Bloodborne / general Dark Souls soulsborne lovefest

Sooooo @A_Ron_Hubbard mentioned on the latest lunchcast that he has never played Bloodborne and is having a ton of fun with it, and marveling at the difficulty.

I just wanted to start this thread to comment on how excited I am that you are being introduced to this awesome game, and hope that you continue down the series and play the Dark Souls games. (Just in time for the remaster that is coming out in May).

My introduction to the Souls series was Dark Souls 3, and it's been a while since I've had so much fun with games. They are rich worlds with brutal combat, and a sense of mystery that isn't just info-dumped to you. This has led to a set of Youtube channels with people walking through the lore. There are many, but Vaati is my favorite:

Anyhow, I hope to hear more from your playthrough ARon. And also everybody else in the community, what was your introduction to Soulsborne? Have you played through them all? (many times lol?)

The only one I have barely touched is Demon Souls. I've gotten through most of DS2, and have played through DS3 about 10 times. Bloodborne about 1.5 times.


  • I've played through DS 1, 2, and 3. Tried playing Demon's Souls after playing DS1, but it was way too clunky. Never played Bloodbourne cause I don't have a PS4.

    DS1 is one of my top 10 games of all time. I think, for my money, it was the best game of its console generation. The interconnected world, the aesthetic, the atmosphere, and the gameplay were all top-notch. Combat felt like it had heft to it. The Dark Souls series is one about consequences, and every facet of the game, from the plot to combat, reinforces this theme. Lots of decisions you make are one or the other. If you miss something, you often can't go back and get it, especially with the side quests. Because combat is so weighty, and because you can't cancel animations, even the combat is about consequence - you are committed when you make an attack. As you move through areas, if you move to fast or aren't careful, you have to deal with fighting multiple enemies, often a death sentence. 

    I could go on and on raving about dark souls. It's a fantastic series, and the remaster is what pot me over the edge to recently buying a switch (I don't generally replay games, but being able to replay DS1 on the go was too good of an opportunity to pass up). 

    If anyone reading this hasn't tried  DS, you are missing out on one of the best western-style RPG's of all time. I'd recommend DS3 to start (at least until the DS1 remaster is out) - it's the most polished iteration of the formula, you don't need to know what happened in DS1 to appreciate DS3. 

    If you're scared away by the difficulty of DS, know it's been widely overblown. I don't know if this is because people want to feel special for beating a "hard" game, or what. DS games aren't hard, they are punishing - the consequences for mistakes are more severe than most games, but the gameplay itself is not substantially harder. If you go slow and are careful, anyone who is at least ok at video games can beat DS. 
  • Yeah, the soulsborne games are hard because of the learning curve involved. Understanding the mechanics, the way of progressing through areas. Once you have all that down, the bosses remain challenges for sure, but normal area progression is more straightforward (except for the dumb swamp areas!)

    and yeah @asmallcat , I've been considering buying a switch. I've only played up to Blighttown on DS1... stopped there because of the annoyance of that area and how it's known for performance issues. Hoping the port is better.
  • Yeah, the soulsborne games are hard because of the learning curve involved. Understanding the mechanics, the way of progressing through areas. Once you have all that down, the bosses remain challenges for sure, but normal area progression is more straightforward (except for the dumb swamp areas!)

    and yeah @asmallcat , I've been considering buying a switch. I've only played up to Blighttown on DS1... stopped there because of the annoyance of that area and how it's known for performance issues. Hoping the port is better.
    Well, personally I hope they just add programming that makes your FPS in blighttown drop to 3 just to keep the feeling of playing DS1 alive  :D

    But yeah, I have to imagine any modern console would not struggle with that area. 
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Yeah, they games aren't hard in the sense of a rubix cube, it's hard like Battletoads or Ninja Gaiden on the NES. Unforgiving is the right word. Every night I've quit playing it's been with a, "man, fuck this game" attitude.  But the next day things gel a bit more, I figure out something I didn't understand before, found a shortcut, and progress is made.  You chart your progress by what killed you last. When I started playing, two huntsman was a challenge, then four, then a plaza full of them, then two werewolves, then the first boss. Last night I farmed the plaza in Central Yharnham or whatever the starting area is - that used to be instant death - for blood echoes and it was a real sense of accomplishment.

    But yeah, hardest game I've played since classic NES era for sure. If you find yourself at a point where it feels unfair, it's likely you're doing whatever you're doing wrong. You need to find a new path, learn a new technique, pace your attacks better, something. 

    I'll probably do some home streaming of it if I get the audio issue worked out. 
  • That's awesome, would love to see a stream. Bloodborne works well for this because between progressing through enemies you have some to to interact with chat.

    And as a blind playthrough, we could help with shortcuts etc :)
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    If I do stream, it'll be with a banner that says "DO NOT SPOIL A.RON", cause one of the charms of playing a three year old game is it's super easy to avoid spoilers, and it's fun figuring it all out.
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    edited March 2018
    I have never played any of these games either but plan on jumping into Bloodborne after I polish off Fallout 4. Any hints on what to expect? Outside of it being just brutally difficult, that is. 
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    ^ folks on “What are you playing thread” told me it’s like the Dark Souls series. So it wasn’t downloadable until like the 2nd week of March, so until then I tried Dark Souls 3 which is a free game on PlayStation Now.

  • UnibowlerUnibowler San Antonio, Texas
    I came here to make this thread, but you beat me to it @realityzealot. It's kind of embarrassing how excited I was when A.Ron mentioned Bloodborne. I love all these games so much. They're really something special. I'm not really a huge gamer, but the ones I love, I love with a passion. The Zeldas, Metroids, and the Arkham games are some of my favorites, but I fell absolutely in love with the Soulsborne series. The community built around them is really amazing too. All of the online experiences add a really great experience. I love the message system where you can either be helped or mercilessly trolled. Bloodstains, ghostly apparitions, gestures and invasions are mechanics that really set it apart from other games for me. 

    @A_Ron_Hubbard, are you playing online, and if so, have you been invaded yet? Also, Dark Souls Remastered is out soon, so the online community will be revitalized, which adds a whole new experience to these games. 
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Nah, haven't rang any bells yet. I was surprised to still see a decent online community. Seems like there is still a lot of pve and pvp going on. 
  • UnibowlerUnibowler San Antonio, Texas
    I have never played any of these games either but plan on jumping into Bloodborne after I polish off Fallout 4. Any hints on what to expect? Outside of it being just brutally difficult, that is. 
    It is difficult, but it’s fair. It will punish you for trying to rush or getting sloppy, but if you take your time and learn from mistakes it’s very manageable. The most frustrating part is learning the mechanics of the game, because it doesn’t hold your hand, like at all. I recommend playing online because it adds a whole different dimension to the experience. If you’re really struggling, there are always people willing to help with co-op. Just ring that bell! 
  • This might be unnecessary for the first playthrough (you want to take a pass at figuring it all out solo) @A_Ron_Hubbard , but if you were wondering what the stats meant, and how they relate to overall builds as you progress through the game, this is a good video released recently : 

  • JoshTheBlackJoshTheBlack Atlanta, GA
    Bloodborne is easily my favorite game of this console generation.  I've played about 50% of DS1 and about 75% or DS3.  I put 3 hours into DeS and never made it more than 10 turns from the spawn.  I plan on jumping on DS1 remaster in May and finally finishing the game, though I've watched a couple of complete LP's of DS1 all the way through (including the INCREDIBLE "Into the Dark" series by EpicNameBro.  He also did a pretty good, though less thorough series on Bloodborne.)

    Bloodborne should definitely be played online.  Leave messages.  Several of them.  If you can make one funny, or helpful, or a good troll even it could be a life saver.  I've had messages rated at the perfect time when I was in a boss battle and out of heals, carrying me through to victory!  You won't have to worry about invasions for quite a while, but when you do get invaded, just know that it is customary to bow or otherwise emote before starting battle.

    @A.Ron, no spoilers: the Cleric Beast is mean, but he's also completely optional.  The first REAL boss (read: required) is the most difficult of the non-optional ones in my opinion.  If you can take that one, you can take all of them.  

    The most difficult boss, and the only one I didn't beat solo is the 12th one on this list of bosses.  Link contains spoilers re: names of all bosses  
  • man, I'm gonna have to finish up my bloodtinge build lol
  • JoshTheBlackJoshTheBlack Atlanta, GA
    edited April 2018
    @A_Ron_Hubbard, here's my vote for starting a new Bloodborne character per your question during the Fortnight stream.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Cool, I was leaning towards that anyway.  I actually beat Father G on my second try.  I think the Cleric Beast was so tough because I had no idea I could upgrade my character before beating him.  I thought you had to beat a boss before you could upgrade, I didn't realize just getting to one granted you +1 insight.

    Between that and not realizing the shortcut mechanic made the CB a bastard to beat.  I also played the first 10 hours off line because there was something goofy on my PSN, so all the notes and hints I didn't see, either.  That's how I cottoned on to the shortcuts.  There's this "reeks of..." note leaver who seems fairly prolific. Father G I pretty much just kept tombstones and trees between me and him and was patient, watching his attack patterns.  I just ground out 10k blood echoes to purchase the gate key, I assume there will be another boss real soon since I cleared all of the Central Ward with nothing worse than one of those church giants who are a pushover.  But, no spoilers!  It's been fun discovering everything myself.

    Oh, is notes still a thing?  I assumed that no one would see any notes I left at this point because there were other more popular ones that were upvoted during the game's heyday.  When someone rates one as "fair" does it fully restore your health or something?
  • Yup, if you get a note rated fair you get health. Also,
  • And grats on taking down Father G! He is a huge skill check.
  • JoshTheBlackJoshTheBlack Atlanta, GA

    Regarding notes, your notes only show up when you are playing online.  I've gotten a friend of mine into Bloodborne the past few weeks and he's been leaving frequent notes.  Probably about a dozen in as far as you've gotten.  He's had more notes rated fine in the first 3 bosses portion of the game than I had in the entire game. I rarely left them though, so there's that.  

    Also, you get restored to full health when your message is rated poor too.  So leave them troll messages.  
  • JoshTheBlackJoshTheBlack Atlanta, GA
    @A_Ron_Hubbard any luck with the Vicar?  My non-spoiler advice is to try a different weapon if the axe isn’t doing it. Something serrated like the saw cleaver or saw spear would work nicely, but you’d need to farm up enough materials to upgrade then to at least level 3. Use fire paper liberally and try to punish her limbs as much as possible.

    If she’s giving you too much trouble and you need a break, try exploring around the cathedral ward more. There are 2 really cool optional areas that branch from the Cathedral Ward lamp. If you clear them out you’ll wind up with more blood to spend and you might find some useful new weapons/items/tools.  (Assuming you haven’t done this already.)

    Can you list the lanterns you can spawn at from the hunters dream?  I don’t want to spoil anything you haven’t found. 
  • I’m a bit late to the thread, but I was just catching up on Lunches and was thrilled to hear A.Ron was getting into Bloodborne and had to come check the forums.

    I love Bloodborne. The way the world changes and evolves as you play is fantastic and the combat and weapons are just so cool. I also love the little story details and nuances that are easy to miss but there if you are looking. Like the way the music box not only plays into the Father Gascoigne fight but also into his story. And some of the other NPCs have really fascinating storylines that inform the larger world. I’d also strongly recommend The Old Hunters DLC. It’s a fantastic addition to the base game.

    As to the other games in the series, Dark Souls is my favorite video game. I played it when it first came out and that first play through is one of the best gaming experiences I’ve ever had. I love the indifference that the game has towards you as a player and the sense that you are simultaneously alone and yet struggling through alongside thousands of other players at the same time. It has such a unique approach to online interactions and it did things that I’d never seen a game do. The NPCs are also fantastic and it feels like they are on their own journeys as opposed to being there to service you. I can’t wait for the remaster and diving back in.

    I’ve played all the other games in the series, too, multiple times and love them all for different reasons. But none of my experiences with those have ever matched that first time through Lordran. I suspect that people’s favorite game in the series will always be the first one they played. 

    Anyway, thanks @realityzealot for starting this thread. Also, I love Vaati’s videos too. His other Bloodborne ones are great as well. Especially the NPC-focused ones. I love all of his Dark Souls content too. 
  • Also, though it’s a faux pas to recommend non Baldmove podcasts, Bonfireside Chat is a must-listen companion to the Soulsborne games. Don’t Give Up, Skeleton is delightful too. 
  • Nah, no problem recommending other podcasts, and thanks for the recommendations :)
  • Well, looks like the remaster is being pushed back on switch :(

    Was thinking about getting a switch for the mobile DS idea, but didn't like the idea of low performance compared to other platforms. Used this as part of the reason to just upgrade to PS4 pro :)

    Also, God of War is fucking amazing!
  • UnibowlerUnibowler San Antonio, Texas
    @Doug El Thank you! I can’t believe I’ve never heard of these casts. Especially considering how deeply I’ve been entrenched in the Souls community. 
    Doug El
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    No Bloodborne this weekend, folks, I found yet another show stopper problem with my twitch setup here at home. But I'm a step or two closer!
  • JoshTheBlackJoshTheBlack Atlanta, GA
    edited May 2018
    Just watched the inaugural Bloodborne stream.  I thought you had the Cleric Beast's number for being BL10.  A few suggestions:

    A.  Try some different weapons.  You've got the Axe down pretty well.  Give the Saw Cleaver or Saw Spear a try.
    B.  Regarding the visceral attacks, after stunning, give it just a half a breath longer between stun and attack.  Use the extra time to literally walk into the enemies hitbox.  3 things usually ruin hitboxes (edit: viscerals).  Attacking too quick after stunning, not being close enough, being on uneven ground (i.e. staircases).  Not much you can do about the last one.
    C.  Take some time in the session to read descriptions on items you've picked up.  Especially less common stuff.  Lets be lore whores.
  • Yesssss on the lore descriptions
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    A: I actually like the saw spear a lot.
    C: That's a good idea!
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