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  1. #1361
    Lesser Hivemind Node Prolar Bear's Avatar
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    Welp, now I want this pretty bad. Polygon reviews it, says it's one of the best Souls areas.

  2. #1362
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    Despite me being sceptical, once I read about one of the new weapons I absolutely had to get it. And look, it was sold for about 13$ at the time (GMG). But some parts I've read about the DLC are a bit less fantastic. A lot of poison and acid and usually large enemy groups. I'll wait and see.

    In further news, go grab the Majulna chest. The final promotion item is in and the contents are time limited and you may want to get them. Especially if you're a Souls fashionista.

  3. #1363
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    30 minutes in. First Impression: It's looking interesting. Second impression: Bloody hell. The first enemy smashed its mace straight through my shield, it laughed at my entire stamina bar in all it's instantly depleted glory and then took off 75% of my health in one swing. I beat it. Using 2 Estus and lots of running. Then I met it's buddies. 4 of them. And they've got Fire Support from 3 Nuclear Missile Archers nearby. And there's lots of holes to drop into when you dodge.
    I probably need to replay the entire game from scratch because I need to relearn how to play apparently, for I can't venture even 10 meters without my face being smashed into the ground. Yikes.

  4. #1364
    Lesser Hivemind Node eRa's Avatar
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    ^

    That sounds rather promising I must say.

  5. #1365
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jockie's Avatar
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    I've finished the DLC cos I'm a sad get and played it the second it released through to completion. It's pretty decent, but the bosses aren't exactly classics. The final one is actually hard, which is nice, but it feels too similar to (spoilers): Black Dragon Kalameet

    Some new items to play with and I think I probably missed a couple of drops. Overall I enjoyed it, but I don't agree with the Polygon review that it's one of the best souls areas.
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  6. #1366
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    Alright, played a bit more. As usual with Dark Souls, one quickly finds a way to deal with things. Overall I really like the DLC, the Level Design is leagues above usual Dark Souls 2 but doesn't reach the quality of Dark Souls 1 quite yet. But there are plenty of areas to depart from the main path and lots of things are to be found for those that look. There are also some (un)pleasant surprises to keep the game fresh and introduce a few new mechanics.
    Only negative would be the length. I'm now done with the DLC. Took me about 4 hours and I basically looked everywhere and grinded my teeth on one particular super cheesy boss fight. I'm not exactly sure what they were thinking there. Probably let's pick what people hate most about the game and make it a boss battle. Talking about the Ganksquad Boss, why From Soft, why? I've probably missed a few secrets here and there, but that's what new characters are for. If the other two DLC areas to come are of similar quality, then I'm satisfied.

  7. #1367
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    Played a bit. Kind of tired after a long day so I am reserving judgement until later. I can say, though...its hard. It feels like sprinting through the game and arriving at Drangleic Castle at Soul Level 40. Enemies will kill you so quickly you will wonder why you bothered using Titanite on your armor. Its actually kind of laughable. But its hard.

    Still though...the atmosphere was pretty cool, from the little of it I saw to this point. Going to rest up and probably wait for the weekend to really delve in. Maybe sooner. So far...mixed feelings.

  8. #1368
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    Couple of questions regarding the DLC, firstly around where is the DLC scaled to? Are we talking end-game? Drangleic Castle? Secondly, at what stage in the game do you gain access to it? For instance DS1's DLC was accessible just after Anor Londo.

    I'll probably make a new character for it anyway and take it in my stride, but it'd be nice to know.

  9. #1369
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jockie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkFenix View Post
    Couple of questions regarding the DLC, firstly around where is the DLC scaled to? Are we talking end-game? Drangleic Castle? Secondly, at what stage in the game do you gain access to it? For instance DS1's DLC was accessible just after Anor Londo.

    I'll probably make a new character for it anyway and take it in my stride, but it'd be nice to know.
    You gain access after killing The Rotten, so pretty much whenever you want if you invest in the Silver cat ring. But I'd at least wait until around Drangleic castle in terms of SL and having decent item, otherwise some of those enemy health bars will be going down pretty slowly.
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  10. #1370
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jockie View Post
    You gain access after killing The Rotten, so pretty much whenever you want if you invest in the Silver cat ring. But I'd at least wait until around Drangleic castle in terms of SL and having decent item, otherwise some of those enemy health bars will be going down pretty slowly.
    Great, cheers. I think I'll wait until all three instalments of the DLC are out before I actually play them though, I never was a fan of episodic content.

  11. #1371
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    I haven't played any of the DLC yet as I started a new character. I probably took the weirdest route yet: I wanted to try out the improved spear weapons so it was either going to be the partizan or the winged spear. Every other weapon was either too weak or required exotic materials. So I killed the Dragonrider first, grabbed the Greatsword from No-man's wharf and whacked Flexile Sentry while I was on it. Now I leveled my strength all the way to 28 so I could hold it in one hand. Not that I ever did, even at +3 it's insanely powerful and cuts through the early game like nothing. This may seem like an odd choice considering it's not even close to a spear but I merely did this so I didn't have to spend titanite on weapons that would become obsolete.
    After that business as usual, Forest of the Fallen Giants followed by Huntsman's Copse. Nothing noteworthy except using the running attack to golf-strike people into the bottomless canyon never gets old. So I grabbed the two branches from Harvest Valley and went straight back to Majula and headed for the Shaded Woods. Killing Najka with the greatsword turned out to be surprisingly difficult because I had to use a shield to survive the sorcery attacks. Luckily I had an Old Knight Shield and while it was close a couple of times, I didn't die. I unpatrified Ornifex and I went to her home to finally buy it: the partizan.
    A short trip to the firekeepers to move my points from STR to DEX and damn, you can't spell partizan without parti. It's a fantastic weapon and it gets an S scaling in DEX. I upgraded it to +8 and was one chunk short so I decided to press forward to kill one of the crystal lizards and then I kinda sorta ended up killing Freja. I didn't even have the Leo ring.
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    to wound the autumnal city.

  12. #1372
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthile View Post
    I haven't played any of the DLC yet as I started a new character. I probably took the weirdest route yet: I wanted to try out the improved spear weapons so it was either going to be the partizan or the winged spear. Every other weapon was either too weak or required exotic materials. So I killed the Dragonrider first, grabbed the Greatsword from No-man's wharf and whacked Flexile Sentry while I was on it. Now I leveled my strength all the way to 28 so I could hold it in one hand. Not that I ever did, even at +3 it's insanely powerful and cuts through the early game like nothing. This may seem like an odd choice considering it's not even close to a spear but I merely did this so I didn't have to spend titanite on weapons that would become obsolete.
    After that business as usual, Forest of the Fallen Giants followed by Huntsman's Copse. Nothing noteworthy except using the running attack to golf-strike people into the bottomless canyon never gets old. So I grabbed the two branches from Harvest Valley and went straight back to Majula and headed for the Shaded Woods. Killing Najka with the greatsword turned out to be surprisingly difficult because I had to use a shield to survive the sorcery attacks. Luckily I had an Old Knight Shield and while it was close a couple of times, I didn't die. I unpatrified Ornifex and I went to her home to finally buy it: the partizan.
    A short trip to the firekeepers to move my points from STR to DEX and damn, you can't spell partizan without parti. It's a fantastic weapon and it gets an S scaling in DEX. I upgraded it to +8 and was one chunk short so I decided to press forward to kill one of the crystal lizards and then I kinda sorta ended up killing Freja. I didn't even have the Leo ring.
    If you are short on Titanite, you can use a Bonfire Ascetic at the first bonfire in Harvest Valley. Very few enemies, and easil y run through. But where you got one titanite before, you now get 3. Hope it helps, that a pretty amazing run man!

  13. #1373
    Lesser Hivemind Node eRa's Avatar
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    Wasn't the whole item durability issue supposed to be fixed with 1.06? My Drakekeeper's Great Hammer still breaks at an alarming rate.

  14. #1374
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    When in the DLC area: Just about everything really, really hates your equipment. I think they spray acid on hit. Everything breaks extremely easily and the final boss had me switch through 3 weapon sets before it went down. In general, I doubt they fixed it. Instead they screwed it up even more. Some weapons now hit several times while within an enemy. I had the Sun Sword deal around 1.000 damage once, with three seperate hit sounds and the number counting up from consecutive damage - yet only one swing.

  15. #1375
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    On further consideration this DLC is...I cannot recommend it. Sure the level building is better than a lot of the main game. Atmospheric, too. At least on a macro scale. In terms of level design versus enemy placement, it feels...well, cheap...in a lot of places.

    Lets face it: Group combat - not a Dark Souls strength. Well, here its prevalent. And almost always placed next to/around a pitfall or something else that lets you fall down and get into more trouble. It just feels...off...somehow. Sort of engenders an 'oh, is that the best you could do' type of feeling?

    But that isnt the only issue. My main problem is the enemies. I dont know what it takes to break their poise but it must be ludicrous. Stone Ring and Drangleic Greatsword dont do it. The problem here is twofold: First, you can almost never buy yourself any space with a well timed hit and stagger. Which would be ok, except...see above about groups of foes at once. Second...it robs the player of visual feedback. Its like a slower paced MMO combat, now; your weapons just dont feel like they connect. Its not very satisfying fighting these things.

    And the final problem for me is scaling overall. Two hits, I am dead. I feel like I am back in Lordran, or even Undead Asylum. Which would be fine, if I were. But I am not. I am 140 co-op heavy hours into my first play through of Dark Souls 2. I have 40/40 DEX and STR, and 50 FTH. My Faram Armor is +6 for chest and +5 for pants.

    And now I feel like it was all for nothing. Like none of it even mattered. Such is the scaling here.

    I still plan to finish it. And the new DLC does have high points. One of which is - both figuratively and literally - readily visible the moment you walk into the first bonfire. Its visually stunning. And the moment just before that is cool, too.

    But there's just so much wrong with it, in my opinion. Scaling, the over-used status affects and group fights.

  16. #1376
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    High-pose enemies that two shot you? Unfair group fights on dangerous terrain? Colour me more interested. Some of the best fun I've had in DS2 has been when everything has gone wrong and I'm stuck up shit creek fighting multiple enemies with not enough space to do so, almost no hp and nowhere to run.

    I wasn't kidding when I said I think DS2 is rather easy, DS1 had plenty of moments that made me say "oh shit" when something big and nasty appeared, things that I found intimidating even on later playthroughs, the game did just seem to delight in being a bastard to the player. DS2 feels a bit tame by comparison, mostly unimaginative humanoid enemies that don't move very quickly or hit very hard. I'd welcome any difficulty spikes or dick moves they can throw into the DLC at this point.

  17. #1377
    Moderator Anthile's Avatar
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    Short, spoiler-free review: It's certainly the best area in a Dark Souls game (yet?). It reminded a lot of Oolacile from the visual aspect and it has the same aura of a place where things have gone horribly, horribly wrong. As you descend into the maze-like ruins you slowly put the pieces together and get some idea about their history. It's still Dark Souls so nobody will explain anything to you and you once again have to wrestle its secrets from its cold dead hands (i.e. item description). There is no NPC like Dusk from the Artorias DLC of the previous game. As a result the game actually gives you little reason for your adventure and so it seems a bit aimless at times. Get the crown because otherwise...? I feel like they could have given you a bit more of an incentive to care.
    The area design itself is amazing. Dark Souls always had its levers and all but the level of interactivity is something From have never been done before. All over the ruins are switches that can be turned on and off with any attack, including arrows and spells. These switches trigger platforms that go up and down which allows for some light puzzling. There's also some traditional button pressing in the later parts. Dark Souls has never been more like Zelda than now.
    Combat-wise not much has changed. The regular enemies in the beginning hit fairly hard and have extremely high poise but they can be easily dodged. They're fun to fight and certainly better than the many cheap endgame enemies from the main game. However, I don't know what From did but the AI of human-sized opponents is absolutely insane now. The tracking on their attacks (including jumping attacks!) is ridiculous and they can cancel their moves now which is huge. That makes the Drakeblood Knights arguably the hardest regular enemy in any Dark Souls game (yet?). Sadly, that is also true for the NPC invaders. The first invader is an old friend, by the way. I don't want to spoil the surprise but you will probably need a new pair of underpants after the meeting. There's actually quite a bit of enemy variety in the DLC.
    There are three boss fights; two of which are mandatory and one which is optional and quite a bit hidden. Long story short, they're incredibly good and up there with the ones from the Artorias DLC and certainly better than anything from the main game. On the other side, the third boss is absolute trash. It's difficult to express what makes it so awful without spoiling it. By itself it's arguably the hardest boss fight in a Dark Souls game (yet?). It's cheap and tedious. On my first try I went through all my estus and 30(!) life gems but I still got it down to only half its health or so. I did much better later on, though. It is a boss designed for coop but if you do it on your own or if your phantoms die early on you then you're in for a new dimension of pain.
    Also, the new gear is pretty fun. There is not a whole lot but it's all powerful and rather unique, especially a certain sword.

    Overall it's excellent and certainly not a quick cash grab. It's not flawless either but maybe some of the crazy AI will be adjusted with a patch.
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    to wound the autumnal city.

  18. #1378
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthile View Post
    On the other side, the third boss is absolute trash. It's difficult to express what makes it so awful without spoiling it. By itself it's arguably the hardest boss fight in a Dark Souls game (yet?). It's cheap and tedious.
    Aye. I honestly don't know what they were thinking there. I get that it's supposed to be a co-op area. Well most phantoms don't survive through the incredibly short walk to the boss. And when they do, they're flattened in a matter of seconds after passing the gate. Lately, when I look around there with another character, no one seems to be putting down their summoning sign anymore and I really can't blame them. This is just all around not a fun fight and for the first time ever in a Souls Game, I was fighting the controls instead of the enemy.

    And the new AI, I mostly liked. It acts much smarter from before, which is an absolute plus and more enemies using estus is a good touch as well. The 360 Homing Tracking is indeed over the top though and I really don't care for their instant reflexes, they dodge even the fastest weapon because they're already rolling by the time you start attacking.

    @Anthile
    Concerning NPCs and exposition, you may have missed something. Spoiler:
    Go visit Vendrick if you've got the Ashen Mist Heart...
    Last edited by theForged; 26-07-2014 at 07:35 PM.

  19. #1379
    Lesser Hivemind Node eRa's Avatar
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    On another positive note, there aren't a lot of enemies in the DLC that are resistant to slash/vulnerable to strike weapons. Unlike in the base game.

  20. #1380
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    Quote Originally Posted by eRa View Post
    On another positive note, there aren't a lot of enemies in the DLC that are resistant to slash/vulnerable to strike weapons. Unlike in the base game.
    DS2 in general hasn't done much with resists, probably for the better. It wasn't much fun in DS1 when you used a certain build then encountered a boss that was effectively immune to that damage type. It's not much fun chipping down O&S 90 damage at a time with whichever crappy melee weapon you have to hand (though it must be said you feel like a God when you finally do it, such moments are absent from DS2, double edged sword I guess).

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