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From Software Elden Ring - From Software's new game with writing by GRRM

NJClaw

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Great bonking guide. I would only add not to sleep on the Strength-knot Crystal Tear available on the road to the Greatsword, which allows to wield the weapon as soon as you pick it up (for 3 minutes at a time, but that should be enough for most bosses and small sections). For those who can't wait to maximize their swag, the Winged Crystal Tear gives virtually infinite equip load (but it requires you to reach the Capital Outskirts).
 

Andnjord

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I would only add not to sleep on the Strength-knot Crystal Tear available on the road to the Greatsword, which allows to wield the weapon as soon as you pick it up (for 3 minutes at a time, but that should be enough for most bosses and small sections)
True, but you only need five level ups to reach 21 strength with the Hero class, which is trivial to get at the start. EDIT: Forgot I had started as the Vagabond class. The Greatsword requires 12 DEX; the Hero starts at 16 STR and 9 DEX and the Vagabond 14 STR and 13 DEX, so the hero requires 8 level ups as opposed to the 7 of the Vagabond, and the Vagabond also has an extra point in Vigor. It doesn't make a big difference, just a little bit of optimisation.

For those who can't wait to maximize their swag, the Winged Crystal Tear gives virtually infinite equip load (but it requires you to reach the Capital Outskirts).
Good point, if only I didn't try to keep item switching at a minimum (I'm also very lazy in sorting out my inventory, so I always end up having 25 different armour sets in my inventory).
 
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Monstrous Bat

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So i'm past the Capital and doing the area with the snow where you meet the Shabriri guy.

Is this the late game everybody complains about? Because so far it's the same shit this game as ever been. Not sure i see anything different.
That's exactly why people complain about the late game, I think. It's the same shit as Limgrave except any novelty you might have experienced with Limgrave is long gone.

At least the late open world areas are smaller.
 

Haplo

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Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
For those who can't wait to maximize their swag, the Winged Crystal Tear gives virtually infinite equip load (but it requires you to reach the Capital Outskirts).
Good point, if only I didn't try to keep item switching at a minimum (I'm also very lazy in sorting out my inventory, so I always end up having 25 different armour sets in my inventory).

Late game I simply accepted Heavy Load for exaploration with dual colossal instruments of bonk and just drank the physics pot with Winged Crystal Tear for boss fights/tricky areas to go down to light.

That is before I found and upgraded Watchdog's Greatsword - while two-handing it I went back to Medium Load.
 

Nathir

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So i'm past the Capital and doing the area with the snow where you meet the Shabriri guy.

Is this the late game everybody complains about? Because so far it's the same shit this game as ever been. Not sure i see anything different.

I think people just experience whiplash when entering the zone, because if you've explored a lot you get so strong the last zone you did (probably either Altus plateau or Caelid) is almost a joke. You kill the mobs in 2-4 swings and take little damage in return. Then you enter this new zone and everything hits you for half hp, and is way tankier. It's like From balanced the previous zones with the idea that you enter them from Limgrave or Liurnia. But for the mountaintops they thought "ok a player has gotten x amount of levels so far, time to bump up all the stats to match these levels."

Personally I didn't find it that bad, because player damage is really high in this game, so even here mobs aren't really damage sponges, but die reasonably fast. You just have to be more careful.
 

Nathir

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874
Third time fighting her and I vote Loretta, Knight Of The Haligtree, as best boss in Elden Ring.

I went in as a full-fledged Carian Knight, hunter of filthy mages.

- Carian Knight set
- Carian Knight Sword with Carian Grandeur; Carian Knight Shield with Carian Retaliation and magical affinity; and Carian Glintblade Staff
- Magic Scorpion Charm; Graven-Mass Talisman; Spelldrake Talisman +2; and Curved Sword Talisman
- Greatblade Phalanx; Eternal Darkness; and Gavel Of Haima where spells are concerned
- Magic-Shrouding Cracked Tear and Stonebarb Cracked Tear for the Physick flask

And it was fucking fantastic. I highly recommend you guys give the following a try.

During her first phase:

- Use strong attacks and Gavel Of Haima liberally
- Dodge her Glintblade Phalanx
- Counter Glintstone Star with Carian Retaliation and keep advancing towards her, as she's likely to chain a few of them, and with good spacing and timing you can easily catch and release two out of a maximum of four casts on her part
- Counter Loretta's Greatbow with Carian Retaliation and keep the pressure on her as she becomes wide open for a while after this move
- Dodge her physical or magic-imbued attacks, save (if your stamina permits) for the last attack in any given combo which you'll block to then execute a Guard Counter
- Anticipate breaking her stance, at which point you have time enough to charge Carian Grandeur to its maximum. For me, this did 1600 damage.

When her second phase starts, drink your physick, then:

- Attack and use Gavel Of Haima more sparingly, as the pressure she puts on increases
- Cast Eternal Darkness to protect yourself against the showers of Carian Phalanxes and Glintstone Stars
- As soon as you see her readying Loretta's Mastery, cast Greatblade Phalanx (whose poise damage when all three blades hit is huge) then rush towards her and dodge forward, casting one instance of Gavel Of Haima as your dodge finishes
- Same as before for her physical or magic-imbued attacks
- Stay glued to and under her when she does her three magic-imbued sweeps, and if your positioning and timing is right you can then cast Gavel Of Haima safely two times in a row for massive poise damage.

Can't believe people simp hard for a tsundere doll with a stupid hat when there's this veritable Chadette of silver and glintstones...

Bro, Loretta? Really?

Hard disagree. Was a very average boss for me. Looks very cool, but so does everything else in Elden ring. The actual fight needed something more for me. Yeah, she is on horseback, but they don't do anything crazy with it. It's like fighting a Tree sentinel that casts magic. She also doesn't have any spells that would be hard to dodge or do something unique. And everything she did was so floaty and easy to dodge. And she has low HP. I think they should have made her run away from you on horseback and spam Lorettas greatbow. Or add a new gimmick, idk.

Best bosses for me were by far Mohg and Godfrey.
 

NJClaw

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I think Loretta makes for a cool fight, but she suffers from the same problem that plagues all the bosses on horseback: their movesets are disgustingly too similar. You may be fighting this chick, the draconic tree sentinel, or the night cavalry, but they all have the same fucking jump attack followed by the same exact move. I think this makes all those fights feel too samey.
 

Dhaze

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Bro, Loretta? Really?

Hard disagree. Was a very average boss for me. Looks very cool, but so does everything else in Elden ring. The actual fight needed something more for me. Yeah, she is on horseback, but they don't do anything crazy with it. It's like fighting a Tree sentinel that casts magic. She also doesn't have any spells that would be hard to dodge or do something unique. And everything she did was so floaty and easy to dodge. And she has low HP. I think they should have made her run away from you on horseback and spam Lorettas greatbow. Or add a new gimmick, idk.

Best bosses for me were by far Mohg and Godfrey.

Meh, if I wanted a boss with hard-to-dodge attacks and a massive amount of HP, I'd pick Malenia—whose design feels so tryhard as to induce cringe, and is about as boring to fight as was the Covetous Demon in DS2.

No, I like Loretta a lot, because she actually feels like a Souls boss, which is what the guys at FromSoft do best.

Rather than feel like they were thinking, "Oh my god, what if the players actually think a boss we design is... easy?! Quick! give the boss twice as much health as needed, then double that over two phases; and some life leach even on block; and nonsensical 360 tracking; and every attack is an AoE; and a DoT as a percentage of health that also reduces max health; and a twelve hits combo ambiguously followed by a six hits combo with a 12 frames startup; and instead of a punish window make him backdash/roll/teleport away to the other side of the area; and have you heard of Beyblade because the boss' attacks need to look like that, only even more spinny. Phew! That was close... we almost didn't 'Prepare To Die' hard enough."

Mohg and Godfrey/Hoarah were indeed excellent.

I think Loretta makes for a cool fight, but she suffers from the same problem that plagues all the bosses on horseback: their movesets are disgustingly too similar. You may be fighting this chick, the draconic tree sentinel, or the night cavalry, but they all have the same fucking jump attack followed by the same exact move. I think this makes all those fights feel too samey.

Absolutely true, that's a huge problem in this game. We fight Loretta twice, and about half a dozen Tree or Draconic Sentinels, then even more of the Night Cavalry guys. And they all share more than a few moves.

For god's sake, they even put a second Astel at the end of a dumb mine. Why? I'm guessing to fill this huge world they had in mind, but still, way to cheapen you unique ideas and designs.
 

Andnjord

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Guys, Latenna just spoke to me. Yay...































Who bitch this is again?
You meet her at the end of a small dungeon in Liurnia where she's chilling there with her big Wolfie and asks if she can follow you to reach a church in the north of the consecrated field. You should have her as a spirit summon in your inventory. She’s there to guide the player towards the Haligtree, but, as you so eloquently said, that happens soooo early in comparison to getting there that any normal human being is likely to have forgotten about her halfway through Caelid at best.
 
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Alrik

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May 14, 2020
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68
For all the bonk enthusiasts; a single cast of Royal Knight's Resolve applies to both weapons if you dual wield. Since it's a weapon buff you can cast it on both weapons and since buffs multiply you get an effective buff of 224%. Stack a few other effects and you can easily break 10k damage on your alpha strike.

I'd post video evidence, but my capture software refuses to comply.
 

Haplo

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Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
For all the bonk enthusiasts; a single cast of Royal Knight's Resolve applies to both weapons if you dual wield. Since it's a weapon buff you can cast it on both weapons and since buffs multiply you get an effective buff of 224%. Stack a few other effects and you can easily break 10k damage on your alpha strike.

I'd post video evidence, but my capture software refuses to comply.

Switching to offhand and using offhand Weapons Arts is too complicated for my old reflexes.
Plus, I've switched back to two-handing one weapon (and mostly avoid jump attacks). Think its more elegant that way.
 

NJClaw

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For god's sake, they even put a second Astel at the end of a dumb mine. Why? I'm guessing to fill this huge world they had in mind, but still, way to cheapen you unique ideas and designs.
This doesn't excuse the reuse of the Astel boss fight, but she (?) isn't a unique creature, just a regular member of an alien race. You see at least two of them while exploring the underworld and a minor mine. Not only that, but the falling star beasts are their younglings or something. They have the same eye right in the middle of the face.
 

Alrik

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For all the bonk enthusiasts; a single cast of Royal Knight's Resolve applies to both weapons if you dual wield. Since it's a weapon buff you can cast it on both weapons and since buffs multiply you get an effective buff of 224%. Stack a few other effects and you can easily break 10k damage on your alpha strike.

I'd post video evidence, but my capture software refuses to comply.

Switching to offhand and using offhand Weapons Arts is too complicated for my old reflexes.
Plus, I've switched back to two-handing one weapon (and mostly avoid jump attacks). Think its more elegant that way.
I also find doing it during the fight too cumbersome, but loading it up before engaging the boss so you get it on the first hit is straightforward enough.
 

Dhaze

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This doesn't excuse the reuse of the Astel boss fight, but she (?) isn't a unique creature, just a regular member of an alien race. You see at least two of them while exploring the underworld and a minor mine. Not only that, but the falling star beasts are their younglings or something. They have the same eye right in the middle of the face.

Oh I know, I'm only bemoaning the reuse.

I mean, I like the design and concept of the Fallingstar Beasts—not nearly as much as Astel though, that is some good out-of-this-realm design—but were the one down in the Sellia Mine and the other near Leyndell really needed? The Full-Grown one in Mount Gelmir was by far the best (what a spectacle, to ride the spiritspring on Torrent and gawk at this aerial view of a massive crater with the beast at its center), but felt cheapened due to having encountered two near-identical, lesser ones before.

Especially the one in the Sellia Mine. Pretty sure that one could be deleted entirely from existence, and the game would be all the better for it.
 

Alrik

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Messages
68
Third time fighting her and I vote Loretta, Knight Of The Haligtree, as best boss in Elden Ring.

I went in as a full-fledged Carian Knight, hunter of filthy mages.

- Carian Knight set
- Carian Knight Sword with Carian Grandeur; Carian Knight Shield with Carian Retaliation and magical affinity; and Carian Glintblade Staff
- Magic Scorpion Charm; Graven-Mass Talisman; Spelldrake Talisman +2; and Curved Sword Talisman
- Greatblade Phalanx; Eternal Darkness; and Gavel Of Haima where spells are concerned
- Magic-Shrouding Cracked Tear and Stonebarb Cracked Tear for the Physick flask

And it was fucking fantastic. I highly recommend you guys give the following a try.

During her first phase:

- Use strong attacks and Gavel Of Haima liberally
- Dodge her Glintblade Phalanx
- Counter Glintstone Star with Carian Retaliation and keep advancing towards her, as she's likely to chain a few of them, and with good spacing and timing you can easily catch and release two out of a maximum of four casts on her part
- Counter Loretta's Greatbow with Carian Retaliation and keep the pressure on her as she becomes wide open for a while after this move
- Dodge her physical or magic-imbued attacks, save (if your stamina permits) for the last attack in any given combo which you'll block to then execute a Guard Counter
- Anticipate breaking her stance, at which point you have time enough to charge Carian Grandeur to its maximum. For me, this did 1600 damage.

When her second phase starts, drink your physick, then:

- Attack and use Gavel Of Haima more sparingly, as the pressure she puts on increases
- Cast Eternal Darkness to protect yourself against the showers of Carian Phalanxes and Glintstone Stars
- As soon as you see her readying Loretta's Mastery, cast Greatblade Phalanx (whose poise damage when all three blades hit is huge) then rush towards her and dodge forward, casting one instance of Gavel Of Haima as your dodge finishes
- Same as before for her physical or magic-imbued attacks
- Stay glued to and under her when she does her three magic-imbued sweeps, and if your positioning and timing is right you can then cast Gavel Of Haima safely two times in a row for massive poise damage.

Can't believe people simp hard for a tsundere doll with a stupid hat when there's this veritable Chadette of silver and glintstones...

Bro, Loretta? Really?

Hard disagree. Was a very average boss for me. Looks very cool, but so does everything else in Elden ring. The actual fight needed something more for me. Yeah, she is on horseback, but they don't do anything crazy with it. It's like fighting a Tree sentinel that casts magic. She also doesn't have any spells that would be hard to dodge or do something unique. And everything she did was so floaty and easy to dodge. And she has low HP. I think they should have made her run away from you on horseback and spam Lorettas greatbow. Or add a new gimmick, idk.

Best bosses for me were by far Mohg and Godfrey.


This is a good point, the Loretta fights would've been much more interesting if she embraced horse archery. Players would've gone apeshit though, especially if you weren't allowed to use Torrent.
 

NJClaw

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what a spectacle, to ride the spiritspring on Torrent and gawk at this aerial view of a massive crater with the beast at its center
My experience was even better. The exact moment I landed, the beast charged at me and instantly pushed me off the cliff. It worked so perfectly I wasn't even pissed.
 

mediocrepoet

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the Loretta fights would've been much more interesting cancerous if she embraced horse archery. Players would've gone apeshit though, especially if [and] you weren't allowed to use Torrent.

ftfy
 

Lyric Suite

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Man, so i killed the last guy in the Volcano Manor quest, which i could only kill by cheating the AI with guard counter attacks. I tried every trick on the book and simply couldn't hit him otherwise with that bullshit step thingy he does. Maybe if i used a faster weapon than the Great Stars but fuck that.

I then proceeded to finish up all the ends in the Manor quest line. Killed Rykard, managed to get a "good" ending for the snake girl (she is neither dead nor lobotomized, so i guess she came off pretty good compared to the rest of the NPCs), went to Patches in the Shaded Castle, no fucking indication whatsoever he would be there. He gives me some shit not even the internet knows what it is, then moves to his original cave (this is at least something the player might try so it's ok, even if i read about it in the wiki).

And of course, the end of the quest with Tanith is to kill her for lewt. Kinda of a clusterfuck.
 

Lyric Suite

Converting to Islam
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Lmao, the Erdree Asylum Demon guy. How did i know another one was gonna show up as soon as i saw he had his regular normie moves.
 

Ryzer

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First hour into Elden Ring:
So far, combat is twice as retarded as DS3's. Enemies are even more aggressive than in Bloodborne and the combat system isn't made for it. Weird shit all over the place with little reason for being there. The world is full of empty space.
AI is dumb.
Little improvements from Dark Souls 3.
10/10 game of the year
 

Dhaze

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In honor of Andnjord, I have embraced the proto-human Way Of The Bonk against Malenia. I used Gavel Of Haima exclusively, save for an actual weapon when her poise was broken, and I had Battlemage Hugues with me who employs similar means.

Kinda tricky to keep him alive since her Waterfowl Dance takes nearly half his health away, and I had to keep him close to her otherwise he uses his ranged attacks that aren't nearly as useful against her. Bit of RNG involved.

Still though, after a handful of tries he managed to survive the whole fight and—the absolute Chad he his—came in clutch by headbutting her to break her poise, giving me the last critical I needed.

"I am Malenia. Blade of Miquella. And I have never know defe—BONK—holy shit dude! What is your head made of?!"

First hour into Elden Ring:
So far, combat is twice as retarded as DS3's. Enemies are even more aggressive than in Bloodborne and the combat system isn't made for it. Weird shit all over the place with little reason for being there. The world is full of empty space.
AI is dumb.
Little improvements from Dark Souls 3.
10/10 game of the year

Picture enemies having a posture gauge like in Sekiro; because they have one, it's simply not shown. That might help you immensely in dealing with overly-aggressive foes.

Block an attack from a soldier > immediately press Heavy Attack to perform a Guard Counter > soldier has his poise broken, suddenly finds himself dramatically less aggressive.
 

Lyric Suite

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I don't understand all this bitching about the aggressiveness of the combat. It's the least of this game's problem. Even if you suck and can't git gud the game gives you so much shit to fuck up mobs and even bosses i would hardly call this game unfair, and as pointed out, even vanilla melee got extra options, like posture breaking, guard counters and jump attacks with bonus critical or whatever they do.

So far i haven't found a single mob or boss i couldn't roll-fu into submission. I suppose Melenia and the waterfawl shit is gonna put my boomer reflexes to task once and for all but up to now this game has been like every other Souls game i ever played. It feels unfair but then you always get good and you wonder what was so difficult after all.

No the open world shit is the number one Achilles heel of this game. The rest is just a logical evolution of the Souls combat system and outside of PvP i would consider Elden Ring to be superior to DS3 because of the sheer variety of toys you get. One thing i noticed for instance is how often i mess around with talismans in this game compared to other Souls titles, and that's within a single build.

If this game had been nothing but legacy dungeons it would have been their best Souls game since DS1.
 

Dhaze

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I don't understand all this bitching about the aggressiveness of the combat. It's the least of this game's problem. Even if you suck and can't git gud the game gives you so much shit to fuck up mobs and even bosses i would hardly call this game unfair, and as pointed out, even vanilla melee got extra options, like posture breaking, guard counters and jump attacks with bonus critical or whatever they do.

It's not the aggressiveness per se. It's the shape taken by this aggressiveness versus the tools possessed by the player. Let's compare dealing with incoming attacks by way of dodging in Elden Ring, versus the same thing in Nioh.

TL;DR: in Elden Ring, you mostly wait while it's the enemies' turn, then take your turn, provided the enemies don't suddenly decide to dash half the world away or get some hyper-armor. While in Nioh you're almost always doing something active even when dodging, something that will put you ahead of the enemy.

In Elden Ring dodging is almost purely a passive option. Which seems fine enough, but even if you've perfectly dodged a series of attacks, what has happened? Depending on the boss' attack or combos and a bit of RNG you've spent upwards of 20 seconds pressing the same dodge button in the same manner; and during that time you've depleted a vital resource, stamina, about which the boss feels no concern whatsoever because he has unlimited stamina. So you've dodged everything perfectly and yet, all in all, you're worse than before, with no recourse. You can extend the duration of your i-frames with the Crucible Feather Talisman, and you also have Quickstep, Bloodhound Step, and Raptor Of The Mists.

Now for comparison, Nioh 1&2.

First of all, enemies have actual, visible stamina in those games. That is a massive difference, because they can't attack forever and again without consequences. Even the most busted human bosses in Dream Of The Nioh have to stop at one point and that's an actual, out-of-breath stopping point, not a gotta-pretend-the-boss-can't-attack-for-a-couple-of-seconds moment like in Elden Ring.

Also the dodge timing in Nioh is very tight, and no matter your equipment you have multiple types of dodges available at any given time. In Low Stance, you have a very short, tight dodge with 10 invicibility frames (compared to a whopping 26 frames in Elden Ring!) which you can chain to another dodge that has only 8 i-frames, but you can act quickly when coming out of them; in Mid Stance, you have a short dodge (10 i-frames) followed by a roll (18 i-frames) but a longer recovery; in High Stance you have a single, slow roll (20 i-frames) that has a very long, dangerous recovery. (also of note: extended Dodge Invulnerability adds 3 i-frames across the board.)

That alone already gives you more options, since every dodge will leave you closer or farther to the ennemy and leave you with more or less time to act afterwards. Meaning that while still a passive option at its core, it's already more involved. And in fact much more involved, since to access all that you actually have to change your stance on the fly, reacting to exactly which attack or combo is coming towards you.

Of course dodging in Nioh, like in Elden Ring, also consumes stamina (ki). But with a special input called Ki Pulse you can actually recover instantly most of the stamina you've used while dodging! So the enemy has spent a bit of his ki when attacking you, while you have dodged it all and you've already recouped your losses. And this Ki Pulse can also be used to dispel the Yokai Realms that slow you down, meaning dodging is not merely a passive action anymore, you're doing more, and you're coming out ahead.

On top of that, if you're using a sword or a spear, you can also get a special sidestep with 15 i-frames. And with some weapons like the sword, odachi, or tonfas, and their respective skills like Mind's Eye, Swallow's Wing, or Demon Dance, you can cancel out of your attacks into dodges. Add a grace bonus like Death Dancer which augments your damage when you attack without having been hit or having blocked, and you're highly encouraged to dodge and keep the pressure on.

Still on top of that, the dodge input in Nioh is like in Elden Ring, that is with a negative edge. But if you press dodge while holding block, you will dodge on a positive edge. Meaning that you can chose whether you prefer the slight delay in reaction time intrinsic to a negative edge, or if you prefer the tight response of a positive edge but risk blocking a hit if your timing is off. Again, choice and possibilities.

You could also dodge by using a Yokai Skill. Enki will see you jumping very high in the air then attack; Waira will make you disappear underground then inflict damage when you resurface; Ongyoki will make you completely invisible. Or you could dodge by using the Feral Counter, which works as a cancel out of everything.

And that's just a short version of what dodging is like in Nioh. I'm not even gonna enter into the vast domain of blocks and parries and counters. And with the amazing system of Yokai skills, you can do everything from simply repositioning to chasing and damaging a boss who darted to the other side of the arena. Maliket jumps back five miles away? Not a problem in Nioh 2: chase him down instantly with Lightning Gods of Yomi or Kinki.

Like Nioh, Sekiro was fantastic for that; every defensive option was also offensive in some way. By returning to the DarkSouls x Bloodborne formula, FromSoft went backwards with Elden Ring.
 
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