Veteran Elden Ring Players Can’t Believe How Much The DLC Is Kicking Their Arses

Veteran Elden Ring Players Can’t Believe How Much The DLC Is Kicking Their Arses

It’s Elden Ring day, again. Shadow of the Erdtree, its long-awaited and massive expansion, is finally live and, surprise, it’s really, really hard. Even veteran players are getting their arses kicked. Whether it’s new bosses or random scrubs out in the field, everything seems to be hitting harder and Elden Ring sickos appear to be having the time of their lives.

The DLC takes place in a new region called the Land of Shadow which can only be accessed after completing some of the base game’s toughest bosses. In theory, that means nobody should be thrust out into Elden Ring’s deadliest chapter yet without a solid character build and a wealth of experience. And yet even these players, who previously came to dominate the Lands Between, are getting completely murdered.

Screenshot: Reddit / Kotaku

Some players’ first introduction to this fresh hell is the Blackgaol Knight, Erdtree’s equivalent of the Tree Sentinel who put many unsuspecting newcomers in the ground right outside the beginning of the base game. “This dude is no fucking joke,” wrote one player on the Elden Ring subreddit. “I found a way to beat him, but holy fuck, with 55 vigor he 2-tap me if I do any mistake.” There are cheese strats to make short work of him, but taking him head on can be punishing. “I’m doing fucking zero damage to him and he two hits me lmao, great to be back!” wrote another player. (Here’s our guide for how to beat him).

Others are simply getting two-shotted no matter where they go. Currently, the community is full of posts of players being taken aback by just how hard the new content is. Everyone had a sense it would be extra challenging. This is a FromSoftware game after all, and early reviews were very upfront about how hard the expansion is. Director Hidetaka Miyazaki has even been gleefully promoting the DLC’s new level of difficulty in a recent blitz of new interviews. “Turning down difficulty would strip the game of that joy—which, in my eyes, would break the game itself,” he told The Guardian.

If turning the difficulty down would break Elden Ring, ratcheting it up has seemingly paved the way for Erdtree to become the highest-rated DLC of all-time, recently edging out The Witcher 3’s Blood and Wine expansion on Metacritic. Players are definitely feeling Miyazaki and co.’s hands on the dials and some are even breaking from it. “Is it just me or are the DLC bosses insane?” wrote another player on the subreddit. “I literally cannot breathe. They keep attacking and attacking and attacking and attacking over and over again.”

One thing players are quickly discovering is that if you start Elden Ring without enough points put into your vigor stat, you’re gonna have a bad time. Some fans are recommending builds with at least 50-60 vigor, and even there plenty of them are struggling. In part that’s because Erdtree contains a new Scadutree Fragments-based upgrade system to make characters more powerful. Focus too much on slaying bosses instead of prioritizing the fragments and they may feel even more overtuned than they’re supposed to.

Like player warnings left in the game itself, a scattering of negative reviews on the Erdtree Steam page tells a similar story of players failing and falling in the face of what might be FromSoftware’s toughest death march yet. “Whoever thought of having 90% of the new mobs have Malenia level combos with the speed of Morgott needs to be fired and possibly lobotomized,” reads one. “Shadow of the Erdtree is exponentially more difficult than the base game, as a full tank I was getting killed in 3 hits at level 215,” reads another. “If you are expecting the same challenge as the base game this is not it.”

It will be interesting to see if FromSoftware decides to re-balance anything in the future after millions of players dig into the DLC. I suspect that as players explore more of Erdtree they’ll figure out ways to conquer its challenges and potential builds that might save them from getting pummeled to death in a lightning-quick tw0-second combo. And that’s one of the best parts of Elden Ring: players meeting up IRL and online to swap stories of narrowly overcoming the odds and the strategies that finally helped them do it. And it sounds like Erdtree will require that kind of community collaboration even more than the base game.

The Cheapest NBN 1000 Plans

Looking to bump up your internet connection and save a few bucks? Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *