- Jan 30, 2007
You can optimize your character and still have a fun, challenging experience with this game. Learning how the systems work and making strong, interesting builds is what kept me playing for so long.I actually found out today that I've missed getting the spirit bell for freeI completely agree. I think weapon arts are cool but there are several in this game that require no skill at all to win fights with and that's not a good thing at all. The low damage of normal attacks compared to WAs and the high damage output of enemies means that if you're not using either status effects of a strong WA you're seriously outgunned and are facing a long fight where a couple mistakes can lead to death and restarting (which is great sometimes). I love this game but the balance is way off.Use normal attacks, blocks, rolls etc? You'll often find an enemy has a reasonable (and occasionally unreasonable) set of tools to counter standard actions and that your own damage output is ok to mediocre.
Pull that magic left trigger though? Disgustingly easy.
I ended up banning myself from even picking up the spiritcalling bell and certain ashes of war that I knew could power through fights without me having to learn them. I basically have to balance the game for myself with only my conscience as a guide. Not ideal. Things like Lion's Claw just shouldn't be in the game. You don't need to time it, you don't need to judge distance. It just hyper armors through literally any attack so if you have a bunch of red flasks and enough vigor to not get one shout you can beat any foe just with L2. Flame of the Redmanes is ridiculous. If I can use it to kill dragons at level 1 with a +0 dagger and have it be significantly easier than fighting them normally with a levelled character then that's a serious balance issue (no damage because it never even got to attack). I don't even pick those up now. The game is better without them.
I do like ashes though. You can make cool builds with them and its not like I don't want a strong character. I just want to be the one playing. I like to drive manual. Royal Knight's Resolve, Chilling Mist, Square Off, Unsheath. Now those are some OP ashes that are actually fun to use. They demolish foes but at least you need to do them in a punish window.
However as soon as I learned from youtube about spirit summons being there, in addition to stuff like "equippable specials that are supposed to work with a variety of weapon types" aka Weapon Arts, my first reaction was "they can't have all these alternative styles in and still keep it balanced".
Still, I can live with that. I'll just play less optimal and not read too much on how to optimize. Average enjoyer and all that.
I'd just avoid summoning and using abilities that don't require player skill unless this is your first time playing a souls game. You won't really break this game by having a good build, especially not the late game.
You'll break it by using flame of the redmanes, transient moonlight, corpse piler, lion's claw, summons, rotten breath, golden scarab talisman and to a lesser extent shields. Those are all the things I ban in even my casual playthroughs. There's nothing wrong with being strong. If you're not tanky and a hard hitter the late game has things that will push your shit in (unless you're really good at souls which I'm not).