Dark Souls 2 to be 'more understandable'

Dark Souls 2 will be "more straightforward and more understandable," according to one of the game's new directors, Tomohiro Shibuya.

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Dark Souls 2 was one of this year's surprise announcements at the VGAs, adding another game to the beloved (and brutally difficult) series. But this game is getting new direction and leadership, and aims to be a bit more welcoming for new players.

Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura will share responsibilities as game directors, and their personalities are influencing the shift. "I personally am the sort of person who likes to be more direct than subtle," Shibuya told Edge. "[Dark Souls 2] will be more straightforward and more understandable."

This doesn't necessarily mean the game will be easier, but the pair seem squarely focused on making it a bit more approachable. That way, those too put off by the game's early hours might find they enjoy it.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 10, 2012 8:30 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Dark Souls 2 to be 'more understandable'.

    Dark Souls 2 will be "more straightforward and more understandable," according to one of the game's new directors, Tomohiro Shibuya.

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      December 10, 2012 8:39 AM

      I fucking HATE hearing this. My favorite thing about both Demons and Dark Souls is how wtf do I do the beginning is in both games. I loved that each game just kinda threw you out to the wolves, gave ya a good slap on the back and said "good luck muther fucker". This news discourages me :/

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        December 10, 2012 8:52 AM

        [deleted]

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          December 10, 2012 9:00 AM

          Yeah, I fully agree. I'd hate to see the game become simplistic or easy - the fact that it takes great pleasure in punching the player in the face is one of the things that make it so attractive, and the same goes for the multitudes of equipment, the open classes, and the stat-building - but I wouldn't object to the sequel explaining a little bit more about how the game actually works, mechanically. As long as it's still got a few surprises in there, anyway.

          I'm hoping that's what he means, at least - there's also the horrifying possibility that enemy attacks and weakpoints will be more heavily telegraphed and highlighted, amongst other things. It's a pretty open statement, but I like Dark Souls enough that I want to remain optimistic.

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          December 10, 2012 9:01 AM

          I'm perfectly ok with that.

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          December 10, 2012 9:15 AM

          agreed. informative language about systems work w/o compromising the integrity of the gameplay is fine by me.

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          December 10, 2012 9:55 AM

          Some of the stuff they leave out is just poor design, and adds nothing to the mystery or cryptic-ness of the game world.

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            December 10, 2012 10:26 AM

            agreed. I don't want everything spelled out perfectly, but you can be intentionally vague to allow for exploration without being overtly obtuse and making it unnecessarily hard to comprehend.

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            December 10, 2012 11:21 AM

            Yeah, and some of it is even side effects of terrible translation from Japanese. The stat tooltips suffer from this.

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          December 10, 2012 10:09 AM

          Yep, this. I think this is probably what they're referring to, basic game mechanics not being clear. Back when I started Demon's Souls the first time I had to wiki a lot of basic things.

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        December 10, 2012 9:38 AM

        It's this very reason I could never get into the two games. I wonder if I'll be able to enjoy DSII. Though having a game neutered from it's original spirit sounds shitty :(

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        December 10, 2012 9:43 AM

        yeah, i literally had 0 idea what the fuck on dark souls for like an hour or two. I just knew it was "hella" hard, and crazy.

        So i just kept dying and figuring out what this NES shitshow has next for me.

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      December 10, 2012 8:45 AM

      HIT X TO KILL THE BAD THING

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      December 10, 2012 9:42 AM

      This isn't a bad thing. At all. We loved Dark Souls, right? Well, Dark cleaned up a lot of Demon's' mess and was a better game for it. The same thing will happen in Dark 2.

      • Zek legacy 10 years
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        December 10, 2012 1:11 PM

        Agreed, Dark Souls still has a bunch of game mechanics that are needlessly obtuse and would benefit from being streamlined or better explained. I don't think they're going to suddenly forget why the first two games were successful.

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      December 10, 2012 9:58 AM

      I don't know how I feel about this. The biggest appeal to me was just how un-straightforward it was. Everything felt like this huge accomplishment the first time around. Even just figuring out what seemed to be the right path to take from the first bonfire, only to be trolled by a black knight fucking hiding in a dark hallway. Fuck you black knight. Fuck you.

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        December 10, 2012 10:04 AM

        seems from reading the experiences of previously experienced demon souls players, skills carry over. so it should be pretty immaterial to you how obscurely introduced the game mechanics are

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          December 10, 2012 10:08 AM

          demon's souls players want to make sure the masochism is always carried forward to new players, it is a rite of initiation, of sorts

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            December 10, 2012 10:19 AM

            I think people are worried that some of the difficulty will be lost when things are better contextualized. I think this is a pretty ridiculous argument because if your game relies on not telling the player how to play the game to be 'hard' then I question how hard it actually is/needs to be.

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              December 10, 2012 10:36 AM

              yeah I know I'm joking around. Spending 1 hour in Demon's Souls looking around for that kid with the flame in the upper story was not my idea of fun

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                December 10, 2012 9:37 PM

                ^^^a thousand times, this. I had to look it up on YouTube for Christ's sake.

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              December 10, 2012 10:38 AM

              agreed, however specifically regarding my dick instead of a video game

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              December 10, 2012 10:40 AM

              I'm hoping it mostly refers to things like the cryptic symbols used for attributes when examining a weapon's stats.

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        December 10, 2012 6:11 PM

        To be fair, the level design + orange soap from players heavily implied that the black knight in Undead Burg was not to be trifled with, and optional.

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      December 10, 2012 10:41 AM

      But what kind of cover system will it have?

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        December 10, 2012 10:48 AM

        A system where you cover yourself in honey and run through a cave filled with giant bees.

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      December 10, 2012 11:18 AM

      aaaaaaand that's me completely writing this off

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      December 10, 2012 11:20 AM

      Guys you are freaking out about nothing. Dark Souls was a fantastic game but there were definitely aspects of it that were ridiculously obtuse and could be improved. Shit like picking the thieves key and then constantly ending up in areas way above your level ruined the game for some players who didn't want to read any spoilers but then had no idea where to go.

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        December 10, 2012 11:32 AM

        ALSO, what David Craddock said above is true: Dark Souls was "more straightforward and more understandable" than Demon's Souls, and we all liked Dark Souls!!

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          December 10, 2012 1:40 PM

          I'm cautiously optimistic. I thought Dark Souls was a good balance. It wasn't as impenetrably constructed as Demon's Souls but it didn't hammer you over the head either. For example: when you're finally dropped into Firelink Shrine the game doesn't actually tell you which way you should go. But it makes it clear in other less direct ways like with enemies you can't kill in both the wrong directions. It might take some time to figure out you're heading the wrong way but that's exactly the kind of non-hand holding gameplay that I love about the games. If the new games idea of "more straightforward" is an NPC who instantly says "go here and do this" I'll be disappointed.

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            December 10, 2012 1:44 PM

            I agree that there's a balance to strike. Ultimately I think the dev team is very talented and really understands where the fun is in their game. You can't make a game like Dark Souls without having a very firm grasp of where the fun comes from. I think they'll do just fine with DS2.

            For example though, I hated the "out of order" way you were supposed to do the levels in Demon's Souls, and I was very glad to see them go with something that was a bit more intuitive in Dark Souls.

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              December 10, 2012 1:46 PM

              i don't think they're going to modify gameplay much. it would be nice if the inventory, stats, and general backend stuff was explained a little bit better.

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                December 10, 2012 1:52 PM

                That's my hope too. It wouldn't kill the atmosphere if, for example, when you joined a covenant you get a scroll in your inventory that says exactly what the covenant does and how to properly be a part of it.

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                  December 10, 2012 1:52 PM

                  exactly, or some of the crafting mechanisms. demon's souls was especially terrible for crafting and enchantment stuff.

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                    December 10, 2012 1:55 PM

                    Oh Demon's Souls was insane for not telling you a goddam thing. And I loved it, I'd still be totally fine with the new game being just as vague and confusing because I think it adds to the weirdness and what makes it special. But I understand you can't possibly make games like that and hope to expand your audience so I'm fine with making things more clear.

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                      December 10, 2012 2:00 PM

                      my main concern is the world. i want the exploration, areas, and "order" to remain mysterious. i'd like a bit more information on things like covenants, weapons, armor, spells, etc. i mean shit i had to use a FAQ to learn about pyromancy and how it was different from regular magic.

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      December 10, 2012 1:06 PM

      I typically don't do this, but it worked for the PC version:

      Dark Souls 2 petition for a release on the WiiU:

      http://www.change.org/petitions/dark-souls-ii-for-the-nintendo-wiiu

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        December 10, 2012 1:30 PM

        Lol...why?

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          December 10, 2012 1:43 PM

          Why not? Get that shit on as many platforms as you can.

          The inventory stuff would be well suited for the touchscreen / gamepad, considering you can't pause the game to manage or swap gear.

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          December 10, 2012 1:44 PM

          Why not? ZombiU has shown the systems strengths. Even if the only thing the Wii U version did differently was touchscreen inventory management that would be a huge deal considering inventory is a series weak point.

          That being said I wouldn't personally buy it on the Wii U if only because I can't see the player base being as large as other systems and that's an important point for me.

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          December 10, 2012 1:47 PM

          Because the WiiU kicks ass.

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          December 10, 2012 1:51 PM

          Why not? One Part of the game mechanics in Souls games is that the world doesn't pause around you while you're fiddling with inventory management or leaving message and all that stuff. It would be nice to offload that to the second screen on the Wii U's gamepad.

          Some local PVP in Dark Souls 2? There's some cool stuff that they could put in there.

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        December 10, 2012 1:55 PM

        Signed.

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          December 10, 2012 2:30 PM

          Even if this gets more people to play the Souls series then it will have been worth it.

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      December 10, 2012 1:57 PM

      I can see it now... objective markers, non-stop tutorial popups, no loss of souls on death, QTEs, no invasions. Thanks to all the idiots who quit the game after dying to the cemetery skeletons.

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        December 10, 2012 2:49 PM

        Not that I've played the game, but I don't think it makes someone an idiot if they quite playing a game they don't enjoy.

        At the very least it's great that they bought the game.

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          December 14, 2012 12:46 PM

          But it does make a person an idiot if they quit because they couldn't figure out what they were supposed to do. He's not talking about a person not enjoying the game, he's referring to all the people who said OH LOL GAME DOESNT TELL ME WHERE TO GO/WHAT TO KILL/WHAT I SHOULD BE DOING AT ALL AND IM INCAPABLE OF LEARNING VIA MANUAL READING, GAME OVER.

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        December 10, 2012 2:50 PM

        none of this will happen

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      December 10, 2012 2:02 PM

      The people worried about this know that Dark Souls II won't be the 3rd game in the series, right?

      It's like the 9th. No joke. King's Field I-IV, 2 Shadow Tower games (they even had guns!! no joke), Eternal Ring (rings. 24x7x365 rings. Literally no other equipment) and Sword of Moonlight, an RPG-maker

      They'll figure it out

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        December 10, 2012 2:10 PM

        I'm not sure I'd lump the Souls games in with those.

        There's obviously some similarities that carried over but the transition from their previous standard and unwieldily first person movement and combat in all of those games to the tighter and faster 3rd person action in Demon's Souls changed everything.

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          December 10, 2012 3:07 PM

          But the core conceit is still 100% the same. Harsh world will eat you alive unless you try to understand it.

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        December 10, 2012 3:37 PM

        Interesting, I did not know about all those titles.

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      December 10, 2012 2:22 PM

      consoe'd?

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      December 10, 2012 2:27 PM

      I find this kind of lame. Too many games nowadays only let you go where you're supposed to. One of the greatest aspects of the souls series is that you can end up in areas that are far above your level of skill (or Soul Level). Hitting a brick wall like that in a game and instead of blaming poor game mechanics and instead thinking to yourself "Well maybe I'm not supposed to be here yet" is probably the greatest video game revelation I've had in the past decade.

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        December 10, 2012 3:09 PM

        Well, even Miyazaki wasn't impressed with how many people quit after choosing the thieves key and getting themselves places they shouldn't be and quitting.

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      December 10, 2012 2:44 PM

      this is a sad day.....

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      December 10, 2012 3:17 PM

      you all over-reacting, have some faith, the game is going to awesome just you wait and see

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      December 10, 2012 4:04 PM

      More stuff for people who fear the word "Accessible":

      http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/by_genre/developerId,139234/

      One of the director's has worked on Resident Evil, Monster Hunter and...Ultima Underworld.

      Even thoughRE Outbreak wasn't the best RE game, it wasn't horrible. Monster Hunter has always been solid and Ultima Underworld speaks for itself.

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        December 10, 2012 6:07 PM

        Supposedly, that isn't the same guy. It was a different guy with the same name listed under "Special Thanks" on Ultima Underworld, which makes sense because why would a Capcom dev have anything to do with that game?

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      December 10, 2012 4:28 PM

      Screenshot of Dark Souls 2, you can tell how they made it more understandable: http://chattypics.com/files/darksoulsyoudied_u29aunksva.jpg

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      December 10, 2012 4:53 PM

      I look forward to many more "Omg they ruined my dark souls" threads in the coming years.

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      December 10, 2012 6:23 PM

      Get here free unlimited 10$ PSN Codes: youtu.be/W-Y3xHDTTe8
      i got free already :>

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      December 11, 2012 9:14 AM

      If they want to have one easy level where it's more of a tutorial explaining the skills and stats so I"m not guessing at what each upgrade means then I'm all for it. Don't need my hand held but the game is overly cryptic in it's explanation of how it works.

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      December 12, 2012 9:29 AM

      Personally I never got in to Dark Souls. I dunno if it's just me aging as a gamer or what, but I just don't have the time anymore to try a scenario 20 times until I get lucky. I also felt like I had to do endless circuits of MOB killing in order to have a viable chance at killing anything. Maybe making the game more intuitive would help with this.

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      December 16, 2012 3:17 PM

      I hope this is mistranslated, approachable is the last thing I want for dark souls 2

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