One of the most common criticisms I hear for Dark Souls 3 is that there are too many bonfires. In my opinion, that's what makes the game feel easier. Keep in mind that I played DS1 after I played DS3 (a game that I now know off by heart). In that 1st DS playthrough I longed for the next bonfire and I really felt relief after finding one.
In DS3 I always felt like the “bonfire in (almost) every boss arena” mechanic was a bad idea. In Bloodborne, at least this mechanic made sense, at least in the naming of the bonfires/lanterns. The One Reborn's lantern is called Advent Plaza for example. It makes sense to name the lantern after the place it's in, not the boss. In Dark Souls 3, we get places called “Iudex Gundyr”, which makes no sense, in my opinion. Iudex Gundyr is not a place, it's a dude. So, in this bonfire re-imagining, we'll be deleting all boss-named bonfires. That's 16 bonfires in the main game gone if I'm not mistaken.
That said let's progress though the game normally.
BF means Bonfire not boyfriend
CEMETERY OF ASH (3)
BF: Cemetery of Ash: this one stays, obviously, it's in the tutorial area, we have to let the new players in on the game mechanics.
BF: Iudex Gundyr: pointless bonfire, bye bye.
BF: Firelink Shrine: obviously this one stays, this is the hub area.
HIGH WALL OF LOTHRIC (5)
BF: High Wall of Lothric: this bonfire is a crucial one, it's next to the elevator shortcut and it's the 1st big area's bonfire.
BF: Tower on the Wall: every time I get to this bonfire I feel relief. It's a well placed bonfire, in a not-so obvious place. I probably feel that way because I always take the path that leads to the mimic with the Dark Battle Axe. It would be cool if the dragon or wyvern that spits fire on the claymore would come down and fight us eventually.
BF: Vordt of the Boreal Valley: this bonfire is a no-no.
Do you remember that feeling after beating Taurus Demon and not getting a bonfire to secure your hard earned souls afterwards? Let's try to create that feeling now.
UNDEAD SETTLEMENT (6)
BF: Foot of the High Wall: another pointless bonfire, why was it even put here?
BF: Undead Settlement: this one stays. It'll be the main bonfire for the area. Taurus Demon feeling was probably recreated like this.
I really want to remove one of the 2 bonfires, but I'm not really sure which one to remove. Probably because they managed to make me feel nice and safe.
BF: Cliff Underside: a nice hidden bonfire and a necessary one if the player took the bridge path after the estus flash fire camp thingymadoodle. Once the big door to the Pit of Hollows is open, it's my go-to bonfire to go to the Greatwood.
BF: Dilapidated Bridge: a nicely placed bonfire if you take the house path after the estus flash fire camp thingymadoodle. I'd remove this bonfire in New Game Plus though. That would make the player panic a little probably.
BF: Pit of Hollows: a cool name for a bonfire. I'd remove it due to the fact that I don't think you can PvP in it and that no-one probably teleports there. Even for Siris' questline you don't use it. There's even a homeward bone next to the bonfire. This homeward bone will only appear once the Greatwood is defeated, so if you decide to talk to Hodrick he'll still give you a homeward boner.
ROAD OF SACRIFICES (7)
BF: Road of Sacrifices: this bonfire is one of my favourite ones. I use it to go talk to “I help anytime” and to go defeat the demon with Siegward. This one stays.
BF: Halfway Fortress: I'm not entirely sure about this bonfire. It's useful but it feels like it comes a bit too soon. I'd remove it… in New Game Plus.
BF: Crucifixion Woods: this one's a keeper. Allows the player to quickly get to the Crystal Sage and to Farron Keep with relative ease.
BF: Crystal Sage: bye bye boss bonfire.
CATHEDRAL OF THE DEEP (8)
BF: Cathedral of the Deep: this bonfire makes the game wayyyy too easy. I'd remove it because the next bonfire is one of my favourites in the entire game.
BF: Cleansing Chapel: I LOVE this area. I love the whole level design and I feel relieved after I open the shortcuts surrounding the chapel. How can you not love this bonfire?
BF: Rosaria's Bed Chamber: I'd remove this bonfire. It's close to the bonfire we're covering next and it makes the “quest to re-spec” a bit more interesting that just using the travel option.
BF: Deacons of the Deep: Yes yes, I said we're removing boss-arena bonfires but bare with me. I'd add a little room at the opposite of the boss arena entrance, similar to the little cave in after The Rotten (DS2) fight. In this room, there's a bonfire called Aldrich's Tomb and you find Anri and Horace instead of meeting them in Firelink Shrine.
FARRON KEEP (9)
BF: Farron Keep: Of course we're keeping this bonfire.
BF: Keep Ruins: This bonfire as well. It's a perfectly placed bonfire.
BF: Farron Keep Perimeter: As ParagonDS said, this bonfire is pointless. When you open the shortcut back to the Road of Sacrifices, the walk to Halfway Fortress is quick.
BF: Old Wolf of Farron: this bonfire is only here to make the Wolf's Blood Swordgrass offering easier. I'm removing it. On the other hand, the elevator that goes up to the stray demon goes all the way down to the bottom of the swamp (next to the Estus Soup and Sunlight Talisman) once it's been activated. It would be an elevator similar to the one to get to “I help anytime”.
BF: Abyss Watchers: boss bonfire, nope, removing. This bonfire always disturbs me when I'm having that amazing duel with Hawkwood. Instead we're adding a bonfire right afterwards in…
CATACOMBS OF CARTHUS (9)
We are making a couple of changes in the Catacombs. First of all, the 1st bonfire will be preset right after the contraption in the Abyss Watchers' arena opens. This bonfire will be called “Catacombs of Carthus” obviously.
Additionally, we're making the skeleton ball sorcerers non-respawning.
BF: Catacombs of Carthus (in game bonfire): Do you remember the small gate next to the in-game Catacombs of Carthus bonfires? Well, now, instead of a bonfire, this is a shortcut that you open from the bonfire's side.
BF: High Lord Wolnir: delete this boss bonfire.
SMOULDERING LAKE (10)
It will no longer be possible to cheese the Sandworm with the ballista. Keep reading!
BF: Abandoned Tomb: this bonfire will be deleted, because there will be some changes done in Smouldering Lake. Don't worry, there will be a bonfire close to the access to this area, but we'll see this in the Irithyll part.
BF: Old King's Antechamber: good bonfire, starting bonfire for the area, we're keeping it.
BF: Demon Ruins: I like the 2 ways to get to this bonfire, using the giant ballista and just normally progressing through the level after the Old King's Antechamber. We're keeping it. We're also making it possible to get back up to the lake surface if the ballista make the hole in the ground.
Progress up to the ballista normally, there are no real changes. Right after the ballista. Controlling the ballista will be an enemy NPC. After killing him, you'll be able to control the ballista (I fantasize about this) and you'll be able to shoot those fucking obnoxious crabs at the bottom of the lake. You'll also be able to shoot the stones to open the Demon Ruins shortcut, the Speckled Stoneplate Ring wall and the giant sandworm.
I'd also like it if the sandworm would impact the whole (chalice dungeon) smouldering ruins while you are progressing through it. You'd be able to hear it moving and the walls would shake and stuff like that. I never noticed any huge holes in the walls of the area and that always felt weird because the worm has been tunnelling in and out for a while.
After having fun with the ballista, you can kick down a ladder down to the water. This will be your shortcut up to the boss arena. Yes, we moved the Old Demon King's arena to the top of the ruins, right after the ballista.
BF: Old Demon King: No more boss bonfire here, you're getting to Irithyll by foot you lazy sod.
IRITHYLL OF THE BOREAL VALLEY (10)
BF: Irithyll of the Boreal Valley: We are keeing this bonfire. It'll be the main bonfire to gain access to Smouldering Lake, Irithyll (obviously) and Irithyll Dungeon. Right after we exit the Catacombs of Carthus, if you go to the left will be this bonfire, but if you go to the right will be a small cave blocked by a locked door.
BF: Central Irithyll : the walk along the bridge isn't tedious, it's beautiful. This bonfire is removed.
BF: Church of Yorshka: keep this bonfire, it's cool.
BF: Distant Manor: this bonfire is deleted. Instead, in the manor, or somewhere close, you'll be able to go into a small cave that will bring you back to the Irithyll of the Boreal Valley bonfire locked door. SHORTCUT
BF: Pontiff Sulyvahn: boss bonfire deleted. To PvP in this area you'll have to walk back from the Church of Yorshka. Suck it up.
BF: Water Reserve Bonfire: fuck this bonfire, it's pointless.
ANOR LONDO (11)
BF: Anor Londo: This bonfire will stay. Your journey to get here was long and you deserve this.
BF: Prison Tower: Another covenant bonfire like the Water Reserve. Remove it.
BF: Aldrich Devourer of Gods: boss bonfire, you know the deal.
IRITHYLL DUNGEON (12)
BF: Irithyll Dungeon: starting bonfire for the area, it's a keeper
BF: Profaned Capital: Nothing to say, keep it here
BF: Yhorm the Giant: boss bonfire removed
After you beat the 3 Lords of Cinder you get teleported to the Dancer's boss fight.
HIGH WALL OF LOTHRIC (12)
BF: Dancer of the Boreal Valley: boss bonfire removed
BF: Oceiros the Cosumed King: boss bonfire removed. Instead, you get a bonfire after the Path of the Dragon gesture. I have no idea what to call it though, but we'll call it Consumed King's Nursery for practical reasons. Let's also add some plant textures, for reasons.
UNTENDED GRAVES (12)
BF: Untended Graves: Removed, the Consumed King's Nursery replaces it.
BF: Champion Gundyr: removed. It would be cool that after Gundyr is defeated, a shortcut back to the Consumed King's Nursery could be opened. I'm not really sure how it would be done though, because of all the time travel stuff.
LOTHRIC CASTLE (14)
BF: Lothric Castle: this bonfire will allow us to gain access to the Consumed King's Garden and Lothric Castle.
BF: Dragon Barracks: I'm not sure if this bonfire should go, it feels extremely close to the Lothric Castle starting bonfire. We are removing it because of the big gate shortcut opening. Suck it up.
BF: Dragonslayer Armour: reeeeeeeemoved
BF: Grand Archives: instead of just finding Black Hand Gotthard dead with the Archive keys in hand, why don't you fight him to get the Grand Archives keys? Only after defeating him will you be able to light the bonfire.
BF: Twin Princes Bonfire: boss bonfire removed
ARCHDRAGON PEAK (14)
BF: Archdragon Peak: the main bonfire for this area. Do you remember the broken elevator at the start of the area? Have you ever used it? Worry not, we'll make use of it!
BF: Dragon-Kin Mausoleum: we are removing this bonfire. On top of that, after you kill the Ancient Wyvern, you don't get teleported up here. You're going to have to walk back up to unlock the elevator shortcut, whether you've killed the mobs on the way or not.
BF: Great Belfry: We are keeping this bonfire obviously.
BF: Nameless King: It's a forgettable bonfire in a beautiful area. It's soooo close to the Great Belfry bonfire it's not necessary.
KILN OF THE FIRST FLAME (15)
BF: Flameless Shrine: removed
BF: Kiln of the First Flame: make this whole area linked to the Flameless Shrine or something, it would be so much cooler.
BF: The First Flame: I don't think you should be able to teleport here. I'm not even sure you can. This bonfire should not be listed anyways.
ASHES OF ARIANDEL(15) BF: Snowfield: Obviously this bonfire should stay
*BF: Rope Bridge Cave: * I'd remove this bonfire. The first time I played the DLC I never crossed the rope bridge I was so intimidated, so I just rushed down to the Corvian Settlement.
*BF: Ariandel Chapel: * we are keeping this bonfire, for obvious reasons.
BF: Corvian Settlement: this bonfire is a keeper, it'll be our main bonfire for a while.
BF: Snowy Mountain Pass: due to the amount of shortcuts present in this area, I'd remove this bonfire. This is an end game”ish” DLC so it would be logical that the player uses all the shortcuts unlocked in the Corvian Settlement for a while, I mean, I love the area, so I'll do anything to spend more time here, even delete bonfires. I makes sense to me though.
BF: Depths of the Painting Bonfire: I hate coming down here, I hate the 1 hour long ladder, I hate the crabs, I hate the boss. Still it's a beautiful area. This bonfire stays.
BF: Champion's Gravetender: Barefootinasnowyarea boss bonfire removed.
BF: Sisten Friede: Epic music boss bonfire removed.
THE DREG HEAP (15)
In my opinion, Myazaki added “The” everywhere in front of the names of this DLC to add more “umpf” to the names of the zones. Dreg Heap sounds cool without the forced “The”…
BF: The Dreg Heap: Starting bonfire, we're keeping it obviously.
BF: Earthen Peak: A nice middle-ground bonfire. Keeping it.
BF: Within the Earthen Peak: I hate this bonfire name. I also think that we could add some sort of shortcut back to the Earthen Peak bonfire so that this bonfire can be removed.
BF: The Demon Prince: Why call it “THE” Demon Prince? The Nameless King's bonfire is called Nameless King, not THE Nameless King… ARGGGG. Boss bonfire is removed.
THE RINGED CITY (15)
I admit it, Ringed City doesn't sound as good as THE Ringed City. Unlike The Dreg Heap, this doesn't trigger me.
*BF: Mausoleum Lookout, BF: Ringed Inner Wall, BF: Ringed City Streets, BF: Shared Grave * are all bonfires that remain untouched. They are purrrrfect.
BF: Darkeater Midir: boss bonfire removed. Add a homeward boner after killing the Abyss devourer or something.
BF: Church of Fillianore: we get a bonfire for Gael very soon. By removing this bonfire, the player will start wondering “what's next, what's coming, why don't I have a safe space?”. We are at the climax of the DLC and this bonfire breaks the tension. “The king's decree is no trifling matter” after all. BF: Filianore's Rest: Epic boss fight coming, you'll need this bonfire.
BF: Slave Knight Gael: Remove this bonfire or at least call it Pygmy Lord's Throne or something.
What do you think of these changes?