
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I have found two illusory walls so far.  One was pretty obviously hinted at, the other took some careful examination of the environment.  I don't miss the "press X to open wall" mechanic.

I have to admit that I mostly agree with Xtal about DS2.  This is without actually finishing the game yet, but I get what they were going for with the eventual fading of the world: memories, potency of old artifacts, everything.  What bothered me the most was the fan service, which I generally despise.  That so far is my biggest criticism of DS3 - the fan service.  Andre at Firelink.  Why not?  I don't mind recurring themes.  Those have been a part of the games from the beginning.  But there is a line between the two that is difficult (for me) to define.  I think it has to do with context.  If you can reference a past theme in a way that makes sense, it works.  If you just drop in some element, context-free because hey! the fans will love it!, it's fan service, and annoying.

I've generally enjoyed all of the areas I've explored so far.  Some have grown on me after an initial "meh".  You can find the occasional janky-looking texture or whatever, but overall it's gorgeous to look at.  I think it is demonstrably superior to Bloodborne even.

I started with that relatively weak heal spell which requires only 10 Faith.  Since then I've acquired some of the Pyromancies with low requirements (I'm 10 Fth, 8 Int Knight), i.e. non-damaging ones but haven't used any yet.  I generally don't use Sorceries in Souls games, but do use Miracles and Pyros and my first DS3 playthrough is no exception (so far).  I noticed that the Pyro Flame is upgraded with Titanite, which seems like a reasonable change.  Also, I can finally buy shards (yay!).

Does the area with the three fires not have a boss?

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Steerpike
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May 4, 2016 - 4:07 pm
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I'm pyromancing. Not as much as I could be, but it's a handy side job. I originally built a Herald but started over only an hour or two in because I couldn't stand having no ranged attack at all. So I switched out to a pink-haired pyro named Steerpikette, and found myself really comfortable with the hand axe. In DkS1 for some reason I swapped the hatchet out for a longsword early on, but the axes are great weapons. I just switched over to a Brigand Axe and -- after a series of increasingly hilarious and white-knuckled in-out races to Smouldering Lake -- I got enough Large Titanite to upgrade it nicely. I've focused on Strength but as usual I never seem to have enough points for everything. I got a Talisman and a Heal, so I'm part Priest too, and just bought the Flame Weapon spell for those times when you don't need an axe, you need an on fire axe.

If I had to choose one fundamental difference between Dark Souls and these past two installments, it'd be the difference in weapon access and progression. This is a flaw, though a minor one; I was kept from playing by a sick cat these past few days so I'm still in the Cathedral, but it occurs to me that after all these hours I've seen less than half the weapons I'd seen by the same point in Dark Souls. Stuff is harder to find and some items aren't available (apparently) until pretty late in the game, which would suck if you've built a character that depends on something you can't find for forty hours.

It doesn't really hurt the game, but I really miss the smorgasbord of weapons from the early hours of Dark Souls. It didn't make the game any easier, but it gave you a chance to experiment with everything, to test out strange new weapons and new civilizations; it's just harder to do that in 2 and 3. I still haven't seen a Winged Spear, one of my Demon's Holes standbys, and most of what I have found is numerically inferior to my existing equipment, even once it's upgraded. A small thing, but I feel like it's a bit of a misstep. Dark Souls 3 and Dark Souls 2 are both much more progression-centric: by moving forward you gain new ground (and stuff). That makes sense, but it does eliminate some of the sprawling wonder of Dark Souls, a game in which it's easy to move laterally for hours and hours without actually feeling like you're not making progress. Here in 3, it's damned clear I'm not making progress because this Cathedral roof is my Everest.

There's more to say on the lore in this and 2 as well, but this post is getting long. So.  

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Synonamess Botch
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May 4, 2016 - 5:21 pm
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Somebody sells the Winged Spear.  See my previous spoiler.

Completely agree about the progression.  You could easily go into places not meant for low-level characters very early in DS1 and grab cool loot, even if it was a suicide run.

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xtal
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I agree that Andre's presence seems unnecessary. There's never been any sort of hint that he (or any Astora folk) are immune to the effects of time. Patches I look past because that was established as the one carry over where they could hint at Demon's Souls. It's odd that he even appears in Bloodborne but not Dark Souls 2, though clearly Patches was just one of the things the non-Miyazaki-helmed team tried to leave behind.

I also dislike fan service in general, with exceptions for when it's tasteful.

I still haven't come across any +1 or +2 etc. rings so I'm hoping they're done away with. Though who knows what NG+ will bring. I found Irina of Carim; it seems she wandered off but didn't get far. If she goes missing in your game just take a walk from Firelink back to the Iudex Gundyr bonfire and you'll find her and Eygon.

An interesting exchange occurred with Greirat; he left Firelink on a second trip and returned after I defeated the latest boss of Smouldering Lake; he said he wouldn't have made it alive without the help of the "onion knight." Now, I did the same as Botch, and retrieved Siegward's armor for him and threw it down that well. I wonder if I hadn't done that would Greirat have died? I'm curious.

Also, I now have TWO pyromancy tomes that this Cornyx idiot won't read. "Oh those are too dark for me" or some garbage. C'mon fella, really? You're already harnessing the power of fire and chaos from wherever-the-hell, but these two tomes are too messed up for you? Please.

I'm still in Irithyll of the Boreal Valley (oh, that name) and the souls are really starting to pile up. Shrine maiden still sells only titanite shards, but the large shards are a tad more plentiful at this point (my Estoc is +6) and Greirat returned from his latest trip with 3 twinkling and 3 titanite scales.

Tip of the day: I just realized something really useful yesterday that I hadn't, probably because I've mostly not used any miracles. If you have enough faith to wield a chime with the Gentle Prayer skill on it (Priest's Chime, sold by Greirat, requires just 10 fth) you can L2 and for a very modest amount of FP it will slowly heal about 75% of your HP bar, at least from my fooling around. This is useful if you need a chunk of health and have a moment of downtime and don't want to waste Estus.

 

What's your level, Steerpike? We should engage in jolly co-op. I'm level 59. Though level is more lenient online it seems here; I've been doing a lot of co-op with a friend of mine who has been consistently 20-30 levels behind me. I think it might take a minute longer for him to see my summon sign, but it still works. It's nice; the complicated restrictions have always been frustrating, and Soul Memory was just a horrible, horrible nightmare. But yeah, I died on that roof a few times myself. If you don't have the Spook sorcery but have the stats to get it you should try it out; it's helpful in that area.

Thoughts on strength in this game: I haven't found many strength weapons I like yet. The ones I have found seem to rely on a bit more dexterity than usual as well. That may work both ways actually; while I fancy my character a dexterity based one, I still have 18 strength to wield the shield I like, and I pumped it up just to try some weapons. I never strayed from the Mace or Rapier in Dks2; I loved those, but missing out on everything else is unfortunate. The word on the street is that all straight swords are currently considered the OP weapons. I guess that makes sense: good damage, good move sets (generally), and fast attack speeds. Though ever since my hexing rapier sorcerer in Dks2 I am infatuated with thrusting swords, they really seem to fit my style best. Though part of me yearns for a giant club, or an Iron Tarkus getup.

As much as a part of me wants to be that cool guy (am I still typing?..sheesh) who uses Lucerne or the Great Scythe I just can't get on board with either of those weapons full time. Their moves are too wacky and spin based. The secondary weapon I've actually enjoyed the most is the Drang Hammers. Two handing those babies made nice work of the skeletons in the catacombs. Oh, and the Shotel. I'll always love the sinister Shotel. The rapier's weapon skills are quite good too. Reminds me of one of the special rapiers from Dks1, though I can't remember if it's Ricard's or another.

You know... I kinda just want a Balder Side Sword. Balder Side Sword + Crystal Magic Weapon + Power Within = happy.

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

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xtal
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May 4, 2016 - 5:34 pm
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Synonamess Botch said
Somebody sells the Winged Spear. See my previous spoiler.

Completely agree about the progression. You could easily go into places not meant for low-level characters very early in DS1 and grab cool loot, even if it was a suicide run.

This missing aspect has caused all three games since to suffer. Just thinking about the paths you can take ... head down to New Londo, Valley of Drakes, Darkroot Garden, Undead Parish. Or New Londo, Valley of Drakes, Blighttown.  You could conceivably face off against the Bell Gargoyles or Quelaag. You could defeat Quelaag, go to the Demon Ruins and get the Chaos Ember within an hour of starting Dark Souls. Or you can do that thirty hours later. Or eighty.

It seems ridiculous to say considering how mainstream its offspring is today, but Dark Souls is actually still underrated in my opinion. Most well designed game ever.

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

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