Elden Ring Just Got Easier Without Actually Telling You

FromSoftware made Elden Ring much easier in the 1.04 update with shadow nerfs not listed in the patch notes. The Lands Between overflows with difficult boss battles that collectively serve as the ultimate challenge for players. However, one of Elden Ring's most straining category of fights have been dramatically altered to become simpler: group fights.

Elden Ring is of course not the first Soulsborne to incorporate group boss fights into its gameplay. The Ornstein and Smough battle of Dark Souls is famous for the difficulty the duo poses as well as their overall design. Ornstein is fast and extremely aggressive, while Smough is slower, more passive, and sturdier than his counterpart. This in turn allows for players to try to single one boss out at a time to simplify the fight. Elden Ring's group boss battles have unfortunately not followed the Ornstein-Smough formula, however. Many duo or trio fights consists of seemingly random bosses or clones fighting side-by-side, which usually leads to both being aggressive and difficult to single out. Consequently, Elden Ring's group boss fights can feel laborious and patience-testing, as they force players to continually try to separate them with movement and baiting.

Related: Best Elden Ring Gear & Spells You Can Get Without Beating A Single Boss

Despite not stating so outright, the 1.04 update to Elden Ring solved the game's issue with group fights by implementing the Ornstein-Smough formula from Dark Souls. Essentially, certain duo and trio bosses now consist of one hyper-aggressive member and two passive members. In turn, fights such as the Crucible Knight and Misbegotten Warrior duo now function as intended and are much easier to complete.

YouTuber illusory wall and dataminer @king_bore_haha were able to uncover that two changes were made in order to address Elden Ring's group boss issue: direct AI modifications and new flags for increasing team effectivity. With direct AI modifications, several bosses were made to be less aggressive when they are not the primary attacker. With the changes regarding team effectivity, a limit was put on the amount of enemies allowed to be considered a primary attacker. This essentially means that in a duo boss fight such as Crucible Knight and Misbegotten Warrior, the Misbegotten Warrior will (at least at first) be the only primary attacker, fulfilling the Ornstein role. In contrast, the Crucible Knight will become the more passive secondary attacker like Smough until they are actively attacking or singled out. The video can be viewed below:

Now while these updates will make a big difference in many of Elden Ring's group boss fights, they have not been applied to all characters. Only the Crystalians, Mad Pumpkin Heads, and Abductor Virgins received both of these changes. Additionally, the Erdtree Avatars and Crucible Knights received at least one of these changes. This means that the duo Gargoyle fight and the infamous Godskin Duo battle remain as difficult as they were before. But considering the limited amount of enemies affected by the update, perhaps more Elden Ring bosses will receive similar changes in the future if FromSoftware's implementation of the Ornstein-Smough formula plays well with fans.

Next: Elden Ring's Most Broken Ash Of War Makes Big Bosses Easy

Sources: illusory wall / YouTube@bore_king_haha / Twitter

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