Dark Souls III Magic System Impressions, Gameplay Footage

The folks at GameInformer have had the chance to try the TGS build of Dark Souls III for themselves and have written an article on the game's magic system based on their experience with it. For the most part, it doesn't sound like a drastic departure from previous game, though it sounds like mana (which is returning from Demon's Souls) will potentially be useful for all character, which might affect stat distribution and itemization:

Tim: Speaking of stats and character building, that's probably the only barrier I could see getting between me and pumping some experience points into magic in Dark Souls III. I love how straightforward this new system is, but we've yet to see how complicated or cryptic actually building out your character is, which could still get in the way of curious would-be magic users. Anything else noteworthy you took away from the TGS demo relating to the new example classes?

Dan: Cool gear, cool spells, but nothing really earth-shattering outside of tying everyone to the mana system in some way. Melee or caster, you're gonna need it, and having a dedicated mana recharge flask is interesting. The demo has a balance by giving the traditional melee fighters a bunch more Estus and only a few Ash Estus, with more mana flasks and less health flasks for the casters. I'm wondering if developer From will try to keep that balance somehow in the game, but it seems like an unrealistic goal or a really interesting way to approach design. With no static "classes" though, it would probably come down to player choice picking flasks, which would be interesting.

Tim: That choice would be a natural extension of the "wizardly glass cannon" approach or "healing-obsessed tank" builds in my opinion. Either way, I was happy to have some alternate healing at my fingertips and a Soul Dart to pick away at distant enemies. After playing the TGS demo my pure-melee plan for Dark Souls III has some revision depending on how the whole system looks when the game presumably arrives next year after hitting in Japan.

They also discuss the system in a new video, which also includes some gameplay footage of the Academy Assassin demo class: