So you’re a veteran of the previous Soulsborne games, but have sworn you’ll go in blind for Dark Souls 3? It’s completely fine and acceptable, and arguably the better strategy than to know quite a lot of things.
However, if you’ve somehow managed to resist the urge to read anything Dark Souls 3 related, chances are you’ve also missed out on a ton of basic changes that, in our opinion, should be essential knowledge for whoever is diving into the game.
For this reason, we’ve come up with a spoiler-free compilation of 8 most noticeable changes in the game from its predecessors. All these changes, we feel, are important for everyone to know, and none of them spoil anything lore-related.
Of course, these are just a handful of the actual changes in the game, but they are also the most basic and most evident ones.
What Has Changed in Dark Souls 3
The Hub is Separate from the World
The previous Dark Souls games did have hubs that served as the starting points and central region of the game, but the game’s hub is going to be different because it will not be connected to the rest of the world.
The hub is somewhat similar to Demon’s Souls, or more recently Bloodborne. It’s not physically connected to the rest of the world and serves as a ‘safe haven.’ However, it’s much larger, and holds multiple interesting NPCs, secrets, and some additional amazing lore-heavy content that makes it much more appealing than the one we saw in Bloodborne. Make no mistake, Hunter’s Dream was gorgeous, but it was a bit limited.
NPCs are Much More Involved in the Game
NPCs have always been interesting in the Souls games, but majority of them are rather restricted. Only a small percentage of NPCs in the Soulsborne games actually have questlines or serve purpose.
In Dark Souls 3, NPCs will be much more crucial, including the many you’ll find in Firelink Shrine. Don’t ignore NPCs in this game, because they don’t resemble the boring, forgettable folks in Dark Souls 2. Make sure you talk to everyone and exhaust everyone’s dialogues. Trust me, you’ll find it useful.
The New MP Bar and Weapon Arts
No longer are the amount of times a magic spell is usable a numeric value. Instead, magic spells use a new MP Bar that sits between your health and your stamina. This MP Bar can be replenished by a special Estus Flask called the Ash Estus Flask, which you get early in the game.
Additionally, all weapons now have a special move-set called Weapon Arts which also consume mana from MP Bars. Each weapon has its own unique Weapon Art that gives it more purpose and depth.
Bosses Have Multiple Phases
Many bosses in Bloodborne had multiple phases that made them significantly stronger. The Blood-starved Beast would release poisonous auras in its final stage and become increasingly aggressive. Father Gascoigne would transform into a raging massive beast when his health fell to about 30%.
All bosses are confirmed to have at least two distinct phases like that, except that these phases will be much more defined. This will force players to establish new strategies within a single fight. Think something like the Fume Knight *shudders*.
There’s a New Stat Called Luck
For the first time in a Dark Souls game, we’ll be getting a stat called Luck. This stat was available in Demon’s Souls, but never featured in other Soulsborne titles. Luck in Dark Souls 3 will determine the discovery rate of items, and will make it more likely for enemies to drop rarer items if you have a high Luck stat.
This makes Luck an awesome stat if you’re trying to farm that one pesky weapon or equipment that a specific enemy is simply refusing to drop. Yay!
Bows Are Awesome!
Remember how bows were in the last two Souls games? Yeah, they were a necessity, but they were primarily used to aggro enemies or to cheese them. They consumed tons of stamina, were slow, and often left you extremely vulnerable. More importantly, they were practically useless in almost all the boss fights and against anything in close range.
Thankfully, bows have gotten a massive rework this time. They fire fast, and allow you to shoot them in quick succession. This makes them extremely practical against enemies in medium range, and don’t jeopardize your safety as badly as they did previously. Now, a pure bow build is actually completely viable just because of how good they are!
You Can Do Charge Attacks
Yes! One of the great combat features from Bloodborne has made it into the game. By holding the right trigger (R1/RT), you can charge your heavy attack and launch a devastating blow.
No, it won’t count as a visceral attack if done from behind since like in every Souls game the concept of backstabs still exists, but it will do a great deal of damage, and allows you to punish players and enemies who miss their attacks. They will also probably be extremely useful against certain bosses, and to stagger massive, relentless enemies with insane poise.
Covenants Are Easier to Change
When you had to change a covenant in Dark Souls 1 and 2, you would have to go meet the NPC of the respective covenant you wanted to change to and talk to him. That’s no longer necessary in Dark Souls 3, as covenant items have a special inventory slot that allows you to change them on the go.
Yes, that means no need to talk to NPCs. For each covenant you’ll be granted a special item, which when equipped will make you affiliated with it. This way, all you have to do is find the items and switch around as you please. How convenient is that!
Also, here are five Dos and Don’ts you should remember when playing the game.