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Anti Frustration Features / Dark Souls

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The games may be known for their extreme difficulty, but they still employ a few Anti-Frustration Features.

Dark Souls

  • Accidentally made an NPC hostile towards you? Pay Oswald of Carim a visit so he can absolve your sins and make said NPCs peaceful again. (Unless you make Oswald hostile as well, in which case you'll have to wait until your next playthrough.)
  • Certain enemies in the game have especially rare and valuable drops. However, not all of these enemies respawn. The way to counter this is that any enemy of which there is a finite amount in the game will always have the very last one drop whatever you haven't gotten from the others yet, so you won't need to go through another playthrough.
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  • Fell off a ledge into a Bottomless Pit? Thankfully, you'll still have a bloodstain, near the location you fell from.
  • The Ring of Favor and Protection gives quite a few powerful bonuses at the expense of breaking should you ever remove it. Trying to switch it out causes a pop-up window to appear, warning that it will break and thus preventing players from ever accidentally removing it.
  • If you defeat the Four Kings prior to obtaining the Lordvessel, you can still warp out of the Abyss using its bonfire.
  • If you accidentally feed Frampt a plot-critical item, it will respawn in the chest behind Frampt, which is normally empty. Furthermore, if you somehow manage to lose the Lordvessel before placing it on the Altar, Frampt has a backup handy just in case.

Dark Souls I: Remastered

  • An extra bonfire was added next to Vamos, by far the hardest blacksmith to get to, even if you do know where he is. It's also much closer to the entrance to the Tomb of the Giants, making it slightly less annoying when you inevitably die in the darkness.
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  • The Dried Finger is available much earlier in the game, making it easier to engage in PvP.
  • You can use multiple copies of the same item at once, like in later games.
  • You can swap between covenants at any bonfire.
  • Like in later games, phantoms can use Estus to heal themselves, though the amount is halved from what it is in their own worlds.
  • The Blighttown and Darkroot Forest areas were optimized, and are no longer plagued by their infamous framerate drops.

Dark Souls II

  • Backtracking is even easier now that you can teleport between bonfires right from the start.
  • Enemies will eventually depopulate in a zone if you kill enough of them, making repeated boss runs easier. You can also bring enemies back with an item if you want later.
  • One covenant, Way of Blue, is available after the tutorial and sends you defenders when you're invaded.
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  • Phantom summons are easier, and Small Soapstone Sign Shades can be temporarily summoned even after defeating an area's boss.
  • You can temporarily resurrect NPCs you've killed for fixed amount of souls.
  • You can bypass the four Old Ones if your Soul Memory is over one million at the Shrine of Winter. note 
  • Soul Vessel items that let you redistribute all your stat points, and thus salvage a botched character build.
  • The Ring of Life Protection saves your humanity and all souls obtained if you die, and can be repaired for a measly 3000 souls (which given the huge amount of souls you'll save by never losing your bloodstain, you'll pretty much always have).note 
  • Human Effigies are far more common than Humanity in the first game. Making gradual loss of health from hollowing more manageable (although they don't heal you like Humanity).
  • The Ring of Binding limits HP loss from hollowing to 75% of max, instead of 50%.
  • Beating a boss as a Phantom or Shade sends you back to your world with fully restored health, spell uses, condition of unbroken equipment, and humanity.
  • There is a shrine in a late game area which will restore the player's humanity if they don't have any human effigies in their inventory or too high a sin rating.
  • After defeating the Last Giant, Melentia will have infinite Lifegems in stock and they go for a very cheap price.
  • Adding magic / fire / etc. damage now only requires a single item, instead of an entire series of unique upgrade materials.
  • The player no longer starts New Game+ automatically upon viewing the credits, but is instead dumped back at the Far Fire.
  • From New Game+ and onwards, the 6 minute credits can be skipped.
  • Scholar of the First Sin's Agape Ring will absorb all souls earned as a means of controlling Soul Memory for matchmaking purposes.
  • Practically every boss has NPC summon signs now, often two of them. While this does increase the boss's health, having someone to draw their attention away from you is often worth it, especially given this game's prevalence of Duel Bosses compared the first game's giant monsters.
  • Weapon durability is now restored at Bonfires (though broken ones will still need to be repaired, and weapon durability is fairly low).
  • Titanite Slabs now drop from many more enemies than before, and much more frequently.note 
  • Bonfire Ascetics can respawn the boss, allowing you to get all the boss soul weapons in one playthrough.
  • Palestones can remove enchantments from weapons without also undoing all their previous upgrades.
  • Divine Blessings are a more common item (though still pretty rare).
  • There are many more healing items with the various Charms and Waters, though the animation is too slow to use them in battle.

Dark Souls III

  • Many of Bloodborne's improvements were carried over: items you don't have the capacity to carry are automatically sent to storage when picked up, consumables can be auto-refilled when reviving at the bonfire, and combat items (throwing knives, firebombs, etc) now have stat scaling.
  • It is possible to enter the Pit of Hollows prior to defeating the Curse-Rotted Greatwood, but there is no bonfire if you do, so you cannot warp. An NPC in the Pit will give you a Homeward Bone if spoken to (or you can pick one off his corpse if you kill him), ensuring the player isn't stuck.
  • Enemies will occasionally give you an extra Estus charge along with souls.
  • If you kill a merchant NPC (or if they die as part of the plot), you can obtain their Ashes from their corpse. Giving these to the Shrine Handmaiden will cause her to sell the items those merchants would have sold, ensuring nothing is Permanently Missable. Killing the Handmaiden herself is possible, but if you do, she'll just revive like any other Undead, and she'll still sell you things (though she will increase her prices every time you kill her).
  • Finding certain items near the endgame will allow the Shrine Handmaiden to sell an infinite amount of all variants of Titanite except for Slabs, meaning such upgrade items do not have to be farmed (although the prices are a bit high). There are also eight Titanite Slabs in the game (fifteen with the DLC's), and while they're still pretty hard to find, that's a lot more than were available per playthrough than in previous games.
  • The Shrine Handmaiden will also buy your Vendor Trash gear from the moment you gain access to Firelink Shrine, in stark contrast to II, where crap would just accumulate in your inventory until the handful of times you met a merchant who was willing to buy as well as sell.
  • Weapons have much higher durability than II, there are significantly fewer things that do heavy damage to gear, and repair powder is cheaper and more accessible, to the point where unless you're trying to play through the entire game with a super-fragile weapon like the Storm Ruler, you probably won't need to worry about it.

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