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@Murcdusen

For the Capra Demon you wanna cheese him out by running up the stairs and standing on top of the arch. If you do he'll get halfway up and do a jumping attack diagonally over the gap at you and fall down. Once he does you can just do a falling attack on him and repeat. The hardest part by far is killing his stupid dogs without getting caught up on them all.

 

There's actually a lot to do in Darkroot. That cave to the left of the hydra (way back in the water) has a golem that you need to kill in order to start the process by which you get into the DLC area. It doesn't spawn until after you kill the hydra and quit & reload or leave the area and come back. To the right of that big waterfall is a ladder leading up into the garden, too. Up there is a bunch of stuff, namely the game's primary PvP area (so don't go up the ladder while human or you will get invaded a bunch) and a boss you need to fight to be able to finish New Londo Ruins much later.

 

Enjoy the maze that is the Depths, and tell me when you're done so I can show you the route I take and let you slap yourself at how simple it is. Make sure you kill a channeler (the guys with the big tridents, like the one who was in the parish) before you go to fight the boss. If you haven't killed a channeler yet, don't go through the boss fog. Also really, really avoid getting cursed. It's a nightmare: you permanently start with half your health no matter how many times you heal or sit at a bonfire and you can't reverse hollow or kindle at bonfires. It can only be cured this early on with an item bought from that woman in the aqueduct on the way back to Firelink Shrine from the Depths.

 

Also the thing about Havel is that he has this irritating cheese step that he does on one particular swing. He'll start swinging and then track you mid-swing and adjust to bring an overhead down on your head. If you don't keep the circle around him perfect he'll likely 1-hit you at the earlier stages of the game.

 

@Simplen00b

With backstabbing you generally need to bait them into attacking before being able to backstab. Since they're all right-handed (I think) you need to move more to their right so that you're square with their back because they put their right side forward.

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I just encountered the Gaping Dragon. Got him down to half health with Solaire's help - speak: he got pummeled into the ground by the dragon and I stood behind it hacking away. Of course that strategy fails once Solaire is dead.

 

Well, after finding my way back up and unlocking that door the depths don't really seem that confusing anymore. Getting to the boss room or to that merchant is easy enough. It also turned out to be a lot more linear than it first appeared to me.

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It is, there's also a huge shortcut straight out from the room with the giant rat if you jump down the run-off slope to the left (on coming in from the Butcher's chopping room through that chute) and cling to the left-hand side. If you can deal with being shot at by the channeler while fighting the dragon you can jump straight from the way in over the banisters and onto the butcher's face, roll through the chute, run past the rat and drop down that ramp. Once you do, you're in the room with the merchant in less than a minute after entering the place.

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Put my summoning sign down 7 times and every time it vanished within 30 seconds - 5 mins. :( Checked my firewall settings and no problems there. (I can see phantoms of other players so presumably I'm on-line.) Either 'tis not meant to be for now, or could I again be missing something?

 

I took the decision to attack Toulouse Lautrec Prisoner in the Church Guy based on something I had read about what he does later in the game otherwise, and actually beat him. No idea what the consequences of killing him now might be, so maybe I've made things worse. (Don't tell me, happy to find out later if I've piled all kinds of awfulness on my head through my actions.) Got a couple of good drops from him -

5 humanity and the Ring of Favour & Protection.

I'll probably delay putting the Ring on until I'm getting really hammered.

 

@MurcDusen - you're going to lap me at this rate. I'll probably still be faffing about in UP when you come back on your NG+. :) (Not that I mind. I find most of the time that the game really fits my play style - not so much 'Look before you leap' as much as 'Have a look, have another look, go away and think about it for a bit, come back and have another look, go and have a nice cup of tea and a kip, come back, have another look and then - edge slowly forward'.)

With backstabbing...you need to move more to their right
A-HA! I'll try that - for some reason I've usually circled round to my right. Thanks for the advice.

 

If anyone had told me a month ago I'd be playing and enjoying this game, I would not have believed them.

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Dark Souls is a cool game. Had a ton of fun with it.

 

Currently playing through Dark Souls 2, but I'm not having as much fun. I really liked the inter-connectedness of the areas in Dark Souls, but DaS2 just doesn't have any of that. :(

You can call me Phi, Numbers, Digits, Ratio, 16, 1618, or whatever really, as long as it's not Phil.

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And I just quit playing this game again. For the same reason I quit the first time: requires too much dedication. Play, play, play, die, repeat. Last run I figured the pattern of the boss, next time I'll surely beat him but I'm not compelled to go through all that again.

 

I guess it doesn't appeal to everyone. Some people will get a higher rush the harder it is to beat something, but I get the exact same feeling with or without all the trouble. When I beat the boss all I get is a feeling of "all right, finally. Can we get on with this now?".

 

But for everyone who enjoys this game I have a recommendation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nN9mKr_O2og

It has a very similar nature. Each time you play you learn something new about the current world, a new pattern etc, and you get practice. It feels very much like dark souls and it's also a damn good game. And I also quit playing it for the exact same reason.

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Currently playing through Dark Souls 2, but I'm not having as much fun. I really liked the inter-connectedness of the areas in Dark Souls, but DaS2 just doesn't have any of that. :(

 

I've been seeing that a lot. It's a valid non-complaint, really, because while you're not wrong I don't think it has any bearing on the game itself. The lore's still just as good when you look into it properly, and is actually more compelling than DkS1's if you ask me. The game's overall a lot easier and far lazier in terms of design and implementation but it's still a brilliant game. I think really the community's been too spoiled by DS and DkS1 and expected it again in DkS2, and while it's almost identical it's like twice the size and a bit easier overall with a lot of tiled graphics in some places. I can live with that for a far longer, far deeper and more polished (optimization-wise) game.

 

You're right Diego: it's not for everybody but at the same time it gets much more enjoyable once you get past the wall. If you're hitting wall after wall and it's getting you down then yeah, I just wouldn't bother.

Edited by Airship Ballet
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I guess it doesn't appeal to everyone.

Absolutely. I'm actually fine with charging through the same area killing the same AI over and over again but I completely see how it would drive other people insane.

When I beat the boss all I get is a feeling of "all right, finally. Can we get on with this now?"

That sums up my experience with the major bosses I've killed so far (all two of them) pretty well. The great thing about the game design is how non-linear it is - I've got loads of areas to explore at the moment without having to get past a major boss.

But for everyone who enjoys this game I have a recommendation

I think I'm going to be taken up with DS for the forseeable future (probably about a year at my current rate of progress, although it's still possible I'll hit a wall and give up too). :smile:

 

Speaking of which - ground out enough souls to buy the Crest of Artorias and open That Door, and am getting zapped and stabbed to death within one minute of entering. I'm sure I'll learn how to survive for, ooh, two minutes.

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Speaking of which - ground out enough souls to buy the Crest of Artorias and open That Door, and am getting zapped and stabbed to death within one minute of entering. I'm sure I'll learn how to survive for, ooh, two minutes.

 

For future reference you can get to that area for free by climbing the ladder by the waterfall after beating the hydra in the Basin. Also, attack the big brick wall to the left of the gate on the way in; there's a bonfire hidden there. That area you're getting stomped in is the main PvP area of the game so don't go in there human unless you have bad connection. It's also very high-level for you at the moment in terms of PvE. That said, if you rush all the way in bearing about 11 o'clock from the crest door, run inside the building there and quickly talk to the cat, you can join the covenant and have all those NPCs leave you alone for when you actually need to go through. If you want to get lots of souls for free off all those NPCs, go and aggro as many as you dare and then sprint to the narrow ledge located to the left of the stairs as you walk in. They'll all climb the stairs and try to drop on you and fall off into the abyss below, leaving you unscathed if you keep your shield up and giving you all their souls.

 

Speaking of PvP, match-making for co-op is done based off your level: you can only connect to people within a certain range (+ / - (10 levels + 10% of your level). That means that if you were level 50, you could only connect with people 10 + 5 (10% of 50) levels above or below you, meaning your range would be levels 35 - 65. A good way to tell if you're too high or low-level for an area is by seeing how many signs you can see while human. If there are barely any, you're the wrong level or have a poor/strict connection. If you never see any signs at all, you have a poor connection, and if you see plenty but the connection never works, it's too strict.

Edited by Airship Ballet
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I don't bother with the online component at all by refusing to update Games for Windows Live everytime I start the game. Am I actually missing out on something?

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No, not at all. I always play offline. All you're missing out on is messages in front of bonfires saying "bonfire here", being invaded by hackers who get end-game stuff and then bring their level back down while keeping the same stats so they can pub stomp level ones in the Burg and summons for bosses, which aren't all that necessary with the NPC ones.

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If another player kindles a bonfire that you're near in your game, it gives you an extra estus flask. It has happened to me occasionally but it's never been a deal breaker. Sometimes it's quite cool seeing the phantoms of other players but it's not vital (and sometimes freaks me out). Oh, and if you're near the Bell in Undead Parish, you can hear it when someone succeeds in ringing it. Again, nice but not exactly a deal-breaker. I've been going around hollow to avoid being invaded but thinking about it, it may be better if I disconnected from the internet before a session so I can go around human, which seems to have some good advantages. AB, do you disconnect to play offline, or have you got a more sophisticated method?

 

Re the Forest Hunter's Woods: yeah, I used the ledge exploit to get enough souls to do a couple of level ups, but going any way into that wood got me stomped. Even the ents in there are harder to take down (so getting surrounded by three of them didn't go well).

 

Right now I think my options are (i) explore the area of DR Garden with the Stone Giant Knights; (ii) explore Lower Undead Burg - went down there yesterday and killed a few dogs then scampered back up; (ii) go human, summon Solaire and take on the Bell Gargoyles, but I think that's a step too far up for me at the mo. Really want to practice combat with larger enemies, so I may see if I can find a clear area in DR Garden where I can take on some SG Knights without getting caught in trees. And when that doesn't work I'll do something else. Got quite a few options now with all the shortcuts that have opened up. Man, the map design in this game is brilliant.

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(ii) explore Lower Undead Burg - went down there yesterday and killed a few dogs then scampered back up;

 

I might have missed something, but as far as I can tell there really isn't anything in Lower Undead Burg besides the Boss and one NPC, well and access to a new area once you defeated the boss (also some shortcuts back to previous areas). It's more or less one straight street.

 

But yeah, I really like how the game manages to consist mainly of corridor-like paths but still feel really organic and open. There's just so many intersections and everything is really cramped to make most of the space and let you overlook a few areas sometimes. Can't recall who pointed it out (Yahtzee?), but I think this pretty much nails it: Every place you see in the distance is a place you'll end up eventually. That was what made me pick the binocs as starting item... just to find out that you can easily get them at the start of the game anyways... should have gone with the master key I guess.

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@simplen00b Take a look back at that little list I wrote of areas to go to in order. You want to go to the Gargoyles next and ring the bell. You'll probably find they're really easy by now since you've done so much leveling. After that, the Lower Burg, the Depths, then Blighttown. The area with the stone giants is almost completely useless, as its boss only leads to an INT build's ember and the key to Havel's tower which you can unlock with the MK anyway. With regards to playing offline I just sign into GFWL and then turn off my wireless adapter with a keyboard shortcut. It's crude but it's effective.

 

And yeah, the Lower Burg has the first sorcery trainer locked behind a door that opens with the Residence Key. Aside from that and a neat Thief's armor set, it's just the irritating intermediary area between the Parish and the Depths.

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Wow... I *just* found that lower area at the Firelink Shrine where you can reinforce your Estus Flask... I was wondering when I would finally be able to do that...

Also got my reward from that guy I freed from the cell in the church. I got the feeling I did something wrong back then when I heard his evil laugh... Now he told me to kill other people to get their humanity... followed his advice and now I've got 5 more humanity and a Ring of Favour & Protection :ph34r:

Also the medal he gave me. I'm kinda curious what they are good for.

 

I'm really stumped though how I missed this central area for 14 hours...

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Letting him live is a real inconvenience that has something to do with where he's sat and who he talks about, and the relevance of that person in gameplay terms. You get the very same things you do from killing him now as you do later on, and the encounter later on is much more difficult. If you're curious as to what happens if you let him live,

He disappears once you ring the bell in Blighttown or find the firekeeper soul in the drainage ditch halfway down from the Drakes entrance. When he does, he kills the Firekeeper under the Firelink Shrine bonfire and runs off to Anor Londo, leaving behind a Black Eye Orb and the firekeeper's clothes on her body. So long as you bring the orb with you to Anor Londo, you'll get given a message about it beginning to vibrate or something like that, and then if you use it you "invade" Lautrec's "world" (done to simulate online PvP) wherein you'll have to kill him and two of his irritating friends in a 3v1 fight. Once you do, you get the firekeeper's soul back and return it to her body to bring her back and relight the fire. You can use her soul with another firekeeper to buff your flask but there are more than enough elsewhere to max it out with ease.

The best way to kill him is to kick him off the cliff he's sat against (with your fists out so you don't aggro him if you accidentally clock him one) then re-load and get the stuff from where he was sat.

 

Also that's nothing: there's a woman at the start of Dark Souls 2 who will allow you to level up after giving you your estus flask. I completely missed her as she's stood way off from the first bonfire staring out over the cliffs, blacked out against a tree. I went through a good 20% of the game with no estus flask at level 1. That was no fun at all, and I felt like an idiot when I eventually saw her.

 

FYI if you follow that area all the way down past the firekeeper and around down the stairs you'll get to New Londo Ruins. If you have the Master Key, this is where you can go up the opposite end down there and go straight to the right and find yourself in Blighttown, going down the very easy way and finding yourself right next to a bonfire when you do. If you don't bring the Master Key, you have to go to the depths, get the key and go down the comparative tooth pull of an entrance next to the merchant in The Depths. That's why I always, always take the master key (and do the Depths anyway) because that entrance is just that much more of a pain.

 

For future reference you can find the binoculars the regular right at the back-left of the graveyard above the Catacombs, next to Firelink. If you do a suicide run through that place straight away you can get some neat stuff early on, namely the Zweihander and soul pick-ups. Also there's loot under the bottom of the elevator from the Parish. If you drop off from the Firelink end you can land safely, get some nifty stuff and then run through the graveyard where it drops you out fairly close to the Zweihander.

Edited by Airship Ballet
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Airship Ballet, I think you're totally ruining the entirety of Lautrec's questline. One of the most phenomenal parts of Dark Souls is the experience you have when going through for the first time: dying all the time, getting angry when NPCs fuck up your gameplay, etc.

You can call me Phi, Numbers, Digits, Ratio, 16, 1618, or whatever really, as long as it's not Phil.

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Had about 15 goes against the gargoyles on my own to try and get my hand in. I'd say at least half the time I get stomped without even landing a blow, but I've managed to chop off No. 1's tail (twice) and a few times got his health down to about 20-25% before No. 2 turns up and toasts me. Even when I do relatively well though, I feel like it's about 20-30% skill and 70-80% flukey button-mashing. I'm not recognising the signs for the different attacks, and still frequently roll into him instead of away/to his side. I'll do a bit more practice tomorrow and then try summoning Solaire and see how I go.

 

I really like the way dying in this game isn't a failure. It's a lesson. And yes, I can understand why liking this game has been compared to a form of Stockholm Syndrome.

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A fairly fool-proof tactic is to run after the second gargoyle right as he lands since he almost always stops to breathe fire. Once there are two you can usually run far away from them and trick them into standing still and breathing fire, then running up and hacking away.

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I'm usually so focused on the first one, the first indication I get that the second one's appeared is dying in his fire. :smile: I'll try that running away technique - is it better to head toward the bell tower? I find if I go back to where you enter, I just get pinned to the wall and stuffed.

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Yeah, I'd just try to stay as central as I could. It's best if you can separate the two of them but it's not very easily done. Basically just focus on dodging until one of them breathes fire and then hack away at them and run away to heal if the other one gets you. Thankfully there are only two so you have some breathing room, unlike this purely sadistic hidden boss in DkS2.

Edited by Airship Ballet
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Beat the Gaping Dragon today. Once you stop being impressed by it's size and actually try to fight it it's laughably easy... maybe he bugged out for me or something, but all he ever did was his charge attack, which is easily avoided as he will charge straight into the direction he's facing when he flops down, he doesn't even care whether you moved 100 meters in the meantime... then after the charge he just stood there long enough for me to get 3 to 4 hits in on him... Didn't even need Solaire for him.

 

So then I went to Blighttown... and I think this is the first time I ever experienced frustration in this game... and for all the wrong reasons. Collision detection is just horrible in this place. I frequently fall off the scaffoldings because of some little bump in the ground, or because I just slide around a wall that I strategically positioned myself infront of.

The horrible lock-on system doesn't help... Sometimes I have an enemy right in front of me, press lock-on and suddenly the game decides to aim for an enemy on an entirely different scaffolding making me walk off the one I'm on and fall to my death... sometimes it just flat out refuses to lock onto enemies I've got in plain sight causing my strikes to miss and open me up for their attacks.

 

I was so glad once I made it to the swamp at the bottom and light the bonfire there, but down there are these annoying monsters that seem to be half fly and half invincibility frame. And if I'm not mistaken they are infinitely spawning as well... I'm not even sure whether Mildred was supposed to be a relief from them, she didn't even manage to take a swing at me, but those flys screw me up all the time.

 

After scaling the scaffolding with the elevator and falling off of it because broken collision detection I decided to leave that place and go to that hidden area you didn't mention on your list :ph34r:

It's a lot nicer here.

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I do not miss Blighttown, for the exact reasons mentioned above. In some of the DLC content you'll notice that they have been a lot more thorough with collision surfaces.

 

Lock on will often be a problem in some cases though, which is why at some point you get used to not locking on at all, especially for the sake of free movement.

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That place is a lot nicer aside from the enemies inside it. I didn't put it on the list because it's completely optional and fairly inconsequential, I figured you'd find it anyway. If reminds me ton of the open layer beneath the poison forest in Nausicaa, if you've seen it (if you haven't you should):

 

405.jpg

 

Blighttown's not so bad once you remember the fastest way down and learn to ignore everything aside from the little toxic fetish bastards and flame dogs. If you didn't take it, the way in from the Drakes is just way, way faster. It's that way that leads to the scaffolding with the elevator you were talking about. It looks daunting but it's very easy to get down without dying once you know the way, and there's also a firekeeper's soul up there (probably the hardest one to get). Without the MK you can get there the harder way by going through the cave in the back of the Basin and clinging your way past the drakes to get up there. Anyway, the Gaping Dragon is a terrible, terrible boss. It's not as bad (in terms of gameplay) as one of the main four later on but it's damn close. Blighttown itself isn't too bad, especially if you take the Drake entrance, ignore the loot down there and run straight for Quelaag's place to get it over with as quickly as possible.

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