Thursday, May 09, 2013

Dark Souls - I'm losing the fear. Minor game spoilers and build theory.

Yes, you read that right.  Dark Souls and I have achieved an understanding and if not an understanding than a grudging mutual respect.

I'm not going to give away any plot spoilers or major walk-through info but instead I'm going to tell you a few things that I have picked up through trial and error and bullshit.  I am currently almost level 70 with my fourth character - a Pyromancer/sniper build.

Pyromancer is a beast in combat.  Combined with a 40 Dex and a +10 Black Bow of Pharis and +9 starting armor and 20+ vitality/endurance I can dish out a good amount of dps at long and medium ranges.  Short range still gives me trouble but I've juiced up Combustion and a couple of light melee weapons for those get stuck in moments.  Also dumped a bunch of humanity into the Chaos Servant Covenant for extra boom boom.

I've even developed a kind of love for PvP in Dark Souls.  I know, right?  I've even won a couple of fights though most of the time I dread being invaded, usually because I'm desperately trying to recruit for a boss fight.

Anor Londo is one of my new favorite levels in a game.  Hell, Dark Souls, is rife with a multitude of areas I really dig but Anor Londo is a sniper wet-dream.  Stunning vistas coated in an amber light that provides for an interesting change in scenery from the rest of the first half of the game.  It is a dangerous area if you're not prepared but coming on the heels of Sen's Fortress (a trap laden nightmare that gave me a headache for almost a day on my first run-through) Londo is just stunning.  Plus it's a great place to grind before and after you beat the area boss.  Run a circuit and make 20k souls, bonfire, rinse, repeat.  For ranged attacks, it's brilliant.  I couldn't imagine taking on some of the enemies up close but I reckon if I was built for melee it wouldn't be so bad.

Now that I am at the (I think) halfway point of the game story wise I have to wade into new areas and get out of my grindy comfort zone during my next proper game session.  I plan to grind a bit for humanity and souls so I can be loaded for bear before tackling the unknown.

Dark Souls has turned into less of a nightmare and more of a luxurious challenge.  I am not stomping the game but I feel I have a definite fighting chance backed up with some skills and some inventory and hard won knowledge.  Even crappy one shotter enemies will eat your lunch if you don't pay attention to your actions.  It is a far cry from AFKing a pack of wolves in Skyrim to nerf your armor stats.

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