Classy Videos Of Dark Souls II Classes

By Adam Smith on July 4th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.

Courtesy of a Famitsu feature and the universal translator that is Reddit, the internet is currently awash with new information about the combat systems in Dark Souls II. Apart from the addition of QTEs to simplify the dastardly boss fights, the changes are tweaks to the Souls formula rather than massive overhauls. The cover system could be awkward but the inclusion of a Dutiful Commando class probably makes it necessary. Thank the gaming gods that From have finally seen the light and included a recharging health system though because, damn, if you played the previous games, you’ll surely agree that they were unnecessarily difficult.

Obviously, that’s a barrel-load of bilge. Click for knowledge and videos.

My immediate reaction to the alterations, minor as they seem, is that players will be encouraged to use more varied equipment. Two different arrow types can now be equipped at the same time, fired using different triggers, and magical grass can be harvested to aid with spellcasting. For those who prefer toe-to-foe combat, there are changes to blocking and block-breaking. The kick, which is in the great pantheon of gaming kicks alongside Duke Nukem 3D’s, will be joined or replaced by a shove, the impact of which is decided by the character’s equipment.

Now, would you like to see four classes in action? Be my guest.

From top to bottom, that’s a warrior, a sorcerer, a temple knight and a dual swordsman. I’m a fan of the temple knight, a man who knows more about rolls than Mrs Bun the Baker’s Wife. More details yonder.

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77 Comments »

  1. lowprices says:

    Oh Adam. You got me with your talk of QTE’s and cover systems. I blame the heat melting my brain.

  2. dE says:

    I hate you.

  3. pupsikaso says:

    What a clever experiment to see how many read the first few lines of the first paragraph, find what they hate, and then rush to the comments box with froth at the mouth to rant/whine/complain/troll/cry/express dislike

  4. Teovald says:

    I hope that the pc version will be largely improved this time around. I understand that they mostly did the port because of the large petition but that’s the worst recent port of a very good game that I can think of.
    The game runs correctly but you can feel that absolutely no time was spent on the keyboard + mouse control or graphical optimizations..

    • pupsikaso says:

      Well, that IS the definition of a “port”. What you and everyone else wants, though, of course, is a proper PC “version” of the game.
      And seems like with Dark Souls 2 we are getting it :)

    • NyuBomber says:

      Around the same time they announced DS2, they also announced that PC would be kept in mind from the outset, so hopefully it’ll be leagues better.

    • Syra says:

      Yeah I heard only good things about it and bought it on pc… could not play it at all, really frustrating settings and controls. Makes me wish I just went for it on ps3 instead.

      • Caiman says:

        Sounds like you didn’t discover the wonders of dsfix, which totally transforms the game and turns it into the definitive version by a long shot. The fact this was done by a fan and not by the devs is what’s really embarrassing about it. Still, if the devs screw up again I’m sure there will be a ds2fix within a day as well.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Also why would you even play DS without a game pad? Games are designed around their input, I don’t complain because I can’t use my game pad for team fortress 2, and I don’t complain because I can’t use m&kb for DS.

      • Droopy The Dog says:

        Whilst a little standoffish, I have to agree. I’d enjoy some more optimization and a more mouse friendly menu system. But trying to make two disparate inputs like KB+mouse and gamepad both work for combat would take too many design compromises and you couldn’t have the same tiny margins of error dark souls had.

        If anything analogue movement controls are the ideal tool for a third person melee focused game, so I’d prefer they stuck to designing it around gamepads myself.

      • Teovald says:

        I bought the game when it was released on Steam. Since then they have added a warning that a gamepad is heavily recommended (considering the nature of the port, they should really have put it from the beginning..).
        So I started playing with keyboard and mouse, which are kinda the main input hardware of this platform. My internet connection comes with a free generic gamepad, so I tried to use it as well. I don’t remember if it was straight out unrecognized or just as unplayable as with kb+mouse, but it was not a very good experience.

  5. Snidesworth says:

    Lots of good news coming about about this game recently. People who went hands on with it talked about enemies charging you down as you try to heal, backstabs no longer rendering you invulnerable, dodge rolls granting less invulnerability frames as well and the game generally being hard as nails. Last I heard only one person managed to beat the boss at the end of it.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      That’s good to hear at least. I was just thinking those gameplay videos had a few too many butterfingers moments to not get killed, although half of them almost do.

  6. DrScuttles says:

    It looks like someone took Dark Souls and made a new set of levels while tuning the mechanics a little bit. That’s just about everything I want in a Dark Souls sequel.
    I can tell now that I’m going to want to be a dual-wielder ninja but be terrible at it and use a strength build instead with a bloody big sword on my first playthrough.

  7. Tomac says:

    Armor design looks amazing. That dual swordsman looks sick.

  8. Shiri says:

    Hmm. Looks cool, but I’m a little sad that the grass is back. Refining health and spell recovery to bonfires/estus was a great advance from Demon’s Souls to Dark Souls.

    • Snidesworth says:

      Estus is still in and will be the primary form of healing. There’s also lifestones which, while purchasable/farmable, give you regen rather than an instant heal. They are apparently quicker to use, however, so we’ll have to see how they work out.

      • Shiri says:

        Damn thing ate my reply…dunno if this is going to doublepost or something, but: yeah, I see that with the estus, and that’s a relief, but then why change the grass? All it did in demon’s souls was make you run around collecting 99 of them and topping up now and then, it was just an annoying sink. Estus demanding pacing and limiting the amount of mistakes you can get away with in one area was fun – why not use the same thing for magic like in Dark Souls? Oh well, I trust them to manage something fun, we’ll see.

        • Snidesworth says:

          I think the deal with them is they’re meant to help you heal between fights, or at least that’s the theory I heard. Presumably the game will be balanced to account for it, though from the sounds of things lifestones would still be useful during combat.

        • pupsikaso says:

          You ran around farming grasses in Demon’s Souls? Like, you actually did that?
          I don’t know a lot of people that played Demon’s Souls personally, but of all the ones I know I’ve never heard of anyone doing that.
          Did you have fun?
          Certainly nobody forced you to do that, so I don’t see why having grasses for health in Dark Souls 2 is going to make it less fun.

  9. Roboito says:

    It annoys me that these games look so good – at least when soemone who actually knows what they’re doing is playing – because I love everything about Dark Souls………..except the difficulty.
    In the first one, I can get out of the initial “tutorial” area, but after that, I can’t get any further :(

    I guess I should go back to Call of Duty.

    • aliksy says:

      Play a sorcerer, fire magic from a safe distance.

      • Liudeius says:

        He’s right, magic is very powerful, though fire magic is a pyromancer and you will have to be very conservative with casts if you want to be a pure mage (it’s not even possible to be a pure pyromancer).

        But the absolute most important thing is to get a good shield. You need one with 100% block, and two of the best shields in the game are available in the first two levels as rare drops from the shield wielding enemies (Black Knight and Baldar, though Undead Warrior is pretty good too).
        (Also, go up the stairs, not into the cemetery.)

        Alternatively, use humanity and return to human form at a bonfire, then you can summon other players to help you (generally they can be summoned just a few feet from the bonfire, though you can’t summon in Firelink). An uber-noob summon can one hit the first level’s boss.

        • Isair says:

          I would second pretty much all of this, especially the up the stairs part. If you can make it up to the undead burgh and feel you want some extra help I’d be happy to provide some summons for you (assuming you’re on PC). It’s about time for a replay anyway and I wouldn’t mind some co-op.

          • Roboito says:

            Thanks for the tips, fellas :) Reinstalling now, been a while since my last try.
            I generally prefer playing melee builds in RPG’s and the like, so I didn’t even think of trying a sorcerer. But I’ll give it a go and see how I get on (i.e. I’ll probably come back, black and blue, asking for help).

          • Eddy9000 says:

            Go dex or str build and upgrade your favourite weapon to +15, looking at the scaling. Armour for OC is a red herring IMHO, get used to 0 poise dodging instead. Zero poise is equally a red herring for pvp. Use back dodge then light attack combo. Use shield religiously and balance blocking with stam regen. Most of the bosses are like a bullet hell game, learn the patterns and avoid, chipping away when you can. I think gaping dragon took me 15 mins of dodging and spear poking. Btw spear is great for noobies (which everyone is). DS is all about learning enemy attack patterns and avoiding them, death is an intended part of the game and will educate you, if you don’t like dying then it isn’t for you. Put shield up flank then backstabbing. I completed the entire game with a rapier, find the move set that suits you. DON’T GIVE UP WHEN YOU GET TO THE CAPRA DAEMON. The game gets easier later on.

            That is all I have, persevere, beat it, then play super hexagon.

          • Liudeius says:

            The above is bad advice. Poise (ability to not be stunned, heavier armors add to it) can be the difference between one hit resulting in a stun-lock and leaving you helpless as a chain of attacks kills you verses taking the hit, for some damage, but killing the enemy anyway. It’s ok if you know what you’re doing, but you can retain fast movement (too much weight slows movement) while having poise, so intentionally having 0 poise is foolish.

            Additionally, a dex-strength build won’t help you get through the game if you’re having trouble surviving to begin with. If you go mage, ignore those skills entirely, if you go melee, get lightning or fire weapon with the bare minimum dex and str required to use it (just as powerful as a dex-strength build, stronger in some cases, but zero stat requirements so you can spend your levels on more health and carry weight).
            The advantage of a non-fire/lightning weapon is that some spells can boost its attack, however unless you are a mage-melee hyrbid, you won’t be able to use these, and they only have very limited casts, so you can only use the attack boosting spells on bosses (you could get two weapons, use one on normal enemies, another boosted for bosses).

            Also, the Zweihander is not the best weapon in the game, it is a good weapon if you like it, but there are plenty of equal or better options, go with the weapon you like, just remember hitting once rather than three times to do the same damage means you can keep your shield up more, alternatively rapiers and spears let you attack while your shield is raised, for a high stamina cost. (blocking and attacking costs stamina, run out of stamina and you can’t block. Blocking slows stamina regen, so you must lower your shield to gain it.)

          • Eddy9000 says:

            It really isnt bad advice, zero poise builds don’t get hit at all, they dodge. Later in the OC and certainly if you want to play NG+ enemies will start hitting for ridiculous amounts of damage, not getting hit at all is the better strategy imo. Unfortunately because of lag it is much harder to play a dodging build in pvp. Also re. lightning weapons I don’t know if you missed the massive nerf they went through; they were weakened considerably, str/dex +15 weapons were strengthened and magic weapons are reduced by enemy resistances twice, first by mag def second by armour; you will hit for considerably less than it shows on the stat screen. +15 weapons on a str/dex build are now stronger than fire/lig. As for best weapon, well that’s really a matter of choice, I love the rapier but the zwie is loved by some.

          • Liudeius says:

            I play a sub-25% equip weight build too (though you can easily work poise into that), but this guy is a noob, he couldn’t even make it past firelink.
            Through most of the normal game, high defense will block a reasonable amount of the enemy’s attack, and if this guy is having trouble surviving, he needs to be able to take hits. If he could dodge well enough, he would already be playing.

            Elemental weapons were nerfed, but they still compare with +15 weapons even at 40/40 dex/str, some are even better than their normal equivalent (the Zweihander is actually 650 damage at +5 lightning, but only around 610 damage at +15 with 40/40 dex/str).
            The real advantage of normal weapons is enchanting them (which requires a further 30 Faith or around 30 Magic).

            Also, since he’s a noob, it would be better for him to get 40 Vitality and 40 Endurance, even if he does happen to chose one of the weapons that is 10 damage weaker compared to a +15 at 40/40.

            As I said, Zwei is a preference. It’s not bad, it’s just not the only good weapon, there are plenty of other good choices for both PvE and PvP.

          • Eddy9000 says:

            Yeah, I do agree that your way is more noob-friendly, but how will he learn! I might do a magic weapon run-through just to see what everyone is talking about, perhaps with the rest of the points in wis. I easily had most fun with my <25% dex runthrough though over the <50% str one; flipping around like a little ninja in the shadow gear, used my +15 bandit knife on everything but bosses.

            Just out of interest have you tried a chaos/high humanity build?

          • Liudeius says:

            No, I’ve not used chaos weapons much, I’m not a major PvPer, so I prefer convenience over maximum power. (And I consider maintaining 10 humanity too much an inconvenience for just +20 damage verses a +5 lightning weapon.)

            Though when I do want maximum power, I too go for the +15 and an enchantment path (especially for daggers), that’s quite a bit better than Chaos, it’s just not the best choice for a noob who needs to be able to survive, especially since it’s limited use.

        • Niko says:

          OR you can go to the cemetery, get Zweihander aaaand I forgot the rest because Zweihander.

          • mcthump says:

            I got lucky after a bit of getting stronger and got the black knights great sword. I was able to upgrade it to full, and I used it exclusively throughout the rest of the game. Other than the black knights great axe I think it is the best 2 handed weapon in the game.

          • Isair says:

            Personally, I tend to favor suicide runs for the Gravelord Sword. Not really something you should attempt on your first run, for reasons besides the difficulty, but it shouldn’t be too impossible with some video guidance.

    • Shepardus says:

      I hear that pyromancer is the easiest class to start with, though I’m still on my first playthrough and I chose Wanderer, so I can’t say for myself. After the tutorial, go up the stairs to the Undead Burg, it’s by far the easiest of the areas you can access from Firelink Shrine.

      The single biggest tip for success I can think of, especially in the early areas, is to have patience. Try to walk slowly and lure one enemy towards you at a time – fighting two or more enemies is much, much harder than one. For all the early enemies you can get away with simply finding a shield that blocks 100% physical damage and waiting for the enemy to attack you, block it, and then kill them.

      It definitely gets easier after the initial awkward period before you’ve gotten used to the controls. And then it gets harder again when the enemies get stronger and have more tricks at their disposal.

      • ramirezfm says:

        It’s get easier on the second playthrough (except for 4 kings maybe, that was one helluva tough fight)… How does the “recharging health system” works? And why is it in there in the first place… DS was fine as it was, tough as nails.

  10. aliksy says:

    They’re changing the magic system? Is it no longer spells per bonfire rest?

  11. Liudeius says:

    I like the fact that Sorcerers are back to DeS where they use all offensive magic (magic, fire, and lightning, in an interview, the sword spell is called a lightning sword by the translator). I don’t know how the lore is going to work, but the idea of an all offensive or all defensive magic choice is preferable to the boring magic selection in DkS (for pure mages).

    • Cryo says:

      Lore-wise, pyromancy is more recent invention, replacing forgotten fire sorceries. Perhaps DS2 takes place in the past.

      • Liudeius says:

        I would be cautious about trying to draw plot from it, the change seems to be more mechanic based than plot based to me (back to DeS magic). I expect any explanation given will simply be retconed.

  12. Raptaur says:

    Yay!!

    It looks like they fixed the dead that they don’t wrap about your feet when you tread over them like some rubber chicken

  13. Ernesto says:

    Magical grass for spellcasting…right. It’s also causing funny colored things to appear. Like pink elephants :D

  14. marbled says:

    Dark Souls is one of my big gaming regrets – I played about 30 hours and loved every second, but my pyromancer will forever stand on a ledge in Anor Londo as I realised I was never, ever going to make it to the end of the game and then got distracted by all the other games that came out. Thought about going back but just don’t have the time (and frankly the patience) to really get through it. As I’m about to sell my 360, that save will be lost forever.

    Still, this looks rather good, and this time I’ll get it on pc so when I inevitably give up again, I’ll be able to keep the save around…

    • Reapy says:

      I am even worse, I stopped right outside the end boss, was going to port around and upgrade all the bonfires, ended up starting a new build to try to pvp with, played that a lot, them got distracted and never finished the game, doh. Luckily YouTube to the rescue.

  15. mf says:

    mr Smith, one of those days im gonna pop a vein because of you. Please dont do that :)

  16. lordfrikk says:

    Even if the game sucked I’d play it just for the armour designs, holy shit those look amazing.

  17. lordcooper says:

    Bastard, you had me up until Dutiful Commando.

  18. Drazyr says:

    The torch and staff combo on the Sorcerer is straight up Gandalf.

  19. Frisky Dingo says:

    I prefer to get my Dark Souls news from Craig.

  20. Cronstintein says:

    Adam, you are a dastardly fellow for that opening paragraph. You got me good with that mention of QTEs. So glad you were joking!

  21. strangeloup says:

    I’m really torn about this. The videos make it look awesome, but I never quite fully clicked with the first Dark Souls. Getting Demon’s Souls subsequently, even though it’s the older game, it seems better to me, and it’s hard to put my finger on precisely why.

    I’m hoping this will have the balance right between its two predecessors.

    • Lycan says:

      I haven’t played Dark Souls yet, wanted to try Demon’s Souls first so picked it up recently for cheap and am now finally getting some use out of my PS3 after months of “nuh-uh, that game is better on PC (or can be made so with mods) and likely cheaper too, so it would be dumb to get it for PS3 :D” Another reason to try DeS was that it always nagged me that GameSpot gave Demon’s Souls the GOTY award in the same year as Dragon Age: Origins was released. It annoyed me at the time, but I have forgiven it since :)

      So far one of my favourite things about the game is the slightest hints of humour that are thrown in just when you’re all mighty serious and focused :P For example, in 1-1 the spear comes flying out of the dark room behind the drawbridge and you’re dreading what’s in there until you actually see it… made me laugh for a couple of seconds (awesome way to release tension) before realising the thing was still deadly and I had to hunker down and pay attention. The same for the end of 1-2 after you see the big baddy and start cursing under your breath, and then this fool in a clown mask comes traipsing onto the battlements and unveils more enemies with a flourish… really liked those touches.

      Am looking forward to what’s next after 1-2, since it looks like I’ll have to try another Archstone and hopefully a different setting than the castle in 1-1 and 1-2

      • nearly says:

        Demon’s Souls strikes me as more “gamey” and traditional RPG. Dark Souls seems like it shakes things up by going the open world route and organizing things around bonfires (although I guess maybe that’s just a scaled down town). You can also take longer falls in the former which would kill you in the latter. Not entirely sure if it’s just the one section I’m thinking of or in general less falling damage. A lot of times, I think Dark Souls creates atmosphere better and really inhabits it. I’m not sure I’d call it ostentatious but I think Demon’s Souls is a bit flashier or more apparent about being a game. Less minimal.

        I think most people recommend 2-1 after 1-2. Take a piercing weapon. 2-2 is fairly easy as well, and I think 6-1 if you have a fairly high damage weapon and can avoid getting into group battles with the skeletons.

  22. tumbleworld says:

    Oh good, another installment of everyone’s favourite ponderous rolling-and-ducking simulator.

  23. Megakoresh says:

    So will the trash mobs still respawn on death and we have to grind through them every time to get to something interesting? Far as I am concerned that was the worst thing about Dark Souls 1. It’s extremely grindy and unbelievably boring.

  24. Totally heterosexual says:

    Dark souls is just so fucking tedious… but I still kinda like it. And im going to fucking finish it one of these days.

  25. Shooop says:

    It’s hard to be interested in a game when the only thing people seem to care is in it is difficulty.

    Did no one else actually enjoy the game’s setting, art direction, and simple but refined combat? People might as well just play Super Ghosts N’ Gobblins over and over if all they care about is how “hardcore” they feel playing it.

    • zdeno84 says:

      finally someone said it.. the atmosphere of this game is unique, the combat responsiveness the best I’ve ever seen (though I play rpgs only). yes, difficulty is part of the fun here, but when it actually gets easier it’s the other pieces that shine and keep me playing.

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