Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree DLC: Why the best is yet to come

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    The wait for Elden Ring DLC is becoming increasingly agonizing. As of February 2023, the game will be two years old. Even after the revelation of the Colosseum update, but there are reasons to be cheerful, as previous FromSoftware expansions have gone on to be even better than the base games.
    If you’re anything like us, you’ve now been through multiple Elden Ring New Game+ cycles and have done pretty much everything there is to do in the Lands Between. You’ve likely crafted your ideal build and can take down previously fearsome foes like Malenia and Radahn with relative ease – and you now kill invaders for sport rather than necessity.
    You’ve probably seen the three main endings, becoming either Elden Lord, Lord of Frenzied Flame, or ushering in the Age of the Moon. However, you may be keen to see the three other Elden Lord ending variants based on Fia, Goldmask, and Dung Eater’s questlines. The only issue is, you only get seven NG+ cycles per character, meaning the more endings you see, the less time you’re going to have to explore the DLC with your preferred character/build.
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    Starting the journey again
    While this won’t be an issue for those who’re happy to start a new character for the Elden Ring DLC, those who want to tackle it with the character they’ve been building since launch will now have hit a progress wall. A stalemate where it probably makes more sense to take a break from the Lands Between, at least until the DLC drops. Yet those who’ve played Souls DLC before will be more anxious than anyone else – and that’s because Souls DLC changes everything.
    If we take a quick look back at the previous FromSoftware DLC then the significance of Elden Ring’s gets even more acute, especially if it sticks to the established trends. Dark Souls was the first game to receive an expansion, with the Chosen Undead going back in time to explore the legend of Knight Artorias and the Abyss. Not only did this DLC provide a stunning new area to explore and some more epic bosses, but the events also changed everything we knew about the world of Lordran.

    Changing the game as we know it
    Simply being armed with the truth about Knight Artorias, the power of the Three Crowns, or The Painted World in the Dark Souls games fundamentally changed our motivations as a player. It led us down new (metaphorical and literal) paths we may not have taken without this knowledge. Therefore, we expect the Elden Ring DLC will cause us to re-evaluate everything we thought we knew about the quest to become Elden Lord.
    Putting the lore of Miyazaki’s marvelous worlds aside, prior FromSoftware DLC has also sprinkled the base games with quality-of-life changes that enhanced the experience. In Bloodborne’s The Old Hunters, the titular Hunters we retroactively added to the main quest. Not only did this help tie the expansion to the original game, but it also created a richer world and some extra NPCs to summon in most of the game’s boss fights.
    Finally, let’s not forget that most FromSoft expansions are just as critically acclaimed as the games they’re being added to – sometimes even more so. Therefore, while we can’t make the wait for Elden Ring DLC any less agonizing, we can be confident that whatever is in store for us is likely to be a transformative experience – and one that may shatter our preconceptions like a golden demigod’s hammer. As Miyazaki has taught us time and time again, the best is yet to come.

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