Elden Ring (From Software RPG)

Domingo

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I finally broke down and started a NG+ run since there isn't much else out there I want to play. My plan is to avoid summing any spirits to help for as long as I reasonably can, and I've managed to get through roughly the first 1/4 of the game without doing so. I just completed Raya Lucaria and have cleared out all of the southern areas leading there.

I'm dual-wielding the Rivers of Blood and Melania's Hand, which has been a solid combo. Since I've been slowly boosting my intelligence and faith, I'm casting attack spells here and there, too. As I get further, I might try dual-wielding a pair of boss weapons that you only get one of per game. That seems amusing.

In terms of the difference in difficulty and rewards - I'd say it's pretty minimal. I'm not noticing a lot of difference in the damage I'm taking, nor have I noticed much difference in the damage I'm delivering. I targeted the Black Blade Kindred and the dragon near him really early and killed 'em both on the first try. My weapons were definitely doing decent damage, too. The only caveat is that I'm at level 190'ish and gaining levels is sloooooow now. I've probably only gained 4-5 levels since I started. Being able to use some of those end-game spells along with a strong melee build seems out-of-reach for a while.
 
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That’s such a great zone, because if there’s one thing that From does, is a solid precision platformer.
Oh man, this is too relatable. Nothing more stressful than having to platform through a ton of those branches to get your runes back. The jumps are scarier than the enemies.

edit - I also keep forgetting about the sacrificial twig item. That would've been so useful for those tricky platforming sections where I lost hundreds of thousands of runes.
 

Bullitt

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Oh man, this is too relatable. Nothing more stressful than having to platform through a ton of those branches to get your runes back. The jumps are scarier than the enemies.

edit - I also keep forgetting about the sacrificial twig item. That would've been so useful for those tricky platforming sections where I lost hundreds of thousands of runes.
The only saving grace, is the section is short. Unless you're trying to get everything, you can hoof it to the next grace, with relative ease.

I hated trying to get those plunge attacks, only to slide off the edge....
 
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MARIKA'S TITS I DID IT!!! I BEAT MALENIA!!!

I used a +9 rivers of blood combined with my trusty ol' bronze shield to block the waterfowl. I did use a mimic in the 2nd phase. If that's considered a cheap way to beat her then so be it. I have nothing to prove.

On to the end game. I can feel the Elden Ring within my reach. Praise the tarnished!
 
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I beat it! And wow, the endings are terrible. For a game of such epic proportions I expected something a bit more than a 1 minute cutscene. When I saw the title card come up my only reaction was "oh."

When I saw the summon Ranni sign I assumed it was for a boss fight so I'm like hell yeah, I'll fight alongside Ranni. But it turned out to be an ending.
 

Bullitt

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So is it a good game?

I know difficult but is it good and fun ?
Is it a good game: Yes, it released in a functional state, lacks microtransactions, does what it says on the tin.
What I like: The soundtrack is good, the gameplay is solid enough, and there's a lot to do. I'm not done (but in the final stretch) and have over 150hrs in the game. However, compared to the previous titles, this one is remarkably approachable to the previous titles, and even as a modest fan, I'm thoroughly enjoying the experience. I love the level design, the boss design, the aesthetics of a "Souls Game" but previous titles were a bit steep on the learning curve/skill level required to finish or even enjoy the game. This title, while having a similar gameplay loop, does give you a wider berth to actually enjoying a FromSoft title. For me, I can't emphasize how well the atmosphere, soundtrack, level design (for the most part) NPC design just fit and compliment each other to produce a wonderful experience.

What I dislike: Its a "Souls Game" meaning that it is somewhat unforgiving to a novice not accustomed to the playstyle of a "Git Good" game. The progression is a big vague, the story is nonsensical even though the fanboys will gush on what a rich lore the game has (admittedly, it does have this, only if you entirely finish the game, so there's that catch-22), and you will mess up your character progression because descriptions don't make a whole lot of sense with your RPG stats. The saving grace is that once you get a handle on it, the game provides a means to "re-spec" your character, but only after the first 1/3 of the game. If you mess up initially, and do not grasp the game, you are in for a punishing ride for that first 1/3 of the playthrough.

My suggestion is to find a previous title on sale, perhaps Dark Souls Remastered and try that one out with a walkthrough (I'm partial to FightinCowboy's content) and see if a cheaper game piques your interest. If so, then continue with the new title.
 

polonyc2

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It's a great game. It's really fun and the difficulty is actually not very hard if you're ok with using Summons.

I'm glad Elden Ring has gotten more people to play From Software titles but I hope more people play it solo with no BS co-op or summoning...or at the very least play it once with summoning help which will get them interested in replaying it solo now that they understand all the mechanics, enemies, weapons etc...I know I'm one of the few who preaches about playing it solo but it's an entirely different experience...most people I'm sure use co-op or summoning (which is why when you ask them to take a video of a particular boss fight they go silent)
 

Domingo

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I beat it! And wow, the endings are terrible. For a game of such epic proportions I expected something a bit more than a 1 minute cutscene. When I saw the title card come up my only reaction was "oh."

Yeah, I kept a save near the end with the option of choosing each of the different endings...and none of them are great. Most are nearly identical, with only 2 of them deviating. IMO the "bad/evil" ending was the best of the bunch.

Kinda related, the further I get in NG+, the more I'm wondering what they modifiers actually are. I'm roughly halfway through and am still doing monstrous amounts of damage to everything. I'm also barely getting any additional runes, too. I'd say it's easily the the least-changed NG+ of any From game I can recall. It's fun if you just like annihilating everything and pursuing the side stuff you might not have done before I guess.
 

ghostwich

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I beat it! And wow, the endings are terrible. For a game of such epic proportions I expected something a bit more than a 1 minute cutscene. When I saw the title card come up my only reaction was "oh."

When I saw the summon Ranni sign I assumed it was for a boss fight so I'm like hell yeah, I'll fight alongside Ranni. But it turned out to be an ending.
https://www.frontlinejp.net/2022/03/14/elden-ring-the-age-of-stars-ending-mistranslations-explained/
I'm glad Elden Ring has gotten more people to play From Software titles but I hope more people play it solo with no BS co-op or summoning...or at the very least play it once with summoning help which will get them interested in replaying it solo now that they understand all the mechanics, enemies, weapons etc...I know I'm one of the few who preaches about playing it solo but it's an entirely different experience...most people I'm sure use co-op or summoning (which is why when you ask them to take a video of a particular boss fight they go silent)
IDK why there's such a stigma with playing co-op/summons. If the game didn't want you to do it, then why is it a mechanic? Miyazaki has stated his justifications for how it's implemented, how it's balanced, and it's as it should be- a personal preference.
 
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IDK why there's such a stigma with playing co-op/summons. If the game didn't want you to do it, then why is it a mechanic? Miyazaki has stated his justifications for how it's implemented, how it's balanced, and it's as it should be- a personal preference.
True. At the end of the day nobody cares if you beat a boss solo or with summons. Certain players make it a personal goal to do it solo, and that's fine. But to push that goal onto every other player is wrong. I had a blast doing a mix of both solo and summons.

What I don't care for is the people who don't even attempt a boss before summoning co-op partners. Those people just waste everybody's time because they get annihilated within seconds of entering the boss arena. Then they have the nerve to keep summoning.
 

Bankie

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Just took down Malenia. Wasn't near as hard as I had heard although it's a run ender if she pulls out Waterfowl Dance at an inopportune time. The Ulcerated Tree Spirit at the Haligtree has been vastly more difficult for me.
 

Domingo

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Whatever they did in that patch to make Radahn tougher hasn't affected me in both fights I've had with him. Feels like he's just another big body that you have to get behind and keep swinging at. The key with him is that you can stay on your horse. Time to head back down into Nokron. I recall hating later sections of this area, so I'm not particularly excited about it. At least this time I'm following some of the stories as intended. With my first pass through the game, I found myself blowing through most of the NPC stories at the very end, with many sections bypassed.
 

polonyc2

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https://www.frontlinejp.net/2022/03/14/elden-ring-the-age-of-stars-ending-mistranslations-explained/

IDK why there's such a stigma with playing co-op/summons. If the game didn't want you to do it, then why is it a mechanic? Miyazaki has stated his justifications for how it's implemented, how it's balanced, and it's as it should be- a personal preference.

co-op and summoning are a mechanic because if the games didn't have it then only a very small percentage of gamers would actually play it...it would be a niche title...in the end games need to sell well and not just appeal to a small subset of players...I'm fine with co-op etc but my point is that hopefully it gets more players to try the games solo
 

ghostwich

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co-op and summoning are a mechanic because if the games didn't have it then only a very small percentage of gamers would actually play it...it would be a niche title...in the end games need to sell well and not just appeal to a small subset of players...I'm fine with co-op etc but my point is that hopefully it gets more players to try the games solo
I disagree, it has been explained what the coop mechanism is, why it was implemented, and it is thoroughly optional. It is not there purely for mass appeal.
 

Domingo

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One of the things I like best about the Souls games is that you have a little bit of control over the difficulty. Summons, cheese strategies (that they never patch out), kiting, OP'd weapons and spells, etc. While the games are never truly easy, you have lots of different options for making the game easier or harder depending on what you want. It's not as simple as a slider, but it's their own esoteric way of giving you some level of control. For me, the games are about the experience. I appreciate the challenge, but not everyone else does. If you wanna experience their crazy fever dream worlds by cheesing, summoning, and looking up everything - be my guest.
 

Domingo

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Something I've discovered that (maybe) other people knew about is a build focused on jump attacks. The Raven's Black Feathers armor and Claw Talisman both increase the damage of your jumping attacks. If you're dual-wielding, you have a unique L1 jumping attack that hits 2 times in super rapid succession. They basically hit at the same time. Stack that with the Winged Sword Talisman (raise attack power with successive attacks) and it basically gives you a jumping attack that hits like an absolute truck. Enemies that take 3 normal sword strikes are dying in 1 hit with damage to spare. Against bosses, it's also a good way to begin a combo sequence, too. The jumping L1 doesn't seem to ever crumple anything, although I generally found the follow-up gut stabs after a crumple to be kinda weak anyway.
You get everything you need to go this route relatively early in the game, and it's something I wish I knew earlier.
 

Bullitt

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Welp, the FOMO in me finally finished up the game.

Of all the endings, the Ranni ending reminded me of:


Favorite ending was the Frenzy ending, but because it was different. The other three, although similar, I'd like to have seen more of a difference. None of the sidequests seemed worth it, although.... finishing the Dung Eater was a bit disturbing if you looked deep enough into it.

I'll fiddle-fuck around in NG, but just to beat up on the things that irritated me on my first playthrough. Dunno if I'll finish it or not.
 
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Bankie

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Completed the game last night. Only took like 5 tries total for the Radagon/Beast fight. I save scummed after the fight so I could do all of the endings from there. I took my time and it ended up taking 148 hours total for me to do every location , get every achievement, and to hit level 160ish with an ungabunga greatsword build.
 

Domingo

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After the amount of hoops you have to jump through in previous games, it's surprisingly not that rough getting all the achievements in Elden Ring. You can get all but the different endings in a single pass, and you can do that with backup saves. The achievements for getting the various talismans and spells don't actually require that get get all of them. You just have to get a dozen'ish specific ones. With only a few exceptions, you can actually go back and do many of the side quests and missions all the way up until the end of the game, too. Some are actually way easier and skip a bunch of steps if you do them later. I'm not complaining, but I just found it a little surprising. Especially considering all the extra stuff I'm finding in NG+. Since I'm so much stronger, I can be pretty fearless with my exploration. I'd venture I've found at least 25-30 new unique items that I missed.
 
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I wish you could replay bosses. That's the only thing I'm really interested in after beating the game. Co-op has been great but it seems to have died out. The wait times between putting a co-op sign down and being summoned have gotten too damn high.
 

Absalom

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After the amount of hoops you have to jump through in previous games, it's surprisingly not that rough getting all the achievements in Elden Ring. You can get all but the different endings in a single pass, and you can do that with backup saves. The achievements for getting the various talismans and spells don't actually require that get get all of them. You just have to get a dozen'ish specific ones. With only a few exceptions, you can actually go back and do many of the side quests and missions all the way up until the end of the game, too. Some are actually way easier and skip a bunch of steps if you do them later. I'm not complaining, but I just found it a little surprising. Especially considering all the extra stuff I'm finding in NG+. Since I'm so much stronger, I can be pretty fearless with my exploration. I'd venture I've found at least 25-30 new unique items that I missed.
As implied, 100% achievements and getting all achievements isn't 100% the game anyway. Not even close. You can only get 21 of the 30 boss items via a single playthrough. You can't get all the ash spirits in a single playthrough. Basically, you can't get all items in a single playthrough, even if you savescum (although I suppose you could use CheatEngine to give yourself everything, but that's another topic).

But it looks like you can get everything via second playthrough as long as you optimized both playthroughs.

Let me tell you though, farming snake men for the magma blade is a chore. The various imp masks. Those dancers at windmill village. These 2% chance drops are annoying AF. But I will have all items, mark my words.
 

TheSlySyl

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As implied, 100% achievements and getting all achievements isn't 100% the game anyway. Not even close. You can only get 21 of the 30 boss items via a single playthrough. You can't get all the ash spirits in a single playthrough. Basically, you can't get all items in a single playthrough, even if you savescum (although I suppose you could use CheatEngine to give yourself everything, but that's another topic).

But it looks like you can get everything via second playthrough as long as you optimized both playthroughs.

Let me tell you though, farming snake men for the magma blade is a chore. The various imp masks. Those dancers at windmill village. These 2% chance drops are annoying AF. But I will have all items, mark my words.
That Magma blade was worth the farm though. Once I got that thing, dual weilding curved swords was my main goto for the rest of the game. Using Serpent Blade for normal gameplay due to the life on kill and switching to something with more bleed for bosses.
 

polonyc2

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are there really 120 total bosses in the game?...that's seems like a huge number...how many of the 120 are recycled bosses (meaning slight variations on bosses you fight earlier in the game)?
 

Absalom

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are there really 120 total bosses in the game?...that's seems like a huge number...how many of the 120 are recycled bosses (meaning slight variations on bosses you fight earlier in the game)?
Only 72 of them are unique, I believe. Remember some of the "bosses" are just regular enemy types given a health bar and a music queue. It's debatable whether they are truly a boss or even a mini boss at all.

For example, the Giant Miranda Flower boss encounter? To me that's not really a boss.

Then you have a mixture of those enemy types, which technically is more than one boss but still considered a single boss encounter.
 

polonyc2

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Only 72 of them are unique, I believe. Remember some of the "bosses" are just regular enemy types given a health bar and a music queue. It's debatable whether they are truly a boss or even a mini boss at all.

For example, the Giant Miranda Flower boss encounter? To me that's not really a boss.

Then you have a mixture of those enemy types, which technically is more than one boss but still considered a single boss encounter.

even 72 is a pretty impressive number...that's more than double the boss count of any previous Souls game
 

Domingo

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The vast majority of the bosses are "real" bosses, but like the Kapra Demon and such in the first game, you end up encountering most of 'em as normal enemies later. Depending on what order you take, you might encounter a lot of them out in the open before you encounter them as bosses. Trick is, sometimes the wandering around versions are far stronger. There are a couple wandering versions of the red wolf that are beastly. Beyond that, quite a few boss encounters are also just 2 lesser bosses in the same fight. A couple are just a weaker boss enemy + strong'ish normal enemy or enemies. Those are the lazy ones.
 

Bankie

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As implied, 100% achievements and getting all achievements isn't 100% the game anyway. Not even close. You can only get 21 of the 30 boss items via a single playthrough. You can't get all the ash spirits in a single playthrough. Basically, you can't get all items in a single playthrough, even if you savescum (although I suppose you could use CheatEngine to give yourself everything, but that's another topic).

But it looks like you can get everything via second playthrough as long as you optimized both playthroughs.

Let me tell you though, farming snake men for the magma blade is a chore. The various imp masks. Those dancers at windmill village. These 2% chance drops are annoying AF. But I will have all items, mark my words.
Ehh, I don't really care about the random drops. I still have most of the boss rememberences in my inventory because there were only 1 or 2 that benefited my ungabunga build. If I were to do a second playthrough I would probably just get a second GUTS greatsword.
 

Domingo

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There are items that boost drop rates. You can always re-spec and crank Arcane to the max, too. I don't really care about getting every random drop, but I do habitually hunt down as many unique items as possible. Especially in NG+ where you can dual-wield weapons that only exist once per playthrough. I have to admit that I'm a little giddy to have 2 Rivers of Blood, although you get that one really late in the grand scheme of things. I'm currently bogged down in Lyndell, which is gigantic if you do everything. I swear the only enemies they really seem to have rebalanced are those damned gargoyles. Those guys are the single most annoying foes in NG+ by a wide margin.
 

Bankie

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I died more to the crucible knights, gargoyles, revenants, and runebears more than I did everything else including bosses combined.
 

Domingo

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To me, the scariest roaming enemies are those rolling iron maidens. Luckily they don't ever seem to drop shit, so I just run like hell whenever I see one.
 

Absalom

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I don't get why everyone says this. If you just stay right against a runebear's crotch you're fine. Roll into their attacks, stay right against them, and stab them in the balls. ezpz
This was my strategy. But you have to go unlocked otherwise you'll give yourself a seizure.
 

LurkerLito

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Finally finished after over 130+ hours. Have to say I give it top marks for everything except the story. I mean come on Fromsoft add some more effort into it than a 1 minute animation at the end. I got 2 endings (save scumming) though I guess Fromsoft would label it 4 endings because 3 of them were exactly the same with 2-3 different words changed around and sunny vs raining background. :facepalm:
 

Domingo

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I'm still plugging away with NG+ and I'd say that Lyndell castle is where things "normalize." That's when the enemies start to have boatloads of hitpoints and start hurting you more than you're used to. It's not really much (if any) worse than your first pass since you should be loaded up, but it's no longer a cakewalk. Especially if you aren't summoning ashes to help. My plan is to make it all the way to the point just before you go to Farum Azula, and then stop. I figure that if any DLC comes out that ties to the story, that should be fairly safe.

EDIT: I spoke too soon. The difficulty took another VERY sharp upturn after Lyndell Castle, too. Bosses are able to either 1-shot me or combo-hit instakill me even with 60 VIT and a full suit of Bull-Goat gear. I've lost several fights that were well in-hand instantly. My normal hits have also started doing pitiful damage. Jumping L1 is still strong and special attacks are especially strong, but normal R1 might as well not even exist. After 70% being a breeze, this feels more like the later portions of Dark Souls 2 and 3.
 
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Domingo

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Finally made it through the Haligtree area and killed Malenia on NG+. Nearly every boss you face after you leave Lyndell can take you out in an instant, which feels weird. You'll be doing fantastic and then all of a sudden you're dead. I leaned into the Rivers of Blood special attack pretty hard in the end sections. I loaded up on anything that boosted blood + special attacks and cranked up my FP pool. Nearly everything else I tried felt pretty weak by comparison, so I just shamelessly used my special on everything. With that finished up, I'm done for now. I figure I'll revisit things again once some DLC comes out or more time passes. Elden Ring might be my new favorite Souls game, but it's so big that additional runs feel more tedious than fun. Worth noting, I didn't do any grinding (or even topping off runes) in NG+ and finished up at level 241. I was around 150 when I completed my first pass.
 
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