Dark Souls 3 was officially announced at this year’s E3. Such an early announcement, just a few months after the release of Bloodborne, confused many gamers, who started worrying that the beloved studio turned into another Ubisoft and Activision, known for producing slightly different versions of the same game every year. However, Hidetaka Miyazaki, the creator of the series, has assured that there is nothing to worry about, as Dark Souls 3 has been in the works for two years already.
At E3, From Software, the developer of the game, demonstrated a new game system called Weapon Arts, which is now known as the Battle Arts, or simply martial arts. This is definitely one of the most interesting new elements in the game that allows for much more powerful attacks. Also, Hidetaka Miyazaki stated that Dark Souls 3 will reveal a lot more story elements this time and they will be closely linked to the events of the first Dark Souls game. As you know, Dark Souls' lore is one of the most mysterious and widely discussed topics among the fans.
Anyway, this is a good start, but a lot of unrevealed questions still remain behind the curtains. Of course, it’s a great marketing strategy, which helps build more hype, but the fans want to know more, and this is where speculations begin. This list highlights some of the most important things that the community wants to see in Dark Souls 3.
Better Arena (PvP)
The Dark Souls Arena wasn’t that populated simply because it was released with the DLC, but it worked great, it had 3v3 mode and you didn’t leave the Arena if somebody killed you – they just got a point for that and you were right back in the fight. That system worked so much better than the one we’ve seen in Dark Souls 2, where it was just you against other players and if you got killed you got immediately thrown out.
We want to see something more similar to Dark Souls 1 Arena in Dark Souls 3 than the one in the sequel.
These were great because they allowed you to fix the mistakes that you did in your build. Otherwise, you would have to either keep playing your build in that way or start the game from scratch, which is never pleasing. Dark Souls 2 allowed you to respec your build entirely and fix those mistakes at whatever point in the game.
Unfortunately, there was nothing similar to Soul Vessels in Bloodborne, but we definitely want to see them back in Dark Souls 3.
Balanced penalties for death
Every game in the Souls series, including Bloodborne, had a certain system of penalties for dying. The most balanced of them was in Dark Souls 2, and the worst in Demon’s Souls. The only thing that was a bit too much in Dark Souls 2 system was the fact that you couldn’t be invaded after death, as you became hollow. This should be considered in Dark Souls 3 and we still should be allowed to invade and be invaded in hollow forms, and if you don’t want to be invaded, then just go offline.
Better user interface
The UI in Dark Souls 2 wasn’t that bad, but it certainly could be improved. The navigation should be quicker and more user-friendly. Definitely, there should be hotkeys included and customizable keys for combos and such. The menu should also be smaller, so you could see the character change when you try to equip something instead of switching the menu on and off.
Things like equip load and soul memory should definitely be eliminated, and there were rumors already about that coming from Hidetaka Miyazaki himself. Equip load just makes things extremely limited for light and midweight characters that start fatrolling too early in the game. Other stats should also be more balanced and be more specific to different kinds of builds. Another thing that needs to be dealt with is any attempt at overlevelling, for obvious reasons.
Dark Souls 1 had a terrific interconnected level design and this is something we want to see in Dark Souls 3, as well. Bloodborne and Demon’s Souls did it pretty well; however, the constant need to go back to the hub was really annoying. The teleportation system between the bonfires in Dark Souls 2 was great, and it should stay like that.
This is something Dark Souls developers need to consider, as all the previous Souls games, maybe except Darks Souls 1, were filled with NPCs that did nothing but bore us. So, it would be nice to see more cohesion and excitement this time around, and maybe even a slight hint at romance – you never know, right?
Solaire of Astora, mostly referred to as Sunbro, is probably the best example of a good NPC in the Souls series - just look at all the references and memes on the web.
The covenants need to make sense - they have to give you something substantial in order to motivate you to actually stick with them. For example, an infinite Cracked Red Eye Orb would do it.
When it comes to existing covenants, then Darks Souls 1 has the best of the best (e.g. Darkwraith). While Bloodborne could do completely without them, as there was no real point to covenants in the game at all.
It would be really nice to have a possibility of a deeper gear customization, but we may be asking for too much here. However, if we could at least change the color shades of separate parts of our gear it would be simply amazing. As quite often you had a great set of armor on you statwise, but the color mismatch sometimes made you look like a clown. Some people don’t like bright colors and it would be great to make things look darker, or vice versa.
Games are getting more and more expensive and we want to appreciate the investment. In comparison to Dark Souls 2, Bloodborne, although a great game, was really short. But Dark Souls 3 should be bigger or at least as big as Dark Souls 2, with the promise of additional content in the future. This also means more items and not just the story.
Estus Flasks should stay and never leave the Souls series… ever! Dark Souls 2 had lifegems, resembling herbs from Demon’s Souls, which were there to accompany you before you got to the next bonfire, if you were suddenly out of Estus Flasks. But they were at times too slow, while healing in Demon’s Souls was fast. So, if the developers decide to add some new healing items to Dark Souls 3 they should be just as effective as herbs from Demon’s Souls.
Bosses could be compared to pillars on which the world of Dark Souls stands firm. It got a bit shakey in Dark Souls 2 where bosses were a lot easier than in Dark Souls 1. But what really elevated the situation in the Souls series were the boss fights in Bloodborne. They were fast, unpredictable and had none of the cheesiness of the Dark Souls 2 boss fights. According to previews, we can expect more of the Bloodborne level of challenge in Dark Souls 3. Let’s just hope that it stays that way.
Dark Souls 3 is still pretty far away from the release date, which is set on April 2016 for North America and Europe. Also, experience shows that PC version might even get a later release, so let’s assume May or June 2016.
At this stage, the game already looks great and the updated engine clearly makes everything look better. A slightly improved and accelerated combat system looks good, too. Undoubtedly, we’ve seen only a very small part of Dark Souls 3, but even this small part could be considered impressive. If this level of quality stays throughout the whole playthrough, then we all can expect another great game in the Souls series. On the other hand, the game is already considered by many to be a needless copy of Bloodborne.
Tell us in the comments section what you think about Dark Souls 3 and what other elements you want to see in it!