Data Mining Content Suggests Elden Ring Almost Had Covenants Like Dark Souls

Dataminer Elden Ring and PvP Content Creator Stray Kurtis recently shared a screenshot of unused messages from Elden Ring implying that the game’s various factions may have had more formal membership and progression.

In the Dark Souls series, players can join factions called Covenants that offer various PvP or PvE opportunities. The Darkwraiths focus on invading other players to hunt them down, while the Darkmoon pact is about invading invaders to punish them, for example. Covenants have rank rewards tied to them, with some spells and weapons of choice that can only be obtained by fulfilling your pact’s duties (PvP, co-op, etc.) a certain number of times.

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In Elden Ring there are factions in the game – two, even, with a connection to PvP – but no formal classified Covenant. The Recusants of Volcano Manor and Bloody Fingers of the Moghwyn Dynasty provide items related to multiplayer raiding, but instead of formal rankings, they offer sidequests that blend more seamlessly into the rest of the game.

StrayKurtis’ screenshot shows a selection of messages similar to those displayed upon defeating a boss or raider, with the text:

  • Advanced Bloodfinger Ranking
  • Advanced Hunter Rank
  • Advanced Denier Classification
  • Advanced Duelist Rank
  • Advanced curled finger classification

The conclusion I draw is that these messages were made for a faction system like Dark Souls, abandoned at some point in development. All of them are linked to items or ideas already in Elden Ring.

“Hunter” likely refers to the Blue and White Cipher rings, which allow for a form of emergency cooperation to ward off invaders, represented by the NPC Yura. “Duelist” corresponds to the item “Duelist’s Furled Finger”, which allows consensual PvP and has no representation of in-game lore. “Furled Finger” refers to Elden Ring’s co-op item, and likely tied to a co-op faction similar to Solaire’s Warriors of Sunlight in Dark Souls.

It’s unclear if these messages are just cut content or if there’s a chance they will be revisited in future DLC. It has been speculated for months that Elden Ring Sealed Coliseums will feature a multiplayer-focused update, and a more formal faction system would go along nicely with that. However, I can’t see a formal ranking of Deniers and Bloody Fingers playing well with the current positioning of factions in the story without added NPCs or adjustments to where their plots end.

There is a precedent for covenants being blocked by main quest progression in Dark Souls. The Gravelord Servants pact from the first game can become unreachable by defeating the story boss Gravelord Nito, but From seems to be trying to get away from doing dull or unreachable things in Elden Ring.

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