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Have you ever had that feeling that you were becoming the very thing that you sought to destroy? Ever since I started getting back into Dark Souls, I've been trying to PvP more than I used to. Now, anyone who has played both Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2 will tell you that the PvP is VERY different between the two. Still, I've always thought that the people who complained about Giantdads and Havel Monsters dominating the the lower level PvP brackets was just a stereotype.
I was wrong.
The more I PvP'd in Anor Londo, the more I began seeing reoccuring themes in people I was invading. Some were the cut and paste Giantdad builds, others were similar in spirit while not visually identical. Amongst the scattered hosts though, I found two other commonalities. The spellblade sorceror, that often just spammed Dark Bead or Pursuerers (saving their Chaos Blade only for when they ran out of casts), or the occasional katana/shortsword user that had fully upgraded their lightning/chaos weapon then maxing their vitality. I should mention that at the time, I had no intentions on creating an optomized build for anything. I was hoping to utilize the Greatsword of Artorias, as it was my favorite weapon in Dark Souls. Unfortunately, while Artorias may have had no problem flinging that blade around, it comes up as quite underwhelming in PvP. I realized that the Greatsword of Artorias was just too slow, and didn't do enough damage to justify itself. Not wanting to become another in the brigade of Giantdads, I instead decided to go after a smaller, faster weapon.
So I ended up killing the Undead Merchant for his Uchigatana. Several Titanite Shards later, I had myself a Uchigatana +10, and after a few farming sessions in Lordran, I had a Lightning Uchigatana +5. However, my build was still harshly unoptomized, having 20 intelligence and 20 faith that I never used for my katana. Attempting to justify it, I sought any miracles or sorceries that could be used with less than 20 INT/FTH to great effect. My sorcerey arsenal had been filled out with more utility based sorceries, such as Hidden Body, Chameleon, Repair, Fall Control, and Magic Shield. These seemed perfectly fine, until I found my bread and butter Miracle: Tranquil Walk of Peace. Since then, I find myself employing the same strategy over and over. 1) Throw down TWoP. 2)Sprint right into enemy. 3) Wait for the attack, then roll behind them. 4) Now that they are incapable of rolling out of the way, backstab them with my Hornet Ring equipped. If they aren't already dead after the first one, some R1 Spams with the Uchigatana quickly polishes them off. At first I could justify this strategy with the simple knowledge that my opponents were all just as underhanded, employing ganks, fully upgraded havel gear, sorceries that no level 50 should ever have access to, or other means I thought were just as bad.
However, last night I finally invaded someone who had no upgraded gear and even lower vitality than I. I had just invaded someone who had probably started playing only a few days ago, and had used my same broken strategy against them without even a second thought. As their body vanished before my very eyes, I fell to my knees and looked upon the metaphorical innocent blood on my hands.
I had become the very thing I sought to destroy.