Part 17: Belfry Sol & Luna
Another set of PvP areas belonging to one covenant. While these areas are strictly optional there are reasons for you to go there even if you don't wanna do PvP. Oh, I mentioned offline invasions. Those only happen in Belfry Sol to my knowledge, never happened to me in Belfry Luna. Also: I mention Offline phantoms in both areas but I think it's actually only in Belfry Sol. I've never had an NPC phantom appear in Belfry Luna. But it's not a guaranteed spawn anyway so I might have been unlucky whenver ging through the area offline. (UPDATE: It does appear in both areas)
The Skeleton Lord everything together with the hexer's hood. Because the crown looks kinda eh in my opinion. Revisiting twinblades here. I do regret that I did not switch to a different twinblade-type weapon thow. the Red Iron one seems like it could be a good one. I may still try that out at a later time. We're also heavy on buffing this time around. I'm not entirely sure if Sacred Oath cancels weapon buffs or just other generic buffs, to be honest. But it wouldn't surprise me if it did both.
Let's take two steps back first: In Demon's Souls there was a late game boss called the Maneater. Once you got him down to a certain level of health or enough time had passed a second one would appear to wreck your shit. Just when you thought the game would go easy on you it flipped you the finger. In Dark Souls early on you'd find a Gargoyle on the roof of a church guarding the Bell of Awakening. Once damaged enough a second one would appear and the game had you know it doesn't fuck around. The fight was also very different from the Maneaters mainly due to the fact that the arena was a lot more spacious and safer.
Now, when Dark Souls II pits you against a total of five of them it's not really surprising anymore. Sadly the makers of this game decided that making you fight more of one thing at the same time creates an interesting kind of challenge instead of just making things take a lot longer.
You start against two gargoyles. Once you damaged them enough a third and eventually a fourth and fifth one appears. You can manipulate this to some extent and that's about the only part of the fight where strategy aside from "kite them until you get an opportunity to hit" comes in. Mostly because it turns into "kite them until you get an opportunity to hit the one you hit before and not one of the others" because new gargoyles spawn by total amount of damage done to the boss' shared health bar.
If you attack only one Gargoyle the next one will spawn once that one's at about half health. You don't really want to use AoE attacks or just attack them all because that'll only mean you have to fight more of them at the same time and that's kind of what you want to avoid to keep the playing field less crowded.
This boss fight is kind of a missed opportunity. They had a chance of one-upping the Gargoyle boss fight from Dark Souls in some meaningful way. But instead added just more of the same. Something as simple as changing the arena up in some fashion. Adding obstacles that can be used strategically, or maybe just use an entirely different enemy type so you don't see it coming. How about fighting a duo of demonic Tigers or something only for a third one to hop into the fray once you deal enough damage? Anything. Really.
This took me 12 or so minutes on NG++ with the build I was using but It's my own fault for doing that I guess. If you gotta pick a weapon it should have long range and hit hard. A halberd-type seems like a good choice here.
Oh yeah, they have attacks too. They swing and thrust with their spear, they fly up and swoop at you. Once at half health a gargoyle may breathe fire, either standing on the ground or flying in the air.
Soul of the Gargoyle of the Lost Bastille.
The elaborate stone statue on the belfry mysteriously came to life.
Moveset/Weapon Class: Spear
Physical Damage (+0/+5): 100/260
Scales with: STR (C-B)
Requirements: 15 STR, 25 DEX
Damage Type: Thrust
A two-pronged spear that imitates a weapon mentioned in an ancient text.
Gargoyles are said to guard castles and forts from ill fortune, and they have appeared in many forms in all the great lands throughout history.
Some of them are so meticulously crafted that they look as if they might come to life.
A pyromancy that creates a coating of flame, allowing the caster to incinerate nearby foes. Needless to say, this is a perilous spell that burns the caster while active.
If a person is truly desirous of something, perhaps being set on fire does not seem so bad.
Black Knight Greatsword
Dark Souls II: Greatsword wielded by knights who served a lord of light in a long-forgotten age.
Even after their flesh was charred by flame, they remained as strong as ever, and stood watch, challenging visitors to their land.
Dark Souls: Greatsword of the black knights who wander Lordran. Used to face chaos demons.
The large motion that puts the weight of the body into the attack reflects the great size of their adversaries long ago.
Note: In Dark Souls it's just called the Black Knight Sword and looks slightly different but they are supposed to be the same weapon. It's odd that the one in Dark Souls II deals fire damage, seeing as the sword was used against Chaos Demons, many of which were empowered by fire. Maybe this one has been tainted by them, or changed over time.
Blue Tearstone Ring
Dark Souls II: A ring set with a rare tearstone.
Reacts when the wearer is in danger, temporarily increasing its wearer's physical defense.
Caitha, goddess of tears, mourns those who have lost loved ones by shedding pure tears of blue. It is said that the stone set in this ring is one such tear
Dark Souls: The rare gem called tearstone has the uncanny ability to sense imminent death.
This blue tearstone from Catarina boosts the defence of its wearer when in danger.
Southern Ritual Band
One of the secret treasures restored in Aldia. Raises the number of spells you may attune.
This modest-looking ring contains very powerful magic. To imagine what unspeakable deeds were performed to create such rings, one need only recall the cruel fate of the resident of Aldia.
Long ago, a bastille lord, driven to desperation by the rapid spread of curse across the land, began to see each subject as a carrier of the blight, and locked them away in droves.
This entire bastille was turned into a prison, and left abandoned to rot its prisoners.