15 Things Gamers Are Eager to Do in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree

FromSoftware have given us a lot to be excited about Shadow of the Erdtree.

Posted By | On 12th, Jun. 2024

15 Things Gamers Are Eager to Do in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree

Shadow of the Erdtree is said to be the largest and most ambitious expansion FromSoftware has ever put out. With a gigantic new map to explore and juicy lore implications, Shadow of the Erdtree has us more excited than ever, and it’s only a couple of weeks away! Here’s a list of 15 things I can’t wait to do in the new Elden Ring DLC.

Exploring Every Inch of the Land of Shadow

The Land of Shadow is a realm that mirrors The Lands Between, yet is physically separated in ways only the game itself can reveal. The game’s director, Hidetaka Miyazaki, suggests that Shadow of the Erdtree’s new map will be comparable Elden Ring’s starting area, Limgrave. That’s hard to believe. It’s likely Miyazaki was low-balling Shadow of the Erdtree‘s size considering the DLC soundtrack contains a whopping 30 tracks, nearly half the amount of the base game’s 67 tracks. Besides the sheer size of the new map, terrain seems to be more varied than that of the base game, with terraced steps and a verticality shown in the trailers. Elden Ring is one of those games begging to be explored, and Shadow of the Erdtree is just going to expand that desire further.

Taking on NPC Quests

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree - new character

Among the multitude of complexities within Elden Ring’s systems, NPC quests stand out as the most ambitious. There’s a labyrinthine web of interlocking conditions needed to progress NPC quests in the base game, each of them leading to a satisfying conclusion, with some going all the way to influence the game’s ending. Elden Ring’s characters exhibit phenomenal voice acting with backstories that tie brilliantly with the world lore and central mission of the game. An expansion as large as Shadow of the Erdtree is guaranteed to include a healthy dose of new NPCs with their own questlines. I’m curious whether characters like Melina will get additional dialogue considering her ability to phase through different dimensions as a spectral being. Also, Miquella possibly getting a quest chain leading to a new ending would be amazing.

Adding New Weapons/Armor to Our Repertoire

The equipment list in Elden Ring is massively varied, with an intricate level of detail adorning each item. Fashion Souls is a thing that’s caught on for a reason, and that’s especially true for Elden Ring and its more open-ended gameplay. Shadow of the Erdtree has already shown off some impressive-looking equipable armor, such as the golden armor and sword worn by the mysterious new blond knight revealed by FromSoftware’s X post. Oh, plus you can equip Messmer the Impailer’s armor and spear; how cool is that?

Fighting Messmer

Interestingly enough, the big showdown with Messmer was already briefly shown in Shadow of the Erdtree’s first gameplay trailer. Messmer is a major antagonist that was erased from the annals of history, known as The Impaler for his gigantic spear and other reasons we’re not privy to. His moveset is ferociously quick, with lightning-fast spear stabs from afar. Messmer wields flame magic and even has a giant serpent grafted into his body, possibly resulting in a poison status effect. It really is looking like this boss will be one of the more difficult ones in FromSoftware’s history, perhaps rivaling Malenia in its infamy.

Going through the New Legacy Dungeons

Not everyone is a fan of Elden Ring’s open world direction, and that’s where Legacy Dungeons come in. Elden Ring‘s Legacy Dungeons consist of favorite content in the game due to their intricate, hand-crafted level design. These main story dungeons fall in line with the compact design language of FromSoftware’s traditional dungeons from early titles like Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls. Considering the more compact nature the shrouded Land of Shadow will likely consist of, and its heavy emphasis on story, it’s likely we’ll be getting more tightly crafted dungeons than even the base game had.

Piecing Together the Complex Lore and Story

Shadow of the Erdtree 6

If you’re like me, you spend about as much time watching lore vids on Elden Ring’s story as you do actually playing the game. Elden Ring has many unsolved mysteries lingering from the base game. Why isn’t Melina mentioned anywhere in item descriptions or through second-hand character dialogue? What exactly caused Miquella to ‘divest of his flesh’? Shadow of the Erdtree thrusts itself right into the heart of of these mysteries with an intriguing Miquella-focused narrative. Promotional material for the game reads, “Guided by Empyrean Miquella, players are beckoned to the Land of Shadow … And now Miquella awaits the return of his promised Lord.”

This description suggests that we’ll walk and talk with Miquella, or at least an aspect of him. The latest story trailer revealed more of Marika’s backstory as well, potentially giving us a glimpse at her Golden Order being initiated at the foot of the flesh-strewn primordial Erdtree. Marika emerges from the Land of Shadow, so it’s more than likely Shadow of the Erdtree will satisfy us with plenty of new details regarding her journey. It’s been a joy to listen to new speculation as to what kind of gold hair Marika is holding and what the heck is happening in the DLC at large, so learning more through the game itself will be a feast for lore fans.

Finish off the Base Game’s Optional Bosses

Yeah, it’s shameful, but I can’t be the only one to leave a couple of bosses for later playthroughs in Elden Ring, right? There’s plenty of content in the original game worth checking out and/or revisiting. The Shadow of the Erdtree DLC is accessed through Mohg’s Palace near the end of the game, so now is a great time to get multiple saves up to speed and ready for the DLC. It’ll be fun to try out the DLC content with multiple combinations, so playing some of the base game before release seems like a must for players who want to dive in ready and raring to go.

Trying out That Cool Flying Kick We Saw in the Trailer

Shadow of the Erdtree’s first trailer showed an awesome flying kick move, one that no doubt harkens back to the amazing Bone Fist weapon from Dark Souls 2. There’s a general consensus that Bone Fist was one of the coolest weapons in FromSoftware history, despite the questionable quality of Dark Souls 2 itself. Bone Fist allowed a swift ninja-like combat style that the core game sorely lacked and made for a difficult move to defend against. We saw two martial kick moves in the Shadow of the Erdtree trailer, revealing an even quicker, more versatile attack pattern than Bone Fist had. While it’s yet to be confirmed whether or not this flying kick is an Ash of War, it will no doubt be something I add to my repertoire when the DLC arrives.

Learning More About the Creations of the Haligtree and Erdtree

Even though Shadow of the Erdtree doesn’t take place in the past like was previously speculated, it will divulge new info on the creation and cementing of the Erdtree and other great trees. We’ll be communing directly with Miquella, who was the creator of the Haligtree, so it’ll be enlightening to hear about his time nurturing it and motivations doing so. Since the DLC is set in the Erdtree’s shadow, there’s no doubt we’ll see some behind-the-scenes details about the Erdtree’s hidden history ranging from the primordial Crucible and the establishment of the Golden Order.

Seeing the New Gruesome Enemy Designs

Elden Ring - Shadow of the Erdtree_04

FromSoftware enemy designs exhibit a fascinating dichotomy of awe and terror in equal measure, and what we’ve seen of the DLC trailers continues that trend. First, let’s just point out how cursed those lion-headed enemies are. Their movements are the definition of uncanny creepiness. The Crucible horns adoring their heads tell us they may be a hybrid abomination, as is seen from the humanized feet and serpentine body. Some other wild enemy designs seen in the trailers include some giant head-sucking leeches, bi-pedal fire caged giants, and a lantern-headed alien that looks like it came out of Bloodborne.

Using New Incantations and Spirit Ashes

I never thought we’d get a Fus-Ro-Dah moment in Elden Ring, but that’s exactly what the first gameplay trailer showed. The Runebear Incantation looks to be a paralyzing bear shout that you use similarly to the Dragon Incantations in the base game. Far more useful are Spirit Ashes, the proverbial cheat button of the base game. Spirit Ashes are classic overengineering by FromSoftware, summons exhibiting animation sequences and attack patterns from a diverse cast of characters. There’s actually been a lot of interesting lore divulged through Spirit Ashes, such as Melina’s Black Knife Assassin. We haven’t seen any potential Spirit Ash summons from Shadow of the Erdtree yet, but man am I excited to see what Spirit Ashes we’ll get when we finally play it. I’m hoping for a Runebear Spirit Ash summon, as well as some off-the-wall choice like an Abductor Virgin.

Learning More About Miquella

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree

You thought we’d be done talking about Miquella? Well, think again. The unique thing about Miquella is the multiple forms he seems to exhibit. Many speculate that Miquella’s ephemeral nature ties him to the enigmatic St. Trina. The wildest theories go so far as to speculate that Melina, the player character’s maiden, is another form of Miquella. We’ll likely find out Miquella’s identity and history considering how central he is for this DLC.

Unlocking All the New Endings

Elden Ring provided a total of six possible endings, each requiring a separate playthrough to experience. Considering the new partnership with Miquella in Shadow of the Erdtree, it’d be shocking if the DLC doesn’t feature a new ending or three on top of the original six. It’s possible that the entirety of Elden Ring could end up with up to 10 different possible endings. The amount of replayability this adds to the game is pretty staggering and gives even more impetus to unlock the base game’s six endings if you haven’t done so already.

Creating New Routes/Challenge Runs

Shadow of the Erdtree creates an opportunity to finally be able to cheese the infamous Malenia fight, as well as the other endgame content. One of the common complaints about Elden Ring from reviews was the difficulty cliff after Leyndell. The open world structure kind of expects the player to do much of the ‘side content’ offerings throughout the open world, discouraging sticking only to the main path lest you get wrecked. But now that we have a DLC situated within an endgame location, it’ll be easier to B-line core ‘campaign’ content (DLC included) and feel adequate for its challenges. No doubt, speedrunners will have a field day breaking the game anew thanks to overpowered items in the DLC and/or boss runes providing new ways to cheese the game. What’s more likely is that Shadow of the Erdtree contains the game’s most difficult content yet, providing a grueling challenge for those who want to funnel low-leveled characters through its content.

Staring at the Sheer Detail and Artistry of the Vistas

It’s no exaggeration to say that an art exhibit can be made out of the vistas and landscapes shown in the two DLC trailers alone. For one, you may have noticed the dimmed color palette; this bronze dimming is the result of the veiled Erdtree, as shown in various shots and images. This veil theme also allows for unconventional locations due to the Land of Shadow being a shadow dimension of sorts from the Lands Between. Don’t be surprised if you see some crazy stuff similar to the underground city of Noctella in this DLC. My guess is that FromSoftware is holding its cards and saving the most wild locations for us to explore on our own. Even the most mundane imagery in the trailers is coded with detail and history that underscore how well-thought-out the game’s lore is. It’ll be a treat filling up my hard drive with hundreds of new images from every corner of the Land of Shadow. The base game allowed for great wallpapers from almost any point in the map, we assume Shadow of the Erdtree to do the same.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization. 

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