Elden Ring Misadventures Day 3

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Elden Ring Misadventures Day 3

Lahftel's final little blog thing on Elden Ring's launch weekend. Because we're getting slowly into big spoiler territory.

Sadly, Bandai Namco has yet to release a patch to fix all the stuttering. Again, this bears repeating. And I hope that this patch is coming soon, because I'm addicted to this game. While I made good progress today, it came with occasional stutters. The game crashing, getting booted out of multiplayer and the curious case of my L1 button not working in combat. Performance went from being surprisingly smooth in in busy scenarios where half the rooms furniture flew in my face — to freeze-frames when walking down a lonely road.

This engine's inner workings are beyond me and I pray for fixes.

So, yesterday I left off with me heading towards the Academy of Raya Lucaria. Hoisted on a big mountain in the middle of an ever bigger lake. While I had some trouble reaching the gates, I eventually found them locked. But luckily some chap left a note, telling he'd meet someone in the misty lake down below.

Before I made my way there however, I set out to explore the western mountain range. On the way, I found a church overgrown with icky… zits? And a big pool of blood. And you know if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and is covered in red. Danger awaits. But at least the fellow left me with an impressive weapon skill.

As I progressed my way up the mountain range, I got that feeling that I should change my combat style. Sure, its fun to just spam jump attack with two big swords, but the wind-up for the following attack is kinda slow. Yet I remain stubborn, so you'll see me sporting my two big swords for at least today. I have plans for builds in the future, but I will never EVER use a shield. (Unless I can figure out how to deal effective damage with two of them at the same time.)

A large, glowing golden tree appears behind a character in a screen grab from Elden Ring
I'm not here.

Heading up the mountain, I find yet another church; this one looked worse for wear and had some hostile occupants. They proved to be quite… lets say elusive! But I got them with my patent pending ‘No fun allowed' plunge attack. Behind I find a huge fellow enjoying a reading session, he warns me that the manor up ahead does not take kindly to vagrants. I disagree with him and charge forward. Only to be convinced he was right by the fellows inhabiting the manor.

So I tuck my tail between my legs and head to the meeting place on the note earlier. There I find a key that lets me enter the academia. Nothing of note happened there, I swear.

As I enter the academy, I'm reminded of the Harry Potter movies… only they did not include the Burger King mascot and artillery fire. Now I could tell you that I braved the academy on my own, with only my wits and my superior skill as a player. But I called a friend for help, he'd already finished the area and showed me a couple of useful tricks.

We also explored further and found out that.. elevators that go up, also go down. And amidst glowing stones and increasingly stranger enemies I met one of those things from the loading screen. And worse.. I later found out that there are multiple kinds of that one.

The bridge leading into Raya Lucaria Academy
After getting an invitation with extra steps.. I'm here to study.

We then head further into the academy to have a meeting with the boss around here. Mostly to complain about the hostile staff and clingy learning equipment. I really liked the next area of this castle, a huge park of sorts that offered several ways of completion. Of course we walked them all and found ourselves soon engaging with one of the most fun Soulsborne…ring(?) bosses I've fought in a while. As me and my friend failed together, we both got the boss on the solo runback. I've noticed Elden Ring is rather genius at giving you quick direct routes to the boss. Usually you don't even need to fight a single enemy, making the whole affair a lot less frustrating.

And while I really liked boss fight, it later became the usual attack spam fests and dodge rolling. (At least it had some unique mechanics!)

I get my second great rune and I'm planning to activate it as well. Oh.. yes. I should explain that; When you kill one of the many main bosses in Elden Ring, you get something called a great rune. You can activate those at the really big towers you see scattered about in the world. You use an item received from successfully helping other players to activate them.

These Runes can be quite the game changer, the one I'm currently running with buffs all my stats and lets me do even more damage.

A area in the Raya Lucaria Academy in Elden Ring
Is this.. the library..?

But activating the second rune proved to be a lot more difficult. After trying to cheese my way through the tower, I find myself at a dead end. So I decided to give that manor up north another shot.

While it was also a rather short mini castle, there where a bunch of unique enemies I hadn't seen before. (And a very, very friendly giant that wanted me to meet his favorite stomping foot.) At the end, I had to deal with two bosses. One of them being fairly unique, while the other was just a variation of a boss you would find in the open world. After disposing both of them I get access to a tower and reunite with a friend I made yesterday.

I decided to join his crew and we both head off to that weird underground area I found on my first day. The one with the unfriendly ghosts that 360 no-scope your butt; even if you are in full speed on your horse. There we reunite and we both don't really have a clue where to go next, but I notice that there are eight lanterns scattered about the place. With great difficulty I light them all, expecting a reward. But I got a fun boss fight instead.

A shadowy, twilight forest; one of the many areas to explore in Elden Ring
Careful of what lurks in the shadows here. If you get spotted, run.

Next I hook up with Blaidd again to figure out how we go about that task we set out to do. He sends me on a little scavenger hunt, until we discover we have to get the next big boss guy. He tells me he's waiting for me there. What he didn't tell me was anything about the scary big red area to the west or the number of unfriendly things  in that direction. But I push forward… (after I grab a quick hug at the Roundtable Hall for emotional support.)

My adventure continues in the lands with the red soil, red sky and red poison puddles. My first attempt crossing included a long trench full of exploding stones and later two giants with their bows. Very unfriendly lot. It took me more tries than I'd like to admit but I got through, only to find myself at an dead end with a big pot blocking my way.

Alright, we'll save that one for later and head into the other direction.

This place is beautiful… in a disgusting nightmare inducing kind of way. My next goal is the Colosseum. I'm apparently to attend a festival. On the way there I find a shack. Inside a kind old man asks me ominously to help a girl trapped in a church. All I have to do is to recover a needle from the big red swamp to the south. This would mark the next two hours of my adventure there. First, chasing a weird golden light that tried several times to kite me into a group of roaming enemies. Next, a half sunken ruin full of even more rot inducing enemies. (And the only thing I got out of it was a spell I can't even use yet.)

An Elden Ring character on horseback rides through a desolate landscape under a blood red sky

Still, I continue to loot the area in search of the damn needle. At the other end of this quest is the promise of a quick way to some secret city. After I was invaded by an NPC who chose to play unfair and summon a bunch of knights; (who happen to be armed with magical homing spears,) I get humbled once more.

Again… two big swords do big damage, but are rather slow on the wind up. Especially when you try to get a few pokes in before creating distance again. (I'll work on that tomorrow.)

After dealing with the nasty invader, I find another boss in the open world… humanoid bosses and not playing fair seems to be a running theme here. This one just summons a bunch of archers. And even on horseback he takes hits like a champ, hits like a truck,refuses to budge — then there are the archers as well.

So after several tries I decide to call quits for today. Tomorrow I'll get back at him. I swear.

Pools of viscous red goo cover one of the areas in Elden Ring
But why?

This concludes my weekend with Elden Ring, I hope you enjoyed following along on the journey. Maybe it encouraged you to go and find some of the places I've mentioned? Hopefully I kept things vague enough so it won't spoil the surprise. If you've already picked up Elden Ring, go out there and seek discovery! There's something useful around every corner, especially the dangerous ones.

We'll have more guides and news all around Elden Ring here on ESTNN.

Elden Ring Misadventures Day 3
Timo Reinecke
Has once claimed that FSH is the only job in FFXIV worth playing and stands by that firmly. Top Guy, Smart Guy, Educated Speaker. (sometimes) Writer of all things FFXIV, FGC, News, Reviews and More