Interconneced map is pointless if it punishes exploration+has lots backtracking

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  3. Interconneced map is pointless if it punishes exploration+has lots backtracking

User Info: ElSofoque

ElSofoque
5 months ago#1
The first half of the game has quite some blunders in terms of the map design and how you progress it. You are given the illusion of having many paths to go but very much all of them end up in a dead end and you are thus forced to backtrack a lot without the ability to quickly warp to another area.

The map also punishes exploration because of this. Take Darkroot Basin/Garden for example. You move through it until you are faced with a locked door which requires a an item to open it. Fair enough, no problem there. You then find a path to the right which takes you all the way around that door to the cat covenant and the area where you fight Sif but even then you can't open either door without buying the item.

What then was the point of that? No reward for exploring and working through that whole area so you have to either backtrack or use homeward bone to try and buy the mandatory item. Seems rather wasteful.

Same goes with the bit on Blightown after you beat Queelag. Cool you sounded the bell, went down and found another path, fought another boss and then you are faced, after passing through a bunch of enemies with an orange door you can't get through. Now you have to backtrack all the way out of the demon ruins and Blightown and into the Firelink Shrine to continue.

Also the same with the Catacombs and Tomb of the Giants. No need to elaborate how awful that is without having the lordvessel.

This mitigates the fact that the game has an interconnected map, too much backtracking and dead ends which punish exploration when the game is giving you the illusion that you can go on a lot of paths.

Sure the world is interconnected but when you zoom in on the details it is just a chore to get through

User Info: jediblaster

jediblaster
5 months ago#2
You can leave!
Why's the rum gone?

User Info: chefbobby203

chefbobby203
5 months ago#3
The forest was a weird example seeing as it's connected to the parish, the burg, and the back path to the valley of drakes. Not to mention following the path to the wolf ring leads you to a spot where you can jump back to the main platform.

User Info: toadieman

toadieman
5 months ago#4
you must hate metroid and castlevania.
Playing: Dark Souls II

User Info: Keith_Valentine

Keith_Valentine
5 months ago#5
Would it help if we tied you to a tree and peed on you , tc? Here to help. Also willing to beat you with a hose, no child left behind.

User Info: WheelsOfThyme

WheelsOfThyme
5 months ago#6
What would be the point of an interconnected world if there wasn't any backtracking?

User Info: Da Dood

Da Dood
5 months ago#7
ElSofoque posted...
too much backtracking and dead ends which punish exploration when the game is giving you the illusion that you can go on a lot of paths

Those two things aren't mutually exclusive, though. The game does give you several path choices, but it is also possible to get stuck a lot. There are multiple ways to reach the Undead Parish bell, two ways to reach the Quelaag's Domain bell, and you're free to tackle the second half in any order you wish. It's possible to do Sif + Four Kings before you have the Lordvessel, and there are parts of the game you can "half solve" as well, like killing the DLC hydra and beating Ceaseless right after Quelaag.

Not to mention that making a beeline to the next mandatory area isn't necessarily the only useful objective in Dark Souls. There are weapons, upgrades, merchants, mini-bosses, side areas and a whole array of optional things you may want to do while dashing from one place to the next.

Even if the ultimate goal is temporarily unavailable, there's always a tangible reward for visiting these areas: in the Catacombs, for example, you can find a blacksmith and valuable equipment like the Gravelord Sword (that's how I start my games fairly often). You can also fight Pinwheel ASAP and get the Rite of Kindling for 20 heals.

More importantly, like any game, it gets better once you're familiar with it and start planning your route. Obviously it sucks getting to Sif with no way to open the magic door, but if you've been there before, you know better not to take the long path. Or perhaps you're confident enough to defeat Sif and strategically warp waaay back where you're closer to the next objective. For me this kind of planning is half the fun in Dark Souls and stuff like Zelda and Metroid. The game likes to trick you the first time through, but after that it is sweet, sweet revenge forever.
My Super Mario Maker levels ~
https://supermariomakerbookmark.nintendo.net/profile/Ren_Dood

User Info: ElSofoque

ElSofoque
5 months ago#8
WheelsOfThyme posted...
What would be the point of an interconnected world if there wasn't any backtracking?


That doesn't follows at all, looping around the map or having an area with an exit that connects to a previous area is not the same as backtracking.

Backtracking is what you do when you beat Queelag (for example) where you have to go back from the boss arena to firelink.

Interconnected is the elevator from the Burg to Firelink.

User Info: WheelsOfThyme

WheelsOfThyme
5 months ago#9
ElSofoque posted...
WheelsOfThyme posted...
What would be the point of an interconnected world if there wasn't any backtracking?


That doesn't follows at all, looping around the map or having an area with an exit that connects to a previous area is not the same as backtracking.

Backtracking is what you do when you beat Queelag (for example) where you have to go back from the boss arena to firelink.

Interconnected is the elevator from the Burg to Firelink.

Going by the definition you've just posted going from Queelag to Firelink is only backtracking if you take the same route(let's just assume you entered through the depths)which would be insane when Valley of Drakes can be used now instead.

My first time through the game I was having some trouble with O&S so I decided I needed more upgrade mats, specifically large titanite. I knew the slugs at the bottom of B-town dropped them but it seemed so far away.

It wasn't. A quick jog and a couple of elevator rides was all.

User Info: Spinder1

Spinder1
5 months ago#10
You're right that it's kind of bad there is no better route back from the Firesage place and bottom of the Catacombs, but you're completely wrong in blaming this on the interconnectivity or overall world design. It's a simple level design error for these parts, nothing more. The yellow fog gate should have been AFTER Firesage so you can smoothly take the elevator back up to Quelaag's domain, and there should have been some kind of quicker route from the bottom of the Catacombs to near the top. Not a world design issue at all, just an unfortunate level design miss.

The actual interconnected part of the world is great and has very little mandatory backtracking. How are you not rewarded for finding the way around Darkroot through the Hydra again? Being rewarded for exploration is exactly what's happening here - you saw that locked door and that 20k souls price tag and you were like "hmph, I bet I can find another way back there!", and then you went exploring, fought some dangerous enemies, and yep, you found another way around. I agree it would be nice if you could open the door once you get to the other side, though, for a better boss run to the Sif fight.

And let me just say that there's something to be said for the experience of getting stuck deep into some place you feel like you're not supposed to be, and knowing you're actually in deep s*** (because you understand the mechanics - you respawn at the last bonfire when you die) rather than it being some kind of faux illusion of danger like so many games do. Even the brilliant Bloodborne falls prey to this - in the Yahar'gul kidnapping part the whole notion of danger is s***tered when you can just walk to the lamp and warp out. Being stuck in the bottom of Blighttown and being FORCED to find your way back to, uhh, safety, provides an experience that simply can't be replicated when you can just warp all over the place. Let alone the ten times worse Tomb of the Giants or Ash Lake. This isn't an illusion of being in deep s***, you actually are and getting out of it back on the path is going to be a struggle.

I agree these can be a bit excessive for how early you may reach them (some balance tweaks are what's required here, rather than a complete map design philosophy overhaul), but to act like it's all just a dumb time waste for the player is missing the point entirely. There's no reason why games should always be neat and tidy for the player's convenience at all times. Some amount of inconvenience can enhance the experience in many cases, and Dark Souls 1 is one such case. If some people don't like it, they can play other games. Also, yet another point is that the gameplay experience can change quite a lot when you're traversing an area backwards - going UP The Great Hollow is not at all the same as going down, ditto for the Catacombs. It becomes a different sort of challenge - instead of finding your way through an unfamiliar area, you're now familiar with it but are forced to move through it in a different way. That's an interesting challenge and experience that the game would be lesser for not having in it.
Let him be king over charred bones and cooked meat. Let him be the king of ashes
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