Elden Ring is now out. People from all over the world dove into the game as soon as it was unlocked to explore the Lands Between and it was exciting to see everyone take their first steps together. I’ve had the game for a week or so now and couldn’t wait to see what players would do with the game. What I didn’t expect, however, was to be made temporarily OP by new players.
See, when experimenting with the messaging system in Elden Ring, I left a message for other players to discover. It just said “Boss” outside the Chapel of Anticipation—where the Tarnished first wakes up. I knew that the Grafted Scion was about to appear, a boss you’re not supposed to defeat, so I just left a note there to see how the system worked and went on my merry way.
I forgot about this message. It was just an experiment after all. It didn’t matter. It didn’t matter until the night Elden Ring launched. And suddenly I was almost unstoppable.
I found this out by taking on the Night’s Cavalry. He’s a boss located not far from the beginning of the game, and patrols a bridge at night just south of Gatefront Ruins. I ran away from him the first time I met him because frankly he scared the shit out of me. But when thinking of what to do next on my adventure, I thought it might be worth giving him a real go.
It wasn’t going so well. I had been hit a lot, and the Cavalry still had about a third of his health left. I lost Torrent, had no health flasks left and in short was done for. I check my health, there’s a slither left. I run at him, willing to accept my untimely death. Goodbye cruel world, it was nice knowing you.
And then someone appraised my message. My character took on a crimson glow and my health regenerated almost back to full. I was invigorated. And instead of taking a hit from the Night’s Cavalry, I rolled through an attack and retaliated.
What I hadn’t realised about the messaging system in Elden Ring is that when your message is appraised positively, you receive health as a little reward. And if you leave a helpful little message at the very beginning of the game, as players are trying to work out what they’re doing and want to interact with everything in sight, they’re going to be appraising your message.
The fight continued, and though I was getting battered by the Cavalry, I was still being appraised by other players. I should be dead in a ditch right now, but players somewhere else in the world were saving my ass without knowing it.
I beat the Night’s Cavalry. I shouldn’t have, but I did. And realising the fleeting power of my actions, I teleported back to the Church of Elleh. If just one of those messages was capable of saving me a few times in a fight, what happens if I leave messages elsewhere too?
I skipped my way over to the first cave in the game, and left another message indicating that a boss was down the path. I also left some nice messages about people being friends. And the appraisals began flooding in. Sadly I was too tired to seriously take on another boss, my reaction speed wasn’t where it needed to be for the night. But I did run into a few fights feeling unstoppable. No Crimson Flasks? No problem. Just sit tight, roll away from your enemy, and someone appreciating my words of wisdom somewhere else would save me. It was brilliant and bonkers.
Of course, this is only a temporary effect. It’s not going to last, and I know that. It’s a shame that my slightly OP health buff only lasted an evening as newbies streamed in, but it was nice while it lasted.