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Soul of the Lost Withdrawn From Its Vessel

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Re: Soul of the Lost Withdrawn From Its Vessel

Postby Abaddon Daemon » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:40 pm

Dark Souls 2 is garbage.

I dont suspect this will come as a great shock to anyone... I dunno maybe someone here likes the game quite a bit. but I definitely fall into the majority consensus here that it's just a spit game made by an obvious B team. The graphics are measurably worse than Dark Souls 1 (which came BEFORE it), the controls feel sloppier somehow, the bosses are way, way less epic in scale (with a few exceptions) and horribly boring in design (with even fewer exceptions).

And while I hate to be elitist here... there's something about the spawn counter that ruins the magic of the game for me. Just knowing that *eventually* you are guaranteed to win a difficult area because the *GAME* gives up... I dunno. I mean in practicality any decent player will clear any area out before the spawn counter hits (I think it's at 12 or something, so that's pretty high), but... like I said, it just robs the magic from victory for me. maybe that does make me a bit elitist. I dunno. *shrug*

So from my impressions of the game overall (which is that it's too easy, outside of the first hour. seriously what a weird difficulty curve), it would actually be a *better* Dark Souls game if you played in the Covenant of Champions. But... there's one thing that prevents even that from salvaging the game for me: THE DAMN HEALING.

Seriously, it's bad enough that they made the Estus Flask inexplicably slower than it is in Dark Souls 1... but then all healing in the game is a *regen* effect, instead of an instant heal? and then to top it off EVEN MORE, even after the heal takes effect, and the animation SEEMS to be over, it's like another half second (maybe even full?!) before the game restores control of your character and lets you dodge again! This is a NIGHTMARE on bosses! Bosses which arent hard because of their design, but are hard because you CANT HEAL. This is, to me, artificial difficulty, in a series that has proven it DOESNT NEED IT. I mean the souls games always have a *bit* of artificial difficulty and dirty tricks... but applying it to a CORE combat mechanic like this... no. For me, it's just unacceptable.

I didn't beat the game, and I'm not ashamed of that. and I'm not going to go back to it. In fact, i hated Dark Souls 2 so much that I'm probably not even going to play Dark Souls 3. I know they're very different... but from what I understand DS3 has its own problems. So DS2 was basically so bad for me, I've just decided the series goes Demon's Souls -> Dark Souls -> Bloodborne, and that's all I need.

That said, I have moved on to Bloodborne now, and... oh my god. So good. I'll probably do a longer writeup on it later, but... I am completely in love. There's no question right now that this is now my favorite in the series.
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Re: Soul of the Lost Withdrawn From Its Vessel

Postby cren3856 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:33 am

I like Dark Souls 2. There's some good stuff in there (power stance, bonfire ascetics, great DLC, weapon/armor variety) that had no business being removed. Bonfire ascetics especially should have stayed, or just give me an option to refight bosses without going through the whole game again (even as a boss rush mode). Unfortunately the game has such a negative stigma those features will never see the light of day again.

I say rush the DLC areas while ignoring the obvious retarded portions (gank squad boss, blue Smelter, Frigid Outskirts) since they're some of the best content in the series. Also the speed of Estus drinking is determined by a stat (Adaptability). Just use Life Gems instead, or take 2+ drinks to buffer incoming hits.

You should totally do at least one run of Dark Souls 3 just to see firsthand how they botched so many mechanics.
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Re: Soul of the Lost Withdrawn From Its Vessel

Postby Abaddon Daemon » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:59 pm

Yeah I wound up playing mostly with lifegems. because the estus is *that* useless. there's basically no point in it being in the game. I'm aware adaptability makes it faster... but I've done research and seen the frames counts for it at its "fastest", and it was still spit. so I didnt bother.

I do like Bonfire Ascetics... I think that's maybe the one thing DS2 contributed that probably would've been worth sticking around. They have some game-breaking potential because you can use them to reset areas that have rare items like chunks or slabs... and you can get yourself in a lot of trouble on NG+ runs by doing that sort of thing... but overall I feel like that fits with the Souls spirit. Mostly reserved for vets, but if used properly, VERY powerful. It's also extremely great for challenge runs. My brother did a Soul Level 1 run of the game, and used the ascetics to farm some of the Lord Bosses (whatever they're called in that one, i forget) for the 1 million souls required to unlock the second half of the game, so you can skip The Lost Sinner. Which... is a pretty noble goal for any run, frankly.

Anyway, I'm not saying the healing issues with Dark Souls 2 arent overcomeable. I'm saying they DONT NEED TO BE THERE TO BE OVERCOME. Dark Souls 1 already got that spit *PERFECT*, Bloodborne's healing (while less perfect) at least shows that healing in one of these games can be FAST and it doesnt make the game "easy"... the healing in Dark Souls 2 is just... it's too much for me. I cant live with that kind of suck. and I feel like the rest of the game is actually designed to be quite a bit easier than the other games because of the healing bullspit.

I *have* heard, many times, that DS2 has the best DLC out of the series. And that it's, in fact, actually even *better* than the main game. I dont think that redeems anything, to me... and I'm still not going to play it (because I seriously doubt they fixed the damn healing mechanic). I'm not really a DLC person anyway... both DS1 and Bloodborne have DLC that I find to be very meh compared to their main games. So I guess it's sort of neat that DS2 has DLC that's better than the main game? But that, to me, doesnt mean it's better than... you know. Doing something not horrible.

*shrug* I dunno. Maybe some day I'll give the game a second chance, but I doubt. I'm definitely just in the "I hate Dark Souls 2" camp. and I think Im okay with that.
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Re: Soul of the Lost Withdrawn From Its Vessel

Postby Abaddon Daemon » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:06 am

I wanted to add another note here, on this healing subject.

Bloodborne does this *100%* right. Now that I've gotten deeper into the chalice dungeons, and am doing depth 4/5 bosses, I've discovered there are a lot of them that will pounce on you the *instant* that you try to heal. It makes for a very frustrating situation, where the enemies are preempting your heal opportunities. In fact... it makes for the exact same problem that I was having in Dark Souls 2. So what's the difference, right?

Well to me, it's huge. In Dark Souls 2, the difficulty in healing is from the mechanic. Bosses can preempt it, not because the bosses are *well* designed, but because your character is *poorly* designed. In Bloodborne, on the other hand, your character is well designed, your heals are incredibly fast, and you know by this point in the game *how* good they are. So when you're fighting a boss whose AI is programmed to actually take advantage of your attempts to heal... yes it's rage-inspiring... but it also feels like REAL challenge. It doesn't feel like you're being bound by some programming bullspit. It feels like you're fighting a real, dangerous, smarter enemy, and you have to get smarter to respond.

In many ways, the net result is the same. In both DS2 and Bloodborne, there are just certain bosses where you have to find the "safe heal timings". The difference is, for me, that in Dark Souls 2 it just *FEELS* like bullspit. like it's artificial difficulty trying to compensate for the fact that the bosses ARENT well-made. in Bloodborne, it's the total opposite. It's *REAL* difficulty, created by real, brilliant boss design.

I know someone could argue that from a gameplay perspective it's a subtle and maybe moot distinction... but for me, as a gamer, it makes a big deal. The worst kind of difficulty in games for me always comes from the limitations of your own character/control scheme. That's NOT what I want to be fighting in a video game. i want to be *fighting* the Abhorrent Beast.
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Re: Soul of the Lost Withdrawn From Its Vessel

Postby cren3856 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:29 pm

Bloodborne would be improved if there was something equivalent to the Dark Souls 2 Estus. A type of slow, refilling healing that's meant to be used between fights. That or infinite blood vials.

Didn't spend a whole lot of time with Bloodborne (still don't own a PS4), but it's so obviously a step above the others I'm kind of glad I have it saved for last.
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Re: Soul of the Lost Withdrawn From Its Vessel

Postby Abaddon Daemon » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:35 pm

I do agree that Bloodborne should have just went ahead and given you unlimited Blood Vials. There's really no reason for there to not be. That said... I *personally* have never once had blood vial issues in my entire run. I've always spent my "spare change" on buying as many blood vials as possible, and by the the midpoint or so of the game built up to 500+. At that point, blood vials become essentially so cheap they're no longer even a concern anymore anyway (if you're chalice diving, like I was).

but, that sort of speaks to the point... the blood vial engine actually works *BEST* when you get to the point in the game where they're virtually unlimited. so... why not just have made them unlimited in the first place? It's not like that precedence hadnt already been established in *this very series*.

I do prefer blood vials at this point because it's nice for your default healing level to just go ahead and *be* 20 without any work. and I definitely prefer 20 quick heals to 5 slow ones. Especially for a game like bloodborne where on some boss fights you have to soooo fast to stay alive. committing to an estus heal animation (like Dark Souls 1, let alone DS2) would be suicide against enemies like the Abhorrent Beast or Loran Darkbeast. So in that regard... i think blood vials are an improvement.

But like I said... no reason not to just give the unlimited healing, in my opinion. It wouldnt have broken the game, just like it didnt break Dark Souls.
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Re: Soul of the Lost Withdrawn From Its Vessel

Postby cren3856 » Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:35 pm

Crazy friend of mine lent his PS4 to me, so it's Bloodborne city for me now. How's your progress going AD?
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Re: Soul of the Lost Withdrawn From Its Vessel

Postby Abaddon Daemon » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:36 pm

Oh yeah. I finished a couple of weeks ago... writing up my feelings is... difficult.

Bloodborne itself is probably one of the greatest games ever made... until you factor in the Chalice Dungeons. For me, at least, the Chalice Dungeons were a slog. and not even a fun one. Like... I simultaneously hated *how much* there was of them, and at the same time, how little. It's kind of hard to explain...

Basically, the Chalice Dungeons, once you eventually start to learn how their layout works, amount to a kind of boss rush. There are treasures to be farmed down there... but most of the treasure rooms are just going to contain ritual materials to open up other chalice dungeons. So that's not a very rewarding feeling. So eventually you optimize in on "run to lever, pull lever, die, go fight boss". Once you do that... then you're just quickly running from one boss fight to the next, with this weird little waste of time of "find the lever" in between. And the chalice dungeon bosses... are rough. Especially for the Depth 4/5 content. In fact, the vast majority of the Depth 4/5 content is harder than the final boss of the game.

Because of that last point, there's an argument to be made that you shouldn't go deep chalice-diving until you finish regular NG, and then start playing with the chalices in NG+. It'll make the first half of the content a joke... but it won't interfere with your natural game progression, and you'll be ready for the depth 4/5 stuff when you get to it. As it was for me... I had an incredibly emotionally exhausting series of boss fights getting through the chalice dungeons, which ultimately accumulated to beating the Loran Darkbeast at level 100. I know that doesn't *sound* like it should be any kind of "challenge run" worthy thing... but it was actually a nightmare (having only 20 Vitality probably hurt more than being level 100).

So, by the time I ultimately emerged from my chalice seeking nightmares... I burned the rest of Yharnam down like it was an absolute joke. I don't think any regular game boss killed me at that point until Gherman, who I got on my second attempt.

So... long story short, I left my Bloodborne experience kind of disappointed. The height of my play was beating the Loran Darkbeast, which felt like a real achievement. But then everything after that sort of felt anticlimactic. I guess it's the problem with having a game that's packed full of ludicrously difficult content, but also allows so much player free will... there's a very high likelihood there are going to be players who play it in the wrong order and get a subpar experience. I was one of those.

There's another factor here, though... which is that by the time I was done chalice diving, I had been through *so* many ordeals (learning the Pthumerian Descendant, Loran Darkbeast, Bloodletting Beast, Abhorrent Beast, then Rom, Ebrietas, and Amygdala all in tiny rooms...) that... I was just wore out. Maybe it's that I'm getting old and am not the gamer I once was, I dunno. But I tried to actually start a Blood Level 4 run of Bloodborne, then I tried to start a regular Bloodtinge build run... and I just couldnt do either of them. Every time I died on a boss, I just felt like i was going to break.

So... I'm recovering right now. Been watching some TV. I want to come back to the souls series at some point... if nothing else, I want do a SL1 run of Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, and a BL4 run of Bloodborne... but I'm going to be honest, if that's something I never get around to accomplishing? I'm... not going to let myself feel bad about it. Not this time.

EDIT: Oh, forgot to finish up one of my points about the Chalice Dungeons...

I actually think if there was more "dungeon" to the chalice dungeons, and they actually had decent area designs and gameplay, something to pad the space between the boss fights and FORCE the player to take a break, that they'd actually be BETTER. Yes it would mean they were even longer and possibly harder... but that emotional recovery period between bosses that you get during the NORMAL gameplay of a souls game, turns out, is a *big* deal. at least for a first-time player.

My brother tells me that on subsequent runs the Chalice Dungeon setup is amazing and perfect because it allows you to take a really powerful build and efficiently feel like you have a challenge to throw them at and you can quickly mow through them. And I can see that, and that's probably true... so maybe that means you shouldnt even DO the chalice dungeons until you know enough about the game that you've *made* that powerful build... *shrug* but they're still there, regardless. And so for me, they still count against the game.
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Re: Soul of the Lost Withdrawn From Its Vessel

Postby DarkHorseRequiem » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:14 pm

Umaro-Only run or gtfo abdoon.

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