From a gameplay perspective, Dark Souls III seems much like the merging of several of From Software president Hidetaka Miyazaki’s design philosophies, almost a mixing bowl of Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne. While this might indicate certain features that will make it to the third installment of the franchise, Miyazaki has chosen specific elements to return from the series, and others to return to the catacombs. Here’s a rundown of some key aspects that players can expect – or not expect – to see in Dark Souls III.

Fast Travel
Players can expect to use fast travel from the very beginning of the game, much like Dark Souls II. Miyazaki wants to keep the convenience aspects from previous titles, unless they interfere with game design.

Respecialization
While Miyazaki is unsure if the “Soul Vessel” item will be available in Dark Souls III, he says there will be a method for players to reallocate stat points so that they can change builds around without having to create a completely new character. “I’m not sure if the same sort of item will be implemented, but there will be a method for players to re-assign souls,” Miyazaki says.

New Game+
New Game+ will look more like Dark Souls II than other games, with new weapons, items, and reconfigured enemy locations and placements to keep the surprises and exploration elements fresh in Dark Souls III. Of particular note is that bonfire ascetics will not be returning, so players will be unable to artificially + zones.

Durability
Miyazaki’s take on durability is that Dark Souls III will find a happy medium between the two extremes of Dark Souls and Dark Souls II. “Still tuning the balance, but I personally think that the weapons in Dark Souls II break a little too easily. This was implemented intending for the players to try out many types of weapons, but even so, I felt they broke too quickly. However, in Dark Souls I, they didn’t break enough, and so I’m hoping to find a good balance for Dark Souls III. “

Summoning And Invasion
If you were worried that Dark Souls III would be shifting toward Bloodborne’s bell summons, not to worry; it will have the standard summoning system found in Dark Souls and Dark Souls II, and will use soul level for matching, not soul memory. Here’s something interesting – Miyazaki states that players won’t be locked behind consumable items for invasion; they’ll be able to do so as they wish without having to worry about keeping stocked up on cracked red orbs.

Hidden Walls
Hidden walls will still be there for players to find in Dark Souls III, but forget walking to each section of a zone and tapping the interact button – they’ll be tied to attacking again, like the first Dark Souls. “This is due to my thinking behind this type of feature,” Miyazaki says. “I like to have coincidences happen during battles, or accidental reveals due to swinging weapons around, randomly shooting arrows. I want to implement this sort of surprise discovery in a natural way when playing the game.”

Magic
Tim Turi runs down some of the magic changes here!

Looking for more? Check out our Dark Souls III cover story, going live today with the digital edition, and check out the Dark Souls III hub for a month-long of Dark Souls coverage!