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Elden Ring players are already struggling to beat Shadow of the Erdtree

The hand-to-hand combat style in Shadow of the Erdtree.

Difficulty is a well-known hallmark of FromSoftware games, and so the fact people are experiencing issues in the new Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, even against even common enemies, is unsurprising. However, even veteran players appear to be struggling. Many have taken to Steam to negatively review the game, which is now sitting at “Mixed” at the time of this writing.

Some of these complaints also cite performance issues, including stuttering and dropped frame rate. Publisher Bandai Namco and FromSoftware haven’t commented on any upcoming fixes.

Thankfully, FromSoftware has stepped into help with the difficulty spike. The developer published a post on its website Sunday with some tips on how to increase your strength. It specifically mentions Protection of the Spirit Ashes and Protection of the Shadow Tree, which coincidentally need Spirit Ash and Shadow Tree Fragments, so stock up on those when you can.

This is a suggestion to level up your Scadutree Blessing

— Bandai Namco US (@BandaiNamcoUS) June 22, 2024

However, it appears that people have been overlooking one important thing exclusive to the DLC’s Land of Shadow. Bandai Namco briefly posted on X (formerly Twitter) over the weekend about Scadutree Blessing, which can help you deal and negate more damage. And to boost it, you need to find and pick up Scadutree Fragments. There are around 50 of them throughout Shadow of the Erdtree, and while some can just be found and picked up, others are dropped by enemies.

Game director Hidetaka Miyazaki warned players in interviews ahead of the DLC’s release that Shadow of the Erdtree would feature more challenges, including a new leveling system that was more similar to Sekiro than Elden Ring. If you’re unfamiliar, players now have an attack power separate than standard leveling. This was the developers’ reasoning since they had to account for players at all levels — from newbies who just defeated Mohg, Lord of Blood to enter the Land of Shadow to new game plus experts. And the best way to level that up is with Scadutree Fragments.

Plus, FromSoftware’s design philosophy has always been about the challenge, and the joy and satisfaction for having overcome it. While Elden Ring is generally more accessible due to its open-world nature, which allows players to break away from enemies and come back to them later, it isn’t without its difficult fights. So to not offer that for the DLC, even for more experienced players, would’ve gone against what the studio stands for and has offered with each of its titles. Also, what’s a FromSoftware release without some difficulty discourse?

“If we really wanted the whole world to play the game, we could just crank the difficulty down more and more. But that wasn’t the right approach,” Miyazaki recently told The Guardian. “Turning down difficulty would strip the game of that joy — which, in my eyes, would break the game itself.”

Basically, if you go into a new FromSoftware release not expecting frustration, you’re not playing it correctly.

Carli Velocci
Carli is a technology, culture, and games editor and journalist. They were the Gaming Lead and Copy Chief at Windows Central…
Shadow of the Erdtree preload guide: release time, file size, and preorder
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As excited as we all are to enter the Lands of Shadows for the first time, it isn't just your Tarnished that needs to be battle-ready. Making sure you have the content preloaded, and enough space to hold it, before launch will ensure the only road bumps you hit are the new enemies and bosses. Let's break down all the preload information you need to know before Shadow of the Erdtree breaks your spirit.
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