Dark Souls II WHY!? Do you do these things? SPOILERS!

#1 Posted by Dannystaples14 (959 posts) -

I played Dark Souls I and due to impatience I looked at guides for everything and it kind of ruined it for me overall. So I vowed not to do that again for Dark Souls II. And apart from the odd look for directions I didn't. I never looked at a single strategy or guide for anything other than boss locations.

I've finished one play through of Dark Souls II and now I've finished it I've actually realised I missed two bosses before going into NG+, them being Vendrick and The Elder Dragon. But only because they don't go aggro on you automatically I didn't even think they were bosses.

I mean how are you ever supposed to work that out? NPCs in Dark Souls are like little gems of light that give you insight into the lore and world. You don't just slaughter them all.

I mean I hit Vendrick over and over again when I was in there with him. I actually did that, and yet no where did the game say if I kept doing it I'd eventually get him to attack me. What is the fucking point in that? I understand not giving people instructions but giving people a way of working out what the hell is going on at any one point can't hurt can it? Especially for something as random as that.

It is so annoying. A few pointers that are hidden for you to find can't be that much of a give away. Not if you design the game properly anyway. I guess that is too hard for some developers.

#2 Edited by gpuFX16 (1296 posts) -

Well, think about it. Both Vendrick and Ancient Dragon are behind fog gates. In Dark Souls, fog gate = boss a lot of the time. If you had any experience with Crossbreed Priscilla in Souls 1, you could have infrerred that these two characters were most likely bosses.

That said, Vendrick could have probably been a little easier giveaway, I agree. On my 1st playthrough with my second character, it really took a lot of hits before he got pissed. Ancient Dragon is quicker to provoke, but it might not be such a bad thing that you missed it. It's not a fun fight...

#3 Posted by c_rakestraw (14682 posts) -
@gpuFX16 said:

Well, think about it. Both Vendrick and Ancient Dragon are behind fog gates. In Dark Souls, fog gate = boss a lot of the time. If you had any experience with Crossbreed Priscilla in Souls 1, you could have infrerred that these two characters were most likely bosses.

That said, Vendrick could have probably been a little easier giveaway, I agree. On my 1st playthrough with my second character, it really took a lot of hits before he got pissed. Ancient Dragon is quicker to provoke, but it might not be such a bad thing that you missed it. It's not a fun fight...

To be fair, Vendirck and the Ancient Dragon aren't hidden behind fog gates. They're just regular ol' NPCs until you attack them. Makes sense, really, given Vendrick's absurd strength (at least until you grab those giant's souls) and the dragon's importance to the story. Outing them as bosses from the start would kinda disrupt the flow.

#4 Edited by gpuFX16 (1296 posts) -

Ah. Thanks for correcting me, C_rake. You know, actually the first time I fought Vendrick right after Velstadt, I was doing the amount of damage I would have been doing with the Giant Souls, but I did'nt have any at the moment. It was really weird, looking back.

Thanks again, sometimes I don't think all the way. Must be all the time spent in the game. XD

#5 Posted by dvader654 (44752 posts) -

Just a rule of thumb, everything in Dark Souls can be killed. Especially if you see a very gigantic boss looking guy that seems would give you something nice in return of killing him.

For verterans of the series it was extremely obvious they were optional bosses.

#6 Edited by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

well, they are optional. i don't see why they need a sign that says "these are optional bosses. kill 'em if you want but if not then it's totally cool too." it's also common knowledge that you can kill NPC's and that they'll drop something after.

personally, i was surprised that vendrick wasn't a main boss (i was expecting him to be the final boss). the lore makes it pretty clear that he went hollow and fighting his crazed bodyguard right before didn't inspire much hope. i suppose it winds being more effective though, seeing the king hiding away in a crypt and being completely marginalized.

#7 Edited by Dannystaples14 (959 posts) -

@gpuFX16: Vendrick was behind another boss, not behind his own fog gate, and The Ancient Dragon was at the end of a long passage in the Cathedral if I remember correctly not actually behind a fog gate.

But either way he definitely doesn't attack you, he just gives you the key. When I got the achievement and realised he had nothing else to say, I got out of there. Kind of disappointing when I realised he was actually a boss and one of the harder ones.

@LoG-Sacrament Yes you can kill NPCs but no one in their right might would do so. If you kill NPCs in Dark Souls you normally end up losing entire sections of side story.

And I'm not talking about giving us direct instruction of "This guy is optional!", I mean give us information and stuff to find while out exploring that would give us the indication that he is optional.

Same with Vendrik he doesn't have to be walking around with a sign around his neck that says "Hit me 20 times and I'll fuck you up.", but surely they can get that across to the player in some other way.

I'm talking about weaving it into the lore and the world in a complex way. But they don't do any of that. It is just a matter of, kill every NPC you come across risking side plots and allies or miss a boss entirely.

#8 Posted by turtlethetaffer (16756 posts) -

But everything can be killed. Everything. If you were that curious you should have just kept hitting them.

#9 Edited by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

@Dannystaples14: vendrick is shuffling around aimlessly, practically begging to be put out of his misery (very much like the final boss of demons' souls).

beyond that, you're playing the wrong games if you are worried about missing something. sometimes killing an NPC cuts out some lore, sometimes kiling an NPC saves some lore, sometimes you'll miss the lore simply by not finding the right NPC at the right time. it's a pillar of the series that what you find is your own discovery that somebody else may not have found.

#10 Edited by Dannystaples14 (959 posts) -

@turtlethetaffer: Yeah, twenty times and I'm out really. Not pissing around like that, not when I had no clue whether hitting him was going to do something to start with. I mean do you run into a wall over and over in case there is a secret door there that only opens if you keep running into it? If you did that it would probably take you six months to get through half of the game and get no more benefit from it.

@LoG-Sacrament I understand that, I missed loads of stuff in Dark Souls I overall, what I didn't do was miss an entire boss though. Let alone two.

My problem isn't that as such, it is the fact that it feels like no matter how many times I played that game I would NEVER have been able to work out how to make Vendrick wake up.

I mean you say he was just walking around aimlessly begging to be put out of his misery. That probably is a logical thing to say now you know that it was the case. A bit harder to do when you have no clue what it is that makes him aggro in the first place. Or indeed that he even goes aggro at all to start with. Remember I didn't use a single guide or walkthrough when I played it, I had no idea what to do in each area before I did it.

I mean are you telling me you activated and killed Vendrick in that chamber the first time you played without knowing how to do it in the first place? Without knowing that you need to collect Giant Souls to make it easier?

I mean I did hit him. But when he didn't do anything I left him be. I even went back several times when I hit a dead end to see if he had done anything and each time I got nothing.

Why would I ever pursue that in that case? Why would I keep going back and hitting him over and over when each previous time it got me nowhere? Einstein's definition of insanity comes to mind, "Insanity is repeating something over and over and expecting the outcome to change.".

There is no logical reason why I would ever have worked that out. Except for blind coincidence and luck that is.

#11 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

@Dannystaples14: vendrick really did remind me of king allant in demons' souls so i took a couple swings at him. it's just that i didn't do much damage so i left him for later, assuming that i'd get stronger and beat him then. in the mean time, i did end up having the giant souls bit spoiled for me.

would i have pieced together that the giant souls help so much? i do read the lore on each item (this is the clue that they help against vendrick so you aren't completely in the dark there), but i don't know. it doesn't really matter to me though. for one thing, i was saving him for the end so i would have had the giant souls anyway. more importantly, i go into a souls game expecting to miss something. you mentioned holding boss fights above other aspects. for me, it's the lore from the NPC's. i've missed NPC's or NPC encounters in previous souls games and it doesn't bother me. i like that they can be hard to find because part of the experience to me is actually finding them. i also like the feeling that, even at the end of the game, there is probably more going on in the game world that i don't know about. it's a touch of life in some very grim games.

#12 Posted by IndianaPwns39 (5037 posts) -

Vendrick and the Ancient Dragon?

What about Darklurker. Now there's a secret boss.

#13 Posted by Shmiity (5127 posts) -

That's the whole point of the game. The mystery and the discovery. Players leaving messages, hidden walls and chests, its in the nature of the game.

#14 Edited by Dannystaples14 (959 posts) -

@LoG-Sacrament: I never played Demon Souls. Won't be touching any console that thought the CELL processor was a good idea.

I'm not saying that the bosses are everything but the bosses are like pillars in the game. Like in the first Dark Souls you would get through areas and you knew there was a fight coming. A fight that would probably serve your ass to you on a platter for several days.

Not only did that not happen AT ALL in this one, (I don't think it took me more than 10 attempts to defeat any boss in the game) but the game is also designed in such a way that missing potentially beastly bosses is possible. That is ONE of the reasons Dark Souls I wasn't just a game I liked but one I simply could not put down.

This game definitely didn't deliver that in other places and then it pretty cheaply allows you to miss bosses.

Hell at one point I even missed an entire cut scene from Nessandra because I defeated the throne defenders BEFORE I'd even seen the Elder Dragon. Which meant I had to come back to her later instead of her turning up after that initial boss battle. Stuff like that just makes me think that not that much planning went into it.

It is like they took several ideas of what they wanted Dark Souls II to be, none of them were particularly good so they just cobbled them all together which meant most of the areas felt tacked on and most of the bosses were piss easy and it was also possible for people to miss bosses.

It is just really disappointing for the sequel to a game I hold in my top five games of all time.

@IndianaPwns39: Thanks. I'll add that at #3 of bosses I didn't know existed.

@Shmiity: Yes but that isn't the issue. My issue is there is a strong chance I wouldn't have been able to work out they were bosses even if I had played through five times. There is nothing to work out.

I mean Dark Souls is a tough series yet you have to look at guides and things a lot of the time for stuff like this so it negates a lot of the actual challenge. There was no reason I was going to stand there hammering away and Vendrick for no reason. The Elder Dragon didn't attack me on sight and so I'm definitely not going to kill him in case he has a purpose else where.

I mean take the other NPCs, the ones that won't talk to you unless you have a certain level of magic or something. They want something from you, the game doesn't tell you what they want outright, yet you know it wants something. You then have to go and find out what. You don't just kill them in that case. For Vendrick though? He just walks around and around, without even a slight indicator that he will do anything. The Elder Dragon actually gives you a story item. Enough for me to leave him be.

#15 Edited by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

@Dannystaples14: well, i do agree with you that DSII isn't quite as good as dark souls. with that said, you haven't demonstrated your original point that the potential to miss (optional) bosses is cheap. there are, in fact, ways to figure out optional bosses and that potential to miss side content isn't detrimental to the experience (i'd actually argue that it is near essential to the video game form). although, more to your tastes, you didn't actually miss anything in nashandra's particular case because both cut-scenes give the same information.

with that said, i do agree with you that DSII is inferior to the original in other ways. like the boss fights themselves aren't quite so elegantly designed. i loved in DSI that so many of the bosses felt absurdly difficult until you figured out a trick or strategy (although i doubt i spent quite as much time trying to beat them as you did). DSII had more bosses whose difficulty didn't really come from needing to figure them out. like vendrick would be one of the easiest bosses in the series if it weren't for his HP and attack power because his attacks are so easy to get around and doesn't do much to defend himself. like i understand that From was trying to communicate how he was once a great man, but i feel like there should have been a better way to do it. there were more like him too such as the smelter demon and velstadt. even with the ones that weren't bad, there were fewer that had there own spark and fewer still whose spark wasn't one from prior games in the series.

#16 Edited by IndianaPwns39 (5037 posts) -

@LoG-Sacrament: That and the world is nowhere near as well connected.

I'll probably repeat this a thousand times to come, but holy crap going from Earthen Peak to the Iron Keep bothers the hell out of me.

#17 Posted by gpuFX16 (1296 posts) -

@IndianaPwns39 said:

@LoG-Sacrament: That and the world is nowhere near as well connected.

I'll probably repeat this a thousand times to come, but holy crap going from Earthen Peak to the Iron Keep bothers the hell out of me.

Just pretend the lava is floating up there somewhere, like Bowser's castle in Mario Galaxy.

...I agree, it bothers me. XD

#18 Posted by IndianaPwns39 (5037 posts) -

@gpuFX16 said:

@IndianaPwns39 said:

@LoG-Sacrament: That and the world is nowhere near as well connected.

I'll probably repeat this a thousand times to come, but holy crap going from Earthen Peak to the Iron Keep bothers the hell out of me.

Just pretend the lava is floating up there somewhere, like Bowser's castle in Mario Galaxy.

...I agree, it bothers me. XD

I'm also a fan of having to acquire boss souls in order to access the Shrine of Winter to reach Castle Drangleic, but otherwise there's a tiny bit of rubble blocking a path that brings you to the exact same spot. So either kill foul, evil creatures and absorb their souls to prove your worth or step over a couple of rocks.

#19 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

@IndianaPwns39: yeah, DSI did the whole sense of place thing really well. DSII had some fluid transitions too (like the whole sequence of levels inside the well flowed into one another properly), but i like in DSI how you can almost always see landmarks from other areas on the horizon.

plus i think finding a shortcut is more satisfying than finding a warp point.

#20 Posted by IndianaPwns39 (5037 posts) -

@LoG-Sacrament: Yeah, I still love DSII and it'll likely be my GOTY, but the world design is kinda screwy.

I agree about the shortcuts. They're fairly lazy this time around and instead of making interesting level design there's usually just a bonfire thrown before a boss. Though a lot of the time they're tougher to access or well hidden. I do love showing people the hidden bonfire in Black Gulch. One of the few times I've received loving mail as opposed to hate mail (which I get a ton of in PVP with this game)

#21 Posted by turtlethetaffer (16756 posts) -

@Dannystaples14: No, I hit the A button whenever I see a wall that looks like it can hold a hidden door and I'm right.

I will agree that the side quests with King Vendrick is overly complex, but it's not a deal breaker.