- Elden Ring’s base game offers a dense and expansive world for players to explore and engage with.
- The addition of the spirit steed, Torrent, enhances player mobility and traversal in the game.
- However, the mounted combat in Elden Ring could use significant improvement, and the DLC should focus on addressing its flaws to enhance the overall gameplay experience.
As the wait for Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree DLC continues, some players are returning to the base game to fill the time. Whether they’re building up a save file for the DLC or just experimenting with different builds and PvP, there’s still a lot to offer in Elden Ring’s massive world. It’s the largest game FromSoftware has ever released, with an enormous density of content packed into every part of its landmass. Thankfully, players don’t need to spend all of their time in the Lands Between on foot.
To complement its open world, Elden Ring also employs a spirit steed to keep players moving briskly through it. Named Torrent, this horse allows players to essentially double their speed and jump height, on top of using Spiritspring shortcuts to shave off additional time. In general, Torrent is a positive addition to the game, and the poster art for Shadow of the Erdtree implies that the mysterious horse may even gain a backstory. However, if Elden Ring’s DLC wants to focus on Torrent, then it should also give Torrent’s mounted combat a major rework.
Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree DLC Should Make Torrent More Than a One-Trick Pony
Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree DLC has an opportunity to update Torrent and the player to better address FromSoftware’s attempts at platforming.
Elden Ring’s Mounted Combat Has A Lot Of Room For Improvement
Players have clicked with Elden Ring’s combat to varying degrees, but a consensus has formed around its horseback equivalent being one of its weakest links. Using a template of left-side and right-side light and heavy attacks, with the occasional unique attack like a lance charging forward, mounted combat was a catch-all solution that never fit especially well. The Elden Ring fandom’s long list of grievances about Torrent’s combat includes:
- The player has more combat options on foot than on horseback.
- Mounted melee is always worse than mounted magic.
- Bows suffer from being unable to use weapon skills.
- Greatbows and heavy artillery are reduced to melee weapons.
- Shields also count as melee weapons, and thus cannot block or guard counter on horseback.
- Torrent has no intended defensive options besides movement.
- Landing hits requires adjusting to Torrent’s imprecise movement.
- Weapon ranges are often deceptively short.
- Critical hits require dismounting.
- Being knocked off Torrent can happen surprisingly fast, and is disproportionately punishing.
- A fraction of Elden Ring’s bosses and enemies encourage Torrent’s use.
- PvE and PvP invasions disable Torrent.
Elden Ring was FromSoftware’s first attempt at horseback combat, and it shows. Torrent was designed to enhance navigation, and isn’t flexible enough to do anything else. Shadow of the Erdtree can’t afford to totally overhaul the system, but it should try to improve what’s already there.
Shadow of the Erdtree Should Give Players More Motivation To Fight On Torrent
Anything Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree expansion does to improve Torrent’s combat abilities would be appreciated. Introducing alternate mounts with unique heavy attacks, or horse equipment that confers them, would give players more of a reason to use Torrent in battles. Perhaps the single most impactful change Shadow of the Erdtree could make, beyond even revamping Elden Ring‘s endgame, is moving the invincibility frames on mounting and dismounting animations to Torrent’s initial dash, creating a proper mounted dodge. If that’s too much defensive power, then replacing heavy shield attacks with regular guarding should serve a similar purpose.
Better Torrent Fights Mean Better Elden Ring Fights
Different lock-on properties could be a major offensive boost, especially if melee strikes gain the tracking properties that mounted enemies often enjoy. Making Torrent’s combat feel fair and consistent would address many Elden Ring players’ complaints, and could set the stage for more interesting horseback encounters like a chase sequence or jousting over a pool of Scarlet Rot. Even one of these changes making it into Shadow of the Erdtree would drastically improve Elden Ring’s mounted combat, and hopefully, FromSoftware is using the expansion’s long development time to include reworks like it.
- February 25, 2022
- Online Co-Op , Online Multiplayer
- M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence
- How Long To Beat
- 58 Hours
- Platforms That Support Crossplay
- PS4 & PS5 and Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S
- PS Plus Availability