Elden Ring - my thoughts and questions while I play this game

Don’t write this off too quick. Summoning other people into your world is by far the easiest way to simplify every boss fight. All you do is look for the yellow summon sign somewhere near the boss door, summon the player, and go fight the boss. Typically the folks you summon will have already beaten the boss many times and be generally overpowered and you can pretty much watch the fight if you want, then they are sent back to their world. If you don’t love the “die and die again” style then you should do this because it’s the surest way to progress the game without hitting a wall.

Exploring the world was my favorite part of the game.

It does have the ‘Souls’ heritage but it is by far the easiest of the bunch. It will (as all Souls games do) allow you to travel to very difficult areas before you are ready. If you end up in an area where everything kills you instantly get back to an easier area and level up more.

Remember the wolves the witch helped you summon? That will become an important part of the game later on. You’ll get more types to summon and end up getting allies (spirit ashes) so tough they are mini-bosses themselves (to your enemies). Any time you run into a boss you can’t beat you can summon an ally for help and the game will play at a much easier difficulty.

Ally summoning is basically the difficulty slider for the game:
Never summon allies = “Full Souls Experience”
Summon allies for only the toughest bosses = Hard.
Summon allies for all bosses = Intermediate
Summon allies all the time = Easy.

Probably mattering to no one but me, but it was more like level 80 when I switched (was skimming the old ER thread)

Yeah, the Ashes are quite helpful for boss and mini-boss fights. You’ll find more as you go, although they require mana to use so, if you never put points into increasing that, you’ll be constrained to a limited selection of spirits. I got a pair of skeletons pretty early into the game which were nice as they would rebuild themselves mid-fight provided at least one of them was still standing. You’ll also get the chance later to level them up, just like you can strengthen your weapons.

I never bothered with player summons since watching Thottkillah420 solo Godrick for me seemed to defeat the purpose of playing the game. Just my perspective, of course, other people swear by it.

Wow, so I can just summon other players in to help? I haven’t seen that yet, but assume that is a feature I will see later. I guess I knew that, but is there a big cost to do so?

There is no cost at all! Just look for the glowing symbols on the ground before most boss fights or other difficult situations, click on them, and there they are. In most cases you can actually bring in more than one other player, which can really trivialize an otherwise difficult fight. You can also put your own symbol down and go help other people, which is a low-risk way to get a preview of a new boss or explore a new area.

Note that some of the symbols actually link to NPC summons rather than other players; some of these are really helpful and some of them are absolutely useless or outright detrimental. This is because - IMPORTANT CAVEAT - summoning help, whether another player or an NPC, increases the HP pool of the boss you’re fighting (this is sneaky, because there’s no obvious indicator that this has happened). In most cases it’s still worth it, because adding a second player to draw aggro, handle any adds, and otherwise provide support fundamentally changes the fight in your favor. But some of the NPC summons do virtually nothing and then die very quickly, so you’re left with a juiced up boss to fight on your own. Using the spirit ashes (like those wolves) does not have this effect, by the way.

I’ll be following this thread with great enthusiasm. I loved Elden Ring, put somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 hours into it over several playthroughs, and am glad to have someone to talk to about it who hasn’t already heard everything I have to say :slight_smile:

That was exactly my experience with Dark Souls (liked the exploring, didn’t care for boss fights) and why I personally have only limited interest in Elden Ring.

I’ve watched a number of hours of “Let’s Play” videos on Youtube, but they got to be a bit repetitive after a while.

You need to use a furlcalling finger remedy to be able to see other players signs, to summon them for help. You don’t (iirc) need to do this to see the npc signs.

Nice that you’re giving it a whirl, I remember you talking about it on the other thread. I put a huge amount of time into it from launch, had a rest for a few months, then went at it again mainly co-op and pvp. Fitted a RL1 run in as well which was pretty good, but now put it down until the DLC.

I’m not all that keen on the pvp overall (still not over the lack of covenants to this day) but I do really like a co-op / taunters tongue run.

I may be wrong but I think you have to have beaten the boss already to support someone else as a summon against it.

You cannot summon spirit ashes and another player at the same time, but eventually, if you stick it out, at ~ the mid point of the game you will be able to get the Mimic Tear spirit ash and that immediately trivializes soloing 80-90% of the bosses in the game because its obscenely powerful.

IMHO you can’t go wrong maxing out the 3 wolves early. They are pretty badass once they are upgraded. And the zombie dog that puts rot on enemies is also pretty handy.

Oh, you can upgrade the summons?

Forgive my deep ignorance and even persistent ignorance at times. I am overwhelmed just looking at a new sword I got and trying to figure out how much better it is than the one I was given to start the game.

I didn’t realize summons were upgradeable? Do I have that ability if I remain in the opening area with no more than 4 hours in the game?

I went into a dungeon(small one, like Skyrim) west of the starting church. Door was locked, I did not find a mechanism to open it. I ran like a fool out so I could keep my runes.

I wish the little cavern-dungeon had its own mapping system like Skyrim would so I can see where I might not have gone.

More questions:

If I unlock a door in a mini-dungeon, like the one I said I failed to unlock…will going back to save at the grace-point re-lock it? I know minor and common enemies are resurrected, but are doors you’ve unlocked, etc. reset back?

I have attempted the Tree Sentinel, the guy on the horse you are clearly supposed to avoid, several times. I used the wolves and they were a fair-bit distracting. I was able to, using my horse, get him widdled down fairly well, but I would still describe myself as “quite terrible” at dodging and getting in my hits and running away.

There was this giant creature to the west that did not, I think, have a “boss HP line”, but I was able to kill him by riding around him like a maniac and hacking him down bit by bit. Very nice.

When you go into the caverns look around for some plants that are glowing. They look like little lightbulbs on flowers. Grave warts I think they are called? Those will upgrade your spirit summons. There’s normally a few in every cavern.

Wolves are useful because there are 3 of them and they interrupt attacks when they hit. They won’t be too useful against the tree sentinel. He’s pretty tough though and doesn’t drop anything super amazing so don’t beat your head against the wall too long on him right now.

But…he’s there! Heh, I think that I am still getting whomped by even mini-versions of him. What I mean is that the big soldiers with huge shields who ride horseback that I’ve seen are really hard. I’ve killed a couple, but I always have this urge to go save my game…which brings them back.

I presume optional bosses don’t regenerate when you save your game?

Doors are unlocked permanently.

Bosses don’t respawn.

You should try to use charged heavy attacks against bosses. landing several of these will put them in a vulnerable state that allows you to land a juicy critical hit! Normal attacks have this effect as well, but it’ll take a lot of hits to break their stance this way.

Oh, good. So I can unlock, save my game, and go fight whatever is behind a door. Helpful to know.

What specifically is a charged heavy attack? Top-right trigger does light attacks, bottom right trigger does a larger(but slower) attack.

Is the lower left trigger, which kind of seems to wind him up…the one you mean?

Holding the right trigger lets you charge up your heavy attack. (Lower button is the trigger, the top one is called the bumper, LB/LT RB/RT)

Left trigger does the weapon art(ash of war) of the currently held left hand weapon/shield, or if you’re two-handing the right hand weapon, the right hand weapon’s weapon art.

You could run back and “save your game” but that doesn’t really do anything for you in Elden Ring. The only reason to run back to a bonfire before a boss fight is if you have enough souls to level up or are out of flasks or something. The bonfires have no bearing on your progress since dying just respawns the enemies.

In most of the caverns once you unlock the door you can just sprint past every enemy from the bonfire to the door so it’s really not that hard getting to the boss door once you’ve unlocked it.

When you die, do you get to keep your XP?

Oh, I guess not. I’m not totally sure what I was thinking. I guess my emphasis was to save my game so I don’t have to unlock it again. No, your runes drop where you died.

In the larger dungeons that lead up to major bosses, are there multiple save points(grace points) throughout? I can’t picture running through a large area on one life.