Check out the latest episode of the Bonfireside Chat podcast!

http://duckfeed.tv/bsc/datamining

In this episode I joined Gary and Kole for a special discussion about probing the ‘Souls games. It was an honor to be invited onto Bonfireside Chat, a program that I highly recommend to fellow Souls addicts.

Dark Souls 2: Out of Bounds Item in the Black Gulch

My friend found a corpse carrying a Pharros’ Lockstone, slightly outside the map in the Black Gulch:



(click to enlarge)

The first image shows the wall it’s located behind, the second shows its location relative to the boss room and the area with the chest, and the third confirms the item.

Not sure if there’s anything interesting we can speculate from this. There’s already another lockstone shortly before the boss, and another you can get from cutting The Rotten’s arm off. Maybe they were simply going to have a third in or after the boss room, and figured it was too many.

We also considered the possibility that it could somehow be the same lockstone dropped by The Rotten (though there’s no reason to expect that the item drop would have to be stored somewhere physical). But that doesn’t appear to be the case, because this item will still be there after getting the other one from his arm.

EDIT: According to some feedback, which appears to be correct, this hidden item IS the same as the one dropped by the boss. Apparently it drops the corpse with the item (something I don’t think I noticed), so it’s stored here so it doesn’t have be loaded during the fight.

mikeirish1016 said: Was playing offline had 33 lightning bolts, went online, lightning bolts reduced to 9. Attun 20 Faith 35. What happened???

Ah, you went online and had your game patched to the most recent version.

The lightning spear miracles were among the spells that had their number of uses heavily nerfed in Calibrations 1.08, on the 18th of July:

  • Decrease the number of uses for the following Miracles and Hexes:
    • Lightning Spear
    • Great Lightning Spear
    • Sunlight Spear
    • Emit Force
    • Soul Appease
    • Great Resonant Soul
    • Profound Still

The patch notes also claimed that the lightning spears and Emit Force would have their damage increased, perhaps as a slight compensation for the reduced casts, but the opposite occurred. They took a decrease in damage as well.

It was a very significant nerf, and some people are hoping that the damage decrease was an accident and that it could possibly be corrected in a future patch. Though we’ve already gone through another patch since then, and it wasn’t fixed.

http://darksouls2.wikidot.com/game-patches

Anonymous said: I have been trying to figure out how works in Dark Souls 2. I killed all NPCs before going into NG+ like usual but I notice my sin level is at Sinner now and Cromwell says I'm fine. What gives?

Dark Souls 2: Understanding Sin

If you’ve been confused by the weird mechanics of Sin, it’s not your fault! Just like Dark Souls 1, the game gives misleading information about what the pardoner does. The game is calling two completely different things “Sin”, without an obvious way to distinguish the two.

True Sin

As you noticed, you have a “sin level” that displays on your Player Info screen. It appears with the icon of the chain-link, and will correspond with one of three possible sin levels: “-” (not a sinner), “Sinner”, and “Wretch”.

image (the only sin status that matters, don’t listen to Cromwell)

These sin levels correspond with a hidden point system, where every time you kill an NPC or a host when invading with a Cracked Red Eye Orb, you get 1 point. “Sinner” is triggered when you reach 10 points, “Wretch” is triggered when you reach 100 points.

This is what I consider the real sin, or at least the sin that matters. This is because arbiter spirit invasions are tied to having 10+ points of this sin. And then Wretch adds on a unique mechanic where being fully hollow puts you down at 5% capped HP instead of 50%.

This type of sin is not reset upon entering NG+, and it cannot be cleared by Cromwell. It can only be cleared, 1 point at a time, by dying to an arbiter spirit.

image (let this phantom kill you if you want to decrease your sin)

NPC Aggression Sin

As mentioned above, Cromwell cannot clear the “True Sin” that is displayed on your Player Info screen. This is counter-intuitive, because Cromwell quite clearly talks about your sin, and tells you that you don’t have it any more after paying for a pardon.

This is because he is not talking about your “True Sin” at all. He is referring to something different, which is whether or not you’ve made an NPC angry prior to meeting him. So for lack of a better name, we can call it “NPC Aggression”.

If you attacked an NPC and trigger their aggro or disapproval, paying for a Pardon undoes this and allows you to interact with them again normally. And this is all it does.

image (Uh, can I get a second opinion? - screenshot by /u/JesterPatches)

And the real kicker here is that the only relevant flag for allowing the player to pay Cromwell for a pardon is if an NPC was made aggressive at some point prior. This includes attacking and killing an NPC, because before dying, said NPC was made angry. But of course, a dead NPC cannot be made un-aggressive. So if you ever pay Cromwell for a pardon without the need to de-aggro a currently living NPC, it’s a complete waste of souls. It literally accomplishes nothing at all.

This is why Cromwell is completely useless and irrelevant for understanding your current sin situation. It leads to contradictory-sounding statements if you think it’s referring to the other sin, because here’s how it can be wrong:

  • You can be told that you’re a “Sinner” and have the option to pay for a Pardon, even though you’re not a Sinner in the Player Info screen. This is because all it takes to trigger Cromwell’s response is if you’ve aggro’d at least 1 NPC. It takes killing 10 NPCs/ Hosts (CREO invasions) to become a true Sinner.
  • The opposite can also occur. You can become a Sinner or Wretch through invading and killing other players, without ever touching an NPC. Cromwell will you that you are not a Sinner.

The second bullet essentially applies to your current situation. Cromwell is saying you’re fine because the history of attacking NPCs was reset when entering the next NG+ cycle (while true sin wasn’t). For more information (and probably a better explanation), I wrote a page about how sin works here:

http://darksouls2.wikidot.com/sin

EDIT: Halfway through this post, I started calling Cromwell “Oswald” by accident! I’ve since edited the post to correct that. Oswald from Dark Souls 1 rips you off in the exact same way though. :p
Dark Souls 2: A Closer Look at the Gutter’s Garbage Pillars

To continue the trend over-analyzing unimportant details, I wanted to take a closer look at the “garbage pillars” found in the gutter. I’ve seen random screenshots and people trying to figure out what’s contained in them, but no direct images from the textures until now.

Here’s the complete texture:

image (^that’s just a thumbnail, click to embiggen)

It’s easy to see why it looks so ugly. Random textures are just piled on to make 1 larger texture with no rhyme or reason, which is then wrapped around a low-polygon pillar. Some of the pillars are partially-obscured with a slime effect, and with the original lighting the game was supposed to have it’s possible we weren’t meant to get a very good look at it in-game.

But there are still some pillars you can get pretty close to with a torch in-hand, so it’s likely we’d still see them and be talking about it regardless of the lighting.

image

(screenshot by /u/SuperM3atB0y)

Thematically, it makes sense. We know of the Gutter to be a place where unwanted stuff is discarded. I think some of the fancier stuff in there, like the nice furniture and wall fountains, can be explained by the falling kingdoms and people losing their minds. Like the “99%” turning against the royals and trashing everything. Most of the rest of the actual junk needs no explanation. Gilligan even clarifies that bodies are tossed down there.

One of the creepier details is that you can find several smaller skeletons of conjoined twins:

image

If people were discarding what they didn’t want, then that probably means that children with birth defects got tossed into the hole as well. :(

These are some neat ideas, but of course it’s totally awkward due to the fact that any kind of trash-pillar would compact these things because of the crushing weight. Seeing completely whole bodies and unbroken furniture just looks weird and makes for some terrible graphics. It seems like they picked a very rushed way to do it, and with more time, pillars with broken fragments of these things sticking out instead would’ve been a better way to go.

But let’s get one of the biggest misconceptions cleared up- There is no modern car wheel in this pillar! Though it’s easy to see why people thought that. If you look at the in-game screenshot posted above, the lighting and warped shape of the texture makes the round object in there look very much like a car tire, with rubber and all.

Here’s what it actually looks like (it’s used in there twice, with slightly different angles):

image

As you can see, it’s clearly not from a car. Now I have no idea what it is, but we can scratch it off as being another anachronism / 4th-wall-breaker, leaving the Heineken label of the Grave of Saints on its own.

A lot of objects in there are also random things used elsewhere in-game. Here’s everything I could identify:

A random chest:image

Another chest:image

Felkin’s chair:image

Cattle skeleton:image

Sack of potatoes:image

Wooden doors by Old Akelarre bonfire:image

Slabs of meat:image

Robed Corpses (slightly different, but probably sharing the same source):image

Otherwise, I think the rest of the stuff in there is unique to that texture. Thanks once again to my partner in crime Demon’s Lantern for providing textures and PC screenshots (I only have this game on PS3).

edit:

/u/SordidDreams of reddit has a dissenting opinion on the wheel. Perhaps it’s not such an open-and-shut case afterall.

“It looks a lot like an early car wheel to me. This one is from a Ford Model T. IMO it resembles a screenshot of a low-poly, untextured 3D model of an early automobile wheel. The other objects in the texture with round edges are also slightly angular, indicating that they’re in fact 3D models.”

While I see the resemblance, perhaps the biggest thing that still throws me off is how the edge of wheel strongly appears to be attached to some kind of bar/ object. That’d make it impossible to roll, making me think it’s wheel-like in shape but not an actual 20th century car wheel. But I could be wrong.
Dark Souls 2: Unknown Structure Hidden in Majula’s Skybox

My buddy Demon’s Lantern noticed something interesting in Majula’s skybox. We’ve all seen the lo-res Forest of Fallen Giants before, but there’s another structure, further back and to the left:

image

It’s difficult to see, so I asked if he could find the image directly from the skybox’s texture. Here’s what turned up:

image

image

Normally you can’t see this in-game, because the skybox has several layers of 2D images. To be able to see it like in the first screenshot, the camera had to be flown further out above the water and a bit closer to the Forest of Fallen Giants vista.

So what is this area meant to be? I’m pretty sure it’s the exterior of the Undead Crypt.

That might sound like an odd choice, given that we have no idea what it looks like, and most would probably expect the whole thing to be subterranean. At least it kind of feels that way, traveling down from Drangleic Castle into the Shrine of Amana, and down from there into the Crypt.

But bear in mind that the geography of Drangleic is exaggerated to make places feel closer than they actually are in the game’s universe. The map makes this pretty clear, and is probably the reason we have things like taking elevators down below sea level from Heide’s Tower of Flame and winding back up at sea level in No Man’s Wharf. Or the elevator from the Earthen Peak up to the Iron Keep. It’s implied that we’re not seeing the entirety of the journey between these locations, so there’s a bit of wiggle room regarding geographical oddities.

So why the Undead Crypt, you ask? Well, going by the map, it’s the only thing remotely in that area. And the line of sight matches up pretty well. Here’s the map from the Majula Mansion:

image

We know which flames represent what areas, since they light up based on game progression. There isn’t a flame for Majula, but we know it’s there if we compare it to the collector’s edition map.

Now, if we readjust our position out to roughly where the screenshot was taken from, represented with a blue dot, we could theoretically get a view of these three locations at once (assuming they made the effort to include them in the skybox’s artwork):

image

How does that compare to Demon’s Lantern’s original screenshot? Pretty much perfectly:

image

But is there anything else that could be in the area? There’s no other flames nearby that light up on the mansion map, and we also can’t see anything of note on the collector’s edition map:

image

(click to enlarge)

If you’re having trouble making sense of the different maps, it needs to be rotated to match the Majula Mansion map:

image

And there we have it.

edit: My runner-up choice is that the structure was maybe intended as the Undead Purgatory instead, but I really don’t think so. The collector’s edition map seems to indicate that it’s much futher inland, nestled into the Forest-y area.

Dark Souls 2: Testing the NPC Gravestone Mechanics

This is just a short video of me documenting the time requirement of the tombstones. I have to find a way to kill time waiting for the DLC somehow, right? It’s nothing special, but I figured I might as well have something to show other than my word.

All NPCs have a specific time requirement (x amount of in-game time), and once that time passes, their gravestone will appear. If you’re waiting in the same area, resting at bonfire will trigger its appearance. Melentia’s wait is exactly 1 hour and 30 minutes, and so far I’ve only encountered waits that are in half-hour increments. The video makes it look like it takes a little longer, but I started the timer while attacking her.

I realize this is probably the least-demanded testing that could possibly be done. But I think there’s actually some relevance to getting better information regarding this mechanic. Lately there’s been a surge of cheaters on PC invading and killing other players’ NPCs. I’ve read all sorts of posts expressing doom and gloom if you fail to backup your saves (something you should be doing…), but the Gravestones actually help in ways that some people don’t seem to realize. For example, did you know that-

  • In spite of gravestones normally appearing where the NPC is killed, the Emerald Herald getting killed in the Dragon Aerie does NOT stop you from being able to level up with her. The Emerald Herald will appear in Majula regardless of where she is killed, and will still offer her normal services. (initial wait is 5 hours)
  • McDuff is able to accept the Dull Ember after death and all of his services will be available. This is true even if you never lit the brazier for him. (initial wait is 3 hours)
I know these are two popular NPCs to be killed as of late, and while it’s a nuisance, you’re not exactly screwed if you failed to backup your save. Do be warned that in most other cases, though, killing an NPC outside of their final location does typically result in “freezing” their progress and losing out on stuff they could offer later on.

I’m updating this page directly as I learn more:
http://darksouls2.wikidot.com/gravestones

Here’s a previous photo album I made when finding out which NPCs leave tombs (basically all), and finding out their costs:
http://imgur.com/a/AiVIy
Dark Souls 2: Audio Files List & Tutorial on Extracting Audio

Dark Souls 2 - Audio Files List (Google Doc)

We made a resource that hopefully makes it easier to explore the game’s files and unused content. So far all of the dialog files have been identified and transcribed, and we’ve included a tutorial on how to rip the audio as well.

image

The wikis are still missing a lot of the characters’ dialog, so this could be used to help fill it in. I also hope that anyone looking for a particular sample has an easier time finding it now!

Dark Souls 1: Unused Test Map

Imgur mirror - http://imgur.com/a/SkAKy

Here is an unused test map from Dark Souls 1, once again provided by my primary source for this sort of stuff. It’s mostly a series of rooms with cells in them, connected through various inclines or staircases. Some distinct features include a pit in the middle, a human model, a chair/throne, and a restraining table.

Dark Souls 2: Bag and Belt Guy (Unused Test Audio)

Demon’s Lantern has found and sent me more unused content, this time from the game’s audio. There’s a bunch of test dialog recorded by the developers, so we have some pretty hilarious takes of non-voice actors filling in for the characters.

I still have a bunch of files to sift through, but I wanted to share my favorite finding right away!

Chroanna(?), the Bag and Belt Guy.

edit: Turns out this was previously found and shared by hellkitedrake here! I tend to keep up with his cut content findings, though I missed it because it was up as soon as the game came out (that was fast!), when I was on an information blackout.

Demon’s Souls: Modded Gameplay (Unused Content Shown)

ebiflynageruyo was able to mod Demon’s Souls, and demonstrate unused content by swapping enemy models. It’s primarily a cosmetic change so we only get to see their models and some of their animations. Otherwise their stats/ AI/ placement should all be based on the enemies they’re replacing.

It gives us a much better look at how these would’ve appeared in-game:

The videos also show some odd content like a red bow, and things like unused upgrade materials added into the inventory.

I’ve created a playlist of the videos, and you can find the uploader’s channel here.

Dark Souls 2: Looking Back At Some of the Unused NPC Names…

The following names could be found in the original game’s files (npcmenu.txt) before the Crown of the Sunken King DLC was released:

0000,7570=[Nadalia, Bride of Ash]
0000,7580=[Alsanna, Silent Oracle]
0000,7590=[Elana, Queen of Ruin]

One of those is now familiar to us as Elana, the Squalid Queen. I wonder if this means we’re going to meet Nadalia or Alsanna in the upcoming DLCs…

Dark Souls 2: Unknown LOD Model (Stacked Houses?)

Demon’s Lantern found this odd object in the Dark Souls 2 game files. It looks like it could be a set of low-res houses stacked on top of each other. If that’s the case, then it could have been intended as distant scenery in some area.

The Crown of the Sunken King DLC seems to feature some vertically stacked architecture, but it doesn’t look like this so I’m doubtful there’s a connection. Still, it’s interesting trying to figure out if any of the cut content was repurposed into DLC in some way, or if it’s totally unrelated and would have belonged elsewhere. Perhaps we’ll know more soon…

Demon’s Lantern also discovered the unused area I posted about back in May.

blobertson:

Ooof don’t run around with a fire keeper soul on your quick menu it terrifies me

Oh, that’s actually how I spawned the Vagrant. I used the dupe glitch on the fire keeper soul to amass large amounts of humanity (30+, but the exact amount probably doesn’t matter…), then double-suicided in that area to lose that humanity. Each time I do that, there’s a chance I spawn this Vagrant in another player’s world. When someone gets the Vagrant but doesn’t find and kill it, it’ll be sent to some other random person when they abandon it (by luck, it could happen to be me).
You can’t exactly rely on someone not finding your Vagrant and randomly targeting you, given that it’s more likely it’ll be sent to someone else they’re connected to. But that’s why repetition is key— if you spam connected worlds with lots of Vagrants, then it starts to become more and more likely that someone is going to target you back.
In this case I got lucky and it only took me 15-20 minutes of losing humanity here to get this Vagrant.

blobertson:

Ooof don’t run around with a fire keeper soul on your quick menu it terrifies me

Oh, that’s actually how I spawned the Vagrant. I used the dupe glitch on the fire keeper soul to amass large amounts of humanity (30+, but the exact amount probably doesn’t matter…), then double-suicided in that area to lose that humanity. Each time I do that, there’s a chance I spawn this Vagrant in another player’s world. When someone gets the Vagrant but doesn’t find and kill it, it’ll be sent to some other random person when they abandon it (by luck, it could happen to be me).

You can’t exactly rely on someone not finding your Vagrant and randomly targeting you, given that it’s more likely it’ll be sent to someone else they’re connected to. But that’s why repetition is key— if you spam connected worlds with lots of Vagrants, then it starts to become more and more likely that someone is going to target you back.

In this case I got lucky and it only took me 15-20 minutes of losing humanity here to get this Vagrant.

(Source: illusorywall)

Dark Souls 1: Another Uncommon Vagrant
Here’s something you don’t see every day! It’s a standard Evil Vagrant, but what makes it special is its location. It was one of the remaining “undiscovered” vagrant locations, which is in the upstairs of the Undead Burg building that requires the running jump to get to (note the broken staircase).
In the past I was able to use the Future Press Guidebook to hunt down previously undocumented vagrants (explanation of that here), but I sort of hit a wall with that method. The issue with intentionally self-spawning Vagrants is that it can be time consuming even when you already know where it’ll spawn. If you don’t know exactly where it’s going to spawn, then trying to do so would be unreasonably tedious.
So I was content to leave things be with the remaining non-confirmed locations list on the wiki, but then I remembered the work that was going on with DSMODT. Hellkitedrake used it to help me finally confirm the exact locations of the remaining ~25 Vagrants I’ve never seen documented. The one pictured above is one I tested just to make sure the data we saw worked in-game. There are some in very weird places that I can guarantee countless people have run right past without ever finding them!
I might make another post showing all of them or hellkite might want to do a video… either way we’ll find a way to get that information out there. Might as well squeeze everything odd or “unknown” out of Dark Souls we can. :p

Dark Souls 1: Another Uncommon Vagrant

Here’s something you don’t see every day! It’s a standard Evil Vagrant, but what makes it special is its location. It was one of the remaining “undiscovered” vagrant locations, which is in the upstairs of the Undead Burg building that requires the running jump to get to (note the broken staircase).

In the past I was able to use the Future Press Guidebook to hunt down previously undocumented vagrants (explanation of that here), but I sort of hit a wall with that method. The issue with intentionally self-spawning Vagrants is that it can be time consuming even when you already know where it’ll spawn. If you don’t know exactly where it’s going to spawn, then trying to do so would be unreasonably tedious.

So I was content to leave things be with the remaining non-confirmed locations list on the wiki, but then I remembered the work that was going on with DSMODT. Hellkitedrake used it to help me finally confirm the exact locations of the remaining ~25 Vagrants I’ve never seen documented. The one pictured above is one I tested just to make sure the data we saw worked in-game. There are some in very weird places that I can guarantee countless people have run right past without ever finding them!

I might make another post showing all of them or hellkite might want to do a video… either way we’ll find a way to get that information out there. Might as well squeeze everything odd or “unknown” out of Dark Souls we can. :p