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Getting ready for Shadow of the Erdtree in Elden Ring

Shadow of the Erdtree is finally announced! June 21st 2024 is the day that we get to continue our story in the Lands Between. Players (including myself) are getting hyped-up, and whilst there are loads of people with multiple characters, many playthroughs and plenty of options to tackle the DLC. Some of us aren’t quite at that level.

How does one prepare for a DLC in a game like Elden Ring?

So far as I can tell, I have two options, both of which require some consideration……Do you re-spec your current build in your current playthrough? Or do you start a New Game Plus?

I think I’ve found the answer in doing my research and putting this piece together. But how will you be getting ready for Shadow of the Erdtree?

Shadow of the Erdtree – pick your poison: Re-spec and reshape your destiny

Dreaming of wielding colossal hammers instead of dainty daggers? Re-speccing lets you instantly morph your character, unlocking new combat styles and spellcasting prowess. Here’s the beauty:

  • Instant Gratification: Ditch the sorcery staff for a giant sword – BOOM! New playstyle, same world.
  • Progress Intact: All your hard-earned items and explored areas remain, ready for your newly minted build.
  • Experimentation Frenzy: Got multiple Larval Tears? Try various builds, finding your perfect combat groove.

But beware, Tarnished, for the path of re-spec holds thorns:

  • Larval Tear Limits: These precious items are finite, demanding careful planning for multiple build switches.
  • Stuck at Your Level: Your current level persists, potentially making certain builds weaker until further investment.
  • Enemies Don’t Scale Up: While your build changes, enemies won’t get much tougher, offering a potentially less challenging experience.
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Shadow of the Erdtree – pick your poison: NG+ The Gauntlet Awaits

Craving a true test of mettle? NG+ throws you into a world where enemies have bulked up, their attacks sting harder, and runes flow like wine. This path offers:

  • Steel Yourself: Prepare for a brutal dance with death, pushing your combat skills to new heights.
  • Rune Riches: Enemies shower you with more runes, accelerating your new build’s leveling journey.
  • Late-Game Treasures: Dive straight into previously locked areas and nab powerful gear you missed the first time.

However, Tarnished, remember NG+ comes with its own set of shackles:

  • Back to Basics: Say goodbye to quest progress, key items, and Great Runes – reacquiring them is your new quest.
  • Re-spec Delay: Stuck with your current build until you reach Rennala again, forcing you to play your old style for a while.
  • Limited Build Tweaks: You can only enter NG+ with your current build, restricting experimentation compared to multiple re-specs.

The Verdict:

Ultimately, the path you forge depends on your desires:

  • Instant build changes and exploration of different styles within the same world? Re-spec is your champion.
  • A fresh challenge with tougher enemies and quicker access to late-game content? NG+ beckons.

Bonus Tip: Combine the two! Re-spec before starting NG+ to enter with your desired setup and enjoy the increased difficulty with a new playstyle.

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Time is key

I’m personally in two minds. I’d love to start a new game plus, but I think I can re-spec where I’m at, which is after the ending. So I can start Shadow of the Erdtree straight away (assuming that the DLC starts post-main campaign).

There’s a part of me that would really like to start the game again, carrying all of my gear over. But not being able to re-spec and start “fresh” means it might be a waste of time. Especially if I can’t find the time to complete another, harder playthrough.

Maybe trying to re-spec, and research my new Shadow of the Erdtree build is the way for me to go? What do you think you’ll do?

More importantly, what build are you thinking of trying in Shadow of the Erdtree? Especially when there’s new classes and playstyles coming, too. I don’t want to re-build, only to find that I’ve got myself stuck with stats that won’t work with something new and cool. Let’s see what FromSoftware deliver!

True first-world problems, eh?

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