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Second Steps: Elden Ring

Image thanks to my buddy Spark

The Lands Between are an unforgiving place in Elden Ring, with much of the lore wrapped up in various quests, side-quests, and locations which require dedication to get to. It’s a beautiful game, starkly so at times, and delivers some of the most rewarding exploration I’ve experienced in an open world game to date.

It really isn’t going to be for everyone, and for as many people as I’ve seen laud the game as one of FromSoft’s best since Sekiro, there are dozens who bounce off it harder than heavy attack from a greatshield.

It takes some getting used to, and I was almost one of those people who bounced off it. I stuck with it though, and tried out different character builds, followed my gut and when I hit a progression blocker it was down to some creative thinking to solve it.

A tip from me though, if you want to get further as a main character, you could do worse than spec’ing into a build that can use a sword, shield, staff, and faith seal.


There are some very good spells to help you out in Elden Ring, and unlike previous FS game magic, the sorcery in Elden Ring is superb. It’s really well done, looks great, and it can help decimate a mini-boss like the Tree Sentinel or even a boss like Margit.

I was able to do that, and once you learn to rely on Torrent to get around, a lot of the game’s more badass loot can be found just right there ready to ride over, tap the RB button and take it for yourself without having to get off the horse.

Hit and run became my Modus Operandi, and it netted me a nice set of stuff for my Astrologer build. Chiefly – the Meteorite Staff, the Traveller outfit set, and a spell called Rock Sling. These changed my world and playthrough in Elden Ring.

You can find these in the ruins, in the Caelid (red) region, in the Swamp of Aeonia. (Warning: dangerous area, prepare to ride like the wind)

You might know, or not, that weapon damage scales in the game based on stats and upgrades (done by using somber smithing stones for named weapons. Some of these weapons cannot be upgraded (the staff) but it boosts gravity sorcery (Rock Sling) by a tremendous amount. The reason for this, the staff scales of Intelligence at an S rank, so it levels damage really fast.

The outfit and staff really helped me, along with the spell, to get past Margit and even defeat the first proper boss. If I can do this, then you can follow suit and get the best out of Elden Ring. The game will test you, but it won’t be impossible – it just might seem like it.

Next time, I’m going to talk about how I love Elden Ring’s actual world building itself and share some of my own shots once I’m happy with them.

Keep on fightin’, fellow Tarnished!