The cursed land of Drangleic is eager to take your many, many lives. We can’t save them all, but we can certainly cut down on the grief. To start, many common sense tactics from the prior Souls games apply to Dark Souls II. That includes: 1) Knowing your surroundings and having the presence of mind to know if you’re one dodge roll away from falling off a cliff. 2) When you see one enemy in the distance, always assume that he has company off-screen.
One of the more significant changes to this sequel is the addition of finite enemy respawns. It’s a double-edged sword. Cleaning out a whole area of enemies results in a lot of level upgrades and a resistance-free path between the boss and the closest bonfire. On the other hand, finite enemies means finite souls, which isn’t good if you’re careless with your souls and frequently losing them through back-to-back deaths. If you need more, let alone harder enemies in a specific area, you’ll have to find a Bonfire Ascetic.
Before you head on your journey, we have one more important tip: cycle through ALL the NPC conversations. It’s one thing to learn more about the lore of Dark Souls II; it’s another to find out that a character could bestow you a useful item. It’s essential that you thoroughly converse with the hooded woman near the bonfire of Majula. She’ll be able to convert your souls into level upgrades.