Friday, May 6, 2016

Altoholizing Dark Souls

I'm going to get a PS4 and probably Bloodborne as my first game for the system, but I feel like I ought to at least get a little farther in Dark Souls before I do so, given its status as a spiritual sequel.

While I'm getting a little more confident working on Ornstein and Smough on my main character (I've started a strategy I call "going for broke," ditching my shield entirely and just trying to take down Ornstein as quickly as possible to push into phase 2, but phase 2 Smough is still a son of a bitch, so we'll see,) I also thought I'd try out a new character.

My main character is a knight, and while I know that starting class is not that important in Dark Souls, I decided to start a Cleric so that I could get some of them cool Lightning miracles.

At the moment, my miracle selection is tragically low - I really only have Heal, which my Knight has - but I know that once I bump my Faith up to 25 I can join the Warriors of Sunlight covenant, which is mostly about multiplayer (our Xbox doesn't even have an internet connection) but also brings the Lightning.

Grabbing the Master Key as my gift, I ran down to the Valley of Drakes and grabbed the Astora Straight Sword (which scales with Strength, Dexterity, and Faith) and the Drake Crest Shield, which have served me quite well.

One thing that's fantastic is that I'm finding myself far, far better at parrying enemy attacks - something I've struggled with a lot on my first playthrough. While I can still find myself getting knocked silly after a failed parry, I'm beginning to get the rhythm of it now (the trick seems to be "hit it right as the blow is about to land.")

I got the Asylym Demon down with no problems (I actually tried beating it with the broken sword you start with, but that looked like it was going to take forever, so I bailed.) The Taurus Demon did manage to kill me once, but now that I've gotten way better at plunging attacks (I used to try to attack before I'd started falling,) I took him down pretty quick (like many big bosses, the trick with him seems to be to get between his legs so that he has a really hard time hitting you.) The Bell Gargoyles were next. I've decided to just reverse hollowing whenever I get Humanity (not the consumable items - the ones you get sometimes killing normal enemies,) and so I was free to summon Solaire for the Gargoyles. Holy crap was that easier this time. By the time Gargoyle one was dead, the other was at like 30% health purely from Solaire's attacks. So naturally that was a one-shot.

Lower Undead Burgh is mostly not too bad - I think I died once or twice to those freaking dogs and the second bandit ambush. Overall it's not a very large area, though, so I quickly made it to the Capra Demon, then of course ran past it to open the shortcut back to Firelink Shrine.

The Capra Demon, however, is an asshole. The room in which you fight him is tiny, and it's really hard to get rid of those dogs while dodging his attacks. I have managed to kill the dogs a couple times before dying, but I also don't have terribly good armor (I'm playing around with a few things - might be worth it at this point to just upgrade the black leather set, though I'm also wondering if I want to give this character more of a Paladin heavy-armor style or stick with light stuff.)

Anyway, I'm hoping that more Miracles become available soon. I'm sure I'll eventually get something like Force, but I'll need to grind quite a bit to get my covenant with the Sunbros and get my hands on that lightning. I'm thinking I might want to do that before the Gaping Dragon though (if I recall correctly, Lightning is extra-effective against dragons in these games.) Also, some ranged options would be good to have.

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