Lords of the Fallen's been getting a lot of patches. Depending on who you ask, it might be too many—while it's neat the crew at Hexworks are this responsive to feedback, some recent changes have left a sour taste in the community's mouth.
An update that dropped November 2 made some adjustments to certain boss weapons and spells that were "heavily relied on", like giving Boss Weapons 10 upgrade levels (as opposed to five) and tweaking their numbers.
This left a lot of players with weaker stat-sticks they'd need to spend more resources on, just to gain a shadow of what they already had. Some spells, such as Pieta's Blessed Reflections, also had their mana costs adjusted for PvP reasons, leaving PvE players baffled as to the why.
Not two days later, a second post responded directly to that player feedback. A patch attempted to resupply shirked boss-weapon swingers with some extra resources to bring their weapons up to par.
The devs then outlined plans to split future balance updates between PvP and PvE. This has been further cemented by a full roadmap, which promises spells, armour sets, questlines, New Game+ modifiers, and—at long last—a better inventory, all for free.
Good stuff in theory, and while there's been a speedy turnaround on those balance changes, it begs the question—why balance for PvP in the first place? I enjoyed Lords of the Fallen, but PvP is not, at least currently, the game's highlight.
The netcode wonkiness typical to mainline souls games is even more egregious here, and a lot of my invasion sessions ended in disconnects before I even set foot in my victim's world. That's not to say it isn't fun—I did get to hurl some poor sod off a ledge with an infernal hammer—but "Balance" isn't exactly what comes to mind as relevant to the experience, or even obtainable. Especially when the core game really is just PvE.
It's also an interesting tactic—one I'm not necessarily opposed to—to be patching a soulslike with smaller updates like this. Usually, games in the genre will save spell and armour additions for big DLC releases, rather than drip-feeding them live service style.
I'm also happy to see they'll be bumping up the boss difficulty, since my playthrough featured bosses I really, really enjoyed—but I often beat them in under a dozen attempts, sometimes two or three. Recent changes to enemy density have chipped away at my other complaints as well.
Even so, my feelings toward Lords of the Fallen have only grown more complicated since its launch, especially with the spectre of performance issues still looming large. I'm still waiting for the game to make the leap from a flawed gem to a hearty recommendation—and I can't help but wonder if these rapid-fire patches might do more harm than good.