A key development factor in Dark Souls 2 is making the game accessible for players who did not play the first Dark Souls, according to an interview with the game's directors in the latest issue of Edge magazine.
According to directors Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura, heavy emphasis is on "not immediately throw[ing] [players] into Dark Souls" at the start of the game, but staging an introduction that properly outlines Dark Souls 2's plot and gameplay.
"Hopefully that adjustment at the very beginning of the game will help draw in players and get them addicted right away without immediately making players feel rejected [by] the game system itself," said Shibuya.
Shibuya also shared his belief that the covenant system from Dark Souls was "difficult to fully absorb and experience," and will be changed in the sequel.
"Making it more accessible to players is something that I want to express," he said. "I will follow the same concept as Dark Souls, but there were a lot of hidden story elements that some players may not have caught before and I'm hoping to make some of that a little bit more clear or directly expressed to the player as well."
Dark Souls 2 has been in development since September 2011 and is roughly twice the size of Dark Souls. Shibuya hinted at "the concept of time and the existence of time" as key gameplay elements and that the game's motion or combat "action" will be another area of change. The game will also include vehicles, with Shibuya specifically mentioning a chariot, and although boats are something the team is toying with for inclusion, they do not plan to make them controllable.
Dark Souls 2 was announced at the Spike Video Game Awards earlier this month.