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- What Are Sunlight Medals and Bonfire Ascetics?
- Preparation! Preparation! Preparation!
- Farming Spots:
What Are Sunlight Medals and Bonfire Ascetics?
In the Dark Souls series, you can join a number of different factions known as covenants. By giving the leader of the covenant certain items, you can increase your rank and receive rewards. There are also trophies/achievements for doing this. The Sunlight Medals are the item required to increase your rank in the Heirs of the Sun covenant. The intended way to earn covenant items is to engage with the online co-op and PvP portion of the game. Some people simply don’t find this fun, and currently, the PC servers are down, so farming offline is often the best option.
Bonfires act as both checkpoints and fast travel points in Dark Souls 2. Bonfire Ascetics are items that you can burn at any bonfire to increase the bonfire intensity. What this means is that it pushes the area around the bonfire into the next New Game cycle. Any enemies you have wiped out will respawn and will be more deadly and harder to kill. For every level of bonfire intensity, up to 8, the chances of enemies dropping an item also increases.
What Do You Need to Farm Sunlight Medals
To make your farming journey go as quickly as possible, you will need to put in a little work in advance. There are a few key pieces of gear that you’ll need to collect. You have a few options if you want to put in less legwork now and get straight to farming, but I’ve highlighted the best options in bold. I would definitely recommend putting in the extra work early to shorten the actual farming process.
- Symbol of Avarice headpiece – Acquired from a Mimic in Frozen Eleum Loyce in Crown of the Ivory King DLC. It must be said that this headpiece will constantly drain your health while you’re wearing it, so be careful. This can be partially counteracted by using Lifegems or wearing the Ring of Restoration.
- Jester’s Cap headpiece – Purchased from Magerold of Lanafir early in the Iron Keep.
- Prisoner’s Tatters chest piece – Acquired by defeating Hollow Prisoners in No Man’s Wharf, Huntsman’s Copse, Harvest Valley, Earthen Peak, the Grave of Saints, The Gutter, the Undead Crypt, and the Frigid Outskirts.
- Watchdragon Parma shield – Acquired by defeating the Dragon in front of the Cathedral of Blue in Heide’s Tower of Flame.
- Covetous Gold Serpent Ring – Found in the Iron Keep descending platforming section after the Smelter Demon.
- Covetous Gold Serpent Ring +1 – Speak to Magerold of Lanafir in the Iron Keep after spending 10,000 souls on his wares. Alternatively, if you choose to kill him (I won’t tell if you don’t) he will drop the ring.
- Covetous Gold Serpent Ring +2 – Acquired by defeating the Belfry Gargoyles in New Game+ (or using a bonfire ascetic and defeating them).
- Rusted Coin – a consumable item that you will find naturally while playing the game. It increases the item drop rate for around 5 minutes. It will deactivate if you reload an area, either by dying or using fast travel – which could be important in choosing a farming spot. These are not essential but can give you an extra boost to speed up the process.
Now that the gear is taken care of, there are two other important factors.
- Firstly, once you’ve chosen a farming spot, you will want to use as many Bonfire Ascetics as it takes you to reach bonfire intensity 8. You can increase the bonfire intensity further, but that is the final level that increases the chance for enemies to drop items. For example, if you are in New Game, this will take 7 Bonfire Ascetics. If you’re in New Game+4, this will take 4 Bonfire Ascetics.
- Secondly, you will want to join the Company of Champions in Majula. This covenant activates the ‘Hard Mode’ of Dark Souls 2. Enemies will hit harder, take more damage, but most importantly, never despawn. It makes farming more dangerous, but much quicker. To join, simply find the Victor’s Stone along a cliff’s edge and choose yes when you’re repeatedly asked if you’d like to join.
Now onto the actual farming spots. I found three options to choose from, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Just bear in mind that what works for me may not work for you and vice versa. You might prefer a quicker, but more difficult method rather than a slower, but safer approach. Try out each of the spots and see which one feels the most comfortable for you.
Spot 1: Things Betwixt
Things Betwixt, the very starting area of Dark Souls 2 sees a change when you start your New Game+ journey – or when you burn a Bonfire Ascetic at the Fire Keepers’ Dwelling bonfire. Where originally there were no enemies, there are now 4 Falconers. This is good, as Falconers have a chance to drop Sunlight Medals, but it can be overwhelming as they can be a little tricky to take on all at once. The run from the bonfire isn’t exactly long, but it’s not short either. Your best bet would be to warp back to the bonfire each time after killing the Falconers using either a Homeward Bone or Aged Feather. By reloading the area, this would negate any active Rusted Coins, however. This spot didn’t work for me, but maybe it’ll be perfect for you.
Spot 2: Harvest Valley
The Mines bonfire at Harvest Valley is our second spot. They contain 4 Mounted Overseers – huge, bulking monsters being ridden by a smaller creature who are relatively easy to kill. The enemies are more spread out and you will have to deal with poison damage, and ranged attacks from out-of-reach enemies. The run from the bonfire is a fair distance, too. This spot is my least favourite and I would not recommend this method. Again, I’d recommend warping back to the bonfire using a Homeward Bone or Aged Feather. This presents the same problem to using Rusted Coins.
Spot 3: Brightstone Cove Tseldora
Finally, we have my personal favourite, and the fastest method that I’ve found. At the Royal Army Campsite bonfire at Brightstone Cove Tseldora there are 6 Falconers that you can take out one by one without being overwhelmed. There are a handful of other enemies, but they’re easy to defeat. The best part is that the bonfire is only a few steps away. You could use Homeward Bone or Aged Feather to warp back, but you’re close enough to walk which makes using Rusted Coins much more viable.
Once I started using this method with the best gear as listed above, I noticed a big increase in Sunlight Medal drops. Of all the methods listed here, this one is by far my favourite and the one that I’d recommend.
Read More: How to Dual Wield in Dark Souls 3
That’s that. With this guide and a little luck, it won’t be too long until you’ve collected all the Sunlight Medals that you need. Let us know in the comments if this helped you out. Thanks for reading our Dark Souls 2 Sunlight Medal farming guide.