The Let's Play Archive

Dark Souls II

by IGgy IGsen

Part 1: Forest of Fallen Giants Pt. 1

Bit of a twofer because the first video is mostly dialogue.

The Majula episode almost exclusively features dialogue, if you want to skip straight to the gamplay then don't worry. If something the NPCs say becomes relevant I will bring it back up or even play back the audio. However, you may want to watch it for flavour.
One thing I neglected to mention is that you can actually get the Moon Butterfly Shield from the chest in Maughlins room on NG+

I'll be covering most of the stuff below in future videos as it comes up, but I'm not going to really emphasize the importance of stats in them because I simply think it's best not to worry about it too much and just go with what seems most useful. But here's a basic description of the stats regardless. The idea is that the stats listed under Attributes, which you can level up yourself affect the stats listed under performance some of which influence the rightmost stats. And those are only Attack Ratings and Defenses.

VGR - Vigor: Like every other stat this one increases HP. This one does nothing else, though. But it DOES increase the HP more than any other stat.
END - Endurance: This one mainly increases Stamina it adds 2 points of Stamina for every point in Endurance until it reaches 20, after that it's only one Stamina for every point of Endurance. It diminishes further down the line but there's no good reason to go much higher than 20. Along with Adaptability it also increases Poise. Whichever of the two stats is the lowest affects Poise. Higher poise pretty much only means that your attacks are less likely to be interrupted by enemies attacks.
VIT - Vitality: Vitality increases Equip Load, which is needed to wear heavier pieces of armor or to wear them more efficiently. Movement Speed very subtly changes according to your percentage seen in the lower right (63.3% in this case). More importantly, though, it affects the speed of your dodge roll. It changes subtly as well, until it reaches 70% of the total Load, when it drops significantly to the equivalent of the "fat roll" from the first game. Generally, you will want to stay under 70% so you have an easier time dodging, unless you really want to tank hits.
ATN - Attunement: Probably the most important stat for every build that uses magic because it influences the amount of Magic you can equip. With 10 points into Attunement you get one Attunement Slot, allowing you to equip most Spells (some will take more than one slot). You'll get one more slot after two extra points but it diminishes with every further slot, but may be worth it. Attunement also increases Cast Speed, amount of casts per scroll and Agility (AGL)
STR - Strength: STR mainly affects damage scaling, as long as it's based on STR, and allows you to equip weapons that have a STR requirement.
DEX - Dexterity DEX, much like strength DEX affects damage scaling but less so, which kind of butchers the stat. It also affects Damage bonuses to Poison and Bleeding, though.
ADP - Adaptability ADP increases overall defenses but most importantly it increases Agility (AGL) which affects various things. We know for sure that it increases Estus Drinking speed and invincibility frames of your dodge roll. Additionally some people think it affects the speed or active frames of parrying. I could also swear it affects recovery time after weapon swings, but I may be horribly wrong.
INT - Intelligence It affects Damage Bonuses for Magic, Fire (averages with FTH) and Dark (lower stat of FTH and INT) damage in addition to being one of the stats that may be required to equip certain gear. Mostly staffs.
FTH - Faith It affects Damage Bonuses for Lightning (actually affects all miracles), Fire, and Dark damage in addition to being one of the stats that may be required to equip certain gear. Mostly Sacred Chimes.

Now I did mention scaling above. Essentially certain stats will improve the effectiveness of weapons and armor the higher the stats they scale with are.
There are five levels of scaling: D, C, B, A and S. However, it's not as simple as having five levels of scaling. It's actually more gradual. If you upgrade a weapon that has an S-Level scaling with some stat in its unupgraded version it will have a better S-Level scaling once you upgrade it. Generally speaking you'll want weapons with an A or S rank in scaling if you have the stats to go along with it. Otherwise you might prefer a weapon that has lower levels of scaling but higher base damage. Of course, now, each of the scaling stats influences the effectiveness of a weapon differently.
STR and DEX increase the physical attack power of a weapon
DEX also increases bleed and poison properties of weapons but in return helps physical damage a little less.
Magic which is increased by INT only increases the Magic damage a weapon does.
Lightning which is increased by FTH only increases the Lightning damage a weapon does.
Fire which is increased by the average between INT and FTH increases Fire damage a weapon does. Although it's more of a bonus for people who invest in those stats as Fire scaling is not that high to begin with. This is slightly more true for pyromancies than weapons, though. It's good to mix up damage types. If you don't want to just do Magic, Lightning or Dark elemental damage.
Dark which is increased by whichever stat of INT or FTH is currently the lowest only increases Dark damage a weapon does.

Furthermore, you could now buff your weapon with an element using resins or spells. But it's recommended you only use buffs of damage types you're already dealing with your weapon as each additional damage type will slightly diminish the returns you get due to the fact that the damage will be cut by one more resistance of an enemy.

Item Descriptions:

Can be found in Things Betwixt:
Dark Souls II: An accursed mark. The Darksign induces death, returning the player to the last bonfire rested at, at the cost of all souls held.
Do what you must to gather the pieces, scraping them into some semblance of a whole, before the will to do so fades.
Dark Souls: The Darksign signifies an accursed Undead. Those branded with it are reborn after death, but will one day lose their mind and go Hollow.
Death triggers the Darksign, which returns its bearer to the last bonfire rested at, but at the cost of all humanity and souls.
Note: The description of the Darksign from the first game actually gives us significantly more info on lore and the way it works which is why I included it here. Also: The first game's description mentions humanity, which was an in-game item. Also a concept.

Human Effigy
A warm, soft, shadow-like effigy.
Use this item to reverse Hollowing. It also weakens the links to other worlds,vasions and most cooperation.
Peer closely at an effigy, and one begins to perceive a human form, but whose form it takes depends on the person looking.
Note: Opposed to the first game, where the loss of "humanity" was emphasized in the process of going hollow this time losing one's memory and self are the focus. That, however has always been an aspect of hollowing, they didn't add that in.

Humanity (Only in the first game. Here for reference)
Rare tiny black sprite found on corpses. Use to gain 1 humanity and restore a large amount of HP.
This black sprite is called humanity, but little is known about its true nature. If the soul is the source of all life, then what distinguishes the humanity we hold within ourselves?
Note: It's heavily implied that Humanities are fragments of the Dark Soul itself. We'll get a chance to learn a little more about what exactly this means later on into the LP. OR you could play the first game. Your call.

Cracked Red Eye Orb
Online play item. Invade other worlds.
Defeat the master of the world you have invaded to acquire a Token of Spite.
The residual sins of those who have succumbed to dark temptations are contained in the form of the Cracked Red Eye Orb

Small Smooth and Silky Stone
A smooth and silky stone. Use to slightly restore HP
The shine of this stone is no ordinary polish, and can only be achieved over a long period. Some in this land are in search of such stones.

Handmaid's Ladle
An ordinary kitchen ladle.
He who chooses this as a weapon either faces extenuating circumstances or has an odd sense of humor. If you care for your life, leave this one in the kitchen.

Can be found in Majula:
Estus Flask
Dark Souls II: A green bottle of unknown make. Fill it with Estus at a bonfire, and drink from it to restore HP.
The nature of the link between the Estus flasks and the bonfires that illuminate the world of the Undead is entirely unknown. But that is of little concern, for any Undead knows the value of these precious flasks.
Dark Souls: The Undead treasure these dull green flasks. Fill with Estus at bonfire. Fills HP.
The Estus Flasks are linked to the Fire Keepers. The Dark Tales also make reference: An emerald flask, from the Keeper's soul. She lives to protect the flame, and dies to protect it further
Note:We're drinkin' liquid fucking fire. And no, I don't think anyone knows what "the Dark Tales" actually are.

Estus Flask Shard
The shard of an Estus Flask. Shards are deeply soaked in Estus. Graft the shard to an Estus Flask to increase flask uses.
Over the ages, countless souls rested their bones as they drank from the original flask. And now this shard remains, serving as a vestige of their hopes and dreams.

Divine Blessing
Dark Souls II: Holy water endowed with a divine blessing. Cures status effects and fully restores HP.
Water blessed by an ancient goddess. Her name is long forgotten, and the Magic Academy of Melfia denies even her existence.
In any age, there are those who refuse to see reason. It is their meddling that distorts the truth.
Dark Souls: Holy water from Goddess Gwynevere. Fully restore HP and undo irregularities.
The Goddess of Sunlight Gwynevere, daughter of the great Lord of Sunlight Gwyn, is cherished by all as the symbol of bounty and fertility.
Note: The fact that no one remembers Gwynevere's name is a pretty good sign that a very long time has passed between the two games. Gwynevere was the daughter of Gwyn, Lord of Sunlight. Essentially the equivalent to Zeus in greek mythology. He even throws lightning. You wouldn't forget the name and role of the daughter of someone that important, would you?

Homeward Bone
Dark Souls II: A white-ashen bone. Return to the last bonfire rested at.
Bonfires burn on the bones of Undead. And this bone, belonging to one whose journey was cut short, has the power to travel to bonfires. As if it yearns to resume its futile quest...
Dark Souls : Bone fragment reduced to white ash. Return to last bonfire used for resting.
Bonfires are fueled by the bones of the Undead. In rare cases, the strong urge of their previous owner's to seek bonfires enchants their bones with a homeward instinct.