The Unique Levelling System in Elden Ring’s Shadow Of The Erdtree Expansion

Having had the opportunity to play a portion of Elden Ring’s expansion Shadow Of The Erdtree, one aspect that stands out is the unique levelling system introduced in the DLC. While my initial preview touched on various aspects of the expansion, I failed to delve into the intricacies of this standalone levelling system. In this article, I aim to provide a comprehensive analysis of the system based on my experience with the Gravesite Plains.

The Role of Crosses, Scadutree Fragments, and Revered Ash Blessings

The standalone levelling system in Shadow Of The Erdtree centers around three main components: Crosses, Scadutree Fragments, and Revered Ash Blessings. Crosses, which are scattered throughout The Land Of Shadow, serve as guiding beacons for players, leading them to new areas within the DLC. These golden shafts of light are said to be the “footsteps of Miquella,” hinting at their significance in the game world. Interestingly, NPCs mention the importance of following these Crosses, adding a layer of mystery to their purpose.

Scadutree Fragments, on the other hand, are the primary resource of the new levelling system. Similar to flask shards or Golden Seeds from the base game, players have the choice to utilize Scadutree Fragments to enhance their stats when resting at designated locations. However, it’s important to note that these buffs are only effective within the DLC areas. Once players leave The Land Of Shadow, the buffs associated with Scadutree Fragments are lost.

Revered Ash Blessings function similarly to Scadutree Fragments but provide flat buffs to summonable allies instead. These blessings can be acquired through various means, such as defeating minibosses or discovering rare loot in hard-to-reach areas. The introduction of Revered Ash Blessings adds another layer of customization to the levelling system, allowing players to enhance their companions’ abilities within the DLC.

The Impact of Optional Buffs on Gameplay

As I reflect on my experience with the levelling system in Shadow Of The Erdtree, I contemplate the design decisions made by FromSoftware. The optional nature of redeeming Ash Blessings and Fragments raises intriguing gameplay possibilities. Players are given the choice to enhance their characters with buffs for a smoother progression through the DLC or opt to challenge themselves by forgoing these advantages.

From my limited exposure to the expansion, I perceive the buffs offered by Scadutree Fragments as essential for most players looking to strengthen their characters or compensate for any deficiencies in their build. However, the optional nature of these buffs caters to players seeking a heightened level of difficulty or a more challenging experience without additional assistance. It remains to be seen how the absence of buffs will impact gameplay difficulty, a question that will likely be answered upon the expansion’s release on June 21st.

The standalone levelling system in Elden Ring’s Shadow Of The Erdtree expansion introduces a fresh dynamic to the game, offering players the choice to customize their gameplay experience. The incorporation of Crosses, Scadutree Fragments, and Revered Ash Blessings adds depth to character progression and creates a compelling narrative around exploration and decision-making. As players embark on their journey through The Land Of Shadow, the levelling system serves as a pivotal aspect of the gameplay, shaping the player’s experience in unpredictable ways.


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