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Dark Souls Checklist For New Game+ (NG+)

February 29, 2012

Dark Souls is significantly harder upon repeated play once the game is completed.  Enemies and souls scale up, especially during the second playthrough (NG+).  Multiple playthroughs are required for gamers who are after unique weapons since some boss souls can be converted into 2 or even 3 uniques.  If you do plan to beat the game repeatedly, make sure you are prepared for the elevated difficulty.  You do not want to have an under powered  or under equipped character in NG+.  Here is my checklist for a well prepared NG+ character for your consideration:

  • Buy all sorceries, miracles and pyromancies.  Depending on your build, some spells are especially helpful if equipped in multiples (heal, fireball, soul arrow).
  • Level up your favorite weapons and armor.
  • Try to have balanced upgraded equipment that can deal and protect from magic, fire and lightning.
  • Make +10 equipment that can be ascended with boss souls in NG+ once you reach the Anor Londo blacksmith, especially if you plan on using the unique.
  • Farm enough demon titanite to upgrade ascended soul weapons as soon as they are made, especially if you plan on using the uniques.
  • Collect especial weapons and spells that can only be obtained once per playthrough (Estoc, Halberd, Claymore, Zweihander, Sunlight Blade, Great Heal, Crystal Soul Spear, etc.).  You will then have the flexibility to make various versions of the weapon (fire, lightning or magic) or have the added firepower of multiple spells.
  • Collect all titanite slabs since they are available only once per playthrough (unless you want to farm for an inordinate amount of time).
  • Trade items with Sparkly.  It should be easier to collect tradeables just prior to finishing your first game.
  • Upgrade the pyromancy flame to at least +10.
  • Collect all rings.  You may have to mix and match equipment, armor and rings for specific boss encounters or areas in NG+.
  • Decide on your build.  Initially you will level up very quickly due to the higher souls in NG+.  However, you will eventually reach a point where level upgrades must be considered carefully because of their expense.  Pay especial attention to Attunement, Faith and Intelligence based on pre-requisites for spells or equipment you plan to use.
  • Farm enough humanity to kindle critical bonfires.  They will remain kindled in NG+.
  • Farm or buy recovery and re-enforcement items that are not immediately available in NG+ (twinkling titanite, purging stones, blooming purple moss clumps, etc.).
  • Do not over farm souls.  Enemies will be worth 2.6X in NG+ allowing to farm souls much more effectively.
  • Complete the story arc for NPC’s for the unique rewards.
  • Practice. Enemies that respawn should be a snap prior to the final boss fight.  Take the opportunity to try different techniques, weapons and armor.  Figure out the best way to take out tough enemies based on your intended build.
  • Prepare.  Boss fights in NG+ are very challenging and a lot of fun.  If you have not yet offed a boss, have it out and practice different techniques.  Otherwise, think back on the toughest boss fights.  Make or upgrade equipment that you wish you would have had for that boss fight.
  • Plan.  The most common reason for playing NG+ or NG++ is to obtain all uniques.  Carefully plan out your progression in NG+.  Some items are available only once, and their appearance can be triggered to a particular event or particular sequence.  If you do not progress based on the set sequence, the special equipment will be completely unavailable forcing you to finish the game and re-start.  This can be very frustrating as each playthrough gets harder.
  • Upgrade covenant level based on build or intended play (PvP).  Make sure you end the game under your preferred covenant, if you plan to use a covenant-specific spell or item (for example Sunlight Blade).
  • Play online as a phantom.  The enemies you encounter will sharpen your skills, provide equipment ideas and highlight weaknesses in your build.  You can also help others on-line to obtain covenant rewards and upgrades.
  • Kill NPC’s and blacksmiths for their uniques and humanity (this should be the very last thing you do prior to the final boss fight).

You are now ready to take on the added challenges of Dark Souls NG+.

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