I’m all for cutting the threads of unnecessary authentication servers, but if you play Dark Souls II offline you really are missing half the game. Its daylight horrorscapes are scarred with text missives from would-be friends on the internet. Most of them relay invaluable warnings about the game’s tricks and traps. Some of them are tricks and traps.
First incorporated in Demon’s Souls on the consoles, From reckon the system is now more effective than ever.
“The majority are helpful messages or messages reflecting on the game,” said game director Yui Tanimura. “The overall trend is for users to be helpful to one another and to share their thoughts and reflections. Only a handful of messages are left to make other players slip-up.”
The system was designed to appeal to players who wanted to feel part of a larger effort to conquer Boletaria, or Lordran, or Drangleic – but weren’t “looking for close relationships” in co-op.
Remarkably, the comments left on Dark Souls II’s map aren’t moderated. Instead, From restrict players to particular phrases.
“This was a cost decision from an operations standpoint,” Tanimura told VentureBeat. “We decided that, to make it possible for not only users speaking the same language, but also users of different languages to communicate with one another, it was best to use a set phrase system.”
From selected phrases which allowed for “creativity and ingenuity” – enabling not just advice, but shows of solidarity, celebrations, and of course, those siren calls to players gullible enough to jump off a cliff and tumble to their doom.
Players can vote up the messages they like best, and the most popular will remain carved into the map for longest. Which reflects sort of badly of the Dark Souls community: clearly death-traps are fairly popular.
How’ve you found Dark Souls II’s message system? A bit of shared sun-praising can work wonders for morale in a campaign that’s so often gruelling.