I have this now. it is very difficult. has anyone mentioned that yet?


For some reason I thought I was supposed to do the Hirata estate before making my way through Ashina Outskirts. After getting my ass handed to me by a drunkard over and over, I decided to explore that other branch and laughed out loud when I was getting tutorial messages in Ashina Outskirts for things I’d been doing for a while in the Hirata estate. Whoopsie.


Oh yeah, I also discovered like 2 nights ago that there are other tabs under the “Acquire Skills” menu. lol.


both of your posts are revelations I failed to have in my time with the game


it starts out with just one though doesn’t it?

I normally hate little “New!” alerts but I feel like the game could have used one here.


You receive other Esoteric Texts as items… you’re definitely told when you have new skillsets to work with

Tbh i don’t know i feel about the skill trees though, i’m not sure what the logic is behind obscuring all of the skills until you unlock the one before. In a game this punishing it seems to me like forcing the player to operate on incomplete information should be done more carefully than that. Maybe they just wanted to discourage min-maxing the skills.

i’d feel better about that though if there weren’t a couple early skills you could miss that are straight up essential. That’s the other thing, stuff like the Mikiri counter and the latent power that restores your Vitality when you get deathblows straight up make the game more enjoyable to play and imo they should have just been unlocked on your character by default. (As it is i’m just going to beeline for them every time anyway!)

That and like, giving you at least one more early gourd seed and/or having you start at your first health upgrade level of Vitality/Posture would be the biggest tweaks i’d make to the beginning of this game… i do kind of like how fragile you are and i think you’re encouraged to run/hide more often than fight until you start to grasp the combat system better, but there was room for them to tune the difficulty juuuust a little more gently and still get that early feeling of danger across.

All of this said, i ended up replaying the first couple hours ‘cause i’m away from my own PS4 and this does pass the From/Souls litmus test of ripping through the parts i initially struggled at in less than half the time. Protip: throw oil on dudes and light them on fire lol it’s really useful against the early minibosses


Yeah, do you need an esoteric text to start getting skills from the prosthetics menu? I only realized I had other skill trees when the tengu-masked dude gave me an esoteric text.

Def agree with @sleepysmiles that some of the functions like Mikiri Counter are too essential to allow to be missable and maybe should have been unlocked from the start. At the same time, I think the already slightly overwhelming tutorial (this game’s action systems are really different for me!) might have felt hopelessly unapproachable had there been much more to it.

Not having any extra health and no extra gourd seeds for so long is real rough, too. Honestly, giving games like this a slightly easier mode that just starts you with

BTW, re: missing things, I am also the person that never found the fishing pond in The Ocarina of Time and didn’t know you could talk to what’s his face in the wheelchair by the mansion in Bloodborne until right before the end of the game.


You receive the prosthetic skill text from the sculptor after you have install a few prosthetics, i think 3 of them?

Unless you’re referencing the prosthetic upgrades, which you get after beating the screaming horse guy (god that’s a fun fight, i love when they start leaping ten feet into the air like a man-horse Dragoon)


I’m still trying to gauge where Activision’s input pushed or pulled, Big M says they maintained entire creative control…so I think it tracks with them staying pretty sparse on directions or tutorials, we see them implementing a handful of direct “hey this is more forgiving” yet inevitably slipshod motions. Only losing sen/skill pts some of the time (odds are two thirds at best!), Hanbei, who imo is hardly necessary or substantial since any videogame level has grunts for you to practice with and this was no different. There are moves, so maybe they should be listed in menus (aren’t they?), you experiment.

Dragonrot stunted to not terminate npcs, vendors, etc.


The Mikiri Counter, at least, is at the very start of your skill tree, and I think they put it there as a way to guarantee that everyone would get it. I believe this is part of an embedded tutorial, where they introduce specialized actions in the skill tree, and the most important specialized action as early as possible in the skill tree.


I mean I’m one of the dumbest possible gamers and I quickly realized it would be a pretty important skill to grab early

also it’s cheap so there’s nothing keeping you from getting it at any time if you don’t catch on right away


It’s a bit weird that thrusts are also deflectable, although there is no reason to do it. That was one of the details that made the system hard to keep straight in my mind at first. What were they going for with that


From has always pulled punches and made concessions to learnability and accessibility in all its games. It doesn’t make sense to attribute “Activision influence” exclusively to things like that. They could’ve given feedback on literally anything. For instance, the vertical traversal, the stealth and the more personal/intimate storyline are all new to From and they could’ve needed help making those work as well as they did.


Well I wasn’t trying to exclusively ascribe them to any incoherence in design. It’s more, short as the words were given a notable place they directly stated as giving pointers toward better player guidance and tutorials. I wouldn’t underestimate that having other influence. As compared to Sony w/BB and Bandai Namco, where I don’t doubt they offered feedback but also don’t remember the same kind of statements.


Yeah i could see that, and like Toups said it’s cheap so you’re likely to pick it up early.

Idk though. Skill trees! That balance between “optional interesting Skills for Builds” and “practically mandatory skill that fundamentally improves your toolbox” seems a hard one to strike


Also, i kinda like that your motivation to cure dragonrot is purely narrative. Though i wouldn’t have turned up my nose at some Yurt style fuckery with your merchants. Oh, you died 200 times against Juzou and neglected to cure that one guy’s magic plague? Well, he died, and now you can’t buy his stuff anymore. You prick.
(with some workarounds to getting his stuff anyway just so it’s not completely unfair, obvs)

The game wants you to think this is going to happen anyway though and i guess this is a good example of why peeling back the curtain on the illusion is a double-edged sword (holy shit sorry for the 3-metaphor-pileup but i can’t think of a better way to phrase this atm)


It’s still strange that the Mikiri Counter and other basic counters aren’t just a part of your base repertoire.


Yurt murders the most useless NPCs first and never progresses to murdering Stockwell Thomas so dragonrot would need to be less indiscriminate for that to work


It isn’t done ideally but I think there’s an intent to have the ability to quickstep-dodge into attacks (perilous -> Mikiri) unavailable. It’s one step up from barebones Sekiro and cuts off the whole branch - makes the game tougher but entirely doable.

There’s other counters?

Edit: i’m just now realizing you may have meant additional ones which yeah I would’ve liked at least one or two others but then you have to imagine the context for them…hmm