We’ll cover Player versus Player (PvP) battles in-depth in its own section later in the guide. But for now it’s worth noting that the weapons and tactics you’ll use on computer-controlled enemies (Player versus Enemy - PvE) will, usually, be completely different.
For a start, all PvE combat revolves around learning a set number of 'tells' that indicate what attack is coming up (allowing you to prepare with how to deal with it). When facing off against a human opponent you don’t know what they’re going to do (at least not at the beginning of your PvP experiences).
Then there’s the added complication of internet lag (where your button pushes don’t seem to match-up with what’s happening on the screen) and people who resort to using various strategies that many find to be over-powered or simply unfair.
This is worth noting now as invasions (other human opponents entering your game world who are looking to kill you) can happen at any time now - even when you’re hollow (unlike in Dark Souls 1 where you could only be invaded whilst in human form).
Note: Human opponents will appear as red/black phantoms with their own life bar. Now, it’s worth noting that even if you die whilst being invaded you won’t lose any souls you were carrying on you at that point. You’ll simply return to the spot you were at before you were invaded. So don’t panic!