Dark Souls II Is More About Balance Than Difficulty, Says Director

By Sato . March 19, 2014 . 1:52pm

Those of you who’ve played Dark Souls can probably describe the game using a single word with ease, such as “difficult,” “death,” “nightmare,” and countless others along those lines. However, it’s that very same challenge that makes the game unique and appealing. In a recent interview, Dark Souls II director Yui Tanimura talked to 4Gamer about the difficulty of the game.

 

During the interview, 4Gamer asks about Dark Souls II’s difficulty and asks  the director if he thinks it’s harder than the first game.

 

“We didn’t intend on making it more difficult, but there were definitely some people who voiced ‘it’s harder than the last game’ within the company,” says Tanimura. “Since this is a sequel title, in a way, it wouldn’t be fun to simply repeat things again, so like I’ve talked about before, there are certain parts with quite a different range in difficulty. For this reason, people may not be used to it, so it may feel more difficult.”

 

4Gamer points out that in the first Dark Souls, you could look at the map and say ‘since the map is like that, there’s got to be something in the shaded area,’ but it’s not quite the same in Dark Souls II.

 

“Yes, but even for Dark Souls II, once you understand the setups, it isn’t exactly too difficult, so there’s not too much to worry about,” responds Tanimura as the 4Gamer interviewer jokes about doubting him.

 

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“Okay, saying that there’s nothing to worry about might be a bit of an overstatement,” Tanimura continues with a laugh. “However, when we were developing Dark Souls II, we didn’t really have any ideas on what to do about difficulty. If anything, we focused more on a ‘balance that can provide a sense of fulfillment,’ so please challenge [the game] and enjoy it for yourselves.”

 

In February and early March, From Software held various demo sessions across Japan. 4Gamer asks if the demo experience was well received by the players.

 

“There were a lot of people who said ‘This feeling you get from dying in the early stages… I’m relieved that it’s still the Dark Souls we know’,” shares Tanimura. “I believe that since it’s a sequel, there were a lot of people who were worried that too much would have changed.”

 

“However, during the network testing we did from September through October 2013, we got a lot of opinions on the game’s controls and UI,” adds the director. “We looked through the feedback thoroughly and put it to good use, so if some of you guys have been worried since the network testing, please give the full version a chance.”

 

Finally, 4Gamer asks about the volume of the full game.

 

“While we were developing the game, our aim was to make it 1.2x the volume of the first title,” says Tanimura. “However, when you take the difficult parts into consideration along with other features, it might feel closer to 1.5x of the first game.”

 

“We’re confident that the sense of accomplishment you’ll get from playing the game until the very end will be much higher than any other game. So, to those of you who are fans of the series, or playing it for the first time, please try clearing the game; you won’t be disappointed,” concludes Tanimura.

 

Dark Souls II is currently available for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. A PC version will be released on April 25, 2014. If you’re currently struggling through the game, you can check out this earlier post for some pointers!


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  • Kaien

    > Those of you who’ve played Dark Souls can
    probably describe the game using a single word with ease, such as
    “difficult,” “death,” “nightmare,” and countless others along those
    lines.

    Nope, who’ve gave up on Dark Souls can probably describe the game like that. The game is “fair” and to play it is nedeed “focus”.

  • http://LevelUpGeneration.blogspot.com/ KALiverin

    I don’t know about anybody else, but I never found Dark Souls too difficult. Rather, I found it incredibly tedious and unpolished, and I know people will say I only say that because I suck at the game, but I do enjoy difficult games. I just don’t think glitches, inconsistent framerates and a camera that flips out whenever something leaps in the air makes for a challenging game. And I seriously hate having to travel back to an unfair boss and fight through waves of generic enemies again just because the boss fight is unfair, like the Capra Demon for example. I’ve even had issues where the game doesn’t register my inputs, and I know for a fact that I’m not making that up because I’ve experienced it myself.

    I haven’t played Dark Souls II yet, but I hope it fixed a lot of the issues I had with the other games. I like them, but people overstate how “fair” they really are.

    • revenent hell

      These issues happened to a friend of mine so I can also validate your claims since I not only viewed them but experienced most myself.

      The bosses where more or less all fought the same way but if you change to a super defensive play style when fighting them they are easy as pie so to speak.

      I think overall the game by its own mechanics forces a person to play in a way that most may not be accustomed and that’s the difficulty in it. In a way the player cant play the game how they would normally unless they want to face some seriously annoying obstacles ( deaths/repeated the same area over and over ect)
      Mostly I just kind of think the deaths are cheap really and not “hard”

      • http://LevelUpGeneration.blogspot.com/ KALiverin

        I tried playing the game as a thief. I played that way in Demon’s Souls and really enjoyed it because I like playing fast and evasive, but that doesn’t work quite as well for Dark Souls. It seems to be a game built more around tanking than evasion, which is fine, but it’s not how I like to play. I do think there are some unfair moments in Dark Souls, and in Demon’s Souls as well. They do fit in with the world of the games though. I think they exist to teach players that the game world is harsh and that death awaits you at every corner, so if you die, tough luck. Deal with it because the world sucks. It’s interesting how death ties into the world of the game, but it is frustrating.

        • http://nabe.kokidokom.net/ Cybersteel

          The ones I can think of are the Capra Demon and those two silver knight archers in Anor Londo.

          • Asura

            Not unfair. Just tricky. One mistake is death.

            And that’s the thrill of it.

            Thrill just turns into anger after the 15th death though.

            I remember I would do those sections perfectly on my first try a few playthroughs in a row, then suddenly die 20 times over on one playthrough and be like “WHY!? HOW!?”

        • Abend

          I feel like from software keeps moving away from evasion invincibility because it imbalances pvp which is a shame because i feel like in DS2 im punished for timing my rolls away from enemy swings only to get hit.

    • Sentsuizan_93

      Ah. The Capra Demon was a pain. Granted, Dark Souls did have its issues, but it still is a decent challenge.
      I’m yet to get Dark Souls 2. Heck, I’m yet to beat the first game, but I heard a lot of the issues with the first have been fixed.

      • revenent hell

        Targeting is still a bit “wonky” in my opinion….
        Its had its moments of randomly switching targets on me and that’s not a good thing.

        • Asura

          You flicked the right stick.

          • revenent hell

            Nope.
            An enemy in front and one coming in behind me I had the one I wanted to kill targeted when it changed upon its own will to the one behind me. Happened quite often with those two particular “folks” so I can safely say I flicked nothin’.

            Its almost like an auto target mechanic for what’s closest to you if you have ever experienced that in a game. Its just weird.

          • BlueTree

            I know there’s a targeting glitch with the larger class Greatswords in Dark Souls 2. If you target an enemy, sometimes you’ll swing well away from them. The targeting in the series in general doesn’t seem to always employ line of sight or proximity, which is annoying.

          • Abend

            if you are talking about ultra great swords that isn’t a glitch its the direction you move while trying to attack.

          • Asura

            Did you disable auto-lock on?

          • revenent hell

            I never use auto lock in any game unless its mandatory and not disable able.
            I was thinking maybe it was a weird proximity thing but the “dude” is sometimes closer to me but its also happened when he has been farther away from me than the “dude” who I’m pretty much right next to.

    • Guest

      You can avoid 80% of the mobs in the game.

      (I agree on Dark Souls issues; it’s a wonderful game, but is far from perfection)

    • Asura

      Button inputs get eaten alive if you don’t allow full recovery from your animation and then some. If you press the button too early your input doesn’t register. Takes forever to get used to. Also sometimes the game doesn’t register very light button presses, you gotta shove that button press all the way down.

      Definitely could be a little better on that aspect.

    • Abysswalker90

      I’m afraid it’s just not the game for you. Not trying to be a jerk or anything, but judging from your post, the game just simply didn’t “click” with you. Dark Souls has some issues, but they are completely dwarfed out in comparison to the whole experience. If you find yourself nitpicking at a game, it simply means that it didn’t grab you. For a lot of people, it takes time for a game like Dark Souls to “click” with them, for some it just never happens.

      If it doesn’t do it for you, then maybe it’s just not your cup of tea, which perfectly fine.

    • Cazar

      As Asura already pointed out the inputs don’t register if you don’t wait for animation recovery. It has nothing to do with the game being “broken” you just need to learn to time your inputs instead of button mashing.

      As for the framerate, that whole issue is heavily overrated. It only gets bad in blighttown but the rest of the game is fine, and based on your post it doesn’t seem like you even made it to blighttown. Maybe you’re playing the 360 version though, which I’ve heard has more framerate problems than the PS3 version, but I can’t vouch for that myself.

      As for the travel distances between bosses and respawn points, that’s a major part of challenge and appeal of Dark Souls. It keeps you from just blindly charging in to each boss fight and forces you think each encounter through. Too many games these days let you restart right where you left off, giving you no sensation of risk. It seems that being spoiled that way may have taken it’s toll on you if you’re already considering the bosses unfair as early as the Capra Demon.

      • malek86

        Not letting you restart the boss fights immediately is a big problem. Risk and challenge? The first time maybe. After that, you are just running all the way to the boss while simply avoiding the (often easily avoided) enemies. Which is more of an annoyance than a challenge.

        I like Dark Souls, but sometimes I think people let it get away with too much bullcrap with the justification that “hey, it’s Dark Souls! It’s supposed to be hard!”. Then forgetting that hard doesn’t mean annoying. See for example the Bed of Chaos, or the lack of bonfires in New Londo.

        I loved how they let you travel to all bonfires this time. It was a godsend, hardcores be damned.

        • Cazar

          If you find it so annoying then that’s just the risk you are taking. Beat the boss this time or you have to run through all those annoying mobs again. If you could just spam attempts at the boss fights that would take away the feelings of pressure and conquest.

          It’s not a matter of “getting away” with anything, not every game needs to be just like every other game to be considered acceptable – and I’m well aware of the difference between frustratingly difficult games and rewardingly difficult games. But if that’s not your thing than that’s all there is too it, but trying to pin all the blame on the game itself just makes it look like sour grapes instead of legitimate complaints.

          • malek86

            It’s not about sour grapes. I have completed both games after all (actually, all three of them). But I’m pointing out that there is a difference between hard and frustrating. Dark Souls 2 is hard more often than frustrating, but it has its frustrating parts as well. Killing the boss is hard. Running to the boss while taking always the same path avoiding the same enemies in the same spot attacking you in the same manner is frustrating after a while.

            PS. all that I’m saying counts mostly for DS2, because I thought these problems, while also present, weren’t quite as annoying in DS1.

            PPS. if you think that “finding it annoying is my risk” then maybe I should just play something like COD at max difficulty. I stick my head out, I die and restart from the last checkpoint ten miles behind. That’s also annoying and not very fun. I don’t see a difference in risk.

          • Cazar

            I can see where you’re coming from, but I have to disagree. It’s an intentional design element and one that I consider to be pretty important. I wouldn’t get the same satisfaction out of defeating the bosses if I could just nonchalantly retry them repeatedly. My definition of frustrating just differs from yours. Of course I get frustrated at times while playing Souls but not in a bad way, it’s the kind of frustration that I learn from. What I really consider frustrating is when a game is broken, unresponsive, or indisputably unfair. The backtracking in Souls doesn’t fall under that umbrella and it’s not something I’d want to see changed or it just wouldn’t be Souls anymore for me. A lot of other fans feel the same way, but I understand that there are also people like yourself who aren’t fond of it but still want to enjoy Souls. But that’s just how it is I guess. You can’t satisfy everybody.

          • malek86

            I see your point, but I’m not sure that it really would not improve the experience.

            Think about when they announced all bonfires would let you travel. Some were up in arms, claiming “how can they do that? It will make the game too easy! It won’t be Dark Souls anymore!”. But after playing it, I think that letting you travel between bonfires makes things a lot more convenient – not easy, but convenient – while taking away nothing of the difficulty of the game.

            In the end, I’m sure they are experimenting around. Some things will be improved, some others will not. I don’t think they made many good steps with DS2, if anything they made more bad ones than good ones, but at least they are trying.

          • Logan Moll

            I can’t be bothered responding to every point here, but letting you ‘retry’ bosses would be a horrible decision. An enormous amount of tension comes from the fact that you’ve been exploring and fighting since the last bonfire, and now you have arrived at a fog gate. You have used some estus flasks, and you surely have souls you’d like to spend, but you decide to go through anyway because you might be able to beat it. There is an enormous consequence to failing. You have to get back there again–which means fighting enemies, maybe getting invaded, traversing the level–and if you fail, then you lose your souls. Removing that would be a horrible blow to the game.

            It would also make it far to easy for people to memorize patters and get better at bosses. If someone wants to put in the time to try them a bajillion times then fine, but getting to the boss–and the subsequent struggle–should really be meaningful.

          • malek86

            I think, it’s a matter of managing the player’s frustration. If you lose your souls to a boss the first time, you’ll be bummed, true. That’s the heart of the choice: go back or risk it? That’s a hard choice indeed (I usually go back, so I never experienced the feeling of losing too many souls). But after the first time, you are then unlikely to have any more souls left. So it kinda undermines the point and becomes just annoying.

            Why not look for a mid-way solution? You know how mobs stop respawning after a number of tries (not that it ever affected my game much, but it could affect someone else who is really having trouble with some boss). Maybe they could let you retry the boss if you die, let’s say, 2 or 3 times.

            The thing is, From showed that they are willing to make things more convenient (bonfire travel, mobs despawning, more bonfires around) but people still act as if any minimal help to the player would be a heresy to the spirit of the series. It’s not so, you know. If that were the case, they could just let you fight ten Dragonslayers at once and be done with you. After all, anything the devs team manages to do, it means other players can do it too and therefore it’s fair game.

            Of course it’s not like that. They never make your life actually *too* hard (okay, nevermind Amana). It’s one thing I like about the series: hard but not unfair. Doesn’t mean I have to like everything about it though.

          • Abysswalker90

            I have to agree with Cazar. Taking away backtracking after dying to a boss will do way more harm than good. Other than removing all tension in fighting a boss, it would pretty much mean you will only need to beat each stage once, and what you call “frustrating backtracking”, many of us call “gameplay”.

            If you mess up so many times that you have no souls left with you, the game is basically telling you to rethink what you’re doing, change your approach or even come back some other time when you’re stronger. DaSII allows warping to any bonfire, so that shouldn’t be much of a problem.

            There actually is a perfect mid-way solution – every time I get to a fog door, which I suspect is leading to a boss room, I drop down my sign a few times, until i feel familiar and confident enough to face the boss.

      • http://LevelUpGeneration.blogspot.com/ KALiverin

        I played the PS3 version and made it to Blighttown and further than that. It’s hard for me to wait for my animation recovery when I’m in a boss fight and constantly being rushed by two guys. Yes, I’m talking about those two, and that’s where I had most of my problems.

        I’m also real tired of people telling me I’m “spoiled” just because I don’t want to redo so much of the tedious garbage this game makes you go through. Look at Ornstein and Smough, for example. Two very tough bosses for the way I chose to play the game and the closest bonfire is below a mechanical staircase. You have to pull a lever to get it to move to your location. Then you have to climb up the staircase, pull another lever, then travel an unnecessarily long distance to get to the fog gate, but first you have to avoid knights which are tough to kill. And if you don’t kill them, sometimes they’ll attack you through the fog gate before you even get a chance to attack the bosses. Stuff like that doesn’t challenge me. It turns me off the game and doesn’t make me want to play it anymore. I never learned how to fight them properly because of that and just used a cheap method to kill them. I got sick of constantly going back to that poorly placed bonfire.

        And that’s my problem. The travel time wouldn’t bother me so much if there wasn’t so much tedium along the way. And I do consider Capra Demon unfair because the environment you fight him in is too closed off and my view keeps getting blocked because of the camera. Capra Demon itself isn’t challenging, it’s the design of the arena that isn’t fair. Sorry, but it irritates me when people assume that all I do is blindly charge in boss fights without preparing ahead of time when I do prepare.

        I’m not calling the game bad, but I fail to see why I’m not allowed to criticize “anything” in this game without being called a casual noob. There’s no such thing as a perfect game and there’s always room to improve. Some of my favourite games of all time have big issues that I have absolutely no problem pointing out that may even ruin the experience for some people.

        • persona_yuji

          The nearest bonfire to Ornstein and Soungh isn’t that one. Its the one where Solaire is, you just have to unlock the shortcut wich is right next to the Titanite Demon.
          And about the Capra Demon, while I do understand where you’re coming from, usually the complaint is about the damn dogs and not the arena itself. xD

        • Wesley Kenneth Houpt Mattingly

          Dark Souls is about skill, and caution. You’re not a super hero like you are in so many games. People want to rush through and beat a game quickly. DS discourages this. I soloed each game, yeah it was difficult, but I did it each time Demons Souls, Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2. Its possible and succeeding is rewarding. And if you can’t do it alone, there is multiplayer.

          • EinMugenTenshin

            To be fair, at the end of those games (Dark Souls and Demon Souls) you feel like a God at the end because you are so freaking good. :-)

  • revenent hell

    Many will disagree but I don’t think the games are hard so much as you need patience to play them which a lot of folks don’t have.

    Dark Souls had a great deal of cheapness in its deaths in my opinion because of enemies being able to “push” you off of certain parts but other than that I think the games aren’t really so hard as long as you play them a certain way.

    Good exploring and not going ape shit on something aka fighting enemies (bosses)wisely and with patience will normally get most beginners threw the game alright.

    I kind of still don’t understand why people think these games are “hard”…. Probably because people don’t alter their “normal” play style when playing them I suppose.

    • http://LevelUpGeneration.blogspot.com/ KALiverin

      Those are my thoughts exactly. Dark Souls isn’t that difficult. It’s really a test of patience. Take your time, observe the enemy and you’ll do fine. I’m not the most patient person unfortunately, so it’s not as easy for me to get into it. I had to start over because I screwed up my first playthrough and ironically, I was doing worse because even though I knew everything, I was trying to rush through it quickly.

      • revenent hell

        Yeah… I kind of think the games are flawed in that way since frustration will make people dislike the game since they cant play it as they desire to…..without deadly consequences.
        ….Defeating something should be possible by many means not just one type of tactic even on a first play through. No game should force a person to play in any one “style” upon the start but overall I do think these games do that until you get far enough in to them to be able to play as one would like but that takes a lot of time and patience t get to I think.

        • Asura

          You can play however you want.
          It’s just that you need skill to do so.

          If you don’t have skill that’s when you fall back on patience and the notorious “back up, back up, back, up, back up, swing, back-up, back-up…” tactic.

          Eventually you’ll get good enough to be rolling through attacks and wailing on the enemies non-stop (except to let stamina recover).

          • revenent hell

            I don’t disagree with you in the least but most players will have to rely on that tactic and to me that’s overall not a very good way to go about things since people will inevitably get frustrated with it and the game.
            To me that’s not a “hard” game, just an irritating aspect most will encounter and sadly it rubs me the wrong way that so many will have to go that rout you know?

          • Abysswalker90

            The game isn’t for everybody, that’s for sure. It’s a game that doesn’t compromise, nor “casualize” itself despite it’s growing popularity. And it’s why we love it so much.
            There’s nothing wrong with this approach at all. If anything, I think that if every game will be developed with that kind of mindset, we would have a much bigger variety of games, and a lot more innovasion in the industry.

        • Abysswalker90

          Dark Souls is intended to be taken in slowly, like a gourmet soup.
          While you do have to play it safe at all times, there are numerous options on how to approach every situation. If you start a new game with a completely different character, you would find that areas that were previously very difficult are now cakewalk, while the ones you felt were easy, are now suddenly kicking your ass all over.

  • attackslug

    Looks like screenshots from the preview build before they took out the awesome lighting/textures. (Or, optimistically the PC version, but we won’t really know what that is until next month). I understand *why* there had to be a downgrade, but it’s still not right they were showing off the awesome build as late as January.

  • persona_yuji

    I’ll only say this: Shrine of Amana.
    That place made me cry…

    • Shinobikens

      I think you mean Shrine of Feels

      • persona_yuji

        Visions of despair
        therefore
        Try tears

    • BlueTree

      Spell Casters Ahead, Therefore Try Kiting, Therefore Try Tedious.

    • SirRichard

      I just got to there about half an hour ago and turned the game off for the night. Whoever designed that section needs slapped for their silliness.

      • Ferrick

        the lack of the iron ring…. makes that place all the more annoying

  • BlueTree

    Yeah, I don’t think of any Souls game as difficult until I played Dark Souls 2. But only in the sense that it seems to channel some of the oldest, most outplayed idea of difficulty ever. I really think the game is missing the Miyazaki touch.

    • Abysswalker90

      Care to give an example?

      • persona_yuji

        In DaK2, the Shrine of Amana has what is to almost be considered a nutorious enemy: The Priestesses of Amala.
        These guys spam homing Soul Arrows that have a ridiculous damage output, forcing you to long-range them.
        I never felt forced to a certain tactic in both DeS and DaS.

        • Abysswalker90

          I haven’t got there yet.

      • BlueTree

        Taking an idea like the Mini Tauros Demons in the Demon Ruins of Dark Souls 1 and spreading that ONE idea into multiple parts of the game. The Mini Tauros Demons go away, and you can kite them using multiple strategies in one playthrough. But if you, say, go to the aforementioned Shrine of Amana, you just have to either get a perfectly slow, tedious kite/ranged attack game going or run in and take some probably guaranteed damage if you don’t kite the surrounding melee enemies before fighting the priestesses themselves.

        You can see this in the area prior to reaching the Undead Purgatory with the Dark Elemental whip and staff wielders, you can see it in so many parts of the game where the best idea of “difficult” is to throw lots of mobs at the player alongside a bunch of other enemies without the factors that made those kind of encounters either interesting or “negligible” in the first two games.

        If someone tells me “But the souls games are supposed to be difficult” in response to this, I can only say that the creator doesn’t seem to agree in his interviews, and I think it’s a very limited, very poor way of understanding the broader concepts of the games as a whole.

        Dark Souls 2 is most definitely… difficult. I also find it very unsatisfying. It isn’t satisfying to clear many of these areas in the sense I feel I figured something out. I already knew the solution as soon as I saw it.

        • malek86

          I saw that too. Undead Purgatory, Undead Crypt, Dragon Shrine… it feels like the team this time decided that the best way to challenge a player, was to throw a bunch of mobs all at once.

          For the most part, it doesn’t even work, because I’ll just run past them and into the boss fog. Especially when they are ridiculously numerous, like the Undead Crypt and Purgatory. Haw!

          The Shrine of Amala is a different matter. That area shouldn’t even exist. It’s the worst of the entire series.

          • BlueTree

            Dying in fog gates kind of discouraged me from doing that, as I find you’ll go agonizingly slow through them at times. Which also makes me go “What’s the point of funneling people toward the boss just to turn them around?”

            Do you want me to focus on the stupid enemy mobs or the guy who gets upset that I might not want to play multiplayer? What are you trying to make me experience, what’s the emphasis?

            I like the Souls games, I don’t think they’re perfect, but the mistakes are either negligible to me or I forgive them because I can’t think of too many games that are as creative… but this game feels like a fan’s/outsider’s interpretation of the the series to me.

          • malek86

            Oh that’s easily solved. Enemies attack slowly enough that you can just direct their attack combos elsewhere before attempting to enter.

          • BlueTree

            That’s like, just, you know, your opinion.

            (I don’t know if I’d want to risk that every instance… dat impatience)

          • malek86

            Well, sure beats killing all the enemies every time. And enemies attack almost always in the same manner when you run in the same way, so that’s something you easily learn too.

          • BlueTree

            The sad thing is having beaten this game, I don’t know if I like it enough to test the advice you have bestowed upon me lol

          • BlueTree

            And let me just say, I’ve been kiting enemies since Streets of Rage 1 on maniac difficulty. The key difference is it never felt like the minimum tool set given to me was inadequate.

        • Heldronus

          I agree that Amana is complete ass, but the idea of throwing mobs at the player does make the game more difficult in a good way considering the pinnacle of the series’ difficulty has always been fighting multiple enemies at once, fighting practically any enemy 1v1 is pretty easy once you know how to play effectively. Plus the fact that you can’t just run past all the enemies does eliminate a big gameplay imbalance.

          • BlueTree

            I would propose there’s more too it than that. Ornstein and Smough are interesting to me, for instance, because they can actively interfere with one another’s ranges. They are VERY intimidating until you realize that putting them both between each other makes them go from Ornstein and Smough to Boris and Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle.

            I think there are a few scenarios in Dark Souls 2 where fighting multiple enemies is interesting, and then there are others where it just feels like I’m fighting two enemies that are just gonna bust me up because they attack in conjunction and I have to distract them.

            The problem isn’t having multiple enemies, which was not what I said, it was having one idea and stretching it thin in uninteresting ways. Now I’m not making up imaginary scenarios, so I’d appreciate the same.

            I already beat this game, and assuming “Well you’re not good” is a pretty lame way of getting at me in a conversation.

          • malek86

            Uhm, but see. Normally, when I’m in a new area, I’ll explore it calmly and try to get to the boss. If I die before reaching the it, okay, I’ll try again. But if I die at the boss, I don’t feel any incentive to kill the enemies again. None at all. I’ll just run. It’s always been like this: once you’ve reached the boss, all your attention is focused on it.

            In the end, the gameplay is still imbalanced in that sense. Adding mobs is just one more obstacle, but one that is often easily passed over. And if anything, the low weapon durability means that I have even less incentives to attack any other enemies when I’m on a boss run.

            The pinnacle of the series difficulty is still preserved, because this time, there are many more multi-bosses.

  • SirRichard

    “we focused more on a ‘balance that can provide a sense of fulfillment,’”

    There’s one particular boss where you only really stand a chance (at that point of the game) if you’ve somehow cobbled together very high Poison-resist gear or if you went into a side room, got around the poisonous monsters and jars, the room’s trap and then had a particular kind of recurring item used in the recurring mechanisms throughout the game on hand to use (in spite of multiple messages from other players calling this specific mechanism useless). Then the poison would be cleared enough for you stand a chance. And I’m not entirely sure if it was that, or if it was setting fire to the big wheel of the building’s windmill that drains the poison.

    The boss that took place right before this one? A big slow-moving lump you hack at the sides of for five minutes.

    I guess they balance out?

    • Abysswalker90

      It was the windmill that stopped it.

  • malek86

    Having finished the game, I should say that it actually feels less balanced than Dark Souls. Bosses range from extremely easy to extremely hard in a manner much more middling than in Dark Souls (where in general, at least the main bosses were hard. Not so in DS2).

    Some areas also need better balancing. A lot better balancing. Who decided to make the Shrine of Amana? Whoever it was, it ended up worse than the Bed of Chaos, and that’s an entire stage rather than a boss (mind you, the boss for the area is insanely easy instead… balancing much?).

    • Abysswalker90

      I haven’t beaten the game yet, but as far as I can tell, it follows the old Souls formula of Hard level – Easy boss / Easy level – Hard boss.
      Except for maybe a couple of levels.

  • Heldronus

    Fix those fucking hitboxes though, god damn.

  • Kornelious

    It’s true, Dark Souls isn’t to hard once you know what your doing, but it definently is quite challenging when compared to other games, and it deserves and earns the title of a challenging game :)

  • Stormourner

    I don’t any problem with Dark Souls II but with one exception: respawn limits >.<

  • Ashton Anchors

    “Since this is a sequel title, in a way, it wouldn’t be fun to simply repeat things again”

    That’s why we reused half the bosses from the prequel. Nice going there From.

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