Elden Ring’s DLC Might Be Too Hard, Even For Veteran Souls Players

Even Souls veterans are struggling to get through some of these bosses.

Story Highlights

  • Shadow of the Erdtree is packed with difficult enemies that border on frustrating.
  • Several of these can eliminate huge portions of your health bar.
  • Unless players discover Scadutree fragments, they’re going to have a very tough time with the DLC.

FromSoftware’s titles aren’t exactly known for being accessible. But Elden Ring was unique in that way because the game offered people the ability to play in the way that felt easiest to them. With summons, tons of build variety, and the ability to try out different areas, Elden Ring hardly ever feels unfair. But it looks like the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC might be taking a different approach.

Within just a couple of days of it being out, players are already starting to feel the heat compared to the base game. Not only is the DLC a lot harder but it’s filled to the brim with enemies that can one or two-shot you if you’re not careful. Couple that with harder bosses, some of which are downright frustrating, it’s no surprise that Shadow of the Erdtree might be the hardest piece of content FromSoftware has ever made.

  • About the Author: Danish Bukhari is a long-time fan of the Soulslike genre. He specifically loves Elden Ring, having invested over 150 hours in the title. 

Levels Don’t Matter Much

One of the ways players were preparing themselves for the expansion was by leveling up their characters a decent amount. While a range of 150 to 170 is generally considered to be the best choice for the DLC, some players went as high as 200 to ensure they didn’t have to run into any major roadblocks. Turns out, none of that really matters.

Scadutree Fragments Can Make Or Break Your DLC Experience (via ScreenRant).
Scadutree Fragments Can Make Or Break Your DLC Experience (via ScreenRant).

This is because the Shadow of the Erdtree expansion uses a different method of player progression. While more levels will certainly help out, by and large, player power is tied to something called Scadutree fragments. These are unlocked by players through exploration and can be used to directly boost the offensive and defensive capabilities of your character.

The problem is that if you decide to engage in fights without effectively exploring the map and collecting tons of these fragments, you could be stuck facing enemies who demolish you in just one or two hits. I personally made the mistake of fighting against Blackgaol Knight as my very first boss. And it’s safe to say, for an introductory enemy, he destroyed me more times than I’m willing to admit. This was because I hadn’t gotten any fragments at that point. 

Bosses Feel Overtuned

While difficult bosses are the bread and butter of the Souls series, the bosses in Shadow of the Erdtree definitely feel like they’re a tad more powerful than they should be. From my experience, each one of them has one or two abilities that can straight-up kill the player. What makes this worse is the fact that it’s often tough to tell just when these abilities are about to be used.

Divine Beast Dancing Lion Is Among Elden Ring's Toughest Bosses (via FromSoftware).
Divine Beast Dancing Lion Is Among Elden Ring’s Toughest Bosses (via FromSoftware).

As a result, after minutes of carefully chipping away at the boss, one wrong move can pretty much end up ending the fight. This again has to do with the fact that the bosses simply dish way too much damage, taking away entire chunks of your health with every attack. Some of the bosses, like Divine Beast Dancing Lion, seem to have massive chained combos, on top of tons of aggression.

Players Aren’t Happy

I’m sure some players are definitely overjoyed at the fact that the Elden Ring DLC is the hardest thing they’ve gotten the chance to chew on. But many others are taken aback. Currently, the game has mixed reviews on Steam, falling down from an initial rating of “Overwhelmingly Positive.” Much of the negative reviews are related to poor performance and stuttering issues on PC.

Us before and after the DLC release
byu/HawaiianPizzaHater inEldenring

But there are several who have mentioned that the added difficulty is simply too frustrating for them. It’s got to be said that to even reach the DLC, players need to progress most of the base game. This is because they need to kill both Mohg and Radahn. So the fact that you’ve got players that are basically Elden Ring veterans complaining about the game being too hard, goes to show there might just be something wrong here.

FromSoftware is no stranger to post-release balance patches. Tons of bosses in the base game also got nerfed to make them more fair and balanced. So it’s possible the DLC will see a round of changes based on player feedback. The strength and defensive power provided by the Scadutree fragments might also need adjustments so that they are more frontloaded, giving players the biggest power gains right off the bat.

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Danish is an opinion piece writer at eXputer who loves sharing his takes on the industry. He is a long-time PC gamer with a passion for delving into the discussion and discourse surrounding the titles that he plays. Often eager to jump right into the fold and formulate his take on the latest topics, his noteworthy presence on gaming forums, and keen insight help him understand the gaming community in a thorough manner. This helps him provide a more nuanced look into any topic or discussion.

Writes Opinion Pieces at eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Mass Communication.

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