From Software details new Dark Souls II features

Director Yui Tanimura outlines key changes to underlying gameplay systems for upcoming current-generation role-playing game.

Dark Souls II will feature a number of key changes to underlying gameplay systems, according to From Software director Yui Tanimura, including revamped rules for player interactions, co-op, and PVP.

Tanimura explained the changes during a recent presentation attended by GameSpot.

Unlike the peer-to-peer lobbies that fuel the original Dark Souls, players will now populate dedicated servers, like the spiritual predecessor, Demon's Souls, thus increasing the number of players that populate a given instance of the game.

In order to encourage player interaction, blood messaging is built into Dark Souls II as a system command, negating the original game's item requirements.

Summoned players--players who join the game of another character--no longer automatically exit a game upon the defeat of a boss. By utilizing different sized White Soapstone items, players gain different amounts of time for co-op play, but this allotment depletes as the summoned player defeats enemies. Players can also now summon two players at once, creating a three-player co-op experience.

When a player's game is invaded, they have the chance to receive backup from fellow covenant members if they belong to the "Way of the Blue" covenant. This will make it harder for stronger players to torment low-level characters, and give players a chance to act as a savior for the weak.

The final changes noted during the presentation pertained to characters with undead status. If a player dies while fighting as an undead character, their HP limits will decrease with each consecutive death. In order to recover from undead status, players now must expend a "Human Effigy" item, rather than an amount of humanity.

Lastly, unlike the original Dark Souls, undead players are susceptible to invaders in the sequel.

Dark Souls II will be released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on March 11, 2014. A release date for the PC version has not been announced. PlayStation 3 owners in North America, Europe, and Australasia can sign up for the beta, which begins on October 12.

For more on Dark Souls II, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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Discussion

338 comments
Poison-tooth
Poison-tooth

Undead can be invaded and you lose maximum health the more you die as undead. That's ... evil! Really looking forward to this game :D

Badmutha
Badmutha

More weapon and armor loot is what this game needs! One of my fav aspects of the first 2 games was the diversity of armor and weapon types.

radikel
radikel

Can someone explain to me why there is no Collector's/Black Armor editions for the 'PC'????????

jrjcobra
jrjcobra

"Undead players are susceptible to invaders in the sequel."

No purchase from me then.

gokulgamer
gokulgamer

You will be invaded even if you are an undead but can you summon a player for help with bosses if you are undead.Anyone please reply

MapRef41N93W
MapRef41N93W

You can now be invaded as an undead? I can't say I'm happy to hear that change. I suppose as long as they fix the broken backstab animation lag that really hurt PVP in Dark Souls it will be fine. 

Xanitra
Xanitra

Yeah I know. I didn't say I wasn't gonna play it or anything. Dark Souls is the best thing since those hard sidescrolling shooters for the SNES/NES. I just don't understand the logic is all. But maybe you are right, I shouldn't worry too much:)

00LiteYear
00LiteYear

If a higher level player invaded, the first thing I'd do is make like a tree, blend in, and wait for back up.

00LiteYear
00LiteYear

So the allotted soul time is to probably discourage ganking?

tightwad34
tightwad34

And there were people worried they would make the game easier. Looks to be the opposite. The one that gets me is being invaded in any form. That will for sure make it more interesting. And losing maximum health bar upon every death is something newbs will love, or at least they better! I kid. It sounds kinda like those frogs in the sewers that would curse you except being cursed and having half health is worse. I'm sure there will be something similar to that in this game. Dark Souls is my favorite game this gen, but GTAV is closing the gap.

Naylord
Naylord

Wow this sounds fantastic! Each time you die your HP decreases? I can't get enough of this punishing game design; it really lends encounters serious weight.

The_Floodhunter
The_Floodhunter

So I got 2 things from this article; please someone tell me I'm misunderstanding: 


1) The game is basically encouraging ganking. Those guys and cheaters really ruined PVP for me. 

2) You're ALWAYS vulnerable to invasion? Come on! The game is hard enough without someone dropping in on you every 2 seconds! That's why I usually go around hollow--I can't tell you how many times I was carefully conserving resources and making my way to a major objective or boss just for some idiot to pop up and kill me, especially if was lagging. If the game is going to be as hard as everyone is making it out o be, the last thing any of us need is to be busting our butts to barely get through a tough area JUST to be invaded and have to redo everything, especially if you lose max health while undead.

Hemilash
Hemilash

In North America you cannot sign up for the beta.  The beta chooses you.

cboye18
cboye18

Never finished Dark Souls. Harder gameplay was fun but I didn't like the dark, depressing environment like I thought I would. 

jcr8
jcr8

Whats the point of all that fancy armor in the video, he's still gonna get two-shotted by most enemies..

Hardly_Alive
Hardly_Alive

I love the difficulty of the actual gameplay in this series, but personally can't stand having to lose so much progress upon death. I eventually stopped playing both previous games due to frustration. I'd love to see harder gameplay, but a more streamlined save/continue system.

Restivus
Restivus

All of these features sound like great improvements. Some are fixes and tweaked improvements, some are keyed to provide more help, some are designed to create greater challenge.

I would say that the number one thing I would like to hear from the developer is a firm stance on timely glitch patching. Patches to Dark Souls console version were neither timely nor frequent, and there are still serious cheats in both Demon's Souls and Dark Souls. I don't mind invaders, but glitch-using, mule-dependent hacking gankers ruin the fun in no time flat.

SexyMiralda
SexyMiralda

I think these two features might be depressing at times:

1) If a player dies while fighting as an undead character, their HP limits will decrease with each consecutive death

2) undead players are susceptible to invaders in the sequel

In Demon's souls, I preferred to play as undead just to avoid the invaders. Looks like in DS2 there no way to stop invaders.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

Check out EpicNameBro's video. Dark Souls 2 Beta Impressions.

watch?v=1CGvXh_pEWs

Copy+paste on the end of your youtube url

Some info that isnt in this news drop.He got to play the beta for 20 minutes at TGS.

taktikalz
taktikalz

I look forward to a harder Dark Souls! The best bit about Dark Souls is the feeling of achievement you get when you complete an area or something that is so hard! When you actually master Dark Souls it becomes quite an easy game so would be interesting to see if they could create a game that even when you are very good at it, it is still quite hard! Difficulty was the beauty of the first game

faceless-mask
faceless-mask

@tightwad34 As ENB stated in his video (or maybe I should say ENP-Epic Name Papa), the invasion in undead form may have been a fix they wanted to implement in Dark Souls. I mean, there were far more advantages to running around in Undead form than in Human form, especially if you were playing offline. With the new changes, they're making it less beneficial to constantly be in undead form, which, imo, is a good thing.

CrimsonSheep
CrimsonSheep

@The_Floodhunter From Software has already confirmed that there will be means to safety for players who don't want to be invaded. Probably in the form of an item that prevents invasion. 

And again, Don't assume it's going to work like Dark Souls 1, only with invasions in Hollow form. It's obviously going to be way more balanced. So don't put on your casual panties just yet! 

tightwad34
tightwad34

@The_Floodhunter I can see where you're coming from. Of course you could always play offline, but with a game like this you really don't want to do that. Maybe, just maybe I would turn online off if it got really bad and then turn it back on after you kill the boss or reach you're objective.

The_Floodhunter
The_Floodhunter

*Let me also mention I love the difficulty of DS; after a couple games the  game isn't all that challenging. I don't mind more open challenges, in fact I'm dying to kill that turtle guy, but having that constantly ruined by inescapable PVP really worries me.

Poison-tooth
Poison-tooth

@jcr8 or invaded by a naked over-leveled griefer, good times! ;)

tightwad34
tightwad34

@Restivus Yeah, and you didn't even mention the completely BS lag backstabs. I just want to know how can it be any REAL fun cheating.

Restivus
Restivus

@SexyMiralda You can always yoink your Internet cable if you're on a wired connection. Always works for me in a pinch.

radikel
radikel

@WolfGrey 

Thanks WolfGrey. If ur a dark souls fan, do yourself a service and check out his video on DkS-2 experiences a.s.a.p!!!!!

jecomans
jecomans

@taktikalz I don't think I ever experience this great feeling of accomplishment that people always talk about, or found the difficulty to be the most thrilling part of the game. Difficulty to me is just a game mechanic that makes it take a little bit longer to get to the good bits - the lore. But the style of combat is very fun, and most of the environments are great to explore, too. 

00LiteYear
00LiteYear

@Mega_Loser_2 It's when the host and a phantom(s) loiter around specifically to kill a dark spirit. Even when being summoned through a red stone, they'll surround  and attack you anyway.

The_Floodhunter
The_Floodhunter

Really? How so? DS is one of the worst online communities I've ever seen, outside of COD. It's full of gankers, laggers, exploiters, and above all that cheaters and people who just make the game miserable. Yes, I like PVP and even when in a difficult spot often find PVP thrilling. But at least I know I'm not constantly under siege. Then they constantly take away health if you die. Yes, maybe add some disadvantages but it can't just be purely bad, not unless humanity is super easy to obtain. (I admit I don't understand the whole humanity thing, so if I'm wrong please enlighten me).

The_Floodhunter
The_Floodhunter

@tightwad34 @The_Floodhunter Yeah sometimes I do that. What I liked about DS1 was that you had a safety net--you couldn't be invaded while hollow. You also weren't cut off from tips; they showed me Chaos Servant, the Darkroot Garden bonfire, and more. Yes, you lost several benefits--especially being able to summon help--but it was a chance you had to make. I love that conundrum.


But in DS2, on top of lacking any safety net (from what we know), there's losing max health whenever you die hollowed. THAT can be very easily abused as someone else pointed out (not sure if it was here), especially if you're struggling. Now if DS2 has some sort of effective and renewable anti-invading mechanism that doesn't include ganking (and a specific covenant), then I won't complain.

The_Floodhunter
The_Floodhunter

@Restivus @SexyMiralda But then also lose potential summons, soap stone messages, and stuff like that. I simply don't see why this is necessary; the game is hard enough without people constantly appearing and killing you. Just give us a way out without taking away such a fun element of the game, I say.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@radikel @WolfGrey  

When i heard him say combat slower(along with those other balances and stat tweaks) i got really excited. 

More deliberate combat? Yes Please

Balanced Backstabs? Bout time.

Stats that influence your character more meanfully? Hell yes.

Attunement affecting casting speed instead of dex? Wonderful.

And your welcome man.  All this new info sells me on the game. It's going to be more hardcore than ever and actually freakin balanced. Praise the sun man, dear lord was balance ever needed in Dark Souls.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@CrimsonSheep Only thing I really care about it them not making the game easier, which I am confident they won't. They know that's one of the main draws about this game even if some people don't like it for that reason.

CrimsonSheep
CrimsonSheep

@Mega_Loser_2 @tightwad34 You have no way of knowing if they are unfair or not. Don't assume the game is just going to be like Dark Souls 1, only with invasions in hollow form. It looks to be way more balanced than that. 

robbiejones
robbiejones

@The_Floodhunter there are some arseholes deff in the community, however when you reach new game plus and go to well known pvp areas they are kinda cool...well some are. I once invaded some1 for pvp battle and I took of all my clothes and just used my fists to muck around and he shrugged at me and he killed himself. I thought that was pretty cool

faceless-mask
faceless-mask

@The_Floodhunter @tightwad34 I actually think the white soapstone changes actually discourage ganking, especially since they're now on a timer. I mean, you'd basically have to stack up white soapstones in order to keep your friendly phantoms around for a while. And there is a time limit, which get's reduced with each enemy that is killed by the phantom.  Not to mention the Way of the Blue covenant existence, which I think they may allow as a safety net.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@The_Floodhunter Funny thing is I summoned for the Ornstein and Smough fight and that didn't work so I just continued solo until I beat em. The only other one I summoned for was the Manhunter boss(I think that's his name, the one at the end of the DLC). That one worked and I just couldn't figure out his weakness.

monjax
monjax

@The_Floodhunter 

I read this tip somewhere and used it ever since. As long as you place your summon sign in the beginning of the area you do not get invaded (because by game design you cannot be summoned and invaded at the same time). I'm pretty sure the concept will work in DS2 as well.