New Lords of the Fallen updates make sweeping, transformative changes to New Game+

Hexworks are making some pretty comprehensive adjustments to fantasy Soulslike RPG Lords of the Fallen, rejigging the AI so that enemies won’t pursue you quite as far when you run past them, and patching how the New Game Plus options work to give players more control over the difficulty curve. The game’s latest patch, out now, allows you to choose whether to progress to a harder NG+ setting after finishing a run, or restart at the same difficulty threshold while retaining your character and progression.

“This will allow trophy hunters and completionists to seek out any outstanding tasks without having to contend with increased difficulty, should they so choose,” the developer say in Lords of the Fallen’s latest patch notes. And these are just the first of “some fundamental changes to ensure everyone continues to enjoy the NG+ experience”, according to Hexworks. Heft that magic lantern and read on.

There’s another patch coming on Thursday 25th October which changes how Lords of the Fallen NG+ handles vestiges, the game’s versions of Dark Souls level-up bonfires (you can also plant and grow vestige seedlings to create sanctuaries on plots of fertile soil, but you can only have one seedling active at once). Rather than stripping them all out when you start a New Game+ runthrough, as was the case at launch, the game will remove vestiges a few at a time, whenever you advance to a tougher New Game+ setting.

“This way, our initial vision remains intact but is more of a gradual adaptation, awaiting those who seek increasing levels of challenge,” the developers go on in the Steam post. From NG+3 onwards, you’ll only find vestiges on the main Skyrest Bridge hub or in Adyr’s Shrine.

I’ve still yet to dip a toe in Lords of the Fallen, but I like the sound of all this. Perhaps it’s the Tomb of the Giants Syndrome talking, but the idea of surreptitiously removing rest areas from the game sounds thrilling – providing Hexworks are, in fact, surreptitious about it, rather than marking out which vestiges have been removed in advance. If you don’t agree, you’ll probably be happy to know that there’s yet another Lords of the Fallen update on the way that will introduce a NG+ modifier system, giving players full control over how many vestiges are retained in each NG+ run, while introducing modifiers such as a permadeath, randomised items and randomised enemies. They’re hoping to have that cooked and on your doorstep by the end of the year.

As for people still slaving away in the wilds of regular old New Game Non-Plus, Hexworks have made changes to the AI “leashing” system in today’s Lords of the Fallen patch, “further limiting how far enemies will pursue players from their spawn point”, and thus creating more opportunity for the secret best Dark Souls tactic of legging it through populous areas, screaming your head off. The game’s enemies will also space out their attacks when fighting in crowds so as to give you more breathing room. Last but not least, the 25th October patch will reduce the enemy headcount in areas where players often struggle, only to sneakily add those creatures back in when you play NG+, “in keeping with the more challenging experience players are seeking.”

All that’s in addition to on-going efforts to improve the game’s performance, address one particular progression loss issue, and stamp out the last few crash bugs. “Our constant efforts for improved GPU stability are paying off, and we see that right now, the numbers have been reduced drastically from launch, to less than one third of what they were day one, yet still affecting 4% of our players each hour,” the developers claim.

According to my napkin mathematics, this means that around 12% of Lords of Fallen players experienced GPU stability issues at launch, which explains the calamitous Steam user reviews. The developers add that they won’t deploy Lords of the Fallen crossplay till they’ve sorted out the GPU stability situation on PC.

Hexworks are also “diligently addressing the remaining 0.28% of crashes stemming from game code, while also collaborating closely with NVIDIA, AMD, and Epic to resolve any outstanding issues reported by players through Sentry.” You can read more, including a provisional workaround for the aforesaid progression loss problem, over on the Steam page. Or if you’ve yet to buy the game, you can read our Lords of the Fallen review for Soulsliker Supreme Ed “Knight of” Thorn’s launch verdict. It’s interesting to compare all this to how Neowiz are overhauling Lies of P, which was rock-hard at launch but is somewhat less so today.

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