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Gameplay Demo Notes and Impressions

Classes

The classes were specifically made for the demo, so whilst the first 4 classes can be reproduced relatively earlly in the game, the Solaire of Astora and Black Knight were purposefully enhanced to provide a different aspect of gameplay to the demo. This leads to much speculation regarding the role playing aspects of becoming either of those classes in game, expected to be NPC factions.


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Soldier
Equipped with a Long Sword and a Crossbow as well as a shield, the character has decent speed and can roll easily.
Rolling speed is similar to that of Demon's lightest character and there seems to be less difference between builds at this point.

Knight
Equipped with a Long Sword right (or possibly Broad Sword), a spear, a shield and brandishing a Catalyst. This character can use magic but it does not damage the enemy, instead using "Force" to push enemies back similarly to "Wrath of God" from demon's Souls, and using a restoration spell. Slightly different from the original previews, the knight has no blue surcoat and you can clearly see his face if he helm is lifted.

Witch
Equipped with a dagger and a wooden Catalyst as well as a wooden round shield, this character is the only female option presented.
The spells are similar to Demon's Souls. The new "Soul arrow" has now a homing effect, is slower than in the previous game, and can only be used 20 times before it needs replenishment. Another spell was "Enchant Shield," which applied a magic on your shield and would significantly increase your physical and magic defenses whilst equipped. This character was equipped with the lightest options and could move rather quickly, however this also meant a reduced defense.

Pyromancer
Equipped with an Axe and what seems to be a flame Catalyst, as well as a bow and a Shield, the character gives a rather suspicious vibe.
It can use a "Fireball" spell that is rather devastating medium-range (about 5 meters) magic. Another spell similar to Demon's is "Water Veil" providing a liquid body shield that increases fire resistance.
The character stands out from others as it is the only one in possession of the item "Gravelord's Eye" (Stone). When used, it recreates black tendency effect that makes the curse on other player's worlds stronger, making more enimies and black phantoms appear, thus increasing the difficulty for them. There's a catch to this, being that when you place this gravelord sign it will also appear in the affected player's world and, where him to find it, he could turn the tables and you would invaded constantly and will likely be overwhelmed. It has been confirmed that up to 3 people can invade. To break the curse, you must find the sign of the other player and invade their world to kill them. This is how mutual roleplay has been brought into the game.

Solaire of Astora
It would seem this character is of a faith-related background, posessing a praying gesture.
Equipped with a Sword, Great Sword and a Sun Shield, the character has rather high HP and can cast miracles such as "Grand Recovery" that restore the player's health (it seems this is an area effect). Of particular note is the character's "Lightning Spear" as it summons a lightning bolt to the players hand that can be thrown at long range and hits enemies for a devastating effect. It was the most popular character at the event.

Black Knight
Equipped with a Great Sword, Halberd and a Shield.
This character's attacks were slow but strong, and it was in posession of something similar to a Black Eye Stone, so it could invade other player's world as the villain. It would seem this character had no human body, since attempts to replenish Est at the bonfire returned the message "Est cannot be restored without humanity"
A noted difference with Demon's Souls is that this time around, invading Black Phantoms cannot attack the enemies of the host world, preventing the "helpful Black Phantom" tactic and forcing the invader to concentrate on eliminating its target.

Enemies

As a general rule, both the undead and the lower level enemies will attempt to use Est to recover their strength when they are low on health.

Undead
A corrupted, wretched enemy who does not wear even an armor. With a zombie feeling to them, their eyes glow orange and they seem to be lost in despair, mourning their fate by the roads you travel.

Undead Soldier (spear and shield)
Slave soldiers that attack you with spears and shields, hidden in a variety of places such as obscure corners and even inside destroyable items, they can group up against you and have a greater variety of attacks, making predictability of parry and attack patterns slightly harder.
Undead Black Phantom: An undead enemy that has been further corrupted, increasing its attack strenghts.

Undead Archers (crossbows and daggers)
Unlike the archers in Demon's, the new ranged enemies will attack you with crossbows and swiftly change to a dagger to engage you in melee when you approach, increasing the challenge in taking on the enemies. Additionally, the game introduces headshots, that do two or three times the damage of a normal ranged attack.

Armored Boar (Mecha Boar)
With incredibly high attack power, this was the first demo death of many players at the event. It would seem that the boar's weakness is its read, however it is difficult to aim for it so some players attempted to use the environment to take the boar down. The fire in the street was used to defeat the boar, demonstrating that there are several ways to take on strong enemies to facilitate access to different playstyles. This enemy did not respawn after defeated even if the bonfire recovery was used, so it would classify as an uncommon enemy.

Undead Knight
This enemy attacks you with a Rapier and quick backsteps, so you must remain on guard. Technically, it is similar to the Blue Eye Knight of Demon's. When engaging the enemy, some players attempted to aim for the change in posture, however their attack was parried by the knight, and an attempt to escape was trumped when the enemy did a backstab on the player. This enemy is impressive both visually and technically.
Undead Knight Black Phantom: A knight that has been further corrupted, increasing its attack strenghts but somehow reducing its intelligence. It is reminescent of the Giant Trolls of Demon's, and equally deadly.

Great Undead Knight (Big Knight)
This rather large enemy attacks you with a Great Sword and a Heavy Mace. The difficulty is certainly at mid-level boss, and it is very hard to take on with a sword and shield, however it is weak to magic so an strategic ranged approach works well.

Magician
This enemy had numerous jingling ornaments, nicknamed "Jara" for the sound they make.It attacks with a glowing blue magic similar to Soul Arrow, and seems capable of affecting nearby enemies. When the magician casts spells in the nearby undead, they emit a red area of effect glow and approach the player. The details of the spell are still unclear.
For the demo, once you found Jara you would see a ladder to her right, and if you climb you would find the exit leading to the Gargoyle boss fight that ended the demo.

Wyvern (Hellbound)
Regardless of where you approach from, its incredibly powerful and far-reaching firebreath will get you, and it would seem it is impossible to sneak by it at this point.

Belfry Gargoyle
This was the end boss of the demo. You encounter it atop some rooftops near a bell tower, and your objective is to defeat the guardian and ring the bell. The enemy attacks with a spear and, much like Maneater in Demon's, has a doppleganger ready to come attack you as soon as his health hits half, breathing deadly fire towards the player. It is not an insurmountable challenge, and those who have expectations following the difficulty of Demon's Souls will not be disappointed.

More moves!


The basics of movement and combat remain as that of Demon's Souls, and whilst there are different moves and features, there doesn't seem to be a push to use those right away. It is also noteworthy that the character design has been strenghtened, with more impactful visuals that look beautiful and will surely help with attack timing. The magic use has radically changed, becoming a limited use system, with different limits for different magics. We didn't see as many strong magics as we would have in Demon's, but this is a demo so the final product will surely have more. Lastly, the HP and Stamina bars are somewhat easier to see.

Recovery
You can only recover HP by using Est bottles or the Solaire's recovery spell. This is done with the SQUARE button, and if you press it repeatedly in a panic, your character will drink faster.

Gestures/Emotes (SELECT)
The gestures change according to the attributes of the player, be it faith-based, knight of darkness, traveler, etc.

Jump (X)
This new move can be performed when you are dashing. You don't jump too high and it would almost look as if you are just jumping a step to a side, but it seems useful as a means to avoid floor traps and the like.

Jumping Attack

This attack is the product of combining L and R2. With an impact similar to that of a regular strong attack, you can leap from a vantage point and home into the enemy, doing about twice the normal attack damage. There’s now more variety on the ways players can approach combat.

Kick
This new move is performed by combining L to move forward and R1 (Demon’s attack button), which results on a shield-breaking kick.

Rolling
This is the same as Demon’s, however it would seem that the immunity to attacks you get from rolling has been reduced somewhat.

Backstabs
Remaining similar to Demon’s in its execution, the animation has been upgraded to reflect its popularity. However enemies can also use them, and any attack from the back of the player becomes slightly stronger than from the front.

Ladders
You can climb ladders faster, you can kick off enemies following you on the ladder and you can attack anyone above you on the ladder!
If you are attacked whilst climbing, after a certain threshold, you will lose your balance and fall off, so if you are being chased by many enemies it is an unlikely escape route.

Bonfire


When you sit and rest at a bonfire, your health, magic and est replenish. However the regular enemies in the surrounding area reset as well (this does not include special enemies like the Mecha Boar). When you die, your last visited bonfire acts as a checkpoint for your reset.

The bonfire has an option called "Pour More Fire" (Give humanity in English) that consumes the player's humanity by 1 unit. For the demo, players had only 1 unit so it was not possible to experiment with results. Consuming one humanity unit increased the Est bottle limit from 5 to 10. However it would seem that the bonfires are individual, so you will have to wisely chose which fire you wish to enhance, as the est replenishment buff will only work for that specific camp.

An interesting point is that other players can affect your fires. If another player gives humanity at your last visited bonfire, your Est bottle will be replenished by +1. Using this method, it was possible for players to replenish 17 times.

Humanity


For the demo, the meaning of humanity was only linked to the bonfire system. However players noticed that your humanity decreases when you die (similar to your soul in Demon's) and that it can be recovered when you reach your bloodstain. When in multiplayer, both killing an invading player and invading and killing the host will give +1 to humanity.

Online Play


White Stone (Cooperative)
Similar to Demon's Blue Eye stone, this is used to put a sign that other players see to summon you to their world. It is expected that it will be up to 2 extra players, and they will have a white ghostly form in other worlds. For some reason (likely related to the oath system) the Solaire of Astora was glowing golden rather than white.

Red Stone (Invasion)
Similar to Demon's Black Eye Stone, this is used to invade other players. The number of phantoms remains unconfirmed, and it seems that different invasions could take place at the same time.

Black Stone (Curse - Gravelord sign)
This stone is used to apply a curse to other player's world that will increase the difficulty of their surroundings, spawning more enemies and black phantoms. The tradeoff is that the other player will be able to find a sign that allows him to come take revenge in your world.

Vengeful Spirit (Invasion- Gravelord sign)
This is a player who has found the sign of the person to put a curse in their world, and has come to take revenge. We could confirm that up to 3 vengeful spirits can invade at the same time.

Yellow Stone (Messages)
This turned into an item but it's used in the same manner as Demon's, allowing you to leave messages that appear for other players. During the demo, From's staff added some signs that read "I'll buy the special edition!".

Cooperative Est
As explained in the Bonfire section, players will help each other whenever they give humanity at the same bonfire, as it will replenish their est bottles.


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