Salt and Sanctuary EP1: Assaulting Sanctuary

By Shamus Posted Wednesday May 25, 2016

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 96 comments

Link (YouTube)

I spend some time in this episode making fun of “git gud” culture. Chris talks about it more in-depth in his most recent video on the game.

To be clear, I’m aware that not everyone who loves Dark Souls is an insufferable, condescending braggart. There are lots of articulate people who love the game and can have an enjoyable conversation about it with non-Dark Souls fans. But Dark Souls fans are the vegans of gaming, earning a bad reputation on account of their most zealous members. The Git Gud brigade make the game a chore to talk about. I find I often avoid mentioning the game as an example because I know it will turn into a massive thread-jack.

Me: This game is hard in the same way the Dark Souls is hard.

GG: ACTUALLY, Dark Souls isn’t hard…

(100 comments of people talking past each other because they all have different definitions of “hard”.)

I actually admire Dark Souls for having such an intentional approach to its mechanics, and the way the mechanics blend so well with the atmosphere of the game. But the game is not for me, and I know there will inevitably be a conversation attempting to get me to play the game. And that conversation will be difficult, punishing, and dreary.

Just like Dark Souls!


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96 thoughts on “Salt and Sanctuary EP1: Assaulting Sanctuary

  1. SAeN says:

    Somewhat relieved that you didn’t go with Fallout 4 as the next season. Had doubts over how much it wouldn’t just mimic the last 2 Spoiler Warning: Fallout seasons.

    1. matthewhoffman says:

      I feel like there could maybe be more value in doing some of Fallout 4, but not the whole thing. Perhaps if they cheated to teleport to some locations rather than walk there and partway through cheated in OP gear like they abused alchemy in skyrim once they ran out of interesting things to say about the combat. It would make the playthrough less informative for people who haven’t played the game, but less of a trudge for those of us who have (including the cast).

      1. SAeN says:

        I think it would be good for a 1 or 2 week series, but I’d personally struggle with more.

        1. They’d probably be able to eke out a month’s worth, but most of that would be spent complaining about the main storyline and calling the companions shallow but otherwise well-written…also, Mumbles would finally have a justification for pushing Cannibalism as a valid perk choice since there’s literally no downside to it aside from maybe wasting a perk when food itself is so common it’s barely funny.

          1. Sleeping Dragon says:

            I’m pretty sure we’ll get a full FO4 season, there are a few points in the main storyline that I personally can’t wait for the crew to bite into.

            So… umm… how susceptible is Salt and Sanctuary to spoilers? It’s not entirely my type of game but I’m hearing a lot of good things about it, though almost exclusively in term of mechanics, so I may keep an eye open for if it shows up in a bundle or goes on a good sale in a year or two.

            1. IFS says:

              The story is kind of vague so I’d say not very susceptible to spoilers. I suppose someone could spoil a boss or hidden area, but that’s not the same thing as story spoilers imo. I quite like the game and its worth picking up if you like metroidvanias or the Souls games, and while it is a fairly difficult game I’d say its easier than the Souls games (greatswords/greathammer in particular make the game much easier).

    2. Cinebeast says:

      I think this is just a mini-season, though. Did they say they weren’t going to play Fallout 4?

      1. Josh says:

        This is indeed a 3 episode mini-series for this week. We had to postpone recording Fallout 4 because at the last minute, Rutskarn said he couldn’t make it. We should be doing Fallout 4 next week.

        1. MichaelGC says:

          Phew! I was thinking I was going to have to play it for a moment, there! I’d far prefer to watch Reggie do so.

  2. Hector says:

    The faces… The faces!

    I would like to see them do an oddball game like Grimrock 2. Seems like there would be a lot to talk about, while also being relatively quick to play through.

    Also, Shamus, you can get free and very solid programs to stop the Windows X reminders, and even remove downloaded files from your system. If I could have avoided the new, “improved” OS on my system, I would have done so. Win10 isn’t exactly bad, but it in no way actually adds functionality and removes great deal of control and customization from the user.

    1. CJ Kerr says:

      Win10 isn't exactly bad, but it in no way actually adds functionality and removes great deal of control and customization from the user.

      Genuinely curious what you’re thinking of when you talk about removed customisation – I can’t, off the top of my head, think of anything I’ve missed in 10. OK, there’s the old-style appearance settings, but I think they were removed back in 8.1, and I only miss them when using legacy applications that don’t quite work after 2 decades of changes to the default colour scheme.

      Conversely, the improvements to the command line are much appreciated, as is the improved window/desktop management.

      There were a bunch of worthwhile architectural improvements that debuted in Windows 8, too, and it’s nice to have those bolted to a user interface that doesn’t feel silly on a desktop.

      Granted, there’s lots of cruft in 10 I don’t care for – most of the built-in apps are awful, and I couldn’t care less about Cortana – but I’m really not sure where this attitude of “1 step forward, 2 steps back” is coming from.

      1. Profugo Barbatus says:

        I mostly agree with you, although I’ve steadfastly avoid the windows 10 upgrade simply because I am not getting a version of windows that will chose to update without giving me a veto. Not that I’m against the idea in theory, but just look at the Asus motherboard brickings recently. While its the fault of both Asus and Microsoft in this case, imagine how much worse it would be if a hardware bricking update dropped that was not avoidable for a large number of users.

        So yea, that I imagine is a major factor in the “control and customization”, controlling and customizing the applied updates. Similar things like the windows store/tile layout replacing tiles on your machine with ads for apps remove control and customization by pushing things into your machine/workflow.

        From what I understand, the professional version and above of windows ten do permit you to select updates and refuse to update, so I’m waiting until my next motherboard/cpu upgrade to get it, since I’ll have to buy it anyways. All my other windows dislikes are nitpicks really, like not wanting the store, etc.

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          In its default state it is also very… protective of its users. I know right after I upgraded it would go into a panic and try to block my way with warnings when I tried to do almost anything. I would also say that various settings are spread out and hidden in weird places but that may be just me (and frankly a lot of other users) being used to the old solutions rather than the new ones being “bad”. And you’ll probably want to disable the snooping that win10 does on you.

          Since I see Shamus tweeting about actually surrendering to the upgrade I’m curious to hear his initial impressions after the switch. Probably during the next diecast, unless something amusing happens and he squeezes a full blog post out of the tale.

          1. MichaelGC says:

            That ‘the setting you wanted is in another castle control panel’ thing makes me cringe. It goes past inelegance and out the other side; it’s almost antielegant.

            1. CJ Kerr says:

              Yeah, that bit sticks, although people upgrading from 8 have already had to deal with it.

              At this point, I resort to the start menu search to find settings, having memorized some magic words instead of the process to locate the toggles in the labyrinth

          2. Daemian Lucifer says:

            The constant blocking of “stuff thats bad for you because they havent checked with microsoft first” is definitely why I would rather migrate to linux than go to win10.My father had it installed on his laptop for about a week at one point.It nagged him constantly about a bunch of his freemium games and emails,and so he nagged me about it constantly.It was infuriating.

            1. Sleeping Dragon says:

              Interesting, while the overzealous security was a bit of an issue before I basically told it that yes, I do want the devils to come and take my soul and I don’t need it to camp at my doorstep and raise an alarm when a bleeding text editor is “trying to modify a file” but I don’t think I ever got the nagging, might have been related to one of the options that I disabled when I went through the “this is the win10 snooping and some other annoying stuff you may want to disable” spree. Admittedly I do find the fact that those options are enabled by default and that disabling them often requires searching for a tutorial to figure out where in the sprawling tree of nested menus the correct switches are, rather than be “do you want to disable this feature” as soon as they pop up the first time, problematic to say the least.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                No,I specifically searched for ways to block everything.But the thing is,my father is a huge noob when it comes to computers,so him having to verify every single thing that he tries to access means that I have to verify it every single time(or guide him step by step by phone,which is even worse).

        2. lurkey says:

          …nitpicks really, like not wanting the store…

          I wouldn’t call not wanting your bloody OS to shill crap at you a nitpick. At least for me it’s a mayor annoyance, and it’s not even trivial to disable the ghastly thing. Add this little issue of coming with a fucking keylogger turned on default, and I plan to postpone Win 10 infestation as long as I can.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Uuu,grimrock would be great!Josh would fall down the first hole,come back up,then probably fall down the same hole again.

    3. RTBones says:

      Tend to generally agree about W10. Not necessarily bad, but nothing I need as well as a few things I do NOT want (I have zero desire for a cloud-based OS or a digital assistant). Too many damned advertisements and not being allowed FULL control of updates on my own system are two of my biggest complaints (not to mention idiotic “telemetry”). I’ve tried it on a secondary system and didnt care for it. I’ve also dealt with family and friends that didnt care for what W10 was doing. Personally, I won’t be upgrading unless I absolutely have to.

      There are a couple of registry hacks you can make, as well as uninstalling a few “updates” that will get rid of ‘encouragement’ to upgrade. And as you rightly mention, if you havent got the time to do it manually, there are a couple of well-regarded tools out there that will help stop the madness.

  3. IFS says:

    Oh cool! I imagine this is just a couple of episodes as opposed to a full season but still I’m both surprised and happy to see you guys covering this game. It’s got a few weird design choices but I really liked it, it does a really good job of converting the essence of a Souls game to 2D while also having some of its own identity and twists on the formula beyond that. Also figures that Josh would pick what is essentially the Deprived of S&S.

    I think my favorite twist it has on the formula is the whole sanctuary/oath system, wherein the bonfires are tied to what are effectively the games covenants and there are different benefits to each of the covenants. For example the healing items (red flasks in Josh’s case) that restock on rest are different for each covenant and have slightly different benefits (Red flasks I believe heal the most, blessed water gives you a brief period of invulnerability, etc). I found it really refreshing compared to how minor of a role covenants play in the more recent Souls games.

  4. Christopher says:

    Now that’s a surprise! I was expecting Fallout 4, maybe Life is Strange in a pinch.

    Beginning to play Dark Souls can be such a big hump to get over. I thought it looked horribly difficult and unforgiving, so I watched two blind let’s plays, a lot of videoes by a pleasant competent person and my flatmate all beat it before I ever attempted it myself. I love the series now, but I’m never gonna demand 100 hours of another person’s time to get them into it. And watching let’s plays of it has becoma a joy in its own right, I have easily spent more hours watching Epicnamebro’s videos than actually playing them myself.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Me: This game is hard in the same way the Dark Souls is hard.

    GG: ACTUALLY, Dark Souls isn't hard…

    (100 comments of people talking past each other because they all have different definitions of “hard”.)

    Well now you can just link them to Chris’s video,because he sums it up way better.The thing they are mentioning is not that dark souls isnt hard,but that its hard in a different way.Just because a game is hard does not mean its anything like dark souls.Iwbtg is nothing like dark souls,despite being very hard.

    Tangential to this,why is it that LIKE X or X CLONE sometimes transitions and sometimes just sticks?Why is roguelike a genre decades after rogue was a thing,but doom clone quickly became first person shooter?And will “like dark souls” be just as phased out of language in a couple of years?

    1. I’d guess it’s because the games that descended from Rogue remained an RPG niche while FPS quickly became mainstream, especially after Goldeneye came out.

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        People use “genres” (I’m applying the term loosely) primarily to figure out “is this likely to be relevant to my interest”, FPS is a relatively short term that both describes the key mechanics and also allowed for handy permutations (like Third Person Shooter/Brawler). “Roguelike” implied a much more complex set of mechanics: the usual trappings of cRPG (skills and/or levels), turn based gameplay, third person perspective, randomized level generation, randomized and not pre-identified loot, permadeath. And the term needed to be distinct enough to differentiate the games from other cRPGs.

        I think “like dark souls” describes more a design philosophy than a set of mechanics, I imagine the term will start decaying soon after Dark Souls stops being The Big Thing.

        1. IFS says:

          “Like Dark Souls” is just used to say ‘I think this thing is hard/dark’, with no regard for similarities of mechanics or design in 99% of cases. If you don’t believe me go take a look at which showcases some of the most ridiculous comparisons. It really is just an absurd and lazy reductive comparison at this point. Salt and Sanctuary is one of the few examples where the comparison is merited because S&S is very obviously taking large amounts of inspiration from Dark Souls both in tone and gameplay and uses the difficulty for the same purpose as Dark Souls.

          1. MichaelGC says:

            Weird. I’m only a few tweets deep and they’re talking about how playing Dark Souls is like being a vegan!

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Its “the dark souls of golf” that kills me.

        2. Joe Informatico says:

          So basically, no one came up with an alternate succinct term that sums up all those features you listed, so “roguelike” stuck. Whereas FPS was as concise as “Doom clone” and “open world game” as brief as “GTA clone”, so it became easier to switch terminology as the former genre moved away from games about shooting demons in claustrophobic dimly-lit corridors and the latter started accommodating premises other than Scarface pastiches.

        3. Granted, even early on the term was used a bit strangely, since the first Diablo is apparently considering a roguelike to some degree, which being someone who’s really knowledgeable about dungeon crawlers, that’s a strange classification.

          1. Sleeping Dragon says:

            Well it definitely has roguelike in its DNA, if it was released today it would probably be considered “roguelite” due to lack of permadeath in non-hardcore play (I don’t remember, did the first game have hardcore toons?). It’s curious that the term did not get broader recognition at the time but I think that might have been a purposeful omission on the side of the devs.

            Roguelikes, especially the old ones, are notorious for their high difficulty and low accessibility. I can’t imagine devs were unaware of these inspirations but perhaps they didn’t want their game to be associated with these particular trends and the genre was niche enough that it did not seep into the consciousness of the masses of new players. To be fair the lack of permadeath makes Diablo work on very different dynamic.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              So what you are saying is that rogue is like dark souls?

            2. No permadeath, just a required reload when you died in single-player along with the “other people can steal your stuff” in multiplayer.

  6. Steve C says:

    What’s with the completely washed out colors in that game?

  7. tmtvl says:

    …Vegans have a bad rep? Okay seriously, America, what’s wrong with you?

    Over here vegans are considered to be, like, “wow”. Y’know?

    1. Profugo Barbatus says:

      We (“We” being people that speak of this) don’t like vegans because vegans stereo-typically insist on making everyone know they are vegans. Like, will append “Since I’m a vegan” onto every single meal order they make, will glare at people who are eating meat, or interrupt said meat-eaters to tell them about veganism.

      Again, Stereotype and all, but I’ve seen it happen and had it happen to me. Militant Vegans are amusing XD. Like any Stereotype, most members of the group are actually pretty much normal.

    2. Shamus says:

      Any idea, no matter how good, can be made to seem bad if you’re obnoxious enough about selling it to people. It’s not the idea, it’s the attitude.

      Here’s a funny illustration, If meat eaters acted like Vegans:

      1. Collin Pearce says:

        Everything that’s good is ruined by its fans.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        There was also south park episode smug alert.It was about hybrids,but it can basically be applied to any movement for the betterment of humanity/environment:

        1. Matt Downie says:

          The instinct to mock people for trying to live by a difficult set of rules isn’t necessarily healthy for society. There was a psychological study where they asked people what they wanted to know about the clothes they bought. Then they took the ones who didn’t want to know whether their clothes were made by children working in cruel factory conditions, and asked them what they thought of people who did worry about child labor. The non-ethical shoppers thought the ethical shoppers were boring, ugly, etc.

          I think what we’re really doing is trying to look like good people without having to inconvenience themselves for it. So whenever I see someone living by a stricter moral code code than me, I can (a) adopt that moral code too, which is hard, (b) think of the person living by the strict moral code as a better person than me, which nobody wants to do, or (c) find an excuse to mock the person living by a stricter moral code, so I can gain an artificial sense of moral superiority without making any effort.

          “Are you coming out drinking with us after work?”
          “No, I can’t.”
          “What, you think abstaining makes you better than us hopless alcoholics?”
          “No, I really can’t afford to. I give all my income after basic living expenses to charity.”
          “Well aren’t you special, you smug, self-righteous…”

          Obviously there are some people who adopt meaningless moral codes and then sneer at anyone who doesn’t follow the same rules, but the majority of ‘smug’ people are harmless and just trying to do their best.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            The instinct to mock people for trying to live by a difficult set of rules isn't necessarily healthy for society. There was a psychological study where they asked people what they wanted to know about the clothes they bought. Then they took the ones who didn't want to know whether their clothes were made by children working in cruel factory conditions, and asked them what they thought of people who did worry about child labor. The non-ethical shoppers thought the ethical shoppers were boring, ugly, etc.

            Sorry,but I have to laugh because of what you did there.Not only have you described a biased study(or worse,made it sound biased yourself),you specifically end up dividing people into good and bad.Even though you stated in the very beginning how “instinct to mock people for trying to live by a difficult set of rules isn't necessarily healthy for society”.

            1. Loonyyy says:

              But they didn’t. They didn’t refer to “good” or “bad”. That was you, after the fact. Ironically demonstrating the point. It’s actually a very common one.

              They said “ethical”, and that is, generally, the terminology used to describe that means of production. Clothing made in sweatshops is not ethically produced. Buying clothes without considering whether the labour was fairly treated or compensated is unethical.

              As it happens, most people don’t want to know how the sausage is made. While of course there are annoying vegans, vegetarians, or people concerned with the ethics of how our products are made in the first world, it’s because they have a point. The reality of the production of our goods is generally something that most of us aren’t willing to tolerate.

              But rather than live with that uncomfortable knowledge, we’d rather judge others for it. Most clothing involves unfair labour, most electronics etc. Rather than feel guilty about it, we’d rather call people biased for calling it unethical, which it flagrantly is. We resolve the cognitive dissonance by ignoring it, not by acknowledging it, trying to improve, or living with the guilt. We’d rather pretend that everything is black and white and that we get to make the right call, but just by living the existance most of us do, we exist in a state of moral comprimise. Me too, I’m no better than you. I’m just not offended by someone pointing it out.

              It’s the same reaction that every vegetarian, vegan, what have you, has gotten at some point. And yes, some bring it on themselves. But I don’t care at all what you, or anyone else eats, yet for some reason, when people ask me why I stopped eating meat, which they inevitably did, after making the requisite “But bacon” comments, and I said that I didn’t feel comfortable with animals being raised for the slaughter to feed me, that I didn’t think that was ok, or something I wanted to participate in, they’d feel judged. I didn’t volunteer the information, I don’t want to convert anyone, because everyone has taught me that vegetarians are annoying like that, and I don’t want to argue with anyone., but since my reasoning is a moral one, they feel judged nonetheless. Because it provides an existential threat to the unstated assumptions that govern their worldview. Even then, I’m considered “one of the good ones” because I don’t usually bring it up on my own, and I’ve never told anyone I feel less of them because of it, in fact, when explaining my own reasoning I have to reassure people that I’m not judging them. It’s so tiring.

              The same with people who don’t drink. I had a few in my circle of friends, every party, people would continually harass them to tell them to drink. They weren’t lording it over everyone, they just didn’t feel it was for them. Yet it provides a threat to one’s worldview. And what does it matter if someone else doesn’t get intoxicated? Ain’t your BAC. But people feel challenged. If they don’t need to drink to have fun, how sad must I be? If they feel drinking would be a less moral choice for them, what must they think of me? It even prevents them from saying how they feel about it. You can talk all you want about how much you love drinking, but if you take pride in your restraint, people will think you’re an asshole. My younger brother doesn’t drink. We were raised by an alcoholic mother, who was frequently abusive. He’s drunk before, he’s gotten drunk, but he feels that it’s a dangerous habit that can bring out a nasty side of people. He doesn’t want to be like our mother. He doesn’t get enough of a positive out of alcohol to feel it’s worth it. Yet he gets the same treatment. And you know what? I’m sick of playing with kid gloves around that, if you can’t live with your own choices when exposed to someone who made a different one, then you know what? He’s not just a better person because he doesn’t want or need alcohol, he’s a better person because he’s adult enough to stand by his convictions on his own. Me? I drink like it’s going out of fashion, but I’m comfortable with that choice, and his choices for himself don’t need to undermine me.

              You can experience it for yourself firsthand. Inevitably, when you’re wrong about something, you don’t usually just give up. You stick it out, and then later may reevaluate. But your opposition when challenged is actually stronger, people when exposed to opposing views, actually tend to become more reinforced in their own thinking, and become more defensive. It’s well established. People like to think we’re reasonable. We’re not. When people disagree, the first response is not understanding, it’s a calcification of our own position.

              As far as biased-you described a study you haven’t read the abstract of, haven’t even seen, as “biased”, because it doesn’t fit with your preconcieved notions. That’s that very confirmation bias at play. That reasoning wouldn’t fly in scientific criticism AT ALL. Even were this study misrepresented our outright fictional, your account would be wrong. You even went to mockery, the very thing they said, while demonstrating, aptly, the point. It’s a fairly well established aspect of cognitive biases. The mockery is just a basic silencing tactic. It’s an appeal to ridicule, which is fallacious on its face, and it’s designed to shut up the opposition because they make you uncomfortable.

              The minute you do that, you stop being a passive supporter of the wrongs that make you uncomfortable, and become an active one.

              And yes, I know this won’t change your mind. But I’m ok with that, because maybe you’ll look back on it, or someone else will read it. Nobody’s necessarily better than anyone else, but stopping to consider the assumptions you don’t even think you have is a process that can only ever make you more grounded.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                They said “ethical”, and that is, generally, the terminology used to describe that means of production.

                Unless the world somehow changed since last night,ethical is still considered good,and unethical is still considered bad.

                Buying clothes without considering whether the labour was fairly treated or compensated is unethical.

                And everyone is guilty until proven innocent.

                Sarcasm aside,not considering whether a product is unethically made or not does not make you unethical.And even if you care if something is made ethically,its usually not that easy to find out.Furthermore,even if you know something is made unethically,buying it still does not make you unethical if your only alternative is starvation/freezing/otherwise endangering your life.You are not an unethical person for wanting to avoid physical harm or death.

                We'd rather pretend that everything is black and white

                You mean like this:

                and that we get to make the right call, but just by living the existance most of us do, we exist in a state of moral comprimise.

                Yes,the world is not black and white,so saying that most people have the option to make the right call is absurdly reductionist,as is saying that most people live in a state of moral compromise.

                Me too, I'm no better than you. I'm just not offended by someone pointing it out.

                Implying that I am?And to tie this back to the mentioned study,do you know the reason why the person is being annoyed by someone pointing out something is unethical?As Melfina the Blue pointed out below:

                I LOATHE people who think they know what's best for me simply because they've just seen me eat a bagel/steak/whatever.

                If all the people of a group you meat are jerks,by the point that your bloods start boiling when someone just says “I am X”,how will you react when you finally meat a good person of said group?For example,Shamoose practically goes into a fit of rage now when someone tells him “You should really try dark souls”.Does that make him an intolerant jerk who simply isnt open to new things?Or does it mean that he was so swarmed by intolerant people pestering him to give the game a chance,even after he did it and still remained firm on the “I dont like it” side?

                Reasoning for the reaction is just as important as the reaction itself.

                It's the same reaction that every vegetarian, vegan, what have you, has gotten at some point.

                Or any member of group X,group Y,or group Z.Practically any adult has met someone in their life that prejudged them simply based on their one belief or physical trait.So what?

                And yes, some bring it on themselves.
                It's so tiring.

                For…10 years now,I think,whenever my parents were celebrating something with a lunch,or a dinner,there was one vegetarian friend of theirs.And all this time I still have no idea why she is a vegetarian because not a single person has asked her about it,whether it was someone who knew her for a long time,or someone who appeared at that party for the first time.Oh sure,there were comments like “Whats that?I never had it,may I take a bite?”,but not a single question about why she was eating that and not something else.Not from the guests,not from the staff.

                The same with people who don't drink.

                Not my experience.Never once did someone pressure me to drink.Or smoke.Or have a drug of any sort.They do their thing,they offer it to me,I refuse,they dont pester me.And conversely,when I drink and someone next to me doesnt,I offer it,they say no,I dont pester them any more.But,like was mentioned in the other thread,I was pressured into dancing,which I dont like,more time than I can count.Different people,different behaviors.

                Basically,your experience is your own.Other people had similar experiences,and others didnt.It means absolutely nothing.You can make a comment about it,you can joke about it,you can say you are frustrated about it,but it says nothing about the rest of the world in general.

                As far as biased-you described a study you haven't read the abstract of, haven't even seen, as “biased”, because it doesn't fit with your preconcieved notions. That's that very confirmation bias at play.

                Yes,its that confirmation bias at play.Because my exact words are:
                “Not only have you described a biased study(or worse,made it sound biased yourself),”

                I did not say that the actual study is biased,I said the way it was described makes it sound biased.Whether its like that or not is irrelevant,but the way Matt Downie described it makes it sound biased.Thats it.I was commenting on the description of the study,not the study itself.

                Yet there you go saying how I say the study I havent read is biased because it does not fit with my preconceived notion.Probably because thats the type of comment you usually read.Even though its not the case this time.

                The mockery is just a basic silencing tactic. It's an appeal to ridicule, which is fallacious on its face, and it's designed to shut up the opposition because they make you uncomfortable.

                Not true.Not all mockery is an ad hominem fallacy.When it replaces evidence,then it is.When it is there aside from evidence,it is not.Its a subtle but a very important difference.Because its just as dangerous to dismiss someones position simply because they are mocking or rude.

                And yes, I know this won't change your mind.

                No,you dont know that.Because I have changed my mind on stuff before.Ive seen studies that showed me that I did not understand something well,so I changed my stance.Same can be said for many people,here,on other sites,outside the web.So using that sentence is the exact thing you have been talking against this whole time.You prejudge that the person you are talking to is too stubborn to admit they are wrong even when they objectively are.

    3. I don’t hate vegans or the gluten-free or the only raw ever people. I LOATHE people who think they know what’s best for me simply because they’ve just seen me eat a bagel/steak/whatever. Also, it’s incredibly rude to talk about how disgusting someone else’s food is in front of them as they’re EATING IT. I know someone who hates mushrooms and he does that anytime someone eats or mentions eating mushrooms. I love mushrooms, and he’s no longer a friend because of that behavior (I did ask him more than once to not DO THAT before I started actively avoiding him due to his rudeness and let him know that was why and while I’d tolerate that behavior from a small child he was no longer a small child)

      I have a lot of respect for people who’ve managed to restrict their diets, it’s not an easy thing to do. I just have very little respect for people proselytizing at me and as for the rude, well, they get a Bless Your Heart (if you’re not from the Southern US that might not make sense) & a mental note to avoid.

  8. The skill grid is closer to Path of Exile (I type as Chris mentions it) than FFX. Also, upgrading over expanding would be based on cost v. gain; if expanding costs more or gains less than upgrading something of the same gain or cost, go with what’s more efficient.

    Since I’m not entirely familiar with the various currencies, I’ll use Salt as an example: if an upgrade that gives 2 Will for 1500 Salt can be chosen instead of something that gives 3 Will for 2200 Salt, you go with the former regardless of whether one’s an upgrade to an existing node or a node you haven’t unlocked yet. If the new node gets you closer to something else you really want, though, something that close can flip for that purpose. :P

    1. Collin Pearce says:

      I think you got the assertion backwards. The second alternative costs 733 salt per will, but the first alternative costs 750 salt per will. The second alternative is more efficient than the first.

      1. Yeah, wasn’t really paying attention as I was typing it and thought the ratios put them the way I had them. x.x

  9. Dragmire says:

    Hah, it seems no one can resist starting as the chef for their first playthrough! That’s 3 for 3 in the people I watch try this game.

  10. Dragmire says:

    Do you unlock abilities?

    I’ve heard if you press heavy attack and jump at the same time, you do some kind of super jump. Attack+direction may do different things as well.

    1. galacticplumber says:

      Through leveling? If you count spells or new weapons/armor allowances yes. For area traversal kinda stuff that’s more related to exploring the world for various upgrades called brands. There’s a brand for reversing gravity in some places, another for walking on clouds more or less, wall jumping and so on.

  11. Leslee says:

    Oh man, I’m screwed! I’m a vegan AND I play Dark Souls.

    But, in my defense, I would never claim that Dark Souls was easy, or that I was any good at it.

    And I don’t give a crap how much meat YOU eat — more veggies for me!

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Ah but are you a level 5 vegan and level 451 dark souler?If not,you need to git gudder!

  12. Spammy says:

    So I played enough of Dark Souls to realize it was bad, so I don’t see the point of this game either.

    1. The Rocketeer says:

      Well, that’s Dark Souls sorted out. What’s next, sir? World peace? Entropy? -_-

      1. MichaelGC says:

        Entropy occurs ‘cos order smacks of effort and the Universe is laaaaaazy. Not sure about world peace.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          World peace can only be achieved by eradicating all humans.So sayeth the ultron.

    2. Spammy says:

      Alright so Dark Souls was bad because it was built on this idea that the developers are doing you some sort of favor by making you repeat and repeat and repeat areas you’ve already done before. Whatever could be interesting about an area is long since dried up after the first half-dozen retreads. Which means that every area goes from being interesting to a boring checklist of enemies to dodge before you get to anything new, meaning that the game itself has become a boring checklist of enemies to dodge before you get to anywhere new.

      At least this game does provide more of an interesting hook in the early game. Rather than putting you down with no explanation in an asylum that’s not explained after an introductory cutscene that ends up asking me plot hole questions you are someone who has a mission and a purpose, then you die and end up in Souls land. That’ll do, I guess.

      There are things I can praise about Dark Souls, but there’s just so much more that’s poorly thought out and bad that I can’t say the game is anything more than mediocre. The annoyance is not worth my time.

      1. Robyrt says:

        Don’t worry, Demon’s Souls (Dark Souls 0) had an intro where you start as a human with a purpose, die, and end up in souls-land too.

        As far as Souls games go, the only reason we tolerate having to replay entire levels these days is because they have the best level design in the business. Secret areas, smart 3D spatial construction, great vistas, great atmosphere, meaningful shortcuts, and interesting enemy encounters are around every corner. And, of course, once you’re good at Souls games, a half-dozen tries per area is a sign you’re underleveled and should come back later.

  13. Jsor says:

    I don’t say “Dark Souls isn’t really hard” as a “git gud” thing, so much as encouragement towards people who are scared of the game. (And there are reasons to not play it other than being scared, but I’ve met a lot of people who have expressed “I’d love to play Dark Souls but I’m not good enough at games” BECAUSE of the git gud crowd). It does, of course, have real difficulty, but the interesting thing I find about it is that it screws with gamers a lot more than non-gamers. The game is sort of designed to screw with how gamers have been conditioned to play games to lead you into traps or bad decisions. It also preys on hubris, which a gamer who has played games for most of their life has plenty of.

    Case in point: my ex was abysmal at pretty much any game you put in front of her, because she hadn’t really every played anything other than Pokemon growing up. She had trouble pushing a direction on the control stick and a button at the same time to do a combo. She still got halfway through the game, and probably with fewer deaths than me, by sheer merit of being terrified of everything and extremely careful and patient. (Well, and me spoiling a few ambushes, but mostly the patience and paranoia).

    This is a fact that doesn’t really transfer to Salt and Sanctuary, though, because it relies on a lot more traditional 2D platformer skills.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Being scared of difficulty isnt the only reason.As Spammy says,the problem is usually more that its too time consuming and frustrating.And heck,thats precisely what Shamoose has been complaining about since the beginning.Everyone can get good enough to win dark souls,yes.But not everyone has the time and nerves to do so.

      I mean,Ive been playing I wanna be the guy for months,spending days on every individual screen just to get the correct muscle memory to pass it flawlessly.It was fun for me,but I would never presume to tell someone “Oh yeah,its not hard.You shouldnt be afraid of it.You just have to play it for a few hours every day,and in a year or two,youll finish it”.Its silly to assume that everyone will enjoy being careful and meticulous in any game.

      So instead of saying that dark souls isnt hard,it would be much more constructive to inform people that if they enjoy slow exploration,memorization of details and repetition of patterns,they should give it a try.Saying the former is not only not encouraging,but the exact reason why the fans have antagonized so many people.Saying the later informs people exactly if they would or would not enjoy the game before they even try it.

      1. Starker says:

        The IWBTG example is really unfair though. If anything, Dark Souls is more like Super Metroid. The last I checked, you couldn’t level up your character or find new weapons or upgrade your gear in IWBTG.

        When people say, “Dark Souls isn’t hard,” a lot of the times they mean exactly that it isn’t trial and error endless repetition bullshit like IWBTG, or at least that you don’t have to play it that way.

        My personal sales pitch would probably be “challenging but fair post-apocalyptic metroidvania action-RPG with great world-building and atmosphere”.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          And you dont have to play I wanna be the guy that way either.Its perfectly possible for someone who is methodical,observant and has godlike reflexes to anticipate and avoid all the traps in that game.

          But fine,you want to compare it to metroid.Ok,how many people in the entire world have beaten it on their first go,without any foreknowledge of it or similar games,without cheating,or losing a single life?Lets say that at least one such person exists.Does that mean the game is not hard and that such a playthrough is to be expected for everyone?

          1. Starker says:

            Sure, Super Metroid is not an easy game, but it’s not anything close to IWBTG either.

            Also, you don’t exactly need god-like reflexes to play Dark Souls. You can actually just tank a lot of the damage, if you want. Dark Souls combat is fairly slow and deliberate.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              But I wasnt comparing the difficulty of the two games.I was saying that because I enjoyed a certain play style enforced by a game,it doesnt mean that everyone will enjoy it as well.

              1. Starker says:

                I guess what I was more getting at was that it’s not all system mastery. It’s also stat improvement and exploration and and getting new abilities and opening up shortcuts, metroidvania style.

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  All of those are part of the system however.You are still mastering a system,its just that it consists of more than just combat.

                  1. galacticplumber says:

                    Point is you don’t actually have to master much at all to be immensely competent. Literally most of everything in the game is melee. The easy way of dealing with melee is ranged attacks so you don’ts risk getting close. This makes magic hilariously overpowered compared to melee. For any problem that can’t be solved by various versions of soul arrow we have bows which are cheap and available as early as undead burge regardless of starting character.

                  2. Starker says:

                    I’m not sure it could be called system mastery. There are not a lot of ways you can screw up you build, for example. Any stat also raises your defence and you will pick up a lot of the important ones just by meeting minimum equipment requirements. I suppose you could choose not to upgrade your gear, but it’s more a binary decision than anything. It doesn’t take any actual skill and same goes for buying better equipment.

                    As for exploration, it is a skill, sure, and you have to be at least somewhat observant to get the most out of the game. Or at least the game will be a lot harder without exploring.

                  3. Sleeping Dragon says:

                    To an extent, the “mastering of the system” would be learning what the stats do and which to increase, just getting them higher isn’t mastery, it’s bruteforcing. Don’t get me wrong, this is why I actually like games that allow you to grind a bit if you’re stuck, it’s an avenue that’s open to those of us who are below average in some field that the game requires.

                  4. Loonyyy says:

                    Yes, but the raw skill input into the system is VASTLY overstated.

                    Dark Souls is actually far closer to a traditional stats based RPG than people let on. It just hides it for the start, up till about the Firelink Shrine where things open up.

                    Levelling is relatively easy, and generally gains you very little. Many stats are pretty useless, and your stats won’t increase your ability to take hits much, except for health. What they do enable is for you to use different gear (Some of which does scale with stats, it’s true, but ignoring that for the moment). That gear then drastically changes the game. As does upgrading it.

                    A common tactic, the one I went with, is to build a tank. You can’t roll properly, but you don’t need to. My build shrugs off attacks from most enemies, they can’t stagger me, they do negligible damage. And the weapon I have 1 hits trash up to medium level enemies.

                    Dark Souls isn’t hard. It’s needlessly obtuse. Playing it well means knowing where the right gear is, what skills you need, what rings you need, what to do when. The game is very oblique about it. It’s a game best played with a wiki open, and I say that as a criticism. Dark Souls isn’t “fair”, it’s a magic trick. The Hydra is a nightmare, but it turns out you’re meant to do some gymnastics off an elevator to go back to the start to get a ring that allows you to move quickly through water. Enemies keep smashing you around, but that’s because your gear is light, and you can’t equip heavy gear, because you don’t have Havel’s Ring, because of course you’d abandon him, he’s a pain to fight.

                    It frustrates me, often, but there’s a way around everything, and it’s rarely an application of more than the most basic reflexes and skills. I don’t parry, I don’t use many special attacks, but I still grind on through. Dark Souls is actually one of the best examples of what Shamus called “Self-balancing gameplay” in RPGs.

                    1. Starker says:

                      I think one could argue that the game hides its RPG side even up until you meet Andre. While you could upgrade your equipment before that, not everyone is likely to figure it out and it’s the equipment upgrades that give you the biggest leaps in power.

                      And yes, the game has quite a lot of items and shortcuts and side content that it likes to hide away in places where only the most observant players will find it. I don’t think you’re even supposed to see or use it all in your first playthrough. I think it’s supposed to be one of those “Hey, did you hear there’s an inverted castle” type of things, but the internet has made this sort of thing impossible these days.

                      I actually found the way back to the asylum by trying to get to an item on the roof of a building in Firelink. I had already beaten the hydra by that point, though.

          2. Ninety-Three says:

            Its perfectly possible for someone who is methodical,observant and has godlike reflexes to anticipate and avoid all the traps in that game.

            What? What!?

            IWBTG is the game where you will jump across a pit of spikes and then one of the spikes, completely indistinguishable from the others, will suddenly fly up and skewer you. You’ll often trigger a trap mid-jump where even literally perfect reflexes can’t supply an input that will save you. That game is the king of invisible traps that can only be handled once you know where they are.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              All the traps appear slightly before you reach them,and often it is necessary to change your direction mid flight.And after a lot of practice,I did manage to avoid some of the invisible traps that Ive never encountered before due to my previous experiences and practice,and I am definitely not one of the better players in that game.So yes,it is possible for someone with godlike reflexes to do it.

              1. JakeyKakey says:

                It might be possible, but you’re not really expected to. Half of the masochistic enjoyment of playing IWBTG is just seeing how much stupid unfair bullshit the game throws at you.

                By comparison, yes Dark Souls is tough, but it has very little of the so-called ‘bullshit’ difficulty and the DS community will be the first to loudly whine about any level/enemy/boss/PvP build they deem unfair by game’s own standards.

                1. Ninety-Three says:

                  Dark Souls is, in the words of its own creator, about creating a feeling of satisfaction by triumphing over a genuine challenge. “Walk into trap once, die, remember trap second time, trivially avoid it” is not the intended experience of a Dark Souls trap. You’re supposed to anticipate them, because that’s what’s satisfying.

                  IWBTG’s traps don’t want you to see them coming, they just think it’s hilarious to pull a “Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies”.

                  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                    So why does every single advice from fans of the game to the newbs include “if the boss is killing you too much,try another path”?

                    1. Starker says:

                      If an enemy is too hard, chances are that you’re supposed to come back later. You might need to explore and get better gear and level up first. While Dark Souls is not exactly open world, it’s open enough that you can run into enemies that are harder than you’re supposed to handle at your character and equipment level.

                    2. Ninety-Three says:

                      Because bosses are not traps?

                      I’m baffled by your non-sequitur and don’t know how else to respond.

                    3. JakeyKakey says:

                      As much of a meme it’s become, that example pretty much solely applied to one specific instance right at the beginning of DS1 where a brand new level 1 character could use Firelink Shrine to go to Undead Burg, or try heading towards Catacombs or (more rarely) get lost and stumble upon New Londo. And you would know you had gone the wrong way on account of getting absolutely SHAT ON by the ghosts/skeletons.

                      I can’t think of any instance in DS,2 and 3 where this has really been an issue otherwise.

                    4. Loonyyy says:

                      Some bosses are. A bunch of them are side bosses, you don’t need to beat them to advance. And sometimes, they should be come back to. Case in point, the Dragon on the bridge, Sif the Wolf (You can take them early, but it’s hard), the Hydra (You really need the ring).

                      There is usually a way around to continue doing things, barring some bosses who do block your progress. Even they aren’t usually that difficult, you just need to learn their attack pattern, level your gear, and maybe yourself. DS facilitates grinding, which scales against your level, providing diminishing returns to encourage you to press on. There may be a trick you need to beat the boss too.

                      If you hit something too hard, you probably should come back later, you may not even need to be there at all. That’s what I hate about Dark Souls. You get lost, there’s no indication of the right way to go, the map is a maze, and you’re never sure what you’re doing. Unfortunately, it’s a game designed for the person who either wants to grind through (ew), play it on NG+, or play with a wiki open. I go with the wiki, it makes things much simpler.

                    5. Daemian Lucifer says:

                      Because bosses are not traps?

                      Ah,I see.So “Walk into a boss once,die,remember its pattern second time,trivially beat it” is genuine challenge.But doing so with traps,thats bullshit.Yup,makes 100% sense.

                    6. Starker says:

                      A trap is an environmental challenge that can be avoided by having good reflexes or by being observant and avoiding it or by intentionally triggering it in a safe way. You can even use it to your advantage to hurt your enemies instead. For example, when you see a raised plate on the ground and a hole in the wall next to it, chances are good that it’s a trap. When you see an enemy running away from you, they are probably leading you into an ambush. And so on…

                      A boss, on the other hand, is a combat challenge that is supposed to test your fighting abilities. Yes, knowing what the boss can do will help beat it, but you still have to deal damage to the boss and avoid or block the damage from the boss. If you can’t do it, you could get better at dodging and avoiding the damage or you can increase your defence to be able to withstand more damage or you can increase your damage output so you don’t have to land as many hits to beat it.

                      In neither case are you just supposed to die to it so that it becomes trivial the second time around.

      2. Gilfareth says:

        I agree with both of you on a basic level; I think Dark Souls has an undeserved reputation of being ‘only for the elite’ (whatever that means) because of an amount of difficulty and punishment for mistakes higher than most popular, highly marketed games combined with both the marketing and its worst fans proclaiming it as such. At the same time, that difficulty and time investment required to become fluent in the game are very reasonable deal-breakers for some people.

        I think Dark Souls as a series exists in a middle ground between its popular perception and what I’ve heard a number of people try to play it off as in order to coax others into playing: it is fairly difficult and takes up a ton of your time if you aren’t on the right wavelength of caution and attentiveness from the word go (and still shakes you down for lunch money on occasion even if you are), but it isn’t nearly as bad as it’s made out to be. My argument would be that a lot of disagreement comes from people coming at it with different expectations alongside the simple fact that people have varying amounts of patience and time they’re able to devote to one game.

        This is probably why Shamus can admire the game for its intent while being wholly unwilling to play it and why that’s a perfectly valid position to take.

        1. Jsor says:

          Right, my point isn’t that there aren’t valid reasons to not want to play it. Honestly, I’ve barely touched 3 and Bloodborne because Souls games stress me out to an insane level even though I know from experience they’re not that bad. Shamus has absolutely valid reasons for not wanting to play it, as do others.

          My point was just that they have this reputation for being absurdly difficult in a way that scares people away, sometimes, and I think that’s a shame.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            And judging by the responses above,especially Loonyyy’s,that reputation is deserved.It is hard.Only that hardness doesnt come in the form of skill,but rather foreknowledge.So using a wiki is what trivializes it.People are perfectly correct to be afraid of trying such a game,especially going by how you people are describing it.Even more so when someone goes “Yeah,you dying to a boss,then having to walk 10 minutes to reach it again is what makes this game calm you down”.

            1. Starker says:

              A lot of the stuff that Loonyyy talks about goes for optional side content, though.

              Saying that the wiki makes it trivial is only true insofar as knowing the optimal strategy or the way to minmax your character or where to get the most powerful items can make a game trivial. At worst, what it does is allow you to play as a munchkin, but the game is perfectly beatable and provides a fair challenge even without the wiki.

              And by perfectly beatable, I don’t mean that you need to spend tens of hours on practicing and impaling yourself on the difficulty spikes. I mean that it is not that hard as long as you just keep exploring and upgrading your stuff. You could even farm XP and upgrade materials to make it even easier.

  14. Shoeboxjeddy says:

    Dark Souls complete novice here (have played 2 bosses into 3, have not played the others). The thing I like about it so far is that despite the uber difficulty hype, it allows for incremental progress. Maybe the boss is too tough for you, but you ARE allowed to just run around killing guys and then scamper back to the bonfire and level up again and again. The games I grew up on like Ninja Gaiden or Mega Man, you literally had to Git moar Gud in order to progress. Dark Souls (so far this early in to it) allows you to taper the walls of the pit you have fallen into instead of becoming an expert pit climber. Also, if you pick a shield class, you aren’t RUINED by tanking hard hits like in a lot of other combat games. IF you’re a little slow on the dodging uptake, you can block some of those hits and then back up before they cave your skull in. I give Dark Souls 3 a hesitant thumbs up. If you happen into the situation where someone gifts you the game, you might very well enjoy it!

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      I’m sure someone will verify but I believe that’s true of the first and third game but the second has non-respawning enemies and doesn’t allow you to grind it out. Mind you, I haven’t played any of them, have the first one sitting in my backlog, but it’s what I seem to remember from news and reviews.

      1. Starker says:

        I think the first game is still the best introduction to the series. It’s the one where all the design flows together beautifully into a cohesive whole, despite all its flaws and rough edges. For example, in the sequels, the ability to warp between bonfires from the start kind of fragments the experience and some of the continuity of the game world is lost in a sense.

        As far as I’m concerned, the sequels are good enough games on their own right but the it’s the first one that has that certain je ne sais quoi.

        1. Tse says:

          And in the first game you have much more flexibility. If you have a good enough shield and a lot of stamina, you can tank literally everything, no dodging required. You just can’t do that in the third game. There you need to learn dodging or the long combos of some bosses will drain your stamina and kill you, no matter what shield you have.
          Sorcery in the first game is also viable throughout the game. In the third game it’s too weak for most of the first playthrough.

  15. Rack says:

    I’m always one of th people who likes to challenge the idea that Dark Souls is hard because I love Dark Souls and hate difficult games. You don’t actually die all that often in Dark Souls compared to most other games and when you do it rarely sets you completely back to square one. If I play Halo I’m constantly running into situations where I die and the time I spent feels like a complete waste. That almost never happens to me in Dark Souls. There are only a few skill walls in the game. The reputation the game gets does people like me a massive disservice.

    1. Phantos says:

      In Dark Souls, you ARE death. Losing a bunch of souls is frustrating as hell, but ultimately nothing can stop you in those games. Only postpone their demise at your hands.

      I imagine the reputation is more to do with the game being obtuse about its’ solutions, and a fan culture that prides itself on being nerd-tough.

  16. MichaelGC says:

    So like, isn’t this two games in a row where Josh hasn’t even managed to die right?

  17. Galad says:

    I am so glad you didn’t skip over the initial 10 seconds of Josh remapping controls. This game has you choose whether you are using a PS4 or an XBOX controller. I assume this means it also has a choice for keyboard keys. This already makes it better than the convoluted mess that Dark Souls 2 controls are, when trying to play on PC, without controller.

    As I said when DS3 came out – “I’m so excited for an year from now when DS3 will be at half price”

  18. Phantos says:

    “I’m having trouble on this part. Can someone give me some tips?”

    “git gud.”


    Asking for help in Dark Souls is like looking online for tech trouble. Forums of “never happened to me”, and “PFFT! You’re using ____? Noob.” A game built around co-operation, and the entire fanbase is full of uncooperative jackasses.

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