A Dark Souls player has taken it upon himself to add a long-requested feature to the Windows PC version of the game: the option to more easily connect with friends, instead of random strangers, for cooperative and competitive play.
The Dark Souls Connectivity Fix — or DSCfix — by "M0tah" was released earlier this week with the intent to "improve the online experience when attempting to engage in jolly cooperation with friends." Normally, Dark Souls players have few options in reliably connecting to players on their friends list, but DSCfix prioritizes connections to friends. The modification to the game's normal behavior is accomplished with an interception DLL used in conjunction with Peter "Durante" Thoman's DSfix mod, which improved the Dark Souls PC port's resolution and frame rate options.
Connections to players' Games For Windows Live friends are "established right away, whereas in vanilla Dark Souls this only happens after the first successful summon or invasion (if you were even lucky to get that far)," M0tah writes.
M0tah writes that the fix allows for "near-instantaneous summoning [or] invasion of friends," as well as faster relaying of bloodstains, bonfire phantoms and other online features. DSCfix does not tamper with any other aspects of Dark Souls gameplay, he says.
Details on where to get the mod and how to install it are available at Dark Souls' Steam Community page.