Elden Ring - George R.R. Martin and Hidetaka Miyazaki

They’re on the map now, but on release you often had to hop around randomly and luck into seeing them.

The NPC stuff has been like that for every DS game, but they being more linear it was more likely you would run into them. As for a journal, it would be nice but not something FROM will do.

I know but in a massive open world it becomes much more of a problem, especially when you need to backtrack to older areas. There’s not much reason to return to some areas. Also while their icons do appear on the map, it is ONLY after you found and interacted with them. It won’t help you track their movements at all.

Just one small example. (questline spoilers!)

Kenneth Haight and Nepheli questline’s CAN actually intersect but you’d never know unless you returned to the Godrick the Grafted site of grace…and then RESTED at that site of grace! But only after you have beaten Morgott the Omen King and tried to enter the Erdtree. For me this is like…one-hundred hours later.

This then moves the quest NPCs from Castle Haight and Roundtable Hold into the Stormveil Castle throne room where you still have to FIND them so you can “complete” their questlines. Reward is best crafting material in the game for non-special weapons. (the gatekeeper guy will also now sell another one for 20,000 runes)

I have no idea how this is discoverable except by accident/dumb luck or using a guide.

And you have to wait for a specific trigger for that to happen. I agree, the NPC quest lines are crazy. Try doing Ranni’s without looking it up.

But, that is FROM. I think they want you to look things up, to ask questions of other players, to engage others both in the game as help and as an invader. The screams for community involvement.

I think starting with Dark Souls 2, the quests became very complicated.

For whatever reason when I played Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls 1, I was able to complete nearly all the questlines without any guides just by playing the game. They were much more simple as you would just encounter NPCs as you progressed through the levels/areas. The only thing that comes close is opening the shortcut door to Lost Izalith to save Sun Bro.

But Elden Ring actually reminds me a lot of Dark Souls in terms of NPCs ending up dead. Similar to how nearly every NPC in Dark Souls goes hollow at the end of their “quest”. Firelink shrine is emptied except for the fire maiden and primordial serpent (or if you get the red cloak guy to move there).

Wait - there are icons on the map for NPCs that you’ve interacted with for quests???

A rant.

I’ve almost just given up on quests. I’m finishing up Ranni’s because it lets me get somewhere I need to get to, but I absolutely would never have ever been able to do the quest without a guide on my laptop next to me as I play on the PS5. This is my first FROM game (tried PS5 Demon Souls 3 or 4 times, bounced off of it) and I know people who are FROM fans defend them, but as an open world aficionado I think their quest system is bullcrap, It completely takes me out of the immersion if I have to be reading a guide as I play. I don’t buy the whole “FROM does this intentionally to encourage interaction in the community.” Having to google and look up what the hell do I need to do next and where is that NPC is not creating a cum by yah community. It’s just bad game design. I’m trying to imagine if other popular open world RPGs forced you to do this and how well it would be accepted.

I’ve tried to stay “in character” and hope that I can do various quests but I haven’t yet been able to do that with any quests. I rescued the guy on the overpass, haven’t seen him again as far as I can tell. I hit the guy who is the jar and I saw him again when I was trying to get Moonveil, haven’t seen him again. And on and on. I think Ranni’s quest is pretty important to the game and lore but I challenged my brother to try to complete it without looking anything up. He spent hours doing nothing but trying to figure out how to advance the quest and gave up in total frustration. It was all he was trying to do, running all over the map hoping to see something or talk to someone to advance it.

I’m enjoying the game, but I doubt I’ll finish it because I just don’t want to play an open world RPG with my laptop next to me looking things up. I think the FROM design of making you look everything up, even status icons (have they never heard of tooltips?) is not brilliant design but simply “we don’t have to do a lot of this stuff because people who play our games expect to have to to look everything up.” But I also think the thing that makes Bethesda open worlds more my style (not saying they’re better, just fit my open world style better) is parts of Elden Ring feel arcade-like. Such as everything/creature resetting to exactly where they were before, same path and behavior, after you die or rest at a POG. The game design, and I get this is the FROM design, is all about trial and error, which feels very arcade like to me.

I think this is why, with a Bethesda game like Skyrim, or even RDR2, when I was forced to be away from the game for a couple of months I could not wait to get back on it. When I’ve been away from ER for a couple of months I almost have to force myself to start back up.

I suppose the short version is: FROM games aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Duh. (and I am getting back to the game just because I do like exploring the world.)

Ranni’s quest, which is probably the most sophisticated quest in a FromSoft game like this, is pretty well telegraphed once you manage to get it started, but maybe only up to a point. The lack of a journal makes it hard to remember important details. All you really got is item descriptions and talking to the NPCs associated with the quest in hopes of a hint if you get lost.

I’m pretty sure you can just ignore the quests / just do what you stumble upon and finish the game just fine. Don’t let them ruin the game for you.

What about the guy who is locked up in the area near the Gargoyles. His quest line is pretty convoluted, as is the woman with the holy warriors. Sorry I can’t remember better names for the NPCs. Or the end of the Onionbro? Who could have found that without a guide?

I think Ranni’s quest is the only one that really changes the game. The rest are small things.

In previous games you would have to do them to 100% the game, but ER is very easy to 100%.

I’ll give you onion bro because it is an optional hidden area. The others are on the critical path and are more simple.

But the gold armor guy (starts with an L) kills your main bonfire if you release him and then disappears until something that means nothing to you activates.

Also Big Hat Logan requires you do some back tracking to finish his quest.

You looted it off the dead fire keeper and it activates on the critical path prompting you to check it!

Elden Ring has one questline like this but it’s as clear mud. Actually it’s worse because it makes it seem like the questline failed when it really hasn’t. You just now have to find a hidden room inside another hidden room on the other side of the map with no connective tissue at all.

All the games have hidden areas.

I do agree with you though in principle. ER is designed to attract the masses, or at least new players, and the open world does that. But they stopped short of becoming your standard open world game with journals and map guiding points. And then you reach Lyndell and the game basically turns into DS4, which older players don’t have a problem with and expected all along.

NPC quests have always been vague though and continue to be in ER.

Edit: You check that item if you actually bother reading the description of it. So many things have information in the descriptions. I am guilty of not reading things I should. There is just so much there.

I’m actually shocked Miyazaki thought the worst area in all of Dark Souls was actually worth interating on. Good god this area sucks.

Wrong thread.

Or maybe not?

Yep. Wrong one.

Where are you?


I’ve long since blown past that ass area now. Suffice is the say The Blood God and The Undefeated Swordswomen are now both dead!


Is it just me or do these areas feel like DLC?

I have heard jokes about how if the swordswoman is in the main game, although optional, imagine what the DLC bosses will be like.