Elden Ring picked up dozens of Sport of the 12 months awards in 2022 and was loved by thousands and thousands, so FromSoftware will certainly be eager to return to the Lands Between. Listed below are a number of methods DLC may probably carry enhancements.
In the event you’ve labored your manner via all the Elden Ring achievements, chances are high you will be hungry for an excuse to go again to the Lands Between for extra superb vistas and brutal boss battles. Whereas nothing has been formally introduced, the wild success of FromSoftware’s punishing action-RPG make DLC really feel like an inevitability — all the Darkish Souls video games had further post-launch content material, in any case, as did PS4 unique Bloodborne with the very good The Outdated Hunters, which might be the benchmark for which any new Elden Ring content material must be aiming. Since blasting via the sport final 12 months, we have been pondering over issues we would wish to see any such DLC carry to the (spherical) desk, so we thought we would share a number of of our ideas with you right here.
Elden Ring DLC: Six issues we would like to see
Do not increase the map an excessive amount of
Whereas we clearly need lots extra attention-grabbing sights to see, that does not essentially have to contain the prevailing map rising past its present borders an excessive amount of. There’s a lot house within the Lands Between already the place new landmarks may pop as much as utterly change how an space seems and feels, the place new caves or dungeons may seem to make the acquainted really feel unfamiliar and intriguing as soon as once more, or the place we may go deeper, with a number of present areas proving simply how cool underground exploration could be in Elden Ring. Filling out the prevailing map with much more content material, even when solely as a part of any potential new content material, could be an superior method to make all of it really feel contemporary once more… perhaps even give gamers the choice upon beginning a file whether or not they need the unique map or the revised and expanded one, director’s cut-style. There’s already precedent in Roundtable Maintain for being whisked away to areas that technically exist off the map too, which might be a neat method to present us one thing utterly distinctive with out having it have to someway tie into the pre-existing world — Bloodborne has some examples of From pulling this stunt to nice impact, from the frozen gothic grandeur of Cainhurst Citadel to the oppressive nightmare realms. Elden Ring’s world can already really feel a bit too huge for its personal good at instances, which you might have felt for your self for those who’ve performed via it a number of instances now, however making it even just a bit denser could be preferable to tagging on one more expansive land mass.
Alternatively, do not increase the map in any respect — ship us someplace utterly new. A smaller, denser play space that’s all utterly unknown could be incredible, and as many different fashionable video games show, greater is not at all times higher. Packing extra stuff into smaller areas provides extra alternatives for that thrill of discovery and fewer downtime as you run or journey via empty areas you have already picked clear. From can also be actually good at hiding issues in its video games, so that you would not even essentially really feel such as you had been getting via all the things faster simply because the play space was smaller… there’d nonetheless be loads of scope for lacking stuff and exchanging tales with different gamers concerning the wild stuff you every discovered that others may need missed, which is at all times attention-grabbing. Heck, the Souls video games have made complete strings of areas optionally available or missable — in my first Darkish Souls 2 run, I by no means even noticed Huntsman’s Copse or past, leaving tons of recent stuff to see in NG+ after I ultimately discovered methods to get there. Leveraging secretive issues like that is nice for replayability, and given how nicely Elden Ring already hides a few of its bosses and secrets and techniques, we absolutely count on to see much more mysteries if and when From expands the world, and even adjustments it…
Deliver the world to life
With out going too deep for worry of spoiling stuff for many who may not have performed it but (or have not bought far sufficient to note this), Elden Ring has a number of superb moments when story beats enact everlasting change on the map. As with a few of the issues talked about above, this may very well be a tremendous method to refresh the world in some actually artistic and significant methods — what if a brand new Legacy Dungeon may have us combating our manner via a preserve, then beating the boss sees the citadel razed, turning it right into a second, completely new dungeon as we decide our manner via the ruins, for example? Maybe a key story beat may see a ravine cleaved clear via a progress-blocking mountain, successfully unlocking a shortcut between areas (we all know how a lot From loves its shortcuts) whereas including to that incredible sensation of the world evolving round you. One potential situation with issues like that is that altering the panorama could make issues missable, however that is virtually a part of the purpose of Souls video games and their ilk. They do not need you to seek out and acquire all the things (even when achievement lists generally recommend in any other case), with their most cryptic secrets and techniques and deeply buried surprises indirect by design, bringing the entire neighborhood collectively to piece collectively mysteries and share places of particular objects so out of the best way that the majority gamers would by no means have an opportunity of discovering them with out understanding how to take action.
There are additionally methods to change the world with out making such extreme bodily adjustments, and once more, the bottom recreation already does this a little bit. However FromSoftware has performed round with this concept in far more depth beforehand, and it was simply unimaginable. We’re going again to Bloodborne chatter once more, of us, and extra particularly, its ingenious Perception mechanic. Perception can virtually be seen as Bloodborne’s twist on a sanity mechanic, with sure encounters and objects elevating the stat as you acquire extra forbidden data and your eyes on the within start to open to see the world because it actually is… that manner insanity lies. As Perception rises, the unseen reveals itself to you. Hulking eldritch monstrosities cling to buildings and block out the solar, once-hidden enemies be part of the hunt as they sensible as much as your rising consciousness of this grim actuality, and distant cries punctuate the howls of Yharnam’s beastly residents. It is a wild journey, and whereas the mechanic could not actually be lifted wholesale for Elden Ring, even one thing so simple as a brand new key merchandise that means that you can see what you could not earlier than would give but one more reason to discover the world anew in the hunt for much more secrets and techniques.
Improve the arsenal
It is necessary for the Souls video games and others like them to have a various array of weapons and armour, as I am positive my fellow Vogue Souls gamers will agree, and whereas Elden Ring is already no slouch on this entrance, there’s at all times room for enchancment. It isn’t nearly including new stuff — it is about including related new stuff. In the event you comply with Elden Ring’s speedrun or PvP scenes, you are possible sick of seeing the identical few weapons used continually, and we actually want any new gear added to supply a cause to place down these outdated favourites and check out the brand new stuff. Energy-creeping the unique gear out of the headline slot is not best (particularly as it could unbalance PvP within the favour of DLC house owners), however including weapons that may stack as much as the top-tier gear would assist make aggressive play and informal reruns alike far more attention-grabbing. Possibly even introduce some extra novel or out-there weapons that carry one thing completely new with how they perform — Elden Ring already provides a number of distinctive weapons like this, however Bloodborne (there it’s once more… it is not my fault it is From’s finest recreation) is constructed round them with its multi-function Trick Weapons, similar to a cane that may disassemble right into a whip or a sword that comes with a free anvil into which it which could be plunged to type the deal with of an enormous hammer. Every weapon is successfully two, every with their very own properties — think about how helpful one thing like that will be in taking over Elden Ring’s many and various challenges.
Elden Ring’s mechanics imply it is not simply the weapons and armour items themselves that might see upgrades, however the Ashes of Battle as nicely, with virtually limitless potential for brand spanking new weapon expertise that might immediately flip underperforming weapons into real threats. As with weapons, expertise are likely to boil right down to the identical few apparent picks lots of the time, however curious gamers have possible already discovered some fairly busted off-meta combos even simply with the bottom recreation’s equipment. Once more, the crew would both should be conscious of non-DLC gamers when balancing this sort of stuff or break up the Colosseum swimming pools for versus play to account for the variations in obtainable choices, however in a recreation about loading up on cool gear, we’re by no means going to say no to much more cool gear. On that be aware, boss gear basically did really feel a little bit underwhelming in Elden Ring in comparison with a few of the Souls choices (particularly contemplating the variety of bosses within the recreation), so making any new stuff in that pool really feel a little bit extra particular would even be neat.
Much less repeated content material
The tail finish of a completionist run of Elden Ring can really feel like a little bit of a chore, with many dungeons and optionally available areas enjoying host to boss fights that are simply reruns of outdated ones. As a lot as we might love the wild design of the Erdtree Avatar — principally “what if Asylum Demon was really a tree?” — it begins to lose its lustre come the sixth encounter with the identical rattling boss, and others are reused much more closely than that. Considered one of Elden Ring’s greatest strengths is that sense of marvel and discovery that dominates the early recreation as you first begin to discover your ft on this unusual land, however dredging up the identical huge bads for landmark encounters, as a lot as it’d make sense within the context of the world, feels prefer it flies within the face of that considerably. It additionally makes that struggle really feel much less particular, like going via the motions with one other boss for having a boss’ sake… it is higher, I believe, to have a smaller choice of distinctive bosses than one thing like Elden Ring’s bloated rogues’ gallery the place virtually each huge enemy seems at the very least twice.
The tail finish of a completionist run of Elden Ring can really feel like a little bit of a chore, with many dungeons and optionally available areas enjoying host to boss fights that are simply reruns of outdated ones. As a lot as we might love… see? Will get outdated, would not it? We now have to understand that sources are restricted, and we should not count on tons of and tons of of authentic bosses, a few of which most gamers won’t ever see. But when you are going to retread outdated floor, it actually must be accomplished extra creatively than easy reruns or ‘ummmm okay, now struggle two directly,’ which admittedly could be ace when accomplished nicely, though From will wrestle to keep away from comparisons with Smough and Ornstein, having peaked with the primary Darkish Souls with regards to duo bosses. Elden Ring does toy with altering up mechanics with a few of them, however there’s loads of potential for one thing like this to be taken a bit additional with out creating an excessive amount of further work.
Extra Legacy Dungeons
Legacy Dungeons had been one of many highlights of Elden Ring for me: an opportunity to substitute the sensation of getting misplaced within the intimidatingly large open world with that of getting misplaced in cramped, labyrinthine corridors and caverns nearer to what we would count on from a Darkish Souls recreation. There is a sense of familiarity to them for any Souls veteran, but additionally trepidation — you simply know these epic castles and manors are going to be house to a few of the worst issues Elden Ring goes to throw at you, in any case. It is necessary that these make a comeback if/when From returns to this world, as they function an superior change of tempo and their density is welcome as a counterpoint to a few of the extra barren open expanses of the map. I would not even be averse to potential DLC being simply Legacy Dungeons… pepper the prevailing map with much more main landmarks and as talked about above, you have already made significant change to the world whereas introducing a bunch of recent content material, though this may admittedly kind of miss the purpose of Elden Ring’s open world shift so I can not see it occurring.
One different concept that I like is utilizing any new Legacy Dungeons (and even any new places) to faucet into a few of the extra attention-grabbing and authentic PvP elements that the Darkish Souls video games have provided previously. Covenants basically are one thing which have at all times appealed to me concerning the different video games, although I recognize they’re to not everybody’s tastes, particularly with how obtuse some may very well be (and with the busywork they entail when associated achievements are included). Nonetheless, two collection standouts that serve my level listed below are Darkish Souls’ Forest Hunter Covenant — which mechanically allowed you to invade ‘trespassers’ who dare stroll the grounds you and yours shield — and a private favorite, Darkish Souls 2’s Rat King Covenant, which arrange for reverse invasions the place interlopers had been pulled into your model of a few the crypt-type places, which you’d possible laced with traps and left loads of enemies roaming round in. This type of artistic multiplayer integration is lacking fully from Elden Ring, and I for one really feel its absence. However then once more, I used to be at all times a Gravelord fan in Darkish Souls who simply loved flooding different gamers’ worlds with extra highly effective enemies, so perhaps I am only a incorrect’un. Screw it, Covenants had been cool. Deliver these again too.
It is completely wild to me that extra video games do not embrace randomisers as customary. The modding scene for the Darkish Souls video games is rife with all method of mods that change up merchandise and enemy placement to make each play distinctive, with extra excessive ones going even additional to muddle the map so that you by no means know the place doorways or portals would possibly take you. Having this as an choice constructed right into a recreation as customary simply provides it virtually limitless replayability — you could adapt to no matter you occur to seek out and encounter, that means you’ll be able to not often fall again on the identical builds you employ on a regular basis, and also you would possibly uncover enjoyable new methods to play that you’d by no means have tried in any other case. Hitman is getting what’s successfully a randomiser mode, and it is nice to see this sort of performance beginning to hit the mainstream and hopefully it’s going to solely develop extra frequent. Some might groan on the thought of video games like this leaning extra into roguelike territory, nevertheless it’s sometimes an choice, and extra choices is sort of at all times a very good factor. I would say do not knock it till you have tried it, too… I used to be a little bit sceptical at first because it simply appears daft to play one thing so inherently unstructured, however I could not inform you how a lot time I’ve put into varied Pokémon and Hyperlink to the Previous randos since coming round to the thought, in addition to Cadence of Hyrule, which is successfully a Zelda-themed Crypt of the Necrodancer randomiser. Embrace the chaos.
Curiously, From really already has embraced it… are you able to guess the place? That is proper, it is Bloodborne (final time, I promise), which had a complete aspect mode devoted to random dungeons. If something, although, the Chalice Dungeons ought to function an necessary lesson in how not to do randomisation in a recreation like this. The issue was merely a scarcity of places within the ’tile’ set, which led to most ‘random’ dungeons feeling just about precisely the identical: wander an identical corridors, discover lever, pull lever, go to door, see which boss desires a chunk, kill, rinse, repeat. It is the identical sort of wasted potential we noticed in Future 2’s Infinite Forest — in principle an ever-changing dimension that provides distinctive challenges and rewards on every go to, however in follow only a slog after the primary few instances if you realise how little selection there really is. Whereas it is most likely not viable on sources to place a full-scale location randomiser into an already advanced recreation, it would not essentially want it. Simply having the ability to combine up merchandise and enemy placement could be sufficient to supply boundless replayability and a brand new expertise each time.
And that is our lot. What would you wish to see if and when From goes again to the Lands Between? Tell us down within the feedback!