I love Elden Ring (FromSoft). I just want to say that first before I go on a rant about the things that frustrate me about the game. This happens every time I play a From game and this is no different. Some of it is me, undoubtedly, but some of it is the games. Let me just get it out of the way that I am terrible at these games. Whatever the experts in these games say about how long it’ll take to play the games, I automatically triple it. One said about the first game that there was no way it would take anyone a hundred hours to play it–it took me 150, not including the DLC.
Another thing I have to mention is accessibility. Whenever the issue comes up, no one mentions my particular problem with the games–spatial difficulties. Oh and terrible reflexes. Do they reach the point of disability? I’m not sure. Do they get in the way of me playing the games? Most undoubtedly so. I had listened to the experts, I would have given up on the games ages ago. All the advice given is for ‘normal’ people (for wont of a better word), which is understandable, but disheartening. “Just me thoughtful and plan out your attacks.” “Anyone can beat these games with some practice.” “They’re not difficult; you just need to rethink the way you play.”
That may be true for normies, but it’s utter bullshit for many others. I understand that they just want to get more people to play the games, but downplaying the difficulty isn’t the way to do it. Again, I can’t really blame them because they don’t know what they don’t know. If it’s not difficult for them, then it’s not difficult for them. But they could maybe realize that other people might find it difficult, even if they don’t.
Side Note: There was a patch today. In it, they nerfed the weapon I was working towards. So happy to hear that. Really, I am. Sigh. I am 9 Int points away (intelligence), so do I even bother? I’ll get into that in a second, though. Let’s go!
1. Bosses who can one-shot me. Look. I know the bosses are supposed to be hard. That’s the whole point of these games. You beat your head against the bosses for hours, getting better little by little. Then, you feel an incredible sense of achievement when you beat the boss. I get it and I’m fine with all that. Actually, I’m not, but I’ll get to that further down. But there is nothing more demoralizing than a boss that can one-shot you. I am currently facing one main boss and two field bosses. The main boss one-shot me with a charged magic arrow the second I walked on the field the first time I met him. Cool, cool. That’s so cool. Gotta love it.
The two field bosses….Sigh. One of them actually falls into another issue I have with the game, which I’ll get to later. But in this case, I kept summoning people and they kept dying in one hit. One thing I like is that you can keep summoning people for as long as the fight continues (with the same summoning finger), but that meant that this fight went on for twenty minutes–and then I was one-hit killed, anyway.
The second field boss can’t one-shot me, but they can two-shot me with one particular combo. They hit me once and then I’m stunned so they can easily kill me with their second hit. It’s really frustrating because I’m being punished for making one mistake. I know it’s partly my own fault for having such low HP, but that should be a viable way of playing . I’m level 62. I should not be getting one-shot/two-shot killed.
So here’s the thing. This is one reason I play ranged rather than melee–I need to be able to survive. Staying away from the enemy/boss is the viable way to do it. But in the other games, I could still mix in melee to a healthy amount and feel like I was mixing it up. In this game, that’s just not as viable, which makes it less satisfying.
2. Copy-and-paste bosses. Look. Again, I get it. This is a huge game. From decided to put something in every corner, but not just meaningless ‘gather fifty mushroom’ crap. That means putting repeat bosses in dungeons and the field. But, and this may be radical, maybe not? Maybe be ok with an empty field or two? I dunno! It could just be me, but I am tired of repeat bosses.
For example. The first field boss I mentioned in number one (above), is the fourth of its kind. There is a thematic reason why there are so many, but that doesn’t make it any more fun–especially as you fight them all the same way. Yes, there is a wrinkle to each, but you avoid them in the same way. And it can kill me in one hit.
Want to know how I beat this type of boss? I ride around him in circles, spamming fire while my spirit summon does work. in fact, that’s pretty much what I’m doing with the second field boss as well. And, if I’m perfectly honest, it’s how I fight most field bosses. It doesn’t make me feel great, but given that I can die in one hit–it’s what I have to do. That means for the first time, I had more mana flasks than health flasks, which is odd.
3. Horse combat/movement. I love Torrent. He is the best. It’s fun to zip around and it makes travel painless. I’m glad he’s there. Having said that, I do not like horse combat. It feels weightless and it’s hard to connect with the swings. I almost exclusively use the right-hand side swipe because it’s best to just circle around an enemy rather than try to attack on both sides. But, I end up swiping the air more than actually make contact. And it’s frustrating as hell–though kinda funny when me and an enemy on horseback both miss each other.
It’s not just the combat, however, it’s the movement. Torrent cannot turn on a dime or stop on one, either, which means I’ve fallen off cliffs more times than I care to count. It’s frustrating as hell, honestly. This is related to the next issue I have with the game.
4. Platforming. Oh my god. It’s so fucking bad. I have said this about games that are not platformers: Do. Not. Include. Platforming. Platforming is a precision thing and there is a reason that there are specific platforming games.
From loves them some platforming. It’s in every goddamn game. They are not good at platforming. At all. It’s hard to tell what’s jumpable and what’s not–and it’s so easy to miss the mark. Add a horse to that and it becomes an exercise in frustration. I was trying to make a series of jumps last night that I just could not land. It took me more times than I care to admit to actually make the jumps. This is 10% my own fault because of my spatial issues, but it’s mostly the game and how horrible their platforming is.
Dang. Running long again. Will end here and pick this up again tomorrow.