Elden Ring is hard. Misjudge anything — a cliffside, a boss, a jump — and you’re likely to get sent right back to your last Site of Grace. Death is inevitable. It may even be the point. Dying is how you learn to overcome the seemingly insurmountable challenge of restoring peace to the Lands Between, and become the Elden Lord. You’ll die a lot before that happens, and a fair few mods have appeared to make it easier. However, one Elden Ring modder is rebelling, and has made the whole game even harder.
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“I think I saw about 4 or 5 ‘easy mode’ type mods out there,” creator Silentverge02 told Kotaku via direct messages. “They all basically did the same thing: ‘50% less enemy damage & health’ just seems lazy to me I guess.”
As spotted by PC Gamer, Silentverge02 released a hard mode for Elden Ring that alters certain aspects of FromSoftware’s latest Souls-like. The Prepare To Die mod, downloadable through Nexus Mods, does more than just increase enemy damage output and health pools. According to the mod’s description, it bumps enemy stats such as damage, defence, and resistances to New Game Plus levels, while keeping others like health, focus points, and stamina the same. Enemy AI is also a bit smarter with this mod, so they hear and see you from further away, look for you for longer and harder after you’ve escaped, and can detect you when attempting a backstab.
The Prepare To Die mod makes other changes as well, including a wider field of view, relegating fast travel to only cathedrals and churches, and modifying New Game Plus to accommodate for the extra difficulty and enemy AI adjustments. Basically, the incredibly difficult Elden Ring just got a lot harder with this mod. Great.
In the mod’s description, Silentverge02 said they “got sick” of seeing easy modes populate Nexus Mods. Silentverge02 elaborated in messages to Kotaku that while Elden Ring is enough of a test already, they thought enemy AI was “lacking” and wanted more of a challenge than the game gives. Like some glutton for punishment.
“I’m not knocking those [easy mode] mods or anything,” Sileventverge02 told us, “but it just seems like a race to see who can ruin the game the quickest. I have no beef with any other modders for Elden Ring, and I don’t have any issues with easy mode type mods. I just personally enjoy a challenge in everything I do, especially gaming. I’m the type that when playing a new game will crank the difficulty to max on the first playthrough. More challenge [equals] more fun!”
The hardest part of creating Prepare To Die, says Silentverge02, was discovering how to actually mod Elden Ring in the first place. It hasn’t been out for a full month. Mods of the game certainly exist, but they found tinkering with the game’s files difficult with so few “how-tos” out there. Still, Silentverge02 isn’t done modding the game just yet, as they’ve got another idea fermenting in the mind.
“Yes, I plan on making (or trying to) a survival type mod where you need to rely more on crafting items to survive and maybe, just maybe a hunger system of some sort,” Silentverge02 told us. “I’m probably just pipe dreaming for that but you never know. If it’s possible, I’ll figure it out!”
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It’s hard to imagine Elden Ring being any harder than it already is. I’m getting my arse whooped left and right by everything under the Lands Between’s sun. And yet, folks are beating the game without dying and killing bosses in the most stylish way possible. Let me see them do all that with this mod active.