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Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I’ve been playing some more. I’m mostly sneaking up behind enemies at the moment, though sometimes that lets me clear out an area unseen and other times I get the first guy for free and then have to take on the other four simultaneously. I lost enough runes that I could have levelled with them for the first time because of a ballista firing explosions that killed me a few times. Past that I found my first boss that wasn’t out in the open, Margit, who promptly killed me. So I tried again with the handy NPC summon and got through about half the boss’s HP before the summon died and maybe another eighth after that. After a few more goes I decided to pursue other paths and went back to the wagon pulled by two big guys I’d seen earlier. I snuck up on some of the guards of it (seems like you can’t back attack mounted enemies, though), killed off a heap of them, then took out the two big guys and got a greataxe for my troubles. Then back to a campfire where the campfire NPC warped me to some castle which I haven’t explored yet but which I take to be this game’s nexus equivalent. I’m looking forward to getting some ranged attacks sometime.
 

4-So

Spicy
Just a quick tip. The two big guys pulling the wagon, there are a few of those in the game. You don't need to kill everyone or the big guys to steal the treasure. You just need to make the trolls stop, jump up to it and loot, and if you're spry enough you can loot and scoot without needing to kill too many things. Treasure is lootable as long as the caravan isn't moving.
 

Sarcasmorator

Same as I ever was
(He/him)
Sometimes you can get away with leaping off Torrent onto the carriage, opening the chest, and zooming away again before the escort can get you.
 
I've been having a bunch of fun now that I've finally gotten around to digging into my GREAT KNIFE build. The early game with just a dagger is pretty rough even with a buckler to help parry everything with its extra good parry. The Crucible Knight in particular needed to be basically entirely parry-riposted because normal damage with a knife is just so low without coming back way later.

But now I've explored Caelid and Altus pretty thoroughly, got a second Great Knife, the Blood Blade ash so I can act like I'm holding Reduvia since Sepukku isn't an option for daggers, and the Occult affinity. The build has taken the heck off. It's still a risky playstyle but if the enemy can bleed IT WILL, and the weapon damage itself is still very respectable. Once I can pump Arcane all the way to 80 and I start using bleed grease it's going to be extremely silly for whatever of the game is left. I anticipate a lot of difficulty for the final boss though.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I’m still sort of wandering around, exploring. Haven’t killed any bosses yet, but I took out a/the demihuman queen and got a staff and a spell I’m not intelligent enough to use. There’s a cave nearby that I’ve gone down far enough in to reach the top of a one-way drop, not sure if I’ll go down there next or not.

I’d been using a sword I got off an enemy that was a little better than the one I started with, but I’ve switched to a flail for now. I think it does less damage, but it’s more interesting to use. Seems better on horseback, too.
 

Paul le Fou

24/7 lofi hip hop man to study/relax to
(He)
Flails are indeed one of the best horseback weapons, imho. They're a little underwhelming but the nightrider flail kicks ass and I'll die on that hill. Flails do have some unique advantages too: they can't bounce off when enemies block, like with a greatshield, and I don't think they can be parried. They're also a rare chance to do strike damage with a dex weapon, which comes in handy at times.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I beat my first boss - I think it was called crypt keeper or something like that. There was a statue on a cliff that I examined and it shone a light to a cave, I killed a heap of skeletons and unlocked the door to this thing. I don’t think I landed a single melee hit on it over several attempts, but I tried throwing fire at it and each shot took off about a sixth of its HP, so success. Then I kept exploring above ground and found a teleport trap that took me to the opposite end of the map where a fire-breathing giant killed me in one shot.

I went back to Margit, still can’t beat that guy. Oh well.
 

Paul le Fou

24/7 lofi hip hop man to study/relax to
(He)
You can comfortably explore the entirety of Limgrave (including its southern half) before worrying about Margit, if you like! There's plenty of 'splorin' to do!
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I took another shot at Margit to start tonight’s session and got him down to like 15% health, thought I might have it but it was not to be. So I headed east. Later, I was just thinking that the big guy I was fighting was no big deal where the first one I thought had been huge, when another one showed up and I had to re-evaluate the situation. Then a third arrived, and then I noticed that they damage each other with their attacks so I just dodged until they’d reduced themselves to one weakened giant and took him out.

I found another crypt and beat my second boss, the black knife assassin I think. These crypts seem a bit easier than the other bosses. Stumbled across another giant fire golem thing, but this one started at half health and didn’t one-shot me so I beat it. Each of these encounters got me a talisman, the first two I’ve seen in the game, but I’ve got enough stuff equipped already that the extra .7 weight tips me over into heavy encumbrance so I’ll have to try them on later. I set a pot with arms and legs free then crossed a bridge into limgrave, where I had thought I was already. Apparently the village here is pretty dangerous, according to a guy who hunts the dead. I’ll have to check it out next time.
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
WEIRD QUESTION: I played Elden Ring kind of loosy goosey, and I never really noticed where I picked up "important items". I beat the whole dang thing, but I literally have no idea what was required along the way. So... uh... can anyone give a rundown of that? I'm curious.

(And spoiler pop seems like a good idea there)
 
WEIRD QUESTION: I played Elden Ring kind of loosy goosey, and I never really noticed where I picked up "important items". I beat the whole dang thing, but I literally have no idea what was required along the way. So... uh... can anyone give a rundown of that? I'm curious.

(And spoiler pop seems like a good idea there)

Could you be more specific about what you mean? Are you talking about the bare minimum critical path, or something else?
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
There aren't a lot of hard requirements because there are multiple routes to the end. You need two of the five Great Runes accessible before you enter Leyndell in order to access it. After that, there are eight required boss fights to reach the ending. There aren't any other required items.
 
Yeah.

If you're maybe thinking of the lift medallions, those are optional, because there are other ways to reach Leyndell. (I know some people have gotten the impression they're required, but they're not.)

To clarify a bit more, the options for 2 Great Runes (i.e. the ones available before Leyndell) are Godrick, Renala, Rykard, Radahan, and Mohg, if that's what you're wondering.
 
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gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
That more or less answers my question. Just realized from the thread that I had no real idea how much of what I "did" was optional.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
If you're maybe thinking of the lift medallions, those are optional, because there are other ways to reach Leyndell. (I know some people have gotten the impression they're required, but they're not.)
I found Leyndell way before I ever found the lift, personally.
 
I found Leyndell way before I ever found the lift, personally.

Yeah I didn't even realize they existed until I read some discussion where someone thought they were required. But there are definitely people see the stuff about about the medallion halves before reaching that area by some other means and get the impression that they're a critical path thing and not one option to get up there.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
The game seems to assume that you’re going to be looking stuff up online, which is probably safe, but fifteen hours in I still feel in the dark about a lot of stuff. I got a thing that says it allows me to see summoning signs, which would be good since my summoning so far has only been of one NPC, but it seems to be consumable so I’m reluctant to use it. It’s odd how some things in the menu are labelled consumable or reusable, while others aren’t. I’ve got a flask of marvellous physic (or something), and some reagents to go in it, but are they single use or reusable? I dunno. I also have a bunch of summon spirits - a jellyfish, three wolves, a headless guy - and no idea how to use them, though I do have a spirit bell that I think is supposed to let me summon them.

Anyway, even not knowing how those things work I’m having a good time. Today I beat another boss, a dude on a boat summoning skeletons, and got invited to take a teleport to the other side of the map where I met the beast cleric and got some spells, and also a thousand runes from a single minor enemy, though it was a relatively tough fight. Then I spent a while getting killed by giant bears, including one I was led to by an apparition that appeared after I examined a glowing blue thing. I found an elevator with a huge shaft that took me deep underground where the enemies were too tough for me, so it was back to the top and more wandering.

I think this game is gonna take me forever because of my tendency to go everywhere and do everything in games. There’s too much in this one for that. I’m mostly exploring on foot despite knowing I should be using the horse, making it even slower.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I got a thing that says it allows me to see summoning signs, which would be good since my summoning so far has only been of one NPC, but it seems to be consumable so I’m reluctant to use it.
You can craft these or buy them from shops, and you'll also receive one every time you successfully help someone kill a boss. If you're like me and you let yourself be summoned specifically to learn a new boss's patterns before you fight it yourself, you'll never run out of these. Don't be afraid to use them if you want human help.

I’ve got a flask of marvellous physic (or something), and some reagents to go in it, but are they single use or reusable?
There's a note in the game somewhere that explains what the physick flask does. You use it just like your estus flask (I can't remember the Elden Ring name for it, sorry) except it only has a single charge. This means it refills at grace points. You can mix and match reagents freely to get whatever effects you want, those aren't consumable.

I also have a bunch of summon spirits - a jellyfish, three wolves, a headless guy - and no idea how to use them, though I do have a spirit bell that I think is supposed to let me summon them.
The game doesn't explain this one well, but you just use them like any other item. You can put them on your d-pad or in your shortcuts if you want to use them regularly.
 

MCBanjoMike

Sudden chomper
(He/him)
I played the whole game in medium encumbrance, no shields (dual wielded for about 80% of it, two-handed for the rest), and almost never parried. Game is very much playable that way. But, yeah, dodge roll is king.

I found the medium encumbrance dodge roll to be pretty fine in this game. I remember always aiming for light encumbrance in Dark Souls, but in Elden Ring I stopped worrying about it fairly early on.

By the way, I assume everyone playing this game has seen the delightful animations Carbot has been releasing for it?
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
The game doesn't explain this one well, but you just use them like any other item. You can put them on your d-pad or in your shortcuts if you want to use them regularly.
I’ve tried this, but it always seems to be greyed out and unusable. Not sure what I’m missing. Maybe I don’t have enough MP.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
I’ve tried this, but it always seems to be greyed out and unusable. Not sure what I’m missing. Maybe I don’t have enough MP.
It should be noted they are limited in terms of places where you can use them. As long as a tombstone is in the left corner of the screen you should be good though.

Also I think you can summon only once before you have to visit a Site of Grace to be able to summon again.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I’ve tried this, but it always seems to be greyed out and unusable. Not sure what I’m missing. Maybe I don’t have enough MP.

It should be noted they are limited in terms of places where you can use them. As long as a tombstone is in the left corner of the screen you should be good though.
I completely forgot about being unable to use them in certain areas! If you have the MP then this is almost certainly the issue.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I have very limited understanding of the little icons that pop up on screen from time to time or sit under the stamina bar. I can’t really make them out clearly from my couch. Maybe I’m getting old - I have a hard time with red text, too. If I’m trying to decide between equips I have to really squint or get up and get closer to see if a stat is significantly lower or just a bit lower.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
The tombstone icon pops up in the middle left corner of the screen and is the only thing that shows up in that spot. If you see it, you're good to go on summons.

Credit to Polygon for the screencap.
Elden_Ring_tombstone_icon.jpg
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
You may have noticed these little waist-high obelisks dotted around the world with crude messages next to them. You're allowed to summon Spirit Ashes in the general vicinity of those.
 
Also just to confirm and elaborate, you can indeed only summon one time before resting, but it's per obelisk so you can potentially run through a bunch of tough sections that let you summon once at each one without needing to return to a grace.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I have successfully summoned a jellyfish, so all good. Thanks all. I was planning to go take another look at some of the bosses that I’ve noped out on - I’ve been thinking how a boss in Souls could be a roadblock and force me to learn how to handle them while in Elden Ring I’ll just take a couple of shots and then go somewhere else. Plan came to nothing when on my way to the lake dragon I explored the ruins there and found a teleport trap that got me stuck in a mine with pretty tough enemies for quite a while. I’d guess a lot of people find that trap much earlier on and probably have an easier time with it because they have no hope against the enemies there and so just flee it. I was able to make some progress fighting so I spent a while doing that before giving up and running away, out into an area that looked nothing like what I’d seen of the game so far. I looked around a little then warped back to more familiar territory.

I decided to try out a stone sword key, so I went back to the place where you start and opened the one there, which lead to me getting killed over and over by this chariot thing. Good times.
 

Sarcasmorator

Same as I ever was
(He/him)
It is not at all easier earlier on. I wandered into that trap almost immediately, before opening up fast travel, and had to slog my way all the way back from Caelid.
 
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