After that brief spike of excitement at FromSoftware announcing Shadow of the Erdtree, it's been back to the long, lonely wait for more Elden Ring news. Just yesterday, though, we got another major balance patch, 1.10, further fiddling with what's felt like the developer's most malleable sandbox to date. The full changes are as follows:
PvP-exclusive balance adjustment
- Increased poise damage of all weapons and some spells and incantations.
- Increased poise when attacking with some skills, spells, incantations and some types of weapon attacks that generates poise.
- Added damage reduction when performing attacks with some skills, spells and incantations and some types of weapon attacks that generates poise.
- Critical hit angles have been extended.
- Decreased the invulnerability window of the Quick Step and Hound's Step skills.
- Decreased the damage reduction granted by some skills, incantations and items.
General balance adjustments
- Increased critical hit damage.
- Decreased recovery time after a missed critical hit.
- Increased poise damage of attacks that occur after missing a critical hit.
Bug Fixes and other changes
- Adjusted the player damage animation so that the attack direction is not unintentionally shifted when getting hit while attacking with some types of weapons that generates poise.
- Fixed a bug that prevented some spells and incantations from causing damage while under the effect of some skills and items.
- Fixed a bug that caused the effects of the Sacred Order skill to continue after switching weapons.
- Corrected some text in certain languages.
It's interesting to me how FromSoft's adjusted poise here, the long-running, slightly infamous Souls stat that helps you take an attack without flinching, potentially grunting through enemies' weaker hits to deliver your own heavy hitters. All weapon attacks and some spells now have a greater chance of breaking poise, effectively nerfing the stat, but the patch also buffs the poise and damage resistance of some of those long wind-up, poise-thirsty abilities. You won't be basic attack spamming through an enemy's hits, then, but maybe you can still blast your way through with an ultra-greatsword, slow-swinging Ashes of War.
The critical hit buffs, particularly with the more generous backstab angle, gives me nightmares of laggy, Dark Souls 1 teleport backstabbing, but Elden Ring's online is much more stable all-around, and I don't think that's going to be a danger here.
It makes sense to see Quick Step and Bloodhound Step take a hit again, if only in PvP. Once upon a time, the latter was my crutch against final boss Elden Beast, though it seems really annoying to deal with in PvP. And this is a largely PvP-focused update overall: OP single-player exploits like the OG Hoarfrost Stomp got taken care of right out of the gate, so now it's just time to water the garden of Elden Ring's still pretty vibrant PvP scene.
That's something that really stands out to me, how much post-launch balance tweaking Elden Ring's gotten. Dark Souls 3 was still seeing some patches this far out from its release, but it had a full expansion's worth of new content to balance in that time as well. We're nowhere near the grim counterfactual of "live service Elden Ring," but I think FromSoft has done an admirable job of sticking with it and catering to the long tail of its PvP appeal. Now I just can't wait for Shadow of the Erdtree to introduce a katana so evil no one will ever forgive me for using it.