Lords of the Fallen gets another update that addresses some of the important issues the game has. But fundamentally, almost everything you can see in the patch notes is not what the game needs right now in my opinion.
So, here I want to talk about yet another Lords of the Fallen update (1.1.326) and this article will be both informative to keep you up to speed with all the new stuff. I’d also like to share my personal opinions on some of the changes and highlight what I think HexWorks should concentrate on instead.
Lords of the Fallen Patch 1.1.326 is a big update.
We have lock-on overhaul, improved stability and improved performance. Some of the bosses now have buffed health pools and their damage output is higher. PVE is being re-balanced separately from PVP. Umbral ending is fixed, or so it seems, and then some.
The first thing I’d like to talk about is lock-on overhaul. You now have a few options to choose from: precision, dynamic, proximity and legacy.
- Precision will prioritise enemies that are closer to the centre of your screen with enemies around the borders ignored.
- Dynamic will prioritise enemies that are closer to the centre of the screen but without limits, meaning you will still be able to lock-on to enemies farther from the centre.
- Proximity will prioritise enemies that are nearest to the player.
- Legacy, represents the original lock-on system from the game’s launch.
I’ve tested all of them and the closest ones to what I’d want to see in the game are dynamic and, it might sound weird but, Legacy. The proximity one is absolute dumpster fire in the situations where you are surrounded by melee enemies and have a few ranged mobs attacking you from afar and, let’s be honest, it’s not a rare occurrence in LOTF.
What, I think, would be a nice addition is an option to disable camera auto-centering when the system fails to lock onto something. This killed me more times than these ambushers. I say this thing should be optional because, as far as I know, camera auto-centering doesn’t bother those playing the game with M&K.
Also, regardless of the setting I go with, the camera angle seems to be different sometimes in certain situations and that makes fighting enemies so much harder because you can’t see them very well.
Another crucial change is re-balanced bosses.
All non-main bosses have received a health boost ranging from 10% to 20%, depending on where the player is in the game. It’s less of a boost at the start and a higher boost towards the end.
On top of that, all non-main bosses have received an overall 10% boost to their damage output, with adjustments made on a case-by-case basis to ensure they provide the appropriate level of challenge.
Now, on paper, this doesn’t sound too good. In my opinion, more health and more damage doesn’t always mean more challenge. As a matter of fact, it almost never is more challenge, it’s more tedium and more annoyance at best.
A lot of people complained about bosses being too easy, but what they probably meant was “most of the bosses have 2-3 very well-telegraphed attacks that are very easy to predict”. That’s how I feel about most of them, anyway.
Like, the issue with bosses being too easy is a core issue and making them more spongy won’t change the fact. They will be the same bosses with the same 2-3 attacks, only it will take longer to beat them.
But in reality, it’s not all that bad. Tancred, for example, is buffed now. I enjoyed fighting with him so much. I’d say his health and damage output are both in the right place now (I’m talking about a first playthrough version of Tancred).
Tancred in NG+ was balanced with ass it feels like and is, actually, a great example of “big health doesn’t mean big challenge”. On my very first playthrough, it took me around 60 seconds to beat Tancred and 60 more to beat Reinhold the Immured (Tancred’s second phase) on my first try. I just went through him like a knife goes through butter and that made me extremely upset: I literally didn’t get to see his attacks because he didn’t get a chance to show them to me.
Tancred is such a cool-looking boss with a sick backstory. You may want to spend more time with him. Anyway, now on the first playthrough, he might feel just right to you.
I think every boss fight in LOTF is extremely built dependent. Some people (me, for example) struggled with Kinrangr boss on their first playthrough, but then melted through the Progeny within a minute like they were putting down giant ugly infants for years. And the other way around. What I mean is don’t get discouraged by the news of bosses being buffed, give it a try first.
Another important update is the fixed Umbral ending.
Some players couldn’t finish the game because they got blocked at the Umbral ending. Now, when you load the character that should have received the ending, you will see the credits directly, receive the proper achievements and the proper rewards. Then, you will get the prompt to move to NG+1, NG+0, or stay in the current world.
I can’t vouch for that because I’m yet to get the Umbral ending, but I’ve seen a lot of people saying that the issue is not fixed for them.
Performance & Stability
A lot of performance and stability changes came with the latest patch, but it’s incredibly hard for me to analyse them:
- Reduced the number of actors casting shadows
- Optimization involved deleting hidden meshes
- Complex shaders that used alpha masks
- Vertex-animated options
It feels like these reports are made for shareholders and not for men with ADHD wearing no pants reading through them. Bottom line is: performance is improved in Umbral and various locations in general. DLSS3 has been updated for those with 40 series cards, but the frame gen has not yet been activated by default.
To enable it, one needs to use this command - DLSSFG.
On my own behalf, I’d like to say that I haven’t noticed any changes in performance. It runs very well for me, for the most part, with very rare fps drops. Nothing’s changed much, but I guess there’s still work to be done to improve overall performance. As far as I know, some people with above average rigs are still experiencing issues.
PVP & PVE Balancing
Next, let’s talk about balancing. There’s PVE balancing and PVP balancing.
In the patch notes, you can find the exact spells and Lords of the Fallen Items that were tweaked or rebalanced. What’s really cool is that they are rebalancing PVE and PVP, separately. It’s something that took FromSoftware a lot of years to master and I think HexWorks are doing it the right way.
It’s extremely upsetting when your PVE build gets nerfed because somebody is abusing it in PVP and you don’t even play PVP. There are more changes to come, obviously, but spells, arrows and bolts do scale properly now in PVP. And according to the devs, using spells, ammo and various throwables is less OP now.
I know that it’s fine for some people, but for me, for everyone I know who owns the game and for most YouTubers I watch, multiplayer doesn’t work properly. It lags. There are tons of latency issues and rubberbanding and joining somebody to help them with a boss most of the time means making things worse for the host. You dodge an attack, then you lag, you die and they have to spend their healing item to resurrect you.
At this point, for me, it’s better to avoid multiplayer completely and just enjoy all the content solo. I know it might sound harsh, but I’m not saying all this to depreciate the work that has been done. I’m also in no position to tell the devs how to do their job. This is just my opinion and my feedback. I’d love multiplayer to work properly, and I’d love to see the game live on and flourish and I don’t mind waiting for a month or even a few months without any updates and then get properly working co-op and PVP.
Unfortunately, I haven’t even seen them publicly acknowledging the poor state of the game’s multiplayer, the game’s main selling point for a lot of people.
What We Need
Anyway, on this note, here’s what I think the game desperately needs once the multiplayer is working the way it should:
I think that some sort of inventory sorting will be a very welcome addition. Towards the end of the game, you usually have so much loot. It’s really hard to find something specific.
Item chest is a must as well, but we know that it’s coming in the future.
Also, another QoL change to keep in mind: when purchasing consumables in bulk, you can’t see how much Lords of the Fallen Vigor you have because the screen blurs out. And if you are not sure, you have to cancel the purchase to check. Either let me see how much currency I’ve got or add a blocker that doesn’t let me select more items than I can afford.
Also, I can’t stress enough about how terrible the decision is to auto add shit to your quick bar. Why?
Multiplayer scaling is a bit weird too at the moment. I don’t know all the specifics, but sometimes you join somebody’s game and deal little to no damage to trash mobs in Pilgrim’s Perch and then you join another game and your damage in Pilgrim’s Pech is fine. It’s most likely host dependent. Maybe they are in their NG+8. But I’m not the one picking them.
What’s the point of me joining somebody’s game to assist and being unable to do so? PVP arena would be a very nice addition for people who want to heavily lean into PVP. I think a place where people could have fair duels will give the game some extra longevity, too.
Camera reset is another thing that should be optional in my opinion. Have you ever thought about how many times you actually press R3 or whatever your button is to reposition your camera? Exactly. When you are running sideways and trying to lock onto something dangerous, the last thing you need is your camera repositioned.
I’d also love to see some sort of an indicator to see where the other player is in co-op. Sprinting is such a big part of this game. Sometimes your co-op partner just runs off and it’s really hard to find them.
You get teleported to them anyway after a while and some might think that additional HUD is immersion-breaking, but having an option to turn it on and off at least would be a very welcome change for people with fucky eyes.
Also, am I the only one whose Vanguard armour looks like this? It’s especially weird when climbing ladders. Though, I’m more than happy to look like a broom for an n-amount of months if it would mean the multiplayer is fixed.
I will say it again: balancing the game, adjusting bosses’ difficulty, nerfing spells, etc. are welcome changes. And I appreciate all the work that the devs are putting into the game. I appreciate the amount and the consistency. Most importantly, I highly appreciate them listening to the community.
I also think that Saul Gascone - head of HexWorks is a pretty sick dude who genuinely likes and plays video games. But again, I think the issues with the multiplayer aspect can’t and shouldn’t be ignored.
Multiplayer is like lifeblood of soulslikes and it directly affects any of the game’s longevity. I’m not a businessman but “working multiplayer = more people playing = people don’t lose interest as fast = more sales = more money”. And it’s only logical to make the game run well first, squish all the bugs, etc and then start working on balancing it.