Why would I order this? Seems like an extremely bad idea. Do I hate myself?
After completing Dark Souls, I immediately started playing the sequel. I created a Deprived character, meaning a guy with universally low stats, no clothes, and no weapons. The early parts of the game, especially the Forest of Fallen Giants. Early on, I found a Dagger, which was replaced by a Short Sword, which I'm currently wielding using both hands; my shield is poor, and I might as well just dodge attacks instead of blocking and still taking damage. I love this kind of progression from absolutely nothing, it makes everything that happens early on seem that much more meaningful.
It's hard to get into this game. After several hours of nightmare in Forest of Fallen Giants, I've fought my way through Heides Tower and reached No-Mans Wharf. It's going a bit better than a year ago, but I still don't feel at ease with this game.
After a bit of research, I wrote up a shopping list of items:
Ring of Binding: Found in Heide's Tower of Flame, close to where I fought the Dragonrider. It limits death HP reduction minimum to 75% instead of 50%, which for the way I'm playing raises my normal HP by 50% :).
Covetous Silver Serpent Ring: 10% more souls from enemies, 20% more for +1 version. Standard version found in Lost Bastille, +1 version found by buying 10,000 souls worth of stuff from Merchant Hag Melentia and then talking to her.
Ring of Soul Protection: Breaks on player death, protecting souls from being lost and can be repaired unlimited times for 6000 souls. Can be bought in Shaded Woods.
Got the Ring of Binding and the Covetous Silver Serpent Ring +1. Damn, that Ring of Binding is amazing.
I clocked 8 hours yesterday and 8.5 hours today, and tonight I started enjoying the experience. It seems like I need about 16 hours of playtime before I start feeling good about a Souls game. The second incarnation of Jakobus is lighter on his feet that the first one, he uses an upgraded short sword and shield, and enjoys parrying the attacks of Heide Knights before brutally stabbing them to death. After finishing up No-Man's Wharf and reaching the Lost Bastille, I finished up most of the Forest of Fallen Giants, beating the Pursuer boss. I was invaded by 'Armorer Dennis', which I took to be a human player (based on him having a danish name), and was frustrated by him repeatedly murdering me. I looked him up, and he turned out to be an AI character. He is dead now. After that, I went through the Heide's Tower of Flame, beating the Dragonrider, the Guardian Dragon, and the Old Dragonslayer, who seems to be Slayer Ornstein from Dark Souls.
I bought a Club from Melentia and reinforced it quite a bit. Then I went to the Lost Bastille and clubbed the Ruin Sentinels to death. Very efficient. In the basement, I was greeted by the Pursuer. I needed to dodge his attacks, so I ended up being a naked zombie dude, 2-handing a club, making short work of the big armored guy. Finally, I encountered the Lost Sinner, a very cool looking enemy. I'll save her for later.
After lighting some sconces in Sinner's Rise, I bought a Silvercat Ring and got down to the Grave of Saints and killed some rats. I joined the rat convenant, and proceeded down to The Gutter, which is uncomfortably reminiscent of Blighttown.
I'm in the Black Gulch, being invaded by Woodland Child Victor. Wait ... Nature Boy Ric Flair?
Accomplished Defeated The Rotten.
- I got through The Gutter and the super annoying Black Gulch, and faced the horrible corpse pile that is The Rotten. I ended up double-handing my sword and dodging my way through the fight.
I went through Huntsman's Copse and reached Harvest Valley, which is a horrible poison nightmare. Intimidated, I went back and started exploring the Shaded Woods. I ended up at the Brightstone Cove Tseldora.
I also killed The Skeleton Lords and The Scorpioness Najika.
16 hours more Dark Souls II this weekend, and what did I accomplish? I ventured into the spidery depths below Brightstone Cove Tseldora, defeated the Prowling Magus and the Congregation, but temporarily gave up on the horrible monstrocity that is the Duke's Dear Freja. The Royal Rat Authority was not so lucky. In Earthen Peak I killed Mytha, The Baneful Queen, only to be brutally murdered by two of her guards while celebrating my victory. Then I found myself at the Iron Keep, which was a difficult area. I died over and over to the guards, only to reach The Smelter Demon, who nearly broke my spirits. When I finally killed him, the Old Iron King was a cakewalk. My final ordeal was getting from the Shrine of Winter to Drangleic Castle. When I finally got past the elefant guards and opened the gates of the castle, I was on the edge of my seat, my hands were sweaty, and I was ready to do anything to reach a bonfire. When it happened, I could put down the controller with a relieved sensation.
I've reached the Throne Defender & Watcher, I should be very close to the end, but I'm too tired to deal with them now. Tomorrow.
Before anything else, I'm going to kill the pitiful remains of King Vendrick. He is weakened by Souls of Giants, of which I have 3 now. There are two more to get from Black Gulch, so I'll try getting those before going back to the Undead Crypt.
I have 4 Souls of Giants. I'll go see Vendrick now.
Argh, that Aldia was a very unvelcome surprise. And now he must DIE.
And ... He just cost me 90000 souls. I hope his beard catches tree rot.
completed the game.
Vendrick is dead. The Throne Defender and Watcher are dead. Nashandra is ... even more dead than she was before. And Aldia, brother of King Vendrick, Scholar of the First Sin, a horribly mutated monstrocity, is dead. Jakobus, my club-wielding caveman character, took the throne and completed his quest.
For me, the Throne Defender and Watcher was the hardest challenge in the game. I ended up spending hours fighting them again and again, probably because they required a lot of quick thinking and reactions. I'm better at learning and executing patterns than reacting quickly to unpredictable situations.
Vendrick was also a big challenge, because he could kill me in one shot. As with several other bosses in the game, I beat him caveman-style, naked and with a club.
For Aldia, I ended up using a Winged Spear+7, for the extra reach.
Jakobus is level 134, with high STR, DEX, ADP, and END. Your basic aggressive caveman stats.
Hungry for more souls, I have started playing the Crown of the Ivory King DLC. After failing to get any progress for a while, I have finally managed to kill and avoid enough ice dudes to reach the third savepoint in Frozen Eleum Loyce.
To demonstrate the breadth of gameplay options in this game to Thomas J, I resumed playing with my concept pugilist character, Pryglosaurus. He only fights with his fists, and never wears anything on his upper body or head. After some grinding, I got a pair of Cestus and proceeded to beat the first three bosses.
Accomplished Defeated Aava, the King's Pet.
- I just got back into the DS2 DLC, and *finally* defeated that stupid cat monster. So difficult.
It's been very problematic for me to get back into Dark Souls II, and it seems that my Short Sword / Club loadout is a big part of the problem. Maybe these short ranged, fast weapons don't work with my play style at all? I wanted to try a Great Sword, which I've enjoyed using in Dark Souls III, and tried reinforcing and using a Bastard Sword. I have entered Shulva, where The Sunken King takes place. It's very difficult, and I'm not gaining much progress.
I temporarily turned my back on the Crown of the Ivory King and started Crown of the Sunken King instead. I had a vague notion that since it came out first, it was maybe easier, but that doesn't really seem to be the case.
Jakobus the Caveman-turned-Knight has fought his way through countless Sanctum Soldiers and Knights, deep into the Dragon's Sanctum. The Sanctum Knight invincibility mechanic is a neat idea: you have to destroy their bodily remains before being able to battle their manifestations.
I reached Elana, The Squalid Queen, a boss similar to Nashandra, except she summons a lot of stuff for you to fight. I wonder if the summons are random and I could just fight her and a bunch of pigs?
I've played 12 hours of Dark Souls today. My summer vacation has officially started.
After hours and hours of banging my head against Elana, the Squalid Queen, I finally felt like I was somewhat in control of the fight. Her melee attacks where easy enough to avoid, but her magic killed me again and again while I was distracted by her summoned helpers. I equipped my Dark Quartz Ring and dodging the other enemies started to become second nature, allowing me to focus on her attacks. Slowly but surely I learned what there was to learn and started gaining the upper hand. When she was defeated, was allowed access to Dragon's Rest, and the awesome dragon, Sinh. After a couple of attempts, I decided to take my business elsewhere for now.
Back in the Ivory King DLC, I started exploring the Frozen Eleum Loyce. A very difficult area, I inched my way forward, slowly opening shortcuts and rounding up a few Loyce Knight to help me against the boss fight against the fearsome Burnt Ivory King. It seems 4 Knights are needed for the boss fight to be reasonable.
Those Ice Sonic the Hedgehogs are extremely annoying! When I first encountered them, I thought they were cute ice mice, but they are horrible spinning murder-creatures and I hate them.
Let's see, I got the Loyce Knight in the temple at the top of the mountain (Bonfire: Lower Garrison), and the one close to the three Frozen Golems (Bonfire: Inner Wall). Still missing the last one, that is below the wall with the ballistas, straight across, down a stairway (Bonfire: Abandoned Dwelling).
I attempted the Burnt Ivory King boss fight with only 3 Loyce Knights, but it was nightmarishly difficult, and I barely reached the Ivory King himself and faced him alone. I was not ready for that, and the punchline was that he brought a friend, and I was alone. It was awful.
Accomplished Defeated the Burnt Ivory King.
- Yes, I did it! He wasn't too bad compared to the trouble I had getting to him.
Overall, the DS2 DLC has got to be some of the hardest content for any of these games.
Sinh inflicts Fire and Toxic. It seems that protection against Poison should also work against Toxic.
Accomplished Defeated Sinh, the Slumbering Dragon.
Accomplished Defeated the Fume Knight.
- I reached the Fume Knight and, after doing the dance of death with him many times, finally pummelled him into submission with my Great Club. Great boss fight.
After retrieving the three DLC crowns, I went to find the King's Crown in the Shrine of Amana, and went to Vendrick to collect my prize: no more hollowing.
I wanted to see all the areas, so I started trying to find Undead Purgatory. The Chariot was a wonderfully metal looking boss fight. After completing this little area, I went to find Belfry Luna and fought a million Gargoyles. Pretty easy with my badass end-game character. Finally, I went to Belfry Sol and murdered a few invading spirits. Jakobus has now visited all the main areas, and is level 162.