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Elden Ring | FromSoftware | 2022


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It's honestly strange and a first for me. I watch the game and I genuinely think it looks amazing, I've been really enjoying watching people play it. But when I play it it just doesn't click, the combat, the gameplay loop, the progression, it doesn't click. Everything else is really bloody amazing but actually playing it, it just doesn't work for me.

 

Lot of reviewers were calling it the most accessible Souls game yet but I think I agree with Alanah Pierce on this that it's probably the worst one to start with. It really is a proper Souls game only now there is zero sense of direction - great things if you're experienced with Souls games, very overwhelming and daunting if you're not.

 

I don't think the difficulty is the real crux of the issue either, or at least that topic is missing the point. The game can be as hard as it but if it wants to be accessible - and I think From have made a slight attempt at doing that in certain areas outside of difficulty - it needs to a path for new players to be able to build up their skills rather than get thrown to the wolves. I get that's part of the appeal for some, though. Do think the reviewers sold some new players a bit of a lie though and I suspect me and Mr Pink won't be the only newbies who didn't click with it.

 

Knew it was a gamble before I bought it and honestly I reckon I'd have bought it eventually because everytime I see it in streams and videos I really like what I see, but yea playing it just isn't working for me sadly. Would refund if I bought directly from Steam, learned a lesson there lol, trying to refund through GMG but that went as expected so it's swallow the loss or go scorched earth with a chargeback. Not against it, given the response I got from GMG when I requested a refund lol.

 

  

55 minutes ago, Mister Pink said:

I'm not sure I like the idea of all the enemies in the same place constantly respawning every time you use a Site of Grace. I do get it but it reminds me I'm playing a game, and killing the same guys in the exact same places is not really my idea of immersive play. 

 

I think you basically have to get it into your head that you're really not intended to kill everything you see and you can just run/ride past the majority of them. That said, I do think something that makes a great open world is the ability for the players to have an impact on it and something like this rubs against it a bit. That said, it's not like permanently clearing bandit camps and stuff like that is riveting open world design in 2022 either.

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Creed Bratton
1 hour ago, Mister Pink said:

I do get it but it reminds me I'm playing a game, and killing the same guys in the exact same places is not really my idea of immersive play. 

I think that you should be aware that you're playing a game when you're playing one of From Software games. They are not designed for immersion, they are designed for challenge and they are very "gamey" for a reason.

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48 minutes ago, Creed Bratton said:

They are not designed for immersion, they are designed for challenge and they are very "gamey" for a reason.

 

I think that is a very good way to put it for sure, and if you boil it down perhaps the core of the reason the games don't click with me.

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43 minutes ago, Creed Bratton said:

I think that you should be aware that you're playing a game when you're playing one of From Software games. They are not designed for immersion, they are designed for challenge and they are very "gamey" for a reason.

That's certainly why I haven't played other FS games. Immersion trumps challenge, in my personal opinion and preference. Although do they have to be mutually exclusive? I guess for some styles. 

 

I wasn't critiquing the game either, if that's what anyone else reading my earlier comment might think. I knew going in that it was from a dev that didn't make games for my taste but I'm pretty open minded when it comes to trying new games and given the open-world nature of this one and it's a apparent easy access, I thought I might give it go. But it seems not geared to fans of open-world trying out an open world game. Perhaps I was being a little naïve. It's more for pre-existing fans of FS games to begin with but in new open-world environment. And I respect that the difference. 

 

 I couldn't keep away from trying this game because it looks beautiful. I love the setting and exploration. I've only a couple of hours in it and started off as a Wretch. I know, stupid me being a total newbie to FS games I love the idea of it.

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48 minutes ago, Mister Pink said:

 I couldn't keep away from trying this game because it looks beautiful. I love the setting and exploration.

I'm familiar with that ailment.

 

I'm using my backlog and other activities as a way to make me wait until it drops in price, because I know it is just one of those games I want to see but know I won't play.

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Creed Bratton
8 hours ago, Jason said:

I think that is a very good way to put it for sure, and if you boil it down perhaps the core of the reason the games don't click with me.

It's probably the same with me. And the main reason why I could play a game like The Witcher 3 more than 10 times, and even with a mod that makes it brutally difficult, but I just can't get into Dark Souls, despite how amazing it looks.

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Despite some of the performance hiccups on PC, the game is delivering in almost every aspect for me.  The world keeps growing larger and larger as I keep exploring with no end in sight yet.  The landscapes are gorgeous and varied as you get further into the game.  

 

Quote

The progression is slow for me. I'm kind of lost as to what to do and where to go which is something unusual for me.  I'm not sure I like the idea of all the enemies in the same place constantly respawning every time you use a Site of Grace. I do get it but it reminds me I'm playing a game, and killing the same guys in the exact same places is not really my idea of immersive play. 

In case the game didn't make it clear enough, most of the sites of grace have this yellow light/trail which direct you to the closest path towards the "proper" path of progression.  This is also indicated on the player map as this yellow, lightning looking icon.  Might be best to stick to that path and only explore within a certain distance off-of that path.  Of course, the game will reward you for exploring; finding Legacy Dungeons with a boss to kill and loot to find, NPCs with their own little quests to complete, or even hidden paths 

Spoiler

the entirety of Stormveil Castle can be skipped with a hidden path

.  But it is not absolutely necessary for completing the game.  

As for enemies respawning, I can totally understand how this kills the immersion.  You can totally just run past everything, and in some cases, this would be more desirable (need to run past a bunch of sh*t mobs to re-fight a boss you just died to).  But it isn't always a good habit to make; the philosophy behind them respawning from what I understand, is that the more you have to fight these mobs, the more you learn their attack patterns, the more you become equipped to deal with them in terms of experience (knowledge and getting Souls to level up, or Runes as they are called in Elden Ring) in addition to any items they might drop on death. 

 

In short, the more you make a habit of running past enemies all the time, the more you might find you struggle later on in the game, in terms of how you react to enemies and your character's lack of leveling because you missed a lot of experience points (runes).

 


 

Edited by Banana
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Watching some people play it and while the core gameplay doesn't seem for me sadly, the open world continues to amaze me even through a stream and not playing it my self.

 

How it all flows and links together, the caves, the dungeons, the environments, biomes, secret passages, secrets, visual story telling etc. It's really, really well done. Then you have a place like Stormveil Castle which is, well, a masterpiece in level design. A gigantic sprawling castle/dungeon that's multi-layered with multiple routes through it filled with enemies, side bosses, loot and secrets, there's stuff hidden everywhere, the visual story telling is great in there, it's a brilliant bit of open world level design. Just thinking about how they built that place from a dev stand point to make it all flow together and while visually looking like it works is pretty mind bending

 

From's Souls-like games have had a ton of influence on the industry from indie to AAA over the past decade but I really hope Elden Ring has a similar influence on fantasy open world games. It's huge, dense and has multiple layers and doesn't rely on minimaps and is still able to do all that w/o an icon riddled minimap / world map. We need more of that in the open world dominated AAA space, and less vast flat icon riddled open worlds.

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1 hour ago, Banana said:

n case the game didn't make it clear enough, most of the sites of grace have this yellow light/trail which direct you to the closest path towards the "proper" path of progression.  This is also indicated on the player map as this yellow, lightning looking icon.  Might be best to stick to that path and only explore within a certain distance off-of that path.  Of course, the game will reward you for exploring; finding Legacy Dungeons with a boss to kill and loot to find, NPCs with their own little quests to complete, or even hidden paths [spoiler]the entirety of Stormveil Castle can be skipped with a hidden path[/spoiler].  But it is not absolutely necessary for completing the game.  

As for enemies respawning, I can totally understand how this kills the immersion.  You can totally just run past everything, and in some cases, this would be more desirable (need to run past a bunch of sh*t mobs to re-fight a boss you just died to).  But it isn't always a good habit to make; the philosophy behind them respawning from what I understand, is that the more you have to fight these mobs, the more you learn their attack patterns, the more you become equipped to deal with them in terms of experience (knowledge and getting Souls to level up, or Runes as they are called in Elden Ring) in addition to any items they might drop on death. 

 

In short, the more you make a habit of running past enemies all the time, the more you might find you struggle later on in the game, in terms of how you react to enemies and your character's lack of leveling because you missed a lot of experience points (runes).

Cheers man, I appreciate your advice. 

 

Since my last post I actually changed my attitude. I'm really enjoying this game because it's a bit weird and it's got me out of my comfort zone. I'm beginning to learn the appeal. I actually love feeling the danger in the world constantly. I can't just pause the game or use some save exploits. I really have to be more tactful. 

 

Enemies respawning aren't much of an issue now that I've changed my point of view of the game. There's no point in me judging the game from a usual open-world perspective and trying hold it to the same values.  It's a different style. So, at first it's kind of jarring. Now, it's kind of clicked with me. But I will say those that are in the same boat as me, going in blind and starting to experience a Soulsborne game for the first time that they should keep an open mind and the first few hours might be the hardest to break into. 

 

I've been running past enemies, basically exploring, activating Sites of Grace, and just trying to level up. I think I'm aiming for a Bandit build. I've not levelled up too much (11) so I think I still am able to experiment a bit and try mould my character. I never was a magic guy but watching people use magic long-range in this looks like it might actually be up my alley. Haven't tried using a crossbow yet but it might be my next option. 

 

I haven't tried killing an actual bosses yet. I think I'm going to level up to about 30 before I even attempt an easier one. 

 

Spoiler

If you can please fix your spoiler.. Use the Eye icon in the Text Edit menu  - it's the last option to the right. Thanks

 

 

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Managed to get my astrologer to level 27 last night an defeated that first boss. Little tip, don't be afraid to make use of ashes summons. That summon you can find early on pretty much did all the work, allowed me to keep making space between me and the boss.

 

Kinda digging the Astrologer, now. Just need to keep reminding myself to pump more levels into to vigor eventually.

Edited by DEADWOODZ
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Yeah...I couldn't hold out and bought and installed it (series x).  Looking forward to checking out the hype and pain.

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I'm just glad there's another one of us coming over to the dark side. :D 

 

Tell us how you get along, Trip. And if I figure out the game any better maybe some co-op in future. 

 

Does anyone know much or have they tried the co-op? You can have a friend jump in and help you kill bosses, right? 

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Can't say anything about co-op on my part. I'm playing offline, in glorious-ish 21:9 :p

 

Having a blast so far, waaaay too addicted to it's open world and quite shocked as to how many layers this game has!

 

I found myself in northern Caelid last night, place is fookin hell! I'm underleveled for that shyte yet, though haha.

 

rLWW0k.png

Edited by DEADWOODZ
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1 hour ago, DEADWOODZ said:

Can't say anything about co-op on my part. I'm playing offline, in glorious-ish 21:9 :p

 

Having a blast so far, waaaay too addicted to it's open world and quite shocked as to how many layers this game has!

 

I found myself in northern Caelid last night, place is fookin hell! I'm underleveled for that shyte yet, though haha.

 

Very nice. Like the screenshot. Did you just cut out the UI or did you switch it off to take the screenshot? 

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6 minutes ago, Mister Pink said:

Very nice. Like the screenshot. Did you just cut out the UI or did you switch it off to take the screenshot? 

Aye, switched the hud off.

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I'm hoping the Nvidia driver for this game helps with the frame skipping and fps drops whenever it releases.

 

I love the freedom, it you find yourself in a place that kicks your ass you can always explore elsewhere and find an area that's a bit more forgiving. Though sometimes it does just completely troll you. I opened a chest and it teleported me to some crazy area, I just had to run through until I found a bonfire.

Edited by 1whitebuddah
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Grichka Bogdanoff
1 hour ago, Mister Pink said:

Does anyone know much or have they tried the co-op? You can have a friend jump in and help you kill bosses, right? 

Yes. Set up a password, use the fingers to place a sign + show all summon signs and you can do stuff together. They will return to their word once you beat the area's boss

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3 hours ago, DEADWOODZ said:

Can't say anything about co-op on my part. I'm playing offline, in glorious-ish 21:9 :p

 

There's evidence the game has full native support for 21:9/32:9, as some people with UW monitors (specifically 32:9's I think) have loaded up to see the game running 32:9 only for black bars to pop in after a lil while.

 

Makes absolutely zero sense lol.

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7 minutes ago, Jason said:

 

There's evidence the game has full native support for 21:9/32:9, as some people with UW monitors (specifically 32:9's I think) have loaded up to see the game running 32:9 only for black bars to pop in after a lil while.

 

Makes absolutely zero sense lol.

Yeah, i read up on that. I know with flawless widescreen you can disable the vignette. Although, why can't there just be an option in the games settings to disable it? f*cking odd.

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13 minutes ago, DEADWOODZ said:

Yeah, i read up on that. I know with flawless widescreen you can disable the vignette. Although, why can't there just be an option in the games settings to disable it? f*cking odd.

 

What worries me, and I intentionally switched to 16:9 in the settings incase of this, only to be greeted by a stretched game, is if you're on a UW monitor and the game is rendering 21:9 under the black bars. Can't be great for performance lol.

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GTA3Rockstar
On 2/28/2022 at 2:41 PM, DEADWOODZ said:

Yeah, i read up on that. I know with flawless widescreen you can disable the vignette. Although, why can't there just be an option in the games settings to disable it? f*cking odd.

 

ya with FlawlessWidescreen you can remove the blackbars AND the fps cap

ppNaW16.png

 

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Long story short:  I started a fresh playthrough after about 3 hours in.  Funny part is it only took me minutes to get to the spot I left off at.

 

Anyway...what's that little white icon on the left?  I don't remember it and its making me crazy.

yTYbLfc.png

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Grichka Bogdanoff
24 minutes ago, trip said:

Anyway...what's that little white icon on the left?  I don't remember it and its making me crazy.

It means you're in proximity of a rebirth monument, aka you're in an area where you can summon a Spirit Ash

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TheSantader25

Yeah it's not clicking for me either. I think it's genuinely a good game. But I find it a bit overrated at the moment. I'm not big on From Software games as a whole but I loved Sekiro because for the first time I actually loved the boss designs in these games. Sekiro was a perfect blend of difficulty, boss design, gameplay and art for me. This is definitely a very well thought world as well, but for some reason it feels like work when I'm playing it. I don't want to feel like I'm working when I'm playing a game. Though I still get why people love it.

Edited by TheSantader25
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Mister Pink

Yeah, I'm really enjoying game unusually, because I'm thinking about it when I'm not playing it.  However, it's still true of me what Jason mentioned before, I enjoy watching people play it and but something about the gameplay loop doesn't click. Well, not so much that it's not clicking, it's just taking me a good while to adjust. Those thoughts come into play every now and then but less and less. Sometimes I get doubts but overall, it's I think it gets better and better.

 

Why is it that it's taking time to adjust with me? I know it's not a typical open world game. I know this and knew this going in, regardless, my bias still compares it to open world games because they are all I know in this situation. I'm a complete noob as they say.  I think because in the last few open world games I've played, I feel like I live in the world. It becomes my home. Valhalla for example, I go off on raids, I explore but ultimately I come home and I'm levelling up my village and growing and expanding it. Skyrim, I was getting raw materials and building my home which I started doing well after I put the majority of hours into the game. So building my home felt like this beautiful progression where I'm living less nomadically and actually really kitting out this beautiful home with small library, displayed armour, and individual cabinets just for weapons, potions and sellable items etc and just enjoying the spoils of my labour. Fallout 4, I'm building my base and I've kitted out my home with trinkets and thinks I've found and some questionable artwork. It takes time but I kept adding bit by bit. 

Gathering materials and the game allowing some amount of creativity and individualism to make and create things of your own and build your home really makes you feel like live in the world. 

 

I know Elden Ring is a different game.  But visually and exploratively Elden Ring looks like the open worlds I usually play in.  When I feel doubtful, I have to remind myself It actually has more spiritual commonalities with platformer like Castlevania or the other (of course souls games) than your run-of-the-mill open world game. That's not a bad thing. Even though I never played other Soulsborne games I commend that FS did here by bringing a more linear experience to the open world. They literally translated their own style of game from one genre of environment while keeping to their rules/boundaries of their world and made it work in an explorable open-world.  

 

I'm really slow to progress. I've just killed my first two bosses  and with the assistance of a a guide to tell me which ones I should start off on. Hardcore cans might call that cheating but I'm start off a as a complete noob Wretch, I need all the assistance I can get, lol :D  I think I'm level 18 now but not really specialising in anything yet. 

 

My game so far has been; try kill everything I can where I know I wont die, explore as much as I can and find as many Grace sites as possible, go back to merchants, sell all the flowers and Runes I can find, level up: rinse and repeat. 

 

bhr3Nck.jpg

 

pxe0U4t.jpg

 

spg3wsF.jpg

 

The castles in this game are the best I've seen in any game or film. 

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12 hours ago, Grichka Bogdanoff said:

It means you're in proximity of a rebirth monument, aka you're in an area where you can summon a Spirit Ash

Thanks.  Yeah - I haven't tried the Spirit Ash...actually haven't tried anything outside of basic combat and a whole lot of rolling.  Just finally embraced the mount.

 

Yesterday when I reset my playthrough I did so because I was convinced I had missed something early in the game.  Maybe a bow, maybe some knowledge of magic?...something.  Nope.

 

Souls games are always so lonely and quiet.   This one feels no different.   

 

For me it is filling an odd spot of very difficult casual fun.  I don't feel totally connected to the story, but I do have a fun time killing a couple of hours trying to kill the same pack of guards or what-have-ya.

 

 

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Jeez side quests are long-winded. Anyway it's been a nice breather from progressing through the main story.

 

Even though i'm not that much into the lore of ER. The one thing i absolutely adore is how they take you on these journeys and the npc's you come across, there's so many discoveries left within the world & i'm guessing plenty of missables because the games f*cking massive. So I can imagine trying to 100% Elden Ring would prove to be a nuisance.

 

Here's a shot of my character, just take note i've marked it as a spoiler, since the armor i acquired is side quest related.

 

Spoiler

rYeiez.png

 

And when i said there's missable content within Elden Ring. Just look at this, man lmao.

 

 

Edited by DEADWOODZ
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Creed Bratton
10 hours ago, Mister Pink said:

Why is it that it's taking time to adjust with me? I know it's not a typical open world game. I know this and knew this going in, regardless, my bias still compares it to open world games because they are all I know in this situation.

I thought about this some more. It's not about open world. It's about purpose. In a typical game, you have a clear purpose. It is rewarding to work towards it. You mentioned leveling up your village in Valhalla and your home in Skyrim. Which are great examples, but it can also be progression through storyline, or just pure enjoyment of the world of the game. Unlocking new areas and seeing what's out there. However, there's none of that in a Souls-like game. Not even enjoyment of the world because you're in constant danger and nowhere is safe. So it's not the same as going from Los Santos to San Fierro for the first time. It's pure challenge and the only purpose is to overcome that challenge. The problem is that when you overcome one challenge, the enjoyment you get is very short-lived because there's another one just around the corner and you have to do it again and again and again. You don't get to really marvel in the glory of your accomplishment, to take a break and do something else because nowhere is safe. The loop is not designed to be fun and rewarding in a typical sense. And you can't just admire your progress so far, because everything resets once you light the bonfire, or whatever Elden Ring has instead of bonfires.

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Is this The Guy?

I never played a Souls game or Sekiro and this is definitely not the type of game that interest me mainly due to the difficulty but this game has taken over my Tik Tok feed to the point where I feel like I just HAVE to try it.  
 

Of course this is coming from someone that had to turn the difficulty of God of War down to easy.

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Grichka Bogdanoff
17 minutes ago, Is this The Guy? said:

I never played a Souls game or Sekiro and this is definitely not the type of game that interest me mainly due to the difficulty but this game has taken over my Tik Tok feed to the point where I feel like I just HAVE to try it.  
 

Of course this is coming from someone that had to turn the difficulty of God of War down to easy.

It's not very difficult, just punishing. Take it slow, learn mobs' attacks and try different tactics.

Elden Ring is extremely accessible, you have checkpoints all over the map, Marika Statues in front of "difficult" areas, summons (NPCs and real players), plus all builds are extremely viable, from pure magitians to grug-wants-to-smash builds

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