Exploring the Depths: Navigating ELDEN RING's Shadow of the Erdtree Without Starting Over

Welcome to the definitive look at the hotly anticipated Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, examining the pivotal question on every Elden Ring fan’s mind: do you dare begin this new chapter as yourself – a fresh character – or will you be journeying through the undiscovered content as your seasoned warrior from Elden Ring base game? We aim not only to answer this question but to guide you and maximise your experience throughout this new chapter in a legendary saga.

Adventures Continue: Why Your ELDEN RING Journey Shouldn't Restart for DLC

To Start Anew or Not: The ELDEN RING DLC Conundrum

The Elden Ring universe is large, hard and full of secrets, and the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC continues its richness. The temptation of restarting, this possibility to discover again the Lands Between with a new protagonist, it can be strong. But Elden Ring’s last addition is not a revolution. Meant neither to affect the dynamics of the core game nor add new game mechanics or systems, unlike other expansions that transform the gaming world, Shadow of the Erdtree offers a cornucopia of new content with which you can enrich your experience, and not remodel it.

Navigating Through Shadows with Your Battle-Hardened Ally

If you start with a new character, what’s the point of going with a used one? Firstly, you need to beat Starscourge Radahn (a major quest boss of the base game) and Mohg, Lord of Blood (a major endgame boss) to unlock the DLC. Even if you did have the time and energy to tackle the story anew, you also need to build a character that is good enough to blaze through those formidable bosses. Most people don’t.

Moreover, Shadow of the Erdtree is designed around the cadence of the endgame. Bringing a character with you who hasn’t experienced the highs and lows of the story told within the Elden Ring can mean facing challenges late in the game with little of the firepower or currency necessary for survival, and your path through the new content would be a grind that might sour the experience for you and thus inhibit or altogether prevent you from experiencing the new mysteries of the Land of Shadow.

Preserving Your Achievements: The Practical Path Forward

Besides the narrative continuity, starting Shadow of the Erdtree with the character that you’re playing in Elden Ring is a simple matter of practicality. You’ve spent hours playing through the Lands Between, and have gained valuable resources: Golden Seeds, powerful weapons, Sites of Grace. Without heading back across the pond, a lot of this gear would need to be found again – something that hits especially hard when you’re only just at the beginning of the new adventure.

New Game+ Considerations: When Starting Over Makes Sense

There is one exception to the ‘don’t start over’ caveat: players who are in the midst of a New Game+ cycle. The robust difficulty setting and your intimate knowledge of a game’s mechanics could well make the DLC an exhilarating extension of your grind. If so, speed and strategy will be your friends as you prepare for the DLC’s launch.

Flexibility in Your Journey: The Power to Respec

Reluctant to start because you want to try a new build? Don’t worry, because Elden Ring has you covered with a respec system – you can reallocate and replenish your stats, letting you rebuild for the DLC, and start out playing Shadow of the Erdtree, exactly the way you want to play it, without the pressure of your previous choices.

Why ELDEN RING Continues to Captivate

With the release of Shadow of the Erdtree still ahead of us, Elden Ring stands firmly as an enduring phenomenon, something that grows and deepens, confounds and enchants, as players traverse its lands and new interpretations of its world are shared. It’s unlike any other game in the way its storytelling and gameplay, its narrative and mechanics, combine to generate meaningful player freedom. It’s something every games designer seeks; an experience that lingers with us long after we’ve pressed the power button and the lights on the screen have darkened.

Unveiling the Shadow: Understanding ELDEN RING's Latest Expansion

With its new game plus feature and Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, Elden Ring isn’t throwing you new content to play with and see what happens. It’s inviting you to share in the secrets and beauty of a world built from the ground up to be replayed and reboned in countless different Mon ways. The first decision to be made as you stand on the precipice of this new experience and decide whether to create an all-new character or pick up your old one is important, but as long as you carry with you a touch of what you know and the reasons behind your choices, you’ll be able to make the right decision for how to experience the Lands Between.

Either way, it’s into the darkness with the friends you kept or with someone new, but Elden Ring’s world really is so huge that there is always – always – more to find, and even more to fight. Beneath the shadow of the Erdtree, another chapter of the Elden Ring…

Jun 15, 2024
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