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Dark Souls II Survival Guide

J. Kartje's Avatar + Posted by J. Kartje on Mar 05, 2014 // Community Manager, Namco Bandai

Dark Souls II

Dark Souls II continues a long tradition of games that will challenge even the most veteran of gamers. You’ll explore, experiment, and die many times throughout your quest. While it would be against From Software’s design philosophy to give you a detailed map of the world and a full explanation of the game’s story, we did want to give you a few pointers before you go beyond death come March 11th on PS3.

A few basic changes exist within Dark Souls II that even the Souls veterans might want to know before venturing into the land of Drangleic:

  • Fast Travel: Bonfire’s serve as the “checkpoints” in Dark Souls II. As soon as you light a new Bonfire, you’re able to travel between that fire and any other Bonfire that you’ve lit.
  • Leveling: Spending hard-earned souls to level up can only happen with the Emerald Herald, a specific NPC you’ll need to return to each time you wish to seek more power.
  • Welcome to Majula: Soaked in eerie sunlight, you’ll be roaming around the hub town of Majula early on in your quest. Majula houses the Emerald Herald, vendors, merchants, and other persons of interest that will help you piece together the many stories of Drangleic.
  • Death Hurts: Every time you die, you’ll lose a tiny piece of your maximum health as your body decays. You can restore your humanity and stave off the Curse by consuming a Human Effigy. Use these wisely.

Know Your Stats

Dark Souls II continues to put an emphasis on player choice. Whether you want a tattooed spellcaster, a 7′ tall pyromancer who also fancies a greatbow, or a stocky crusader who wields a hammer and uses holy magic to smite his foes, the choice is yours.

Many character statistics and their properties have carried over from Dark Souls, but there are some new additions. On the Player Status screen you can press Select and navigate the menu for more a more detailed explanation. One new addition to Dark Souls II is Adaptability. Adaptability affects your character’s Movement Speed, Resistances, and more. Another addendum to the Dark Souls II mechanics is Attunement, granting increased casting speed for Spells, Miracles, and Hexes.

Dark Souls IIDark Souls II

Any character build in Dark Souls II can be “good,” but an understanding of the different statistics and their effects will help you decide where that next point goes.

Two Swords Are Better Than One?

Dual-wielding is now possible with your Dark Souls II characters. You can wield a weapon in either hand, or in both. This provides you with even more options to choose from while cutting through the Undead. Will you give up that sturdy shield for even more offense? Be sure to experiment with different weapon combinations to learn the new attack patterns and animations.

Durability and You

Your equipment will wear over time, slowly losing durability as you take hits and inflict wounds. One thing to be careful of is scraping your blade against hard surfaces. If you’re continually banging on the walls with your Falchion, the durability will drain much faster. Resting at a Bonfire will restore your equipment’s durability, but if an item has broken completely, you’ll need to visit a Blacksmith for a solution.

Dark Souls IIDark Souls II

Left or Right?

Dark Souls II was built with player freedom in mind. This game is not linear. If you find yourself struggling with a certain enemy or area, explore other paths. There is no “right way” to progress through the game. Each player will find his or her own path. If you truly get stuck, try exploring past areas — you may find that things have changed since you left.

Covenants

Dark Souls II has been designed to integrate a single and multiplayer experience. Covenants exist to allow players to role-play within Drangleic. Many NPCs throughout the game will offer membership with their respective Covenant. Whether you prefer a hardcore single-player experience, challenging other players to PvP battle, helping fellow comrades through tough areas, or defending against other players, there’s a Covenant for you. Special rewards wait for those who choose to champion their Covenants dutifully.


Weapons, Armor, Spells, Covenants, and Character Stats will let you play Dark Souls II however you choose. Countless character builds, boss strategies, and PvP tactics will blossom once the game launches next week. We look forward to seeing how you go beyond death.

//Add Your Own

54 Comments

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1

+ DrApollo on March 5th, 2014 at 10:38 am said:

Hell yes!


2

+ DeMolay145 on March 5th, 2014 at 10:39 am said:

That’s all great! It won’t stop you from dying a lot though.

But the big question is: Where is Dark Souls II for the PS4?

Please!!!!!!


3

+ jvasq on March 5th, 2014 at 10:41 am said:

oh god I cannot wait


4

+ Gorvi on March 5th, 2014 at 10:42 am said:

Man, I can’t wait for next Tuesday night. Get the kids in bed, pop in Dark Souls 2, and probably never see my bed that night. :)


5

+ boxmyth on March 5th, 2014 at 10:49 am said:

Cannot wait for next week. Everything else gets pushed aside for DS2.


6

+ Dethfuse on March 5th, 2014 at 10:54 am said:

How to beat Dark Souls 2.

Step 1: Never play it.
Step 2: That’s it! You win!


7

+ meltedwolf on March 5th, 2014 at 10:59 am said:

Die


8

+ Cat_Corye on March 5th, 2014 at 11:00 am said:

I hope it’s more harder then the beta, because I was able to everything I can/ fight bosses without dying once.


9

+ D-Squad3 on March 5th, 2014 at 11:05 am said:

NO TIPS!!! Just let people die trying! lol


10

+ Christian399 on March 5th, 2014 at 11:25 am said:

God Eater 2, can I have it please? I was a good little consumer and took the gun held to my head and bought Graces: F – terrible game, but we were told we needed it ‘if’ Namco would consider bringing the other Tales games over. I bought that, Xillia, DS 2 (pre-ordered). Even Knight’s Contract, which I rather enjoyed the punishing unfairness of. Almost everything Namco has made in the last few years that is fantasy/ action. So, community manager, GE2. What’s the deal? If there’s some horrid or fantastic game you need to twist my arm into purchasing to get GE2, please say, and the money is as good as yours.


11

+ Christian399 on March 5th, 2014 at 11:28 am said:

@ 2 With the way the PS4 is selling and the ease and popularity of up-ports (Tomb Raider, GT 5 is coming), you know we’ll get a PS4 DS 2 port. Probably in the fall, I imagine. They want you to double-dip though, which many of us will.


12

+ lisatsunami on March 5th, 2014 at 11:30 am said:

Most highly anticipated game for this year. Pre-ordered the CE and am scared about how hard this will be.


13

+ Scaramanga1983 on March 5th, 2014 at 11:31 am said:

It sounds just like previous Souls… I would buy if it was on Vita, though.


14

+ ElectroplasmGT on March 5th, 2014 at 11:54 am said:

The Sony Entertainment Network webstore is still broken for many of us. The add to cart button disappears. All browsers (firefox, ie, chrome), clearing cache, reboots, different tablets/computers don’t fix the issue. It has been a month, Sony. Stop sandbagging and address this issue. We haven’t received a single official statement on the matter. Does sony even read their own support forums? Twitter accounts?


15

+ Yuranium on March 5th, 2014 at 12:04 pm said:

Ah yes! Dark Souls II finally here, just in time for spring break. Guess I won’t be going out much (or not at all). :p Been itching for more since Dark Souls.


16

+ DrApollo on March 5th, 2014 at 12:05 pm said:

@Christian399

One of the few titles I will actually double-dip on. I will end up replaying this game many times.


17

+ tusunami on March 5th, 2014 at 12:07 pm said:

Let the whining begin, i can see it now the developers made this too difficult. Can they patch it to tone it down. Shut your heineken & man up or stay away from the game lol.


18

+ AOISHI_YAGAMI on March 5th, 2014 at 12:09 pm said:

I love this game!!


19

+ N7Spartansw0rd on March 5th, 2014 at 12:11 pm said:

I can’t wait!


20

+ headronefish on March 5th, 2014 at 12:16 pm said:

YES. GOTY all years.

My CE can’t come soon enough. And thanks to international shipping, it won’t come soon at all. :(


21

+ Ryumoau on March 5th, 2014 at 12:28 pm said:

i couldn’t care less about Dark Souls but i’m wondering why you guys at Namco are making the upcoming Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn digital only in NA? I can only guess its because you aren’t going to dub it, but why not? The first 3 games were so why be lazy for the new one?

I’m just really tired of you and Koei making these subtitled digital only games (One Piece PW 1 and 2) and still charging full price for them, despite putting less effort into localizing them. :(


22

+ BlueBl1zzard on March 5th, 2014 at 12:31 pm said:

I’ve been holding off checking out pretty much ANY info for this game. I want to go in as blind as possible. Can’t wait!


23

+ GeneralObi-1 on March 5th, 2014 at 12:33 pm said:

I don’t own a PS3 so I will wait for the release of Dark Souls 2 on PS4.

HOPE and… BEYOND.


24

+ BlueBl1zzard on March 5th, 2014 at 12:36 pm said:

@Ryumoau You couldn’t care less about Dark Souls (1st mistake), so you decided to come check out and comment on the “Dark Souls II Survival Guide” blog post? C’mon now….


25

+ JanuaryEmbers19 on March 5th, 2014 at 12:41 pm said:

Praise the sun!


26

+ reson8er on March 5th, 2014 at 1:49 pm said:

Some advice I can give anyone playing a “Souls” game:
1. Be patient and observe everything around you. Take things slow and steady. If your in an area you don’t know, keep your shield raised when walking. Be vigilant.
2. If you fail, and you will, try to understand WHY. Think about how you can approach the situation differently, I see many players dying again and again using the same tactics that just got them killed. Think. Act. React.
3. Try to pick a playstyle and spend your points upgrading your character accordingly. Being a “jack of all trades” in DS means you probably wasted a lot points.
4. Pay attention to NPC’s. They often give you VERY subtle clues relating to the story, area, or something more specific. The same advise applies to item, and their descriptions.
5. Don’t be afraid to call for help. You can call other PC’s into your game, if you really can’t handle a boss or area, this may help you avoid frustration.
6. Praise the sun.


27

+ honkayjeezus on March 5th, 2014 at 1:56 pm said:

I hope the developer holds off on any next gen or PC development until the game is running smooth and the network code/servers work well.

I have it preordered, just did a trial of Amazon Prime to get it free shipping next Tuesday or Wednesday. Very excited, I don’t even think of buying more than one or two games a year new.


28

+ ElektroDragon on March 5th, 2014 at 2:00 pm said:

“Dark Souls II Survival Guide” is an oxymoron. Prepare to die… over… and over and over again if you buy this game. As for me, I have too little time to waste on stressful and aggravating games like this, regardless of how much I might love the subject matter or setting. Hey Namco, can you convince FROM to make Enchanted Arms II for the REST of us? Loved that game.


29

+ ElektroDragon on March 5th, 2014 at 2:03 pm said:

The appeal of gaming masochism is beyond me.


30

+ JThaArtistic on March 5th, 2014 at 2:45 pm said:

Darks Souls is like the Ninja Gaiden Version of RPG’s lol, with Dark Souls 2 oh i cannot wait. so everyone have you guys figure out whats your starting class will be? Knight all the way ^_^


31

+ headronefish on March 5th, 2014 at 3:05 pm said:

Probably starting with Knight or Warrior, going to do a STR build first. I loved the Zweihander in the network test.
I hope there’s a stat reset NPC this time around.

@ElektroDragon: there’s no masochism involved. Dark Souls will punish you for your mistakes, but it’s only very difficult when you don’t know what you’re doing. The game will not hold your hand through it. It’s a learning experience, and one can go quite deep in it. Dying is just an inevitable part of the process; the real joy is figuring everything out for yourself and discovering and experiencing this rich universe for the first time. It’s an amazing feeling that not many modern games are capable of bringing out.


32

+ wally_mammoth on March 5th, 2014 at 3:08 pm said:

Can’t wait! Day one for me. Thanks for the tips.


33

+ BrianC6234 on March 5th, 2014 at 3:28 pm said:

Now that Dark Souls II is coming out you should give away Dark Souls next month as part of PS Plus.


34

+ Ryusennin on March 5th, 2014 at 3:55 pm said:

Demon’s Souls veterans should feel right at home.


35

+ rockford417 on March 5th, 2014 at 4:50 pm said:

Oh I am so excited I feel just like a little girl. Been waiting and awfully long time for Tuesday night. Too bad I have to work Wednesday and I can’t take it off. Argghhhh! Time to die again…


36

+ TheDeadTexan on March 5th, 2014 at 6:07 pm said:

I cry every night I don’t have this game.


37

+ supvic on March 5th, 2014 at 6:58 pm said:

I’ll wait for the inevitable PS4 version. There’s no way I’m double dipping despite the fact that I still use my PS3 even more than my PS4 – this game should have been a PS4 release and I’ll wait another year if I must.


38

+ moecage on March 5th, 2014 at 7:39 pm said:

Is there some kind of a reword for having played or platinumed demon’s souls/Dark souls ? Also, dose anyone have a time machine i can use for just a sec to get to the 15th ?


39

+ DeviousLight on March 5th, 2014 at 8:05 pm said:

Man I am so excited for this game, can’t wait. I just hope that there aren’t any framerate issues like Blighttown.


40

+ raven6093 on March 6th, 2014 at 4:16 am said:

Wiping drool off my keyboard. . .


41

+ MarinoBrea on March 6th, 2014 at 6:17 am said:

“You’re able to travel between that fire and ANY OTHER BONFIRE that you’ve lit.”

Are you sure that’s correct? any bonfire, not just the one at the start of an area? Sounds too convenient….


42

+ geckergeezer on March 6th, 2014 at 7:46 am said:

Cannot wait till the 14th!


43

+ wBENDERw on March 6th, 2014 at 9:14 am said:

i played a royal in demon souls i think i’m going wizard this time


44

+ Welmosca on March 6th, 2014 at 9:44 am said:

Nice…I gotta say this game looks good….I liked Demon’s Souls but I never cared about Dark Souls until you guys released the announcement CGI for Dark Souls 2 and that gameplay for IGN,now I pretty much watch all the gameplay for Dark Souls 2.And I’ll buy both Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2…for real good job making me interested in a game I didn’t even cared for.


45

+ DeViL_PoOH_ on March 6th, 2014 at 10:36 am said:

Just a few days more… Damn! cant wati to go beyond the death! :3 it’s of exciting knowing that you gonna play an extreme difficult game… yikes! XD


46

+ no_motto on March 6th, 2014 at 10:37 am said:

PS4 version please!?


47

+ Jarskaaja on March 6th, 2014 at 10:53 am said:

Do you get the pre-order bonuses if you pre-order the game on PSN?


48

+ Eddo_Marin on March 6th, 2014 at 12:12 pm said:

Praise the sun!

I’m too excited to get this, the first DS was amazing, and i’m sure this will be even better… and harder.

Love my PS4, but my PS3 is next to it and will be because of great games like Dark Souls 2.


49

+ luvtoseek on March 6th, 2014 at 12:30 pm said:

@21, Ryu- ‘I couldn’t care less about Dark Souls…’

I stopped reading then as I’m sure J. or any Namco rep has too.

Not a mature way to seek an inquiry.


50

+ WaveLightning777 on March 6th, 2014 at 3:24 pm said:

Tales series avatars? Please? Every other region has them…


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