Elden Ring giveth and Elden Ring taketh away.Bandai NamcoJoseph Yaden
Elden Ring justreceived its biggest update so far, in the form of patch 1.03. This patch includes major nerfs and buffs, along with new quality of life features. In total, over 40 new changes have been implemented — many of which will impact you regardless of your play style. Here, we’ll dive into patch 1.03’s most notable features you should be aware of in Elden Ring.
A common complaint during the early stages of Elden Ring is tied to the lack of low-level Smithing Stones. You eventually gain the ability to buy them but not until you’ve reached a certain point in the story, which could take you dozens of hours.
The 1.03 patch not only increases the drop rates of Smithing Stones, but also allows you to buy them from certain early game NPCs including the Nomadic Merchant and Isolated Merchant (and possibly more). Unfortunately, these merchants only carry a limited number of Smithing Stones, but it’s certainly better than nothing.
The 1.03 patch has also increased the damage of certain spells such as Gravity Well, Collapsing Stars, and Crystal Barrage. Beyond that, the Glintstone Cometshard, Comet, and Night Comet spells now require less FP to utilize, and have also received damage buffs. Finally, several spells including Star Shower, Stars of Ruin, Greatblade Phalanx, and Shard Spiral all require less FP consumption to utilize, making them more effective. Magic users rejoice!
While the Hoarfrost Stomp Ash of War was highly effective during PvE scenarios, players were spamming the move during competitive encounters, giving them an unfair advantage. This maneuver’s damage has been nerfed and the cast time has been increased, causing it to be more balanced. This, unfortunately, means it’s less useful during PvE situations, such as the difficult boss battle against Malenia, Blade of Miquella.
Another highly effective strategy was to use the Sword of Night and Flame weapon skill, which has also been nerfed. Specifically, the skill’s damage has been decreased, so it won’t be as effective. It doesn’t appear like any other aspects of the skill have been nerfed aside from pure damage, so it’s not completely obsolete—just not as good as it once was.
Arguably the best spirit summon in Elden Ring is the Mimic Tear, which effectively duplicates your moveset and attacks. This spirit’s damage has been nerfed, along with its movement pattern. Players were using the Mimic Tear as a crutch to take down bosses since it made certain battles substantially easier. You’re still able to utilize the spirit, but it won’t be as overpowered as before.
One of the most noteworthy changes comes to NPCs in Elden Ring version 1.03. NPCs you’ve already encountered will now appear on the map, making them easier to keep track of. In addition, a new NPC named Jar-Barin has been added, along with several new quest phases to existing NPCs. The patch notes also explain that new summonable NPCs have been added to certain boss encounters.