How I would Improve Combat

All in all, I think you guys nailed combat! Playing primarily as a strength 2H based build with about 15 hours in, everything there feels fantastic. However, I think are a few things that could be tweaked to make other playstyles more interesting.

Blocking seems underpowered. Perhaps its just the shields I’ve picked up thus far, but blocking a basic arrow attack and still taking a lot of damage feels bad. It makes me want to simply dodge instead, as small damage can add up when healing is limited. I think some damage going through the shield makes sense, depending on the size/requirement to wield that shield and the attack. Overall, I think shields/blocking could use a buff to completely negate weaker attacks, with the trade off that you can only block so many before your stance is broken, perhaps even opening you up to a visceral attack (like the back stab).

In the current state, parrying doesn’t feel that strong. Opening up yourself to get attacked should have a better payoff. I think a visceral attack would work well here, similar to the back stab attack already implemented.

I think magic users should have some ability to cast basic, more magical feeling skills ,without consuming Focus. Having a mage swing around a staff like a warrior feels off. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be ranged attacks. I think a magic styled/melee combo could be a very cool option to make selecting magic based weapons more appealing. For example, perhaps a mage could have a basic combo that creates small fire eruptions directly in front of them or in a small cone.

Enemy Tracking
I’ve noticed the enemy tracking feels slightly over tuned on some skills. It doesn’t feel good to dodge a charging attack from an enemy and have them turn on a swivel and hit you anyways. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy challenging combat encounters, but some enemy skills with tracking that strong can feel cheap.


I second the parrying !! I personally feel parrying gives too few options in terms of follow up

I’m using a medium round shield and block a lot, but I don’t feel blocking is weak for the reason(s) you mentioned. Taking the damage means little with proper armor and sustain. Taking 0 damage never made any sense to me as you’re still receiving the trauma. Big defenses and sustain should be a key aspect for any tank/frontliner so if you’re often jeopardized from this minor chip damage you need to beef up. (Although having said that, it’s possible some enemies were doing a touch too much damage through the shield.)

Anyway, the issue is being poise broke while still having stamina on block. I get it if I wasn’t blocking, but if I manage my stamina properly and don’t go into negative, don’t poise break me.

AI cannot reach players safe spotting with ranged attacks. Ithink its primary concern for why ranged attacks use consumables or consume Focus…

Adding passive HP regen when safe spotting.

I second the riposte!

I love all the systems that you dont seem to lol

Got a shield, as you level up they definitely block more. If I’m confident about an attack timing I parry, and that opens up for a nice couple hits. Those couple hits give a pile of focus, which I can use to unleash whatever I like

And I love that you need to do basic attacks to get focus. Giving magic builds a ranged basic attack could be a good idea though for sure, but seeing all the “focus increase” abilities and all the fun stuff I can put on a staff… I’m already looking forward to a magic playthrough.

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Really? Dang, i have heavy armor on and a heavy shield and am taking a fair amount of damage on block. ( this is around level 18). Maybe i need to ugrade it more, but taking chunks is my main complaint. I think something around 90-95% damage reduction would feel better.

That makes sense! Perhaps i worded my suggestion poorly, but im thinking something more along the lines of a basic combo that feels more akin to something a mage would do. It doesnt need to be ranged.

Bashing an enemy with a staff feels off to me. The basic attack combo could still be melee based. For example, animate the attacks as close range spells in front of them that effectively have the range of melee attacks.

I admittedly could level up my shield more, but it feels weird to block 3-4 attacks and be at 50% health while wearing a plate armor and a square shield.

As for magic, i agree that having a melee component is fun! I just think the melee combos should fit a mage theme better. Think less blunt force trama and more close/melee ranged spell-like attacks for the basic combos.

Parrying does give a good opportunity to counter attack when successful, but a well spaced charge attack is usually going to be more safe, consistent, and easier to pull off. I think parry attacks should ultimately do damage on par with back attacks since wiffing a parry has some huge trade offs

I’m still not sure about this, but I think the damage taken should scale with STR/HP. The weaker you are physically, the bigger the trauma, even if you have a good shield.

How much hp do you have?

Im at 17 HP. I get its on the low side. The point is though why block and take a chunk of damage AND stamina damage, when you can just dodge instead. Yes, some enemies will bounce, but its not that great of payoff. Blocking is underpowered compared to dodging.

Id go with the general fromsoft formula and have medium+ shields block 100% physical damage, and have other damage types bleed through it. Make heavier shields even better at blocking and more restitant to stun break. Make lighter shields better at parrying.

I guess im just a souls vet and prefer the typical fromsoft formula.

Medium+ shields get 100% physical damage negation

Light shields gets less than 100% physical damage negation, but have better parries

Heavy shields block more effectively with less stamina damage.

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I’ve actually come to dislike 100% negation. It’s the stamina consumption that should probably be buffed, if it’s weak to block.

Something else I’d like to see is the Elden Ring counter attack (Block + attack). Medium shields can get a bonus for this action. Then you’d have:

  • Small shields are best for parrying.
  • Medium shields are best for counter attacks.
  • Large shields best for blocking.

I would also allow all weight classes to shove, but the effectiveness of the shove be based on your total weight. So, a character with 30 weight would do very little poise damage but 200 weight or whatever would do significant poise damage.

I absolutely agree. Also, it’s not based in reality for someone to turn around THAT fast with a 15kg axe after landing a 20m jump. There’s momentum in that weight. Try putting your car in reverse on the highway, that doesn’t work either, you first need to get to a halt.

Regarding parry, incl:

They need to add a clearer animation and an initial help text screen so people see it, but a successful parry actually fills your focus bar so you can do a allergist attack.

It’s a cool innovation so that we don’t all do the same standard riposte after a parry. It also allows for cool other ideas such as:

  • AoE rune attack instead of 1:1 riposte
  • parry enemy A but shoot magic skill at enemy B, so you could keep 1 enemy as a “parry pet” to give you unlimited focus

You can already use the parry stun to run behind things and backstab them, In fact you can do that off a block bounce if you want to:

Shields are very powerful because they open enemies up to free damage in a game where most melee weapons can’t stagger basic enemies with their normal attacks. The health cost would be a tradeoff but the game currently has absurdly broken gear/stat options which invalidate any of the core gameplay mechanics, so something like chip damage on block is irrelevant when you can fill your entire healthbar for free in a single multihit Focus attack.

My biggest concern for combat is that people think affix rolling on gear is gameplay and left unchecked these runaway ARPG stats will crush any kind of grounded soulslike combat the game tries to pull off.

Have you tried going full weight armor with the heal on block enchantment and infusion? you can literally heal yourself when blocking. And I disagree with you. Having broken builds in the game that take time to build but pay off by breaking the game, is one of the best feelings I get. Just make some optional bosses accordingly. The echo knight is a good example.

As stated above, I think the blocking works as is. It’s a little weird to get used to at first. I tried to use a shield while staying light so I was only wearing a chest piece and nearly died. But after I realized the armor stat was based on shield plus armor I changed that up and it felt better.

I think the parrying is also already extremely powerful. I know you don’t get a visceral per se, but you do get 100+ focus and that for the most part should give you enough focus to do 1 or 2 rune attacks which can really do some damage. I’d view it like a visceral of your choice.