Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree – Everything We Know Now

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Lizabeth Phoenix
| March 18, 2024
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Elden Ring absolutely swept when it was released in 2022, not just as Game of the Year but as an online phenomenon. FromSoftware’s latest high fantasy RPG from the minds of George R. R. Martin and Hidetaka Miyazaki made their signature soulslike style more accessible for new players by including multiplayer, Spirit Ashes, and additional features that gave newcomers into the genre more room to breathe as they adjusted to the new world. Combine that with so much lore we’ll be unpacking it ’til 2075 (or beyond), an absolutely stunning landscape, and bosses that wipe the floor with you, and you have a game that’s just begging for DLC. Shadow of the Erdtree does not look poised to disappoint . . .  


If you haven’t jumped into the Lands Between just yet, or you need a refresher course, here’s the story in a nutshell. As it’s very difficult to condense, this is far from all the deets. Queen Marika severs the Elden Ring, a ring of runes that governs the Lands Between, after the assassination of her firstborn son, shattering the land and removing destined death from the world. You play as a Tarnished, a warrior called back to follow the guidance of grace to the foot of the Erdtree, where you defeat the Elden Beast and choose from various endings, deciding to either mend the current order, replace it with a new one, or leave the world altogether. I must admit, I’ve watched hours and hours of lore breakdowns, and I still don’t completely understand the game, but that’s what I love about it. It’s my Roman Empire, people, and I will gladly ponder its secrets for ages.

The upcoming DLC adds some major color and depth to the main narrative. According to BANDAI NAMCO, the Land of Shadow lives in the shadow of the Erdtree. This is where Marika first set foot, and the land was at some point afterward “purged in an unsung battle,” set ablaze by Messmer’s flame. Reportedly, it is a place wholly separate from the Lands Between we know–not a future or past, but a simultaneous present. Based on hints in the trailer, players are theorizing that Marika left Messmer, who may be one of her children, there to rule in her stead. Our Tarnished will follow Miquella’s journey through the Land of Shadow and learn what Melania’s sibling is up to there. I, for one, am not looking forward to meeting Miquella ’cause I one hundred percent slaughtered everyone but their momma and their half-sister Ranni. Yikes. We probably aren’t gonna be the best of friends. 


As far as adjustments to gameplay, there are, of course, new enemies to fight. Messmer, I assume, will be the main boss fight and is likely the Malenia-level character interviews have alluded to. There will also be new weapons, ranged options, spells and incantations, and armor. According to reports, we can expect the map to be about the size of Limgrave, and I’m wondering if it fits in that empty spot between Leyndell, Liurnia, and Caelid. Check out the map below and let us know what you think:


Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can go bulldozing through the new DLC at your highest level. Nope. Miyazaki and Co. have implemented an attack power level that will need to be scaled as you move through the Land of Shadow. This system has been compared to the attack power leveling system in Sekiro, which I have not played. Miyazaki mentions that this scaling system was added to ensure players experience a “fresh challenge,” regardless of what level they’re beginning the DLC at. So I basically started my New Game +3 for nothing and am now paying the consequences. This is what you get for not paying attention to articles, folks. If you, like me, thought you could squash with a high-level character, don’t worry about starting a NG+ unless you’re going back through the main story because you want to–more runes won’t get you more respect unless you can back that shit up. Now I have to go get Malenia’s rune for the THIRD TIME. I’m not yelling; you are.

Okay, updates aside, what do you think? Are we ready for FromSoftware’s largest expansion to date? I’m still not sure I’m prepared to face off with Marika’s last surviving children . . .

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