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Massive Dark Souls 2 patch introduces the Scholar of the First Sin Feb. 5

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Dark Souls 2's next patch will add, remix and modify a massive amount of content in developer From Software's action role-playing game on Feb. 5 — all while paving the way for the game's upgraded re-release in April.

According to publisher Bandai Namco Games America's official Tumblr, version 1.10, calibrations 1.13 will modify dozens of parts of the game, both large and small on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC. Perhaps most significant will be the addition of a new character, the Scholar of the First Sin, who shares a name with the upcoming re-release.

The patch's changes fall into a few broad categories. From Software is tweaking the effectiveness of items like the Rusted Coin, spells like Imitation and Hush and the drop rate of Awesotnes. Many of the changes are geared toward online play, bringing matchmaking improvements, allowing white phantoms to remain in other worlds longer and tweaking covenant rewards. More meta alterations include shortened load times on PlayStation 3 and a small but significant change on all platforms so that calibrations are "no longer saved each time before the title screen." All players will receive a new ring, too.

"Players will gain access to a new item: The Agape Ring. When players equip the new Agape Ring, souls collected from kills during online play will be absorbed by the ring rather than the player," the patch notes read. "This allows players to control their online matchmaking experience by limiting their total souls collected."

You can check out the full patch notes below, just beneath a gallery of new screenshots showing off a mixture of new content. The gallery also includes a look at a few new items and their descriptions, including the multiplayer-focused, soul-sucking Agape Ring.

Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin, which will bring the series to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, is scheduled for an April 7, 2015 release. It will include Dark Souls 2's three downloadable content packs and updated graphics for current-gen consoles and Windows PC. The titular Scholar will be part of what the developer and pusher call "an expanded story featuring additional in-game events and NPC character along with deadlier enemies and gameplay improvements."

Dark Souls 2 patch 1.10 notes

  • Added new character, The Scholar of the First Sin.
  • Additional item description text.
  • Choosing to enter the Covenant of Champions will now allow enemies to continue to respawn after being defeated.
  • Choosing to enter the Covenant of Champions will now cause enemies to inflict more damage to the player.
  • Players will gain access to a new item: The Agape Ring. When players equip the new Agape Ring, souls collected from kills during online play will be absorbed by the ring rather than the player. This allows players to control their online matchmaking experience by limiting their total souls collected.
  • Increased effect of Rusted Coin.
  • Awestones now dropped more often.
  • The bonfire warp selection screen will now highlight the top three areas where players will have the best chance to connect with other players online.
  • White phantoms will remain in other players' worlds for longer periods of time.
  • White phantoms will no longer return to their world if time runs out during a boss battle.
  • Players on their first play through can now match with players on their 2nd or further play through.
  • Made it easier for players to match online in general.
  • Made it so that invading players cannot use items which invite more enemies.
  • NPC conversation text is now displayed more prominently than online notices.
  • Players may now choose to cancel out the effect of the Human Effigy at bonfires.
  • When a player cannot take part in online play due to the effect of the Human Effigy, made it so that the player can still write signs. (They still cannot summon during this period.)
  • The Imitation spell now affects normal enemies.
  • The Hush spell is now more effective on normal enemies.
  • Load times shortened (PS3 only).
  • Calibrations no longer saved each time before the title screen.
  • Fixed issue causing map name listed on save data and actual map name after loading to not match.
  • Made it possible to skip the ending sequence the 2nd time through and beyond.
  • Removed the blur effect used when looking through the binoculars.
  • Rouge Water, etc.: Fixed issue causing the user not to recover spell usages for spells only able to be used once.
  • Made Old Iron King's Crown's effect function consistently throughout the game.
  • Adjusted price for Crown of the Ivory King, Ivory King Armor, Ivory King Gauntlets, Ivory King Leggings.
  • Fixed Issue whereby the sign in the Iron Keep was not displayed as intended once the player spoke to Lucatiel of Mirrah in Harvest Valley.
  • Corrected issue whereby users could not use Bonfire Ascetics at Undead Crypt Entrance Bonfire.
  • Adjusted timing for Licia of Lindeldt to become the player's enemy.
  • Adjusted conditions for lighting Majula map from "Defeat Nashandra" to "Defeat Throne Defender and Throne Watcher."
  • To prevent invasion after defeating area bosses, made the Human Effigy effect function in this situation automatically.
  • Made it possible to get the reward items after defeating area bosses even if your inventory is full at the time. (Items will drop in front of the player.)
  • Made it possible to get the reward items after using Crushed Eye Orb and defeating Licia of Lindeldt even if your inventory is full at the time. (Items will drop in front of the player.)
  • In Black Gulch, made it possible to receive Forgotten Key after defeating a Giant when the player has 99 Souls of a Giant.
  • In Grand Cathedral, made it possible to still receive the item you are supposed to get when talking to Alsanna, Silent Oracle even if your inventory is full.
  • At the Ending, if the player has fulfilled the conditions to receive Illusory Ring of a Conqueror and Illusory Ring of the Exalted but their inventory is full, made it possible to receive the rings properly. (Players will receive the rings as soon as space is opened in their inventory.)
  • Adjusted rewards in online play:

Normal Online Play

  • Host vanquishes invading dark phantom or arbiter spirit: Human Effigy
  • Host vanquishes a dark phantom summoned through red sign: Human Effigy
  • Host vanquishes invading grey spirit (Bell Keeper): (1 of the following) Titanite Chunk, Titanite Slab, Twinkling Titanite, Petrified Dragon Bone.
  • Vanquish host you invade at the covenant "Rat King" area: Added Smooth & Silky Stone in addition to Pharros' Lockstone

Covenant "Blue Sentinels"

  • Vanquish dark phantom when summoned as help by a Way of Blue host: Devotion to covenant up +1.

Covenant "Rat King"

  • Vanquish client summoned to Rat King area: Added Smooth & Silky Stone in addition to Pharros' Lockstone.

Covenant "Bell Keeper"

  • Vanquish host when invading as grey phantom: (1 of the following) Titanite Chunk, Titanite Slab, Twinkling Titanite, Petrified Dragon Bone.

Covenant "Pilgrims of Dark"

  • Host vanquishes abyss spirit in Dark Chasm of Old: added Human Effigy to Bonfire Ascetic.

Covenant "Brotherhood of Blood"

  • When invading, vanquish Blue Sentinel summoned as help: Devotion to covenant up +2.