Posted on March 2, 2018
Dark Souls? More like Mod Souls
When starting up Dark Souls for the very first time on a PC, it quickly becomes very apparent that the game was not initially intended to ever be ported over to PC. The control scheme for the mouse and keyboard is exceptionally terrible and seems to have been created with no previous thought. If players did not have an Xbox or PlayStation controller they could connect to their PC, they could kiss their dreams of playing Dark Souls goodbye. Certain areas of the game are so horribly optimized (an issue that consoles also experienced but to a lesser extent) that the framerate is barely able to maintain a constant 30 frames per second and often drops far below that. In short, the base PC port is a terrible experience that many eager PC players were initially disappointed with.
On September 19th, 2012 the PC Dark Souls community rejoiced. An individual that used the name Durante released the father of all Dark Souls mods, DSfix. DSfix allowed players to actually change graphics settings that were causing the game to run poorly. The player was finally given the opportunity to mess around with different settings such as the motion blur, anti-aliasing, rendering width and height, and much more to their individual likings. Unfortunately, for players who are not as savvy, modifying the settings to their liking might seem a little more intimidating because the modifications are presented in the form of a text document. Mistyping just one setting might make the entire game unplayable.
Luckily other individuals have made this process easier for players by creating their own modifications that aim to make the base modification’s interface much more user-friendly. User Morten242 created their own mod which they named UI for DSfix which creates an interface that allows the player to modify their version of Dark Souls with clear separations between each section.
The ability to mod Dark Souls is what allowed for the founding of a dedicated fanbase to the series within the PC community as discussed in the Postigo piece. The DSfix mod essentially worked as a massive patch that addressed most of the foundations within the design flaws present in the PC port of the game. They were able to bypass and improve on many of the issues that were present in the base port and in doing so, could finally just enjoy the game itself.