Playstation presser Show-stopper : Demon Souls2

Howdy folks. Some of you will be familiar with me posting on the Dark Souls forums / extended CoffeeJezus post. I'm a big fan and am looking forward to Dark Souls 2. However, I like healthy competition and I don't see any reason why we can't have Demon Souls 2 (yes, I am dropping the stupid 's') and Dark Souls 2 competing and driving innovation.

So Sony has this big press conference coming up on the 20th. Presumable there is a big hardware announcement. But you have to back that up with games. Sony cannot say that Dark Souls 2 will be exclusive to their console, but they do hold the exclusive rights to Demon Souls. I think they should run a teaser/announcement trailer for it towards the end of the presser. It would be an awesome addition to the line up.

So, beyond that basic suggestion of "give me games I like", lets discuss what features this should include. I would suggest things for Dark Souls 2, but they have already begun working on that game and it is likely the vision for it is clearly laid out. Demon Souls 2 though is up for grabs. Here is the mechanics that I have been thinking of, please add your own thoughts:

Customizable movesets for weapons:

So, for every weapon, on top of the upgrades and branching paths that are already established, you can change what moves work with what weapons. This would have to be carefully balanced, but that is one of the strengths of Dark Souls and Demonss Souls. An example would be, you have a claymore sword. You can attach let's say 4 attacks to it triggered by R1, R2, second R1 swing, and R1 and back. So pretty much the existing commands; maybe that gets expanded. You pay souls to swap out the overhand smash with a lunging thrust for example. That move costs X amount of stamina and does Y amount of damage relative to the swords stats. This isn't too exciting, but would allow the player to have more fine control over what moves they get with each weapon. If you like the moves from this weapon, but not the stats, you can put the moves on a different weapon.

Some suggested limitations:

  • It costs souls to make the changes. Every time. You cannot afford to keep changing moves every 5 minutes so you still have to be strategic.
  • (maybe) you have to sacrifice a weapon with the move you want to add the move to your current weapon. Maybe you just suck the moves out without destroying the weapon
  • Some combinations are not allowed. No stabbing with a club or great axe. No overhead bash with a rapier.

So, a fun mechanic, but wait until you see how it integrates with the next suggestion.

No weapon clipping. Every weapon will have collision detection with every enemy and surface:

So, in Dark Souls, weapons bounce off of shields and bounce off of walls. Some times. Mostly. Except when it was a pain to model it all. Screw that. I want to be forced to plan my attacks based on the environment. This goes for enemies too! No more Black Knights stabbing me through walls please!

Alright, so if every weapon bounces off of blocked attacks, and bounces off of every wall; that is going to be a lot of clanging. Let's go whole hog with this idea. Your katana (which they constantly tell us is fragile but isn't really) takes durability damage every time you are blocked or hit the wall like a dufus. So, how do you fight in tight corners, corridors, etc? You pick the right weapon. OR, from above you customize your moveset to where you are going to fight! The big swings do more damage, but are at bigger risk for bouncing off of a wall/ceiling/pillar. Now things are better balanced. Sure, you can put all big swings on your 2-handed ax, but don't go anywhere with walls. I really like this added layer of both realism and strategy. Part of why I love Dark Souls is that it always feels "real." The "if you died, you can see how it was your fault" is supported by the fact that you look at what happened and go "yep, that would really have happened." Except when weapons clip through walls for no good reason.

Some restrictions on this idea too:

  • Enemies are subject to the same rules. Every mob will be vulnerable to being drawn into making a big swing and clanging off of a wall. This could be a cool new strategy instead of using your shield block to make them stagger
  • A "good hit" does not cause durability damage or staggers. For example, a hit that connects with an opponent doesn't damage your blade, nor does cutting a table down. Walls, pillars, shields do though.
  • Maybe as a side benefit the walls would not have a 2 foot invisible "block all arrows" area? I hate seeing my arrows stuck in the space right beside a wall. It just looks dumb.

So, give me thoughts on these mechanics. Do they sound fun? Do they sound likely/doable? Do you have your own suggestions?

Also up for discussion: does Sony need to announce either a Dark Souls 2 or Demon Souls 2 connection to the PS4? (I am really digging the idea of calling it "PS IVy" instead of Orbis, but I don't think that is likely)

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