There's a new issue of Edge (#249) out this week that has a ten-page feature on Dark Souls II which I'm sure many of us are eager to read. After From Software director Tomohiro Shibuya was quoted as saying the game would be "more straightforward and more understandable," a detailed explanation of how that will pan out in execution would be welcome.
"Right in the beginning when players first pick up the game is something that I will definitely focus on," he told Edge. "To not immediately throw them into Dark Souls but provide a good introduction in terms of what the game's about and how the game should be played. Hopefully that adjustment at the very beginning of the game will help draw in players and get them addicted right away without immediately making players feel rejected [by] the game system itself."
Some aspects of Dark Souls were far less clear than others. The Covenant system was "difficult to fully absorb and experience," according to Shibuya. "Making it more accessible to players is something that I want to express… I will follow the same concept as Dark Souls, but there were a lot of hidden story elements that some players may not have caught before and I'm hoping to make some of that a little bit more clear or directly expressed to the player as well."
Nothing said here has me too worried about the state of Dark Souls II, but these are only two elements of a full game. It's going to be crucial for From Software to nail the first hour of gameplay given what will surely be a larger player base this time around, and I too think that covenants could use some work. Yes, I can go read up on the intricacies if I have to, but I'd really rather not.