Who thought it was a good idea to let me slowly descend into madness by playing this game?
I love the Dark Souls series for it’s rich lore and RPG gameplay elements, but holy sh*t was I under exaggerating when I said that PvP was a different thing entirely.
So it has been a few weeks and I have been steadily streaming and building an audience on Twitch, allowing them to engage with me as to how I should build my character to be ready for this PvP study. Unfortunately I got a little bit carried away with playing the game itself and engaging with said audience, by including small games and music to the streams, rather than spearheading a discussion about the PvP subcultures. However, I have gotten quite a lot of satisfactory footage that highlights a lot of what I had assumed about the cultures in the past.
Quite a few of my assumptions have been elaborated upon in these past couple of weeks just in the preparation of the actual PvP action, and some expectations have actually been turned upside down entirely.
For one thing, I didn’t imagine I would become successful at streaming at any point, however I now have 140 followers and a steady audience of 10 viewers at most times (my most views at once were 48, which put my 2nd on the list of Dark Souls 3 streamers at the time). I also didn’t anticipate the feelings I would get as I got better at PvPing in the game and began invading other players myself.
I’ll tell you something somewhat sadistic for starters. I find it somewhat satisfying to finally slaughter another player after they have spent the last 5 minutes running away and hiding from me, playing a glorified and violent game of hide and seek meets Friday the 13th.
Reaping the rewards of the kill knowing the largest consequence would be the inevitably frustrated player on the other end possibly rage-quitting their game was unexpectedly enlightening. In fact it even makes me begin to understand the draw to it, and why so many players see fit to rabidly defend using ‘scummy’ or ‘dishonorable’ tactics to get the kill (such as drawing enemies towards the player to distract them and make them vulnerable… which unashamedly, I have done).
Next on my list of things to do is to actively engage with fight-clubs. My PvP character is almost ready, however I need to learn to actually fight against other players properly. As has been stressed to me previously, fight-clubs are a completely different ball-park to traditional hunting PvP that is invading. It is structured, and the players are there to actively pit their skills against yours. Many of these players have been doing nothing but killing each other for hundreds of hours. I never saw the appeal in fighting games and avoided fight-clubs for this reason, so it will be quite a unique experience to me.
The Reddit discussion I began a few weeks ago has taken off and quietened down rather quickly, but not before providing a few amazing gems of insight. I would strongly recommend giving it a gloss over if another perspective on this subject matter interests you. There are some players that go rather in-depth into the cultural changes from Western to Eastern players as well. I cannot wait to collaborate this info with my own findings.
[Edit 29/9/16] I would also like to have a brief look into some other aspects of PvP that have begun popping up since the hype around the game has started dying down – games made up by streamers or youtubers that are played with their audience for fun with elements you normally wouldn’t expect. I will leave one such video below for you all to look at!