Elden Ring’s latest PvP problem just got nerfed into the ground, as part of From Software’s latest round of combat balance changes.
PvP in Elden Ring is a mess at the best of times, but one particular Ash of War (collectible abilities that can be bound to your equipped weapon) recently turned the game’s multiplayer combat into a hellscape.
That skill is Endure, and it provides a massive boost to damage absorption and poise, the latter of which prevents your character from staggering when hit. Blissfully, developer From Software finally separated PvP and PvE balance into two categories in a massive October 2022 update. Sadly, not everything went as planned, and Endure received a particularly pungent buff.
For a brief period of time, Elden Ring PvP players were able to cast Endure ad nauseam, preventing most incoming damage while doing absolutely nothing else. Thankfully, From Software cottoned on to its overpowered nature pretty quickly, and has now had its duration significantly reduced as of this latest patch.
Elden Ring can never really seem to nail its issues with PvP balancing. The massive PS5 and Xbox Series X|S action RPG might be a game of the year contender, but could its overwhelming size be just as much to its detriment as its benefit?
I say this because while I love how enormous The Lands Between is as a setting, there’s a ton of stuff to find and learn about. When it comes to balancing abilities for PvP, then, this can’t be an easy thing to get right. And the issues with Endure are far from the only woes Elden Ring’s PvP has seen over the past year.
Back in August, From Software had to nerf the frustrating Bloodhound Step Ash of War as one of the game’s most infamous examples of balancing a broken ability. At least now that PvP and PvE balancing are being addressed separately, From Software can place an ability under a microscope while only impacting one aspect of the game.
Not that that doesn’t come with its own set of risks (Endure wasn’t exactly the most treasured ability before its colossal buff), but it does mean the developer can really work to fix Elden Ring’s most egregious PvP issues.
Ultimately, I think Elden Ring’s size means that From Software won’t be able to effectively balance PvP completely. There’s always going to be something that upsets that desired balance.
I think I would prefer From Software’s next action RPG to be a bit smaller in scale. Something akin to Bloodborne or Sekiro, which have relatively fewer weapons and builds, but a good deal of depth within each.