An Elden Ring datamine suggests that multiplayer covenants, a popular FromSoftware feature, were intended for inclusion in the game. FromSoftware’s open-world fantasy epic includes multiplayer features like summons and invasions, but it lacks the covenant system present in past soulslike titles. Joining a covenant in Dark Souls lets players serve a special multiplayer role, either as a friendly summon or hostile invader, and this mechanic was likely planned for Elden Ring too.
Despite expanding the soulslike formula into an expansive open-world setting, Elden Ring sticks closely to the multiplayer system featured in the Dark Souls trilogy and Bloodborne. Using special items, typically in the form of fingers or rings in Elden Ring, lets players enter the worlds of other gamers to help or hinder their progress. Summon signs let Tarnished team up to defeat an area’s boss, granting ample rewards to both users. Meanwhile, hostile players can invade other gamers’ worlds to kill them for rewards. A datamined Elden Ring multiplayer coliseum may have been intended for large-scale multiplayer battles, and some believe that the feature may return in the form of DLC.
Twitter user and dataminer StrayKurtis recently revealed several unused Elden Ring text pop-ups that hint at an unused covenant ranking system. In past FromSoftware games players could progress higher in multiplayer covenants, like Dark Souls’ cooperative Warriors of Sunlight, by filling the faction’s specific role. StrayKurtis’ unused text suggests that FromSoftware once planned to include covenants in Elden Ring, with players able to rank up as Recusants, Duelists and more. StrayKurtis suggests that covenants could still be implemented as a future update or expansion.
Elden Ring is a truly robust game, but dataminers have discovered a number of fascinating unused concepts within the game’s files. A cut Elden Ring dream-stealing mechanic, for example, points to an entire questline that never made it into the full game. A non-player character would have given players an item called St. Trina’s Crystal Ball and tasked them with stealing the dreams of animals throughout the Lands Between. Animals in a deep sleep could be approached with abandon, and returning their stolen dreams to the NPC would reward players with a beverage called Dreambrew. Like many pieces of cut content, this mechanic could potentially be added to Elden Ring in a future expansion.
Removing covenants and ranks helps to simplify Elden Ring’s multiplayer system, but many FromSoftware fans likely miss pledging allegiance to specific groups and fulfilling unique roles online. The only evidence of covenants is datamined text, but the feature could possibly return in a future multiplayer-focused DLC. However, Elden Ring players should prepare for some grueling PvP showdowns if Darkwraiths ever make their way into the Lands Between.
Elden Ring is available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.
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