Elden Ring: The Dilemma of Stat Scaling and Split Damage in Soulslike Games


The evolution of stat scaling and damage allocation in Soulslike games has sparked both fascination and frustration among players. A prime example lies in the transformation of the iconic Moonlight Greatsword (MGS) across the series, from its pure intelligence scaling and magic damage in Dark Souls 1 to its fragmented attributes in Dark Souls 3 and the perplexing changes in Elden Ring.

In the transition to Dark Souls 3, the MGS underwent a transformation, adopting split damage and a diminished scaling off strength, leaving fans bewildered. However, the true quagmire emerges in Elden Ring, where the once-revered MGS is a shadow of its former self. Renamed and redefined, it now boasts quality and intelligence scaling, coupled with an inexplicable addition of frost buildup.

The enigma extends beyond the MGS, permeating other weapons such as the Golden Order Greatsword, which, despite its luminous facade, deviates from expectations by favoring a quality build with a subtle nod to faith. This departure from mono-build optimization raises pertinent questions about the developers' rationale and its impact on player experience.

While certain weapons may seem tailored for specific builds, the prevalence of split damage and underwhelming scaling undermines the viability of mono builds outside of casters. Even stalwart attributes like strength and dexterity find themselves bereft of diverse options, further complicating character specialization.

However, amidst the discord, some argue that the disparities in damage splits and scaling are not as dire as they appear. Despite the ostensibly convoluted scaling of the DMGS, its practical efficacy remains tied predominantly to intelligence, rendering other attributes negligible. Similarly, the Golden Order Greatsword, contrary to initial impressions, aligns more closely with faith scaling than with traditional quality attributes.

In defense of the status quo, proponents contend that the focus on one damage stat often yields optimal results, surpassing the efficacy of previous iterations. The prevalence of heavy and keen infusions, which outperform quality infusions in most scenarios, exemplifies the shifting paradigm. Moreover, even in instances of multi-stat scaling, prioritizing one attribute until soft caps emerges as a viable strategy, reflecting the evolving dynamics of character progression.

In essence, the dilemma of stat scaling and split damage in Soulslike games epitomizes the delicate balance between innovation and tradition. While deviations from established norms may incite consternation among purists, they also herald a new frontier of gameplay possibilities. As players navigate the labyrinthine landscapes of Elden Ring and beyond, they confront not only formidable foes but also the intricacies of character customization—a journey fraught with both peril and promise.

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