The Problem With Boss Soul Weapons in 'Dark Souls 3'
As some of the most powerful tools in the game, it's a shame they don't work as well as advertised.
As I was about to finish up my first play-through of Dark Souls 3 last night, I naturally had a few flashbacks across my entire journey through the game. I learned a lot of the mechanics of the game, about where items were hidden and about the optimal paths to progress through to get them. I remembered killing the dragon on the High Wall of Lothric with a hundred wooden arrows at level 15 too, as well as fighting against Aldrich nearly 30 times before finally beating him with a loud scream of victory. But more importantly, I remembered that I was still sitting on over a dozen boss souls that I hadn’t converted to weapons, armor or other items.
In Dark Souls 3 after defeating a boss, you’ll pick up a named boss soul which can then be transposed by Ludleth of Courland into new equipment for your character. Typically considered some of the most powerful items in the game, it surprised me that during my entire play-through of Dark Souls 3 I had only managed to realize that they were available to me right before I completed my game. Sure, some of these weapons are actually quite powerful if used correctly, but there were more than a few that felt short of expectations once I picked them up from Ludleth.
Wielded by the Darkmoon Gwyndolin, the Darkmoon Longbow is a beautiful weapon that you receive after transposing the Soul of Aldrich along with 5,000 souls upon defeating the boss Aldrich, Devourer of Gods. Like other longbows in the game, the Darkmoon Longbow can be used from a great distance for a decent amount of damage along with heavier arrows in the game. However, this bow’s weapon art allows you to infuse an arrow with Darkmoon essence which gives it additional magic damage along with the ability to piece shields. If used with Moonlight Arrows the bow is also supposed to receive a bonus as well.
If you’re like me, odds are that you were expecting an extremely unique animation when using the Darkmoon Longbow in combat with Moonlight Arrows that lets you release a blue, magic-infused arrow. But after fighting Aldrich and transposing the soul, unfortunately the Darkmoon Longbow fails to deliver. The weapon art provides you with a piecing arrow that does decent in combat compared to the other bows in the game, but it’s just the same animation as a regular longbow with no visual effects in play.
Associated with Seath the Scaleless, a pale white dragon who betrayed his own to Lord Gwyn and his companions, the Moonlight Greatsword is a weapon that has always been present in the Dark Souls franchise. Featuring a powerful moveset similar to the other greatswords within the game, the Moonlight Greatsword also gives players the ability to hurl blades of magical energy at their enemies at the expense of the weapons durability.
This time around though, Moonlight waves cost a ton of weapon durability and have a significantly reduced range – making them less effective than in Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2. The weapon art for the Moonlight Greatsword has a very short range too, which keeps it from being used over normal attacks for the sake of weapon durability. While the weapon is still a fun addition to anyone’s collection, in Dark Souls 3 it seems to follow the trend of getting downgraded once again.
A miracle used by the Lord of Sunlight, Gwyn against the Everlasting Dragons of the above, Sunlight Spear allows the user to hurl a giant lightning bolt that deals lightning damage when it hits from a distance. At melee range this miracle also creates a second hitbox that deals an extra 67% damage when connecting with a target. To gain the soul you need to purchase the miracle though, you’ll have to reach the end of the game to receive it – at which point you’ll carry it into new game plus.
Like most sorceries, pyromancies and miracles in Dark Souls 3, Sunlight Spear doesn’t do well in PvE or PvP compared to most normal weapons unless you build specifically for it. Since it has an FP point cost of 90, you’ll need to make sure you character has a fairly high Attunement stat along with at least 40 Faith to cast it effectively. During my time with the Lightning Spear miracles in the game too, I noticed that they were easily dodged in PvP which is something Sunlight Spear suffers from as well.
Dancer’s Enchanted Swords
Wielded by the Dancer of the Boreal Valley, this pair of swords is obtained after defeating her and transposing the Soul of the Dancer with Ludleth of Courland. The pair of swords can be wielded in one or both hands, dealing magical and fire damage on top of their regular physical damage. The cool thing about this pair of weapons is they give you a weapon art similar to the moveset of the Dancer herself, allowing you to swing around with both swords in a unique animation until your stamina is entirely depleted.
Thankfully it doesn’t drain much stamina from your bar and can be used for good amount of time, and with the damage modifier being split between 3 separate attacks the swords do quite well - but the latest patch changed that entirely. Now, you’ll have to manually activate the spinning attacks and can only activate one at a time which prevents the combo from building up. Sure, they still may be fun to use on occasion…but they just won’t be as powerful as a critical attack until FromSoftware finds a better fix.