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

Here is where I find it useful…

You go into a cave and there is a room full of monsters, a door, and then a tunnel past it leading to a new area. The first time you go into that room you are forced to kill everything in there, otherwise they will murder you while you turn your back to them to open a door.

But you just do that once, killing them all, open the door. The next time you go into that cave, you can just run past, dodging all the enemies, go through the open door, and proceed into the tunnel. I feel like every time I open a door somewhere it’s potentially significant progress.

The larger areas are self contained zones like the older souls games, and they have multiple area and save points. Not as many as you’d think, though; a neat trend of Fromsoft’s level designs is that the levels circle back on themselves, so you’ll unlock shortcuts that let you quickly return to earlier parts of the level.

No but you can get it all back by making your way back to where you died without dying again.

ETA: “saving” doesn’t change that either. Exp can either be spent or lost but you lose all of what you’re holding when you die.

No, you need to get into Stormveil Castle first. You meet an NPC who wants something from there and then later will meet her again. Assuming you’re chatting up the NPCs, it’s hard to miss her and her small quest to make it happen is pretty much something you’d be doing anyway as part of working through Stormveil Castle. So keep it in mind that you can upgrade them but don’t worry too much about it until you’re at that point of the game.

Thanks. I have found one anvil in the first church. I read it maxes out at +3.

Are there any other regular anvils in Limgrave? I want to level my swords as high as I can…

Edit- I am calling the first area Limgrave. I suppose more than one area is available in theory?

I’m assuming you haven’t unlocked the hub yet? Just keep going. Without spoiling anything after you rest at 3 different bonfires someone will show up at one.

The world is big. At some point you’re going to look at the map, think “I must be getting close to having this map all revealed” and only be about 25% of the way through the real estate of the Lands Between.

I’ve definitely rested at three. I have the ability to level up and I also meet the witch back at the church who gave me summons.

I was asking about anvils. There is one that I have seen and tried to use in the Church you meet the merchant at. I’m asking if there are further anvils in the area I am beginning the game in.

I think that’s the only anvil in the region. It might be the only anvil on the overall world map (don’t recall) since once you unlock the hub you’ll be doing your weapon upgrading there.

[Edit: I remembered one other anvil & NPC on the world map – not in the beginning area – but they’re still rather sparse]

An achievement of sorts today.

I went back into the cavern to the west of starting point and this time, I found the lever to open the locked door. I was able to defeat the dog boss inside without actually having to try 25+ times. I summoned the summon to help.

Well… that sucks. Then you’re no more powerful by the time you get back to the boss again.

I guess it really feels like an achievement when you make it through alive.

In this game, you can leave and come back later, fighting other things in the world to become stronger. I believe in the Souls-like games before this…the boss was the only way forward.

I just entered a “well” in the eastern region of the opening of the game. It took me on a long, long elevator ride downwards. I grabbed the grace-point and warped out to think about if I want to do the stuff down there. Looks like a dungeon.

I’m continuing to explore, but am too much of a wimp to go into too many places I find. I get absolutely slammed to death by a lot of things right now, just totally wiped out.

Thank you, I had figured anvils were located in various areas and some could level my weapons up higher.

Can our armor be improved?

No improving armor. You can make slight (usually worse) cosmetic changes if you do a quest bit you can’t make them better.

You’ll be able to improve weapons well beyond the church anvil once you’re in the hub area. That’ll be the only anvil you actually need.

Thanks, the hub is after the first major boss of the game? I have heard enough about the first major boss to know that it’s a deal-breaker for some folks. I won’t head northernly until I feel I have a fair shot at him.

You need to rest at a Grace Point outside of the starting area. Either inside Stormveil or there’s a few ways you might get sent to one via a trap or you can circumvent Stormveil entirely (you still need to go through it for the story, of course). Or heading far enough east to hit Caelid.

The “starting area” being Limgrave and the Weeping Peninsula to the southwest.

So how much actual grinding can you do in this game?

Quite a bit. Trash monsters respawn when you rest (or move far enough from the region). When I played, there were some guys I ground on all the time for 1k Eldenbucks a pop. In the starting area, I killed more than my legal quota of giants.

You don’t necessarily NEED to grind but it’s there if you want it.

A very good player can beat the game without levelling up. Probably need to upgrade their weapons to keep up with later area enemies’ health pools, but you can easily fund that just from picking up the items scattered around the world, so technically you can beat the game without any grinding whatsoever.

On the other hand, you can grind all the way to max stats (level 713), but you’d need to spend 1.7 billion runes to get there. For perspective, I need 300k runes to level up once at level 200. There’s ways to earn tens of millions of runes per hour, but tbh, it’s just a massive waste of time; there’s nothing in the game that ever needs you to be at that high a level, and diminishing returns for stat increases kick in very quickly.