Just got my first Souls game (Dark Souls 2) and I have no idea what I’m doing. Send help.

Sep 21, 2009
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#1
I’ve wanted to try one of these games forever but wasn’t sure if I’d just end up frustrated. This past weekend I saw that Dark Souls 2 was on sale for $10 and decided to try it.

That said - what the fuck is going on? Every time I die my health bar comes back shorter. There’s an item to fix that, but I only have one. What happens if I run out. I’m going to have to play a game that’s already kicking my ass but with half a life bar?

Also, how do I know if I’m going in the right direction and I’m in the right area. I’m wandering around the Forrest of Fallen Giants now but have no idea if I’m lost or not?

Should I have waited to start with the Dark Souls Remaster?
 
Feb 27, 2018
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#2
your life bar stops dropping at a certain point if you keep being killed. either use a humanity and become human again, or equip the Cling Ring (which mitigates the drop but doesn't stop it).

The point of the first 2 Dark Souls games is open for you to explore any way you want. technically there is a correct and incorrect way, just like in DS1. If it appears too difficult try a different area, or be careful around enemies and study their attacks and cautiously go through the area. It's not bloodborne. None of these games are intended to run through. Take your time and enjoy it any way you can/want.

DS2 is linked and unlinked by story/lore/etc. from Ds1 and Ds3. Some nods here or there but generally self contained. I played DS1 first, then Demons, the Ds2, BB, BB. My order of preference of likeability is:

Ds1>DeS>Ds2>BB>Ds3.

YMMV
 
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Arefu

Neo Member
Aug 10, 2017
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Dark Souls II almost feels like an expansion pack for Dark Souls I.
I think starting with I would be a better idea, and will probably ease you into enjoying the greater focus on combat that DSII has.
 
Likes: Kadayi
Jan 14, 2018
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#10
Ok, if you've made it to Majula, there's stairs going down into the mountain. If you follow it to a new area (Heide's Tower of Flame), there's a chest on a tiny island of debris there that'll give you the Ring of Binding, allowing health to stop at 75% HP instead of 50%. That'll make the health problem less punishing.

In the Forest of the Giants there's pretty much only one way from what I remember, meaning at worst you'll get stuck in some small side area. Have you progressed to the bonfire with a merchant next to it?
 
Feb 26, 2018
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#11
DS2 is the easiest so at least you started on that ( i cant talk about demon because i haven't played it).

If its too hard it probably means you are in the "wrong" area, the game has a path that will take you from location to location. Unless its getting to the point where you will stop playing the game DONT look online for guides, the best part of the games is overcoming challenges and struggles on you own thru learning you moves and the enemies.

Praise the sun.
 
Jan 6, 2009
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#12
I know a lot of people will say this is a terrible idea, but watch a 'lets play' of the game on youtube and play along with it. I did this for the original Dark Souls until the game clicked for me and seeing someone else show you how to approach enemies, where to find items etc helps reduce the frustration considerably and basically made me fall in love with the series. If you want to watch a particular person I recommend fightingcowboy:
 
Jan 12, 2018
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#13
Dark souls 2 is often considered the black sheep of the series some.enjoyed it while others hated it with a passion.
Im somewhere in the middle. I dont think its bad, but its my least favorite of the From games. Frankly, i would recommend 1 then 3. 2 can be skipped as youll soon see its just not as enjoyable. The bosses are terrible, the levels use unfair disvantages that punish you for no reason (poisons and toxins) and the overall story just didnt connect with me as well as, say, the connections between characters like gwendylin and seth, artorias and the abyss, or the frequent nods and references in DS3.

Bloodborne is also an awesome IP in the same genre.

Demon Souls from what i remember is fondly looked back on, but clunky in reality and hardly holds up imo. Dark souls however is a different beast. You will die, you will return, you will repeat.

Overall i would rate them in this order:
-DS1
-BB
-DS3
-DeS
-DS2

I know a lot of people will say this is a terrible idea, but watch a 'lets play' of the game on youtube and play along with it. I did this for the original Dark Souls until the game clicked for me and seeing someone else show you how to approach enemies, where to find items etc helps reduce the frustration considerably and basically made me fall in love with the series. If you want to watch a particular person I recommend fightingcowboy:
I did that with DS3 and BB. Except replace fightingcowboy with Teamfourstar's Drunk Souls segment. (Though for legit tips anf tricks, DeModcracy is another good letsplayer)
 
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Jan 14, 2018
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Norway
#14
Demon Souls from what i remember is fondly looked back on, but clunky in reality and hardly holds up imo. Dark souls however is a different beast. You will die, you will return, you will repeat.

Overall i would rate them in this order:
-DS1
-BB
-DS3
-DeS
-DS2
Interesting how different your experience is from mine.

My ranking goes:
1. DeS
2. BB
3. DS1
4. DS2
5. DS3

And I played DeS after playing DS1, BB and DS2.

I would never recommend skipping DS2 though, as it has kind of surprised me in how I've come to appreciate it over time. I used to think it was pretty meh after DS1 and BB, but it has grown on me.
 
Jan 14, 2018
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#15
I rate BB at the same level as DS1, it's that good and IMO the best game of this "console generation".

Overall:
BB - DS1- I simply can't decide which I like better, followed extremely closely by
DeS, which still has the best atmosphere of all the soulsborne games, then with a certain distance:
DS3, and behind another few fog walls:
DS2
That said - what the fuck is going on? Every time I die my health bar comes back shorter. There’s an item to fix that, but I only have one. What happens if I run out. I’m going to have to play a game that’s already kicking my ass but with half a life bar?
Yes. Welcome to hell.

Also, how do I know if I’m going in the right direction and I’m in the right area. I’m wandering around the Forrest of Fallen Giants now but have no idea if I’m lost or not?
Forest of the fallen giants is a good area for the beginning. At least you didn't run into the Skeletons in Dark Souls 1...

The issue with Dark Souls 2 is that it's a bit clunky and unwieldy to control, since even the effectiveness of your dodge roll depends on stats. In Dark Souls 1 you could always roll in case of emergency.

 
Likes: Kadayi
Oct 9, 2014
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#16
The issue with Dark Souls 2 is that it's a bit clunky and unwieldy to control, since even the effectiveness of your dodge roll depends on stats. In Dark Souls 1 you could always roll in case of emergency.

I've always found DS2 the least clunky to control, at least once you take some clothes off.
 
Nov 25, 2015
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#18
I hated Demons Souls. There is a guy in the afterlife? (Portal room) sitting on stairs who I once hit with a sword. Then after every time I would arrive back there he would chase and kill me over and over it was absolutely brutal as my sword attacks wouldn’t even tickle him.

That and I couldn’t figure out how to get past the start, traveling for an hour or more and soon as I die i go right back to the stair dweller who has it in for me.

Didn’t play again til Bloodborne, much easier game.
 
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Mar 18, 2013
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#19
I bought Demon's Souls from NCSX and Play-Asia before Atlus brought it to NA. I played that one like a castle simulator, lol. It was amazing.

I then played them in their release order. I didn't mind Dark Souls 2. Just learn how to back stab and roll. Get a weapon with good damage and just walk around the enemies. Learn how to jump attack.

Did you even get to the Pursuer? The game is all about exploration. There's a
"Flame sword"
you can get early on too. I was a Cleric on my first play through of DaS2, that way I could cast miracles.
 
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Nov 13, 2013
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#20
Not knowing what to do is the first process of being broken down from all the damn hand holding, arrow pointing hint laden games of the last few years. You are not supposed to know where to go, you just go. You feel you are in a spot too tough? Use your brain and go somewhere else. The adventure is what you make of it. There are no hints or tips on how to kill enemies or bosses. You learn what to do from your mistakes. I know all of this might be so rage inducing now but when you do finally (and you will) beat that boss or solve the clue of what to do the wave of euphoria that washes over you is like getting 100 loot boxes x 1000. Lawd, if I could go back to my first Souls experience (Demons) and have that chaotic fight with the Tower Knight and after dying over and over finally figure out to take out the archers then go for his feet until he finally falls....man, I love Souls games. Nothing has ever felt so rewarding than seeing YOU DEFEATED.

Edit: Obligatory ranking: DeS > DS = Bloodborne > DS3 > DS2 SOTFS

Edit Part Dux: Fuck Ancient Dragon.
 
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Jan 28, 2010
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#21
Strange how low people rank 3. I feel like it's what DS1 was supposed to be if they actually finished making the game. Maybe people were just burned out at that point.

I love the first game but once you hit Londor it feels like they ran out of money or something.
 
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Likes: Kadayi
Jan 20, 2017
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#22
Dark Souls 2 is my favorite of the Dark Souls games. Bloodborne is my favorite of the Souls/Borne series.

I haven’t had a chance to play Demon’s Souls, but I will after I complete DS III again. Bloodborne is the only one I Platinumed, the other Dark souls I am working on my PC at this moment.

DS II just clicked for me and it was a great adventure, I don’t know why I like it so much, but I enjoy it whenever I play it.
 
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#23
Also, how do I know if I’m going in the right direction and I’m in the right area. I’m wandering around the Forrest of Fallen Giants now but have no idea if I’m lost or not?

Should I have waited to start with the Dark Souls Remaster?
To be honest I think Dark Souls 1 would leave new players even MORE lost given how it branches out. You only really have two directions to go in at the beginning in 2 and the one that isn't the "main" route is still somewhat viable for a bit.

I think 2 is fine, and actually like some of the stuff it did- Being able to respawn bosses, and stuff actually changing on subsequent playthroughs (or if you just raise the bonfire levels) was great.

I have to say though, a harder mode actually changing stuff was something done in Armoured Core 4 and 4A which Miyazaki worked on so it's kind of baffling that the only Souls game that has it is the one he DIDN'T work on. Imagine going in to the Soul of Cinder fight in NG+ only to find that you have to fight it and Gwyn at the same time or something.
 
Jun 24, 2013
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#24
Strange how low people rank 3. I feel like it's what DS1 was supposed to be if they actually finished making the game. Maybe people were just burned out at that point.

I love the first game but once you hit Londor it feels like they ran out of money or something.
I feel like this has a huge influence on rankings I know it did with me, and yeah I'd put DS3 as my least favourite. It admittedly has some absolutely gorgeous environments, fantastic bosses and weapons. But I just didn't enjoy it as much as the other games and I think it was because I was never surprised by anything that happened in the game, it was all par for the course generally speaking. My rankings would be:

BB = DeS > DS1 > DS2 > DS3

But they are all tiny, tiny margins. I really do love all the games.
 
Jan 14, 2018
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#26
Strange how low people rank 3. I feel like it's what DS1 was supposed to be if they actually finished making the game. Maybe people were just burned out at that point.
There are a number of things I dislike in 3, one being the abundance of fanservice and the other changes to the gameplay, like e.g. that they made heavy armor essentially useless. In DS1 and 2 the choice if you want to be a canned human or an artful dodger is a meaningful one, in DS3 there is no real reason to wear anything other than for style reasons. While I have my issues with DS2, at least it tried something different, DS3 is the remix album of the series.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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#27
In Heide's Tower of Flame(right next to Majula) you get a ring which helps with the HP loss from dying.

Arguably you picked the worst game of the series to start with, tho.
 
Oct 24, 2017
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#29
Title error?
There is no Dark Souls 2, it went from 1 straight to 3.
If there was a Dark Souls 2 i'm sure it would have been an abomination with crap level design, ridiculous enemy placement made of ganking groups, non-sense lore with a new ending added later to try to patch the story up, retarded weapon durability system (tied to framerate, to make it even worse), amongst many other horrible ideas. Because of that, it never existed.
 
Mar 2, 2014
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#32
Dark Souls 2 is unquestionably my favorite in the series. For the first time, I actually felt like Souls had true, honest-to-God build variety. Huge library of weapons, spells, armor; 8-directional rolling, powerstancing, lock-on sprint, PvP arenas, areas were short (and fun to speed through, imo), DLC was fantastic, lots of memorable bosses, NG+ was actually worth playing through, and Bonfire Ascetics added a new element to item farming, and UI didn't waste a ton screen space (I despised DS1's inefficient UI design).

Funny how some complain about the game being poorly designed yet conveniently forget the majority of the second half of DS1 being complete trash (Demon Ruins and Lost Izalith being irredeemable, while Duke's Archives and Crystal Cave is split down the middle; frankly I'm not a fan of Tomb of Giants; "wooaahhh it's so dark" is a boring gimmick, worse than the obligatory poison-infested areas in every Souls game).

That said - what the fuck is going on? Every time I die my health bar comes back shorter. There’s an item to fix that, but I only have one. What happens if I run out. I’m going to have to play a game that’s already kicking my ass but with half a life bar?

Also, how do I know if I’m going in the right direction and I’m in the right area. I’m wandering around the Forrest of Fallen Giants now but have no idea if I’m lost or not?
Anyways, to stop the whole "my favorite Souls is best" song and dance for the millionth time and actually answer your question, OP: every time you die, you're hollowed a little bit more and more. It drops all the way down to 50% max health after ten deaths, I think. The only way to reverse it is with a Human Effigy, and those are finite through the entire game. However, there is a way to become human again without them, but that's in the late late game. So, yes, you're gonna have to play with less health until you decide to figure out how to deal with enemies. Pop that effigy and get your health back when you feel confident (or desperate) enough.

There's no real wrong way to progress in DS2, although the accepting route for new players is Forest of Fallen Giants first, then Heide's Tower of Flame.
 

wagrez

Neo Member
Jan 21, 2018
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#33
Title error?
There is no Dark Souls 2, it went from 1 straight to 3.
If there was a Dark Souls 2 i'm sure it would have been an abomination with crap level design, ridiculous enemy placement made of ganking groups, non-sense lore with a new ending added later to try to patch the story up, retarded weapon durability system (tied to framerate, to make it even worse), amongst many other horrible ideas. Because of that, it never existed.
Someone is salty.
DS2 kicked some people ass aparently.
 

BANGS

Fresh single BANGS in your area, or in my browser.
Dec 13, 2016
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#35
Step 1: Git Gud
Step 2: Die
Step 3: Git Gudder
Step 4: Die More
Steap 5: Repeat steps as necessary...
 
Feb 20, 2018
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#36
Dark Souls 2 is a great game. I don't understand the shade it gets. It might a bit behind Demon's, Dark 1 and Bloodborne, but not drastically.

It's better than 3, which doesn't ever have it's own identity. DS3 feels like one of those sitcom episodes where the cast sits around and has a conversation just to give an excuse to keep launching clips of old episodes.

Remember the stage that looks like this? Here it is again, but slightly different. Remember this character? Here he is again - please ignore the fact that makes no sense and completely underminds the story of the franchise.
 
Jan 26, 2018
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#38
Dark Souls was great! Then they let a completely different team to work on the sequel, and then we got that coopshitfesta-like without connected world that is DS2.

Get rid of it, and go for Dark Souls Remastered instead.
 
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Feb 27, 2017
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#39
You can start with any of them. Contrary to what people on here say, each game in the series is very good. DaS2 in particular has some of the best areas in the entire series.

My personal ranking of the SoulsBorne games:

1. Dark Souls
2. Dark Souls 2
3. Bloodborne
4. Demons Souls
5. Dark Souls 3
 
Jun 18, 2013
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#41
In some respects, it is the weakest Souls. It has the worst level design by far IMHO, and some design issues. It's still very good, though.

The health bar stops being drained after a certain point and it is less of an issue than you'd think. You'll get a ring at some time which reduces the effect. In addition, once you've killed the same monster a number of times, it'll stop respawning, so you'll eventually be able to power through any area if you persist a number of times. Those effigies seem to be rare at first, but some monsters drop them and you also regain your health after you kill a boss. You'll have more than enough of them eventually.

Don't worry too much about where to go, the game map is complex, but areas are pretty well delimited, more or less linear, and usually end with a boss you need to defeat in order to progress.
 
Aug 19, 2013
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#43
I never care about being udead in DS series, I just play as undead, with the minimum health (but with strong armor and weapons though)
Also I like DS2 because unlike others, it gives opportunities for newbies, is the most accesible one, you can repare a ring that lets you keep souls after dead, and you can erase enemies from the map, making the road to the boss less stressful.
 
Oct 24, 2017
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#44
On its own Dks2 is playable and enjoyable, despite it's many many many flaws, when you start comparing with other "souls", it all goes downhill.
However those same flaws make the game less approachable to newcomers in my opinion. The negative impact of Soul Memory in getting help and the horrible enemy placement of ganking groups can destroy the fun for a new player of "souls" (also, a bit, the many enemies with infinite poise or infinite stamina).
Dark Souls 3 is the easiest one to start with, if you can, play 3 first, then you can endure the flaws of 2 better.
 

BadManEd

Neo Member
Apr 22, 2015
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#45
I am jealous, I would love to start the souls games again, you have so much fun and 'you died' screens ahead of you, just take your time and savour every moment
 
Apr 27, 2011
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#46
Hint's and Trivia for newcomers!

  1. DS2 is considered by many the worst in the series! Not a bad game on it's own, but people will inevitably compare it. IMO the biggest offender is the world design, where as much as I love the idea of having many options to go through, they are uninspired and barely connected. Prepare to fight many dudes in armor in videogamy areas. In other games, the design of each area and enemy has a story to tell, so don't judge the series from this one!
  2. Don't attack the NPCs. The game saves everything, including their deaths and grudges. Even when you are talking to them, the attack buttons don't get disabled. If you DO make that mistake, there is much later an absolver of sins that make them forget their grudges, and in DS2 exclusively you can summon their ghosts for their services, all for a hefty price.
  3. Don't join the Company of Champions covenant from the hidden stone by the cliff in Majula! It's essentially hard mode. Instead join the way of the blue by talking to the depressed guy, that offers easier help from other players.
  4. The good aspects of DS2 are the plenty of varied PVP and PVE covenants, the nicely done dual wielding, hexes being an option for the pure wizards, death having once again significant consequences, the multiple paths to choose at the first half and the changes appearing in new game+.
  5. The bad aspects of the game are the downgraded graphics, the above mentioned design flaws, the weird way it judges your online skill level, the torch mechanic being appears to had it's significance poorly reduced final hour, some covenants being grindy, and the weird way you activate new game+.
  6. The DLCs are amazing! Clearly they took the main game's criticism to heart when designing them. Note however that each DLC has an optional bland superhard area, originally designed to be played co-op with players who haven't bought it. With them being available to everyone now, and with no new change to promote co-oping for them, these areas will give you nightmares!
  7. Note that in almost all Souls games, there is one attribute when leveling that the results don't justify the investment. Learn what it is and don't spend levels on it!
  8. Don't eat the boss souls items. Later you'll find NPCs that can turn them into unique weapons. They are more than one, and they might offer different results for the same boss soul. Eating them is just for the experts and speed runners who know inside out that to keep and what to consume.
  9. A jack of all trades is a master of none! There are ways to re-spec your builds, but no ways to respect your chosen gear. Wearing less percentage of Armour improves your dodge rate, but on the other hand if you are new, shields are the way to go. Magic makes the game very easy. Miracles are mainly support magic with few exceptions. Piromancy is pretty much a magic that requires less investments in levels, and Hexes make the game a joke, but when playing with spells you are missing half the fun.
 
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Likes: Achelexus
Mar 2, 2006
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#48
loved dark magic in DS2, build variety is fantastic in DS2.

Ignore the negativity OP if you've never played a Souls game before you've got a treat in store, and many bigger treats waiting just behind it. Remember that dying and learning things yourself are an integral part of the experience, and you'll only get to experience that once.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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#49
Hint's and Trivia for newcomers!
Don't eat the boss souls items. Later you'll find NPCs that can turn them into unique weapons. They are more than one, and they might offer different results for the same boss soul. Eating them is just for the experts and speed runners who know inside out that to keep and what to consume.
You can use a bonfire ascetic to reset the area, including making the boss rematchable, which can let you get another boss soul in case you used the first one.