elden ring is an open world RPG that rewards all kinds of playstyles.
Do you want to play with a friend? Summon away. Want to go it alone but seek help from fellow NPCs and ghostly spirit ashes? Do your thing. Or maybe you prefer the hardcore route, with only melee bosses and no magic or summons of any kind. You’re a cold-blooded killer and I respect that.
There is no “right way” to play FromSoftware’s latest masterpiece. But there are at least two “wrong ways” that I urge gamers of all kinds to avoid. Let me explain.
#1) Rune Transfers
The first is pretty straightforward: don’t buy runes, the equivalent of both currency and XP in elden ring (also known as Souls), or accept them as gifts from other players. Yes, with the boost you will get from all these free (or paid) runes, you will be able to level up a lot, which will make the game much easier.
This is stupid. the whole point of elden ring and the souls The series more broadly is about overcoming the challenge and sense of satisfaction you get from thwarting obstacles that, at first glance, seemed insurmountable.
Again, I’m not the kind of purist who points the finger at other players for asking for help or using the full range of tools (magic spells, spirit ashes, etc.) that the developers put at your disposal. If it’s in the game, you should use it however you see fit, even if Azure’s Comet plus Cerulean Hidden Tear can turn you into a blue death laser mage for fifteen seconds.
But using Runes you didn’t get yourself is basically cheating, and frankly, FromSoftware should patch the ability to gift Runes altogether. They do not allow players to drop Smithing Stones or weapons of a higher level than the receiving player possesses. Why allow transfer of Runes? This directly deprives the players of the pleasure that they will feel when playing the game. And if you really want a ton of Runes, there are plenty of ways to farm them on your own time. At least put in the effort.
#2) Don’t sell your armor and weapons
I read this article on Polygon with mild horror. Its author writes:
“If I get something in a game, I use it. If I’m not going to use it, I’ll sell it. That’s what I’ve been doing in Elden Ring, and it’s been going really well, until last week when I realized I’d made a serious tactical mistake.
“I would like to emphasize that I have come quite far in elden ring before my hobby of selling items became a problem. At the time of this writing, I’ve played for 87 hours and still keep my inventory clean as a whistle. I have no regrets about my choices, except for one specific moment during Fia’s questline when I really regretted my choices.”
This is sheer madness. I understand wanting a tidy inventory in a game where the loot is basically different levels of the same weapon over and over again. In Devil either Destination you find the same junk over and over again, and each time you find better versions of said junk, so selling (or taking apart) these items makes sense.
This is not the case with elden ring A decade ago I wrote about the very different philosophies behind loot in Devil Y Dark souls, and that pontification still applies today. Just because you think you might not wear something on elden ring doesn’t mean you won’t.
Polygon’s Maddy Meyers figured this out at 87 hours into the game despite frequent warnings from other players, but only because she needed a piece of armor she sold for a quest. She regrets selling this item but not all the others. i’m horrified
In a nutshell, this isn’t the only reason you shouldn’t be selling things. Others include:
- The runes you receive for selling items in elden ring they are insignificant. A really extraordinary and rare item gives you less than a very basic enemy. There are better ways to get runes!
- You can store items you’re not using and manage that storage as you please, keeping your inventory clean without losing things you might regret later.
- This ain’t no booty like Devil. This is a game about collecting things. Each article has insights that help deepen your understanding of the world and its heady cast of characters.
- This game is vast and difficult to understand. You have no idea what items you might need later in the game.
- You can respect your character pretty much anytime after you get past the second main boss. So sure, maybe you’ve been messing around with a Force build, but who knows? Maybe you want to switch to a Holy or Magic focused build at some point, but you sold your Darkmoon Greatsword or Meteor Staff for 200 Runes and now you can’t get another one until the next playthrough. WHY??? WHY DO THIS?
Look, I’ll be blunt: only sell duplicate items, and only if you’re sure you don’t want to use them for different purposes (for example, infuse each one with different Ashes of War). Duplicates still won’t give you many runes, but at least you won’t miss out on anything. The elements of this game are just as crucial to the story as the characters, and often the two are deeply intertwined, as Maddy discovered during her search for Fia.
both graves elden ring Sins have one thing in common: they go against the spirit of the souls games. Getting free Runes is no better than cheating and you will suck the joy out of the experience as sure as anything else, because without a little bit of suffering you won’t understand what that joy is to begin with.
And selling all the cool weapons and armor you find will also rob you of a lot of enjoyment from the game, preventing you from changing your playstyle, or even just your appearance, for no good reason. This isn’t like other RPGs where you really have to constantly sell stuff just to manage inventory space (half of them will also charge you real money for more inventory space these days).
This is a game that invites you to constantly dive into your collection, whether it’s to learn more about The Lands Between or to try new things.
For example, about two-thirds of the way through my game of elden ring I decided to get rid of (but not sell) my heaviest armor, stop hanging around like a knight, and become a winter princess:
Now of course she doesn’t have the best defense against physical attacks, but she does have great magical/holy defense. And if I decide I need better armor for this or that fight, I can easily go through all the outfits I’ve collected and put on something else. Or if I find my current weapons insufficient (or obsolete), I can swap them out for something new, which I’ve done countless times in this game.
I guess some will say I’m the ‘gatekeeper’ here, but I disagree. I want players to enjoy the game for what it is, however they see fit, but at least according to the spirit of the game. The game absolutely rips you off when it comes to selling your inventory and it does it on purpose – it’s telling you not to. And I’m just repeating it so you don’t make the same mistake.
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