As the rune requirements for levels start hitting the 50k mark you’ll find yourself wandering around the Lands Between with 20 to 30k in runes on you. You’ll fight a big enemy and be just about to the next level when the not so unthinkable happens. You died. It’s not too bad, just head back to the spot and collect your ruins. But NOOOOOOO, a stinking dog jumps out, catches you off guard, and poof you’re out all those runes.
To be truthful this happens all through the game, but what makes it more prevalent later in the game, aside from harder enemies and the the rune banking that’s needed, is you have a lot more stuff to juggle. At this point you should have multiple armaments in both hands, several spells, summons, and inventory items all crammed under your controller buttons. All the little things that were annoying before now stack up against you. The lock-on systems that for whatever reason thinks you’d rather target that deer instead of the hulking brute who’s charging up their bow. Trying to quickly down a FP flask has you reaching for your HP flask instead, not to mention the animation it takes to actually use it seems to only speed up your enemy. Then there’s the scenery that apparently everyone but you can shoot through. I could go on, but you get the point.
There is no fix for this. Before anyone decides to plant a, “just git gud,” in the comments know that your mother never loved you. I have tried using a wired controller instead of wireless and to the credit of the Xbox wireless controller I could not notice any improvement. Latency isn’t the issue. I can only assume it’s the limitation some of us have with our fingers. Hey, maybe Godrick the Grafted was onto something. I really could use an extra thumb. The other thing is over-confidence really does breed sloppiness. The whole runes as currency and XP is something that works but not anything I’d like to see in other RPGs. That is my biggest fear. As well as Elden Ring has done, we could be on the cusp of an avalanche of me-too games. What I don’t think these other games may get is how well everything else works in Elden Ring. I can put up with a lot if I’m truly invested in something special. That combination will be hard to repeat. So in the meantime I can put up with jumping off my horse in the heat of a tense fight simply because I pushed down too hard on my thumbstick. Well, there goes another 40,000 runes, but damn that vista is pretty.