Our path to slaughter begins, like everyone else, with fashion. According to our group post on Elden BlingI experimented a lot with how my Tarnished Mary of Psamathe should look. Mostly changing different styles of rags and rusty armor. This was before I spent a day underground in Noxtelle and encountered the Night Maidens of the Eternal City.
Here’s the thing about Souls games. If the monster is even remotely humanoid and wears the clothing. There is a good chance it will drop that image so you can try it on for yourself. I fell in love with the smooth look of the Night Maiden’s armor as an assassin priestess. So quickly that when I stumbled upon half of the set. I spent a full 30 minutes clearing the rest from one mob near the zone’s shrine. For fashion, it was worth it.
But mods don’t just let you steal the look of a given enemy. Souls characters are defined by what they wear and how they fight, and through incursions and cooperative play. We can effectively role-play NPCs, bosses, and torments. It was never uncommon to see boss room corridors filled with challenge signs for characters dressed as Soler or Siegmeier fan favorites, or duelists dressed in Artorias’ garb.
So over the weekend, after a full day of big boss battles, I decided to do the unthinkable. I pulled out my Defiant Finger and signed up to join Noxtella’s (disarmingly tall) female warriors.
Cards on the table, I’m not good at PVP. The Souls games have an absurd variety of builds, and I’m often drawn into combat with some completely overblown wizard who wields the power of the gods in one hand and a god-killing sword in the other.
Elden Ring is also heavily skewed in favor of the defender. Whereas in previous games you only risked being invaded by using humanity or ember (items that potentially triggered co-op play), Elden Ring only puts you on the invasion list if you are actively cooperating or otherwise used ” I would like to be invaded please” item. Many players also use a ring that, when worn, calls “hunters” into play when invaded, turning a 2v1 into a 3v1.
All of which goes to show that I’ve been fooled more in the last few days than I’d like to admit.
But that makes those daring victories even better, and even just getting one of the bad guys is a win in my books. I’m also now convinced that intrusions are the funniest part of Elden Ring – from three co-op mates glaring at me and fidgeting over a ravine to a pot-bellied knight hiding in the bushes despite his orange glow, or me and the Masters will be mortally wounded. each other with a knife in the chest at the same time, PVP amuses.
What I’m really starting to appreciate about invasions is that they allow me to just inhabit the space. The monsters are immune to invaders, so I can explore this corner of Elden Ring at my leisure. Make it your home, learn its routes, find great ambush spots, or just feel like a giant ball at the top of the stairs.
Maria of Psamathe
During the day, Maria of Psamathe will continue on her way to Elden Lord as a good Tarnished One. She will continue to lend her blade to strangers, ask her friends for help in fighting nasty bosses. And unravel new secrets hidden in the Lands Between. But I accepted the call to PVP. And when the sun goes down, I plan to go down to the Eternal City again for another night of ritual killing with the Night Maidens.
Even if the murder is most often my own.