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Xelakian
Member
Posts: 486

I highly recommend it. You can get the Prepare to Die Edition on Steam (what I have). However, if you want the full online experience, which is completely different, you'll have to deal with...Games for Windows. I've not experimented with this, but if you're interested, I'd be more than happy to play.

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Friend Code: 1006-1639-8826

July 13, 2013 at 5:44 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Crimson DESTR0YA
Administrator
Posts: 1888

It'll be on Xbox if at all for me, I'm afraid; no Mac release for Dark Souls. Had the same problem with Skyrim, which I also wound up getting on Xbox.

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The destructor has gone

July 14, 2013 at 2:30 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Xelakian
Member
Posts: 486

Choosing the option that terrifies you slightly less, you ready your arms, preparing to face off against the armored boar. You enter the courtyard. At the far end you spy a raised portcullis, to your right, a staircase that leads up to a bridge above the boar.

Your mind races with plans as you see the armored boar charge you. You break to the right, seeking cover aboard the staircase, behind pillars spaced too closely for the boar to follow. A spearman approaches from behind the thrashing boar, forcing you to back up the stairs. As you reach the top, you feel a sharp sting cut across your shoulders. You lose your footing, falling onto the shield of the spearman in front of you. He pushes you off of his shield, onto a large wooden barrel. You won't be dying today. You cut through the spearmans leg. He drops to his knees, making it easy to stab through his eye. Now that that threat is dealt with, time to reassess. The closest enemy to you is the hollow swordsman, his blade still dripping with your blood. Behind him, on the bridge above the portcullis, are a pair of crossbowman, aiming right at you. As they fire upon you, you raise your shield. The bolts stop just inches from your face. As the swordsman stabs at you, you bat his sword out of the way, leaving him wide open to be stabbed through the abdomen. His body collapses like a wet towel. Your eyes turn towards the archers. Blocking the bolts as best you can, you stab the first sniper and kick him off the bridge. As the corpse hits the courtyard floor, another hollow runs for the portcullis leading to the chapel and shuts it behind him. You ready your attack for the second crossbowman, only to see the tip of a blade poking out of the right side of your gut. As it withdraws, you fall to the ground and see another hollow warrior who had snuck up behind you. The crossbowman takes aim at you. You stab upwards, pushing the tip of the blade through his jaw, forcing his head and upper body backwards. The crossbow fires at the hollow behind you, knocking the sword out of his hand. You withdraw your blade from the hollow in front of you, turn and cut the other hollows head off. All that remains is the boar below you. It can't reach you, nor can it really hear you. You take a moment to rest and plan your next move.

When one becomes hollow, souls become fuel and humanity becomes life force. With enough souls, a hollow may grow stronger than even the Knights of Gwyn, but without humanity they are empty shells fighting for deaths sake alone. However, humanity is one of the most powerful resources, capable of restoring life, kindling sacred bonfires and even reversing ones hollowing, at least until the next time they die. Finding yourself out of Estus, you choose to sacrifice your own humanity in order to regenerate your wounds. You pull out your catalyst, preparing a Heavy Soul Arrow to try to kill the fanged boar. The magic bolt strikes at the beast. It turns in your direction, flailing about wildly, charging through a bonfire. Its fur, visible between the metal plates, burns extraordinarily well, causing it to flail even more. You continue bombarding it with Soul Arrows until it eventually falls. With the courtyard clear, you approach the corpse of the boar. There was no way you could have killed this thing with your estoc. Its armor is thick and heavy, especially around the head. This gives you an idea. You cut its head off and fashion it into a helmet. Though very heavy, it'll certainly protect your head from any blade.

The portcullis that leads to the Undead Church's front door, where the first Bell of Awakening lies, is right in front of you. Unable to go through, you seek an alternate route, finding a passage underground. Another hollow sees you and runs into a room at the end of the corridor. You know better than to give chase. You sneak up to the entrance, peering around the corners. More hollows on either side. They prove to be easily dispatched, and you continue through the room, up a set of stairs and a ladder, eventually leading you to a covered walkway above the courtyard.

The path splits, one leading up a short set of stairs, one to a bridge where a hollow knight stands over the corpse of a recently murdered knight. As he turns to face you, you realize why. This is a Balder Knight, a warrior from the homeland of King Rendal, a monarch who sought to reach Anor Londo, the home of the gods. As his army died, they turned hollow, making the journey all the more difficult for him as time wore on. The Balder Knight draws his rapier, pointing it at you. You reach for your catalyst. He uses the opportunity to stab you in the shoulder, slowing you down enough for him to stab your gut. Taking a step back, you launch a Soul Arrow at the knight. He staggers and resumes a defensive stance. He approaches you once more, slower this time, waiting for your next move. You fire another Soul Arrow at him. Nearly dead, he staggers towards you, stabbing at you, missing, falling face first onto the masonry floor. You sacrifice more of your humanity to heal yourself and decide that mobility may not be the best decision now. Taking the Balder Knights armor and the fallen knights shield, you continue through the battlements.

You reach an intersection. To your left lies a spearman, to your right, another Balder Knight. After getting their attention, you draw them back towards the passageway you came from, placing them both in front of you. You trade blows with the two, emerging the victor with little trouble, thanks in part to your new armor. Still, this armor is quite a bit heavier than what you're comfortable with, so best not to rely solely on its bulk to protect you.

At the end of the battlements, you see the massive Undead Church, its bell tower high above. Far below, you see an ancient ruin enveloped in a deep, dense forest. Curiousity gets the best of you, and you head for the ruins. As you begin descending the many staircases, you hear a rhythmic, metallic clang. You reach the bottom and find the source. An old, bearded blacksmith, performing his craft. He stops when he sees you and greets you heartily, introducing himself as Andre of Astora. He speaks at great length about smithing.

"Most weapons and armour are mighty sturdy indeed. But every hunk of metal has its breaking point. If you notice durability running low, it's time to repair. You can ask a blacksmith like myself, or do it on you own with a grindstone. The nice thing about weapons…they never betray you. So, pay them a little respect, eh?" At that, he takes a look at your equipment, repairing it for you and suggesting reinforcing it, perhaps even ascending it if you can manage to find an ember.

"There are two types of weapon forging. There's reinforcement, and there's ascension. Reinforcement is simple. It strengthens the weapon and nothing more. A simple task for any blacksmith. Hell, you could even do it yourself with a smithbox. But ascension's a finer art. It alters a weapon's properties. Ascension is the territory of we blacksmith; a smithbox just won't do the trick. Start out with reinforcement. When that loses its charm, you can consider ascension. As you've noticed, this land is flush with the mad and wicked. You won't make it through the night without employing my services!" He chuckles. What is it with the residents of Lordran and laughter? Perhaps you'll end up taking the habit up before your journey's done.You inquire into the process to reinforce equipment. He shows you how to use titanite to etch runes of power into the blade, strengthening the weapon and imbuing it with ancient power. You spend the next few hours reinforcing your Estoc into a tool of death while Andre tells you more about the place.

"This is the old church. It was abandoned in favour of the church that you passed through. There are paths leading from here to two forbidden planes: Sen's Fortress, and the Darkroot Garden. They attract all sorts of lunatics, no-one as cultured as yourself. It's fine to be Undead, but keep a level head, eh?" He chuckles once more at his attempt at humor. You inquire about the two places he mentioned.

"I know little of the Darkroot Garden. Although I've heard rumours of a divine blacksmith who resides there. Those who get stumped in the Catacombs seek him for divine weapons." The Catacombs lie beneath the graveyard, swarming with skeletons and necromancers. Divine weapons are capable of severing the tie between the animated minions and their master, as well as acting as a conduit for a priests faith.

"Oh, yes, and one other thing about the Darkroot Garden. It is said to house the grave of Sir Artorias the Abysswalker. Only, of those who ventured into the forest, none has returned." Artorias the Abysswalker, the greatest of Gwyn's Four Knights, stopped the Darkwraiths from spreading the corruption of the Abyss outside of New Londo. It's unclear how he died, but there were rumors of treachery.

"Sen's Fortress is an old proving grounds built by the ancients gods. It is the only route leading to the great Anor Londo. Of course, most fools can't even find their way into that fortified deathtrap. But they won't stop trying! Take that bumbling Sir Onion…" He breaks into laughter. Sir Onion, you ask? He leads you back up the stairs and shows you a bridge leading just over the tree line of Darkroot to a comparitively small building, its facade covered in gargantuan portculli. Sitting in front of the building is a knight, wearing armor that looks either far bulkier than any armor that you would consider wearing or that is several sizes too big for him. And his helmet looks almost exactly like an onion. You approach the man, who seems to be humming to himself. After waiting a few moments, you clear your throat. He looks up, startled.

"Forgive me...I was absorbed in thought. I am Siegmeyer of Catarina. Quite honestly, I have run flat up against a wall. Or, a gate, I should say. The thing just won't budge. No matter how long I wait. And, oh, have I waited! So, here I sit, in quite a pickle. Weighing my options, so to speak!" You introduce yourself, but he seems far too absorbed in the unmoving gate.

"Still closed…Still closed…mmm…" He sounds rather perturbed. You decide to return to Andre and discuss more tricks of the trade.

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Friend Code: 1006-1639-8826

July 30, 2013 at 2:37 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Crimson DESTR0YA
Administrator
Posts: 1888

Quite a hefty update! Again, you do a very nice job familiarizing those of us who haven't played Dark Souls with what I can tell is an incredibly intricate and unique world. You even manage to plug humor into such a dark game, bravo.


The enclosed screenshots are much appreciated, by the way.

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The destructor has gone

July 30, 2013 at 3:13 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Xelakian
Member
Posts: 486

I have posted screenshots of our hero in his not so hollowed form. I am also considering another weapon to begin upgrading, to better diversify Victors arsenal. My options are:


Black Knight Sword - without reinforcement it does almost double the base damage of the Estoc+5 I currently have equipped. However, it would require a minimum of five levels to wield efficiently two-handed, and an additional six to wield it one-handed. And it only upgrades with Twinkling Titanite, making it max out at +5 rather than allowing for ascension. On top of that, with my stats being focused more on intellect and dexterity, I doubt it would be a good investment.

Club and Reinforced Club - the weapon type I started out with. Fully upgraded, the Club does more damage than my Estoc and scales with strength better than the estoc does with dexterity. The reinforced version has higher base damage and causes bleed build-up, but at the cost of worse scaling. It also would take one level to use effectively. Overall, better options than the BKS.

Gargoyles Halberd - recently got this one (spoilers), and I've had decent luck with halberds in other games. While I can currently two-hand it, it will take five levels to be able to use it with a shield. However, it does have higher base damage unupgraded than the Estoc, better reach, scales decently with both dexterity and strength, and provides poison and bleed resist. Highly considering this one, but it'll take some work.

Rapier - essentially a shorter, faster version of the Estoc, with slightly less damage but better critical multiplier, not that that comes up very often. Mostly it'd just give me another version of basically the same weapon so that when I eventually ascend something, I'll have elemental coverage (more on that later).

Scimitar - better damage, better scaling, combos easily, looks awesome and does slashing damage to complement the Estoc's thrusting? Oh hells yes. Top consideration.

Short Bow - not really considering for a main weapon, but I could use a precision ranged weapon. Unfortunately, the damage is SO LOW. Don't get me wrong, it scales extraordinarily well, better than any other weapon on this list, but it's unadjusted damage is just plain bad.

Zweihander - much like the BKS above, this is a strength scaling weapon. Higher damage, though significantly less than the BKS, requires five levels to use two-handed, thirteen total if I want to use it one handed. Scales with dexterity better than BKS, which would be nice if the amount of souls I would need to invest into this piece of shit wasn't too obscene to consider right now. Hell, the only reason I'm even looking at it is because it's pretty awesome IF you have made the right build for it and IF I hadn't already made my character an intelligence/dexterity build. On the plus side, it can be ascended?


So, that's my thoughts on these weapons. I have some others, but these are the only ones that aren't awful (I have multiple screens worth of shortswords, longswords, cracked round shields and hollow armor I'm not currently wearing). What do you, the readers, think?

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Friend Code: 1006-1639-8826

July 30, 2013 at 9:12 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Crimson DESTR0YA
Administrator
Posts: 1888

Scimitar and Short Bow seem like good options, with the Gargoyle's Halberd probably losing out to those two because of the work involved. It sounds like a lineup of Scimitar, Estoc, and Short Bow gives you a lot of options.

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The destructor has gone

July 31, 2013 at 3:05 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Xelakian
Member
Posts: 486

Andre shows you to a bonfire in the abandoned church, a safe spot. He laments that it's not nearly as safe as he'd like. Between the knights roaming around the parish above and the demon below, it's probably only a temporary sanctuary. You inquire further about the demon he mentioned. He leads you to the entrance to the Darkroot Garden. You step inside and see it. The demon has been damaged, its left leg missing, where its head would be instead lies a stump with runes inscribed. As it senses you, it raises its staff, lightning forming in the space between the semi-circular blades and the horns mirroring them that rise from its back. It points the staff at you. You jump out of the way just in time for the lightning to sizzle behind you. The demon prepares to fire another bolt at you. You run towards him, the lightning flying well above your head. It begins flaling its staff as you draw near. You manage to raise your shield just in time, its blade skipping off the metal. You circle around to its left side, outside of the range of its staff, and begin cutting through its stony body, the runes on your Estoc glowing with every strike. With one final stab, the demon collapses, the runes on its neck glowing, pulsating rhythmically with the ones on your weapon. With the demons body lying lifeless on the ground, you take a closer look. Its skin is some sort of black stone, similar to titanite, but softer, more fragile. You tear it away, revealing an inner skeleton of sorts. It looks the same, but it's clearly titanite. You bring some back to Andre, and with his help you dismantle the demons body, harvesting plenty of the black metal. Andre thanks you for your help, and you venture into the Darkroot Garden.


The forest is dense, blocking all light from above. The ground is illuminated by white, glowing flowers. As you traverse the mossy roots, you hear rustling in the bushes. You draw towards the sounds, only to realize the sound isn't inside the bushes. It is the bushes. The foliage rises on a pair of spindly legs and swings a pair of whiplike vines at you. After knocking them aside, you run the plant-thing through. It falls at your feet. Then you see more bushes approach you from every side. You make a break for it, cutting down one of the creatures on your way. After some time, you stop hearing them. However, you are now well and truly lost in the forest.


You hear a wolfs howl on the wind. It leads you to small clearing. Scatterred about are the fallen corpses of giant knights, clad in moss-covered armor. At one end of the clearing is a large, mossy tree. Something seems odd about it. You get closer and it seems to shift ever so slightly. You look down, and see its roots swirling about. It's alive. You strike at the tree, and rather than being made of wood it feels fleshy. After a couple of blows, the tree collapses, revealing a cave. The howling wind seems to emanate from within.


Within the cave you find a crude staircase leading up. At the top lies one of the mossy giants, a giant that appears to be standing up. In one hand it holds a sword larger than you, in the other a massive round shield. You maneuver behind it, stabbing your estoc into gaps in its armor. After multiple strikes, it focuses and releases a wave of light that seems to sap all your energy. Barely able to move, the knight strikes you with the gargantuan sword, knocking you flat on your back. Mustering up all of your strength, you pull out your catalyst and launch a Soul Arrow at it, downing the giant before it could get the killing blow. You sip some Estus, then follow the wind again. It leads you to a tree with an old skeleton sitting in front of it. A skeleton clutching a battered steel ring engraved with a howling wolf.


You take the ring back with you to Andre and show it to him. He tells you that it was one of the treasures of the Knights of Gwyn. Four were cast. The Hawk Ring for Hawkeye Gough, a giant of unmatched strength, capable of killing a dragon with a single shot from his Greatbow. The Hornet Ring for Lord's Blade Ciaran, a master assassin responsible for slaying many of the Lord of Sunlights foes. The Leo Ring for Dragonslayer Ornstein, the leader of the four, a paladin unmatched with a spear, able to slice boulders in half. And finally, the Wolf Ring for Artorias the Abysswalker, an indominable man, both in combat and in spirit. Each ring was said to accentuate these properties. Artorias' was emblazoned with an image of Sif, his eternal companion whom he had raised since she was a pup. Andre tells you to wear the ring with honor, hoping that it serves you well. As you put it on, you feel as though nothing can harm you, nothing can knock you down. This will undoubtedly prove useful as you decide to head back up to the church and ring the Bell of Awakening.

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Friend Code: 1006-1639-8826

August 1, 2013 at 4:08 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Tamoria
Member
Posts: 234

Man, you really are doing a great job of describing this world, I've never played the game but I'm finding all of the background you're providing to be really interesting! And the battle scenes are amazing, as well. I'm sure you've decided on which other weapon to go with by now, but I've still got to throw in my support for that scimitar. Granted, I'm not familiar with the mechanics of this game beyond what you've provided, but scimitars are always awesome.

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August 1, 2013 at 11:44 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Xelakian
Member
Posts: 486

...and everything in this run spontaneously collapsed. The update I had spent the last couple days writing was accidentally deleted. Then, whilst playing I lost the ten humanity and couple tens of thousands souls I had accumulated. I had almost forgotten this game could be cruel and unforgiving. Expect another update probably tomorrow.

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Friend Code: 1006-1639-8826

August 7, 2013 at 2:25 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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