Elden Ring Catch-all

ccesarano wrote:

Honestly, though, Dark Souls is designed so heavily around shield use...

Is that really true? I was under the impression that it was designed so that any build was viable. I mean, that's why the different weapons have different stat bonuses. It might be easier with a shield, but I don't think the game is based around shield use.

CptDomano wrote:
ccesarano wrote:

Honestly, though, Dark Souls is designed so heavily around shield use...

Is that really true? I was under the impression that it was designed so that any build was viable. I mean, that's why the different weapons have different stat bonuses. It might be easier with a shield, but I don't think the game is based around shield use.

Plenty of people play without a shield. I’d agree it’s not as easy but it’s absolutely viable and effective.

Yeah, two-handed weapons exist, for one thing.

I sure like my shields in Souls games, not leaving home without one, but in general not using shields seem to be the most efficient, as long as your dodging is good enough. In speed runs and such.

Shadout wrote:

I sure like my shields in Souls games, not leaving home without one, but in general not using shields seem to be the most efficient, as long as your dodging is good enough. In speed runs and such.

This.

I almost always carry and use a shield (especially when I'm unfamiliar with an area), but I prefer dodging. Also parry+riposte seems like an extremely viable play style, though ineffective on most bosses.

Oh I'm not saying it's impossible to play without a shield, or that other people don't play without shield or something. I mean, the game has been beaten with a Guitar Hero controller. Perhaps an alternate build emphasizing light armor would teach me a thing or two. But it just feels to me like the game has a different focus than some of its later entries.

Note I'm also speaking of the first Dark Souls, specifically, and have no clue what sort of changes came about in the second or third. I can only really say to how I feel, though, and honestly, given the very narrow-corridor focus of the Undead Burg and certain enemy placements and boss-monster runs, I feel like the refinement from Dark Souls to Bloodborne is very obvious. Dark Souls may have a greater variety of character builds, but I already feel like Bloodborne had a lot of lessons learned in regards to just overall better map design, encounter design, and the gradual ramping up of challenges.

Just an impression. So to that end, I'm looking forward to what Elden Ring will have on offer, especially seeing as it is throwing the open-world into the mix.

Emails are going out about the network test. No luck for me.

I was also not fortunate enough to get a key.

Elden Ring - Closed Network Test Impressions - Easy Allies

27 Minutes Of Elden Ring Network Test PS5 Gameplay (4K)

Elden Ring: The First 19 Minutes of Closed Network Test Gameplay

Came to post Vaati's take:

Note, there are MAJOR SPOILERS IN HERE.

I'm seeing nothing but glowing previews so far. Here are a few excerpts pulled from Reddit:

VGC:

Elden Ring provides the Dark Souls formula with its biggest challenge yet. A genuine attempt at an open-world version of the series, and from what we’ve played, it pulls it off spectacularly.

Washington Post:

‘Elden Ring’ is shaping up to be a dream come true

FextraLife:

Elden Ring is some of the most fun I’ve had this year, and I literally played almost without sleep for an entire weekend that flew by. And I was just playing what is likely just a small fraction of this massive game. I finished the demo with each and every Class, and tested all spells and most of the weapons and their skills, and I have a fairly good idea of what the Network Test has to offer, and it is grand indeed.

IGN:

I’ve put almost 15 hours into just this Closed Test alone, going through each of the five starting classes and putting them through their paces, and I’m still having a blast. If the full version of Elden Ring continues to match the quality of open-world design found within just this first area, then we’re in for a very special game come February of next year.

Eurogamer:

NOT TO BRAG (much), but i've sunk 20+ hours into an early access look at Elden Ring and i still can't get enough.

I'm still not watching anything though

I watched Vaati’s preview and holy sh*t- this looks like exactly what I wanted from a Souls game ever since I first encountered the series.

Elden Ring Co-op Gameplay - How Many Bosses Can We Kill?

Clearly From missed making another Dark Souls game because this is Dark Souls 4 with jumping. Lots of reused animations and models from DS3

It does look very much like Dark Souls 4. But the more videos I watch (and Vaati's is probably the best, a few posts upthread), the more excited I get, because there is a lot more going on than what appears at first glance.

As a casual but dedicated gamer I sure would welcome a less punishing Dark Souls experience. Maybe this is the game?

chooka1 wrote:

As a casual but dedicated gamer I sure would welcome a less punishing Dark Souls experience. Maybe this is the game?

THAT is the question.

My From Software journey began with Dark Souls in 2009, continued through Dark Souls 1 & 2, and ended with Bloodborne. Dark Souls 3 didn't appeal to me after Bloodborne, because it was clearly more of the same. And I didn't even try Sekiro because of the difficulty and because the constraints on my time are very different now. I simply cannot justify spending a couple of hours on a single boss... and STILL not beating it.

Elden Ring appeals because of the open world. But that's also what worries me slightly. The absence of a linear path risks players finding themselves in places where they are simply over their heads, but don't know it. I feel like I had experiences like this in both Skyrim and Fallout 3, where it wasn't immediately obvious that I was in fights that I couldn't win (at least as a first-playthrough player).

I am hoping that From have included a few 'crutches' for players, beyond summoning help (I do worry that much of the player base will have moved on by the time I get a PS5). A starting class like 'The Royal' in Demons Souls would be much appreciated.

detroit20 wrote:

I am hoping that From have included a few 'crutches' for players, beyond summoning help (I do worry that much of the player base will have moved on by the time I get a PS5). A starting class like 'The Royal' in Demons Souls would be much appreciated.

One of the features that was being highlighted in a lot of the videos are reusable “spirit summons” items that let you spawn npc versions of enemies. In one of the previews I saw the player had one that could summon a pack of wolves to fight for him.

Another aspect highlighted by a couple of the videos I've seen is that magic is very strong here (and, yes, there is a Royal-like character class). Although whether they nerf it prior to release is an interesting question.

It seemed to me that Demon's Souls and Dark Souls had a lot of "player-controlled difficulty", where you could use things like magic and pyromancy to make life easier for yourself (and there were many bosses that could be outright cheesed). They moved away from that more and more with each new game and leaned into making everything challenging. This was not to my liking, personally. Like Detroit, I didn't even bother with Sekiro.

I feel like the Metroid: Dread thread and this one are pretty eye-opening into differences in my gaming preferences and that of many GWJers here. There's a mention in both threads of "player controlled difficulty", and I'm more a fan of a consistent set of mechanics to be learned and mastered through a balanced rising difficulty. I feel like Bloodborne gets this best, but as has been noted, outside of weapon preferences there's less experimentation. It's still there, you can still be an arcane user as an example, but most of those spells don't appear for a little bit of time. It's a game in which the hunter must hunt, and the tools of the hunt are a primary part of that. Things like rally also encourage aggression, and that appeals to my Fighter-class brain quite greatly.

My issue with Sekiro was in many ways on the technical side, with even the 30 frames not necessarily being stable enough to make parries reliable. This is also true in Dark Souls and Bloodborne (and even the former at 60 frames is a pain to get the timing right), and now they've got a whole game built around it. Sekiro was a great stealth game with a frustrating parry system built in for tougher enemy fights, and while it's no doubt possible to get through, I lack the patience for it. From a personal perspective, it forked on a path of difficulty that makes me think of Ninja Gaiden Sigma, with the latter having a lot of late game moments that are difficult as if to mock the player and ask if you're a real gamer. Sekiro doesn't seem to have that spirit to me, none of the From Software games I've played do, but it still dips into its own level of B.S. choices in design. Basically: it has a system that requires mastery without the technical prowess to allow for that mastery without the patience to deal with From's technical shortcomings (and anyone that denies such things exist have fanboy blinders on).

The Elden Ring footage I've seen seems to mostly come from classes that blend melee and sorcery, with magic being a major player. It has been discussed that you can do all-melee builds, but it seems like the prevailing wisdom is to use magic and melee.

And this is where my deviation really comes into play. I've been told that you can do a shield-less or lighter build in Dark Souls to be more like Bloodborne, but Bloodborne is unquestionably designed with speed and aggression in mind whereas Dark Souls is... not. To me, it feels like it's designed with shields in mind. It seems like light armor and constant rolling is more "advanced" play or alternate play, but not the starting point of the game's design. Maybe if you look up guides or The Meta you can find things that can help mitigate the difficulty and make things easier, but that's not how I enjoy interacting with a game. I want to learn boss patterns, yeah, but I also want to learn my moveset and how to combine them and to pull off tricky in-game acrobatics that the game is designed for from the beginning.

In other words, if Elden Ring's first design emphasis is on mage/fighter builds, then I just want that to be how the game is built and go from there. Once you start opening things up with multiple class or build options, there's room to discover optimal builds, certainly, but there's even more room to screw up your build. It's easier to waste time on a bad build. And if you do have a preferred method of play, it usually relies on using someone else's guide and The Meta, and I'm not longer engaging with the game how I'd like.

So it'll be interesting to see how I respond to Elden Ring. I'll probably choose one of the Mage/Fighter builds since it looks appealing and ideal, and it simply seems to be how the game is designed. But how easy will it be to have a bad build?

At the very least, from what footage I've seen, I'll at least enjoy the encounter design and enemy placement/distribution better than I do in Dark Souls.

Tasty Pudding wrote:

Another aspect highlighted by a couple of the videos I've seen is that magic is very strong here (and, yes, there is a Royal-like character class). Although whether they nerf it prior to release is an interesting question.

I believe that none of the 'classes' as provided in the Closed Network Test are guaranteed to exist in the final released product. Certainly not equipped as presented. I assume you are likely right, though. Some kind of light melee / magic focused 'class' will probably exist as a selectable template.

Tyrian wrote:

I believe that none of the 'classes' as provided in the Closed Network Test are guaranteed to exist in the final released product. Certainly not equipped as presented. I assume you are likely right, though. Some kind of light melee / magic focused 'class' will probably exist as a selectable template.

This is true. And, also, it's quite possible that many of the powerful spells showcased in the network test won't be available until much later in the game.

Shouldn't be drawing too many conclusions, I guess.

Vaati does a lore breakdown of the cinematic trailer (From TGA)

Spoiler:

Elden Ring's Story Trailer ► Explained!

We dialed the stress up to 11, then nudged it down to 10. Sometimes. Please be grateful.

Heh. I think “George” actually does play video games though. Maybe not From games back to King’s Field.

steinkrug wrote:

Heh. I think “George” actually does play video games though. Maybe not From games back to King’s Field.

Well, GRRM is certainly well-briefed before he agrees to allow his brand to be used.

January's Edge magazine carried a long interview with Hidetaka Miyazaki, which - of course - touched on the role played by Martin.

Q - What memories stand out from your first conversations with [him]?

A - "... He actually know about the Dark Souls games. He was aware of them and what the were about, so that made me happy. That sort of gave me a little bit of a boost. I knew immediately from talking to him, it just became apparent his skill and his passion for the fantasy genre, and for games as well..."

From there, however, interview seems to confirm what we already know; that GRRM's subsequent involvement is somewhat light and indirect. In response to a question about the creative brief, Miyazaki says:

"... Mr Martin respected the fact that we didn't want him to write the game's story or the in-game text. Because we felt like that would actually limit his creative output, and if it was limited to something that was already a game or already a concept in this way, then it would limit the inspiration we could possible get from him. We established very early that he would be writing that foundation, that historical element to the game, something that took place long before the events of the game itself."

27 days, 4 hours to go.