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Dark Souls 2 - Co-op Gang & General Chat Thread - (The Story goes on)

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In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jan 2014 13:03:47 GMT
Oh cool, I really liked the Dark Souls guide book so will prob get the guide for DS2.

Did anyone get the design works artbook? Mine arrived the other day, I totally forgot about it since I pre-ordered it in September or something.

I'm not usually a collector but I thought I'd keep my souls collection going since I've got the collectors editions of Demons Souls, Dark Souls and the Dark souls guide.

Posted on 21 Jan 2014 13:05:04 GMT
noblood says:
EpicNameBro said recently that he preferred DkS2 to DkS.

The guides are good for weapon paths and working out damage etc.
However, I tend to like to work out boss strategies on my own, plus I like surprises. lol.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jan 2014 16:43:52 GMT
I will be getting this on 360. Cannot wait. Will probably go to game on rd rather than pre order to avoid any disappointment.

Posted on 21 Jan 2014 20:04:09 GMT
Evening all,
@Andy - Nice find on the Strategy Guide. I will def be pre-ordering it as soon as its available. When can we expect it to be listed on Still have my guide from Dark Souls.
@Bub - I never picked up the Dark Souls art book. Is it worth the £30 price tag ?
@Davy - hey Dave - hope all is well. Will I add you to the OP Xbox GTs ?

Just on a side note, there are still rumours of a Demons Souls II being released on PS4 in the future. Some talk on and a couple of tweets about it.
Not much to go on.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jan 2014 08:28:50 GMT
yeah cool add me to the front as i suspect i will be playing this for quite a while

Posted on 22 Jan 2014 11:01:10 GMT
Crixus says:
This may be old news but Dark Souls is £3.74 on xbox right now.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jan 2014 11:17:33 GMT
dlc down as well CRIX? im assuming it is

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jan 2014 11:26:15 GMT
Wow, if I still owned an Xbox!

Posted on 22 Jan 2014 11:39:37 GMT
I wrote to Brady Games yesterday asking when the Dark Souls II LE Strategy Guide would be available to preorder on UK sites (as its listed on
They had no ETA or any info to provide.

If you see the guide available for preorder on zon or other sites, please post here..
As I recall, the Dark Souls Strategy Guide sold out everywhere within a few weeks of the game being released back in 2011 and was out-of-stock for sometime.

Also, if you are on the fence about pre-ordering either the Collectors Edition or Black Armour Edition, you may want to do so soon. Namco have limited the number of both pre-orders available on all formats and according to them, the Collectors Edition has now been sold out with no further preorders being made available.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jan 2014 11:58:09 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Jan 2014 11:58:22 GMT
guys do you use the guide before you play through the game?? surely it ruins it, or do you do it to mop up everything after you have finished??

whats with the special eitions are they worth it? i got the dark souls one and it gave me some sort of hardback book and a soundtrack cd pretty useless but it was the same price as normal edition. Anyone any idea where it is cheapest?

Posted on 22 Jan 2014 12:02:22 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Jan 2014 12:10:17 GMT
I was going to get the Black Armour edition but didn't see much point. I know it's in a different case and has the soundtrack but to be honest I'd rather hear that sound track whilst I'm lopping limbs off anyway.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jan 2014 12:04:19 GMT
@Dave - I didn't use the guide for my 1st couple of playthroughs. Got all the info I needed in the Dark Souls Thread as peeps were brilliant with advice and tactics.
The Dark Souls Guide sold out twice back after RD and was gone for a good while from purchase apart from ebay, etc.

The cheapest place for the CE Edition on Xbox 360 is here and it is still available. Sold out on Zavvi and Shopto or Game (can't remember which).
I have the CE pre-ordered from Gamestop here in-store, but thinking of changing as the additional Ä40 is what you are paying for the statue, art book and map.
I was thinking that you would eventually get it for cheap (just picked up Splinter Cell Black List 5Th Freed Edition for £20 and Bioshock Infinite Premium for £20) - but that won't be the case due to Namco limiting the number available based on pre-orders placed. They don't intend on having any spares available so price will go up as opposed to down.

Posted on 22 Jan 2014 12:42:49 GMT
"guys do you use the guide before you play through the game?? surely it ruins it, or do you do it to mop up everything after you have finished??"

I usually take a look at the guide once I'm done exploring an area to see what I missed (usually a fair bit).
Plus it has a lovely hard back cover, mmmm, yeah!

"@Bub - I never picked up the Dark Souls art book. Is it worth the £30 price tag ? "

It depends really, I got mine for £20 cos of the pre order price promise. I'm considering leaving it in the plastic wrapping for now to see if it goes up in value. If not I may take the wrapping off, one day....

Posted on 22 Jan 2014 12:54:46 GMT
Just some light reading -->

Dark Souls II: FromSoftware's quest to create the last great adventure of the PS3 and 360 generation

Posted on 22 Jan 2014 12:59:08 GMT
Cant access them sites from work, gutted

Posted on 22 Jan 2014 13:01:58 GMT
Full text -->>

Dark Souls II: FromSoftware's quest to create the last great adventure of the PS3 and 360 generation

Ever since co-director Yui Tanimura was quoted using the word `accessible' in relation to this new entry in the dark fantasy Souls series, the teams at developer FromSoftware and publisher Namco Bandai seem to have taken great pride in proving that Dark Souls II will be every bit as pad-shatteringly difficult as Demon's Souls and Dark Souls.

"It was a mistranslation," says producer Takeshi Miyazoe. "It's about streamlining, cutting off a lot of fat. That is what we were trying to say, but we used the word `accessible' in a casual manner, I think."

The idea is not to make the game any easier, he says, but to make it less frustrating, especially for series newcomers. That doesn't mean simplifying the combat systems, making boss battles easier, or offering less choice in how you level your character, though, as a recent invite-only network test involving 30,000 players in the new location of Huntsman's Copse proved. No, FromSoftware has more subtle methods in mind.

"Dark Souls isn't really a game that's going to hold anybody's hand," says Miyazoe. "But it's not impossible. Just take your time, try to pay attention to the surroundings, be patient and continue to challenge yourself. From a technical standpoint, what we're trying to do is ensure that you understand what mistake you have made. I think the new engine, the new motion [capture], the new visuals - everything that has been enhanced will help the player better understand that."

One way in which FromSoftware intends to achieve a fair balance for new players is through an enhanced Covenant system, which should also facilitate deeper roleplaying. In Dark Souls, joining a Covenant brought certain items and benefits, but this time around the groups will have new powers that inform playstyles. Similar to the Darkwraith Covenant in Dark Souls, the Brotherhood Of Blood allows its members to invade others' games more easily. But since players in a Hollow state are no longer protected from invasions, other Covenants will play a more defensive role. When invaded, followers of The Way Of Blue will automatically summon phantom assistance from the Blue Sentinel group, for instance. Heirs To The Sun, meanwhile, functions a bit like Warrior Of Sunlight, collecting together a band of co-op-minded players who will be summoned by priority for PvE encounters as well as invasions.

Brotherhood Of Blood and Blue Sentinel apostles can even fight PvP battles within their own Covenants, though details of this system are being kept secret. Gaining superior status among Covenant brethren will result in an aura around the character, though; in the case of Brotherhood Of Blood, this is achieved by a kill streak of invaded hosts or of Blue Sentinels. And those in a fifth Covenant, Bell Keeper, will automatically invade any who wander haplessly into an area of the game where twin bells are located.

Miyazoe hints at one more Covenant that will act as a police force to hunt down serial invaders, adding an element of risk for those who would seek to prey on weaker players. Think of it as a wanted system with a bounty on the heads of griefers.

All of which may not soothe the concerns of Dark Souls players who prefer to stay Hollow and avoid PvP encounters altogether, particularly now that your max HP will diminish with each death until you restore your human form with a Human Effigy. Miyazoe is unapologetic. "This is going to sound a little bit rude, but being invaded is part of the game," he says. "It's like an enemy in the game that just happens to be controlled by another player. The Covenants system is a good way to be helped; that's how we want to structure some of the roleplaying as well. So if you're an invader, if you're a bad guy, there always has to be a policeman who tries to get rid of the bad guys, and that element will be blended into the Covenants as well."

Miyazoe - or Tak, as he chooses to introduce himself - grew up in Canada and came to his parents' home country of Japan a decade ago. He speaks with an easy confidence that betrays his western upbringing. We meet him in the huge reception area at Namco Bandai, which has become a winter wonderland. It's decorated with a fake snow scene replete with life-size snowmen, Christmas trees and Pac-Man wearing a Santa hat. With not a pool of blood in sight, the stage is most definitely not set for our demo of Dark Souls II, beginning with an exclusive viewing of the opening movie.

What we see is darkly atmospheric and very much a step up in production values from its predecessor. A witchy old lady holds the camera's gaze with milky cataract eyes and a lonely leafless tree is swarmed by delicately rendered fireflies. It's an intro laden with unsettling effects (a woman's face melts clean off, ghostly skeleton spirits take flight) and an eerie sense of place. A beautifully pitched voiceover tells us of the fate of the cursed while an armoured knight approaches a land of ruins by boat.

The sequence's production values are an indication of the general improvements the game will bring. With its development team roughly doubled, FromSoftware is making the biggest game in the studio's history. It's also easily the most hungrily anticipated, with some 2.5 million fans to please. Working with a budget that is bigger than before but still nowhere near that of a western triple-A release, the studio is nonetheless aiming to create blockbuster entertainment that looks and plays the part. In order to meet that vision, production has been spilt in two, with battle mechanics and gameplay directed by Tanimura, and Tomohiro Shibuya in charge of world and design. But the pair are apparently being overseen "closely" by series creator Hidetaka Miyazaki - in contrast to the picture we were given last year.

Character animations are now motion captured, giving a more natural fluidity, while an increase in lighting sources made possible by a new bespoke engine means illumination plays a bigger role in the game. The player and some enemies carry fiery torches with custom mobile lighting effects, and this in turn has given the team a merry excuse to create caves and other interior areas that are plunged wholly into darkness.

Fan feedback from the beta was overwhelmingly positive, yet the darkness of the woods was a common complaint - not only because players wanted to relish the series' glorious High Gothic environments, but also because it makes progress harder. You can carry a torch in your left hand, lit from a bonfire (the series' sanctuary for restoring health and levelling up) but extinguished when unequipped, or you can carry a shield for protection. Choose.

"I don't think that we're going to make it any brighter, but we do understand that there are dark areas," Miyazoe says. "The cave is pretty much pitch black if you don't have a torch, but that's part of the gameplay as well. After playing it ten or 20 times, you'll start to memorise how the path goes and then you won't need a torch."

And if fear over Dark Souls II's accessibility got the better of you, just ask Miyazoe what to do if you find yourself torchless in a deep, dark place far from a bonfire. "Um, you'll die?" he laughs. "There will be critical moments where you are forced to choose between the shield's protection or vision, but there are other gimmicks when you know the way. There's a stone object, which doesn't have a name yet, but it's a big stone face on the wall. You place an object in its mouth and it might trigger some lights to go on. So if you find yourself in the dark for hours and hours, there's probably something you're missing."

Indeed, one subtle yet vital shift in Dark Souls II is towards puzzle-based level design, as glimpsed in the network beta by the tantalising placement of a bonfire behind a locked gate - a safe haven so close and yet seemingly impossible to reach.

"We want to encourage players to explore and find things for themselves," Miyazoe says. "In the beta build, the first and second bonfires were pretty easy to find, but the third one was behind a closed gate, and you can only get in from the top; you have to jump down off a ledge to the bonfire and then flick a lever to open the gate up. That sort of thing is playing with the players' minds a little bit, in the sense that you can see the bonfire there and if you want to go to the trouble of figuring out how to get in, it's up to you."

Miyazoe demonstrates this in the beta by walking to that area and attempting the jump, missing and falling to his death. Nobody ever said the puzzles will be easy to solve, after all.

Boss battles, too, look as if they will be adopting new angles in Dark Souls II. The team has gone to great lengths to avoid spoiling the majority of these, but the bosses seen so far - the Skeleton Lord, which plays out more like fighting a horde of skeletons; Mirror Knight, which can summon networked players to attack you through its mirror shield; and the Executioner's Chariot, a hide-and-seek encounter with a barrelling two-headed horse and cart - give an idea of what to expect. Miyazoe says that these are mid-level bosses and that Dark Souls II's biggest monsters will not necessarily be bigger than those in Dark Souls, just more interesting in terms of design and fighting styles.

The network beta was held primarily to test the load on servers. The online aspects of Dark Souls - PvP invasions and player messaging functions - were handled through P2P connections, but Dark Souls II will have dedicated servers, allowing for a more reliable and richer experience. Miyazoe says that the results of the test proved that Namco Bandai's Japan-based servers have plenty of capacity, though it will likely set up local servers in Europe and North America as well. The beta also provided a wealth of other data and fan feedback useful for balancing, and the game's final month or so of full production, through to mid- or late December, has been spent tweaking the systems highlighted.

Another area of concern for some fans who played the network test was the framerate, which was a downright disaster in some areas of the previous game and still seemed choppy on occasion in the beta. Miyazoe insists this will be fixed at 30fps on PS3 and 360, and maybe a little higher on PC, by release. Careful observers also noticed a smattering of low-res textures, particularly on the ground but also some walls and clothing elements. These will be fixed as far as possible, but Miyazoe says they're not a top priority. "If it's far in the distance, we might just leave it," he says. "If it's very crucial to the gameplay, we will definitely fix it. The visuals have improved a lot from Dark Souls, and we want to capitalise on that."

Balancing is a concern, however. A new system revealed in the beta is that your health bar gets a boost when your blood messages are rated by other players, but the exact amount of energy needs to be finalised, as Tanimura feels it made the beta too easy. Then again, with 30,000 players in the same game location at the same time, it was probably an exceptional circumstance.

"The other thing is that in the last round of network testing we cranked up the difficulty of the enemies," Miyazoe says. "Tanimura and I feel that [those harder enemies got] closer to the difficulty level that we want. But we're still debating whether it's too hard or too easy."

No one wants Dark Souls II to be easy. The trial-by-fire nature of these adventures is what makes them memorable. Errors are greeted with death, and you quickly learn not to make the same mistake twice. But those systems could be better expressed. Short, clipped dialogue boxes did a terrible job of explaining things in past games, and this is an area that FromSoftware will address in the sequel - to a degree.

"We want players to try to figure it out," Miyazoe says. "How to jump, how to roll or how to swing a weapon will be taught through the tutorial, but trying to experiment is what will remain for Dark Souls II. The UI will be more usable, but the concept of trying things for yourself and realising that you can do something new is part of the experience.

"If you think an item seems useful, try to use it. If it doesn't work and there are very limited numbers..." Miyazoe pauses to deliver a smile filled with mischief. "Well, that's a chance you took."

Posted on 22 Jan 2014 13:27:14 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Jan 2014 13:31:57 GMT
noblood says:
Unfortunately, parts of the original DkS guide were rendered inaccurate following a game patch to lower the damage of some weapons and the fast roll weight dynamics, IIRC.

I remember it well since I loaded the game up after the patch to find several of my agile/dex characters now did fat rolls. On reflection, I think they made the right decision but it was certainly annoying.

Hopefully, From have used the data from the beta to avoid this sort of thing with the Dark Souls 2 guide.

Posted on 22 Jan 2014 13:45:10 GMT
Great post Z much appreciated, the game sounds flipping awesome. I was a little worried about the whole 'more accesible' thing but i am not anymore. Bring on the souls

Posted on 22 Jan 2014 14:02:41 GMT
I didn't use the guide last time but I did flick through it when I received it, and thought "wow what great illustrations". Then I put the book down and played the game.

For me it is more of a collectors item than anything.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jan 2014 14:38:19 GMT
im now off on that friday yaaaaay

Posted on 22 Jan 2014 14:42:49 GMT
Same here Davy but will be on PS3, how you been mate, is your job thing all running smooth now.

Posted on 22 Jan 2014 15:02:58 GMT
I'm off on the RD as well and the weekend and the whole of the following week lol (just coincidence)

@Ramp - some good articles online mate - trying to read a few here and there without looking at images or embedded video clips.
@Andy - I used the original guide for Knights Honor list - which turned out to be incorrect - lol . Also used it for some NPC interactions as well. Still have mine but its a bit knackered..

Posted on 22 Jan 2014 18:00:47 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Jan 2014 18:01:16 GMT
Just got the Black Armor Edition preordered from Zavvi for £33.29. They are doing 10% off pre-orders. It comes with a graphic novel instead of the metal art card on here. Move fast!

Posted on 22 Jan 2014 18:05:04 GMT
I also have the Collector's Edition preordered from here for £62.99

Posted on 22 Jan 2014 18:06:20 GMT
@Ron - r u going to buy both mate or cancel one ?
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