Wondering About: Dark Souls 2

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I can’t wait to die.

Wow…I actually never thought I would say a thing like that. Yet, don’t get offended just yet, I am talking about Dark Souls 2 here where death, just as in Dark Souls, is a thing of necessity. I would have never thought that playing a game where your goal is only achievable through the act of dying; and I love it. The brutal nature of the first game in the series is really what made it so fun. The combat was alright, the story was non-existent and the graphics really left you wanting more. Luckily, from what we have seen and heard of Dark Souls 2, all those issues have been fixed and you get to die now in style!

Dark-Souls2

Anyway, you’re here to learn more about Dark Souls 2. So lets dive into all things Dark Souls 2 that we have learned thus far about the game which is scheduled to release on March 11th.

Be prepare to die be excited.

Overview

First things first; Dark Souls 2 is NOT a direct sequel to Dark Souls. The two games share very few things in common as far as world/story/universe/characters; so don’t go in expecting to see a lot of familiar things from the previous title. With the outstanding success of Dark Souls (2.53mm sold worldwide), From Software and Namco Bandi Games have gone all out with Dark Souls 2 to make it worth the fan following that it has gained.

From changing the accessibility of the game for new gamers to advancing the combat for more fluidity and style; Dark Souls 2 is, in almost all aspects, a very different game that the original.

Story

While little details of the story have been released, we were lucky just a couple of days ago to receive a brand new trailer for Dark Souls 2 which dives into the story a bit. Here it is.

So what all did we learn from that trailer? You will play as a character who has some sort of unholy curse who is on a mission to find a cure to stop your constant agony…and that’s about it. Just as Dark Souls‘ story was hidden in the game and required players to piece it together as they progressed – players will be required to seek out the story of Dark Souls 2 if they wish to understand it.

Good luck with that one.

Key Features

A lot of things have changed since Dark Souls, so lets dive into some of the bigger ones:

  • Death is a real and very frequent occurrence in Dark Souls 2. Death, besides being a result of the difficulty of the game, is used to teach you what you have done wrong. With that in mind, From Software has made death a more unique experience each time. The various ways and animations of death have been expanded.
  • While you may have heard the game director or other people from From Software mention making Dark Souls 2 “more accessible”, they mainly mean by reducing the amount of backtracking required and lessening the amount of travel that you are required to do. It looks like you will be able to warp from bonfire to bonfire earlier in the game than in Dark Souls.
  • A new graphics engine was developed for Dark Souls 2 to address the frame rate issues that plagued Dark Souls, making the console version run at a constant 30 fps.
  • A new torch system has been implemented that a player must use to get through very dark portions of the game.
  • You character will now be able to cycle through three pieces of equipment on both hands.
  • Online in Dark Souls 2 will all be server-based.
  • The new way of healing your character will be with the newly added healing gems that fall from enemies when you kill them.
  • While Backstabs have returned, the animation has changed, leaving you far more vulnerable if you miss.
  • Lock-on works slightly different in Dark Souls 2 as the player is still able to freely move when locked onto an enemy, allowing the player to roll away and run easily.

Classes

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Dark Souls 2 will offer a couple a few familiar classes that were present in Dark Souls, but will also be introducing a couple of brand new classes as well. Let’s take a look at each one.*

*Note: These classes were present in the beta. They could have changed since then.

Soldier – This class is just a new name to the Knight class in Dark Souls. The Soldier class comes equipped initially with plate armor, a spear, short sword and a kite shield.

Warrior – The Warrior class is what we have seen in basically all the advertisements of Dark Souls 2. He comes equipped initially with the armor with the fur around the shoulders, a Greatsword, Bearded Axe, Longsword and a shield that apparently blocks 100% physical damage.

Sorcerer – Picking the Sorcerer class will start you equipped with a cloak and a catalyst as well an assortment of spells: Soul Shower, Soul Greatsword, Soul Arrow and Flame Lash, a dagger and a shield.

Temple Knight – The new class of the Temple Knight seems to be a cleric class, just under a different name. This class starts out equipped with a Halberd and a couple of miracles; War and Heal. The starting armor of the Temple Knight consists of a royal-looking robe and an eagle helmet.

Dual Swordman – Another one of the new classes in Dark Souls 2, the Dual Swordsman, come equipped with two swords, obviously. The two swords seem to be a rapier and a long sword. Additionally the Dual Swordsman comes with a target shield their starting armor is a black trench coat, fitted to their upper body, with a hood.

Hunter – The Hunter class starts off with a very simple looking leather set, a dagger, short sword, leather shield and a bow.

Covenants

Covenants make a return in Dark Souls 2 and will be available early to players who want to join them. The Covenants will work similar to how they did in Dark Souls allowing the player to interact with their world and other player’s worlds in different ways.*

*Note: The information for each covenant could change in the final game, but this is what is known now.

Bell Keeper – Players in the covenant will be placed as guardians of a bell, keeping other players from ringing it. Covenant members will be black phantoms when they head into another person’s world.

Blue Aura/Blue Sentinels – While being member of this covenant, the “Apostles of Blue”, when your world is invaded, a blue phantom can spawn into your world to aid you in the battle. The blue phantom, know as a Blue Sentinel, will automatically be spawned into your world and its sole goal is to protect you. This covenant will be available very early in the game to players and will give you the ability to invade a “sinners” world as a spirit of vengeance.

Knights of the Sun – Players that join the Knights of the Sun covenant will focus on co-op gameplay and assisting other players. The golden signs that a member of the covenant places on the ground to be summoned will also appear more often and will be more noticeable than the others on the ground.

Covenant of Blood – Think of this covenant as Dark Souls 2‘s version of the Dark Wraiths covenant from Dark Souls. Players in this covenant will invade other player’s world to gain their blood.

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Stats

Main Stat Affected Stat Description Notes

Vigor

HP
An attribute that determines HP Your maximum HP will diminish as you die. You won’t be able to go lower than 50% of your max HP.
Endurance
Stamina
An attribute that determines your overall Stamina Once your stamina bar in depleted, if you’re hit you will enter a state of ‘stun’. During this time you can’t do anything.
Vitality
Equipment Load
An attribute that determines your maximum equipment load
Attunement
Spell attunement slot. Spell casting speed
Attribute governing number of spells that can be attuned. Boosts spell-casting speed You can now see the spell casting stat, allowing you to plan accordingly
Strength
Physical STR based ATK power
Attribute required to wield heavy, power weapons Also boosts weapon ATK Strength now seems a bit underpowered compared to dexterity, it is possible that the damage output of strength based weapons will be higher to compensate
Dexterity
Physical DEX based ATK power, Poison ATK power, Bleed ATK power
Attribute required to wield weapons requiring finesse. Boosts poison and bleed effects Dex based weapons do not have an innate poison / bleed effect, but if you find such weapon, DEX will increase their skill
Resistance
Physical DEF, Poison DEF, Bleed DEF
Attribute governing defense. Boosts poison and bleed resists. Also boosts resistance to guard breaking. Resistance seems now like a legitimate concern for building up your character.
Agility
Evasion, Action speed, Trap disabling
Attribute governing swiftness of movement. Boosts speed of evasion, blocking and other actions. Action speed effects the speed to up your shield. Trap disabling doesn’t seem to add a mini game, rather a % of chance to open a chest without triggering the trap.
Intelligence
Magic ATK power, Fire ATK power, Magic DEF, Fire DEF
Attribute required for sorceries and other spells. Boosts proficiency in magic and fire ATK and Def Pyromancy and Spells are once again paired together (à la Demon’s Souls). In game story indicates why.
Faith
Lightning ATK power, Dark ATK power, Lightning DEF, Dark DEF
Attribute required for miracles and other spells Boosts proficiency in lightning and dark ATK and DEF.

 

March 11th can’t come soon enough. Get ready to die; die a lot.

Written by Kyle Jessee

Kyle Jessee

Your lone Kentucky writer on staff. Loves the Big Blue Nation, rock music, and Resistance 2 (the best in the series).

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  • ChazzH69

    Excellent article Kyle. I have only played Dark Souls for about 5 minutes but after seeing this I might have to have a weekend of it before this comes out.

    • Thanks Chazz, glad you enjoyed my first try at this ‘Wondering About:’ article.

      It took me a good year before I actually made it all the way through Dark Souls; kept giving up on it. Now I am into my second time through and loving it even more the second time. I’d really recommend playing it, and there are a ton of guides online to help you out as the game is very confusing.

  • Keith Dunn

    Me too, Chazz! I played the opening and thought, “Well! I see! These frequent deaths are just PART of how the game is experienced. No reason to get upset.” And then something else was shiny and that was that!
    GREAT article, btw!

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