New Game Plus in Dark Souls II offers new content that cannot be experienced in New Game, unlike Demon's Souls and Dark Souls.
After defeating the final boss, the final cutscene and credits roll after which the player is placed back in Majula, still in their current playthrough. To progress to NG+ you will need to rest at the Far Fire bonfire and select Journey 2 to Drangleic.
In addition to new content, enemies and bosses become harder and additional souls are rewarded for defeating them. All soul levels and inventory items (except items stated below) carry over to New Game Plus.
Items removed from your inventory when you start your next journey into Drangleic:
- All items in the "Keys" section, including Key to the Embedded
- King's Ring
- Fragrant Branch of Yore
- Crushed Eye Orb
Before beginning Journey 2 to Drangleic
- Farm or buy any upgrade materials you may want
- Defeat any remaining optional bosses such as Darklurker or Old Dragonslayer
- Trade any Boss souls for weapons or spells with Straid of Olaphis or Weaponsmith Ornifex
- Infuse any weapons you want with Steady Hand McDuff
- Join any covenant you want to be in during the next game cycle (as many, such as the Brotherhood of Blood and Heirs of the Sun, are not available until later in the game).
- Resolve any unfinished NPC questlines that were not failed outright, such as those belonging to Benhart of Jugo or Aldia.
Changes in NG+
- NG+ adds completely new enemies and new attacks from old enemies, as well as unlocking previously unobtainable weapons, armors, and items. Most of these NG+ changes can be simulated by using a Bonfire Ascetic to increase Bonfire Intensity which carries over to NG+, raising the area you used the Ascetic in to NG++ on NG+.
- Enemies are harder to kill, deal more damage, and drop increased souls.
- Weapon riposte damage increases by 50%
- Some of the significant new enemies which appear:
- Many merchants will add new items to their inventories in NG+ and NG++. Usually, this cannot be achieved by use of an Ascetic. (For example, Chancellor Wellager sells many items that cannot be accessed until NG++.)
- Many new items become available as loot:
- Gower's Ring of Protection appears as loot in the Shaded Woods.
- The Lost Sinner drops the Old Witch Soul.
- Belfry Gargoyles drop the Covetous Gold Serpent Ring +2.
- Skeleton Lords drop the Clear Bluestone Ring +2.
- Executioner's Chariot drops the Chloranthy Ring +2.
- Mytha the Baneful Queen drops the Covetous Silver Serpent Ring +2
- Old Iron King drops the Old King Soul
- Scorpioness Najka drops the Southern Ritual Band +2
- The Duke's Dear Freja drops the Old Paledrake Soul.
- The Rotten drops the Old Dead One Soul.
- One of the two Pursuers who spawn in Drangleic Castle drops the Ring of Blades +2.
- Looking Glass Knight drops the Ring of Steel Protection +2.
- Velstadt The Royal Aegis drops the Royal Soldier's Ring +2.
- Giant Lord drops the Ring of Giants +2.
- Throne Defender and Throne Watcher drop the Ring of the Evil Eye +2.
Bonfire Intensity and Scaling
Entering the next New Game Plus cycle will increase the intensity of all bonfires by 1, which increases the scaling of enemy stats. If no Bonfire Ascetics are used, all bonfires in NG+ will have an intensity of 2, and all bonfires in NG+7 will have an intensity of 8.
Bonfire Intensity can be increased to 99, though enemy stat increases max out at 8 (NG+7).
You can still burn Bonfire Ascetics after reaching Bonfire Intensity 99, everything will respawn as normal but the number will not go up anymore.
Enemy Souls Dropped
HP increase varies from enemy to enemy. Values found so far have either been equal to or less than the souls multiplier.