Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin will be offered as a free upgrade or as a new purchase, but if you want all the goodies you’ll need to buy the new version. Let’s break it down.
The announcement was rather confusing, as the new version is coming both as a stand-alone re-release and as an update for existing versions of the game. An explanatory chart posted on the Japanese Dark Souls website helps clarify things a bit, thanks to a handy translation by a NeoGAF user.
If you update the existing PC (DirectX 9), PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 version to v1.10 for free, you’ll receive:
- New characters and events
- Story and world additions (including item descriptions)
- Various balancing tweaks
If you instead elect to buy the re-release for PC (DirectX 11), PS4 or Xbox One, you’ll get the enhancements above as well as:
- Graphics and performance upgrades
- Improved online multiplayer (for up to six players)
- Enemy and game design adjustments
- All three DLC packs released to date
Finally, just to make things really confusing, there will also be a re-release for PC (DirectX9), PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, which is exactly the same as the 1.10 version but comes bundled with the DLC. There’s no way to get the PC (DirectX 11), PS4 and Xbox One-exclusive features for the PC (DirectX 9), PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 versions; you’ll have to upgrade by buying again.
In short: everyone everywhere gets the balancing changes, new story material and events. Only the new PC, PS4 and Xbox One version has expanded multiplayer, better graphics, and whatever “enemy and game design adjustments” means.
I hope this helps clear up some of the confusion, although it’s worth noting that this information has not been confirmed for the west yet.
There’s one other important bit of info in the chart: there’s no cross-generational multiplayer support – so PS3 players cannot play with PS4 players, for example, but this also applies to the DirectX 9 and DirectX 11 PC versions, which is a bit sad.
Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin and patch v1.10 will release in April 2015.