Shadow Of The Erdtree Will Be Elden Ring’s ‘First And Last’ Expansion

Shadow Of The Erdtree Will Be Elden Ring’s ‘First And Last’ Expansion

For those who were hoping to get more Elden Ring content after the release of Shadow of the Erdtree this week, I’ve got some bad news. The game’s director, Hidetaka Miyazaki, has confirmed that the meaty expansion will be the game’s “first and last,” meaning the team will be moving on to whatever’s next after its release.

In an interview with the Chinese publication Zhihu last month, Miyazaki spoke at length about the nature of the heavily anticipated expansion. Shadow of the Erdtree, which is arriving a full two years after Elden Ring rocked the world, seems like a hefty addition to the base game. It is so massive, in fact, that FromSoft seemingly opted to release it all together rather than break it up in order to honour the overwhelming sense of adventure players found in Elden Ring when they first played.

Miyazaki stopped short of confirming a runtime for an average DLC playthrough, though, since he initially caught flak for an estimate about the original game that many felt suggested he was lying. In truth, developers often simply have skewed ideas of how lengthy a game is, especially given their exceptional hands-on time and familiarity with the title throughout its development.

Miyazaki once again touched on the notion of a separate levelling mechanic in this interview, which falls in line with previous comments he’s made. Shadow of the Erdtree is supposed to be more or less as difficult as the second half of the game, but since FromSoft is aware that people have fully levelled characters—not to mention multiple files and NG+ runs under their hat—the DLC area, which exists apart from the Lands Between in Elden Ring, will have its own “level element.” Previously described as a stat, Miyazaki suggested that players will be able to opt in to the new levelling mechanic to level the playing field. Otherwise, they can toggle it off and experience the DLC in much the same way they would have first played the game.

Elsewhere, Miyazaki seemed to confirm many other elements of Shadow of the Erdtree, including the fact that it will bring eight new weapon types and feature a mostly new cast, including some enigmatic figures from Elden Ring’s lore like St. Trina, who’s deeply associated with items and recipes that induce some kind of slumber throughout the game, as well as some of the original game’s cut features and content. Trina’s influence seems to directly follow or parallel that of Miquella, the central character of Shadow of the Erdtree, and when asked about the parallels between two very similar items in the game (Miquella’s Lily and Trina’s Lily), Miyazaki seemed to tip his hat at the theorists and confirm that Trina will have a major role in the new story, which will elaborate on the two characters.

As for the rest of Shadow of the Erdtree’s new cast, Miyazaki claimed that most of Elden Ring’s NPCs wouldn’t be returning “directly” in the DLC because, funnily enough, he doesn’t trust people to not kill them, which would ruin at least some of the game’s continuity.

Miyazaki also teased that Shadow of the Erdtree would boast a few different endings, or “decisions,” though none of them are expected to be definitive conclusions to the story of Elden Ring, nor will they impact the existing endings of the game. As a matter of fact, though he claimed that the DLC would be the only additional content added to Elden Ring, Miyazaki also stated that FromSoft intentionally left this world open for them to return to, meaning that the studio hasn’t ruled out revisiting it in some way, shape, or form. While that doesn’t confirm a sequel, as previous FromSoft worlds have been further explored in other mediums like books and comics, it also doesn’t rule one out either!

Though the team has made similar statements about series that it has moved on from, like Dark Souls, I feel pretty confident in FromSoft revisiting Elden Ring at some point, even if it isn’t the next thing the studio works on. Nonetheless, we’ve still got Shadow of the Erdtree on the horizon, so there’s no sense in getting ahead of ourselves before we’ve even got the culmination to this chapter of the story. Now, let’s all start dusting off our files, get in a good stretch, and start prepping to take on all 18 inches of Messmer the Impaler.

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