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The whole world knows about Dark Souls by now, but it all began in 2009 with the release of a little game called Demon’s Souls. It was a game that shared so much in common with Dark Souls that it might as well have shared the same title, but instead, Dark Souls went the route of a spiritual successor instead of a direct sequel. That might’ve been the right move because Demon’s Souls is a far, far more difficult game than Dark Souls. There are several things that factor with this, but the number one biggest factor is world tendency.
This mechanic is one of the more unique ones to ever be put into a video game, and I haven’t seen anything like it since. The world adapts to your successes and failures, and entire side quests and characters might become available or unavailable because of it. It’s a fascinating system that is also one of the most punishing in all of gaming.
As if Demon’s Souls wasn’t already hard enough with its numerous tough bosses and traps that will kill you off in one hit, you actually have to worry about the levels themselves growing more difficult as you struggle. To say From Software is a little bit sadistic is the understatement of the century, but it’s led to some of the most successful games of all time, so I guess we can’t knock them too much. Here’s everything there is to know about World Tendency in Demon’s Souls.
What is World Tendency?
World Tendency is the system that governs how difficult your time in Demon’s Souls is going to be. Depending on your actions in the game, you will have your World Tendency go black or white. White means the game will be significantly easier for you, while black means the game will get harder.
Furthermore, both your character and the worlds you travel to will have their specific World Tendency. Your Character Tendency and the World Tendency both start the game as neutral, and throughout the game, several things will impact whether they change or not.
How to Tell What Your World Tendency Is?
World Tendency is one of the hardest things to measure in any game, and you’re not simply given a meter with numbers to tell you how black or white your world is. This is From Software we’re talking about, so obscurity is the name of the game here, and World Tendency is one of those things that just makes you go, “Um, What?”
In order to tell what your World Tendency is, you need to look at the World Tendency tab on your options menu. Beneath each of the Archstones, you will see a sphere below one. You could drive yourself insane trying to decipher this, but basically, the blacker the sphere is, the blacker the World Tendency is, and vice versa for White.
Pure White World Tendency will pretty much be gleaming and look to have a shine to it. Pure Black, on the other hand, will be almost glowing Black. It’s the ones in the middle that get to be pretty tricky to decipher, as the difference between Neutral and Neutral Black is just so similar you might have to adjust the brightness on your TV just to figure out what you’re looking at.
How To Get Black World Tendency?
In order to shift the Tendency of worlds, you have a few options. If you die while not in Soul form, your world tendency will shift towards Black. Basically, if you keep dying over and over, sooner or later, your World Tendency will shift black, and you will get the punishing world you want. As you progress through the game, you will get more opportunities to change World Tendency. For example, in Black Tendency areas, a Primeval Demon will appear. Although the enemy is difficult, if you defeat it, your Tendency will start shifting back to White.
If you are seeking more methods to shift the world to Black Tendency, you will find that there is a special NPC that appears in White World Tendency that will offer you new quests and new items but say you finish these quests and drain them of whatever items they have. If you decide that you no longer have any use for them, killing them off will shift the world towards Black Tendency.
When the world is Black Tendency, things are going to get very difficult for you. Normal enemies will receive a boost in their health and also act more aggressively than normal, but in turn, you will get more souls and a better chance to pick up useful items when they are defeated. Enemy attacks are also stronger as well, so you’re better off being on the defensive when navigating Black Tendency wolds.
There are a lot of benefits to exploring a Black Tendency world, as you can find yourself leveling up very quickly here as well as getting some top-notch equipment. You will also find some unique characters here that you will not be able to find in a neutral or White Tendency world. Generally, killing off the Black Phantoms that appear in the Black Tendency worlds will drop all sorts of awesome goodies; although some of these will be as tough or even tougher than the bosses that appear in these areas, they are worth the fight.
Aside from these factors, your health will also be decreased in your Soul Form, and this will remain permanent until you shift the Tendency back to White. You will also find that players who invade you will have an increase in their attack power when World Tendency has turned entirely black.
How to Get White World Tendency
In order to shift things from Neutral Tendency to White World Tendency, you have to start doing some good deeds. These include completing sidequests for NPCs and defeating enemies like Black Phantoms and Primeval Demons that appear in Black Tendency worlds.
In addition to that, simply playing and progressing the game will shift it towards White. Every time you beat a boss of an area, you will increase your World Tendency by 45%. That means each time you defeat the three bosses of an Archstone, you are going to get a Pure White Tendency. This comes with a caveat because you will only get this Tendency if you manage to not die in your human form. It’s a tough task, to be sure, but the rewards for Pure White Tendency are numerous, so you might want to give it a shot at some point.
You can also shift the Tendency White each time you defeat an invading player. This won’t happen in offline mode, but online, it can be a great way to quickly get to Pure White.
When things are going well for you in Demon’s Souls, that sphere in the World Tendency menu will be a pearly white, and when that happens, a few benefits will come your way, even though there is still some drawback. On the one hand, enemies will have less health, and you will take less damage from them. They will also act less aggressively as well. On the other hand, you will get far fewer souls from them, making it more difficult to level up.
You will also get to meet new characters and embark on side quests that won’t appear otherwise, which yield their own rewards as well. When a world is White Tendency, you won’t have to worry about Black Phantoms appearing either.
White World Tendency also gets a huge benefit when it comes to navigating the world itself. For example, some levels will have a bridge appear where it wasn’t before or grant you access to a key that gives you more loot or lets you explore a previously unexplored area.
Overall, White Tendency is a tough thing to hold onto in this game as each time you die, the game shifts towards black, and considering it’s a Souls game, you know you’re going to die a lot.
Do Invasions Affect World Tendency?
Invasions are a complicated thing when it comes to World Tendency. If you invade someone’s world, nothing will change World Tendency-wise, and that remains true if you live or die. What it does change, however, is your Character’s Tendency. Killing a player in their world will shift it towards Black.
If you are invaded, both your World Tendency and Character Tendency are affected. If you kill them, you shift towards White in both, and if you die, only your World Tendency will move towards Black.
What’s the Difference Between Character Tendency and World Tendency?
In case you aren’t already confused to the maximum degree, there are slight differences between Character Tendency and World Tendency.
A World Tendency is a specific thing to that particular world. That means when you enter an Archstone; you’re going to be governed specifically by what that world’s Tendency is. If you leave that world and go somewhere else, the Tendency will not follow you. What you do in that world can affect both Character Tendency and World Tendency, though, so be aware of that.
Character Tendency is something that sticks with your character for the entirety of the game, whether you leave or not. Not only that, but it also carries over to New Game.
In order to shift Character Tendency, you can kill NPCs or perform certain sidequests. There are several benefits and penalties that follow having your Character Tendency to turn white or black as well.
How to Tell What Your Character Tendency Is
In order to figure out your Character Tendency, you have to view the statue that’s in the middle of the Archstone status menu. This statue represents your CharacterTendency. It will shine bright if it’s white and be very dark if it’s black. It’s a tough one to figure out, so keep an eye on it every time you perform something you’d deem to be a Tendency shifting event, such as doing a side quest or killing off a character.
How to Shift to White Character Tendency
You can shift it towards white when you defeat a Black Phantom that invaded. There are only 5 named Black Phantoms in the game that will shift the Character Tendency in the game, so once they’re gone, you will have to look for other methods.
How to Shift to Black Character Tendency
If you invade a world as a Black Phantom and kill the host, then you will shift the Character Tendency to Black. This is a good way to get Pure Black Character Tendency quickly. You can also do this by killing any harmless NPC characters that will talk to you. One thing to keep in mind is that you have to be in Soul Form when you kill them. Otherwise, it will not affect your Tendency at all.
Pure White Character Tendency
If your Character Tendency is Pure White, then you will receive the Friend’s Ring from The Monumental. This ring will grant you 20% more damage when you are a Blue Phantom.
In addition, you will also get increased attack power when you are in your Soul Form.
Neutral Character Tendency
When you have Neutral Character Tendency, you will have your soul form health reduced to 95% from 100%
When you’re in Pure Black Character Tendency, you will have your Soul Form health at 90% of what it previously was.
In addition, you will also get to meet Mephistopheles on the second floor of The Nexus hub area. This is an NPC that will send you on a quest to assassinate people, and each one you kill will shift your Character Tendency to Black. At the end of the quest, you can kill Mephistopheles and get a host of loot from his body.
Unlike the World Tendency, which gets activated each time you return to The Nexus, your Character Tendency activates immediately.
Are Bosses Affected By World Tendency?
The bosses in Demon’s Souls will not change no matter what your character is or your World Tendency is. However, depending on the status of your character and the world, things will be easier or harder. That’s because things like Pure Black Tendency for both the world and character can cause you to do less damage and take more damage than usual. If you’re in Pure Black, you’re not going to magically get your normal health pool back when fighting a boss, so those penalties carry over the second you enter the arena.
Defeating bosses is incredibly important for World Tendency, though, because each one lowers the World Tendency by a large margin. Each time you die to a boss, it will shift more and more towards Black, making each consecutive failure harder. This is a tough game, so make sure you go into boss fights well prepared and ready to take the hit to your World Tendency if you lose.
Should You Care About World Tendency
Yes and no. If you’re a masochist and you don’t care about the challenge that comes with a Pure Black Tendency, then sure, forget about those orbs and statues and throw yourself into the hell that Demon’s Souls has waiting for you. There are plenty of benefits to Pure Black Tendency, so you can still have a fun time with the game.
If you’re someone who doesn’t like constantly dying and actually wants to consistently progress in the game, then you should pay attention to World Tendency. You will be able to access more content in the game by shifting your World Tendency back and forth. I find you get a much fuller experience from Demon’s Souls by shifting back and forth and seeing all the interesting things that can happen in the world due to your playing around with the Tendency shifts.
Multiplayer enthusiasts will have a blast with this system as it changes with most of the things you do in the multiplayer space. Invasions, defeating invaders, and the like will shift World Tendency and will have a big impact on how successful you are in these encounters as well.
Question: Is Demon’s Souls the hardest Souls game?
Answer: In my eyes, Demon’s Souls is probably the hardest game I’ve ever played. It’s unforgiving to the max, and although it’s a great game, it’s punishing and unrelenting on the difficulty scale.
Question: Is Demon’s Souls a prequel to Dark Souls?
Answer: It’s a spiritual prequel in that it shares some of the themes from Dark Souls games without being directly related. There are certain characters that appear in both, though, such as the Crestfallen Warrior.
Question: Is Demon’s Souls Co-op?
Answer: Demon’s Souls has some of the better Co-op in the Souls series. You can have up to four players in co-op throughout your journey.
World Tendency is one of the most complicated systems in any game I’ve ever played, so hopefully, this guide helps you understand the most obscure system in Demon’s Souls just a little bit better than you did before.
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