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Warning: Shadow of the Erdtree resets your Elden Ring character

elden ring shadow of the erdtree wretch

Elden Ring players might be prepping for the DLC by doing some post-game grinding but Shadow of the Erdtree is set to effectively reset players, as a faux character reset will guarantee a difficult experience for all.

Few were expecting Shadow of the Erdtree to be easy. Soulsborne DLCs have yielded some of the most brutally difficult bosses in the series’ history, ranging from Manus to Darkeater Midir to the Orphan of Kos. Leveling up doesn’t necessarily make these bosses easy, but a little bit more vitality can go a long way in some cases. The trek through the Land of Shadows will not be one of those cases.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree introduces a new mechanic that serves as a character reset, forcing players to really work their way through the DLC. Here’s how it works and what players must do to progress.

Shadow of the Erdtree rolls back Elden Ring characters with new level-up mechanic

Shadow of the Erdtree will take a page out of the Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice playbook with a new level-up mechanic that will reset characters’ power in the Land of Shadows.

Elden Ring director Hidetaka Miyazaki discussed a number of different topics in an interview with Famitsu, including gameplay details and future plans for the series. new areas added in the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC will have a separate level-up system from what’s seen in the main game. He cites similarities with Sekiro’s progression system and states that this will force the player to get good, rather than brute forcing their way through every challenge with an over-leveled character.

“I think it’s easy to understand if you imagine something like attack power from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, but apart from the conventional levels, there is attack power that is only effective in the DLC area…it allows you to say things like, ‘this boss is hard, so let’s explore another area and try again after becoming stronger,’” Miyazaki said.

messmer elden ring
Messmer is set to be the new Malenia in Shadow of the Erdtree

Miyazaki notes that this will guarantee a challenge for players, regardless of their character’s level.

In Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, players earn a “memory” item for each major boss they defeat, which can be consumed for a permanent increase to the damage dealt with regular weapon attacks. Mini-bosses drop Prayer Beads, with four Prayer Beads giving a boost to Wolf’s health bar. Players will likely get flat power-ups for the Land of Shadows with each boss they defeat in Shadow of the Erdtree

What’s unclear is how this will impact players’ equipment and spells. Miyazaki discussed the sheer number of new weapons and spells that will be added through the DLC, which may foretell the need to truly start from scratch.

Either way, players can look forward to a particularly stiff challenge when Shadow of the Erdtree comes out.

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Written by Steven Rondina

Steven Rondina has been playing video games since he was a toddler and appreciates every genre out there. He has earned the platinum trophy in every Soulsborne game, is regularly Master Ball-ranked on the competitive Pokemon ladder, and has spent thousands of hours missing shots on Dust 2. His work has previously been featured by Bleacher Report and The Washington Post, and he was an Assistant Editor at WIN.gg. You can follow him on Twitter / X at @srondina.

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