The Dark Souls series began as Demon’s Souls, which was followed by Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2 and eventually Bloodborne as a side game of sorts. While the Dark Souls series has evolved considerably since the days of Demon’s Souls, it seems as though Dark Souls 3 will be returning to its roots and borrowing some ideas from the original. One such addition to Dark Souls 3 is the new FP System. While we don’t yet know what “FP” stands for, the new system is very important, especially for players who plan to create a magic build for their character.
In previous Dark Souls games, your ability to cast magic was limited to a set number of casts that you could increase in various ways. Your casts would then reset if you rested at a bonfire. Dark Souls 3 is going back to the beginning and taking a page out of Demon’s Souls with the FP System.
The FP System adds a blue bar in the upper left corner of the screen between your Health Gauge and Stamina Gauge. When you cast spells, it drains a small portion of the blue bar. You can increase this bar in the same ways that you would increase your Health and Stamina Gauges in previous games. However, magic spells are not the only combat feature that revolves around the FP System blue bar.
In the past we discussed how there are new unique attacks for each weapon in Dark Souls 3. These attacks have a decent amount of startup time, but they pack a pretty big punch if you can connect them. Every time you use one of these unique weapon attacks, it drains a bit of the blue bar and Stamina Gauge.
You could always choose between dual-handing your weapon, or using it in a single hand. The dual-hand option allowed you to unleash a more powerful, but slower attack. In Dark Souls 3, when you switch to a dual-hand this changes into a new stance that allows you to utilize unique weapon attacks. You’ll have to time these attacks careful if you want them to land without interruption, but if you can smack an enemy with a new unique attack, it will hurt considerably.
While your Stamina Gauge will replenish every time you use these new attacks, the blue bar will only replenish if you use a new Ashen Estus Flask. Those familiar with previous Dark Souls games know that a normal Estus Flask is one of the best ways to replenish lost health. Those are still in the game and they still replenish your health, but the new Ashen Estus Flask replenishes your blue bar. It’s assumed that some other items will also replenish the new blue bar, but at the moment we can only confirm the Ashen Estus Flask.
You can only hold a set amount of flasks, which means that you will have to manage how many normal Estus Flasks you’re carrying compared to how many Ashen Estus Flasks you want to carry. If you’re going with a magic-based build, you will probably want to allocate about half of your flask slots to the new Ashen Estus Flask. However, if you’re going with more of a melee fighter build, you will likely want more normal Estus Flask slots.
The new FP System adds a considerable amount of strategy to the Dark Souls franchise. Players of previous games know that they already have to manage a variety of resources, including but not limited to weight, weapon and armor durability, ammunition, Hollow form and more. Now they also have to manage flask allotment and even the new blue bar. With Dark Souls 3 potentially being the last game in the series, it’s no surprise that From Software seems to be pulling out all the stops.
We’ll have more on Dark Souls 3 as the April 12, 2016 North American release date swiftly approaches. We might even have something for you when the game launches in Japan on March 24. Until then, be sure to check out how Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne are similar so you can prepare for your pending death.