Elden Ring was always going to have some huge patches post-release. A game with that much land, dialogue, and weapons will inevitably have some creases that need ironing out. This latest update, patch 1.04, does a lot of that work, rebalancing and reworking many spells, incantations, weapons and more so the game plays as intended. It's not all balance, though, as Patches the NPC is also getting some work done.
The pile of patch notes released by Bandai Namco covers a huge number of interactions, rebalances and adjustments. From shortening animation times on status effects to buffing The Grafted Blade Greatsword, there is a lot to dig into.
Most notably, however, the list of major changes includes this line: "Added some event phases for the NPC Patches. Now, we're not sure what that means exactly. Patches, as an NPC, moves around quite a bit as you play, shifting his wares from place to place, so while the patch notes aren't exactly specific, the implication is that he's going to crop up in more places and cause more mischief.
Along with Patches, Millicent is also being tweaked. After helping her at Miquella’s Haligtree, she'll be protected by a barrier because too many people were accidentally killing her. Good save, FromSoftware.
Other changes include an option to turn the camera auto rotate function on and off, slightly increasing FP and stamina growth rate at lower levels, and making the casting of 'Kick' faster. Madness, as a status effect, is also a little more deadly now, taking more time to recover from its build up, though when you're finally affiliated the animation will be shorter.
Some of these changes won't be instantaneously applied to your characters, however. The stamina and FP growth rate seems to require one of three actions to be applied. The two easiest are activating Godrick's Great Rune, or simply just levelling up. You can also re-equip equipment that grants you bonus stats to strength, dexterity, vigor, endurance, intelligence, faith, or arcane to see changes.
Along with these more notable additions are a whole bunch of tweaks, which you can check out in-game now.