Dark Souls invaders are wards and knaves - Reader’s Feature

A reader explains why he never invades anyone’s game in Dark Souls, and why he thinks those that do are being cruel and unfair.

I’d like to offer some alternative perspectives on the debate about Dark Souls invasions, prompted by the recent Reader’s Feature by SuoTempore. I have never and would never even countenance the idea of invading somebody’s game. I think it’s an unpleasant thing to do to another player, volitionally going into their game knowing you’re possibly going to cost them both time and considerable progress.

The Reader’s Feature raised some valid points, but I think it overlooked others. The writer urged the reader to consider the feelings of invaders. Well, invaders, allow me to give a few examples as to why I utterly detest the whole concept and would never invade a person’s game; things you might consider next time you’re invading.

The Souls games are hard, often very challenging in places. Consider a person for whom Dark Souls III is their first experience of a Souls game. They have enough of a struggle ahead. A series veteran with an abundance of PvP (player vs. player) experience, and knowledge of the best weapons for the job, will likely waltz into a neophyte’s game and defeat them very easily, and possibly heavily discourage the player – maybe even make them want to give up. The possibility I could do that to another player is reason enough not to do it (I have others, though), just so I might get some PvP jollies at another person’s expense.

I know many invaders will entirely disagree with me. Play offline, they’ll say, which is what I did for Demon’s Souls. I love to help other players and leave lots of messages on the floor for them though, so playing offline removes all that richness from the experience. Invasion is part of the game they’ll say. Fair enough, but I wouldn’t mind as much if invaders could just stay in the areas designed for PvP, like two certain areas in Bloodborne, or the duelling arenas a Covenant like the Blue Sentinels has in Dark Souls II; rather than contaminate the entire game, over and over.

The Reader’s Feature contained a description the writer gave of trying to be generous about invading, maybe dropping items for the other player. That’s all very dandy and everything, but in my experience the overwhelming majority of invasion encounters are far from any kind of etiquette. I find most invaders, frankly, to be cowardly, not wanting a straight fight.

One night I got invaded in Bloodborne and the invader immediately ran into the middle of a large group of tough enemies, who of course ignored the invader. In order to even reach the player, I was forced to try to get near the group without attracting the whole lot, and maybe lure some to thin them out, before I can even fight the player. Of course the invader took this as the opportunity to come wading after me to kill me really cheaply as I’m clearing the other enemies one by one. It’s this, all the time. Invasions are nonsense, to me.

This dance of him barely coming forwards and then retreating and hiding in the protection of the enemies went on for over 20 minutes before I managed to corner and kill the player. That was an utter, utter waste of my limited gaming time purely because the invader is allowed to hide in amongst tough enemies without being targeted. It’s a facet I loathe about invasions. Invaders can entirely waste the other player’s time with their antics. I’d never want to do that to another game player.

It’s not just that invaders are costing people time and progress. They get to enter the other player’s game with their best gear set up for PvP and have all their health at maximum, all the relevant items at hand because they know they are invading. The player being invaded might be in an area having all sorts of problems, or having to switch to equipment that is not optimised for PvP because they’re trying to deal with whatever hazards are present in the game area they are tackling. Maybe they have armour on which has good poison resistance but very low defence to weapons, because they need it in the area. And in comes an invader fully optimised for physical attack in PvP mode. That’s a very cheap kill.

In many instances these fights are not fought on a level playing field. I recently replayed Dark Souls II and without being too spoilery I was in an area which, owing to a certain thing happening, had caused most of my equipment and armour to break. Of course, in dropped an invader with a sword the size of Big Ben who I then had to fight in a very much weakened state, with my protective items offering no help. Consider these things when you’re next invading people and costing them the little bit of progress they have made. Good for you on a really cheap kill.

I got invaded in an area in Dark Souls II where not only was there a crowd of enemies after me, but spell casters casting homing spells which are tricky to dodge and hit really hard. Again, all the enemies are ignoring the invader, and are focused on me, on top of which a human opponent to contend with while trying to dodge everything else. How much chance have I got? It’s often not a fair fight you’re entering when you invade a person and they have to fight you, the surrounding enemies, and possible status effects the area might be launching at them all at the same time, while those things are not targeting you. Consider that, invaders.

A lengthy reply piece, I know, and bless you if you read the whole lot. I appreciate your patience. I wanted to offer some examples showing the other side of invasions, and illustrate why I would never do it to another player. I hate the concept. I have no sympathy for invaders. I find it cheap and often unbalanced, for my reasons cited. Yet I apparently have to tolerate it because I want to play online and leave helpful messages for people.

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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