Since the game’s launch, players have been scratching their heads, trying to figure out exactly how poise works in Dark Souls III. For those not in the know, poise allows your character to take hits from enemies without getting staggered, and this allows them to execute their attacks without getting interrupted. To increase your poise in a Souls game, players would typically put on heavier armor to avoid getting stunlocked. However, heavy armor doesn’t seem to be doing anything for your poise in Dark Souls III.
According to an article posted by Kotaku, From Software and Bandai Namco have mentioned to them that poise isn’t broken, and that it’s working as intended.
“The poise stat is working as intended and is not ‘turned off’ as some fans have theorized,” a spokesperson for Bandai Namco told me. “The stat works differently than in past games and is more situational, which seems to be the reason for the confusion.”
What’s interesting is that PC players managed to dig through the game’s files and found a way to ‘turn on‘ the mechanic, and this caused poise to work the exact same way it had in previous games. However, the catch is that modifying the game’s files in any way would cause you to get softbanned in the game, so turning poise back on wouldn’t help you at all in PVP.
Bandai Namco and From Software neglected to mention how exactly the mechanic works. So essentially, players still have no idea what that poise stat on your player status screen does.