Shadow of the Erdtree took me back to the Elden Ring

Shadow of the Erdtree: a day in the life and death of a glintstone pebble when you can’t see her

Playing Shadow of the Erdtree is like visiting that strict grandma you love but don’t get to see very often. Whenever you see her again after a long absence, it takes a moment for you to get reacquainted with her quirky but tough-ass customs. It feels like you haven’t left when you finally get back into the rhythm.

It’s not just that this end-game realm expects players to have mastered the original content — it also introduces new resources to collect that permanently buff your damage and defense against enemies in the Land of Shadow. While you could try to power through without “Scadutree Fragments,” you’ll likely need to scour the map to acquire them because even early bosses are no joke.

But while Shadow of the Erdtree is undeniably gorgeous, it frustrated me more than the base game. I often galloped in circles, searching for paths down forbidding rock faces. The labyrinthine Ruins of Rauh in particular sucked hours of my time as I fought the same foes and hit the same dead-ends. It’s never been more essential as the traversal might be.

My palms are sweating as I scale Belurat, Tower Settlement. A chorus swells with a sinister beast coming towards me. Resembling a Chinese dancing dragon, it speeds around on grotesque human arms, shooting lightning in all directions. It takes me a few attempts, but my trusty scimitars and I eventually emerge victorious and relief surges through me.

I was in for a lesson when I got to Belurat’s boss. I didn’t know how many times I would die before learning the boss’s tricks. Then there’s a beautiful moment, I cheesed my way through it. I used one of the game’s summons, called up my Mimic Tear ally, and stayed back, pelting the boss with the hardest working damage spell in the Lands Between: the Glintstone Pebble.

Lessons Learned from my Demises in the Shadow of the Erdtree Revisited: Elden Ring, Lord of Blood, and Malenia

I never felt cheated by my demises because I knew they were my fault, even though it was frustrating to die so much at the hands of things.

Tarnished, as you embark on your journey, learn from my mistakes and do not be deceived. You will die — a lot. Be methodical, be patient. upgrade your Mimic Tear ashes.

This lesson is pretty easily learned once you’ve spent more than an hour in the Shadow Lands. However, the reason I died so many times — and the reason I haven’t been able to make much headway in the DLC — is that I let myself get lured in by how deceptively easy the enemies were to kill. The upgraded sword swung and everything went down in one or two swings. If I sneaked up behind an enemy, they one-shot me. This made me feel confident, but it took a long time for that confidence to be dismantled. I was saying that I am surrounded, but there are 12 of them and I will survive one more hit.

I was greedy and arrogant, lacking the humility to navigate safely. And I think such a lesson is vital as lots of players prepare themselves for Erdtree. Lord of Blood needs to be taken down to access the Erdtree dungeon, something not many players have accomplished according to the Steam charts. And beating him or any of the other harder bosses, like Malenia, might instill in players the same undeserved arrogance I had — the kind that made me think I could just waltz through the new DLC untouched.

Keeping in mind that there are four enemies behind you is the key to playing Elden Ring successfully. If you see four, there’s a good chance that you are part of 12 of them, and you’re dead.

Source: Shadow of the Erdtree reintroduced me to Elden Ring by kicking my ass

Tower Settlement and Belurat: Killing the Humanoids on a Dungeon, Is It Really All You Ever Wanted

Despite their strength, though, the humanoids were easy to kill — most creatures in the dungeon were. This lead to a lot of problems of my own making.

The dungeon’s inhabitants, though, are less pretty to look at and not pretty at all to fight. The most basic enemies I faced were shadowy humanoid creatures, scorpions, and huge scraggly birds. Most of the time, the humans didn’t bother me unless I got too close or ventured into their line of sight. The humanoids kicked the living shit out of me up and down the dungeon.

Tower Settlement is one of the big legacies of the game and has been described as being as big as Elden Ring’s Limgrave. Belurat is a labyrinthine place, filled with lovely blind corners from which enemies can ambush me and attractive puke-brown waterfalls that lead to at least one of the DLC’s poison swamps.

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