The Dark Souls II Diaries: These Are Not My Glasses

The Dark Souls II Diaries: These Are Not My Glasses

These are not my glasses.

The prescription is off. Way off. I have squint to see anything. The lens in the left eye does this strange thing where it bends light and makes everything look like it’s been shot with a fisheye lens. If I close one eye I can almost feel human again but, for the most part, the whole thing just gives me a headache.

I can’t walk in a straight line when I wear these glasses. I literally bump into things. I have a bruise on my left thigh from walking directly into the sharp edge of my kitchen table.

But it’s all been worth it. If I didn’t have these shitty glasses that don’t even work properly, I wouldn’t be able to play Dark Souls II.

The glasses belong to my wife. God bless Specsavers and their perennial two for one deals. I have a constant headache, and my brain is probably being warped in strange new ways to aid with the disorientation, but it’s all been worth it.

Turning the game on for the first time with these weird glasses was strange. It was hard to shake the feeling that one eye was just a little behind the other. It was a little bit like playing a video game inside a hall of mirrors. Some things seems stretched beyond recognition, others short and stumpy.

Regardless. I’m playing. I can still play.

As for my progress? Well it’s slow but steady. A few people have mentioned to me that Dark Souls II feels easier. I completely disagree. Most of these people have two or three playthroughs of the original under their belt, and those skills — for the most part — transfer to the sequel. I’ve found the game just as difficult. I’ve been stuck on the Ruin Sentinels for at least two to three hours and actually had to head off in a different direction to try and level up, and prepare myself better for that encounter.

As usual I had done things a little backward, completely missing a boss (the Ornstein-esque knight) and somehow managed to miss the ring that limits the health reduction you take as a hollow. But after one too many deaths against the sentinels I went back in that direction, took out Ornstein-lite relatively easy and found the ring. Now I’m up a few levels and good to go against those bloody Ruin Sentinels.

But my eyeballs? My poor suffering eyeballs? They continue to take punishment. There’s a strange parallel here. The more I rely on these glasses, the worse my eyesight becomes. I need a pair of proper glasses with my prescription but I don’t have one in my inventory. It continues to worsen but there’s nothing I can do to stop the process.

Basically, my new glasses are a human effigy, and my eyeballs are slowly turning hollow. Argh, to be human once more…


  • I’ve got several hundred hours on the first game and can run through without even paying attention but I’m still finding some parts of 2 really hard. Having to deal with stuff like Royal Rat Vanguard and Executioners Chariot require a completely different play style and suck even more as a heavy melee tank.

    Don’t get me started on that damn Smelter Demon.

    • I’d be interested to hear why you had problems with those – I’m hoping you noticed that the Royal Rat Vanguard had a leader and all the other rats were just to get in your way!

      • Bear in mind anything over 3 attempts I’m classing as difficult. I think it’s because I’m playing as a heavily armored STR build with greatweapons that struggles a bit being surrounded by quicker mobs.

        I eventually figured the Rat Vanguard out. Executioner’s Chariot was frustrating as I figured out early what to do but doing it was proving a chore. I was just too damn slow. Once I got that gate down the Horse was a cakewalk.Smelter Demon was just hitting too hard. Summoning people wasn’t helping as they generally died early on, leaving me by myself by the time he powered himself up. Died to the Rats about 5 times, Lost Sinner about 5-10, Smelter Demon maybe 10 or so times and Executioner’s Chariot probably took me near 20 attempts, ended up respeccing to get some more END (wasn’t using that extra DEX anyway). Everything else has gone down in 1 or 2 attempts except Old Iron King which wasn’t hard, it was just my own poorly mistimed dodges that stuffed me up.

        • Chariot was so easy to solo, it just took me three tries to realise that allies were literally dragging me down as they would not help with the witches and would instead fill the side areas forcing me to try to dodge roll the chariot time and time again. As soon as I came to the conclusion that cooperation was not my friend I did it on the first try.

          The vanguard was not neccesarily hard as I didn’t die, but I ran around in circles after my weapons had all broken and only finished by tossing fire/magic bombs at the leader after I finally realised which one it was.

          To me the Authority and everybodies favourite hyper beam weilding freak are my everests, for some reason I get no coop signs except npcs and they just get torn apart.

          Current build swings a +10 long sword, a +6 heide long sword and a +5 hammer (because every one underestimates the hammer when I invade), I find the best way to deal with mobs is normally to keep some throwing knives spare. Also side note, large leather shield is OP nearly entire game, best all round stats while still being weildable.

          • I’ve got a Lightning Greataxe +10, a backup of a Fire Greatsword +8, Tower Shield +5 and wearing the Drangelic Armour set at +3. Sitting at about 99.8% equip load.

          • I am sitting at about 28% from memory, I feel like the heavy armor does not provide sufficient defence to justify the slow dodging speed. That said great swords and larger weapons seem to be pretty great for pvp, however spells are just as op as ever ( I had over 20 invades with only one loss, but a unlucky run against a guy who was swinging both improved soul mass and that slow guided explosive pyromancer spell spelt disaster).

            I feel the only reason you would bother with heavy armour is for poise or maybe status effects.

          • Man, that’s a pretty intense equip load. Your stamina regen must be pretty slow? Cloranth ring +1, I guess? I’ve got the Alonne Captain set which is a bit heavier and requires more upgrading to reach the same def, but has around double the poise and better resistances, but I’ve had to pump up Vit something stupid to stay under 70% for fights which require rolling. It’s just better to roll than shield-tank sometimes – getting staggered is lethal. :/ (Also, Tower shield and Dark bastard sword +7, by default. Man I need more chunks.)

      • It too me, no joke, literally 5 seconds to take him down.

        Tip for @freezespreston:

        I used pyromancy. Placed 4 mines on the left side where he jumps down. Went to aggro the smaller enemies and when they came for me, I started casting Wall of Flames. Then did another cast and the boss was dead. Ridiculously easy. Best part about it is that pyromancy requires no INT to use so your STR build would also work.

        • I’m trying to get through without magic or guides at this point. Not saying there’s anything wrong with that just a personal thing I want to do.

          • Good plan. I haven’t touched a guide either, but it seems like they’re almost forcing people to mix the character up in this. Tanking some bosses would be pretty hard methinks.

  • We’re up to the same part, I haven’t fought that knight yet. I truly think you’re a little self-destructive Mark. Don’t use someone elses prescription. The game will still be there when your glasses arrive proper!

      • Haha! My sister picked up the sequel and I was convinced I’d hate it like the first game and played for a bit any way. Weirdly I don’t feel as frustrated this time around. Who knows if that’ll be the same when I go back to DS1. XD

  • I caved and picked this up for $55 delivery from eBay on Friday (bargain! AUS version too!) which arrived yesterday.

    Played for a few hours last night, enjoying it a lot more than what little I played of the original. I seem to have a better idea of the direction I need to be pressing toward. Not sure of death count, but it would likely be close to 20. Made it an hour before the inaugural death.

    I’ve made it to the second bonfire in the Forest of Giants and purchased the blacksmith ket before adventuring some more and picking up some Flaming Sword from a flamin’ tunnel 😉

    Looking forward to pressing further ahead tonight. Felt weird going back to playing with a DS3 though, not sure if I’ll try it with the DS4 tonight.

    Quick question, how do I restore the durability of my weapons and is there a way to slow the degradation?

    • If your equipment isn’t broken their durability restores to full when you sit down at a bonfire. If it does break, you need to visit the blacksmith to get it repaired. Bracing Knuckle Ring slows the degradation, and it also helps to keep a spare weapon equipped incase the first one breaks during combat.

      • Sweet, I’ll keep that in mind. I’m looking forward to sinking a few more hours tonight.

  • “In case of emergency Dark Souls release break glass!”
    Just an idea for a case to keep a spare set handy Mark

  • I missed the Ring of Binding also for so long! Don’t ask me how, but I think because the shiny blue item on the floor beside it tempted me initially and then I had forgotten about the chest right next to it!

    Even worse, in Heide’s Tower of Flame, I completely failed to notice the bonfire around the wall from the first Knight. Again, noticing the knight first and only. Which was a pain as i was constantly running back and forth from Majula.

    No idea how, but it seems i’m constantly missing things, perhaps as my attention is drawn to other objects, which can be quite important items to miss in Dark Souls 2…

    • Haha, same. Only later on did I walk past again to check on the boss there and I noticed the chest. I felt like an idiot. 😛

    • I’ve missed so many bonfires. God, I think everyone I played with co-op in Iron Keep skipped the third bonfire.

  • I wouldn’t say the game is easier per se, but they’ve definitely made some design decisions that make the game less painful than its predecessors . I can’t decide if this is a good thing yet, but I’m still really enjoying it. I think part of it may be this is my 3rd Souls game and I “get it” – a lot of the initial difficulty of the series is how it tricks you into playing the game wrong.

  • You’re wearing someone else’s prescription glasses? That sounds like an awful idea for the health of your eyes. Especially if your wife or you have an astigmatism which sounds true from your “fisheye” comment.

    This is truly Dark Souls.

  • I’ve seen second hand that dual wielding maces completely roins sentinels. Their poise doesn’t stand a chance.

    Also, hope your eyes get better soon Mark. Wearing another prescription isn’t going to be good for your co-ordination in the long run.

  • The Ring of Life Protection, which can be found at the No Man’s Wharf restores your humanity on death but immediately breaks afterward. Fortunately, you can repair it for 3000 Souls.

    However, it’s only a matter of time before this is patched so live it up while you can you hooligans

  • I’ve only played 45mins of the game so far. Tonight is my chance to truly get involved, and reading these diaries will be my only source of information

  • Those Ruin Sentinels had me raging more than my first encounter(s) with Ornstein & Smough. Try summoning both the NPC (Bellclaire) and another human phantom. Made the job SO much easier. Taking down the first one was simple and the human phantom occupied one of the other two. After leaving, levelling up and still wasting another 5 effigies I kicked myself for not doing that earlier 😛

    • Yeah, my first time I tried to fight the remaining two on the ground solo, wondering how to get back up to that ledge. (…Apparently you can’t. Booo.) I came close, but they were just too relentless for my stam to keep up with the block/dodges.

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