Edge 249: Dark Souls II. To be more "direct," "straightforward," and "understandable"

If supervisor is anything like Kojima's role (aka I butt in and direct myself when stuff's going to shit), then no biggie.

I really want that EDGE magazine to be out now, this is making me having Fallout 3 flashbacks of me trying to stay optimistic while the universe was proving me wrong time and time again...
 
I can't help but think it's a shame that this has descended into the old difficulty argument, especially over a soundbite.

Frankly, my take on this kind of concerns me more. When I think about "being direct" and "accessibility," it actually makes me wonder not about the game's systems, but if they are going to spend a lot of budget on cutscenes, a very clearly spelled-out plotline, and a shorter, more linear game.
 
it may mean that you can actually "do shit" as in understanding how the weapon trees and damage stats work in the game without looking at the wiki.

Specially I can think of changing UI, maybe making the maps less of a burden in some cases (because we all remember anor londo as the maximum example of awesomeness but it was a platform manipulator + bridges + rooms, in a copy paste work of "duh")

And maybe they may add something so coop is more feasible with friends, rather than "WOOPS didn't mean to be summoned by you, bye-bye".


PS: Many "hardcore" players just duped souls and glitched evey bossfight they could (that's why maneaters raped them good in DS, as there's two enemies and not just one you can abuse)
 
And maybe they may add something so coop is more feasible with friends, rather than "WOOPS didn't mean to be summoned by you, bye-bye".
While your heart is in the right place encounters with randoms and having to work together with a character that likely has a completely different skill set than you is a great way to learn about new spells in the game find new ways to approach a boss. I think simply fixing the servers so every summon doesn't fail instantly would help immensely. You can always place the summon sign in a weird place to play with friends.

Personally my checklist of improvements to a Souls game would be:
Better Servers
Streamline the message system and indictments. It is silly I have to carry 20 items for specific occasions instead of the base items.
No more Lost Izalith. No Bed of Chaos. No, just no.
Be a little more upfront about the role covenants play and try not to have some overlap like the co-op covenants in Dark Souls. And don't hide them so much!
Make invasions slightly easier. I can understand giving limited invasions to help early players but please don't hide the unlimited invasion stone in a covenant. That is just mean. Again better servers will go a long way in fixing the invasion problem as well.
Gravelord Covenant was such a cool idea. Sadly half the time something like this occurred it felt like the monster just up and died before I even saw it.
 
This comic never ceases to deliver.


I mean you cant set it up like that.

i will post it again, i dont give a damn!!!

The spirit of the comic is in the right place, but its illustration of the world is disingenuous. There are many situations in Dark Souls where NO amount of caution will save you from death.

1) No one crossed the bridge for the first time in the Undead Parish without being burned to death. No one crossed the bridge for the second time in the Undead Parish without being burned to death. You had to figure out how to get across by dying.

2) I don't know of a single person who survived their first Mimic encounter without knowing about them ahead of time. Even if you notice the chain and attack, they're incredibly strong and you're going to be freaking the fuck out because its your first one.

3) You do not know what the curse gauge is or how it works before you enter the depths. You know what the curse gauge is and how it works after you leave the depths.

4) Everyone tried to fight the Red-Eyed Knight in Demon's and the first Black Knight in Dark before they were completely ready. You may be able to figure out that you probably shouldn't mess with them, but you CANNOT know how tough they are until you try and fight them.

5) Bosses like Capra, Ornstein and Smough, 4 Kings, Artorias, Kalameet, and Gwyn are entirely trial and error. This is the only series where I go into boss fights expecting to die the first few times until I learn what the hell I'm supposed to do. I know a ton of people who quit playing at O&S and I can totally understand why.
 
So they are making the game worth playing instead of trial and error. What a novel concept.
You must have been in heaven this generation, as nearly every major title released felt automated in how you were often handed victories, trophies/achievements, and accomplishments in games.

Back in my day, when you had a game, it was more about how much you worked to get through the game in order to see if you could, if ever, beat it. Now games seem to do all the work and cushion all of the feeling of genuine accomplishment with all of these modern features. Sure, it makes it more accessible, but it also makes it filled more with fluff that just makes it far less satisfying to even play.
 

Parakeetman

No one wants a throne you've been sitting on!
4) Everyone tried to fight the Red-Eyed Knight in Demon's and the first Black Knight in Dark before they were completely ready. You may be able to figure out that you probably shouldn't mess with them, but you CANNOT know how tough they are until you try and fight them.
Actually I killed those before I was as you may put it "ready" but thats usually how I am with games that allow me to do the "impossible". Same with the ability to actually kill the grey demon at the start of Demons Souls. Its just a lot of patience really, though yeah smallest mistake and its respawn time / soul run lol.
 
So you're not actually interested in playing the games in the series, you just want in because you think you're missing out on something popular.
Not at all. I like to play games outside of shooting guns from the present, past and future believe it or not.
Game looks interesting to me, the difficulty does not. But you guys are telling me it's what makes the game what it is but at the same time saying it's really not that difficult. Maybe the internet is lying and this isn't one of the most difficult, frustrating(rewarding for those with patience) experiences out there.
 
Not at all. I like to play games outside of shooting guns from the present, past and future believe it or not.
Game looks interesting to me, the difficulty does not. But you guys are telling me it's what makes the game what it is but at the same time saying it's really not that difficult. Maybe the internet is lying and this isn't one of the most difficult, frustrating(rewarding for those with patience) experiences out there.
Its really not that difficult. When I started playing on PC it took me about 10 hours to adjust and learn the game mechanics and then it was great.

By about 30 hours I was breezing through the DLC content and finishing the game.

Its just gamers have gotten so used to games catered towards the lowest common denominator they aren't used to games with actual difficulty. Games that require some form of rational thought and planning are a rarity these days.
 
The idea that games should be enjoyable to everyone seems like a trumped-up strawman to me.

What people in this thread are saying is that they like most of the aesthetic and mechanical choices in Dark Souls, but would prefer if there was, say, a checkpoint right before boss fights to limit repetition (e.g. a screen that asks if you'd like to try the boss again or go back to a bonfire).

Being more inclined to play a future Souls game (or perhaps an aesthetically and mechanically similar game with a different name, so the Souls monicker stays "pure") if it had some optional assist like that doesn't seem at all close to saying every game should be for everyone. It also doesn't read like a demand, or entitlement. It's simply a reasonable statement of preferences, and I don't see why it merits so much derision.
Problem is that the Souls games have been giving a natural shortcut for everyone there without making it some option you pick, especially Dark Souls that more often than not gives a bonfire that's just a minute or so from the boss at worst rather than just providing shortcuts you open, if the area wasn't relatively small in the first place. And like said this sort of stuff needs to say the same for the sake of multiplayer, perhaps some people fall into the habit of always selecting retry without going to check if there's anyone they can get to help for example, or they'd ignore it ANYWAY to get an AI summon help that they couldn't get without restoring to human and coming back via the bonfire.

And a lot of his argument really does boil down to trying to make it accessible to all levels of skill, but even with passive creative works like books or movies you'll inevitably have to leave people behind, and for the most part the people left behind by Souls games ARE better addressed by other games already, though I guess those wanting a more Metroid-esque structured action RPG, but relatively easy are screwed.
I'm all for the pussification of this game if that is indeed what is happening. Sorry hardcore bros. I haven't even dabbled in the first two games because of what I've read about the difficulty. I'm all for a weak sauce DS2.
You can get Dark Souls for crazy cheap now, just give it a try if you're interested at all. Grab used if necessary, that way you can turn around and take it back to GameStop if it turns out that, yes, it truly is too hardcore for you.

For the most part the difficulty is more that you have to be slow and careful, not necessarily a master of reflexes or anything (the bosses come awfully close, but there is recruitable help usually). So long as you're not blindly charging everywhere and have some competence with action RPGs (or just manipulating a dual analog controller period) I think you'd do OK.
 
I don't mind trial and error that much, but I feel like there's not enough experimentation possible or encouraged in the Souls' games to make constant replaying that appealing for me. Experimentation seems discouraged by the idea of losing a good deal of experiencing if you can't make it back to your blood stain and I'm not sure there's that much to experiment with in general either.

I may just not be adept in the game mechanics, but too much seems like memorizing in the normal areas to me.
 
I don't mind trial and error that much, but I feel like there's not enough experimentation possible or encouraged in the Souls' games to make constant replaying that appealing for me. Experimentation seems discouraged by the idea of losing a good deal of experiencing if you can't make it back to your blood stain and I'm not sure there's that much to experiment with in general either.

I may just not be adept in the game mechanics, but too much seems like memorizing in the normal areas to me.
Get a high stability shield with 100% physical resistance and you're pretty much invincible 1 on 1. It's a bad habit because you should really learn to dodge, but shield up + circle strafing blocks about 90% of the enemies, including bosses allowing you see everything they can do.

And losing souls doesn't really matter after a while. You learn to spend them whenever you can and it's much easier to get souls in the later areas.
 
I still say no way that FROM detracts from what they did so well with Dark any more than they did when they made the move from Demon's. Unless Miyazaki's name is a preemptive pacifier and he has actually been stripped of all authority, enjoy the build up to the game and assume FROM isn't going to betray the following that has supported the series up to this point. Based on their past history within the genre, the benefit of the doubt doesn't seem so outlandish.
 

WanderingWind

Mecklemore Is My Favorite Wrapper
I suck at gaming. I can't enjoy bullet hell shoot em ups. I can't enjoy Super Meat Boy. I lost roughly 80 percent of online fighting games.

However, I was totally able to beat both Demon's and Dark Souls. They're very, very difficult. But they are also very, very fair.
 
Honestly I can understand the idea of making some of the vague descriptions and whatnot clearer, better translation and more fluid instructions for mechanics. But when developers use this sort of language, what it normally means is "we're going to strip away the depth, the joy of exploring and discovering new mechanics for oneself, make it easier, etc." I always pause when a developer acts like they're doing something in the name of "accessibility", because what it generally means is that they want to grab your hand and walk you through the tough times and cradle you in their arms and never let you be scared again.

A delicate balance, indeed.

Because while the game could certainly use improvements in clarity and translation, I would also say that part of the joy in the Dark Souls/Demon Souls games is in discovering new mechanics on your own - not having it explained to you in a fifteen minute tutorial or whatever. This joy of mechanics exploration used to be a positive... a gamer would see features in place and maybe wonder what this aspect affects. They might prod here, prod there... and experiment in all manner of ways to find out just how this might impact their gameplay. And when they find out, that sense of reward is second-to-none. It's also not the same as being obtuse for the sake of being obtuse. The great games from back in the day understood that you needed to provide reasonable clues to help the player discover how the mechanics work, and with some effort any one who put in the time could figure it out. Dark Souls/Demon Souls had some mechanics that were like that, but also some mechanics that were just impossible to figure out without some really insane foresight. So I could see the need to improve some, but I hope they tread the line. I don't want EVERYTHING explained to me, but there could be some middle ground.

Edit: Also Dark Souls/Demon Souls were hardly trial-and-error, except in the cases of a few bosses. As long as you held your accumulated skill set close to your chest and moved deliberately, you could beat almost anything first go. I don't like trial-and-error when it means "there's virtually no chance a gamer with any skill can get through on the first go." That's just weaksauce design. I do enjoy when something demands I utilize all my skills and punishes me when I fail to. But those skills must be taught through gameplay segments, not just assumed.
 
I suck at gaming. I can't enjoy bullet hell shoot em ups. I can't enjoy Super Meat Boy. I lost roughly 80 percent of online fighting games.

However, I was totally able to beat both Demon's and Dark Souls. They're very, very difficult. But they are also very, very fair.
That's why it's more about being slow and cautious rather than having amazing reflexes, since I'm in a similar position. Well, I enjoy Super Meat Boy, but I never beat it, and am baffled when people call it the greatest or one of the greatest platformers. Plus some of the worst parts (Ornstein & Smough) are eased by outside help.
 

-tetsuo-

Unlimited Capacity
I have always said that the Souls games are not hard. They really, really aren't. What they most certainly are, though, is unforgiving. If you make a poor decision or start to rush in an area you have not explored, you will face the consequence.
 
The spirit of the comic is in the right place, but its illustration of the world is disingenuous. There are many situations in Dark Souls where NO amount of caution will save you from death.

1) No one crossed the bridge for the first time in the Undead Parish without being burned to death. No one crossed the bridge for the second time in the Undead Parish without being burned to death. You had to figure out how to get across by dying.

5) Bosses like Capra, Ornstein and Smough, 4 Kings, Artorias, Kalameet, and Gwyn are entirely trial and error. This is the only series where I go into boss fights expecting to die the first few times until I learn what the hell I'm supposed to do. I know a ton of people who quit playing at O&S and I can totally understand why.
1) Except they toss them when you are anywhere close to the bridge. It also does not do a ton of damage. I have died on the bridge several times, but never burned to death. It was usually forgetting to kill some guy behind and the guy ahead running towards me and getting pincered.

5) Yes, getting down patterns in order to defeat obstacles is certainly one big part of more 'old school' gaming. Once you know them well enough though, outside of some bad luck, they should be easy enough to take care of.
 
And a lot of his argument really does boil down to trying to make it accessible to all levels of skill, but even with passive creative works like books or movies you'll inevitably have to leave people behind, and for the most part the people left behind by Souls games ARE better addressed by other games already, though I guess those wanting a more Metroid-esque structured action RPG, but relatively easy are screwed.
I don't know guys, are there any other options for people seeking a game with a similarly grim aesthetic (i.e. Assassin's Creed doesn't work) and similarly weighty combat and controls as Dark Souls, but without the more punishing aspects? I'm at a bit of a loss so I can see why some people would want such a game. I'm sure I'm just unaware of what's out there.

Also, there does indeed seem to be some mixed messages going around about the difficulty. On the one hand, people seem to love how they get punished for death by having to replay parts of levels (It's like an NES game!). On the other hand, people downplay this aspect by noting that the amount you actually have to replay to get to where you were is only a minute or so. If the replay required is so short, it may seem like a glorified loading screen.
 
i came here for nerd meltdown, but am a bit disappointed.

Would be great if you could actually play a Souls game without having to go to some website first to read how the fuck it works.

/runs for his life.
 
I don't see how the game is hard in any form or fashion when you're allowed level-ups. It can certainly be tense and strict, and sometimes tedious but hard in any traditional sense it is not. If anything the "difficult" aspects of the game are primarily learning it, not executing the gameplay patterns.
 
I suck at gaming. I can't enjoy bullet hell shoot em ups. I can't enjoy Super Meat Boy. I lost roughly 80 percent of online fighting games.

However, I was totally able to beat both Demon's and Dark Souls. They're very, very difficult. But they are also very, very fair.
So are the other games you mentioned, they just require more stick skills. (Coordination)

Totally agree souls games are fair. That's what I love about them.
 
i came here for nerd meltdown, but am a bit disappointed.

Would be great if you could actually play a Souls game without having to go to some website first to read how the fuck it works.

/runs for his life.
No need to run, that seems to be the general consensus and what the director seeks to do with the series.

Make the gameplay mechanics more obvious without sacrificing difficulty.

Sounds just fine to me.
 
I don't know guys, are there any other options for people seeking a game with a similarly grim aesthetic (i.e. Assassin's Creed doesn't work) and similarly weighty combat and controls as Dark Souls, but without the more punishing aspects? I'm at a bit of a loss so I can see why some people would want such a game. I'm sure I'm just unaware of what's out there.

Also, there does indeed seem to be some mixed messages going around about the difficulty. On the one hand, people seem to love how they get punished for death by having to replay parts of levels (It's like an NES game!). On the other hand, people downplay this aspect by noting that the amount you actually have to replay to get to where you were is only a minute or so. If the replay required is so short, it may seem like a glorified loading screen.
Dragon's Dogma might be an option worth considering, it seems to have a darker fantasy vibe to it (and if the main game doesn't have enough there's an expansion literally called "Dark Arisen" that will be coming out), the harder difficulty literally ONLY JUST CAME OUT, and people were saying it was too easy before hand as I recall. It's more open world-ish rather than structured non-linearity like Dark Souls is, but sometimes you do get the poor luck of a game having a lot of what you like only to be bogged down by something you don't like at all.
i came here for nerd meltdown, but am a bit disappointed.

Would be great if you could actually play a Souls game without having to go to some website first to read how the fuck it works.

/runs for his life.
But it's not Unlimited Saga! Though explaining mechanics better in-game without CHANGING THEM would be really useful.
 
I wonder what the first adventurer from the comic would do when confronted with the upgrade paths and covenant mechanics, when logic and deduction don't help shit to understand anything. :(
 

Jackben

bitch I'm taking calls.
I wonder what the first adventurer from the comic would do when confronted with the upgrade paths and covenant mechanics, when logic and deduction don't help shit to understand anything. :(
1: These mechanics seem strange. Perhaps I should investigate and ask my knowledgeable friends on the Internet for advice before I commit any irreversible actions.

2: WTF1! WHY ANOR LONDO DARK WHY I GET INVADED