Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree dancing lion boss
Image via FromSoftware

Our Concerns for the Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree DLC

Some of our main concerns for Shadow of the Erdtree

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree is just around the corner, and FromSoftware has revealed a ton of new information, especially with the release of footage from players who got to try it early. These play sessions have revealed several key components of the new DLC that warrant a ton of excitement. However, they’ve also produced some concerns that could be worrying for the overall quality of the DLC.

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Should We Be Worried About Shadow of the Erdtree?

So to start off, I should preface this by saying that Shadow of the Erdtree is a $40 DLC. While FromSoftware is generally much better than its competitors at pricing and maintaining standards, even they are not immune from mistakes and questionable design choices. One of the biggest complaints leveled towards the insanely successful Elden Ring was the repetition of bosses in the base game.

Now for the base game, I believe it’s completely fair to give them a pass. There were enough unique and challenging bosses to fill out the world and story, and we can’t expect them to produce over 100 original new bosses with that signature FromSoftware level of polish. However, this excuse should only be valid for the base game. Repetitive bosses ruined much of the exploration and surprise from the base game, and it seems players have found more of these within the DLC areas.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree player riding torrent through forest surrounded by blue worms
Image Source: FromSoftware

In particular, Magma Wyrms and Ulcerated Tree spirits have made a return and can be found several times in the DLC, according to Iron Pineapple who got to playtest the game early. Furthermore, he also mentions that while there is a new Skeletal Dragon enemy, it seems to just be a reskin of the base game’s dragons with more or less the same move set.

Another issue that was quite annoying during the base game was how bland many of the mini-dungeons ended up feeling. Due to the reuse of assets and aesthetics, many dungeons ended up being completely forgettable and really put a dampener on that whole sense of discovery you should be getting from an open-world title. However, in this case, at least, FromSoft seems to have taken a lesson and we’re hearing reports on how dungeons feel more unique with dedicated mechanics and aesthetics.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree player standing over dungeon ledge overlooking lava and chains
Image Source: FromSoftware

While that might be a step in the right direction, and so are the eight new weapon classes and 100 new weapons, it seems not every build is receiving that premium treatment. Now, these are just reports from the early game and magic builds are already quite powerful, but many players reported that the new spells, in particular the Incantation, felt extremely lackluster. Even with maxed-out Faith Builds, the damage was pretty insignificant. Not to mention that in the case of Spells, they don’t seem to add anything unique so far.

Mages and Clerics might be out of luck with this DLC potentially, which would be a shame. However, note that these are only the spells and incantations that were revealed during the official play-testing session moderated by FromSoftware. It could be entirely possible that the best spells and incantations are found once you make more progress into the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree character casting purple gravity spell with staff over head
Image via FromSoftware

One of the coolest new additions we saw was one that turns your basic block into a bit of a deflect/parry, similar to Sekiro. There are also a ton of new additions such as an ability that’s similar to the once-dreaded Hoarfroast Stomp. However, this raises a potential concern regarding the balancing of everything. Eight new weapons, classes, tons of new spells and weapons, and the inclusion of all these new systems will certainly give more life to the game’s already thriving PvP scene. However, balancing these issues seems to be a gargantuan task that might take a good while and disrupt the whole PvP scene for Elden Ring.

The final concern has to do with how the DLC will handle difficulty. One of the more disappointing aspects of the base game – at least for me – was the fact that late-game enemies weren’t difficult due to their movements or mechanics, but rather just due to being massive health sponges that can one-shot you if you don’t have VIT at 50+. Elden Ring’s DLC starts you off expecting you to be above level 100 at least, and the level of challenge FromSoft must provide has to be on par with the best content of the base game rather than the weakest content in the latter half. This applies to both the bosses and the enemies, and we’ll have to wait and see how Shadow of the Erdtree handles difficulty across the board.

Those are all of our major concerns for the Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree DLC. If you’re excited about the DLC like us, be sure to check out the preload time and download size. You should also check out the 10 enemies we’re excited to die to the most, and of course, be sure that you know how to get to Mohgwyn Palace, the likely entry point in-game for the expansion.


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Author
Syed Hamza Bakht
A freelance journalist passionate about games and technology. You'll find me working at publications such as Gfinity and Twinfinite, trying to gather as many game codes as possible! Otherwise, I can be found struggling against my giant backlog of games.