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In Dark Souls 2, the order in which the DLC becomes available doesn't seem to match up with the difficulty of the areas it appears in.

For example, most players (speedrunners and regular players alike) tend to avoid most of the areas until end-game, or even until NG+.

What is the actual difficulty level of the DLC's? (In terms of main storyline difficulty vs DLC area difficulty)

EDIT: With the addition of the new ending, and the additional storyline content, the DLC has now effectively tied itself back into the main storyline. So, taking this into account, is there a particular order the DLC should be played, taking into account the difference in difficulty and the storyline content?

  • Questions about what you "should" do in a game can be difficult on this site. Often, the answer depends on both what you want out of the game and what your play style is. Your question seems to be primarily about the difficulty of the DLC areas, so you might be better served asking about the relative difficulty of the DLC areas compared to each other and the rest of the game. – murgatroid99 Feb 17 '15 at 1:44
  • @murgatroid99 good point. Edited :) – Ben Feb 17 '15 at 1:48
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If you want a specific order to follow, you could go by the order each DLC area was released:

  1. Crown of the Sunken King (July 22nd)
  2. Crown of the Old Iron King (August 26th)
  3. Crown of the Ivory King (September 30th)

There's also the order that each becomes available as you play through the game (assuming you clear the Old Iron King's path before going towards the Rotten):

  1. Old Iron King (The Heavy Iron Key is located in the Forest of Fallen Giants, locked in an area that requires a key found in the Iron Keep after turning off the flames)
  2. Crown of the Sunken King (The Dragon Talon can be found behind a door down the large hole in Majula after acquiring a key from Black Gulch)
  3. Crown of the Ivory King (The Frozen Flower is found near the first bonfire in Drangleic Castle)

But in terms of difficulty, they're all challenging and intended to be played late enough in the game (after you've talked to Vendrick) that there shouldn't be too much of a level-difference between your character before/after each DLC area.

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