My Dark Souls III Battle Plan


Everybody who isn’t already playing the Japanese version of Dark Souls III is probably thinking about what class they’re gonna roll this time around. Well, that’s not totally the right question to ask when talking about strategy in Dark Souls, but the point is anybody who’s experienced with these games has got to be formulating their game plan at this point. I’ve been slowly diversifying ever since starting Demon’s Souls and I think Dark Souls III might be an opportunity for me to really try something different.

First things first: if you don’t know yet, your starting “class” in a Souls game matters a lot less than you probably think it does. It’s not right to talk about your game plan as a “class” because these games don’t lock you into a class like many other RPGs do. It’s really more of just a determiner of starting gear and stats, and you can develop your character in any direction afterwards. The real questions that need to be asked are: what weapons will you mainly use? How will you fight with those weapons? How will you build your character to best take advantage of them? I was able to get through my recent Demon’s Souls run without a whole lot of trouble mainly because I knew going in I was going to focus on spears and hammers while upgrading my character’s strength.

On my first couple runs through Demon’s Souls and the first Dark Souls I played it safe, started out as a heavily armored knight, and pretty much stuck to swords and shields, rarely fighting two-handed and almost always blocking instead of dodging. In Dark Souls II though I tried to go a bit lighter with light armor, high dexterity, and curved swords. I still used a shield but only a light one that blocked 90 percent of physical damage instead of 100. Eventually in that game I settled on curved greatswords but still mostly fought one-handed with a shield. When I went back to Demon’s Souls even though I kept a shield around I mostly didn’t use it, preferring to dodge and fight two-handed.

From what I hear Dark Souls III is going to have full-blown dual-wielding (you could only sort-of do it in previous games) and be overall faster like Bloodborne (which I haven’t played) was. I see that as an opportunity to really stretch out with a faster, more offensive character. If you look at the early English Dark Souls III guides, the mercenary class seems like the starting point build for that.

Things can and do change though. I went into the first Dark Souls planning out a dexterity-oriented character, but when an enemy dropped one of the game’s best weapons early on, I ended up devoting my build to strength to make the best use of it from there on out, and the weapon carried me through the whole game.

Magic? I’ve actually never bothered to mess with it in Souls. A lot of people see pyromancers as the most advantageous class but I’ve always enjoyed Souls as a melee game, or at least a game about physical combat.


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