Colin Le Sueur

Colin Le Sueur
Colin Le Sueur

Building Character – Dark Souls II

I’ve been playing a lot of Dark Souls II lately, almost to the exclusion of everything else. My initial playthrough was with a pure melee warrior and I made it past Drangleic Castle with him. However, I couldn’t help feel like I was missing out on a whole other side of gameplay and combat. This video looks at the new character I built and seeks to explain the choices I made creating him.

I’m planning to do a series of Building Character videos for Dark Souls II. I’ll create a new game using specific character types and attempt to see how far I can get. Maybe I’ll try an archer or rogue, or twisted dark wizard. If you have any suggestions for character types you’d like to see, leave a comment down below. For this episode I looked at a familiar source: a Viking God.

Thunar is modelled after Thor, Norse God of Thunder and basis for the popular Marvel superhero. Rather than using Marvel’s Thor as a visual inspiration, I went with something closer to traditional mythological depictions of Thor. The image I had in mind was a proud warrior who fights with a one-handed hammer and calls down the power of lightning. To this end, the cleric class seemed like an ideal fit.

The cleric starts with a strong mace and useful Archdrake’s Robes. I initially kept these, as they roughly fit my vision for the character. I decided to use a shield, both for practical gameplay reasons and because I thought it would fit the visuals as well. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a round wooden shield that was both practically and aesthetically compatible so I chose a triangular metal one instead. Thunar would be a mix of melee and miracles, with strong close combat skills and powerful ranged attacks.

For my core stats, I chose strength, faith, and attunement. Strength for melee combat, faith for ranged attacks and healing, and attunement for additional spell slots and casting speed. I went with a mix of offensive and defensive miracles: lightning spear, emit force, and heavenly thunder for ranged attacks. I made a conscious choice to avoid other magic like sorcery, hexes, and pyromancy. Cleric is a remarkably good fit for a God of Thunder, as it turns out.

I didn’t find my ideal weapon until I reached the Lost Bastille. Once I collected the Craftsman’s Hammer from McDuff’s chest I knew I’d found Mjollnir. This is a one-handed hammer with a strong attack and limited reach. The rest of my appearance fell into place after I finished the game for the first time. I found the Grave Warden’s Top and this stands in nicely for Viking armour. The Mask of Judgement makes an excellent helm and Syan’s gloves and leggings complete the look.

Although I’m not able to do as much physical damage as with my warrior, Thunar makes up for it with greater adaptability and survivability. The mix of strong melee attacks and damaging ranged miracles makes for a powerful combination. Some bosses were much easier now that I had ranged options but others were more difficult as I wasn’t able to quickly dispatch groups of enemies (like in the Royal Rat Authority fight).

I’ve had great fun tuning this character and building him into what I pictured in my mind. Although I could do a lot more damage with other weapons or spells, I get more enjoyment from playing within these self-imposed role-playing limitations.

Have you built similar characters in Dark Souls II? Share your experiences in the comments below.

Colin Le Sueur
Friday, June 20th, 2014
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So, what do you think ?