9 questions we still have about Elden Ring
A long-awaited source of information on Elden Ring arrived this week with previews of the network test (we played it!). The resulting articles and videos left very few big questions unanswered – a real relief, considering how much time has passed since Elden Ring’s announcement in 2019. Testing the network is only a fraction of the time. full game, but now we know how it plays, and how similar it looks to earlier FromSoftware RPGs.
But there are still questions we want answered. Frankly, a lot of what we not knowing Elden Ring is probably best left that way until next February to preserve some of the mystique, but that won’t stop us wondering and theorizing for the next three months.
Here are some of the critical questions that still arise in our minds.
How many real dungeons are there?
The Elden Ring Network test was chock full of bosses – we fought something like 10 scattered around the open world, mini dungeons, and inside Stormveil Castle, the first meaty Legacy dungeon. But there are definitely boss levels in Elden Ring, and some are much bigger challenges than others. At the top of Stormveil Castle (not accessible in the network test) awaits the first of the Elden Ring Major boss, Godrick, one of the lords of The Lands Between. We’re not sure exactly how many of them await us in Elden Ring, and that number will be a key indication of how long this game will be.
Legacy Dungeons are large, dense areas reminiscent of the typical Dark Souls level design, while the rest of Elden Ring is made up of a vast open world and small mini-dungeons scattered around it. Knowing how many Legacy Dungeons there are in total will help us understand how much we should expect from this classic FromSoftware exploration in Elden Ring. According to an interview with IGN in June, director Hidetaka Miyazaki said that Elden Ring is made up of six major areas, each with their own major dungeon. But he also said that there are “a wide variety of catacombs, castles and fortresses which are scattered all over the map”, and it seems plausible that some of them are larger than the small and short ones that i ‘ve met in the opening area. – Wes Fenlon
Maybe we know the answer here, and it’s just six: Every section of the map has its Legacy Dungeon, and that’s it. But these are the same developers who were hiding Ash Lake inside a random tree in the wettest pit in Dark Souls, so I’m still skeptical.
What variety should we expect from the magic system?
There were a handful of sorceries and incantations available in the beta, and it’s safe to say there will be a lot more of them in the full game. When it comes to variety and flexibility, Elden Ring looks promising. For example: Ashes of War are collectibles that apply different powerful attributes to weapons, so if you find one that offers buffs or powers geared toward magic, or scaling with an attribute geared toward magic, you can easily apply it to a melee weapon that might otherwise not be suitable for a magical build.
Of course, you might not want to use melee weapons at all. If you rock a staff or sigil and rely solely on witchcraft and incantations, it remains to be seen what extent of choice the Elden Ring will offer. A major change is that Pyromancy is now combined with Faith rather than leveled separately. – Shaun Prescott
What will the NPC scenarios look like in the full game?
In the preview, I ran into a demi-human NPC who had been magically transformed into a bush. I helped him with a sword blow that brought him back to his normal form, and then he promised to sneak into the Demi-Human Cave and steal something good from me. I later noticed on the map that his name had moved near the cave, but I couldn’t find it nearby. Still, this suggests that NPCs will move and have their own journeys much like in Dark Souls games. But will these stories that make them cross the entire map of the world or will they be confined to single regions? Will they be as easy to lose sight of as in Dark Souls? – We s
How much freedom of exploration do we really have from the start?
The Elden Ring map is pretty massive: The Network Test gave access to a fraction of what appeared in Bandai Namco’s gameplay preview earlier this month. But will you be able to go where you want from the start? Hidetaka Miyazaki said IGN in June that “you won’t be able to access everything from the start, but there are a lot of different ways of approaching each area. And there is a lot of freedom as to the order in which you approach the different areas as well. “
It’s a slight relief that discovering new areas in Dark Souls games is one of their greatest pleasures – being able to explore it from the start would lessen some of the fun of progression. But at this stage, it is not known what will “carry” zones to the first players, or if these places inaccessible from the start even exist on the already known map. Will the world be closed by slowly unlocking traverse skills, your mount upgrades, Anor Londo style gargoyles? Fog barriers? We know that one boss in particular grants a key to an inaccessible door in the beta. – Shaun
How are we going to improve our flask and spell slots?
In the network test, I discovered a secondary flask that can be customized to have different effects, from filling up half your health bar in one sip to, uh, blowing your body up. But will we find the usual improvements to increase the number of drinks we can take in the regular bottle, and the improvements to make its healing effect more powerful? And what about the spell slots? Harmonization is no longer a stat, which means there is another method – possibly a collectible – to gain more spell slots. If so, magic users will chase them away as soon as possible. – We s
What are the exact limits of cooperative play?
In Dark Souls games, joining another player’s world in co-op meant exactly that – it didn’t affect yours. If you wanted to play all Dark Souls 3 in co-op, for example, each boss would have to be beaten in both player worlds, so both players could get past that point together. When you are in another person’s game, you are a ghost.
As Wes points out in his preview of Elden Ring, cooperative play is now much easier, although it has some limitations: you can’t move between the outside world and the dungeons without resuming. But what will be the exact limits where you can and cannot invoke? If you beat the boss of a Legacy Dungeon, won’t it be possible to summon it like in previous Souls games? And how will Elden Ring limit the summoning and invasion level ranges? We know the main lines, but not all the small details. – Shaun
What’s the date with the character creator?
The public network test does not feature a character creator (although you can choose between the five classes in the game). The quality (or lack thereof) of the end game’s character creator is a huge lingering question, given the effort Souls fanatics have put into making it look really
scary sweet. I don’t expect anything less than what we got in Dark Souls 3, but it would be a pleasant surprise if it gave us Following option. More is always better when it comes to Fashion Souls. – Shaun
How does George RR Martin fit into all of this?
Most Elden Ring previews note that Elden Ring is truly a Dark Souls game by another name. For most of us, an open-world Dark Souls entry is exactly what we’re looking for, even if it’s easy to understand. objections in the new format. But if it’s true that Elden Ring is a perfect match for Souls – and it’s just a start, after all – where is George RR Martin in all of this? From what we’ve seen so far: virtually invisible.
Martin is said to have written the lore that Miyazaki and his team used as the basis for the story and actual characters of Elden Ring, but its influence is not evident. Elden Ring so far appears to be cut from the same fabric as Dark Souls. Perhaps there are some deeper lore awaiting in the end game that allow Martin’s voice to shine brighter. – Shaun
Where are the fixes?
Impossible to say, but it’s probably safe to enter Elden Ring next February with this in mind: when you least expect it, expect it.