Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree – 10 Things It Needs To Avoid

The acclaimed action RPG is getting its first expansion in the future. Here are a couple of things we don't want it to have.

Posted By | On 20th, Mar. 2023

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree – 10 Things It Needs To Avoid

After much anticipation and more than a few rumors, FromSoftware finally announced its first expansion for Elden Ring. Not much is known about Shadow of the Erdtree – some concept art teased Miquella’s involvement – but that won’t stop us from speculating, or hoping for certain things. As good as the base game is, there’s a lot we’d like to see the expansion avoid or tone down. Let’s take a look at ten such things here.

Near-Infinite Boss Combos

Listen, Margit, the Fell Omen was a good boss for that one time. The fight provided opportunities to learn to parry, time your dodge rolls and pay attention to a boss’s delayed attacks. However, the overly long combos were still annoying, and they only got worse the further one progressed. As bosses get faster, use Spirit Summons, dwarf you in size, or get Lifesteal on attacks (you know the one), dealing with combos that go on seemingly forever as you roll and roll while looking for an opening becomes a chore.

It also doesn’t help that the recovery time between some boss combos is so fast, making you think there’s an opening before the onslaught resumes. If the expansion does have such a boss (or two), hopefully, the combos get reined in to be closer to something like Slave Knight Gael or even Isshin instead of Maliketh.

More Double Boss Fights

Since Ornstein and Smaugh in the first Dark Souls, FromSoftware has been trying for that next big memorable boss fight. It’s succeeded here and there, and Elden Ring has some memorable double bosses. Some were outrageously frustrating (the one pre-nerfed duo comes to mind), and others felt kind of there. With the expansion, having the focus return to solo fights would be nice. There’s nothing inherently wrong with double boss fights, but a break from them now and again wouldn’t be so bad.

Mimic Chests

mimic dark souls

The base game is notorious for no Mimic Chests, but that didn’t stop many Souls veterans from attacking a chest just to be sure. Over time, opening a chest and not having most of your health eaten away was a refreshing feeling. Here’s hoping that Shadow of the Erdtree continues this, though the expansion will more than likely have something equally or more annoying to entrap players.

Cryptic NPC Questlines

For every quest in Elden Ring that’s mostly straightforward, like delivering Irina’s letter to her father in Castle Morne, some are incredibly cryptic. How would you know how to start White Mask Varre’s quest? Would you have guessed to look for Hyetta after Irina’s quest, or figured out all the steps for Ranni’s questline without a guide? FromSoftware alleviated some of these issues with an update showing NPCs on the map, but following questlines is still quite unwieldy.

Not that everything has to be spelt out or given waypoints, but it would be nice to have some indicators on when an NPC’s questline has begun and how to continue it. Some warnings – like crossing a threshold in the story – for the quest potentially failing would also be helpful.

More Scarlet Rot Areas

Remember when everyone thought poison-filled swamps were the worst thing ever? FromSoftware seemingly took that as a challenge, and so the Scarlet Rot was born. And while it’s bad enough to suffer from the status, watching your health tick down at an almost unfair rate, the worst part is that vast environments are dedicated to it (see: the Lake of Rot).

Shadow of the Erdtree may not do away with it entirely, especially given Miquella’s relation to Malenia, the Scarlet Rot queen. At the very least, we can hope that it doesn’t encompass entire areas. Watch the monkey paw curl and give us Scarlet Rot rain instead.

More Katanas

Surprisingly, katanas aren’t the weapon type with the most options in the base game. That honor goes to Daggers, Straight Swords, Greatswords and so on. Nevertheless, with the number of strong weapons in its category, like Moonveil and Rivers of Blood, it would be nice for other types to have their chance to shine. Claws, Whips and Fists could all use an infusion of new weapons, and it wouldn’t hurt for magic wielders to get more options besides Seals and Staves.

Platforming Challenges

Elden Ring_02

In terms of platforming mechanics, Elden Ring falls somewhere between Dark Souls and Sekiro. The jump button increased one’s exploration capabilities, especially given the range of vertical surfaces to climb. Nevertheless, some areas, like Old Haligtree are a little…precarious when it comes to platforming. Part of that is on the Legacy Dungeon itself, but it would be nice for the expansion to avoid leaning too heavily into more platforming. And if it does, areas that wouldn’t outright torture you with their challenges as you’re desperately exploring and trying to survive would be nice.

Smaller Endgame Areas

Beginning the base game opens up this massive world of possibility and punishment. What awaits around the next corner? Where could this innocuous door lead, and what kinds of horrors await in this decrepit dungeon? It’s an excellent blend of mystery and freedom, as you can go just about anywhere. However, this feeling starts to diminish near the end, with the final areas being relatively smaller and exploration being less of a factor. How Shadow of the Erdtree solves this is unknown, but maintaining that feeling of wonder while exploring to the end would be great.

More Recycled Bosses

Most video games tend to reuse bosses. Even a massive title like Elden Ring, that’s been in development for years, does it. With over 100 bosses, it makes sense to see a few reused, even if it’s weird to see some, like Astel, reused as the boss of a random dungeon. But this is a new expansion, and it doesn’t have to cram as many new bosses as possible. It can afford to focus on quality over quantity. If you’re going to reuse enemies as bosses for some of the new dungeons, that’s understandable. But if ten new bosses are added, and even one is recycled, it’ll be an odd experience.

Boring Side Dungeons

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree

The quality of the Legacy Dungeons varies, but at least they’re each unique and worth exploring. The same goes for the side areas (we’ll never forget Windmill Village or Castle Morne), but the side dungeons are different. Many have simple layouts and are pretty boring. You’d have the odd trap here and there, that one chariot-riding foe, and some interesting fights. But they’re mostly forgettable. Here’s hoping the expansion breathes some life into them, giving us more reason to travel off the beaten path.

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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