Coming into this after DkS1, giving me a hard time...

Coming into this after DkS1, giving me a hard time...

Postby Eremhaenon » Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:50 am

I just finished NG++ in Dark Souls and now in NG+++ I think I've accomplished most of what I set out to do (well I have all achievements for one thing) and recently buying this game on its 50% off Steam sale + DLC I was excited to give it a whirl.

Well one thing I like is that it runs much more smoothly than DkS1 did, funny enough. My computer's kind of crap, it seems this is a much better-optimized game.

Unfortunately the mechanics are really throwing me off. It feels almost like a completely different game.

The complete and utter lack of shields for one thing. There's only one class that starts with a shield and I don't even know when or where you're supposed to get another one after that (there's an item shop selling shields in Majula for ridiculous costs and they're probably unusable at low levels anyway). Parrying in this game is... uh, different. I would say "worse" than DkS 1 but maybe I'm doing something wrong. There's one area with two enemies in Things Betwixt, by the ledge where you get the two herbs. The first I parry and riposte fine, the next guy I can't get a parry in at all (this is me as a Warrior).

Speaking of ledge, jumping in this game... I had a jolly time jumping in DkS 1 (well by "jolly" I mean it went smoothly enough anyway) but I barely can make these ledge jumps in this game. It seems your character can only leap like a couple inches off the ground and a couple inches forward. I've fallen so many times.

And then the biggest hurdles in the game... weapon/armor durability, repairs, and soul retention. It seems with this game every weapon, armor and, if you have one, shield starts off at half its durability, maybe less than that, I dunno. And other than the Explorer's one beginning repair powder (my first starting character, I'll get to him in a moment) there's no way to repair weapons without finding the key to the blacksmith's house, I presume. Tell me that his key is a small distance away, because having your weak starting weapons broken from hitting enemies a billion times to take them down with no way to fix them is not sustainable.

As mentioned I started as an Explorer at first, just for something different from the other classes which were analogues to classes in Dark Souls. Plus all the sweg you start with, the monocle for a hat... very nice. Too bad his fighting skills SUCK. Forest of the Giants wiped me out so many times and caused me to lose so many souls because of aggressive enemy gangs, archers, a complete lack of any poise whatsoever (btw I didn't check, does this game even have a poise system? I didn't notice), and health and therefore quick deaths and my health bar getting lower and lower and my undead self looking worse and worse. I ended up accidentally despawning every enemy near the first bonfire I died so much (a lot of it because of that stupid area up the ladder with the unreachable arrow sniper and three-four enemies ganking me).

Simply put this is not a class equipped for combat and any attempts to engage in it keep making me lose souls that could have gone to leveling up some so that MAYBE I'd have some sort of a fighting chance (and be able to use weapons better than a dagger and a broken sword). The lack of a shield or even ability to block with a weapon doesn't help, especially with those annoying archers.

Really when I first started Dark Souls 1 I don't remember Undead Burg giving me this much trouble. However I see interesting potential in this game and would like to play it with a fresh start and a state of mind better suited to playing. So, my questions...

1) Best way to deal with those jumps? They obviously aren't as smooth as the DkS1 jumps but this game was designed around its comparatively clunky jumping mechanics so there has to be some way to get used to them. Suggestions? I'm aware I can switch back to the old way of jumping from left analog trigger to the B button which is what I did, and it helps but it still isn't perfect.

2) Best starting class for a heavy DkS1 player? I am guessing the Warrior would be many people's answers but starting off with a Broken Straight Sword... ugh. How about... best way to go about the gank-heavy combat sans shield? Whether an Explorer, a Swordsman, or a Deprived (just kidding... no fucking way am I touching that one until I get REALLY good at this game). The main intention is soul farming, for now, so I can level up vigor, strength, dex, endurance, something useful.

3) You don't need to tell me where to find them, but I just want to know... the blacksmith's key and a usable shield of some sort are close by, right? And the blacksmith still is the go-to guy for repairs and everything also, right? (especially since every thing you get is about half its durability level to start)

4) Dark Souls 1 was a game that kicked my ass repeatedly but as I kept playing it became more and more manageable until I became strong enough that certain areas became cakewalks (The Four Kings NG+ onward and Gwyn NG+ onward are real bastards to fight though - the latter mainly because I suck at parrying and a miss can really mess you up something bad). Will this be the same way? The way THE FIRST AREA, Forest of the Giants, is treating me, I'm worried about my prospects going forward. Also the awkward jumps. The hippo men or whatever they were in Things Betwixt (guessing they're to be saved for a later-level fight?). The also awkward parrying, Enemies ganging up on you and ripping you to shreds. Weapons breaking because of their halved durability and the locksmith who dropped his key in a storm drain somewhere or something and I have to act as his locksmith service. Tell me... does it get better? Or at least more manageable? I have heard there are some tough bosses in this game like Smelter Demon, Sir Alonne and the trio of Ancient Soldier Varg Vikernes and the other two guys, but I've fought tough bosses in Dark Souls as well. Will they at least be tough by, uh, tough boss fight standards and not because "this game's mechanics! *shakes fist in air*?

I keep reading how much easier this game is than DkS1 and having played so much of that game I thought I could just jump in this game with few troubles, but that's clearly not the case here.

TL;DR - Just looking for some advice for a guy coming from almost 300 hours of DkS1 all the way into NG+++ yet am struggling with just the first area of this game, what I'm doing wrong, and how to get a good head start so the rest of the playthrough goes smoothly, whether it'd be a "beginner-friendly" class or some strategies to not get killed so damn much in Forest of the Giants or by gargantuan hippo men.
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Re: Coming into this after DkS1, giving me a hard time...

Postby Tsmp » Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:35 am

Eremhaenon wrote:I just finished NG++ in Dark Souls and now in NG+++ I think I've accomplished most of what I set out to do (well I have all achievements for one thing) and recently buying this game on its 50% off Steam sale + DLC I was excited to give it a whirl.

Well one thing I like is that it runs much more smoothly than DkS1 did, funny enough. My computer's kind of crap, it seems this is a much better-optimized game.

Unfortunately the mechanics are really throwing me off. It feels almost like a completely different game.

The complete and utter lack of shields for one thing. There's only one class that starts with a shield and I don't even know when or where you're supposed to get another one after that (there's an item shop selling shields in Majula for ridiculous costs and they're probably unusable at low levels anyway). Parrying in this game is... uh, different. I would say "worse" than DkS 1 but maybe I'm doing something wrong. There's one area with two enemies in Things Betwixt, by the ledge where you get the two herbs. The first I parry and riposte fine, the next guy I can't get a parry in at all (this is me as a Warrior).

Speaking of ledge, jumping in this game... I had a jolly time jumping in DkS 1 (well by "jolly" I mean it went smoothly enough anyway) but I barely can make these ledge jumps in this game. It seems your character can only leap like a couple inches off the ground and a couple inches forward. I've fallen so many times.

And then the biggest hurdles in the game... weapon/armor durability, repairs, and soul retention. It seems with this game every weapon, armor and, if you have one, shield starts off at half its durability, maybe less than that, I dunno. And other than the Explorer's one beginning repair powder (my first starting character, I'll get to him in a moment) there's no way to repair weapons without finding the key to the blacksmith's house, I presume. Tell me that his key is a small distance away, because having your weak starting weapons broken from hitting enemies a billion times to take them down with no way to fix them is not sustainable.

As mentioned I started as an Explorer at first, just for something different from the other classes which were analogues to classes in Dark Souls. Plus all the sweg you start with, the monocle for a hat... very nice. Too bad his fighting skills SUCK. Forest of the Giants wiped me out so many times and caused me to lose so many souls because of aggressive enemy gangs, archers, a complete lack of any poise whatsoever (btw I didn't check, does this game even have a poise system? I didn't notice), and health and therefore quick deaths and my health bar getting lower and lower and my undead self looking worse and worse. I ended up accidentally despawning every enemy near the first bonfire I died so much (a lot of it because of that stupid area up the ladder with the unreachable arrow sniper and three-four enemies ganking me).

Simply put this is not a class equipped for combat and any attempts to engage in it keep making me lose souls that could have gone to leveling up some so that MAYBE I'd have some sort of a fighting chance (and be able to use weapons better than a dagger and a broken sword). The lack of a shield or even ability to block with a weapon doesn't help, especially with those annoying archers.

Really when I first started Dark Souls 1 I don't remember Undead Burg giving me this much trouble. However I see interesting potential in this game and would like to play it with a fresh start and a state of mind better suited to playing. So, my questions...

1) Best way to deal with those jumps? They obviously aren't as smooth as the DkS1 jumps but this game was designed around its comparatively clunky jumping mechanics so there has to be some way to get used to them. Suggestions? I'm aware I can switch back to the old way of jumping from left analog trigger to the B button which is what I did, and it helps but it still isn't perfect.

2) Best starting class for a heavy DkS1 player? I am guessing the Warrior would be many people's answers but starting off with a Broken Straight Sword... ugh. How about... best way to go about the gank-heavy combat sans shield? Whether an Explorer, a Swordsman, or a Deprived (just kidding... no fucking way am I touching that one until I get REALLY good at this game). The main intention is soul farming, for now, so I can level up vigor, strength, dex, endurance, something useful.

3) You don't need to tell me where to find them, but I just want to know... the blacksmith's key and a usable shield of some sort are close by, right? And the blacksmith still is the go-to guy for repairs and everything also, right? (especially since every thing you get is about half its durability level to start)

4) Dark Souls 1 was a game that kicked my ass repeatedly but as I kept playing it became more and more manageable until I became strong enough that certain areas became cakewalks (The Four Kings NG+ onward and Gwyn NG+ onward are real bastards to fight though - the latter mainly because I suck at parrying and a miss can really mess you up something bad). Will this be the same way? The way THE FIRST AREA, Forest of the Giants, is treating me, I'm worried about my prospects going forward. Also the awkward jumps. The hippo men or whatever they were in Things Betwixt (guessing they're to be saved for a later-level fight?). The also awkward parrying, Enemies ganging up on you and ripping you to shreds. Weapons breaking because of their halved durability and the locksmith who dropped his key in a storm drain somewhere or something and I have to act as his locksmith service. Tell me... does it get better? Or at least more manageable? I have heard there are some tough bosses in this game like Smelter Demon, Sir Alonne and the trio of Ancient Soldier Varg Vikernes and the other two guys, but I've fought tough bosses in Dark Souls as well. Will they at least be tough by, uh, tough boss fight standards and not because "this game's mechanics! *shakes fist in air*?

I keep reading how much easier this game is than DkS1 and having played so much of that game I thought I could just jump in this game with few troubles, but that's clearly not the case here.

TL;DR - Just looking for some advice for a guy coming from almost 300 hours of DkS1 all the way into NG+++ yet am struggling with just the first area of this game, what I'm doing wrong, and how to get a good head start so the rest of the playthrough goes smoothly, whether it'd be a "beginner-friendly" class or some strategies to not get killed so damn much in Forest of the Giants or by gargantuan hippo men.


Welcome to the fun. It does get better, but it takes some adjusting. Don't get me wrong, the game is certainly more clunky than Dark Souls 1 and comes off as more lethargic all around, but it's also still a good game.

The main thing that's probably giving you trouble right now is your agility stat. The number of iframes in your rolls, and how quickly you can use items, are both based on your agility, which itself scales mostly with Adaptability and slightly with Attunement. Putting points into these can make survival easier in the beginning.

Also, don't underestimate the value of hitpoints when you don't know how to avoid getting hit.

1) Practice, mostly.

2) For a DaS1 player more used to speed, I would probably suggest swordsman or explorer. Swordsman starts the game with two upgraded weapons (dual wielding is much more viable this time around, try holding the two-hand button after you've raised your str/dex to 10/24), whereas explorer starts with the highest agility stat and lots of items useful for survival, and a hat that boosts your item find rate. Explorer's inventory gets kind of nutty if you pair it with the healing wares gift.

3) You can pick up a free shield in Majula if you go down the stone stairs on the other side of where you enter at. It's in a chest down the second flight. The key for the blacksmith's place will be near the second bonfire in Forest of Fallen Giants, as will a couple of other important things. By the way, durability is automatically repaired when you rest at a bonfire, although broken weapons will remain broken. There's a non-broken shortsword up the top of that tower with the grey knight dude just past the first bonfire, or you can kill the grey knight himself for a sword (PS3/Xbox360/DX9 versions only). Throwing knives work wonders there.

4) A lot of this boils down to all the timing being different. Press the parry button and notice how long the windup is, and at what point your character actually sweeps the shield to the side. You want to time it so that the sweep connects with your opponent's weapon right when they swing it.

And as usual for these games, it's fine to ignore/sneak past enemies who seem too strong and to pick off enemies one at a time.
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Useful notes for Dark Souls 2, by yours truly:
Magic System Guide:
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=19416

Dual Wielding Power Stance how-to:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19381

Bonfire Ascetic Guide and Explanation:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19345&p=185263#p185263

Invading in the Dark Chasm of Old:
viewtopic.php?f=86&t=19608
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Re: Coming into this after DkS1, giving me a hard time...

Postby Eremhaenon » Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:20 am

Hi, thanks for the extensive reply.

Ha, I actually went down those stairs in Majula the first time and somehow overlooked that treasure chest to the side. So, a crimson parma, eh. Dunno if it's the best shield but it should be helpful for the forest, right?

My main issue with the controls is that the camera and, especially, the character movement, is a bit too sensitive/sharp. Precise turns and movements are more difficult than in the first DkS. So when walking up a tiny plank I have to be extra careful because if I make a turn your character turns a bit too far in that direction.

I restarted as an Explorer again, just because (looks quite dapper with a thick mustache). In order to use better weapons I need to REALLY level up my strength and dex though. The Longsword I got from killing that poison sac... thing (?) by the petrified body at the gate requires 10 str and 9 dex, where I'm sitting at a 7/6, respectively.

I also had a mistaken impression when playing. What I initially thought was my weapon/armor durability was actually my equip load. Oops. So bonfires do repair your things automatically. That's cool. Still need to be able to use a better weapon than this dagger. :/ (the first time one of the guys from the Forest of the Giants dropped some weapon that had exactly a 7 str/6 dex requirement, I need to get that again - that or get my dex up to 10 which is what I believe the requirements for a shortsword were?)

Well I think I'm getting the hang of things, sort of, bit by bit. I just need to level up enough to where I can actually start hauling ass, and also find the people who can give me things like spells, pyromancies and such (and the souls required to buy those).

I'll be back if I have any more inquiries, thanks a lot!
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Re: Coming into this after DkS1, giving me a hard time...

Postby Eremhaenon » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:22 pm

Hello again. It feels like I've run up against a wall with this game, again. Image

I had finished The Last Giant, but not without difficulty. I died several times. For a first boss that's a pretty bad sign. And then I tried fighting the Pursuer which was hopeless. (and yes I attempted the ballistae trick, no dice).

I'm not sure The Explorer is such a great starting class, not for me anyway. His stats other than Adaptability are pathetically low, and dodge-rolling feels hit-or-miss. I used up so many souls to upgrade my strength and dex just so I could use a weapon better than a plastic spork, leaving my endurance, vigor and many other important stats in the dust.

So after dying to the Pursuer for the fourth or fifth time (I barely get any hits on him, he just dashes toward me and continuously wears me down until I'm nothing - at this point I'm using a Heide Knight Sword, a Large Leather Shield, Infantry Helm, still keeping my Traveler's Tunic or whatever it's called on, and wearing Old Iron Leggings and Gauntlets I got from fighting those turtles), I go back through the entrance that the turtle is guarding with the firebombers above (I always make sure to take them out before proceeding), and then I mistimed a roll-dodge and died. Lost all my souls, all the enemies I got my souls from despawned, no more human effigies to restore the massive amount of health I lost (and I can't buy anymore either because, well, I have no souls to buy any more), and now a turtle killed me so I lost the bloodstain with all my souls at the Pursuer arena.

Soooo, yeah, basically Image

The second boss, mind you. I'm not looking forward to what this game is going to throw at me after.

You can apparently parry The Pursuer, the trick to stunning him long enough to use the ballistae, but I still can't get parrying down, so I think regular one-on-one is my only option. I hope there's no Gwyn-style fight where parrying is practically a necessity (it was for me with Gwyn anyway, especially NG+ forward).

Maybe I'll try a swordsman like you mentioned next. Or a knight (starts with a broadsword which is a very good weapon indeed). Or a bandit (starts with a bow, so hurrah for dexterity!). Or a sorcerer (I used a lot of magic attacks in the first Dark Souls, very useful, is it as good here as it was the first time?). Basically any class where I can spend souls to improve myself, not to just make myself somewhat functional.

And what is with the third bonfire in Forest of Fallen Giants? You walk out and you aggro two turtlemen at once. How the hell are you supposed to taken on two without being ridiculously high-level? And there's an archer there too, which just makes things more of a pain (this is why I'm considering a sorcerer, long-range attacks I can actually recharge at a bonfire, no more wasting throwing knives for me!).

So I'm still feeling misled by everyone claiming how much easier this game is than the first Dark Souls, when everything I've experienced says otherwise.

In short, Image
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Re: Coming into this after DkS1, giving me a hard time...

Postby Alois_Blucher » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:05 pm

Eremhaenon wrote:Hello again. It feels like I've run up against a wall with this game, again. Image

I had finished The Last Giant, but not without difficulty. I died several times. For a first boss that's a pretty bad sign. And then I tried fighting the Pursuer which was hopeless. (and yes I attempted the ballistae trick, no dice).

I'm not sure The Explorer is such a great starting class, not for me anyway. His stats other than Adaptability are pathetically low, and dodge-rolling feels hit-or-miss. I used up so many souls to upgrade my strength and dex just so I could use a weapon better than a plastic spork, leaving my endurance, vigor and many other important stats in the dust.

So after dying to the Pursuer for the fourth or fifth time (I barely get any hits on him, he just dashes toward me and continuously wears me down until I'm nothing - at this point I'm using a Heide Knight Sword, a Large Leather Shield, Infantry Helm, still keeping my Traveler's Tunic or whatever it's called on, and wearing Old Iron Leggings and Gauntlets I got from fighting those turtles), I go back through the entrance that the turtle is guarding with the firebombers above (I always make sure to take them out before proceeding), and then I mistimed a roll-dodge and died. Lost all my souls, all the enemies I got my souls from despawned, no more human effigies to restore the massive amount of health I lost (and I can't buy anymore either because, well, I have no souls to buy any more), and now a turtle killed me so I lost the bloodstain with all my souls at the Pursuer arena.

Soooo, yeah, basically Image

The second boss, mind you. I'm not looking forward to what this game is going to throw at me after.

You can apparently parry The Pursuer, the trick to stunning him long enough to use the ballistae, but I still can't get parrying down, so I think regular one-on-one is my only option. I hope there's no Gwyn-style fight where parrying is practically a necessity (it was for me with Gwyn anyway, especially NG+ forward).

Maybe I'll try a swordsman like you mentioned next. Or a knight (starts with a broadsword which is a very good weapon indeed). Or a bandit (starts with a bow, so hurrah for dexterity!). Or a sorcerer (I used a lot of magic attacks in the first Dark Souls, very useful, is it as good here as it was the first time?). Basically any class where I can spend souls to improve myself, not to just make myself somewhat functional.

And what is with the third bonfire in Forest of Fallen Giants? You walk out and you aggro two turtlemen at once. How the hell are you supposed to taken on two without being ridiculously high-level? And there's an archer there too, which just makes things more of a pain (this is why I'm considering a sorcerer, long-range attacks I can actually recharge at a bonfire, no more wasting throwing knives for me!).

So I'm still feeling misled by everyone claiming how much easier this game is than the first Dark Souls, when everything I've experienced says otherwise.

In short, Image


I'm gonna try helping by answering one bit at a time :P

First of all, with the Pursuer, try blocking the first attack and rolling the rest while going in the direction of his shield and getting a slash in afterwards. That worked well for me as a basic plan of attack ;-)

For the turtles, they have a simple weakness: they have a long recovery time. Bait them to attack, roll back, stab, and repeat from there. Eventually they'll never hit you as you whittle them down to nothing.

For starting classes, in all my playthroughs I've only done the wanderer with the two swords and the sorcerer, so I'll give my two cents based on that: Wanderers take a bit of getting used to (no shield until you can buy that Kite shield the merchant owns--which is VERY worth it!) but his ability to interrupt and kill basic enemies means a skilled player will never take a blow (but boss fighting becomes very intense).

As a mage, I generally kill the Ogres (the Hippomen in Things Betwixt) from a distance with Soul Arrow for their souls and a special ring that reduces enemy poise by a LOT (don't know the hard number, but the ring plus an Estoc can be used to DEADLY effect. so I imagine more poise-reducing weapons will turn the enemies into butter), which may help turtle-killing if you have a heavy weapon (or buy one).

For soul farming, you might notice the enemies stop respawning unless you join the Company of Champions covenant to grind (don't worry, once you leave they don't respawn anymore) but the enemies in general are much beefier. Things Betweixt is a slow and steady route that ensures plenty of souls over time--great for beefing up those low initial stats on Sorcerers so that they can mix their magic with some good weapons and medium armor.

On a final note: I hear adaptability can be useful for PvP focused players due to the "invincibility frames" that rolling can provide, and the supposed big difference that a half second's worth of speed when estus drinking can make when Adaptability reaches 40, but I personally found it useless or at least redundant for PvE. Just stick to your tried and true stats. Trying for a quality build? Str, Dex, a little health and equip weight, and you're find. Magic? Depending on how much magic is how much you need to grind. A warrior-hexer is a great big grind but manageably so.

Also, where 120 was the "cap" for most builds last time, 150 is the general sweet spot this time around. And finally: there is a ring to halve the amount of health lost by death, but you won't find it until Heide's Tower (which is after the Forest of Giants).

P.S. The Pursuer is technically optional, although I would recommend fighting it now for the major rewards it yields.
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Re: Coming into this after DkS1, giving me a hard time...

Postby Tsmp » Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:31 am

Sounds to me like you could be best helped by analyzing your own playing style and watching to see what gets you killed. You must be making a lot of odd mistakes to die so much against the first and second bosses.

Keep in mind that Dark Souls 2 does play a bit differently from Dark Souls 1. There is an adjustment period.
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Useful notes for Dark Souls 2, by yours truly:
Magic System Guide:
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=19416

Dual Wielding Power Stance how-to:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19381

Bonfire Ascetic Guide and Explanation:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19345&p=185263#p185263

Invading in the Dark Chasm of Old:
viewtopic.php?f=86&t=19608
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Re: Coming into this after DkS1, giving me a hard time...

Postby chefchucko » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:46 am

One thing to keep in mind is that you can two had a weapon with half the strength requirement now, instead of 75% or whatever from DKS1.
You may want to try the mace out. You have 6 Str, and need 12 to 1 hand it, so you can 2 hand it. It is a great weapon to start with, and does wonders against heavy armored foes, like the pursuer.
The thing to keep in mind with him, and just in general is stamina management. Don't be greedy and go for more hits than you can afford with your stamina. Always save some stamina to get away. When he does his 3 hit combo, and you need to roll 3 times, Let your stamina refill rather than going in for a hit.

You may actually want to go to the tower of flame instead of the forest. It is about the same difficulty wise, and will at least give you something else to do so you don't get sick of the same area.
If you're not planning on doing a heavy STR weapon build, pop the last giants soul, it can be used later for a heavy axe boss weapon, but isn't the best heavy weapon anyway, so it's no big loss to use it for souls and level up if you need to. Same can be said for the pursuers soul, good stats from his weapon, but poor moveset....but I'll leave that up to you.
You can always get their souls in NG+ when you're more comfortable with the game.

Oh, and dodging/rolling...try rolling later than you would have in DKS1. Once you get your agility up to 105, you'll feel more like you did in DKS1 for the dodges and i-frames. Getting your adaptibility and attunement up will increase that stat. You'll need around 30 adp and 13 attunement. 34 adp if you go with no attunement for no spells.
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Re: Coming into this after DkS1, giving me a hard time...

Postby Eremhaenon » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:01 am

Hi all.

I restarted the game as a Sorcerer, whose stats definitely aren't great outside of attunement and intelligence but the ability to use offensive sorcery from the start is just too good a perk to overlook.

I took the advice of joining/re-joining the Company of Champions every now and then to do some soul farming, I wasn't even aware this was a thing (thanks for the tip!). I also got a Covetous Silver Serpent Ring +1 (you can upgrade rings in this game?) from the one merchant in the Forest, I forget her name, after buying a bunch of stuff from her, which should help.

Right now besides the magic I'm relying on mainly a Fire Longsword I found, and have been upgrading it gradually (it's at +4 now I think). Good weapon, there are probably better ones later so I definitely need to get my str/dex stats up.

OK so I finally beat The Pursuer after dying like a billion times. It got to the point where I was a Hollow at half-health and where two hits from him would kill me so I just kept running in, right-dodging when I could (the wagons and ballistae blocking my way caused problems until I could get him to destroy them), even putting away my shield since that was useless and just eating up stamina and equip weight, and just going HAM with Great Soul Arrows and regular Soul Arrows on him, which do a pretty decent amount of damage to him. (I tried melee on him, and the Fire Longsword does do good damage but getting anywhere close to him is asking for trouble, especially at half-health)

So the lesson is: always right-roll, but at the proper time, and with nothing blocking your way, and without rolling the wrong direction or with the wrong timing. Basically, don't die.

So that was all well and good but if just the second possible boss encounter is this hard what does that mean for me the rest of this game? Do I need to level certain stats more? I was with The Way of the Blue when fighting Pursuer (because god help me if I'm going to make bosses more difficult), but now that I have some air time I can go back to leveling with the Company of Champs, somewhere.

I'll get back to you when I load up my game and check my current stats so you can all look at them and judge with grim disapproval (and perhaps offer some helpful suggestions on what to level up, that'd be nice too).

Alois_Bucher: Taking on the turtle armor guys one-on-one is not too big a deal for me. My dodge timing is notoriously bad (if I had any kind of notoriety that is), so it's likely for me to get hit my one of their smash attacks if I get cornered or as I slowly backstep. But for the most part they aren't a problem. Two at once though, how are you supposed to do that? Especially in tight corridors? Then again, the "Soldier's Rest" bonfire (I think that's what it's called) is basically a dead end with some loot you run and grab and then never come back. The bonfire is to get you out of there, not meant to go back to (great soul arrows are pretty great against the turtle guys I've found btw, and my upgraded fire longsword isn't so bad either).

Tsmp: If I had some means of recording footage I would probably do that and look it over but when you're in the heat of the moment it's hard to perceive what you may or may not be doing wrong. I know badly timed dodge-rolls were the bane of my fight with The Pursuer, and by the time I got his attacks down I was at half-health (and with wagons and ballistae constantly getting in my way of right-rolling!).

chefchucko: I've been debating whether to save the souls for weapons or just use them up right now and there. I operated heavily on a collector's mindset playing the first Dark Souls, I pretty much obtained every weapon, armor, shield, spell, etc. in the game after my three playthroughs. The Pursuer soul can apparently be used to craft either an Ultra Greatsword or his shield. That means if I pop his soul now I'll need to wait til NG++ to get both of his equipment? (that or use a bonfire ascetic to fight him again but I don't know if I want to even touch those). I dunno. On an unrelated note, I got a Channeler's Trident from giving a Petrified Something to Smooth and Silky or whatever their names are, apparently that's the only way to get that weapon so, lucky acquirement I guess?

Question: does being in the Company of Champions affect item discovery at all? I'm wearing the Explorer hat I bought from... female trader that sounds like Undead Female Merchant in DkS1(?), and items seemed to drop at a better rate when not in the covenant, but maybe I'm just imagining things (e.g. I always go to fight those poison jutted-gut things near the petrified woman near the Scotsman with the weird blue sword, and the one that attacks with a weapon dropped Longswords before - in my new playthrough, in the Company, it didn't seem to drop anything - when I got out, I went and fought it and it dropped a Falchion. Is it just some weird element of luck I'm having or is there something to this?)
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Re: Coming into this after DkS1, giving me a hard time...

Postby Alois_Blucher » Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:39 am

quote="Eremhaenon"]Hi all.

I restarted the game as a Sorcerer, whose stats definitely aren't great outside of attunement and intelligence but the ability to use offensive sorcery from the start is just too good a perk to overlook.

I took the advice of joining/re-joining the Company of Champions every now and then to do some soul farming, I wasn't even aware this was a thing (thanks for the tip!). I also got a Covetous Silver Serpent Ring +1 (you can upgrade rings in this game?) from the one merchant in the Forest, I forget her name, after buying a bunch of stuff from her, which should help.

Right now besides the magic I'm relying on mainly a Fire Longsword I found, and have been upgrading it gradually (it's at +4 now I think). Good weapon, there are probably better ones later so I definitely need to get my str/dex stats up.

OK so I finally beat The Pursuer after dying like a billion times. It got to the point where I was a Hollow at half-health and where two hits from him would kill me so I just kept running in, right-dodging when I could (the wagons and ballistae blocking my way caused problems until I could get him to destroy them), even putting away my shield since that was useless and just eating up stamina and equip weight, and just going HAM with Great Soul Arrows and regular Soul Arrows on him, which do a pretty decent amount of damage to him. (I tried melee on him, and the Fire Longsword does do good damage but getting anywhere close to him is asking for trouble, especially at half-health)

So the lesson is: always right-roll, but at the proper time, and with nothing blocking your way, and without rolling the wrong direction or with the wrong timing. Basically, don't die.

So that was all well and good but if just the second possible boss encounter is this hard what does that mean for me the rest of this game? Do I need to level certain stats more? I was with The Way of the Blue when fighting Pursuer (because god help me if I'm going to make bosses more difficult), but now that I have some air time I can go back to leveling with the Company of Champs, somewhere.

I'll get back to you when I load up my game and check my current stats so you can all look at them and judge with grim disapproval (and perhaps offer some helpful suggestions on what to level up, that'd be nice too).

Alois_Bucher: Taking on the turtle armor guys one-on-one is not too big a deal for me. My dodge timing is notoriously bad (if I had any kind of notoriety that is), so it's likely for me to get hit my one of their smash attacks if I get cornered or as I slowly backstep. But for the most part they aren't a problem. Two at once though, how are you supposed to do that? Especially in tight corridors? Then again, the "Soldier's Rest" bonfire (I think that's what it's called) is basically a dead end with some loot you run and grab and then never come back. The bonfire is to get you out of there, not meant to go back to (great soul arrows are pretty great against the turtle guys I've found btw, and my upgraded fire longsword isn't so bad either).

Tsmp: If I had some means of recording footage I would probably do that and look it over but when you're in the heat of the moment it's hard to perceive what you may or may not be doing wrong. I know badly timed dodge-rolls were the bane of my fight with The Pursuer, and by the time I got his attacks down I was at half-health (and with wagons and ballistae constantly getting in my way of right-rolling!).

chefchucko: I've been debating whether to save the souls for weapons or just use them up right now and there. I operated heavily on a collector's mindset playing the first Dark Souls, I pretty much obtained every weapon, armor, shield, spell, etc. in the game after my three playthroughs. The Pursuer soul can apparently be used to craft either an Ultra Greatsword or his shield. That means if I pop his soul now I'll need to wait til NG++ to get both of his equipment? (that or use a bonfire ascetic to fight him again but I don't know if I want to even touch those). I dunno. On an unrelated note, I got a Channeler's Trident from giving a Petrified Something to Smooth and Silky or whatever their names are, apparently that's the only way to get that weapon so, lucky acquirement I guess?

Question: does being in the Company of Champions affect item discovery at all? I'm wearing the Explorer hat I bought from... female trader that sounds like Undead Female Merchant in DkS1(?), and items seemed to drop at a better rate when not in the covenant, but maybe I'm just imagining things (e.g. I always go to fight those poison jutted-gut things near the petrified woman near the Scotsman with the weird blue sword, and the one that attacks with a weapon dropped Longswords before - in my new playthrough, in the Company, it didn't seem to drop anything - when I got out, I went and fought it and it dropped a Falchion. Is it just some weird element of luck I'm having or is there something to this?)[/quote]


Glad to see you finally beat the Pursuer, don't feel too bad about it the hardship though, when I first fought him I thought he was the toughest boss in the game...And yes, they do get harder/easier. It depends on the boss, as they are typically easier/harder depending on your playstyle and player skill. FOr example. if you master dodging and shielding the Pursuer would have been much more tame (I used the Fire Longsword until I bought the Estoc and upgraded it a bit) by comparison, and there are bosses later that will also necessitate rolling and/or shielding to beat.

Keep in mind, light armor is usually best. (In my experience): Rolling quick makes a much bigger difference than taking less damage. Also, on adaptability, I never needed to level it but I have been leveling Attunement to about 40 on a given Dark Souls II playthrough----so take what I said earlier about it's effectiveness with a grain of salt.

As for Company of Champions, it does not affect the drop rate, but that Merchant's Hat with the monocle does affect the drop rate. Seeing how the hat is very lightweight and at this stage you're going to want every item you can carry to either use or sell (which you'll be able to do later) there is no good reason why not for the hat. Unless that 1 or 2 item weight points are preventing you from easy rolling. In which case, if you really want to grind for an item, just join CoC and grind that way.

About Rings: They do not level up or upgrade, but there are about 3 of each type to represent a Standard, +1, +2 of each one. Generally anything less than +2 is a weaker version of it's Dark Souls counterpart but there are exceptions (like the ring at Heide's Tower which halves health loss per death, and works basically like the Cling Ring--if you've played Demon's Souls).

One final note: It is a bit easier to level in this game, and there are different "hot spots" for soul memory where PvP or Co-op become significantly more common. Unless you lose your souls often this generally corresponds to a level. For more information, I suggest the wiki as some bits are a little over my head.

....And I mentioned all that so you know it is very possible to have a more or less multi-talented character capable of good melee and magic without sacrificing in any particular stat.

EDIT: the birds in Things Betwixt have a random chance of dropping stuff, but higher quality Smooth and Silkies and Petriefied Somethings tend to yield stuff like Channeler's Trident. Keep in mind even the common Small Smooth and Silky can yield it but at a much lower rate. Most often they yield forging materials like Firedrake Stones or PvP items like Cracked Blue Eye orbs.

EDIT EDIT: About those rewards: look past the boss arena into the ditch for a nice item set. And also a shortcut to the Lost Bastille (great place to grind if you can. Also a great place to die if you can't :P )
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Re: Coming into this after DkS1, giving me a hard time...

Postby Eremhaenon » Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:38 am

Yeah, I picked up the Drangleic set and visited the Bastille. Got my Fire Longsword to +5 with the Large Titey Shards I found there. :)

It was mostly a painless trek except for that door you open where a flood of those guards come rampaging through, killed me the first time. I prepped a bit better and managed to aggro only the first two, and then the others afterwards, finished them off with SORCERY of course.

Where I got stuck was the explosive barrel you hit down the hill which blows open the wall to another bonfire and another blacksmith. I went down and one of those damn dogs just jumped and destroyed it. Then I couldn't get back to the first bonfire as the way was blocked. Annoying. Thankfully I had Homeward Bones on me to try it again and I guess the fire in the fire longsword ignites the flammable powder in the barrels? Because then I could blow up the wall. Then goodies galore!

Just finished off Dragonrider and Old Dragonslayer, with the NPC summon by their fog gates. Forget his name (Masterless... guy?) but he went full-on Iron Tarkus on these guys. Embarrassingly I died once to Dragonrider even though his attacks you can basically strafe around (AND I had an NPC helper to distract! It was like dying to Pinwheel all over again). Maybe I was a bit encumbered by my armor and used up more stamina because of it, I dunno. Well, second time, finished him, simple.

Ornstein 2.0 aka Old Dragonslayer (I'd love to know the lore behind his appearance in this game) probably would've used my corpse as a mop if not for being able to summon Masterless dude a second time. Seriously, it was just those two going at it while I remained in the background firing soul arrows at him. Finished him the first time, dunno if I could solo (we'll see in NG+!).

Found the miracle lady, bought a Homeward miracle, now I just need to get my Faith to 18 to use it so I don't have to worry about my Homeward Bone supply (once I got Homeward in Dark Souls 1 I never looked back - I very rarely unequipped it, only maybe for boss fights where it was either death or victory with a bonfire and I needed the extra slot for something else - thinking of Four Kings here where I just filled my attunement slots with pyromancy).

Now it's either No-Man's Wharf or Huntsman's Copse for me (No-Man's Wharf I guess I'll give a go first - some pirate's cove with enemies afraid of light apparently?).
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Re: Coming into this after DkS1, giving me a hard time...

Postby Alois_Blucher » Fri Sep 18, 2015 3:54 pm

Eremhaenon wrote:Yeah, I picked up the Drangleic set and visited the Bastille. Got my Fire Longsword to +5 with the Large Titey Shards I found there. :)

It was mostly a painless trek except for that door you open where a flood of those guards come rampaging through, killed me the first time. I prepped a bit better and managed to aggro only the first two, and then the others afterwards, finished them off with SORCERY of course.

Where I got stuck was the explosive barrel you hit down the hill which blows open the wall to another bonfire and another blacksmith. I went down and one of those damn dogs just jumped and destroyed it. Then I couldn't get back to the first bonfire as the way was blocked. Annoying. Thankfully I had Homeward Bones on me to try it again and I guess the fire in the fire longsword ignites the flammable powder in the barrels? Because then I could blow up the wall. Then goodies galore!

Just finished off Dragonrider and Old Dragonslayer, with the NPC summon by their fog gates. Forget his name (Masterless... guy?) but he went full-on Iron Tarkus on these guys. Embarrassingly I died once to Dragonrider even though his attacks you can basically strafe around (AND I had an NPC helper to distract! It was like dying to Pinwheel all over again). Maybe I was a bit encumbered by my armor and used up more stamina because of it, I dunno. Well, second time, finished him, simple.

Ornstein 2.0 aka Old Dragonslayer (I'd love to know the lore behind his appearance in this game) probably would've used my corpse as a mop if not for being able to summon Masterless dude a second time. Seriously, it was just those two going at it while I remained in the background firing soul arrows at him. Finished him the first time, dunno if I could solo (we'll see in NG+!).

Found the miracle lady, bought a Homeward miracle, now I just need to get my Faith to 18 to use it so I don't have to worry about my Homeward Bone supply (once I got Homeward in Dark Souls 1 I never looked back - I very rarely unequipped it, only maybe for boss fights where it was either death or victory with a bonfire and I needed the extra slot for something else - thinking of Four Kings here where I just filled my attunement slots with pyromancy).

Now it's either No-Man's Wharf or Huntsman's Copse for me (No-Man's Wharf I guess I'll give a go first - some pirate's cove with enemies afraid of light apparently?).


Both will challenge you in different ways, so I suggest using the turtle-man killing strategy you used for the big guys of Huntsmen's Corpse and Soul Arrow X Torch for the special badies in the Wharf.

I won't spoil where what leads to where, but I suggest heading to Huntsmen's Corpse and beyond if you want that special Blacksmith in the Lost Bastille to do his thing (and if you want some Eastern weaponry to become available 8-) ) sooner rather than later. Although the Fire Longsword is perfect adequate for a Paladin type.

I remember when I first fought Orstein alone and I was like...where's Smough bro? Seriously, I felt bad for the guy like he was some sort of lost child who just wanted to go home, lol. Naturally his story is mostly implied rather than explicit.

The Dragonrider isn't hard but I think I had a similar experience to yours the first time, although I had no NPC help (first playthrough I didn't use humanities for most of the early part).

If you found Ornstein's Second Coming, then you probably got the Ring of Binding with it (helpful isn't it?). The next ring to look out for life-wise is the Ring of Soul Protection (0r something). It is basically the ring that revives you with all your stuff but can be repaired for re-use for 3000 souls. Naturally not helpful early on (if humanity is all you lost) but later on (and when you would have lost 10,000 + souls) it's a godsend. Can't remember where specifically to get one but I think Felkin the Emo Dude who waits by Huntsman's Corpse sells them.

Oh, and what kind of build are you going for? Hexing plus melee? I like using my "Hexer Samurai" build due to it's ability to use katanas ( duh :P ), all magic, and wear medium armor. Of course health takes a back seat but my strategy is to not-get-hit rather than take them so...Worked for me. What about you? I might be able to offer spoiler-less hints or help.
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Re: Coming into this after DkS1, giving me a hard time...

Postby Alois_Blucher » Fri Sep 18, 2015 3:55 pm

Please delete this copy I made it small.
Last edited by Alois_Blucher on Fri Sep 18, 2015 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Coming into this after DkS1, giving me a hard time...

Postby Alois_Blucher » Fri Sep 18, 2015 3:55 pm

Looks like I somehow made 3 copies. I'd appreciate a moderator's help to clean up if possible...Thanks and sorry.
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Re: Coming into this after DkS1, giving me a hard time...

Postby Eremhaenon » Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:19 pm

Hello again. Progress report: cleared the Wharf, and fought and defeated the Flexile Sentry (funny-looking guy, I keep thinking that underneath the armor it's actually CatDog), using Lucatiel because apparently you have to win at least three boss fights with her to complete her quest line? She mostly was there just to draw aggro from me but I finished off the boss without any problems. I didn't use Torches in the level, I unwittingly used a Pharros Lockstone which just made the level light up and scare the Darkstalkers back in their hidey-holes. Helpful, though I guess I could've saved the Lockstone for something more... rewarding later on (I noticed there was two Pharros locks in Lost Bastille - one I read leads to a shortcut, I don't know what the other one does - I managed to nab another Lockstone by dropping down that hole in Majula so I might go back and try it out later - yeah I bought the Cat Ring, but it seems to be only any good if you're at full health because those drops take almost all but a sliver of your health, so when I was in hollow form I tried the jump and just ended up killing myself). Found the sorcerer guy, bought some shizz from him (hurrah for Great Heavy Soul Arrow! not so much for Soul Arrow Barrage or whatever it's called, which is painfully inaccurate and does little damage per shot - and only three uses at that! I guess it might be good for firing at mobs or something but... nahhhh). I nearly overlooked that drinking dwarf guy up in the Darkstalkers' house, I looked at a guide after clearing the area to see if there's anything I missed, and he would've been a big miss indeed! So good to know I can still sell items in this game.

Overall, I wasn't that fond of this level, which I should've been because I like pirate cove/ship bay-type levels in most games, but I might return to farm for a Sea Bow, because I like the idea of having a weapon called a "Sea Bow."

Also finished off The Ruin Sentinels, glad that's out of the way, but dear god, even with Pilgrim... sorcerer woman (I'm bad with names in this game) as a summon I died several times anyway. I may have wasted some effigies but I was not exactly comfortable taking them on solo yet, I still feel my character despite his relatively high SL right now is pretty weak as far as overall stats go. Well eventually I finished them off, barely (just as my summon died I killed off the second one, with only a small amount of health left on the last one to finish it off quickly - one of them throwing their shield at me was helpful in just shooting sorcery at it without being blocked - I just hope there's no important questline related to this summon that I just ended by having her die off :( ).

Well anyway since you asked (and I promised this earlier anyway) here is my character as of this moment:

Image

Image

I don't know why I thought the cyan lipstick was a good idea. Oh well, what is done cannot be undone. :P
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Re: Coming into this after DkS1, giving me a hard time...

Postby Alois_Blucher » Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:56 pm

Eremhaenon wrote:Hello again. Progress report: cleared the Wharf, and fought and defeated the Flexile Sentry (funny-looking guy, I keep thinking that underneath the armor it's actually CatDog), using Lucatiel because apparently you have to win at least three boss fights with her to complete her quest line? She mostly was there just to draw aggro from me but I finished off the boss without any problems. I didn't use Torches in the level, I unwittingly used a Pharros Lockstone which just made the level light up and scare the Darkstalkers back in their hidey-holes. Helpful, though I guess I could've saved the Lockstone for something more... rewarding later on (I noticed there was two Pharros locks in Lost Bastille - one I read leads to a shortcut, I don't know what the other one does - I managed to nab another Lockstone by dropping down that hole in Majula so I might go back and try it out later - yeah I bought the Cat Ring, but it seems to be only any good if you're at full health because those drops take almost all but a sliver of your health, so when I was in hollow form I tried the jump and just ended up killing myself). Found the sorcerer guy, bought some shizz from him (hurrah for Great Heavy Soul Arrow! not so much for Soul Arrow Barrage or whatever it's called, which is painfully inaccurate and does little damage per shot - and only three uses at that! I guess it might be good for firing at mobs or something but... nahhhh). I nearly overlooked that drinking dwarf guy up in the Darkstalkers' house, I looked at a guide after clearing the area to see if there's anything I missed, and he would've been a big miss indeed! So good to know I can still sell items in this game.

Overall, I wasn't that fond of this level, which I should've been because I like pirate cove/ship bay-type levels in most games, but I might return to farm for a Sea Bow, because I like the idea of having a weapon called a "Sea Bow."

Also finished off The Ruin Sentinels, glad that's out of the way, but dear god, even with Pilgrim... sorcerer woman (I'm bad with names in this game) as a summon I died several times anyway. I may have wasted some effigies but I was not exactly comfortable taking them on solo yet, I still feel my character despite his relatively high SL right now is pretty weak as far as overall stats go. Well eventually I finished them off, barely (just as my summon died I killed off the second one, with only a small amount of health left on the last one to finish it off quickly - one of them throwing their shield at me was helpful in just shooting sorcery at it without being blocked - I just hope there's no important questline related to this summon that I just ended by having her die off :( ).

Well anyway since you asked (and I promised this earlier anyway) here is my character as of this moment:

Image

Image

I don't know why I thought the cyan lipstick was a good idea. Oh well, what is done cannot be undone. :P


Note: I'm using spoiler signs to shrink the gigantic quotes.

CatDog? Lol I haven'ts seen that show in ages...

Nice to see you;re finally adjusting to Dark Souls II, Flexile Sentry (I keep thinking it's "Flexible") can be hard if you don't know to aggro his mace-holding side or use a summons to keep his attention while you spam his ass off...

Soul Barrage used to be strong but nerfs and all that...sadly Magic isn't what it used to be. But the Soul Arrows are still top-notch, though personally I prefer having a 100 or so normal Soul Arrows due to their relatively decent power and aiming ability (got the binoculars? They actually work this time!).

Galvlan the Dude With the Wheels is certainly an odd dealer, expect to see him a few times on the road before he finally settles down. As for Lucatiel, the whole "fight thrice" thing is only for her gear. Her questline only requires that you talk with her. However, in you kill her (for whatever reason) you can always buy her gear from Melantia, who sells the gear of any NPC you murder while the dude in the house sells Boss armors.

Sea Bow? Lol sounds interesting. I liked using the game's new Greatbows. First time using bows in the series and Great Bows were very satisfying.

As far as your stats go, I'm guessing you plan on making a hexer warrior type? A.k.a., 30's or so in INT, FTH, DEX, STR? Well, so far I'd say you're well on your way but the sooner you cap your health and equip load stats at 20/25 the sooner you can focus on your combat stats. Personally I cap my STR at whatever the highest strength requirement of my desired weapon is (like 20 for the Washing Pole) and level Dex to around 30 while gradually pumping FTH and INT one at a time until they're 40. Then I level INT to 60 in order to get the most out of my favorite Hex.

As for attunement...the more you have, the more spell uses you have. Not to mention slots. That stat never reaches a true "soft cap", although I guess 75 might be the closest thing since after that you'd have to hit 99 to get 100% of it's value. Although 40 is a reasonable soft cap with noticeable perks.

What did you have in mind? Do you plan on sticking to that longsword or only until you've found a more desirable weapon?
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