Lords of the Fallen is one 2023's most significant Soulslikes, a rapidly growing sub-genre in recent years. Since launch, the game has seen a host of content updates and patches that seek to balance the solo dungeon-crawling experience as well as the online multiplayer skirmishes that players can take part in.
However, the most recent update has garnered a lot of attention within the player community, and almost none of it positive. Following the launch of the patch, which has over 100 updates and quality-of-life changes, many Lords of the Fallen players have voiced frustration with how the developers have altered weapons in the game.
The core complaint from fans comes from the focus on a more balanced PvP experience, which brought about the weapon balancing changes. In the patch V1.1.282 notes, the developer's intent with the controversial changes is stated as follows: "Our goal is to foster a more varied and enjoyable gaming experience for all, while avoiding overpowered weapons. We appreciate your understanding and ongoing support."
What has the community so vocal about this recent patch is that this change, designed around offering more PvP battles, effectively rebalances the weapon economy and flow of upgrading - even for players who stick with solo play. For instance, boss weapons, which are powerful gear acquired from clearing bosses, now need to be leveled up to rank 10 instead of five. This change now creates an issue for players who had fully upgraded their weapons before the patch.
Now, boss weapons that hit the previous max at five have to go through another round of upgrades for an additional five ranks to reach the power level they were at previously. What makes matters more frustrating for players is that this change makes it difficult for players who are on New Game+ runs, as they now have to progress in the new run to earn the rare late-game materials to reach their previous stats before the patch.
"This is also going to hurt anyone that who went into NG+ who won't even have access immediate access to the 7-9 mats for purchase," said Soulslike YouTuber FightinCowboy, whose comments were posted on Reddit, which many users agreed with. "No one likes having progress taken away from mid game."
Players on Reddit have also noted that there were no refunds on weapon upgrades to reforge their load-outs, effectively locking every player into the new system. While the devs have offered some materials, such as the Deralium Chunks, for purchase at vendors to help ease the transition, players are still frustrated with the sudden reworking of the game's weapon upgrading system.
So far, players have been voicing frustration with the current economy of Lords of the Fallen on the game's reddit page. Many are hoping for the developers to rebalance the game once again, but others have stated that this is one of many updates that have altered significant parts of the game.
Balancing and designing game updates can be tricky, especially for complex online action RPGs. Earlier this year, Diablo 4 earned significant backlash for its first major patch in time for Season of the Malignant, which lessened experience gained for leveling and lowered the damage players dealt across the board - making players have to play longer and harder to make progress. It was a catastrophic update that overshadowed the game's solid launch, and Blizzard has since updated the game to address the backlash and vowed to be more careful with the type of updates they introduce.
Lords of the Fallen hasn't quite reached that low with this kind of update, but it certainly is not a good look to freely alter the weapon balancing in this way. Hopefully, the devs will be able to address fan feedback further with the next update.
In GamesRadar+'s Lords of the Fallen (2023) review, editor Joel Franey stated: "Lords of the Fallen just about justifies the return of this forgotten franchise by being basically fine. It has a few clever ideas and a whole bunch of very predictable ones, ultimately resulting in a soulslike experience that won't feel particularly new or fresh, but rarely offends or goes too far wrong."
If enjoyed Lords of the Fallen and looking for more RPGs to try out, then check out our roundup of the 25 best RPGs you should play right now.