Hey you hollows out there! It’s Mod Loser, Jackie, whatever you want to call me, and I am beyond excited to discuss the DLC of Dark Souls 3 today. Ashes of Ariandel came out last holiday season while The Ringed City had come out only a month or two ago, and I’d like to discuss my thoughts on it. This isn’t a review of any sort, though.
To be blunt, Ashes of Ariandel is the shorter of the two, and I’m unsure if I would have paid 15$ for it standing alone. While yes, seeing the Painted World once more was very nostalgic of Dark Souls, the lore itself behind this new painted world felt very incomplete. Yes, lore and story in Dark Souls is told through unique NPC interactions as well as item descriptions; however, we only get real exposition on Lady Friede herself, rather than much about the painted world, its origins, etc etc.
This isn’t bad because Friede is a very interesting character who has some moderate significance in the Lord of Hollows quest line, but otherwise she wasn’t very impactful to the story on the whole. Yes, she began the Sable church of Hollows, and failed to usurp the fire becoming unkindled. That was it, though. We do find out that Pontiff Sulyvahn was born and raised in the Painted World before coming to conquer Anor Londo, but much of his story is still the same even knowing that.
While the Painted World was fun, it also lacked many boss fights. With only two boss fights, one in particular having a second phase that just feels like a cheap nostalgia grab at Sif, its hard for me to recommend the Painted World. Save for one, VERY lore crucial detail: The Ending. The ending, and the White Haired Girl, are heavily tied into the Ringed City.
Meanwhile, the Ringed City is a lore overhaul! Not only do pre-existing characters get their stories continued in the ringed city, new characters are introduced as well as information clarifying history long before the games timeline began. One such example would be the Pygmy Lords, and the Ringed human knights. Humans were fantastic dragon slayers, many knights taking the heads of arch dragons as personal prizes, but Gwyn’s fear of humanity kept him from crediting humans as, apparently, one of the driving forces of the war.
That’s just a snippet of information available in the Ringed City, and I will spoil nothing else for those who want to experience it fresh. Suffice to say, four boss fights, enormous areas to explore, some of the best spells in the game, as well as fantastic lore are why I can wholeheartedly recommend the Ringed City to anyone who wants to try it out. I will warn any players though, this area is the most difficult in the game. Should you attempt the Ringed City, you’ll need maxed out equipment; and I suggest a minimum soul level of 120.
I’d love to discuss more, but as The Ringed City is still relatively new, I’m not going to spoil any more than I already have. Thank you so much to our readers who took the time to check out my discussion today! Tell me your thoughts on the DLC in the comments, I might have missed something that you found!
This has been Mod Loser, Jackie, whatever you want to call me, signing off.