Namco Bandai Community Manager J Kartje announced that Dark Souls II is out today on PS3 with details below.
To quote: March 11th has arrived and it's time to go beyond death. The Dark Souls II servers are live and we're excited to see everyone online and exploring the world of Drangleic.
Today, we wanted to give an extended look at some of the Covenants that you may be joining in Dark Souls II. This is not a complete list as we wouldn't want to spoil the secrets that await you on your quest.
Covenant masters are scattered throughout the world of Dark Souls II and, under certain conditions, may invite you to join their ranks. Seek the protection of a noble order of knights. Defend against invaders from other worlds.
Set out on a lonely and arduous journey. Lay a trap and draw other players into your world. Protect a long-forgotten tower. Thirst for more blood. These tasks and more are laid before you as you deceive, challenge, and offer aid to fellow players online.
Way of the Blue
Not everyone seeks to challenge other players online. Joining the Way of the Blue will give a player access to a ring that will summon a member of the noble Blue Sentinels if invaded by an enemy player from another world. If you're not comfortable battling online in a PvP scenario, this Covenant is for you. Perfect for holding on to that human form as long as possible.
Not everyone is fit to join the Blue Sentinels. When you first encounter this Covenant's master, you won't be able to join until you prove that you've assisted another player already. Once a member of the Blue Sentinels, PvP arenas will be opened up that allow you to duel fellow members. Blue Sentinels represent a noble cause and are encouraged to always be wearing their Covenant ring to assist other players in need.
Only the fittest are recommended to join the Champion's Covenant. Accessible very early in the game, players will be asked "Are you sure?" when joining. Members of the Champion's Covenant will find a more difficult and unforgiving world of Drangleic as they explore Dark Souls II. These players may also have difficulty summoning friendly phantoms.
But surviving in this harsh world will net you special stones that can be offered to advance your rank within the Covenant. Champion's Covenant members also have access to a leaderboard that displays players with the most offerings. Only the bravest will remain on top.
Rat King Covenant
Join the mysterious Rat King Covenant and the sewers, dirt, and slime will be your new friends. Equipping the Rat King ring and lurking in one of the designated areas will draw other unsuspecting players into your world. You may also find that the denizens of these areas are a bit more friendly to one of their own. Will they escape with their lives, or will you cut them down as they try?
Bell Keeper's Covenant
Not everyone will find the old Bell Towers. And once they find them, not everyone will want to stay. If you do wish to join the ranks of the Bell Keepers, then you'll be provided a Covenant ring to equip. While patrolling the long forgotten towers, if an intruder wanders into the area, you'll be drawn into their world to stop them. This covenant functions similarly to the Forest Keeper Covenant from Dark Souls.
Brotherhood of Blood
Blood, blood, and more blood. Some evil might never be sated. Members of the Brotherhood of Blood vow to spill as much blood as possible as often as possible. You'll not be welcomed into the ranks of this Covenant until you offer proof that you have the will and the means to slay a fellow explorer in the world of Drangleic. Similarly to the Blue Sentinels, the Brotherhood of Blood offers its members PvP arenas to see who is the true champion of the Brotherhood.
For those who choose not to interact with the game's online systems, offline play is always available. But we do encourage everyone to play online as From Software put a great amount of work into improving the online mechanics to be deeper and more rewarding for all players.
We're very excited for everyone to dive in and explore the world of Dark Souls II. It's a special launch day for many people as there's a vast amount of mystery to explore and experience.
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