There are a million stats to consider when building a Dark Souls character, but there's a very useful online tool that lets you plan them out way in advance.
A Dark Souls fan named nemesismonkey built a website called Mugenmonkey back in 2012, not long after the release of the original Dark Souls. Naiyt, another Dark Souls die hard, took over maintenance of the website in 2014 and expanded its scope to Demon's Souls, Dark Souls 2, Bloodborne, and now Dark Souls 3.
"It allows you to thoroughly plan out a character build before spending potentially dozens of hours creating it in game," Naiyt told me in an email.
You can find the website right here, and here's a glimpse at how it works:
If you've never played a Dark Souls game, the stats can seem overwhelming. Only a few of them truly matter, if all you're interested in doing is getting to the end, but if you want to build a specific type of character and experiment, this helps.
"The most interesting thing I find about this is how popular Dark Souls 1 character planning is even to this day," said Naiyt.
Naiyt told me between 150 and 200 characters are created each day using the tool, and more than 100 people are still messing with the original game daily.
"There's an interesting subculture of Souls players who enjoying crafting builds as much or more than actually playing them in game," said Naiyt. "I've talked to a fair number of Dark Souls 1 character builders who say they rarely even play the game anymore, but still enjoy planning out characters."
I'm putting off a second playthrough for the game's DLC, which is scheduled to start rolling out later this year. I'll definitely be using this ahead of time.