Dark Souls 2 is heralded as one of the hardest titles in the Dark Souls franchise. The brutal array of enemies, high drop damage, and generally brutal punitive gameplay make it one of the hardest games to progress. That said, the game is one of the fan-favorite games by talented members of From Software and rewards players for their vast game knowledge and skills.
Picking A Class – Dark Souls 2
The first step in any Dark Souls game is deciding which class you want to start with. The Dark Souls series offers many layers and stats that can seem overwhelming or indecipherable, so this first-rate decision can be a stressful one due to its effect on player experience.
Each class gives the player a set number of beginner stats. Cleric excels in magic directional stats while Bandit focuses more on power weapons. These different character classes will serve as a building block for players as they begin their journey through the terrifying world of Dark Souls 2, and choosing a class can be a daunting task.
The best advice when deciding on a character class, if you are unfamiliar with the game series, is to choose the Knight class. Knight’s comes with a fairly flexible set of stats, allowing for a certain degree of freedom of choice when playing the game. Their power stat allows the player to evolve into a power-building character but the knight allows room for ingenuity and just enough faith to develop a magic-oriented character.
Stat’s Effects – Dark Souls 2
There is a huge amount of different stats in the Dark Souls series. A bunch of different stats can seem like gibberish to a new player, and honestly, different effects can be shuffled through the game’s intricate menu. However, with some explanation and guidance, the effect of each statistic becomes intuitive and simple.
Each stat is equivalent to one mechanic in Dark Souls 2. For example, power building increases the player’s gear load and increases damage on power assist weapons. While the stats of faith and intelligence affect the player’s ability to use magic and flame. Each skill has a direct effect on ability in the game, and figuring out the stats you want to level up can be a difficult and complicated process for early players.
Keep in mind some of the lesser-known effects that leveling two seemingly different stats can have on a character’s abilities. For example, if a player upgrades their durability and adaptability stats, the character’s “politeness” will start to increase. Poise is an in-game mechanic that allows the player to not “fake” when attacked. This allows for a fairly “tanky” build that can deal massive damage while taking some massive hits.
The Hollow Mechanic
One thing common in the Dark Souls series is the famous “you die” scene. No matter how skilled the player, death is a reality in these games. However, it is important to know the effects of death, as each death creates a brutal debuff for the player.
This debuff is a notorious “hollow” mechanic. Although present in Dark Souls, its incarnation in Dark Souls 2 is a more brutal and punishing example and needs to be understood before tackling the game. When a player dies, they will demonstrate a visible “hollow” that forces their character into a state resembling a rotting corpse. Not only does it make for a pretty ugly character model, but it also has some pretty lousy in-game outcomes for a player who gets killed often.
As you grow more and more hollow, the player’s health will decrease significantly after each death. This can result in more than half of the player’s available health. The Hollower makes the inherent difficulty of the Dark Souls series an even more difficult reality. The more you die, the more often you will die, so how do Soul players deal with this mechanic? The only real way to manage the hollow is to exercise cautious and careful play. Just try not to die that much and you’ll be fine.