Dark Souls 2 patch will introduce new item to reduce the difficulty for newcomers

Banish the dark, praise the sun...and Happy April Fools' Day!

by

UPDATE: While most of you were savvy enough to catch on, this is our annual April Fools' joke. We hope this didn't cause too much stress, but if a patch did come to Dark Souls II to affect the difficulty, it would probably just make things harder.

If you want to check out all of the other April Fools' jokes from around the web, check out our round-up.

The original story (fake) appears below.

While the Dark Souls series may be known for its extreme difficulty, developer From Software is hoping to make the game slightly more accessible for players who want a more gentle introduction to the world of Drangleic. According to an update on the game's official Japanese website, a patch later this month will introduce a new effigy: the Bonfire Sybaritic.

Players who use the Sybaritic will receive fewer souls while playing, but should find enemies easier to kill. They'll also maintain full health while in a Hollowed state and use less stamina while blocking and attacking.

The game's designer, Hidetaka Miyazaki, writes that this update will not affect players who want their core experience to remain unchanged. "While the majority of our fans prefer the intense difficulty of [Dark Souls II], fan feedback and user testing have revealed that it's also the biggest barrier to bringing new players into the experience. We wanted to introduce an item that makes the game more manageable for newcomers."

Players can purchase the Sybaritic for 500 souls from a merchant in Majula at the very beginning of the game, though the first one is free. "We hope new players will use this as a chance to get better at the game," Miyazaki writes. "After getting accustomed to the gameplay and exploration, they can then increase the difficulty at any time back to normal by burning one Bonfire Ascetic." According to the post, the Bonfire Sybaritic is able to nullify the effects of the previously irreversible Bonfire Ascetic.

The patch is set to release later this month in Japan, and it will also introduce minor bug fixes and some texture loading improvements to the 360 and PS3 versions of the game. No details are provided in the post on when the patch will come to the West, but if you're looking to get a head start in Dark Souls II and need a little help in the meantime, check out GameSpot's guide to choosing a starting class as well as 30 items you can find in the game before your first fight.

Justin Haywald is a senior editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @JustinHaywald. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

302 comments
tightwad34
tightwad34

That's a pretty good one. I definitely got a laugh out of it and thought it was real for a second, but maybe that's because I read it 2 days after the fact.

Hunk-
Hunk-

Be wary of bleeding but hole

quickshooterMk2
quickshooterMk2

holy shit 

you assholes almost got me 


i was like SERIOUSLY?! but now i see gamespot is trollin

Evil_Apai
Evil_Apai

(read title) NooooOOOOoooo~~~!!! (continue reading the article)... Dammit~~~!!

Zaalin
Zaalin

In all seriousness, I think they should have made a counterpart to the Bonfire Ascetic. Don't get me wrong, I love my Company of Champions, but one thing I do not like is the disappearing enemies. I expect mods to correct the decision come PC release, but they should have scrapped the idea in favor of a 'Bonfire Symbaritic', which when burned would turn on the disappearing enemies effect around that bonfire. So if you run up against an area that's really crushing you, or want to setup an area to ambush invaders, you can. You just can't empty the entire game world through sheer repetition.

I don't get why they only did one half of the spectrum, and then slapped this weird vanishing system on it.

LoganDaDestroya
LoganDaDestroya

This was a pretty good April Fools, I knew it was clearly a joke, but was fooled into thinking it was From Software making it. Kudos GS :p

GunEye
GunEye

Kudos for making the article seem so reliable and not just focusing on the difficulty:

"The patch is set to release later this month in Japan, and it will also introduce minor bug fixes and some texture loading improvements to the 360 and PS3 versions of the game"

and..

" Hidetaka Miyazaki, writes that this update will not affect players who want their core experience to remain unchanged"


LOL... pretty original April Fools joke

sudarsanvrs
sudarsanvrs

Dark souls is hard only for the first 8 hours not because of its gameplay its because of its unconventional modern game design

SphinxDemon
SphinxDemon

On a similar note... if they announced dragons dogma 2 for april fools I would have flipped sh**

stuff238
stuff238

I actually want this. I refuse to give demons souls/dark souls 1&2 a chance because everyone says they are extremely hard. If they actually want more sales, they should make a super easy mode for idiots/noobs like me. Whatever.

Aaronp2k
Aaronp2k

quite possibly the best gaming related april fools joke ever.

Iron65
Iron65

I love this April Fools! In other faqs many people were glad about this and hoping for it, while other keep ranting. But come on guys, even the name has some false things. An effigy called bonfire? and Sybaritic is the sinonym of Delightful, REALLY?? Dark Souls 2 as a delightful experience? Happy april fools guys!!

00LiteYear
00LiteYear

They already made it easier for others by giving out above-average rare weapons.

baldy40
baldy40

This is true anyway.  Easy game for casuals. 

Evamorgana
Evamorgana

Thank god. I was about to start ranting.

Vinnvn
Vinnvn

"That bonfire is a lie"

Mega_Skrull
Mega_Skrull

I actually made this as a joke thread in Gamefaqs back in a previous april 1st. The very lame and already infamous moderators actually deleted that topic and other one, even though people took it well...

el_swanno
el_swanno

I hate to criticise someone who has gone to the effort of creating an April Fool's joke for us but this article is too straight for its own good.

A good April Fool's news story should have enough detail to make it believable (which this article does) but it also needs to have clues as to its bogus nature. For instance if the announcement had been made by some From Software spokesperson with a highly unlikely name like Akira Yojimbo or something equally ludicrous then the more astute readers would be aware it was a hoax

One of my favourite games-related April Fool jokes appeared in a magazine about a decade ago. It was an article about a Lord Of The Rings cart racing game. If the premise alone wasn't enough to raise alarms then there was, in the corner of a "screenshot" of Gandalf driving a cart, a lap time that was effectively the date of April 1st that year.

The best April Fool's joke I have seen I recent years was last year's You Tube joke claiming they were going to close YouTube and delete all the videos while they announce the "winner" of the contest they have been running since the site's inception.

juiceair
juiceair

I found Dark Souls II to be the easiest of the Souls series.

solid_snake1461
solid_snake1461

Oh great! Now I can use both the up and down bonfire stuffs to continue farming indefinitely. Nice done, FromSoft.

Infinite_713
Infinite_713

This game is the most difficult your first playthrough. In the beginning, once you get around level 25, you should be good to go. 

Once you beat the game, new game + is much easier than it should be.

TruthSerum808
TruthSerum808

Dragons's Dogma  did this for real and I actually did lose my shit over it. 

Brazucass
Brazucass

Terrific review! It seems that gamespot`s max score is capped at 9.0. I am as surprized as I was with Grand Theft Auto 5

Ayzed
Ayzed

The real joke in all this is the Dark Souls fanboys. If they really did make an item to reduce the difficulty you could simply, you know, not use it...

santinegrete
santinegrete

Next year they'll say DS games get a pause for offline mod, and I'll probably buy that.

Bhemont
Bhemont

Just got fooled, was about to say something lol


Nice one :)

sanchango
sanchango

@stuff238  no, tyhat would ruin the game. The way it is now,  allows players to actually think strategically instead of just running like a mad man. That's what makes the game fun.

chuckles471
chuckles471

@stuff238  It isn't "broken game" hard.  It's just unforgiving.  You learn to play by the rules and it becomes an easier game. 

MattyTheButcher
MattyTheButcher

@stuff238  well some things like maxipads are designed exclusively for one type of person. Dark Souls is not designed for huge vaginas.

MattyTheButcher
MattyTheButcher

@00LiteYear  yeah but hell my first two characters i beat the game with, were even specced to use any of that crap anyway. Its kinda garbage requirements.

bwvictorious
bwvictorious

@juiceair  

.. Have you managed to take down The Pursuer or the Smelter Demon on your own? Without needing to brutally raise your level to withstand them?

Maybe if you are shock full of magic but as a non magic swordsman I found both of those impossible without someone helping.

The Pursuer was just too strong for the second boss i was fighting and if you fight it on your own you cant use the arbalests.
As for Smelter Demon that would have been child's play IF he wasnt on fire, didnt have a fire sword (deals dmg through the shield) and if the room wasnt so small (if he pins you you are dead... if he goes blast sometimes you cant run out of his area of affect because theres a wall near you).

And what about keeping Lucatiel alive for 3 boss battles...

what about going to kill the Rat Authority or ringing the bells but being constantly invaded by Rat or Bell Covenant.

Only thing I dont like is the health gems... you shouldnt be able to stockpile on those and instead have to rely on a limited estus flask.

Lhomity
Lhomity

@TruthSerum808 Dragon's Dogma goes either way. If you want it easier, buy RC and/or armor. If you want it hard, recruit less/no pawns. Always seemed like a fair deal to me.


Don't lose your shit. :(

translucent17
translucent17

Last 10 I saw on here was mass effect 2 if I'm remembering correctly

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Bhemont I never read this one because I'm not interested in patch updates for games I'm not playing, but when I read the headline I thought "huh, pandering to the masses? That sure sounds odd, it completely goes against what they promised. If this is true, the hardcore fans will make their anger heard."

translucent17
translucent17

My first play through I didn't really understand the pawns at first but after dying a million times I figured out IMO the best combo being myself magic archer my pawns, main pawn Mage, warrior, and I would switch back and forth between a fighter and a sorcerer