Elden Ring Developers Aim to Balance Gameplay for All Players

FromSoftware, the creators of Elden Ring, are well aware that most players use guides, but they still strive to cater to those who prefer to explore the game without external help. Hidetaka Miyazaki, the company’s president, acknowledges that consulting guides is “perfectly valid,” but insists it shouldn’t be a necessity.

If you’ve managed to play through a FromSoftware game without consulting any guides, you’re a rarity. The majority of players seek online help for understanding complex game mechanics, NPC questlines, boss strategies, and item descriptions in games like Dark Souls and Elden Ring. The intricate lore and challenging gameplay often drive players to online wikis and YouTube videos to piece together the narrative and strategies.

FromSoftware knows its players frequently turn to these resources, and Miyazaki confirmed this in an interview for PC Gamer’s cover story on the Shadow of the Erdtree expansion. “Of course, players are going to consult guides, and there’s going to be a wealth of information on the web and in their communities where they have access to the secrets and strategies. We expect that,” he said.

Despite this, the studio aims to surprise and challenge players, including those who rely heavily on guides. Elden Ring’s bosses, for example, have attack patterns designed to catch even seasoned players off guard with unexpected moves. But when it comes to secrets and game design, FromSoftware doesn’t intentionally plan around the existence of guides.

“We obviously understand [players use guides], but we don’t make or plan anything with that as a prerequisite,” Miyazaki explained. “If anything, we try to cater to the player who is completely blind and wants to go through organically. If they can’t do it, then there’s some room for improvement on our behalf, and we’d like to try to embrace those players more in the future.”

For the upcoming Shadow of the Erdtree expansion, Miyazaki expressed confidence in players’ ability to uncover secrets and overcome challenges, provided they’ve progressed sufficiently in the base game. The goal is to ensure that all players, regardless of whether they use guides or not, can enjoy and conquer the game’s intricacies.

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