The Intriguing Levelling System in Elden Ring’s Expansion

Having had the opportunity to experience a portion of Elden Ring’s expansion Shadow Of The Erdtree, I was immediately drawn to the innovative levelling system introduced in the DLC. While I touched upon this briefly in my initial preview, I feel the need to delve deeper into the intricacies of this standalone feature.

The Role of Crosses

One of the core components of the levelling system in Shadow Of The Erdtree are the mysterious Crosses scattered throughout The Land Of Shadow. These luminous symbols, often referred to as the “footsteps of Miquella,” serve as guiding beacons for players, leading them to new areas within the expansion. While they may appear similar to the familiar Sites-of-Grace, Crosses cannot be interacted with in the same manner.

Closely tied to the Crosses are the Scadutree Fragments, which play a pivotal role in the new levelling system. These fragments act as a currency of sorts, offering players the choice to enhance their stats when resting at Graces. However, it’s important to note that these buffs are only applicable within the DLC areas – once players venture outside The Land Of Shadow, the effects will dissipate.

In addition to Scadutree Fragments, players will also come across Revered Ash Blessings, which function similarly but provide enhancements to summonable companions instead. These blessings can be obtained through various means, such as defeating challenging enemies or discovering hidden treasures in hard-to-reach locations.

As I reflect on my experience with these new mechanics, I can’t help but ponder the intention behind FromSoft’s design choices. The buffs granted by Scadutree Fragments seem essential for most players looking to progress through the expansion smoothly or compensate for any potential underleveling from the base game. However, the optional nature of redeeming these ashes and fragments opens up the possibility for a more challenging experience for those seeking a greater test of skill.

As the release date for the expansion draws near, I am left intrigued by the possibilities that the levelling system in Shadow Of The Erdtree presents. The choice to embrace or forgo these enhancements adds a layer of depth to the gameplay, catering to a wide range of player preferences. Only time will tell how these mechanics ultimately impact the overall experience of Elden Ring’s latest expansion.


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