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Author Topic: Dark Souls get  (Read 2987 times)

Holy Diver

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Holy Diver says,
« on: December 20, 2012, 10:04:12 PM »

So I found myself at the mall the other day while out shopping for the holidays and ended up walking out with a copy of Dark Souls.

I looked for it in the pre-owned games. Since it seems like it disappeared from store shelves very quickly I assumed it was a typical From' game with a way too small initial pressing that would end up being hard to find in the bargain bins and demand a higher per-owned price. There were older pre-owned games that had stickers just about 10$ beneath the stickers on the new games.

I looked and looked, and couldn't find one, then I turned around and there was a 20$ Greatest Hits version, new. I thought this is probably a promotion for the recent expansion which I've heard about. Though I couldn't find a new full-price expanded version anywhere, it may be a DLC only thing for all I know, assuming I didn't imagine it.

Anyway the cash register person informed me that there was a pre-owned version in the store, and asked me if I'd rather have it. I did tell them I was looking for a pre-owned, but something tells me the store makes more money if I buy the pre-owned. Anyway I have an irrational thing about buying Greatest Hits or whatever version, just because the boxart is always scarred in a way that I find intellectually insulting. And I am not even a collector kind of person. It just seems wrong to me and not something I want to encourage or have to think about when I go to play a game. So I took the pre-owned since it was not Greatest Hits...

The clerk had to walk over to the pre-owned area to retrieve the box, and I admitted that I was surprised the box was not among the prominently displayed games (it was in the bottom area setup like a book shelf, probably alphabetically sorted, but I did not think to look) and I explained that I reckoned the game was popular and would fetch a higher price (it was like 18$) and was a little taken back when the clerk explained that while it is a popular game, it is often returned immediately because most people find it to be too difficult to play. Needless to say I had to do a double take at the idea of "being too difficult" being a legitimate reason to return a game. Though I do remember at least one occasion when we were kids returning a game that was just absolute rubbish, so I reckon there must be a no questions asked return policy. To be honest I'm surprised returns for non-defective products is even a thing in this day and age. You gotta hand it to retail.

Anyway I reckon I will put some hours into this game before New Years just because television in the US is an absolute wasteland during the holidays. I don't really have time to mess with it right now due to Ex being in a crunch, but I did take a peek at it this morning. I kind of expected Dark Souls to be an improvement on Demons' Souls. If nothing else the concept of having a more open environment sounds liberating in theory. But I'd just hoped that From' would have more experience with the new format for Dark Souls. So far though I've found it to be incredibly underwhelming and definitely a leap down from Demons' Souls. It feels like only DS players are expected to pick up and play Dark Souls. If I'd not played DS I might not even have the attention span to bear with Dark Souls beyond the plain drab tunnel vision as hell opening area.

The elaborate creation myth freak show nonsense is as random and pointless as can be, and the dialogue and setups couldn't be any more goof ball... in other words feels like Demon's Souls. Visually the presentation is still nowhere approaching realistic. Every single surface bears a white glint that couldn't be less understated and might as well be pixie dust. I can't wait for the bricks to start climbing the walls :drool:

I made myself a curly haired hunter. The other costumes I couldn't bear to look at. The hair styles even worse. Demon's Souls had few equipment sets but at least they were iconic enough for the most part, if not accessorize-able.

I will stick it out, but its just boring boring boring. I don't know how King's Field could come to this. It's like a noble patriarch has died and the inheritance is just being pissed into the wind by his hedonistic clan of know nothings and no tastes :thumbsup:


Yeah but whatever. If you have any advice for a person with little patience and even less time taking a stab at Dark Souls for the first time your input is welcome :evil:


PS: Probably my #1 peeve about these games is not being able to pause the game. Basically a quit to the title screen is required. And having to unplug my freaking PS3 to play it offline! That's nuts. Some how it looks like the copy I picked up is French Canadian... unless all NA copies were labeled in French and English. I'm actually kind of surprised that US games are not labeled in Spanish (Mexican; if there is a difference) and English nowadays. Anyway if I could I would've liked to play in French with English subtitles so to not have to suffer ridiculous video game vocals (in a language I can comprehend) but my guess is to do that I have to put the PS3 in French mode, and then the subtitles would be French too, which is more than I am am willing to put up with for this game. I'm just glad my PS3 uses the Japanese control scheme so that the dash/roll button is X instead of O :rainbow:

My bet to how a Quebec game ended up in Arkansas is the video game stores probably redistribute their pre-owned game wealth. Still French Canadian in Arkansas is weird, but I don't suppose that's a detail the retail chain could be bothered to deal with.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 10:13:51 PM by Holy Diver »

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Holy Diver

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2012, 01:14:04 AM »


EDITED: I noticed that all of the (presumably) free software library licenses are printed in the back of the game manual. It's shocking just how much of commercial software nowadays is built on the back of free open-source software libraries. You get the impression that probably sooner than later commercial games will be built entirely out of free software.

Holy Diver

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2012, 03:35:01 AM »

We've had a bit of a ice storm here that set in on Christmas night starting with rain and turning into about 7 to 12 inches of snow. I enjoy this time of the year out on the ranch... for these kinds of natural challenges. For a little time each year you get to participate in almost a sport, man vs. nature, that people in the city with urban utilities can only liken to shoveling their driveway. Wood stove and horses tend to sap these days away, but this year, with the usual late December TV lull Dark Souls has also been sapping away my days...

I miss the KF and ST days, but Abyss was pretty weak, as was IV, so I don't know if From' would be able to crank out an honorable addition to these series if it wanted to... and that may well be why it hasn't tried. The DS series adds something different. It feels like a Shadow Tower MMORPG to me, but also like it would be better if it was a more character driven game comparable to the Castlevania series. Demons' feels like Portrait of Ruin with its centralized organization, and Dark feels like SOTN only with a bunch of secret passages connecting bits of the castle at every turn. Personally I would have preferred each zone to just have more organic exits into adjoining areas. And there is what seems like enough content in Dark that it could easily have been spread out into 3 games (2 expansions) if From' would go back to releasing games on a yearly schedule.

That said my main problem with DS is its fatally flawed control scheme. In my mind the series can only be a shadow of itself until it scraps the controls and does something completely different. It bills itself as a hardcore game, but it's controls manage to be even worse than those of ICO, which would be a perfect 10 if not for its controls bringing it down to a high 6. DS has no substance, which is probably good if From wants to spin out as many of these games as it possibly can muster. A game without substance must have tight controls, so DS is something like a 5 out of 10, could be an 8 if it had functional controls. It loses points for me personally in being so shallow while simultaneously more complicated than anything I can possibly imagine, and way more complicated (and obtuse) than any game has a right to be.


The controls have so many problems. In the places were Dark contributes new features to the controls, they are all features with huge potential blowback. Eg. the combos don't always seem to work... and when they don't, instead of leap attacking you do a strong attack, which of course doesn't have the necessary range, leaving yourself completely exposed. There is probably 10 gaping issues such as this, and 10 more more subtle issues with the dysfunctional control scheme. So I won't get into it. Bottom line there has to be a B scheme for players who desire a modicum of precision. Nothing kills immersion like making an ass of yourself and having to berate the game just to blow off the steam telling you to put it down and never pick it up again. Bottom line, if Armored Core had a control scheme like this it would be ridiculed. You can't take a control scheme like this seriously.



I'd like to just post a little bit about where I would like to see SOM go in terms of game play with respect to equipment. All based on my observations WRT the DS games. Some of the late PS2 Armored Core games had a system I really enjoyed, it involves the parts being destroyed. This would be equivalent to a piece of your armor breaking in Shadow Tower. Only its not slow whittling... its more immediate. You were hit in that spot, and your equipment is going to sustain significant damage. If it takes a few more like that that piece of your armor will be completely ineffectual...

That's how I would like to see part breaking work in SOM. That's how armor works in the real world. And I realize emulating the real world is not often, or even necessarily usually, the right thing to do in game worlds. But I think in this case it would be far more interesting. What if weapons had 2 stats? One for breaking, and one for dullness. So your weapon gets dull of course... you sharpen it, but it also breaks. And say if its at 50% then the next swing has a 50% chance of the weapon breaking in two! I think that would present way more interesting scenarios too. Add an element of chance...

Likewise if you don't wear a helmet... your head should not be protected by the armor stat of your boots. If you are hit in the head, well lights out. You'll find that this approach radically simplifies things in the defense dept. No longer do you have to factor every piece of equipment into your game's balance.

If your helmet is at 50% then there is a 50% chance that the next hit will go through it. Higher for pierce, lower for smash of course. Then you're mortally wounded unless you have something up your sleeve.

Finally rolling is retarded. It's not worth wasting buttons on, and being invincible while rolling is just cheese. But likewise you can't be expected to control everything when it comes to evasive maneuvers. My thinking is why shouldn't that be something the game does automatically? If you are not wearing a helmet, then the game should automatically have the player flinch when anything is coming towards their head in plain sight. You simply can't put everything into a controller, and I don't see any indication that we won't be playing games without controllers anytime soon. And I don't think anyone would seriously want to play a game in any other way anyway (short of telekinesis)

Likewise jumping. Sometimes a game might not do what you want it to do, but it should try not to do something that is stupid without any reason. For instance in Dark Souls there is a bonfire in the garden hidden behind a wall that is itself on a ledge. I quit using this bonfire because 50% of the time I'd fall off the ledge just trying to walk around the wall. No player would do that on purpose. Is it suggesting that the bonfire is actually a trap? I don't get it. It just seems like bad design to me.

Games should incorporate a kind of AI to make sure the player cannot do nonsensical things. Consider every action instead to be a gesture, or communication to the game, to indicate what the player would like to do, and ultimately let the game make the best decision.


EDITED: I played an MMORPG once upon a time called Megaten (Megami Tensei) IMAGINE, because I felt like if I am going to be serious about a career in games, I have to seriously play an MMORPG at least once. Anyway when you repaired a piece of equipment in that game, there was always a chance of diminishing returns. The better and more expensive the repair NPC at their craft the less the likelihood of the item loosing some durability permanently. I would like to see that in From's games. I don't think a durability system even adds anything at all to games if there is not diminishing returns, and immediate consequences that do not just come from forgetting to keep your stuff in repair. You may as well just play an accounting simulator at that point.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 03:43:39 AM by Holy Diver »

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Holy Diver

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2012, 03:56:41 AM »


PS: Another thing I found funny. While running backwards from some archers I was not particularly worried about a couple arrows bit into the shield on my back. It seems like having a shield covering your back would protect you from those back attacks but I guess not :rolleyes:

Likewise hitting heavy armor should be identical to hitting a shield... the two are functionally the same thing. It should only be the lucky hit that goes between the joints, or the hit after the armor has been thoroughly damage that lands the mortal blow.

Holy Diver

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 11:41:31 AM »

So I've been playing Dark Souls all afternoon. I still have a lot to do but it's starting to feel late game for sure.

I've tried a number of different looks. But I've always liked the wanderer set's legs and arms. The tattered jacket can go, and I'm not much for hoods except it was fun using thief hood while hollow to hide your gnarly face!

Later after the abyss I had fun embracing the hollow and roleplaying a wraith because well, that seems to be the direction the game wants you to go in. Best ending and all. I am still in the wraith covenant until I can suck out all of the humanities with the dark hand to feed to the chaos covenant. No PvP mind you. If you ask me I don't mind the covenant system, I just don't understand why you can only belong to one at a time.

For a while I used the ninja top with the wander arms/legs as always and the velka mask for headgear. I've also used the elite knight set minus the legs, supplemented with pieces of the plain knight set when going heavy gear. I was pretty well into the game before I learned you can go under 25%. I should've guessed though because under 50% is like being over 50% is Demons' Souls.

I also used the thief and later ninja set in the Blighttown area. That was one of my favorite areas for some reason. Everywhere else seems either really cramped or like it would be cramped if the architecture was ever human scale!

I started out as a hunter because the other starter sets all look ridiculous. Deprived might be fun... collecting the hollow sets seems like it would've been a much better early game. To be honest I am not sure this one even needed a class system.

But by far my favorite look I think, I just discovered today. It's the same stuff I usually wear more or less except I discovered that the "Dingy Robe" was actually a very nice top. So I've been using that with black sorcerer hat that I often wear when just being a carefree immortal. To be honest the hat is actually much better than the mask in all but like 8 physical def, and probably not even that if I did the last upgrade. But I feel wrong not wearing a helmet in a dangerous area. It's like riding a bicycle without a helmet!


Right, anyway, I've also been playing with the Moonlight. It's a bit bigger and wider than it should be if you want pay the sword some respect. It's pretty powerful with my character because he is a dexterity/intelligence build. But it can be sluggish in a pinch. Otherwise I've been mostly fond of spears and rapiers phalanx position. Early in the game I would use the battle axe. Being a hunter and all. Of course bows have been a prominent fixture thanks to starting as a hunter. They were mostly absent in my Demons' Souls game.

I would post a screenshot but the PS3 can't take a screenshot in 2013 for chrissakes! Picture a slim curly sandy brownish blonde, black sorcerer capped, dingy (not so) robed, wanderer limbed, Moonlight sporting, aryan super youth.

You probably can't make a better look to complement the Moonlight sword. It looks like a character from a golden age video game. Maybe Aleph in KF3.

Also complements the eagle shield very well. You can see where there is intentional overlap within some of the sets.

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Verdite says,
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2013, 01:42:13 PM »

Hadnt discovered this until today (yeah I was shocked too) and I really enjoyed reading your recorded ups and downs.

While I know the thread is already coming up for 5 months in age, i'd like to comment on a few sections of the post that I agreed with.

"So your weapon gets dull of course... you sharpen it, but it also breaks. And say if its at 50% then the next swing has a 50% chance of the weapon breaking in two! I think that would present way more interesting scenarios too. Add an element of chance..."

Something that bothered me in Dark Souls was the mythical durability on some weapons. I could pierce a wall with a rapier a few times to chip off 1 durability. I'm gonna be brave and say From designed these simple durability elements for people who just wanna forget the basics of combat and focus on harvesting enemies because thats what Dark Souls is all about. Defeating enemies is simple in Dark Souls yet threatening. A true fighter knows when to avoid and when to initiate combat because he knows his weapon isnt made of graphene during such times. Unfortunately this game offers little in the way of avoiding conflict.
You are the predator in this game, really.

"Likewise if you don't wear a helmet... your head should not be protected by the armor stat of your boots. If you are hit in the head, well lights out. You'll find that this approach radically simplifies things in the defense dept. No longer do you have to factor every piece of equipment into your game's balance."

The overall defence system is something that I think comes from game series like Final Fantasy where the main character's face has to be shown at all times. Helmet-less characters seem popular, probably due to easier facial recognition. Not practical for fighting games.

"If your helmet is at 50% then there is a 50% chance that the next hit will go through it. Higher for pierce, lower for smash of course. Then you're mortally wounded unless you have something up your sleeve. "

Again, factoring in realism is really immersive, but players who just want to fight, numbly enjoying crushing their enemies wont think about being careful. Being careful takes away the fun. If you're not thinking about outsmarting your opponent.

Equipment should have 3 different 'damaged' textures that can be easily swapped on / off instantly (using something like paledit) like in Rival Schools (ps1) the characters expressions are done through swapping their face textures.

"Finally rolling is retarded. It's not worth wasting buttons on, and being invincible while rolling is just cheese. "

Wouldnt surprise me if the rolling idea came from a designer who was an eastern martial artist or had a fascination with it. Wheras a boxer knows to stay on his feet for manouverability, facing his opponent at all times. Rolling exposes your back too easily.
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Holy Diver

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2013, 01:12:55 PM »

You are right. This is old. But I do like the broken weapon idea. My concept of weapon grades is basically F is 50% or so, like in school here in the states. I don't think it should be an automatic 50% and the weapon is broken, but if you hit something that can equal the weapons output then it should be 50% odds.

I like the idea of broken weapons. I guess it would be something like disarm, in that the broken piece of the weapon would have to go somewhere when it breaks. Then you'd have to go collect it if you intend to repair the weapon.

I had the idea of the weapon being scrap after it hits the last damage grade. But maybe it should be scrap only after it breaks. Scrap that you can still use the bottom half of as a half weapon. This is actually a plus, because changing the type of item the weapon is from weapon to non-weapon is even trickier.

The broken piece could be part of the scabbard and just hidden inside the scabbard when in use.


As for rolling. I think Dark Souls does rolling just because it is super easy to implement. You'll notice that if you roll to the side, you first turn to the side, and then roll forward, so there is just one animation. That's the same reason the game uses the free movement setup instead of a traditional tank one. It's also an excuse for slight of hand invincibility. Which props of the power fantasy. Which feeds the egos of the players. Which feeds the deep pockets of the publishers. That said, it's still retarded, so there is just no helping it.

Tuck and roll is not such a bad maneuver. It just needs to be advanced, and only available to light infantry. Not to mention that casually rolling around with sharp implements demands an improbable degree of credulity.


Last but not least. Game over because a weapon pierced your warn out armor and charted a course straight through your heart is not as cruel as it seems. It teaches you to protect your weak points. It gives the player literal weak points. And is not at all different from part breaking that appears in a few of the Armored Core games. Couple it with magical healing which is almost always a given in these kinds of video games, and its very manageable, even for a mere mortal.

Plus role of the dice is nothing new to video games. This (part breaking) is one of the few places where chance makes perfect sense. The chance element is basically, you never know what to expect, and that is called "replayability" in my book.

Holy Diver

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2015, 05:19:20 AM »

Wal-mart was having a clearance sell of some kind while I was grocery shopping last weekend. I picked up a copy of Dark Souls II for $11 and Alien Isolation for $16. The Alien game is Nostromo edition with some kind of built in DLC that includes playing on the original Alien set as Ripley. Oddly the Alien game manual was French Canadian only. Is there like no standards? Best of all is there are no Best Of crap on the boxes, I will not buy a game with that stuff on the box, I just don't want the hideous boxes lying around.

I also got a Deadly Premonition bundle off the PSN for $10. It's a game people like that is Twin Peaks like. Thought I'd give it a try. So my dance card is totally full, even though I usually don't get into games anymore. But I've been so caught up working on SOM lately that I haven't had a chance/want (wont?) to do anything else.

My impression of DSII is it's pretty lackluster and the videos I've seen just make it look really depressing to play, like in a bad way (dumb ideas as far as the eye can see... unlimited vistas of utter stupidness)

But it's From Software, so $11, whatever. It's probably my only chance since I wouldn't look for it used, or make room on the disk drive for a digital download/copy/install (that's probably like 100GB right there or something. Games are stupidly huger than they should be at this point)