With their refusal to provide dedicated servers the online system is completely broken and much worse than Demon Souls which worked great.
Here is confirmation of how the online works below, it confirms there are "multiple lobbies" which makes global servers pointless and connecting with friends almost impossible.It also confirms souls level range is +/- 10% which is why basically no one is even seeing soul signs.
After how much of a big deal they made they were listening to the community this is really pathetic. I have no doubt that part of Namcos deal to publish the game in US / EUROPE was the removal of dedicated servers.
If Atlus published we probably would have never had this problem and they also would have neverdone a bait and switch with the special edition.
This is bogus. I don't know who to believe. I am level 38 and just grouped with a player that is Level 30, therefore, out of the 10% range. The Official Guide says that players need to be within a "10 Level range" not 10%. The 10% would make much more sense if such a formula kicked in after level 100.
Second, I have not tried summoning until today... and today it went as smooth as can be expected. I was summoned 10 times to help kill Gaping Dragon, and successfully killed the Dragon 8 times out of those 10.... great Soul and Humanity Farming. There was never more than a few minute delay... quite a few times I was summoned within 60 seconds of dropping my summon sign.
Also, if lobbies are indeed being used, then that does greatly decrease the speed at which we would be able to invade others and summon others because it exposes the host player's word to far fewer players....
with that being said, we have no idea how big these lobbies are... they may be in place to accommodate for the size of the player base... Demon's Souls was nowhere near as active as Dark Souls was.... Demon's Souls I think only sold 300K in its first week, and was deemed a success. Wouldn't surprise me if Dark Souls was already at the 1 Million mark here in Europe and the States in its first 48 hours alone.