Dark Souls II director explains "accessibility"

"I think that balance is something important" says Dark Souls II director, but upcoming RPG will maintain the difficulty level of the original.

Dark Souls II director Yui Tanimura has clarified what the development team at From Software means by calling the upcoming sequel to the notoriously difficult role-playing game more accessible.

"The reason why we used the word accessible was not to say that the game is going to be easier by any means," said Tanimura to Game Informer.

"We're maintaining the difficulty and we think the challenges are required. What we meant was, there are certain aspects of the game where it didn't really have a direct connection to the sense of satisfaction of overcoming. There were things that were a little bit time consuming or a little bit tedious that we wanted to streamline--sort of carve away all the fat so we could really deliver the lean pure expression of what Dark Souls tries to communicate, which is the sense of satisfaction of overcoming."

"In terms of accessibility, what we meant was a more streamlined experience to deliver the more pure essence of Dark Souls."

Speaking further about the fine line between challenge and frustration in difficult games, Tanimura said, "We try to implement this difficulty for that added level of satisfaction and happiness when you are able to overcome. But there will be aspects of the game where there are some areas that will be more of a pain to get through than others."

"I think that balance is something important. It's hard to answer directly, but we took a lot of care in terms of tuning each instance of the so-called challenges so that we reached an overall good balance throughout the game," concluded Tanimura.

The Dark Souls II demonstration at E3 2013 showed a new boss, The Mirror Knight, which could conjure additional adversaries from his shield.

Dark Souls II will be released for the Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3 in March 2014.

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Discussion

443 comments
Palantas
Palantas

Dark Souls is not that hard of a game, as long as you're careful and patient.  The gameplay is satisfying and challenging, and the game's strongest element.  Leave that as it is.

However, From Software needs to fix all the ambiguous stuff in the sequel.  The basic game mechanics should be explained in the manual and a tutorial.  What I'm supposed to be doing in the game should be better explained by NPCs, i.e, "Go this way only if seeking a tough fight."  Letting new players wander into high level enemies isn't fun or challenging; it's just a beginner's trap that you didn't have a fair chance of figuring out.  On that note, write better dialogue for your NPCs.  And a quest log wouldn't hurt either.  If I come back to the game after several days, I should not have to consult the Wiki to know what I'm supposed to be doing and why.

BIOJECT
BIOJECT

Making it so that the game mechanics are explained in-game so that I don't have to consult a wiki constantly would be a huge plus. Too many vague gameplay mechanics in Demon and Dark Souls. The only thing I hope they continue to keep vague is the story because that was cool. And I also liked puzzling out how to defeat bosses. Just would be nice if the game explained better what each item did or what allegiances do more specifically. 

Scorpion_tr
Scorpion_tr

The thing with Dark Souls' difficulty is that, unlike some games,  when you die in dark souls it feels like its your fault and thus doesn't make you rage and smash the controller into the tv. The game isn't hard, it's fair and if you die it just means you weren't skilled enough YET. 

Accessibility doesn't mean the game will be any easier, it means they will "chisel" some of the games more flawed aspects. Like including fast travel only eliminates tedious backtracking which unnecessarily prolonged the first game, however if that's your thing just don't use the damned fast travel it's not like you're forced to use it. 

I look forward to Dark Souls 2, so far it looks promising and hopefully it won't disappoint.

Goupil418
Goupil418

I hope it's not gonna be a bad GFWL port this time... and I hope it's gonna be no fps limit at 1080p.... would be great with my controller and my pc

ShimmerMan
ShimmerMan

"Streamlined", "accessible" "less is more" these phrases from developers are getting old. Why don't they just fess up and admit they're making the game easier to score more $$$$. Does anyone actually believe they're make these changes to "improve" the game because I don't.

deedsy06
deedsy06

I cant wait for dark souls 2  it will be one of my first games on the new console for sure

BradBurns
BradBurns

I always understood him.

When I tell hardcore fighting game fanatics that they need to make fighters more accessible, they usually scoff at the idea with fear that it might ruin what makes the game so endearing.

That's not necessarily true. There are aspects to many hardcore games that are either left unexplained, or  are extremely redundant, repetitive, or just plain stupid. It is best that you cut all of this nonsense out in order to invite more people in to experience the game, and to simply create a better experience all around.


I don't miss the Grass eating mechanic from Demon's Souls. It allowed for overstocking and thus alleviated the difficulty a bit. The Estus Flask is a damn good alternative.

jcr8
jcr8

My dark souls adventure ended after 3 hours with me snapping the disc in half. Guess it just wasn´t my kind of game..

silvergol
silvergol

By HOLY GOD, NO A IOS GAME please!

tightwad34
tightwad34

I am confused. Some things were too time consuming and  tedious, you must mean grinding. That's the only thing I can think of. That's not required and it's also been a part of both games so far, so I am not quite sure what they mean here.

Squire_Ramza
Squire_Ramza

I hope the new game is harder. Dark Souls is great but its way too easy. Getting past lvl 200 and New Game ++++ is much easier than I thought It would be.

Diamondsoulz
Diamondsoulz

Being for the PS3 won't be bad  you have more people to play with since everyone ones a ps3 already. I pre-ordered a PS4 from software knows graphics isn't everything they help but it's not a tell all situation where it will make you feel better about the game somehow.

zbarfbag
zbarfbag

i really hope the netcode is good for this game...loved the pvp from Demons and Dark but the netcode for both were terrible

pclarkson
pclarkson

I hope they delay release and just make it for PS4

alwin8695
alwin8695

Please just don't make it even easier than Dark Souls.. For me Dark Souls is already easier than Demon's Souls, which is sad :( . 

brain56
brain56

But what if I don't want a streamlined experience? :(

CaptWaffle
CaptWaffle

I hear a lot of stuff coming out that gives me confidence.... but I dunno... anytime a classic game has a sequel and I hear about changing the original formula... I'll be a little nervous until I actually get my hands on it.  (thank God it's on current-gen systems so I don't have to wait a couple of years to play it)

Gam3r0uTLaWz
Gam3r0uTLaWz

that E3 gameplay video looks alot like the good old dark souls..

Palantas
Palantas

@BIOJECT I couldn't agree more, in regards to the mechanics.  Instructions for casting a spell should be in the damn manual.

zenstrata
zenstrata

@Scorpion_tr Actually the final battle with the giant plant enemy in dark souls was not the way you describe.  There were lots of insta-kills which felt completely random in that battle.  Although the rest of the game was much better and accounted for player ability.  That one battle had a lot of cheap deaths which could not be predicted or avoided.

elfi3
elfi3

@deedsy06 Do you mean next gen consoles? Because it's not on those.

BradBurns
BradBurns

@tightwad34 


Probably odd mechanics like the weapon crafting system that confused a lot of new players, overly complicated stats, etc. Things like that.

BradBurns
BradBurns

@Squire_Ramza 

I beat the game (with all the side objectives) as a level 2 Priest. That was pretty tough. 


It makes the game intense when you can only use sh*tty weapons. I found it oddly addictive.

Pilgrim117
Pilgrim117

@Squire_Ramza What the hell are you talking about? It's not that the game is too easy, it's the fact that you are becoming better after each playthrough. 

tightwad34
tightwad34

@Squire_Ramza It's only easy when you have played it enough that you know it like you know your mother. It's not easy when you first play it.

Renunciation
Renunciation

Don Mattrick says:  "We have a product for people who don't appreciate streamlined experiences; it’s called Dark Souls 1.”

Sorry, couldn't resist.  xD

jcr8
jcr8

@Gam3r0uTLaWz @jcr8 I don´t mind games that are challenging. But there´s a difference between challenging and masochistic.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@BradBurns Yeah, that could very well be a part of it. When they said tedious I was thinking along the lines of not making you fight the same enemies multiple times, which I didn't mind one bit when the combat was as close to perfect as I ever remember.

tkdmmc
tkdmmc

@BradBurns @tightwad34 they did have in the game that when the menu was open at a bonfire level up or just in your stat menu, it said at the bottom press either start or select for an explanation. I was able to find out what each little stat did without a wiki or anything. (Didn't realize how useless resistance was, though.)

Squire_Ramza
Squire_Ramza

Yea, I'm working on something like that right now. But as I was saying, the game overall isn't really tough unless you play like that. Perhaps it's because I played Demon's Souls so much that this game wasn't very hard. Much of the game play went fairly unchanged. My first run through the game was a Pyromancer and it really isn't that difficult. DS2 looks to be tougher which I'm welcoming.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@BradBurns Most everything in the game was addictive. I haven't attempted a low level playthrough, but I will one day.

Gam3r0uTLaWz
Gam3r0uTLaWz

@Renunciation what if Im sick of playing the same game/visiting the same world and bosses? Its not complicated,what people want is the same fucking game in a new universe filled with new mysteries and  monsters. Not a complete dumbed down overhaul to please the fucking masses like EVERY fucking games nowadays.

tkdmmc
tkdmmc

@tightwad34 @tkdmmc I have the pc version, so it might not be in the console version, but check it out. I loved the game, which is kind of funny. I love over the top abilities and plowing through bad guys, but I still really like this game.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@tkdmmc They did? I don't remember that at all, then again I didn't really look for anything like that. You aren't talking about the PC version, are you?

BradBurns
BradBurns

@Squire_Ramza 

I have some useless arcane knowledge on the subject since I went ahead and did the stupid feat.

Like you, I was a Demon's Souls veteran, so I needed it to hurt.

The Four Kings can be a pain at junk levels, and The Painted World of Arimias.. That, that was something.

I wonder if it's possible to do it again in New Game Plus, with the same level character? And it begins anew.


Renunciation
Renunciation

@Gam3r0uTLaWz @Renunciation Although From Software could offer us "a complete dumbed down overhaul to please the fucking masses like EVERY fucking game nowadays", I doubt that will be the case.

There are a small number of gaming companies who consistently "get it right", and I think From Software is one of them.  At the very least, I will join you in hoping so.

Renunciation
Renunciation

@kohle36 @Renunciation @brain56  I never really thought of it that way.   You have a point.  I'd imagine that there are other things in DS2 which can bring you equal feelings of triumph, however.  Or maybe I'm just optimistic.

brain56
brain56

@kohle36 @Renunciation @brain56satisfaction of overcoming, right? The Lordvessel was an orgasm, if you ask me. EVERY DAMN TIME. Oh~

kohle36
kohle36

@Renunciation @brain56 I actually liked the fact that they made you understand what it meant to not be able to warp before giving you the ability - suffering through that climb out of blighttown or cutting my way back up through the catacombs made it so much more of a 'fuck yes' moment when I got the lordvessel. It's a shame too, because it's moments like these they're trying to design the game to deliver

Renunciation
Renunciation

@brain56 @Renunciation Actually... if you didn't watch the accompanying video, I'll let you know:  One key "streamlining" feature is that players will be given their bonfire teleport spell much earlier in the game; they be allowed to teleport to the bonfires they've reached, instead of spending so much time running back and forth between area.  Visiting new bonfires will add those to your teleport list.

I think that's a pretty cool idea.