- I'm usually not a completionist but on this game I was. There were a few things I missed on the first play through that I had to pick up on NG+. You might want to review all the NPC quests especially ones dealing with covenants. There is usually a strict order of things and there are specific events that will prevent you from completing quests if you hadn't already completed previous steps.
- If you want all 3 endings you might want to read up on that and what is required. You'll also want to create a save backup before the point of no return if you want to easily get all 3 ending trophies without having to play through multiple times.
- I missed some of the hunter tools in the late stages. I would review those and see if you missed any before you cross the point of no return. You're there when ummm everything is on fire.
- You won't get all the weapons either until you do the chalice dungeons.
- There is exactly one blood rock in the main game that lets you upgrade a weapon from +9 to +10.
- You can get another blood rock in some depth 5 root chalice dungeons but you have to pretty much finish the chalice dungeons to unlock that. It's a pretty big time commitment.
- There is one living string in the main play through that is important if you plan to do the chalice dungeons.
- The non-root chalice dungeons are NOT random and there is a pretty strict linear progression. I would recommend saving depth 3 and greater for NG+. The end goal is to kill the queen. On step 6 most people say Isz is easier than Lower Loran so that's what I did.
- So I found a few bosses particularly difficult.
- Cleric gave me some trouble since it was my first experience with a souls game boss.
- Blood starved beast was heard and taught me to gun parry.
- Martyr Logarius was probably the hardest boss for me in the main game.
- All of defiled chalice dungeon was really really hard. It was the hardest part of the entire game for me.
- The queen was actually pretty easy.
- One of the main things insight does is make the game harder (lower resistance to frenzy, enemies have new abilities) on multiples of 15. So if you want to keep the game as "easiest" as possible keep your insight below 15. I'm a wuss so I just bought bolt or fire paper to keep my insight around 11 at all times.
- Out of the 57 hrs of play time about 3 hrs was probably dedicated to echo farming to help put me a bit ahead of the level curve. I really didn't start farming until first floor lecture building (works from the side room too which is they way I prefer to do it). Lower mensis near the lantern isn't a bad spot either. I also farmed a bit in layer 1 Great Pthumeru Ihyll Chalice. Right at the lantern there is a big dude you can kill. With all 3 moon runes equipped I made about 33K echoes per run. Just use bold hunter's mark and repeat.
- The hand lantern affects stamina. Actually, a few things do.
Highly recommended. I can definitely see this being my game of the year. It's a system seller IMO. I think I'm done. I don't have any real desire to grind root chalice dungeons or do pvp. I guess I'll start working my way backwards through the rest of the souls games.
Toward the end of my first play through I decided to start saving some of my boss fights to youtube. Obviously these are pretty spoilerly. Here they are in the order that I got them.