The player vs. player part of Dark Souls III has been critiqued a lot for multiple reasons, including bleed builds, DLC weapons, Greatswords, katanas, etc. Today I will discuss all of these and offer my quick-fix solution for each one of them. Here we go!
Katanas are very quick weapons that deal out bleed damage along with whatever they're infused with. These are generally considered to be bad to use because some of them have really quick combos that can fill the Bleed bar before you get out of the stagger lock. A lot of players find that unfair, but they don't take into consideration the fact that there is always a huge windup before the combo itself. The attacks are really easy to dodge because players tend to do two consecutive R1/RBs, so two rolls will do.
Even if an opponent gets a hit in, the damage is not really that extensive. Two hits can do about half of your health on about 30 VIT — which is pretty low — and the Bleed meter goes to about a half. And that is without using the Bloodbite Ring or Bloodred Moss Clumps, which completely remove the bleed effect. So really, the only things you have to do against katanas are: wear the Bloodbite Ring, have some Bloodred Moss in your belt slot and practice rolling. And since katanas are so often used in #pvp, you should equip your best bleed-resistant armor, just to be prepared.
The crow talons are a claw-type weapon that have incredibly high bleed potential. Its weapon art consists of a pretty lengthy windup, followed by a tornado of consecutive attacks. There's only one thing this combo reminds me of. To all the people who played all of #DarkSouls, remember Manus? Yeah, that — but with bleed.
Just like with Manus, this attack is not difficult to dodge, thanks to the length of time it takes for the enemy to get ready to perform it. But if you get caught, you can kiss your health goodbye, as the numerous attacks and the high bleed potential will almost always 100-to-0 any player who does not have bleed resist.
For this weapon I recommend the same thing I did for the katanas: bleed resist. If this stat is high, your opponent can only do physical damage, which should not be a problem as it is pretty low.
In the current meta, Greatswords are pretty powerful as they do decently high damage, can devastate if they manage to stunlock you, and have a good speed while attacking. They do not use too much stamina, as a player that has about 120 can swing up to five times. Greatswords give a lot of poise, which means less stunlock. Some also have very good special attacks, such as the ranged magic attack on the Moonlight Greatsword, the jump flip on the Wolf's Knight Greatsword, or the buff on the Onyx Blade.
It seems like it's the perfect weapon, does it not? Well, it sort of is, but there is one thing that will never get beaten by a Greatsword. And that one thing is a bigger weapon. Yes, size really matters here. An Ultra Greatsword or a Great Hammer will never lose against a Greatsword if the player has at least a tiny bit of PvP knowledge. The weapons I have found to be most effective are the Greatsword, Yhorm's Great Machete and the Black Knight Ultra Greatsword.
Almost every player has said to themselves, "Damn, the Dark Sword is pretty overpowered." I could never understand why so many people are annoyed when the Dark Sword is used in PvP, but not when somebody is using something like a Longsword, which basically has the same move set and does more damage. The only thing I can think of that is a little annoying about it is the fact that it looks shorter than it is — but that's it!
I honestly don't know what to recommend because I don't think the Dark Sword is actually bad for PvP or in any way difficult to beat. You just do what you do for every other weapon that is shorter than a Greatsword, and that is just roll away or, if you're good at it, parry.
Every single weapon or technique in Dark Souls III can be countered by knowing some basic things, like using rings to stop certain types of damage and being able to do the one thing this game is known and sometimes hated for: rolling.
I'm not telling you to #GitGud. What I'm doing is giving you advice that everybody should know by now. I hope this article helps you to put up a proper fight against the types of weapons I've talked about. So just go and have some fun in PvP and remember: Not everybody who uses a weapon you don't like is a try-hard!
Care to share your experiences with Dark Souls III's player vs. player mode in the comments section below? And to help get you in the mood for perhaps throwing a little shade, check out the DLC Ashes of Ariandel below.