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TSMP

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#1
I have a few questions regarding the covenants page of the wiki. Namely, why the heck are they arranged based on D&D alignments? This is senseless, and is not supported by anything in-game.

1) Dark Souls does not use an alignment system, especially not one related to the classic alignment grid. The closest thing Dark Souls has to an alignment meter is the sin counter, which itself is hard to define. It could be said that any act you can be indicted for is chaotic, or evil, or both! But since the game doesn't have any way of separately tracking "good vs. evil" and "lawful vs. chaotic" (and indeed, doesn't track "good" or "lawful" at all), and given how moral choices are presented in an extremely grey-bordering-on-black manner (and even killing someone is a bit iffy, considering they're... well, already dead), the classic alignment grid absolutely does not fit with the covenants or even the player's own actions, giving any impression that they do will only needlessly confuse the readers with mechanics that do not exist in the game, and makes each covenant out to be binary in a game where clear-cut moral choices do not exist.

2) The alignments this wiki assigned to each covenant appear to be arbitrary at best (no surprise), and in several cases outright does not suit the covenant in question. This is because, as previously mentioned, Dark Souls does not use the classic alignment grid and trying to make it fit will naturally not work. The covenants that most certainly do not suit their "alignment" are:

- Warrior of Sunlight. If the Way of White covenant can be considered Lawful Good, then how is the Sunlight covenant any less good when it performs the exact same actions as the Way of White, for the exact same reasons? An argument could be made for it being more chaotic, on the grounds that its patron, the firstborn of Gwyn, was redacted from history for committing some grievous error. And they would certainly be good-aligned, if Dark Souls kept track of such a thing (and wasn't so horribly, murkily grey on absolutely everything), what with being a "band of brothers questing to defeat monsters for glory." But lawful neutral!? That makes zero sense.

- Forest Hunter. I do not think you could call this covenant neutral, regardless of what its stated goals are. Case in point: Forest Hunters can be indicted for invading and killing a host, which adds to their sin counter. By definition, this would make the Forest Hunter's actions "unlawful" at the very least and also arguably "evil". True neutral? Not a chance.

- Gravelord Servant. "Lawful Evil"? For a covenant whose only end goal is to spread as much death and misery as possible, to such an extent that absolutely anyone can invade them and those invaders (who use their gravelord sign) will all work together to kill the gravelord servant and killing him/her isn't even considered a sin? Who authorized this decision?

- Princess's Guard. Surely, a covenant that takes direct orders from divine royalty would not be neutral good. Especially if they know that the royal figure in question is really an illusion, and by their actions are supporting the masquerade of a totally-not-abandoned and totally-still-functional governing body, in an effort to maintain some semblance of order among the inhabitants of Lordran. That's lawful as ****.

In fact, I would say the only covenant that does fit with its given alignment would be the Darkwraiths, and even then only because their actions are the very definition of "things you get indicted for", which, as I mentioned previously, is the closest the game comes to tracking alignment (that alignment being chaotic and/or evil, as I also mentioned previously).

So, yeah. Down with this sort of nonsense. In its place, I propose a table that groups the covenants according to in-game functions and in-game mechanics:

The Co-Op covenants:
- Way of White
- Princess Guard
- Warrior of Sunlight

The PvP covenants:
- Darkwraith
- Forest Hunter
- Path of the Dragon
- Blade of the Darkmoon
- Gravelord Servant

Unspecified/other covenants:
- Chaos Servant

I would also recommend removing all mentions of User Made Covenants, as they are not actually in the game and are recognized only by this particular forum community. Such things will only confuse readers who are simply passing through for information.

DE-Climax

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#2
TSMP wrote:why the heck are they arranged based on D&D alignments?


I'd wager it's because the D&D alignment system is something many people are familiar with, and someone used it as a base for an easy to navigate page.

As for the user-made covenants, they'll probably get pruned eventually, but until then just think of them (and any user-made content, really) as a potential source for entertainment.
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TSMP

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#3
DE-Climax wrote:
TSMP wrote:why the heck are they arranged based on D&D alignments?


I'd wager it's because the D&D alignment system is something many people are familiar with, and someone used it as a base for an easy to navigate page.

As for the user-made covenants, they'll probably get pruned eventually, but until then just think of them (and any user-made content, really) as a potential source for entertainment.

The question itself was rhetorical. The actual point being discussed is that not only do most of the covenants blatantly conflict with the alignments they're stated to be, but this could also potentially confuse players who are searching the wiki for information by referencing mechanics that are not even in the game.

On that note, while there does seem to be a fairly strong D&D/tabletop roleplaying community in this forum, I'd wager that most modern gamers are more familiar with the good vs. evil karma-style meters, a la inFamous, Fable 1, 2, and 3, and... well, any of the many other games that use alignment systems and aren't rooted in classic tabletop gaming. And tabletop rpg-style games are definitely not the majority.

But anyways, I proposed a means by which the covenants can be organized based on actual in-game mechanics, as opposed to, you know, ones that aren't.
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#4
I'm all for a discussion on layouts if there is something that can be improved. That's the beauty of the wiki, in that emergent ideas can come up. As for mention of user made covenants, they are a part of the experience for some players and it's something even a casual viewer of the wiki would be able to separate from real game mechanics. Rather than a landing page listing some examples we can consider having user cove blurb link to the covenant section on the forums. Since the wiki is supported by the forums and vice versa it would be remiss to not mention a social experience that is a significant element of the game experience for some players along with appropriate disclaimers that they are meta experiences.
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Fexelea

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#5
This discussion keeps coming up now and then, there were comments about it in the page but they got removed when we had to move the wiki URL recently.

To clarify why they are like this: When we started the wiki, this alignment went viral and become a sort of community meme/known joke. We put comments on the page to inform people that they were a quick glance and not specific and as Miyazaki said "not everything is what it looks to be". The points you bring up were actually quite thoroughly discussed, but there's no real point in revisiting the validity of the alignment allotted. There were long discussions regarding the appeal or not of the page as a community wink, but it was eventually *VOTED* to stay with DnD alignment.

I am not opposed to a change if the joke is now lost on the newer players or if we want to make it more obviously informative. I like TSMP's idea - Please feel free to rework the page this way!

The user made covenants however are there to stay: It's just a link and therefore not intruding, but it is actually something the developers wanted the community to do and if you take a look at our covenant subforum you will see it's a very popular aspect of the community interaction, that will be furthered with DKS2 as there are even more options for clans to take sides.
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Serious_Much

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#6
It's not really a coincidence that when you google "Dark Souls Covenants" this is the first picture that comes up:

Image

I do think however, that the way you proposed it sounds good, and more helpful in outline terms than this current picture that is used, so like Fex said, go ahead and give it a test out if you want
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Fexelea

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#8
I'll add some quick navigation from the top as it's difficult to now get to each covenant quickly from here xD

Thank you for helping out :D
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#9
Ok table of contents added and simple visual clickies of each covenant added as well :)
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