Musings of a Newblood & Questions for Veterans

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    Musings of a Newblood & Questions for Veterans

    Post by Thief on Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:27 am

    Hey everybody,

    (Firstly, I do realize there is an introduce-yourself-sticky-thread already, but I wasn't sure if what I'm about to write fits into it; so here goes)

    I'm a pretty late addition to the party, I suppose - got my interest sparked only when I was visiting my brother and he was playing the beta to DS2. I immediately fell in love with the art style, and after he casually remarked "It's kinda like Legend of Zelda for masochistic adults", I just knew I had to check it out!

    So as you can probably tell by my Username, and as a big fan of the "Thief"-series, I didn't have to think twice about which class to start out with. I did that even though mentioned brother advised me to "choose the Knight, and always use a shield. It's impossible otherwise".

    Now on level 33, I disagree. Granted, all the things I'm saying/claiming are labeled with huge "SO FAR"-stickers, but I just feel while this game is just as hard as people advertised it to be, it also incredibly fair within it's own internal workings. I use bows as a primary weapons, and switch to dual-whielding the Bandit's Knife and a Rapier if the situation requires it - and so far, riposting or just evading attacks altogether always did the trick. I guess what I'm saying is, if you play this game for a while, you realize there is a reason they give you every option. If all fails, you can always change the battlefield into one that's more in your favor.

    I'm currently entering Blighttown, and beat all the Bosses / Mini-Bosses within my reach (except the Hydra in Darkroot Basin) so far. I won't pretend I didn't die a couple of times, but the only boss because of whom I really started to doubt whether I could go on like I did, was the Capra Demon. Needless to say, this fight had all the circumstances my character cannot deal with exceptionally well. But eventually he went down, too, and the Gaping Dragon afterwards even on the first try (but he did swallow close to a hundred arrows - strays included, but still!)

    Like I said, I don't know what the game has in store for me - I'm reluctant to use any guides, since in a game like that a boss strategy is a legitimate spoiler - but I appreciate the way I get to customize my style and if all fails, bend any situation into one I can deal with. I just fear it would take away this feeling of "Why didn't I think of this sooner?!" everytime you overcome a seemingly impossible encounter.


    After all that rambling, if anyone is still there, here are my inevitable questions:

    1.
    My "build".
    I just wanted to know if experienced players have any heads-up for me regarding my character - with the Rapier's quick-react it's fun (limited only by my own stupidity at times) parrying away, and the Longbow takes out most enemies rather quickly if only I run them dizzy first. It worked perfectly fine until now - challenging but not giving me the feeling I'm doing anything wrong. But the internet is full of posts that warn vigorously of using bows or even dual whielding as an inexperienced player.

    I know I'm probably not too far into the game, so what's up with that? Will I get chewed eventually or is it just less risky with a shield and couple more layers of platemail? My philosophy so far is the best armor is not getting hit.

    2.
    The lore.
    I understand this is a whole universe they created there, but I have a hard time understanding it. Every character -hell, even most items- I find seems to have a huge premise & backstory, but I don't understand much of it. The covenants, the world, the places, the factions - and most importantly: Who or what am I? Besides being cursed with the darksign, that is. Is this intentional at my game state, or am I just too dense? I love RPGs, and the story is just as important for me as the gameplay, so it's really a shame feeling like an oblivious idiot slaying things all the time.

    3.
    Item "economy".
    I find tons of random pieces of equipment, which my somehwat experienced RPG-player's mind immediately classifies as "loot to be sold". Yet, you can't really sell anything can you? It's just confusing, because for the rareness of enemies dropping things in comparison to other RPGs, you'd think they at least are of some worth to yourself. And then it's another wretched short sword.

    4.
    Firekeeper Souls.
    I found one and accidentally used it up to gain humanity, as I didn't fully understand what it does (I hadn't even discovered the stairs to the lower Firelink Shrine at that point). I do now, but how bad is wasting one of them actually? I never found another so far.


    So thanks for listening, and possibly for some answers in advance. Looking forward to stay! (God, this game is so addictive.)


    Last edited by Thief on Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:19 am; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: Musings of a Newblood & Questions for Veterans

    Post by AnCapaillMor on Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:56 am

    Welcome and glad you're enjoying it.

    1. Best thing about this game is there's so many builds and so many ways to play the game. This is your best friend when comes to builds. Fair play to you starting off with bows, most people do a bow run challenge after they finished the game a few times. Some places will be trickier with the bow.

    2. Lore, i wouldn't be that into it, but just read the description on every item you pick up, a lot of backstory in them. If you want check out youtube there's a lot of dark souls lore vids out there. Epicnamebro does a good few playthroughs explaing each area and boss and the lore behind them, there's others out there.

    3 Yeah you'll pick up a lot of items, you'll be sick of broken shortswords by the end of the game. There is somone who will trade items for souls but the return isn't great. I usually end up dropping most of my duplicates. Also use the bottomless box to store items and never just drop an item, it might be important for an upgrade later, dump\sell duplicates.

    4. I did the same as did many others on the first playthrough but there's more around. It might be a pain using it up but not a total diaster.


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    Re: Musings of a Newblood & Questions for Veterans

    Post by Scurrilous Straggler on Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:38 am

    I also did the bow on my first play through (wow seems so long ago now) and got to the Taurus Demon before I became too frustrated with it. I prefer ranger types so I was depressed that it wasn't do good in Dark Souls, and I restarted.

    There's so much lore and yea it can be found in game mostly. The people involved with the game have also let things loose in interviews and such. Vaati Vidya and EpicNameBro are good sources of videos about lore and more and I highly recommend them both.

    If you're interested in the achivements related to collecting items, it's best to find out which are involved and keep them. The rest is just clutter, in my opinion. As mentioned above there is a way to 'sell' some things later, but not for much. Well some items are good to sell, but they are far and few between.

    Firekeeper Souls are uncommon, but they are scattered about so you might want to keep an eye out. Reinforcing your Estus is pretty important, but eating one or two on your first playthrough isn't the end of the world big grin


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    Re: Musings of a Newblood & Questions for Veterans

    Post by Thief on Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:48 am

    Yet, it was never frustrating because of the mere fact I focused on ranged combat. My main character is essentially always the same guy in RPGs, so I'm used to persistently kite in even the most bow-unwelcoming games. The only definite downside I discovered so far is that this playstyle comes at the cost of many souls that could otherwise be spent to level up...

    I didn't beat the Taurus demon at first mainly because I failed to notice the ladder that leads up to the zombie archers; thus drastically limiting my playground. Once I figured that one out, enough cardio keeps him catching up enough to steadily fire away. It was the Capra Demon that brought out the worst in me, simply because this hidden space to properly dodge him doesn't exist - until I found out staying moderately close to him is actually when he's the most harmless: "Why didn't I think of this sooner?"

    As for items: I confess it is more of a compulsion. I can't just throw stuff away, and keeping all this garbage in my chest/inventory drives me mad - penality or no. I have to find this guy as soon as possible!

    I'm very glad about the Firekeeper Souls not being that fatal, though. Thank you guys so far!


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    Re: Musings of a Newblood & Questions for Veterans

    Post by TheMeInTeam on Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:23 pm

    Bow-only is hard, but just using a bow is a rather logical thing to do in PvE. It has value in that it can kill enemies that can't reach you or isolate aggro on ones that can. The head shot animation is hilarious too. When used well, even many of the bosses are easier to kill with a bow than many alternatives, with some notable exceptions.


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    Re: Musings of a Newblood & Questions for Veterans

    Post by WhatDoesThePendantDo? on Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:45 pm

    Capa covered most of it but, yeah, you've still got most of the game to go and about the lore, just make sure you talk to every NPC you come across and exhaust all their dialogue. Read item descriptions, etc., etc.

    Struggling to the Capra Demon is quite normal, especially when considering your build just like it's expected the Gaping Dragon would be a cake-walk with that same build, he's easy anyway, but having ranged attacks make it so he probably shouldn't even hit you.

    As for selling stuff, you can sell your stuff to a Kingseeker Frampt but honestly, you don't get very many souls, if the clutter bothers, just get a Bottomless Box.

    BTW, given that you're running bows, started as a Thief, and is using DEX weapons I'm guessing you have a high DEX stat? By chance, do you have the Black Bow of Pharis? It's absolutely tremendous in PvE if you sport a high DEX.

    And welcome to the Forums, of courrse. Proper Bow 

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    Re: Musings of a Newblood & Questions for Veterans

    Post by Thief on Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:01 pm

    Yes the Gaping Demon went somewhat well, but its sheer size and appearance made it hard to keep my desperately needed calm & coordination...

    WhatDoesThePendantDo? wrote:BTW, given that you're running bows, started as a Thief, and is using DEX weapons I'm guessing you have a high DEX stat? By chance, do you have the Black Bow of Pharis? It's absolutely tremendous in PvE if you sport a high DEX.

    And welcome to the Forums, of courrse. Proper Bow 
    I only have a dexterity level of 30 as of now. I started out skilling very one-sidedely only into dex, until I came to the realization that maybe spending a few points on vitality, so not ANY attack by a boss ends the fight, might be wise.

    The Longbow still does acceptable damage, but yeah, I'm increasingly facing enemies that won't take a hint even after shooting them in the head. The name of it sounds like a pretty special item though, and given what this game taught me so far, is probably an equal pain to obtain? (I've looked it up, and trying not to spoil too much, it appears I have to grind together 20.000 souls and piss off an entire faction?)

    Thank you for your welcome!


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    Re: Musings of a Newblood & Questions for Veterans

    Post by AnCapaillMor on Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:00 pm

    For that stage in the game 30 dex is very good. Now its down to your weapon and what level you got it at.

    The pharis bow has the best range too. It may take time to get the 20K souls but you'll earn them back quickly in that area. Be warned the dudes there can be tough. I'd look up on how to get the bow, its possible to miss it.


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    Re: Musings of a Newblood & Questions for Veterans

    Post by DyingAce on Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:41 pm

    For dexterity and strength, they start having diminishing dmg increase past 40. It's why most pvp builds never go past 40 in those two stats. Have you been upgrading your gear? The difference between a +10 weapon and unupgraded is pretty noticeable.

    Killing the people of the meow covenant without being part of the meow covenant doesn't affect your relationship with them at all so headshot away.
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    Re: Musings of a Newblood & Questions for Veterans

    Post by Thief on Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:43 am

    Well, I did eventually upgrade all three of my weapons (currently Bandit's Knife +6, Raw Rapier, Longbow +6), but I kind of felt guilty about it because I anticipated -safe for the Bandit's Knife since it's critical damage is steadily crazy- I would eventually find better equipment sooner or later, and the required titanite Shards do cost a lot of souls at first...


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    Re: Musings of a Newblood & Questions for Veterans

    Post by AnCapaillMor on Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:19 am

    Get them to +10. In the blight town there's slugs at the bottom that have a good drop rate of large titanite shards. Farm there a while to get the shards. There's a nice dex based weapon around the start of blighttown(hint need a big jump). Bandits is good but the problem is, you won't be getting criticals on bosses, so the other weapon is worth getting. At 30 dex you'll do some damage with it.


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    Re: Musings of a Newblood & Questions for Veterans

    Post by chantienyee on Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:39 pm

    In most of my playthroughs I try to save the souls from the Bell Gargoyles and the Moonlight Butterfly to afford the Crest. You can make back those souls in the forest by killing the NPCs just twice so it's pretty easy to rationalize. It's great for cheap, fast soul farming. And like Ace said, it doesn't affect your potential covenant status as long as you don't join the covenant until later (if at all). I like to grab the dark wood grain ring early on so that's another reason to get in there.

    I was too dense to get most of the lore on my own, but like others said, just YouTube Dark Souls lore. Vaati Vidya and Sunlight Blade are great sources. ENB is incredible too, but his videos tend to be longer ans less dedicated to single concepts.


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    Re: Musings of a Newblood & Questions for Veterans

    Post by Thief on Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:39 pm

    I got the Black Bow of Pharis now and it's great. Played until Andor Londo and accidentally entered the Painted World - now it's almost broken and makes close to zero damage compared to its usual output - Why did I have to be so curious? happy

    Most enemies in there were even a breeze in ranged combat... now, not so much.


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    Re: Musings of a Newblood & Questions for Veterans

    Post by DarkGerald on Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:14 pm

    Welcome to hell, it's a warm and soft place big grin

    The guy at the Firelink Shrine tells you at one point that you should sharpen your weapons. What he ment is: get a repair box so you can repair your stuff at a bonfire. Now you're trapped in the Painting without one I guess, so your best chance is to get out of it as quickly as possible. Don't attack the boss, just leave and come back later once you've get your gear ready.

    But that requires you to go underground where you will meet some enemies that are really really tough to fight with a bow anyways, especially without a shield (they come out of apperently nowhere). So my advise once you manage to leave the painting: get a shield ;)Anything before Anor Londo is pretty much just foreplay, the areas and bosses after AL (including the AL endboss) become much harder than anything you've met before and running around without a shield will make you're life very difficult. Given how you've described your character, the grass crest shield (quicker stamina regen), crest shield (high magic def) or eagle shield (highest stability) would all be a good choice for you.

    Oh and yes, upgrade all your weapons and armor to max before you finish your first playthrough, you will need it on NG+ (next new game) as the enemies get much tougher, HP and damage wise. Also don't focus on just one weapon, especially as you don't play a heavy armor meele. Some pyromancing skills for example can come in really handy against some bosses, most notably "Power within" or "Iron Flesh" which makes the Capra Demon a laugh (if you do enough damage within 2-3 strikes to kill him). On other places (great) combustion does wonders as long as you have a shield. Block & burn your way to crowded places. You don't need to skill any attribute for pyromancy, just upgrade your pyro flame with souls.

    About the lore: it's your story that counts, make up whatever you feel right. The characters and texts you find are just setting the mood. After 3-4 playthroughs you will feel at home with everything and one and go like "oh that's the guy who's looking for his master, ah that's guy looking for his sister" while continuing on your journey. That's not to say that there isn't a bigger story behind all, there is as you'll find out soon after AL, but it's told in rather a few sentences than books.

    About the economy: the crap you find you can feed to someone at a later point but yeah, it doesn't give much souls. Your main soul income comes from bosses and PvP or helping players, especially on NG++ and beyond. Also, what appears now to be crap might be needed at some point. You get special souls from some bosses that you can use to transform a +10 weapon of a given type into a special weapon. So that Shotel you probably find somewhere and want to throw away might give you a very powerfull sword with firedamage once you figured it out how to transform it (just read the guides here winking). Also there are some places that require a special kind of damage type and you might not be willing to transform your bandit knife into this type. If you have two of them you can keep your "regular" maxed out knife and transform the other for the special damage (I'm being wage as I understand you don't want to be spoiled, hope you get my meaning anyway).

    One last thing: you probably will miss a huge lot of things if you don't read some guides. Trust me, the game will still be very hard but a lot of things are just not intuitive to be found and I ask myself over and over again how people found this or that out, like weaknesses of certain bosses or some secret passages that need you to be in a special covenant to access.

    Hope that helps winking
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    Re: Musings of a Newblood & Questions for Veterans

    Post by befowler on Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:28 pm

    Lots of good advice in here, so I'll just say: take your time. It's really tempting to constantly press forward and beat new challenges, but to me some of the most fun and interesting aspects of the game are in the small details (and of course well hidden items or level design aspects). It's the journey itself, not the ultimate destination, you should try to enjoy. And yes, absolutely avoid any boss guides or spoilers on your first run through. I also wouldn't worry about your "build" too much your first time, instead try out all the different weapons and spells etc you find, to better inform your later characters. And there will be many of those.


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