E3 Demo impressions (possible spoilers)

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    E3 Demo impressions (possible spoilers)

    Post by ExServ on Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:02 pm

    Hello everyone,

    i'm new here, i'm a french gamer who made dozens dark souls videos (all in french though).

    I'm proud that you chose you put my guide in the french wiki and i've allways wanted to thank your team for that.

    Anyway, Namco France invited me last week to try out the E3 Demo by myself for 4 hours. 

    I've got enough time to try out a lot of stuff, get used to this new feeling the game has.

    I've made two videos about my impressions of this demo but they are in english, so i decided to create this topic here for english people who'd like to read it.

    I don't think i've learned that many new stuff, and since the game was playable at comic con a few days ago, many people i guess got a chance to try the game. I'm only a little bit luckier since i was alone playing the game for several hours.

    So you all know that by now but the game looks awesome, it's impressive that what we saw on gameplay video so far was a console version of the game. i've played on a PS3, i've got some framerate issues when forcing the game to show several barrel explode alltogether etc... but overall it was a solid 30 fps.

    You know about the four class we could play, the templar knight had 3 weapons on his right hand and they told me it will be a new feature. But i don't know if it's class based / stat based or for everyone.

    What i've noticed is that the gameplay is as familiar as it's new. The character moves faster, but attack slower it seems. New animations made me have to forget every reflex i have on the game but after i'd say the first hour i was used to it.

    What was really new :

    -fast climb / down on ladder by pressing B / circle on a ladder (even though there's no tooltip for it)
    -finisher attack when a monster is on the floor (similar to backstab), also, when you try to counter with a shield, i only got the enemy to fall on the floor. I have no idea if the counter as we know it still exists.
    -4 ways to cast the same spell, you can press R1 for fast cast and low damages, R2 for longer cast and higher damages. Also handling the catalyst in both hands results in more damages (in term of damage output, a "normal" spell arrow did 200 damages with single hand r1, and almost 400 with two hands R2).
    -rolling is "frame perfect", the invincibility is WAY shorter, and you have to roll at the last moment to really evade.
    -enemy IA seems improved, sometimes monsters attack you in group (even though you try to lure them one by one), and they "follow" more effectively your character.
    example : if you roll to early, the monster will turn to follow you.
    also, the turtle like monsters had a weird behaviour. They lift their grant like weapon above their head. if you start to flee, they follow you in this position until they can strike you / or the floor.
    -there's no jump in the demo, or i couldn't find the right button to do it.
    -black phantom monsters are back, and they are really buffed up compared to the "normal" ones.
    -two way to heal yourself using item, estus heals almost all your life, and life gem are heal over time items, with different quality.
    -i also found a "sticky white stuff" item to buff my weapon.

    So really the demo felt harder since rolling isn't that OP right now. (though since balancing isn't nearly finished, the final game will probable be slightly different).

    And because of rolling being harder, and recovery time between two animation being longer, it felt quite frustrating because you can't allways roll during a combo like we're used too.

    Also, physics is improved, and enemy react to almost all your attacks. Also it seems there's less "hyper armor" attack for the monsters. So the game rewards quite fairly agressive and defensive behaviour for the player.

    Example : as the dual swordsman i have pretty quick attacks, so i can stagger all enemy surrounding me and hopefully kill them before i'm out of stamina.
    As the knight i can stagger ennemies and dispatch them one by one.

    what else can i say...

    the "smoke" animation happening around the bonfire occurs when you warp to another bonfire.

    the yggdrasil room will have a new candel for each player dying...

    oh this mirror boss is a real pain, it took me around 2 hours (30/40 tries i think) to kill him. His attacks even though easily readable are hard to avoid (due to rolling being different) and deal A LOT of damages.

    The only strat i came up with is very defensive : 

    as the knight i was using the giant sword, switching 1 / 2 hand to use shield. The only time the boss is weak is right after having summoned an ADD into the fight. Before he attacks you can land one good strike and roll away. So i was attacking him for around 600 damages with this sword (buffed with sticky white stuff item) which is 1/7 of its total life. I had to wait around 10 minutes to kill it.

    Between each summon i attacked him with the short bow the knight had which is pretty quick overall. I could kill the ADD with one R2 of the great sword, so it wasn't a bother.

    Spells bounces off the mirror shield like it was nothing, and you deal less damage when it's summoning the add. the add had random gear though, i had one with a spear, one with a great sword, and one with a normal sword.

    well that's pretty much what i say in my videos, i hope you will enjoy it and forgive my grammar which must be awful since i'm not english myself.

    edit : i probably have forgot stuff, feel free to ask questions, i'll try to answer it.
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    Re: E3 Demo impressions (possible spoilers)

    Post by jaythibodeau on Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:34 pm

    Nice summary. It sounds like the game turned out great. Just to clarify, there are invincibility frames when rolling right? Even if they might be extremely hard to take advantage of? I'm glad that rolling has been majorly balanced / changed.

    Also, for spells, how did the overall speed / aim of them feel?


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    Re: E3 Demo impressions (possible spoilers)

    Post by Emergence on Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:56 pm

    Thanks for taking the time out to come here and post your impressions and thanks for letting me bug you to come here from Twitter. silly The best source of info sometimes are impressions from people who playtested it themselves. Feel free to link your channels here as well, Dark Souls is Dark Souls no matter what language the player speaks. happy


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    Re: E3 Demo impressions (possible spoilers)

    Post by Serious_Much on Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:06 pm

    Harder AI and rolling is frame perfect huh.. I'm looking forward to this happy


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    Re: E3 Demo impressions (possible spoilers)

    Post by WhatDoesThePendantDo? on Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:12 pm

    No jumps?pony02 

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    Re: E3 Demo impressions (possible spoilers)

    Post by jaythibodeau on Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:24 pm

    ^ Jumping has been moved to L3 or R3 I think (for PS3 players).


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    Re: E3 Demo impressions (possible spoilers)

    Post by twigsterxd on Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:38 pm

    jaythibodeau wrote:^ Jumping has been moved to L3 or R3 I think (for PS3 players).

    Seriously? Dam that's gonna be annoying.

    *Twigster sees a few new controllers in his future*
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    Re: E3 Demo impressions (possible spoilers)

    Post by ExServ on Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:23 pm

    jaythibodeau wrote:^ Jumping has been moved to L3 or R3 I think (for PS3 players).

     oh... figures, then i already fond a little skip in the demo haha big grin


    well what bothers me the most is the longer recovery time, i like being able to cancel moves to start a roll.

    i mean it's pretty upsetting to die because you couldn't avoid those 4 hits...

    dark souls is not that hard, most of the time you're the cause of your own failure, i wouldn't like the sequel to be too punishing

    AI / roll is great though, feels "realistic" in a weird way, i don't know how to express that in english sorry.

    thanks emergence !

    well my channel on youtube is : http://www.youtube.com/user/ExServ85

    and i'm currently working on an any% only bow run on dark souls : 
    http://fr.twitch.tv/exserv

    i finally got the route kind of straight, did a 2 hours 20 in game time at my third try (segmented though).
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    Re: E3 Demo impressions (possible spoilers)

    Post by skarekrow13 on Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:47 pm

    Don't worry about your English. You're explaining very well. Awesome write up too.

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    Re: E3 Demo impressions (possible spoilers)

    Post by ExServ on Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:07 pm

    jaythibodeau wrote:Nice summary. It sounds like the game turned out great. Just to clarify, there are invincibility frames when rolling right? Even if they might be extremely hard to take advantage of? I'm glad that rolling has been majorly balanced / changed.

    Also, for spells, how did the overall speed / aim of them feel?

     i did not see this at first, sorry.

    So, about rolling, yes you can be totally invincible during it BUT right now its a really short amount of time, and it's really the beginning of the animation.

    Sorcery felt great, you can walk during cast (not for all spells) and cast time increase add a layer of gameplay / strategy to it.

    in dark souls it felt overpowered and stupid since all you do is stand, lift up the catalyst and watch stuff get killed.

    i did not describe the spells i had, so here it is :

    -two kinds of soul arrow like we know them from demon's souls. cast movement is less stupid than dark souls, but two handed R2 is quite long.

    -one fireball, still AOE, but AOE range increases with different casts, two handed R2 was really effective too

    -conjured sword (not sure of the name), the character uses the catalyst as if it was a sword and do an horizontal swing with it, range affected by type of cast.

    -"weird wall of flame". this is one is weird, you create a wall of flame like 5 meters from you character (even if you lock onto a closer enemy). the wall first start on the left and goes to the right like a "hook" animation. pretty effective too but really hard to handle.

    -shield enchantment : did not see its effect but i'm guessing more damage reduction maybe / stamina.

    -selft cast aura, did not see its effect (well i couldn't understand it) 

    -last one (yes 8 spells, thats a lot) is really cool, remember manus attack that look likes black rain falling from above ?

    its the same but with lightning. you shoot stuff above you (it gets nullified indoors) and it falls on enemies like rain of lightning, really cool.

    so pyromancy and magic back together it seems. faith / miracles still a different kind of spells.

    but miracles in the demo wasn't only the heal (really slow HOT) i had two damage miracle based on light and darkness it seemed.

    the light one made several hit really fast on a small AOE. the dark one was a single dark "fireball" going at the enemy.

    edit : also since namco was pretty happy with the invitation they told me i could try the game later this year before the official release. I "might" get a preview version as if i was a press member so it's a huge news and i'll be sure to tell you about it.
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    Re: E3 Demo impressions (possible spoilers)

    Post by jaythibodeau on Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:32 pm

    ExServ wrote:
    So, about rolling, yes you can be totally invincible during it BUT right now its a really short amount of time, and it's really the beginning of the animation.

    Sorcery felt great, you can walk during cast (not for all spells) and cast time increase add a layer of gameplay / strategy to it.

    in dark souls it felt overpowered and stupid since all you do is stand, lift up the catalyst and watch stuff get killed.

    -two kinds of soul arrow like we know them from demon's souls. cast movement is less stupid than dark souls, but two handed R2 is quite long.

    -one fireball, still AOE, but AOE range increases with different casts, two handed R2 was really effective too

    -conjured sword (not sure of the name), the character uses the catalyst as if it was a sword and do an horizontal swing with it, range affected by type of cast.

    -"weird wall of flame". this is one is weird, you create a wall of flame like 5 meters from you character (even if you lock onto a closer enemy). the wall first start on the left and goes to the right like a "hook" animation. pretty effective too but really hard to handle.

    -shield enchantment : did not see its effect but i'm guessing more damage reduction maybe / stamina.

    -selft cast aura, did not see its effect (well i couldn't understand it) 

    -last one (yes 8 spells, thats a lot) is really cool, remember manus attack that look likes black rain falling from above ?

    its the same but with lightning. you shoot stuff above you (it gets nullified indoors) and it falls on enemies like rain of lightning, really cool.

    so pyromancy and magic back together it seems. faith / miracles still a different kind of spells.

    but miracles in the demo wasn't only the heal (really slow HOT) i had two damage miracle based on light and darkness it seemed.

    the light one made several hit really fast on a small AOE. the dark one was a single dark "fireball" going at the enemy.

    Thanks for answering my questions. biggrin 

    That sounds great. Sorcery finally seems to have a sufficient amount of variety, while still remaining balanced. Correct me if I'm wrong, but, can't you restore your magic casts with an item or something? If so, it sounds like magic will be a legitimate combat style.

    Also, what felt more effective in general, magic or melee attacks?


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    Re: E3 Demo impressions (possible spoilers)

    Post by ExServ on Sat Aug 03, 2013 5:04 am

    jaythibodeau wrote:
    ExServ wrote:
    So, about rolling, yes you can be totally invincible during it BUT right now its a really short amount of time, and it's really the beginning of the animation.

    Sorcery felt great, you can walk during cast (not for all spells) and cast time increase add a layer of gameplay / strategy to it.

    in dark souls it felt overpowered and stupid since all you do is stand, lift up the catalyst and watch stuff get killed.

    -two kinds of soul arrow like we know them from demon's souls. cast movement is less stupid than dark souls, but two handed R2 is quite long.

    -one fireball, still AOE, but AOE range increases with different casts, two handed R2 was really effective too

    -conjured sword (not sure of the name), the character uses the catalyst as if it was a sword and do an horizontal swing with it, range affected by type of cast.

    -"weird wall of flame". this is one is weird, you create a wall of flame like 5 meters from you character (even if you lock onto a closer enemy). the wall first start on the left and goes to the right like a "hook" animation. pretty effective too but really hard to handle.

    -shield enchantment : did not see its effect but i'm guessing more damage reduction maybe / stamina.

    -selft cast aura, did not see its effect (well i couldn't understand it) 

    -last one (yes 8 spells, thats a lot) is really cool, remember manus attack that look likes black rain falling from above ?

    its the same but with lightning. you shoot stuff above you (it gets nullified indoors) and it falls on enemies like rain of lightning, really cool.

    so pyromancy and magic back together it seems. faith / miracles still a different kind of spells.

    but miracles in the demo wasn't only the heal (really slow HOT) i had two damage miracle based on light and darkness it seemed.

    the light one made several hit really fast on a small AOE. the dark one was a single dark "fireball" going at the enemy.

    Thanks for answering my questions. biggrin 

    That sounds great. Sorcery finally seems to have a sufficient amount of variety, while still remaining balanced. Correct me if I'm wrong, but, can't you restore your magic casts with an item or something? If so, it sounds like magic will be a legitimate combat style.

    Also, what felt more effective in general, magic or melee attacks?

     In this demo (pretty short, "speedrunnnig" through it took like 1/2 minutes) i did not felt that either one was stronger.

    Since the enemies are more staggered by melee attack, both playstyle were possible, this is something we'll know when the game's released
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    Re: E3 Demo impressions (possible spoilers)

    Post by Phoenix Rising on Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:32 pm

    Parries...I must know if they exist, or if ripostes are a function of guard break?


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    Re: E3 Demo impressions (possible spoilers)

    Post by Seignar on Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:12 pm

    I think riposte has been removed and, instead, they added a critical attack for enemies on the ground. The parry now knocks enemies to the ground so, in a sense, parry-riposte still exists, but it was modified.

    Despite it working the exact same way, it seems that, due to the massive nerf to invincibility frames, they have made parrying more of a deterrent against enemy groups.

    On a different topic, how did guarding feel? Seeing as dodging got the big nerf, it should be important to know how they are working with blocking. Does it feel like blocking was made weaker or is it the same?

    Also, with regards to Dual-wielding, can you give us an explanation as to how it works? It is one of the biggest changes the series has had and everyone is curious.

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    Re: E3 Demo impressions (possible spoilers)

    Post by ExServ on Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:21 pm

    Seignar wrote:I think riposte has been removed and, instead, they added a critical attack for enemies on the ground. The parry now knocks enemies to the ground so, in a sense, parry-riposte still exists, but it was modified.

    Despite it working the exact same way, it seems that, due to the massive nerf to invincibility frames, they have made parrying more of a deterrent against enemy groups.

    On a different topic, how did guarding feel? Seeing as dodging got the big nerf, it should be important to know how they are working with blocking. Does it feel like blocking was made weaker or is it the same?

    Also, with regards to Dual-wielding, can you give us an explanation as to how it works? It is one of the biggest changes the series has had and everyone is curious.

     Well since i've played even more demon's souls than dark souls, playing with two swords didn't surprise me that much :p

    Well, it's nothing fancy really, you press R1, then L1, and everything goes smoothly. I couldn't notice a special attack (like pressing both triggers at the same time) or a jump attack with both swords.

    If you played demon's souls, it seemed to me like it was a similar feeling. instead or parrying with your left weapon, you have another normal attack, and a strong attack as well. It felt really fun though because hit enemy are staggered for a short amount of time, and hacking fast enough you can kill enemis without them reacting. (of course, not the huge ones).

    Blocking felt "normal", though stamina consumption was a bit too much i felt. And since the character was rolling around like he was naked, it felt unbalanced to loose all my stamina after 3/4 hits only.
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    Re: E3 Demo impressions (possible spoilers)

    Post by tigab95 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:42 am

    Thank you for your impressions biggrin thumbs up dont worry , youre not the only one whos speak french as first language ! me too ! cheers


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