TopDudeMan (User)

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"Praise The Sun"

Dark Souls II- How to make it the best game ever

TopDudeMan | 599d ago
User blog

It's never been a secret how much I like Dark Souls. I've beaten it somewhere around 10-15 times and logged in over 500 hours playtime across both the PS3 and PC versions, yet still wanted more. The gameplay is simply unique and doesn't compare to any other games around right now.

So, naturally, with the announcement of the next instalment in the franchise, you could imagine that I was quite over the moon- but not surprised in the slightest. After all, Dark souls last month was clocked in as having sold over 1.31 million copies worldwide across all three platforms (stats provided by VGchartz.com) which is quite an impressive feat for a game that is not Call of Duty, Battlefield, Madden, Fifa or Assassin's Creed. People who work at FromSoftware are constantly talking in interviews about how surprised they were at the success of Dark Souls (and it's predecessor, Demon's Souls).

On paper, the game sounds terrible, let's be honest. It bears the tagline: "Prepare To Die" So straight away, it is putting people off from playing the game. People generally don't really like dying in a video game. The idea that you may never finish the game could deter some would-be players from it already. The game also requires the player to learn the game: the combat, the enemy attack patterns, the items, the lore, the stats. This way of not spoon-feeding the player is very old-fashioned and is more prevalent in old arcade-style games designed to steal your money. Older gamers will pick up this game and feel right at home with dying a lot, whereas the younger generation would probably toss the controller the second time they died, perhaps calling the enemy a camper. Not to mention the fact that it is set in a medieval fantasy world, which is a setting that doesn't particularly sell well with the non-hardcore crowd. So one could say that the target audience of this game is persistent, grown-up nerds.

What FromSoftware have to do now with the sequel is to grow the series. What I mean by that is now they are sure of what the fanbase want, they can continue to build on that, creatively.
So here's a list of my ideas for the series' next instalment: (please note that these are all very little changes due to the fact that I believe the core gameplay is excellent as it is)

1) Separate online mode
What I mean by this is that they should give PvPers the ability to just search for a game using a lobby screen where they will find a willing opponent around the same level range(who created the session) for PvP. That doesn't mean they should do away with the invasion thing. I just think it would be good if they expanded the multiplayer into something that was a little easier to organise. Often when I look to do PvP I find that there are simply no players in the areas I search. It would also be nice if there was an easier way to play with your friends. For instance, you could just let them drop in and out if they're on your friends list or via invites etc. And it would be nice if you could keep them in your game even after killing a boss and do a full run through of the game with a friend or two. Of course, they'd have to make the enemies stronger if you did that (maybe somewhere along the lines of 10-20%) but I definitely think it would be doable and would make the game so much more fun to play with friends.

2) Allow Custom Messages
So, usually when you write a message using the orange soapstone, you find that there are quite a lot of options for informing players from other worlds about potential dangers, but often they don't quite match up to what you need to tell the other player. So it would be beneficial (and really fun), I believe if you could write custom messages on the ground for other players to see. Often "Try Key" or "Amazing Chest Ahead" is not quite enough information. Of course, they'd have to put a word limit on that or people would just be writing massive paragraphs on the floor.

3) More involving story
Put simply, it feels like the player is simply a spectator in the dark souls story. I would prefer if there was a way to interact with the npcs better. It would be good if you could have conversation options like in dragon age origins to ask for additional information to help reinforce the story in the game. The story in Dark Souls is very confusing and it would be ideal if there was an option to hear more about what is going on from the perspective of a few characters in the game. The protagonist should still be silent, however. Again, asking for that extra background information would be entirely optional, so if you did simply want to go through the game, you wouldn't have to sit through long conversations with NPCs to do so.

4)Optional "hardcore mode"
I remember them talking in an interview about demon's souls that they were considering making it so that if you died, you would have to start the game again. I think this would be awesome as an optional mode. Similar to Diablo's hardcore mode where your character would simply be deleted when you die. That would certainly make invasions a bit more interesting. There would be a heck of a lot more at stake, then. It would also inspire players to want to be the first one to do it, which would be very interesting to see.

5) More traps
Sen's fortress was awesome. Enough said

6) More character creation options
I'd like it if they added a lot more hairstyles and made it easier to make a character who looks human (no one wants to see some of the monsters I've created). Also, they should make the character's build have some bearing on their physical attributes. I have seen way too many fat people doing ninja flips online. Oh, it would also be cool if there was a function to dye your armour.

7) Keep up the good work!
Other than that, dark souls was flawless in my humble opinion. I just want more of the same. If any of you have suggestions, please let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading this, and I look forward to hearing your feedback!

DragonKnight  +   598d ago
This blog is terrible. You essentially insult the fanbase of the game because the game isn't the casual accessible crap that the CoD generation with this statement "So one could say that the target audience of this game is persistent, grown-up nerds."

Look, the point of the Souls series isn't to be accessible or to hold your hand. It forces you to develop skill, you know the way games USED to be instead of rewarding you just for pressing the start button. Moving on to your list.

1. Partially agree. I say include an arena but do not separate the in-game online. That would ruin the sense of urgency and imminent danger which in turn would ruin the experience of the game. This ain't some weak a$$ MMO.

2. Agree. However implementing this would require monitoring which is why they go with their own messages instead.

3. Disagree. You just want the story to be told to you instead of having to search for it yourself. Finding out the story is part of the atmosphere and fun and what makes the Souls series unique. Stop wishing for an easy game. If you want that, keep playing the crap that is Skyrim.

4. That would be contradictory to your mentioning that people would be turned off by the Prepare to Die slogan.

5. Meh.

6. Agree. The CC needs a huge revamp.

7. Yep.

But seriously, they don't need to do anything but make a new world, work on the netcode to eliminate the lag stabs, and bring back MP based magic along with new spells (like Ice or Earth based spells) and weapon types.
#1 (Edited 598d ago ) | Agree(8) | Disagree(7) | Report | Reply
TopDudeMan  +   598d ago
Okay, you completely misunderstood the tone of this blog. After "On paper, the game sounds terrible" I am assuming devil's advocate to explain why the game would not be expected to be as successful as it is now.

These aren't problems with the game - at no point did I say that. This is not a review where I sum up the good and bad points. I am simply looking at it from the viewpoint of someone who hasn't actually played the game and looking for obvious reasons why they might be deterred from playing the game.

I know, all of those words most have been confusing for you. I'll try and speak more robotic, the next blog I write.

And I totally understand the point of the game. Note that I already said that I've played it for more than 500 hours. I think if I hadn't got the point of the game by then, then I must be deficient or something.

And some new spells would be nice.
#1.1 (Edited 598d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
DragonKnight  +   598d ago
First, your attempt at condescension (look it up) is pathetic and childish. Second, nowhere did I say you didn't know what the point of the game was. I commented on your stupidly chosen words and some of your stupid suggestions for the next Souls game. You may as well just go mod Skyrim for all the accessible crap you want thrown into the game based on your suggestions.

Clearly if you got the point of the game then you would never suggest separating the online or an obvious story. The Souls series is about hidden mysteries, about depressing locales where it's you against everything and you don't quite get why. You're supposed to make your own story. The fact that you don't seem to understand that completely negates your "500 hours" in the gameplay which was likely spent in PvP and probably half that time was ganking in the Forest or Dark Anor Londo.

And custom messages? Are you serious? Imagine the kind of custom messages there would have been when reaching Gwynevere. And that sounds like a good thing to you.

Most of your suggestions are poorly thought out and would ruin the atmosphere that this series had to work hard to build up. All Dark Souls 2 needs is to build upon what's already there, not introduce lame casual options and ideas that take away from the experience.
FriedGoat  +   598d ago
I totally agree with DragonKnight although the insults are not required.
What's happening here is what has plagued this whole generation.
TopDudeMan  +   598d ago
Okay, see the sentence "look, the point of the Souls series isn't to be accessible or to hold your hand" That is kinda implying that you don't think I understand the point of the game. Why else would you proceed to tell me?

As for when you reach gwynevere... really? You don't think it's as bad as it gets? Let me read off some of my favourites.
"Amazing Chest Ahead"
"Try Holding in both hands"
And in demon's souls you had female NPCs with "sticky white stuff" written in front of them
How much worse is it really going to get than that?

And no, I don't gank, I build my character to SL 120 and let people invade me in the forest on NG+. I've done that with several characters.

And I think my sarcasm was quite necessary seeing as how you somehow got the idea that I want to make the game more casual. No, I want it to be even harder. But it also needs to be more refined. That's why I suggested these changes. The game is great as it is, but it isn't free from the little annoyances. That is what I am addressing.

And "make your own story?"... I'm not even touching that one. I think you actually missed the point, here. The story is essentially told through items and lore. I don't have a problem with this, but I think they could make a bit more effort to tell it through the characters and make you feel something for them. Now, that doesn't mean I want a giant arrow telling you where to go. I just think that for those who want it, they should have options to ask characters for more information on the world, other characters and the story. I don't think that's unreasonable. Especially if it's OPTIONAL. No idea what you're complaining about. It's like you're saying that because you don't want it, no one should have it.

Oh and I already explained the separate online thing. It's just an extra mode that lets you access your friends easier instead of having to look around on the ground for summon signs. Y u no like playing with your friends?
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DragonKnight  +   598d ago
"Okay, see the sentence "look, the point of the Souls series isn't to be accessible or to hold your hand" That is kinda implying that you don't think I understand the point of the game. Why else would you proceed to tell me?"

Contradicted by your suggestions.

"As for when you reach gwynevere... really? You don't think it's as bad as it gets? Let me read off some of my favourites.
"Amazing Chest Ahead"
"Try Holding in both hands"
And in demon's souls you had female NPCs with "sticky white stuff" written in front of them
How much worse is it really going to get than that?"

"Girl with massive tits ahead, don't you just want to motorboat dem titties." And that's me putting it nicely. You clearly haven't played many online games if you think that "Amazing Chest Ahead" is the worst it can get.

"And I think my sarcasm was quite necessary seeing as how you somehow got the idea that I want to make the game more casual. No, I want it to be even harder. But it also needs to be more refined. That's why I suggested these changes. The game is great as it is, but it isn't free from the little annoyances. That is what I am addressing."

Sarcasm is never a necessity. It's used to be an a$$ and always has been used that way.

"And "make your own story?"... I'm not even touching that one. I think you actually missed the point, here. The story is essentially told through items and lore. I don't have a problem with this, but I think they could make a bit more effort to tell it through the characters and make you feel something for them. Now, that doesn't mean I want a giant arrow telling you where to go. I just think that for those who want it, they should have options to ask characters for more information on the world, other characters and the story. I don't think that's unreasonable. Especially if it's OPTIONAL. No idea what you're complaining about. It's like you're saying that because you don't want it, no one should have it."

Umm, you DO make your own story. You can choose to accept or ignore any info any of the NPC's gives you because they never give you anything that's 100% conclusive. The ending offers you a choice on how you would want the world to be, either light remains or the Age of Dark begins. You just want the story to be easy for you to see, which takes away from exploration and paying attention to everything, which in turn takes away from the overall experience. Just admit that you had a hard time understanding the story and really only play Dark Souls for PvP.

And as for your online thing, it's still a stupid idea. Having lobbies, again, takes away from the experience and essence of the game. Clearly this is a point you don't understand. And you played 500 hours of this game? Maybe you should have played 500 hours of Demon's Souls first and then tried playing Dark Souls.
Games4M - Rob  +   598d ago
1.Yes but it should be an arena mode or a completely seperate co-op campaign. The multiplayer interaction in the main campaign is perfect and should not be tampered with.

2.No. I have no desire to break up my immersion in the game with some idiots self written comment.

3.No. The story is fine as it is. I find it the minimalist story in the fully fleshed out world a far more atmospheric than something like Oblivion.

4.Yes, options are always good.

5.Sens fortress was good but part of the reason for that is that it is so different from the rest of the game. I wouldnt want multiple trap areas because then they would get tedious.

6.Yes

7.Yes
cpayne93  +   598d ago
Definitely a no for number 2. People would be throwing stupid and perverted comments everywhere, it would be horrible.
TopDudeMan  +   598d ago
Well, Rob. The thing I'd disagree with is the story. The extra conversation options would be entirely optional. You can take them or leave them, just like you could in skyrim or dragon age.

As for the custom messages. They'd still have the report feature so bad messages disappeared quickly and they could filter out words they don't want people saying like swear words etc.
-GametimeUK-  +   598d ago
1. No. I just don't like the thought of it. Integrating a PVP mode into the game as a zone is the right way to go such as including an arena. A separate menu / mode will just break it up too much for my liking.

2. Hit and miss. A no from me, but I see your point. The pre-set templates are good enough. If you want detailed explanations of an area you can hop on Gamefaq's or something if you need a walkthrough.

3. I agree here. Not that I care much, but it would be nice to see.

4. I think a hard core mode would be good. I wouldn't say having one life is the way to go, though. Maybe adding new traps, making walk ways narrower and other subtle changes will help. Buff enemies etc and restrict the amount of flasks you can carry.

5. Meh.

6. HELL YES!

7. HELL YES!

Good blog :-)
TopDudeMan  +   598d ago
For number 1, the only reason I suggest that is because it's so hard to find people online for pvp or co-op. I'd like to just be able to do that from the start menu and select a game to join or send invites etc. Saves me wasting time standing around looking for a sign which may or may not appear on the ground.
Cam977  +   598d ago
Separate online? NO!
Custom messages? NO!
Poor blog.
TopDudeMan  +   598d ago
I don't mean to separate the online from the main game. I mean to add a multiplayer mode. Read it before commenting on the quality, please.
PurpHerbison  +   596d ago
No thanks.
MeatAbstract  +   597d ago
What made Demon's/Dark Souls so unique was how the single and online were connected by thin threads. It was so different but so refreshing from lobbys and mics and people screaming and PvP and battle arenas. Having someone invade your game was easily one of the scariest things that could happen when you journeying towards the next boss fight. Why change this? Never separate them. You have to take the good with the bad and the bad with the good because that's how these games work. Everything is a double edged sword, including the online features.
alis239   597d ago | Spam
PurpHerbison  +   596d ago
How about having the game run at a steady locked 30 FPS next time around for consoles? Anything else is unacceptable. And can't forget to add the bells and whistles to the PC version cause a locked 30 FPS on PC is laughable.
ZoyosJD  +   596d ago
Add more background to the characters. Some sort of twisted plot that divides the NPCs into fations and smaller rivalries. Make it so your desicions can impact not only who fights by your side but who the boss is and where battles take place. let your charaters actions speak fork your decisions. dont just tell us the story, make us a part of it.

Difficulty should be increased through AI as more precise controls are implmented.

No more homing arrow bs(not the magic, but enemy archers).

Fix the netcode.

Invasions should be able to happen at any time, but base the chances off of time away from the bonfire. items and arenas can be used for those looking for a fight. limit the level difference early on and slowly lossen it up.

A coop vs overpowered boss ex. borderlands "invincible" bosses.

no chat or custom messages.

more customization options.

better balance and more counter moves. you shouldnt be doomed in a pvp match just because of armor choices.
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Tenrmesa   596d ago | Spam

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