Huge Elden Ring update adds new quest phases, NPCs, nerfs, and more

Elden Ring character Iji reading a book
(Image credit: Tyler C. / FromSoftware)

FromSoftware just issued a title update for Elden Ring (opens in new tab), and if you've been playing the game or even just watching the speedruns, the patch notes will probably make you feel a range of emotions. Elden Ring patch 1.03 (opens in new tab) is a massive one, with nerfs, buffs, questline fixes, new NPC summons, and heaps more.

It's hard to know where to start because the changes are numerous, but it looks like some Elden Ring quests (opens in new tab) widely considered to be broken may have been fixed. New "quest phases" have been added for NPCs Diallos, Nepheli Loux, Kenneth Haight, and Gatekeeper Gostoc.

The Nepheli quest (opens in new tab) in particular, has confused a lot of players for the way it abruptly ends. Datamined voice lines in the network test suggested there was more, and it turns out, they were right. Nepheli, Gostoc, and Haight have a proper conclusion to their quests now.

There's a new NPC in the form of Jar-Bairn, who is located in Jarbug, as you'd expect. Jar-Bairn ties into the Diallos, who has also had his questline completed with the new patch.

The map in Elden Ring (opens in new tab) now has a new icon-type which can show the name of NPCs, all the better to mark their locations. There are also more summonable NPCs in "multiple situations," while the Mimic's Veil can now mimic a whole lot of new objects.

There are some alarming changes. The Mimic Tear Ash (opens in new tab), which is a go-to ash summon for folk who don't want to play fair with the bosses, has had its damage decreased and behavior pattern changed. This change has brought a lot of players to their knees. The Mimic summon had their back (opens in new tab) and now its damage output isn't quite what it was, although early reports say it's still a strong option.

Elden Ring Rennala boss

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Likewise, the Hoarfrost Stomp Ash of War—most notably used in Distortion2's Elden Ring speedruns—has had its damage decreased and cast time increased. This has, unsurprisingly, disrupted the current strategy for getting through the game in less than 30 minutes, but discussion in the SpeedSouls Discord suggests people are confident on an alternative—whether that's means using another strong weapon or spell or simply playing on the old patch remains to be seen.

FromSoftware also eradicated the Deathblight build that was killing everyone in PvP. The patch notes fix the spell that would cause a buildup of the Death status without any effort. You can finally co-op and PvP in peace.

Still, buffs dominate the changelist. Sorcerers will be pleased with the decreased FP consumption on a range of spells including Loretta's Greatbow and the Carian Greatsword, and the trusty Great Glintstone Shard now has higher range and is faster. 

Anyway, here are the full patch notes:

Elden Ring patch notes v1.03

Additional Elements Added

  • Added a function to record an icon and the name of an NPC on the map when you encounter that NPC.
  • Added NPC Jar-Bairn.
  • Added new quest phases for the following NPCs: Diallos/ Nepheli Loux/ Kenneth Haight/ Gatekeeper Gostoc.
  • Added some summonable NPCs in multiple situations.
  • Increased the number of patterns of objects player can imitate when using Mimic’s Veil.
  • Added night background music for some open field area.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed a bug that prevented summoned NPCs from taking damage in some boss battles.
  • Fixed a bug that sometime prevented the player from obtaining item after boss battle.
  • Fixed a bug that causes dialogue to be skipped when talking to NPCs and using custom key configurations.
  • Fixed a bug that causes the player to freeze when riding.
  • Fixed a bug that causes arcane to scale incorrectly for some weapons.
  • In situation where the player cannot obtain more than 2 talisman pouches (opens in new tab), added talisman pouch to Twin Maiden Husks shop line up.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented the user from warping to sites of grace from the map at the end of the game.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented the player from moving to the next area after the battle with the Fire Giant.
  • Fixed a bug which causes some weapons to have incorrect scaling after strengthening.
  • Fixed a bug which causes some weapons to not use stat scaling.
  • Fixed hang-ups in certain occasions.
  • Fixed a bug which incorrectly displays multiplayer area boundary when playing online.
  • Fixed a bug that allows player to activate Erdtree Greatshield’s weapon skill without absorbing an attack using a special combination of item and incantation.
  • Fixed a bug which causes Fire’s Deadly Sin incantation to have different effect.
  • Fixed a bug with the Ash of War (opens in new tab), Determination and Royal Knight's Resolve, where the damage buff will also apply to other weapons without that skill.
  • Adjusted the visual effect of Unseen Form spell.
  • Deleted the Ragged armor set from the game which was mistakenly obtainable in previous patch.
  • Fixed a bug that causes some hostile NPCs to drop Furlcalling Finger Remedy.
  • Fixed a bug that causes incorrect sound effect to play in some situations.
  • Fixed a bug which causes visual animation and hitboxes to not be displayed correctly on some maps.
  • Fixed bugs which causes incorrect visual and behavior for some enemies.
  • Fixed a bug that causes incorrect stat parameter for some armor.
  • Text fixes.
  • Other performance improvement and bug fixes.

Balance changes

  • Increased the drop rate of Smithing Stone (opens in new tab) for some enemies.
  • Added Smithing Stone to some early game shop line up.
  • Increased shield’s effectiveness.
  • Increased the damage for all offensive cracked pot items.
  • Increased the damage for the following items: Spark Aromatic/Poison Spraymist.
  • Increased the effect duration for the following items: Uplifting Aromatic/ Ironjar Aromatic.
  • Increased HP healing for Torrent (opens in new tab) when using the following items: Rowa Raisin/ Sweet Raisin/ Frozen Raisin
  • Reduced FP consumption and increased the damage of the following sorceries: Glintstone Cometshard/ Comet/ Night Comet
  • Increased the damage of the following sorceries: Gravity Well/ Collapsing Stars/ Crystal Barrage
  • Decreased FP consumption of the following sorceries: Star Shower/ Rock Blaster/ Gavel of Haima/ Founding Rain of Stars/ Stars of Ruin/Greatblade Phalanx/Magic Downpour/ Loretta’s Greatbow/ Loretta’s Mastery/ Carian Greatsword/ Carian Piercer/ Shard Spiral
  • Raised projectile speed and range of Great Glintstone Shard
  • Decreased Ash of War, Hoarfrost Stomp's damage and increase cast time.
  • Increased Ash of War, Bloody Slash's self-inflict damage while slightly lowering the damage and increasing the cast time.
  • Decreased weapon skill, Sword of Night and Flame’s (opens in new tab) damage.
  • Increased FP consumption and lower duration of Ash of War, Barricade Shield.
  • Changed FP consumption timing of Ash of War, Prelate’s Charge.
  • Decreased the damage of spirit summoned when using the item Mimic Tear Ash and changed the spirit’s behavior pattern.
  • Other enemy and weapon balance changes
Image (opens in new tab)

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Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.