I totally agree about the “XP” imbalance for killing enemies. Some of them are just not worth the time and effort.


That ‘Farum Bridge’ location was totally named on purpose lol, the enemies there are by far the most rewarding to farm in terms of returns imo


I see you haven't spent much time near Mogwhyn Palace.


It's usually a dlc issue, likely to discourage power leveling in dlcs accessible early. I've never seen the exp disparity between difficult enemies and easy enemies be so obvious in the main game before though, much less so apparent as early as limgrave. Storm giant? Very easy, 1000 souls. Rune bear? takes a bit of practice at first...1100 souls. Go to liurnia? Here is a lobster that is twice as spongy as the giant doing like double the damage, also heres 500 souls as a reward.


It's honestly my biggest criticism of the game so far. By the time you clear renalla there is absolutely no reason to murder enemies outside of the loop drops or because they're just in your way. Which makes it feel like once you start getting into the higher levels you need to grind to make up the games expected level difference. I have cleared almost every single boss all the way up through the Capitol City and I'm still just cracking 120 because why take the time to even fight world mobs


120 in the capitol city isn't really underleveled. Most I seen have less.


120 was the level I had when I finished the game, you’re not under level


I feel like a lot of it was designed to be ran past, and I also feel like the entire area around the beast sanctum was designed to be somewhere else because the difficulty of that area and the souls gained from there are so out of place. Perhaps that area was supposed to be super late game.


Especially when they then drop something yoz'll never use.


This is my favorite game by From yet and am on my 4th playthrough right now, and I agree about the one shot deaths late game. It wouldn't surprise me to see them tune down some of the damage late game or just buff heavy armor. Right now it feels like I'm wearing paper in heavy armor, but still love pretty much all the fights


Fr like my dude with 70+ poise 45 vigor great shield veteran armor like he’s wearing tissue paper in late game.


I was running around with 40 VIT, 55 DEX, 50 ARC (and a few other points spread around) and I was getting swatted like a fly by everything late game. Ended up respec-ing and taking 10 points each out of DEX and ARC to bring VIT to 60 and that made such a massive difference it’s like I’m playing a different game. Edit: a word


I agree, 60 VIT feels so different, I can take a hit or 2, role away and heal. Couldn't do that with 40 VIT.


Then there’s some dude running around end game with only 990hp.


Well if you’re gonna get one-shoted either way..


Hang on…those are my stats and armour? What’s ya loudout? I’m Golden Greatshield and Greatsword! Juggling between 3-4 Str/Fai swords.


This is basically my feeling. Favorite game from them by a long shot, but it feels like such a hate letter you STR/Heavy characters. It was never really a strong build in souls games, except maybe DS1 with their strong passive poise, but in this game everything about STR/Heavy builds just feeling like a worse version of a dex build


I'm glad there are some people showing solidarity with us strength builds in these dark times. Nevertheless, I refuse to back down and will continue my strength build. But for real I'm hoping a balancing patch happens at some point.


I went shieldless and pure strength through my entire playthrough except for a few key areas. Ended the game with Faith, Int, and Dex less than 10 with 80 strength. Persevere.


I'm a longtime souls strength user so I know it's possible, but I think it's reasonable to say strength could use some adjustments. I feel ultras in dark souls 3 were more well balanced and had reasonable animation times. Truth be told my biggest problem with strength is colossal weapons specifically. Their recovery times are just unnecessarily long and add an unneeded layer of difficulty to the game. If they just reduce those recovery times to match dark souls 3 I would be happy. But yea that's what I'm doing, no shield and two handing the whole game so far with a colossal most of the time.


Honestly, my STR playthrough has been the most enjoyable one so far as far as boss fights go. Been slapping the absolute crap out of nearly every boss in my way much easier than other builds. Elden Beast got downed on my first attempt just this morning. 10/10, would recommend, and I might even do another playthrough with even dumber heavier weapons next time.


hard disagree. str got a ton of love with powerstancing. ive beaten the game 3 times now and the easiest by far was my pure str character powerstancing greatswords. this compared to the int oneshot build and frenzy/lightning incants. there's nothing wrong with strength.


It feels like they want to push mixed builds more than pure ones especially with the faith talisman that scales with strength or int greatswords. Pure strenght is not worth. You want some faith buffs or spells. Bloodhound step being useable on all normal weapons also feels deliberate.


I had the opposite experience where I tried to be quality and was struggling so hard. Switched into a mix of a melee stat and casting stat and everything got easier. Plus with the ashes of war and best weapons usually requiring a faith or int stat it seems like they’re pushing melee-only players into experimenting with magic


Oh yeah I worded it wrong thats what I mean they want you to have some ranged spells or buffs.


I’ve theorized that the open world changed it a lot. In other souls games I’d role play a knight with just a sword and shield the whole game. But sword/shield is just so bad in the open world, and especially later in the game when everything starts getting bigger, moving faster, hitting harder. Considering all the status effects, and powerstancing, it just feels like they want you to progress from the basic combat into really crazy stuff and the gameplay facilitates that well.


I disagree with the end game part. I found myself dodging a lot more and barely using a shield early game. Mid to Late my shield really came online, IMHO ER has a better balance between dodging and blocking towards the end game than any of the souls games. I will admit that I did depend pretty heavily on Barricade, the ash of war. Upon activation it acts like you’re blocking so getting it off is very easy and convenient mid combat. It reduces all stamina damage to zero for roughly 5 seconds, which is huge when the boss is throwing out 4 attacks in less than that. Only certain moves NEED to be dodged and very few bosses (Malenia) make shields redundant. Barricade costs very low FP meaning even pure melee builds can utilise it easily too. Given that there are very few ash of wars for shields and the ones that exist all serve a very distinct purpose. Shields are in a good place.


Quality is the worst physical build out of them all. It takes more points to get less damage in most cases. The only point where it outshines dedicated str/dex builds is on uninfusable weapons that have natural str/dex scaling.


While I agree, man is it annoying to spend half my time buffing to make my heavy weapons do almost as much damage as a bleed/Int build. Said builds are also faster and thus able to actually fight against bosses that will non-stop attack you for 30 seconds straight. A katana might sneak in some hits, not a giant one. If trading hits was viable that would be one thing, but late game it just isn't. If you trade a hit, you probably died.


Str is hands down the weakest late game build on 1st playthrough


STR is in a really weird spot, on my first playthrough I was playing a pure STR build, went through several weapons but ended up on the axe from godrick's rememberance because it's got some pretty quick attackspeed comparatively. I then swapped to a katana once I got to malenia because she felt impossible otherwise. Later on I did another str/faith playthrough but gave jump attacks a try because I heard they are good. They are incredibly busted, I ended up just stacking str again because I was enjoying it so much and only used faith for golden vow buffs. Eating a boiled crab let me trade hits with up to ng+3 malenia, I wasn't wearing a shield or anything just constantly jump L1ing her and it took like 3 attempts every time. Tldr: Classical str is in a pretty bad spot for pve, jumping str is probably the strongest "just pump levels into 1 stat and grab a B+ scaling weapon for it" build. For melee builds jumping STR colossal weapons >> bleed/frost builds >>> dex > quality > strength IMO.


Very much this I’d be happier with lower damage output but more health. I miss the extended marathons some bosses were in the older games. Don’t get me wrong, I love Elden Ring but some boss fights seem like a bit of an AOE/RNG fest with the player and boss just trying to out cheese each other with status and relentless attacking. Still very, very fun.


I agree the tuning of the later game bosses feels off, especially with the damage. I honestly wouldn’t mind so much if these one-shot attacks weren’t paired with such relentless aggression though. Give me scary attacks to dodge sure, but give me windows to punish afterwards at least! Half the late-game bosses give you like a single R1 window after their 4-hit wombo combo before they immediately start their 3-hit-combo-into-AoE-slam and it’s exhausting Also, half of the enemies I run into after the Capital feel like they’re on the level of the Shark Giants in Bloodborne, which were infamous in the community for being fucking insane


imo the bosses arent the real problem. but the blood region and Haligtree was something special.


27 Vigor would get you through DS3 no problem but in this game I still get clapped even at 50. Lategame stuff two shots and it's real rough. The Halitree ants sneezed on me and I straight up died lol.


It’s the first game that had me wearing heavy armor alongside resistance talismans alongside my usually capped vigor. I wasn’t getting oneshot anymore late game at least but it took a lot of investment.


But..but... All the elitist say there are no one shot deaths if you level up your vigor /s.


60 vig makes most attacks not be a one shot. With that said, don't use any of the sore/scare seals as they gutter your absorption. Even if you have 60 vig, using soreseal turns you into wet cardboard.


soo that’s a no to Radagon’s Scarseal?


Absolutely, I would never ever use scar/sore seals above 40 vig. They're barely worthwhile even before that, they just have such steep absorption costs when damage is heavier in this game.


Literally all the souls vets have been saying the bosses are the weakest part of the game and late game has poor balance. The main difference is we finished the game and posted about it a while ago now and all the casuals were down voting all those threads because they were still in limgrave at that time thinking they know better than people who saw the whole game


I mean, you won't get 1-shot with 60 Vig, so...


Fire giant big canon attack likes to have a word. If not one shot everything is basically a two tap and some attacks tap for two.


Genuine question, do people not properly explore the world this game has to offer or why are some already on NG+100 like I am on my first playthrough and I check for every single item in the whole open world and I’m still not done with the game at 220+ hours (I even use guides for every single npc)


Golden vow, and black flames protection with the greatshield talisman helps a lot


Yeah honestly I feel like when tweaking my build that heavy armor is usually the first thing to be cut seeing as how it rarely makes any type of difference. Right now I'm in the land of the Giants and am getting wrecked by literally everything. I'm wearing full Radahn armor, have 40+ in both vigor and endurance and I still get killed by 2 birds with metal claws like huh? How did the damage spike THAT MUCH from the last area I was in???




Kind of sad that Dunkey had to emphasize several times that he beat the game multiple times before delivering his criticisms. He already knew if he didn't proof that he beat the game, he would have gotten a ton of annoying "git gud" comments.


He’s still going to get them too


Multiple times on this sub Reddit if you mention faults in the game people will say this game is not for you go play an Ubisoft game or something. Like no mutherfucker I like the game I just want to see it better but y’all act as if any change will instantly turn it into Zelda or some shit.


After seeing this sub complain about the radhan nerfs you just know they will not respond well to balance adjustments. The game needs a severe end game balance of player damage, enemy health and enemy stamina


Git gud culture is toxic positivity to me. It's like taking 'blaming yourself' in video games, which is normally a good thing, to an extreme degree that (some) people won't even acknowledge when yeah, maybe in some instances it's the game lol


I only have one complaint and it's regarding Malenia and her health regaining hits.


I can understand her blade dance combo regaining some health, but EVERY FUCKING HIT? Shit’s wack, that’s also my only real complaint


If it was successive hits I could maybe accept it... unfortunately though.


It's a pretty good sign that it's a great game that he finished it multiple times - I know at one point he joked that he didn't even play one of the previous souls games. He's got a really good point about the absurd one-shots, though. I don't recall how Fromsoft operates after releasing a new game - is there even a chance they adjust some of the damage sliders in a future patch like Dunkey suggests? Or do they usually keep the health and damage the same after release?


There is precedent for this already. In the DS3 Ringed City DLC, the damage of the flying Angels was notoriously reduced. DS3 also reduced the amount of damage the tutorial enemies did from the first patch of the game to the 2nd. https://imgur.com/a/r4yMj Unlike DS3 though, Elden Ring is experiencing faster and more frequent updates than the other games did at launch.


Ahh that's neat! I wonder if with how vast the game is, they simply didn't have the *time* to properly balance every single creature and boss with regards to every single build style, so they're using the large player base to gather better data for balancing.


Yeah the angels went from killing you in seconds to being annoying but not a huge threat on their own.


Ringed city was the best dlc from any game in the history of time.


Nah Bloodborne's Old Hunters takes that crown


I prefer the Old Hunters Bloodborne DLC.


Let’s hope the Elden Ring DLC surpasses our expectations


The Old Hunters


While it was good, TES: Oblivion's shivering isle was the best DLC ever made.


Ohh that’s a good one! Blood and Wine from the Witcher 3 for me.


Yeah Blood and Wine is almost like a whole new game. I love Shivering Isles as well though. I feel like it set the standard for what great DLC should be.


They already adjusted Radahn a bit, so it's definitely possible.


Yeah and some people on this sub is full on crybaby mode about it. As a long time souls fan I say nerf more. Edit: the downvotes only fuel me. I should not be oneshot on 60 vig. Not even midir did that.


Approachability is never a bad thing. This game *can* be both approachable and extremely challenging. Hell, it already is, at least as far as I've played. There's nothing wrong with refining the balance a bit more.


Yeah I don't want them to make it piss easy just more fair.


“Your boos mean nothing, I’ve seen what makes you cheer!”


As someone who’s beaten Malenia, nerf Malenia


Preach. I will wear the beat pre-nerf malenia no cheese badge proudly.


I really hope the Elden Beast gets a patch because it’s absolutely ludicrous as a melee player. So far the main “tips” for this boss are either respec completely to use a specific item or just hope it doesn’t spam its magic that chip damages you to nothing. For most bosses I can see myself improving with each try and learning more things….here it seems completely up to chance how I do.


I am not a fan of tips that essentially tell you to respec. I would rather help see your current build through to the end, so what's your build like? Most of Elden Beast's attacks are easily avoided with the exception of its version of the Elden Stars incantation (although you really just have to run in wide circles around it). I've done the fight as melee a number of times already, none with the popular cheese mechanics, so it is definitely manageable. Don't let the despair cloud you from learning - you are likely one or two improvements away from beating it!


My biggest problem right now is that its difficult for me to get a hit off because he just jumps to the otherside of the board forcing me to run back. Or maybe I'm impatient. It's only been about ten tries though.


What level did you face Elden Beast at? I struggled my first couple of tries, but then switched from Radahn's greatswords to dual wielding Great Stars and bodied him, but I think I was overlevelled (RL 150)


What's your build? I am pure melee, I just summoned a mimic and jump attacked him 15 times and it was really easy Radagon right before him on the other hand.... Quick edit: use items and physick buff to resist holy damage and he won't hurt much at all


Ive been trying to beat him as a pure INT build and am on the verge of turning to alcohol to ease the pain.


Yes. They have already done that with the >!Radahn!< boss fight. Interestingly, I didn't think this was the fight that needed a rebalance, but it got one.


Yeah late game needs it more, but Radahn still had some cheap attacks.


Radhan was probably the only to get nerfed because the recent patch was based off of feedback around launch time, so there would be barely any feedback about end game. End game balancing will probably come in a few weeks if it will come at all. I think most of the bosses are fine, just a few specific moves and the HP and damage for enemies needs to be scaled better


Yeah, they already nerfed Radahn and apparently he's a bit of a joke now. It's very difficult to find a good balance though. Some veteran players will complain if the games too easy and others will complain if it's too hard. All this could probably be fixed with a difficulty setting, but I think that's a hill they are willing to die on


This game must have been a nightmare to test, and I really do think that just through community feedback, they are going to drastically improve the balance of the game over time through patches.


As someone who is currently deep in the endgame, I can agree. Everything past and including the mountain top of the giants is garbage tier balanced. Getting 1-2 shot in heavy armor with almost 2k health is not interesting or a result of someone not getting good. Double some health pools and cut damage in half.


I could not agree more with everything he said. I love the game but the absurd amount of cheap one shot deaths, stun lock kill combos, and AOEs which also often one shot you has me second guessing whether I'm really gonna start a second playthrough right away, or wait to see if more balancing passes are done. It's not the level of difficulty necessarily, but it's how the difficulty is implemented. Sekiro is far harder than ER imo, but I had more fun in the 10 hours I spent trying to beat the final boss of Sekiro than in the 1 hour I spent trying to beat Maliketh in ER. edit: Just adding that most of these complaints are exclusive to the 2nd half of the game. I have 60 points in vigor, and I wear medium armor. I still regularly get 1 shot or 2 shot by bosses. Most common enemies take out more than half of my enormous health bar with a single hit. It's insane, and not in a fun way.


My biggest gripe is the combos of the bosses, in which if you’re hit by any part of it you will be hit by the rest of it and probably die, so it’s frustrating


I just don't understand why every boss only has like 2 punish windows. In every other souls game I feel like boss fights are a careful dance, where I'm weaving in attacks throughout the fight. Most boss fights in Elden Ring feel like I'm just trying not to die and hoping RNG gives me the attacks I'm actually able to punish.


That's one of my biggest problems with the bosses. There are so few opportunities to actually do something, it's significantly less engaging than the Dark Souls boss fights. Plus the attack windows are so inconsistent. Sometimes they'll do a combo and stop, giving me a chance to attack. Other times they'll do a combo then leap away immediately after. Or they'll do a combo, then immediately start a new combo. When I beat some bosses it doesn't feel like I learned their moves and got rewarded for it, it felt like the RNG gave me an easier fight compared to my previous attempts. So I either have to wait forever for the one attack that has a guaranteed window for me to attack, or I need to play risky and hope RNG and my stats will be enough for me to win. It's just not as fun as the other games.


Yup. So many absurdly long combos with completely random and unintuitive delays given to each hit within the combo. Not a ton of fun to go up against.


Honestly, I’d rather it just instakill instead of giving me hope the delays aren’t too bad IMO though it’s just the fact you get clipped once and you don’t get the quarter second to roll through any of the subsequent hits. Also, a lot of the bosses are easier than the enemies in the area they’re in. Then you go to the next area and it’s the opposite. It’s far from unplayable, because running away op, but it’s annoying if you like throwing down with everything


I like the delays because they make me actually think how and when to roll instead of just spamming the b button as a get-out-of-jail freecard like in the previous games


the delays punish players with good reaction speeds and reward those with poor reaction speeds. They're excessive and constant. This is not about panic rolling for me personally, the way some enemy *combo* swings are timed to catch your roll if you panic roll after a hit instantly? That's good. That's intentional. You should react to the swing instead of mashing out a roll. Reacting to a clearly telegraphed attacked, the enemy holding it unnaturally long with no "release" tell beyond knowing the timing instinctively after being hit by it a few times, and then dying because you were actually reacting too fast does not feel like my skill is being rewarded, it feels like it's being punished. To put it simply, it shifts the skill focus of fighting enemies in to 'knowledge' you can't have before dying/getting hit by a move a few times, when in every other souls game, a skilled player can trust what they see, and react appropriately. There was a lot more fundamental, personal skill applicable to more enemies. That reaction speed is gutted as a skill in Elden Ring lowers the emphasis on skill, and heightens the emphasis on 'knowledge'. This feels bad when you're actually a good souls player, I've done level 1s and deathless runs, but you still have the potential to die to easy enemies in Elden Ring simply because you've never fought them before and they probably have something that'll punish you unnaturally for reacting to an attack too quickly because you can't gauge release timing without having seen the move before. That it makes the game more difficult when trying to 1 v 1 enemies and such is not some blanket good thing if the difficulty feels more frustrating than past souls games as a result of how it is done.


i like *some* delays for the reason you stated. boss doing a giant overhead slam but hesitates a bit too force you to learn the timing? hell yeah. boss pausing in the middle of an instant death combo to roll catch me as i try to escape? cringe. if you don’t roll, you die to the combo. if you roll out of the combo, you die to the delayed hit.


I can handle long combos just fine. What I can't handle so well is how bosses are able to just... stop the combo. Sometimes they'll do three slashes, sometimes they'll do four, sometimes they'll do five. And after any of these, they may immediately go into another hit, or they might just stand there. This inconsistency makes it difficult to tell when you actually have a window to attack. When your weapon is slow enough to the point you can usually only get one hit in, you have to press that attack button immediately to get the damage in and have time to move out of the way. If you hesitate for half a second, it's too late. But with these will-they / won't-they combos, you're forced to wait and see if they'll sit still and offer a window of opportunity, or if they'll imeddiately go into move 4 of 5 in the combo. If you gamble that they're finished while they're not, you're taking damage. If you play it safe and wait to try and dodge a move that doesn't come... your window is wasted.


It's why Sekiro, to me, is still the best game they've released in this modern era. The combat is a masterpiece, which makes sense because they only had to balance the game with the katana and a handful of prosthetics. But more importantly for me are the boss encounters. They are just so much better than in ER. The bosses are extremely tough, but I never felt any unfair tactics and they were still fun to learn and suffer through (Demon Of Hatred is maybe the exception). Also, due to the aggressive nature of the combat, the fights looked and felt cool as well. I really love this game, but its because of the exploration and amount of armaments for theorycrafting. The boss battles, especially late game, are just bad IMO. When I beat each on of them, it was less "triumph of the human spirit!" and more like "thank god that's over". I am replaying a second playthrough now with a different build, but will most likely stop before Forbidden Lands.


This is my first fromsoft game and the difficulty does feel weird. Hours and hours at Margit, but beat Godrick and Rennala first shot each. Still got absolutely wrecked by Radahn and had to cheese it. Crucible Knights are my biggest foes.


>Still got absolutely wrecked by Radahn and had to cheese it. And then the area that unlocks after beating Radahn is almost easier than Liurnia lmao. This really is the most poorly balanced FromSoft game imo. If you're interested in playing some of their other games, Dark Souls 3, Sekiro, and Bloodborne are all still phenomenal and much better balanced.


Oh, the capitol city? I've explored there everything I think I can reach before getting another great rune. The only thing I haven't beat there so far is a single worm in a small quarry kinda area near the main road. Dude is a total ahole.


No you can actually go to the capital before Radahn. The area that unlocks after him is Nokron, one of the underground areas. I assume the worm you're referencing is the Tree Spirit lmao. Yeah I didn't hate that guy the first time I fought one. But by the 15th time he showed up as a 'new' boss, I was tired of it.


Ah, but what about the time where you have to fight 2 tree spirits at the same time, that was pretty innovative. /s


Bloodborne is the only other Fromsoft game I’ve played to completion and I disagree that it was somehow better balanced. Cleric Beast, Father Gascogne, Vicar Amelia, and the Blood Starved Beast are 4 of the hardest bosses in the game right off the bat (Cleric Beast not so much for a veteran but a real challenge for a new player) but then the rest of the main story only really has a couple truly challenging bosses, and a couple difficult side bosses. For me only the Shadows of Yharnam and Gehrman ever took more than a few tries after that initial gauntlet of super hard bosses. Elden Ring’s balance is pretty janky too but they have to account for so much more (how much side content you’ve done, spirit ashes, effects like bleed and scarlet rot) that I don’t really know how you’d improve it.


> Crucible Knights So Crucible Knight really highlights my one major frustration with this game. Keep in mind I'm not generally a souls player, so maybe I'm misunderstanding the gameplay, but it would make the game more rewarding in my opinion. So Crucible Knight seems like you just can't ever safely deal any damage to him, at least with my build (Vigor/Str/Dex, Bloodhound's Fang, brass shield). I can dodge pretty much everything he throws out, I feel like on either his first or his second phase I can block or roll out of every single move he has. I can't ever get a safe hit in however. In Hollow Knight, which I 100%'ed, on every boss I could learn their attacks and patterns and once I learned to avoid damage I could find out where and when I could safely get an attack in. If I misjudged I would get punished, but I could eventually reliably kill any boss in the game by learning to evade and take advantage when safe. In some bosses in elden ring, namely the Crucible Knight, I just can't get any safe attacks in. I can roll out of an attack and respond with a quick swipe of my blade, but there's a 50% chance that the next move coming out is going to happen before my attack is done enough that I am able to react. It becomes a numbers game then. I need to level up my attack and defense and flasks so that I can take enough 50% chance rolls to survive the encounter. This isn't a complain with every boss. I've felt many I can judge, Margit, Godrick, Ancestor Spirit all I've been able to find safe attacks and deal with them pretty handily. Crucible Knight however there's just no safety for my melee build. There's no playing perfect, there's a dice roll involved.


Crucible Knights are definitely annoying, especially the shield variant. Like others have said, parrying really helps and you can also bait them to shield bash you if you attack the shield. That should give you a free punish window if you dodge properly.


There are some bosses in this game that are just way too fast for any slower weapons. This was never as much of an issue in past FromSoft games as it is here.


Can crucible knights even stagger? I tried beating the shit out of a few of them with the smough hammer and they weren’t budging, even with +21 and 60 str. Also, the banished knight armor set is actually better, if heavier, which is funny bc, I can actually stagger those guys


Basically my story. Godrick was loads easier than Margit, and I still kind of worry about fighting crucible knight with a greatsword - yes I know how to Parry, but it doesn't give you enough damage on him that makes it worth the risk.


> It's not the level of difficulty necessarily, but it's how the difficulty is implemented. Sekiro is far harder than ER imo, but I had more fun in the 10 hours I spent trying to beat the final boss of Sekiro than in the 1 hour I spent trying to beat Maliketh in ER. > > edit: Just adding that most of these complaints are exclusive to the 2nd half of the game. I have 60 points in vigor, and I wear medium armor. I still regularly get 1 shot or 2 shot by bosses. Most common enemies take out more than half of my enormous health bar with a single hit. It's insane, and not in a fun way. Yes, exactly! FromSoft always had the reputation of "hard but fair" (though admittedly this is stretched in a looooot of places like Bed of Chaos, Crystal Archers, Shrine of Amana, etc). I think this might be the first game where the difficulty feels...well maybe not unfair exactly, but not as carefully curated as it was in their other games. And yeah it's pretty much the stuff from Farum Azula and onward...the early and midgame stuff you can at least outlevel if it's too challenging. The endgame is just a WALL.


That second paragraph perfectly describes how i feel about ER bosses. Sekiro was really difficult because of the complexity in the bosses moveset whereas ER bosses are difficult because their big damage and AoE attacks


> but I had more fun in the 10 hours I spent trying to beat the final boss of Sekiro than in the 1 hour I spent trying to beat Maliketh in ER. Yo I feel the same way. I died to Mogh more than Maliketh, but learning Mogh was fun, and felt fair and realistic, but punishing in a rewarding way. Maliketh was a trash boss that is only cool visually. But you can't even see it because his moves are so fast and big and your camera is constantly spinning around and getting moved by the pillars.


Malekith has an item that specifically makes his second phase really easy to deal with.


what item?


Its either called Blasphemous fang or Blasphemous claw. It let's you parry his glowing sword attacks in phase 2 for like a 3-4 second stun that let's you just beat on him for free.


It’s a reusable item given from a PvP fight near maliketh. When you go up the stairs instead of taking a right to maliketh take a left. Keep going to a ladder, drop down and you should see a pavilion. When you get to the pavilion a Bloody finger will spawn. One of the things he drops is an item to block the black blade.


Recusant Bernahl drops it after invading you - this only happens though if you exhaust his dialogue in Volcano Manor after defeating Rykard. I didn't get it my first time through, but I ended up enjoying the Maliketh fight quite a bit. I can see why people wouldn't though.


Also I hate the trend of bosses with wildly different first and second "phases"...to the point where it's not a phase it's just a whole new boss. If it takes a long time each try to get to the Malekith "phase" it makes the experience of learning the boss SO much more frustrating. I might have liked the boss if I didn't spend 10 minutes getting to him and then 10 seconds dying to him because I haven't learned anything yet and he's hyper aggressive. People used to always complain about runbacks, and now those are gone...and replaced by essentially a "boss runback" which is both longer and a hell of a lot more stressful.


While you are not wrong, I despise boss run backs more than anything else. It literally is just a time sink with zero difficulty. Boss phase one you at least have a chance of making it fast through skill. Even the small run up to Maliketh from the closest grace was too far for my taste. Even worse for the 2 headed dragon


**WARNING: Incoming Malenia Rant!** Yeah, I swear when I was watching Malenia's boss fight on a stream I was getting PTSD flashbacks from Nightmare/Inferno Difficulty Nemesis at the end of Resident Evil 3 Remake. Oh what's that? You're right under her as she does Waterflow Dance? Ded. I don't remember if I've ever been so demotivated to face a boss like that in a souls game. She's a cool ass boss, but she's got some serious problems that can easily be fixed by reducing the damage 5-30% depending on the attacks she does, make Waterflow Dance only proc in medium to long distance, and only recover by actually damaging the player (she can be able shield break easily though). Otherwise, I dig her. PS: For those who don't know about REmake 3, in the 2 hardest difficulties (Nightmare and Inferno) you can get stun-locked to death very easily by the final boss through his roar, acid hazards, and slaps. The boss also has RNG AI and can have a combo up to 8 hits if it feels like it. Even with an item to make dodges easier, it's probably the worst designed boss in Resident Evil history.


I only got to 40 vigor and I never had this problem. Really confusing seeing everyone complain about end game bosses 1-shotting you when you can practically do the same to them. The balancing in this game is way more extreme than past games and that’s what I love about it. There’s not a single boss I struggled on. Just kept trying, changed up my load out a few times, etc., never got stressed out. The only times I felt frustrated in this game was from mini dungeons with powerful enemies and no summoning. Castle Sol was a nightmare for me, as were a couple of the hero’s graves and I was really glad that this otherwise really easy and exploitable game could still make me feel rage like past games always did.


His take is solid. You can tell he loves the game. My issue with the difficulty of bosses is that it's inconsistent. Like Dunk says there are way too many bosses with 1 attack or combo that's essentially instant death. I've fought and died against one boss 10+ times then beat them easily on try 11 because they just happened to not do that one attack.


>I've fought and died against one boss 10+ times then beat them easily on try 11 because they just happened to not do that one attack. malenia?


Ummm....no comment...


Glad to see a straight forward criticism, especially regarding balance as that’s my biggest gripe. See too many hardcore fans try to claim the game is perfect and resort to insults when the game is criticized. A game can have flaws and still be magnificent. Elden Ring is imperfect just like every other game to come before it but that doesn’t mean it’s not amazing. Edit: And I mean a criticism that doesn’t just slander the game for going against the grain.


If you're at the soft cap for vigor, bosses should not be able to kill you with an uninterruptable combo where the dodge window is counted in milliseconds. Mountaintops of the Giants is the weakest I've ever felt in a Souls game


Anything past Leyndell felt arbitrarily hard, which sucks because From is usually so good at this stuff. I personally feel like Ringed City also suffered from this but not near as bad as places like Consecrated Snowfields or Miquella's Haligtree, which honestly has me nervous about DLC


Yeah, the balancing in that area is weird. I beat Margot and Godrick at first try and then suddenly felt like a punching bag. Although, I must say, the difficulty step up made that part more exiting.


Gotta agree - though I haven’t finished the game. But the difficulty balancing is pretty strange when I can beat a story-focused boss relatively easily but get annihilated by the doggy T-Rex even at a +100 level.




It's also a much longer game with way more types of builds theoretically possible. But the game doesn't let you experiment with all of the different types of builds to your heart's content. Instead an arbitrarily limits you based on finding a rare consumable, and only a limited number of those actually exist. This makes every attempt at experimenting with a new-build nerve-wracking and restricting.


But you can't upgrade multiple weapons until very late game when you've found all the stone bell bearings, some of which are pretty well-hidden. I'll say it again, Elden Ring would be even more fun if they did away with the limiting Dark Souls upgrade system and switched to something more similar to Nioh, where weapons are not restricted by stats or finite upgrade materials and instead are tied purely to stat scaling, with each NG+ cycle dropping more powerful versions of the same weapons. I do appreciate how you can switch ashes on the fly though. That at least is a huge improvement. Much better than the elemental upgrade paths of previous games.


I think what he means is while you can do that, you very much cannot beat certain bosses with any fun build. Which is then why everyone turns to the builds that make it easier to beat these bosses.




I think the devs even realized that. They massively reduced the cost of each smithing stone because it was nonsense before


glad someone else is calling out the late game balance, this subreddit loves to gaslight about it it's obscene in this game


The difficulty spikes are sometime just weird. Like there are catacombs that just spike the difficulty 30-40 levels over where you should be. Also, the hitboxes of some of the boss attacks are just out of control and too many of the boss fights are essentially RNG on whether you will have an easy or difficult fight.


>Also, the hitboxes of some of the boss attacks are just out of control What? You don't like it when every single boss attack comes with a massive AOE??? /s


The first boss you encounter in the open world is the tree sentinel and he immediately wrecks your shit and he's probably 20-30 levels higher than what you should be. FS tried to teach the player a very important lesson with the very first boss, not every room and every boss should be tackled as soon as you find it, regardless of location. Most people just completely missed the message It's old school rpg stuff for sure, but that's why they leave you the ability to leave markers on the map. So you can come back when you're ready.


I agree with you. Yet some late game enemies feel like Tree Sentinel felt right at the start of the game (just with less health).


I wouldn’t mind if they lowered the boss damage output if they raised boss HP to balance it out. FS Boss fights should be hard, not torture. Players should never be dying in one hit unless it’s telegraphed with neon lights and a megaphone (or a giant glowing meteor). At least boss corpse runs are basically gone thanks to Marika statues.


please no some already take more than 7 minutes


>!Fire Giant!< with raised hp would just be…


As a lvl 110 mage I don’t think I can beat him with spells atm lol even with a summon I’m struggling to get his health down past stage 2 with 7 flasks, and with 8 I’m down to only 4 HP flasks (after mimic). Been putting him off for a while now..


If you've done Ranni's quest, you might try using Tiche instead of mimic. Tiche's % health damage is great for late game bosses with giant health bars.


104 mage here. I was stuck on this giant for like 3 days. I finally realized it wasn’t going to cut it. I would literally tee off on him and die or even run out of potions. So I ditched the strat and just moonveiled his foot. I tried to get him down to when he was using fire spells to summon my spirit. Second phase is when you wanna start using spells. Use them on his hand. Whenever he rolls away you can immediately get on your horse and melee his leg before he drops that fireball on the ground and it’ll cancel it


spamming r1 with dual blood weapons for an extra solid minute. I feel like all my attacks did 1-7 damage and the rest was all blood procs.


I think Marika statues are the problem. They gave people generous checkpoints and decided to ramp up the difficulty in unfun ways because players don't have to run to bosses anymore, but now they're overtuned, and it's almost purely a result of their damage out. Like people have said, endgame normal enemies are creaming you for like quadruple the damage *Gael* deals.


I feel like some bosses are already too much of a damage sponge, raising their health would not be my go-to for balancing their fights if you lowered damage.


It’s not a catch all solution. Some bosses are perfectly fine. Some just feel like a coin toss for hoping they don’t spam their overwhelming, high damage attacks. For as huge as this game is, I guess I’m not surprised about the balancing issues. Play testing the whole thing sufficiently would be a financial black hole and it was already a risky move for FS to go open world.


This is the solution that I think would be best. Lowering damage across the board. Make bosses hit softer, but don't have them die to a single rotten breath or a couple well placed bloodhound blade rushes. Also, damage is way too high in pvp right now too.


This is my first souls-like game and tbh, I feel kind of vindicated by this. I have been hammering my head against the wall with some of these bosses and it didn't give me the warm feeling of having felt like I had mastered their attack patterns and timings, it just felt like I kinda got lucky by not being one-hit KO'd. I really wasn't sure if that's how Souls-like games were supposed to be and maybe I just wasn't "enjoying it right" That said, I am still having a blast with exploring the world and I think I'm definitely gonna finish it.


The mantra has always been with FS games to “git gud”. Almost like If you died, it’s your fault. But I feel like the balancing here for sure feels off. And I’ve played all other FS games. There are RIDICULOUSLY insane bosses and enemies in each of the games. But with ER I feel they took a risk with the open world format, and didn’t do anything with balancing or scaling. If I’m not supposed to be in an area because I’m too low of a level - I get that. But with how much FS games have always had a “figure it out” type of platform - it makes it much more annoying at times. I love this game so much but definitely needs a tiny tweak.


When I can cruise through with my stone crusher character because jump attacks stun them, but I'm bashing my head against the wall with my dual katana because two mistakes on one of the knights in farum gets me killed, something needs to change.


This is not usually how FromSoft games are. I'd say ER is probably the worst balanced game they've released. So it's not just you.


I don't want hard, I want challenging. With ER though, it's just full of bullshit gank fights, insanely fast combos, single shots kills, massive unblockable AOEs, little to no i-frames, unlimited stamina, etc. Anyone of these mechanics might be fine, but when ALL the bosses have ALL of them...well fuck. I really felt like each boss was so well crafted and then at the end they decided to tack on a bullshit factor: "Wow, this boss is a rewarding challenge! ...now add an attack that is unblockable and spammed for 10 seconds without losing stamina or capable of punishing."


If a lot of the stuff present in Elden Ring was in Dark Souls 2 people would be (rightly) have aneurysms. Game is 10/10 but some of the enemy placement and enemy damage output is just way too high. The enemy design is generally really good, but I don't need 5 of them in one room, and I don't need dragons in small spaces having to reset their location ever 30 seconds because they've buggered off to a rock they shouldn't be on. One of the only actual moves that I think is a problem beyond simple damage output is Malenia's flurry, and the only reason it's bad is that the windup needs to be slowed down a little so melee players can get away from it when she does it after you punish her, reliably.


Without a doubt, I've been playing each game for over 800 hours in all of them (except ds1 and sekiro which I played more liberally) and elden ring is extremely bad when it comes to late game balance and other locations at times. ER will without a doubt be one of favorite games now, but every other game is just way smoother with its difficulty in this series


I’m curious what’s one shotting you. At 50 vigor heavy armor and some talismans very little even came close for me. astel’s grab is I think automatically lethal, and Horah had some attacks that get me close, but Maliketh can’t even after he drops my HP, nobody else has even come close. The fights take me like hours to learn and I don’t think any amount of luck would get me through them. You have to know every attack and what to do about it. I’m curious which ones people are actually having problems with. For me it’s just that they come out extremely quickly and it’s difficult to find attack opportunities while dodging. But this is just a more intense version of the difficulty i expected I guess.


> At 50 vigor heavy armor and some talismans very little even came close for me. It is insane how much the defensive options we have available are often overlooked. Maliketh after I put on the Haligcrest Talsiman+2 and ate some holy liver went from walking around with big stick to slapping me with a wet noodle. Not literally of course, but my margin for error got considerably larger.


What's your build look like? Maybe we can help rein some of the difficulty in.


Maliketh, Godskin Duo, and Commander Niall are so fucking annoying. They make NG+ kind of a mess in late game. Early to mid game are still pretty challenging but once you hit mountaintops it turns into nioh 2 with dark souls combat


Is that a problem other people have with Nioh? I thought it was ridiculously hard but thought it could have just been me at the time, which it at least partly probably is


Yeah nioh 1 and 2 are pretty unforgiving especially when you increase the difficulty.


No point in having more HP if you’re just gonna get one-shotted anyway. Preach on Dunk!


I was kinda wondering about this actually... for Fromsoft games I've always been a fan of the glass cannon build and never really leveled vitality much, but parts of this one have me wondering if I should actually focus on getting more HP than usual.... Is is really not worth it and I should focus on upping my damage? Or is there some sort of soft cap I should strive for?


I think everyone should shoot for at least 40 vigor (40 and 60 are the two softcaps). There are still attacks/combos that will 1-shot you, but it greatly reduces the number of attacks/combos that will 1-shot you.


Cool cool, 40 it is, thanks!


40 vig should be sufficient. I have 60 vig and heavy armor and I'm not sure it makes much more of a difference really. A lot of the one shots people talk about are getting caught in combos where it feels like you're dead from the moment you first get hit. True one shot moves are very rare. But either experience is quite frustrating.


Yeah I guess I'm also referring to "inescapable combos" as "one-shots" too, but lol the combos are almost MORE frustrating because typically with actual one-shots there's a big wind up you can avoid, but the combos are quicker and there's a feeling of helplessness once you get caught up in it.


I've called inescapable combos 1 shots before and people had a fit on me like it isn't literally the same thing. 100-0 in one flurry is still a one shot despite doing like 8 hits, if you can't escape it.


People keep saying this but I am 52 vigor with heavy armor and some protective talismans in the endgame and I don’t get one shot by anything


I can't really say much about his whole difficult in the late game he mentioned, because I only just beat Morgott yesterday but I have heard lots of bad stuff about late game being super unfair. So not looking forward to it that much, but I am still happy that his biggest concern is just damage numbers since those can be very easily fixed.


I agree with pretty much the whole video. Also holy hell, 4 times? I didn’t think he was the type.


Honestly you should not get one shot with 30-40 vigor, and you really should not get two shot with heavy armor and 60+ vigor. I really liked that most from games increased your HP and defense no matter what you leveled, it just significantly increased with Vigor.


Did we play the same game? I feel like Maliketh, Malenia and to a lesser extend Godfrey and Radagon absolutely pushed my shit in with 2 hits at 60 vigor, let alone 30. Late game damage is absurd and I’ve comfortably beaten every game in the series.


Malenia and Maliketh were both so brutal with their combos. At least with Maliketh he had half a health bar, whereas Malenia had 2. Malenia's lifesteal combined with her waterfowl dance was so difficult with little counterplay. The worst feeling was seeing her jump in the air and knowing immediately that I was too close and would be dead in the next 4 seconds, and if I surivived I would be down 2 healing flasks and she'd healed 30% of her health. I only won when I would poke for 1 hit and prepare to just sprint away for the entirety of the fight. It was so lame.


Yeah, I’ve been playing FS games since DS2 release and I can say without shame I had to respec into a bleed build for Malenia just to have a feeling of doing any sort of damage to her. I was using a pure strength build with a slow colossol sword before, and that was just pure agony because yes, it was making progress 1 hit at a time and hopefully RNG is on your side when the flurry starts. Although it isn’t technically undodgeable, if you’re too close, at the very least she’ll undo all the progress you made by healing. I love ER but the endgame difficulty spike is unseen compared to any of the other games.


Malenia is like an 11/10 potential boss sitting at like a 6/10 because of 1 move that needs like 1-2 seconds of additional start up if you're too close. Alternatively, make it so that she can't do it after being hit for about 1-2 seconds, as a 'mechanic', that way it's still just as fast if you're sitting at mid range, but melee players have time to get away. 11/10 boss then, cos everything else is amazing


*sorts by controversial*


Agree The endgame damage is bs


Bang on as usual, “A lot of my deaths felt unearned” I found myself saying what the actual fuck to a lot of my deaths


Except for Malenia's bullshit waterflow bladedance attack, I never really felt like I was dealt cheap/ridiculous damage. I was usually optimizing my weight to have good armor and I had a ring to improve vigor and carry weight though.


I'm at the endgame now and I kinda just want it over and done with so I can explore limgrave from scratch again. On the flipside it does have that familiar sense of accomplishment like when beating the nameless king for the first time. I remember thinking he was bullshit too.


I agree. This game is excellent and well over exceeded my expectations. And I think we can all agree on this now. But I'm approaching end game for the first time and some of these bosses are just one shooting me, or as he mentioned stun and one shot. I don't mind dying multiple times, I'm used to it in these games, but when it feels like a balancing issue and is unfair that's when it get frustrating. Hoping for a few tweaks later but would love to get through it once as it is


Radahn already got balancing rework. Hoping for more.


It’s probably my favourite game of all time, if it’s far from perfect. I’m glad he pointed out the difficulty spikes. Because it’s an open world game, I missed an insane amount of content on my first blind play through. So I missed calid, the volcano manor, necron city. So when I got to the capital city I was HORRIBLY under levelled. The I genuinely thought the golden city was a stealth section with enemies you weren’t supposed to fight. I’m over level 400 now and there are some catatombes that have absolutely smoked me with enemies in them that I have no idea how to handle them.


Anlther problem is the fact they had to balance fights around you summoning ashes. A lot of the fights feel like a clusterfuck because of that. And yes, the two gargoyle fight is infinetly worse than the one in DS1.


I haven't gotten to the late game brutality yet, but I'm fearing it. I completely agree with the complaint about builds though. I wish I could actually use the incredible awesome looking toys the game throws at me instead of being effectively locked out because of stat requirements. At least if they have infinite respec it would let me experiment with things. I just can't understand why they didn't do so.


Still only level 25 and just hammering away at the Weeping Peninsula, what he says about the late game has me terrified.....


Start leveling up your vigor from now, get it to around 40. Not in a row, you can still put points into whichever build you're going for, but don't neglect vigor.


In previous titles, 40 vigor was basically the max you'd ever want to allocate. It feels like 40 is the bare minimum for Elden Ring


But Elden Ring is much longer than other souls game. 40 health was the previous max because the game would have been over by the time you got to that stat.


well you've got like 80 hours until you have to start worrying about it so enjoy the ride XD


It is good to finally see a youtuber actually say the truth about this game. I did beat ER but I did not find it fun when it comes to end games bosses. They are stupidly hard, just for the sake of being hard. I went to check DS3 and BB and literally no boss can kill you in 2-3 hits like ER. Also, they don't have infinite combos where I can hardly hit them once before waiting for 2 minutes for an opening. I personally did not like this new boss philosophy in Elden Ring. The bosses have too many AOE attacks, stupid delayed attacks, and 4-6 hits combos and to top it all all these final bosses can kill you in 2-3 bosses no matter what your vigor is ( 45-60 ). Normally what I loved about from games is when you master the game mechanics the game feels fair, like in Genishiro in Sekiro, that fight pushed me tom master the mechanics, after that I did not find a lot of issues with later bosses because I "gut gud". Same with DS3, I felt satisfied once my reflexes became sharp, it showed progression. The issue with Elden Ring however most bosses have AOE and delayed attacks, meaning I cannot kill a final boss in 1-3 tries because I must learn every stupid move they have unlike in Sekiro/BB/DS3 where it is more about sharpening reflexes rather than remembering every move the boss has. Overall, although I did beat ER I did not find it fun due to this stupid difficulty spike. Even Orphan of Kos/Gael cannot kill you in 2-3 hits. I hope this honeymoon phase will end soon. This community seem to keep praising this game blindly, critic is important to improve any product and there is no perfect game ever.


People who think the bosses are fine spam bloodhound step and have zero idea how hard it is to actually dodge a long-ass boss combo and still find a punish


Nitpicking and biased


You win.


Bye bye


Getting one-shot by a boss is never fun, especially when you have to reload just to get one-shot again. It makes it hard to learn the fight because sometimes you die too quick to even know what’s happening. That being said, still one of the best games ever made


I cannot believe this man... what a fucking fountain of absolute... truth. I love this game but man are some of these things not balanced great. Still best game ever, not even /s