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!

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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.

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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 on Google+

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