• TheVoid - September 4, 2014 2:12 p.m.

    Being a veteran of the series since Demon's Souls, I'm having a hard time getting on board with the unwritten "no health flasks" rule. It wasn't an issue in the earlier games, so why now? Granted, DS2 is significantly more multiplayer-focused (almost to a fault) whereas PvP duels weren't nearly as common before, but as was then and is still the case, the act of healing yourself also means leaving yourself wide open to attack. As such it's always struck me as a balanced proposition: for one, obviously healing yourself is necessary for survival, but at the same time doing so could be your very undoing. I can't tell you the number of times I've cut down an opposing player mid-chug, but I can tell you the same has happened to me just as frequently. It always struck me as a fair action given its downside, more so considering you can only do so 12 times (assuming you enter the battle full - your own fault if not). Further, some of the most memorable duels I've been involved in have been flask-friendly on both ends. One in particular just a few nights ago was EPIC, having lasted probably 10x longer than any duel I've been in previously and covering way more ground. It was fantastic. By the end it became a Dirty Harry-like situation: Did he use all 12 yet? Does he have any more? Does he know I have one more? Damn this is intense. Otherwise I've been involved in plenty of duels where I'm left with next to no health after the opening volley. Where's the fun in that? But by taking cover and chugging a flask, I get the opportunity to get back in the game and allow myself time to get a better sense of the player's strengths/weaknesses. I generally don't run (far) but rather wait until the other player has committed to a lengthy move, just out of reach, allowing just enough time for me to get a chug in before they've regrouped. Nice. If he was closer/smarter I would not have had the chance. Again, balance. I exploited/took advantage of his misstep, which has always been a core aspect of these games. It becomes really difficult to unlearn that lesson, having been taught it so severely since the first few minutes of Demon's Souls. So I do consider myself "grandfathered in" in that regard. Last, at least now I know what the "chugging upfront" means, although I have yet to see that happen (despite spending plenty of time on the iron bridge). If I see that I'll comply but usually I just get a scathing message from the player afterwards (assuming I won, of course). I'm down with the initial bow, though. Mainly because it's just plain cool.
  • GOD - September 2, 2014 8:23 p.m.

    I'm ok with people running away to try and recover their momentum, but only if they're just trying to do that. If they run and then try to heal or run and hide amongst enemies then I'm just gonna start to be a dick back. Nothing worse than when you're about to kill someone who invaded you, they run away towards they remaining enemies in the level. I have Seed of a Tree of Giants but they're not common enough to get for me to warrant using them.
  • Jacko415 - September 2, 2014 7:51 p.m.

    This made me REALLY want to hop back on DS2... but i told myself i wouldnt play until all the DLC is out and i can play them all in one glorious barage of death and violence and survival and more death and triumph and more and more death.
  • TheTrooper424 - September 1, 2014 9:32 p.m.

    I wish I still cared about this game...
  • g1rldraco7 - September 1, 2014 9:23 p.m.

    They should focus on keeping hackers out of the game. i faced one in Dark Souls, he took so much damages and his life bar didn't go down.
  • R_U_Guys_From_British - September 1, 2014 3:07 p.m.

    I think they patched the game recently so that you can no longer heal by estus flask in PVP?
  • lucas-daffern - September 2, 2014 4:35 p.m.

    NOPE! I read the same thing last month but playing yesterday it still happened.
  • GOD - September 2, 2014 8:19 p.m.

    Unfortunately that only applies to duels in the arenas for the Way of the Blue and Brotherhood of Blood covenants, although I wish it applied to voluntary duels by summon sign as well. Many a time where I thought it was a fair duel and next thing I know they bail and get their chugs in.
  • TheVoid - September 4, 2014 2:35 p.m.

    I guess my question is, what makes it not fair considering doing so (chugging) leaves one wide open to attack? There is so much balance built into every aspect of the game, to the point where the developers would have taken out healing if that is what they intended (as applies to blue/blood duels and bell tower spawns). But since they haven't, I don't understand why it's not a fair tactic. Same with a red invader running towards remaining enemies. The developers gave them that benefit (not being attacked by level enemies) so why not use that to their advantage? The whole game (in fact, series) is built around taking advantage of whatever gets you by - if the chips are down, why just allow yourself to be killed when there's a chance you can turn that around by leveraging whatever life-saving tools are at your disposal? It's not like it's a cheat or anything - it's an integral part of the game. And like everything else in the series it has clear downsides and limitations. So go ahead and chug, I say. Expect me to do the same. But I'll be on you if you do and expect the same in return. That to me seems fair enough.
  • GOD - September 6, 2014 8:23 p.m.

    As it pertains to red invaders, go ahead and heal. It's an involuntary encounter and the person being invaded can do whatever they want in self defense. The whole fact that enemies ignore red invaders is very frustrating though, because it basically gives them an area to go to where they can heal with an easy spell like warmth as long as they want without you touching them. I'd find it better if mobs were a third party, and not guards for the invader. If you aggro mobs when there is an invader, you're only hope is to run. Secondly, the "it's in the game so don't complain" argument has never been valid, because that's why patches exist to rebalance things. Just because it has yet to be balanced, doesn't mean the creators want it to be the way it currently is. That's why arena duels no longer allow estus when they did before. It's not like the day before they released the patch they suddenly had a change of heart. Healing with estus in a voluntary PvP duel where you touch a summon sign is looked down on because it just becomes a way for a person to prolong a fight they were losing. You said ONLY 12 estus but that's quite a lot. And punishing chuggers is pretty hard if they're not complete idiots. People usually only chug when they're a good distance away, and unless they were dumb enough to leave their back turned to you and not get very far away, you'll likely only be able to get one quick hit in which will do less than what a single estus chug has recovered for them. The main reason they probably haven't disabled estus in voluntary PvP resulting from summon signs is because you can still be invaded by another invader while still in the voluntary duel.
  • TheVoid - September 8, 2014 6:26 p.m.

    I can see the whole "it's in the game so don't complain" argument upon release (or shortly after) but there have been several patches and two expansions since DS2's release and still no sign of it changing, so it's pretty safe to say the developers intended it to be in the game (especially since they went out of their way to disable it elsewhere, both at release and in subsequent patches). And I'd wager it's more than just because you can be invaded during a voluntary duel. All the flasks in the world don't tend to help when that happens. And by "it" I mean estus flask usage during summon sign duels specifically, or rather the frowning upon it. That's the "house rule" that just rubs me the wrong way. Yes, it prolongs fights. So? It's no fun to have to wait a fair amount of time for someone to summon in, only to blast me to next-to-nothing with their opening volley. No way am I going to lay down and let them finish me off, not after all that. At the same time I generally don't bolt in the other direction and hide somewhere in the map to heal up. I agree that's cheap. Rather I wait until they've committed to a lengthy attack and miss, or have exhausted their just-shy-of-lethal combo, at which point I chug, usually right in front of them. Or, at worst (by your standards), I'll use (very) nearby cover and chug if they decide to try and finish me off with a ranged attack, which I'd call equally cheap. Again, I don't see anything "unbalanced" in the use of flasks. You open yourself up to attack when doing so, so you do need to consider your timing (more than distance, I'd argue). If anything, I'd lobby for a patch that disqualifies a player for tearing off too far from the other player during a voluntary duel. I'd definitely call that cowardly. But honestly, if a player has me against the ropes and then over-extends him/herself (or worse, decides to fall back to finish me off from a distance), getting a flask in strikes me as a perfectly viable tactic. They blew their chance, granting me an opportunity to get back in the game. If they are that good it shouldn't be an effort to hammer me back down to nothing, right? I'm just prolonging the inevitable, right? Wrong, and that's exactly where I'd say your argument (and this particular "unwritten rule") fails. You see, I'm discovering by and large that players built around quick kill combos with little-to-no chance for the other player to react go to pieces at their first slip up, or once they've exhausted that opening volley combo. At which point I chug and proceed to go all V for Vendetta on them. "My turn", if you get the reference. Those tend to be the players that cry "foul", which also happen to be the same players that I patiently wait for as they magic up their weapons or cast some form of protection before they've even bowed (which I'd also call cheap). Bosses don't wait, why should I? But I do. That much I'll grant. And if a boss has me against the ropes, leaving me with just a sliver of health, and I get a flask in (which tends to aggro them to no end), haven't I taken advantage of the situation? Isn't that the crux of the Souls series? I suppose what I've also noticed is that estus flask-friendly duels tend to be in it for the fight more than the kill - a true test of build and skill, I'd say, whereas those opposed seem more inconvenienced (if not flat-out threatened) by the fact that I'm not interested in giving in so easily, especially before I've had a chance to see what their build is about and react accordingly. For me it's not about needlessly prolonging anything. For me it's about keeping it interesting. I do get the sense that I'm a bit atypical in this regard, especially since I don't tend to run but rather prefer to chug in close proximity to the other player, thanks to an oversight/bad timing on their end more than anything. I'm sure it burns when they see me do it (as it does often result in a very clumsy attempt to stop me, which I also take full advantage of) - it certainly burns me when I'm on the receiving end, the difference being that I don't pout and cry foul. Rather I do what the series has always expected of me - learn and deal with it, which is exactly why I think the developers have left it alone.

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