following this guide you, too, can live in the negative space of the video game, usually reserved for idle evil creatures...
in the cathedral, thralls are on patrol all day, while zombies fill the graveyards with vomit. a world resplendent with failing life.
as an invader you will eventually face the light. invisible white dots lock the sights of unknown gamers onto you. here's how to make it out alive in the cathedral, sometimes
- fire gem starting gift
- in firelink shrine, perform the tree jump to get an early estus shard
- buy a dagger from the shrine handmaiden and infuse it with fire
- head on to the high wall
invasions are special moments, that unfortunately youtube video watchers have recodified into epic gaming of some sort. an invader's victories can be the object of pride as much as a cathedral knight's overhead swing, refined by a small army of animators and programmers into the perfect overhead swing: a small detail, a fatal prank pulled on you by some evil ghost. to me, the protagonist/streamer-focused aspects of the youtube/twitch video game world kind of ruin it.
- free greirat from his cell - get the silver kite shield if you don't have a 100% physical block shield - defeat vordt of the boreal valley
- talk to ringfinger leonhard
- go to the undead settlement
- talk to yoel of londor
- return loretta's bone to her dear greirat
- draw out true strength
- kill yourself 15 times
- try out leonhard's orbs (optional)
i never understood competitiveness very well in dark souls games. the appeal of self improvement is obvious, being that they are games with some mechanical depth, where mind games are possible and there is a vast space of weird, largely useless character builds that you can explore and plausibly become "good enough" at.
dark souls 3 significantly limited how scary invaders can be, both in terms of mechanical advantages for the host team and in terms of how big a role inscrutable quirks only nerds that have played this game for hundreds of hours (me) understand.
- buy the dark hand (yuria) or the bandit's knife (greirat)
- defeat the curse rotted greatwood
- tell greirat to steal some stuff
- defeat dancer of the boreal valley (use the dark hand/bandit's knife)
- sprint through consumed king's garden
- defeat oceiros (use your 100% physical block shield)
- sprint through untended graves
- defeat champion gundyr (parry, use your fire dagger/dark hand)
- transpose the prisoner's chain
decried as "too hard" or "impossible" for years after dark souls 3's release, gamers were significantly frustrated that invaders could no longer send a clueless host back to the bonfire in under 1 second (roughly what it takes to deliver a hornet ring crystal great club poise backstab to someone who doesn't know what that is in dark souls 1). this was an era where many of the game's mechanics hadn't been fully understood yet. "meta" was yet to coalesce. it would take some time for "player versus player" to become a consolidated set of fundamentals, techniques, builds, tactics, gestures, social norms, meme character names that made it trivial to see the player behind the curtain in the forefront, as opposed to the dark spirit.
- sprint to farron keep to get the dreamchaser's ashes
- go through cathedral of the deep, farron keep, catacombs of carthus in any order
- help siegward get to irythill
- help sirris kill creighton for the silvercat ring
- kill creighton again for the dragonslayer's axe
- talk to siegward in irythill and tell greirat to go steal some stuff
- defeat pontiff sulyvahn
my idealized view of the invader is that of a devil at a crossroad, some distant fearsome face that the host must overcome. will you keep up with my tricks? will you gank my ass with the power of friendship? perhaps it's telling that the invasions i enjoy most are those where i face against a relatively pvp inexperienced host that nevertheless tries their hardest, and perhaps a friend they brought along. there is so much to communicate through the slapstick of hitting each other with swords and rolling around on a grimy dungeon. beyond "technique" and "getting good", the push and pull of spacing, hiding, healing, attacking, retreating manifests so much intuition and social mechanics. perhaps your friend was low on health, and trying to cover their escape you get parried instead. perhaps a phantom gets a little too used to being in the spotlight and neglect their protegee who gets murdered by an irithyll knight.
- (in any order) go through smouldering lake, upper irithyll and irithyll dungeon
- go through lothric castle and finish upgrading your estus
- defeat sister friede
- get the ring of favor +3 from the dreg heap
- defeat demon princes
- get the havel ring +3 from the ringed city swamp
- you're pretty much done
- go to ng+ to get the proper bow gesture
people love skill based matchmaking, where you can avoid getting steamrolled by a prestige gamer for the most part, but the possibilities created by just pitting clumsy rolling knights against each other in asymmetric chaotic fights are so interesting, even when it's just some friends against some evil unpredictable nerd. what's better than this.
and now a list of powerful rolling knights to watch out for:
- aunty chaotik
- watch out for pyromancy
- reading this
- luck knight
- griefing blue spirits in the cathedral from 2018
- got banned from steam after sending out phishing links to everyone in their friend list
- "isaac cox" bob
- skilled dual wielding turbo nerd
- now retired from invasions apparently
- fastest offhand halberd in the land
- knightly kettle
- she knows all the tricks of the ultra greatsword
- proper bow
- will risk death for cool moves
- ronny james dio
- laggiest dual katanas in the land
- still a good fight