• Topic Archived
You're browsing the GameFAQs Message Boards as a guest. Sign Up for free (or Log In if you already have an account) to be able to post messages, change how messages are displayed, and view media in posts.
  1. Boards
  2. Tales of Windyland
  3. Why I like DS2 the best.

User Info: Tmk

Tmk
4 years ago#1
I wanted to wait awhile after finishing DS3 to organise this thought process, fully aware of all the things and such. Now seems a good time.


I suppose the simplest and shortest way to explain it, would be to say that DS2 is a mechanically smarter game than the others, and as it turns out, that matters to me a lot. I like RPGs, and a big reason I like them, is mechanical complexity and how ideally they all work together. I like thinking about such things, and learning about them. And figuring out how best to make use of them. But, to be much more specific...


I'll start with a big sticking point with me: buffs. In every other Souls game From has made, buffs largely come in the form of applying non physical damage, a flat amount, to your weapon. Consumable resins and the like commonly applying a flat 80 of their damage type. This is what I describe as flat AR. It strikes independent of the weapon's strength, and the attack modifier of whatever move you hit with. What this results in, is that the strongest application of buffs is on small weapons, their quickest attacks. Applying 200 flat magical damage to a 600 AR ultra weapon then using its R2s will make extremely poor use of the buff compared to applying it to a 300 AR curved sword and doing speedy 2h R1s. So, right out of the gate, buffs are completely imbalanced, slanted towards small weapons, quick attacks, and the entire complexity of attack modifiers is ignored.

There are exceptions to this, mostly in DS3 to avoid another flat arcane wheel scenario. Like, the rapid hits of a charge L2 don't apply the full strength of the flat AR per hit, and daggers have reduced effectiveness for buffs. But this is a band-aid at best, and doesn't fix the problem.


In DS2, completely different. And resins are much stronger. In DS2, the buff molds to the weapon's strength. You will not get equal power applied to a straight sword, and an ultra greatsword. In addition, it's true AR. It is entirely affected by attack modifiers! Rejoice, large weapon users, these buffs aren't gimped for you. This is just wholly superior really. It balances buffs to scale properly with the weapon so you don't make big'ns feel inefficient and small ones become just a glowy rapid beat stick.

And it doesn't stop there, because in part, the buff power derives from base AR, and since raw infusion greatly augments base AR, it can create the scenario that raw infusion is actually good and useful, and not just for twinkies. And you know who'd be the most inclined to have minimum physical stats for a weapon? Casters!

But wait, if buffs are strong via resins in 2, why even be a caster for buffs? Well, in DS2, you can buff almost every weapon, even those with innate elemental damage, even infused with it. And you can pretty much infuse everything too. But, if you infuse a weapon with some sort of magic/elemental damage, you cannot buff it with a resin. Okay, but hold on again...buffing infused weapons? That was a big exploit in DS1 that led to absurd damage! Which goes right into the next thing: damage formula.
I am snazzier, hot, hot rant. Mutilated praise.
Croak rush, OK? Weirder, almighty make out. ::)

User Info: Tmk

Tmk
4 years ago#2
Generally in these games, they use a tricky formula that, basically, if the attack is much higher than the defense, almost all attack is converted to damage; if the defense is much higher, very little of the attack is converted to damage. And plenty of variance between those extremes. What this means is split damage weapons, that is, physical and something non-physical, fail pretty bad compared to pure physical against any meaningfully high defense. Because it's effectively two weak ARs going against defenses, and so both are reduced significantly. If you could buff it, with much more of the non-physical though, it'd be kinda OP at times, allowing almost all that buff AR to pierce through.

In DS2, non-physical defense is %-based reduction, and can go high enough to basically be immunity. This has many ramifications. One, it means split damage weapons can stay competitive by not being as gimped. Two, it means BUFFING a split damage weapon is not crazy OP (unless it's Ice Rapier because LOL Ice Rapier). Three, it means armor is actually very important for damage reduction. Because as I said, the damage formula meant that a significantly higher number completely blasts through the lower number. And that's the next thing! Armor.

Because of the damage formula in other games, as PvE gets to hitting a lot harder, especially in NG+ and beyond, armor defense doesn't do a lot. In DS3 and Bloodborne, while they use the old formula, armor actually provides % reduction too, which is an improvement over Demon's Souls/DS1, but: it can't go nearly as high as you could get it in DS2 (except in very extreme temporary special circumstances in 3), and a lot of armor values are really normalised which kinda makes what you pick less important because it all kinda ends up averaging about the same peak points.

So, in DS2, armor is more relevant, because of the damage formula. Ancient Dragon's fire pissing you off? You can just laugh it off with high fire defense. And armor is also more relevant for another reason: special effects. DS2 is the only game that subscribed to the notion that maybe more than a couple of headpieces should have extra effects. Tons of armor in DS2 did extra things, from speed up casting, to reducing fall damage, increasing soul gains, increasing various stats, HP regen, spell usage replenishing, lots of stuff. This gives many more pieces of armor personality and reason to use them. There's many more pieces worth considering. And if you just care about fashion, you know, whatever. I'm talking about mechanics.
I am snazzier, hot, hot rant. Mutilated praise.
Croak rush, OK? Weirder, almighty make out. ::)

User Info: Tmk

Tmk
4 years ago#3
Also, I just talked about armor, damage formula, infusions and buffs, and it all seamlessly connects together, works together, enhances each other. It's all mechanically smart individually, AND how it works together.


Another big thing, is the matchmaking system. SL matchmaking is okay for lower levels, though without inherent twinkie guarding, which I do prefer exist. But as levels climb, it becomes an increasingly inept and just, stupid system to match people. 10 + 10% means a level 10 just started the game dude can summon someone who's level 21, potentially quite a bit further in the game and more than double their level. Meanwhile a level 200 can't summon a level 235... What? That's dumb as hell.

Soul Memory was designed with the mindset that, because of diminishing returns, to keep matchmaking somewhat consistent and coherent, at higher thresholds, the range should expand greatly. And it worked really well at preventing high level online play from being sparse. Soul memory was also designed with the mindset that people would play it like any other RPG, where you don't arbitrarily restrict your leveling. While there's ABSOLUTELY people who like crafting builds and capping their level and making lots of characters, a lot of people do that because the other games literally force them to if they want online multiplayer. That's not okay. It was clear as day back when the metadata site Far Fire was up, that when not forced to do that in DS2, the majority of players did NOT restrict leveling, and went beyond level 200 even.

Soul memory was flawed however, just like SL is. The big blunder was that souls gained immediately add to soul memory. Even if they're lost. To keep in the spirit of what the mechanic was meant to do, it should only have counted souls SPENT, on leveling, weapon upgrades/purchases, spell purchases. Things that upgrade your character in some way. NOT on consumables, not on resonant hexes. Agape Ring was an attempt, half-assed, to remedy this, but what I just said is how they should have addressed it. But, kudos to them for even putting that ring in. It's more than Miyazaki's Souls games ever did to all the players their matchmaking system alienated.

Either an expanding range/tier based at high level system for SL, or Soul Memory where only certain soul expenses count towards it, is the way forward, where everyone gets what they want.


Unfortunately, I have no optimism that From will have a better matchmaking system in their next Souls style game. They listen to Reddit of all places. An echo chamber of children with a kneejerk hostile response to people different from them. "What?! You OVERLEVEL!? You deserve to have the online ruined then!!! No fixes!!!"

Anyway, let's move on. Covenants. Covenants mostly suck in DS1 and DS3. They don't do much. And in DS3, it's largely just "hey here's a bunch of different colored invaders. yaaay" and both have very vestigial coop covenants that don't mean anything. DS3 also took one of DS2's unique ideas, the blue sentinels, and produced a far s***tier watered down version of it. So that's not good.
I am snazzier, hot, hot rant. Mutilated praise.
Croak rush, OK? Weirder, almighty make out. ::)

User Info: Tmk

Tmk
4 years ago#4
Now what about DS2 covenants? Well, DS2 covenants...had PvE covenants! Think on that a moment. Covenants don't have to be online specifically. Champions Covenant. Pilgrims of the Dark. Just neat additions that both serve very different purposes. Then there's the rat covenant. A nice idea. Distinct. It's PvP, but not at all just "invade dudes". It's like DS2 looked at the Gravelord covenant, and thought yeah, covenants should be neat and offer unique experiences. Let's EXPAND on that. DS3, on the other hand, regressed. It took "have a blue phantom summoned to fend off an invader, and the blue phantom is not innately affected by PvE so they can focus on the invader which synergises well with the fact if they get summoned it's probably because the invader is stalling behind PvE" and made it "let's make a blue phantom just a white phantom who can't help you on a boss and spawn them in the middle of angry PvE monsters because they share spawn points with invaders LOL"


And then there's poise. In DS1, poise is dumb as f***. You can easily tank up to the point you don't even have to comprehend what you're fighting. Just mash attack, occasionally mash heal. Derpty derp. And it did no favors for PvP either. DS2 on the other hand, significantly reduced the power of poise, especially when not performing attacks. But, when attacking with certain attacks of sufficient force, you have, essentially, greater poise. So, poise still can keep you from staggering, but it's not gonna let you just stand in front of bosses you have no business beating, mash R1 and occasionally have a sippy. And then DS3 went "Let's try to accomplish what DS2 did, in a considerably more convoluted and arcane way that doesn't even amount to performing as well as DS2 did simply and elegantly". Thoroughly unimpressed there.


This already turned out longer than I expected so I'ma gonna just quickly go over a few more things: DS2 lets you use full weapon movesets in the off-hand, and powerstance combined with this gave the most legitimacy yet to dual wielding. I very much miss that whole thing. DS2 also had the novel idea that poison should actually be a serious condition, both scary to suffer, and worth inflicting. It's nice when effects in the game are actually meaningful. Bonfire ascetics were a fantastic idea that I'm genuinely still pissed DS3 ditched. It's extremely cool and useful, especially just for...enjoying or practicing a specific boss fight you like. Or farming some stuff. DS2 also thought that it's worth putting new stuff in later game cycles. This is great. Some of the stuff they added in this way was utter bulls*** but, well overall it's a great idea. And it overall is part of the larger point that DS2 was designed with the consideration that people will play it, a lot. On one character. And some people like to coop a lot, or PvP a lot. It was designed with these styles and wants in mind, and added or adjusted things accordingly. That's a smart way to evolve the series.

That's ultimately what DS2 felt like. A lot of new ideas, genuinely trying to move forward and evolve the series. DS3 doesn't excite nearly as much, because it doesn't feel that way. It feels like a composition of things they already did (and regressing a lot by leaving out a lot of good things DS2 did). Sure, DS2 has a lot of bad design choices as well and some very obnoxious and annoying s***, but you know, Bloodborne and DS3 have that too, but they don't have a lot of the things DS2 has that I care a lot about. The biggest thing DS2 lacks that DS3 and BB have, is the updated complexity of bosses. That is a shame. But, overall, after much consideration, while they're all flawed a lot, DS2 is the one I liked the most, and enjoyed the most. The pieces for the perfect Souls game are scattered within these games...how frustrating.
I am snazzier, hot, hot rant. Mutilated praise.
Croak rush, OK? Weirder, almighty make out. ::)
  1. Boards
  2. Tales of Windyland
  3. Why I like DS2 the best.
  • Topic Archived

GameFAQs Q&A