For better or for worse, there have been a number of changes made to the game and we’re going to go over them and how they work. We’ll not include anything we deem to be a spoiler in here; so don’t worry about that.
Whilst they’re returned, you can use them to immediately warp between them once you’ve unlocked more than one (compared to only being able to perform this function at around mid-game in DS1).
Bonfires now also have immediate access to the item box (for storing excess gear in), they allow you to change magic in your attunment slots (if you have any open that is) and now ‘burn items’ (which we’ll go into in more detail a bit later).
Whilst you still need to spend souls to increase your character stats, it’s now as it was in Demon’s Souls, you need to speak to the mysterious woman in the starting hub (in this case Majula) and ask her to level up.
The Estus Flask
Once you’ve spoken to the mysterious woman in Majula for the first time (hint: look to the right of the bonfire here), she’ll give you the Estus Flask. What you’ll likely notice is that you’ve only got a measly one flask (compared to the five in the original).
To upgrade it you’ll need to find Estus Flask Shards throughout the game world. Then simply take it back to the lady in Majula and ask her to reinforce your flask to boost the number by one.
You also no longer use Fire Keeper Souls to upgrade the amount of health using a flask offers. Instead; look for Sublime Bone Dust (of which there’s five in total) and burn them at the Majula bonfire (it won’t work on any other bonfire).
One of the most significant changes is that after killing the same regular enemy in a level for the 15th time, it’ll no longer appear until NG+ (or until you burn a Bonfire Aestetic; a new item we’ll discuss a bit later on in full detail).
Whilst this means that if you keep getting killed in a specific area (usually en-route to the boss) it makes life easier to reach said boss eventually; it also means that you can no longer sit there and keep farming for souls indefinitely.
From Hollow to Human
Dying has the habit of turning your human-form into something a bit more grotesque. When you’re 'hollow' you’ll be invaded less (invasions can still happen) and you can’t summon for help either. Human Effigy’s are required if you’re wanting to turn yourself back into 'human' form and participate in jolly co-op.
Dying and going hollow also has the nasty side-effect of reducing your overall health bar. The more you die, the lower your maximum HP becomes (until you hit the cap of losing 50% of your available health).
So using an Effigy (which is different to burning one) will not only allow you to invade, be invaded or do co-op; but you’ll also extend your health bar up to the maximum level again (although you’ll likely want to top up your health afterwards).