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An indepth consideration of the Poise Mechanic and how it would affect Dark Souls 3

*** Video Script Can Be Found At The End Of The Description ***

There’s been a ton of discussion recently regarding poise, and whether or not the fact that it’s disabled is due to oversight or intention. People want it back, badly, but I haven’t seen much consideration go into what the game would likely be like if those individuals were to get their way.

This video attempts to explain my thoughts on the poise mechanic, and hopefully gives some insight into the question of whether poise as a hit-stun immunity mechanic SHOULD return or not.

I’d love to hear your comments below, or if you’d prefer a different option, you can find me here:


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32 thoughts on “An indepth consideration of the Poise Mechanic and how it would affect Dark Souls 3”

  1. Olive Song says:

    Diagnosis: Be a poky spear little bitch.

  2. It basically breaks heavy armor it is dumb that it is removed and should be turned back on.

  3. Atmos Dwagon says:

    Or, I could play a PvP-only game instead, if I want good PvP.
    Just a thought.

  4. IRON1I7 says:

    absence of poise in PvP: whatever i like it, i love using greatswords and i want to put myself in the hardest condition. it makes the experience more fun. i can't rely on the poise, i just have to outsmart my r1 spammer opponent. and most of the times I perfectly can. i do agree with Frosty, absence of poise makes the PvP better. come on, argue me.

    absence of poise in PvE: FUCK YOU MIYAZAKI

  5. I'm getting so tired of people complaining about poise, now I'm just making a drinking game based on it thank you for making a video on a different perspective

  6. Avinav K says:

    you are thinking its either the hyper armor mechanic or poise, only one can be in the game at a time and if its the ds1 poise then the game would break right? well, how about this, hyper armor + poise? this way the hyper armor mechanic is still there for heavy weapons and works additively to the poise mechanic, this would bring more build diversity and help give some purpose to poise. Also, I think ds3 builds are more weapon centric, if the hyper armor + poise mechanic is implemented then even armors would start playing a big role in builds. Also just a side note, I think poise should work proportionately to the weight of your gear which is directly effected by Vitality.

  7. you talk to your fans and call them idiots and when they bring a counter argument you ignore them while you spam r1 with your estoc cestus

  8. Velindian says:

    i always thought that poise should just decrease how much hitstun you recieve based on certain breakpoints. it could regenerate at a set rate, but not behave as if it regenerated until a breakpoint is reached (i.e. if the regen rate was 20 it would take a second to go from 5 to 25 [with 25 being the breakpoint], but if hit again before it reaches the hitstun breakpoint of 25, it would behave as if you still had 5 poise [poise damage and all]). Additionally, being hit while at the lowest hitstun breakpoint would give you a temporary increase in poise (from 0) based on the poise damage from the weapon put into a formula that escalates based on however many hits you take in this state (to prevent stunlocking at low poise). After the poise gained in this state caps at the highest threshold (or you aren't hit for a couple seconds), it instantly knocks back down to your maximum poise. This way it'd be harder to combo a high poise player until you soften them up a bit, but a low poise player would escape quicker due to having low poise to begin with. The last addition would also make it so abusing the negative poise damage state would yield unfavourable results for sloppy trading.

    but… this would probably only work best if damage in pvp was scaled down a tad. Otherwise it'd be unnoticeable due to dying after being hit just a few times. Especially considering heavier armor usually doesn't prevent enough damage (compared to lighter armor), to make the poise mechanics in this scenario noticeably different.

  9. Very well considered.

    So isn't the solution to enable poise against NPC attacks, but keep it disabled against players?

  10. rbFrosty, I always thought you were a complete moron … but this has to take the cake for rbFrosty stupidity. You can't be that much of an idiot that you think a dagger or quick pokey weapons staggering full Havels is good for PvP?

    And whats this about backstabs? Do you not realize dumb whiney fucks like yourself are the reason the solution to backstabs, IronClad Armor, was so looked down upon? Honestly, do the Souls community a favor and just go away. Go find another game you like, maybe DOTA or something, and just get the hell out of Souls.

    I mean whats next, am I gonna hear you saying pre-nerf Forbidden Sun was wonderful for ds2 PvP?

    Now that I've dealt with this simpleton, FROM please just bring back ds1 poise for some giantDad and HavelMom style goodness.

  11. well devs just admitting the shit didnt work at all and did nothing period.. after saying it was working fine.. i been peering over articles.. its kinda funny those topics come up in christian daily and business articles. Theyre saying they are working on it? no clue what its gonna be now.

  12. your video seems to assume investing in poise does not come at a cost. With the exception of the wolf ring, you have to invest in heavy armor, which means you have to invest in points to up your equip load…. which in turn means your forgoing investing in other leveling points to better a lighter-armored character with less poise. Its a trade off. I've been around since ds1. for people who do a balance of pvp and pve this system where poise is completely gone is by no means an answer.

  13. Gay Pudding says:

    The problem are the stunlocks. In Bloodborne there was no poise. And no stunlocks (that take half your health).

  14. Adrian Ochoa says:

    The resistances you get from heavy armor are not the reason why heavy armor users wear heavy armor, they do it for the ability to take attacks without staggering. If heavy armor doesn't give you that ability anymore there isn't really a reason to use it and also not giving that ability to heavy armor users just makes tank builds not at all worth it

  15. ZerglingOne1 says:

    Well I hope you read your comments. From my experience Poise affects 4 things.
    1. If your Poise is >0, it activates hyper armor's effect. This is the most well documented of its effects.
    2. Stomp's attack abilities to poise through things, you can be hit-stunned out of Stomp. Higher poise prevents this.
    3. Charged heavy attacks at least SEEM to benefit from it.
    4. Most notably of all. Your ability to turtle poke behind a shield. It absolutely affects this. If you do not have enough poise and you attempt to turtle poke behind a shield while being attacked, you will fail 100% of the time. This is also supported by the fact that the 2 weapons that give poise are a greatshield and a spear.

  16. I say they either make it a stat that increases hyper-armor frames, or they make it a stat that reduces damage taken when trading with hyper-armor.

  17. Hey frosty I used to one of thoe people who whined all about poise not having any effect, but actually even as you were building to your examples of hyper armor for strength weapons and how the hit stun interacts with player timing and spacing, I've come to realize you are correct in his matter. I remember back in Dks 1 I was terrible at pvp, seeing as I don't like to parry or backstab unless its literally gifted to me. Just my personal tastes, but I noticed I s backstabbed literally every single fight. Sure I was inflexible back the and I've mature as a player when it comes to timing and spacing, but I've also noticed both fast, medium and slow speeds weapons are viable in this game. I think a lot of the time people are basing their perceptions of hit stun from fast weapons on guaranteed combos that some weapons have that inclidct massive damage if you are caught by one R1. these include; warden twin blades with bleed, spiked mace bleed, Gotthards twinsword and sellsword twin swords. I don't inherent have an issue with weapon arts, in fact like Dropout Dragon had said it adds a lot of interesting possibilities, but what do you think of such assured combos that don't require more than a single R1 once? think Oroboro's Darkmoon buffed sellsword twinblades.

  18. slow weapons have more hit stun because they are slow. They need more hit stun since the player needs more time to recover from his own attack to attack once more. On the other end, fast weapons don't have as much hit stun as slow weapons have but are faster and have less recovery time. A fast weapon has the opportunity to attack more often but continuous standard attacks can result with a parry which comes with heavy consequences. A heavy weapon cannot hit as often but the hit stun can lead into an other attack. But if a weapon of that kind would be parried it would lead to the same consequences as a light weapon would suffer. Hopefully to balance that, some two handed weapons cannot be parried. What I find that is too disadvantageous to the heavy weapon is stamina consumption. It is a bit to costly.

    Heavy armors give more damage reduction and more damage absorption, but makes the player more susceptible of getting hit. Since wearing an armor of the sort gives you the possibility to take more hits, it also makes the risk of getting hit more significant. As for light armor, it doesn't protect you as well, but still manages to have decent protection. Wearing light armor makes you harder to hit because avoiding attacks becomes easier since less weight load means more mobility.

    if poise reduces hit stun, it will give heavy armors an other advantage over light armor; always win trades because of the possibilty to hit an opponent right after getting hit without suffering a significant hit stun. It would also make the hit stun of lighter weapons neglectable thus making it really hard to fight a heavy armor user. If the stun lock of heavy weapons is reduced they will lose their advantage of preventing immediate counter attacks. An heavy armor build with a fast weapon would have too many advantages over light armor build. Advantages such as ignoring hits and attacking right after when the opponent is still recovering from his attack, higher defense because of better armor stats, always being able to attack even when attacked, etc

  19. onering20 says:

    What if poise increased Hyper armor frames on all weapons?
    with light weapons having no frames to a small set and heavy having a small to medium.

  20. I just want poise because I'm tired of gimmick builds or weapon arts that can deal MASSIVE damage due to guaranteed combos (r1-L2, I'm looking at you, twin-weapons/spin-to-wins). Also, guaranteed 2-hits on Straight Swords and/or GREATAXES? Nah. Fast, buffed weapons looking for max aggression or ridiculously boring vertical smashes from greataxes/machetes should not be the only things I see in PvP. Ultra greatswords seem OK, I guess…

  21. Your scenarios imply that estoc users will have the same amount of poise as heavy armor users and that heavy weapons deal no poise damage like an estoc. Play dark souls 1 again, when you used an ultra greatsword at the same time as an estoc each player got one hit in but the estoc user got staggered because of his light armor whereas the greatsword user was getting ready to swing again.
    Looking at you play, you seem to be good with a variety of weapons but simply put it looks like you havent played dark souls 1 in a while or dont have much experience in the way of heavy armor and heavy weapons.

  22. Poise on = Havel monsters. Poise off = LMB spammers.

  23. reading thru comment section….

    people actually complaining about lack of poise for PVE!??

    i am not the best player in the world, played the game blind but i did not have any problems with PVE. Your character can roll, back step and block. If mobs corners you, just think properly and look for an opening. Check your HP and time your estus heal. If cornered and you got enough stamina for blocking, block the first few hits then attack to stagger enemy. Use the opportunity to escape. damn you guys must be really bad at this game if you haven't figured that out yet and needs summons to guide you.

    and for PVP.. spammers can also use the same armor and have same amount of poise as you. plus lighter weapons means low VIT requirements. They can dump extra points on their END or VIG or maybe DEX/STR for bonus damage. So yeah have fun trading blows with that. And if you want DS1 poise to be back, guess what poise in DS1 breaks after taking consecutive blows. Do you guys think heavy weapon users stand a chance against fast weapon users with poise?

  24. Eluem says:

    Thank you for making this video. I've been saying for a long time that the poise mechanic is pretty terrible. I much prefer the concept of hyper armor.
    I would like to say, though, that I would like for them to tune the hyper armor differently. I think that attacks should be balanced into a sort of set of hyper armor tiers. Attacks in the same tier should always stun each other. Two ultra greatswords R1ing at the same time should always both get stunned. I think it's just silly that they end up trading back and forth until someone dies or runs out of stamina. It also allows silly situations to happen where the player that hit first ends up getting stunned because their hyper armor wears off and the other player's didn't. I think that favoring late timing in heavy vs heavy can cause silly stalemate type situations. It's not the worst thing.. but it also just feels really unsatisfying.

    So, in this way, hyper armor should basically act as a temporary spike from 0 poise to X poise depending on the attack.. instead of simply being "I can't be stunned at all right now".

    I also think that on many weapons the hyper armor comes in way too late… but that's something that requires some analysis and testing to be sure about… but I'm currently of the opinion that the hyper armor does come in rather late.

    Back to the poise discussion:
    If you use poise as your mechanic for allowing a player to not get stunned, you allow super light and fast weapons to not get stunned as well. Then you just end up with Havel estoc (or Havel Ice Rapier in dks2 after all the dlc was released…)

    This is not ideal. I like your idea for giving poise some value by having it add damage resistance during hyper armor frames. I was also thinking about having poise work as a way to boost your hyper armor. Basically, just like each attack on a weapon has it's own damage modifier to determine how much AR it applies, each attack could have it's own poise rating to determine how much poise it applies. Standing poise could work somewhat like dks2, so if you get hit in the face while doing no action, you still get ministunned and can't attack out of it… but you can recover fast enough to roll out.

    I like this a little bit because it adds a small but meaningful mechanic that helps to bring back the sort of proper feeling of being tanky that poise had as a mechanic. It feels thematically nice. It just can't be as strong as it was in dks1 and 2. I'm still not all for it though.. because it really does mess around with too crucial a mechanic. Playing around with damage taken and damage absorbed is usually okay, because it less easily messed up the fundamental mechanics of the game.

  25. I agree completely. People act like armor actually increases ones poise and ability to not get staggered in real life, so yes, it makes total sense that a weak hollow with a broken sword can stun you when your wearing full havels. That said, heavy armors defense need to be buffed a fair bit.

    The way the should implement poise is that it reduces stamina drain from getting hit. That, plus a buff to damage reduction on heavy armor would be great.

  26. se serfgsdrg says:

    That video is such a BS !
    I mean, wasnt that the whole point of wearing heavier armor ?
    You get higher poise, and in return you dont get the fast roll, or have to give up a ring slot, … I have played a medium armor, greatsword build in DS2 and was quiet happy with it. I wasnt extremly fast, but I didnt get stunned from everything.

  27. Devon Cayde says:

    stopped after 'poise breaks pvp and shouldn't be reactivated just for pve'
    sorry dude you fucking lost me there even if you went on to finish explaining this more clearly…. 15 minutes is TOO LONG

  28. Baron Lam says:

    and once again, the solution is… git gud

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