Elden Ring - Wants You To Play Differently
The focus of the Souls games' combat has always been an emphasis on timing. So movement in Dark Souls is relatively high-commitment, and so when you perform an attack, you won't be able to do anything else until the attack completes and the animation plays out, and so pretty much in all Souls games' combat is about finding openings.
It's about finding an opportunity to attack, it's about finding an opportunity to heal you, dodge block, and position yourself so that you can take advantage of that opportunity, and when finally the moment comes, you attack as much as you can. Rhythm is the heart of Soul's combat. It's one of the reasons, one of the very main reasons that Souls games became popular in the first place, and it's pretty much maintained itself unchanged since the days of Demon Souls.
An Elden ring is no different. The Elder Ring has the same heart as Dark Souls. It's about finding and taking advantage of opportunities, but it's also about doing something different. It's doing something interesting, and that's what I want to talk about today in this article. You see, in the previous games, when I said taking advantage of an opening, I meant something very specific exploited.
An opportunity in those games is synonymous with pushing the R1 button. At least it is when we're talking about boss battles. There are caveats. Of course, some weapons had R2 attacks that were very useful against some enemies, and some of them were very useful in PvP, and in Dark Souls 3, you had weapon arts, and some of those webinars were useful in the previous situations, and some of them were even useful in boss battles sometimes, but, even with those caveats.
I think my point stands: generally, during a boss battle, when you find an opening, you're doing standard R1 attacks. And there's usually a good reason they don't do that much more damage than a normal R1, and for r2s to reach maximum damage, they would need to be charged, which would have you staying in place for much longer than is wise during a boss battle, so they're just impractical.
They're riskier to do, but they don't do enough damage to compensate for the risk that you put yourself in, generally. R1 will end up doing more DPS anyway, but now it looks like Elton Ring is trying to change that. Eldon's Ring has added mechanics that I think are designed to incentivize the player to play slightly differently when it comes to melee combat against bosses and.
I guess, some regular enemies as well. I'm talking about the stagger meter in Elton's ring. There's an invisible posture bar that all enemies have. When you deplete that bar, the enemies will open up for a Critical Strike. That's similar to a repost after a parry. It's similar to the posture bar that enemies had in Sakura, or maybe a more comparable example is the posture bar that enemies have in Ghost of Tsushima, and the interesting thing about this posture bar is that you're very unlikely to break it with just R1 attacks.
And that's true even if you're using a big weapon like a claymore and two-handing it. R1s, by default, seem to have very low posture breaking ability regardless of what weapon you're using. On the other hand, fully charged r2s do massive damage to the posture bar, and in fact, they've been buffed quite a bit because they do like three times the damage of a normal swing.
I tried it with several weapons and pretty much all the ones that I checked, the fully charged R2 did about three times as much damage as a normal R1 for that same weapon. It was crazy. Jumping r2s also do decent damage, and they do a lot of damage to the stagger bar. It works similarly to the other new mechanic, the guard counter, that you can do.
It also does a lot of damage to the enemy's posture. All of this is explained to the player in the opening tutorial when you play the network test, but I kind of overlooked it and didn't realize how important it was going to be until later down the line when I fought Market the Phil. Margaret messed me up.
He beat me so many times that I had to start experimenting with other stuff, and that's when I started experimenting with jump attacks, fully charged r2s, and shield counters. I noticed that the times that I just used R on Margaret, she would not get stunned even once, and that was even in fights where I had gotten his health solo.
I almost killed him, but when I started weaving in these new mechanics, charging r2s guard counters and jumping r2s, it became rare for me not to get three or four posture breaks and be able to Critical Strike him all those times. I'm talking about small weapons like long swords and scimitars. More importantly, though, just look at this footage.
At how cool you could look if you're playing with all these new mechanics. Having to make these new risk-reward decisions with these new mechanics feels amazing, and I'm fairly sure that it's intentional. I think the game is trying to guide you to play this way. I think that as you proceed through the game past the network test, more and more enemies and bosses are going to try and incentivize you to use the posture breaking mechanics more and more.
And not just in the game. I think the marketing material actually hints at how you're supposed to play as well. In the gameplay reveal, you had a guy using a great sword, and even though he was using a great sword and not a shield, he used the great sword to block and use that block to guard counter.
But, that it could be done, but I think also that it should be done, that you should take advantage of the Guard counter even if you're using a two-handed weapon, and later down the line, they showed off a very well-timed fully charged R2 that posture broke the dragon, and then he went in for a repost, or I guess it's not a repost, a critical strike, so yes.
I think the game is trying to lead us away from traditional R1 spams when it comes to battle. Hello future, Read the task here. While I was editing the article, I had already recorded the audio. I had an idea of how I could test whether my theory was correct. I thought to myself, if Elton Ring wants you to block two-handed, at least more than they wanted you to in Dark Souls 1 and Dark Souls 2, and Dark Souls 3, then it stands to reason that the amount of damage that swords reduce when you're two-handing them blocking would be greater than normal.
Lorehunter helped me find out what the guard values were for the regular longsword. Many thanks to him, by the way, and I compared them to the values that we had in Dark Souls 1 and Dark Souls 3. And indeed, I was right. The defense values for the long sword were much higher in Elden's ring, giving you a 65 damage reduction, which is 20 higher than what it was in Dark Souls 3, which was only 45 percent.