Friday, April 1, 2016

Dark Souls III - Tips for your First Blind Playthrough by Pewpewarrows

Hi all!
I've clocked about 60 hours or so with Dark Souls 3 thus far. While I still have plenty left to do with experimentation, PvP, NG+, and alternate character playthroughs, I thought I'd contribute back a bit for those of you patiently waiting for April 12th to arrive.

This post will try to not contain any direct spoilers, however minor they might seem. Instead, here's a list of general suggestions and reminders of mechanics that have previously existed in the Soulsborne series. Keep these in the back of your mind as you're playing, and don't forget to have fun!
  1. Slow down. The world is incredibly detailed and dense, so it's very easy to miss things (be they items, paths, NPCs, or lore told through the environment) if you run everywhere mindlessly. Admire the scenery and control the camera a lot for new perspectives and breathtaking views.
  2. When you're relatively sure you're not going to be ambushed, take a breather and go read the item descriptions for anything you've recently looted. They often tie in to the area in which you found them, so reading them as soon as possible really helps build your mental image of the lore in these games.
  3. Experiment to your heart's content. Don't try to get too attached to any particular weapon or armor you initially like. Give everything a try at least once. It's sometimes hard to judge the effectiveness of them based on description and stats alone. You might fall in love with a certain moveset when you could have easily dismissed it for dealing slightly less damage.
  4. Games in this series tend to punish you for blindly walking into a room or around a suspicious-looking corner. Tread lightly, and being paranoid pays off well.
  5. Keep a notebook. Jot down alternate paths you've yet to explore, NPC locations, the location of a cool sounding item, locked doors, and potential areas to try falling or jumping off of, to name a few.
  6. The consoles and Steam have built-in screenshot features. Use this frequently to accompany your notebook. A picture of where you found a contraption that does not move might jog your memory more than a hastily-written sentence.
  7. Games in this series have illusory objects and boundaries. The veil of the illusion can be lifted by attacking or rolling into the object or boundary, which can lead to many surprises. Go find them!
  8. NPCs in this series are almost always killable. Sometimes killing them is a good thing, sometimes not. Use your gut and decide their fate.
  9. Exhaust the dialogue options with everyone you meet. NPCs in this series often don't finish everything they have to say the first time you talk to them. Being chatty doesn't just give you more lore to go on, sometimes the NPCs have a surprise for you for listening to them.
  10. NPCs is this series sometimes have "quests" associated with them, in which their dialogue might change, they might change locations, and they might need you to complete an indeterminately obscure task for them. NPC paths might cross, and fulfilling one's desires might make another hate you. Again, use your gut and pick your sides.
  11. If an NPC says they're going somewhere, and you then notice they're gone from their current location, maybe try to go find them where they said they'd go.
  12. Games in this series will sometimes have new things happen to old places that you've already exhaustively explored and completed. It never hurts to revisit locations with a new perspective, especially after important events occur.
  13. Ledges, though they may look precarious, can often lead to hidden surprises for brave adventurers. As I mentioned before, use that camera to peer around and see if you can carefully walk that ledge in front of you.
  14. Verticality is a key component to most games in this series. As such, elevators are very important. But don't think of elevators as teleportation pads from start to end. They move, and you can move when you're on them. Can you get off while they're moving? Where can that get you?
  15. Games in this series sometimes feature dynamic environmental objects. These can be harmless moving items, or dangerous weapons. Can they be destroyed? Can you use them to destroy other things? Experiment!
  16. If you logically think something might be able to catch fire, maybe try setting it on fire.
  17. Games in this series often feature NPC fake PvP-like invasions when you're in a non-hollowed like state. Usually these stop triggering once that area's boss has been defeated. These invaders have often dropped nice loot, so maybe give a zone one last run-through after making yourself non-hollowed to check for them.
  18. Some games in this series have included invisible walkways. Is there anything your can use to test for these? Hint:
  19. Don't think of windows as set dressing in the environment. Can you find a way to jump into them? There might be something worthwhile inside.
  20. Some games in this series have featured a trading mechanic where you can drop an item on the ground for an NPC in exchange for a present. See what it might have to offer early and often.
  21. The cover of fog and darkness can often conceal some cleverly-hidden paths or treasure chests. Give yourself some light to explore with.
  22. During games in this series you might gain access to new and fun emotes for your character to enjoy. These sometimes aren't just aesthetic for jolly co-operation or git gud invasion gloating, though. See how NPCs respond to you using them. Do you see any objects in the environment that are themed to a particular emote? Maybe try using them around it.
  23. Speaking of treasure chests... things may not always seem as they appear. Remember to stay paranoid, and don't always go straight for the shiny treasure assuming you're safe. Hint:
  24. Some bosses are just hard. Sometimes, however, they have a trick to them. Hint:
  25. The consoles and Windows 10 have built-in ways to record gameplay footage. (If you're not on Windows 10, or don't like the built-in functionality, there's plenty of third-party software available to do this too.) Use this to record your first attempts at a boss. It's much easier to go back and try to figure out the "tells" for a boss telegraphing their next attack when you're not stressed-out mid-fight. Learn to predict that one move that keeps killing you.
  26. If you think you've beaten everything and explored everywhere, but your platform indicates that you still have some secret achievements left to unlock, then your journey isn't quite over yet. Get more creative!
Well, that's all for now.


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