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Before Elden Ring’s massive success in 2023, Soulsborne titles were generally regarded as hardcore games reserved for the most talented and obsessed gamers. They have always been praised for their quality and their impact on gaming is undeniable, but most, are scared to play. The franchises’ reputation for being extremely challenging makes it seem inaccessible to the everyday gamer. Fast forward to the aftermath of Elden Ring’s release and the internet is suddenly flooded with content from first time souls players having a blast. Everything from the deliberate combat to the unrestricted exploration presented a great new experience for newcomers to the genre. The game does a fantastic job of making that first step into Limgrave feel like such a breath of fresh air. It makes players want to know, do and see more.

Those familiar with the franchise know full well that knowing, doing and seeing more kind of means dying more. Before long, many new Elden Ring players and streamers changed their content type from playthroughs to just good ol’ rage moments. With that, lets explore the most rage inspiring people, places and things in the early game.

  1. Tree Sentinel:

Imagine playing what you thought was a beautiful, immersive, well-paced game with freedom to explore only to be met by a boss level enemy mere minutes after the intro cutscene. The Tree Sentinel is a hard reality check for new players who are inexperienced in getting smacked down ‘souls’ style’ and we meet him right after the tutorial. He is the bully of all bullies and he welcomes under levelled players with his menacing armored tank of a horse and his giant halberd. He more or less one shots new players with ease and his horse’s AOE attack is almost as wicked.

The truth is we were never really meant to take him on that early. Even veteran Souls players know to avoid him. He’s a trap. A FromSoftware prank on new players that can simply be avoided by going around or just sneaking past him. Still, countless tarnished would bang their heads against this brick wall of an enemy till they deleted the game in raging frustration.

Elden Ring is so packed with random encounters and beautiful scenery it’s very easy to get carried away. Players keep riding further and further into the Lands Between looking for adventure but the unfortunate ones who ride east will find nothing but trouble. What’s east? It’s a horrid place called Caelid with giant mutant crows, giant rabid dogs, ballistae, armored soldiers and a cancer breathing dragon. Caelid is arguably the most oppressive, hostile location a new player could ever find themselves. Even after grinding up to a decent level, Caelid still feels like Caelid and its either ‘git gud’ or get going. Losing precious runes here often means dealing with hordes of the aforementioned enemies. The whole region is one big rage quit catalyst.

Margit The Fell Omen is the game’s first real boss. He is the first real test players face and unlike the remarkably easy Soldier of Godrick he will skill check you into a raging frenzy.

He hits like a truck, throws projectiles and has very unorthodox moves. Fighting him seems very counter intuitive because rolling away from his attacks for instance usually gets players clipped. The trick is to roll into them but does one pull that off when natural instinct and muscle memory from every other game screams ‘roll away’! Margit will beat the living runes out of anyone who challenges him without skill or a plan. Defeating him is essential for progressing the story so once again players must ‘git gud’ or simply rage quit.

There are some enemy types that don’t get enough credit for the torment they inflict on players. They are not even mini bosses, but boy can they ruin the fun. Most agree the rotten, rabid dogs were bad enough, but no. The devs thought ‘hmm how can we create an even bigger nuisance?’. So, they replaced the dog with an avian apex predator, gave it katanas for feet and made them fly around dropping explosives like bomber planes just for kicks. Once alerted their aggro know no bounds and they will pursue players to the ends of the earth.

Warhawks will cost you all your runes if you try to engage more than one at a time so don’t do it. It’s a winning recipe for rage quitting.

The laws of physics are alive and well in Elden Ring. Many areas in the game incorporate platforming and it’s always a harrowing, intense experience. Death by gravity can occur at any time though, not just when it’s a platforming area. During boss fights like Margit, players often die from lack of situational awareness as they panic roll off the cliff again and again in the heat of battle. Sometimes players fall to their death but the game has nothing to do with it. Sinister messages left by other players serve as a siren song that lures unsuspecting tarnished to their literal downfall. Players should be wary of ‘Try Jumping’, ‘Time to Jump’ and other such messages. Don’t fall for it. There is only rage at the bottom of that cliff.

written by Narteh Kweku Djorbuah Tetteh, content contributor for Esports Africa News

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