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0, October 2011
¤ A Rough Guide ¤
Table of Contents
Getting Started 1 2 2 Character Selection Starting Gifts How to Succeed at Dark Souls
Game Mechanics 4 5 9 9 12 16 17 Humanity Stats Poise Magic Upgrading Equipment Multiplayer Covenants
Preferred Equipment 25 26 27 28 29 29 Armor Shields Catalysts, Talismans (and Flames) Rings Farming Equipment Weapons
Specific Advice 37 37 38 38 39 41 41 Curing Curse De-aggroing NPCs Don’ts Early Equipment Farming Souls A PvM build to ~SL25 Sticking Points
This guide was written by Sheep-Goats of the Something Awful Forums. You can contact me there or email me – sheepgoats (without a hyphen) at that one email service that Google provides. You can reproduce this as you like, but please keep it in its full, intact form including my contact info. This version (v1.0) was finalized on October 15, 2011. Planned additions for the next version are some Farming tables, Boss Soul usage table, and more detailed info on spells. Many parts of this guide rely on info from all of the following: The Wikidot Wiki, the Wikispaces wiki, the Japanese Livedoor wiki via Google Translate, the Future Press official guide, and opinions I’ve assembled ad-hoc from various internet forums. My thanks to the people working on those resources, you should check them all out, and if those organizations wants to copy and paste my stuff into their site or whatever I’m totally fine with that. Other sites should ask me first. I can send a .doc file to facilitate the Ctrl+C, Ctrl+P process on request.
¤ Character Selection ¤ Starting Gifts ¤ How to Succeed at Dark Souls ¤ Character Selection
¤ Pick Pyromancer, Priest or Thief ¤ The character type you start the game with is not a binding choice at all like it is in games like Diablo 2. Very quickly into the game you could spend some of the souls you collect to make your Knight a wizard just as capable as any of the starting mage classes or a Sorcerer just as capable a melee fighter as a warrior. Really your starting character mostly amounts to a set of equipment and skills that you will use to finish your first two or three hours of play and at that point all doors are totally open to you. With that said, Dark Souls is a difficult game and there are some characters that have an advantage during these two hours. Probably the two strongest starting choices overall are the Pyromancer and the Priest. The Pyromancer starts with a powerful spell to help with the odd enemy you’re unsure how to deal with in melee and has a good overall stat distribution, particularly for a mage. The Priest starts with the Heal miracle and so he has twice the healing capacity between bonfires (which are the continuation and leveling points in Dark Souls) that other characters have. Their armor and weapons aren’t a major concern as lots of different sorts equipment becomes available very quickly in the game, however the Pyromancer’s robes are actually a quite good light armor set thanks to their scalability and built-in poison and even curse resistance. The mace of the Priest is also something other characters won’t get ahold of until maybe 15 or so hours into the game and is, of course, handy against skeletons. Don’t take this to say that magic reigns supreme in Dark Souls, it’s just that these two characters start with good melee and good magic which can open doors for you early on. Speaking of opening doors, the Thief starts with a free Master Key and is therefore an interesting choice. His weapon actually isn’t bad either, even if it’s just a little knife. For more info on the Master Key see the next section on Starting Gifts. He’s the only character that starts with an item that is otherwise unavailable in the game. Using him in fights will, however, require a little more finesse than most of your other options. You should probably avoid picking the Deprived. His even stats may seem like he makes a better option for min/maxing a character as you go but that’s just not the case as he also starts at a higher soul level. His starting equipment is pretty bad – the club is okay but his shield is trash and he has no magic or armor. If your main concern is having a character who doesn’t “waste” any stats for your build you should know that builds are only relevant for PvP and, more importantly, the PvP meta is still undefined and therefore it’s impossible to even plan a build right now anyway as you don’t know what your goals are. There have been several significant changes from Demon’s Souls (especially having to do with the relative value of damage governing stats, weapon scaling, and the use of healing items in PvP) that make formulating these goals impossible right now. The Pyromancer does seem to get a few more overall stat points for his soul level than anyone else, but whether these are in the right place for a strong PvP character is up in the air. Lastly, all items, weapons and armor are now gender neutral, unlike in Demon’s Souls. Male or Female is an aesthetic choice only in Dark Souls. As is the facial generator. Just don’t pick neon colored hair because I won’t summon you if you look like you fell out of a special edition Sucker Punch DVD case. 1
¤ Take the Pendant or Master Key ¤ A lot of players agonize over this way too much. To simplify things, all of the gifts can be found easily in the game, either early on or just before you need them, except for two. The Pendant allows for some extra plot later in the game and, while available in game, is a real pain to get. The Master Key is a reusable item that is not present anywhere else in the game. It allows you to open a few (not all!) locked doors early that you would otherwise have to wait to get access to later. This allows you to sequence break a bit early on and grab a bit more equipment. All of the doors the Master Key opens you will acquire the actual keys for along the way. Most of these will be found but a few will have to be purchased, so the Master Key also saves you a bit of money. It’s important to note that the Thief starts with a Master Key anyway, so if you decide to start with the Thief don’t pick the Master Key as your gift as there’s no point to having two of them. A few people choose the Black Firebombs. These are consumable items that you can easily find later on and you only get ten of them as your gift and they don’t recharge or renew. The reason people take these is that it makes killing a boss in the tutorial level easy (who is otherwise almost impossible thanks to you not having an actual weapon of any sort at that point) and killing that boss drops a unique weapon if and only if you kill him on your first encounter (without running away through the portcullis like you’re expected to do). That weapon has a huge strength requirement though and you probably won’t even be able to use it until you’re almost done with your first run through the game so you could always just wait to kill that boss for your second run through the game (called New Game Plus, or NG+, a concept familiar to those who’ve played Demon’s Souls) with that character. It’s a decent weapon, actually, but not exactly spectacular. The Tiny Being’s Ring seems like the obvious choice to people familiar with Demon’s Souls but its description doesn’t match its actual effects. In reality all it does is add 30 HP to your HP bar and it will get replaced by almost any other ring you come across. It’s terrible. The Old Witches Ring also seems compelling but in reality it just functions as an item to give you some dialog you otherwise wouldn’t get and that dialog has nothing to do with actually interacting with the associated Covenant stuff. You can try it in one of your later playthroughs as it only opens up a tiny bit more dialog than you’d otherwise get. All of the other items are easily replaced consumables. Might as well take no gift at all as one of those.
How To Succeed at Dark Souls
¤ Go slow ¤ Use your shield ¤ Watch your stamina ¤ Try something else ¤ Even the most basic foe in Demon’s Souls can usually kill you in a few hits. There are parts of the game that reward charging through and taking risks, but in general, especially at the start, it’s important to move slowly through the level taking out potential threats along the way. Expect to be put in pincer attacks, to have enemies ambush your or sneak up behind you in both obvious and non-obvious spots. Enemies will chase you for a long ways and are quite good at following you around corners and up ladders so anything you leave behind will tend to catch back up to you, generally at the worst possible time. Every character starts with a shield and this is for good reason. It is, of course, possible to progress using a two handed weapon and just out-ranging most foes but you’ll often be stuck into blind turns or narrow spaces with little to no option to evade. There are many enemies who can parry and riposte your attacks or 2
Your stamina is your life’s blood every bit as much as your HP is.else who use their shields very well so a willy-nilly offense can frequently get you in to trouble. Stamina management is often the name of the game – for this reason always consider upgrading your Endurance stat when it comes time to level up as every point of Endurance not only lets you stay agile in heavier equipment (more on that later) but also gives you a few more precious points of Stamina. Until the game tells you differently expect to deal with most foes by letting them attack your raised shield first and then attacking them during their recovery animations. Dark Souls is an extremely well designed game – you may have to take this as a point of faith in the beginning but as you work your way through it you’ll realize why it has the fanbase it does.” it’s probably because you’re not keeping an open mind and looking for the solutions available to you. and on and on like that. Sometimes you have to put the controller down before you throw it through a wall. Both blocking and attacking (and running away or evading) uses Stamina. however. People who are brand new to Dark Souls usually die by rushing in or being careless or not using their shield. the green bar near the top of the screen that refills quickly whenever you’re not doing something too strenuous. In some areas it isn’t even wise to go slow. Some enemies will just face you and passively guard while their friends catch up. 3 . If you’ve failed in attempting the same thing five times in a row it’s probably not because you’re under leveled or an area is “cheap. Often new areas will have nasty surprises lurking just out of sight. Following the “go slow” and “use your shield” maxims won’t always lead you to success. but you should generally try to experiment your way through challenges first as that’s likely the reason you bought this game to begin with. always a way to succeed – there is a Something Awful Forum member I’m aware of who cannot use the L1 or L2 buttons at all thanks to a severely injured left hand and he beat the Gargoyles at a low level so be aware that there are always options available to you if you look for them. Playing the game when you’re already frustrated probably won’t lead to much progress. When your shield is raised your Stamina recovers very slowly so in tough fights you will have to mix defending with your shield to leaving it down with attacking and dodging very carefully so you keep enough Stamina to be safe but make quick enough progress against your foes HP to kill him before you make a major mistake or get backed into a corner and beaten down. Either try something different or come back to the area later when you have new tools to utilize. making and effort to let you make the first mistake instead of them. There is. some foes will be nearly immune to your particular weapon of choice. Enter new areas not only slowly but enter with your shield raised. Some attacks are too strong for a shield to handle or come from an angle that your shield doesn’t cover. I’ve included some advice for the most common sticking points in a section called “Sticking Points” on page 41τ. Expect that Dark Souls will punish any whiff of impatience or sloppy play every time you let it happen. and you’ll learn to listen to it when it tells you that what you’re trying isn’t going to work. After they get over this they often die because they burn all of their stamina in a flurry of attacks or by sprinting everywhere and therefore arrive at fights without any Stamina. Many monsters have attacks now that bypass your guard entirely even if their normal attacks do not – these usually look like they’re trying to grab you and you’ll have to learn to use offense or evasion to survive them (and flail on L1 and R1 if they do grab you). which means arriving without the ability to fight.
The most important thing is that hollowed characters cannot summon in other players for help in boss fights or difficult sections of the game through the mulitplayer system (which is described more in-depth on page 16τ). that’s for getting back souls) before dying again. There are declining returns here so in general the sweet spot for farming is two to six humanity depending on how much you have to spare. hollow characters cannot kindle Bonfires. farming. The first source of humanity is usually called “hard” humanity and the second “soft. and for certain Covenants. You also lose it if you die and to recover any banked humanity you need to find and touch your bloodstain (not your soul sign. Humanity is much more scarce than souls. certain Covenants ask for you to donate humanity to them to show fealty. Humanity is used for de-hollowing. though. and there are other items that increase your drop rate. The other two uses of humanity are easy to explain. It is tracked by a number on your HUD – look in the top left corner instead of the bottom right. after that they run out. When you’ve been killed and are in zombie form you are “hollowed” and there are certain things hollowed characters cannot do. 4 . You use these souls to increase you stats at bonfires and you use them to buy items from vendors. of course. These items are called “Humanity” or “Twin Humanities” and respectively grant you one or two points of humanity in your counter in the upper left when they are consumed.” “free. Kindling. It is acquired either from killing enemies or from using consumable items you find along the way. however these items have another very important use so don’t eat them for their humanity points (see the “Dont’s” section on page 38τ for more information about that). Hollowed characters also cannot interact normally with some NPCs in the game world – there are others who require you to be hollow to interact with you as well. Lastly. too.Game Mechanics ¤ Humanity ¤ Stats ¤ Poise ¤ Magic schools ¤ Upgrading equipment ¤ Covenants ¤ Humanity ¤ A second currency ¤ Two sources ¤ Four uses ¤ Dark Souls has two currencies that are used to buy different things. You can also randomly get a point of humanity from killing foes but this only occurs in areas where the boss is still alive. You lose any saved souls if you die and fail to get back to your soul sign before dying again. is the souls you get from killing foes or eating the consumable souls you sometimes find along the way.” or “liquid” humanity by the Dark Souls community. of course. Humanity is the second currency of the game and it shares most of these traits. If you’re in a hard area and get a point of free humanity it’s often a good idea to go back to your nearest Bonfire immediately and use that point to de-hollow. Your primary currency. The most common source of humanity is consumable items you find or buy along the way – these are fairly expensive when found in shops (5000 or so souls) and are only sold in limited numbers. Finally. Banked humanity marginally increases your item drop rate when farming. These “Humanity” items also are somewhat rare drops from certain enemies – the rats in the Depths (an area of the game) are the most commonly farmed source. The act of Kindling a Bonfire costs one point of humanity and increases the number of Estus flasks you get from resting there by five – because Estus is your only practical mid-battle method of healing and because Estus is normally limited to five flasks per bonfire this is a huge benefit to have in difficult areas of the game. Most of the time you will have zero humanity and the number in the upper left corner will read 00. then consume one of your hard humanities in order to kindle that fire – otherwise you will probably die and lose your free point entirely. Along the way you will find items called Fire Keeper’s Souls and the in-game description these are a type of hard humanity.
777 80 37. All stats generally have strongly declining returns on investment once they start getting up to 40 or so. in the late 20s you get about 30 points of HP per point of Vitality. which puts you at SL 792. Don’t move anything to 20 until everything worthwhile is at 10. The memory for this is global. 120 should be enough to get through at least one normal and one NG+ playthrough. Each time you increase a stat the next one costs more souls to upgrade than the last one did. etc. but for now just build your useful stats evenly. Level Cost 10 811 15 1445 20 2601 25 3970 30 5567 40 9505 50 14. but just as rule of thumb know that while you can take any stat to 99 in general the highest you want to go is 50. and the smallest gains at the low and high ends. Here are some sample values. Practically speaking. Vitality This increases how much HP you have.265 120 90. More HP is very useful in Dark Souls. so consider that the cap even for stats you really care about. You can increase your stats at any bonfire if you have enough souls to do so. Lastly. For my specific advice in this regard you can consult page 41τ for a “My First Character” PvM starter build. let me first basically outline what has changed from Demon’s Souls. Here’s what you can expect to spend to reach the stated Soul Level from the level below. most stats are much more oriented toward meeting the requirements to use certain pieces of equipment in Dark Souls rather than increasing the damage of weapons – in general “stat scaling” has been greatly reduced in Dark Souls and in one type of magic eliminated entirely. Vitality HP 10 572 20 792 30 1100 40 1325 50 1500 5 . Above 50 each point of Vitality only increases your HP by 8 or 9 points.535 60 20. In general in Dark Souls you want to build your relevant stats fairly evenly – you probably shouldn’t have any one stat at 50 if some other stat that relates to your character type is still at 12. This global number of increases is referred to as your Soul Level and it is visible in your Stats page – note that some characters start at a higher Soul Level than others. First of all the magic system has been reworked quite a bit Second. You won’t be able to just level up your attack and superblast your way through everything. The following sections below should help you decide what levels are worth it. Before I get into listing what each individual stat in Dark Souls does. especially when it means a difference between getting one-shotted or not. there is now a Resistance stat whose effects were bundled in to Endurance in the previous game. don’t move anything to 30 if anything worthwhile is still below 20. but if you care the HP gained per level of Vitality is basically a bell curve starting at 10 and ending at 50 with the greatest gains per point in the middle zone. you can use this chart to estimate how many more souls you need to scrape together before running for a Bonfire.401 792 12 mil.Stats ¤ Changes from Demon’s Souls ¤ Increasing your stats ¤ The eight stats ¤ Most of these stats will govern at least somewhat expected aspects of the game for people used to RPGs. and especially early in the game you should concentrate on diversifying your character’s abilities to cover useful bases. just before 30. to 20 or so.377 100 60. You can continue leveling until all of your stats are at 99 each. This is a good stat to increase early. so if you increase Strength five times and then increase Endurance once or if you do each three times you will spend the same total amount of souls no matter where any of those stats started.
I will repeat this in the Dexterity section as well as many players have been burned by this rumor already. This is an incredibly minor concern – very few foes have a bleed effect and in Dark Souls it’s the enemy in front of you that’s going to kill you most of the time.Attunement This stat determines how many slots you have for spell memorization. Stamina is the green bar at the top of the screen and is used every time you attack. however you’re probably clad mostly in cloth and will feel every little thing that comes your way. Your Equip Burden is equal to 34 plus your Endurance. block more and evade more making it defense and offense in one stat. or sprint – it’s the lifeblood of melee combat and it increases as you increase your Endurance until it caps out at 40. Equip Burden is how many kilos of equipment your character can feasibly wear at one time. Getting the handspring roll to begin with. note the dropoff rate after 16. 6 . Attn. There are no longer separate slots for different families of spells. and this process of memorization is done at bonfires from among the spells you have found or purchased. You’re given a fairly generous total level of Equip Burden but there are big rewards for not filling it up all the way. faster. not some BS effect he manages to inflict. others require more. The first major function is that it increases how much Stamina you have. it’s what you wear on your back and hold in your hands. If you want to equip two Sorceries and a two Miracles you need enough Attunement to have four total slots. The second major function is that Endurance determines how high your Equip Burden is. This number doesn’t include consumable items like Firebombs or poison healing herb or arrows. The minor function is that Endurance increases your resistance to the bleeding effect. however. block. There’s a ring in Dark Souls that gives you a different. Here’s a table of how many slots you have at what Attunement levels. basically. see the Magic section on page 9τ for details as to why). Before I give you the tables there’s one rumor I want to deal with. Slots 9 0 10 1 12 2 14 3 16 4 19 5 23 6 28 7 34 8 41 9 50 10 99 10 Endurance This is perhaps the single most important stat in Dark Souls and only a pure mage could afford to ignore it entirely (and pure mages have been made less viable than they were in Demon’s Souls. further reaching roll animation when it is equipped. and are dependent on your probably extremely heavy armor to survive. Most spells require one slot to be memorized. Endurance has two major functions and one minor one. If you are below 25% of your total burden you have a very nimble roll and use very little Stamina when running around and run faster to boot. Most players seem to keep to the 25. If you are over 100% of your burden you cannot roll at all nor can you sprint and your Stamina refills slowly – you’re a big fat sitting duck. roll. This animation is also bound to your Equip Burden and has four levels just like the normal roll does. is purely a question of wearing that ring – neither relative Endurance levels or Dexterity levels have anything to do with it.1% to 50% range as less than 25% is hard to obtain even using light armors and as the Medium Roll is only slightly slower than the Quick Roll. For this reason alone Stamina is a good stat to increase early as it lets you attack more.
This is probably the source of the rumor and is obviously a balance decision by From. Resistance You can think of this stat as basically being innate armor. It is just that. more labored way of using them but since you don’t meet the requirements you do almost no damage with them anyway so that’s inconsequential.1%-75% Slow roll 40 160 74 107 75. farther moving roll animation. A lot of people are basically ignoring this stat presently. Katanas mostly require Dexterity to equip but no longer have the horizontal sweeping animation that made them so versatile in Demon’s Soul. Let me reiterate something I mentioned above. In Demon’s Souls there were upgrade lines that allowed your damage output to scale heavily with Strength but in Dark Souls these upgrades are no longer present. There is a rumor that the swing speed of your weapon is modified by your Strength. faster.1%-50% Medium roll 20 110 54 73 30 133 64 100 50. Its strongest influence is over physical. 7 . you actually hit something with your swing this break in your animation doesn’t occur and your character will ready his next attack fairly quickly.1% to 100% Sluggish flop 50 160 84 114 >100% Stumble only 99 160 133 150 Strength Strength’s main function is to meet stat requirements of various weapons. fire and poison damages. If. There is a ring in Dark Souls that causes you to get a new. but perhaps things will change. Instead there are a larger variety of high base damage weapons with very high strength requirements of up to 50 points.Equip Burden Effect Endurance Stamina Equip Burden Bleed Resist <25% Quick roll 10 91 44 40 25. a rumor. There are also a few large Curved Greatswords now that require a lot of Dexterity to use. Dexterity is now mostly a weapon requirement stat as there aren’t many weapons whose damage scales significantly with your Dexterity for it to matter. This animation has nothing to do with your Dexterity level. The animations you see for the heavier weapons remain the same as when you find them no matter your Strength level so long as you meet their requirements – if you don’t meet their requirements there is a slower. There is a rumor online that having “more than 30 Dexterity” will allow you to do this special roll but it’s not true. A consensus has not emerged about how useful it is yet and the internet seems to think it doesn’t cause armor protection to scale or anything like that – your Resistance is thought to have an additive effect only. This rumor probably came about because some of the heavier weapons have a very pronounced stagger-like animation when you take a practice swing with them. 14 Dexterity will give you enough to try out most small Dexterity based weapons. Rewards for investing in this taper off (numerically) quite rapidly after 30. 16 strength is a common early goal. however. Dexterity As above.
Third. miracles now require certain minimum amounts of Faith to cast successfully. some powerful area of effect spells) so the overall utility of miracles has been improved a good deal. but there are a few spells now that require up to 50. but if you don’t have the spell’s required Intelligence you won’t be able to cast it – you’ll get that “Gee. It is a requirement to successfully cast miracles and the amount required varies by miracle – 12 is enough to equip Heal which is useful for any character but the strongest Miracles require up to 50 Faith. Using Heal requires only 12 Faith so consider hitting that benchmark with any PvM oriented character – the Great Heal spell only carries on charge (vs. 14 Intelligence will give you enough to cast all of the early available sorceries. 8 . how strong your Sorceries and potentially Miracles are. Beginning players will benefit a lot from having the Heal miracle available as healing is otherwise done with strictly rationed items in Dark Souls instead of plentiful purchaseable herbs. The flavor of Faith has also changed a bit – before Faith only applied to being good and holy. Faith also has a respectable effect on your defense against magical and fire based attacks. The damage scaling from Faith is not great (it’s gone from a typical A or S in Demon’s Souls to a typical C or B in Dark Souls – only one extremely heavy weapon scales at A in Faith now) so if you are Faith based you can no longer expect to be just as powerful in terms of raw damage as a character focused on Dexterity or Strength. There are also a few very good offensive miracles now (lightning bolts that you throw like javelins.Intelligence Intelligence has three major effects. The game will still let you buy and memorize any spell. just like Intelligence is required for sorceries. It governs how powerful your miracles are via strong stat scaling inherent in most Talismans. Second. I’m confused” animation instead. “Enchanted.” increases that magic damage done by a melee weapon fairly strongly according to your Intelligence. which is sold by the merchant who shows up in the Undead Parish after you ring the first bell. however in Dark Souls there are a number of malevolent gods and Faith can refer to your fealty to them now as well. There is also one “Talisman” used to cast Miracles that scales strongly according to your Intelligence instead of your Faith like most of the others do – this is Velka’s Talisman. it determines. is that Sorceries now have a minimum required Intelligence so that they can be cast. the one weapon improvement that still seems to have decent stat scaling. so there are miracles and Faith scaling weapons that are powered by evil gods now instead of just good ones. Please also note that while there is a Talisman that scales with Intelligence. though) so it’s not really worth the extra two points. as was the case with Sorceries for Intelligence. This allows weapons that don’t seem very Faith-y as per Demon’s Souls (like the Schythe) to obtain decent Faith scaling through the Occult upgrade line. Faith Faith has a triple use the same as Intelligence. First of all. Note that I didn’t say Pyromancies scale with Intelligence. Heal’s six. Many of the “Catalysts” used to cast Sorceries (which are mostly blueish projectile type magic) scale strongly in the assist they grant your spells from your Intelligence. largely though decent stat scaling. The Pyromancer “Flames” that are used to cast this third type of magic can be improved by forging (this is not true of Catalysts or Talismans) and while Flames list a high Intelligence scaling in fact this only applies to the horrible punching animation that’s an option with a Flame in your hand if you use a strong attack. and this is probably the biggest change.
either. potion drinking animations. However. especially in PvP. of course). and these charges can only be refilled by resting at a Bonfire. The lightest sorts of armors. Once you got to a certain point in the animation it would carry through and these attacks were said to “have hyperarmor. Stability is a different thing entirely from Poise. and this has lead the Dark Souls development team to make it a bigger issue. and the rest of the incoming damage will go after your Stamina bar and. When you are struck the amount of your Poise is compared to the damage of an incoming blow through some as-yet-unknown mechanic and the result is that if you have an extremely high cumulative Poise from all your armor pieces almost nothing will be able to knock you out of your attack animations. In Dark Souls this property is no longer tied to weapons. Magic ¤ Charges system ¤ Sorcery ¤ Pyromancy ¤ Miracles ¤ There is no longer a mana bar and instead you are given a certain number of charges to each spell you memorize at a Bonfire. evasion and mobility in Dark Souls. They don’t gain any Poise when they’re upgraded at smiths.Poise ¤ Superarmor source ¤ How do you get poise? ¤ The terms “hyperarmor” and “superarmor” originally came from the fighting game world but were used extensively when talking about combat in Demon’s Souls. The last thing I want to say here is that shields have a stat called Stability if you check their descriptions. both human and AI controlled. There is also a ring you can find that will add 40 flat points of Poise to your character. How Poise vs. Weaker spells have more charges and most of the more powerful spells have only one cast to them. to make heavy armor an enticing option whereas in Demon’s Souls heavy armor was mostly a hindrance. the result being a continued combo from the Great Axe that would interrupt the combo of the lighter weapon user. those usually made of cloth.” The Great Axe was notorious for this. the fast roll will work out in PvP is long from being determined. essentially. it will then go after your HP. faster attacks. Sometimes you may be able to buy more than one copy of a spell scroll (such as during NG+ or when your character starts with one copy and another is available for sale) and in these cases you can memorize a spell twice to double up on 9 . Poise has been used. if it depletes that. so if evading isn’t working for you in a particular situation you might want to try tanking up instead. Your un-interruptability is now a scaling property tied mostly to your armor. have zero “Poise. This is a particular advantage against foes using lighter. From has done a good job of balancing Poise vs. Stability determines what percent of an incoming attack is negated. In Demon’s Souls certain attacks by certain weapons are not interruptable. A super heavy chest piece might have about 40 inherent Poise to it. plus a Pyromancy spell that adds a lot of effective Poise to your character for a limited time (at the cost of mobility.” a stat that is visible in the item menu if you page through info about a piece of equipment. or slow your advance. Whether Poise is “worth it” vs mobility and fast roll is largely situational. plus a ring that increases your Equip Burden by a large amount so that you can wear heavier Poise-possessing equipment if you need to. The lighter pieces of medium armor (like chain mail) might have eight or so. For more info on Stability check the Preferred Shields section on page 26τ. with its weilders standing up to someone hovering over them with two katanas and just spamming light attacks that were not interruptable. medium weight and heavy weight armor have at least some Poise and that amount scales as you have a smith improve your armor.
Some enemies are very weak against fire as well. These upgrades require no materials. which in turn requires having at least 10 Attunement. Pyromancies have no requirements but individual Spells require Intelligence and Miracles require Faith. don’t attack the pot to free him though as this will cause him to flag you as a foe – use your roll to break the pot instead. They do not scale with any stat and instead you increase the strength of your Pyromancy by leveling up the item used to cast them – a glove with a burning ember embedded in the palm called a Flame. If you still don’t cast the spell ensure that you meet its minimum requirements. though. and Miracles. Only a few monsters have appreciable resistance to this sort of magic making it a fairly universal sort of solution. and then looking around on the right once leaving the basement building for another staircase leading down. 10 . of course. twinkling arcane type projectiles that do the “magic” type of damage. Each type of magic has its own flavor of spells and increases in power in different ways. Pyromancies. non-upgraded Flame. All of these spells compete for memorization slots granted your character based on his Attunement stat. so they are quite easy to make. Pyromancies These are mostly fire based attack spells including both thrown projectiles and various gouts of flame. The Pyromancer starts with the Fireball spell and a basic.your charges between Bonfires – don’t forget that you must first own two copies to equip two copies. Also included here are various camouflaging spells and a few debuffs to be cast at foes. if you don’t meet the requirements of your desired spell you can still buy and equip it but will just get a head scratching animation instead of a spell when you try to cast it. taking the elevator all the way down. Sorceries These include a lot of blue. as described below – the only generalization I can make about them here is that while these tools do also have attack animations they are universally horrible melee weapons and they can’t even parry if placed in the left hand. If you have a lot of Faith you can also build a Tin Darkmoon Catalyst that scales the power of your Sorceries off of your Faith instead of your Intelligence. will leave the Tutorial with a simple spell and a basic Catalyst. Other characters can obtain these very early by going down the stairs that the depressing blue guy in Firelink Shrine is looking at. 2) equip the correct casting medium for the spell you want to cast – so a Catalyst for Sorceries or a Talisman for Miracles. He’ll be trapped in an upright stone pot with his head sticking out behind a couple of butchers in the Depths area. To actually use a spell you must 1) “Attune” it at a bonfire. Lots of great spells can be purchased from several different vendors in the game. but there are also those who are strong against it. which requires having at least one slot to Attune it into. The three types of magic are Sorceries. Once you kill the Hydra and the “hidden” secondary boss behind it you can also find another spell vendor who sells a Catalyst with higher base damage but worse scaling for those characters who want to use a few spells but don’t want to invest too heavily into Intelligence. but many of the strongest spells are had through Covenants (page 17τ) or plot events. Sorceries increase in power mostly via stat scaling from Intelligence as most of the Catalysts used to cast Sorceries scale fairly strongly off of that stat. just souls. Other characters will have to advance three or four hours into the game to find the first Pyromancy trainer / vendor. This makes it possible to have very strong Pyromancy quite early and independent of your stats. The Sorcerer. and 3) press R1 or L1 to cast the spell once your casting device is readied. They each have their associated casting tools.
Later you can find another trainer who can ascend your Flame which enables you to put five more levels into it. So just because you started out a Priest with the Heal miracle doesn’t mean you should pass on buying another copy of it if you use it a lot. depending on if the Miracle is associated with a nice god or a nasty one. however so don’t do this all willy-nilly. The presence of heal spells is quite a bit more important in Dark Souls than in Demon’s Souls as healing items are in such short supply this time around. your Faith stat largely determines the strength of your cast Miracles as most Talismans scale strongly with your Faith. Also. Miracles Miracles have the predictable heal and cure spells included but now also have very good attack spells such as tossed lighting bolts or huge malevolent eruptions from below foes. though you will still need the required levels of Faith to successfully cast the Miracles in the first place. page 17τ). If you don’t begin with a Talisman (ie: as a Priest) you will have to sign up with the fat holy knight guy in Firelink shrine to get access to a vendor / trainer. 11 . Early on you can buy the Thorolund Talisman from the fat knight in Firelink which has strong.He will go back to the Firelink Shrine area on his own and you can find him there. so expect to work a bit in order to unlock them. non-scaling power if you just want something to cast basic heals with and don’t want to invest heavily in Faith. I’ve heard that this new Flame does scale the power of your Pyromancies with your Intelligence stat but have not had a chance to try to confirm this myself. All of the attack spells are gained through various Covenants (again. if you’re a character with a lot of Intelligence you will want to pick up the Velka’s Talisman from the vendor I just mentioned above in the Undead Parish which scales in power in relationship to your Intelligence instead of your Faith. getting back in again can sometimes be an issue. Most of the strongest spells in this family are had through gifts from Covenants (page 17τ). You can back out of this Covenant later simply by asking the vendor who appears in the Undead Parish after you ring the first bell to let you out of it – he does it for free and will do the same for other covenants as well. When you talk to him he’ll ask you if you have anything against magic. Don’t forget that if you buy multiple copies of a spell you can also equip multiple copies to get more total inter-Bonfire charges. He can also upgrade your Flame up to +15. however. Pyromancy makes at least decent attack magic available to all character types. Either way. Answer “NO” to his question and he’ll give you a Flame if you didn’t start with one and sell you some spells (if you accidentally answered “Yes” you can just wait a while and talk to him again).
The basic sort of upgrade stone is called just plain “Titanite” and comes in different sizes. and describe where to find the Embers. but you can also buy an item that lets you do certain. as are the branch points for these upgrades. more than one type of upgrade stone. The various upgrades are fueled by a few special upgrade stones or materials you can find in the game world plus a few souls. What the upgrade limits and paths and whatnot are are much more complex. sometimes farm. it just makes it stronger at base and sometimes lets it scale a bit better with your stats. using your colored Titanite. In addition to plain Titanite there are also various colored Titanites (such as Green or Blue Titanite) that generally improve weapons as you would expect them to. All of this will make sense when you consult the upgrade chart on the next page. and only the Giant Smith later in the game can do Lightning upgrades and forge weapons for you using boss souls. Divine and Occult upgrades. For example. These smiths will (mostly) not be able to do these upgrades when you first meet them as their forges aren’t yet properly equipped. 12 . when you use this basic Titanite you can upgrade a particular item from +0 or its base state to +15. and Demon Titanite is used on items made out of boss souls. only the New Londo Ruins smith can do Magic. then Slabs. but in general I recommend a balanced approach. You will find items called Embers in the game world that unlock these upper tier upgrades (which may or may not be better for your character than lower tier ones. depending on your stats and the individual weapons and other factors). It’s an especially good way to upgrade most shields. any piece of armor can be upgraded as well. and then start building from there. Any weapon that can be upgraded can be made into a Faith oriented weapon or a fire imbued weapon or a Magic imbued weapon or whatever. The actual process of upgrading is usually done by visiting one of the several smiths present in the game world. Shards are the smallest. All of them can do black and green Titanite upgrades but only the Parish smith can do Raw. There is. generally basic upgrades from any Bonfire as well. to reach your final destination point. The only other stone related hitch is that you can’t use the non-plain sorts of Titanite on base +0 weapons. and. burning up more and more Shards and Large Shards and Chunks and Slabs as you work your way up the ladder. It’s also used to upgrade most of the armor you find. but as of now just note what creatures drop what stones along the way for when you decide to go back and do some farming. Bring the Embers to the smiths to enable those forges. Anyway. but the chart near the end of this section should clear that up once you understand the basics. generally to +5 or +10 depending on the desired final upgrade. The only remaining complication is that not every smith can do every sort of upgrade. The question reguarding “should I spend souls on levels or on upgrades” is a totally situational one. on the next page is the promised upgrade tree.Upgrading Equipment ¤ Universalized system ¤ Different stones ¤ Different smiths ¤ An upgrade tree ¤ Generalizations ¤ The first thing I want to mention is that equipment upgrades have been almost entirely universalized in Dark Souls. I’ve summarized this info in tables at the end of this section as well. however. and some of the rarer ones can only practically be found hidden away here or there or farmed through extremely rare drops or monsters that don’t respawn or even bosses. At a future date I will try to add a chart listing favorite sources for the various types of needed stones. in general. Blue Titanite it required to add Magic damage to a weapon. Enchanted and Crystal upgrades. then Chunks. Yellow Titanite is required to make it a Lightning weapon. Twinkling Titanite is used for improving unique weapons. then there are Large Shards. Anyway. the stones themselves you can sometimes buy. you generally have to upgrade the weapons a little bit using basic Titanite first. The only ones that don’t make apparent sense is that Green Titanite allows for a few different sort of upgrades. This basic Titanite doesn’t really change the nature of the weapon you’re upgrading. Also.
of course. Some weapons start with a D rank in scaling for Strength. some upgrades do this more than others. When you upgrade a weapon the scaling rules and base power of the upgrade totally overwrites the old values. Generally they increase the base damage.What each upgrade does actually varies a bit from weapon to weapon. B. C. and S. I’ve made some suggestions as to which weapons to use depending on your character’s stats starting on page 13 . They also increase the degree by which weapons scale in power according to your stats – this can be thought of as bonus damage in addition to the weapon’s base damage. This makes Lightning a stat independent upgrade type – whether it is stronger than a scaling option or not depends on your stats and the individual weapon. A. If you push them through the tree and make them Lightning weapons they no longer get any bonus power from Strength and instead will have high base physical and base lighting damage. from weakest to strongest. In typical Japanese fashion scaling is ranked with letters. as D.
These weapons can not be buffed. of course. Chaos weapons are unbuffable. too. as you will lose all 10 of those points if you’re carrying them around and die by any means. These weapons can be buffed in battle. Raw: Think of them as “raw damage” weapons. though. All scaling is removed and you get high base Fire and physical damage instead. Magic: Adds magic damage and increases the base damage. Divine: This upgrade adds magic damage and increases the base physical damage. Scaling is left in place and whatever its base damage was gets a bit stronger. and Dragon Uniques: Everything can be upgraded. These cannot be buffed. Occult: What Enchanted is to Magic. Forged Uniques are initially made by taking a +10 Base item of a particular sort and a boss’s soul to the last smith you find which rewards you with a unique weapon that requires Demon Titanite to upgrade. this time for Faith. All of these upgrade items are much rarer than the ones required for most of the steps above. and it also ensures that you get some scaling from Strength. Forged Uniques and Dragon Uniques don’t use regular Titanite for their upgrades. Occult weapons also do not permanently kill self-resurrecting foes and cannot be buffed. How much power is added depends on the weapon and it caps out when you have 10 Humanity in the counter next to your HP. They also do not scale with your stats at all. They cannot be buffed. There is a unique crystal shield you can make from a boss soul you find along the way that’s the only exception – it can be repaired. and okay scaling from Faith. Found Uniques. Less of a buff to base damage but stronger stat scaling. These weapons usually do a tiny bit more damage overall than Fire weapons do but are obtained later on. Chaos: These are a different flavor of Fire weapons. depending on the weapon) – this is probably to compensate for the fact that Faith also boosts magic and fire defense whereas Intelligence does not. but Found Uniques. Occult is to Divine. Forged Uniques. You obviously find the Found Uniques and they use Twinkling Titanite for their upgrades – this includes many of the rarer sets of armor in the game. Most armor pieces can only be upgraded along the Base (or Found Unique. and shields upgraded this way get bonus fire resistance. Fire: Similar to Lightning. though not as high as similarly upgraded Fire weapons do. Whether it’s worth it or not depends on how good you are at holding on to your Humanity. Shields upgraded this way get extra resistance to incoming Magic attacks. however. These weapons cannot be buffed. Briefly. The scaling here is generally not as strong as what Enchanted provides (B instead of A or C instead of B. depending on the armor) line as well. can never be repaired and eventually will break. • Base: Called “Base” because it’s unlabeled in the game – these items appear simply as Item +1 or Item +4 or whatever. Shields upgraded this way get extra resistance to Lightning. They have high base fire and physical damage. Crystal: Massively increases the weapon’s base damage and leaves its scaling intact. Dexterity. These weapons. 14 • • • • • • • • • • . Enchanted: These are similar to Magic weapons but provide less of a boost to the base damage and more of a boost to stat scaling. Divine weapons also will permanently kill enemies who are self-ressurecting. Unbuffable and suitable for characters with extra high Intelligence. This is usually a good way to upgrade shields as the amount of stamina consumed by an incoming blow is decreased only on Base upgrades to shields. At this point Chaos weapons usually do more damage than Fire weapons do.29τ. here’s a basic description of what each upgrade type does. Dragon Uniques are usually won by hacking off a boss’s tail during a battle and then picking up the item that appears when you do so – you hack off the tail by attacking it instead of some other part of the boss’s body – and these items upgrade using the Dragon Scales you find here and there. Lightning: Huge increase to base physical damage and strong added Lightning damage. These weapons can be buffed. Greatly increases the item’s base damage but lowers the contributions from its scaling stats. they do scale with your Humanity. however. Unbuffable. Enhances the item along the lines you found it in. and also adds good scaling with your Intelligence.
Near the table with the raw meat that the butcher is chopping on. Vamos will upgrade a +5 Base weapon to a +0 to +5 Fire weapon using Green Titanite. Anor Londo / Crystal Caves. Painted World of Ariamis. Darkroot Garden. Raw +0 to Raw +5 Base +11 to Base +15 Divine +0 to Divine +5 Divine +6 to Divine +10 Occult +0 to Occult +5 Fire +6 to Fire +10 Chaos +0 to Chaos +5 Magic +6 to Magic +10 Enchanted +0 to Enchanted +5 Crystal +0 to Crystal +5 Location Depths. Bottom of the stairs there. Chaos Magic. Tomb of Giants. The Giant Smith can make Lighting Weapons and Forged Uniques without any additional Embers as well. Ember Large Ember Very Large Ember Divine Ember Large Divine Ember Dark Ember Large Flame Ember Chaos Flame Ember Large Magic Ember Enchanted Ember Crystal Ember Needed For Base +6 to Base +10. Large Shards of Titanite can be bought in Sen’s Fortress as can Green Titantie Shards. Lightning. The ember is inside the chest. Enchanted Location Annex attached to the Undead Parish. Darkroot Garden. Forged Uniques look for an archer and use the stairs on the right. There is a small pond with two mushroom parents guarding a chest. The Ember is past the cluster of gigaworms. Look around down there. It’s behind the horde of Taurus Demons at the end of the lava field. the return to the room where you first met him. Near the lever that opens the stairway to the Crystal Caves is a chest between two rows of bookshelves. Crystal. Near the boss door on the left is a hallway. Demon Ruins. no Ember is needed. rear area. Will probably have to die to get it. Drop down using the projections. New Londo Ruins. Duke’s Archives. Just past the first bonfire there’s a ladder that leads down to several skeletons. After the Moonlight Butterfly boss fight go up the far tower and look around for a glowing spark. no Ember is needed. Finish the boss in the caves for good.Let me close out this section with a table re-summarizing which smiths do what upgrades and a table on where you can find the Embers generally needed to unlock the higher tier upgrades: Smith Andrei of Astora Vamos Rickert of Vinheim Giant Blacksmith Forges Raw. Get the “Annex Key” and enter the annex. Leave the Cathedral and go across the long walkway. Turn right when you get out of the elevator buildings in New Londo Ruins. Forged Uniques require some +10 Base Weapon and a Boss’ Soul. Demon Ruins. Divine. At the very bottom of the spiral staircase in the Catacombs. Notes Sells unlimited Titanite Shards for 1000 souls* Sells nothing Sells a few sorceries and a catalyst. Search for a frozen blacksmith inside that area. Look around behind the skeletons. 15 . Near the boss door Sells some giant gear. Toward the end of Anor Londo. Occult Fire. Rickert will upgrade a +5 Base weapon to a +0 to +5 Magic weapon using Green Titanite. After draining the water go back to the first building with the elevator and go to the bottom floor.
a way to hunt notorious PvP players in Dark Souls.net/articles/souls-survivor?page=3 In Dark Souls this basic principle has been unfolded and expanded upon.10% currently. the game’s director Hidetaka Miyazaki was asked where he got the idea for the multiplayer system that that game had: The origin of that idea is actually due to a personal experience where my car suddenly stopped on a hillside after some heavy snow and started to slip. a second option will open up. and then the one behind it spontaneously bumped into it and started pushing it up the hill. That's it! That's how everyone can get home! Then it was my turn and everyone started pushing my car up the hill. On the way back home I wondered whether the last person in the line had made it home.eurogamer. or maybe we'd just fight. that incident will probably linger in my heart for a long time. but in Dark Souls they’ve managed to add variety of twists to this idea. I'd have just got stuck again if I'd stopped. and I managed to get home safely. Soon. but for now know that there’s a way to assault players with your undead servants. The essential feel of strangers whose faces you never see literally bumping into eachother on a snow night remains for all of the encounters. and a few ways to increase the stock of friendly phantoms available in your world. I thought that maybe if we'd met in another place we'd become friends. If these conditions are met your sign appears in their world and they can walk over to it and stand on it to get a picture of your character and your PSN / Xbox Live name. plus the option to summon you into their world. When you do this Dark Souls’ Peer-to-Peer system looks for players who are close to your Soul Level (+/. bent on destroying a fellow player who is probably only trying to progress through the game. The first option available to you is to put a sign down using your White Sign Soapstone which Solaire of Astora will give you when you first find him early in the game – he’s on the porch near the first big dragon. Killing them will net you a good amount of souls and if you see the host through to killing a boss you get a large soul bonus (often in the five figure range) and are sent back to your own world. 16 .Multiplayer ¤ General idea ¤ Helping others ¤ Hunting others ¤ A variety of new options ¤ In an interview about Demon’s Souls. You’ll come across an item called a Cracked Red Eye Orb. Oddly. 2010 http://www. The car following me also got stuck. Your reward for killing him is a goodly portion of souls plus a free point of Humanity. The enemies in his world will not try to attack you at all as you’re one of them. Simply because it's fleeting. the parent game of Dark Souls. I think it stays with you a lot longer. ways that summon you to defend certain areas from tresspassers. but expect From to expand this range in the near future) who are currently not Hollowed and playing the same area as you are. You could probably call it a connection of mutual assistance between transient people. These two basic options have been expanded upon with the help of various Covenants. -Hidetaka Miyazaki in an interview published May 27. but this time you won’t invade as a friend. These are explained in the next section. Let’s take two basic examples of how multiplayer works. and thought that I would probably never meet the people who had helped me. But I couldn't stop the car to say thanks to the people who gave me a shove. When you use it the P2P network again searches for a player in human form who is near your soul level in the same area as you. Once there your attacks won’t be able to hurt the host but you will be able to join him in fighting the foes in his world.
items. Sin does two main things. Many (but not all) of the tasks asked of you have a strong focus on the multiplayer elements of the game. early plot point). First of all. Absolving your sins also will de-aggro any NPCs you may have pissed off along the way. is that these dieties and organizations are generally in possession of certain rare weapons. it just looks better than a list): Lawful Good Neutral Evil Way of White Warrior of Sunlight Gravelord Servant Neutral Princess’ Guard Forest Hunter Path of the Dragon Evil Blade of the Darkmoon Chaos Servant Dark Wraith If you betray a Covenant (generally by attacking other associated members or by leaving them for another Covenant) you acquire Sin. the rewards you get for joining. thereby allowing you to interact with them normally again. Covenants are task based factions that reward you with unique stuff. and the items or actions required to rank up.Covenants ¤ What are Covenants ¤ Consequences of leaving ¤ The nine Covenants ¤ Covenants are special deals you can make with different NPCs in the game. Below I’ve given a description of each Covenant. Doing so often applies a few extra rules to your play (being unable to attack allied faction memebers is a common on) and violation of those rules usually gets you kicked out of the Covenant. spells and abilities that they can bestow upon you should you demonstrate an appropriate level of fealty to them. from a +0 basic member to a +3 top level adherent. Sin also may have an influence on your interactions with certain NPCs depending on how awesome or awful they think sin is. You can absolve your sins by visiting the vendor who appears in the Undead Parish after you ring the bell there (a major. In a true homage to D&D there are nine covenants aligned roughly as follows (note that this doesn’t govern inter-Covenant interactions or anything like that. of course. sinful characters cannot rejoin their old covenants. so do yourself a favor and complete at least one casual playthrough before taking Covenants too seriously. 17 . The benefit. generally putting you in the service of a particular diety or organization. Second of all. In short. He charges you 2000 souls for every Soul Level you have to do this and this amounts to a very hefty fee even later in the game. generally by accidentally slicing their face open with your sword. Many obasically require a good knowledge of the game and an understanding about the PvP meta (especially where you can usually find people to invade or people to help depending on your Soul Level – targets and compatriots must be within 10% of your Soul Level) before you can smoothly complete them. You get some of these by ranking up within your covenant by completing certain tasks – the ranking covenants have four ranks. If you’re going for a completionist run be aware that by far the hardest covenant to join is the Dark Wraith one and you may want to read that section before you play too far into the game – however for your first playthrough I heavily suggest just joining and leaving Covenants as you please and generally just playing around them rather than trying to grind rank or anything like that. how to join it. the Blade of the Darkmoon covenant members receive as an item a hitlist of particularly sinful players and can invade them willy-nilly to punish them for their transgressions.
both the Priest and the Knight starting character classes actually come out of the gate already assigned to this faction. Rewards and Restrictions: Upon joining you receive the Princess’ Ring which increases the power of your Miracles a bit. • How to Join: After the big boss battle in Anor Londo (about 3/4ths of the way through the game) you will meet Princess Gwynevere. in fact. but at this point you can also sign on to her faction. She will give you an important plot item whether you decide to serve her or not. most notably big group heals. If you’re interested in this Covenant I suggest joining early. You can also optionally kill Petrus immediately after saving Rhea but this is risky as he kills her after you load any two areas of the game other than the Undead Parish and the one your rescue her in and this means you have to walk directly to her (she returns to the Undead Parish) after saving her or else he’ll get there first. They sell most of the miracles in the game and a few unique Talismans. The high powered Miracles Bountiful Sunlight and Soothing Sunlight become purchaseable from Picasa upon joining. Ranking Up: This covenant has no ranks to climb. It’s also an interesting one to stay signed up with if you’re playing offline as it supplies optional helpers for many of the boss battles that you can summon in if you’re un-Hollowed (you do this by spending a humanity point at a Bonfire) – look around near the various boss’ fog doors for any white writing on the ground and approach it to summon the helpers if you want. and killing horrible monsters because they’re perverted scum. a base membership grants you all of its benefits. • How To Join: Petrus (in the Firelink Shrine area) or Rhea (whom you rescue from the Tomb of Giants) will happily sign you up even though they’ll make snide comments about you being undead if you’re currently Hollowed. The Knight and Cleric also begin the game pre-aligned with the Way of White. all you have to do is just not attack other members. It’s the easiest one to sign up for and. which are actually pretty important for big multiplayer sessions this time around as White Phantoms don’t have access to their Estus Flasks and depend on either the host or their own Miracles for HP replenishment. Both require very high faith to use (36 and 48 respectively) and each will eat up two Attunement slots to equip. Bountiful Sunlight heals you over time at a fairly high rate and Soothing Sunlight casts a huge area heal that’s about as effective as Great Heal on any 18 • . This faction encourages more online cooperation and grants you a few tools to enhance your player vs. buying everything off of Petrus. helping others out. Rewards and Restrictions: A member of this Covenant gets early access to Petrus and later Rhea as vendors. If you see a white soul sign lying around go ahead and summon someone up! There is also a punishment of -1 Estus Flask for betraying the covenant but to get your Estus back just rest at a bonfire (or absolve your sins). boss gangbangs. generally near Bonfires that are close to a boss as they get big soul rewards for helping you kill a boss. • • Princess’ Guard Being a part of the Princess’ Guard isn’t very demanding. and then killing him and then paying to have your sins absolved before finding Rhea to avoid any bumps in the road. I’ve tried hard not to spoil any major plot points in this guide but I have to warn you here that Petrus has a grudge against Rhea and will kill her shortly after you rescue her if he is still around.Way of White This Covenant is all about being a goody two-shoes. This Covenant also influences your availability for online interactions – it makes invasions of your world very unlikely and it increases the chance that you’ll see the white soul signs that other players in this covenant have left when they are trying to make themselves available to you.
so if he seems like a cool guy to you go ahead and join up. You will then be asked if you wish to join the Covenant. but they must have some accumulated sin to be targets (and be within your soul range. when worn. This covenant emphasizes helping as many players as possible purge demons and other villainous scum from existence.• friendly characters within its radius. Gwyn has a strong desire to eliminate competition and will make you a vengeful assassin seeking in particular those who have sinned against the gods of the land. too. If you do enter the fog on accident and you want to be a part of this Covenant just let the person inside kill you and then go absolve your sins and try again. Rewards and Restrictions: Immediately upon joining you are presented with a Blue Eye Orb and a ring called “The Blade of the Darkmoon Covenant. Carry these back to the fog to rank up. of course). • • Warrior of Sunlight The sunlight warriors come from a neighboring country and are here to clean up Lord Gwyn’s mess. so be careful about that fog door. Ranking Up: The Princess’ Guard Covenant also has no ranks. or else you will have had to already helped many other players defeat bosses. You lose access to these miracles if you leave the Covenant. so perhaps that’s just a rumor. will summon you into Anor Londo when sinful players enter there who are vaguely near your Soul Level and unlike the other invading methods in the game when you invade by means of this ring your target is not warned that you’re coming. For each boss you’ve killed while being a white phantom for another player (use the white soapstone you find early on near bonfires near bosses. and hope they summon you in) you get a five point discount on the Faith stat. Blade of the Darkmoon This makes you a servant of Lord Gwyn himself. When the prompt appears press X to kneel (you don’t have to know the kneel gesture to do this). Ranking Up: Sometimes when you slay a target for Lord Gwyn they will drop a Souvenir of Reprisal. A lot is asked of you in this Covenant but it’s quite unique and offers several compelling benefits as well. To prepare you first need to find the Dark Moon Seance ring in the Catacombs and then go to the second bonfire in Anor Londo which is near the bottom of the stairs available by rotating the tower. and to reach the last rank of +3 you need to donate 80. The only rewards are had at +1 (reaching +2 and +3 actually grants you nothing extra) where you are supposedly given the “Darkmoon’s Light Sword” and the “Darkmoon’s Talisman. Solaire of Astora belongs to this covenant.” The Orb can be used to try to invade players in any spot in the game. most of which stick with you if you leave the Covenant later on down the line. I haven’t seen any information about the sword online or in the Futurepress guide. With the ring on a statue near the Bonfire will vaporize. doing this at any time will cause you to get kicked out of the Covenant. approach the fog near there and wait for an action prompt – do NOT actually enter the fog. It offers some pretty nice rewards. The ring. Most Covenants actually lock the related god away from your aggression (and therefore halt progression in that area while you play around with the Covenant) but this one does not. • How to Join: You can only can begin the process to join this Covenant quite a long ways into the game. or near the doors to bosses. • How to Join: To prepare you need a Faith stat of at least 50. whether he likes it or not. so if you start as a Pyromancer with a Faith of eight you’ll have to kill nine bosses to meet the 19 . to reach +2 you need to give 30.” The Darkmoon Talisman is the strongest Talisman in the game. To reach +1 in the Covenant you need to donate 10 of them.
Once you’re in it’s fairly easy to get kicked out. even in the woods (there was an early rumor running contrary to this) but if you crash into or accidentally attack any of the “Stooges” or NPC humans residing around Alvina’s house you will be discharged from the Covenant. Also if you summon in anyone of the Sunlight Warrior Covenant to help you with your boss fight you will get a free medal as well. 20 • . Rewards and Restrictions: Upon entering you’re granted the “Lightning Spear” Miracle. look around for his soul signs near certain boss doors) and win you get a medal as well. has 5 casts. Ranking Up: When you are in this Covenant your summon sign appears as gold rather than white. Approach the altar and press X when prompted to in order to join (you don’t need the Pray gesture). Note that Solaire of Astora counts as a Warrior of Sunlight and if you bring him in for boss battles (as you’re offered to do from time to time. Alvina will be perched up in a window (don’t shoot at her or she’ll call you a moron and disappear until you cleanse your sin) and will sign you up if you agree to her terms. if they run off a cliff. If you agree to help keep her woods free of this sort of nuisance she’ll reward you with items that make it easier to do to so. and your are given the option to exchange Lord Gwyn’s soul for the Sunlight Spear Miracle which requires 50 Faith. which they sometimes do if you don’t bother with reloading your character. Once you have your resume ready find the broken altar to the right of the Bonfire that’s under the dragon spewing flames all over the bridge early in the game – its out in the sunlight. All you have to do is find the small stone house behind the sealed door in Darkroot Garden and peek inside. It’s also important to Quit and then Reload your character immediately after joining the Covenant to prevent the Stooges from attacking you when you leave the house. If you put this on you’re put into a queue and once your number comes up you’ll be called to the Darkroot Wood to hunt any non-Hollowed player who has trespassed there while not being a part of Alvina’s covenant. She’ll ask you if you will agree to not “hunt” other members of her Covenant and if you will agree to kill those who are not of her Covenant. but all of the rewards become accessible at +1 so the others are just for show. Human form players in the Darkroot Woods will sometimes find that they receive a steady stream of invaders trying to off them. When you rank up to +1 you are also presented with the Great Lightning Spear which also has 10 casts but requires 30 Faith. 30 for +2 and 80 for +3. Rewards and Restrictions: Upon joining you’ll be presented the Cat Covenant Ring. Forest Hunters Alvina of the Darkroot Wood is a giant communicable cat. This is a powerful and useful projectile spell that requires 20 Faith (but which can also be found as drop in Sen’s Fortress) and has 10 casts. The ring can be worn anywhere in your world and if you’re successful in killing your target you will be returned to where you left off with your Estus and spells refilled (if you’re not successful that means you got killed and therefore will show up at the last Bonfire you rested at).• • requirements. You are given no tokens for offing offenders but Alvina keeps track of how many you have killed. as they’re prone to do (hence the name Stooges) you will probably be blamed for it so try to keep them away from the edges of the area by not drawing any targets they’re aggro’d on to near there. Characters you can lock on to can still be attacked. If you help a player kill a boss after they’ve summoned you in you are presented with Sunlight Medals which you can turn in at the altar back in the Parish. and uses two Attunement slots. so even if you aren’t in the club go ahead and bring in gold soulsigned people if you might join later. • How to Join: Joining this Covenant is quite easy. The Sunlight Spear is by far the strongest of the three but you also lose it if you leave the Covenant – you can keep the other two. Also. frequently with more than one coming in at a time. It takes 10 medals to reach +1. and she doesn’t care to have a bunch of loot seeking adventurers traipsing around in her woods.
you’re not to attack any of the other Daughters of Chaos while a part of this Covenant. but if you fail to do it you will be kicked out of the Covenant. finds it rather odd that you’re not into eggs. after you’ve killed five forest invaders Alvina will let you know that she despises the wolf that lives further into the woods and. you know you’ve been successfully implanted if your character starts itching when he’s idle. unfortunately worse than your old one as far as combat goes. This effect can also be had with the Sorcery “Hidden Body” which you can buy from Dusk of Oolacile after freeing her from the rear of the Hyrda’s lake – her soul sign resides back at the lakeshore if you want to buy it. There is a persistent rumor that you can spare the wolf during your fight with him to get a different reward but so far no one has been able to get this to happen. repsectively) as well as a cure for the egg that has chosen a rather unfortunate part of your body to inhabit. would like you to kill him. Anyway.?” and if you say Yes you are now a Chaos Servant. Rewards and Restrictions: Eingyi. After three kills Alvina will present you with a Ring of Fog that you get to keep (you can also trade your Skull Lantern. Ranking Up: Upon joining the Covenant you’re presented with the Pyromancy Great Chaos Fireball 21 • • . of course. all they know if that they like eggs and they like to burn shit. a unique weapon you can find in the Tomb of the Giants once per playthrough. There is no reward for doing so. The egg will grow up over time (it has three or four stages and it takes four to ten minutes for it to develop from stage to stage) and will consume half of your incoming souls while it’s growing. and. The actual rewards for the Covenant.• Ranking Up: After you kill your first target you receive a “Divine Blessing” item which is a onetime use full heal that also clears any negative statuses you have. despite his limping animation when he is low on HP – probably this is just a rumor but it is also possible that the Spare Him dialog or whatever is currently bugged and will be fixed in a future patch. Don’t attack the burdened guy just behind the wall – talk to him instead and he’ll allow you access to the chamber where you can speak with his mistress.. The Spider Witch is also a Firekeeper and can upgrade your Estus if you have a spare Firekeeper’s Soul on you – and. nor the Spider Witch herself. The section you’re looking for is in the little room one story down from the lever you pull to ring the second bell (a major plot event). Of course. The Ring of Fog is currently the most overpowered PvP item out there – it makes your character nearly invisible. the Ancient Spider Witch. Once it reaches its adult stage you’ll get a new Kick animation you can try out – it is. are had simply by donating Humanity points to the Ancient Spider Witch. what’s worse. Chaos Servant The Daughters of Chaos don’t really give a damn about what’s going on or which god wants to do what. for a Ring of Fog at the crow’s nest back in the Asylum). At one end of the swamp there’s a giant snarl of tree roots and at the other is a huge spider’s nest. After you beat the boss inside of the nest you can then speak with an egg loving fellow you can find by knocking down a section of wall. If you ally his suspicions by going and getting an egg attached to you he’ll brighten up considerably and offer to sell you the Pyromancies Poison Mist and Toxic Mist (three and one casts. To get an egg just proceed further down into the lava filled area and punch some of the mobile Eingyi-like critters down there and then stand there facing them while blocking – eventually one will grab you and implant you with an egg. If you like eggs and like to burn shit then this is probably the Covenant for you! • How to Join: Far below the Undead Parish you’ll find a giant swamp. if you kill her the nearby Bonfire goes out. the egg covered guy. Right now killing the wolf is your only option anyway. however. however. of course. She will ask you “. it prevents your foes from locking on to you which means if they’re a mage or using a stabbing weapon they’ll never hit you even if they see you comin – I’d expect From to patch this out soon so enjoy it while it lasts.
Hop in there (approach it and press X when prompted to do so) and wait about 30 seconds and a cutscene will play. the Channeler’s Set from Blighttown has decent curse resist. but I’m unsure whether he sells an unlimited amount or not. To open a conversation with the big guy go to the bottom of the Catacombs into the long hallway with the Titanite Demon and find the coffin sticking out a bit. Gravelord Servant The Gravelord Nito has a few rules he lives by. You do not have to be Hollowed to join. requires two slots) which is the biggest. an upgrade of his previous Miracle. If this all sounds good to you then pay him a visit. possible that all three of your targets will find the gate at about the same time and you will have to deal with the three of them at once. Patches also sells Eyes of Death for 3000 each. 30 more eyes gets you to +2 which is apparently the highest level. though). If you don’t join before you complete the Tomb of Giants you’ll be completely unable to until NG+. Giving Nito 10 eyes ranks you to +1 at which point he bequeaths upon you the Gravelord Greatsword Dance. Rewards and Restrictions: Upon joining you’re given the Gravelord Sword. While this gate is present in their world they will have to deal with additional very strong monsters that appear concurrently with the gate and to rid their world of this presence they have to locate the gate and step through it. which will cause them to invade your world offering you one more chance to kill them – it is. If you give 68 Humanity you reach rank +3 but this rank has no rewards associated with it. After you donate 10 Humanity you’ll rank to +1 but receive no reward for this. Nito also gives you the Miracle “Gravelord Sword Dance” which causes eruptions of Nito’s weapon to burst through the floor at your foe – the Miracle requires no actual Faith and has one effective cast and is quite powerful. Nito also empowers you to use the Eyes of Death yourself. of course. With 30 Humanity you reach +2 and are granted the Pyromancy Chaos Storm (one effective cast. so you have to do it fairly early on. so it’s off to farm Curse Frogs you go. When you do so the location at which you used it will spawn an evil gate in three other randomly chosen players’s worlds. Ranking Up: Nito wants more Eyes of Death. The first is that the living would be better off dead. The second is that if the living must live they should not do so easily. so be warned. especially against groups of foes. most random version of Firestorm you’ve ever seen. so try to place your Eye of Death in a hard to find spot. After the cutscene go find the napping Nito and talk to him to be offered the chance to joing. • How to Join: This Covenant is a bit tricky to join. the ring mentioned above is the most important one to have. and you can also find a Cursebite Ring in the Valley of Drakes or the New Londo Ruins to up it a ton) and having a high item discovery is mandatory (see page 29τ for recommended farming items. however there is no reward for reaching this point.(four casts. 22 • • . Nito has a fascination with an item called the Eyes of Death and to sign up you have to have at least one in your inventory when you go to talk to him – you can find three of these behind the Titanite Demon in the Catacombs or you can farm them as a very rare drop from the Basilisks (aka the Curse Frogs) in the Depths – if you’re going to farm the frogs I heavily suggest finding the Gold Serpent Ring in Sen’s Fortress first as it provides a much needed huge boost to your item discovery rate. requires two slots). a fairly powerful curved greatsword requiring 24 Strength and 13 Dexterity to use which also inflicts the Toxic status. The third is that those who help him right the mistaken state of things should be rewarded. Having a high curse resistance is of course helpful (the Antiquated Set that appears at the rear of the Hyrda’s cave after you rescue Dusk and tell her that “Yes” you think magic is cool has massive curse resist. At this point a shortcut down to Lost Izalith also shows up. People have a very hard time getting the eyes to drop.
• How to Join: You want to talk to the Great Stone Dragon who resides at the end of Ash Lake. The Head Stone you equip to your item bar and then remove your helmet and you can now use it (by selecting it and pressing Square) to breath bitchin’ dragon fire for as long as your Stamina bar will let you. The first choice is to completely avoid talking to Framps. and then go talk to Ingward in the New Londo Ruins to get the key to the Abyss. again. if you still want to be a rad dragon and breathe fire then here’s your chance. At this point you now are able to enter the Abyss without dying and upon doing so will have to defeat the extremely tough boss there. What does that mean? That means this is the Covenant for me! It’s also a notoriously difficult Covenant to join so if you’re interested be sure to read below to understand what’s required of you to do this. is it? • How to Join: There are two options and both involve not following the natural course of the game. After doing so you will find a gentleman named Kaathe who will sign you up to the Dark Wraiths if you so wish. Rewards and Restrictions: Upon joining you are granted the Dark Hand. Rewards and Restrictions: Upon joining you receive the Dragon Eye and the Dragon Head Stone. consult the Farming Equipment section on page 29kτ for advice on how to make that process a bit less painful. When I play games like Dark Souls I’m exactly that guy. Pray to the resident dragon to join. but in the days of the Internet noting is really that hidden. right? Anyway. which are Dragon Scales. you gotta have dreams. Ranking Up: 10 Dragon Scales gets you to +1 which grants no reward. get the Lordvessel as normal. Equipping this in your item bar will remove your armor and allow you to do a powerful shout that staggers foes and buffs your attacks for a period of time. though. You have to go down to the Great Swamp. The first step is to kill the great wolf in the Darkroot Woods to get the Covenant of Artorias Ring that you need to survive the trip into the Abyss. and then run your ass through Ash Lake avoiding the threats there to the final structure at the end of the area. It was actually intended as a “hidden” Covenant by the developers. The Dragon Eye is used to invade other players’s worlds in order to help collect the items needed to rank up in The Path of the Dragon. • • Dark Wraith I’m not the sort of guy who likes to just randomly show up and fuck people over. You can also beat a sword out of his tail. The other two ways to get Dragon Scales are to simply collect the few that are scattered around in the game world or to farm the Blue Drakes in the Valley of Drakes – their drop rate for scales is really abysmal though so. 30 gets you to +2 at which point you are granted the Dragon Body Stone. Nothing wrong with that. not in my day to day life. a fist weapon that also 23 • . from there make your way to the bottom of the Great Hollow. The second choice must be done before you get the Lordvessel and requires you to find and kill Ingward and then pick up his key – if you wait until after you have the Lordvessel Ingward will not drop the key when killed. 80 Dragon Scales gets you to +3 which has no reward associated with it. Unfortunately there isn’t much in it for the person presented the challenge and currently it’s very hard to collect Dragon Scales this way – I would expect From to patch this soon to make Dragon Eye invasions involuntary. You now need a key and have two ways to get it. At least. Getting to him is a bit of a pain. and you can do this without aggroing him or preventing you from joining this Covenant. This item will present a mark of challenge in any nearby player’s world who currently possesses a Dragon Scale and if he accepts the challenge you will enter to duel him – if he loses you take his scales.Path of the Dragon When I was eleven I wanted to be a rad dragon and breathe fire.
The Darksword is a fairly long weapon of the normal straight sword variety (like the Longsword) that can be upgraded along normal lines and is about 20% stronger in all of its upgrades than the Longsword is – it requires 16 Strength and 16 Dexterity. Slaying 80 players gets you to +3 and has no built in reward. 24 . When used as a weapon the Dark Hand has a grab attack (press R2) that will suck a point of Humanity out of any Player Character targets (but not out of monsters or NPCs). Ranking Up: Kaathe’s request is fairly simple.• turns into a shield if placed on your left hand that does a great job of blocking Magic. Fire and Lightning damage but not such a great job of blocking Physical damage – the Dark Hand has no requirements. After you have assassinated 10 players you will reach +1 and be granted the Red Eye Orb (not cracked!) which can be used indefinitely to invade players as it doesn’t break with use. He wants you to invade everyone and kill them. The armor is a heavy armor set (about the weight of the Elite Knight Set) providing strong physical protection. After 30 victims you will reach +2 and can obtain the Dark Wraith Armor Set and the Darksword.
there is some useful information I can pass along here. however. I have included a few pieces of gear that stand out for their protective qualities. The advice below is geared toward selections that are worth shaping your character around or that similarly would justify their stats or be of use throughout NG+ or NG++. This means many of these items will have stat requirements that are beyond what low level characters can reasonably get to. Sometimes you’ll see that a table starts with an item whose name I’ve listed in italics. just because I haven’t found a way to make a particular item work doesn’t mean that you can’t. and will probably add a few more of those as the Internet alerts me to them. Flames and Talismans ¤ Weapons ¤ This section is not meant to be exhaustive. Most of these items I’ve included because they have special effects beyond just protecting your character so this section has a format with more description and fewer stats than you’d expect. which have their own weights to take into consideration as well. Additionally. You can always send me an email if there’s a particular item I’ve left out here or there. With that said. The intent of this section is to make an effort at digesting the information provided in those larger sources into a more manageable list of particular items. one set is not usually better than the next and really what you use will operate on a fairly fluid scale depending on how much mobility you need vs. That serves little purpose when the Futurepress guide does a good job of it and soon the online Wikis will do an even better job. The light armors aren’t necessarily better than heavy. how much Poise you need (see page 9τ for more about Poise).Preferred Equipment ¤ Armor ¤ Shields ¤ Catalysts. 25 .” Armor Most armor comes in sets and most of these sets lie on a continuum from lightest to heaviest. For those pieces you will see more stats. Because this section is based only on my experiences playing the game and what I’ve picked up from combing through Dark Souls threads online it will inherently have omissions and misjudgements. The different types of equipment I’ve enumerated on below will each include a brief commentary section explaining my approach to picking what I’ve picked (if necessary) followed by a table with the relevant stats. It’s quite likely I’ll miss awesome items here and list items that are actually no good. or something I’ve included that actually isn’t that hot. Most characters will probably eventually pick one set of light armor and one set of heavy or medium armor to upgrade and wear them piecemeal depending on which weapons they want to use at the time. What I’m saying is please take the following advice as a starting point for your own experimentation rather than as a Bible. When this is the case I’ve included that item not as a particular suggestion but as a point of reference. If you’re having trouble with the early game I’ve made some suggestions on page 38τ in the section titled “Early Equipment.
In each case the shield totally negates whatever percentage of the incoming damage is covered by its Stability number – this means that the Heater Shield negates 55% and the Hollow Solider Shield negates 85%. but no Poise. which is the vast majority of foes in Dark Souls. The skirt from the Antiquated set has sky high defense and curse resistance. leaving you totally 26 . In you’re using the Heater Shield what happens is that all of your Stamina disappears. Dropped after slaying Havel who resides at the bottom of one of Taurus Demon’s towers Found in the Painted World of Ariamis late in the game Back of Hyrda’s Lake after saving. and talking to Dusk. spots: The Depths. and talking to Dusk. but no Poise. and. Soliare hallway in Lost Izalith late in the game of Astora wears one but does not drop it.Armor Child Mask Mother Mask Father Mask Dark Sun Crown Symbol of Avarice Crown of Dusk Sunlight Maggot Havel’s Set Painted Guardian Set Antiquated Skirt Cleric Set Thorny Set Elite Knight Set Obtained 8000 souls from Patches 8000 souls from Patches 8000 souls from Patches 10000 souls from Domnhall of Zena Rare drop from Mimics not in The Duke’s Archive or the Crystal Caves Back of Hyrda’s Lake after saving. but the number in this case actually is 160). Poise and overall weight Be human with a live boss to kill Kirk in three Armor that makes your roll do damage (120 total). Drains 5HP per second. locating. which is a shield that you also find early but would have to upgrade extensively to get to +15. A Heater Shield +0 is the most basic shield you can find that blocks 100% physical and it has a Stability rating of 55.” Description Increases Stamina recovery rate Increases HP by 15% Increases Equip Load by 15% Increases all types of magic damage Helmet. in particular. a very strong effect. Answer “Yes. Increases Item Discovery by 200 points. of Chaos room if Kirk died thrice. describe the effect “Stability” has on a shield. Demon Ruins. Before I get to listing items I first want to talk about how shields actually work. This damage is then applied against your Stamina bar. locating. you take some damage and probably stagger.000 total A set of extremely heavy armor that also has the highest Poise in the game. Shields For most characters the vast majority of the time the shield is the single most important piece of equipment. Found on a body in Darkroot Garden. We’ll take two shields as our examples and just focus on their Stability number. Answer “Yes. Lost Izalith Found in Daugh. Increases Magic Attack by 20% and lowers Magic Defense by 30% Dropped by a visibly different Chaos Bug in a Helm that emits light from your character. The numbers work out to the Heater Shield not negating 165 damage and the Hollow Soldier Shield not negating 45 damage. Extremely light armor boasting high defense and unparalleld poison resistance. has a Stability rating of 85. Seems to be the favorite heavy-but-not-too-heavy armor set for use with normal weight weapons. A Hollow Soldier Shield +15. A medium armor with a good balance of defense.” Purchased from Patches for 22. To begin with I’ll considering two shields that block 100% of the incoming physical damage and a situation where some foe hits you with pure physical damage. Let’s say Havel or some other hard hitting foe attacks you doing 300 potential damage and you have 40 Endurance which nets you the maximum possible 160 points of Stamina (represented in game as a bar rather than numbers.
your character doesn’t flinch.5 3 6 4 6 5 0. no stagger animation occurs. The first Pyromancer will upgrade your Flame up to +15 at the cost of (only) a boatload of souls. or lightning damage. In the charts below these are referred to as the “Low.defenseless and open to the next blow. mostly. Bloodshield 10 0 53 100 30 70 56 3 Found: Painted World of Ariamis*** Instead of parrying this shield shoots a ring out that does whatever damage the weapon in your right hand would do. Once you have an upgraded Flame (at least +10) and only if you haven’t yet killed the Bed of Chaos Quelanna will appear 27 . in my mind these are the standout shields in Dark Souls: Shield Hollow Soldier +15 Crystal Ring +5 Black Knight +5 Lit. Cataylsts and Talismans (and Flames) There are only a few of these to choose between but I’ve listed them below anyway. There are no shields in the game that block 100% of any of those damages and in those cases what happens is the leftover unblocked part goes directly after your HP while the blocked percentage works its way through the block algorithm as above. People use it with the Lifehunt Schythe. Its not upgradeable. unable even to dodge. There are only two Flames in the game which I have not listed. The Dark Wraith Covenant is a ton of work to join. not a weapon) or can get later on as well.” and “Fth” choices respectively and you’ll see why when you scan over to the scaling section. *** The Futurpress guide says this shield increases Poison/Bleed/Curse resistance by 50%. it’s what preserves your Stamina and in combat in Dark Souls your Stamina is just as important for keeping you alive as your HP is as without it you can’t move well. Drop: Spear and sword Silver Knights Covenant: Dark Wraith** Litn. Sometimes you will run into foes that do lots of magic. more powerful one you get from the master Pyromancy trainer Quelanna. a right choice if you have high Intelligence. Since so many foes do pure physical damage in Dark Souls having a shield with high Stability that blocks 100% of incoming physical damage is very useful. In practice this means you will switch to these shields when you need them and what’s usually considered a virtue in these swaps is that they block as much of the incoming elemental damage as possible. What this means is that Stabilty is of primary importance when choosing a shield. This can be abused and will probably be patched out soon. and you can continue to try to position yourself better or counter attack. The Interent says it negates bleed damage. none of which are improvements except Lightning. no HP is lost. and a second. These are the base one that you usually get from freeing the Depths Pyromancer from his pot (use your roll to free him. For the most part when choosing a Catalyst or Talisman there’s a right choice is you have both low Intelligence and low Faith. fire. With those mechanics understood. attack or defend. ** In your left hand this acts as a shield. Forge it from any Buckler sized shield +10. Gargoyle +5 Eagle +15 Silver Knight +5 Dark Hand * Requirement Stability Str Dex 11 10 16 12 16 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 85 40 74 56 84 83 ? Damage Reduction % Phy 100 70 100 85 100 100 80 Mag 30 90 25 40 55 40 80 Fir 75 70 95 75 45 75 80 Lit 50 40 65 84 75 65 80 Weight 3. I haven’t tried it. and a right choice if you have high Faith. If you’re using the Hollow Solider Shield you lose about ¼ of your total Stamina and that’s it.” “Int. Cannot parry. Upgrades are limited to just the first level of Crystal/Lightning/Magic/Divine/Fire.5 Obtained / Notes Rare drop from shield bearing Hollowed Forged: Moonlight Butterfly Soul* Drop: All Black Knights Drop: Parish and normal gargoyles Found: Blightown.
then go to where you first encountered Seath. Talk to Logan one more time. Rings Rings can make a big difference and because they are mostly interesting for the miscellaneous effects the format of the following chart is the same as the one I used for armor.000 souls from Oswald in the Parish Found: Valley of Drakes or New Londo Ruins 20. Int: Velka’s T. The following list isn’t exhaustive. Low: Thorolund T. the Strong Flame is between 254 and 270. Catalyst or Talisman Low: Oolacile C. get your item. She can ascend your flame to a “Strong Flame” and then bump it up five more times – the normal flame has a Magic Strength between 100 and 250 depending on its level. it’s the just rings I find particularly useful or interesting. Silver Serpent Ring Dark Wood Grain Ring Havel’s Ring Hornet Ring Ring of Fog Obtained Found near Curse Frogs in the Depths 15. and Gwyndolin’s soul 5000 souls from Petrus or Patches 5000 souls from Oswald in the Parish Covenant: Darkmoon Blades * Free him from Sen’s Fortress. Read the textural description of the item in-game to confirm that she has upgraded your flame as it doesn’t show up in just the item’s name.sitting next to a pillar sort of near the big web mound in the Great Swamp. then leave the area and come back again. Locate him in the Archives again and buy all of his stuff and kill Seath (can be done in either order). You should expect to change your rings out as you go around to different areas depending on your purpose.** Requirement Int 3 32 0 0 16 0 Fth 0 0 16 10 0 24 Stat Scaling Magic Strength Str Dex Int Fth 19-180 19-315 19-240 19-150 19-220 19-240 E E E C S A A D A Obtained 1000 souls from Dusk of Oolacile Complicated plot drop involving Big Hat Logan* Made from a Sorcerer’s C.000 souls from Griggs Found: Great Hollow or in Ash Lake Found in Sen’s Fortress Found in The Tomb of The Giants Slay Shiva’s invisible bodyguard Slay Havel Found: Darkroot Garden / Basin Hunter Covenant or give Skull Lantern to Hawk Effects Heals 30 HP for each foe slain Quadruples poison resistance Quadruples curse resistance Increases all sorcery damage by 20% Increases Stamina recovery rate Gain 200 Item Discovery (~3x base) Get 20% more souls for kills Changes the roll animation for the better Gain 50% to Equip Load Increases Critical Damage 50% Makes you clearish and untargetable 28 . The first four are rings you can find early on. Free him from the Duke’s Archives. the rest are in alphabetical order. Leave the area and come back to find a chest. Fth: Darkmoon T. which you can get through Petrus events or buy from Patches for 5000 souls has as Magic Strength of 19-234 and an A scaling with Faith and doesn’t require going through Covenant hoops. ** The Ivory Talisman. Finish off your foe. Gold Serpent Ring C. Catalysts and Talismans cannot be upgraded. Fth: Tin Darkmoon C. Int: Tin Crystal C. Get Lordvessel and either place it or talk to Logan. Ring Ring of the Evil Eye Poisonbite Ring Cursebite Ring Bellowing Dragoncrest Cloranthy Ring C.
of course. Often this will be Titanite bits. have enough time on my hands now (nor probably will I ever) to make such a comparison. stamina consumption and. but only in Sen’s Fortress Found Darkroot Garden / Basin Gift Increases all miracle damage by 20% Normal movement in swamps and water Gain 25 Mag/Fire/Lit defense Silences your movements Gain 40 Poise Can understand Daughters of Chaos Farming Equipment In Dark Souls there will be times when you decide to go farm a particular monster for a certain item. reach. but some covenants require large amounts of certain rare items and there are certain weapons that can only be had from rare drops as well. Drains 5HP per second. Gold Serpent Ring Symbol of Avarice Banked Humanity of 1 Banked Humanity of 2 Banked Humanity of 3 Banked Humanity of 4 Banked Humanity of 5 Banked Humanity of 10 Banked Humanity of 20 Banked Humanity of 30 Banked Humanity of 99 Obtained Found in Sen’s Fortress Rare drop from Mimics not in The Duke’s Archive or the Crystal Caves See page 4τ on Humanity See page 4τ on Humanity See page 4τ on Humanity See page 4τ on Humanity See page 4τ on Humanity See page 4τ on Humanity See page 4τ on Humanity See page 4τ on Humanity See page 4τ on Humanity Effects Gain 200 Item Discovery Helmet. In all of these cases putting on some farming equipment can greatly speed things along. This is because your stats largely determine both your damage scaling and what weapons you can equip and so they present a good bottleneck on which weapons will be practical for you. I don’t. Banked Humanity refers to what the number in the upper left corner reads. Gain 200 Item Discovery. however.R. Ideally I would have some bizzare comparative piece involving the quality of the attack animations. There are only a few things that can really boost your Item Drop rate. Gain 20 Item Discovery total Gain 25 Item Discovery total Gain 29 Item Discovery total Gain 33 Item Discovery total Gain 38 Item Discovery total Gain 59 Item Discovery total Gain 90 Item Discovery total Gain 110 Item Discovery total Gain 110 Item Discovery total Weapons There are a variety of ways I could format this section depending on how finely I wanted to digest my own experimentation and the Internet’s apparent opinions about the various weapons out there. Item C. I think the best compromise is for me to just list a selection of weapons based around where your character’s stats are and then let you play around with the other stuff. the power of the contestably top tier weapons. Slumbering Dragoncrest Wolf Ring Old Witch Ring Found: Anor Londo Found when you revisit the Undead Asylum Slay or do plot events for Sigemeyer of Catarina Drop: Griggs. which starts at 100 (ie: if you have zero banked humanity). Because of the way upgrades work basically I’ve decided to split this “Preferred Weapons” category into five 29 . of Sun’s Firstborn Rusted Iron Ring Speckled Stoneplate R.
5 and then round up to the nearest whole number (reduce by 50%). for another example. All weapons are always listed at their top grade and if I make a typo and list a weapon that’s not at its top grade just assume I meant to do so. I get it. “Bonus” refers to special effects like poison. however if mechanics from Demon’s Souls have carried over you can expect that one S is worth more than two Cs and that lower base damage weapons with high scaling overtake high base damage weapons with low scaling typically when your relevant stat reaches 40 or 50 if the weapon scales at an S or A rate. A. In other words. listed as something like “30 to 5/s” which reads as “30 points of buildup per hit to five damage per second once it takes effect. respectively. Damage is listed as Physical / Magical / Fire / Lightining. Often the table starts with a few variants of the same item on a grey field – this is merely to give you a general perspective of what you options are between closely similar variants of the same weapon. One thing I didn’t list below is that almost all weapons have 100 “Critical Damage” which is only applied when you either backstab or parry/riposte a foe (or for bows when you shoot them in the head – for crossbows you won’t be able to aim at the head since only bows can be finely aimed using L1. B. It’s just there so you can see things like “oh it looks like Occult does a little bit less base damage but scales better. I’ve tried to pick the most “normal” weapon of its sort for this variant listing which is rarely the strongest overall choice. bleed. no matter how magic-y you wish to be stop pumping Intelligence at 50 and go and invest in Vitality or Endurance or Resistance or something else. The contribution of scaling is relatively untested at this point. Power” is the power of the bonus.” However. really).” here means “Humanity dependent” and usually applies to Chaos weapons. The only weapons that have more are the Mail Breaker (120). or toxin or whatever. You’ll get a lot more out of it. Anyway. “B. “Hum dep.sections. C. The grades of scaling are E. Unspecialized or is for characters who are either at low levels or who are at higher levels but who have spent most of their points in stats that don’t help with weapon strength like Vitality and Endurance – which is not to say these are underpowered characters at all (in fact.” Or. D. when there are parentheticals after Strength that’s because I thought it would be useful to list how much Strength the weapon requires two handed – to find this number for other weapons just divide its one handed Strength requirement by 1. this actually changes very slightly with some weapon types so don’t send me angry emails if I list an Enchanted Schythe but you look at the variant item and decide “hah he made a mistake Magic is better” and then you make a magic one and realize its stats don’t line up with the variant item’s stats exactly and it turns out I was right all along. and S from least to greatest. given your stats. “40 to 30%” which reads as “40 points of buildup per hit to 30% of their HP taken once built up. there are no cases where a not-fully-upgraded weapon does more damage than a fully upgraded one of the same type.” Once you play with a bonus effect item these descriptions will make sense to you. overall. Dexterity. the Rapier (110). or start as a Thief. 30 . It scales with your banked Humanity and the bonus caps at 10 Humanity – a lot more playtesting is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of all of these sorts of bonus damage. who drop them occasionally. the Dagger and Parrying Dagger (131). the Ghost Blade (127) and the Bandit’s Knife (147). Intelligence and Faith refer to whichever stat your character has really porked out on. at the present time these may be the strongest overall sort of PvM character for Dark Souls – we’ll see what From tinkers with in their patches). Weapons that inherently carry anything other than physcial damage can not be buffed. Strength. The others. So I guess if you want to backstab beat a Bandit’s Knife out of one of the Undead Assassins near Capra Demon. People have yet to playtest this stuff for Dark Souls but if the mechanics have washed over from Demon’s Souls much expect returns on weapon scaling damage to severely decline after you get your “damage stat” to 50. Also note that “Reg” or regular damage is a different type than Slash or Strike. okay. so don’t take my repetition to mean dominance. so that’ll never happen with them. Stats are always listed as Strength / Dexterity / Intelligence / Faith. aside from the “variant item” at the head of each table the singly listed items are what I think is the best choice for that weapon.
You’ll see a couple of vendors mentioned a lot below. So “1H R R1 shoots a carrot out of your crotch” means that if you do a rolling one-handed R1 attack a carrot will shoot out of your crotch instead of the normal attack animation occurring for that weapon type. He’ll pull some jerk moves on you as well and each time he does you can make your way back to him and complain about it to get a minor prize – resist the urge to stab him in his gut.000 souls). though. You have to be a member of the Forest Hunters Covenant for him to sell to you. Each time you meet him he may ask you if you’re a Cleric – you must answer NO. See page 20τ for information on that covenant. who is back from Demon’s Souls. Nico or Vince in Firelink until after you meet him. To get him to open his shop requires a lot of work and can be screwed up fairly easily. Shiva is a vendor who first appears in the area behind the sealed door in Darkroot Garden (buy the seal to unlock that door from blacksmith Anrei for 20. even if you are a Cleric. or Patches will never sell anything to you. 31 . The other vendor of note is Patches. You will probably first meet him in the Tomb of the Giants after the coffin slides (on the right).In the Notes section “1H” means one handed. Patches hates Clerics. Also I realize many people are playing this on Xbox and don’t have R1 or R2 keys but have shoulder and trigger keys or some damn thing instead but I don’t have an Xbox so I’m not going to worry about translating that stuff over and cluttering up my tables with it. Many unique weapons shoot shockwaves and stuff for certain attacks instead of what their parent weapons did. “2H” means two handed and “R” means Rolling and “S” means Sprinitng. but its possible to meet him in the Catacombs one time before that if you avoid talking to Rhea. so try them out – usually abuse of these attacks is limited by them costing your weapon some durability each time you do them which in turn costs you souls to fix them up.
E B ..D E .306 Reg / Thrust 180 217 .12 8 .240 Thrust 220 ..D D .11 13 .Reg 283 . Found near Firelink Shrine.000. Bleed 30 to 30% Wt.16 12 ..16 10 .280 Slash 357 .Slash 200 ...10 10 ............ Can attack from behind a shield.16 14 ..9 13 ..6 12 0 0 ...5 140 4.224 Reg / Thrust 275 . Found in Darkroot Garden in narrow passage. similar to the Longsword.229 Slash 206 .Reg / Thrust 200 ..14 14 .9 14 .. Forged by Andrei from Quelaag’s Soul and a curved sword +10 (such as a scimitar) - Bleed 36 to 30% Bleed 30 to 30% Bleed 30 to 30% Hum dep.. Found in Sen’s Fortress..13 15 . 32 ..Strike 90 ..10 12 ..Reg 300 ..266 Reg 162 200 ..24(16) 10 ...Reg / Thrust 187 187 .10 10 ....5 8 .. Popular starting weapon..Weapon Lightning Longsword +5 Fire Longsword +10 Chaos Longsword +5 Longsword +15 Raw Longsword +5 Lightning Bandit’s Knife +5 Drake Sword +0 Drake Sword +5 Lightning Claymore +5 U N S P E C I A L I Z E D Lightning Flamberge +5 Lightning Zweihander +5 Lightning Flachion +5 Lightning Shotel +5 Lightning Estoc +5 Lightning Battle Axe +5 Divine Reinforced Club +10 Lightning Winged Spear +5 Lightning Partizan +5 Lightning Great Schythe +5 Lightning Halberd +5 Titanite Catch Pole +5 Lightning Caestus +5 Dark Hand (not upgradeable) Quelaag’s Furysword +5 Damage Damage Type(s) 200 .280 Slash 302 ...000 Souls from Shiva of the East Found in Firelink Shrine area 1H and 2H R2 is a running slash Found in Blighttown Drops from Catacombs Skeletons Shiva 10.. Stronger than Mace..206 Reg / Thrust 261 . Obtained Notes 3 200 1000 Souls from Andre the Blacksmith 1 200 6 360 6 200 6 160 10 200 2.5 300 0. Why Lightning instead of Fire? More creatures resist Fire..288 Reg / Thrust 275 .. 1H R2 is a grab that steals Humanity from human players. R2 attacks are horizontal sweeps.Reg / Thrust 140 .229 Slash 225 ..270 Slash Scaling Req’d Stats ...Reg / Thrust 184 .224 Reg / Thrust 224 224 . Found in Catacombs.16 10 ..13 12 . Found to right of start of New Londo Ruins.C 12 .C C ..5 160 1. Found near the large flight of steps near the Armored Boar in Undead Parish.. Remember that most of these Lightning weapons could potentially be swapped for Fire / Chaos / Raw / Base +15.- Bonus B.. Popular in PvP... Andrei for 1000 Male Undead Merchant for 350.5 600 Rare drop from Undead Assassins Critical Damage of 147 (vs the norm of 100) Shoot the ail off the first dragon. Bring about 100 arrows....10 10 .. Fastest polearm.D D D 16 12 .10 10 . Best skeleton perma-killer. Power Hum dep.. Can attack from behind raised shield. Dur. Ignores shields somewhat..5 160 5 130 6 200 6 200 0..Strike 236 .5 100 3 150 4 250 4 100 4.....Reg 165 168 .. Longer / slower vs.5 999 3. Found near the first dragon in Undead Burg 10.10 10 . 2H R2 shoots a linear shockwave that costs you 30 durability..... but you do what you want buddy. Estoc. especially late in the game. Rare drop from Prowling Demon near Blacksmith Andrei Andrei for 200 souls Darkwraith Covenant...364 Reg 225 ....Strike 200 ...
000.B A .20(14) ..50(34) . Find in Anor Londo.Reg 319 .....12 .. Power Wt..Strike 345 .. 33 . Rare drop from Black Axe Knights.E E . Be in human form and run around outside Qeelag’s door.Reg / Thrust 225 ...A .- Bonus B.D ... Patches for 3. Rare drop from Taurus Demon boss.36(26) 18 ..C C E 40(27) 10 .Weapon Large Club +15 Lightning Large Club +5 Raw Large Club +5 Man-Serpent Greatsword +15 Stone Greatsword +5 Demon Great Machete +15 Dragon Greatsowrd +5 Black Knight Greatsword +5 S T R E N G T H Butcher Knife +15 Demon’s Greataxe +15 Dragon King Greataxe +5 Black Knight Greataxe +5 Mace +15 Great Club +15 Grant +5 Demon’s Great Hammer +15 Dragon Tooth +5 Gravelord Sword +5 Smough’s Hamer +5 Dragon Bone Fist +5 Damage Damage Type(s) 300 .46(31) .. Shiva for 10.Strike 435 .000...Reg 222 150 . Find in Catacombs.. such as a Scimitar.Reg 540 ..Slash / Thrust 412 .Strike 330 . Try in NG+..24(16) .B ..32(22) 18 ...000 or Stone Knights in Garden..Strike 337 . Never loses durability.Reg 307 .. Forged from Nito’s Soul and a +10 curved sword.A .40(27) .Strike 135 .Strike 187 195 .336 Strike 276 . Found in the Great Swamp near the two rock tossing Barbarians in the corner Drop: Paladin Leeroy 2H R2 is an AoE shockwave Dropped by Asylum Demon if you beat him without running away first. Has unique 1H and 2H R2 attack animations.D. Rare drop from Greatsword Black Knights..26(18) .D D . Badly underpowered..000.B .50(34) 8 .24(16) .B .46(31) . 2H R2 emits shockwave and costs 50 durab.50(34) 10 ..Reg 332 ... Dur.. Shiva for 10. Steals 5HP per strike Toxin 30 to 5/s Steals 10HP per strike - 10 300 18 800 18 600 24 400 14 300 10 250 22 600 24 400 16 300 4 250 12 250 24 600 22 600 18 999 Drop from Serpent Soliders in Archives..... 2H R2 is an AoE magic nuke...58(39) .24(16) 13 .. Note that many players find they get more damage from the items with options by going with Lightning +5 and dropping the stat scaling than sticking with +15 and keeping the scaling. 2H R2 emits enemy slowing shockwave.40(27) ... Drops from Maneater Mildred. 18 600 8 999 Forged from Smough’s Soul (must kill him last in the fight) and +10 Large Club Forged from +10 Caestus and Iron Golem’s Soul. Its moves all can combo fairly well.Reg 227 ... Cut off the Gaping Dragon’s tail...B .B E .Reg 285 . Rare drop from Capra Demons in Demon Ruins.Strike Scaling Req’d Stats A ..26(18) .B ..28(19) .B E ..26(18) ..Strike 275 . Chop off the Stone Dragon’s tail in Ask Lake..B .Reg 540 .Strike 382 ... Shiva for 10.. Obtained Notes Poison 30 to 3/s 11 250 Rare drop from Infested Barbarians in the entry to Blighttown.. Spec in strength if you want to try out a huge variety of equally huge weapons.
5 100 3..5 200 2 200 1 150 1 100 Obtained Notes Shiva for 5.14 20 .. drop down inside the vertical concrete tunnel...E B .Slash 200 . obviously.E A .. Medium size katana.10 14 . Found in Catacombs Forged from a Schythe +10 and Priscilla’s Soul Found in Blighttown.270 Slash 225 .Slash 175 .Slash 190 . Strong attacks are multiple quick thrusts.B .14 14 .. jump from the long entry ramp. Buy the good stuff first. Dropped by King Jeremiah. As with strength. Be in human form with boss unkilled in Painted World.Slash 247 ..000 Longest katana.Slash 200 .Slash / Thrust 220 .8 20 . Dur.Thrust 250 ...Weapon Uchigatana +15 Lightning Uchigatana +5 Bandit’s Knife +15 Priscilla’s Dagger Balder Side Sword +15 Falchion +15 D E X T E R I T Y Painting Guardian Sword +15 Quelaag’s Furysword +5 Washing Pole +15 Iaito +15 Ricard’s Rapier +15 Great Schythe +15 Lifehunt Schythe +5 Whip +15 Notched Whip +15 Claw +15 Black Bow of Pharis +15 Damage Damage Type(s) 225 .252 Slash / Thrust 140 .B ..E B .Thrust Scaling Req’d Stats .A .- Bonus B...16 14 .E B .Reg 162 .B ..7 20 . Drop: Undead Prince Ricard.. Cannot backstab.Reg / Thrust 205 .Slash 85 . 5 80 1 200 1 100 3 120 2.5 160 1.D D .6 14 .5 600 8 60 5 80 2 100 5 130 6 100 1.E B .8 16 . Bleed 30 to 30% Bleed 33 to 30% Bleed 30 to 30% Bleed 40 to 50% Bleed 33 to 30% Bleed 30 to 30% - Wt. please note that many players find they get more damage from the items with options by going with Lightning +5 and dropping the stat scaling than sticking with +15 and keeping the scaling.E S ... 34 .20(14) 16 .Slash / Thrust 247 ..14 14 .7 14 . shitty scaling though Found on a Blighttown roof.9 13 . Rare drop from Elite Undead Guards in Undead Burg (the cape guys) Found in Blighttown Drops from Catacombs Skeletons Rare drop from Painting Guards in Painted World or Ariamis Forged by Andrei from Quelaag’s Soul and a curved sword +10 (such as a scimitar) Shiva for 20.6 20 . Drops from male undead vendor in Undead Burg.9 18 .. Power Bleed 33 to 30% Bleed 30 to 30% Bleed 20 to 50% Bleed 30 to 30% Hum dep.E B .E B ..Slash 120 .11 13 ...E B ..E B .Slash 90 . Shiva for 5..Reg 190 . Rare drop from Undead Assassins Critical Damage of 147 (vs the norm of 100) Beaten out of Priscilla the Crossbreed’s Tail in the Painted World.000 souls Drops from Pharis.6 12 .000.14 14 .B . Be in human form with the boss unkilled in Darkroot Garden.
Slash 155 167 . 2H R2s are replaced by vertical slashes.5 160 1 200 3 120 6 200 6 200 6 300 1.E E A 16 16 .E E B 10 12 .Slash / Thurst 134 139 . Drops from Male Undead Merchant in Undead Burg.Weapon Enchanted Falchion +5 Magic Falchion +5 Enchanted Bandit’s Knife +5 Enchanted Balder Side Sword +5 Enchanted Darksword +5 Enchanted Claymore +5 Moonlight Greatsword +5 Enchanted Shotel +5 Enchanted Uchigatana +5 Enchanted Estoc +5 Velka’s Rapier +5 Enchanted Club +5 Enchanted Winged Spear +5 Enchanted Partizan +5 Enchanted Halberd +5 Enchanted Great Schythe +5 Enchanted Whip +5 Enchanted Notched Whip +5 Enchanted Caestus +5 Enchanted Claw +5 Enchanted Composite Bow +5 Damage Damage Type(s) 148 153 .Thrust Scaling Req’d Stats E E A 9 13 .E E B 16 12 .Slash 144 148 . Found to right of start of New Londo Ruins.000 souls Found near the little tower that connects Valley of Drakes to New Londo Ruins.E E A 10 14 .Reg / Thrust .E E B 7 14 .E E C 9 13 .E E B 14 14 . specialized weapons that are available for Strength and Dexterity heavy characters. Found in Painted World of Ariamis. Power Wt. Dur.Reg 148 153 .Strike 156 160 .E C B 8 16 .E E B 8 16 .5 100 5 80 3 150 2 130 3 250 4.5 300 1 150 1 100 Obtained Notes Found in Blighttown Drops from Catacombs Skeletons Rare drop from Undead Assassins Critical Damage of 147 (vs the norm of 100) Rare drop from Elite Undead Guards in Undead Burg (the cape guys) Covenant: Darkwraith Found near the first dragon in Undead Burg Beat out of the tip of Seath’s tail.E E B 9 14 .E E A 10 .Slash 163 167 . Shiva 10.E E A 5 8 .Slash 100 104 .000.Slash 144 148 . Cannot backstab. Found in Catacombs Found in Blighttown.E E B 13 12 . Found in Sen’s Fortress.Reg / Thrust 148 153 .Strike 117 120 . Found in Darkroot Garden in narrow passage. drop down inside the vertical concrete tunnel.5 160 6 200 5 130 1.E E A 14 14 . Found near the large flight of steps near the Armored Boar in Undead Parish. Found near Firelink Shrine. Dropped by King Jeremiah.5 140 4.E E A 16 10 .Reg / Thrust 180 185 . 2.Reg 108 111 .E E A 6 12 . Ignores shields somewhat.Reg 184 190 .Reg / Thrust 199 204 . Shiva for 5000. - Bleed 30 to 30% Bleed 33 to 30% Bleed 30 to 30% Bleed 33 to 30% Bleed 30 to 30% - I N T E L L I G E N C E Intelligence heavy characters have a broad choice of light weapons with decent scaling to choose between.. 35 .Reg / Thrust 156 162 . Can attack from behind raised shield.A 16 10 . Andrei for 200 souls Shiva for 5.5 200 2 200 0..Reg / Thrust 90 145 .196 .. Be in human form with boss unkilled in Painted World. R2 attacks are shockwaves or orbs.E E B 13 15 .Reg 136 141 .Slash 98 102 .E E A 11 12 . but don’t generally get much to choose between among the larger.- Bonus B. R2 attacks are horizontal sweeps.Thrust 144 148 . Undead Merchant for 150 souls. Popular in PvP.E E A 6 14 .
Reg / Thrust 145 155 .Thrust Scaling Req’d Stats E D . as aside from the Large Club they scale at C.B 26(18) .Slash 106 112 .E D .D D . I’ve left out most of the weapons that only scale at C.5 300 1 150 1 100 Obtained Notes - 1000 Souls from Andre the Blacksmith Bleed 30 to 30% Poison 30 to 3/s Bleed 30 to 30% Bleed 30 to 30% - Rare drop from Undead Assassins Critical Damage of 147 (vs the norm of 100) Covenant: Darkwraith Found near the first dragon in Undead Burg Found in Blighttown Drops from Catacombs Skeletons Shiva 10.S 9 14 .Slash 145 155 .B 14 14 . Faith offers the lowest overall scaling options.E D .Strike 116 122 .Reg 184 192 .Slash 65 67 .E D .E D . Shiva for 10.5 100 22 600 11 250 5 130 0. Ignores shields somewhat. Dropped by skeletons in Tomb of G. surprisingly. Rare drop from Taurus Demon boss.E D .B 6 14 .000.000 souls Found in path between Darkroot Garden and Basin. Power Wt. Rare drop from Infested Barbarians in the entry to Blighttown.E D .Weapon Occult Longsword +5 Divine Longsword +10 Occult Bandit’s Knife +5 Occult Darksword +5 Occult Claymore +5 F A I T H Occult Falchion +5 Occult Shotel +5 Occult Demon’s Great Axe +5 Occult Large Club +5 Occult Great Schythe +5 Occult Caestus +5 Occult Claw +5 Occult Long Bow +5 Damage Damage Type(s) 143 150 .Slash 145 155 . Only the Demon’s Great Axe scales at anything higher than B. Dur.000..Reg 213 225 .E D. Found in Sen’s Fortress. Maces and hammers aren’t really Faith weapons any more. 36 . 3 200 1 200 6 200 6 200 2.E D .D E .A 46(31) .C 10 10 . Found in Catacombs Andrei for 200 souls Shiva for 5.Slash 202 215 .B 9 13 .5 160 1.B 16 10 .B 6 12 .C 9 14 .Strike 179 187 .B 10 10 . Popular in PvP..E D .- Bonus B.B 16 16 .E D .Reg / Thrust 135 165 .B 5 8 .Reg / Thrust 98 105 .
I suggest buying a few curse cures before you bother going in to the Depths. To get the Antiquated Set you have to kill the Hydra. walk all the way to the back of his lake avoiding the dropoffs. You can also get them from the Female Undead Vendor behind the grate in the shortcut leading down to the depths.000 souls!). A short ways up from Firelink you can jump out onto some roofs. The other option is to trade a Cracked Red Eye Orb to the Hawk Girl who started squawking at you back in the Asylum when you went near her nest. The only real exceptions that you can get early on are the Antiquated Set you get in Darkroot Basin and the Crimson Set you find lying around in Blighttown. and then hike all the way to the back of Lake Hyrda where a corpse will have appeared with the Antiquated Set on it. He’s the guy that looks like he really wants a hug. its easier to get to her but she wants 6000 for each one. talk to her. Once you pay for this service your sin counter (which you can see 37 . once you get to the nest you’ll be asked if you want to “Curl up into a ball” and once you do the crow will take you back to the Asylum. Later on you can farm them off of the giant angry clams and. You get two stones for every cracked red eye orb you find and there are a few orbs to be had in Firelink Shrine in a treasure chest that you can get to by jumping out a small window. if you’ve managed to get all the way to Ingward in New Londo Ruins (which is quite far into that ghost hell) you can buy the “Resist Curse” Sorcery which does the same thing a stone does and requires 16 Intelligence.Specific Advice ¤ Curing curse ¤ De-aggroing NPCs ¤ Don’ts ¤ Early equipment ¤ Farming souls ¤ ¤ A PvM build to ~SL25 ¤ Sticking points ¤ Curing Curse ¤ Female Undead Vendor sells the cure¤ The Curse Frogs got you. You probably need to buy a Purging Stone to rid yourself of the HP penalty. Most armor has terrible curse resistance. the leave the area and come back. De-aggroing NPCs ¤ Oswald in the Undead Parish will do it for a hefty fee¤ Oswald shows up after you ring the Parish bell. huh? Pretty nasty little buggers. One service he offers is to “Cleanse your sins” and it costs 2000 souls per soul level for you to do this (so if you’re level 25 it’ll cost 50. Then you have to leave and come back again. talk to the lady that shows up. To get back there you have to have the elevator that goes from the Undead Parish to Firelink Shrine and back unlocked (just use it once from the Parish and there you go). Find the lady again at the lakeshore (look for a white signature). Oswald in the Undead Parish sells them for 4000 souls. Look around up there for a broken column you can jump on to. Moral of the story? Curse is a pain in the ass. kill the thing you find back there. say that “Yes” differences between Sorceries are pretty interesting. From that column you can make it to the big crow’s nest. Those Curse Frogs reappear in the Great Hollow and there’s boss later on who will curse you as well (if you let him).
sprint to those stairs before you get burnt up. but more importantly any NPCs you’ve accidentally struck will stop being angry at you and any gods whose Covenants you’ve betrayed will give you another shot at signing up and showing that you’re not a jerk. don’t attack. Don’t be too stingy with your Humanity – if you have five or so saved up that’s fine. They’re only worth five humanity if you eat them which you could get a number of other ways. and after readying the bow press L1 to enter fine aiming mode.on your stats page) will reset to zero. If being mobile and dodging isn’t working try tanking up with Poise and heavy armor. Look around under there for a vantage point where you can see the dragon’s tail wiggling around. Halfway across the dragon bridge on the right there are some stairs going down. so experiement. Estus is precious! Don’t bash everything you see. I think I covered this pretty well in the stats section but there’s absolutely no reason to have 75 Intelligence and only 20 Vitality. start spending your extra ones and have a little fun. You can give these to Firekeepers or to Covenant leaders to strengthen your Estus flasks. Don’t run around everywhere Hollowed! This is a big change from Demon’s Souls. make sure your arrows are equipped. This is the jerk cleric guy in Undead Parish. If you need a little help early on here are a few things you can collect to ease things up a bit: • The Drake Sword. then take out your bow. Don’t overspecialize. Go buy a bow (not a crossbow) and make sure you have the stats to use it. There are lots of special NPC invasions you miss if you’re never in human form and there are tons of people who want to play multiplayer but don’t have any humans around to make that happen on the other end. Get as close as you can. Don’ts ¤ Common mistakes ¤ This is just a list of stuff I suggest you not do. Slow your roll a little bit and at least keep Endurance and Vitality roughly in line with whatever stat it is you think is going to kill monsters best. If your heavy armor is getting you killed take it off. Don’t be stubborn. Try a roll. • • • • • Early Equipment ¤ A leg up early on ¤ The first areas are definitely the easiest ones. After you buy what you want from him it’s not a bad idea to just kill him as he can often kill another miracle vendor you probably want access to later on if you don’t do the plot points involving that just right. Don’t let Petrus live too long. Shoot the tail until you get a message saying you’ve gotten the sword. Many of the vendors look pretty nasty when you first meet them and some NPCs are trapped in a vulnerable position and won’t be happy if your clumsy ass cuts their arm off trying to get them out. but you probably won’t realize this your first time through. Dark Souls will often require you to go against your first instinct to get past certain obstacles. There are obviously a few bugs with this process so if there’s a particular NPC whose stuff you need or a particular Covenant you really want to do try to get it right the first time. For most people this takes about 40 38 . which I will hopefully add to as different things become an issue in Dark Souls for the general population: • Don’t eat Firekeeper Souls. The rule of thumb is that if you can’t lock on. if you don’t then get them.
Go down those steps then look around by the bars for another set of steps winding off the other way. Heal gives you six charges every time you rest at a bonfire and requires 12 Faith to use. Mr. The Heal Miracle. and its free. The morose blue knight guy in Firelink is staring at some steps. The slimes can be farmed for regular and Green Titanite while you wait to get summoned in for the last one. This elevator takes you to an area of the game you won’t actually do much in until nearly the end. “No. it blocks 100% of incoming physical damage. If you don’t plan to ever have the stats to use it then I suggest getting to work upgrading whatever weapon it is you do want to use post haste.500 souls upon death. free him with a roll and then go find him back at Firelink shrine to get going on this. Farming Souls ¤ White phantoming ¤ Thanks. there’s a jailed vendor there who can do some smithing and who will sell you a basic Cataylst and two Soul Arrow spells for not many souls. At the bottom of these is an elevator. and only needs 10 Intelligence to use (plus one Attunement slot as described above in “The Heal Miracle. It stops abruptly so don’t run off of it into oblivion.” you don’t have a problem with magic. The Hollow Solider Shield. which will net you 12. You can get it as a rare drop from the Undead Soliders in either the Parish or the Burg. If you can’t get it to drop you can find a Knight Shield on a little projection in the maze of hallways attached to the area you fought the armored boar in. The sword requires 16 Strength and 10 Dexterity to use – it’s basically the Crescent Falchion of Dark Souls. Basic pyromancy. It has one of the highest Stability ratings in the game so it’s well worth upgrading (see page 26τ for why Stability is important). The door that leads down there is one you found that you couldn’t open after the first dragon a bit – come back to it once you find the Basement Key.• • • • arrows but for me it took nearly 100 so I suggest buying about 125 good quality arrows before coming down here – the male Undead Merchant back in the Burg sells arrows.” It’ll give you a more options against clusters of enemies. For most of the early part of the game that will more than double the amount of healing that you can do between bonfires. but if you go down there and exit the stone building you can find one more staircase (and an Estoc!) on your right. 39 . You meet your first Pyro trainer just after the room with the two butchers in the Depths. You need at least 10 Attunement to have a spell slot to equip heal to (“Attune your magic” at the bonfire to do this). He’ll want you to join the Way of White before selling to you – you can always leave it and come back to it later if you want (at the cost of some souls – see the introduction to the Covenants section on page 17τ for more info about that) but for now you might as well. Great Heal requires 14 Faith but only carries one charge so it’s not worth going out of your way for. shoots quickly. Help that person kill the boss and you get half of the souls (they still get the full amount) that the boss normally gives! Popular places to do this early on are near the entry to Taurus Demon. Basic sorcery. Down there you’ll find a guy trapped in a pot. any of the ones carrying a large triangular shield can drop it (spear or sword). Pyromancies don’t require any stats for you to use and they get most of their power from non-scaling stuff as well which makes them great for low level characters. Petrus of Thorolund is hanging around in the Firelink area. It’s light. does okay damage. near the door leading to Capra Demon. The basic Soul Arrow has 30 charges. Dragon ¤ Darkroot hedgeclipping ¤ The three Stooges ¤ One of the best ways to get souls early on is to put down your white soul sign (using the White Soapstone that you get when you first talk to Solaire of Astora on the big porch that the dragon bridge leads down on to) and run around killing mooks while waiting for someone to summon you. By the way. and the big one is the bonfire near the slime hallway before Gaping Dragon.
but he isn’t the only one in there. Also note that there’s an invisible archer back there if you’re in human form – this one drops a rare bow so don’t trick him into running off the cliff. Just inside the door is a sorcerer who starts madly casting soul arrows at you. There’s a large demon just beyond this smith who you can ignore for now and just sprint past into the lush area beyond. netting you 2000 souls each. killing all the Hollowed along it and netting you 300 souls. so if there’s an item glowing there you may want to risk picking it up if you haven’t yet amassed a ton of souls. then up to and out of the stairs onto the bridge again. Sometimes the thief gets lost in the woods and sometimes the sorcerer just stands there blasting away at the cliff but the Bonfire is right there so if you only get 2000 instead of 6000 just go back to the fire and run your circuit again. go up the ladder. Keep going into this area. all the way to the back.After you make it halfway across the dragon bridge once and open up the ladder shortcut down the stairs there you can use the dragon to farm souls. The bushes also drop lots of purple and red moss which is used to cure poison and bleeding. rest at the bonfire and redo the whole process. and a nearly invisible thief to start chasing you – these are the Three Stooges. This will usually cause the sorcerer. In this area you’ll get attacked by bipedal bushes that give 100 souls per kill – be warned that they have a grab attack that will kill you through your shield. so instead of fighting them we’re just going to make them run off a cliff. though. and they often work together. From this bonfire you can run around slaying bushes. though. The Stooges usually decide that the best way to get you when you’re standing there is to run up the stairs. If you can’t seem to get summoned regularly probably the best place to grind souls out early on is the Darkroot garden. Instead of running up the stairs run onto the narrow ledge to their right. mostly straight. The last place is actually through that stone door with the glowing seal I mentioned above. All of the foes inside have a lot of HP. 40 . Once you get past them sprint to the front of the opposite nook from the one that has the stairs in it and the dragon will roast the bridge. go down the stairs. To open that door go back to the smith and buy the seal off of him for 20. run straight past the sorcerer and around the flat log lying there on the ground. The spearmen will press on you at the top but if you just walk steadily through them it’s usually easy to slip past. so if you see them rear back and raise both arms either get far away or else hit them quickly to prevent this attack (and if they do grab you with it wail on L1 and R1 and maybe you can get out before they finish you off). You can then sprint back across the gap. Whack the stone wall to the left of this seal (there will probably be a message showing you the right place) to open a secret door leading to a bonfire. do good damage.000 souls. The way I do this is to enter the door from the secret bonfire. Sometimes the Hollowed drop items – usually these are just bullshit pieces of armor but they do drop the Hollowed Solider Shield (which is nice) and once in a great long while a Titanite Shard. If there’s a particular rare drop you’re looking for. To do this you start at that Bonfire under the ladder. Later on some people farm Silver Knights or certain demons in the Demon Ruins but the Stooges is probably faster than either of those methods. you might as well farm those monsters (once you have increased item drop gear – see page 29τ for that) instead of the Stooges all day. Note that there’s also a Bandit back there but that he only gives 1000 souls and is too far away to be worth messing with. You find this place past the smith under the Parish. then sprint off of them over your head and fall into the abyss. a cleric. then run back toward the stone steps I came in on. until you come to a big stone door with a glowing seal on it. so you’re standing on a foot of earth next to a steep cliff. and you’ll need plenty of those soon anyway so this is a good place to farm.
Second Step Get the Drake Sword Stats Vit -Att -End -Str 16 Dex 12 Res -Int -Fth -Go under the dragon bridge and shoot the dragons’ tail off with your bow Third Step Get Heal Miracle Stats Vit -Att 10 End -Str 16 Dex 12 Res -Int -Fth 12 Fouth Step Get Soul Arrow Stats Vit -Att 12 End -Str 16 Dex 12 Res -Int 10 Fth 12 Fifth Step Increase Vit / End Stats Vit 16-20 Att 12 End 16-20 Str 16 Dex 12 Res -Int 10 Fth 12 Sixth Step Get Pyromancy Stats Vit 16-20 Att 14 End 16-20 Str 16 Dex 12 Res -Int 10 Fth 12 Free pyromancer from butchers in Depths. The following. You can start with any character and still do this. if there’s something you can’t get past check in here and maybe there’s some advice. If you find a particular item you want to use (a spear or halberd maybe?) you could stop between any of these steps and build up the stats for them. get stats. short bow. however. find Rickert in White. Visit him in Firelink for Flame and spells. buy Heal and a New Londo. If you dawdle around on top of the ladder tower he’ll jump up there to fight you so hurry up once you get up there. of course. When you enter his area do a 180 and go up the ladder to take out the jerks up there. Depending on what character you start with you will already have some of the suggested stats more than covered by the time you get to that particular step. The Dragon Bridge: You’ll probably get hit but your goal is not to die. Talk to Petrus in Go down the Firelink Firelink. First draw the soldiers out 41 • . Sticking Points ¤ Having trouble with a section or a boss? ¤ Part of the satisfaction of Dark Souls is figuring out how to overcome obstacles on your own so I suggest using this section sparingly. lock on the demon (who will be staring up at you angrily) and run off the edge and attack him while you fall. Then go across the bridge until the demon shows up. represent for most people the major changes in the abilities for their characters to handle more serious threats or to deal with certain foes that their default setups aren’t well equipped for. That’s fine. • Taurus Demon: The first demon you fight out of the Asylum.A PvM Build to ~SL25 ¤ How to build your stats early on for good benefit ¤ What follows is of course just a loose suggestion. Join Way of elevator. buy cheap Talisman Catalyst and S. These diving attacks do huge damage even with crap weapons. You can also leave any of the below steps out if you don’t want to do a certain type of thing with your character and still be able to get through the game just fine. Run back to the tower and climb up it. and 125 standard arrows off Undead M. Arrow. First Step Shield. bow. then rush past him when you can and repeat the cycle. arrows Stats Vit -Att -End -Str -Dex 12 Res -Int -Fth -Buy a100% physical blocking shield. Grind souls. Run away to the other end of the bridge to bait him away from the ladder. However. then quickly go to the edge. of course.
Solaire will help out for this fight again. If you’re in human form you’ll either be able to summon other players or Solaire of Astora. Ornstein and Smough: Try to keep either the pillars or Smough between you and Ornstein while you work on killing the fat guy off first. There are different rewards for killing either one last (requiring at least one NG+ run to get everything) – if you want to kill Smough last just keep dashing from one end of the room to the other to draw Orenstein along with you and fight with him while Smough keeps up. If you can get into that widened part you will only lose about ¼ of your health instead of all of it. Gaping Dragon: Before you start the fight look around upstairs and kill the Channeler that’s up there or he’ll cast magic at you and actually buff the dragon during the upcoming fight. or even throwing knives or firebombs or whatever for when they get close together and overlap their fields of (literally!) fire. Stay away from the edges of the roof. Cut that head off with a few swipes. Wait for him to finish a volley of beams and then leave your rock shelter and approach the shore. If you dick around for a while she’ll land and you can wail on her. Learn the range of her flop attack. He’s vulnerable to lightning damage. or. Curse Frogs: After you kill the Giant Rat in the sewers stick to the left side of the effluent ramp to make it over the gap and avoid dealing with the goddamn curse frogs entirely. The two knight bowmen in Anor Londo: People seriously hate this part. Once you kill him Ornstein will get more powerful and you kill Smough but his attacks will also get slower so you should then concentrate on rolling away rather than blocking. but you have to make it over the bridge (halfway!) at least once. Hydra: He’s actually quite easy. like Soul Arrow. If you get cursed see the beginning of this section (page 37τ) for help. The Tomb of Giants: Get the Skull Lantern or buy the Light Spell. Halfway across there are stairs in a widened part of the bridge. if you are in Human form and find his soul sign. If you don’t want to mess with that bring firebombs or some Pyromancy. Gargoyles: Work hard on killing one first before going after the other. The last head (on the far right) dives across the shore and you’ll have to bait it into attacking you as far inland as possible so you can get close enough to hit it while slogging through as little water as possible to reach it. Down the stairs there’s a ladder you can kick down to loop back to an earlier bonfire and create a really useful shortcut. Orenstein is vulnerable to fire damage. The Catacombs: Rushing the necromancers and killing them first or using a divine weapon on the skeletons will prevent them from resurrecting every time you kill them. When she flies up into the air or pukes run far away and restart this process. Bring some spells. there is a really nice ring down there (heals 30HP every time you kill an enemy) so it’s worth going through the area once really well. Bringing your own lightning resist gear to deal with Orenstien’s attacks is also a good idea. Repeat until his heads are gone. Moonlight Butterfly: She’s easy. The raise your shield and spring (hold O) across the bridge aiming for the right side. Run to the lakeshore with a shield equipped that has good Stability and 100% physical resistance. bait her into doing it. You’ll also have to be careful to not fall down any holes while roaming around. Hide behind that rock there and lock on to the Hydra while keeping your shield up.• • • • • • • • • from off the bridge with your bow or whatever. the tail sweep. Often times doing this will cause one of them to leap to their deaths and then the other isn’t so bad. If you have the Fog Ring or the Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring they have a much harder time locating you to begin their attacks and this section gets much easier. When he roars back up a bit and watch his head plunge into the earth in front of you. Lock on to the right one and run up the left side with your shield raised so that if you get attacked you get pushed into the wall instead of to your death. too. either of whom being present should make this fight very easy. However. The dragon itself is really quite easy once you figure her out. if you’re willing to do 42 . and then charge around to the cleft between her back leg and tail to get a few shots in. if you can get down the stairs you won’t get hurt at all. Try to chop her tail off first (attack the low part instead of the butt part) to take away her most dangerous attack.
somehow. Whenever a king spins around and starts glowing run away as quickly as you can as he’s either going to make a huge blast or try to grab you and both of these will probably one shot you if he catches you with them. The Four Kings: All attacks here do physical and magical damage so bring a ring or something to help with the magical portion. This is an extremely hard fight. it’s unblockable and will chase you relelentlessly and is a real pain as it often gives the Kings room to breath that you don’t want them to have.• • everything backwards. Many people don’t realize there’s a middle section. It’s important to try to kill one king at a time here even though they respawn (you’ll still be making progress against their overall health bar) as it takes time for them to respawn and during that time you’ll have less to deal with. then charge to the middle and take that out in there too. Most of the physical ones are best dealt with by staying very close and rolling. Now you can see! Oh boy! To use the Lantern hold it in your left hand and hold down L1. work your way into the Demon Ruins to get the Sunlight Maggot. The alternative approach to all of this is to put on the heaviest armor you have. The homing purple orb can only be outrun. 43 . Ceaseless Discharge: Get the one side. get the other. If you want to win it straight up you’ll have to know all of their attacks. healing yourself with Estus when you need to let your stamina bar refill. augmented by Havel’s Ring and possibly the Wolf Ring for more poise and just wail on them like you were playing Diablo.