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Robert Tamayo

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Why is Elden Ring Considered Difficult?

I've now played Elden Ring for 50+ hours. I had never played a Dark Souls game before, but everyone I talked to would always warn me of the difficulty of those games. The games are notorious for their merciless combat and overpowered bosses. I better beware, they warned.

Only, after all this time, I've never encountered the difficulty they spoke of.

I knew absolutely nothing about this game going in. So I had a bit of a learning curve to warm up to the style of game that it is. I found a playstyle that worked for me, and since then, I've been walking right through every major boss like it was a common enemy.

I beat Morgott on the first try, Godrick on the first try, the Red Wolf of Radagan on the first try, and Queen Rennala on the first try. I beat countless other bosses on the first try in the mini dungeons. Just tonight, I beat Radahn on the first try. I beat Morgott again on the first try when he challenged me to a rematch.

The game is known for trolling people, but I'm beginning to think I was the one who was trolled by the fans into thinking the game was difficult. I'm going to do some more research tomorrow and find out if other people actually had a difficult time playing this game.

Here's what I discovered, as a complete beginner, is the best way to play the game.

  1. There is no such thing as shields or parrying. Just dodge.
  2. Jump attack + power stance. Play aggressively.
  3. Upgrade your weapons as often and as soon as possible.
  4. Use stealth whenever you can. There are some enemies that are too powerful for you at certain times. Just avoid them.
  5. Lure enemies away from the pack and deal with them one by one.
  6. Forget about magic. Just pump points into Strength, Endurance, and Vigor. Those are the stats that matter.
  7. In the early game, hop on Torrent's back and cowardly hit-and-run enemies until they are dead.

By now, everyone should be warming up to the fact that the game is not that difficult. It's an RPG. Just like in all RPGs, you have the opportunity to level up your character and/or gear in order to become more powerful. That's all the game is. 

Even without that, the bosses have patterns that any Mike Tyson's Punch-Out veteran should be able to learn and adapt to. There are people doing lvl 1 no-hit runs on difficult bosses, just because it's possible. I'm not one of those guys. I'm just a bad player who wants to rush in and crush everything. And it works.

Now, about the things I did find difficult. The Tree Sentinel was certainly hard for me, and I thought the whole game would be like that. But his stronger cousin, the Draconic Tree Sentinel, was insane. Even so, I was 1 hit away from defeating the Draconic Tree Sentinel on my first try.

Final note: about the cheap shots. The game will often throw enemies charging at you from around a corner. Pay them no attention, like I do. I'm running so fast through a dungeon looking for someone to fight that their first attack from around a corner usually just completely misses me. A good example was a couple of zombies that tried to grab me. I was just rushing along a tight corner and they completely missed me. Had I been walking, at least one would have gotten me, and I would have fallen into a poison pit. I guess that's why people say the game is merciless. It really is merciless; it's just not difficult.


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