Rolling has been overhauled for Dark Souls II. In the previous game, roll speed was divided into three distinct classes, depending on your character's equip load. Your character's rolling speed and distance would drastically change if you fell under one of the three limits- 100% equip load, 50% equip load, and 25% equip load.
In Dark Souls II, however, rolling has only one hard limit at 70%. All rolling below that will have the same animation, but as your equip load decreases, your roll speed and distance will gradually increase. Attempting to roll with over 70% equip load will result in a "fat roll", with its own, slower, animation. Equipping more than 100% of your character's equip load will gradually slow your character's walking and sprinting speed, and equipping more than 120% will make rolling and sprinting impossible. However, even above 120% equip load, one can always perform rolling attacks and backstep attacks.
Rolling Distance and Equip Load
An approximation of roll distance versus equip load can be found below.1
|Equip Load||Rolling Distance (Out of Maximum Possible Distance)|
Staying under 50% weight seems to be the most advantageous, since you can roll 15% farther than you can at 70% weight- the greatest increase in distance.
70-100% weight seems to have no effect on roll distance, but keep in mind that being above 70% makes you fat roll, which is slower.
Rolling Speed and Equip Load
Weight only affects roll distance. It has no affect on iFrames or roll duration. Whether you are at 0% burden, or 70%, your entire roll takes about 25 frames to complete.
Agility's Effect on Rolling
Agility affects the number of invincibility frame (iFrames) counts a roll has.
Agility only affects iFrames. As long as you aren't fat rolling, you get as many iFrames at 70% burden as you do naked.2
The roll at 105 agility is equivalent to the fast-roll in the original Dark Souls.
A new mechanic that seems to have been introduced into Dark Souls II. The quick roll allows a character to quickly act after performing an attack, allowing them to potentially dodge follow-up attacks from faster enemies at the cost of slightly more stamina that they would not have been able to had they just pressed O to attempt a dodge. It is unknown if this is a glitch that has to do with the new feint mechanic, and it is unknown if it works with all weapons although this should be the case if the principle applies universally.
To perform the quick roll, the player must press an attack button and the "circle" button at the same time or within a very narrow window of one another. While this seems simple at first, the difficult part comes from the strict timing of the maneuver which is additionally unique to each moveset. The player must press Attack+O at the exact same time they would perform a consecutive attack, right down to the earliest frame that they can input to in which the game would be able to recognize the command as a successive attack. If done properly, the player will roll away or backstep almost immediately after the hit connects with an enemy.
Performing the Quick Roll is difficult due to the different movesets of the various weapons in the game and the strict timing. Done too early, and the player will perform the standard roll which leaves them vulnerable for a short period between the attack and the execution of the roll. Doing it too late on the other hand will defeat the frame advantage of the quick roll technique while draining additional stamina for the late quick roll. In addition, the quick roll cannot be done if the player's attack bounces off a wall and goes into the recoil animation.
So far, this technique has been tested and demonstrated to work with straight swords in both the standard and power stances. ADDITON: also works with the Reaper class weapons.
Another advanced technique; performed by rolling, initiating a rolling attack, and then quickly interrupting that attack with another roll. If done quickly, this will lead to being able to roll much faster in succession, making a great advanced technique for escaping quickly or catching up quickly to an enemy.