Having finished Dark Souls, I felt that I wish I could have gone back in time and told myself a few things to save myself some grief later. This is meant for a guide for both people familiar with the game and those folks looking to dip their toes into the sadomasochistic fun of Dark Souls.
Why should I pick a Sorcerer?
Because there are enemies and bosses the size of small skyscrapers. They can stomp on you and kill you in one shot. Why would you want to go toe-to-toe with them when you can leisurely zap incoming enemies from a safe distance? In a game where the slightest “whoops” can lead to an instant death, it’s better to stay far, far away from your enemies.
I’m in the character creation screen. Which special gift should I pick to start with?
All the starting “gifts” are all crap, except for one item: the Master Key. It literally opens every locked door in the game, which keeps you from having to search all over kingdom come for the matching key.
Which attributes should I focus on as a Sorcerer?
(When I originally wrote this, prior to my beating it) I’m currently soul level 73 with my sorcerer, dropping 32,000 souls to get one attribute point. My current breakdown is:
Why so much Intelligence?
Sorcerer class’ primary statistic is Intelligence. The higher the INT, the more damage your sorcerer spells do. Simple as that. Because in the beginning of the game, you have very limited spell “ammunition”, you have to make those starting 30 soul arrows really pack a punch. Start stacking up level after level with Intelligence.
Really up to you. It’s a balancing act, forcing yourself to put a point to raise your overall health when it could be going to your damage output (Intelligence). But do it. Sorcerers are glass cannons; we can dish out an absurd amount of ranged damage, but we get our asses’ handed to us up close. You need to have enough health to survive the game’s regular one-shot death frequency.
Attunement of 19 sets you up with five spell slots. Through most of the game, I had two Soul Arrows, a Great Soul Arrow, a Heavy Soul Arrow and a Greater Heavy Soul Arrow equipped. That’s 100 shots combined, and I’m rarely ever running out of “ammo” before either finding the next bonfire to refresh…or just plain dying. The only time I wanted more slots than this was when I got the Tin Crystallization Catalyst. This unique wand which halves the amount of spells you cast per stack, but is the most powerful intelligence-scaling catalyst in the game. That being said, it wasn’t worth leveling Attunement to 23 for another slot.
Why Strength and Dexterity?
Eventually, you want to level it up to 16 Strength and 12 Dexterity, and you’ll see below why.
Why not anything else?
Faith is used by clerics to cast miracles, so you won’t need that at all.
Resistance is nice, increasing your ability to absorb poison, curses, etc, but good armor can make up for it.
Endurance is also nice, as it sets how much gear you can equip, but there’s a work around that so you can keep dumping points into Intelligence (see below).
Which spells should I buy?
For early game, soul arrows. Faster ones are better. You have the Heavy and Greater Heavy, but those are more likely to get you killed than kill your target with their long-as-hell casting time. Soul arrow and, after you rescue Griggs of Vanheim from Lower Undead Burg, purchase Great Soul Arrow.
Don’t bother with Magic Weapon and Magic Shield. Magic Shield enchants your shield, but doesn’t last long enough to make it worthwhile, while Magic Weapon forces you to have your Sorcerer’s Catalyst in one hand and the weapon in the other. No shield! With as critical as shields are in Dark Souls, it’s not worth the trade off.
Late game? The Homing Soulmass and Homing Crystal Soulmass are incredibly useful. None of that annoying “locking on” noise; merely launch, leave the five orbs floating around you and they’ll attack the closest thing in your immediate front 180 degree arc without having to lock on. Nothing nicer than being able to roll dodge out of the way while five crystal missiles fly at your defenseless target still stuck in its attack animation. By the end of the game, Soulmasses were absolute gamechangers for me. Not having to worry about locking onto a target becomes critical in bigger boss battles, when you’re busy staying mobile. Of course, you don’t just buy those from anyone, you have to rescue Master Sorcerer Big Hat Logan from both Sen’s Fortress and then later from the basement of the Crystal Cave/Duke’s Archives, which I detail how to free him below!
Next page for gear to focus on getting and a great grind spot to get souls!