I am also open to suggestions and questions, which I will answer to the best of my ability as the purpose here is to provide information. Keep in mind however that I will remain objective, so my response may not please you if you are looking for validation of your opinion.
THIS IS NOT AN ETHICAL DEBATE. I am simply doing my best to explain and mitigate the animosity towards varying equipment/spells in Dark Souls (and the players that use them) by detailing the facts about their abilities in a reasonably objective manner.
The basic playstyles are Proactive and Reactive.
Few players use any one exclusively, most switch back and forth but every action in a pvp setting can be classified as one or the other.
Proactive styles are either agressive or methodical. Creating opportunities to attack effectively with flurries of attacks intended to overwhelm the opponent, or careful planning that leaves the enemy exposed.
Reactive styles are about adaptability and patience, waiting for opportinities to present themselves before they strike.
Both can be sub-divided but thats the basic idea, and every style is encompsed by those two archtypes.
Now Proactive does not mean agressive. A Proactive player is seeking to CREATE opportinities. A defensive player could easily do this. Stall untill they can parry then drop you like a bad habit. Its a proactive style because they were actively seeking an opportinity to attack effectively.
Similarly a Reactive player, isn't necessarily defensive. A player with a pike who continually pokes from outside your range could be a reactive player, and the opportunity to strike you without fear of reprisal is simply everpresent as they have a greater range. However agressive they may be, they are responding to, not creating an opportunity to strike.
For further context, there are also 3 basic gear setups
Light-prioritising mobility, they tend to be specialised and use faster weapons and or spells for the greatest movement freedom. Proactive as they must actively seek ways to harm their enemy in the desired manner, and their low defense doesn't lend itself to atrittion.
Medium- balancing speed with defence and/or offence, they are the most varied but generally wish to retain some dodging ability while allowing for heavier weapons or armor. Usually a combination of Proactive and Reactive, the majority fall here as it allows for the most adaptable character.
Heavy-Sacrifising speed, heavy is about extreme defense or offence, relying on their shield or weapon in combination with their armor to protect them.
I have noticed the most ill will directed specifically at Tranquil walk of Peace, back stabbing, wrath of the gods, and great combustion, among other things. I will try to explain why these things recieve so much attention in the context of the above archtypes.
The Dark wood grain ring allows medium setups to retain the full dodging ability and so remain light setups in practice.
Tranquil Walk of Peace: Its a proactive spell that prohibits the dodging ability coveted by the reactive type. It cripples the light types, and seriously hinders the medium types that rely more heavily on dodging due to the dark wood grain ring. As that description fits the majority of the players, the majority of the players dislike tranquil walk of peace. For setups featuring heavy weapons or spells however, it is exceptionally helpful in that it stifles attemps to dodge their slow attacks, and allows them to position themselves in a manner more benificial to their attack type. Particularly against the longer weapons like the washing pole, it may be the only way a demons great axe user will ever land a blow. Heavy characters (unless they are using specific weapons, like the spear or great club), characters with the more powerful or longer weapons or aoe attacks, characters whos weapon isn't condusive to excessive dodging (halberd, 1h large club), and characters who properly utilise their shield in the situation are largely unaffected. Swiveling with an attack will turn them fast enough to prevent a backstab, wrath of the gods and great combustion will punnish careless approach, and a parry may outright kill the caster.
Wrath of the Gods and great combustion: Generally reactive spells and the only damaging spells with the casting speed necessary to be called such, They recieve animosity because they are fast, and force a split second reactionary response from any setup without an appropriate shield, with a steep price for failure to respond in time. They also afford relatively few options of punishing a cast due to their speed and the fact that, as they are magic, they cannot be parried. Now, users of these spells are often accused of "spamming" and looked upon with disdame for doing so, the complaints often mentioning the lack of skill involved in using them effectively. Having used both, appropriately timing a cast of either spell is a complicated and dynamic process and "spamming" hardly ever works out side of small spaces, however effective and simple it seems to use them. "Spamming" is also no different than attacking more than once with any weapon, some of which offer significantly less time to dodge and/or deal more damage in the majority of situations. They are exceedingly effective when used by a player with the skill to use them yes, but no more so than any of the weapons in Dark Souls. Spears, specifically, come to mind when thinking of a similarly effective, low risk method of attack.
The Masks. The masks are arguably the most potent set of head pieces in the game, rivaled only buy the crown of dusk and the crown of the dark son. These are often seen as overpowered (ugly and boring are not quantifiable, objective reasons for disliking a piece of equipment). This is for several reasons. Their effects stack multiplicatively with rings that grants similar bonuses, allowing for large spikes in equip weight, health, or stamina regeneration which are unattainable through other methods. They also posses negligable weight allowing nearly any build to utalise them, and the effect diminishing returns has on defense usually renders the bonus a build would recieve from using a helm with better defense negligabe at best. The bottom line here is, they are among a set of 5 helms that render any other mostly useless (though specific builds would legitimately benifit from using a different helm.) As such, it could be argued that they're overpowered, but it seems to me that diminishing returns renders other helms underpowered. So its the relative ineffectiveness of the other helms, combined with the prevolance of the masks, that generates the animosity.
More later, will do anything i remember seeing as disliked by a relatively large group of people, and things I'm asked about. Assuming of course, that I don't get the impression that it would be wasted effort
Again my purpouse is to be informative. To explain how what is over powered to you, is useless against others, and vice verca. The entire game has a big "rock, paper, scissors" aspect and I'm trying to explain it in hopes that it will cut down on the recent trend of alienating people who use gear or tactics othes see as unacceptable.
Last edited by Forum Pirate on Mon May 28, 2012 2:14 am; edited 2 times in total