PSLS Interviews Dark Souls 2 Producer Takeshi Miyazoe
At an exclusive event, PlayStation LifeStyle’s Dan Oravasaari got to sit down with Dark Souls 2 producer Takeshi Miyazoe and discuss the highly anticipated sequel.
Were their any changes to Dark Souls 2 from the original that made you worry about the response from fans?
Every thing that we always do worries us, but I think that we are very confident in terms of the changes that we made. One of the concepts that we had, was to make sure that we maintained the great aspects of Dark Souls 1. We are also trying to streamline the facts surrounding Dark Souls, and so we are very confident that we have been able to provide an experience that is still truly Dark Souls, but at the same time will be an added layer of gameplay to the experience.
Why were the Wanderer, Thief, Pyromancer, and Hunter removed as optional classes?
Not necessary a reason, but one of the things that we did want to do in our process to enhance, was to clarify the differences between the roles. So, it is not necessarily removed, there will be similar features, similar elements that will portray a lot of the concepts that were in Dark Souls 1. But, perhaps they have been modified again, for a slightly more clearer understanding of the character classes.
There have been hints at time traveling being a part of Dark Souls 2, will this have any relation the original?
The straight answer to that is that there is no connection between the two stories. Again, they are the same world, same places, but I think from a design perspective, I think players that love Dark Souls 1 will be able to see some resemblance between the two. But, in terms of story, they are very separate.
Now that Dark Souls 2 will be using dedicated servers, can you explain what effect this will have to the experience for gamers, compared to what it was like playing Dark Souls 1?
The biggest change that players will most likely feel is that the efficiency and the amount of time that you are able to interact with other players. This is not just invasions and summoning, but also the number of blood messages that you see and the number of ghosts that you see. All of that will be enhanced, because of the dedicated game server. One of the things that we wanted to try to achieve was not just more frequent connecting, but because we enhanced the covenant system, we want players to be able to take on more defined roles in the world to influence other players. So, the role playing element to the game has been enhanced and improved for Dark Souls 2.
Have you taken any extra steps to stop players from griefing, such as the ‘jump here’ on cliff sides?
We haven’t done anything to prevent that, I think that was one of the fun elements in Dark Souls. In terms of the blood message and tips, the one thing that we did implement, was to rate other people’s messages. When your message is rated up, your health will increase or recover just a little bit. So, if people like your messages, whether they are mean or nice, there is a certain amount of benefit of leaving good tips.
Gamers have been asking for the ability to directly connect with people on their friends list, but the Dark Souls series has yet to really make it easy for gamers to connect to specific people. Why not?
The main reason is that we want people to maintain a loose connection with other players. From Software’s main philosophy is not to create Dark Souls for players to really team up with their friends and constantly play with each other. I think the game generally involves playing by yourself in this cold dark lonely world, but also just also just loosely feeling the existence of other players. That is one of the things that we did, that we did want to maintain.
But, at the same time, we did hear back from a lot of fans that we wanted to friend summon, and stuff like that, and as much as we have it implemented, certain items will increase the probability of getting matched up with players that have the same beliefs or same goal.
Was their any consideration into allowing co-op into Dark Souls 2?
No. [laughs]. The summoning is there, so when you want a small helping hand, the summoning is there. It is not a goal in Dark Souls to really team up, cooperate and conquer the game together. It is just when you need that extra help, that option is there.
In the original Dark Souls, you were able to pick an item to start with, will players have a similar option in Dark Souls 2? If so, will the Pendant make a return? And would you recommend players choose it to start with?
[Laughs] The Pendant was something very unique to Dark Souls. This time, the type of directors are a new type of person. So, you will be asked to choose a certain item from the very beginning, but I don’t necessarily recommend anything – although, the Human Effigy is often very useful.
What do you think has been the cause for Dark Souls 2 receiving a Teen rating, while the original was rated Mature?
I have no idea.
Was this a rating you had been targeting from the beginning?
It just sort of came naturally. We were actually a bit surprised. We haven’t really done anything to change the game to meet the teen rating, but it’s rated in a way that will allow a lot more players to play it. So, I think it is a good result. I can assure players that the game hasn’t lost any gore, and we haven’t lost any violence.
What are your thoughts on the recent statements made by Fox News regarding the original Dark Souls and the confessed Craigslist murderer Miranda Barbour?
Fox News Legal Analyst Peter Johnson Jr. –
“We do know that she has an affinity with the fantasy game Dark Soul, which is a very dark, death laden video game on PlayStation and other kind of video type things, where there’s a lot of killing involved.”
Obviously a game like Dark Souls, people know it for its difficulty and deaths, and stuff like that. But, our main intention is not to kill the players and make a difficult game, it is more in the sense of achievement. It is very positive. By being able to conquer the challenges, not give up, take one step at a time and make sure you learn from your mistakes to overcome the difficulties or challenges, that sense of achievement and satisfaction is so great. That is what we want players to enjoy, it is not necessarily just the blood and dying. I hope all players that pick up the game will understand more of the positive elements that we are trying to communicate.
What has the team behind Dark Souls 2 been up to since it was completed?
Playing and enjoying the game. [Laughs]. No plans for next steps just yet. But, I think the team is relieved that we almost ready to release it, I think they are having fun playing the thing.
Would you ever consider making a PS4 version or Xbox One version of Dark Souls 2?
I don’t think so. At this point, we have no plans, but Namco Bandai and From Software like to listen to fan feedback and you know if there is a need, that is always something we might be able to consider. At this point, we hope that fans can pick up the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC version and enjoy the experience.
Is there anything that you are most proud of about Dark Souls 2?
I think that Dark Souls essence is more deliberately communicated to fans who play the game. The challenge, difficulty and achievement that everyone loves about Dark Souls remains, but there is a new element, a new role-playing element. When players pick up the game, players will be able to immerse themselves into the experience, and I hope that experience will be that much greater.