- you need at least 60 poise to see any good results - most armor sets in the game don't get close to this
- poise kinda sucks against many tough enemies, even with 100+ poise you get nothing, and these are the enemies you really want poise to be working against
- rats have a basic jumping attack that isn't blocked by even 100 poise
People bitching against delayed attacks, roll catchers and endless combos are barking off the wrong tree.
What's really obnoxious is the arbitrary and inconsistent way both poise and hyberarmor works. This idea that you either lose or gain absolute immobility in the face of incoming attacks just flies in the faces of all logic. If i'm wearing granite over my whole body i should be pretty much unmovable no matter what, it doesn't matter if i'm swinging or what i'm swinging. Elden Ring is an improvement over DS3 but the idea you are just never sure if or when some of your stats are actually doing anything is just stupid.
I believe that stats were intentionally made to be inscrutable. Look at the so-called breakpoints people refer to then look at a graph of actual derived stat gains for a given base statistic. Then realize that this differs between weapons, even weapons with the same letter grade in scaling. You'll hear the claim that 50 poise is the magic number to tank a light weapon, 100 for a medium but the truth is never that simple with this game's mechanics. The truth is never consistent and there are no discernable rules, no guidelines to be found except bigger numbers are better. It's impossible to understand what your stats will do without the use of reference tables and external software.
Having played a light character who wore only a robe I can say I feel a big difference between having any amount of poise and none. Can I feel the difference between poise in the high 40s and the high 60s when I put the bull goat's talisman on? Maybe. Sometimes I think so, sometimes not.
I realize at this point that people far smarter than me have developed this character system to be intentionally impossible to optimize. Whatever. Bigger numbers are better. Poise is a number. Stat breakpoints aren't real, except for things like HP and endurance, and even then the progression has no logical pattern but a bit of hand waving is necessary to not go insane trying to just make a character. 50 poise is a good goal and definitely feels different in many circumstances to 10 poise. 100 poise is better than 50 poise and is an advantage in a fight. But you can't rely on it. Sometimes you'll stagger anyway. Who the fuck knows why? I think part of it is taking a hit previously means you have lingering poise damage, but that's just a wild guess.
This guy tested it scientifically in a video and showed that below 55 poise does nothing, but because you *feel* like it made a difference, that's all that matters!