FromSoftware has said that like its Souls games, Elden Ring is a difficult and challenging experience but what sets it apart from the studio’s previous titles is that it focuses on reducing player stress especially during difficult moments.
Producer Yasuhiro Kitao explained this approach during the Taipei Game Show 2021 (transcribed by IGN) where he said that the development team ensured that it wasn’t adding unnecessary stress for players.
Elden Ring difficulty explained
Elden Ring‘s battles will be difficult. Kitao said that with enemies being “so strong,” it was important to balance other aspects of the game. As an example, he said that horses “provide a stress-free method of traveling across the long distances the player needs to travel in the game.” Kitao also revealed that Elden Ring‘s day/night cycle won’t significantly impact enemy placement or or encounters. “Changing enemies for all times of day would create a kind of pressure on users to play the game at various different times,” he explained. “We felt this was a stress our users could do without.”
Elden Ring features a vast map with areas that have difficult enemies. If players attempt to take down those enemies and die, the game allows them to respawn near the area of their death and re-attempt the challenge, should they wish. FromSoftware believes that this will make traveling less of a chore.
Opinion: Elden Ring’s approach to difficulty is welcome
Zarmena writes… I used to enjoy playing games on the highest difficulty, but lately, I’ve been leaning towards easier difficulties and playing games to simply enjoy the story and get lost in the world. FromSoftware’s focus on reducing unnecessary stress is welcome. There’s enough of that outside of games.