A new Elden Ring mod completely overhauls RPG melee combat with a wide range of new systems including parries, sword clash, step dodges, and dangerous attacks inspired by both Sekiro and Bloodborne. The mod also includes several redesigns of the main Elden Ring bosses designed to better suit the new combat.
The Sword Mastery total combat overhaul mod from creator AntiSteak is an incredible feat of modding, with a full kit of reworks and new systems. Many of the game’s melee weapons have seen their move sets drastically altered, with a range of new attacks and combos. Some moves will allow you to start a combo branch, which can lead to follow up attacks, guard frames, parry frames, charge moves, or delayed attacks.
The diversion system is described as a much more dramatic rebuild of an early prototype that adopted Sekiro diversions into open world gameplay. As you deflect successive attacks, you gain an enhanced stamina regeneration period. AntiSteak explains that this provides a huge payoff, but avoids trivializing encounters, as players can’t just take out a series of very strong attacks in quick succession. An icon is displayed to display your diversion window, allowing users to easily see how the mechanic works.
Arms clashes can occur when two opposing forces swing at the same time. Whoever lands their attack first will continue their attack, while the opponent is forced to perform a deflection animation. There are a total of six different categories of deflections depending on the weapons involved, from fast recovery but short duration deflections with light weapons to long, graceful deflections with heavy protection frames when using colossal swords and greatswords.
Dodging has also been reworked, with the new system implementing a combination of Sekiro’s forward step, Bloodborne’s side-by-side scripts, and the classic dash already found in Elden Ring and Dark Souls III. Meanwhile, bosses have been equipped with “true dangerous attacks” that make them glow white at the end; these can’t be deflected and deal 40% more raw damage than normal on hit, but if you can successfully dodge them, you have a chance to chain in a guard counter and punish your enemy.
There are also unique infusions, each of which can alter your weapon’s playstyle in different ways. Again, this is too deep to fully explain, so we recommend checking out the full description of the mod. Some examples are acute infusions, which allow the use of a quick Iaijutsu deflection; quality infusions, which turn certain weapons into left-handed blocking tools with unique combos; and Bleeding Infusions, which cause you to lose health when you attack, but apply an attack speed and lifesteal buff while below a certain health threshold.
You’ll also need every perk you can get, because most of the main bosses have been reworked. Some have been made faster and more aggressive – AntiSteak points out that this isn’t about making them more difficult, but rather allowing them to play better with the new combat systems.
They also recommend a rough order to fight the main boss fights based on the estimated difficulty after the reworks. Additionally, dynamic boss cams have been implemented for several of the bosses that the mod focuses on. These are intended to increase player visibility during fights while also adding “a level of cinematic flair” to encounters.
If this high-precision mod seems too intense for your liking, another Elden Ring mod adds DnD-style classes with their own unique sets of powerful abilities. The fantasy gaming community is also on the hunt for a new home for Elden Ring PvP, so if you have a favorite location, you might consider getting involved.