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Dark Souls III
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xtal
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May 5, 2016 - 2:56 pm
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I've been meaning to ask, what do you guys think of Firelink Shrine 2.0 as a hub / home base? I like the layout inside, as well as the subtle geographical hints that this is exactly where the first Firelink Shrine stood, and the secrets have been good too. I find though, spending so much time in the hubs, that the thing for me is the music. I find the music here a little too ... up front and noticeable. You could say the same about Firelink 1.0, but the difference was that you'd hear that theme for probably a minute or two at most and walk away because the actual area where it plays is just the immediate bonfire area. I also feel too comfortable in Firelink 2.0, whereas 1.0's crumbling minimalism and openness felt dangerous.

This could change, like my feelings on Majula did, but I don't know. I would actually like if the music were to change at some key point like in the Nexus. About Majula, I didn't like the music there at first but after spending dozens of hours in that hub, sometimes just standing there doing nothing (more than sometimes, actually) it really grew on me. The theme in Majula really fits the overall themes of loss and weird, confusing despair I think.

If I had to rank them (and since I just like to rank things):

Nexus > Majula > Firelink Shrine 1.0 > Firelink Shrine 2.0 > Hunter's Dream

 

Two thoughts for the day:

- Have you guys tried doing the "curl up" gesture in the crows nest? I did and put the controller down for at least two minutes, nothing happened. Disappointing!

- I don't know if this has been in any of the other games and if I've even used it and just forgot, but did you know: holding down triangle/Y will two-hand your left hand weapon? I just tried it a few days ago and it worked, and I couldn't remember if that's been a thing all along or if it's new. Anyway, there you go.

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

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Synonamess Botch
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May 8, 2016 - 12:42 am
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Well I have my first Lord Cinder.  I liked the Abyss Watcher fight, and I can see the nod to Artorius.  I successfully soloed it on the second attempt, after one session as a coop phantom.  What confused me initially was the first stage of the battle.  I'm probably forgetting some earlier lore, but I guess it was some sort of dueling arena that you come upon, uninvited?

About Firelink 2.0.  I really like it.  For me it matches with the theme - that the periodic need to link the fire has become a sort of standard event.  That being true, the original Firelink was built-up over the ages as the ritual became more formalized.  It makes a nice contrast with the theme of the general hollowing of the world and its inhabitants.  All purposes become corrupted over time but Firelink must endure so the fire will endure.  I like the music as well, in the sense that I don't find it annoying after a time.

I originally had no strong feelings one way or the other about Majula, but I grew to like it.  The serenity of the surf and that setting sun gave it just the right tone.  However, I've never gotten used to the music and generally dislike it.

I don't think I can rank them, since they all have such a different feel (although if pressed I would most likely put the Hunter's Dream at the bottom as well).  There's parts I like about all of them and they all serve their purposes well I think.  That said, I don't think anything will ever top the sheer other-worldliness of the Nexus.  Demon's Souls had that atmosphere throughout and no subsequent Souls game has quite matched it, or perhaps even attempted to match it.

Now to the Catacombs, and kicking skeletons off ledges so they'll stop re-forming...

Here's my tip: If you press down on the D-pad and hold briefly, it will jump to your Estus Flask.

Rule #2: Double-tap

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xtal
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May 9, 2016 - 5:00 pm
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Synonamess Botch said

Here's my tip: If you press down on the D-pad and hold briefly, it will jump to your Estus Flask.

Wow, I had no idea about that. Good to know!

I've just made it to a place called Irithyll Dungeon and it immediately reminds me of the Tower of Latria. We'll see how that goes.

Steerpike, have you uh.."taken" your spouse yet? This is a roundabout way of asking if you've been to That Place, and subsequently to THAT PLACE.

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

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Steerpike
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May 10, 2016 - 2:47 pm
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Noooo, I've fallen way behind due to cat in the hospital and mom in the hospital (Cat's time is short, Mom healed and free this weekend).

I did just a single boot-up and run yesterday and died to those freakin' thralls who drop down from the ceiling. I know there's a bonfire near. I know it! This is a semi-desirable element of the warping, in that progress means nothing until you hit a sort of... of ledge, represented by a bonfire, and once you do you can return there without the horrors of finding it.

This spouse you mention. I was engaged once, but that was before Dark Souls so I don't think it's what you're describing. And when you capitalize That and Place, I get nervous. Nor have I been to THAT PLACE.

Gaaaah! Xtal, what're you doing to me????

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Synonamess Botch
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May 10, 2016 - 5:53 pm
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I'm exploring the Catacombs.  I went ahead and created a Blessed Mace even though it appears skeletons only reanimate once.  It's inevitable that we would compare them to the Catacombs from DS1 even if they're not meant to be the same ones (I don't know one way or the other; don't tell me!).  They obviously went for a different tone than the twisting, claustrophobic design of DS1.  It's intended to give more an impression of vastness what with the howling, echoing winds and the deep vistas.  I actually like it.  Variations on a theme is one of the strengths of the Souls games as a whole.

I just solved the puzzle of the rolling skeleton ball almost by accident.  I missed the solution the first time I came down then boned out due to low Estus.  Some of the enemies are a little infuriating.  I don't think I've ever found the peek-a-boo enemy type anything other than that.

Oh, I did know about the curl up gesture with the crow - We are disappoint!  You can bow to the Doll, I mean Maiden in Black, er Fire Keeper and she'll bow back.

Edit: Blessed weapons do not prevent the skeletons from reanimating.  Whether they do or not seems random.  Blessed weapons do regenerate your health though, as they did in Demon's Souls.

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Steerpike
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May 12, 2016 - 5:18 pm
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FINALLY got through that horrible Cathedral roof and opened up the necessary shortcut. I suspect I'll still be in the Cathedral of the Deep for a while, since I've co-opped the place enough to know that it's pretty big, but just being past that hurdle is a nice feeling. It never felt unfair or even that irritating; I was just getting sick of the same run over and over again. One single door makes all the difference.

Places I haven't visited: Boreal Valley. That's next after the Cathedral, I imagine. And I do need to go back to the Catacombs and really loot the place, there's definitely stuff I missed. Oh! And that optional boss at the foot of the High Wall of Lothric, up the elevator from that Farron Wolf Covenant... er... wolf.

How are you guys progressing?

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Synonamess Botch
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May 15, 2016 - 9:03 pm
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I'm still in the Catacombs, which I believe I've completely explored save the boss room (although I got a look at the boss in a coop session).  I may walk back my positive assessment of the place a bit.  I think its design is not quite as creative as the DS1 Catacombs.  Oh and Anri, if I know Dark Souls at all, I know you got ditched.

I have no idea where the Boreal Valley is, but the Catacombs seem like a dead end unless defeating the boss opens up a new area.

Have you all been getting invaded?  I've only been invaded a few times.  All but one in the Crucifixion Woods.  Those were all pretty much beat-downs by strong invaders.  The only other one was right near the Abyss Watchers boss door.  I lost, but I kind of got bored with it since it was starting to draw out too long.  So that makes me 0 for whatever.  I did manage to kill one invader as a summons (host ran away and hid - thanks dude).

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Steerpike
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May 17, 2016 - 2:31 pm
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I have no idea where the Boreal Valley is, but the Catacombs seem like a dead end unless defeating the boss opens up a new area.

And so it does. In fact, the Catacombs open onto two new areas -- one of which may be optional, I'm unsure -- both at/near the boss area.

As for invasions, they seem to happen to me mostly when I've got help summoned, but overall (except for NPC invasions) it seems pretty uncommon. I'm not sure why.

---

I wrapped up the Cathedral with the most hilarious comedy of co-op errors in the history of Dark Souls; I may have to write a Dark Souls 3 Diaries just so I can include it. Long and short though, the boss is dead and I moved on to Irithyll of the Boreal Valley and it's brutal. Despite having pretty good frost protection, those ghostly villagers kill me in two or three hits. This is going to be a slog.

Note that's not a spoiler: you enter Irithyll across a long bridge. If you're Enkindled when you do so, you'll see a summon sign maybe a third of the way across. This sign is necessary to carry on a certain NPC's storyline, so watch for it.

On the subject of storylines, I've missed most of them by accident. I never saw Seigward again after the fire-monster; I know where he was supposed to be but he's not there now. Maybe because I did Farron Keep first? Dunno. As a result I'm going to lose Greirat the thief, which sucks because I like him.

That pair of knights -- the growly one and the chatty one -- have turned up a few times, most recently in Firelink Shrine, but I have no real understanding of what their story is. Similarly I haven't found the second Pyromancer yet and I missed someone important in the Undead Settlement, so a lot of 3 is a little lonely. Some storyline triggers, like the summon sign on the Irithyll Bridge, are just too easily missed in my opinion.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Meho
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May 24, 2016 - 5:03 am
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Just to reinvigorate the topic and throw my two cents in, having completed the game some ten days ago, I am open to offer advice to fellow tappers if any is needed.

 

It took me some 97 hours to complete it with a mostly DEX and STR build, no magic, no miracles, no pyromancy, just oldschool sword & board shenanigans. I have not managed to follow any of the NPC storylines all the way to the end - but then again I never do in these games - but I have killed all the bosses, including all optional ones so I may have useful advice. Then again I may not, of course...

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Synonamess Botch
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June 1, 2016 - 9:48 am
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I haven't been in the mood for Souls lately.  With Dark Souls, the game was so familiar that playing it was a kind of relaxation.  When everything is new, there's still the stress factor.  Anyway, I'll get back to it.  Meho sounds like you're doing a similar playthrough to my own.  I started with the long sword and haven't changed - it's such a solid weapon I haven't felt the need.  I do have the basic healing miracle though.

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Meho
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June 2, 2016 - 1:36 am
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Yeah, I did get the healing miracle too and it spent the length of the game in my magic slot but I never once used it. To be honest, since Demon's Souls my builds were focused on sword and board melee philosophy and the fact that I did not go for a pure strength build but actually worked quite diligently on my dexterity is supposed to be considered progressive for me.

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xtal
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June 3, 2016 - 5:14 pm
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I've taken a bit of a break for several weeks as well, just circumstance really. I've been enjoying Alienation, Uncharted 4 and now Overwatch. I'll get back to it soon-ish as well. I'm still in Irithyll Dungeon; it's a good spot. Lots of dying.

I think I missed that summon sign you refer to on the bridge, Steerpike. I killed the evil dog monster thing there but didn't notice signs, probably because I was not kindled. Both Anri and Horace are dead in my game; I am very responsible for one of those, and I feel the other was perhaps inevitable? But I'm not certain.

And come to think of it I haven't seen Siegward in a while. I think the last spot I saw him was trapped in the well without his armor.

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Steerpike
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June 6, 2016 - 5:07 pm
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MEHO! So glad to see you man.

 

Okay, so I took a break too, partly because my cat died and partly because I've been getting absolutely destroyed by the enemies in Irithyll of the Boreal Valley. I don't know what to do! I'm a beefy pyro strength/endurance build, excellent melee damage and reasonable spell power to fall back on; level... oh.... 50 I think, maybe 55. I have good armor -- the only weak point is the Grass Crest Shield, which I like for the stamina regen -- and a well-upgraded weapon.

And I'm just getting crushed, to the point that I feel like I'm missing something. Thoughts? Wisdom?

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Meho
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June 7, 2016 - 8:31 am
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Well, when in doubt, run. I mean, sure, you should learn to fight them and kill them at least once each etc. just to be sure you are getting souls and experience but essentially, you can ignore most of those Pontiff Knights and run past them to find bonefires and the boss area. Irithyll is not THAT big actually, so you can comfortably run through it and explore while avoiding combat. Just mind the fucking dogs.

 

As for fighting Pontiff Knights - they ARE tough, very fast and dangerous weapons so the best way to fight them is to make sure you separate them and fight them one by one and then learn their patterns. They have long attack strings but can be sidestepped rather easily and you can stab them in the back afterwards. Alternately, of course, you can just wait for their attacks to finish and then strike back, they are aggressive but they have windows between attacks. They don't have that much HP actually so usually you can kill them with a full stamina bar if you can get that one good opening.

 

Of course, they use magic too, so make sure you close the distance quickly and then bait their attacks. Now, I have played as a pure melee build so of course, with your pyro capabilities you may also experiment with mid-distance attacks.

 

Anyway, it's worth learning Pontiff Knights since there is a boss later in the game who uses their weapons and attack patterns among other things and I decided that that phase of his is the most difficult.

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Steerpike
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June 8, 2016 - 6:22 pm
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The Pontiff Knights being the armored fellows, right? The ones with assorted fire attacks? In co-op I've had better luck dealing with them than with the slender, ghostly individuals with curved swords. Those guys can (usually do) kill me in two hits.

Your suggestion to just run is a good one. I always forget that strategy exists when I'm in the thick of it. While I don't love the ability to port to all bonfires from a design perspective, it does change the relevance of finding a new one -- running past villains in search of a new fire can allow you to sort of hopscotch your way toward the boss.

I'll give this a try and report back. Blessings of the moon be upon you sir!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Meho
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June 9, 2016 - 7:35 am
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No, Pontiff Knights are those slender, ghostly sexy dudes with curved swords. The big armoured guys that attack with fire are much rarer and are actually fairly easy to kill once you are rid of their entourage (hags and pontiff knights in some cases). Anyway, Pontiff Knights use, as you've seen, blades (some have scythes) as well as magic so they are pretty tough to fight, especially in pairs or triplets. So, yeah, make sure you observe their routes and how you can separate them and kill them one by one. In most situations this is fairly easy to do although, yes, it demands some time and patience.

 

Regardless, as I said, they are not that essential to fight, I suggest fighting them to learn their general moveset as that will come handy at another point later on in the game, but that is not so important that you'll need to break yourself trying to come to terms with their style. They do drop a lot of souls but there are actually fairly comfortable spots for farming that you will run into soon enough so you don't have to spend such a long time in Irithyll.

 

I will say, though, that you should make an effort to explore this area as it has some not really hidden but, shall we say secluded areas that are well worth visiting. Especially if you are doing some characters' quests. The game is not THAT cruel though and once you prove to it you understand the enemies, it gives you reasonably spaced bonfires as well as manageable mobs. Tough, but manageable. There is a type of enemy in some of the lower parts of this area that is absolutely disgusting, though, so I killed them once and was happy to be rid of this place. Classic Dark Souls experience, I'd say.

 

I never played co-op in any of these games so I have no smart comments there, but you may want to summon a helper or two to help you with this area's boss when you encounter him. This one is the first I felt provided me with the classical Souls sense of "WTF THIS GUY'S UNBEATABLE!!!!!!!!!! WHY DO YOU HATE ME SO MUCH, FROM, WHY WHY WHY!" desperation that I associate with these games' memorable bosses. I mean, Abyss Watchers was a tough fight in the second phase, but this guy don't surf. Or mess around.

 

Obviously, the morning I beat him - more through luck than skill, I'll show you the video once you're past him - I came to work all invigorated and feeling masculine just to run into a video of a guy on reddit who beat him on NG+7, naked, using no weapons and naturally, taking no damage.

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Steerpike
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June 23, 2016 - 11:22 am
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I haven't been back to this in a while -- playing DOOM and dealing with life crap -- but I hope to return soon. I can't get stuck in Boreal Valley, for crying out loud.

The reason I fail is my "definition of insanity" method of play. I tend to try the same thing even though it's proven unsuccessful in the past. That's an especially bad strategy with the Pontiff Knights. They're less forgiving of mistakes and they behave a little differently than most other foes. The right thing to do is learn their combos and their tells and act accordingly, rather than trying the same thing over and over and hoping for the best.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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xtal
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July 7, 2016 - 6:02 pm
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Lothric Castle is a nasty place. As is the king's garden place, whatever it's called.

I found Siegward again, this time in the Profaned Capital. He had a pretty great moment coming into the boss fight with me against Yhorm the Giant. He did most of the work, too. Afterward he imparted a precious Slab of titanite, as well as his armor. I imagine that means I won't see him again.

It feels like I'm near-ish to the end. It's kind of weird. This game seems to not really have a middle. It's just a long stretch of bosses, and which ones will be lords of cinder versus which won't ... well there seems to be no pattern. The world design overall is way better than Dks2, but the pacing is about as strange. Although if I am near the end, this wasn't quite the slog that 2 was.

I do like that a major area near (seemingly) the end of the game is a castle area with humanoid enemies. The weirdness in design of late game enemies has never helped these games, I feel. Anyhow, the end is in sight!

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

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Steerpike
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July 15, 2016 - 11:40 am
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I've been away from the game for a while, but thanks to everybody's input and a lot of patience I finally managed to get past the first section of Irithyll village. I'm settled in at the Church of Yorshka. The Pontiff Knights are still a big challenge for me -- for whatever reason I find it difficult to process their combo tells, but I found enough Titanite chunks to upgrade mah axe to +6. Helps a lot.

The pacing is different, xtal, I agree. The earlier games, particularly DkS1, had very dilineated Beginning, Middle, and Ending sections. The game didn't tell you, but you sensed them. In this it feels like progress is lateral, sort of like the game is all middle. It started at the High Wall of Lothric, great level design but it certainly didn't feel like the Undead Parish in terms of easing you in. No complaints but it is a different feel. Without sensing your place in the game you really have no idea where you are. I could be anywhere from 10% to 75% done.

This Pontiff Sulyvhan fellow isn't a Lord of Cinder, but I feel like one must be lurking nearby.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Synonamess Botch
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October 24, 2016 - 8:00 pm
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I picked up the game again after leaving it at Wolnir's doorstep.  I just beat Sulyvahn (summoned Anri just to see if it would affect her storyline any).  He went down after a couple tries.  Honestly, I kind of just R1 and Estus spammed the fight.
I really liked exploring Irithyl.  I feel like my Knight with Refined gem infused longsword is a bit overpowered.  I'm at level 50 or so I think.

Meho, those disgusting creatures you mentioned - yeah, gross.

Xtal, have you finished the game?  Steerpike?

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