Discuss the latest Dark Souls Title!
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lordherpie

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#1
Not really Dark Souls 3 specific, but over the series as a whole
(warning: spoilers about boss and gameplay strategies, do not read if you haven't played DS1, 2 or 3 and want to go in blind).

Im going to argue two points that are seemingly unrelated, but actually are very closely related to eachother.

The Dark Souls series is a work of art (intentional or not, is irrelevant).
There is no such thing as being good in Dark Souls (not in PVE anyway, im not diving into PVP).

First, there has much been written already on how Dark Souls is a work of art. wether it is sound and graphic design, or the way its story is delevired, or how it manages to involve the player trough challenging him to overcome the presented challenges, im not fully going into detail on all aspects of the game. But i wish to point at a single aspect that is so subtle yet so perfect that imho it carries the entire experience to new levels once you get into Dark Souls story and Gameplay.
I am talking of how this game draws paralels between what the player (you) experiences when you play the game, what your avatar experiences as he progresses trough the events of the game, and how those experiences apply to real life.

To clarify this;

At the end of the Dark souls trilogy (most people seen to agree) we see that the ending you chose in DS1 is irrelevant, it didnt change the word, the fire was either rekindled, and the age of fire continued, or you let it fade and someone else rekindled after you. And so the world was plunged into a cycle of fading and rekindling that kept happening all the way to Dark souls 3. But in Dark souls 3 you get the option to 'do something else'. im talking usurper ending... we don't know what happens after that, but we do know that doing nothing doesnt fix the endless cycle, and we know that rekindling time and time again doesnt do anything. All lore theories aside... We move towards an uncertain future with the usurper-choice, but the alternatives wouldnt change the world.

This applies to how you handle things in RL. Sometimes you have to make a choice that seems hard because no matter what you do, the outcome of your choice can seem to go bad no matter what you choose... it is at these times that people usually choose to do 'something different'. something... uncertain... just for the little chance that a positive outcome might be achieved where all the predictable endings have bad endings.
This usually applies to the big choices in life... career changes, ending or beginningrelation ships, that sort of stuff. because especially under these circumstances when you want something really bad, or want to prevent something really bad... you are muchg more likely to accept uncertainty as an acceptable outcome.

i always found this a very nice and subtle paralel in DS3 story and big RL issues.

But! This applies to how you play the game as well... you have trouble with a boss? don't go in and keep trying the same thing over and over again... you are given many options to simplify your life.
You simply have to try something else.
I sometimes see people taking the infamous phrase ' git gud' as an insult. wether it is, or not is irrelevant. it is simply one of the options the game gives you. keep trying and learn patterns for bosses, and try again. BUT you can beat the game in so many ways. No person is equipped to deal with problems in RL the same way someone else could do it. and the same holds true for playing Dark Souls.

Take me... im old, incapable of parrying, slow in reaction times, and make mistakes a lot becuase i have the attention span of a goldfish with ADD. But i did not have trouble finishing any single Dark Souls game. Of Course the easiest thing is summoning help for hard bits, but I liked to face my Dark Souls problem alone and had to find something else before i would attempt to find assistance from friendly players. many examples can be named of how i tackled these problems.
just a few examples
finding the dragon sword in DS1 could heavily simplify the first bit of the game, just like soulfarming in the forest. In DS2 the ring of binding was a very nice way to simplify the early part of the game and that ancient dragon became a lot easier when you just took your gear off to run as fast as you could when he flew up in the sky to torch the platform. Dark Souls 3 presents you with a few of these options as well; Yurias free levels, or an early firesword that completely removes the threat from dogs and maggot enemies.
Dark Souls is filled with tricks, and cheese to play trough. and when you find these and apply them, do you have to feel like a lesser player? no you don't...

For some people the challenge of Dark souls is not enough... that's why SL1 runs exist.
For some people it can seem to much, therefore co-op is a thing.
For some people beating the mechanisms of the game by outsmarting the game is enough, that's why we cheese.

Whatever you did to win, you beat the challenge it gave you.. feel proud, and just replay to see if you can get better.
(get better > git gud)

So why do some people take offense when they ask for advice and get the standard 'git gud'?
They want to be given a different option to tackle things, for some getting good isn't as easy as it is for others. so is the game not fully experienced if you co-op or cheese everything? possible, but once again irrelevant... to get where you want you have to do what you can do to win. and Dark Souls gives you the luxury of finding out what would have happened if you did things differently simply by replaying it. And unless you wanna brag about completing it, no-one forces you to finish it solo, or solo SL1!, or with a guitar hero controller!! XD.

I have to admit that defeating Ornstein and Smough without help was a very good feeling even if I had completed it before with help. But different people have different needs. and overcoming these challenges can be satisfying even though they don't give you bragging rights.
I am pretty sure everyone (here) will congratulate you when you state "I finished Dark souls!" and no-one will actually care how you did it. they will just remember how they felt the first time and be happy for you.

The difference between Dark Souls and RL is that you intentionally seek out the challenge by playing it. and the only 'real' way to fail is to quit. You simply do what you you can with what you have learned so far, and improve upon those choices facing a challenge that is only as hard as you want it to be. therefor you cannot be 'good' at dark souls, and you can only be 'bad' at dark souls by quitting.

Dark Souls is a work of art with a story that tells you how we handle real life problems... anyway we can with all the tools we have. We are never forced to try things over and over until we win. we are always presented with an option to do things 'different'.

Not trying to start a discussion on what giting gud actually means, Just pointing out how the subtility and beauty of Dark souls story-telling and experience teaches us that you don't need to as long as you reckognize your own choice-patterns and are prepared to do something different.
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Rakuyo

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#2
When all options appear unfavorable, try something else: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4Gpvce3wwk

It's in Souls all right, yet with the rather distinct connotation that it's going to be as dreary as everything else.

It is a video game, and as a video game it is a mock battle, a comfortable substitute for RL accomplishment.

And yet it's one of the few games that tries to teach people that some achievements never lead anywhere.

The irony of it is that you'd be cheating in video game that has no value beyond what you yourself put into it.
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Polyedra

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#3
Loved your post, it was a good read. Write again!

"Get good - git gud" is literally an encouragement to practice.
Sometimes it is used as an insult but if we look at things from a bright perspective there is no reason to recieve it as one.
Something I've noticed with myself is that it is often me who interpret messages negatively and therefore my response will be negative, and that will lead to the response to my response being negative... To break that cycle I try and look at what people express as positive. Which has lent me great success! People are a lot of fun and really friendly, most of the time, when being met with a smile. So when someone tells me to 'git gud' I smile and agree ;-)

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#4
What I <3 about this one in particular is all it does different from the competitors.

1: The Estus Flask takes the Healer out of the equation. So, you CAN coop, but you don't have to. You can solo the game, and it rewards you with the sense of accomplishing something with the level of (Relative to other games right now) difficulty. No mandatory party dynamic like the MMO Trinity (Tank, Healer, DPS) just to win the game.

2: Guardbreaks: This punishes one of the cheats of a lot of games, Hold Block with a Critical opportunity. Not a big fan of Parries, personally, but I don't really see the recent obsession with Chip Damage. A reposte does orders of magnitude more damage, and it's just so easy to Guardbreak, even high stability Greatshields. Notice, that a lot of pokey weapons can actually attch with the Guard up, but turtle/poke still isn't all that viable, because your Stamina doesn't recover that way, and if you run out of Stamina, you run out of Health soon after. I love that.

3: Rollolltrollolol! A lot of players complain about this, but honestly this is a way better Defense, because it made PvP a lot more interesting. Spacing/timing is crucial to learn for any Fighting game. (Incidentally, I pair thrust/vertical attacking weapons with horisontal slashing attacks because of reflexes from playing Hilde in Soul Calibur. My first viable build was Spear/Broadsword until I got to Rapier/broadsword. I started Herald, because the Helmet reminded me of Hilde's and she always used a Spear in the offhand.) Rolls are Reaction based defense, as opposed to holding Block FTW! Also, you move, which resets the Spacing. So, a good PvP fight (Either a Duel, or Invasion moshpit in Upper Irithyl or Farron Swamp) involves a lot of manueviring, because a Deensive player is Evading, not standing static, and Blocking. You basically have to check your Spacing constantly, and it resets the Spacing every time they dodge, so you have to Time your strikes for the moment of Intercept. Just like a fighting game.

4: New Poise. This is such a new mechanic, players of the original Dark Souls thought it was broken, and some players Still haven't figured out how it works. This is basically a mainstay of Fromsoft games ever since Armored Core. Builds are most constrained by Weight, if you can't carry it all, you don't move right, and you die tired. Poise weapons are heavy, and require a lot of Armor for the Poise to use Hyperarmor. This takes it from the old God Stat, where you just had to get Havel's Armor FTW to a Timed stat, where you have to know the Frames where you can afford to Trade without being Staggared. Which tends to favor Skilled over Build. The highest Poise/Armor/AR doesn't automatically win if your Spacing/Timing isn't on point.

5: Darker, and Edgier: You rise from the the grave from the start. You're dead, everyone's dead, just to subtly hint that this isn't Tamriel, or Azeroth. Yeah, we make fun of "Edgelords" in this game, but it's a joke, because if you weren't a little Dark, and Edgy, you wouldn't be playing a game with Dark in the title. Survival is a foregone conclusion, you will die, over and over again, so you better get used to it. Takes me back to the days of Nethack, where even the most skilled players don't always make it through to the end without dying (And in that one, there's no respawn. Dead is Dead. Also, a lot of the same Classes, with some joke ones like the Tourist.)
Skilled>Build

lordherpie

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#5
And yet it's one of the few games that tries to teach people that some achievements never lead anywhere.


I see what you mean, but looking at the series as a whole, I believe there is more to it. Because ultimately the series ends in uncertainty, and if the world is worse or better at the end of the series is unclear. what you did achieve though is breaking the current cycle. If things aren't the way you want them to be any change can be welcome. the outcome will be improvement or a different problem to tackle, or the discovery of yet another option that leads nowhere... good or bad, it is progress...
Sometimes it is used as an insult but if we look at things from a bright perspective there is no reason to recieve it as one.
Something I've noticed with myself is that it is often me who interpret messages negatively and therefore my response will be negative, and that will lead to the response to my response being negative... To break that cycle I try and look at what people express as positive.


Exactly what i meant. briliant isnt it.. how this game ties story, player experience and RL philosophy together.

Polyedra

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#6
lordherpie wrote:briliant isnt it.. how this game ties story, player experience and RL philosophy together.

Yes, these games are masterpieces. I'm baffled how well they are sewn together. Alas I still feel there is a missing piece, for me at least. Some purpose that I can cling on to. But I think maybe it is just me who grew up and realized games doesn't have a purpose beyond being games and that is something Dark Souls does masterfully.

The grind isn't actually a grind, unless you want it to be. And the items aren't worth anything unless you are bent on getting them yourself. Everything about the character is interchangeable except the class and the name and that creates a surprisingly large replayability. The stats are important enough without disturbing the importance of skill, a great compromise between classic RPG and skill-based gameplay. It is always as challenging as you like it to be with multiple phantoms summonable for any boss. The PvP scene is rich with plenty of activity and choices. The game has simple controls and yet much customization depending on equipment choice so that there are many ways to play without being too difficult to learn and yet hard to master. And the constant show of players who also play diminish the feel of lonesomeness one can feel from time to time. You can even trick people to think you are a phantom in a different world and surprise them using hidden body and untrue white ring. Clever!
While the game is unforgiving I feel, contrary to what others express, that the playerbase is very friendly and polite. The wordless communication does wonders for my experience because those ***hats who keep trolling just can't do it without a chat and thus they don't show as much, having all the people that just want a friendly meeting shine instead. It is an example that should be followed by many games... We don't need to chat, we're here to play; it is not a game like that.

There's so much done completely right and so many concepts that bridge difficulties plaguing games today that the serie is no less than a masterpiece!