Dark Souls FAQ V2.0 *please read* (minimal spoilers)
~~~Frequently Asked Questions~~~
Q. I’m new to the game/series, what class do I choose?
A. There is no “correct” answer here as starting classes are merely templates for the beginning. By mid-game, any character can move far off what the starting class was. A knight can become a full blown Mage, a Hunter can become a full pyromancer. There are exceptions when it comes to PVP, as there is a community accepted level cap of SL125. The cap makes it easy to achieve “optimal” builds, and ensures you can meet up with a higher number of opponents in PVP areas.
*note* The pyromancer is the only starting class that starts at SL1
Q. What starting gift should I choose?
A. All gifts are attainable through a single playthrough except the Pendant. The most generally accepted starting gift is the Master Key. You can purchase this during the game, but the option to do so is about 1/4 through the game. If you start with it, you have access to many areas of the game that can help a starting player.
*note* The Thief starting class receives the Master Key, as well as the choice of choosing another starting gift.
Q. What are covenants?
A. Covenants are clans essentially. Some have different objectives, all have different rewards, and most are related to the game’s multiplayer. Information on each of the 9 covenants can be found here http://darksouls.wikidot.com/covenants
Q. How does Multiplayer work in this game?
A. There are a number of ways, either by helping other players or by hunting them down and are usually tied to one of the following items:
White Soapstone: Infinite use item, received from an NPC early in the game called Solaire of Asora. This item can be used while Human or Hollow and allows another player to call you into their world to help with an area or a boss.
Red Soapstone: Infinite use item, found mid-way through the game in the world. Must be Human to use, and allows you invade the world of another player. Like the white soapstone, the other player must invite you to invade their world. This item is most used for trading and polite dueling.
Cracked Red Eye Orb: Consumable item, found in the game or purchased from an NPC. While in Human Form, this item allows the player to invade other players in the same area that have not beaten the area boss yet.
Red Eye Orb: Infinite use item, works the same way as the above. Received as a gift from the Darkwraith Covenant.
Blue Eye Orb: Infinite use item, received as a gift from the Blades of the Darkmoon Covenant. Allows invasion of a player that is in the ‘Book of the Guilty’ or has committed sins in their world.
Darkmoon Covenant Ring: Infinite use item, received as a gift from the Blades of the Darkmoon Covenant. Summons you (from anywhere in the world, so long as you are wearing the ring) to battle with any Human that has killed a certain NPC in Anor Londo, and stayed in the area.
Cat Covenant Ring: Infinite use item, received as a gift from the Forest Hunter’s Covenant. Summons you (from anywhere in the world, so long as you are wearing the ring) to battle with any Human that enters the forest.
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Eye of Death: Consumable Item, found in the game and as dropped items. For use with the Gravelord Covenant, this item curses up to 3 other players’ worlds causing black phantoms to appear in their games. Players who find your sign can invade your world and try to kill you, thus ending the curse. The curse layer must be in Human Form and have not beaten the boss of the area they are in.
Everlasting Dragon Eye: Infinite use item, given by the Dragon Covenant. Player lays down a sign allowing you to be summoned by someone holding a Dragon Scale. Winning the fight grants additional Dragon Scales.
More Info on online play and items can be found at the following:
Q. Why do I sometimes get 10 Estus flasks when resting, and sometimes I get 5?
A. This is because of something called “Kindling”. If you have humanity in your counter (upper left hand of screen), and are human, you can kindle any fire to provide you a total of 10 estus flasks. There are 3 bonfires protected by a firekeeper, and these are the ones that automatically start at +10. Later in the game you get an item that allows kindling to +20.
Q. How do I summon someone to help me?
A. There are specific requirements in order to summon someone, and they are:
1. You must be in Human Form
2. The area boss you are wanting to summon someone in must not be killed
3. You must be in an area where others’ have laid their summon signs. Typically it is at the bonfire nearest the boss area, or just in front of the boss area.
4. There is a level restriction of +/- 10 Soul Levels, +/- 10%. An example is you are SL46, you can summon someone up to SL50 or as low as SL33
Notes: The first half of the game is more heavily populated in terms of co-op and invasions, later areas will have more invasions and less co-op. Players in the same covenant have a higher likelihood of being matched up together. Also keep in mind that a higher SL will not see much action in earlier areas of the game (because of the +/- rule)
Q. What should my stats look like?
A. There is no perfect amount for anything on stats. It all depends on personal preference and build design. The one guarantee is that it’s generally accepted that nobody levels resistance. Here are some general guidelines:
Vitality (VIT): Increases your HP. Up to 30 is fine, 40 is ideal, after that there are diminishing returns. Many pump this up to as high as 50-60, again depending on your build.
Attunement (ATT): Increasing this increases the number of available slots you have to carry spells with you. There are levels to this.
Attunement Spell Slots
*So 19 attunement grants you the same number of spell slots as 22 attunement. 5 spell slots is generally a good number.
Endurance (END): Increases your Stamina and Equip Load. Stamina caps at 40END, and more than that only increases your Equip Load and linked attributes (some defense and resistances).
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Main Scaling Attribute (Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Faith): Leveling one to a max of 40-50 gains the best results and allows you to use the biggest number of items for that particular class archetype. Example would be a big knight having 40 Strength to allow him access to the highest number of weapons. A mage would have 40-50 Intelligence to allow access to the most spells. Leveling 1 is the easiest, but many builds are dual-stat, these are a little more complicated
More Info can be found here:
Q. Why is my high Intelligence not affecting my Pyromancy Damage?
A. Pyromancy damage scales with the level of your glove, not the level of your Intelligence or Faith. There are three NPC’s in the game that allow you to upgrade your Pyro Glove, much in the same way you upgrade a weapon. 2 of them upgrade your glove from standard to +15, and the third upgrades it from +15 to ascended status. Ascended restarts at base level, but you’ll get more damage out of it. It caps at +5 ascended.
Q. I attacked an NPC and now he’s chasing me, what do I do?
A. For starters, don’t attack everything. If a character moves towards you, ATTACK! If it is sitting there, no matter how menacing it may look, DO NOT ATTACK! If you went ahead and attacked a NPC, there is an NPC you find early in the game that will forgive your “sins” at a price. Oswald of Carim, found after the Gargoyle boss fights at the base of the belltower, will absolve your sins for 500souls X your SL (example: SL10 500 x 10 = 5,000 souls). He will also let you leave a covenant without upsetting them.
Q. I used a firekeeper soul and it barely gave me any souls, why is that?
A. These souls, along with Boss Souls, should not be used to raise your soul count. Firekeeper souls should be fed to one of the three firekeeper’s to increase your Estus count. An estus flask +3 gives more health gain than an estus flask +1. +7 is the max you can increase your Estus flask to.
Q. Why does my character move so slow?
A. The endurance stat increases your stamina, as well as your EQUIP LOAD. This number dictates the amount of stuff you can have equipped (equipped is different than in your inventory). There are breakpoints for movement speed, and they are as follows:
<25% of your total equip weight = Fastest maneuvering and rolling
=/>25%<50% of your total equip weight = Slower maneuvering and rolling
=/>50%<100% of your total equip weight = Much slower maneuvering and rolling
=/>100% of your total equip weight = Slowest maneuvering and cannot roll
Q. So how can I equip all this heavy stuff and still bounce around like a nimble cat?
A. A few things. Start by checking your equipment screen, and pressing “Y” until you see “equip load x/x”
1. Raise your Endurance – This raises your total equip load, as well as leveling you up
2. Equip Havel’s Ring – This ring raises your max equip load by 50%
3. Equip Ring of Favor and Protection – This ring boosts max HP, Stamina, and Equip Load by 20% - BUT IT BREAKS IF REMOVED
4. Equip the Mask of the Father helmet – This helmet increases your max Equip Load
Q. Someone invaded me and was FLIPPING, not rolling, how is that possible?
A. He’s using the Dark Wood Grain Ring. The item is found with multiple steps, ending in killing an NPC.
More Info on how to obtain it can be found here http://darksouls.wikidot.com/dark-wood-grain-ring
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Q. I used a boss soul and it barely gave me any souls, why is that?
A. Boss souls, much like firekeeper souls, have specific purposes. Boss souls are used to create “Boss Weapons”, which are unique weapons that require a specific item and boss soul combination.
More Info on how to make boss weapons can be found here http://darksouls.wikidot.com/boss-soul-items
Q. I found a lightning spear and love it, can I make a lightning weapon myself?
A. There are four blacksmiths in the game, and each serves a unique function or two. In order to make an elemental weapon, you typically need a special ember found in the game, take it to the proper blacksmith, and an appropriate weapon level. Here’s the list of blacksmiths and what they do.
Andre: Found in the area connecting the Undead Parish to the Darkroot Garden/Sens Fortress.
Unique Abilities include:
Ascend weapons/armor from +5 to +6 (requires Large Ember).
Ascend weapons/Armor from +10 to +11 (requires Very Large Ember)
Modify normal weapons from +5 to Raw (requires Large Ember)
Modify weapons from +5 to Divine +5 (requires Divine Ember) and up to +10 (requires Large Divine Ember)
Modify weapons from Divine +5 to Occult +5 (requires Dark Ember)
Rickert: Found in New Londo Ruins, down the stairs between the two stair cases (one to Firelink, one to Valley of Drakes).
Unique Abilities include:
Modify normal weapons from +5 to Magic +5 (no ember required) and up to +10 (requires Large Magic Ember)
Modify Magic +5 to Enchanted +5 (requires Enchanted Ember)
Modify normal weapon +10 to Crystal weapon +5 (requires Crystal Ember)
Giant Blacksmith: Found in the area just past the boss fog gate in Anor Londo.
Unique Abilities include:
Modify weapon +5 to Lightning +5 (no ember required)
Modify weapon +10 to Crystal +5 (requires Crystal Ember)
Vamos: Found in the Catacombs. It’s tricky, so here’s a video http://youtu.be/6Lf3b_nqpO4
Unique Abilities include:
Modify normal weapon +5 to Fire +5 (no ember required) and up to +10 (requires Large Flame Ember)
Modify Fire weapon +5 to Chaos Weapon +5 (requires Chaos Ember)
More Info and a good chart can be found here http://darksoulswiki.wikispaces.com/Upgrades
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Q. I’ve gotten humanity from bosses, why is my humanity counter not going up?
A. The humanity you pick up in the game goes into your inventory, you have to use it like an estus flask.
Q. I’ve heard about ‘POISE’, what is it?
A. Poise is essentially an invisible “stamina bar” that once depleted, staggers your character. The higher the poise, the more hits (or stronger hits) you can take without that weird stagger animation triggering. Poise is found in heavier armor (the heavier the armor, typically the more poise it grants), the Wolf Ring (+40 Poise), and temporary boosts from the Iron Skin pyromancy spell. There are levels, much like attunement, and they are as follows (thanks to EWGF for this information):
-40 Poise: Stops most non-issue light stuns from katana’s barbed swords, etc
-53 Poise: Stops one 2-handed Claymore Swing, probably the most important breakpoint
-55 Poise: Stops one 2-handed Murakamo Swing, might as well go for this if you are at 53
-76 Poise: Stops one 2-handed Zweihander / Greataxe swing (RB attacks only).
-106: The next breakpoint
More Info: from EWGF can be found here http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/608635-dark-souls/60863465
Q. I’m tired of getting invaded, how can I prevent this?
A. Several ways. The most obvious is to play ‘offline’, or stay online and create a party. This kicks you into ‘offline’ mode in the game. You can play in hollow form, as you must be in human form to be invaded. Join the covenant, Way of the White, as it limits your likelihood of being invaded.
Q. How the hell do I make sense of the story in this game?
A. The story starts with the intro movie, and other than that it’s all buried in dialogue with NPC’s and within item descriptions. Talk to NPC’s before and after each ‘major’ gameplay moment (killing bosses etc) and keep talking to them until they repeat their last line of dialogue. Also consider reading the item descriptions, it’s amazing how much of this game is locked up in descriptions of weapons/armors/souls/etc…
Q. What’s a good shield to use?
A. There is no singular answer, but what you are looking for are shields with a high physical damage reduction (or magic, fire, whatever you need) AND a high stability. Damage reduction should be self explanatory (or magic, fire, whatever), it reduces the damage you take from that particular type of damage. Stability is a stat that indicates the amount of stamina used while blocking. The higher the stability, the lower the endurance lost when blocking attacks. Popular choices are Black Knight Shield, Blood Shield, Hollow Soldier Shield, Silver Knight Shield. These medium shields have 100% damage reduction and high stability, as well as allowing you to parry your opponent’s attacks (pressing R2 at the correct time). A special note for the Grass Crest Shield, as it has 95 damage reduction, good Magic reduction, but it speeds up your stamina regeneration. This is critical for boss fights where you are 2-handing your weapon.
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Q. You mention parrying with shields, what is this?
A. Parrying and Riposting is a very basic core gameplay mechanic that once mastered will make the game unbelievable easy, even PVP. Essentially it requires a shield that can parry (mostly medium shields), and you timing a LT press during the enemies’ attack animation. A successful parry will play a “thud” type sound and put the enemy into a stunned animation. If timed correctly, a RB push will then activate the riposte which does nasty critical damage.
More Info: PeevePeeverson posted a great You Tube video showing how to effectively use parry/riposte in PVP http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1G8Vhxz3YQ
Q. What’s a good weapon to use?
A. Again, there is no singular answer here. With weapons, the move set is the most important thing to take into consideration. Move set is how your character moves while attacking with said weapon.
Axes: Typically big and slow
Spears/Poles: Longer reach, many allow you to attack while blocking (very nice)
Curved Swords: Shorter, faster sword that has a very stylish attack style. There is no ‘kick’ animation on with these weapons
Piercing Swords: Medium reach, medium speed, they allow you to attack while blocking (very nice)
Straight Swords: Medium reach and speed
Daggers: no reach, ultra fast speed, high critical rate
Large Swords/Ultra Large Swords: Big and slow, but can achieve crazy damage
Note: mustb18toride posted a video showing the animations for every weapon in the game. Nice to check out if you are curious http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjmFF13qSvw
Q. What’s this about weapon scaling nonsense?
A. Some weapons just do base damage, meaning what is listed is what it does (the Drake Sword is a perfect example). Elemental weapons for the most part are the same way, the only way to increase the damage output is to upgrade them.
Now, a lot of weapons scale with a specific attribute meaning their damage increases the more points you have into a given attribute. Press “X” in the inventory screen to see the weapons stats, and there you will find if it scales with something. The scales are (from worst to best) E, D, C, B, A, S.
Now at lower attribute amounts (less than 30), the bonus is kind of negligible. But for PVP, there are many builds that utilize 40+ in a given stat to get the most out of the damage output of a +15 weapon.
A +15 Zweihander (C strength scaling, D dexterity scaling) with 50 strength and 10 Dexterity, and applying a resin or magical buff will far outdamage that same weapon with 24 strength/10dexterity. The example also applies to outdamaging elemental weapons. It takes a big investment into an attribute for this to pay off.
Q. So how do I get the most damage out of a weapon?
A. I ran a comparison on damage for a dex/faith build which can be found here http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/608635-dark-souls/61653830
In the case provided a +15 weapon with 40dex/30fai and the DarkMoon Blade buff gave anywhere from 170 to 200+ extra damage.
Q. I’ve been cursed, WTF?
A. You can buy PURGING STONES from the female undead merchant (in the sewer tunnel) and Oswald of Carim (in the tower after Gargoyles). Oswald is cheaper than the female merchant. Also, Ingward (in New Londo Ruins) will clear your curses for a price as well.
Q. Any recommendations on things I “must” buy?
A. I recommend buying a couple of each restorative item the first time you come across a vendor if you can. This will allow you to heal poison, toxin, bleed, and curse if you unfortunately get afflicted with any of them. Curse being the worst of the afflictions, having a purging stone on hand will definitely save you from a headache.
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Q. Why does every post here contain an acronym I have no idea what the hell it is?
A. Here is a list of the most common and highly used acronyms (usually items or spells):
DWGR – Dark Wood Grain Ring --- http://darksouls.wikidot.com/dark-wood-grain-ring
RoFP – Ring of Favor & Protection --- http://darksouls.wikidot.com/ring-of-favor-and-protection
CGSR – Covetous Gold Serpent Ring --- http://darksouls.wikidot.com/covetous-gold-serpent-ring
RoF – Ring of Fog --- http://darksouls.wikidot.com/ring-of-fog
WOTG – Wrath of the Gods --- http://darksouls.wikidot.com/wrath-of-the-gods
DMB – Dark Moon Blade --- http://darksouls.wikidot.com/darkmoon-blade
GMB – Great Magic Barrier --- http://darksouls.wikidot.com/great-magic-barrier
TWoP – Tranquil Walk of Peace --- http://darksouls.wikidot.com/tranquil-walk-of-peace
CMW – Crystal Magic Weapon --- http://darksouls.wikidot.com/crystal-magic-weapon
SMS – Strong Magic Shield --- http://darksouls.wikidot.com/strong-magic-shield
DGM – Demon Great Machete --- http://darksouls.wikidot.com/demon-great-machete
BK___ - Black Knight “weapon” --- http://darksouls.wikidot.com/black-knight
Q. I want to get the knight’s honor achievement, is there a good list to go off?
A. Sure is, here it is http://darksouls.wikidot.com/knights-honor
Q. I saw a weird little spider guy that was shooting me with some spell, WTF?
A. These are called ‘Vagrants’ and can spawn as either good or evil. There are several in the game, and some can spawn randomly in certain areas. For more info, check this out http://darksouls.wikidot.com/drift-items
Q. So I was PVP’ing and some jackwagon didn’t take damage from my attacks, WTF?
A. There are “hackers” that have cheated the game and have infinite health. There are a couple well known ones to this forum. The easiest way to walk away is either
1. Lure him near an edge and force him off the edge (kick, spells, attack until he falls back from blocking).
2. Enter a party through the “XBOX” button. This will quit your game and force you back to the starting screen in offline mode.
Q. I’m about to beat the game, anything I should know or do?
A. Yes, here is a simple list to work from:
1. Start by kindling your most used bonfires in the game, as these will carry over into your NG+ (and beyond).
2. Then run and kill the firekeepers (Anor Londo and Daughter of Chaos), reinforce the estus with their souls. This will allow you to hit the +7 cap quickly in NG+. start from Firelink for each so you can Homeward bone back, as killing them eliminates the ability to use fire to warp.
3. Kill ALL NPC’s and merchants. Many of them drop humanity and souls, and they all respawn in your NG+.
4. Farm the baby skeleton pit just before the Nito boss fight area. They drop humanity frequently.
5. Farm the black knights in the Klin for chunks of every color, and upgrade as many weapons /armor you will need moving forward, as the embers do not roll over. This will allow for the max amount of upgraded items possible in the beginning of NG+.
You retain all items, boss souls, etc. The only things lost are embers given to blacksmiths, the abyss ring, and the lava ring.
More Info: mustb18toride suggested using the item dropped from the Darkwraiths in New Londo Ruins RT attack to suck souls from NPC’s before killing them to gain more humanity. Great TIP!
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~~~Helpful Tips for Starters~~~
Avoid this area if you don’t want spoilers
Often missed gameplay mechanics:
1. Hold “B” to run.
2. While running, release and press “B” again to jump.
3. Press “B” to slide down ladders, much quicker than slowly using ladders.
Early Game Suicide Runs:
1. As soon as you hit the firelink shrine, go towards the Fat NPC, and drop down the elevator shaft. This will leave you in an area above the graveyard with multiple chests and decent starting items.
2. The graveyard has some difficult skeletons, but some good items, including weapons and “soul of” items.
3. Drop down into New Londo Ruins and snag the Fire Keeper soul
4. If you’re feeling really ballsy, run and kill Pinwheel immediately to gain the rite of kindling. I’ve done this dozens of times at level 10 and is completely possible. For a quick route, check out this video http://youtu.be/mmcJunY-Pv4 starting at 6:08
Keep getting killed by those skellies in the graveyard?
You’re going the wrong way! Talk to the NPC sitting next to the bonfire and he mentions ringing bells. The first one is UP, so head that way once you’re ready.
I can’t kill the friggin’ first boss, the Taurus Demon, what to do?
Watch this http://youtu.be/x9ymysN3qQ8 starting at 5:50
I need a good weapon to start with, where is one?
Get your dex to 12, buy a bow/arrows from the merchant in the undead burg, and then do what’s in this video http://youtu.be/lS0x5OpEt8M
I want to play offline, are there NPC guys I can summon?
Yes, there are a few. The best is Solaire, you meet him just before the red dragon in the undead burg. Instead of taking the bridge where the dragon blasts you, go the opposite direction and he’s there wishing he was so grossly incandescent.
There is a list here, scroll down to the Phantom section http://darksouls.wikidot.com/npcs
Not listed there is Knight Lautrec, a video showing where he is http://youtu.be/6RCKDYPim3I Keep in mind that once you free him, you have to talk to him in Firelink Shrine before his summon sign is available for the gargoyles.
This Capra Demon is a real SOB, how do I beat him?
A few ways. Get items with poise if possible, get a good shield. Take out the dogs ASAP, then the demon himself is rather easy. A good strategy is to roll to the left as soon as you go into the fog door, and then run up the stairs. Drop down the ledge, and take out a dog. Rinse and repeat for the second dog, then the Demon is all alone and much easier.
I’ve been using the Drake Sword, and all of a sudden it’s not killing enemies as quickly as it was, why is that?
That’s because the Drake Sword sucks in the grand scheme of the game, but it’s grossly overpowered early on. If you rely on its power, you’ll soon realize you’re not actually getting better, just relying on an overpowered item. Once it’s power is negated, you are gonna get your butt kicked.
That said, early in Sen’s Fortress (essentially the 3rd area of the game), you get a nice elemental weapon that should carry you a while. Here’s a video http://youtu.be/osHg7wbaHMM the weapon is found at 6:00. Do not let the mimic drop down the elevator chute, you’ll lose this item.
I’m having a heck of a time with “X” boss, can you help me?
Yes! Most bosses have simple patterns that they follow. Try each boss a couple of times, and pay attention to what they do. And in most cases, leveling up is not always the answer. Item upgrades (do more damage, defend against more damage) are far more important. Keep that in mind, and most of your problems will go away.
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Is there a good place to farm souls?
Check out this video http://youtu.be/Cp6IKCG1U8U
The bonfire he starts from is behind an invisible wall to the left of the door with the crest emblem.
Buy the key from andre the blacksmith for 20k the go out the door by him. Kill titanite demon, out into forest and go straight. You'll see the locked door.
Is there a good place to farm humanity?
All rats can drop it, so try the sewers at any point. Late in the game, there is an area that infinitely spawns little skeletons that drop humanity…A LOT. You’ll know the area the second you get to it. Here’s a video http://youtu.be/jyMPp8AsDOk
Can I kill Seath the first time I meet him?
No, this is the one instance that you are forced to die. I always equip a ring of sacrifice to ensure no lost souls/humanity/etc. You can/will kill him shortly thereafter.
Every time I post on this board, someone treats me like I’m an idiot, why is that?
There are some “rules” around here I guess.
If you are asking for help on a boss, offering help, asking for trades, etc – MAKE SURE TO POST YOUR SOUL LEVEL
If you need some help, or trades – DO NOT MAKE 3 TOPICS THAT ARE ALL ON THE FIRST PAGE. This is a slow moving board, no need to berate the community with the same thing over and over.
Try searching using the search bar, if you have access to it, or at least read the topics on the first page or two before posting a question. I’ve seen a lot of “can’t beat “X” boss fight” topic, with another just like it two lines down.
I’ve heard of the Bottomless Box Glitch and the Dragon Head Glitch, how do I do them?
I, and most others on this board, will not help you find out how to cheat the game we love. If you want to do this, use google. You’ll get it…
Here are some great spots for tons of info outside of Game Faq’s:
Much of this information is just gathered from the forums and the wiki’s. Thanks to everyone on the PS3 boards (Renegade109), and of course the XBOX boards (EWGF, RPGNinja, Zamuss, HeyPeterMan, BlazinAsian112, GSOKash, PeevePeeverson, mustb18toride)
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Excellent info. Sticky requested.
Does the dried finger reduce or increase time between invasions? I thought it reduced it.