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I'm playing as a pyromancer in Dark Souls and am still near the beginning of the game (In the Depths). I'm not really sure how to improve my character however whenever I get a lot of souls (10k+ or so) from defeating a boss.

Should I level up and which attributes should I level. I mostly put them towards vitality and endurance but it doesn't seem to help much (I'm around level 20 or so now).

I've seen suggestions about putting it towards gear though what I find usually isn't any better than what I have now. I've upgraded my original axe a few times though I think it's probably not a great weapon but I haven't found anything with better damage yet.

I'm always tempted when I get a lot of souls to spend them immediately on leveling up rather than risk losing them. Am I making a mistake. How do I improve my chances in the game?

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If you are planning on leveling up a Pyromancer keep a few things in mind:

Pyromancy is not affected by any stats, even Intelligence. Your Pyromancy Flame weapon is directly upgraded at trainers at a later point in the game. So, in the mean time you should be upgrading stats that improve your survivability. Such as Vitality (more hit points) and Endurance (more stamina, equip load, defensive stats).

Even though you should never neglect Vitality, you should aim to cap Endurance at 40 points as soon as possible. At 40 points any additional Endurance won't contribute to your Stamina (green bar).

You should allocate points on Strength and Dexterity in order to meet the minimal weapon requirements to wield them.

Faith and Intelligence upgrade Sorceries and Miracles, so ignore them.

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Actually it is affected by stats but not how you'd expect. Dexterity affects the casting speed of pyromancy. Video example: – Shykin Feb 11 '13 at 19:37

You should really stick to this as this is the most efficient build I have used:

  • 25 vitality
  • 19 attunement
  • 40 endurance (makes casting time faster)
  • 16 strength
  • 45 dexterity (if you like fast hitting weapons, go dexterity. Go strength if you like slow but painful weapon)
  • 11 resistance
  • You will need 0 faith and intelligence
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The comment about casting time belongs on dexterity rather than endurance. – Sean B Aug 26 '15 at 2:13

Remember that it's almost always better to improve your weapons and armor than your stats.

If embers are not limiting your efforts, consider choosing to upgrade your weapon instead of leveling up.

This game is not so heavy on leveling as it is on equipment.

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While there could be a point here, I don't think this answer is necessarily true. – Code Whisperer Dec 10 '13 at 19:46

Its been a while since I've played, but there is one thing I would recommend to anyone that has made it to the first blacksmith. This blacksmith has a unique item, in essence a key. It opens a door in the forest that will allow you to farm out souls(levels) and upgrade items super quick. I'm talking between 5-10k souls a kill. The item is very expensive though, it is 20k souls. But if you feel like you have the skill, and are just having trouble getting the souls, this area is extremely helpful.

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The item costs 20k souls. Souls per kill for the NPCs in that area are more like 2k-5k each. Still arguably the best area for soul farming in the game though. – YellowMegaMan Sep 13 '12 at 6:46
@YellowMegaMan - if he plays the unpatched game and is willing to cheat, then the dragon head glitch is the best way (best usable souls can get you over 1M souls). – tehdoommarine Sep 21 '12 at 1:26
@tehdoommarine - But we don't encourage cheating here on Arqade :-) – YellowMegaMan Sep 22 '12 at 2:28

If your going to be a PYROMANCER, where your fighting is based around PYROMANCER castings, you need to get your Attunement up till you have 4 or 5 cast slots, vitality and endurance up (obviously, as with all builds) and then DEXTERITY. Dexterity is the differance between casting 5 times in 809 seconds, too casting a combustion per second. I think the speed cap for casting is either 40, or 50. in pvp, if you fight with pyromancies (or even sorceries) dexterity is a must have (not so much for sorcery since the damage scalings) but for pyromancies you can do around 800 damage at soul level 1 if you spend it all on upgrading your flame, but as I said, a true pyromancer uses dexterity then vit and stam like any other build. stop upgrading dexterity at 45 (just to be safe) and get enough str to use Quelaags Fury sword (a decent weapon till SLvl 250). This will leave you a good base damage weapon that ypou can use humanity to do more damage with, knocks down shields pretty well, then get your great combustions, black flames, etc. my level 70 pyromancer can solo four kings on ng4 in about 20 seconds (crown of dusk, bellowing dragon ring, darkmoon seance ring, ascended flame+5, 3 black flame spells, 3 great combustion spells.. about..24 casts for each adding them up, 48 castings in total around 900+ dmg each hit. using full cleric+10 armor, medium dodge speed using grass shield)

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I did not know Pyromancy casting speed is affected by Dexterity. Can someone confirm this? – Code Whisperer Dec 10 '13 at 19:48

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