So About a year ago I had a crack at Dark Souls and after having consulted the internet on the most basic ettiquete of the game, was able to break through the barrier and I would say it's now one of my favourite games.
A few months ago I played the sequel and started of thuroughly dissapointed and over the course of the game managed to work my way up to "it's alright." but no further. It fills the time, but I still yearn for a 'worthy' successor to DS1. I understand that DS2 had a different director and not quite the same team as DS1 and it really shows. There's something Miyazaki's people brought to the table that simply cannot be replicated.
So I'm understandably excited for Dark Souls 2, now that's Miyazaki's back at the wheel (Bloodborne was excellent) and I'm interested what aspects do you hope it derives more from DS1 or DS2? I understand that the general consensus in the Souls community matches up with my feelings: that Dark Souls 2 is still good, but it can't hold a candle to the first game. But There are a few things I think 2 did better than 1 and some I think it did worse.
Tell me what you want from DS3. What individual design choiced do you prefer from which games? My opinions (if you care) are as follow:
Health loss on hollowing - I do think, on reflection, that the difference between being undead and being human was too unimportant an aspect in DS1. I like that DS2 tried to make it more significant, but I don't like how they did it. I think losing max health everytime you die is counter intuitive to the game's design. Yes, human effigies were pleantifull enough, but they were finite, meaning it's possible to get into a situation where you're out half a healthbar with no way of getting it back, and you NEED your full health to stand a chance in hell of progressing and hopefully finding another effigy.
Parrying - This one's pretty obvious, but they butchered parrying in DS2. I really hope they bring back DS1 parrying. In DS1, it was fluid enough that you could make your decision to dodge, attack, or parry in a split second. But because you have to calculate a larger timing gap in DS2, the enemies controlled the pace of the battle way to strictly. If you wanted to parry, you couldn't just do it opportunistically, you had to stand and devote all your attention to catching your enemy at the right moment. It wasn't fun, and I just didn't bother with it through the whole game.
Dodging - Dodging handled pretty differently in DS2, but honestly, I could take either. If I'm used to DS1's dodging, then I like DS1's more, but once I was used to DS2's dodging, then I liked DS2's more. They're very different, but I don't think either is superior. In DS1, you had to time your dodge animation to start right when the enemy's strike was about to make contact. In DS2, you had to time make sure their strike overlapped with middle of your dodge animation. What I didn't like was the way your dodging was useless until you levelled it up. I don't think your dodging prowess should relly on stats. It should be something that improves because you the player are becoming more skilled, like in DS1.
Weapon handling and variety - In DS1, weapons in the same class handled the same except they all had unique heavy attacks. Every weapon was it's own. But in DS2, even thought there were more weapons to choose from, there was a much smaller pool of moves shared between weapons. Lame.
Stamina - A more slowly depleting stamina bar in DS1 made avoiding damage more reliable if you had the skill for it. Wheras in DS2, it felt more like taking damage was just going to happen so you better get used to it. Combat felt less like a dance and more about how hard you could hit eachother. Neither's necessarily superior I suppose, but I preferred DS1.
Sprinting speed - Faster is better. A point to DS2.
Bosses - Too many armoured humanoid opponents in DS2. DS1 has more imagination. But given that DS3's enemies look a bit more Bloodborney, I don't that will be a problem;D
Warping bonfires from the start - I think it's better to save the warping for later. Without the warping, exploring the world feels like a journey you must commit to. In DS2, being able to warp back to the hub area felt too comforting. This is Dark Souls! I'm not meant to feel comforted!
Levelling up confined to one place - Weirdly, Bloodborne did this as well, which doesn't instill me with confidence, but in DS2, not being able to level up at any bonfire, but instead having to use the bonfire to warp to the hub area and level up there... it's just busy work! Bonfires remained the key to leveling up, but the warping requirement just added a needless extra step. nobody is going to refrain from warping to Majula when souls are so precious and easily lost, so you there's no point restricting leveling up to one area if we can still get to it from any bonfire. It's BUSY WORK!!
Enemy spawning - Don't add a spawn limit DS2... I don't want to feel like I have to exhaust an area before moving on for fear of permanantly wasting what souls are available in each area.
Augmenting difficulty - Nice touch DS2 added with those jacolanturn things (that's what they bloody are!) that could be burned for extra challange but higher rewards. I'd like to see more of that sort of design. "Want more souls? Turn up the heat... IF YOU DARE..."