In preparation for Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree, FromSoftware has dropped a new update for the successful kill-you-nonstop Soulslike. Dubbed patch 1.09, this update makes several changes, from introducing ray tracing effects to nerfing certain skills related to Bleed and Intelligence builds.
Who doesn’t know about Elden Ring by now? The popular action-RPG has sold some 20 million copies since its February 25, 2022 launch and become even more mainstream than FPS mainstay Call of Duty, which is a feat of its own. The game has murked countless Tarnished, spawned a few legendary streamers, and has a thriving community that’s still creating some wild mods a year later. In short, 2022 was the year of Elden Ring. So, it’s no surprise to see the game continue to get updates as FromSoft primes Elden Ring for its first major DLC that may dive into the mystery of Scarlet Rot queen Malenia’s brother, Miquella.
With patch 1.09, Elden Ring finally gets a visual buff in the form of ray tracing effects, something that had been uncovered through datamining back in October 2022. Though the update targets all platforms, ray tracing is currently only available for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X. (It’s unclear if Series S players will get access to this feature, too.) You can enable ray tracing in the settings menu by heading to Game Options (on console) or Graphics (on PC) and toggling ray tracing on or off. Be warned that game performance, including frame rate and resolution, could be impacted when playing with ray tracing on.
For the uninitiated, ray tracing is a rendering technique that helps produce more realistic lighting while also smoothing reflections, shadows, and textures. An algorithm in the code traces the path of light rays (hence the name), then uses that data to simulate the way real light would interact with a virtual object. It’s a more involved method of creating more realistic lighting effects. Elden Ring doesn’t necessarily need this, as the game is beautiful as it is already, but ray tracing would aid in eliminating the glow around edges in close areas.
It’s not all good news, though. Alongside introducing ray tracing effects, FromSoft has made several PvP-exclusive balance adjustments to certain in-game attacks, equipment, spells, and skills. But first, two buffs: The Inescapable Frenzy incantation, a type of spell that deals damage and builds madness, has had its power and grab angle increased. Meanwhile, the Lifesteal Fist skill, an Ash of War that punches your opponent’s lights out to steal a bit of their health, saw an increase to its power, range, and grab angle.
Now, for the bad news. Bleed and Intelligence builds took a bit of a hit with patch 1.09. While the update doesn’t say anything specifically about these two build types, some attacks, gear, and spells related to them have been nerfed. For example, the accessory Lord of Blood’s Exultation, which raises your attack power by 20 percent for 20 seconds whenever Blood Loss occurs near you, has had its effectiveness decreased. If you paired this talisman with the White Mask helmet, well, you’re shit out of luck there, too, as the gear’s attack power buff—a 10 percent increase for 20 seconds when Blood Loss has been inflicted on an enemy or you—has been decreased. On the opposite side, the power of the high-Intelligence spell Founding Rain of Stars has been decreased. The power of another Intelligence spell, Terra Magica, has also been decreased. These are just a handful of examples of nerfs kinda-sorta gutting Bleed and Intelligence builds. Thankfully, though, the changes are only related to PvP.
As is customary with game updates, patch 1.09 comes with a bevy of other adjustments. This includes stuff like bug fixes for Scarlet Rot buildup, decreases to two-handed jumping attacks, increases to the damage of claw weapons, and various changes to Ashes of War like Gold Breaker (reduced recovery time) and Starcaller Cry (increased follow-up attack speed), among other things.
You can check out the full notes for patch 1.09 on Bandai Namco’s website.