Elden Ring’s Massively Anticipated Shadow of the Erdtree Expansion: What You Need to Know

elden ring Shadow of the ErdTree dlc

After over two years of anticipation, FromSoftware’s acclaimed (Game of the Year 2022) action RPG Elden Ring is set to receive its first and only DLC expansion, Shadow of the ErdTree, on June 21st.

The hype and excitement surrounding this DLC are reaching a fever pitch among Elden Ring fans (especially like Kai Cenat who rated it 10 on 10). But what exactly can players expect?

Here are key features of Elden Ring’s Shadow of the ErdTree DLC:

  • New story content – Explore the new Land of Shadow following in the footsteps of Miquella.
  • Intense difficulty – Challenge level on par with the latter half of the main game
  • New leveling system – Option to disable stat growth for an extra challenge
  • Vast New Realm – Delve deeper into this seductive and treacherous world, they’ll unravel the secrets surrounding seduction, betrayal, and the dark, bloody history behind the Erdtree’s creation.
  • Dual timelines – Expansion spans two distinct time periods
  • New characters – Introduces figures like St. Trina, Messmer
  • New Bosses – 10+ new bosses to battle, including the “Divine Beast Dancing Lion” in Belurat Castle, a hulking armored warrior named “Rellana” and the dual-bladed “Twin Moon Knight” found in Castle Ensis.
  • New factions – Additional groups alongside existing powers like the Eternal Stars
  • Choice-driven narrative – Player choices forge different story paths
  • New weapons/skills/spells – 8 new weapon categories and combat abilities – Martial Arts added
  • New Items – Powerful new consumable items like Scadutree Fragments and Revered Spirit Ashes that can be used at Sites of Grace to boost your strength.
  • Required boss defeats – Must defeat Radahn and Mohg to access the DLC
  • Interconnected worlds – New DLC content can impact the base game
elden ring Shadow of the ErdTree dlc Divine Beast Dancing Lion
(Image: Divine Beast Dancing Lion)

All-in-One DLC

In an interview with Zhihu, Elden Ring’s producer Hidetaka Miyazaki revealed that the idea for Shadow of the Erdtree originally emerged during Elden Ring’s base game development when George R.R. Martin was writing the story.

The story, however, was too expansive to be included in its entirety within the base game, leading the developers to trim as much content as possible before the final release.

But now the developer has decided to compress all these multiple cuts into a single package and release it at once (as a single expansion) rather than multiple small DLCs.




Where Does the Erdtree Story Take Place?

According to PlayStation’s official blog, players can enter the Land of Shadow by grabbing the mummified hand of Miquella from the base game after the Mohg boss fight (in the Mohgwyn Palace area).

It’ll grab you, pull you in, and you’ll be teleported to the past in a strange new land that tells the origins and forgotten history of the Erdtree itself.

By following in the footsteps of Miquella, players will uncover dark secrets about the creation of the Golden Order and the Erdtree’s connection to an ancient betrayal and unseen war.

Miquella's cocoon in Elden Ring. You'll access the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC by touching his withered arm. (Image credit Bandai Namco)
(Grab the hand to enter to DLC)

Who Is Miquella?

elden ring Shadow of the ErdTree dlc Miquella
(Image: Miquella Concept)

Miquella was born as one of the empyrean children of Queen Marika and Radagon, along with his twin sister Malenia (Goddess of Rot and one of the hardest boss in base game).

However, Miquella was cursed from birth to forever remain a child, never being able to fully grow up, whereas Malenia was cursed with Scarlet Rot.

Deeply loved by many due to his ability to compel affection, Miquella worked tirelessly alongside Malenia to try to cure both of their curses.

He turned away from the fundamentalist Golden Order teachings and instead developed his own “unalloyed gold” needles that could block the influence of outer gods like the one plaguing Malenia.

With his empyrean powers, Miquella created the colossal Haligtree as a sanctuary, which grew from a sapling he nurtured with his own blood.

He harbored dreams of it one day becoming a new Erdtree, separate from Marika’s Golden Order.

However, those ambitions were derailed when he encased himself in a cocoon at the Haligtree, hoping it would finally allow him to age.

It was during this vulnerable cocooned state that Mohg, the Omen son of Marika, invaded the Haligtree and abducted Miquella away to the underground Mohgwyn Dynasty.

There, he futilely attempted to employ blood sacrifice to transform Miquella into a new deity for the Formless Mother, an Outer God.

In the base game’s present day, Miquella has been missing for untold years, with only his withered arm protruding from the cocoon husk.

In the DLC Shadow of the Erdtree, players will follow the story of Miquella and finally get to know what happened to him by touching his withered arm emerging from the cocoon.




Who Is Messmer?

Messmer

Messmer is a formidable new antagonist will be introduced in the Shadow of the Erdtree expansion.

His name “Messmer the Impaler” and vicious design draped in red cloth, with a wing and two snakes protruding from his bod suggest he is a brutal, sadistic warrior.

In the trailers, he is seen laying waste to the Land of Shadow with fierce fire magic abilities.

While his origins are still unclear, there are theories that Messmer may be a previously unheard of son of Radagon and Marika.

This speculation arises from his crimson red hair, which is a trait shared by their other offspring like Ranni and Radahn.

Also, in the trailer, Messmer speaks of a “Mother” which could refer to Marika.

Some believe Messmer was exiled or banished to the Land of Shadow realm long ago by his parents for unknown reasons.

Like the character Adan from the base game, Messmer may have “stolen” his fire abilities from the Fell God revered by the Fire Giants.

Messmer appears to be one of the main antagonists players will face in exploring Miquella’s journey to the Land of Shadow. However, his connection to Miquella remains a mystery.




How big will the DLC expansion be?

Set in an entirely new realm called the Land of Shadow, Shadow of the Erdtree is being billed as far more than just a typical add-on.

Miyazaki claims it’s closer to a full-fledged game in terms of scope and content.

Early previews seem to back up this bold claim, with most estimates putting the playtime around 30-40 hours.

Surprisingly, despite being tied to a massive open-world game, the file size for Shadow of the Erdtree is relatively small at just 16.5 GB on PlayStation.

This compact footprint is actually nothing new for FromSoftware titles, which are known for exceptional file compression.

For example, the whole of Dark Souls 3 and both its DLCs weigh in at under 30 GB, while 2019’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a mere 13 GB install.

So while 16.5 GB may seem small for a modern AAA expansion, FromSoft has a proven track record of making premium experiences with stripped-down file sizes.

Preloading for the DLC begins on June 19, providing ample time for those with slower internet connections to complete their downloads prior to the release date of June 21.




What can players expect in terms of difficulty?

Fans of the challenging gameplay that defined Elden Ring can rest assured as Miyazaki stated that the DLC would closely match that legendary difficulty level.

For players who’ve powered up their characters to the max, the new DLC offers the chance to disable the leveling system, presenting an even tougher test of skill.

Messmer

Will there be more DLCs after “Shadow of the Erdtree”?

Unfortunately, Miyazaki has confirmed that “Shadow of the Erdtree” will be the final DLC for Elden Ring.

However, he has left open the possibility for future games that may extend the narrative of the Elden Ring universe, consistent with FromSoftware’s tradition of leaving possibilities for their IPs.




When Is the Elden Ring Erdtree DLC Release Date?

The countdown is finally over – Shadow of the Erdtree officially launches on June 21st for PlayStation, Xbox, and PC via Steam.

The DLC carries a $40 price tag.

Two trailers have been released so far, one focused on gameplay showing off the new monsters, areas, and combat styles.

The other trailer is story-driven teasing the dark revelations about the Erdtree that players will uncover.

(Source: PlayStation Blog, Interview of Elden Ring’s producer Hidetaka Miyazaki at Zhihu, Windows Central)

(Image: Bandai Namco)


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