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April 22, 2019 3 min read
Stuck in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice? The latest update, version 1.03, might give you that extra nudge. From Software has bundled together numerous tweaks and fixes, many of which are straight-up beneficial. The running theme of today's patch is to bolster our "strategic approaches" by making certain tools and skills more enticing. Oh, and they made Blazing Bull less of an endurance test.
Improvements to Strategic Approaches
Adjusted the efficiency and Spirit Emblem cost of the following to encourage usage and diversity of approach:
Prosthetic Tools: "Lazulite Sacred Flame," "Loaded Axe" series, "Sparking Axe," "Lazulite Axe"
Combat Arts: "Ashina Cross," "Dragon Flash," "One Mind," "Floating Passage," "Spiral Cloud Passage," "Mortal Draw," "Empowered Mortal Draw"
Items: "Spiritfall" series
Reduced the Posture damage dealt by the first hit of the Combat Arts "Senpou Leaping Kicks" and "High Monk" as it was causing more damage than intended in certain cases. Posture damage dealt in the latter-half of the combo has been increased.
Increased the Poison build-up dealt by the Prosthetic Tool "Sabimaru" against enemies that were intended to be weak against it.
Increased the drop rate of "Divine Confetti" for Fencers in Ashina Castle.
Adjusted loading screen tips and tutorial text, as well as adding new text.
While the exact values aren't known yet, it's nice to see the developers alter Spirit Emblems, even if these changes end up being minimal at best. Early on, it can feel discouraging to need to stock up on emblems before facing a troublesome boss whose moves and tactics you haven't quite nailed down.
Similarly, introducing more prevalent Divine Confetti drops will go a long way for folks stuck on certain optional mini-bosses. You'll eventually reach a point in Sekirowhere you can amass more Sen (gold) than you'll ever know what to do with, but until that point, the game's economy can feel unforgiving.
Most of my time with Sekirohas been spent using only a fraction of the prosthetic tools available, and when it comes to Combat Arts, I've done even less experimentation. Once you latch onto something, it's hard to branch out. The poison buff will definitely push me to use the Sabimaru in more situations.
Slightly reduced Posture and Vitality of Blazing Bull in order to improve game pacing and balance time in combat.
Lowered the price of information sold by Anayama the Peddler.
The Chained Ogre inside Ashina Castle is now Red Eyed.
Fixed a bug where "Gokan's Sugar" and "Gokan's Spiritfall" were not mitigating player Posture damage taken while guarding or deflecting enemy attacks.
Fixed a bug where system crashes could cause save data to become corrupted on PC.
Fixed a bug where certain enemies would sometimes stop attacking the player.
Fixed a bug where certain actions could not be performed after reconfiguring the controls.
Fixed certain bugs that were allowing the player to access unexpected areas, which could result in becoming unable to obtain items or make further progress.
Fixed cases of certain text being displayed incorrectly.
Other various bug fixes.
Aside from the performance gains and Blazing Bull nerf, it's also worth highlighting the bug fixes that intend to keep players from getting into areas they're not supposed to reach. Presumably, some of the popular speedrunning skips will fall into this category. If you haven't been following along, runners are now stomping Sekiroin under 25 minutes. They've figure out how to bypass bosses like Gyoubu Oniwa and circumvent whole sections of the world. It's fascinating to see this scene morph day-to-day.
Where are you at on your vengeful journey? I need to sit down and grind out one final expensive-as-hell skill and it's officially a wrap, though part of me would rather just run through the game a fifth time than backstab the same baddies near-endlessly. It may be slower, but it's so much more satisfying.
On that note, I think I'm digging Sekiro's New Game+ more than any other NG+ in From Software's library. Knowing precisely how to shut down once-fearsome foes is such sweet revenge.
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