I had no intention of becoming a murderer. Like many others, my Tarnished was content to oppose the inhabitants of The Lands Between in merry cooperation, helping strangers fight tough bosses and quit. practical reminders about dogs. In all that time, I might have been invaded twice, and not once had I thought I could be the idiot spoiling people’s fun.
And yet, for the past three nights, I have ritually laid my evil marker at Nokstella’s feet and dared to enter alien worlds – great sword in hand and evil intent in my heart.
Trained to kill
Our path to carnage begins, like everything, with fashion. According to our group article on Elden Bling, I experimented a lot on the look of my Ternie, Marie de Psamathe, largely swapping between different styles of rags and rusty armor. This was before I spent a day underground in Nokstella and stumbled across the Eternal City Night Girls.
Here’s the thing about Souls games. If a monster is even vaguely humanoid and wears clothes, chances are they’ll drop that look for you to try out for yourself. I fell in love with the fluid, priestess assassin look of the Night Maiden armor so immediately that after falling on half the set, I spent 30 minutes straight grinding the rest of a crowd next door. of the area sanctuary. For fashion, it was worth it.
But fashion does not only allow you to imitate the look of a given enemy. Souls characters are defined by what they wear and how they fight, and through invasions and co-op we can effectively play as NPCs, bosses, and mooks. It’s never been uncommon to see the corridors of the boss room filled with summoning panels for characters dressed as fan-favorites Solaire or Siegmeyer, or duelists dressed in Artorias’ garb.
So over the weekend, after an entire day of battling major bosses, I decided to do the unthinkable. I pulled out my reluctant finger and signed up to join the (disarmingly tall) female warriors of Nokstella.
Cards on the table, I’m not good at PVP. Soul games have an absurd variety of builds, and I’ll often find myself fighting an absolutely empowered wizard who wields the power of gods in one hand and a sword to slay gods in the other.
Elden Ring is also heavily biased towards the defender. Whereas in previous games you risked an invasion simply for using a humanity or an ember (items that potentially enabled co-op), Elden Ring only puts you on the invasion list if you are actively co-operating, or using the “I’d like to be invaded please”. Many players also use a ring which, when worn, summons “hunters” into their game upon invasion, turning a 2v1 into a 3v1.
All this to say that over the last few days I have been absolutely ridiculed on more than I care to admit.
But that makes those cheeky wins even better, and even just getting one of the rogues is a win on my books. I’m also now convinced that the invasions are quietly the funniest part of Elden Ring – from three cooperative buddies staring and angrily staring at me over a ravine to the pot-bellied knight hiding in a bush despite his orange glow, or me and a host fatally stabbing each other in the chest at the same time, PVP is hilarious.
What I really like about invasions is that they just let me inhabit a space. Invaders are not seen by monsters, so I’m free to explore this corner of the Elden Ring as I please. Make it my home, learn its routes, find great ambush spots, or just thrill with a giant orb at the top of the stairs.
During the day, Marie de Psamathe will continue her way to Elden Lord like a good Ternie. She’ll continue to lend her blade to strangers, ask friends for help with troublesome bosses, and unlock more secrets hidden in The Lands Between. But I’ve accepted the call to PVP, and when the sun goes down, I plan to head back down to the Eternal City for another night of ritual murder with the Night Maidens.
Even though this murder is mostly mine.