An Elden Ring warrior prepares to start a new game plus and play a faith build.

Image: FromSoftware / Bandai Namco

FromSoftware released another massive update to Elden Ring on Tuesday and players are celebrating and beamoning its long list of balance changes and bug fixes. Rather than weaken fan favorite weapons like the Moonveil katana, the game’s biggest patch yet makes a ton of other stuff stronger. Plus bleed, one of the strongest builds, and madness effects have been dialed back and the extremely broken Carian Retaliation skill is no longer bugged in online multiplayer. You love to see it.

The majority of patch 1.04, the game’s second major overhaul since it was released nearly two months ago, addresses game balance with a big focus on Colossal weapons, magic, and weapon skills. For every nerf there are dozens of adjustments making strength and faith-based builds even more powerful. Some of the more notable ones include faster attack speed and lower recovery time for the game’s biggest weapons, as well as quicker caste times for a ton of spells. Some incantations also have poise now, meaning it will be easier to actually pull them off before getting wrecked.

Here are some other high-level additions, which include one for a beloved recurring Souls character that already has a number of in-game events to his name.

  • Added an option to turn camera auto rotate function ON/OFF
  • Added some event phases for the NPC “Patches”
  • Slightly increased FP and Stamina growth rate at lower levels

The update also tackles two big problems for players online. The first had to do with bleed and madness animations. Bleed is a condition that players often exploit to enact hemorrhages on their opponents, but with the right builds, this status effect can destroy certain types of enemies and players within seconds. Madness, on the other hand, if accrued in enough amounts could do things like decrease your health bar. But based on the wording of the patch notes, it appears that both these ailments as they existed in their previous forms added extra stuns as they built up, and were basically overkill in certain PVP encounters where players were getting trapped in endless stagger animations. Both have been recalibrated:

  • Shortened the length of the madness afflicted animation.
  • Lowered the speed of madness buildup recovery.
  • Fixed a bug where the animation when inflicted with blood loss and frostbite was bigger than originally planned.

An Elden Ring mage prepares an incantation free from being staggered.

Image: FromSoftware / Bandai Namco

The other issue revolved around the Carian Retaliation is an Ash of War skill which summons daggers that attack your opponent when you parry their attacks. In PVP, however, the daggers became invisible when they attacked, while also returning huge amounts of damage, making it hard to counter. The patch fixes that bug and makes the skill weaker overall.

Patch 1.04 also fixes another important bug. When you kill all the bosses in Liurnia of the Lake an NPC invader called Festering Fingerprint Vyke is supposed to arrive. Some people don’t know this, but Vyke is the guy on the cover of the game. Technically, Vyke is one of the most narratively significant characters in the entire thing, as he tells a story that mirrors that of the player and helps build out a storyline with one of the bigger factions of the game. And, on top of that, he’s kind of easy to miss. So having Vyke not spawn wasn’t just making it impossible for players to finish a certain questline, it was robbing them of a pretty huge lore thing for those invested in that kind of thing.

Just as important with any Elden Ring patch is what didn’t get addressed, and plenty of players are breathing a heavy sigh of relief seeing the Moonveil and Rivers of Blood katanas come out of this latest update unscathed. With their ongoing overpowered popularity, it’s probably just a matter of time before they get hit, but for now FromSoftware seems to be trying to boost other builds to be just as viable instead.

Of course, nothing is ever exactly as it seems in Elden Ring, and the developers like to keep certain changes closer to the vest. “Other enemy and weapon balance changes,” reads one very ominous and opaque patch note. We’ll no doubt discover what those are in the coming days as players get more time testing patch 1.04 in the wild.

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