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Elden Ring's New Update May Have Killed Speedruns

A new update has been released for "Elden Ring," adding some missing content and balancing some of the items in the game. Unfortunately for speed runners, the current best method for blasting through the game has been destroyed by this update, nerfing a key item to the point of uselessness. Only a few short weeks after the game's release, someone managed to roll credits in 2.5 hours, with sub 40 and 30 minute runs following shortly afterwards. Now, with these nerfs in place, it seems like speedrunners will need to rethink their strategies.

According to the patch notes, the nerfs covered plenty of powerful items, like the Icerind Hatchet and the Mimic Tear spirit, but the big one is the adjustment to Hoarfrost Stomp. Hoarfrost Stomp is an ash of war that sends out ice spikes in front of the player. Prior to the patch this ability had a massive range, high damage, and would stagger enemies. According to Distortion2 on Twitter, one of the "Elden Ring" speedrunners, having Hoarfrost Stomp, was a key part of speedruns. Distortion2 holds the current record, sitting at about 28 minutes, something they are going to be able to hold on to for a while. The question now is, what to do moving forward?

New category or new strategies?

As some people have pointed out on Twitter, it seems as though this patch was targeted at nerfing every method currently used in speedrunning, with the Hoarfrost Stomp, Sword of Night, and Flame receiving significant negative adjustments. Now speedrunners find themselves in an interesting position, especially with how new "Elden Ring" is. Speedrun.com, the primary place for speedrunners to post records and runs, hasn't even established the "Elden Ring" leaderboard yet, as the team is still finalizing rule sets. That said, other games have made separate categories for different patches, letting players do runs with items that may have been nerfed.

The other option for "Elden Ring" speedrunners moving forward is simply to find new methods. While it's likely frustrating for your current method to be taken away from you, new speedrunning strategies develop all the time. A new "Metal Gear Solid" strategy was discovered last year, 23 years after the game was released. If there is one thing to know about speedrunners, its that they are dedicated, and will likely find some other way to beat a massive open-world game in less than an hour. They just have to do it without their trusty Hoarfrost Stomp and Mimic Tear.