Elden Ring: a thread specifically for spoilers

In general, I don’t like it when devs force people to engage in game play that they may or may not want. It’s especially egregious when the mechanic is particularly polarizing, like PvP. In ER, this is also tied to an important currency, which tend to piss me off more than usual.

I’m a firm believer in letting players play your game however the hell they want to. Giving people options seems hard to argue with.

Dark Souls sold hugely better than Demon’s, so I think that stuff started around then. DeS was quite a niche game for its time.

I’m very much in favor of From forcing us to play Elden Ring their way, and not giving me options. ER aspires to be art, and if it’s art, it ought to be forcing me to experience it on its terms, and it shouldn’t care if I’m having fun or getting my money’s worth or whatever. But.

The invasions stuff just seems so weird and opaque to me, and tangential to the rest of the game. It seems like going into someone else’s game and killing them is just trolling for trolling’s sake. If you want to fight another player, don’t you want to be matched with someone who can give you a good match? Or who wants to fight you at all? It seems like a lot of work invading someone else’s game, and then it’s likely to be completely one-sided one way or the other. Why not just have dueling that’s organized in a way that’s easier to understand?

Anyway, my best argument that invasions/multiplayer is not a great part of the game is I’ve played for over a hundred hours, and I’ve never used it and have no idea how it works, and it doesn’t feel like I’m missing anything at all. If they had cut it, I’d never know it had been there.

There have been in prior games limitations based on level and weapon for invasions. So a level 150 with a +25 weapon couldn’t invade a level 100 with a + 15 weapon. I believe ER kept the level restriction, I don’t know about the weapon level one.

Although that really doesn’t matter as experience plays a bigger factor in the game than level or weapon. Also in prior games you could only be invaded if you were “human” or “hollow”, which kind of relate in ER to being under the influence of a Rune Arc. So if you haven’t used a Rune Arc you couldn’t be invaded. Note the game does that to you every time you kill a boss.

How often when you decide to play a game do you get to pick how the rules and mechanics work?

Most of the time? Play iron man yes/no, difficulty level, PvP on or off, permadeath on/off, save anywhere enabled, online or offline. Most games have a decent level of customization that allow you to pick and choose the mechanics you want to participate in. Even something like the Civ games, where you have an immense amount of control over what kind of experience you want to have.

Almost every time. In most games, you have a wide variety of game mechanics which are options you can turn on and off to suit your preferences. Elden Ring is just a game to me, not a religious experience, and I personally think it is silly to treat it as if it is some hallowed experience. It’s a combat RPG with a reputation for really difficult combat, but it’s just a game. The PVP invasion when you are doing coop (which is a very limited experience compared to a lot of other games) is just an unwelcome pain in the rump for a lot of us. Providing a toggle to turn it on or off would simply be a good user focused game design.

Personally I think there’s a “Being There” type of thing going on with the designers and long time DS players. “Oh, they intentionally leave out any guidance to the game mechanics so you are forced to go to an online community and become part of a larger society of DS players!” I don’t buy not, e.g. giving in game guidance to what the status icons indicate as some kind of brilliance - I put that in the lazy game designer category (how hard to put a tool tips type help there?)

I’m really enjoying the game at this point, I do appreciate the game design in terms of the world and the challenge. But I don’t buy into the argument that having a toggle to turn off invasions when in coop mode hurts anyone or the game.

That is very interesting to me. I have to admit, I’d have liked to seen this variant in ER to the point where you could be invaded (perhaps grace periods between invasions where it won’t happen again) even in single player. I think the other way to go would be mobs and bosses drop better loot or more frequently when you’re set to allow invasions, etc.

To rebut the replies of others, and while I’m completely new to the genre, I do appreciate that Miyazaki has stood firm and none of the Soulsborne games offer or allow much in the way of letting players to decide how the rules and mechanics work. It’s novel to me and had I not had the experience that I’m having now I’m sure I’d oppose it. And I wouldn’t want ALL games I play to be like that.

I guess I don’t play a wide enough variety of games to realize that so many offer such individual customization of the mechanics. I do remember wondering where the quick save was the first time I played DS1.

There is even in ER a time out period between invasions. Fifteen minutes I think.

Well, I guess to end the invasion discussion I would just say that they have existed since Demon Souls, the games have all flourished and have loyal communities. So while some dislike invasions others have learned to accept and/or enjoy them. To play an existing franchise and then want it to change for you seems wrong to me, like wanting Fallout to get rid of Super Mutants or Baldurs Gate to delete basilisks.

But I do respect your opinions.

I play offline so it’s not issue to me, but if in order to play co-op with a friend I had to have invasions, I wouldn’t play the game. They sound horrible.

You’re not missing much. As @tomchick is always pointing out, designers want to push a lot of the actual balancing and design work onto the gamer in the guise of giving us more choices. Unlike Tom, I’m actually okay with it more often than not, but it’s a lot of freaking work on the gamer’s part. Basically you have to play on multiple difficulties and play with various options in order to find the right difficulty for a good challenge. I really appreciate the Dark Souls games because they do all that work for you, so you don’t have to. You can just play and enjoy.

If you play on pc there is a mod that allows you to play co-op without invasions. But if the idea of dying sounds terrible then maybe ER or a DS game isn’t for you. :)

I am on PS5, but the idea of dying because some random person thinks that is fun, the games definitely are not for me. Offline is great though.

That random person is just playing the game as it is designed.

Combat in PvP is very different from PvE. An AI enemy has set moves that you may memorize and time after a few fights, but fighting another player adds a certain uncertainty to the fight. It can be a real rush testing yourself that way.

But I know not everyone feels that way.

There are already NPC invasions, so a PVP invasion is basically a harder NPC invasion to me. I’m already dying to regular bosses and NPC invasions, so another random add to the death count via occasional other players is just another /shrug. .

Granted, I’ve only had limited MP experience, but even from hearing friends who play PVP, there are basically established areas for PVP and even in those places, it’s not as bad as getting ganked outside of Crossroads in a WOW PVP server or anything.

Well I am glad they included an offline mode so I can play it contrary to how they intended it.

But, don’t you only get invaded if you are playing coop or use some sort of item or something? Why would you need to play offline?

I feel this game is balanced like an MMO. One difficulty to level the playing field with easy vs hard based on knowledge of systems, items, levels, etc. It ain’t hard to kill a zombie mook in opening area, but the bosses really require levels. It may not provide enough guidance in game for these systems, but google is really very simple and I don’t knock it much for the lack.

Yeah, you need to opt-in to getting invaded. It’s optional.

I never opted in and I wouldn’t want to play offline – I like seeing those ghosts and writing/reading messages.

My main problem with invasions is that they’re why I can’t pause this game. Some of us have families!

Optional unless you co-op the game. Then it is a feature. I don’t know why you would play offline? As annoying as some messages may be between them, the white ghosts and the bloodstains you miss a lot of info. Also some of those hidden door messages are true. And if you play solo you can’t be invaded.