Nioh 2 - Turn demons into loot again

I’m just bad at this game, I’m still thinking that there are trash Yokai that can be 2 or 3 hitted and stun locked but there seems to be only the little alien looking guys that this actually works on. Every other one you really need to take your time to defeat. I guess I’m treating it too much like an actual souls game. I just started the second region and can barely make it past a couple of Yokai without help. Maybe I should lower the difficulty.

If you’ve already made it to the second region, you’re ahead of a lot of people! And yes one of the common words of advice is to not play it like a souls game. I’ve always struggled to figure out what this means because it’s hard for me to relate. I guess it means to play more aggressively and take advantage of stance switching and breaking ki instead of a slow dodge-and-counter style.

Yesterday I managed to kill a mongoose like boss by inviting two high levels to my mission. I have no honor.

That needed to be done because that thing was a ultimate monster from monster hunter. hard to predict and “game”.

I did a lot of leveling, and a side effect of that is that I have a lot of ninja tools in my arsenal, including a zillon bombs I can launch, a attack that make the enemies bleed life orbs, a way to embed my weapon in paralisys damage.

I don’t feel like a better player by using the ninja tools. The game feels too dirty and unelegant when you kill enemies with dinamite-fu.

…but it gets the job done.

After killing this moongoose monster, it unlocked a few missions on the dog, and one of them had me fight with my fist a dude with blades. That fight was cool, it teached me to play the game like a dark souls game and not try to use dirty tricks. But use patience, blocking and positioning.

@Teiman I know exactly what you mean. I used shuriken and feathers to carry me through the first 3 difficulties. The cool thing is now that I’m learning how to fight in melee it is refreshing the game so I don’t feel like I’m just grinding for loot.

If you want to feel really dirty, use Flaming Heron and animation cancelling with a burst counter. You can get 9 or 12 fireballs on the screen heading toward your target before they know what is coming…

A friend of mine recently started playing it and has struggled to get past the first boss. He’s 10x the Dark Souls player I am, so maybe he has more to unlearn. In speaking with him briefly yesterday, sounds like he was relying 100% on dodge instead of block (as you would without a shield in Dark Souls) so that’s one thing at least.

Does anyone have any tips for the Feral burst counter on the first boss? He was getting frustrated with it not working but I only have experience with the Phantom counter.

You need to dodge into the attacks for that one so it hits your shadow. Make sure he’s not hitting any directions when triggering it so he bursts forward.

Your description is one I’ve heard before and it’s part of my confusion since you certainly can dodge every attack in the game, and blocking too much would crush your ki.

Maybe it’s more accurate that you need to do both at the same time. This is the intermediate tip I mentioned near release. If you dodge while holding the block button, you gain a little buffer if you mistime the dodge. You’ll take ki damage instead but it’s better than getting hit. If you time it right then you can follow-up with a counter attack (hopefully by switching to high stance, or just stay in medium the whole time).

I struggled a bit with it early on myself. In other games I was taught if I’m not holding a big ass shield, I better iframe my way out of (or in to) trouble and even if I did have a shield then the chip damage might be so great it’s not worth it. And whatever iframe window there is in this game feels a lot tighter than in Dark Souls, Monster Hunter, and other games that I played prior to this one. On top of that, when I’d get hit (by mistiming a dodge) I would then try to dodge away but often couldn’t because I was staggered by the hit. I had to retrain myself to cut in to the combo with a block and then roll out of the way.

Stuff like that took some rewiring of muscle memory because my instincts were just wrong in subtle ways that were tripping me up.

You’re right, I forgot about that quirk where you have to block out of a combo string instead of rolling out immediately. That’s part of my perspective challenge since that’s already part of my muscle memory, either from Nioh 1 or Ninja Gaiden. Well, sometimes I forget anyway.

I wasn’t able to find a chart but you’re right that the iframes are lower. One thing I never quite realized until watching a video yesterday is the dodge roll (from double tapping dodge in midstance or dodging in high stance) has both more iframes and greater distance. This is more like a traditional Dark Souls roll. The key difference is enemies in Nioh typically have faster follow-up attacks to punish the recovery. So the step dodge is tighter but sometimes more useful to get the hell out of the way.

(The enemy combos also affect how to think about blocking because you have one “free” hit where you take no physical damage but you’re screwed on the follow-up.)

Gozuki and Mezuki in the first mission are probably there to teach the player about this. They have some overhead chops and some wide swings, but they’re all fast combos. If someone can’t figure out a way to manage this (whether it’s getting behind them or dodging or blocking or waiting for the burst attack) then they need to keep at it until they do.

So now I’m understanding the differences between the games better. I still find it difficult to synthesize this into basic guidance. You have to develop a feel. Maybe that’s why the Internet just says “it’s not Dark Souls” and leaves it up to the player to go from there.

Absolutely this. I’m with you, I can’t really articulate exactly how to fight and deal with horse-headed assholes in Nioh 2. It’s not something I could put into 10 bullet points or something.

Honestly, this game beat the shit out of me for a long time and I just had to learn by getting my face smashed in repeatedly. Each of the first three bosses took me literally hours of trying to take down. I think most of a Saturday afternoon/evening was spent trying to beat that tornado guy in the forge. That’s when I learned to love low stance for the mobility to dodge his mines and various attacks.

What’s surprising to me is that I didn’t get overly frustrated. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’d get frustrated but I would expect a lot of rage quits to happen when they just didn’t. It’s remarkable that they were able to package together such a difficult and punishing intro to a game (at least for me) yet keep me engaged. Every fight I was getting beat up, but every fight I always felt like “Ah dangit, I screwed up by doing _____. I really should have done ____. Round 32, FIGHT!”. That is, I was able to figure out why I got my face smashed in. And holy cow, beating those first few bosses was intensely rewarding once they finally went down.

Things got a lot smoother for me after that and a lot of bosses have been one shots since, thanks to the game basically forcing me to “develop a feel for it”. That being said, I’m loving the fact that despite sticking with the same weapon throughout, I’m still learning how to be more effective with it. It’s super interesting for me to look back and see how my fighting has evolved as I’ve played the game, I almost wish some video highlights/overviews were recorded so I could see it in action. The way I approach battles with the splitstaff now is just completely different than it was earlier on in the game. I think it went something like:

  1. Brain overload. Stick to mid stance and fight like Monster Hunter with some tweaks (as we just discussed).
  2. Oh, hey, this low stance thing sure is useful to avoid all these explosions and to get back to the baddy after he attacks.
  3. Wow, the range and damage on my high stance is fantastic against some of these yokai that have some reach themselves. But boy is it depleting my stamina, I really am having to get better at timing ki pulses and making sure I do that constantly.
  4. Oh lookie, lots of new moves opening up in my skill tree! Lets experiment with a bunch of stuff.
  5. Interlude of getting my ass kicked.
  6. You know, I’ve mostly been paying attention to the enemies’ red bar, not that green one. I’m not as clear on the Yokai purple bar but for humans this is kinda kicking ass. Demons maybe not so much.
  7. Oh okay, I am getting the purple ki bar thing now. This is pretty handy too, even if I don’t get the grapple immediately like I would on humans.
  8. Oh wow, translating that to boss fights is amazing. My battles with bosses is heavily focused on getting that purple/max bar down and then wailing on their stupid face!

It’s been an amazing ride so far. I’m just finishing up the first DLC, am really looking forward to getting into NG+ and really customizing my gear/build.

Git gud summarized in one post.

Haha, that is certainly a much more succinct way of putting it. And probably just as helpful. :)

Dream of the Wise is down. The build did really well. Not as obliterating as the first mission where I reported back up thread, but it was really fun to play and certainly different than the way I’d been playing. I’ve (finally) started stance switching and using ki pulses. Even though I got purity dual swords to drop, I’ve kept using fists. I really like them and seem to be doing decent damage now, though more is always better.

And some general thoughts from playing now completely differently than I was.

  • I’m at Agility B now and I can’t tell much of a difference between that and A for mobility, but I sure feel it on survivability. In Dark Souls it seemed like a pretty big mobility difference between <25% and >25%, but it doesn’t feel nearly as severe here.

  • The guardian spirit Ho-oh (which you don’t get until you are through some of the DLC) has the “Calming Breath” trait. This is fantastic, as it heals you quickly when you are out of combat. Great for keeping elixirs for when you need them.

  • As has been noted several times in this thread, blocking is much more important than I had been giving it credit for. This is another reason it is nice to have heavier armor. Those Nure-Onna were much easier to handle if I just block their attacks instead of trying to dodge them.

  • Barrier may be the best Onmyo magic. Keeping your Ki up is a huge benefit.

On to Dream of the Nioh, now that I’ve finally finished the tutorial. :)

Yes, but git gud is a Dark Souls thing. I think maybe the difference is there’s more complexity to manage in Nioh, so it feels like you’re learning more on each failed attempt, which keeps you engaged longer.

In Souls you have fewer tools, so eventually you reach a point where you know exactly what you need to do — you just need to execute (“git gud”) plus other lame bullshit like training yourself not to get greedy right at the end.** You’re still training your brain on the dodge timing and such but that’s it. That can become enraging because you simply want to move on. Whereas in Nioh, you know you can use your tools more effectively next time.

Of course Nioh can reach the same frustration point too eventually.

@KevinC your comment about brain overload is something I’ve discussed before. It’s the same effect as a fighting game or character action game. In all cases, my brain defaults to using the simplest tools while I focus on surviving. Once I can do that automatically, my brain has room to think about doing it stylishly or in a more efficient but complex way.

** It’s funny how in Nioh you sometimes avoid the problem of getting that last hit on the boss because the finishing moves and ki break attacks do so much damage. It’s still burned me many times on difficult fights!

One thing I have observed with this game is most monsters have a tiny range. Like pathetic. If you just walk away when they are doing their thing, they just slash in the air hitting nothing.

First thing I learned in this game is to have my eyes on the enemy, not on my character. Is kind of like having your eyes on the screen and not on the keyboard but for whatever reason none of the games I played before teached me this.

Nioh 2 is teaching me to be a better darksoulsgames player, but only when I allow it.

Just like the negative emotions that created them.

Deep thoughts.

Argh. I played the game today and somehow was worse than yesterday. I must be one of the worst players in this game.

I am much worse

No, I’m the worst. You know that.

100% achievements complete!