The famous dodge roll from the Souls games has also been significantly altered. When you're not locked onto an enemy, you'll roll as normal, but as soon as you lock on, the roll is replaced by a quickstep, allowing you to position yourself to the side or behind an enemy. This takes some getting used to, but it keeps fights fast-paced. In addition, encumbrance has been removed from the game entirely, so you won't have to worry about balancing your equipment against your movement speed. Sadly, this also removes the possibility of "fat" rolls and the levity they bring.
As such, the clothes you wear will mostly determine your resistances to various status effects the game throws at you, rather than allowing you to soak up more damage. People who play "Fashion Souls" will enjoy some of the costume options available, but I was slightly disappointed that gear didn't affect more than a handful of tough situations that come very late into the game.
Though the amount of gear has taken a step back, your weapons can be socketed with Blood Gems, which grant them additional status effects, extra damage, or even mild health regeneration. Rather than finding rings, your character can also acquire Caryll Runes, which serve the same purpose. You'll have four slots for Caryll Runes, but the fourth slot is reserved for an Oath Memory rune, which ties you to one of the three multiplayer Oaths (or Covenants, in series parlance).
Par for the series to this point, multiplayer is central to the experience, whether you choose to take on the horrors of Yharnam alone or with friends. Bloodstains still appear, allowing you to check out how other players died, and you can read messages from other players intended to point you in the right direction (or troll you into jumping off a cliff to your death). Writing messages is a little more flexible now, and there's the added bonus of being able to attach an emote to them, allowing extra encouragement or having your character point in the correct direction.
And of course, you can still summon other players for help with an area, granted that you haven't already killed the zone boss. Early in the game, you'll receive an item called the Beckoning Bell, which allows you to summon other players who have used an item called the Small Resonant Bell. In order to use the Beckoning Bell, you'll need to expend a type of currency called Insight, which is gained in a few ways. You'll usually get one Insight for simply encountering an area boss. You'll get a few for defeating the boss. You can also consume items to gain it.
The Small Resonant Bell can be purchased once you've racked up 10 Insight, which opens up a new vendor in the Hunter's Dream. One Insight and it's yours. Oh, and I guess you could buy the Sinister Resonant Bell at the same time, but we're not here to talk about invading people...