In preparation for Dark Souls Remastered, I've spent the last several weeks tinkering with mods that up the original game's difficulty. Renowned Souls person Illusorywall reckons the remaster's extra summon slot (three against bosses, six in co-op all told) could make its bosses harder than ever—with up to 250 percent extra health.
Illusorywall made the discovery during the remaster's console network test at the weekend, whereby each new summon tacks 50 percent onto the boss in question's HP. "Another way of putting it," Illusorywall tells me, "would be that the boss has 100 percent HP when you're solo, 150 percent with one summon, 200 percent with two, and 250 percent with three."
Illusorywall has written about this HP increase as it applies to the original game in past, and explains that NPC help isn't always a bonus. If a friendly summon isn't pulling their weight, for example, the host is faced with a bigger challenge. But if friendly summons decide to sit idle on purpose, then the host is faced with a whole new encounter. Alongside Souls chums HollowInvasion Deadhand and Betty Bea, Illusorywall tested this idea against one of the game's earliest bosses, the Bell Gargoyles.
"Testing the hypothesis was quite easy, actually," says Illusorywall. "I had some experience testing enemy HP without special tools, going way back to early 2012 before the game was on PC. I'd do things like cast Toxic Mist on enemies to try and get an exact count of HP as it all drains away. So it's something I've thought about before.
"I knew the network test didn't have any great in-game tools for this, but I knew that if I could summon helpers who didn't attack the gargoyle at all, I could be responsible for all the damage, making it fairly easy to review footage and tally up the damage."
behind the scenes look at us all pulling our weight and working very hard as @illusorywall tests Boss HP increase pic.twitter.com/rp8t1bndi3May 13, 2018
Illusorywall adds: "It did make the fight harder, at least with my summons doing nothing but killing the second gargoyle. Though I'm a mediocre player when it comes to these games, so not having a +5 weapon for the fight, combined with the extra HP, made it take a lot longer than usual and required me to be a lot more careful than usual. I died on my first attempt, but got it on the second.
"The fight could've been significantly harder if all my summons just jumped off the roof and didn't help with the second gargoyle. As long as you enter a boss fight with summons present, the boss' HP will increase. It doesn't matter if they only last a couple seconds in battle, the host will then have to deal with the extra HP on their own."
Illusorywall then speaks to the creativity of the Souls community when it comes to challenge runs.
"Any opportunity a player has to hinder themselves or buff the enemies, will be seized," Illusorywall adds. "Though I don't necessarily think that summoning passive phantoms to make bosses harder will be a popular way of doing a challenge run, someone will certainly do it."
With all of this in mind, Illusorywall has crunched the numbers for the game's hardest adversaries. Manus, Father of the Abyss, on NG+6, for example, will hit somewhere in the vicinity of 32,700 HP with this method applied.
Good lord, indeed.
This means Manus in NG+6 will have 32,700 HP with 3 co-op summons. Good lord.May 13, 2018