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Themochalatte

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#1
Background: I'm a total Bloodborne fanboy, with it being the only souls game I've played until recently deciding to play and beat DS3.

Although I'm way more partial to Bloodborne's PVE experience, DS3's PVP seems to have way more depth.

Question 1:
DS3 seems to have more depth in pvp than bloodborne simply due to ability to threaten a quick backstab, so the foundation of neutral is basically built around this mechanic that allows you to punish players that are just looking to react and punish. It reminds me of streetfighter in this sense, in street fighter the footsie/neutral game is almost entirely predicated on the threat of being able to walk up and throw your opponent (which I think is the equivalent of backstabbing in dark souls). This means that you can goad your opponent into swinging which opens them up to a parry or a whiff punish, both of which should also have counters and consequently opening up complex mind game. Since I'm totally new to pvp in ds3, I just want to make sure I'm compartmentalizing the neutral game correctly, having a solid understanding of the fundamentals should enable me to hone my skills faster. So am I heading in the right direction in terms of fundamentals?

Question 2:
I went with a basic Warden Twinblade bleed build since I dug the blades of mercy in BB, and it seems like everyone's parry tool of choice is the caestus. My problem with using the caestus is that it looks way too obvious when you want to parry, would it be better to equip a second pair of twinblades to parry with in the offhand instead? This way it will be way harder for my opponent to determine if I want to parry and deter them from wanting to parry when both blades are out with the (perceived) threat of my weapon art. Does the parry animation of the twinblades have more startup and recovery frames? And if so, will it be still viable to parry with them on reaction? Or will I have to make a pure read to successfully parry someone?

Question 3:
I didn't have any concept of "wasted stats" with my first class choice, so I went with mercenary. With some wasted stat allocation can I still play a viable bleed build? And should it be quality/luck or just dex/luck? I need suggestions on proper stat allocation, and I wonder if it even matters that much

Question 4:
What are the beginner habits and pitfalls that I should try to avoid when honing my pvp game?

Question 5:
What's a good way to practice parrying? So far I've just been practicing on those big Knight enemies near some bonfires in Lothric

Question 6: Would a simple weapon switch be a viable parry-bait tactic? It sounds good on paper to take advantage of and punish twitch reactions, similar to whiffing a light normal in street fighter.
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Agurzil

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#2
Depth is there for DS3, but it was also there for BB. I'm not going to go too deep on this one, but your thoughts reflect what happens usually.

Parries can be done on reaction with any parry tool, it does however become more difficult if you're not using a small shield or fist weapon. Timings are a bit different across the different tools, but if you stick to one and learn its timing in PvE you will be good to go in PvP.

Luck (the stat) has no effect on status inflicting effects in PvP. 7 luck does the same amount of bleed buildup as 99 luck. So, refined str/dex or hollow dex/luck will be almost the same in damage terms and bleed viability. Stats for damage do not matter all that much in PvP, having enough hp and stamina to always be able to act and not die that quickly when you screw up is probably the most important thing for any PvP build.

Beginner habits... blocking too much, mistiming their rolls, generally not understanding PvP... Ganking. If you want to improve, stay away from ganking. I have no qualms fighting against a noob who keeps drinking estus in a duel, but generally, healing is frowned upon. Be careful though, PvP mindset is ... odd. People may get pissed for the oddest things, also, don't use the point down gesture after winning, it makes you look like a total ***. Unless the other one really deserves it.

Parry practice is easy, go to a weak enemy in PvE and learn how to parry those flawlessly, attaining muscle memory. Then go to PvP and remember that most big weapons are unparriable when 2handed. There are lists on which weapons and attacks are and are not parriable.

Weapon switch parry bait? I do not understand how you imagine that to go down... You switch your weapon, your foe attacks, you parry? Like that wouldn't work probably, at least not better than straight up parrying would.
Man takes up the sword to protect the small injuries that burdened his heart, on a distant day beyond his memories.
Man wields the sword to die with a smile on his face, on a distant day beyond his dreams.

Themochalatte

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#3
I was thinking that a weapon switch could bait a parry attempt rather than an attack, but I found your reply to be super helpful. Thanks man1
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TSMP

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#4
1) You're more or less correct on all counts. Dark Souls 3's PvP does have more depth than Bloodborne, though it isn't anywhere near a true fighter. The main difference is combos and related, or the lack thereof in DaS's case. The backstabs in DaS3 aren't instant like they were in DaS1, and it's still possible to escape them with good timing, so you'll have to catch your opponent during an animation if you want it to work.

2) The Caestus does make it obvious that you're fishing for parries, but its parry is so fast as to be nearly unpunishable, so even inexperienced players can get away with it easily. The Twinblade parry animation does have more recovery than the Caestus, but IIRC the parry window is the same or nearly so and reaction parries should work the same if you don't whiff it. It's actually kind of hard to reaction parry in DaS3 due to the omnipresent lag, and you're usually better off with setups or just throwing out random blind parries unless you have a whole lot of experience playing through half-second connection delays.

3) The average player has around 320 bleed resist, and your weapon's bleed damage is more or less equal to its listed amount (minor change with hidden attack modifiers). A bit of math should show that a Refined weapon at 40str/40dex and Hollow weapon at 40dex/40lck will inflict bleed in the same number of hits around that point, and the Hollow weapon will only manage one fewer hit when above or below that. It's up to you whether the -30 AR is worth sometimes getting bleed one hit sooner.

4) R1/L1 spam and parry spam are easy traps to fall into, mostly because it actually takes a bit of skill to beat them. You can get effortless wins against inexperienced players just by mashing the quick attack button and throwing out random parries, but against anyone decent you'll die in a heartbeat.

5) Don't practice parries in PvE, the timing is completely different due to lag. It's usually to the point that you have to parry before their attack animation even begins. The only way to practice parries is against other players.

6) You could go for parry bait.... or you could just use unparriable weapons like a Great Axe, Great Club, Whip, or Ultra Greatsword. But yes, switching to a weapon with different attack frames and windows might screw over opponents who are actually trying to parry on reaction, but as mentioned above that's rare due to lag. If it were possible to play Souls via LAN, that might work better.
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Agurzil

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#5
I disagree with your #5 TSMP. Parries should be learned in a safe PvE environment to learn the tools individual timing. Once you have that down you can try to parry with skill instead of luck in PvP. You're true about lag playing a huge issue, but it shouldn't take more than getting hit once or twice to figure out just how much latency is there and then taking it into account when parrying.

If you want to bait your enemy into trying to parry you, switching weapons could indeed work. Like switching from an ultra to a straight sword, acting as if you want to do a running attack, but instead you run past him and backstab, or just delay and R1 twice instead. That works sometimes, but your enemy might also attack instead, so, it's possible, but risky.
Man takes up the sword to protect the small injuries that burdened his heart, on a distant day beyond his memories.
Man wields the sword to die with a smile on his face, on a distant day beyond his dreams.
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#6
Yeah, I guess it'd depend on how much experience the person already has with parries. I hadn't considered that.
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