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LTTP: Dark Souls

Narroo

Member
So, I've played and beaten Demon Souls and Dark Souls II, but I haven't tried DSI. So, I bought the game yesterday and I've already logged in too many hours. Let's Explore,



I don't have a way to capture screen shots, so this is going to mainly be text, sorry!

So, to start off with, a quick recap because I already have played several hours.

I started off as a Pyromancer with the Witches ring. I have no idea what the ring does, but we'll find out!

First Impressions:

Wow the UI is terrible. DSII didn't have the best UI's, but the user interface and controls for Dark Souls I is terrible. Navigating the menus is a pain and finding items is like pulling teeth! I vaguely remember Demon Souls being like this. Aside from that, there's a few minor control changes from DSII.

You know, DSII may have had terrible enemy design, mediocre levels, and characters, but from a interface perspective, it rocked. The menus worked well, the character controlled well, it looked nice and not like some indie-budget game on windows...I miss the polish of DSII.

Also, no quick travel or proper hub area is a sin. I know it's going for an interconnected, natural world theme here, but having to spend 5 or 10 minutes running about through re spawning enemies every time I want to visit an NPC or explore a new area is a pain. I much preferred the level-select design of Demon Souls over DS2. Here, it feels like DSI is just trying to hassle me for the sake of it. God forbid I forget which random hole vendor #23 lives in.



  • The tutorial area was a breeze, but a bit annoying. I wanted to beat the Asylum Demon on my 1st try, sadly a broken sword is no good for that. I went back and made a 2nd character that started with Firebombs and killed the thing, but I eventually stuck with my 1st character and finished the tutorial.
  • Firelink Shrine: Kind of a 'meh' area. Not very memorable in terms of visuals, the characters there suck, and it's hard to navigate. I play around a bit with some skeletons, and after dying a few times, I head to the undead burg.
  • Undead Burg. So, This was the first real 'Dark Souls' Experience. I immediately appreciated that enemies were more interesting to fight than the ones in DSII. On the other hand, I actually found the 'burg to be annoying, a bit. A lack of quick travel sucks hard, especially with all the vendor NPCs scattered about. If I could at least permannently clear out enemies like in DSII, that would be okay, but having constantly rerun through the same enemy formations is annoying. And it also kinda cheapens the experience, since you're eventually going to figure out what the best way to cheese the levels are.

  • Fought the Bull Demon. Took about 3-4 tries. Initially I tried to fight him on the bridge, but after getting knocked off I decided it might be best to climb the ladder and use the arena. I was surprised when I didn't get a soul, but just a helm.
  • Forging onwards, I proceed to realize that I'm going to be seeing much more of that one bonfire in the 'burg than I'd care to. I hate that bonfire.
  • I make it to the Undead Parish and power through. I somehow miss the shortcut and staircase to the bell. I meet the smith and we hit it off. I now have a +5 Halberd and I'm 1-2 shotting everything. Life is good.

  • I head to the Dark Root Basin, find the secret bonfire, and kill the Moonbutterfree boss In a split-second decision victory....on my 3rd try. I finally got a soul! But, it's a dead end! All I get is an ember for my troubles....all the while I wonder to myself: Wasn't there supposed to be a bell somewhere here?
  • I go back and kill the handicapped golem next to the smith. It takes probably 1/2 hour because I'm stubborn. When I realize that I basically just killed a fancy stone-lizard, I become depressed over the time and effort wasted.
  • I discover the Darkroot Basin.
  • I play around a bit, find another bonfire. So yeah, I'm not dealing with those drakes now. Instead, I find a tower. Is this the bell tower? Nope! Just a shortcut with an angry guy in it. I get him to within 1 or 2 hits of death, then I overreach and die. Great. On the 3rd try I kill him and I get a ring. 'Oh-my-god, I love this ring. The ring increases my weight limit drastically, and now I finally wear improved armor!
  • With my new shortcut in tow, I wander around a bit, and I make it to the Lower Undead Burg. Not too bad. I unlock the shortcut to the firelink shrine.
  • I head back and fight the capra demon. "Dear god is this an obnoxious arena. This would be a good fight if I could move. I don't think this arena is big enough for the boss to even swing without clipping! On my 2nd or 3rd I summon a phantom and kill it. It was still fairly challenging though...the phantom didn't seem to be too interested in actually fighting the boss and tried to go AFK in the upper corner of the room until I brought the boss to him.
  • I've now saved up 20,000 souls! It's time to visit the smith and buy a new item
  • How do I get back to the smith? I eventually end up of the big-brdige where solaire is. I proceed to get invaded by The most obnoxious red phantom ever!. 1st, the guy's afraid of the dragon or something so it takes him 10-minutes before he engages. Then, when I finally fight him, he's laggy and keeps teleporting behind my back and critical-ling me! During the fight I accidentally nick Solaire and now I have two people fighting me. I die. And....I get sent back to the Firelink Shrine. Great! Eventually I get my 20K back but Solarie is still mad at me. Friggen NPC should've tried helping if he didn't want to get hurt.....
    [*]So, buy the key to Arisotralisous's grave. I kill some enemies (with great effort) and find a cat. The cat tells me to 'eff-off'. Further out, I see more enemies with too-much-hp. I decide 'Screw it, not worth it.' and head back to the Firelink.
    [*] NPC in Firelink says something about a Pyromancer going to blight town. Hey, I'm a Pyromancer! Let's go to blight town! I think earlier he said blight town is underground. Let's go spelunking!
    [*] So, ruins of New Largo. The ghosts here are terrible! The friggen spear doesn't want to hit them for starters, and that's when they 'aren't' wall clipping. I try and put up with this place as much as humanly possible, I make it to some strange bridge area. But no, I hate this ghosts too much.
    [*] Onto the Catacombs! I'd love it if I could imbue my +5 Halberd with magic here, but I can't. Too bad....so I quickly figure out there's a necromancer and somehow manage (after a few tries) to kill him and light the bonfire. Next area, next necromancer. My spear takes 4-5 hits to kill skeletons, but I don't really have anything that works better, so this is a bit of a pain. After many attempts I make it to the secret bonfire. 'Hopefully there isn't much more to this.'
    [*] AHAHAHA, no. So, I proceed to kill myself and spend too many hours trekking through the catacombs, getting too many cheap kills my way. Eventually, I make it to the boss, Pinwheel, who I manage to kill on my 1st try! Yes. Seriously, I hat 5% HP left with no Estus and took him down from >1/3hp to zero. I'm half surprised my controller didn't break under my hand pressure.
    [*] I walk forward and fall into a hole. Text appears "Graveyard of Giants." Oh boy, here we go. I take out my lantern and progress: Giant skeletons with tons of HP everywhere. I manage to make it to an NPC, who get's me killed by skeletons that followed be. I loose 20K in souls. I try to get my souls back. I die. I think the catacombs have robbed me of at least 40K is souls by now. I hate this place. I leave.
    [*] Where do I go now? And what happened to that stupid bell? I ask myself. After this, is a blur, a blur of annoyance. I don't know how it happened, but I eventually end up in the parish. And I find the staircase. Here's the bell.
    [*]

    And here are some bell-gargoyles. I hated these guys in DSII, and I hate them here too, but for a different reason. Their fire attack is BS and the roof is too narrow for this fight! I'm noticing a pattern: Awesome boss design ruined by awful arenas....Capra Demon, Butterfly, Bull (to an extent) and now the Gargoyles. This is going to continue to happen, isn't it?
    [*] Rung the bell. So what does this do? I checked the mysterious gate next to the onion knight. Nothing. Okay, I need to stop; I've played way too much Dark Souls today.



So here we are. I'm going outside to get some fresh air. No spoilers please
 

Toxi

Banned
Rung the bell. So what does this do? I checked the mysterious gate next to the onion knight. Nothing. Okay, I need to stop; I've played way too much Dark Souls today.
Remember what the sad guy in Firelink Shrine told you.

"There are actually two Bells of Awakening. One's up above, in the Undead Church. The other is far, far below, in the ruins at the base of Blighttown. Ring them both, and something happens. Brilliant, right?"
 

mikelink

Member
If you stick with it, you'll start to enjoy it more I'm sure of this. A tiny spoiler, but you do in fact unlock a fast travel, so don't worry too much.
 
I can see how it happened, but man your post reads like bad decision after bad decision. :D

That corner the npc was standing in with the capra demon is how you beat him solo. You go up there, he follows, you jump down and recover, he jumps down and is temporarily stunned which opens him up for attack.
 

Narroo

Member
What is this, 6 replies already?! My topics never do that well. I really have to do more LTTP's of popular games that have already been LTTP'd to death!
You bought it yesterday?

Jesús, good going.

Also, nice write up. Ashamed to say I never finished it myself.

So yeah, I bought this game....yesterday afternoon....time flies ( I really don't want to look at the ingame clock.)


I agree with you, this game has really shitty boss arenas. Such a step back from Demon's Souls

Aw, drat! It's a shame because DSII had well designed arenas, but lame bosses. So far, it's been great bosses, but lame arenas to the point of ruining the boss!

Massive disappointment, which is sadly most people's first Souls so it's everyone's main chicken.

Hooboy....well..eh.

You know, one thing I really loved about Demon Souls was how focused it was, and how much sense it made. You get summoned as a pawn of the Nexus, you're told what's going on, and they give you a nice level select. Here in Dark Souls, they kinda just give you some lore mumbo-jumbo then let you loose. It's a role playing game, but you can't ask meaningful questions, so it feels aimless and nonsensical. Add to that, I think the level design suffers a bit from being too open.

Give that I haven't played DS3 since I don't own a PS4, what I really want is a Dark Souls 2 featuring all the technical and QoL improvements from DS2. Demon Souls was janky as heck, especially with the way NG+ worked there being no rerolls for characters.
 

Narroo

Member
I can see how it happened, but man your post reads like bad decision after bad decision. :D

That corner the npc was standing in with the capra demon is how you beat him solo. You go up there, he follows, you jump down and recover, he jumps down and is temporarily stunned which opens him up for attack.

It wasn't a NPC, it was a real player. But they kinda just sat there and didn't do anything while the boss just aggro'ed me.

So, when I was solo-ing, abusing that staircase is what I tried to do, but it doesn't work so well in multiplayer because of how Aggro is split. Honestly, with the way the boss works, it's much easier for to players to alternate between the boss's aggro: One person get's attacked, another does the attacking from behind. The bosses go down fast like that. Instead the other guy just kinda hung around the arena and only occasionally attacked.
 

Bronetta

Ask me about the moon landing or the temperature at which jet fuel burns. You may be surprised at what you learn.
I agree with you on many things, namely how obtuse the game can be in giving directions, shitty boss arenas, and overall too many narrow spaces mixed with pitfalls.

You know where you faced Capra Demon and near the tower with the angry guy? There's a door around there that leads to the Depths.

It's completely open ended too and based on your progress, it seems you went everywhere you possibly could EXCEPT to the second bell tower. Technically the gargoyles are the first place you should be heading. Making you waste time running back and forth between Firelink Shrine, the blacksmith, and pretty much anytime you need to backtrack.While the game being interconnected and open ended is great, it can also lead to a lot of wandering around and hitting dead ends not knowing where to go. As much as I liked Dark Souls, I couldn't have done it without a guide, there's too much obtuseness there but I suppose that goes for all the Souls games to an extent.

I also wanna put Capra Demon on blast for being the shittiest designed boss fight in the entire series (I haven't played DS2). Its basically, welcome to my closet to get ganked where you have no room to maneuver oh and there's these two dogs who will maul you. Escaping the initial gank feels like pure luck. He's not a hard boss or anything, its just terribly designed and feels like pure luck.

People may praise it for the lack of quick travel, I blast it for the lack of. You still have to do that initial exploration to reach the bonfires to be able to fast-travel anyway.

To be fair the game has some really low lows but some really high highs as well. I won't really mention the good stuff to avoid spoilers but there are some great moments in the game coming your way. Especially if you picked up the DLC.
 

zma1013

Member
Nice descriptive writeup and funny at times. First I heard of a complaint about the Gargoyle fight arena being too narrow. It's a pretty large area.

Also, if you havent killed Solaire yet, you can pay someone souls to make him friendly again. I'd highly suggest doing that.
 

eot

Banned
Also, no quick travel or proper hub area is a sin. I know it's going for an interconnected, natural world theme here, but having to spend 5 or 10 minutes running about through re spawning enemies every time I want to visit an NPC or explore a new area is a pain. I much preferred the level-select design of Demon Souls over DS2. Here, it feels like DSI is just trying to hassle me for the sake of it. God forbid I forget which random hole vendor #23 lives in.


  • Firelink Shrine: Kind of a 'meh' area. Not very memorable in terms of visuals, the characters there suck, and it's hard to navigate. I play around a bit with some skeletons, and after dying a few times, I head to the undead burg.

 
Disagree about the UI. I liked it better than DS2. In 2, you can't manually change the order of items or even check what your current HP is.(you can only see your full HP) Some things are improved, but overall I didn't like it as much.
 

Lumination

'enry 'ollins
While I disagree with some of your opinions (I like the bridge and the rooftop battles), I'm glad you seem to be overall enjoying it. It's also nice to hear opinions that aren't 90% gushing. I feel that the map implicitly guides you in a way. Between enemies that are obviously a huge step above you in stats to the way the paths wind, you shouldn't have wandered all the way into the Tomb of Giants before the first bell, but I love that the game lets you do that. Your journey is your own, have fun!
 

Stevey

Member
The UI is fine, and the only bad boss arena is Capra IMO.
Sucks you're not enjoying it, it's my favorite if the series by a considerable margin.
 
It seems like your idea of a "good" boss arena is a gigantic empty room with no obstacles since that's mostly what Dark Souls II consists of. The roof where you fight Gargoyles is more than big enough. Regardless, you fight many of Dark Souls' bosses in large empty rooms so rest easy. As for the lack of fast travel... it's part of what sets the game apart. Dark Souls has by far the best overall world design in the series. Getting from point A to point B should never take you too long due to how well laid out the areas are in relation to each other. The other games having fast travel from the beginning is the disappointment, not the other way around. Not because the mechanic is inherently bad, but because the world design clearly suffers as a result.
 

Bronetta

Ask me about the moon landing or the temperature at which jet fuel burns. You may be surprised at what you learn.
It seems like your idea of a "good" boss arena is a gigantic empty room with no obstacles since that's mostly what Dark Souls II consists of. The roof where you fight Gargoyles is more than big enough. Regardless, you fight many of Dark Souls' bosses in large empty rooms so rest easy. As for the lack of fast travel... it's part of what sets the game apart. Dark Souls has by far the best overall world design in the series. Getting from point A to point B should never take you too long due to how well laid out the areas are in relation to each other. The other games having fast travel from the beginning is the disappointment, not the other way around. Not because the mechanic is inherently bad, but because the world design clearly suffers as a result.

Getting from Point A to B takes long because of how slow the player character runs, even with the lightest equipment load, especially compared to its predecessor Demons Souls.

As to your second point about fast travel ruining world design... why? You can't just teleport everywhere off the bat. You still have to make those initial discoveries, you still have to unlock those shortcuts. Bloodborne has some of the best level design in the series despite fast travel from the beginning. Cathedral of the Deep in Dark Souls 3 stands up to the best of the series. Heck even the shortcuts in Demons Souls provided a huge sense of accomplishment and were an eye opener despite being more linear.

The level design in Dark Souls is great despite the lack of fast travel, not in spite of it.
 

Robiin

Member
This sounds a lot like my own first experience with Dark Souls 1. I played it blind, thinking "I am a gamer and don't need no stinking help" like you seem to be. I eventually gave up, two times, after first spending about a week stuck between the Depths and Blight Town. I was terribly underleveled and underequipped (I had missed the blacksmith) for my skill level, and was cursed in-game.

The second time I gave up was after starting over. This time I farmed a lot so I would not be underleveled ever again! I thought. Eventually I made it past where I was before! Made quite good progress acrually, but somehow once again missed the upgrading weapon system. I thought all damage came from stat scaling, so I pumped all my souls into leveling my dexterity and it worked to a certain extent, but I was still using a basic weapon... I heard about the Painted World (no spoilers but it's a cool area later in the game) from someone I knew and looked up how to get there. Made it there. Turns out, the Painted World is quite difficult when you have low health, a basic weapon, bad armor and a bad shield. I didn't find a way out. I gave up again.

The third time, now on PC, I simply decided to play with a guide. Basically I played along to a Let's Play on Youtube. It is now one of my favorite games ever, and simply knowing what to do tought me so much about the mecahnics and ways of thinking about the game. I have since beat it multiple times, and played Dark Souls 2, 3 and Bloodborne blind. I still think I have the best (and worst) memories from Dark Souls 1.

Good luck OP!
 
The UI is fine, and the only bad boss arena is Capra IMO.
Sucks you're not enjoying it, it's my favorite if the series by a considerable margin.

No, there's one more terrible boss arena, you know, that one.

It seems like your idea of a "good" boss arena is a gigantic empty room with no obstacles since that's mostly what Dark Souls II consists of. The roof where you fight Gargoyles is more than big enough. Regardless, you fight many of Dark Souls' bosses in large empty rooms so rest easy. As for the lack of fast travel... it's part of what sets the game apart. Dark Souls has by far the best overall world design in the series. Getting from point A to point B should never take you too long due to how well laid out the areas are in relation to each other. The other games having fast travel from the beginning is the disappointment, not the other way around. Not because the mechanic is inherently bad, but because the world design clearly suffers as a result.

I'm not sure why you've put "good" in quotation marks. A majority of the bosses that are generally considered to be the best in the series (including BB) are fought in an open space/arena.
 

Manu

Member
I wanted to beat the Asylum Demon on my 1st try, sadly a broken sword is no good for that. I went back and made a 2nd character that started with Firebombs and killed the thing, but I eventually stuck with my 1st character and finished the tutorial.

Umm.
 

Narroo

Member
There's a door around there that leads to the Depths.


I also wanna put Capra Demon on blast for being the shittiest designed boss fight in the entire series (I haven't played DS2). Its basically, welcome to my closet to get ganked where you have no room to maneuver oh and there's these two dogs who will maul you. Escaping the initial gank feels like pure luck. He's not a hard boss or anything, its just terribly designed and feels like pure luck.

People may praise it for the lack of quick travel, I blast it for the lack of. You still have to do that initial exploration to reach the bonfires to be able to fast-travel anyway.

To be fair the game has some really low lows but some really high highs as well. I won't really mention the good stuff to avoid spoilers but there are some great moments in the game coming your way. Especially if you picked up the DLC.
I know about the depths, I just haven't explored it yet.
I'll be picking up the DLC later.

It seems like your idea of a "good" boss arena is a gigantic empty room with no obstacles since that's mostly what Dark Souls II consists of. The roof where you fight Gargoyles is more than big enough. Regardless, you fight many of Dark Souls' bosses in large empty rooms so rest easy. As for the lack of fast travel... it's part of what sets the game apart. Dark Souls has by far the best overall world design in the series. Getting from point A to point B should never take you too long due to how well laid out the areas are in relation to each other. The other games having fast travel from the beginning is the disappointment, not the other way around. Not because the mechanic is inherently bad, but because the world design clearly suffers as a result.
Not necessarily a gigantic empty room, but rather a room that doesn't interfere with basic operation of the game. If the room is so tiny that it interferes with the proper functioning of the camera, something's wrong. For examples of non-trivial boss stages that I liked: Dragon God, The Wind God, and the Maiden from Demon Souls. The problem is that they made a bunch of brawler bosses and then put them in awkward locations that makes them difficult to fight in a way that isn't fun. Camera hijinks, poor collision detection, and being thrown off roofs isn't usually fun.

Also, I disagree about the world design -- although I appreciate something a bit different. I'm still a fan of the level oriented design of Demon Souls. Running around finding shortcuts in Dark Souls isn't coming off as fun, it's coming off as tedious. It's funny since I love games like Super Metroid, on the other hand Super Metroid is much smaller game, with a map, and isn't so difficult to get around in. To me, constantly backtracking feels like it cheapens the level design and makes everything less interesting.
 

Budi

Member
What is this, 6 replies already?! My topics never do that well. I really have to do more LTTP's of popular games that have already been LTTP'd to death!

Do Witcher 3 next! Really liked your write up on this one, thanks for sharing your story!
 
Gave up when the butterfly was one shoting me and my weapon didn't even tickle it. Not worth the frustration DS2 and the rest are better.
 

zoodoo

Member
Gave up when the butterfly was one shoting me and my weapon didn't even tickle it. Not worth the frustration DS2 and the rest are better.

Legit question:

How come people are complaining about the butterfly boss? I am playing the game for the first time also and I accidentally reached that boss with 2 flask and beat her first try. Her attack were easily avoidable and I was doing massive damage to her when she got close. And it was early on and I did not farm. Was it luck or my build?

On the other hand Capra demon wrecked me.
 
I raise you:

But that was the only arena like that in Demon's. It was a one-time thing which made it interesting. Or at least tolerable since you only had to deal with it once

In Dark Souls I can think of 5+ bosses with bad arenas though I won't list them because OP asked for no spoilers

(Also, I personally don't count Gargoyles and Butterfly, which OP mentioned, among them)
 

Bronetta

Ask me about the moon landing or the temperature at which jet fuel burns. You may be surprised at what you learn.
Absolutely not.

You'll see when you play more.

Ive finished the game. If it wasn't for the DLC I would rank it below Demons Souls but those DLC bosses are too damn good, some of the best in the series.
 

DaciaJC

Member
Aw, drat! It's a shame because DSII had well designed arenas, but lame bosses. So far, it's been great bosses, but lame arenas to the point of ruining the boss!

An interesting comparison. Personally, when I think of shitty boss arenas the first thing to pop into my mind is the roof for the Belfry Gargoyles in Dark Souls II. That is, the one where you fight up to four gargoyles at a time in an arena smaller than the one in the first Dark Souls.

Capra Demon is pretty unforgivable in this regard, though, I can't dispute that.

Disagree about the UI. I liked it better than DS2. In 2, you can't manually change the order of items or even check what your current HP is.(you can only see your full HP) Some things are improved, but overall I didn't like it as much.

Agreed. I hate that the ability to manually order items was removed with Dark Souls II and has never made a return.

Getting from Point A to B takes long because of how slow the player character runs, even with the lightest equipment load, especially compared to its predecessor Demons Souls.

As to your second point about fast travel ruining world design... why? You can't just teleport everywhere off the bat. You still have to make those initial discoveries, you still have to unlock those shortcuts. Bloodborne has some of the best level design in the series despite fast travel from the beginning. Cathedral of the Deep in Dark Souls 3 stands up to the best of the series. Heck even the shortcuts in Demons Souls provided a huge sense of accomplishment and were an eye opener despite being more linear.

The level design in Dark Souls is great despite the lack of fast travel, not in spite of it.

You're describing level design. JudgmentJay was talking about world design, which absolutely suffers from having warping available from the start. Different things. And to be fair, I think the level design in Dark Souls overall isn't as strong as in Demon's Souls or Dark Souls III because neither of those games make nearly the same amount of effort to interconnect separate areas and offer a more vertical world design, which I imagine makes it easier for the developers to create more complex individual levels/areas.
 

vocab

Member
Dark Souls 1 is a weird game. I played it on launch and the weapons were all under tuned and pretty dog shit. The game seemed artificially hard because of it. They buffed them a bit in the patches to follow, but honestly, the early game of Dark Souls 1 can either be really awful or reasonable depending on which weapon your using. It makes a huge difference. The early game just sucks for a bunch of people, and a lot of people don't understand why when they had no issues at all.

It's one of those games that I quit simply because It didn't capture the same feel as demons souls did. The online sucked so much, and the second half was not interesting at all

I managed to beat it this year once and for all with the dlc. I don't hate it that much anymore, but I'll say Dark Souls 1 has some pretty obvious flaws that really hold it back as being one of my favorites in the series.


I laughed.
 
Getting from Point A to B takes long because of how slow the player character runs, even with the lightest equipment load, especially compared to its predecessor Demons Souls.

As to your second point about fast travel ruining world design... why? You can't just teleport everywhere off the bat. You still have to make those initial discoveries, you still have to unlock those shortcuts. Bloodborne has some of the best level design in the series despite fast travel from the beginning. Cathedral of the Deep in Dark Souls 3 stands up to the best of the series. Heck even the shortcuts in Demons Souls provided a huge sense of accomplishment and were an eye opener despite being more linear.

The level design in Dark Souls is great despite the lack of fast travel, not in spite of it.

You're confusing world design and level design. Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3 have shortcuts within areas that make progression in that area easier. Dark Souls 1 has shortcuts that connect entire areas which makes traversing the world easier. Bloodborne has a few of them as well, like the Forest -> Clinic shortcut, but they're rendered meaningless because of fast travel. Finding the elevator back to Firelink from the Parish, the shortcut back to Firelink from lower Burg through the aqueduct, the elevator up out of Blighttown, etc are amazing moments that would be completely pointless if fast travel existed from the start.

I agree that Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne have some of the best level design in the series, but they have very boring world layouts. For the most part they're just flat, linear planes. Most areas have one entrance and one exit. The order in which you can tackle areas and bosses is very limited compared to Dark Souls. The existence of fast travel is what allows such a boring world.

Also, the lack of fast travel means that traveling actually has stakes. Peering down into that black pit that is Blighttown would be a lot less intimidating if you knew that you could just warp out as soon as you found a bonfire. You've got to commit to the path you've chosen, and if you reach a wall then you've got to fight your way out. To me that's infinitely more exciting and interesting than being able to warp around freely.

Finally, no, getting from point A to point B does not take long unless you're exploring the world in a completely illogical way, which the OP kind of is. It shouldn't take you more than a few minutes to travel anywhere pre-lordvessel.

Camera hijinks, poor collision detection, and being thrown off roofs isn't usually fun.

Sounds like a personal problem to me. In my god knows how many playthroughs of Dark Souls I've never fallen off the Gargoyles roof. Maneaters on the other hand...
 
You're confusing world design and level design. Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3 have shortcuts within areas that make progression in that area easier. Dark Souls 1 has shortcuts that connect entire areas which makes traversing the world easier. Bloodborne has a few of them as well, like the Forest -> Clinic shortcut, but they're rendered meaningless because of fast travel.

I agree that Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne have some of the best level design in the series, but they have very boring world layouts. For the most part they're just flat, linear planes. Most areas have one entrance and one exit. The existence of fast travel is what allows such a boring world.

Closely knit together world design a la the first Dark Souls is not necessarily better. Sure, it allows for cool moments where you can see one place from another, but it feels like less of an epic journey than something like Dark Souls II or Dark Souls III
 
You're confusing world design and level design. Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3 have shortcuts within areas that make progression in that area easier. Dark Souls 1 has shortcuts that connect entire areas which makes traversing the world easier. Bloodborne has a few of them as well, like the Forest -> Clinic shortcut, but they're rendered meaningless because of fast travel. Finding the elevator back to Firelink from the Parish, the shortcut back to Firelink from lower Burg through the aqueduct, the elevator up out of Blighttown, etc are amazing moments that would be completely pointless if fast travel existed from the start.

I agree that Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne have some of the best level design in the series, but they have very boring world layouts. For the most part they're just flat, linear planes. Most areas have one entrance and one exit. The order in which you can tackle areas and bosses is very limited compared to Dark Souls. The existence of fast travel is what allows such a boring world.

Also, the lack of fast travel means that traveling actually has stakes. Peering down into that black pit that is Blighttown would be a lot less intimidating if you knew that you could just warp out as soon as you found a bonfire. You've got to commit to the path you've chosen, and if you reach a wall then you've got to fight your way out. To me that's infinitely more exciting and interesting than being able to warp around freely.

Finally, no, getting from point A to point B does not take long unless you're exploring the world in a completely illogical way, which the OP kind of is. It shouldn't take you more than a few minutes to travel anywhere pre-lordvessel.

This.

Although the last bit, it can take quite a while to get from point A to point B (say, Firelink to gargoyles) when you are new / less familiar with it. Easy to get lost.
 

Narroo

Member
Right, so I played some more.

The Depths

I avoided this place because I knew I was going to hate it. Oh lord, this place was something else.

So, the depths started off great. I found the Pyromancer which was awesome, and now I finally have a second spell, Combustion!

...I think Combustion may be near useless, but I we'll see.

Anyways, I made a new friend and now it's time to enter the Sewers; I entered from behind the cannibal cook, took down a giant rat, and got a key. In a certain respect, this was something of a mistake, since this forced me to have to take on an obnoxious mage and a few rats from a very awkward position which killed me a few times. Eitherway, I made it to the bonfire. That's when everything went south.

I revive myself at the fire and immediately summon a white phantom, hooray! After some running in circles I realize that I was actually going backwards, and the phantom goes to show me the way! Great!

Then we get invaded. Not great! But surely two against one should work in our favor, right? Wrong. This guy was extremely overpowered compared to us. One shot from took me from full health to a sliver of HP. One shot from me took a sliver from him. Guy had poise for all year long to boot. He very quickly dispatched both of us, just after I revived. That's it, I'm doing this all Hollow from now on until I get to the boss.

Now, that's frustrating, but here's the bad part: After spending who-knows-how-long wading though claustrophobic sewers, fighting rats, and honestly not really enjoying the level, I run into these guys.



At first, I happy; they had more attacks here than in Dark Souls II and were actually threatening. Cool. Then I screwed up: I misrolled and got myself petrified.

Huh, never had that happened in DSII. This sucks....well I guess I'll just have to go back again....

You are cursed. Your HP is halved and you can't collect humanity. You need a purification stone or you need to go to New Londo to get fixed.

SONAOFA!!!!

Well, at this point I'm half considering rage quitting. For all the crazy stuff Demon Souls and DS2 pulled, they never did this.
Great, I'm at the bottom of the Depths, my HP is halved so almost everything is a 1-hit KO, and I need to go to New Londo to get fixed. Of course, I've been to New Londo and I've gone pretty far in without running into any NPCs; it seems that I'm going to have to clear New Londo and all it's ridiculous ghosts in order to get uncursed. It seems like I'm going to be cursed for a long time. Frick.

So, onto the boss:



This should've been an easy boss; I should've been able to kill him in one go. Also, I found out while finding this picture that I should have been able to summon Soliare (whom I got pardoned for when I cleared the bell tower.) NOPE.
Most of the gaping Dragon's attacks are now 1-hit KO's, so now I have to basically perfect him, and he's a long boss with some odd hit boxes. (His trample is a 1hit KO if your standing next to him when it starts, even if nothing really 'hits' you.) Took me like 5 tries solely because of 1hit KO's that probably wouldn't have been fatal if I wasn't cursed.

You know, I suspect this might be why he's so easy in the first place: Perhaps the designs realized that they placed Basilisks shortly before the boss and most players that got cursed wouldn't be able to remove the curse at the time. Well, they should have just changed the curse mechanic.

Anyways, I got the key to blighttown. Next time, Blight Town! Let's hope to god there's a shortcut back to the firelink shrine soon, because I really don't want to have to backtrack through the depths, through the 'burg, all the way back to the Shrine, just so I can go to New Londo and find the healer, when New Londo will probably be an ordeal in of itself.
 

Kopite

Member
Seeing the OP dislike many of the cherished aspects of DS1 think there's a lot to the theory of your first one-two Souls games being your favourite.
 

sixghost

Member
This.

Although the last bit, it can take quite a while to get from point A to point B (say, Firelink to gargoyles) when you are new / less familiar with it. Easy to get lost.

Even when you are 100% familiar with the layout of the world there are definitely some parts where it's frustrating to travel. Overall, I think the frustration is worth it though. Being forced to run everywhere makes you learn how all the zones are connected. I could practically map out the Dark Souls world from memory because of this, while I barely remember which zones connect to which in Dark Souls 2, despite playing both games a similar number of times.
 
I love the Depths

Some tips about how to deal with your curse situation:

1. Purging stones can be bought from
the female vendor in The Depths and the Pardoner at the Belltower

2. If you still decide to go to New Londo
, you will have an easier time with the ghosts now that you're cursed
 
But that was the only arena like that in Demon's. It was a one-time thing which made it interesting. Or at least tolerable since you only had to deal with it once

In Dark Souls I can think of 5+ bosses with bad arenas though I won't list them because OP asked for no spoilers

(Also, I personally don't count Gargoyles and Butterfly, which OP mentioned, among them)

Maybe I'm forgetting something but I can only remember two bosses with pretty poor arenas, and OP has already mentioned one of them (Capra Demon).
The Gargoyles arena is fine with plenty of room to fight. In my many playthroughs I've never fallen off the roof, unlike with the Man Eaters...
 

zma1013

Member
That's it, I'm doing this all Hollow from now on until I get to the boss.



This should've been an easy boss; I should've been able to kill him in one go. Also, I found out while finding this picture that I should have been able to summon Soliare (whom I got pardoned for when I cleared the bell tower.) NOPE.

You can't summon while hollow, meaning you won't even see the summon signs. Of course, you can't un-hollow until you remove the curse, lol.
 
The tutorial area was a breeze, but a bit annoying. I wanted to beat the Asylum Demon on my 1st try, sadly a broken sword is no good for that. I went back and made a 2nd character that started with Firebombs and killed the thing, but I eventually stuck with my 1st character and finished the tutorial.

Amazing. I love LTTP Dark Souls threads lol
 
Maybe I'm forgetting something but I can only remember two bosses with pretty poor arenas, and OP has already mentioned one of them (Capra Demon).
The Gargoyles arena is fine with plenty of room to fight. In my many playthroughs I've never fallen off the roof, unlike with the Man Eaters...

I posted which ones I don't like in the OT. OP, don't click if you want to avoid boss spoilers. If you want to continue this discussion, I suggest moving to the OT, so as not to spoil OP
 
I agree with you, this game has really shitty boss arenas. Such a step back from Demon's Souls

You're not implying that the Maneaters have a better arena, are you? I'd argue that their arena is more limiting than the Gargoyles. It's harder to argue with bosses like the Capra Demon or
Bed of Chaos
, but in my opinion they're roughly comparable.
 

Bluemongoose

Neo Member
This is also my first foray in the Souls world and it has been fantastic as it has been frustrating. I do intend to finish.
Bed of Chaos (Bed of Bullshit) was pissing me off. What cheap POS boss. I sought youtube for help.
Capra demon didn't give me much trouble but I was being coached by a souls veteran.
 
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