Dark Souls III Cinders: 10 Most Impressive Changes In The Mod
It’s a little frightening just how much a talented modder can do. From making a game a good deal harder to changing the way that central mechanics work or replacing them completely, there’s no end to what can be achieved. Some mods are practical and intended to change already beloved titles for the better. Others are just hilariously weird for the sake of it—remember when someone replaced Resident Evil 3’s Nemesis with Thomas the Tank Engine?.
RELATED: 10 Ridiculous Dark Souls Mods To Try If You Need A Laugh
Many of Dark Souls III’s mods, however, fall into the former category. Among the most notable is the Cinders mod, which, as the website states, “aims to provide a fresh experience through Dark Souls III, expanding upon areas that were lacking in vanilla and adding fresh content.” Here are some of the best changes that Cinders brings to the table.
10 New Weapons And Armor
When it comes to new content, one of the first things that a lot of Dark Souls fans desire is brand-new equipment, especially where it allows for new and unique build types. This title already had a great mix of solid—and not so solid—weapons, but Cinders adds quite a lot more.
Weapons that existed in the game’s files and were cut return, and there are some great additions here. The ornate Engraved Dagger, for instance, is a simple and familiar weapon but boasts a super pleasing sparkling effect on its thrust.
9 Poise, Please
Throughout the series, Poise has always been a contentious issue. Staggering an opponent repeatedly with hefty blows from a Strength weapon is always a good time, but who wants to be on the receiving end of that treatment? Nobody, that’s who. As such, a lot of fans will be glad to hear that the Cinders mod reverts to a Poise system more akin to that of Dark Souls 2.
What this means, as the Cinders Wikidot explains in great detail, is that a player’s armor and weapon both count against the incoming attack when calculating "Poise damage." If these factors overcome the attack, the player isn’t staggered, and, if they don’t, they are. While it sounds like a simple change, it makes a tremendous difference to gameplay.
8 It’s Dangerous To Go Alone, Take This… Companion
There’s no getting away from the fact that the Dark Souls series’ reputation for dastardly difficulty precedes it. Not only do the games feature some of the most challenging boss battles in recent gaming memory, but the levels themselves can be nightmares to traverse.
RELATED: Dark Souls: 10 Hardest Areas In The Series, Ranked
As such, a little extra help is welcome wherever it can be found. Companions have long been a feature in the series, allowing players to have another player or AI-controlled NPC aid them in tricky battles. In Cinders, companions aren’t so quick to despawn or be thrown back into their own worlds once the deed is done.
7 Magic Is A More Viable Primary Combat Style
Whether referred to as Miracles, Bloodborne’s Hunter Tools, or by another name still, magic spells have long been a staple of the Soulsborne games. They’re tricky to balance, though, and haven’t really been the most practical options to rely on in battle.
From slow speed to cheesy power and voracious guzzling of a player’s resources, Dark Souls’ magic has a number of issues. What the Cinders mod has done, then, is try to make a mage-like build more viable, tweaking things so that FP replenishes automatically. It’s a very different way to play that will take some getting used to, but it’s a lot of fun and potentially incredibly strong indeed. Some of Dark Souls III’s Miracles are very potent as they are, after all.
6 New Classes Are Available
One of the primary factors that keeps Dark Souls fans returning to the games is the drive to try a new build. This can allow players to wield new weapons, which they perhaps couldn’t even equip before, sometimes completely changing the way they approach familiar areas and bosses.
The new classes introduced by the Cinders mod have proven a huge draw as a result. In total, Cinders players will have access to 26 classes: Acolyte, Skeptic, Outcast, Heretic, Priest, Cleric, Pyromancer, Sorcerer, Hunter, Brawler, Explorer, Peasant, Captain, Herald, Paladin, Deprived, Bandit, Warrior, Samurai, Assassin, Wayfarer, Mercenary, Sentinel, Thief, Soldier and Knight. Some of these will be very familiar to existing fans, of course, while the new additions offer interesting starting stat spreads and gear that are worth checking out.
5 Heavy Armor Has Been Given A Buff And Is More Valuable
Historically, Heavy Armor has tended to be a little bit of a liability. As the name suggests, it’s very weighty gear indeed, and weight is a factor that fans always have to bear in mind. With its lack of maneuverability, many players felt they were punished too harshly for using Heavy Armor, and so didn’t make use of many of the game's armor sets.
As was the case with spells, Cinders has made some brilliant tweaks in order to balance Heavy Armor and make it more valuable. With added effects given to certain pieces and this sort of gear made more efficient at its intended purpose of absorbing blows, tanky builds are solid options.
4 Some Rings (And Other Weaker Equipment) Received Buffs
Clearly, then, the general goal of the mod was to give players a wider range of options to make certain playstyles and pieces of equipment stronger.
RELATED: Dark Souls 3: The 10 Most Useful Boss Soul Weapons, Ranked
When it comes to gear, certain obscure rings that tended to be disregarded in the base game have been made better. Even experienced players who think they know exactly which pieces of equipment are the best should take a quick look at everything they find in Cinders.
3 Enemies Can Be More Difficult Too
For a lot of players, the simple fact that certain parts of the game have been made even harder is an impressive feat in itself. The reality, however, is that The Ashen One’s foes must become more of a threat alongside the buffs to various pieces of equipment, lest the game become too easy—relatively speaking, of course.
The general solution to this was to ensure that enemies both take and deal more punishment than they did before. Depending on how super strong your build is, you may still have a very tough time with Cinders.
2 Covenants Have Also Been Tweaked
For players who want to dive deeper into the world of the Dark Souls series and its mysterious inhabitants, it’s quite important to engage with various Covenants. In so doing, new interacts with various characters become possible, relationships can be fostered with them and co-op/competitive elements are opened up with other players.
This has always been true of the series, but the Cinders mod has made significant changes to the Covenant system ofDark Souls III. Covenant items can now be acquired more quickly, the Company of Champions Covenant from the previous game has been returned—for those looking for a further challenge from their AI enemies—and the buffs earned from joining Covenants have been tinkered with too. It adds a huge amount to an already intriguing system.
1 The Early Game Has Been Made More Interesting
One rather common complaint leveled at Dark Souls III is the linearity of the early game. Cinders rectifies this issue by opening up more of the game sooner and changing the locations of certain pick-ups, and it’s a fresher experience for it.
Defeating the Curse-Rotted Greatwood, for instance, now unlocks the Catacombs of Carthus. Alongside this, the Undead Settlement isn’t locked away at all, allowing players more freedom when it comes to paths of progression. This is a huge deal, especially for players who have had their fill of the standard Dark Souls III experience.
NEXT: Dark Souls 3: 10 Things You Never Noticed In Undead Settlement
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Video Game / Dark Souls III Cinders
Dark Souls III: Cinders is a Game Mod expansion of the original Dark Souls III. Cinders expands further on certain aspects of III while trying to provide more methods of gameplay by virtually changing progression entirely. Furthermore, the mod also brings back unused content from the vanilla game and also adds new items and weapons, along with complete overhauls to the gameplay mechanics.
The mod can be found here.
This page is under construction. Help would be appreciated.
- Adaptation Expansion: Aside from gameplay overhauls and adding unused stuff back, the game also adds new weapons and rings to use in combat, and also added new items that can be transfused.
- Adaptational Badass: Almost every boss in the game has the health beefed up in order to compensate for the drastically changed mechanics of the game.
- On the other side of the spectrum, the Ashen One was a Fragile Speedster in their game due to how their was no passive Poise, but having the ability to roll a lot. In here, to compensate for the additional stamina requirements for rolling, passive Poise makes a return, and with the right armor and stats, the Ashen One can potentially be a Lightning Bruiser!
- Adaptational Wimp: On the other hand, NPC White Phantoms don't receive the same benefits that the player has, resulting in them getting killed early on in the boss fights. Later versions buffed up their HP and damage to compensate for this.
- Zig-Zagged with Yhorm the Giant. On one hand, his resistance to the Storm Ruler is increased. On the other hand, he now takes further damage from other weapons.
- The Ancient Wyvern is much more vulnerable to the head/legs/body, almost negating the need to plunge at the head.
- Adapted Out: The Blessed, Simple, Hollow, Deep, Crystal and Chaos gem infusions don't appear in this mod, mostly being replaced by similar substitutes.
- Anti-Frustration Features: Passive Poise returns, allowing the player to tank hits without needing hyper-armor.
- The FP bar now continuously regenerates, allowing for more FP conservation while almost negating the need for Ashen Estus Flasks.
- Infusing Essences replace the gem infusion mechanic for shields, and unlike them, the Infusing Essence can be use to create any infusion. That said, it's a bit costly in order to compensate.
- Items you used to have to grind for can now be found either in fixed locations in the world or are 100% certain drops from specific enemies.
- Most basic weapons can now be bought directly from Andre, with more being unlocked as you give Ashes to the Shrine Handmaid.
- Ascended Meme: There are 3 hostile NPCs at the Smouldering Lake ballista named the Father, the Mother, and the Child, each wearing their respective masks from Dark Souls. The Father is, naturally, Giant Dad. The description on the Mask of the Father also says that it once belonged to the "valiant legend".
- In the Ringed City you get invaded by Glaive Master Hodir, a fan-made character made by people excited for Elden Ring. If you beat him he drops the Elden Ring.
- Balance Buff: Spells, such as Sunlight Spear, have been adjusted to fit the more fast-paced combat of Dark Souls III.
- You can now upgrade weapons with Twinkling Titanite and Titanite Scale up to +10, further increasing the AR of the weapons.
- Some weapons have their requirements to wield properly reduced. One such thing is the Fume Ultra Greatsword, where in the vanilla game had to be nerfed due to being overpowered. Now the dexterity requirements being lowered to 10, with the right infusion, it could one-shot various enemies.
- In order to compensate for Cinders being more PVE oriented, the Obscuring ring now makes you invisible when you wear it regardless of how far you are from the enemy, making it similar to the Fog Ring of Dark Souls I.
- A lot of elemental weapons couldn't be augmented with weapon buffs, but here this is not the case, allowing players to augment even the Dragonslayer's Greataxe of all things, and further augment them with with Embers, the game's replacement of coals.
- Every armor has an passive effect on them, giving the player incentives to use them.
- Pyromancies no longer have stat requirements to use as of Ver. 1.29, but have increased FP consumption in order to compensate.
- As of Ver 1.73, Crossbow type weapons now scale with your stats like almost every other weapon type, but have their base damage reduced to accomodate.
- Beef Gate: To show that the player is supposed to go to the Undead Settlement first, the number of enemies in the High Wall of Lothric have been increased along with their health, making it a risky proposition to start there. That said, should the Ashen One go through, they can end up with some early loot that was meant to be found later in the game. Ver 1.32 later returned to Lothric Castle being the starting area alongside Catacombs of Carthus, but adds a beef wall in the form of an Early-Bird Boss version of the Ancient Wyvern. Ver. 1.33 removed the Wyvern, replacing it with a Outrider Knight.
- It's actually possible to go to the Dreg Heap early if you have The Ringed City installed. However, aside from the Murkmen, the Angels' beams provide a deadly threat to the player unless they can dodge it.
- You can interact with the corpse of an Wyvern in the High Wall of Lothric to gain access to Archdragon Peak early, but since the player is unlikely to be highly leveled for the area, they'll most likely die to the snakemen early on. Managing to dodge them to the point of getting to the Ancient Wyvern boss fight will have a rude surprise for those who played the vanilla game, as the drop-off point where the player can perform a plunging attack on the Wyvern is blocked by another Wyvern. Surpassing these will likely net enough souls for a low-levelled player to have.
- Bonus Boss: Vordt of the Boreal Valley, the Crystal Sage and the Deacons of the Deep are regulated to this due to alternations in game progression. That said, the Deacons do drop 5 Human Dregs in order to compensate for the Small Doll now being found at the gates of Irithyll of the Boreal Valley, and are required to progress Anri's questline, which is nice to have. Later updates made Vordt a mandatory boss fight.
- Checkpoint Starvation: The mod seemingly does its best to return bonfire frequency to DS1 levels. No more bonfires two rooms apart, now you have to work for them. For instance, the Tower on the Wall bonfire has been moved down next to Greirat's cell, and the number of Hollow Assassins in the tower has been significantly increased. On the merciful side, many boss room bonfires have been moved to just before the boss, making for an easy runback if and when the boss flattens you.
- El Spanish "-o": The Crab Bait item allows you to summon a friendly crab to help you fight enemies, named El Crabbo.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: The Censuring Palm gives you access to a repetoire of punches that makes a barehanded playstyle viable. Unlike in Dark Souls II this is a weapon instead of a ring, the damage output is reasonable instead of through the roof, and the Censuring Palm can be fully upgraded with Titanite and lets you Infuse them to gain access to Elemental Punch attacks.
- Guide Dang It!: The Transposing Klin is now found at the tower where you find the Estus Ring, now by defeating the Curse-Rotted Greatwood. This was eventually updated so that Ludleth can simply transpose souls right away, no kiln required.
- You can actually get infused versions of Bows... But not from infusing them from Andre. Instead, you have to get them from certain enemies. Ver. 1.29 removed it citing dissatisfaction with the implementation.
- Harder Than Hard: The Company of Champions covenant return, this time decreasing Absorption when equipped. You also get Cinders from defeating certain enemies as a rare drop.
- Then there is the Accursed class added in Ver. 1.64 you can choose at the start of the game, which starts you off with no items beyond Estus and Burial gifts (no armor, shield, or weapon, that is) and absolutely NO stats, setting them all to zero.
- Furthermore, there is a giant tree available from the very start of the game (found very near to the new spawn point, the Fire Keeper grave tower) which allows you to ascend the game cycle. Why doing this right after creating your new character (especially the Accursed class) is a bad idea needs no explanation.
- There's also several Curses you can add at Firelink Shrine, which in turn increase Soul Drops and range from the inconvenient (Curse of Folly, making you perform gestures at random intervals) to ones promoting aggression (Curses of Vitality and Wrath, regenerating health and increasing damage as the fight goes on respectively) to the challenging (Curse of Attraction, adds more enemies) to the debiliating (Curse of Obscurity, makes it impossible to see more than a few feet ahead).
- Marks increase the number of enemies that spawn in the world or increase the health and damage output of bosses. This is compensated by having the bosses always drop high-level reinforcement materials and increases the number of souls you get from defeating enemies, on top of the souls you'd get from defeating the enemies normally.
- Irony: The Black Knight set gives out a small boost to fire damage, yet the Black Knights were burned by the flames of Chaos.
- Mighty Glacier: The Greatwood Remnants ring increases physical defenses by 50% in exchange for making rolls cost more stamina, while the Rare Ring of Humanity increases all defenses by 25% in exchange for weighing a whopping 10 pounds. With these two rings equipped and the DS1-style Poise implemented in the mod, being a fatrolling, lumbering tank is very much a viable playstyle.
- Money Multiplier: Aside from the Covetous Silver Serpent Ring, the Symbol of Avarice, Shield of Want, and the Mendicant's Staff, the Fire Keeper Set along with the Jailer set also increases souls gained.
- Mythology Gag: Most of the weapons and armour sets added in the mod come from the previous two Dark Souls games, Demon's Souls, Bloodborne, and even a couple from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Even Elden Ring joins in on the fun, even though next to nothing was known about the game yet.
- Nerf: The Dark Hand was considered to be an great early-game weapon due to it's dark damage and ability to scale with Strength, Dexterity, Faith and Intelligence. Now it only has a fixed AR of 200. A later update made it upgradeable in order to compensate for this.
- Certain weapons had their stat requirements to wield properly doubled, such as the Hollowslayer Greatsword.
- Rolling now takes more stamina. Down played as it's still possible to continuously roll around, it's just that you have to make it more strategic this time. Ver 1.26 returned it to it's vanilla values.
- The Ringed Knight Spear and Paired Greatswords were extremely overpowered due to their fire infusion giving massive damage increases to their Weapon Arts, but Ver 1.28 fixed this.
- No Fair Cheating: The real Knight Slayer Tsorig has lost his susceptibility to Alluring Skulls, so no more getting him to kill himself by throwing skulls in the lava, you have to fight him legit. At least his invasion in the Catacombs can still be dealt with in the usual way.
- Random Drop Booster: The Varangian Set boosts item discovery rate by 10 for each part equipped.
- Palette Swap: Most of the new weapons in the game are reskins of currently existing weapons, with a more Egregious example being the Fume Sword, while it looks like a smaller Fume Ultra Greatsword, it looks nothing like it's Dark Souls IIcounterpart.
- Piñata Enemy: The Ravenous Crystal Lizards respawn this time, including the one at the Cemetery of Ash. They're going to make you work for those Titanite Scales.
- Simple Staff: Battlestaves are a new type of weapon in the game, used to hit your opponents instead of casting sorceries with. Most of their models are derived from sorcery implements and given the moveset of a halberd.
- Skippable Boss: It's entirely possible to skip High Lord Wolnir by interacting with the Giant at the ballista in Smoldering Lake, granting access to Irithyll Dungeon early.
- Squishy Wizard: Prior to Ver. 1.28 spell damage was reduced when wearing heavy armor, which was removed from that patch onwards. Instead this is now encouraged by having armor that boosts spellcasting through increased attributes, decreased FP cost, faster cast times, or gives more FP or damage output all be robes or light armor.
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