On the Topic of Gangs of Mobs in Dark Souls

On the Topic of Gangs of Mobs in Dark Souls

One of the complaints that drove me crazy about Dark Souls II was how “cheap” it was because they used so many instances of groups of mobs and ambushes to “artificially” inflate the difficulty.  I often asked myself, “Don’t people remember Dark Souls?”  I made a small rant about this in Volume 1 of my return to Lordran.  This prompted the idea to catalog all of the “cheap” groups of mobs in the first game in the series and make a long rant.  I’ll warn you ahead of time, this is a long list (and I likely forgot some).

The rules to qualify for the list are:

  • Group/gang attack: Any group of enemies that pull or aggro from approximately the same spot in numbers of 3 or more.  There is some subjectivity, but the idea is to capture “if a new player were exploring, what’s likely to occur.”  I know there are instances below where there’s a sweet spot where only one will pull, and you can back off safely. But again, “what’s a new player likely to walk into” was the standard
  • Ambush attach: Any group of 2 or more enemies, in which at least one enemy is using a clear ambush tactic. I consider ambush tactics to be anything that are meant to surprise the player. Enemies hiding are the most common example. Using one enemy to pull the player’s attention toward not seeing another also occurs a good deal
  • Just to clarify, if a group has BOTH elements, it counts as one instance below. Example: Crossbow snipers that ambush during the Taurus fight would be considered both, counted once
  • To further clarify, I do not accept any version of the excuse “But you can negate that by…”  I don’t care.  That applies to all Soulsborne games, and games in general.  When you know the trap it’s always easier.  Going back to the first point and the standard I laid out; “What’s a new player likely to step into?”

Undead Asylum:

  • Before leaving to Lordran, this area is actually mostly gang free.  While there’s a group near the white light to drop onto the Asylum Demon, they naturally pull separately.  And that’s really about it for gangs.  It makes sense they would go easy on you in the tutorial
  • When you come back, there are four torch mobs that can easily be pulled at the same time.  Three is very common, and I’ve inadvertently gotten the attention of all four without much in the way of effort
  • Above the Stray Demon, there is a group of two mobs with ambush capability hiding behind pots.  Also, the floor can collapse and force you into an unexpected Boss Fight
  • Number of gang or ambush attacks: 2, and they’re pretty easy ones admittedly
"I won't swarm ya. Promise. At least not here..."

“I won’t swarm ya. Promise. At least not here…”

Undead Burg:

  • From Firelink, engaging the first enemy can easily lead to a second jumping down off the stairs AND a guy throwing firebombs at you.  Surprise!
  • Approaching the firebomb guy is likely to pull two more enemies (most new players won’t be able to take out the bomber from below, so I did count him as part of both groups)
  • After killing two easily seen mobs (after the tunnel with the rat), a firebomb thrower has a guy hiding in the building to the left for a sneak attack
  • Jumping below to get the rubbish has several mobs hanging from the railings to ambush you
  • Right after the Wyvern, three melee hollows are supported by a sniper.  The melee hollows will all pull at the same time, and the sniper has crazy range
  • Going down to see the merchant and then access the roof to get your own crossbow has a small group of hollows that can all pull at the same time
  • Crossing the bridge after the bonfire, there are three firebombers…a group attack that pushes you to run into…
  • Two hollows waiting to ambush you in the next room.  A third will likely open the door and rush in as well
  • Cresting the stairs is three hollows, one of whom will attack from range with firebombs
  • If you don’t happen upon the sniper in the tower, he will ambush you as you engage the two hollows at the bottom of the stairs.  A third hollow will also enter the fray shortly after
  • Getting to the top of the tower to fight the Taurus Demon, there are two support snipers that are accessed by an easily missed ladder that create a gang attack during a boss fight of all things
  • There’s a gang of hollows after Solaire but it’s hard to count them due to the GIANT WAVES OF FIRE that create a small mismatch for most players…
  • Under the bridge there’s a group of rats (3 in total, two likely to pull and ambush at the door) that rush you on a narrow ledge
  • Coming to the top of that room, a small contingent of hollows with an armored boar and sniper support greet you (two snipers).  There’s even a dude guarding the snipers so you can’t just rush them from the right.  You may have to fight a hollow that Turtles with a spear and shield while avoiding crossbow fire
  • Heading inside, a frail hollow runs away, which is of course so others can ambush you
  • Further along, a hollow soldier and a Balder Knight are creating a pincer attack after a short hall with an incredibly narrow field of view
  • If we access the front of the Parish, three Balder Knights can pull at the same time, with varying movesets (and regardless of which direction you find them, at least one is outside normal range of sight)
  • If you approach from the side there’s three hollows that I don’t consider a gang or ambush due to how they pull.  The crossbow hollow can provide support, but the others tend to pull one at a time
  • However, the large knight guarding the altar can have soul arrow support from a Channeler, which is generally the first time you learn of that enemy.  I consider this an ambush as it appears the intent is that you’ll get blindsided by sorcery
  • Heading up the stairs, there are NINE hollows that all pull together in a confined space.  If that wasn’t enough, the Channeler buffs the entire group AND can sometimes get a soul arrow to slip past the pillars.  Having just played this with a new character and being rusty, I will confirm that buffed hollows hit HARD
  • The Boss Fight is naturally a gargoyle followed by a second gargoyle ambush
  • Number of gang or ambush attacks: At least 19
the-channeler

Hint: If you see me, expect a group attack

Lower Undead Burg:

  • The dogs are borderline.  I have them here, because it’s very difficult to see past the fire on the stairs and I know I pulled two the first time I played and it felt like an ambush
  • The group of torch hollows near the sorcerer don’t count to me because of how they pull
  • The assassins that jump out to surround you sure as hell count though
  • So do the second set of surprise assassins, which will also likely have dog support
  • If you go toward the merchant, there is one assassin in view to try to lure you to walk by the one hiding behind the small corner.  This enemy’s AI tends to prioritize backstabs and parrying
  • The boss is a Capra Demon and two dogs in a tiny area.  This is the third boss fight in a row which has a gang or ambush approach (or both)
  • Number of gang or ambush attacks: 4 at least
assassin

Pro tip: I never fight alone, hehe heh

Darkroot Garden:

  • Just gonna throw this out there, but the trees are all trying to be camouflaged and ambushy right?  OK then…
  • Before the secret bonfire, there’s the one hidden in the ground who spawns when you engage the more visible one.  Spawns BEHIND you to be precise
  • Heading down to the Moonlight Butterfly zone there’s the small room where the trees surround you and jump up when you’re collecting the treasure
  • Three flying frogs ambush you.  Depending on where you are (or move to) as this happens, a Stone Knight can lend support
  • Heading toward the snake on the tree and the Partizan, a tree will aggro and attack from behind
  • Grabbing the Elite Knight set will aggro several trees and at least two Stone Knights (Christ)
  • Forest NPCs?  Yikes. Nothing but ambush and gang attacks.  Same goes for the group of trees near the cliff
  • The Rolly cats are at least an ambush attack what with the dropping off the cliff by surprise and all, and can become a group attack if you play your cards wrong
  • Number of gang or ambush attacks: Somewhere between 7 and Infinite I think
giant-cat

If you can’t trust a giant, grinning cat, who can you trust?

Darkroot Basin:

  • Crystal Golems are easy enough to pull one on one (though a group attack is quite possible, especially for melee only characters).  Don’t forget they have an f’n HYDRA to support them though.  For many players, I would imagine the hydra blasting them with water was a big surprise, aka “ambush”
  • This doesn’t count for my criteria, but opening the tower from the basin has Havel hiding and waiting to smash you

Depths:

  • The very first visible hollow has another one that will attack you from behind (behind and right when coming down the stairs)
  • Then there’s a small group of hollows (including one that can attack you from behind)
  • Then another small group of hollows hiding around the room
  • A Butcher with dog support
  • Dogs in water with a hollow (a second Butcher can drop down to enter the fray as well)
  • Pile of slimes
  • Is there any reason to actually count all the instances here?  Groups of rats.  Groups of slime.  Groups of F’N BASILISKS?!?!?! A Channeler who buffs a group of really big rats AND CAN ASSIST THE FLIPPIN’ BOSS TOO?!?!?!?!!?
  • For the veterans, ask yourself this honestly…when the game first came out, didn’t you have a blast running through the corridors that were drastically narrowed thanks to the absurd amount of statues that used to be other players?  Rolling around, smashing the online remnants of your fellow chosen undead?  I mean seriously…those basilisks were nightmare fuel.  And does anyone remember the periodic “I’m in the depths and have been cursed six times in a row and can’t get out” posts on the forum before they patched out curse stacking?
basilisk

Jimmy’s got some sweet tats

Graveyard and Catacombs:

  • Two skeletons that pop up from the ground
  • Different two skeletons that pop up from the ground
  • Yet more skeletons that pop up from the ground, except this group also has a giant one
  • Skeleton on walkway with exploding head support (narrow ledges are fun here)
  • Have you seen this trick yet? Multiple skeletons popping up from the ground…cause it’s gonna keep happening
  • Necromancer shooting off fireballs while two skeletons go all Lord of the Dance on you
  • When you actually reach the necromancer, there’s a skeleton archer above you…and a group of skeletons right by the guy.  And who can forget that, unless you have a divine weapon, many skeletons will refuse to stay down
  • Group of skeletons AND exploding heads AND spikey statue traps on the way to the lever to flip the bridge
  • More skeletons
  • Skeleton archers able to fire down into a pit with two skeletons you have to deal with
  • Skeleton group with more exploding heads (near the area to drop down to summon Leeroy)
  • Necromancer with two skeleton archers…in a corridor
  • Exploding heads AND bonewheels…you didn’t forget this room did you?
  • Pinwheel is basically a group fight
  • Total gang and ambush attacks: THE ENTIRE AREA

Blighttown:

  • Ahhhhahaaahahahahahahahah…let’s do this I guess…
  • If you’re not careful, the second and/or third large club guy can pull with several of the smaller guys
  • Group of little guys
  • Different group of little guys
  • Little guys navigating the scaffolding
  • Surprise!  Two fire breathing dogs charging at ya from hiding
  • Toxic dart guy lending support to the little guys
  • Mosquitoes sneak up and force awkward movement on narrow walkways
  • Group of fire bug things
  • Mildred with mosquito support
  • Slug gang
  • Group of boulder throwing guys
  • Two more dart guys supporting various other mobs
  • Remember, these are all taking place on narrow platforms or poison swamp
  • Number of gang or ambush attacks: Does it even matter at this point?
blowdart-sniper

Am I a tree stump, or an asshole?

Sen’s Fortress:

  • Dart trap and double snake men ambush
  • Snake guy with snake mage support (while on a bridge with large swinging blades…wait…TWO bridges with swinging blades to get to the mage)
  • It doesn’t fit my list criteria, but it’s worth noting that the mage is then followed by another dart trap near a chest, then a mage throwing lightning while you dodge the boulders, then a dart trap that necessitates you taking three hits to the back, or turning your back to the snake guy that runs out at right around the time you reach the trap
  • To be honest, there’s not many group attacks here, but if you count environment this place is crazy as hell.  Remember trying to cross that last bridge with blades and the snake guy throwing lightning at you? Titanite demon with lighting support from above?
  • Number of gang or ambush attacks: Not too many unless you consider the building an enemy

Anor Londo:

  • The giants don’t count by themselves in any circumstance in my opinion.  They’re easy to see overall, and those that are behind corners have really poor vision and won’t aggro unexpectedly
  • The first couple painting guardians can ambush you
  • The next bunch aren’t exactly “fair” in that they’re on narrow ledges with throwing knives, but don’t ambush or gang up by my criteria
  • The group below does gang up
  • I’ll come back to the Painted World
  • Most enemies don’t pull in groups or ambush until you reach the two demons below the archer duo.  One is well hidden and they will pull together to ambush
  • No one forgets the two silver knight archers I’m sure.  But even I forgot how crazy their rate of fire is.  HOLY SHIT!  And no matter which direction you choose, you need to watch for an arrow in the back. I consider them an ambush as the first time most of us became aware of them was likely an arrow impacting near us (or slamming us around the level)
  • There’s a few instances where a person who isn’t creeping forward will pull ambush or group assaults from Silver Knights
  • A Silver Knight archer will provide support where you fight the two giants that have the ability to cast miracles (giants by themselves don’t count, but adding the archer in does)
  • Ornstein and Smough is only two, but seriously…a fight against two bosses and when you finally think you’re ahead the one remaining alive gets his full health bar back plus new super powers? The super second phase is basically an ambush
  • Total count: Not high, but memorable
silver-knight

“Careful where you tread, or we’ll stab you in your head” -Silver Seuss

Painted World:

  • I’m done counting…
  • Groups of Tengu (for the last time they are NOT harpies)
  • More Bonewheels
  • Ambush hollows
  • Phalanx 2.0
  • Again, I know this doesn’t count but…the boss can turn invisible…

Alright…to hell with this project.  I haven’t even gotten to the infamous Taurus Demon Super Action Hyper Force, the Infinite Spawn Skeleton Kiddie Pool…now with Pinwheel Clones, Giant Skeleton archers in a pitch black zone, Ghosts that don’t obey the rules of walls, and on and on…

I hit the 2,000 word mark awhile ago, and it wouldn’t take many more to land at 3,000.  Most of that is just list.

[sarcasm]So yeah, group attacks and ambushes are definitely unique to Dark Souls 2.[/sarcasm]


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29 comments on “On the Topic of Gangs of Mobs in Dark Souls”

  1. Avatar announakis says:

    Thieves jumping you before the Capra demon…even after many many playthroughs, I was super cautious there because I knew how fast you could go down if you were too presumptuous. Those knives… those backstabs… those damned dogs ! *shivers*

  2. Avatar BWO_RazrSrorm says:

    I appreciate the work that goes into this. But really the "unfair ganking" feeling people point to in dark souls 2 really just draws back into the overall thing about DS2 that made it feel unpleasent for so many. DS2 is fundimentally a different approach to combat. Dark souls 1 really feels like it stresses single fights and when a group of enemies happens to be in your way it doesn’t feel very "smooth."

    Where as in DS2 the game is built around you taking tons of damage. This is evidence by the abundance of healing methods, how health is a slow gain instead of instant, etc. etc. DS2 is very much more about handling ganks and taking hits. It’s really subjective which you prefer. I prefer a slower more methodical apporach that DKS offered compared to DS2’s in the frey more chaotic approach.

  3. Avatar skarekrow13 says:

    Having just played these areas, and some besides the list, I will disagree with that assessment completely.

    Going in as mostly melee (no bow on this character) I don’t see how the first game is less hectic. The Duke’s Archives (among many areas) sounds exactly like what you’re describing on DS2. The very first Channeler blinks around and becomes part of the fray in numerous fights. First backing several melee warriors, then adding a few archers and more melee, then yet more melee. The whole time he’s blasting Soul Spears at you.

    Don’t forget either that DS allowed 20 estus, well more than DS2 and DS2 doesn’t heal as fast either.

    And if the abundance of healing items were related to mob attacks, we’d see the same complaints about Demon’s Souls where healing items are even more plentiful.

    Now I know everyone’s experience will differ, but I can’t think of any areas in DS2 where a methodical approach doesn’t work. I for one, approached the game exactly the same as the first and didn’t note a single instance where slow and steady didn’t work.

    I agree that the preferred game is subjective for the record. My argument though is that ganks and ambushes are ludicrously present in both games. It’s a foundation of the series, rather than an anomaly to DS2

  4. Avatar abraksil says:

    Ahhhh this made me want to play Dark Souls 1 yet again 🙂

  5. Avatar EldritchImagination says:

    I am completely against organized crime in Souls games. You want gangs and mobs? Go play GTA or Mafia.

  6. Avatar Grehym_Blak says:

    Its well to document the multitude of ganks in DS to discredit this lame bash of DS2, but IMO, even if there were more ganks in DS2 I’d still tell the plaintive "Shut up, and put up!" It’s a perfectly valid way to increase difficulty, try again. Nay sayers man…they might have a point with SotFS tho. I’ve been getting wrekt by a lot of crap I don’t remember, but I like it

  7. Veroskan says:

    A subjective reasoning why dks2 feels more ganky, but i will try to sound objective 😛 :

    I think one of the reasons why dks2 feels more ganky is because it is lacks interesting special enemies in many areas. So instead of remembering the worthy or interesting opponents many remember the annoying gank squads instead. For an example lets compare an early area from one versus one from two (i will exclude boss fights):
    Undead burg/parish have many fights versus crappy hollow groups, but also the two black knights, the boar, hellkite, a channeler and the berendike knight as special enemys.
    Forest of the fallen (sotfs) well there is an early persuer (one can argue if this is a boss fight or not, as most players in their first playthrough don’t recognise it as a boss fight when confronted with it), an ogre, a syan knight, flame lizards and if you want to be generous the ironclads as special enemies.
    So both areas have lots of classic hollow soldiers, but i dare to say the special roster of the undead burg/parish region are a bit more memorable and outstanding from the standard enemies than the ones in the forest.

  8. Avatar Nahztek-Shadowpath says:

    For me personally, it didn’t have much to do with gank mobs. I just found DS2 enemy placement random and tedious rather than methodical and engaging. Fun being the main factor here. And it’s not nostalgia. I bounced around between all 3 games when I had a PS3 and enjoyed all of them for different reasons.

    DS2 enemy placement is much more like Nioh. The difference is that it works for me in Nioh due to faster combat.

    I never hated DS2 though. it was a great game, just not a better Souls game than what we had before. If it was the only Souls game to exist, it would be one of my favorite games. Instead, it’s my least favorite game in one of my favorite series.

    It doesn’t matter if DS1 had gank mobs. The difference is that it focused on memorable 1v1 encounters. 1v1 encounters in DS2 were not so memorable (excluding bosses here). 1v1 encounters that feel engaging are more fun than back peddling to pick off groups. Both games had the mobs. What DS2 lacked was memorable enemies that were fun to fight.

  9. Avatar Nahztek-Shadowpath says:
    A subjective reasoning why dks2 feels more ganky, but i will try to sound objective 😛 :

    I think one of the reasons why dks2 feels more ganky is because it is lacks interesting special enemies in many areas. So instead of remembering the worthy or interesting opponents many remember the annoying gank squads instead. For an example lets compare an early area from one versus one from two (i will exclude boss fights):
    Undead burg/parish have many fights versus crappy hollow groups, but also the two black knights, the boar, hellkite, a channeler and the berendike knight as special enemys.
    Forest of the fallen (sotfs) well there is an early persuer (one can argue if this is a boss fight or not, as most players in their first playthrough don’t recognise it as a boss fight when confronted with it), an ogre, a syan knight, flame lizards and if you want to be generous the ironclads as special enemies.
    So both areas have lots of classic hollow soldiers, but i dare to say the special roster of the undead burg/parish region are a bit more memorable and outstanding from the standard enemies than the ones in the forest.

    Interesting. I was making a post with the same point at the exact time.
    I knew it wasn’t just me who felt this way.

  10. Avatar Nahztek-Shadowpath says:

    [quote="Grehym_Blak"]Its well to document the multitude of ganks in DS to discredit this lame bash of DS2, but IMO, even if there were more ganks in DS2 I’d still tell the plaintive "Shut up, and put up!" It’s a perfectly valid way to increase difficulty, try again. Nay sayers man…they might have a point with SotFS tho. I’ve been getting wrekt by a lot of crap I don’t remember, but I like it

    There is a part in OIK where you drop down into a gank that in no way possible can anyone describe as well made or fun. I’d like to see someone try.

    Everyone knows where I’m talking about.
    If my best strat is to play ring-around-the-rosie while I lure the mobs far enough away so that I can open the door fast enough and just get the hell out of there, I call BS.
    Yes, I’ve cleared the rooms many times. I had 16 characters in DS2 and cleared all content with them all. After awhile it’s no longer about planning. It’s just tedious.

  11. Avatar skarekrow13 says:

    That’s an interesting point about memorable encounters.

  12. Avatar Nahztek-Shadowpath says:
    That’s an interesting point about memorable encounters.

    To be fair, Nioh is similar in this regard. I absolutely love the enemy types in Nioh (Japanese demons? Hell yeah!) but it’s more like DS2 with enemy placement, gank mobs, and not-so-memorable 1v1 encounters.
    The reason why I don’t notice it so much in Nioh is because I feel the combat is designed for ganks, where DS always felt like it shined during 1v1 encounters.

    Even when I recently played SotFS again, I found myself backpeddling and luring more than any other Souls game.

    All that said, DS2 did have some cool areas. But for me a lot of it had to do with aesthetics instead of encounters. And I’ll be honest here. I enjoy the aesthetics of DS2 more than 3. Which is why I was so let down by winter wonderland (AoA).

  13. Avatar skarekrow13 says:

    My argument really was simple that both games are gank fests.

    I think there’s some good logic that it’s easier to forgive with a unique mob tossed in on a frequent basis.

    I also think many of us suffered from playing the first game a lot. By knowing all the encounters in the first game, the surprises seem harsher in 2.

    To give a parallel, in Demon’s Souls I mostly played NG+ and beyond. After being used to that, I was shocked at how easy NG felt

  14. Avatar TheManWhoLaughs says:

    Chalk me up as someone else who agrees with the Placement over Enemy Count being the difference. Again, to mirror others, I enjoyed Dark Souls 2. But the way rooms were arranged in the first game, be them with small amounts of enemies or flash mobs, they seemed designed with a kind of care to how you approached them that…I guess felt better? There was more strategy involved, and you only really got the whole room on you if rushed. There was more punishment for carelessness, whereas in Dark Souls 2 it was more common to step into an area and trip a generalized aggro.

    To cite some examples, the hollow party that jumps you before the bell tower gargoyles is on a proximity trigger that forces the player into an immediate defensive position in a narrow space. In this situation, you are introduced to an enemy that can buff lesser enemies and places an amount of them that turns what was the weakest enemy fought thus far in the game into a wall of shambling death. It was a teaching tool, putting the player in a specific situation that set the stage for later encounters. A lot of the situations in Dark Souls were like this, where the flash mobs in Dark Souls 2 seemed more commonly placed in styles we had seen in Demon’s and the first Dark Souls. Not bad, not saying that.

    What someone else said has merit too, the varieties of enemies we saw in the first game funneled players through locations differently. I definitely fought everything I came across in Dark Souls 2, but the other Soulsborne games had me look at certain foes and say, "nope," and put me in a position to come back later when I was stronger., better prepared. I wasn’t afraid of fighting anything in Dark Souls 2, to put it another way.

  15. Avatar Nahztek-Shadowpath says:
    My argument really was simple that both games are gank fests.

    I think there’s some good logic that it’s easier to forgive with a unique mob tossed in on a frequent basis.

    I also think many of us suffered from playing the first game a lot. By knowing all the encounters in the first game, the surprises seem harsher in 2.

    To give a parallel, in Demon’s Souls I mostly played NG+ and beyond. After being used to that, I was shocked at how easy NG felt

    Yeah, I actually agree with the argument that they all have gank mobs. When I think of DS2 enemy placement, I always think of the bridge in DeS in the last section of the first level. That kind of enemy placement seemed like the mold that they made DS2 around (imo).

  16. Avatar TheManWhoLaughs says:

    Let’s also remember that when we talk about Dark Souls 2, we’re talking about Scholar correct? They did have to totally revamp the enemy placement in the whole game (and it really was an improvement). It’s easy to forget, but there was definitely more sporadic blandness throughout the game before the upgrade. I still think the DLCs for the 2nd game are fantastic and much better on this front.

  17. Avatar skarekrow13 says:

    I heard complaints about groups of mobs being cheap since almost day 1 of DS2 so the article is either version.

    As far as discussing the quality of placement and interesting enemies, I’d be on the side that prefers the PS4 version. The Pursuer actually pursuing, the Forlorn and the small tweaks are better. My only complaint is still that the Heide Knight placement was better pre-SotFS

  18. Avatar Nahztek-Shadowpath says:


    Very true. I played the DlCs as they released (Sunken City was my favorite) and they really added to the game.
    But I didn’t play they revamped SotFS until last fall, and even though it’s the most recent for me, the 30 odd times that I cleared the game before that definitely sticks out in my mind the most.

    That said, SotFS did wonders for DS2 enemy placement. I’ll admit that I’m a bit disappointed that it was not how I originally played it. Especially since it finally added Aldia, something that would have meant a lot more to me if it was present in the original game.

  19. Rangrok says:

    For me, Dark Souls 2 had problems with variety and uninspired designs. So many enemies are just humanoids that rush you. So many traps are just enemies out of your line of sight attacking you. So many bosses are just humanoids with weapons.

    On their own, all of those things are perfectly fine. They’re the bread and butter of Dark Souls. However you need more than bread and butter to make a memorable sandwich. Dark Souls 2’s bread and butter happens to be particularly bland. Heck, you can beat like 90% of the enemies in DS2 by swinging a strong weapon when they get within reach, staggering them out of their attacks.

    So I guess my complaint is not the quantity of ganks but the quality of ganks.

  20. Avatar Beatsy_Ray says:

    I think the main difference is that ganks in ds1 were avoidable. If you stumbled into a horde and died, you could usually avoid it on your second try by taking out enemies one by one, or in the most efficient order. While in ds2, even if you knew what was coming, you were often forced into crossing a line that agroed every enemy and forced you to fight them all at once.

  21. Avatar skarekrow13 says:

    I’d have to count both games to make a consistent statement, but that seems opposite my experience.

    With;
    Creeping forward (to avoid the often tiny differences in aggro spots between enemies),
    Backpedaling (to let faster enemies get taken out first), and
    Archery…

    I can’t think of more than a few spots in either game you can’t isolate enemies out of a gang.

    I even ran a mage in 2 and a faith Knight in 1 (neither use a bow) and my experience is basically the same.

  22. Avatar Grehym_Blak says:
    Its well to document the multitude of ganks in DS to discredit this lame bash of DS2, but IMO, even if there were more ganks in DS2 I’d still tell the plaintive "Shut up, and put up!" It’s a perfectly valid way to increase difficulty, try again. Nay sayers man…they might have a point with SotFS tho. I’ve been getting wrekt by a lot of crap I don’t remember, but I like it

    There is a part in OIK where you drop down into a gank that in no way possible can anyone describe as well made or fun. I’d like to see someone try.

    Everyone knows where I’m talking about.
    If my best strat is to play ring-around-the-rosie while I lure the mobs far enough away so that I can open the door fast enough and just get the hell out of there, I call BS.
    Yes, I’ve cleared the rooms many times. I had 16 characters in DS2 and cleared all content with them all. After awhile it’s no longer about planning. It’s just tedious.

    Hahahahahaha, I just got to that point last night in my trip down memory lane, which really isn’t memory lane since it’s SotFS, WOW! Ganked from long range and ganked in the face, glorious :mask-averice:

    Oh wait, you’re probably referring to OIK dlc…I’m just talking about redic aggro range of the Alonne Knights in the Smelter gambit. Felt like there were more of them too, IDK. This trip through Drangleic has been brutal. And I’m totally OP, I’m chump’n bosses, but the hoards are wrek’n my face. And gawd are the mechanics in DS2 total shite, how did I ever cope? It’s so annoying, I’m constantly swinging in the wrong direction, even when locked on. If I didnt know better I’d think my controller was broken.

  23. Avatar skarekrow13 says:

    Is that the room you can let the torch hollows down into and let them wreak havoc? Has the big dude guarding the door and a bunch of smaller mobs and a shard of the Queen?

    I love that room. Fire arrows and torch mobs both can work wonders there and it’s honestly hilarious to me to see what the little guys can do for you

    EDIT: Sorry, barrel mobs, not torch mobs.

    Anyway, if it’s the room I’m thinking of, all you need to do is herd the barrel mobs into the opening of the floor near the ladder. They’ll wander around and if they go near the big dude with lava jetting out…KABOOM!

    You can also aggro the other enemies into an area where they’re near the barrel guys and can still be hit with a flame spell or a fire arrow.

  24. Avatar skarekrow13 says:

    Also, I get the aggravation with the Alonne knights before the Smelter fight, but literally anything that applies there is also present in the Duke’s Archives

    Snipers with crazy aim and distance? Check
    Enemies that aggro from a different room and come in? Check

    I didn’t cover it in the list but let’s review the Duke’s Archives (the worst area for ganks in my opinion):
    -Come up the elevator and have two crystals warriors rush you. Note that the archer at the top of the stairs is already firing at you
    -Dispatch the two warriors and approach the archer to have another couple melee warriors try to stop that
    -Kill the archer and find out you’re eating a Soul Spear to the face. Turn to confront the Channeler to find two more crystal warriors have aggroed from the other room and are rushing in to stop you
    -The Channeler has likely buffed most of the room by now, and as you go in to face him, there’s a high probability MORE warriors have aggroed (possible coming from behind) and an archer on the stairs is now lending support
    -This run I went in and lit up the Channeler with a +10 divine Gargoyle Ax with 30 something faith and 20 something dex. I couldn’t kill it before he teleported away
    -Face an archer and have another from even higher up the stairs start shooting, while at least one warrior joins the fray and the Channeler is likely hucking Souls Spears again
    -Manage to kill the archers and find out the Channeler is hiding behind more crystal warriors still throwing Soul Spears
    -Approaching the warriors I believe has another sneak attack from the left hand side (balcony if I recall right)

    The two areas to me are very similar. Melee warriors in both places aggro from crazy distances away, archers have absurd range and aim. And if you walk even an extra step or two more than you should you will be swarmed.

  25. Avatar Back_Lot_Basher says:

    These games have always had gang mobs, IIRC, but each executed them in different ways. Souls 2, I thought, had more than a few "set pieces" where you were dropped into a gank without any choice (the scrotum guys leading to the Ruined Road, and the first collapsible floor in the Gutter, come to mind). In Souls 1, I learned to aggro everything from range, even if it was just by using baby steps and a shield (hello, Blighttown). BB gave you those stones to use, but the game seemed designed from the get go to work with mob dynamics, and so I found those fairly easy to deal with if you kept your wits). Souls 3 seems closest to Souls 1 in this way, where bows make things much more manageable, but certain enemy types (like Corvians), can throw a wrench into the works if you aren’t careful.