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Dark Souls II: Starting Gift Guide

Dark Souls II: Starting Gift Guide

As in the original Dark Souls, you’re given the choice of several starting items upon creating a new character. But what do they all do, you ask? If you don’t mind slight spoilers and want to know which is the best item for you, read on – it’s not as interesting (or arguably useful) a list as in Dark Souls but there’s still a few pretty cool things you can do.

Our personal pick? The Bonfire Ascetic, every time. The ability to clear out the Tower Of Flame of its resident Old Knights then burn one of these to do it all again for even more souls is an amazing way to power-level and farm Cracked Blue Eye Orbs at the same time, plus the gear they drop is amazing if you can put up with its excessive weight and low durability. Still, here’s what all the rest do, just in case you don’t trust us. After playing Dark Souls, we can’t say we blame you for having trust issues…

Nothing: Choice Of The Elite

The hardcore will tell you that picking no gift at all is the ‘right’ way to play Dark Souls. There’s no right way to play, of course – that’s why you’re given options – but if you want the game to be as hard as it can be, starting off as a Deprived and choosing to take no gift is the best way to guarantee a gruelling start to your Dark Souls II journey.

Life Ring: A Minor Boost

Since you can’t check the exact stats on the ring, it can be tempting to take it in case it happens to add a bunch of HP. It doesn’t, as it happens – it’s a mere 5 per cent increase, which is actually more useful later on when your HP pool is larger and by that point, you’ll likely have stumbled upon a better version or more valuable rings better deserving of a slot.

Human Effigy: A Wasted Gift

A single Human Effigy isn’t much of a gift, especially when you consider that there’s one in the chest upstairs from the room you receive your gift in, and you can kill the old Firekeepers (one has three of them, another has six) for loads more if you’re feeling murderous. You’ll find loads over the course of the game, and they’re not even all that important once you have the Ring Of Binding.

Healing Wares: An Easy Start

More healing items isn’t a terrible choice, especially since you only start with a handful of Lifegems otherwise. You get ten additional Lifegems, as well as three Radiant Lifegems, one Old Radiant Lifegem and five Poison Mosses. All useful (albeit the Moss only when you come to venture down the well) but you’ll find and can buy plenty of these – chat to Melentia enough and she’ll move to Majula, unlocking an infinite supply of Lifegems for just 300 souls a pop.

Homeward Bone: Escape Rope

Again, it’s not really much of a gift when you can quickly and easily buy more, although even a single Homeward Bone can be a lifesaver – equip it to your item bar and you can recover lost souls from a tricky boss room and use it to teleport back to the bonfire with your savings intact, so you can go level up before returning for revenge. There are better gifts, but always be sure to have a few of these on you anyway.

Seed Of A Tree Of Giants: Too Soon

A strange new item that turns enemies in your world against any invaders foolish enough to try their luck. The thing is, early invasions all happen on a roughly level playing field – it isn’t until later in the game that more specialised builds become viable. It’s useful later on but as some of the other gifts, you’ll find more later on before they really become useful anyway.

Bonfire Ascetic: Dark Souls II Is Too Easy

As the description says, this tricky item ups enemy difficulty in the viscinity. What it doesn’t tell you, though, is exactly how it works – it ups the surroundings to the next New Game+ level up, increasing enemy difficulty significantly (and sometimes improving their drops), repopulating areas that have been cleared out, adding whatever phantom enemies would appear in NG+ and even respawning collectibles and chests. Best used to either grind an easy area (like the Tower Of Flame early on) or getting a second chance at an area with loads of good chests or pickups. Arguably the best of the bunch, though you will find more.

Petrified Something: What Does It Do?

The game’s mystery item and one a lot of people will take in the hope of it turning into something amazing. We’ve only found one use for it so far – there may be more, there may not. After the first tutorial area (the left fog gate just after creating a character), there’s a nest in the area where you need to kick down the ladder. Stand in it and select the Petrified Something in your inventory and choose ‘Leave’ – back out of the menu and the odd creatures will exchange it for a random piece of gear from a pretty decent pool.

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    Goodnight to you all, friends.