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Thread: Dark Souls III: Scholar of the First Spoiler Filled Dark Souls III Thread

  1. #376
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Ooh... that Irithyll Straight Sword does sound nice. Might save my titanite shards until then and persist with the uchigatana until then.

  2. #377
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Hong Kong
    Twinkling Titanite for that sword actually.

  3. #378
    Registered: Jul 2004
    The Deep Axe has no scaling (it's an elemental infusion), very good early game weapon, but will fall behind scaling weapons later. The uchi is a solid weapon, especially since it inflicts bleed, which is very strong in this game. IMO most weapons are good if you level the appropriate stats for them.

  4. #379
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    Hi Thirith. Enjoy the game !

    About play-styles, builds and weapons.
    First you have to make a choice: magic or melee ? There are 4 magic "schools". Sorceries (depending on int), Miracles (depending on faith), Dark (depending on both int and faith) and Pyromancies (depending far less on int and faith). What they have in common is that 1) they are not very strong in the first half of the game, and 2) they require a bit more planning, and a bit more finess. Therefor I would advise new players to not play magic. Just go melee.

    Melee comes in 2 flavours. Fast 1-handed weapons and slow weapons (that are better for 2-handing). What you like best depends on your playing style. If you want to play with a shield, a 1-handed weapon is to be preferred over a 2-handed weapon. I like playing with a shield. I always do. I think it allows you more to depend on your "rpg"-qualities, and less on pure reflexes. Playing with a shield allows you to make more mistakes. Especially when playing with a 2-hander, there will be times where you are much more vulnerable (between attacks). There are more options like whips, fist weapons, daggers, they all have much smaller range, and thus its harder to hit your target.

    Melee damage comes in 3 types: Strike, Slash and Thrust. Different weapons do different types of melee damage. Sometimes different moves (R1, R2) do different types too. Strike is the best type of damage. Usually it does best against anything with armor. But often strike is best against other enemies too. Hammers and maces do strike damage. Your Uchigatana does slash damage. Against some enemies it does slightly less damage (~10%), but the benefit is that your katana has a wider reach. Thrust weapons are the Estoc and Rapiers. They are harder to hit your enemy with, and harder to hit multiple enemies with. Therefor I advise you to use a (1-handed) Strike or Slash weapon. Once you pick your weapon, you can forget about Strike/Slash/Thrust.

    A good strike weapon would be the simple mace. A good slash weapon would be the longsword. Both can be bought early (from Greirat, I think). The Uchigatana is also good choice. You can't go wrong with any of these 3 weapons. I've done full playthroughs with all these 3 weapons.

    About builds.
    People often talk about Strength, Dex and Refined builds. Refined means you need both str and dex. You can use gems to "infuse" your weapons. Which means they scale a bit better with str, dex or both. What new players don't seem to realize is that these builds only start to be better than normal, when you have 30+ strength or dexterity ! That means you'll be level-40+ before you even notice the benefits of your build. For this reason, I recommend players to not do a str/dex/refined build at all ! Once you reach level 40 or 50, you'll be in The Cathedral of the Deep. There you will have the ability to respec. (Up to 5 times per NG-cycle. But there's a glitch so you can respec indefinitely. Check that out before you spend all 5 of your respecs).

    So if you don't do a str/dex/refined build, what should you do ?

    You still can (and should) infuse your weapon. There are 3 options. Raw, fire and deep (deep, not dark). Raw means that the base-damage of you weapon will go up (by 20% or so), but you don't receive any benefit from your str or dex (or any stat). This is perfect if you don't have 30+ str/dex yet. You can get raw gems early in the game. Spend it wisely. I think you can farm more raw gems, but still then you don't want to infuse all your weapons just because you can. The other options are fire or deep. These infusions greatly increase the total damage your weapon does, but split in 2 components. Example: suppose you got 12 str, 10 dex, and you use a mace. Uninfused, the mace does 262 dmg (AR). Raw it does 351 dmg. With fire infusion, it does 425 dmg (half physical and half fire), deep also 425 dmg. If you do a str build, you need 23 str to get to 351 dmg, 30 str gives you 388 dmg and 40 str gives you 428 dmg. You see, that's a lot of points invested in str for damage that is not spectacular. Same holds true for dex weapons/builds. For refined it's even worse (you need to invest in both stats).

    About split damage. You need to realize that enemies have independent absorption/defense against physical and element damages. So suppose your raw weapon does 351 dmg, and the enemy has 50 absorption. You'll do 301 dmg per hit. Suppose you infuse your weapon with fire. That's 212 physical and 212 fire dmg. But the enemy's absorption will make that 162 physical and 162 fire, total 324 dmg. Still better than raw, but less of a difference than you might think (351 vs 425). Later in the game (when you have lots of stat points) raw, fire and deep are less efficient. But until then, raw/fire/deep are imho the best choices. Certainly before you can respec (cathedral of the deep). But I think up to Dancer, its smartest to use raw, fire or deep.
    Also note, raw infusion allows you to use resins, while fire/deep does not. Although most trash in the first half of the game is vulnerable to fire or dark dmg, because of boss fights you might wanna just do raw infusion.

    Enough theory. What build do I recommend ?
    I think that's the wrong question. New players don't recommendations where to end their build. They need help how to get there. So this is my recommendation. I'd use a mace, a longsword or the uchigatana. I think the mace is slightly better, but the uchigatana is pretty good too.

    1) First invest a few points so you can wield your weapon of preference. 12 Str for the mace. Or 11 str/16 dex for your Uchigatana. Or 11 str for your 100% shield (silver eagly kite), or 14 str for a crest shield, etc. Keep the investments to a minimum.
    2) Infuse your weapon with a raw or fire gem.
    3) Invest your next points to get your Vigor (health) to 20. This will greatly increase your survivability.
    4) Get Endurance (stamina) to 20. This will allow you to attack and roll a bit more, before you run out of stamina.
    5) If there's something heavier you want to wield (heavier weapon or sword), invest a little in vitality (equip load). Maybe not necessary.
    6) Get Vigor and Endurance to 27. 27 Is the soft cap for vigor (health). More vigor will now give less health per point.
    7) By now you should get to the Cathedral of the Deep.
    8) You will find your first deep gem(s). If you were using fire-infusion, you might want to switch to deep infusion.
    More enemies are vulnerable to dark (deep is non-scaled dark dmg). Dark/deep is good against the Dancer.
    Check bosses vulnerabilities to see what infusion
    9) By now (Dancer dead, you're entering the higher part of Lothric Castle) you have enough stat points to spec into a strength, dex or refined build. And you should have enough knowledge to understand what you're doing by now.

    For reference, this is an awesome guide that'll tell you what a boss's weakness are.
    See the link to the google spreadsheet at the top.
    Sometimes it'll be handy to know what kind of resin you can use best.
    Sometimes you can see if you infusion is really bad, and you might need to re-infuse or your weapon, or use another weapon (even if it has a slightly lower reinforcement).

    Another thing that is never mentioned anywhere. You can do pyromancy without investing in stat. What I do is: I get my pyromancy glove, whenever I have (small) titanite shards I reinforce my glove (but only after my weapons and shields of choice). Then I buy the Flash Sweat pyromancy. This will allow you to cast fire-resistance on yourself. Without any stat-investment. And the glove has 0 weight, so you can always equip it as 2nd or 3rd left hand weapon. Fire resistance will make you sturdier in some fights (Abyss Watchers, Deacons of the Deep, Old Demon King, Pontiff, Aldritch, Dancer, just to name a few mid-game bosses).

    Last recommendation: back up your save-files.
    It's easier on the PC. I don't know how to do it on a PS4, but I think it's possible.
    This helps against: 1) corrupted save-files, 2) being invaded by a hacker who messes you up (and thus your savefile), and 3) if you do something real stupid, you can always go back to your latest savefile.
    It's really easy to do on a PC, especially if you put a directory-junction on your Desktop. I copy my savefile before and after each boss-fight. And before I do things like respecs or buy something expensive. That allows me to feel less stressed out when I'm about to do something stupid.

    In case you want to plan your build, see how much damage certain weapons do, or how much carrying capacity you need (always stay below 70% weight ! But I'm sure you already knew that), this website might be handy:
    Don't spend too much time here. Playing is more fun.

    Hope this helps.
    If you have more questions, let us know.
    Last edited by Gryzemuis; 28th Aug 2019 at 10:46.

  5. #380
    Registered: May 2004
    Haven't heard of refined builds, but builds that use both dex and str are commonly called quality builds.

    Me, I just find a weapon I like and build around that. Something magic-based for the first playthrough, a ridiculously large sword for the second.

  6. #381
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Thanks to everyone for the info.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starker
    Me, I just find a weapon I like and build around that.
    That's something I've found difficult in each of the Soulsborne games I've played (i.e. all of the ones by From Software). Me liking a weapon always had a lot to do with me being used to a weapon, so I'd never put in the time to learn how another weapon works. I'd just go with whatever was closest to what I used in the previous game.

  7. #382
    Registered: May 2004
    It can be a lot of fun. If you're used to shields or ranged combat and then go with something like a zweihander, it becomes almost a different game where positioning and timing becomes far more important and the fights become more tactical as a result. Dodge-dodge-splat. Ah.. pancaking the enemies really never gets old.

  8. #383
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    The name "quality build" is originally from Demon Souls. (I've read. I haven't played it myself). In the Dark Souls games, the gem to do quality builds is called "refined gem". So the build is often also called "refined build".

    I've just checked the Uchigatana with minimum requirements (11 str, 16 dex). Already the sharp infusion is doing better. Doing builds and infusing weapons is really a muddy subject. Especially when you take bosses's resistances into consideration. I recommend picking a weapon based on the move-set you like. Or maybe just based on aesthetics. (The Uchigatana looks really cool. The mace is ugly). And then use Mugenmonkey to check how to use it best. Anyway, my recommendation stands: first invest points in health, stamina and maybe carrying weight. And only when you get to level 60+ you should start worrying about str/dex/int/faith builds.

    Thirith, I have the same problem as you. I found it difficult to pick a weapon. When I played Dark Souls 1, the game finally started clicking for me when I started using the Halberd. Shield + Halberd means you can hit (and stagger) trash-mobs before they can get to you. I finished DS1 with my trusty Halberd. So when I played Dark Souls 3, I got myself a Halberd quickly again. And played most of the game with the Halberd. But when I played it again, and wanted to use another weapon, I found it pretty hard to find a good one. Two-handers are not my play-style. Trusting swords are on average less useful than straight swords or the mace. So I usually end up using a straight sword (because that's what I mostly used for 10k hours playing my rogue in WoW), the mace (it's the best weapon for my style of play in pve probably) or a katana (for looks). I used a Washing Pole as backup weapon in DS1. In DS3 it breaks too easily, so I used it only on boss fights (when my Halberd couldn't reach a boss easily, like when fighting the Curserotten Greatwood). I did a full playthrough once with the Uchigatana. It's definitely viable.

  9. #384
    Registered: May 2004
    It's been a while since I've played any Dark Souls, but the one quick comment I'd add to what others have said is to not underestimate the rock, paper, scissors aspect of the game.

    I understand having a favorite or focused weapon, especially for specific playthroughs, but sometimes the key to keeping an encounter from being frustrating, especially on a first playthrough, is to switch up your armor and weapon to more efficiently counter a specific enemy.

    So it's a good idea to level up and occasionally practice some equipment with a different profile of strengths and resistances than your main loadout.

  10. #385
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    While I do feel that Dark Souls 3 is suffering from diminished returns, I appreciate the tweaks the gameplay and mechanisms have received, and I like the weirdness and beauty of many of the environments a lot. Yesterday I arrived at Irithyll of the Boreal Valley and visually it may just be one of my favourite places in any of the Soulsborne games.

  11. #386
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Definitely diminished returns for me although DS 1 and 2 are my two most-played games on Steam. I never ended up playing the last expansion for DS3, and at this point I may never.

  12. #387
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I want to argue with you, but I can't help but think that The Ringed City was plagued by some of the cheapest gotchas and level design of the entire series. It's like From decided to forego their "tough, but fair" stance, instead going full tilt on the Fuck You Quotient to give the last hurrah of the series some kick in the nuts oomph. I won't say it's entirely devoid of any worth, but it does sometimes feel like it's slow and frustrating for the sake of being slow and frustrating.

    The boss fight against Gael is probably one of the best in the game though.

  13. #388
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Hong Kong
    I recently completed another playthrough of DS3 and its two expansions. My first time since the Ringed City was released and this time on the PS4 Pro. I was in fact burnt out after playing the Ringed City -- notwithstanding its incredibly beautiful setting and various highlights (the bosses mainly), the gameplay is largely about running through an area as quickly as possible due to the ongoing bombardment of ballistic attacks from its various enemies (angel rays, curse showers, death rings, ghost arrows etc.), largely at the expense of measured exploration, a mainstay feature we have come to expect of the series.

    That said, the rest of DS3 is a masterpiece, even if it is resting on the shoulder of a giant, and I absolutely loved playing through it again after all of this time. There are many areas where it excels: combat and gameplay are incredibly fluid, which makes it a joy to play; the graphics and scenes are often beautiful and memorable; the boss fights are inventive, varied and often deeply challenging. One of the things I enjoyed about playing through it this time was that my 8yo son completed it using his own profile, which meant that we frequently reached many of the same areas and bosses at the same time. Seeing him solo Champion Gundyr and many of the other difficult bosses was very humbling .

    We're now both playing through DS1 Remastered.

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