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My main complaint with this game is the removal of the “Poise” system from older games.
Essentially, poise is(was) a system where if you wear heavy armor, your character has resistence to being stunned or interupted while attacking or doing other actions like drinking estus, or casting spells, or even moving if the armor was heavy enough(Havel’s Set)
This system was especially powerful in Dark Souls 1 where characters with extremely heavy (and therefore highly protective) armor could still move with relative ease, while *also* being highly aggressive since they didn’t need to worry about their attacks not connecting due to interupts.

The system definitley needed to be fixed, or tweaked. But in a stunning display of incompetence, FromSoft legit *removed* poise from the game during the final months before release. The stat is *still in the game* but it does *nothing*
Folks who dug through the game files found out that there was literally a “toggle poise” value that was set to zero. Meaning they literally just disabled poise instead of trying to balance it. Oh and did I mention you download the dark souls remastered for free? Here’s the video I am talking about: dark souls remastered for free!

Well, now that I’ve discussed what poise is and why it matters. I’ll demonstrate why *removing* poise was a horrible decision. Now instead of having relatively slow, but sturdy Havel Monsters who rely almost entirely on their massive defense and overwhelming damage to punish opponents, you now have almost every player utilizing a light armor set with the largest weapon with the most reach as possible. (washing poles, great-curved swords, etc.)
Almost *no one* utilizes heavy armor, since it’s been (just like poise) heavily nerfed into the ground. Now instead of taking 60% reduced damage with a heavy armor set compared to 25% reduced damage with a light armor set, you have a mere 30% reduced damage(heavy) compared to 20% reduced damage(light). These are on average of course.

Furthemore, most spells and equipment that *isn’t* weapons has been nerfed into the ground. Defensive rings are far *far* less effective in PvP than they once were. Take for example the “Ring of Steel Protection” a ring that reduces the amount of damage you take from physical attacks. Sounds good right? Well you’d be wrong. This is one of the worst rings possible in the game (Besides the Wolf Ring of course, which increases poise, which as we discussed has been turned off completely, which is funny because the ring *still says that it increases poise which is now a useless stat*) . The Steel Protection ring gives a nice, hefty 17% reduced damage from all physical damage. Sounds amazing right? Well what the ring *doesn’t tell you* is that it’s only about 1/4th as effective in PvP. It only gives you a 5% reduced damage in PvP… Compare this to the Hornets Ring, or the Leo Ring, and it becomes pretty clear that after Bloodborne, Miyazaki had *no intention* of allowing players to play safely and smartly. He now has a raging boner for *one playstyle* and one playstyle only. Ruthless, Aggresive, Fast-Paced, Reactionary, and therefore often Reckless combat. Period.

You wanna be a slow and methodical priest, who outlasts his opponents with his healing miracles, forcing opponents to go on the offensive and kill you quickly to end the fight? Nope. Sorry. Faiths been nerfed up the too.
You want to be a clever and diverse mage, who tricks his enemies into exposing themselves only to unleash a barrage of spells in rapid succession? Nope. You guessed it, sorceries have been nerfed as well.
Casting time has increased, and damage has been reduced.

Couple this with the damage modifiers for weapons reaching absolutely *absurd* levels and you get a pretty good idea of why removing poise was a mistake.
As always the PVE in this series remains stellar. But being interupted wearing the heaviest possible armor in the game by a couple of *literal fleas* was a huge boner kill for me.

tl;dr
An overall excellent game, despite my complaints. Play it for the PvE, the PvP isn’t as atrocious as Demon Souls or Dark Souls 2, but with the removal of poise, and the nerfing of magic, faith, and heavy armor, there’s few playstyles that can play at a meta level.