Cut Content Shows Elden Ring Covenants Were Almost Like The Ones in Dark Souls

A more comprehensive faction system is one of the few things fans feel Elden Ring is missing. While the game features several covenants, your participation in them is minimal and doesn’t stretch outside the single-player narrative. However, a datamine of cut content has uncovered messages that appear to indicate that Elden Ring at one point had a faction system similar to the Dark Souls games that would allow players to advance in rank for completing specific tasks.

Elden Ring used to have (or is getting) more complex covenants

#ELDENRING datamine fun fact: There are several unused text popups related to the various online interactions(invasions, coop, etc). Perhaps there are some sort of ranking systems in the works? pic.twitter.com/FTurtshwS2

— StrayKurtis (@StrayKurtis) May 11, 2022

Elden Ring dataminer StrayKurtis shared a series of messages they found within the game’s files on Twitter that seem to be part of a covenant ranking system. This indicates that either the factional quests were planned to be part of a system similar to that found in the Dark Souls games, or FromSoftware plans to expand covenant gameplay in the future as part of an update.

Throughout the Lands Between, you’ll find several NPCs that ask you to join their covenant. The most obvious of these is the Recusants that can be found at Volcano Manor. If you join the denizens of the manor, you’re charged with invading the worlds of other NPCs and assassinating them. However, instead of being a separate series of subquests, the Recusant assignments flow into the main narrative and are primarily a vehicle to give players a means of facing the demigod Rykard.

However, these messages show that at some point, FromSoftware intended for you to advance through faction ranks. Here’s who we think they were meant to be attached to and how the covenants related to each other:

  • Bloody Finger:
    • NPC: White Mask Varre
    • Enemy: Hunters
    • Item: Bloody Finger, Festering Bloody Finger
  • Furled Finger
    • NPC: ?
    • Enemy: Recusants
    • Item: Tarnished’s Furled Finger, Small Golden Effigy,
  • Duelist
    • NPC: The Great-Jar
    • Enemy: Bloody Fingers, Recusants
    • Item: Duelist’s Furled Finger
  • Hunter
    • NPC: Bloody Finger Hunter Yura
    • Enemy: Bloody Fingers
    • Item: Blue Cipher Ring, White Cipher Ring
  • Recusant
    • NPC: Lady Tanith
    • Enemy: Duelists, Furled Fingers
    • Item: Recusant Finger

Hopefully, we’ll see this system in a future update. None of the factions got a definitive resolution, and it’d be great to get some more narrative content outside of the main story.

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