Even FromSoftware agrees Elden Ring's DLC was too difficult

The developer has issued a patch.

FromSoftware/Bandai Namco

Elden Ring’s latest DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree, is a massive expansion. It’s bringing loads of players back to the game like it's the halcyon days of 2022. It features a dancing lion boss that’s really just two dudes in a suit. The whole thing is polished and great. This new content is also very, very hard, in true FromSoftware fashion. It’s so difficult, as a matter of fact, that the developer just issued a patch that (somewhat) alleviates the struggle.

The changes center around the DLC’s new Shadow Realm Blessings mechanics, which buff attack and damage negation — but only within the DLC itself. Scadutree Fragments were previously assumed to buff player-character stats by about five percent and Revered Spirit Ashes would do about the same for companions, like spirit ashes and Torrent.

The developer has bumped up the stat increases at the front end to make it a bit easier throughout the early parts of the expansion. This means that if you’ve already struggled through the opening hours of the DLC, you get a gold star and will unlikely notice any changes moving forward. This patch is essentially for new players. For PC users, the update also fixes a bug that automatically enables raytracing if you load save data in a particular way.

This patch comes after the difficulty caused players to review bomb the DLC on Steam, as reported by Kotaku. Hey, at least this particular instance of review bombing wasn't over culture war nonsense.

There is a larger question here regarding the difficulty of our video games. Are some titles simply too hard or are modern players just used to handholding? I don’t have an answer for everyone, but I do have an answer for me.

I’m busy and I just don’t have time to play the same section of a game over and over. That’s a one-way ticket to me losing interest and moving onto something else. I’m someone who appreciates a patch like this. However, I don’t want to take away someone else’s challenge. We each get something different from our hobbies. The perfect solution, to me, is a tried-and-true difficulty setting. But, devs are already plagued by crunch and that would be just one more thing to worry about. Why can't the world be black and white?! Oh well, I'm gonna go work on my caster build.