The "Souls" series made its name with brutal difficulty and a unique online hook. We've seen enough to know that the masochistic challenge is remaining in Dark Souls 2, and producer Takeshi Miyazoe has now explained a bit more about keeping the feeling of isolation in its online interactions.
"We still have yet to reveal a lot of the enhancements, but the core elements of the network play in Dark Souls, such as summoning other players, Covenants that help or interrupt other players, will carry over to Dark Souls 2," Miyazoe told OXM. "Our dev team's goal is to enhance some of these elements even further, so that you still have that loose connection--how you interact with other players will be an enhanced experience, a new experience."
The Mirror Knight, for example, can summon other players to fight you using his shield. That likely signals a new Covenant. But even though Miyazoe says the team is working on improvements, he doesn't think the team feels obligated to outdo other games that have tried similar online modes.
"We feel there's a core element of the network online play that is unique to Dark Souls, and that the fans enjoy. The dev team really strives to avoid direct involvement with other players--I think there's a loose connection you have with other people.
"It's the sharing of emotions, the sharing of the loneliness with other people, so that you get that faint sense of comfort when you feel that another player's facing the same difficulties in the game, but without being able to have direct contact."