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Will the Elden Ring DLC be free?

Let‘s be clear upfront – the upcoming Elden Ring ‘Shadow of the Erdtree‘ DLC will absolutely not be free. FromSoftware has confirmed it will be a paid expansion requiring purchase. Some fans had hoped small updates like the recent Colosseum addition might mean free substantial DLC was on the horizon. Unfortunately, that is not the case. additional content of this scale will come at a price.

As an avid Elden Ring fan myself, I‘m eager to share why I believe the DLC is still well worth the cost, and what we might see when it releases later this year. First, let‘s dive into why Elden Ring has achieved such monumental success already, and why further content is highly anticipated.

Elden Ring‘s Record-Shattering Popularity

Simply put, Elden Ring has cemented itself as one of the most popular video games ever made just a year after launch. Let‘s look at some mind-blowing statistics:

  • Over 16.6 million copies sold as of August 2022 across platforms
  • The highest selling game of 2022 so far in the US
  • 12 million+ players on Steam, peak concurrent players nearing 1 million
  • Watched over 470 million hours on Twitch, surpassing games like GTA V
  • 124,000 peak concurrent players on Twitch at launch, breaking records

Compared to other blockbuster games, Elden Ring has achieved unprecedented engagement:

Game Copies Sold Peak Concurrent Players
Elden Ring 16.6 million 923,000 Steam players
Minecraft 238 million 912,000 in 2020
GTA V 170 million 360,000 on Steam

As someone who analyzes gaming data, these numbers indicate Elden Ring has one of the most dedicated and enthusiastic fanbases I‘ve ever seen. FromSoftware has struck gold with the perfect formula of expansive open world, layered RPG systems, and challenging gameplay. Fans are hungry for more.

What‘s in Store for the Elden Ring DLC?

Details remain scarce on what exactly the ‘Shadow of the Erdtree‘ Elden Ring expansion will include. But looking at FromSoftware‘s excellent track record with DLC for Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and other titles gives us clues:

  • New zones – Expect at least one major new area with several dungeons or mini-dungeons to explore. Snowy mountaintops or fiery underground caves perhaps?
  • Additional bosses – At minimum 4-5 new major boss fights. Ideal for testing new builds and strategies.
  • New weapons/spells – FromSoftware DLCs consistently add exciting new armaments. I‘d anticipate 10+ new options.
  • Fresh side quests – Further NPC storylines and side content help flesh out the world.
  • New lore reveals – DLC areas usually conceal fascinating new chunks of lore.

If the DLC matches or exceeds offerings like Dark Souls 3‘s ‘The Ringed City‘, Elden Ring newcomers are in for an incredible experience. Veterans will find challenges to test their skills further.

What Can We Expect from Elden Ring 2?

While Elden Ring‘s DLC journey is just beginning, FromSoftware has made it clear this is the start of a new franchise. Elden Ring 2 speculation is already running rampant amongst fans like myself. Here are just some possibilities a sequel could explore:

  • A prequel set during the Shattering – We could see the demigod battles firsthand.
  • An open world set in an entirely new realm apart from the Lands Between.
  • The ability to play as other factions like Demi-Humans or Beastmen.
  • A deeper character creator and more RPG dialogue options.
  • Mounted combat evolutions like jousting or mounted magic.
  • New lore reveals about the Erdtree, Greater Will, and Marika.

FromSoftware has set expectations high, so Elden Ring 2 would need to introduce compelling new features and areas rather than just expand the existing world. But the studio is clearly masters of their craft, so I believe they can deliver another masterpiece.

Maximizing Your Builds and Survival

While the basics of combat in Elden Ring are straightforward, truly mastering your builds and survivability against ruthless bosses takes some work. Here are tips I‘ve picked up from 100+ hours exploring the Lands Between:

  • For newcomers, either a Strength or Sorcery build is a good starting point. Strength will let you wield colossal weapons like Guts‘ Greatsword to smash foes. Sorceries like Glintstone Pebble provide excellent ranged damage.
  • Make sure to level Vigor to increase your health – this is arguably more important early than damage. Aim for at least 30-40 Vigor before late game.
  • Use spirit summons and NPC summon signs to draw boss aggression away from you. Mimic Tear is especially powerful.
  • When facing bosses, be patient and focus more on learning attack patterns than all-out offense at first. Look for openings to safely deal damage.
  • Keep multiple armament options available to deal with various enemy weaknesses. Strike damage maces can shatter crystal enemies, for example.
  • Invest in stamina boosting equipment so you can dodge, block, and attack more before exhaustion.

Hopefully these tips will give you a great head start on your own quest to become Elden Lord! There are still hundreds of tactics to master, but improving your fundamentals is key.

The Road Ahead in the Lands Between

The incredible reception for Elden Ring shows that FromSoftware has another legendary franchise on their hands. While the upcoming ‘Shadow of the Erdtree‘ DLC will cost extra, it should provide many hours of additional adventure and challenge for tarnished veterans and newcomers alike based on the studio‘s track record. I‘ll certainly be picking it up day one!

In the meantime, there are still secrets left to uncover in the treacherous Lands Between for intrepid tarnished. Not to mention the long road ahead filled with anticipation for what fresh ideas Elden Ring 2 may bring. This world has limitless potential for expansions and I for one can‘t wait to see what‘s next. We have many epic battles ahead of us!